Professional Photographers in Hastings ( Ca-Cl ) 

Edward G. Carver - Cassinello Family - W. Chapman - Hugh Clasby ( Hugh Clasby Jones ) - Albert C. Clements - Guy Cliff

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[ABOVE] A portrait of Hugh Clasby Jones (1846-1879) by John Atkins Jones of  38 & 39 High Street, Brighton. Hugh Clasby Jones was the only son of this early Brighton photographer. On the reverse of this portrait is the written inscription " Hugh Clasby Jones died April 8th 1879, aged 32. This photograph was taken around 1874, about five years before Hugh Clasby Jones's death.  [PHOTO: COURTESY OF DENNIS PARRETT]

Hugh CLASBY (Hugh Clasby JONES) (1846-1879).

Hugh Clasby Jones was born in Brighton in 1846, the son of John Atkins Jones (c1814-1894) and his second wife, Catherine Clasby . Hugh's father, John Atkins Jones was born in Bath, Somerset around 1814 and had settled in Brighton before 1838, the year of his marriage to his first wife, Louisa Payne. John Atkins Jones married for a second time around 1845. His new bride was Catherine Clasby (c1824-1895), a dressmaker and mantle maker, the daughter of Charles Clasby and Mary Ann Young of Shoreham. Hugh Clasby Jones appears to have been the couple's first child. (Hugh Clasby Jones's birth was registered in Brighton in the September Quarter of 1846 ).

John Atkins Jones, Hugh's father, worked in a number of different trades. In 1838, John Atkins Jones was a haberdasher and hosier. At the time of Hugh's birth, Jones was working as an "embroiderer and pattern designer". When the census was taken in Brighton in 1851, John Atkins Jones was recorded at 58 Cavendish Street, with his wife Kate (Catherine), his mother-in-law Mary Clasby (also a dressmaker), his four year old son, and his daughter Emily Clasby Jones, aged two. [ Emily's birth was registered in Brighton in the June Quarter of 1849 ]. At the time of the 1851 census, John Atkins Jones described himself as a "Painter". The publicity on the reverse of John Atkins Jones's early cartes declare the date that he established his photography business, variously given as 1853, 1854 and 1856. In an 1856 trade directory, J. A. Jones is listed as a carpenter at 36 High Street, Brighton, but within two years his name appears under the heading of 'Photographic Artists' in Sussex trade directories.

Hugh Clasby Jones probably trained as a photographer under his father John Atkins Jones. It is likely that Hugh was assisting his father in his photographic studio in Brighton's High Street from the mid 1860s. When the census was taken on 2nd April 1871, Hugh Clasby Jones, aged 27, gave his profession as "Photographer".





[ABOVE ] The reverse of the carte-de-visite portrait of a young woman by J. A. Jones  (shown right). According to the printed information on the back of this carte, John Atkins Jones was in business at 36 High Street, Brighton from 1854. Jones worked as a photographer in Brighton's High Street until he retired around 1888. [COURTESY OF BRIGHTON HISTORY CENTRE ]

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite portrait of a young woman by John Atkins Jones of 36 & 37 High Street, Brighton. (c1862). Hugh Clasby Jones was a son from the second marriage of John Atkins Jones, an early Brighton photographer. [PHOTO: COURTESY OF BRIGHTON HISTORY CENTRE]

[ABOVE ] The reverse of the carte-de-visite portrait by John Atkins Jones of High Street, Brighton. When this carte was produced J.A. Jones's studio address had changed from 36 & 37 High Street to 38 & 39 High Street. By this time, John A. Jones's son Hugh Clasby Jones was working as a photographer in the High Street studio.


[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite portrait of a bearded man by John Atkins Jones of  High Street, Brighton. (c1872). Negative No,4353. Hugh Clasby Jones assisted his father in his Brighton photographic studio in the mid to late 1860s, but around 1872, Hugh Clasby Jones set up his own photography business in Hastings under the name of "Hugh Clasby".


John Atkins Jones - Photographic Artist of Brighton

John Atkins Jones made the claim that he had been in business at 36 High Street, Brighton since 1854. The advertisements Jones printed on the back of his early carte-de-visite portraits carry the words "ESTABLISHED 1853" or "ESTABLISHED 1854". These dates in the early 1850s could refer to the year that J. A. Jones moved from his home in Cavendish Street to 36 High Street and does not necessarily prove that he had a photographic studio at this early date. The name of John Atkins Jones does not appear in the list of Daguerreotype Artists in W. J. Taylor's Original Directory of Brighton  published in 1854. J. A. Jones is not listed as a photographic artist in the Brighton trade directories which appeared between 1854 and 1858. In Folthorp's Directory of 1856, J. A. Jones is described as a carpenter, but it is possible that he was taking wet collodion portraits at his shop in the High Street as a sideline to his usual business. The publicity on Jones's later cartes carry the words "ESTABLISHED 1856" and this is the likely date that John Atkins Jones set up the photographic portrait studio in Brighton's High Street. However, there is clear evidence that John Atkins Jones was working full-time as a professional photographer by 1858. In Melville & Co.'s Directory of Sussex of 1858, his trade entry reads " Jones, John Atkins, Photographic Artist, 36 High Street". John Atkins Jones worked as a photographer at 36 High Street, Brighton until about 1871. From 1872, the studio address of J. A. Jones is given as 38 High Street and he is still recorded as a photographer at 38 High Street, Brighton in 1888.

John Atkins Jones was in business as a photographer in Brighton's High Street, until he retired in 1888. From the mid 1860s, John Atkins Jones was probably assisted by his son Hugh Clasby Jones.




Hugh Clasby ( Hugh Clasby Jones) - Photographer in Hastings


In the 1871 census, twenty-seven year old Hugh Clasby Jones is recorded as a "Photographer" at 36 High Street, Brighton, the home and photographic studio of his father John Atkins Jones. Early in 1872, Hugh Clasby Jones married Eliza Mary West (born 1850, Brighton ). The couple's first child John Walter Hervey Jones was born on 8th October, 1872, and baptised in Cliftonville on 30th November 1873. A daughter, Emily Mary Jones was baptised at St. Peter's Church, Brighton on 27th March 1878.

Around 1872, Hugh Clasby Jones set up a photography business in Hastings under the name of "Hugh Clasby". Hugh Clasby had a photographic studio at 72 High Street, Hastings for only a short period of time. The few surviving cartes produced by Hugh Clasby in Hastings depict men and boys in their working clothes and he may have specialised in this type of occupational portrait.

Hugh Clasby Jones ("Hugh Clasby") died in Brighton on 8th April 1879 at the age of 32. In the 1881 census, Hugh's widow was recorded as living at 116 Islingword Street, Brighton, with her three year old daughter, Emily. Mrs Jones was entered on the census return as Elizabeth Jones and is described on the return as a "Monthly Invalid Nurse", aged 31. Her son, John Walter Hervey Jones married Margaretha Zoppi (born 1870, Greenwich, Kent ) in 1900 and at the time of the 1901 Census he was working as a "Draper's Assistant" and living with his wife in Preston village, Sussex, near Brighton.







[ABOVE ] A confectionery delivery man photographed by Hugh Clasby (Hugh Clasby Jones) around 1872. The delivery box carries the name of the man's employer, Miss Ann Maria Lock, a confectioner of 51 George Street, Hastings. Miss Lock, who had taken over the business of Charles Vickery, is recorded as a confectioner employing three men in the 1871 census.


[ABOVE ] Portrait of a working boy wearing an apron by H. Clasby of 72 High Street, Hastings. The boy appears to be holding a serving tray in his left hand and has the appearance of a waiter. However, on the reverse of the carte someone has written, in pencil, "Apprentice Boy". The tray carries an elaborate design, and so there is a possibility that the boy was an apprentice engaged in the manufacture or decoration of such trays.



Thank to Dennis Parrett for providing the portrait of Hugh Clasby Jones. Thanks also to Louise Clasby Hunter for supplying some family history details relating to John Atkins Jones and Hugh Clasby Jones.

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