Images Index> Images of People> This page
Matlock & Matlock Bath Photographers
People who lived in the Matlocks : Photographs, Postcards, Engravings & Etchings
 

An illustrated account of the photographers who lived in or had studios in Matlock and Matlock Bath from the earliest times until just
after the Second World War.



Old fashioned camera, though not from the 1860s

 

Only those who either lived and worked in the Matlocks or had a studio presence have additional notes. Their names are highlighted in bold text.
The number against each name, e.g.[1], is the number of the individual in the chronological list.


The early years


Manchester born John Latham[1], who lived on Tagg Hill in Matlock Town in the 1860s, was the first commercial photographer to reside in Matlock. The 1861 census shows an Italian, Paul P. Letti,[2] was lodging on Matlock Bank but it is not known how long he stayed.

As for Matlock Bath, John Clark of seems to have been the first photographic artist to advertise in a local trades directory in 1864[3], with Charles Davis of Matlock Bank[4] and George Washington Unwin of Matlock Bath[5] also operating in the district by the time of the 1871 census. Suddenly, everyone who could afford it wanted their photograph taken and by 1881 these three had been joined by David Sherwood Jones[6] and William Potter of Matlock Dale[7]. William Potter was the first "local" to take up the profession. John William Hilder arrived in Matlock Bath in 1887[8], taking over John Clark's studio on South Parade. William Godber was also working at Matlock Bath for a very short time in the late 1880s[9].

Probably the best known of all as far as Matlock is concerned, however, was William Nathan Statham who was the second of the photographers to be born in the Matlocks[10]. He opened his studio on Dale Road (Matlock) shortly before 1891. He worked as a photographer for many years, and his studio did not close until well after the Second World War. Slightly later on the scene were Frederick Barber[11] and his son William Harvey Barber[12], whose premises on Bank Road were called "The Matlock Studio of Art Photography".


Derbyshire Courier, 24 June 1890.
"... there are now resident photographers at Matlock whose work is quite equal any from Oxford Street or Edinborough [sic] Town. At Matlock Mr. F. Barber and Mr. G. Statham each produce high class work, and at Matlock Bath Mr. Hilder is no less successful in positivising negatives of personal photographs. ... Notwithstanding these resident artists the principal views of local scenery still sold are those of G. W. Wilson and Son of Aberdeen, and in regard to their photographs I notice that a local visiting list gives blocks from them, but wrongly ascribes them to Mr. Statham".
(from Gossip from the Peak. Notes by "Quiz")

The scenery in and around the Matlocks proved to be as popular with photographers as it had been earlier with artists. In August 1886 the first annual convention of professional and amateur photographers was held at the Art School in Derby, although no Matlock photographers were named as being directly involved. Amongst the places the attendees visited with their cameras were Matlock and Haddon. Richard Keene of Derby (1825-1894), who took many wonderful photographs of Derbyshire, was the Convention's first president and remained in the post until he died. Alfred Seaman was a founder member[13]. Seaman took many fine pictures of Matlock and Matlock Bath but he didn't live in the Matlocks although he had a studio on Matlock Bank (it was his son Frederick who opened a studio in Matlock Bath[14]). There is, incidentally, one example of Keene's work in All About Derbyshire by Edward Bradbury, (1884) as well as others in the Derbyshire Images section of this site

This page concentrates on those photographers who lived in the Matlocks or had studios in the district. There were many others who either visited for the day, as Richard Keene did, or stayed at one of the hydros or the lodging houses whilst on a short visit. For example, Reuben Wright, who was born at Heanor, was staying at Chesterfield House in 1891 and Julia Tomkinson, aged 18, was a photographer's assistant staying Lime Tree Lane Convalascence [sic] House the same year (see the census entry).

One of the most prolific of the visiting photographers was, of course, Francis Frith (1822-98). Frith was born in Chesterfield, but his family moved away from Derbyshire. They went first to Nether Hallam and then to Poulton Cum Seacombe on the Wirral where the younger Frith worked as a wholesale grocer. He sold his business for a very large sum and set off for the Middle East armed with a camera. On his return he moved to Reigate, but then travelled the country taking pictures. His aim was to photograph the entire country and he certainly took pictures of most of it. There are quite a few photographs of both Matlock and Matlock Bath dating from the 1880s and 1890s in Frith's published collections. He also employed photographers, but it is not known if any of the photographers residing in Matlock or Matlock Bath worked for him.

The scenic views Frith and the others took proved to be extremely popular with both the day trippers and the visitors who stayed longer; they wanted a pictorial memento of where they'd been. There were some wonderful early photographs, examples of which may be seen in the 18th and 19th century section of Images.

Some of the earliest images taken of Matlock and Matlock Bath were stereo views.
See Just Images, Matlock Bath, Nos. 21, 22, 23 | Just images, Matlock Dale, Nos. 16, 17 | Stereoview of Lovers' Walk, 1859-62 | Stereographic Photo of Matlock Bath Station, 1860 | Stereoview of Matlock Bath Station, 19thC | Stereoview, Matlock Bath, 1870s

Photographer's studios were plentiful in the Matlocks and the photographer often ensured his name was somewhere on the mounts of his photographic prints. The photographer's details can usually be found on either the front or the back of mid to late nineteenth century or early twentieth century family photos, either pre printed on the mount or on a printed label (see below). Some images were printed by publishers, including the stereo views mentioned above, which increased their circulation. Publishers included the booksellers and stationers Bemrose & Son of Matlock Bath and Derby, Thomas Housley Holmes of Matlock Bath and William Elliott Howe, also of Matlock Bath (see, for example, Kelly's 1855 | Kelly's 1864 | Kelly's 1876 Directories). There were others who printed and distributed the pictures but were based much further afield, including publishers in Manchester and London.

Cameras were expensive, as was the equipment, and the photographic profession wasn't always profitable. Like many involved in what was probably a very seasonal trade, the photographers sometimes had money difficulties. For some there was no long term damage but others were financially ruined.

 

Carte de Visite of High Tor by William Potter (see below),
1890s or earlier. The CDV is an albumen print mounted on
a small card measuring 6.3 cm x 10.4 cm.


After the turn of the century

Thomas Meredith Henshall arrived in Matlock Bath about 1903[15] and Percy Rowbottom[16] was already living in the village. Both worked as professional photographers for a time. High quality pictures were also being taken by none professionals. For example, Museum Parade & The Pitchings, Matlock Bath, 1909 was taken by a young Australian studying at Royal College of Music.

Joseph Drake[17] and Fred Housley[18] were working in Matlock both before and after 1900. In October 1900 the Derby Art Photographer W. W. Winter announced that his Branch Studio at Matlock, adjoining Smedley's Hydro, was open. Robert Astbury[19] was on Matlock Bank around the same time and his studio was also close to the hydro. J. Mills[20] was also taking pictures, though his or her identity of is not yet known. There were other unknowns: Wigley of Crown Studio Matlock Bridge and Barrett & Hill also of Matlock Bridge (see the cabinet card, right).

Charles Colledge[21] moved to Matlock in the early years of the twentieth century. Vernon Lamb[22] was living on Bank Road in 1911, combining work as an insurance agent with photography. He had been a photographer for at least twenty years and had moved to Matlock from Derby. Another photographer from this era was John Alfred Goodwin, of Hurst Farm. Victor Bancroft, who was originally a watchmaker, was taking pictures between 1920 and at least 1930. He supplied his pictures to both local and national newspapers.
See: Miscellaneous Images - Bancroft's Philatelic Casket.

Between 1922 and 1932 Edgar Wright[23] could be found in the Grand Pavilion's car park photographing groups of people who had arrived by charabanc.

Harry Gill[24], who began taking photographs around 1927, had a studio at Bradley House on Dale Road. He later moved to 1 South Parade, Matlock Bath. He was a press photographer, but also took pictures of weddings, engagements and other family occasions. Cyril Edmonds[25] took photographs that he turned into postcards to sell at his cavern (the Cumberland). Stanley Clough[26], of Dyson and Clough's Filling Station in Matlock Bath, took some photographs during the war, including one of the church and several of the pupils at Matlock Bath school when an American sent over sweets for the children. In the 1950s Minerva Studios was in Matlock Dale, the proprietor of which was S. Martin.

The photographers' pictures were increasingly turned into postcards, with some publishing their own cards. Although they are not part of this particular study, the locals who either took photos or published them include _ Cardin, Edward Lionel Edwards, S. Dakin, Arthur William Gessey, Hawley of Matlock, Harold P. Keetley, A. J. Roberts, Frank R. Rhodes (who took over Gessey's, so the pictures were the same) and Caletta Tinti (nee Whittaker). Lucy Brown sold postcards with her name on them through her Bon Marché stationers on Dale Road.

Photographers who didn't live in the district still continued to visit and pedal their pictures. During the Second World War, for example, one man (name unknown) visited Matlock Bath occasionally over period of about two years. He used to walk up and down with his tripod and camera, a black box that was approximately 6" x 12" x 18" in size. There was a lever on the side which the photographer pressed and out came a photo. The image was instantly put into a bath of chemicals, which the man had with him, it was dried and then stuck onto a card that was approximately the same size as a carte de visite. His brown stained fingers from contact with the chemicals were a hazard of the job.

 
Barratt and Hill
Cabinet Card,
Barratt & Hill of Matlock Bridge.
Children unknown.
Cabinet cards were larger than carte de visites,
measuring approximately 10.3 cm. x 15.3 c.m.


More about Matlock & Matlock Bath's photographers


In this section information about the photographers is in chronological order, in other words the order they were found working in the Matlocks.

This is a list of surnames in alphabetical order to help you navigate:

ASTBURY | BARBER, F | BARBER, WH | CLARK | CLOUGH | COLLEDGE | DAVIS | DRAKE | EDMONDS |
GILL | GODBER | HENSHALL | HILDER | HOUSLEY | LAMB | LATHAM | LETTI | JONES |
MILLS | POTTER | ROWBOTTOM | SEAMAN, A | SEAMAN, FJ | STATHAM | UNWIN | WRIGHT
|

Images of People
Next Image
Previous Image
General Info
About Matlock
About Matlock Bath
Find a Name

1. John Latham (1831-1911?)

John Latham was born in Manchester. In 1851 he was living in Longton (Stoke on Trent) with his parents Robert and Elizabeth, and was described as an Artist. By 1861 the Lathams were living at Tagg Hill, Matlock Town, though John was described as Robert and Elizabeth's nephew. In the late 1860s the Duke of Devonshire gave him permission to take a series of photographs of Chatsworth including views of the State rooms, Drawing rooms, Library, Chapel, and the principal pieces of statuary in the. Sculpture Gallery. These were then published and were widely available until at least 1886.

Unfortunately he had some financial problems in 1869 and did not remain in the district although his parents continued to live in Matlock Town. John married Elizabeth Bott in 1870 and was living in Longton again in 1871, residing at his brother in law's home. John and Elizabeth moved to Stone with their daughter but returned to Longton and Constance became John's assistant. In 1896 their studio (Latham and Bott) was at 3 High Street in Longton. By 1911 he was in Whitchurch, aged 80, with his second wife, Edith Morris, and her daughters.

- Census references:
the 1861 census |

- Directory references:
Whites Directory 1862 |

- Other references:
Names in the London Gazette, 1869

2. Paul P. Letti

No further information has been found. It is assumed Letti's stay in Matlock did not last long.

- Census references:
the 1861 census |

3. John Clark (1824-)

In 1851 John Clark and his wife Ann were living on Commercial Road, Spittlegate in Grantham and John was a Wheelwright. He had been born in South Witham in 1824. Whilst it is difficult to be sure when they moved to Derbyshire or John changed his profession, the couple were living in Duffield in 1861 and John was already working as a photographer.

The Clarks moved to Matlock Bath not long afterwards. Ann Clark ran a lodging house at Swiss Cottage but by 1871 they were living at Museum Parade, Matlock Bath where John's studio also was.

The "Special Appointment to the Emperor and Empress of Brazil" and the claim to be "under the Patronage of the Prince and Princess of Wales", shown on the back of a carte de visite (right), were not empty boasts. He would have taken their photographs when they visited Matlock Bath (see Matlock Bath, Royal visitors). He took the photographs of the local gentry as well, for example at wedding of Julia Helen Arkwright to James Digby Legard on 30 August 1877 at Wirksworth.

John Clark also produced a life size image of Matlock Bath's Mr. Robert Chadwick, then owner of the Heights of Abraham, in 1877 to mark the latter's birrthday. It had been enlarged by the autotype carbon process and was greatly admired by those who saw it. It was presented to him in the National Schoolroom by Major Wieland in front of 100 or more people.

The last time we find John Clark in Matlock Bath is a reference to him in Kelly's 1887 Directory. By 1891 he was back in his native Lincolnshire and residing at Cleethorpes, working as an Artist Painter. John William Hilder took over the studio in Matlock Bath (see[8] below).

- Census references:
the 1871 census | the 1881 census |

- Directory references:
Kelly's 1864 Directory (also Ann) | Kelly's PO Directory 1876 | Kelly's 1881 Directory | Kelly's 1887 Directory |

- Other references:
Bemrose's 1869 Guide, advertisement |

- Examples of his work:
  


Possibly by Clark
 
Definitely by Clark

 
John Clark, photographer
Carte de visite,
John Clark of Matlock Bath.
Cartes de visite were small and relatively inexpensive, so were very popular.

4. Charles Davis (1822-)

Charles, the son of John and Sylvia Davis, was born in Stonehouse, Gloucestershire and baptised there on 2 June 1822. He was living at Little Fife House in Middle Scotland Yard, St Martin in the Fields in 1851, with his wife Jane and five young children, one of whom was Charles born in 1849. Charles senior was a house servant at that time.

It is unclear when he took up photography as a profession and when he first arrived in Matlock. This was a family business; Charles, his wife Mary and his son Charles were all working together in 1871 and living on the Bank. A sale of land for building show that his home was near "Smedley's Institution, abbutting to main roads".

- Census references:
the 1871 census | the 1881 census |

- Directory references:
Kelly's PO Directory 1876 | Kelly's 1881 Directory (both Matlock Bank and Matlock Bath |

 
Charles Davis, photographer
Reverse of a carte de visite by
Charles Davis of Matlock Bank

5. George Washington Unwin (1839-1918)

In 1861 George Washington Unwin was living with his widowed mother in Sheffield and employed as a furniture broker. His father, Charles, had been dead for some years. He married Caroline Strelley Marriott at Darley on 9 Mar 1870 and was living in Matlock Dale by 1871 having changed occupation to photographer. Elizabeth Swallow Unwin (nee Stead), GWU's mother, died at Matlock Bath in 1878 and was buried at Darley on 22 November. Although GWU advertised in Kelly's 1881 Directory, he and his family had left the district and were living in Chorlton On Medlock, LAN. He was still working as a photographer. The family emigrated to Canada and George died in Victoria, British Columbia on 7 Mar 1918.

- Census references:
the 1871 census |

- Directory references:
Kelly's 1881 Directory |

- Other references:
His children are listed under Strays (U)

6. David Sherwood Jones (1847-)

Amazingly, D. S. Jones did not age between the 1871 census, when he was living in Leamington and working as a painter, and the census of 1881 when was in Matlock Bath with his wife and family! David, one of the sons of Henry and Louisa Jones, had married Marian[ne] Clark at St. Andrew's, Rugby on 25 Dec 1871. His residence at the time was given as Litchurch, near Derby. David and Marianne went on to have seven children.

Although he had a studio (the "Gem" Studio, see right), he was a photographer who would stop people in the street and take their pictures. Sadly for the family, the lure of bright prospects in the United States was too great to resist and he emigrated, leaving his family behind in Starkholmes.

- Census references:
the 1881 census | the 1891 census (his family) | the 1901 census (his family) |

- Directory references:
Kelly's 1881 Directory | Kelly's 1887 Directory (Matlock Bridge) |

- Other references:
It is know he visited the UK after the death of his wife. In January 1920 a David Jones, a US citizen aged 77 and retired, boarded the "Carmania" at Liverpool and sailed for Halifax in Canada. Later that year, in August, another David Jones is also on a passenger list, but his name was crossed through so it can be assumed he did not actually travel at that time.

- Example of his work:

 
D. S. Jones, photographer
Two cartes de visite by D. S. Jones, the top one is full size but the second, an example of his "Instantaneous" street pictures, is just a detail of the back.
D. S. Jones (detail)


D. S. Jones
A stamp from the back of a David Sherwood Jones photograph. It reads: "Carbon Enlargements upon Oval Canvas &c."

7. William Potter (1843-1909)

The first "home grown" photographer in the Matlocks. William Potter, the son of William and Ann, was born in Matlock Bath in 1843 and baptised at Holy Trinity Church on 5th March. He began his working life apprenticed to a Marble Worker, though he changed careers around the time of his marriage. He later combined work as a draper's traveller with photography, possibly as a way of supplementing his income. He married Louisa Malvern at St. Giles in 1868. He and his family moved to Trentham about 1870 as his mother in law was a Photographic Printer there and he worked alongside her. It is unclear when he returned to Matlock Dale but he was there in 1881 and his wife, Louisa, was working with him as a photographer's printer. She later ran a fancy goods shop on Derwent Parade. Their son Cecil, who worked for them in 1891, died in 1892. The Potters moved to Rockvale Terrace and William seems to have continued with his photographic work whilst employed as a collector to the Urban District Council and assistant overseer. William was buried at Matlock Bath Holy Trinity on 14 Aug 1909.

- Census references:
1851 census (he and his family were lodgers at Woodbine Cottage) | the 1861 census | the 1881 census | the 1891 census | 1901 census |

-Directory references:
Kelly's 1876 Directory (this entry may not be William) | Kelly's 1881 Directory (lists J. Potter, Matlock Dale) | Kelly's 1887 Directory | Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's 1895 Directory | Kelly's 1899 Directory | Kelly's 1908 Directory

- Other references:
Strays (P) William wasn't in Matlock Bath in 1871. His daughter is also listed as a "Stray".

 

On the back of a photo


Printed on the back of his Carte de Visites

- Examples of his work relating to the Matlocks:

      

- And in a 1892 booklet about The Matlocks:

See both:
Part 1 and Part 2

In the Derbyshire Photo Gallery elsewhere in this web site:

 
Chatsworth - 2 CDVs
 
Edensor
    
Monsal Dale - 3 CDVs

8. John William Hilder (1857-14 June 1927)

J W and Annie Hilder arrived in Matlock Bath about 1887, when J. W. H. took over John Clark's studio on South Parade. Born in Lewisham, he lived in Eltham as a boy and a young man with his parents John and Charlotte, and then later with his wife before they moved to Derbyshire. He married Annie Guy in 1880 and was already a Photographic Artist. Hilder's studio was opposite his shop, which was next to Smith's Royal Museum; in August 1890 John wanted to put a "road" across to enable him to go back and forth "without getting in the dirt" and was taken to court by Mr. Hardstaff for non-payment as the stone delivered for the job was not of good enough quality ("The Derby Mercury") so John did not want to pay. Whilst he was living in Matlock Bath he played an active part in village life. He founded Matlock Bath's Military Band and worked hard to get the Bandstand, or Band Kiosk, built on the Lovers' Walks.

In December 1889 a local paper reported that "Mr. Hilder, photographer, of Matlock Bath, has just issued an extensive and artistic selection o Derbyshire views, which will prove welcome a addition to the already comprehensive list of articles suitable as souvenirs of the beauty spots of delightful Derbyshire. The pictures do the district credit, and are, in presentible [sic] form, permanent advertisements of the well-known and not very well known, views which abound hereabouts."

Two of Annie's sisters are shown on the Matlock Bath census whilst the Hilder's lived in the village. However, it is not clear who F C Graffton, the photo artist who was living with them in 1891, was although he was probably an assistant. By 1911 John William Hilder and his wife had moved away. They probably moved not long after the 1901 census as that is the last time they show up in the records. In 1911 they were living in East Croydon and John was by then working as a commercial traveller for a photographer. John died in 1927 and Annie in 1931.

- Census references:
the 1891 census | the 1901 census

- Directory references:
Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's 1895 Directory | Kelly's 1899 Directory |

- Other references:
His musical interests

- Examples of his work:
      

- And in a 1892 booklet about The Matlocks:

 
n William H photographer
Carte de visite,
J. W. Hilder of Museum Parade, Matlock Bath

John William Hilder's studio
was on South (or Museum) Parade
Above is a printed label advertising J. W. Hilder's studio. Such labels were stuck onto the back of a photograph's mounting board. Hilder's predecessor, John Clark, had some influential patrons, a tradition Hilder carried on.

9. William Godber (1854-1918)

He seems to have worked only very briefly in Matlock Bath, using premises at the Albert Hall Skating Rink as his studio. The rink was where Rockvale Terrace is today. William was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire in 1854 and was the son of Robert Godber and his wife Elizabeth (nee Barnes). By 1861 the family had moved to Litchurch. In 1871 William was working as a grocer and living with his grandfather Thomas Barnes in Liversage Street, Derby. When he became a photographer is uncertain but in the census of 1881 he was married, with an unnamed son, and working as a photographer in Chelsea. The Godbers moved to Salford where their son James was born but by 1891 were back in Litchurch. They moved to Carlton and James Godber, their surviving son, was working alongside his father. The family's final home was in Burton Joyce. In July 1918 William has some chest pain but went out on his bicycle, taking his camera. He was found by the roadside, apparently having lain down on the verge to sleep. An inquest recorded a verdict of "death by syncope brought on over-exertion in cycling".


Portrait of Ann Brunt (nee Slater), about 1888.
It was taken by William Godber of the
Rink Studio, Matlock Bath.
There are more photographs of Ann.

 


The back of Ann's photograph

The skating rink can be seen on:
Matlock Bath in the 1890s

10. William Nathan Statham (1863-13 Jan 1940)

W. N. Statham was the youngest child of Nathan Abanathan and Sarah Statham (nee Robinson) of Matlock Green. His father died in 1874, when he was a young boy, and Sarah and two younger sons moved to Church Street. William began working as the Crown Derby China Works as a landscape and flower painter before turning to photography. He exhibited his work from time to time; a fine art exhibition held in the Assembly Rooms in Matlock Bath in 1886 included some of his painted views on china and a painting of Matlock Dale amongst the exhibits.

Interestingly, the photographer Frederick Barber was a near neighbour in 1891. William married Alice Sophia Wigg later that year and the couple had three children. Whilst his mother, Sarah, remained at their home in Church Street, William and Alice moved to Dale Road and lived above the photographic studio that was between Evans' jewellers and the railway bridge. In 1901 Minnie Farmer was assisting in the studio. Ten years later the two elder Statham children were working for their father. Of all the photographs he took, those of small children were particularly fine as he managed to portray the innocence and charm of his young sitters as well as capture their attention which can't have been an easy task. He described himself as a certificated Art Master and Photographic Artist and taught others in Matlock to paint and draw. He had been an art master at several local schools, including the Cavendish and Riber schools in Matlock, Stancliffe Hall at Darley and Lady Manners and Miss Knight's in Bakewell. He also taught at night school.

His association with the parish church was a long one, beginning as a choirboy, becoming a bell ringer and eventually serving as church warden for many years. He designed carved oak work at both All Saints' and St. Giles'. He was a mason (Arkwright Lodge) and a member of the Matlock Rifle Club.

After the First World War he designed Matlock's War Memorial and in 1925 wrote the "History of Matlock Parish Church". By 1932 his business had become W. N. Statham & Sons and his family carried on the business after his death. His funeral took place at St. Giles' on 17 Jan 1940 and an obituary notice stated that had been in business as a photographer in Matlock for the greater part of his life.

- Census references:
the 1871 census | the 1881 census | the 1891 census | the 1901 census |

- Directory references:
Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's 1895 Directory (Matlock Bridge) | Kelly's 1899 Directory (Matlock Bridge) | Kelly's 1908 Directory | Kelly's 1912 Directory | Kelly's 1916 Directory | Kelly's 1925 Directory

- Other references:
Statham's Dale Road shop | 1908 programme of the Operatic Society | Parent's baptisms (both 1823) | Wills Indexes (father, 1874 | brother Luke Robinson S 1900) |
Newspaper article about his son being wounded in WW1 - 1918 |

 
Slightly different designs
on the reverse of Statham's photographs ...

Back of a 1904 photograph in Denis Potter's collection

Statham, photographer

Statham, small label

... and a side strip from a photo, with his logo of his intertwined initials
Logo of W N Statham of Matlock Bridge

- Examples of his work:
            

              

- His work in a 1892 booklet about The Matlocks:


See both:
Part 1 and Part 2



Matlock's War Memorial,
designed by Stathaml


 

St. Giles, where Statham was churchwarden
 

St Giles', interior,
featuring Statham designs


- One of his photo albums, dating from around 1895:

 


Above and below are images of one of Mr. and Mrs Statham's annual Christmas cards; they sent out postcards with their seasonal message printed on the reverse. The card features the lych gate at Matlock Church and it is almost certainly a photograph taken by Statham in 1908. The identical image was also used by the Loca-Vu Photo Co., of Sheffield, so Statham would have allowed or licensed the company to reproduce his images.
There is more about the lych gate elsewhere on this site.

11. Frederick Barber (1838-1926)

When Frederick Barber first began working as a photographer his customers had to sit for five and sometimes for ten minutes to have their likeness taken.

Frederick's age seems to vary with every census but he was born in Sheffield, one of the six children of John and Ann Barber. Whilst his parents and some of his siblings were still living on Infirmary Road, Sheffield in 1861, Frederick was not at home. I have not found a census reference for him, undoubtedly because some of that census is now missing. Frederick married Emma Harvey at St. Peter's, Derby in 1864 and the couple had three children. Their elder son, William John, died as a baby and their daughter Sabina Anne seems to have lived with her grandparents and aunt. In 1871 the Barbers - Frederick, Emma and their younger son William Harvey - were living at 2 Townend Street, Nether Hallam, Sheffield and Frederick was working as an Artist and Photographer. Barber's photographic studio was then at 1 East Parade, Sheffield (White's Directory of Sheffield, Rotherham, 1879) and he was using the same business address in 1881 (Kelly's Directory of West Riding of Yorkshire, 1881). He was the photographer for Messrs. John Brown and Company, as well as for Messrs. Cammell and the studio was near the gates of the parish church, now Sheffield Cathedral.

However, the census for 1881 shows Frederick, Emma and William Harvey had moved to Upper End, Baslow. It is unclear when they first moved to Matlock but Frederick Barber was not listed amongst the Derbyshire photographers in Kelly's Directory of 1887. Their daughter Sab[r]ina, married Richard James Lowe Kinchant at St Giles' in 1890. Emma Barber's sister, also Sab[r]ina, married the auctioneer Alfred Charles Else in 1894 (see them in the 1901 census) and their granddaughter Marjorie Kinchant lived with the Else's. She wasn't the only grandchild the Else's were to bring up (see William Harvey Barber below). The last record of Emma or Frederick Barber in Matlock is in 1921 when Emma died at their home at 4, New Street.

In 1891 his studio adjoining the grounds of the Smedley's Hydro but by 1893 the Matlock Studio of Art Photography, built and run by Frederick Barber, was in the grounds of the institution. An advertisement claimed it was "central and convenient for all hydros". In 1894 his son joined him and they worked as Frederick Barber & Son though the following years William Harvey Barber seems to have branched out on his own.

After he retired he turned his attention to manufacturing fishing rods and billiard cues. He was a keen fisherman and played billiards at Matlock Conservative Club, where he seems to have become the librarian and read every book in the place. In Nov 1912 the members presented him with a pair of gold rimmed eye-glasses for his services. For twenty years he was on the staf of the 1st West Yorkshire Engineers (Volunteers) from its formation by the students of the Sheffield Government School of Art ("Belper News", 27 June 1913).

- Census references:
the 1891 census | the 1901 census

- Directory references:
Kelly's 1891 Directory | Kelly's 1895 Directory: lived at Albion House, Chesterfield Rd | Kelly's 1899 Directory: lived New Street

- Other references:
See a reference to the studio in Smedley's Hydropathic Institution, 1890s

 

CDV of an unknown male in a white coat, photographed in Barber's studio on Matlock Bank. He was possibly a butcher or grocer by trade.

- Example of his work:

- And in a 1892 booklet about The Matlocks:

See both:
Part 1 and Part 2
(only the surname Barber is provided, so it is difficult to know whether the photos are by Frederick or by William Harvey Barber)


F. Barber, photographer   Frederick Barber

The backs of three cartes de visite from the Bank Road studio of Frederick Barber, the first of which advertises that ivory miniatures were a speciality of his studio. The back below is the reverse of the portrait of the unknown male in the white coat.

12. William Harvey Barber (1870-)


Matlock Bridge, published in Heywood's 1903 Guide
William Harvey Barber's photograph of Matlock Bridge, published in Heywood's 1903 Guide


William was born in Sheffield in 1870 and baptised at St. Philip's, Sheffield on 16 Apr 1873. He was the youngest of Frederick and Emma Barber's three children (see above). William worked with his father at the beginning of his career but then rapidly became independent. In 1900, when he had financial problems, he said that he had started his Matlock business in 1895, borrowing £90 against his grandfather's Will; his mother was the beneficiary of the Will and was still alive. For a time he was in partnership with Alister Smith, but that had fallen through. The younger Barber was described as "formerly photographer" at a hearing for bankruptcy in 1900 and of Matlock Cliffe, late of Bank Road. "The causes of failure as alleged by the bankrupt are bad trade, heavy expenses, and pressure from creditors". The sums were not large and many others in the town had gone down a similar path, often not of their own making. He was, however, still trading in 1901 so his debts must have cleared quickly.

He married Adeline Maud Newbold, niece of Alfred Charles Else, at All Saints', Matlock in 1895. They had three daughters. The family seems to have moved away, at least for a time, and William's wife Adeline died in 1908 in Hackney. Their daughters were back in Matlock in 1911, two being brought up by their great aunt and uncle, Sab[r]ina and Alfred Charles Else and the third next door with a great aunt.

- Census references:
the 1891 census | the 1901 census |

- Directory references:
Kelly 1895 Directory: the Studio, Bank Rd | Kelly's 1899 Directory: the Matlock Studio, Bank Rd

- Other references:
Matlock & Matlock Bath Names in the London Gazette (scroll down to 1900)

- Example of his work:

13. Alfred Seaman (1844-1910)

He was born in East Lexham Norfolk, one of the children of George and Maria Seaman. His father was a brick maker and Alfred and his brother Edward followed their father into the trade. Alfred was still employed as a bricklayer as late as 1871, by which time he had moved to Bradfield in Yorkshire. He had married Elizabeth Dennis in 1863 and the couple had four sons. Elizabeth died in Sheffield in 1874 and for some years Alfred brought up his sons alone. By 1881 Alfred and his second son Albert were working as photographers; the family were living at Corporation Road, Whittington although their business was based at 1 Brewery Street, Chesterfield. In 1882 he married Martha Ann Else at Saltergate Wesleyan Chapel, Chesterfield.

Alfred's business began to expand and by 1887 he had another studio in Ilkeston (Seaman & Sons). A third studio was open in Derbyshire by 1895, this time in Alfreton, although it was only open for a few years. Eventually all eight sons were involved with the business and the Seamans opened studios in several other towns in the Midlands and the North especially in the years between 1901 and 1911, which coincides with the younger sons becoming adults.

In 1901 Seaman was staying at Smedley's Hydro, presumably when he was working on his commission to photograph the establishment and where he took his iconic self portrait reflection in one of the hydro's mirrors (undated and not included here). Shortly afterwards Alfred, Martha Ann and some of their children moved to Sheffield. Martha Ann died in 1903. In 1905 Alfred's home was at 24 Moncreiffe Road, Sheffield and the family later moved to 14, Carter Knowle Road in the city. Alfred died on 6 July, 1910. Some of his children were still living in Carter Knowle Road a year later and other sons and their families were as far afield as Whitby, Liscard (Birkenhead), Leeds, Chesterfield and Ilkeston.

The difficulty we have is working out when Alfred Seaman had a studio on Matlock Bank. He took photographs of Matlock and District from quite early on and would have been one of the photographers who visited Matlock in 1886 when he was attending the first convention of professional and amateur photographers at Derby.

 



Seaman Studios, about 1900

On the right is a photograph of Thomas Gordon (1824-1908), a gentleman who lived in Sheffield and whose brother ran the Prince of Wales for some years. The portrait was originally thought to be of Henry Gordon himself, but Seaman almost certainly did not have a studio in Matlock whilst Henry was alive so this must be a photograph of his younger brother. A family member had written both names on the back of the picture, which explains the original uncertainty. It is not know why Mr. Gordon chose to have his picture taken in Matlock but many excursionists from Sheffield were visiting the Matlocks at the beginning of the twentieth century.

- Census references: the 1901 census |

- Directory references: None in Matlock and District


Thomas Gordon (1824-1908)

14. Frederick Joseph Seaman (12 Mar 1874 - 2 April 1953)

F. J. Seaman was one of Alfred Seaman's sons by his first wife. He was a photographer and picture framer, with studios at Hucknall Torkard, Heanor and Matlock Bath. He began his business at Hucknall in 1897, opened at Heanor in 1899, and at Matlock Bath on Good Friday, 1901. Unfortunately for him, both the later speculations were failures and he faced bankruptcy proceedings at Nottingham Bankruptcy Court in January 1902. The addresss of his shortlived business in Matlock Bath was given as 2 South Parade. We know from oral evidence that Seaman & Sons were the first tenants of the Matlock Bath studio on Temple Walk, opposite the entrance to the Royal Hotel. It is shown on O.S. maps of 1899. Percy Rowbottom took over this studio a few years later.
There are images of the shop on both 2 South Parade and Matlock Bath's South Parade, 1909, & Boden's Baker & Confectioner.
There is an enlargement of the studio building on Fish Pond Hotel, about 1910.

By 1911 Frederick Joseph Seaman had moved to Hull and was still employed as a photographer. At the outbreak of the Second World War he was was based in Ilkeston and still working as a photographer; his daughter Evie was his assistant. He died at Torquay.

- Directory references: None in Matlock and District

15. Thomas Meredith Henshall (8 Dec 1864-1948)



Henshall's photograph of Jubilee Bridge,
published in the 1926-7 Ward Lock Guide.


Thomas Meredith Henshall was, according to the 1901 census, born in Bulkeley, Cheshire although he was probably born in the small village of Bickerton which was nearby. His parents were Edward, the village blacksmith, and Ann (nee Meredith). Thomas trained as a carpenter, serving an apprenticeship in Chester, but later worked as a Rope & Twiner Dealer's Assistant. In 1901 he was living at 27, Howard Street, Salford and had begun working as a photographer. Around this time he was in partnership with Edward Burton Bradbury (Henshall & Bradbury, Photographers) at 28 Windsor Road, Manchester 8 (Slater's Manchester, Salford & Suburban Directory, 1903). He unfortunately contracted some kind of chest complaint whilst in Salford and was advised to go elsewhere for some cleaner air, so he chose to move to the Matlocks. He had married Bertha Shore about 1902/3 and the couple moved to Starkholmes where four of their children were born. They had a large family. They later moved to Thornleigh on Upperwood Road, Matlock Bath and Thomas's studio was in the Derwent Gardens; Thomas took the pictures and Bertha developed them. Many of his pictures from this period bear the distinctive initials TMH. After the First World War Thomas became the proprietor of the Heights of Jacob.

He was always interested in gardening and when he moved house in 1918 he didn't want to leave behind what he had grown. He applied to the magistrates under the Cottage Garden Crops Compensation Act for an authority to enable him to remove the crops from a garden he had recently vacated. The new tenant had not paid him for the crops, had barricaded the garden and fastened the gate. Henshall's son was ordered off the premises when he went to dig up some potatoes. Mr. William Barker was appointed as an arbitrator in the case.

He went into the landscape gardening business with two of his sons (Henshall and Sons) and in 1937 he took a rock garden to Chelsea Flower show. A bonsai tree he exhibited at Chelsea is still in the family. In 1949, for the third year in succession, Messrs. Henshall and Son of Matlock Bath won the trophy for the best rock and water garden at Southport annual flower show. Thomas wouldn't have helped with any of the post war shows, as he was by then an old man, but he would have been aware of his sons' success in at least one of the shows.

- Census references:
1871, 1881, 1891, 1901, 1911 census (see FindMyPast)

- Directory references:
Kelly's 1912 Directory | Kelly's 1916 Directory |

- Examples of his work:
                  



[Some additional information added January 2014, with thanks to David Cochrane, his grandson]

16. Percy Rowbottom (1865-1943)

There is a web page about Percy and his work. See: Percy Rowbottom, artist and photographer


There is an enlargement of the studio he used on Fish Pond Hotel, about 1910.

17. Joseph Vickerman Drake (12 Aug 1865-27 Oct 1957)

Born in Huddersfield (Almondbury) and the son of William V and Jane Drake. His father was Salesman and Manager in a Woollen Warehouse. In 1881 the family were living in Lockwood, Huddersfield and Joseph was working as an Artist Photographer. He moved to Matlock some time before 1891 and in 1892 attended W. N. Staham's Art and Science classes along with Fred Houseley (below). By 1911, when he gave his employment as Artist And Photographers Operator, the Drake family were living on the Dimple. Joseph had married Emma Esther Tomlinson, with whom he had lodged, at St. Giles in 1896 but she died in 1897. His second wife was Elizabeth Ann Wood whom he married in 1899. Elizabeth died in 1957.

- Census references:
living in Matlock Town in the 1891 census | Matlock Bank in the 1901 census |

- Directory references:
Kelly's 1925 Directory (Bakewell Road) | Kelly's 1932 Directory (Bakewell Road) | Kelly's 1941 Directory (Hurds Hollow) |

- Other references:
MIs - St. Giles. Joseph and both his wives are commemorated on the same headstone

- Examples of his work:

18. Fred Rosindale Housley (1874-1901)

He was born in Chesterfield, the eldest son of John Henry Housley and his wife Rose (nee Rosindale). The family moved to Matlock about 1880. By 1891, aged 16, he was apprenticed to a photographer (unnamed). Between 1892 and 1895 Fred had attended the Matlock Science and Art classes that were held at the technical classrooms on Dale Road where W. N. Staham was the Art Master. In their 1895 examinations, held under the Science and Art Department in South Kensington, Fred achieved a First class advanced for perspective. He submitted drawings for the art class teachers' certificate and for the art master's certificate for perspective. He also passed in geology, which was taught by Wm. H Holmes. Six years later Fred was employed as a photographer's assistant, but it is not known if he worked for Mr. Statham. He died just a short while after the 1901 census was taken.

- Census references:
the 1881 census | the 1891 census | the 1901 census |

19. Robert Wilson Astbury (1878-1951)

Born in Warrington. His father died whilst he was very young and he and his sister were brought up by their mother Elizabeth, a milk seller. It was probably his sister Edith who was visiting him in Matlock in 1901 when he was living on Bank Road. Robert moved back to Lancashire and was living in Bolton in 1911, still working as a Photography Operator.

- Census references:
the 1901 census |

20. J. Mills

Although there were several Mills families living in Matlock, no further information has been found.

- Examples of his work:

21. Charles Colledge (25 Dec 1869-23 March 1959)



The back of a book of postcards, published by Charles Colledge.
The cards had small perforations along one edge, so could be torn out of the booklet


Charles was born at Beetwell Street in Chesterfield, where his father had a pork butchery business. He was the third son of the William Colledge and his wife Mary (nee Neale). In 1891 Charles was a student, training to become a teacher at the Normal College, Penrallt Road, Bangor. In April that year the college's annual report shows him to have been one of 26 students who gained a First Class. He taught for some years and in 1901 was an assistant schoolmaster working at Aston Manor in Warwickshire.

He had married Annie Fieldsend in 1898. The Fieldsends lived in Lincoln and Annie's brother Alfred (1863-1927) was a working as a photographer by 1897, initially combining photography with work as a taxidermist (also described as a naturalist or a bird and animal preserver). Annie's parents, and eventually just her sister, ran a knitting wool business and it is probable that the occupations of Annie's family influenced Charles Colledge in his decision to change careers as he stopped teaching a few years after he married.

By 1903 Annie and Charles were living and working in Matlock, with a shop on Smedley Street, and Charles was producing postcards from his photographs. The shop was on the opposite corner to the Gate Inn and next door to Henry Bailey's Chemists shop. Although the Trade Directories only describe him as a stationer, he sold a wide range of goods in his Smedley Street shop, as shown on the book of cards below. Interestingly, he doesn't mention the postcards, although he sold photographs on the premises. Charles Colledge photographed local scenes, rather than people, and several of his postcards feature scenes that were immediately outside his door or that he could see from the upper floors of his home. He seems to have photographed every road that led off Smedley Street and it is striking that he pointed his camera down the hill whilst taking many of his pictures. He published at least 100 cards of Matlock and District and they help us to see what Matlock was like in the early decades of the twentieth century. The last card he printed was published about 1940.

He ruturned to live in Chesterfield (Barlow) after his wife's death in 1939 and later that year described himself as a Retired Schoolmaster. He died in Chesterfield in 1959.

- Directory references:
Kelly 1908 Directory | Kelly 1912 Directory | Kelly 1916 Directory
Also see: Letterheads of Local Businesses, 1900-1949 (1)

- Examples of his work:
                  

            

         




Matlock's War Memorial

 

Bank Road & the
Steep-Gradient Tramway

- In the Derbyshire Photo Gallery:
   

22. Vernon Lamb (15 Mar 1870 - 1943)

The Vernon Lamb Archive, A Unique Photographic Record of Matlock and District, 1910-1915, and World War One Soldiers was added to this site in May 2014. There are currently 555 images.
Also see:
About the Archive
Vernon Lamb, photographer, and his family

23. Edgar Wright (1896? -)

Little is known about him, apart from the fact that he first lived at Speedwell Cottage in Upperwood and later moved to Starkholmes. It is possible he was the young photographer who is listed in Bournemouth in the 1911 census and who was born Upper Parkstone, Dorset. Unfortunately, there are no Trade Directory entries to help identify him.

He operated from the Grand Pavilion car park in Matlock Bath, specialising in photographing the visitors who arrive by charabanc. It was probably seasonal work, with the majority of his pictures being taken at weekends.

- Examples of his work:
There are currently 21 photographs by Edgar Wright on this site

24. Harry (George Harry Prime) Gill (16 March 1901-1970)





In the 1920s Harry Gill had a studio in Peel Street, Farnworth (Bolton) before returning to live in Matlock.
This stamp is on the back of one of his early Matlock photos.


Harry Gill was born in Bonsall and adopted by Frederick Gill, who worked for the Midland Railway, and his wife Martha Hannah. He was brought up in the village.

There is a web page about Harry and his work. See: "One Man's Photographic Memory".

Harry Salt recalls that in the early 1940s Mr. Gill, a press and commercial photographer, lived with his family 3, Kings Terrace on Smedley street west; they lived at Bradley House on Dale Road before the second World War. Whilst the Gills lived at Bradley House the young Harry S. would take a spool and backing paper to him and, for a small charge, he would attach a length of photographic film - about 8 exposures in all. Film was fairly costly at the time and not always available until later years.


- Examples of his work:

               

   

Four group photos of Cromford Court guests:

         


- Also see:
Football Club Committee

- More Harry Gill pictures are included on: "The End of a Long and Winding Road"

25. Cyril Edmonds (1883-1954)

He was born in Stokeham, Devon and died at South Street, Ashbourne. He first joined the Post Office as a teenager and was sent to Matlock Bath, remaining in the district for most of the rest of his life apart from his time spent in the Army during the First World War. He became a Sapper in the Royal Engineers, Derby Yeomanry, as did other local postal workers, and saw action at Gallipoli before being evacuated to Egypt; his regiment then went to Palestine. He was gassed at some stage of his Army service. He had married in 1914 but his two sons were not born until after the war had ended. Cyril retired from the Post Office in 1928, an event marked by a Smoking Concert at the Gate Hotel on 18 May 1929 when he was presented with the Imperial Service Medal for 28 years service with the Post Office. He also received a silver tea tray. After that he and his wife bought Portland House on Clifton Road and the Cumberland Cavern. Mrs. Edmonds initially had a gift shop under their home on Brunswood Road, but later ran another shop in the Clifton cabin.

Census references:
the 1901 census |

- Examples of his work:
         

Almost certainly set up by and then taken with his camera:

And on the same page, taken by Cyril Edmonds:
      

26. Stanley Beecroft Clough (1898-1965)


Stanley Clough ran the Filling Station on Derby Road, Matlock Bath together with Harold Dyson and photography was a side line. His portfolio of photographs wasn't large, but two of his pictures, Holy Trinity Church and the Grand Pavilion, were included in the Matlock Guides of the early 1950s.

- Other references:
Dyson and Clough's (some biographical information) | Mr. Clough's MI is on this web site

- Examples of his work:
   

 



Clough's stamp.
The utilitarian ink stamp had become the norm. How things had changed from the early days.




Clip Art of camera from Microsoft Office. The image is not meant to be an early camera, but just to represent an old camera.
Images of Clark, Barber (1), Barratt & Hill, Colledge, Davis, Hilder (1), Jones, Statham, Clough (1) © Ken Smith.
Image relating Potter family (2) kindly donated by Denis Potter of Canada © 2004 (Hilder, Potter, Statham).
Images of Thomas Gordon © Rosemary Lockie (Seaman).
CDV images of Frederick Barber's unknown man in a white coat supplied by and copyright © the Bridge family collection.
Barber (2) Clough (1), Henshall (1) and Potter (1 and 3) images © Ann Andrews.
Images of Matlock Church by W.N. Statham (Chistmas card) © Susan Tomlinson collection.
Information written and researched by and © Ann Andrews.
Intended for personal use only.
External Links (pages will open in a new tab or window):
Brett Payne's website of Photographers & Photographic Studios of Derbyshire explores this subject in more detail
Before the Snapshot and the Postcard : Victorian Photography & Photographers in Matlock & Matlock Bath by John Bradley of Ashover, Derbyshire
The Alfred Seaman Photographic Archive (currently unavailable)