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Directory of Early Photographers in Cambridgeshire, M - O

MASON & Basèbé

19 Market Street, Cambridge
SC1901, SC1904, SC1907, KC1908, CAD1909/10, SC1910, AC1916

20 Market Street, Cambridge
SC1901, SC1904, KC1904, SC1907, KC1908, CAD1909/10, SC1910, AC1916

CAD1909/10 shows ‘Basèbè’. The mount of a cabinet print dispenses with both accents and shows ‘Basebe’.


7 St Andrew's Street, Cambridge
SC1911, SC1915, SC1916/17, SC1919/20

7a St Andrew's Street, Cambridge
KC1912, KC1916, AC1916

MASON, Herbert C

18 Mill Road, Cambridge
SC1898, KC1900, SC1901, SC1904, KC1904, SC1907. KC1908, CAD1909/10, SC1910, SC1911, SC1912, KC1912, SC1913, SC1914, SC1915, SC1916/17, SC1919/20

Cambridge Studio, Mill Road, Cambridge

MAYLAND, William

Market Street, Cambridge
KC1858, CYC1864

20 St Andrew's Street, Cambridge
KC1864, MOC1865/6, MAC1866, MAC1867, KC1869

Mayland earned an ‘honourable mention’ for work shown at the International Exhibition of 1862. By 1871 he had moved to London, where Pritchard shows him as a partner in the business of Williams & Mayland in Regent Street. He later carried on for a while alone in that studio, before setting up a new business in Deal, Kent, in the early 1880s.


Chesterton Road, Cambridge
SC1874, KC1875

Strange Villas, Chesterton Road, Cambridge

Chesterton, Cambridge

Victoria Road, Cambridge

95 Victoria Road, Chesterton, Cambridge
KC1883, SC1884, SC1887, KC1888, SC1891, KC1892, SC1895, KC1896, SC1898, KC1900, SC1901, SC1904, SC1907, CAD1909/10, SC1910, SC1911

All SC and CAD entries omit ‘Chesterton’ from the address.

MEAN, William

2 Fitzroy Street, Cambridge
KC1896, SC1898, SC1901, SC1904

MEHEW, Hardingham R

Lynn Road, Wisbech
KC1896, KC1900, TC1901, KC1904

TC1901 adds 'wedding and picnic, football, cricket and cycling groups taken on the shortest notice'.

(Studio note: 96 Lynn Road)

MONSON, Edward

57 Regent Street, Cambridge

Monson was the daguerreotype licensee for Essex and part of Suffolk. Adamson records that he first operated in Cambridge for a while in the second half of 1853. Heathcote locates that studio at 2 Addenbrooke Place, gives the time-span as October to November, and notes that Monson returned to Cambridge for a while in the late 50s. In fact, Monson travelled extensively, setting up many temporary studios in Essex, Suffolk, Cambridgeshire and beyond. He patented a machine for manufacturing daguerreotype plates (1852), but he also produced collodion positives and negatives. Born in 1822 at Colchester, Essex, he was (according to Heathcote) one of four photographer brothers and a land surveyor by original profession. (See also Monson v Eardley.)

His advertisement in the Cambridge Chronicle, 23rd April 1859, reads: 'Monson's Improved Daguerreotypes. Six Portraits for 5s.unequalled for price and quality. Portrait Rooms, 57 Regent Street, Cambridge.'

Much additional biographical and career information about Monson can be found on Tony Copsey's 'Suffolk Painters' website.

MOSS, George

Haverhill, Suffolk, and Sawston, Cambridgeshire


High Street, Chatteris
KC1904, KC1908

NAYLOR, Robert

58 Sidney Street, Cambridge


See Arthur Nichols, below.


Carter Street, Fordham
KC1904, KC1908

Earlier, in the 1860s & 1870s, ‘Nicholls’ is the apparently preferred spelling of ‘Nichols’ in occasional directories. See the appropriate ‘Nichols’ entry, where any such variant spelling is encountered.


At St Andrew’s Street, Cambridge, c1855-64, according to Cox. Not related to Arthur Nichols.


Post Office Terrace, Cambridge
MOC1865/6, MAC1866, MAC1867, HC1873, SC1874, KC1875

Described as artist and photographer in MOC1865/6, where the name is spelt ‘Nicholls’. To this entry is added: ‘N.B. A Nicholls has no connexion with any other house’. (In particular, perhaps, he was concerned to establish that he wasn’t connected with William – nor were the two related.) He had, according to Cox, an earlier studio in All Saints Passage, Cambridge, from which he moved to Post Office Terrace, 1865/6. At some stage he also operated from 7 St Andrews Street (which is only yards away from the Post Office Terrace studio). Arthur Nichols is also referred to in the SC1878 entry for J E Bliss (q.v.) of Post Office Terrace, who is described as ‘successor to A Nichol’. (Post Office Terrace)

Cox relates that Nichols patented the ‘triptographic medallion portrait’, consisting of three oval portraits (of the same or different sitters) on one mount. He also experimented with double printing, allowing a figure to appear twice on the same image, and he produced photos for sale – both sentimental tableaux and Cambridge views. In later years he lived in Sandown, IoW, and Reading, practising in both places. (Arthur Nicholls & family)

NICHOLS Brothers

5 Chesterton Street, Cambridge

Chesterton Road, Cambridge
MAC1866, MAC1867

Described as booksellers & photographers in MOC1865/6.


244 Newmarket Road, Cambridge

NICHOLS, Edward W & A

4 St Mary's Passage, Cambridge

Edward W Nichols was born 1841/2 in Cambridge, according to the 1881 census, which shows him living at 2 St Mary’s Passage.

NICHOLS, Mrs Frances

Chesterton Road, Chesterton, Cambridge

NICHOLS, Frederick

24 Albert Street, Cambridge
MAC1867, HC1873

HC1873 spells the name ‘Nicholls’.


Cox relates that Horace, the eldest son of Arthur, was born in 1867 ‘over the shop’ at Post Office Terrace, Cambridge. He gained distinction as a photojournalist in the Boer War; he was known for photomontages; he was later curator of photography at the Imperial War Museum. But he seems to have been too young to have worked in his father’s Cambridge studio, and no record has been found of him practising professionally under his own name in the county. (Arthur Nicholls & family)

NICHOLS, William

St Mary's Passage, Cambridge

Great St Mary's Passage, Cambridge
KC1858, CYC1864

1 St Mary's Passage, Cambridge
KC1864, MOC1865/6, MAC1866, MAC1867, KC1869

2 St Mary's Passage, Cambridge
KC1869, SC1878

6 St Mary's Passage, Cambridge
KC1875, KC1879

He is listed as ‘W Nichols & Son’ from 1865 to 1867; ‘& Sons’ is added from 1869 to 1879.

Born in Leicestershire c. 1815, Nichols is described in CH1855 as ‘photographic portrait painter’. He was the first identified daguerreotype licensee for Cambridgeshire. (An earlier licensee remains unnamed). He worked as a bookbinder and engraver in Cambridge from 1845, or earlier, and was taking pictures by both daguerreotype and collodion processes by 1854. The Cambridge Chronicle of 4th November 1854 carried an advertisement for his studio at 29 Corn Exchange Street, Cambridge, ('Photographic Portraits taken daily, ... from 2s. 6d. each.'). In January 1855 he was advertising 'the new Chromo-Collodotype Portraits from 2/6d and daguerreotypes from 4/6d. (Stereoscopic portraits cost 5/-.) Heathcote dates the studio at 29 Corn Exchange St, from October 1853 until March 1855, when it was succeeded by the studio at St Mary’s Passage. Cox, however, believes Nichols to have been active from 1844.

Nichols’ business became popular with local dignitaries, and he was keen in his advertising that he shouldn’t be confused with others of the same name. His particular (and reciprocated) concern was to distinguish himself from Arthur Nichols (no relation).

OVERTON, William G

Ivanhoe House, Soham

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www.earlyphotostudios.uk is a non-commercial web site for local and family historians, listing photographers operating 1840-1916, in Cambridgeshire, Huntingdonshire, Leicestershire, Norfolk, Northamptonshire, Rutland and Suffolk. The original site was researched and written in 2011 by the late Robert Pols, photo historian and author, and this re-constructed site is dedicated to his memory.

This page was last modified: 17 July 2022, 12:07

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