Directory of Early Photographers in Leicestershire, B
His appearance in a Leicestershire trade directory appears to be an aberration, since Southwell is, and was, in Nottinghamshire.
BAX, William Charles
An itinerant who travelled in the eastern counties of England, originally producing daguerreotypes and later using the collodion process. (He can also be found in the Norfolk, Suffolk and Huntingdonshire directories on this site.) He set up a studio at 23 Granby Street, Leicester, which was featured in a 'Leicester Mercury' article on 16th December 1856. A notice in the 'Leicester Journal', 19th February 1858, announced his imminent departure. He subsequently settled in Bristol.
An advertisement for S Bettoney & Co - at the above address - appears in the 'Leicester Journal', 11th January 1861.
BETTS, Miss Caroline
BETTS, Mrs Esther
CG 1875& KL 1881 omit ‘77½’ from the address.
See entry for A H Taylor Limited, where Bickerstaff worked for a time as manager.
BONNAUD, J B G
BOSS, E M
BOSS, Mrs Sarah A
BRADSHAW, L P
BRITISH Photographic Publishing Co
Both directories identify Frederick Thomas Corkett as manager.
BROADHEAD & Co
BROADHEAD, E W
BROADHEAD, Frederick Dodson
BROADHEAD, Frederick William
‘Artist & photographer’ in BAL 1879. His advertisement In CG 1875 describes him as ‘Artist, Photographer and Animal Painter’ and expands the studio address to ‘72 & 74 Welford Road’. It goes on: ‘(F.B.) begs to announce that he has Enlarged His Premises, thereby adding a New Show Room and Waiting Room for the convenience of visitors, which, with an Entire Remodelling of his Studio, makes it one of the most convenient and comfortable Photographic Galleries in the Midland Counties. Invalids and aged people will find this new alteration a great acquisition, as the Studio and Waiting Room are both on the Ground Floor.’
His advertisement in WRLE 1880 includes: ‘Licensee for the Patent Lambertype and Chromotype Processes. Portraits taken by the Luxograph Light every evening till 8.30 p.m. A new studio has been added to the (already) extensive premises, and for aged people and invalids will be found most convenient, as it is on the first floor.’
WRLR 1883/4 adds ‘attends Tuesday’ to its listing of the Market Harborough studio. Aucott notes that he rented this studio, at 5 High Street, from Susan Jennings (q.v.) from about 1880. Though initially opening only on Tuesdays, he added Friday to his days of attendance (for a while, at least) in 1881. He seems to have given up operating in the town by 1888, but he then returned to the same studio in 1888. His association with Market Harborough ended in bankruptcy in 1896.
An advertisement in WRLR 1883/4 gives his prices: ‘Cartes de visite from 5/- per dozen. The new Carte Midget from 2/- per dozen’. For his advertisement in WRLE 1887/8, see separate studio note. His advertisement in WRLE 1892 gives finding directions for the London Road studio (‘Close to the New Midland Railway Station’) and adds, ‘Prices most reasonable. None but first class work done’.
The address of the Imperial Buildings studio is given more fully in WLO 1886 & WLO 1887 as: ‘New Central Branch Studio, Imperial Buildings, Halford Street, corner of Gallowtree Gate, Leicester’.
The advertisement in WLO 1899 ends: ‘Please note the only address: 55 Welford Road, Leicester.’
WRLE 1887/8 gives his home address as Florence Villas, 331 Humberstone Road, Leicester. The Market Street studio address appears as 21 in the classified list of WRLE 1887/8, but as 20 in his advertisement. (This studio was taken over from John & Thomas Spencer and is still referred to as ‘Spencer’s Library’ in the advertisement.) The reference to the Melton Mowbray studio in WRLR 1894 is followed by ‘(Tuesday)’. WRLE 1899 & WRLR 1903 expand the address to 1a Saxe Coburg Street, London Road, Leicester, and WRLR (1903 onwards) adds ‘Nat. Tel. 766’.
WRLE 1887/8 adds: ‘Miss A Ranworth, manageress; and at 12 Peter Street, Manchester’.
BROWN & Hewitt
Thomas Chapman Brown and Joseph J Hewitt opened the earliest Leicester studio – at the Bible and Crown, 36 Market Place – in April 1844, under a daguerreotype licence granted by Richard Beard. Adamson (2) records that they initially employed one of Beard’s own staff, a Mr Stephen, to help them get established, and that in 1846 they briefly ran a branch studio in Loughborough, opening on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Heathcote locates the Loughborough operation at the premises of Mr Lee, bookseller.
Adamson (2) notes that Brown added the ‘e’ to the end of his name toward the end of their partnership, which was dissolved in 1848. Thomas Browne (see below) continued to operate a studio at the Bible and Crown until 1876.
See also ‘Brown, F’, above.
BROWNE, Thomas Chapman
Bible & Crown, Market Place, Leicester
ML 1854 adds: ‘Bookseller, print setter, stationer, bookbinder, music seller, & newspaper agent; patent photographic establishment, & agent to the Albert Life Assurance and the Sail Storm Insurance Companies’. Trade directories, particularly in the earlier years, seemed unsure whether to spell his name as ‘Brown’ or ‘Browne’.
The completion of major improvements at his 'Bible & Crown' Market Place studio, along with the purchase of a number of new large lenses, was announced in the 'Leicester Journal', 11th January 1861.
The range of Browne’s activities is indicated in his advertisement in LTP 1870: ‘Bookseller, stationer, printer, print seller, bookbinder, music seller, newspaper agent, and photographic artist. A choice selection of Bibles, Prayers, Church and Altar Services, mercantile and general stationery, &c, &c. Photography in all it branches, in a style not excelled by any one. Subscription and circulating library.’
According to Heathcote, Browne was a native of Leicester, born in 1819, who took control of the family printing and bookselling business in 1841. He retired from photography in 1876 but continued to trade as a dealer in fine art until his death in 1899.
‘Tailor & photographer’ in BAL 1875.He was working as a photographer in Bedford Street by 1859, when his infant son died as a result of swallowing photographic chemicals. (Leicestershire Mercury, 9th April 1859)
See also John Burton and Sons, below.
BURTON, John William & Sons
See also John Burton, above. The change from Burton to Burton & Sons probably occurred at much the same time as a refocusing of the business in 1863. A 'Leicester Journal' advertisement, 6th November 1863, announces that the Burtons have sold off their printing and bookselling activities to concentrate on their photographic work. "They have adapted the (Leicester) Premises as a Salon for the Exhibition of Photographic Art Productions of every Class. The access to the Gallery has been made more convenient, and the Salon has been furnished and fitted with all the requisites for a Photographic Lounge." (Editorial comment in the same issue admires the "kind of fairy transformation" the Burtons have achieved.) Four studios are listed in the advertisement: Midland Photographic Roooms, Haymarket, Leicester; 54 New Street, Birmingham; 36, Victoria Street, Derby; 19 High Street, Burton-on-Trent.
Their advertisements and mounts often carried a lot of information. The advert in BUL 1867 reads: ‘Patronized by Her Majesty the Queen, HRH the Prince Wales, HRH the Princess of Wales, and the Nobility of the Midland Counties. J Burton & Sons, Photographer and Artists, Haymarket, Leicester, and at Nottingham, Derby, Melton Mowbray, and Burton-on-Trent. Sole Photographers to the Shakspeare Tercentenary Festival, 1864. Cartes de visite, 10 for Ten Shillings; 24 for One Guinea, 2 Poses. The New Cabinet Portrait, with Albums for the same, and for Cartes de Visite. Faded and Inferior Photographs, Oil Paintings, Water Colours, Ivory Miniatures, Pencil and Crayon Drawings, &c, &c, copied, and effective and artistic pictures produced therefrom. John Burton & Sons have peculiar facilities for the enlargement of Cartes de Visite and other Pictures at exceedingly moderate prices.’ (See also 'Leicestershire Prices'.) Their CG 1875 advertisement is shorter, but it opts for the spelling ‘Shakespere’, and it adds the Viceroy of Egypt to their list of patrons.
Directory references to out-of-county studios (in classified entries or advertisements) were not uncommon: e.g. Nottingham, Derby, Burton on Trent (HL 1870); Oakham (KL 1876, KL 1881, KL 1888); Oakham and Burton on Trent (WL 1877, WRLE 1880, WRLR 1883/4). Advertisements or entries (from WRLE 1880 onward) frequently mention attendance days at the branch studios: Burton on Trent – Thursdays and Saturdays; Melton Mowbray – Tuesdays (Tuesdays & Fridays in WRLR 1903 & WRLR 1906); Oakham – Wednesdays; Loughborough – Thursdays.
According to WRLE 1887/8, John’s home address, was Melton Villas, Loughborough Road, Belgrave, while one of his sons, Oliver, lived at Acacia Villa, Loughborough Road, Belgrave.
For more information about the Burtons, including their non-Leicestershire studios, see this profile by Brett Payne and David Simkin and this article by John Turner.
Return to Leicestershire index
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