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Directory of Early Photographers in Northamptonshire, Recent Findings

Robert's site has been left unaltered as originally written. If we subsequently discover additional studios operating in Northamptonshire between 1844 and 1916 we will list them here.


Northampton Mercury, Saturday 15 July 1854 p2. Newport Pagnel. "Coloured Daguerreotype Portraits. Messrs Dubisson and Whittell will open their photographic rooms on Monday next for ten days in the above town. Portraits taken by one of the most perfect apparatus in use from five shillings each. Open from ten till six."

JACOMB, Charles (additional information)

Northampton Mercury, Saturday 26 October 1878 p2. Report on a Market Harborough civil court case between Charles Jacomb, photographer, and William Martin, builder, relating to payment by Jacomb for a wooden studio, 28ft x 11 ft, built to his specification by Martin. Jacomb was a yearly tenant and the building had to be constructed in such a manner that it could be readily taken down and moved.


b: 1837 St Pancras London  d: 1917
Address: New Road, Peterborough, and Fletton, Huntingdonshire (both addresses shown in 1861). Oundle 1862, later in Oxford, then North Wales with annual visits to Oundle.
Working Dates: c.1862-76 at Oundle
Subjects, styles, advertising, other relevant information: John was the son of a cabinet maker. In the 1861 Census John, his wife Martha née Green (1838-1916) and their two young sons were living in New Road Peterborough and John's occupation was recorded as a photographic artist. There is a report of bankruptcy proceedings in Peterborough County Court on 17th December 1861 against J.Jamblin Jnr, Photographic Artist of Fletton, Huntingdonshire. The Peterborough Advertiser, Saturday 10 May 1862 p2 carried an advertisement: " John JAMBLIN, photographic artist, begs most respectfully to return his sincere thanks to the Nobility, Clergy, Gentry, and Inhabitants of Oundle and district, for the very liberal patronage he has received during his stay in Oundle, and at the same time begs to announce that his Portrait Rooms are now removed to Mr Bunning's Paddock, at the top of New Street, adjoining the National Schools, where he is prepared to execute his first-class Photographs, either on glass or paper, in the highest style of the Art." Members of the Oundle Historical Society have identified Mr Bunning as John Bunning, licensee at the Red Lion ‘commercial inn & posting house’ and his paddock refers to the Red Lion Paddock off New Street, Ouncle. The Peterborough Advertiser, Saturday 4 October 1862 p1, carried another advertisement " John Jamblin's carte de visite studio is now open for a short period in the Fair Meadow (Peterborough?). Single copy 2s 6d, six for 6s, 10s per dozen. Gentlemen's residences photographed on paper 12 by 10, one guinea each, extra copies of the same 6s each" In 1864 JAMBLIN’S Photographic Studio, 17, Park-end Street, Oxford was offering "Guaranteed Carte de visite. 7s 6d per dozen, second dozen 6s or 2 first copies for 3s. Tasteful Pose and Pleasing Portrait guaranteed to all Sitters". Then John and family moved to North Wales. In 1868 his earlier bankruptcy was annulled. In 1871 John and his wife were living at Oxford House Dwygyfylchi Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales. John was a photographic artist. Lodging with them was a 17 year old photographer, Michael Summer from Lancashire. In 1881 John, his wife Martha and daughter Edith were living at Oxford House, Dwygyfylchi, Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales and John was an artist and photographer. In 1901 they were at Beech Grove, 2, Gilfach Road, Dwygyfylchi, Conway, Caernarvonshire, Wales and John was a photographer and journalist. In 1911 John and Martha were at Manchester House Penmaenmawr, Dwygyfylchi, Caernarvonshire, Wales and John was a photographic artist. But after his move to Wales it would appear that John returned each summer to operate for a season at Oundle. An advertisement in the Peterborough Advertiser 20 May 1876 refers to his forthcoming 16th annual visit to a studio in Mr Bunning's paddock. The timing of this advertisements suggests he attended the Oundle Whitsuntide Fair. This fair, for horses, sheep and some cattle, but by the mid C19 also becoming a local festival of ammusement and entertainment for all comers, was no bigger than many similar events at towns much closer to North Wales. This suggests that either personal or commercial considerations continued to draw John back loyally to Oundle for so many years. Seen for sale, Ebay, March 2023, carte de visite of an unknown village church - on the face of the square cornered mount "Jamblin photo Oxford and Penmaenmawr". Reverse of mount, printed in maroon ink, has a garter design surmounted by Prince of Wales feathers and text "John Jamblin photographic artist 17 Park End St Oxford. Penmaenmawr Nr Conway Nth Wales". This suggests that an Oxford business was retained after John moved to North Wales, but no local trade directory entries have been found in Oxford. Could he have included a continued Oxford connection as a "trade puff" in his advertising ?
References: Cambridge Independent Press 14th December 1861, Cambridge Independent Press 25th January 1862. The London Gazette Publication date: 6 December 1861 Issue: 22574 Page: 5306. The London Gazette, Publication date: 31 December 1861 Issue: 22585 Page: 5668. The London Gazette Publication date: 31 January 1862 Issue: 22594 Page:584. Oxford Times - Saturday 30 April 1864 p.4. Grateful thanks to Philip Kitchin and Robin Rowe from Oundle Historical Society.


John Simpson appears in Morris' Directory of Lincolnshire 1863 as a photographer in West Street, Boston, Lincolnshire. In August 1861, John was described as a photographer from Boston, and on Saturday 24th August he had a photographic booth on the Market Place at Peterborough. On that day one of his John's customers, J.B.Hardy, a farmer from Newborough, had withdrawn a large sum of cash from his bank and then spent much of the day drinking. He had his photograph taken by Simpson, and returned to the booth later in the day for his likeness and to pay. Later witnesses saw John in the street with Hardy, who he tripped up, and scooped up his purse containing some £55. John was arrested and the cash was found on him. He was sentenced to 12 moths imprisonment. (Northampton Mercury, Saturday 31 August 1861 p6; Stamford Mercury, Friday 6 September 1861 p5; Stamford Mercury, Friday 25 October 1861 p6)

TASSI, Lino operating 1858-1866

An Italian born photographer operating mainly in Grantham. For part of the week at the Corn Exchange, Melton Mowbray (1861-?). Also at an unknown address at Peterborough for part of the week (?1863-?). For full details see the Studio Notes for Tassi and Cella

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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: 09 April 2023, 09:31

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