Directory of Early Photographers in Norfolk, W - Z
A partner in Turner & Walker (q.v.), reported by the Cambridge Independent Press in July 1854 as operating ‘the photographic process’ in Lynn at an unspecified location. It seems possible that he was the Samuel Walker who, in the 1840s, had held the daguerreotype licence for York.
WALLIS & Manders
On 1st January 1877 Christopher Wallis (q.v.) and Victor Manders (q.v.) took over the Blackfriars Street studio of the retiring William Woodhouse (q.v.), Manders’ uncle. In November 1877 they acquired a second studio, at 4 London Road, from Edwin Bullock (q.v.) They ran this additional studio as a branch of Wallis and Manders until the summer of 1878, when they rebranded it, under the management of Wallis, as the King’s Lynn Photographic Company (q.v.). Manders left Lynn at some time between 1879 and early 1881. Wallis left in the spring or summer of 1881, and the London Road studio was taken over by Edwin Mowll (q.v.).
The son of a Weymouth photographer, Thomas Samuel Wallis, Christopher Wallis formed a partnership with Victor Manders (q.v.) in 1876, when they took over the Blackfriars Street, Lynn, studio of William Woodhouse. (For their joint career, see Wallis & Manders.) Wallis left the town in 1881 to open a studio in Newport, Monmouthshire. He later worked in Porth, Market Harborough, Leicester and Aston.
WARWICK, William A
Cory finds mention of Warwick at Yoxford House, St Stephen's Road, Norwich, in 1864, where he is described as ‘American Photo Artist’. WN1864 identifies William Warwick of St Stephen's Road simply as an artist.
Itinerant daguerreotypist who visited Norwich in 1849. Accordong to 'The Norfolk Chronicle', 24th November 1849, his work was on view at Mr Freeman's, London Street, and at his own rooms on the premises of Mr Wiggins, Bethel Street.
WATSON, Alfred Stacey
Watson’s carte mounts mentioned that he had recently come from Virginia, USA. A carte mount from the late 60s or early 70s suggests he may have been active at 2 Regent Road later than the WN1864 entry. (Regent Road studios)
WATT, Peter Cheyne
WEALE, Charles E
This is probably the Charles Weale who had previously operated in Leicester, Melton Mowbray and Birmingham. (His father, also Charles E Weale, had a studio in Tamworth, so some confusion is possible.)
Weale took over the 4 London Road studio from Edwin Mowll (q.v.) in May 1888. He had moved on by the end of 1890, and the studio had passed into the hands of John Henry Hall (q.v.).
Weale left a stock of mounts which Hall had overprinted with his own name. This overprinting has sometimes become faded, so a Weale mount should be checked carefully for signs that the photo it bears may really date from the time of his successor.
Listed as ‘Charles Weavers’ in all HN entries.
See Weaver, above.
The sole evidence of Webb so far is a postcard of an outdoor Edwardian family group stamped ‘W Webb’ and alleged to be the product of a Lynn photographer. He may have been the W Webb who was recorded by directories in 1914 and 1916 as running studios in Norwich.
WELLER, James Mills
Noted by Fairground Ancestors as an itinerant photographer who was born in Norfolk, and who was active in Wales in the 1870s and 1880s. But it is not known whether he ever worked in his native county.
Stationer and newsagent of Windsor Road. ‘Fred White: Publisher, Windsor Road, King’s Lynn; was printed on the front of the postcards he sold in the early 1900s, but the images prove to be those of national publisher, F Hartmann, for whom he was presumably acting as local representative.
Presumably the same as William Wilkin, below.
Presumably the same as William Wilken, above.
WILKINSON & Co
Listed (with no initials) by Dimond as a Sheringham firm that photographed Queen Alexandra (date unknown). It is evidently connected with the Norwich business, below. Wilkinson & Co - also with no initials, but with a studio address of 27& 29 Rampant Horse Street, Norwich - appears on a cabinet print in the possession of Malcolm of Thetford.
WILKINSON, A & Co
A Wilkinson cabinet print from the 1890s places his studio at 27 & 29 Rampant Horse Street. Listed by Dimond as a firm that photographed Queen Alexandra. TC1901 adds 'deals in artists' photographers' requisites of all kinds'. The similarity of two studio addresses makes it seem likely that A Wilkinson and Edgar Wilkinson (below) were the same man.
A Norwich professional who photographed Queen Alexandra (date unknown). He seems likely to be connected to A Wilkinson & Co (above) but is listed separately by Dimond. A report in 'The Norfolk Chronicle' of 21st November 1908, discovered by Paul Godfrey, encourages the belief that A Wilkinson and E Wilkinson were, in fact, the same man. It also provides information about Edgar's career up to that date:
Edgar Wilkinson began working as a photographer in Cambridge in about 1881, operating in partnership with a Mr Scott. The partnership was dissolved by mutual agreement in about 1884, and Edgar joined his brother Walter in a studio in Higher Broughton, Manchester. The business continued until about 1890. At some point in the 1890s Walter moved to Norwich and bought the business of Howard Heath (q.v.) in Rampant Horse Street for L200. In 1902 he moved to a studio at 1 Royal Arcade. Business was less successful at the new address, and by the summer of 1907 he realised that he was insolvent. He appeared before the Official Receiver in November 1908.
Described as ‘currier, photographer, tract depot & insurance agent’, HN1863, HN1872 and HN1877.
WILLIAMS, John Llewellyn
Noted by Fairground Ancestors as a travelling photographer and showman who, with his picture gallery, attended Great Yarmouth Fair in 1891.
Noted by Cory at 20 St Giles Street, Norwich, in the early 1870s.
A photographic con-man who worked in Lynn and the surrounding area in the spring of 1893. He took money for photos he claimed to have taken, went away to, supposedly, process the plates, and failed to return. He was arrested at his lodgings in All Saints Street and eventually sentenced to three months’ hard labour. (Reported in 'Ispwich Journal', 15th April and 1st July 1893.)
Noted by Fairground Ancestors as a travelling photographer and showman (1829-1893) who attended Great Yarmouth fair in 1861.
WINTER, A J
WINTER, Cornelius J W
Winter is described as ‘photographic artist & animal painter’ in WN1854, and as ‘photographic portrait painter’ in CN1856. In KN1853 a Cornelius Winter of Yarmouth appears simply as an artist.
‘Romilly’s Cambridge Diary 1848-1846’ (ed. M A Bury & J D Pickles, Cambridgeshire Records Society, 2000) records a visit by Joseph Romilly to Winter’s studio on 29th August 1860: “A coloured photograph taken of my phiz by a man named Winter … I thought I remained perfectly still, but he declared I did not, and the 2 first sittings he declared failures: the 3d he thought would do:- he put my head in a sort of pillory – a ? Collar at the back of the chair – his prices varied from 6d to a Guinea: I paid 7/6. – The number of photographers here is prodigious.”
The entry represents a variant spelling of William Woodhouse, below. ‘Wodehouse’ was the spelling associated with John Wodehouse, who fought with distinction at the battle of Agincourt. (Hence the photographer’s choice of ‘Frappe Forte Agincourt’ as a motto on his mounts.)
Though Norfolk-born, Woodhouse had spent most of his life in London, where he gained photographic experience in the studio of a relative (another William Woodhouse). He came to Lynn and opened his Blackfriars Road studio on 19th December 1859. At the beginning of 1866 he hired as assistant J A Prout (q.v.), who took over the studio in his own name in April of that year. Woodhouse reacquired the business in December 1867 or January 1868. He eventually retired at the end of 1876, when the studio passed to Wallis & Manders (q.v.). See also Wodehouse, above.
An itinerant photographer whose first name is unknown, and who claimed to have worked in one of Richard Beard’s London studios. He went into partnership with William Crews (q.v.) some time after January 1853, and a Lynn Independent Press advertisement in February 1854 announced that the partners were in town for the annual Mart.
WORTS & Crews
Itinerant photographers; probably daguerreotypists. A Lynn Independent Press advertisement of 21st February 1854 announced that Worts (see above) & Crews (c.v.) were in town for the annual Mart and were based at the Wheat Sheaf Inn, Norfolk Street.
Daughter of Jasper Wright (q.v.), recorded as working in her father’s studio in the 1911 census.
WRIGHT, Frederick, Naomi and Percival
Frederick Wright, his wife, Naomi, and his son, Percival, traded under the name ‘The Don’. Their own names appeared in a series of trade directories, but their portraits and postcards were labelled either ‘The Don’ or ‘7 Broad Street’ (or, sometimes, both). This may have been to distinguish them from the studio of Jasper Wright (q.v.), to whom they were apparently in no way connected.
Frederick was born in Wisbech to parents originating from Lincolnshire, and he had spent some of his early years in Canada, working as a labourer and carpenter. Percival was born in Canada, and Naomi was Frederick’s second wife, whom he married in 1897, after his return to England. By 1901 he was working as a photographer in Long Sutton.
Frederick’s name didn’t appear in a trade directory until 1916, but it seems likely that he was the studio’s main photographer throughout its existence. He was identified again as a photographer in the 1911 census, while Percival was listed as a carman (despite the studio appearing in his name in 1908 and 1912 trade directories).
See also Naomi and Percival Wright, below.
Son of Jasper Wright (below), and recorded as working in his father’s studio in the 1911 census. Since his brothers can be otherwise accounted for, he must have continued in the business and become the ‘& Son’ mentioned in Jasper Wright’s trade directory entries of 1922 to 1928.
WRIGHT, G T V
WRIGHT, James F
WRIGHT, Jasper James
A photographic mount that’s unlikely to date from later than 1884 (the year of death of the child depicted) provides reasonably strong evidence of studios at Fakenham and Long Sutton some years earlier than indicated by trade directories. (The reprinting of an earlier negative cannot be wholly discounted.)
The less precise addresses (such as Fakenham and London Road, Lynn) probably refer to the same studios as are more precisely located in earlier directories. Not all studios operated on a full-time basis: Hunstanton’s Pier Studio is listed on both occasions as open ‘during the season’, and KN1900 and KN1904 append ‘attends Saturdays’ to the Swaffham entry. Lynn’s 126 London Road address appears to have been an extension to the studio at number 125 rather than a separate operation. (Carte mounts, apparently dating from the 1890s, give just the 125 London Road address.)
Wright’s mounts and advertising often incorporated the motto ‘Preserve the Shadow ere the Substance fade’ – a slightly adapted quotation from a couplet that had been popular since the age of the daguerreotype. In 1889 he was offering cartes at 3/6 per dozen and cabinet prints for 8/- a dozen. By 1895 his carte prices had been raised by 6d a dozen, at which level they were maintained well into the 20th century. He was also at pains to remind the public that children’s portraits were a speciality for which there was no extra charge. In 1897, one of his advertisements made a major selling point of his personal supervision of all the work undertaken in his studio; but by 1910 he was promoting his outdoor services, describing himself as ‘the photographer for football, wedding and family groups’.
The son of Robert Wright (q,v.), Jasper Wright was born in Lynn in the early 1860s and learnt his trade in his father’s studio. The 1881 census shows him in charge of the studio during his father’s absence; he was formally taken into the business (‘Robert Wright & Son’) at some point in the first half of the 1880s; and the studio was being run in his own name by 1886. He married Emma Purdy in 1885, retired c1932, and died in 1940. Jasper Wright's other talent was for music, and a photograph taken in 1894 shows him holding his string bass as a member of King's Lynn's first Town Band.
(For non-family employees, see Bouch, Ernest; Hammond, Margaret; Porter, Florence; Reeve, Lewis; Speight, James; Turner, Mr ).
For additional information about Wright’s business, supplied by John Frearson, click here.
WRIGHT, John W
Recorded in the 1881 census as a photographer, aged 15, born in London, and staying at Catherine Cozens’ Temperance Hotel, Kings Lynn. Presumably, given his age, somebody’s assistant.
WRIGHT, Jonas Fidgett
According to a mount dating from the late 1870s or early 1880s, the Wells Road studio was also known as the Rembrandt Studio.
WRIGHT, Mrs N
Naomi Wright was the wife of Frederick Wright, above.
WRIGHT, Percival Frank
Son of Frederick and Naomi Wright, above.
Father of Jasper James Wright (above). He worked at various trades over the years (coal porter, butcher, general shopkeeper), and is thought to have introduced photography to his shop c 1863-64. He had moved his shop and studio to London Road by the time of the 1871 census. By 1886 he had retired, passing the studio over to his son Jasper James Wright (above). (Mounts marked ‘Wright & Son’ date from some time within the period 1881 to 1886.)
HN1863 shows Robert Wright simply as a shopkeeper, in Providence Street. HN1872 and HN1877 describe him as running a china & glass warehouse as well as being a photographer. WN1883 describes him as 'photographer and draper'. In the late 1860s he was charging 2/- for six cartes.
WRIGHT, Robert William Handel
Son of Jasper Wright (above), recorded as working in his father’s studio in the 1911 census. Known as Handel and sharing his father’s talent, he went on to pursue a musical career.
WRIGHTSON, Stanley Hay
Local historian Christopher Pipe reports evidence of Wrightson working in Cromer around 1901: his name appears as an embossed stamp on the mount of a local school photograph (which is now in America, in the possession of a descendant of the school's founder). Wrightson is also listed by Dimond as a Cromer professional who photographed Queen Alexandra (date unknown).
YALLOP, Alfred William
It is tempting to wonder whether KN1900’s ‘107 High Street’ could be a mistake for ‘197’. Some Yallop mounts are marked ‘Miller’s Royal Studio’. These must originate from the 14a King Street premises, which were occupied by Mrs E Miller until about 1900 or a little later. (King Street studios; Miller studios). Photographic historian Paul Godfrey reports that the Harbour Quay studio was initially housed in a wooden shed, which was later replaced by a bricks-and-mortar building. The business continued under the direction of Alfred's son, Sydney, until the 1960s.
Yallop appears in NTC1909 as 'Photog. View Publisher' with the telephone number Yarmouth 83. His home address, 36 Southtown Road, has the number Yarmouth 32.
YARDLEY, Miss Alice Olivia
NTC1909 gives the telephone number Gorleston 23. The High Street studio was formerly run by Alfred Yallop (above). Paul Godfrey believes that Harbour Quay and Brush Wharf are probably the same address. He has also provided some additional biographical information:
Alice Yardley, the daughter of Vincent (a builder) and Barbara (née Brain), originated from London. She was born in 1866 and baptised at St George's, Bloomsbury, on 26th December. By 1881 she was living in Batteresea and giving her occupation as 'artist'. In 1891 she was working in Sunderland as a photographer. Between 1922 and 1925 her studio in Gorleston High Street passed back into the control of the Yallop family (Alfred and his son, Sydney). By 1931 she was running a photographic studio in Wimborne, Dorset. A 1937 passenger list shows her, retired and resident in Wimborne, cruising from Southampton to New York. She died at Blandford, Dorset, in 1955.
Note: Gorleston was a Suffolk parish until the early 1800s when it became a part of Great Yarmouth in Norfolk. We have therefore included Gorleston photographers in both county listings.
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.
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