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Directory of Early Photographers, Studio Folder, Sawyer and Bird, Norwich and Elsewhere

Timeline: W S Bird

Walter Strickland Bird (1828-1912)

(This timeline does not claim to be a full biography of Bird. It simply presents some accumulated information and sources in chronological order. It represents work in progress and may be amended or augmented in the future. Where primary sources have been used, references are given; where no references are given, information should be regarded as subject to verification. For records of him that relate to his work in partnership, see the Sawyer and Bird timeline.)


Date not known

Born in Yoxford, Suffolk.


June 6 (Census: HO107/1017/25/5)

He was the fourth of six children living with their mother, Emma Bird, aged 45, stationer, in Yoxford, Suffolk. His siblings were James (20), Catherine (15), Charles (15), Paul (6) and Laura (4). (Ages of 15 and over were rounded down to the nearest multiple of 5 in the 1841 census.)


March 30th

In Norwich. Recorded in census as chemist and stationer.

July-September quarter (Civil registration marriage index: Norwich, v3, p466)

Married Catherine Cappe.


No specific date (White’s Directory of Norfolk)

Chemist and druggist of Market Street, Shipdham.


April 7 (Census: RG9/1213/96/36)

He was a drug warehousemen living at Miss Perowne’s Farm House, Pockthorpe, Norfolk. With him were his wife, Catherine, and a niece, Emile Moreau, aged 4.


No specific date (White’s Directory of Norfolk)

Lived at St Swithin’s Villas, Norwich.


Date not known

Became a member of the London Photographic Society (Royal Photographic Society from 1874).

April 2 (Census: RG10/764/57/5)

He was a photographic artist, living with Catherine and one servant at 27 Dacre Park, Belmont Hill, Lewisham.


April 3 (Census: RG11/170/57/44)

‘Photographic publisher’, living at 44 Belsize Park Gardens, Hampstead, with his sister Laura, single, 43. One of their four servants, Sarah Lambert, 21, came from their birthplace, Yoxford in Suffolk.


Date not known

Became Treasurer of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), and continued to hold the post until 1892)

October 9 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

Member of judging panel for RPS annual exhibition.


November 5

RPS hosted a dinner in his honour at the Holborn Restaurant, shortly before he visited his brother in Sydney, Australia (for health reasons).


April-June quarter (Civil registration marriage index: Islington, v1b, p724)

Married Mary Boggis.

April 5 (Census: RG12/146/89/24

Census: Living at 13 Hornsey Rise, Islington, with wife, Mary, and one servant. Described as manufacturer of photographic materials.



Retired from the Autotype Company.


Date not known

Became a Fellow of the RPS.

November 14 (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)

A portrait of W S Bird was shown by the Autotype Company at the RPS annual exhibition,


March 18

J Sawyer’s will proved; co-executors: Walter Bird and Charles Sawyer.


April 2 (Census: RG14PN7864 RG78PN393 RD145 SD1 ED1 SN10)

Aged 83, retired, and once again a widower. Living with his nephew, Henry Harwood-Yarred, and family at Coombe Lodge, West Wycombe Road, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.


February 5 (London Gazette, 19 March 1912) Impressed by light

Died, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

March 19 (London Gazette)

The Gazette carried a notice that his will was proved on March 12th (executor: Charles Sawyer, son of John Sawyer).


June 17 (London Gazette)

Previously unlocated potential beneficiaries of Bird’s will were required to make their claims by 20th October. Otto Dauber, a son of his sister Catherine, who had emigrated to America, was specifically mentioned.

Sawyer and Bird index

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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: 04 September 2022, 09:22

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