John WHITE set up his studio in Brook Street by August 1883, having been on the Cornhill for a few years at 4 Westgate Street, in partnership with his wife's brother, Alfred Henry CADE (see http://www.early-photographers.org.uk
). The WHITE family probably remained at 18 Upper Brook Street or 52 Butter Market (next-door) until John's death in December 1909. His son, Arthur Leslie, had joined the business of "John White & Son" by 1904, soon after a new studio was opened in Felixstowe, where he was still operating in the 1920s.
The first of these portraits by John WHITE is "C. GOBBITT" dated April 1887 or perhaps 1889. Celia Mary, born on 29 August 1868, was a daughter of farmer William GOBBITT (see yesterday's posting - negative no 19,793A). William experienced serious financial difficulties in 1888 and Celia was working as a governess for a family in Yorkshire by 1891, so this carte de visite may have been labelled to accompany a job application. The handwriting matches her signature in the marriage register of Bayswater, London, in 1895, when she married Walter Henry ROPE of Orford, Suffolk. I have a copy of a note she wrote more than 50 years later including both sevens and nines but I still can't be sure whether the photograph was taken in 1887 or 1889. Does anyone have another numbered print of that age?
The following five cartes de visite appear to date from the late 1880s (making 57,832 more likely to have been produced in 1887). The inscription on the back of the second of these (61069: "Mr. & Mrs. Girling 3 daughters") has enabled the whole family to be identified. They lived at Pettistree Hall Farm in Sutton and were distantly related to my ancestors in nearby Capel St Andrew through a marriage at Gisleham in January 1885.
Annie GIRLING (1850-1903) daughter of Henry & Ann BELLERBY of York
Annie's husband Charles Drake GIRLING (c.1848-1924)
Probably Annie Lynda GIRLING (1874-1963) if not her sister Edith
Probably Edith Mary GIRLING (1875-1945) if not her sister Annie
Janet Gytha (or Gytha Janet) GIRLING (1880-1943)
This carte de visite shows my great-great-grandmother, Ellen Moyse GOBBITT (1850-1932), possibly about the time of her marriage to Thomas BRADY at Bredfield in January 1891, when shoulders were beginning to rise. She retained the hairstyle of her younger days, rather than adopting the fringe that became popular during the 1880s.
My grandfather thought the man in this cabinet print looked like his grandmother's cousin, Sutton Bendall BURROWS (1865-1944) of Woodbridge, whose dairy he used to visit for lunch when he was working in the town in 1915, but Kelly’s Suffolk directories for both 1912 and 1916 show only Sutton’s brother Russell BURROWS (1875-1939) as a dairyman there. I hope the negative number can someday be dated accurately enough to distinguish between them. Connoisseurs of printers' marks may like to know that the letters at the foot of the mount are REG C E & C.
This is my grandfather's aunt Mary Lenox (Maydie) GOBBITT (1880-1972) in a vignetted head-and-shoulders portrait typical of the 1890s, presenting little other evidence of the carte de visite's date, which may be close to 1900.
I look forward to seeing other prints with more definite dates.