Worthing Photographers (W)

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Professional Photographers in Worthing (W)

Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler - Worthing Portrait Company - Charles Joseph Wright

Henry Donald Halksworth WHEELER (born 1878, Brockley, Kent) - later known as Halksworth WHEELER of Folkestone

Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler was born in Brockley, Kent (now part of the London Borough of Lewisham) in 1878. [The birth of Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler was registered in the District of Greenwich during the 3rd Quarter of 1878]. Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler was the fifth child of Anne Halksworth (born c1844, London) and Thomas Francis Wheeler (born 1842, St Pancras, London), an "Appraiser" from London. Thomas Francis Wheeler had married Anne Halksworth in London in 1868. The couple's first child, Ann Isabel Wheeler was born in Deptford, Kent, in 1870. A second child, a son named Frederick William Wheeler, was born in Lewisham, Kent during the 3rd Quarter of 1871. Another daughter, Ada Jane Wheeler, was born in Lewisham the following year. [The birth of Ada Jane Wheeler was registered in the District of Lewisham during the 4th Quarter of 1872]. Three more children arrived over a four-year period, when the Wheeler family were living in Brockley, Kent, - Kate Rebecca Wheeler (born 1875), Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler (born 1878), and Mary Emily Wheeler (born 1879).

When the 1881 census was taken, Henry Wheeler, then only two years of age, was living with his aunt, Mrs Jane Donald Williams at her home in Worthing, West Sussex. Henry, together with his two sisters, Mary and Kate, plus his older brother Frederick, were staying at 49 Chapel Road, Worthing with Mrs Jane Donald Williams and her two children. ( Henry's aunt, Jane Donald Halksworth (born c1842, London) had married Lancelot Hugh Williams in 1868 ). Also residing at Mrs Williams' home in Worthing was Ellen Halksworth (born c1839, London), his mother's unmarried sister. Annie Halksworth, Henry's mother, and his two aunts (Jane Donald Halksworth and Ellen Halksworth) were the three daughters of Anne and William Halksworth (1811-1872), a jeweller and engraver of Fleet Street, London. Interestingly, Mrs Jane R. Halksworth (1808-1866), Henry's maternal grandmother, was an early photographer and between 1856 and 1859 she took photographic portraits at her husband's business premises at 58 Fleet Street, London, and, on alternate days, at 5 Lawn Place, Hammersmith.

Henry' Wheeler's mother and father had their home in Deptford, Kent, on the south bank of London's River Thames. It appears that Henry and Mary, Mr & Mrs Wheeler's two youngest children, spent a great deal of their time with their aunt, Mrs Jane Williams, at her home in Worthing. Henry Wheeler's father, Thomas Francis Wheeler, died in the London Borough of Lewisham in 1886, at the age of 48. Henry's mother also ended her life in in Kent and she was buried alongside her husband in the Lady & Brockley Cemetery. Even when their mother was alive, Henry Wheeler and his younger sister Mary continued to live at their Aunt Jane's home in Worthing - both are recorded at 49 Chapel Road, Worthing in 1891. By 1899, Mrs Jane Williams had moved to a house called "Rosemont" in Christ Church Road, Worthing. The 1901 census return records Henry D. H. Wheeler and his sister Mary Emily Wheeler residing at "Rosemont", Christ Church Road, Worthing. On the census return, Henry D. H. Wheeler, then aged 22, gives his profession as "Photographer (own account)". Henry's twenty-one year old sister, Mary Emily Wheeler, is described on the 1901 census return as a "Photographic Artist".

Henry D. H. Wheeler's photographic career in Worthing was brief. Early in 1902, Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler married Grace Harriett Wainwright (born 1878, Bloomsbury, London), a daughter of Alice and Thomas Wainwright, a photographic chemist from Deptford. After their marriage, Henry and Grace Wheeler settled in Folkestone, Kent, where their daughter, Kathleen Grace Wheeler, was born during the First Quarter of 1903.

In 1902, Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler joined forces with fellow Worthing photographer Benjamin Haddock to form the firm of Wheeler & Haddock. In 1901, Benjamin Field Haddock (born 1871, Kidderminster, Worcs.) had been working as a photographer in Worthing. In the 1901 census, Haddock was recorded as a thirty year old photographer living at 16 Stanley Road, Worthing. Kelly's 1903 Directory of Kent lists the photographic studio of Wheeler & Haddock at 9 Church Street, Folkestone. Benjamin Haddock had left the business by the beginning of 1903 and from this date the studio at 9 Church Street, Folkestone was owned solely by Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler. In 1906, Wheeler's photographs were still being registered for copyright under his full name of Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler, but by 1912 his work was usually signed in the truncated form of "Halksworth Wheeler". By 1913, Halksworth Wheeler was operating a photographic portrait studio at No. 9 Church Street, Folkestone, and running a store next door at No. 7 which sold photographic materials.

Around 1913, Halksworth Wheeler became a member of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS). In consecutive years, Halksworth Wheeler exhibited at the Royal Photographic Society. In 1913, Halksworth Wheeler showed a photograph entitled "A Kentish Landscape" at the 58th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Photographic Sociey. The following year, Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler became a Fellow of the Royal Photographic Society and at the 59th Annual Exhibition, Halksworth Wheeler showed a portrait of Society Fellow and Essex-based photographer William Louis Francis Wastell, FRPS (1863-1941) and an interior view of the Parish Church of Folkestone. At the 60th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Photographic Society, H. D. Halksworth Wheeler, FRPS, showed a selection of his portrait work under the title "Some Specimens of Artistic Portraiture". Although Halksworth Wheeler earned his living as a commercial photographer, he continued to pursue his interest in "artistic photography". One of Wheeler's photographs was included in the 1914 issue of Photograms of the Year - The Annual Review of the World's Photographic Work, which featured pictures by internationally famous photographers such as James Craig Annan, Edward Weston and Clarence H. White  Wheeler's photograph of "An Old Sussex Mill" was favourably received, the reviewer noting that "the pictorial matter is quite unimpeachable and the tone values are excellent".

By 1915, Halksworth Wheeler had opened an additional studio in Folkestone at 109a Sandgate Road to supplement his dual business premises at No 7 & 9 Church Street, Folkestone. From his Folkestone studios, Halksworth Wheeler built up a successful photography business, which carries his name to this day. In addition to his studio portrait work, Halksworth Wheeler produced outdoor group portraits of sports teams, various "event photographs", such as the arrival of Belgian refugees in Folkestone in August 1914 and many views of Folkestone and a series of photographs of local churches (e.g.St Paulinus Church, Crayford ; St Mary's Church, Elham) which were issued in picture postcard format. The firm of Halksworth Wheeler continued to publish picture postcards right up until the 1960s.

By 1927, H. D. Halksworth Wheeler, FRPS, had become the President of the Professional Photographers Association. After Henry Halksworth Wheeler retired from the firm, the business continued under the name of Halksworth Wheeler of Folkestone. In modern times, the company of Halksworth Wheeler Ltd has concerned itself with the supply of audio-visual products such as camcorders and digital cameras.

[ABOVE] A portrait of a soldier, photographed by Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler (c1915). The photograph is signed "Halksworth Wheeler, Folkestone" and was produced when Wheeler was operating a portrait studio and photographic materials business at 7 & 9 Church Street, Folkestone, Kent.

[Photo Courtesy of  Kay Redmond of Crosby, Liverpool]

[ABOVE] A 1907 map of Worthing showing Christ Church Road (marked in yellow), where the photographer Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler was based in 1901.

[ABOVE] The trademark of Halksworth Wheeler Ltd of Folkestone, Kent. The company was was founded  by the photographer Henry Donald Halksworth Wheeler over a hundred years ago. Henry Halksworth Wheeler, who established a photographic portrait studio at 9 Church Street, Folkestone in 1902, set up an auxiliary business  providing photographic materials under the name of Halksworth Wheeler, next door at No.7 Church Street before 1912. Today, Halksworth Wheeler Ltd supplies all types of audio-visual products, including plasma-screen televisions, hi-fi systems, camcorders and digital cameras. Halksworth Wheeler Ltd has its main store at 34 Guildhall Street, Folkestone, but in 2008 the firm also had a retail outlet in Maidstone.

THE WORTHING PORTRAIT COMPANY - active as a photographic firm in Worthing from 1898 to 1926

( Proprietors and Managers :1898-1907 - Jennie Rewman and Florence Kate Stewart ; c1908 - c1913 - Charles Tidy ; 1914-1915 - William John Knowles  )

The Worthing Portrait Company

The studio of the Worthing Portrait Company opened at No 4 Railway Approach, Worthing, in the Summer of 1898. The following announcement appeared in the Worthing Gazette on 30th July, 1898 :

The Worthing Portrait Company are opening their new premises early in August, under the management of Miss Rewman ( for 13 years with the late E. Pattison Pett ) who, with the assistance of qualified artists, will give her immediate supervision to the business and spare no pains to give personal care and attention to every individual sitter. Satisfaction Guaranteed.

Views, groups and all outdoor work undertaken. Best work only, at moderate prices. Children and groups a speciality.

Jennie Rewman

Jennie Rewman, the Manageress of The Worthing Portrait Company, was born in Berlin, Germany around 1855. She was probably the daughter of Oscar Rewman (c1827-1895), a financial agent who was born in Germany, but became a Naturalised British Subject and settled in Lambeth, South London. At the time of the 1881 census, Oscar Rewman was a 54 year old widower living with his daughter Minna Rewman, a 28 year old draper's assistant, and two servants at 67 Rattray Road, Lambeth, Surrey. Later that year, Oscar Rewman married his housekeeper, 39 year old Edna Tyler ( born c1842, Shoreham, Kent) and in 1883 he became the father of another daughter, Eliza Beatrice Rewman*. Oscar Rewman died in South London in 1895, aged 68. [Death registered in the Camberwell District in the March Quarter of 1895].

When the 1881 census was taken, twenty-six year old Jennie Rewman was visiting optician Thomas Rowley (born c1807, Birmingham), at 128 St. James Street, Brighton. Thomas Rowley may have introduced Jennie to photography. Rowley had been involved in photography since at least 1853, when he was a dealer in stereoscopic photographic slides at his Brighton shop. Around this time, Jennie Rewman found employment with Edward Pattison Pett (1845-1896), a photographer who had taken over the Worthing studio of James Russell & Sons at Bath Place, Worthing in or about 1881. E. Pattison Pett employed at least five workers at his Bath Place studio and Jennie became one of his assistant photographers.

In 1891, Jennie Rewman was boarding at Miss Florence Stewart's Lodging House at 40 High Street, Worthing. In the 1891 census return, Jennie Rewman is described as a "Photographer's Assistant", aged 35. Miss Florence Stewart, the proprietor of the lodging house, was later to join Jennie Rewman as a partner in the Worthing Portrait Company. Florence Kate Stewart (born c1854, Kingsland, London, Middlesex), was the daughter of James Stewart (born c1818, Wyresdale, Lancashire), a merchant, and his wife Catherine (born c1819, Willesden, Middlesex).

In 1893, the photographers Walter and Annie Gardiner purchased Edward Pattison Pett's photographic studio in Bath Place. Although, Jennie Rewman advertised the fact that she had worked for  Edward Pattison Pett for 13 years, she makes no mention of being employed as a photographer in the Walter Gardiner studio, so we can presume that her services were not retained at Bath Place.

The Worthing Portrait Company made an impression in the town soon after it was established in August 1898. The Worthing Portrait Company immediately produced photographs of local events, such as The Five Mile Championship Race of 1898, and within a year the Company's photographs were being reproduced in local newspapers.

The 1901 census records both Miss Rewman and Miss Stewart residing at their business premises at 4 Railway Approach, Worthing - Jennie Rewman is entered on the census return as a "Photographer (Employer at home)", aged 46, and the same occupational description is given to her business partner, forty-seven year old Florence Kate Stewart. The two lady photographers employed a number of assistants, and one can be identified as Frances Clarke (born c1880, Birmingham), who in the 1901 census is recorded as a  twenty-one year old "Photographer (worker)". Miss Clarke was the daughter of Bernard Clarke (born c1831, Ireland), a retired building contractor, and was living at 8 Queen Street, Worthing.

After 1902, Worthing Portrait Company, began to publish picture postcards from the Railway Approach address. Miss Jennie Rewman went from being the Manageress to the Principal of the Worthing Portrait Company. In Kelly's Directory of 1905, Miss Rewman is listed as the "Proprietress" of the Worthing Portrait Company. Miss Rewman is still recorded as the owner of the Railway Approach studio in 1907, but when Kelly's 1909 Directory was published, the Worthing Portrait Company was in the hands of the photographer Charles Tidy.

Worthing Portrait Company after 1909

The new proprietor of the Worthing Portrait Company was Charles Tidy (born 1869, Paddington, London) a photographer from Lewisham. Before the outbreak of the First World War the studio in Railway Approach passed to the photographer William John Knowles (born 1879, Brighton, Sussex). From 1905 to 1915, the Worthing Portrait Company published picture postcards, featuring views of Worthing, photographs of churches and other notable buildings in the area, and scenes of local interest, such as members of the Sussex Yeomanry at Worthing Railway Station on their way to the Western Front in 1914. The studio at 4 Railway Approach, Worthing continued until 1926.



[ABOVE ] The trade plate of The Worthing  Portrait Company of 4 Railway Approach, Worthing. In this example Jennie Rewman is described as the "Principal" rather than the Manageress of the Company.

[ABOVE] A photograph showing the business premises of The Worthing  Portrait Company at 4 Railway Approach, Worthing (c1905)  The glass roof of the upstairs studio can be seen at the top right of the picture. The shop windows contain examples of the company's studio portraiture and post-card views.

[ABOVE] A carte-de-visite portrait of a young woman produced by The Worthing Portrait Company of 4 Railway Approach, Worthing.  Miss Jennie Rewman is billed as the Manageress on the reverse of the carte.

Click here to view  photographs from the studio of The Worthing Portrait Company


Collecting Picture Postcards by Geoffrey Godden (Phillimore 1996) covers much more than the topic given in the title. Geoffrey Godden provides an interesting and well informed account of the work of a number of Worthing photographers and picture postcard publishers active in Victorian and Edwardian times, including Edward Edwards (Edward Bex), Walter and Annie Gardiner and the Worthing Portrait Company.


Charles Joseph WRIGHT ( born 1823, London - died 1904, Worthing )

Charles Joseph Wright was born in Bishopsgate London on 23rd March,1823, the son of Charles and Lucy Wright. Charles Joseph Wright was baptised some four months later on 20th July 1823 at St. Helen's Church, Bishopsgate. Charles J. Wright arrived in Worthing before 1846, the year of his marriage to Mary McWhirter (born c1826, Worthing ). Charles Joseph Wright married Mary McWhirter at the church in Broadwater by Worthing on 16th February 1846. Charles Wright began his working career in Worthing as a tobacconist and from around 1850 he was running his own tobacconist shop at No.3 South Street, Worthing. In 1851, Charles Joseph Wright is described as a "Hosier and Tobacconist" in South Street. Charles Wright's wife Mary was skilled in needlework and in the late 1850s a '"Berlin Wool Repository" was added to his business premises in South Street.  By 1859, C. J. Wright had established a photographic studio at 3 South Street, Worthing. The 1861 census records Charles J. Wright with his wife and family living at the business premises at No. 3 South Street. Mrs Mary Wright is described as an "Embroideress", aged 35. Her husband, Charles J. Wright gives his occupation as "Photographer & Tobacconist", but as the years went on, the production of photographic portraits became the family's main source of income. On the 1861 census return, six children are listed - Rosalie McWhirter Wright (born 1846), Joseph (born c1852), Albert George (born c1855), Caroline (born c1856) Gerald Fitzgerald Wright (1857) and Ernest Christopher Wright (born 1859). Other Wright children had died before the 1861 census was taken - for instance, James McWhirter Wright, who died before his second birthday in 1851.

[ABOVE]  South Street, Worthing, as depicted in a Rock  & Co. print published in January 1870. Charles Joseph Wright operated his photographic studios in this street between 1850 and 1881.

During the 1860s, Charles Joseph Wright was producing carte-de-visite portraits at his South Street studio. Around 1874, Wright opened a second studio in the nearby seaside resort of Bognor. The backs of the carte-de-visite portraits produced in this period often include the name "BOGNOR" under the usual printed details - "Photographed by C. J. Wright, Studio, South St. Worthing".

During the 1870s, Charles Joseph Wright worked from a studio at 44 South Street, Worthing. At the time of the 1871 census, Charles Wright and his family were residing at 44 South Street. Charles Joseph Wright gives his sole occupation as "Photographer", while his wife Mary is described as a "Miniature Painter", which probably means she was employed by her husband to colour the small carte-de-visite portraits he produced at his photographic studio. Charles Wright's eldest son, Joseph Wright had also become a photographer, but he was working away from home when the census was taken. Two more children had been added to the family - Edward Wright (born c1862) and Claude Edmund Wright (born 1867).

When the 1881 census was taken, Wright's address in South Street had changed again. Charles J. Wright, "Photographer", aged 58, was living with his wife Mary, now working as a "Confectioner", and their two youngest sons, Edward and Claude, at 33 South Street, Worthing. Charles Joseph Wright is not listed as a photographer in Sussex trade directories after 1881. Charles Wright's eldest son worked as a travelling photographer and in the 1891 census, thirty-nine year old Joseph Wright is recorded living with another itinerant photographer in a "Photographic Cabin" at Daisy Nook, a Lancashire beauty spot near Ashton-under-Lyne. In 1901, Charles Joseph Wright informed the census enumerator in Worthing that he was a "Retired Photographer", aged 78. Charles Joseph Wright died in Worthing in 1904 at the age of 80. [ Death registered in the East Preston District during the March Quarter of 1904 ].



[ABOVE] An advertisement for Charles Joseph Wright's tobacconist's shop and Mrs Wright's Berlin Wool Repository from French & Son's Worthing Directory of 1859.

[ABOVE]  Charles Joseph Wright's trade plate taken from the reverse of a carte-de-visite (c1862)

[ABOVE]  Charles Joseph Wright's trade plate which appeared on the back of his cartes-de-visite around 1870.

Carte-de-visite Portraits by Charles Joseph Wright of Worthing

  [ABOVE] The trade plate of Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing, from the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait (c1862). [ABOVE] Portrait of a smart lad , a carte-de-visite photograph taken by Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing(c1863) Portrait of a seated young woman , a carte-de-visite photograph taken by Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing (c1865)

 Mother and child , a carte-de-visite portrait by Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing(c1868) [ABOVE] The trade plate of Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing, from the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait (c1868). [ABOVE] The trade plate of Charles Joseph Wright of 44 South Street, Worthing, from the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait (c1878). Portrait of a young woman standing by a chair , a carte-de-visite photograph taken by Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing (c1878)

Carte-de-visite Portraits of Children by Charles Joseph Wright of Worthing

[ABOVE] Portrait of a young boy, a carte-de-visite photograph taken by Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing( c1864) [ABOVE] Portrait of a young boy, a carte-de-visite photograph taken by Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing( c1864) [ABOVE] The trade plate of Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing, from the reverse of a carte-de-visite portrait (c1864). ABOVE] Portrait of a young boy, a carte-de-visite photograph taken by Charles Joseph Wright of South Street, Worthing( c1863)

Click here to go to go to the Directory of Photographic Studios in Worthing 1854-1910

Click here to go to A History of Professional Photography in Worthing

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