Derbyshire Photographers: John Stringfellow of Chesterfield
Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
John Stringfellow (1833-1882)

of Salter Gate & Vicar Lane, Chesterfield

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John Stringfellow was baptised at Ecclesfield, near Sheffield in Yorkshire, on 21 Apr 1833, one of five surviving children of James Stringfellow (1797-1828) and his wife Hannah.  He was also nephew of the John Stringfellow (1799-1883) who developed a remarkable ability at designing and building light steam engines, and who would later - with William S. Henson and others - achieve some considerable fame as an aeronautical engineer.

John Stringfellow's father died in July 1837 when he was only four, and he and his siblings grew up living with their mother in Attercliffe cum Darnall, near Sheffield.  He married Elizabeth W.B. Houlden (b. 1840 Sheffield) at Sheffield in 1866, and they had three children (a son and twin daughters) between then and 1872.  In his teens he worked as an attorney's clerk.  However, he started working as a photographer very briefly in Chesterfield in the late 1850s, perhaps together with Paul Turner, with whom he was lodging at the Spread Eagle Inn in April 1861.  Certainly he was in partnership with George Edgar for a brief period in December 1858 and early 1859.  Stringfellow also advertised in the 1860 Harrod's Directory.  A carte de visite from the early 1860s has the address "Vicar Lane."  It seems likely that he had returned to Sheffield by the time of his marriage in the second half of 1866.

Trade directories for 1879 and 1881 show him living at 81 Fulton Road, Walkley, Nether Hallam, with a studio at 5 Chapel walk, Fargate, Sheffield.  The 1881 Census, however, suggests that his residence was actually at 79 Fulton Road.

On 17 Feb 1882 the Sheffield newspapers reported that John Stringfellow had died "suddenly on the Midland Railway", and he was buried at Sheffield Fulwood Christ Church on 22 Feb 1882.  His widow and their three children continued living in Fulton Road until at least 1891.  Elizabeth Stringfellow was "living on her own means", but there is no evidence that they maintained the photographic business.
Image © & courtesy of Christine Hibbert Advertisement from Harrison & Harrod's 1860 Trade Directory

Image © & courtesy of Christine Hibbert


Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young woman
by Diana Studios of 48 St. Peter's Street, Derby
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1920s
Format: Carte de visite
Size: Mount 61 x 101.5 mm Photo 58 x 92.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified family
by J. Stringfellow of Chapel Walk, Fargate, Sheffield
Undated, but probably taken in the mid-1870s
Format: Carte de visite

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image provided by Brett Payne & Christine Hibbert
1841-1901 UK Census - online from
International Genealogical Index (IGI) - online from the LDS church's FamilySearch web site
Harrison, Harrod & Co. (1860) Directory and Gazetteer of Derbyshire, London.

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