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Victorian Photographs - W. & D. Downey - Roger Vaughan Personal Collection
Victorian and Edwardian Photographs - Roger Vaughan Personal Collection (list 100)

View thousands of photographs at my Homepage

W. & D. Downey's Late Victorian Photographs

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Miss Maude Millett, actress (1867 - 1920)

View eight Famous Victorians   (from this list displayed on one page)

In the 1890's W & D Downey, 57 & 61 Ebury Street, London, published a series of portraits of prominent persons.
They are of very good quality (Woodburytypes) and of some interest, a brief history is at the bottom of this page

Royal Family

Photograph The Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII)
Photograph Prince George of Wales


Photograph Professor Huxley (Thomas Henry Huxley) (1825 - 1895) Man of science. Huntarian Professor at Royal College of Surgeons 1863 - 9, Fullerian professor at Royal Institution 1855 - 8. Remembered for his support of Charles Darwin.
Photograph Lord Herschell


Photograph Lord Charles William De La Poer Beresford, Baron Beresford, (1846 - 1919). Admiral, entered navy 1859. M.P Waterford 1874 - 80. Took part in the bombardment of Alexandria 1882, Nile expedition 1884-5. Rescue of Sir C.W. Wilson 1885. M.P. East Marylebone 1885-6-9. Rear-Admiral 1897, M.P.York 1897-1900, Woolwich 1902-3. Commander-in-Chief, Mediterranean 1905; Admiral 1906, Commander-in-Chief of Channel Fleet 1907-9 (opposed Admirality policy). M.P. Portsmouth 1910-16. Retired received GCB 1911, baron 1916.


Photograph Sarah Bernhardt (Henriette Rosina Bernard) The Divine Sarah (1844 - 1923. French Actress, certainly the greatest tragedienne of her day and possibly the most versitile ever. A legend!
Photograph Some Leading Actresses: A Group

A to Z of Leading Victorians

Photograph The Archbishop of Canterbury
Photograph Sir Frederick Augustus Abel (1827 - 1902). Chemist, invented cordite. President of Chemical and other societies
Photograph The Rev. Henry Allon, D.D. (1818 - 1892) Congregational divine. Editor of British Quarterly Review.
Photograph Lord Armstrong [?George 1836 - 1907) Newspaper Proprietor of the People]
Photograph The Countess of Dudley [Georgiana, was the most famous of all the so-called Professional Beauties. Their photos were displayed for a penny or two at the stationers', with no remuneration for the ladies themselves, other than the adoring fame it gave them. There is a famous description of the incredible crowds Georgiana used to draw as she drove through Hyde Park -- even members of the aristocracy were standing up on benches in the park trying to get a glimpse of her!].
Photograph Dame Millicent Fawcett (ne้ Garrett) (1847 - 1929) Suffragist and educational reformer who led the womens suffrage movement for over five decades. A founder of Newnham College, Cambridge.
Photograph The Rev. Hugh Price Hughes (1847 - 1902) Methodist divine.
Photograph Herr Joseph Joachim. Celebrated violinist, born in Kitsee, Hungary of Jewish parents July 15th 1831.
Photograph Sir Frederick Leighton, Baron Leighton of Stretton (1830 - 1896) Painter, President of the Royal Academy, buried St Paul's Cathedral, London.
Photograph Sir James Dromgole Linton. President Royal Inst. Painters in Watercolour.
Photograph (Eliza) Lynn Linton (1822 - 1898) Novelist, on the staff of the Morning Chronicle, contributed to Saturday Review and All the Year Round. She wrote many works including The Rebel of the Family (it has one of my photographs on the cover!)
Photograph Sir Frank Lockwood, Q.C., M.P. (1846 - 1897). Solicitor-general 1894 - 1895). Liberal M.P. for York 1885 - 1897.
Photograph Colonel Maurice. [?Sir John Frederick Maurice (1841 - 1912) Served in War Office and in Ashanti, South Africa, Egypt and Sudan]
Photograph Miss Maude Millett, actress (1867 - 1920). [ E S Willard remained in England, intent on developing his own company. In 1889, he had an enormous success, presenting The Middleman by Henry Arthur Jones, in which he played the vengeful potter, Cyrus Blenkarn, with Maude Millett (1867-1920) as Mary Blenkarn, his daughter.] [She played Miss Mabel Chiltern in Oscar Wilde's An Ideal Husband at the Theatre Royal, Haymarket, London on the 3 January 1895]
Photograph The Right Hon. John Morley, Viscount Morley of Blackburn (1838 - 1923). Statesman and man of letters. Publications: Life of Cobden 1881, Oliver Cromwell 1900, Life of Gladstone 1903. Secretary for India (1905 - 10), Chancellor Manchester University 1908. Liberal, agnostic and individualist.
Photograph Signor Alfredo Carlo Piatti (1822 - 1901) Violoncellist and composer. Born at Bergamo. Appeared in London 1844 - 1896, died near Bergamo.
Photograph Sir Henry Frederick Ponsonby (1825 - 1895) Major-general, served in Crimea. Private Secretary to Queen Victoria 1870. Privy Councillor, 1880.
Photograph Mrs Humphry Ward (Mary Augusta Ward) (1851 - 1920). Novelist and Social Worker.
Photograph The Rev. Dr. Warre [?Edmond Warre (1837 - 1820). Headmaster of Eton.]

See also 100 plus sketches and photographs of Famous Victorians at Historical Portrait Sketches and Photographs

W. & D. Downey

Downey, William & Daniel - a brief history

Market Square, South Shields, 1855 - 1860 -
9, Eldon Square, Newcastle on Tyne c.1860 - 1879 -
61 Ebury Street, Pimlico S.W. [London] 1872-08-
51 Ebury Street S.W. 1879
57 Ebury Street S.W. 1880-90

Wiliam Downey was born in 1829 at King Street, South Shields, ( baptism 16th August 1829). While still quite young he set up a photographic business in the Market Square. Together with his brothers James and Daniel (baptism 2nd October 1831) he opened the first photographic studio in South Shields in 1855. The business was set up in a wooden building next to the old parsonage. The studio was so successful that eventually branches were opened in Blyth and Morpeth. [from an old Magazine article on the History of South Shields]

In Ward's Directory for South Shields 1859-60: the Market Place studio is listed, Mrs Christiana Downey lived at 13 Smithy Street with her son Daniel, William lived at 14 Barrington Street.

In 1862 Queen Victoria comissioned Downey to do a series of photographs illustrating the Hartley Colliery disaster. Soon after William and brother Daniel moved down to London.
In the 1860s (listed in the 1865 Directory) W. and D. Downey had a studio at 9 Eldon Square, Newcastle on Tyne. They were commissioned annually by Queen Victoria to photograph the visitors to the Balmoral estate.
Their carte de visite photograph of the Princess of Wales carrying her daughter on her back taken in 1867 it is said sold over 300,000 copies perhaps making it the most successful carte ever. They could claim to have photographed nearly every crowned head of Europe.
Although known for their photography of Royalty and celebrities they were, as the Photographic News (30 April 1880, pp.206-207) was quick to point out, happy to photograph anyone who would tender one guinea. This gave the subject one position and a dozen cartes.

The company occupied two modest houses in Ebury Street.
Number 61 had two studios and number 57 which had only recently been completed, had a glass house for photography.
Downey's printing was largely done in Newcastle where all their pictures for publication were mounted and finished.
One accessory employed by the firm (Photographic News 16 September 1881, p. 439) was a trapeze, which was mainly used for posing ladies.
Daniel Downey died in July 1881.

(information extracted from works by Michael Pritchard and Avril Lansdell) and additional research by Stephen Garbutt

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