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Brett Payne's Victorian & Edwardian
Portrait Photo
Cardstock designs, arranged in approximate date order
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::::: Photographers' Profiles :::::
Type I (green), TSR motif with 5 fonts, 2 studios, probably used in the late 1860s © Brett Payne

Trade Directory entries

Kelly's Directory of Bedfordshire (1890)
- Reeves Alfred, straw hat manufacturer, 21 Hastings street, Luton


Historical Directories from the University of Leicester

Indexed 1861- 1901 Census Images from

1881 Census Transcript & International Genealogical Index (IGI) from the LDS Church's web site FamilySearch

Directory of London Photographers 1841-1908 by Michael Pritchard

Partial Transcript of the GRO Index from FreeBMD

Photographers in Devon 1842-1939 : a brief directory for photograph collectors, by C.G. Scott, 1985, The PhotoHistorian Supplement No. 101, ISSN 0957-0209


Brett Payne's Victorian & Edwardian Photo Collection Index to Photographic Artists Index to People identified in the Photographs
Thomas Saunders Reeves (c1816-c1889) of Exeter, Plymouth & London, and
Alfred Reeves (c1835-) of Plymouth & Luton

Thomas Saunders Reeves was born c. 1816 at Taunton in Somerset.  He married his wife Jane in the early to mid-1850s, and together they had at least three daughters.

Thomas Saunders REEVES b. c.1816 Taunton SOM m: Jane b. c.1823 Whitby YKS
|- Jane REEVES b. c.1856 Greenwich LON
|- Mary REEVES b. c.1857 Greenwich LON
|- Florence REEVES b. c.1866 Plymouth DEV

Thomas was probably related - possibly a brother - to Alfred Reeves who was also born in Taunton, but c. 1835.  Alfred married Emma Pavey at St. Pancras, London in 1866, after which they settled in Plymouth and had one son William, born c. 1867.

Alfred REEVES b. c.1835 Taunton SOM m: 1866 St Pancras LON Emma PAVEY b. c.1843 Exeter/Plymouth DEV
|- William REEVES b. c.1867 Plymouth DEV

Thomas Reeves appears to have started off his career as a photographer in London, and had a studio at 498 Oxford Street from 1854 to 1856, when they were living in Greenwich.  Some time in the late 1850s they moved to Plymouth, so that by the census in April 1861 they were living at 4 Queen Ann Battery, Charles, Plymouth.  Thomas is described as a "photographist" but the first mention of a studio in Plymouth is at 17 Bedford Street in 1862 (Scott, 1985).  He seems to have remained there until 1867, during which time Alfred Reeves possibly worked for him.  Scott shows Alfred to have been awarded a "prize medal" in 1862, and from a later listing (1873) appears to have taken over the studio from Thomas.

Thomas S. Reeves then moved to Exeter probably in late 1867, where he opened premises at 262 (later 260) High Street.  A carte-de-visite dated 1867 is included below.  Scott (1985) describes him also as a "medical galvanist & analytical chemist."  However, this studio was relatively short-lived, appearing in trade directories only until 1871, and by April of that year the family were back in London, living at 125 Camden Street, St Pancras. 
Their daughter Mary Reeves (c1857-), then aged 13, was shown in the census working as an assistant in the studio.  Trade directories demonstrate that he operated a studio at 101A Park St, Camden Town, London, NW from 1872 until 1881.  By the latter date Thomas - now a widower, his wife having died in 1875 - was living with his youngest daughter at 167 Pancras Rd, St Pancras, London, and had taken on the additional trade of "tobacconist".  Thomas Reeves himself probably died in the 1880s - possibly in 1889 - since no further sightings of him have been found after 1881.

Alfred Reeves, on the other hand, moved to Luton in Bedfordshire between 1873 and 1881, where they lived at 15 Ebeneezer Street.  He practised as a photographer for some time, as was shown in that profession in the census of April 1881, but it is not known whether he operated his own studio.  By 1890 he was no longer a photographer, and had set up in business as a straw hat maker at 21 Hastings Street, which he continued until at least 1901.

If you have any further information about the various members of the Reeves family and Thomas Reeves's studio, or if you have any photographs by him, please email me.  I welcome contributions of images to increase the variety of coverage on this site.  If you are able to identify or confirm the indentification of any of the subjects of the photographs shown below, I would also be very keen to hear from you.

Click on an image to see a larger version, or on the  to see the reverse of the photo
© Brett Payne

ID #: tsreeves01
Provenance: Exeter Album Collection of Brett Payne

Artist: Thomas S. Reeves, 262 High St, Exeter & 17 Bedford St, Plymouth
Negative No. 985
Size: CDV Mount 62 x 102.5 mm; Photo 56 x 90 mm

Card Type: Type I (green), "TSR" motif with 5 fonts, 2 studios.
Date: 1867
Notes: Thin card. Square corners.  Inscribed on the reverse "1867".
Subject: Unidentified young woman, probably in her late teens.  Full length standing portrait.

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