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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne of Tauranga, New Zealand,
with contributions by David Simkin of Brighton, England
Alfred Seaman & Sons

of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton

This family firm was started by Alfred Seaman in Chesterfield in about 1881, but soon expanded into other Derbyshire towns such as Ilkeston and Alfreton.  With the help of at least seven of his nine sons, further studios were later opened in Yorkshire, Lancashire and Nottinghamshire in the 1890s and after the turn of the century.  Second son Albert Edward even had premises in Brighton for a few years, and the original Chesterfield business is still listed in current business directories.

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Alfred Seaman was born in early 1844 in the village of East Lexham on the Norfolk Broads, the son of a local brickmaker George Seaman, and his wife Maria.  Alfred married young and moved north to the town of Fakenham when he was 20, where his first son George Alfred was born in 1864.  His wife bore him another three sons over the next ten years, but died in the late 1870s.  In the interim, they had moved several times, first to Grimsby in Lincolnshire, subsequently to Worral and then Attercliffe both near Sheffield in Yorkshire.  The widowed Alfred then took his teenage sons to the village of Whittington in adjacent Derbyshire, where they lived in Station Road.  Alfred established his first photographic studio at nearby Chesterfield, in a wooden hut on the corner of Brewery Street and Tapton Lane, and by April 1881 his second son Albert had left school and was helping him in the shop.  The shop later moved to the shop at the top of the lane, opposite the Memorial Hall.

Alfred remarried in 1882. While his second wife Martha produced another five sons and a daughter over the next twelve years, the photographic business, too, was prospering.  Initially it was necessary for the eldest son George to go out to work as a bricklayer to supplement the family income, but by the mid-1880s, the photography business was booming, giving them enough confidence to set up another shop.

Image © & courtesy of Anne Williams
Portrait of Alfred Seaman (Image © & courtesy of Anne Williams)
Image courtesy of John Bradley The new premises were just around the corner from the Brewery Street shop, in the Market Hall (see left) at the end of Corporation Street, also in Chesterfield.  There is also evidence - from an early carte de visite (see below) probably from the early to mid-1880s - that Alfred Seaman had a studio in Burlington Street, although it was probably open for only a short period.  The Derbyshire Times of Saturday 29th May 1886 gave an fascinating account of A Tour of Mr. Seaman's Studio.
Image © & courtesy of Ordnance Survey
Map of the centre of Chesterfield (1883) showing locations mentioned in the text
Image © & courtesy of Ordnance Survey
It appears that the other three sons came into the business at this time; certainly by April 1891, Albert, George and Frederick were all listed in the census as photographers, with Albert probably in charge.  The cartes de visite that had been designed for the business since they first started stated on the reverse, beneath a design showing Chesterfield's characteristic parish church with the crooked spire, "Picture frames of every description made to order."  The third son Dennis described himself as a "carver and gilder", and it is likely that he was the one responsible for the manufacture of frames.
Image of a painting by and © of Andrew Summerfield entitled "Going Home", Courtesy of Anne Williams
"Going Home", an original watercolour by Andrew Summerfield, showing an electric tram on High Street (probably near Burlington Street?), Chesterfield, c. 1908, with a sign for "Seamans Photo Artists" hanging from lamp post to the left of the tram.  Courtesy of Anne Williams

Also in the mid-1880s, the family moved residence once again.  Alfred, Martha and the younger children went to live above the premises at 1 Corporation Street, within sight of the "crooked spire", while the four older brothers lived together in another house nearby at 49 Durrant Road.  Business-wise, they ventured further afield with a third shop, opening the Borough Studio at number 158a Bath Street in Ilkeston before 1887.  By 1891, this shop had moved to number 51a Bath Street - according to trade directories, although there is no evidence of any photographers in Bath Street on the 1891 Census.

Courtesy of Dave Johnson:  "In History of Ilkeston by Edwin Trueman and R. Westland Marston (publ. 1899) there is a photograph of Bath St, Ilkeston's main road, probably taken in the late 1890's - the original is perhaps with the Erewash Museum, based in Ilkeston.   The photo is taken looking up towards the top of Bath street, and in the bottom left hand corner (at right) is Seaman & Sons' studio.  Just above the large sign 'Seaman & Sons' on the roof of the building, reads 'The Borough Studio' and on the wall are the words 'Seaman & Sons Photographic Studio'.  The studio is therefore on the left or east side of Bath St, as you look up it, from north to south, and is opposite to Manners Road.  Pelham St, the later home of the Studio, is a little further up Bath St, and on the western side. Image courtesy of Dave Johnson

 
Image © & courtesy of Anne Williams
George, Albert, Dennis& F.J. "Joe" (back rt) Seaman
Image © Anne Williams & courtesy of John Bradley
In 1892 both Albert and George married in Chesterfield, two years later Dennis tied the knot, and four years after that in 1898 Frederick too was married, although at Basford in neighbouring Nottinghamshire.  The 1890s saw the greatest expansion of the Seaman photographic business.   Between 1895 and 1899 they had an additional shop in the High Street, Alfreton, as directory entries (Kelly) and a cabinet card (see below) testify.  They opened new studios at Fargate and 115 Pinstone Street in Sheffield, and Victoria Square in Leeds.  (The Leeds studio moved to 93 Briggate before 1910.)  By 1901, three of Alfred's sons by his second wife were in the business too, helping Albert to run the shops in Chesterfield, while the older sons had moved further afield.  George was living in Ilkeston, where the shop had moved to Pelham Street some time after 1899.

The 1901 Census shows Martha Seaman and her sons residing at the High Street studio premises, with her eldest son Alfred William, then 18, described as a photographer's assistant "working at home."  Her husband, however, was some distance away in Matlock Bath, where he was a patient at the premises of Smedley's Hydropathic Baths.

Image © Alan Donald Seaman & courtesy of Trevor Seaman

Inscribed on the reverse, "Grandpa" Seaman in his "Darique" 1904!
Image ©
Allan Douglas Seaman & courtesy of Trevor Seaman
 
Alfred Seaman with his stereoscopic photographic equipment
A self portrait taken in the mirror at Smedley's Hydro
Image © & courtesy of John Bradley
Image © & courtesy of John Bradley
There is some evidence that son Dennis Benjamin was involved in the Sheffield branch of the Seaman firm in the early 1900s, but set up his own independent studio in Liverpool after 1894.  Gore's Liverpool Directory of 1898 shows him at 99 Hanover Street, Liverpool, but by 1900 he had a studio at 75a Lime Street in the same town.  The 1901 Census shows Dennis living with his wife Eveline and daughter Violet at Empress Road, West Derby, Bootle, Liverpool, where he practised as a photographer.  The Lime Street studio remained open from 1900 until 1922.  By 1914, Dennis B. Seaman had opened another studio on The Promenade, in the small coastal town of Egremont in Cheshire.
 

Image © & courtesy of Anne Williams

Frederick Joseph (F J Seaman) was working from a new studio - not part of the Seaman & Sons chain - at 2 High Street, Hucknall (Torkard), north of Nottingham, at least as early as 1897, where he remained until 1903.  At the end of March 1901, he was living at the studio premises with his wife Bertha and three month-old baby Mabel, and described himself as a "photographer & picture frame maker".  Between 1909 and 1912, Frederick was operating a studio at Davygate, York, and by 1922 he was in Doncaster.

Frederick Joseph "Joe" Seaman,
taken during his stay in Nottingham

F.J. & BerthaBeatrice Seaman (standing),
with his brother and sister-in-law (seated)

Images of photographs kindly contributed by
F.J. Seaman's granddaughter Anne Williams


Image © & courtesy of Anne Williams

Image © & courtesy of Anne Williams (Left) F.J. Seaman with his wife Hilda, daughter Evie and the twins, Austin being on the left. Taken on 25 August 1935 to mark the twins' 21st birthday. Hilda died at the end of that year.

Another A Seaman & Sons studio was operating at 38a Westgate, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire in 1911.  Frederick Joseph Seaman had a studio in Irongate, Chesterfield in 1935, and was still operating c.1943.  F.J. Seaman's son Stanley ran the business in Ilkeston for a while before taking over the Chestefield premises upon his father's retirement.  Frederick Joseph Seaman died in 1953. (see text obituary below)

A reader has stated that the Seaman photographic business was open for business in the 1960s, and a "Seaman Studio" of 1 Ambleside Close, Chesterfield is still listed in a current business directory.
Image © & courtesy of Anne Williams
Obituary dated 2 April 1953:
The death occurred at his home, St. Margaret's Hotel, Torquay, on Thursday week, of a former well-known Chesterfield photographer, Mr. Frederick Joseph Seaman (79).  Up to the end of 1950 Mr. Seaman lived at 279 Old Hall Road, Chesterfield, and had carried on business in the town as a photographer for many years.
He was son of the late Mr. Alfred Seaman, who started business as a photographer in Corporation Street, Chesterfield, in the seventies.  After a period in his father's business he started out on his own account, and in 1897 he opened his first shop at Hucknall.  During his lifetime he opened 12 shops, located in several counties in the North of England and the Midlands.  After six years at Hucknall he moved to Hull, where he started a business and within a short period had branch establishments at York, Beverley and Scarborough.  In 1907 he went to Blackpool, where he carried on a photographer's business for 17 years, and for a short period before he came back to Chesterfield in 1926 he was in business at Doncaster.  In addition he had had businesses at Alfreton and Ilkeston.  The business he established at Scarborough was taken over by his brother, the late Mr. Alfred Seaman, and subsequently by Mr. A. Seaman's son.
The family business of Seaman & Sons had several addresses in Chesterfield, and on the death of its founder in 1911 it was situated on the site now occupied by Marks and Spencer's store.  Mr. F.J. Seaman took over the premises in Irongate when he came back to Chesterfield and carried on business there up to his retirement in 1950, when his son, Mr. Stanley Seaman, took over the business.
He was an old boy of Chesterfield Grammar School, and in his younger days was a member of the Chesterfield Golf Club.  Another of his interests was bowls and for more than 20 years he was a member of the Chesterfield Bowling Club, of which he was President in 1943.
He was twice married and his second wife died about 17 years ago.  He leaves two sons, Messrs. Stanley and Austin Seaman, of Chesterfield, and two daughters, Miss E. Seaman, with whom he lived at Torquay and who assisted her father in business at Chesterfield for many years, and Mrs. Blackmore, of St. Albans.
Cremation took place at Torquay on Saturday.

By 1907, Seaman & Sons had opened a branch in Brighton, Sussex, located at 75 Kings Road.  It was first listed in Towner's 1907 Directory and remained in directory listings until 1910.  In 1908 the proprietor was shown as A. E. Seaman.  The photograph at below left (© & courtesy of David Simkin) shows road repairs taking place on King's Road, immediately in front of Seaman & Sons' premises, and is dated 1909.  (From "Brighton in Retrospect", East Sussex County Library Local History Series 1974).  The undated 20th Century photo at below right (© & courtesy of Anne Williams) shows the Seaman premises at Market Hall, Chesterfield.
Image © & courtesy of David Simkin © & courtesy of Anne Williams

The following is an outline of the Seaman family as I have been able to determine it from census records and various other sources.  All those who had known participation in the photographic studio business at one time or another have been highlighted in bold text.  Additional information has also been kindly provided by Anne Williams.

George SEAMAN bapt. 3 Feb 1818 East Lexham NFK m: Maria BURTON bapt. 26 Dec 1815 East Lexham NFK (dau of John BURTON and Anne MIDDLETON)
|- John Burton SEAMAN b. 30 Aug 1839 East Lexham NFK d. 7 Jul 1879 m: Mary Ann GREEN
|- Eliza SEAMAN bapt. 24 Apr 1842 East Lexham NFK m: Henry EASTER/EASTOE
|- Alfred SEAMAN bapt. 11 Feb 1844 East Lexham NFK d. 6 Jul 1910 at 14 Carter Knowle Rd, Sheffield YKS
   m1: Elizabeth DENNIS b. 1844 Walsingham NFK d. 1874 Sheffield YKS
   |- George Alfred SEAMAN b. 1864 Fakenham NFK m: 1892 Chesterfield DBY Elizabeth SMITH
      |- Winifred SEAMAN b. c1896
   |- Albert Edward SEAMAN b. 1865 Grimsby LIN m: 1892 Chesterfield DBY Florence Ellen ELSE
      |- Mary SEAMAN b. c1894 Chesterfield DBY
      |- Albert SEAMAN b. c1896 Chesterfield DBY
      |- George SEAMAN b. c1899 Chesterfield DBY
   |- Dennis Benjamin SEAMAN b. c1870 Worral YKS m: 1894 Chesterfield DBY Eveline Constance Helen SHAW
      |- Violet Elsie SEAMAN b. 1894 Chesterfield DBY
   |- Frederick Joseph SEAMAN b. 1874 Attercliffe YKS d. 1953 St Margaret's Hotel, Torquay m1: 1898 Basford NTT Bertha Beatrice THORPE d. 1912  
      |- Mabel Maude SEAMAN b. 1900 Hucknall DBY m: BLACKMORE
      |- Evie Isobel SEAMAN b. 10 Dec 1905 Sculcoates (Hull) DBY
      m2: 1913 Hilda Blanche Bailey Jackson b. 20 Feb 1889
      |- Austin SEAMAN
         |-  Patricia Anne SEAMAN m. Ross M. WILLIAMS
      |- Stanley SEAMAN
         |-  Margaret SEAMAN m: Glyn SPEED
         |-  Jennifer SEAMAN
  m2: 1876 Mary BABBS d. bef Apr 1881 Whittington DBY
  m3: 1882 Chesterfield Martha Ann ELSE
   |- Alfred William SEAMAN b. 1883 Chesterfield DBY
   |- Herbert O SEAMAN b. c1884 Chesterfield DBY
  |- Harold J SEAMAN b. c1886 Chesterfield DBY
   |- Frank R SEAMAN b. c1888 Chesterfield DBY
   |- Bertha Maria SEAMAN b. 1890 Chesterfield DBY
   |- Ernest Douglas SEAMAN b. 1894 Chesterfield DBY
|- Edward SEAMAN bapt. 7 Feb 1845 East Lexham NFK m: Susannah
|- Joseph SEAMAN bapt. 26 Jun 1847 East Lexham NFK d. 20 Jan 1848 East Lexham NFK
|- Elizabeth Ann SEAMAN bapt. 6 May 1849 East Lexham NFK m: John WARNES
|- Elinor Mary SEAMAN bapt. 1 Jun 1851 d. 15 Aug 1859
|- Joseph Ellis SEAMAN bapt. 4 Jul 1854 m: Letitia Elira SKIPPON/SKIPPER
   |- Arthur SEAMAN b. 1877
   |- Emmeline SEAMAN b. 1879 m: George BASTON
   |- Louis SEAMAN b. 1886

Portfolio
Image © & courtesy of Frank Dunn Mary Ellen Mountney (b. 23 Dec 1870 d. 27 May 1943),
by A. Seaman of Whittington Moor, near Chesterfield
Undated, but probably taken c. 1876

Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Frank Dunn

Notes by FD: Mary Ellen was born at New Mills, Derbyshire, died in Manchester, and was buried at New Elton. She married Richard Dale of Painters Way, Winster.

Image © & courtesy of Frank Dunn

Image © & courtesy of Roberta Carlson Mrs Beadle and her children, Sarah, Elizabeth, Jim & ?
by A. Seaman of Brewery Road, Chesterfield

Undated, but probably taken c. 1880-1881
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Roberta Carlson

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Roberta Carlson

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified
by A. Seaman of Brewery Road, Chesterfield

Undated, but probably taken c. 1880-1881
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified man
by A. Seaman of Brewery Road, Chesterfield

Undated, but probably taken c. 1880-1881
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Michael Patterson Martha Blake (1822-1894)
by A. Seaman of Brewery Road, Chesterfield

Undated, but probably taken c. 1878-1882
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Michael Patterson

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Michael Patterson

Image © & courtesy of Jeanne Fox Elizabeth Fox née Green (b. 12 April 1846), by A. Seaman of Brewery Street, Chesterfield,
date unknown but probably about 1880
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Jeanne Fox

Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © & courtesy of Jeanne Fox

Reverse of photo by A. Seaman of Chesterfield,
date unknown (probably early 1880s)
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Christine Hibbert

Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © & courtesy of Christine Hibbert

Image © & courtesy of John Palmer Unidentified gentleman
by A. Seaman of Chesterfield,
Date unknown (probably early 1880s)
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: 105 x 63 mm (mount)

Image © & courtesy of John Palmer

Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © & courtesy of John Palmer

Image © & courtesy of Michael Patterson Possibly Martha Blake (1822-1894)
by A. Seaman of Brewery Road, Chesterfield

Undated, but probably taken c. 1881-1885
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Michael Patterson

Notes: Martha Blake wife of George Blake, potter. The whole family moved from the Chesterfield area to Eccleston near Prescot, Lancashire by c. 1858. Martha was born in 1822 at Brampton. She had 7 children, the youngest being my paternal grandmother. Martha's eldest son, William Vincent Blake emigrated to the USA in 1873, and became a celebrated potter in East Liverpool, Ohio before progressing to the post of Ohio state senator in 1897. Martha died, aged 72, on 13 Feb 1894 in Prescot and is buried in Prescot cemetery.
Image © & courtesy of Michael Patterson

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified couple
by A. Seaman of Brewery St. & Burlington Street, Chesterfield
Date unknown
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Notes:

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin Unidentified young man
by A. Seaman of Brewery St. & Burlington Street, Chesterfield
Undated, but probably taken c. 1881-1886
Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount 108 x 165 mm Photo 100.5 x 148 mm

Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin

Image © & courtesy of Martin Jackson Unidentified woman, probably in her 20s or 30s
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield & Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken c. 1887-1890
Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Martin Jackson


Nothing further is known about this photo

Image © & courtesy of Jane James George Flint (b. c. 1885),
by A. Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Undated, but probably taken at their Ilkeston studio in the mid-1890s

Format: Cabinet Card
Size: 102 x 147 mm, but cut down from original

Image © & courtesy of Jane James

Notes by Jane James: This photo is believed to be of George Flint, who was born in about 1885. He married Gertrude Hartshorn (born 24 April 1887) at West Hallam, Derbyshire on 18 Aug 1906.

Image © & courtesy of Jane James

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean Unidentified elderly woman
by A. Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1880s

Format: Cabinet Card
Size: 100 x 146 mm

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean

Nothing further is known about this photograph.

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean

Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin Unidentified older man
by A. Seaman of Chesterfield & Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken c. 1887-1892
Format: Carte de visite
Size: Mount 63.5 x 104.5 mm Photo 60.5 x 91 mm

Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin

Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin Unidentified young man
by A. Seaman of Chesterfield & Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken c. 1887-1892
Format: Carte de visite
Size: Mount 63.5 x 104.5 mm Photo 59.5 x 91 mm

Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Nigel Aspdin

Image © & courtesy of Joy Hungerford William Waring (1834-aft 1901) and Mary née Peak (1845-1926)
by A. Seaman & Sons of High Street, Chesterfield
Undated, but taken between 1895 and 1899.

Format: Cabinet card

Image © & courtesy of Joy Hungerford

This firm moved from Corporation Street to the High Street in Chesterfield between 1895 and 1899, and from Bath Street to Pelham Street in Ilkeston between 1899 and 1912.

Image © & courtesy of Joy Hungerford

Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson Sam Platt,
by A. Seaman & Sons of High Street, Chesterfield,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card

Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson

Notes from Graham Robinson: I have no other details on Sam Platt other than that he was my grandfather Gilbert Robinson's best man at his wedding in Manchester on 7 February 1903.

Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson

Image © & courtesy of Jane James Unidentified couple
by A. Seaman & Sons of High Street, Chesterfield
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Cabinet Card
Size: (photo) 99 x 138 mm (mount) 107 x 165 mm

Image © & courtesy of Jane James

Notes by JJ: Probably members of the Hartshorn or Flint families.

Image © & courtesy of Jane James

Image © & courtesy of Jeanne Fox Unidentified couple, taken by A. Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, date unknown
Format: Cabinet Card
Image © & courtesy of Jeanne Fox

Image © & courtesy of Jeanne Fox

Nothing further is known about this photo

Image © & courtesy of Jeanne Fox

Image © & courtesy of Jeanne Fox

Image © & courtesy of Jane James Unidentified gentleman and ladies
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card
Size: (photo) 104 x 147 mm (mount) 109 x 165 mm

Image © & courtesy of Jane James

Notes by JJ: Probably members of the Hartshorn or Flint families.


Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne
Unidentified family group
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card, dark green mount with bevelled gilt edges and plain back
Size: Mount 109 x 165 mm Photo 102 x 142 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:


Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Two unidentified children
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card, dark green mount with bevelled gilt edges and plain back

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Notes:

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified boy and girl
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1890s

Format: Carte de visite, dark green mount with bevelled gilt edges and plain back
Size: Mount 62.5 x 104 mm Photo 58 x 88.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne


Notes:
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Kim Carleton
Image © & courtesy of Kim nCarleton
Unidentified couple, by A. Seaman & Sons of High Street, Chesterfield
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Cabinet Card  Size: (photo) 99 x 138 mm (mount) 107 x 165 mm

Image © & courtesy of Kimberly Carleton
Notes by KC: I purchased this photo at a garage sale in the Kansas City, Missouri area, so I don't know the subjects.  The back has some faint pencil writing that I think says "Frank Wood".  It looks to be around the turn of the century, but not sure.  Did this photographer ever work in the USA or is this pic from the UK?  And why wouldn't these people be standing next to each other, I thought that was strange how spread out they were? 
Notes by BP: I would guess from the style of the mount that the photograph was produced, as you have suggested, at around the turn of the century.  The style of the house looks to me one more akin to North America than late Victorian Derbyshire.  However, I have no evidence that any members of the extensive Seaman family spent any time in North America, and have seen no other examples of photographs taken by them outside England.  I wonder if perhaps the photograph was originally taken somewhere in North America, sent to relatives back home in Derbyshire, and then copied by Seaman & Sons?  The more I think about it, the less I can imagine this building being in Derbyshire, England, and the more convinced I am that it is in North America.  The style of photo, with the people spread out like that, although not as common as more formal studio portraits, could, I believe, have been intended by the photographer to give more of an impression of the lifestyle of the recently arrived immigrant family to their kinfolk back home in England.  Although the subjects are nominally the four people, in the usual stiff, unsmiling poses common to both indoor studio portraits and outdoor poses, the photographic artist, as he would no doubt have styled himself, is trying to convey a much "bigger picture".  The saw and horse, pile of freshly sawn logs, wagon or cart pulled by two large horses in full harness, the rough wooden fences in the background, and last but not least the big, solid, two-storey house would perhaps tell a story to their relatives at home, of hard work and just reward for their efforts.  Judging by the lack of leaves on the trees I would guess this is late autumn or winter.  I note that there are no children shown in the photo, perhaps of no relevance, but worth mentioning anyway.

Image © & courtesy of Jane James Unidentified family
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card
Size: (photo) 103 x 150 mm (mount) 105 x 165 mm

Image © & courtesy of Jane James

Notes by JJ: Probably members of the Hartshorn or Flint families.


Image © & courtesy of Roger Vaughan Unidentified teenage boy,
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898

Format: Carte de visite

Image © & courtesy of Roger Vaughan

Nothing further is known about this photo


Image © & courtesy of Carol Standish
William Gregory (b. 1828 West Hallam) and unidentified child
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1860s, and copied by Seaman & Sons in the late 1890s

Format: Carte de visite

Image © & courtesy of Carol Standish

Nothing further is known about this photo


Image © & courtesy of Roger Vaughan Unidentified young man,
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898

Format: Carte de visite

Image © & courtesy of Roger Vaughan

Nothing further is known about this photo


Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified family group
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield & Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card, dark green card mount with bevelled gilt edges & plain back
Size: Mount 165.5 x 106.5 mm Photo 140 x 99 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Nothing further is known about this photo


Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified young woman with gloves and hat
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield & Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format:
Carte de visite, black card mount with bevelled gilt edges & plain back
Size: Mount 62.5 x 104.5 mm Photo 59.5 x 90.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Nothing further is known about this photo


Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified young woman with hat
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield & Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format:
Carte de visite, black card mount with bevelled gilt edges & plain back
Size: Mount 62 x 103 mm Photo 59.5 x 91 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Nothing further is known about this photo


Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified boy
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield & Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format:
Carte de visite, black card mount with bevelled gilt edges & plain back
Size: Mount 63 x 105.5 mm Photo 60 x 91 mm Cameo 53.5 x 80 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:  This print was produced from the negative of a larger, group photograph, as the other group members can be seen behind and the the left of the young lad.

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified woman
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield & Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Carte de visite
, dark brown card mount with bevelled gilt edges & plain back
Size: Mount 63 x 104.5 mm Photo 59.5 x 90.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Nothing further is known about this photo


Image © & courtesy of Kerrie Brailsford
Possibly Emma Stoppard (1862-1939)
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Carte de visite
, dark green card mount with bevelled gilt edges & plain back

Image © & courtesy of Kerrie Brailsford

Nothing further is known about this photo


Image © & courtesy of Martin Jackson Unidentified woman, probably in her late 20s or 30s
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield & Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898-1902
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Martin Jackson

Nothing further is known about this photo

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean Unidentified young woman
by Seaman & Sons
Undated

Format: Carte de visite
Size: 58 x 93 mm

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean

Notes by BP: Examination of the mount of this photograph suggests that it was produced some time in the mid-1890s.  However, the style of the portrait and, in particular, the woman's clothing, indicate that it was a copy, reproduced from a much earlier image taken, perhaps, in the late 1870s or early 1880s.


Image © & courtesy of Carol Foss
Image © & courtesy of Carol Foss
Samuel Seaman (1822-1899) and his wife Mary Seaman née Dack (1822-1914),
taken outside their home, Clock House, in East Lexham, Norfolk,
by A. Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield,
probably in late Summer or early Autumn 1899
Size: Photograph 135mm x 100mm, Mount 166mm x 108mm
Format: Cabinet Card
Image © & courtesy of Carol Foss
Image © & courtesy of Carol Foss

Notes by Carol Foss: Samuel Seaman was born at East Lexham, Norfolk on 18 April 1822 and died at East Lexham on 24 December 1899.  Mary Seaman née Dack was born at East Lexham on 10 February 1824 and died at Newton on 5 October 1914.  Alfred Seaman, the photographer, was the son of Samuel's brother George Seaman.


Image © & courtesy of David Simkin Unknown subject, taken by A. Seaman & Sons, c. 1900
Format: Carte de visite

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

Nothing further is known about this photograph.

Image © & courtesy of Davis Simkin

Image © & courtesy of John Palmer Lucy Doxey, aged 2
by A. Seaman & Sons
taken c. 1902
Format: Cabinet card

Image © & courtesy of John Palmer

Nothing further is known about this photograph.

Image © & courtesy of John Palmer

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne
Unidentifed young child
by Seaman & Sons
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1900s
Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount 105.5 x 165 mm Photo 97.5 x 139 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Nothing further is known about this photograph.

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Dave Johnson John (Jack) Richards (c.1857-1938), taken by A. Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, date unknown
Format: unknown

Image © Dorothy Haywood & courtesy of Dave Johnson

Nothing further is known about this photo

Image © & courtesy of Dave Johnson

Image © & courtesy of Carol Foss Image © & courtesy of Carol Foss
Seaman family group,
by A. Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield,
taken at Clock House, East Lexham, Norfolk,
date unknown, but before October 1914
Size: Photo 88mm x 57mm; Card mount 106mm x 64mm
Format: Carte de visite

Image © Copyright & courtesy of Carol Foss

Notes from Carol Foss:  The people in the photo are, from left to right: William Seaman, born at East Lexham on 25 July 1846 (eldest son of Mary Dack and Samuel Seaman and first cousin to Alfred Seaman), died on 11 February 1917, at buried at East Lexham churchyard; Mary Dack Seaman, born at East Lexham on 18 April 1822 and died at Newton on 5 October 1914; Lilly, a granddaughter of Mary Dack Seaman; a young girl identified only as a grandchild of Alfred Seaman; Alfred Seaman, the photographer, baptized at East Lexham on 11 February 1844.  The picture appears to have been taken in front of Clock House, East Lexham before Mary Dack Seaman's death in October 1914.  The photograph was handed down in my family and has been in my possession since 1998.


Image © & courtesy of Samantha Smith Unknown child standing on chair,
by Seaman of Chesterfield,
Date unknown
Format: Cabinet card

Image © & courtesy of Samantha Smith

Nothing further is known about this photo


Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter Two little girls in white,
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Ilkeston & Alfreton
Date unknown
Format: Cabinet card
Size: 147 x 113 mm (photo), 167 x 107 mm (mount)
Mount is glossy black card with bevelled gold edges and embossed gold lettering

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Nothing further is known about this photo.


Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean Joseph Charles Wileman (1868-1953) at left
and Mary Wileman née Fisher (1870-1941) at right
by Seaman & Sons
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1890s

Format: Cabinet Card
Size: 107 x 166 mm

Images © & courtesy of Caroline Dean

Nothing further is known about these photographs.

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentifed policeman
by Seaman & Sons
Undated, but probably copied in the early 1900s from a photograph originally taken in the 1870s
Format: Large print mounted on embossed card backing

Image © & collection of Brett Payne


Notes:
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean Unidentified young woman, possibly Mary Fisher
by A. Seaman & Sons
Undated, but probably taken in the early-1900s

Format: Carte de visite
Size: 58 x 93 mm

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean

Nothing further is known about this photograph.

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean Unidentified couple, possibly Joseph & Mary Fisher
by A. Seaman & Sons of Pelham St, Ilkeston
Undated, but probably taken in the early-1900s

Format: Cabinet Card
Size: 100 x 146 mm

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean

Nothing further is known about this photograph.

Image © & courtesy of Caroline Dean

Image © & courtesy of Rosemary Lockie
Unidentified elderly man
by A. Seaman & Sons of Bank Road, Matlock
Undated, but probably taken in the early-1900s

Format: Cabinet Card
Size: 100 x 146 mm

Image © & courtesy of Rosemary Lockie

Notes:  Inscribed on the reverse, "(THOMAS or HENRY) GORDON".

Image © & courtesy of Rosemary Lockie

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young woman, dressed as a nurse
by A. Seaman & Sons of Victoria Square, Leeds (& Chesterfield, Ilkeston, Sheffield & Matlock)
Undated, but probably taken in the early-1900s

Format: Carte de visite
Size: Mount 63.5 x 106 mm Photo 55.5 x 90.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Robin Turton Maria Turton née Roe (1850-c1910)
by Seaman & Sons of Pelham St, Ilkeston (& Chesterfield, Sheffield & Leeds)
Undated, but probably taken about 1903-1906

Format: Cabinet Card
Size: Mount 107 x 165 mm Photo 97 x 144 mm

Image © & courtesy of Robin Turton

Nothing further is known about this photograph.

Image © & courtesy of Robin Turton

Image © & courtesy of John Fearson Unidentified young woman
by Seaman & Sons of High Street, Chesterfield (& Ilkeston, Sheffield & Leeds)
Undated, but probably taken about 1903-1905

Format: Cabinet Card
Size: Mount 106.5 x 167 mm Photo 97 x 146.5 mm

Image © & courtesy of John Fearson


Notes:  Possibly Ennis Jane Wragg, or a sister
Image © & courtesy of John Fearson

Image © & courtesy of Dave Taylor John Havenhand Thompson (1908-1963),
by Seaman & Sons, of Chesterfield, Brighton, Ilkeston, Sheffield & Leeds,
taken c. 1908-1909
Size: 6.25” x 4.2” (159mm x 107mm)
Format: Cabinet Card

Images © & courtesy of Dave Taylor

Notes: John Havenhand Thompson was born on 7 February 1908 at Eckington, Derbyshire, and died on 14 January 1963 also at Eckington. (see photo below, taken in 1913)

Image © & courtesy of Dave Taylor

Images © & courtesy of Brett Payne
Unifdentified woman
by Seaman & Sons, of Chesterfield and Brighton
taken c. 1908-1909
Format: Cabinet Card
Size: Mount 106 x 165.5 mm Photo 93.5 x 140 mm

Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Nothing further is known about this photograph.

Images © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Jack Tanis Unidentified young man
by Seaman & Sons of Chesterfield, Brighton, Ilkeston, Sheffield & Leeds
Undated, but possibly taken between 1907-1910

Format: unknown

Images © & courtesy of Jack Tanis

Nothing further is known about this photo

Image © & courtesy of Jack Tanis

Images © & courtesy of Lies Ligthart Unidentified child
by F.J. Seaman & Sons of Hucknall Torkard & Heanor
Undated, but possibly taken between 1900 and 1903

Format: Cabinet card

Images © & courtesy of Lies Ligthart

Notes:

Image © & courtesy of Di Bakel Image © & courtesy of Di Bakel
Wells Family Group, taken by A. Seaman & Sons
Franked by the post office on the reverse, "Sheffield - 27 Aug 1908", and probably taken in that year

Format: Post Card;  Size: 137.8 x 84.3 mm

Image © & courtesy of Di Bakel

Notes: Can't imagine why it is in such a poor state - perhaps someone didn't like their picture!  Anyway, the boy on the grass at the front is my father, William George Paul Wells, born 1903 in Sheffield.  Next to him on his right is his sister Dorothy born 1899.  My grandparents George and Emma Wells are on the back row (9 and 10 from the left).  Haven't a clue what the occasion was or where it was taken but it must have been somewhere in Sheffield.

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin Unknown subjects, taken by Seaman & Sons of 75 Kings Road, Brighton, Sussex, c. 1908
Format: Post Card

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

Blind stamped at bottom right with studio name and address.  Nothing further is known about this photo.


Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young woman
by A. Seaman & Sons of Sheffield, Leeds & Matlock
Undated, but probably taken c. 1906-1910

Format: Other
Size: Mount 38 x 53 mm Photo 27 x 35.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne


Notes:

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin Unidentified woman and child
by Seaman & Sons of 75 Kings Road, Brighton, Sussex
Undated, but probably taken c. 1908

Format: Post Card

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

Blind stamped at bottom right with studio name and address.  Nothing further is known about this photo.


Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified young boy
by H.J. Seaman & Sons of 17a, Lynn Street, West Hartlepool and 7, Central Buildings, Stockton
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1900s

Format: Miniature print in rectangular mount, with Christmas theme  coloured printing and card stand flap on reverse

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified girl
by H.J. Seaman & Sons of 17a, Lynn Street, West Hartlepool and 7, Central Buildings, Stockton
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1900s

Format: Miniature print in clover-shaped mount, with card stand flap on the reverse

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified girl
by A. Seaman & Sons of Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle-on-Tyne
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1900s

Format: Miniature print in rectangular mount, with card stand flap on the reverse

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin Unidentified subject, taken by Seaman & Sons of 184 Western Road, Brighton, Sussex, c. 1910

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

Notes: Written in pencil on the reverse is "Fanny" and, in a different hand, "When I was Nursing".


Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified woman
by Seaman, 84 Briggate, Leeds
Undated, but probably taken c. 1905-1915

Format: Postcard
Size: 89.5 x 138.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne


Notes:
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Roger Vaughan Unknown subject, taken by A. Seaman & Sons of 115 Pinstone Street, Sheffield, Yorkshire (also 38a Westgate, Mansfield, Nottinghamshire), possibly 12 March 1911
Format: Post Card

Image © & courtesy of Roger Vaughan

"12.3.11" is written on the reverse, which could be interpreted as the date the photo was taken.  The lady's clothes certainly appear to be from that era.


Image © & courtesy of Dave Taylor John Havenhand Thompson (1908-1963), by Seaman & Sons,
of Chesterfield, Brighton, Ilkeston, Sheffield & Leeds, taken c. December 1913
Size: 5.36” x 3.42” (136mm x 87mm)
Format: Postcard

Images © & courtesy of Dave Taylor

Notes: John Havenhand Thompson was born on 7 February 1908 at Eckington, Derbyshire, and died on 14 January 1963 also at Eckington.  The writing on the reverse of the postcard shows it was given to either his maternal grandmother Ann (Havenhand) Plant or his paternal grandmother Pamela Thompson, who would both have been in their mid to late 70’s at the time.

Image © & courtesy of Dave Taylor

Images © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young girl
by F.J. Seaman of Doncaster
Date stamped "7 Dec 19..?" on the reverse, probably taken in the early 1910s

Format: Postcard, blind stamped at bottom right
Size: 87.5 x 138 mm

Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes: Inscribed "To Aunty Jenny with love from Rita" on the reverse.

Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Images © & courtesy of Phil Gregory
Frank Tomlinson
by Seaman & Sons
Undated, but probably taken c. 1914-1918

Format: unknown

Images © & courtesy of Phil Gregory - visit Phil's Tideswell Man blog site

Notes:


Images © & courtesy of Kerrie Brailsford
Alfred Brailsford (1902-1980)
by Seaman & Sons
Dated on the reverse, 5 December 1926

Format: Post card

Images © & courtesy of Kerrie Brailsford

Notes:  Blind stamped in the bottom right corner, "Seaman Chesterfield"

Images © & courtesy of Kerrie Brailsford

Image © & courtesy of Dave Taylor Image © & courtesy of Dave Taylor
Norah Thompson née Farrow (1913-1991) and John Havenhand Thompson (1908-1963),
by Seaman & Sons, of 115 Pinstone Street, Sheffield,
taken 2 November 1936, on the occasion of their first wedding anniversary
Size: 5.45” x 3.4” (138mm x 86mm)  Format: Postcard

Images © & courtesy of Dave Taylor


References
Images provided by John Frearson, Nigel Aspdin, Lies Ligthart, Michael Patterson, Roberta Carlson, Di Bakel, Brett Payne, Kerrie Brailsford, Phil Gregory, Rosemary Lockie, Carol Standish, Trevor Seaman, Kimberly Carleton, Robin Turton, Caroline Dean, Martin Jackson, Frank Dunn, Anne Williams, John Palmer, Denis Potter, John Bradley, Dave Taylor, Samantha Smith, David Simkin, Jeanne Fox, Jack Tanis, Roger Vaughan, Dorothy Haywood, Dave Johnson, Christine Hibbert and Joy Hungerford
Background information also contributed by John Bradley, Anne Williams, Carol Foss and David Simkin
1881 UK Census - online from the LDS church
1891 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
1901 UK Census index - online from the PRO
FreeBMD
Ordnance Survey Old Maps site
North East Midland Photographic Record - Picture the Past
Anon (1881) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co., London.
Anon (1887) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co., London.
Anon (1891) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Nottinghamshire, Kelly & Co., London. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
Anon (1895) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London.
Anon (1895) History, Topography, and Directory of Derbyshire, T. Bulmer & Co. - by kind courtesy of Sonia Addis-Smith
Anon (1912) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire 1912, Kelly's Directories Ltd., London.
Anon (1917) Chesterfield Year Book & Directory for 1917, Printed by The Derbyshire Courier, Chesterfield, Dec 1916 - by kind courtesy of Rita Effnert
Anon (1932) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire 1932, Kelly's Directories Ltd., London.
Professional Photographers in York 1844-1913, by Keith Adamson, publ. by the RPS (1985), Courtesy of David Simkin
Pioneers of Photography in Nottinghamshire, by Bernard & Pauline Heathcote, Courtesy of David Simkin
Matlock & Matlock Bath - by Ann Andrews
Liverpool Photographers

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