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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
Barrowclough Wright Bentley (c1829-1886)

of Buxton & Manchester

Barrowclough Wright Bentley was one of the early pioneers of photography in Derbyshire, opening his daguerrotype studio in Buxton in 1853.  Bentley also operated a studio in Manchester from 1861 until at least 1874.  He remained in business until his death in 1886, after which his wife carried on with the Buxton studio for another five years.

Go straight to Portfolio


Barrowclough (sometimes written incorrectly as Barraclough) Wright Bentley was born around 1829 in Accrington, Lancashire, the son of Richard Bentley, a bootmaker.

Between November 1851 and March 1852, Bentley was making daguerreotype portraits in Stockport, Cheshire.  By July the following year, Bentley had settled in Derbyshire and established what became the first permanent studio in Buxton, at Market Place [Buxton Herald, 23 July 1853 , page 2 col. 2 ].  His trade directory entries first appeared in 1854, but later advertisements claimed that he had started in 1850.  Adamson (1997) states, "In the absence of other contenders this would make him the third photographer in Derbyshire and the first to establish a permanent studio."

A daguerreotype submitted by Derek Smith (see below) has been identified as being of John Lomas of Bakewell, who died on 26 June 1853.  Family members state that prior to being damaged successively by damp and in a robbery, the date of 1851 was legible on the book being held by the subject, and they believe that the photo was taken at that time.  If this is the case, then this may be one of the earliest surviving photographs taken in Derbyshire.

In about 1856 Bentley moved his studio to number 6 The Quadrant in Buxton.  B.W. Bentley had a branch studio at the Royal Exchange Arcade in Manchester from around 1861 to1865, and moved these operations to 4(a) St. Anne's Square before 1868.  The branch studio in St Ann's Square remained in business from 1868 until at least 1874.  In 1865, Bentley, together with an associate William H. Bailey, filed a patent for finishing and embossing photographs.

On 31 July 1869, Bentley married Emma Hadfield (born c1839 in Manchester), with whom he had three sons and two daughters, although two sons died in infancy.  Robert Hadfield Bentley (1872-1902) died as a young man, and did not marry.

B.W. Bentley opened additional premises at 4 Eagle Parade in Buxton by 1870 (Harrod), although they appear to have closed by 1881.  He was working from the studio at The Quadrant until his death on 24th June 1886.  His wife continued the business, with her elder daughter Mary working as an assistant, until she died in about May 1891.

A photo of buildings in Buxton by J.D. Board & B.W. Bentley, dated c. 1880, is included on the Picture the Past - North east Midland Photographic Record web site.  On the same site is a photo by Bentley, dated at "pre-1875", of Terrace Road, Buxton.  Another photo inscribed "The Opening of the Partington Convalescent Home" is dated fairly dubiously at 1908.


Portfolio
Image © & courtesy of Derek Smith
John Lomas of Bakewell (b. 26 February 1797 Derby d. 26 June 1853 Bakewell)
tentatively attributed to B.W. Bentley of Buxton,
taken prior to 26 Jun 1853, and possibly in 1851

Format: Daguerreotype
Plain back

Image © & courtesy of Derek Smith

Notes by DS: John Lomas was born in Derby, son of Robert Lomas (stage coach driver) and Elizabeth Hilton. He was apprenticed in Derby as a marble mason and moved to Bakewell in 1815, after the death of his mother. A year later he married Elizabeth Smith of Over Haddon and set up his own marble business - first in Ashford and later in Bakewell, with the marble works on the river Wye - probably with the aid of a dowry from his father-in-law William Smith. Several sons later took over the business, flourishing until about 1889, when they diversified into being coal merchants. There are few items of marble attributable to John Lomas as most only had a paper label, which didn't last very long. However he won medals for inlaid marble fireplaces in the 1851 exhibition, and some of his memorial plaques still survive in Bakewell church.


Image © & courtesy of David Simkin Two unidentified men (father & son?) standing by a stile in a studio setting
by B.W. Bentley of Buxton & Exchange Arcade, Manchester
Undated, but probably taken c. 1862

Format: Carte de Visite
Plain back

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.


Image © & courtesy of David Simkin Unidentified woman, wearing a summer mantle,
by B.W. Bentley of Buxton & Exchange Arcade, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1862
Format: Carte de Visite
Plain back

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.


Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified woman with young child
by B.W. Bentley of Buxton & Exchange Arcade, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1862
Format: Carte de Visite with plain back
Size: Mount 64 x 101 mm Photo 58.5 x 90 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

No further information available.


Image © & courtesy of Beatrice Potter
James Ashton (1809-1866)
by B.W. Bentley of Buxton & Exchange Arcade, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1862
Format: Carte de Visite with plain back

Image © & courtesy of Beatrice Potter

Notes by Beatrice Potter:  James Ashton was born on 3rd July 1809 at Hyde, Chester, and died on 6th November 1866.  He was described as being of Highfield, Bredbury & Mimwood, Herts.  He was also a magistrate & cotton manufacturer.  He married Frances Caroline Cheetham in Ashton-under-Lyne in 1846.  The Ashtons owned mills in Hyde, Godley & Gerrards Wood which employed many hundreds of people "hands". These mills both spun and wove.  Ashton Brothers & Co. Ltd survived until 1968 when the mills were taken over by Courtaulds.  Beatrice and her cousin Richard Leveson would be delighted to hear from you if you have any connections with this family.


Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified elderley man
by B.W. Bentley of Buxton & Exchange Arcade, Manchester,
Watermark dated 1862, and probably taken soon after this date

Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 61.5 x 101.5 mm Photo 57.5 x 93 mm
Plain back, watermark with date "1862" and initials visible near left margin of image

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin Elderly man standing by a plinth/pedestal,
by B.W. Bentley of Buxton & Exchange Arcade, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1863
Format: Carte de Visite
Plain back

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.


Image © & courtesy of David Simkin Unidentified woman standing by a writing table
by B.W. Bentley of 6 Quadrant, Buxton & Exchange Arcade, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1865
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters Unidentified woman
by B.W. Bentley of 6 Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton & 4 St Anne's Square, Manchester
Undated, but probably taken c. 1868-1870
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 62 x 106 mm

Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin Unidentified young man,
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton, and 4, St Ann's Square, Manchester
Undated, but probably copied c. 1870 from an earlier photo taken c. 1862
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: 62.5 x 105 mm (mount) 59 x 90.5 mm (photo)

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified woman
by B.W. Bentley of 6 Quadrant and Eagle Parade, Buxton & 4 St. Ann's Square, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1870-1873
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 63.5 x 103 mm Photo 59 x 90 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne


Notes
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified young man
by B.W. Bentley of 6 Quadrant and Eagle Parade, Buxton & 4 St. Ann's Square, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1870
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 63 x 103 mm Photo 57 x 93 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

No further information available.

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin Half-figure portrait of an unidentified seated girl, leaning on a table,
by B.W. Bentley of 6 Quadrant and Eagle Parade, Buxton & 4 St. Ann's Square, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1870
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

Photo © & courtesy of Charlotte Lavin Cissie Woodruff
by B.W. Bentley of 6 Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton & 4, St. Ann's Square, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken between 1869 and 1872
Format: Carte de Visite

Photo © & courtesy of Charlotte Lavin

Notes:  One of the daughters of William and Elizabeth Woodruff of Buxton, possibly Ann (born c. 1853) or Kate (born c. 1857).
Photo © & courtesy of Charlotte Lavin

Photo © & courtesy of Charlotte Lavin Thomas Woodruff (at left, born c.1851) & James Gladwin Woodruff (b. c.1855)
by B.W. Bentley of 6 Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton & 4, St. Ann's Square, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken between 1871 and 1874
Format: Carte de Visite

Photo © & courtesy of Charlotte Lavin


Notes:  Thomas and James Gladwin Woodruff were sons of William and Elizabeth Woodruff of Buxton.
Photo © & courtesy of Charlotte Lavin

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin Unidentified elderly woman,
by B.W. Bentley of The Quadrant Studio & Eagle Parade, Buxton & 4, St. Ann's Square, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1874
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: 62 x 102 mm (mount) 59 x 92 mm (photo)
Card stock by Marion Imp. Paris

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

Photo © & courtesy of Charlotte Lavin John Albert Woodruff (born c. 1864)
by B.W. Bentley of The Quadrant Studio & Eagle Parade, Buxton & 4, St. Ann's Square, Manchester,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1875-1877
Format: Carte de Visite

Photo © & courtesy of Charlotte Lavin

Notes
Photo © & courtesy of Charlotte Lavin

Image © & courtesy of Picture the Past Unidentified young seated woman, leaning on a table,
by B.W. Bentley of The Quadrant Studio, Buxton,
Undated, but probably  taken c. 1873-1876
Format: Unknown

Image © & courtesy of Picture the Past

See notes for photograph below.


Image © & courtesy of Picture the Past Two unidentified young girls
by B.W. Bentley of The Quadrant Studio, Buxton
Undated, but probably  taken c. 1873-1876
Format: Unknown

Image © & courtesy of Picture the Past

Note: The standing girl in this photo appears alone in the previous photo, at a similar age, although it seems to have been on a separate occasion as she is wearing a different dress.


Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin Unidentified elderly man
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1876
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: 62 x 102 mm (mount) 58 x 92 mm (photo)

Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin Unidentified elderly man,
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1876
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: 63 x 102.5 mm (mount) 58 x 91.5 mm (photo)

Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

Photo © & courtesy of Fiona Wilson Unidentified man,
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1870s
Format: Carte de Visite
Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © & courtesy of Fiona Wilson

No further information available.

Photo © & courtesy of Fiona Wilson

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified young man
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1870s or early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite, with gilt edges
Size: Mount 63 x 102.5 mm Photo 59.5 x 93.5 mm
Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

No further information available.

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

Photo © & Courtesy of Bill Zeugofsge
Photo © & Courtesy of Bill Zeugofsge
Photo © & Courtesy of Bill Zeugofsge Photo © & Courtesy of Bill Zeugofsge
Photo © & Courtesy of Bill Zeugofsge Photo © & Courtesy of Bill Zeugofsge Three siblings, identified by first name as Agnes, John Gilbert & Rowland
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Dated as having been taken on 30th October & ? November 1881
Format: Carte de Visite, with gilt edges
Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © & Courtesy of Bill Zeugofsge

Notes by BP: These three siblings have been identified, using a combination of census and birth registration index data (FreeBMD), as three of at least six children of a Lancashire surgeon, Rowland Heathcote and his wife, Elizabeth.  At the time of the 1881 Census, they were living at 5 Stockport Road, Ardwick, Lancashire.  They were probably on a visit to the Buxton area of Derbyshire at the time they had these portraits taken.


Photo © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified young girl
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1870s or early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite, with gilt edges
Size: Mount 62.5 x 102.5 mm Photo 58 x 95.5 mm
Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne William Cavendish, 7th Duke of Devonshire (1808-91)
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1870s or early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 63 x 103 mm Photo 58.5 x 90.5 mm
Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:  Many thanks to Charles Noble, Curator of the Devonshire Collection, who identified the subject of this photograph.  "A similar or identical portrait of him features as the self-consciously artistic frontispiece to an album of whose  photographs of interiors, works of art, architecture and garden at Chatsworth, we have in the Devonshire Collection. The frontispiece to the album is in the form of an artistic still life with, in the centre, a picture frame (oval) containing the same photograph of the 7th Duke of Devonshire (seated). Leaning against the frame, is a copy of a dated [Royal] Academy Notes [produced by Blackburn] of 1876, so I take it this large frontispiece composite photograph can be dated to 1876 or soon after."

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified young girl
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1870s or early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 63 x 103 mm Photo 58 x 91.5 mm
Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

No further information available.

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne
Photo © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young girl
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1870s or early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 63 x 103 mm Photo 58 x 95 mm
Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

No further information available
Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

Photo © & courtesy of Derby Local Studies Library Two unidentified men
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, it appears to be an 1880s copy of a much earlier painting or photograph
Format: Cabinet card
Card stock by Marion Imp, Paris

Photo © & courtesy of Derby Local Studies Library


Notes:
Photo © & courtesy of Derby Local Studies Library

Image © & courtesy of Paul Ellis Unidentified woman with child,
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1870s
Format: Carte de Visite
Card stock manufactured for J.J. Atkinson at Berlin

Image © & courtesy of Paul Ellis

No further information available.

Image © & courtesy of Paul Ellis

Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters Unidentified young man
by B.W. Bentley of 6 Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton
Undated, but probably taken c. 1882-1886
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 63 x 102 mm

Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters

Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters
Group of unidentified young women, by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1882-1886
Format: Cabinet card  Size: Mount Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters
Notes by GW: I have been given an old, Bible like, family photo album. Unfortunateley the photos have no names. The album was given to Mrs Lees (probably Matilda Lees née Howard) by the young women of the Sewing Class as a token of respect and esteem, New Mills 1885.  This is written inside the front cover. The 1891 and 1901 census show Matilda Lees living at Holly Bank, New Mills.

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne
Unidentified woman and two boys
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant & Eagle Parade, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken early to mid-1880s
Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount

Card stock manufactured for J.J. Atkinson at Berlin

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

No further information available.

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin Unidentified elderly woman,
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1882
Format: Cabinet card
Size: 107.5 x 166.5 mm (mount) 101 x 146 mm (photo)

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

No further information available.

Photo © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

Photo © and collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified man in Glengarry hat
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant, Buxton
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1880s
Format: Carte de visite
Size: 64 x 103 mm (mount) 59 x 96.5 mm (photo)

Photo © and collection of Brett Payne

No further information available.

Photo © and collection of Brett Payne

Photo © and collection of Brett Payne
Unidentified woman
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant, Buxton
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1880s
Format: Carte de visite
Size: 64.5 x 103.5 mm (mount) 58.5 x 93 mm (photo)

Photo © and collection of Brett Payne

No further information available.

Photo © and collection of Brett Payne

Photo © & courtesy of John Frearson
Unidentified elderly man,
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1890s
Format: Carte de visite, with bevelled gilt edges
Size: Mount 63 x 105 mm

Photo © & courtesy of John Frearson

Photo © & courtesy of John Frearson
Photo © & courtesy of John Frearson Unidentified elderly woman,
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1890s
Format: Carte de visite, with bevelled gilt edges
Size: Mount 63 x 105 mm

Photo © & courtesy of John Frearson

Notes by JF:  The elderly couple shown in this and the above photo are possibly members of the FREARSON or SYMONDS families.  Any potential identifications would be gratefully received.

Notes by BP:  The reverse of the mounts are rather unusually a light blue in colour, with gilt printing.  The sleeves of the dress worn by the elderly woman suggest to me a date of 1890-1891 at the very earliest, but they could be have been taken as late as the mid-1890s.  This opens the possibility of Mary Bentley continuing to operate the studio after her mother's death in 1891.

Photo © & courtesy of John Frearson

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified elderly woman,
by B.W. Bentley of 6, Quadrant, Buxton,
Undated, but probably taken in the early to mid-1890s
Format: Carte de visite, with bevelled gilt edges
Size: Mount 63 x 105 mm Photo 59 x 92.5 mm

Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Photo © & collection of Brett Payne

References
Images, contacts, information & photographs kindly provided by Gail Waters, Charlotte Lavin, Charles Noble, Derby Local Studies Library, Richard Leveson, Beatrice Potter, Bill Zeugofsge, John Frearson, Fiona Wilson, Brett Payne, Derek Smith, Paul Ellis, Picture the Past and David Simkin
Information also kindly provided by David Simkin
Heathcote, Bernard & Pauline (2002) A Faithful Likeness - The First Photographic Portrait Studios in the British Isles, 1841 to 1855, publ. by the authors, 27 Plough Lane, Lowdham, Nottinghamshire, NG14 7AT, England, Courtesy of 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
Adamson, Keith I.P. (1997) Professional Photographers in Derbyshire 1843-1914. Supplement to The PhotoHistorian, No. 118, September 1997, ISSN 0957-0209. Courtesy of John Bradley.
Anon (1855) The Post Office Directory of Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire. - from University of Leicester - Digital Library of Historical Directories.

Anon (1855) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Courtesy of David Simkin
White, F. & Co. (1857) History, Gazetteer & Directory of the County of Derby, Neil Wilson's Full Transcript
Anon (1860) Harrison, Harrod, and Co.'s Directory and Gazetteer of Derbyshire, London.
Anon (1870) Harrod & Co.'s Postal & Commercial Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Staffordshire. - from University of Leicester - Digital Library of Historical Directories.
Anon (1874) C.N. Wright's Directory of South Derbyshire, Third Edition, October 1874, Derby.
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

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