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Brett Payne's Victorian & Edwardian
Photograph Collection
Index to Victorian & Edwardian
Photographers & Photographic Studios

Home / Studio Index / England / Derbyshire / Matlock, Matlock Bank & Matlock Bath / William Godber
William Godber of Matlock Bath
Image © & Collection of Brett Payne
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTES

William Godber was born in 1853 at Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, son of a locomotive engine fireman Robert Godber (1833-1861) and his wife Elizabeth Barnes. In early 1861, the family was living in Litchurch, south of Derby, but later that year Robert Godber died. William Godber married Edith Bryan at Derby in 1870, and the following year was working as a grocer and living with his maternal grandparents Thomas & Emily Barnes at 8 Liversage Street, Derby St Peter. His wife Edith was with her parents, also in Derby, while his widowed mother was working as a domestic servant for a retired Indian Army officer in Alvaston. Their first son Robert William Godber was born at Derby in 1874.

The 1881 Census shows William working as a photographer, and visiting members of Edith's family in Hammersmith, London. He may already have been working in the profession for a few years, but it is not clear where. In early 1882, when a second son James Orton Godber was born, they were at Salford, near Manchester. By the late 1880s, it seems likely that Godber was working in Matlock Bath, as CDVs marked "The Rink Studio, Matlock Bath" dating from approximately this period are known. Trade directories show the Matlock Bath Skating Rink in operation in 1887 and 1891. By April 1891, however, they were back in Litchurch, living at 14 Yale Street, and with William still working as a photographer. A daughter Elizabeth Ellen was born at Sunny Hill, Normanton in September 1893.

The 1901 Census shows William Godber and family living in Newgate Street, Carlton, Nottinghamshire; he and his two sons Robert and James were all working, on their own accounts, as photographers. It is possible they moved away from Derbyshire a couple of years earlier. Wright's Directory of Nottingham for 1898-99 shows a Robert William Godber, photographer of 300 Radford Road, Nottingham, and Heathcote & Heathcote (n.d.) show RWG at this address from 1896 to 1899.

Robert GODBER bapt. 20 Mar 1833 Eastwood NTT d. c.Nov 1861 Hasford R.D. NTT m: c.May 1853 Radford R.D. NTT Elizabeth BARNES b. c.1836 Eastwood NTT
|- William GODBER b. c.Nov 1853 Eastwood NTT m: 7 Jun 1870 Register Office, Derby DBY Edith BRYAN b. c.1853 Cottingham YKS
   |- Robert William GODBER b. 1874 Derby DBY d. c.Jun 1909 Basford R.D. NTT m: c.Aug 1895 Derby DBY Ellen STOKES
      |- Edith GODBER b. c.1897 Nottingham NTT
      |- David Bryan GODBER b. 2 Jun 1903 85 Deabille St, Carlton NTT d. 1988 St Austell COR
      |- Edwin Robert William GODBER b. Basford R.D. NTT
   |- James Orton GODBER b. Feb 1882 Salford, Manchester LAN
   |- Elizabeth Ellen GODBER b. 7 Sep 1893 Sunnyhill DBY

If you have any further information about William Godber and his 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 have an interest in any of the subjects in the photographs shown below, I would also be very keen on hearing from you.
CARD TYPES
Image © & Collection of Brett Payne
Type I
Used c. 1887-1890
Brown ink on pink card
large circular motif,
scrolls & 2 elaborate fonts

PORTFOLIO Contribute a Photo
Image © & Collection of Brett Payne Image © & Collection of Brett Payne ID #: wgodber01
Source: Collection of Brett Payne
Artist: William Godber, of The Rink Studio, Matlock Bath
Negative No. -
Size: Carte de visite (Mount 64.5 x 104 mm; Photo 59 x 92 mm Padded oval cameo frame 50.5 x 75 mm)
Card Type: Type I - Large circular motif, with scrolls & two elaborate fonts.
Date: Undated, probably taken c.1887-1890
Notes: Rounded corners. Marked "W. GODBER, RINK STUDIO, MATLOCK BATH" and frame with rounded corners on recto.
Subject: Unidentified young man, probably in his early twenties, head-and-shoulders vignetted portrait.

Image © & Collection of Brett Payne Image © & Collection of Brett Payne ID #: wgodber02
Source: Collection of Brett Payne
Artist: William Godber, of The Rink Studio, Matlock Bath
Negative No. -
Size: Carte de visite (Mount 64.5 x 104 mm; Photo 61 x 95 mm)
Card Type: Type I - Large circular motif, with scrolls & two elaborate fonts.
Date: Undated, probably taken c.1887-1890
Notes: Rounded corners. Marked "W. GODBER, RINK STUDIO, MATLOCK BATH" and frame with rounded corners on recto.
Subject: Full length group portrait of unidentified young men in bowler hats with dog, probably in their early twenties. Includes young man shown in #wgodber01, standing at left.

REFERENCES

Historical Directories from the University of Leicester
Indexed 1841- 1901 Census images from Ancestry.com
Transcript of the GRO Index from FreeBMD
Adamson, Keith I.P. (1997) Professional Photographers in Derbyshire 1843 - 1914, The PhotoHistorian, No. 118 Supplement, September 1997, ISSN 0957-0209.
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.
Anon (1895) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London.
Anon (1895) History, Topography, and Directory of Derbyshire, T. Bulmer & Co.
Anon (1899) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Nottinghamshire, Kelly & Co., London.
Anon (1904) Kelly's Directory of Nottinghamshire 1904.
Heathcote, B.V. & Heathcote P.F. (1979) Nottingham Photographic Studios in Victorian Times, Bath, England: RPS Historical Group Newsletter Supplement, No. 42.
Heathcote, B.V. & Heathcote P.F. (n.d.) Pioneers of Photography in Nottinghamshire, 1841-1910, Nottingham, England: Nottinghamshire County Council. ISBN 0902751387.
Wright C.N. (1874) Directory of South Derbyshire, Third Edition, October 1874, Derby.


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Many thanks to Pat Hurworth for the kind contribution of information. Images from Brett Payne.


© 2006-2009 Brett Payne unless otherwise stated.