born at Wirksworth and baptised there on 15 September 1844, second son
of a dyer James Watterson (1812-1846) and his wife Elizabeth Roe
His father died in 1846, when George, an older brother and a younger
were still very young, and their mother went to work in a tape
warehouse. George became a clerk to a grocer and spirit merchant
in his teens, and continued working as a commercial clerk until 1891,
he described himself in the census of that year as an unemployed
George Watterson married Fanny Clarke at West Derby, Liverpool in early
1871. They eventually had five children, including a son James,
was born in early 1878.
after 1891 that George Watterson started working as a photographer,
the 1895 Kelly's trade directory shows him with a studio at Bailey
terrace in Wirksworth. In 1899 he was also proprietor of the
Cheese Public House at North end. However, by April 1901 his son
James Watterson, then aged 23, appears to have taken over the
studio, while George was the caretaker of the Town Hall.
Advert from a local Western Derbyshire newspaper, dated 1900
was obviously working in the trade a little earlier than this, as a
second edition of the book "Wirksworth and Five
Miles Around," by R.R. Hackett, containing six photographic views
by James Watterson, was published in 1899 (John Palmer, pers. comm.).
A 1900 advertisement (see above) and Kelly's 1912 directory shows James as a musical instrument dealer on Coldwell street, Wirksworth, suggesting that photography was perhaps not his primary occupation. A picture of Crich Cliff and Stand (built in 1923) by him on the Picture the Past web site shows that he was still operating in the early 1920s.
taken by James Watterson at the New Studio, Wirksworth, Undated, but probably c. 1906
Format: Cabinet Card
Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson
Notes: Elizabeth Potter was a daughter of Edward Robinson Potter and Annie Maria Street, and married Ernest Butlin in 1925.
Image & information kindly provided by Graham Robinson
1851-1901 Census of Wirksworth by John Palmer on his Wirksworth web site
Hackett, R.R. (1899) Wirksworth and Five Miles Around (2nd Edition), courtesy of John Palmer and his Wirksworth web site.
Wirksworth Parish Registers & Memorial Inscriptions by John Palmer on his Wirksworth web site
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
North East Midland Photographic Record - Picture the Past
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 (1899) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
Anon (1912) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
Adamson, Keith I.P. (1997) Professional Photographers in Derbyshire 1843 - 1914, The PhotoHistorian, No. 118 Supplement, September 1997, ISSN 0957-0209. Courtesy of John Bradley.
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