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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
John Clark

of Matlock Bath

Although originally from the village of Gunby, near South Witham in Lincolnshire, John Clark had a photographic studio on South Parade in Matlock Bath from about 1863 until 1888.

Go straight to Portfolio


John Clark was born c. 1820 at Gunby, near South Witham in Lincolnshire.  He moved to Clay Lane Derbyshire prior to 1861, while working as a plate layer on the railways.  After a brief spell working as a photographer in Bakewell, he then settled in Matlock Bath where he was the first to open a permanent portrait studio in April 1863 (Adamson, 1997).  His premises were on South Parade, where his wife Annie also ran a lodging house (Bradley).

The 1887 directory gives the loacation of his studio as South Parade, Matlock Bath, but the 1881 Census shows that he and his wife were living on Museum Parade.  Perhaps these names were synonymous.  Subsequent trade directory entries show that he was still operating until 1887, while Adamson states that he was there until 1888.  Certainly by April 1891 (Census), he had "retired" and was living in Cleethorpes on the Lincolnshire coast, where he described himself as an "artist painter".  J.W. Hilder took over the studio at South Parade between 1887 and 1891, and operated there until at least 1899.

This photo of a street scene in Matlock Bath was sent to me by John Bradley, who writes.
"On the extreme left is the building my local history colleague Doreen Buxton and I have always suspected was John Clark’s studio. This photo confirms that hypothesis and under strong magnification on the scanner it is possible to see:
Image © & courtesy of John Bradley - The word PHOTOGRAPHER written over the door
- A Gentleman looking in the window with a mounted photograph on view
- The large upstairs bay window which I believe to be his studio has white blinds or paper over part of the window to control the lighting.
- Above the shop door is a large painted sign. It is hard to read everything because of the acute angle from which the picture is taken, but at strong enlargement you can just read:
   "Under the patronage of their Royal Highnesses ... Princess ... Wales
    And
    By appointment ... Emperor of Brazil
    Together with two crests one of which is the Prince of Wales’ Fleur de Lys.
All this of course is exactly what John Clark had printed on the back of his Cdv’s.!!"
Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Portfolio
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood David Alexander McAuslan (1831-1888)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes: David A. McAuslan was the father of photographer Norman J. McAuslan.
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified girl
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified woman and girl
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood


Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified man and woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Nothing further is known about this photo.


Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified man and woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Nothing further is known about this photo.


Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the mid-1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the mid-1860s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 64 x 104 mm Photo 59
x 87 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Christine Hibbert Unidentified man
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Christine Hibbert

This gentleman is wearing a thigh-length lounge jacket with a high-buttoning collar, non-matching baggy trousers, a turn-down collar and a bow tie.  The studio background, with its plain wall, a high skirting board and a drape to one side, and the subject standing beside the chair while holding a book, are characteristic of the late 1860s.

Image © & courtesy of Christine Hibbert

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne Unidentified man
by J. Clark of Matlock Baths

Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 62 x 104 mm Photo 59.5
x 88 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Baths

Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 62 x 103.5 mm Photo 59 x 87 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified woman
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne Unidentified man
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 64 x 103.5 mm Photo 59
x 87.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Linda Snyder William Mottram and daughter Sarah Mottram (c1852-1929)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 64 x 103.5 mm Photo 59
x 87.5 mm

Image © & courtesy of Linda Snyder


Notes by LS: Sarah Mottram is my Great Grandmother, daughter of William & Rebecca (Young) Mottram.  She was born Sept. 6, 1852 or 1853 and died June 28, 1929 in Detroit, Michigan, USA.  She married Thomas Gratton, son of Henry & Maria (Edge) Gratton on May 16, 1875.  Upon the death of Thomas in 1905, she and 5 of her 6 children sailed for the USA in June, 1907.  Her daughter, my Grandmother, Florence (Gratton) Deards resided in Springfield, Ohio.  My Mother, Edith (Deards) Palmer had obtained these pictures from her and then gave them to me.
Image © & courtesy of Linda Snyder

Image © & courtesy of Linda Snyder William Mottram (c.1813-1879)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 64 x 103.5 mm Photo 59
x 87.5 mm

Image © & courtesy of Linda Snyder

Notes: My Great Great Grandfather William Mottram  was born in 1813 or 1814 in Stoney Middleton, Derby, son of James & Susanna Mottram.  He died in the 2nd quarter of 1879 in Derby, UK.  He is pictured here in the attire of a coachman, his occupation at the time of this picture.  He married Rebecca Young on May 7, 1838.  I believe that the photo was taken approximately 1867.
Image © & courtesy of Linda Snyder

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified young man
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken c. 1868-1871
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Nothing further is known about this photo.


Image © & courtesy of Peter Thomas-English Unidentified young boy, aged 5
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath
Dated 20 September 1872
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 63 x 105 mm

Image © & courtesy of Peter Thomas-English

Notes: Inscribed on the reverse, "né le 7 Sept. 1867. / pris le 20 Sept. 1872." [born 7 Sep 1872, taken 20 Sep 1872]
Image © & courtesy of Peter Thomas-English

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unidentified man
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1870s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood David Alexander McAuslan (1831-1888)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early to mid-1870s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes:  David Alexander McAuslan was the father of Cameron Hutchinson McAuslan (see below) and photographer Norman J. McAuslan
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Louisa McAuslan née Jones (1828-1900)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early to mid-1870s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes:  Louisa was the wife of David Alexander Hutchinson, and the mother of Cameron Hutchinson McAuslan (see below) and photographer Norman J. McAuslan
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Cameron Hutchinson McAuslan (1857-1879)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early to mid-1870s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes:  Cameron H. McAuslan was a brother of photographer Norman J. McAuslan
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Louisa McAuslan (1859-1893) & her grandmother Mary Jones née Weaver (1793-1887)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1870s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes: Louisa McAusland was a sister of Norman J. McAuslan
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Norman Jones McAuslan (1861-1905) with penny farthing bicycle
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1870s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Derby Local Studies Library Rev. Gerard Edward Smith of Ockbrook (1804-1881)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath
Undated, but probably taken c. 1878-1880
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Derby Local Studies Library

Notes:  Inscribed on the reverse, "Rev. Gerard Smith of Ockbrook, Died Dec. 1881."  Reverend Gerard Edward Smith was the Vicar of Osmaston from 1854 until 1870, after which he settled in Ockbrook.  He was also a botanist of some considerable repute, who wrote on the flora of Derbyshire, and was the first to recognise several British plants.
Image © & courtesy of Derby Local Studies Library

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Norman Jones McAuslan (1861-1905)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Norman Jones McAuslan (1861-1905)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Mary "Pollie" McAuslan (1855-1948)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood


Notes: Pollie McAuslan was a sister of Norman J. McAuslan
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Mary "Pollie" McAuslan (1855-1948)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood


Notes: Pollie McAuslan was a sister of Norman J. McAuslan
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified women
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood


Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Norman Jones McAuslan (1861-1905)
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne Unidentified man and young girl
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite
Size: Mount 63.5 x 106 mm Photo 60
x 89 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley "Les freres en voyage"
by J. Clark of Matlock Bath

Undated, but probably taken in the late 1870s or early 1880s
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

The initials C.A.E.A. and G.E.A. are inscribed on this photo, but we may never discover the identity of the two brothers out on a walk.
Note from John Bradley: Clark's studio overlooked the River Derwent, and he must have set up his camera on the promenade outside the studio for this shot.

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Wingfield Manor, Derbyshire, taken by J. Clark, of Matlock Bath, Date unknown, possibly 1878
Size: 64mm x 106mm
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Nothing further is known about this photograph, although it appears to be more or less contemporary with the postcard shown below.

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood High Tor, Derbyshire, taken by J. Clark, of Matlock Bath, Date unknown, possibly 1878
Size: 64mm x 106mm
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

On the reverse is written "19/4/8 Good Friday"; in 1878 Good Friday was on 19 April, so perhaps this is the date of the photo.

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley
View of Matlock Bath, taken by J. Clark, of Matlock Bath, Undated
Format: Stereoscopic Pair
Image © & courtesy of John Bradley
Nothing further is known about this photo.

References
Images kindly provided by Linda Snyder, Derby Local Studies Library, Peter Thomas-English, Brett Payne, John Bradley, Christine Hibbert and Robert Silverwood
1861 Derbyshire Census - CDROM published by ArchiveCD Books
1871 Census of Matlock Bath - from The Andrews Pages
1881 UK Census - online from the LDS church
1841-1901 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
1901 UK Census index - online from the PRO
FreeBMD
Anon (1864) The Post Office Directory of the Counties of Cambridgeshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire and Rutlandshire, ed. E.R. Kelly, M.A. pub. Kelly and Co., London, pp. 277-279 - from The Andrews Pages
Harrod & Co. (1870) Postal & Commercial Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Rutland & Staffordshire. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
Anon (1876) The Post Office Directory of the Counties of Derby, Leicester, Rutland and Nottingham. ed. E.R. Kelly, M.A., F.S.S. pub. Kelly and Co., London: Matlock & Matlock Bath - from The Andrews Pages
Anon (1881) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co., London.
Anon (1887) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co., London.
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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