Search billions of records on Ancestry.com
   
Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
John Simnett (1839-1888) & John S. Simnett

of Burton on Trent

John Simnett and his sons J.S. and A.J. Simnett operated studios in George Street, Station Street and Guild Street, Burton-upon-Trent from as early as 1868 until at at least the 1940s.  Although these studios were not actually located within Derbyshire, in the early years they would have served parts of South Derbyshire.


Go straight to Portfolio


John Simnett was born at Burton-upon-Trent, Staffordshire in 1839, seventh of eight children of shoemaker and temperance hotel keeper John Simnett senior (born c. 1802) and Mary née Bennett.  As a young man in 1861, he worked as a printer's compositor in Derby, perhaps for the firm of Bemrose & Sons.  In 1863, John married Sarah Spencer (1839-1910) in London - they lived at 154 Station Street, Burton-on-Trent, and had six children.

John Simnett claimed, on later card mounts, to have started working as a photographer in 1863.  By 1868 he had a studio situated in George Street, Burton.  In 1871, however, he was living at
154 Station Street, and presumably had moved the studio to these premises as well.  By 1881, his eldest son John Spencer Simnett was working as an assistant in the studio.  They remained at this address until his death in 1888, at the age of 49.  Sarah and children then moved to 76 Guild Street (where the studio was listed with premises in 1896 and 1900 trade directories).  His eldest son, in the mean time, married Henrietta Wright at Leeds in 1889, and they settled at 56 Scalpcliffe Road in nearby Stapenhill.  The 1891 Census shows him as a photographer, and his younger brother Albert Josiah Simnett working as an assistant in the studio, but by 1901 both of them were described as photographers.  The business was listed as J.S. Simnett at 2 Guild Street in trade directories from 1912 until at least 1940, and is still in existence today (J.S. Simnett Photographers).

Portfolio
Image © & courtesy of Claire Casey
Unidentified young woman
by J. Simnett of 154 Station Street, Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken c. 1873-1876

Format: Carte-de-visite

Images © & courtesy of Claire Casey

Notes

Image © & courtesy of Claire Casey

Image © & courtesy of Claire Casey Unidentified young couple (left), and elderly woman (right)
by J. Simnett of 154 Station Street, Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken c. 1874-1878

Format: Carte-de-visite

Images © & courtesy of Claire Casey

Notes: The young woman at left is probably the same one who is the subject of portrait shown above.

Image © & courtesy of Claire Casey

Images © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young woman
by J.S. Simnett of 76 Guild Street, Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken in the early to mid-1890s

Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 63 x 104.5 mm Photo 58.5 x 89 mm

Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Images © & courtesy of Dave Mason Thomas Edwin Mason (1873-1955)
by J.S. Simnett of 76 Guild Street, Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken in the late-1890s

Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 64 x 104 mm
Negative No. 6739

Images © & courtesy of Dave Mason

Notes by DM: My grandfather Thomas Edwin Mason was born  at Burton-on-Trent on January 4, 1873, and died at Vancouver, British Columbia on April 22, 1955.  I estimate the portrait was taken about 1895.
Images © & courtesy of Dave Mason

Images © & courtesy of Dave Mason Images © & courtesy of Dave Mason
Group portrait of the Mason family of Burton-on-Trent, by J.S. Simnett of 76 Guild Street, Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card  Size: Mount 108 x 167 mm

Images © & courtesy of Dave Mason
Notes by DM: (Back row L-R) Thomas Edwin Mason (b. Burton on Trent  Jan 4, 1873 d. Vancouver, B.C. Apr 22, 1955), George Herbert Mason (b. Stapenhill 1877),  Walter John Mason (b. Stapenhill, Sept. 1878 d. 1945),  Frank Harold Mason b. Stapenhill 1880 d. Leeds 1964);  (Front row) Eliza Ann Mason née Smith (b. Longton, Staffs. 1848, d. Stapenhill 1927),  William Henry Mason (b. Burton on Trent 1869; a principal of the firm of Redfern & Mason, timber merchants of Burton), Alice Mary Rowland née Mason (b. Burton on Trent 1867; her husband was Joseph S. Rowland, principal of Rowland & Son, auctioneers of Burton, who also served as Mayor of Burton 1914-16).

Images © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young woman
by J.S. Simnett of 76 Guild Street, Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken c. 1899-1905

Format: Cabinet card, thick card with bevelled edges
Size: Mount 107 x 166.5 mm Photo 98 x 142.5 mm

Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Images © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young woman
by Simnett of 2 Guild Street, Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1900s

Format: Postcard
Size: 89 x 133 mm

Images © & collection of Brett Payne


Notes
Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Images © & courtesy of Hilary Linnington Unidentified woman
by Simnett of
2 Guild Street, Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken c. 1908-1915

Format: Postcard
Size: Card 86.5 x 135.5 mm Photo 81.5 x 120 mm

Negative No. 11789

Images © & courtesy of Hilary Linnington

Notes
Images © & courtesy of Hilary Linnington

Images © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified children
by Simnett of Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken c. 1914-1922

Format: Print
Size: Card 52.5 x 126.5 mm Photo 48 x 112.5 mm
Negative No. 14527

Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Images © & collection of Brett Payne

Images © & courtesy of Hilary Linnington Unidentified woman
by Simnett of Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken c. 1914-1922

Format: Print
Size: Card 52 x 124 mm Photo 43 x 110 mm
Negative No. 16854

Images © & courtesy of Hilary Linnington

Notes
Images © & courtesy of Hilary Linnington

Images © & courtesy of Liz Woloski Possibly Sarah E. Blood (b. c.1854 Hatton, Derbyshire)
by Simnett of Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken c. 1914-1922

Format: Print
Size: Card 52.5 x 123 mm Photo 48.5 x 111.5 mm
Negative No. 1723?

Images © & courtesy of Liz Woloski

Notes: Inscribed on the reverse, "Tom Blood's sister."
Images © & courtesy of Liz Woloski

Images © & courtesy of Liz Woloski Probably either Nellie or Elsie Blood
by Simnett of Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken c. 1914-1922

Format: Print
Size: Card 52.5 x 123 mm Photo 48.5 x 111.5 mm
Negative No. -

Images © & courtesy of Liz Woloski

Notes:
Images © & courtesy of Liz Woloski

Images © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young man
by J.S. Simnett of Guild Street, Burton on Trent
Undated, but probably taken in the 1920s

Format: Mounted print
Size: Card folder 145.5 x 118 mm (folded in half) Photo 44 x 80 mm

Images © & collection of Brett Payne


Notes
Images © & collection of Brett Payne


References
Images provided by Dave Mason, Liz Woloski, Hilary Linnington, Brett Payne and Claire Casey
1841-1901 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
FreeBMD
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
Bagshaw (1846) History, Gazetteer and Directory of Derbyshire. Collection of Brett Payne.
Anon (1855) The Post Office Directory of Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
White, F. & Co. (1857) History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Derby. Transcribed by Neil Wilson.
Harrison, Harrod & Co. (1860) 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.
Wright C.N. (1874) Directory of South Derbyshire, Third Edition, October 1874, Derby.

Home Page
Index to Photographers
Photographer Profiles
Contribute an Image
South Derbyshire Genealogy

Back to the Top


© 2002-2008 Brett Payne All Rights Reserved