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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand Robert Silverwood
Norman Jones McAuslan (1861-1905)

of Belper


Norman McAuslan worked as a printer/compositor, lithographic artist and manufacturing chemist, but by the mid-1890s was practising as a photographer in Belper.  His career was curtailed by his ill-health, which forced him to emigrate to Australia in 1902, where he died less than three years later.  His studio may have been taken over by Harold Burkinshaw.

Go straight to Portfolio


Biography of N.J. McAuslan by Robert Silverwood

Norman Jones McAuslan was born 31 December 1861 at Common Side, Belper, and is my great-grandfather.  I do not know when he started his photographic business but it is thought in the family that he worked for Bemrose the printers in his early days.  His father David Alexander McAuslan was a printer/compositor so there could be a connection there.  In 1891 Norman married Louisa Adshead.  In 1893 they lived at Maxwell Terrace, New Road, Belper and were still there in 1895 when Doris, my Grandmother was born. On Doris's birth certificate, Norman's occupation is given as manufacturing chemist.

The Louisa McAuslan mentioned in Kelly's 1895 Trade Directory as having a shop at Brook Side, Belper was probably Norman's mother who was a widow by 1895.  This theory is supported by the fact that in 1893 Norman's sister (another Louisa) died at Brook Side.  The death certificate shows Norman as the informant, still living at Maxwell Terrace. By 1901, Norman and his family had moved to Derwent Villas, New Road, Belper and the census shows his occupation as photographer.  This house was owned by the Adshead family and in her will, Elizabeth Adshead (Norman's wife's cousin) describes Derwent Villas as having photographic studios adjoining.

N.J. McAuslan's Studio, Belper, Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood
N.J. McAuslan's studio in Belper,
Unknown photographer and date
By 1902 Norman was suffering from Tuberculosis and, although his diary for that year includes a few references to photographic work, he left Belper in April to live in Bournemouth, in the hope that the sea air would help his condition.  It did not, and in November he undertook the seven week journey to Australia, arriving in Sydney on Christmas day.  In 1904, probably because she knew that Norman would never recover, Louisa and the two girls aged nine and four, went out to Sydney to be with him until he died in January 1905.  After returning later that year they lived at "The Laurels", as photographed by Harold Burkinshaw in 1907.

Notes by Brett Payne: Adamson (1997) shows Norman McAuslan as having taken over a studio in New Road, Belper, from J.W. Wayne in 1899, and operating it until 1900.  His home address is given as Grove House, Derwentside, New Road, Belper.

Portfolio
The following are just a few of his photographs which have survived.  I would, of course, be very interested in any others or in any further information about his life and work. 
Robert Silverwood
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Two unidentified children
by N. McAuslan, of Brook Side, Belper,
Undated, but probably taken in the mid-1880s

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes by RS:  It is interesting to note the incorrect middle initial of the stamp ("L."), removed on later examples
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Norman Jones McAuslan (1861-1905), self portrait
by N. McAuslan, of Brook Side, Belper,
Undated, but probably taken in the mid-1880s

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Norman Jones McAuslan (1861-1905), self portrait
by N. McAuslan, of Brook Side, Belper,
Undated, but probably taken in the mid-1880s

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes:
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Louisa Adshead (at right) with two friends
by N. McAuslan, of Brook Side, Belper,
Undated, but probably taken in the mid-1880s

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes: Louisa Adshead (1861-1922) married photographer Norman McAuslan in 1891, probably at Maxwell Terrace, New Road, Belper
Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood The Pym brothers, Wilfred, Arthur and Edgar (Belper solicitors)
by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Size: 109mm x 165mm
Format: Cabinet Card
Plain back

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Nothing further is known about this photograph
 

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Self portrait of Norman McAuslan, with his wife Louisa and daughter Doris,
taken by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper, c. 1897

Size: 107mm x 166mm
Format: Cabinet Card
Plain back, printing on mounting in red instead of the usual gold.

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Nothing further is known about this photograph
 

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified woman
by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper
Undated, but probably copied c. 1898-1900 from an earlier photograph

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified man
by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898-1900

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Louisa McAuslan née Jones (1828-1900), mother of Norman Jones McAuslan
by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898-1900

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentifield man
by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898-1900

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Self portrait of Norman Jones McAuslan (1861-1905)
by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898-1900

Size: 108mm x 167mm
Format: Cabinet Card
Plain back, corners of card cut off

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Nothing further is known about this photograph
 

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Diane Alton-Kaighin Unidentified boy with flag on bicycle,
by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper,
Undated

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Diane Alton-Kaighin

Nothing further is known about this photograph


Image © & courtesy of Samantha Smith Unidentified subject,
taken by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper,
Undated

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Samantha Smith

Nothing further is known about this photograph


Image © & courtesy of Stephanie Hitchcock Unidentified young woman
taken by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper,
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s

Format: Carte de visite

Image © & courtesy of Stephanie Hitchcock

Notes:

Image © & courtesy of Stephanie Hitchcock

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentifield man
by N. McAuslan, of New Road, Belper
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898-1900

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes


Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood Unidentified young girl
by Norman McAuslan, of Belper Art Studio, New Road, Belper
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898-1900

Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Robert Silverwood

Notes

Image © & courtesy of Lynne Ablard Unidentified elderly couple,
taken by Norman McAuslan, of The Belper Art Studio, New Road, Belper,
Undated, but probably taken c. 1898-1902

Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of Lynne Ablard

Nothing further is known about this photograph


Image © & courtesy of Samantha Smith Three photos of unknown subjects,
taken by Norman McAuslan,
of the Belper Art Studio, New Road, Belper,
Undated, but possibly in early 1902
Format: Cartes de Visite

Images © & courtesy of Samantha Smith

Nothing further is known about these photographs

Image © & courtesy of Samantha Smith
Image © & courtesy of Samantha Smith
Image © & courtesy of Samantha Smith One of these photos shows the Peacock Hotel (Prop. W.H. Brougham), another showswhat looks to be - from the platform scales next to the door - a railway station.  Careful comparison of the men shown suggests that all three may have been taken on the same occasion, perhaps on an outing of some sort.

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Group of men outside the Peacock Hotel
by Norman McAuslan of the Belper Art Studio, New Road, Belper
Undated, but possibly in early 1902
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Although from a different source, this picture is very similar to and must have been taken within seconds of that shown above, at right.


Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Group of men on a walk
by Norman McAuslan of the Belper Art Studio, New Road, Belper
Undated, but possibly in early 1902
Format: Carte de Visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

From the same series as those shown above, the gentlemen are now out on a walk.

Notes by Robert Silverwood:  (17 Jul 2004)  I was very pleased to see that some more examples of the work of my great-grandfather Norman Jones McAuslan have been added to Brett's web site.  Sadly, I cannot identify any of the people in the pictures but I did do a little digging with regard to The Peacock Hotel.  The proprieter's name appears to be W. H. Brougham not N. Brougham.  This turns out to be William Hutchinson Brougham.  He is to be found on the 1901 census (RG13/3260 Fol 62 Pg 7) as publican and farmer with his family at The Peacock Inn, Owler Bar, Holmesfield [Map]  It appears from an entry on Free BMD that he died in the second quarter of 1903.  The middle name appears on the entry for his will in Mike Spencer's list on the Wirksworth site.  Did the sources or original owners of these group photos come from Belper as Norman did?  It's quite a long shot, but up the hill opposite the Peacock Hotel are several ancient stone circles - could these be the destination of the walking group?
(21 Jul 2004) I think I may have come up with a better theory about the purpose of the group's outing.  In Norman's diary for 1902 (in fact the last few months of his working life in the UK), he refers on two occasions to doing photographic work for municipal water companies.  One is in connection with a break in the Bath supply pipe in Matlock, the other simply says "Photos for R.D.C. in connection with laying of water main".  He was obviously doing some work quite different to the usual posed studio shots of people in their Sunday best.  Looking again at the area in front of the Peacock Hotel on the Ordnance Survey 25 inch map for 1901, it shows that as well as the stone circles on the moors, there are two reservoirs and associated earthworks and connecting pipes belonging to the Chesterfield Water Company. This area would certainly be in range for viewing with binoculars from the front of The Peacock Hotel.  From the general appearance of the group in the photographs, I would suggest that they might well be water company managers and/or local government officials on an inspection tour of the water facilities, with Norman there to record the day's events. Perhaps this might tie in with what John or Samantha may know about their relatives whose photos they have inherited?

References
Images and information kindly provided by Stephanie Hitchcock, John Bradley, Samantha Smith, Diane Alton-Kaighin and Robert Silverwood

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