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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
Samuel Whiting

of Chesterfield

Samuel Whiting operated a studio at various addresses in Chesterfield from 1868 until at least 1881, after which he followed his brother John Whiting into the show business as a swing boat proprietor.


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Samuel Whiting was born in 1840 or 1841 at Cock Street Green in the village of Diss, Norfolk, the third of six children of a confectioner William Whiting (c1813-) and his wife Sarah (née Webster) - see the provisional family outline below. When he was about ten, the family moved to Norwich, where they lived on Water Lane. Then in the early 1860s, they moved again, this time to Furnace Hill in Walton, a village just north of Chesterfield in Derbyshire. In 1863, Samuel married Hannah Hoult, originally from Worcester, and their first child Elizabeth was born in Chesterfield in about August 1864.

It is not known when Samuel Whiting first set up in business as a photographer, but Adamson (1997) shows him with premises in Vicar Lane, Chesterfield as early as 1868. Harrod's 1870 trade directory, probably compiled in late 1869, shows Samuel Whiting, photographer, with premises in Church lane, Chesterfield.  The census of April 1871 showed him described as a photographer and living with Hannah, their slightly larger family of three children, and a domestic servant, at 34 West Row, while directory entries indicate that he may have had additional premises at West Bars. Later trade directories demonstrate that he moved house to 18 Derby Road prior to 1879.  By April 1881 he and Hannah had moved house again, to 2 Bottom Lane, Newbold & Dunston.

Samuel Whiting had three brothers, all of whom had spent their later childhood in Derbyshire. William was the eldest, and settled in Newbold, where he worked as a coal miner and, in his later years, as a farm labourer. Samuel was next, then came Thomas. He was deaf from childhood, but after marrying he moved to West Stockwith and Walkeringham, on the Notts/Lincs border, where he worked as a cordwainer and general labourer, and became a local Methodist preacher.
John Whiting was the youngest brother, and when in his early twenties worked as a carter in Walton. However, some time in the late 1870s, he became involved in the travelling show business, and became associated with Randall Williams, the "King of Showmen". In April 1881 he described himself as a traveller/hawker, and was staying in Ashley Lane, Manchester.  Close by were several other members of the travelling show groups, including the Williams family. In August 1882 he was at the Preston Guild Festival, as is evidenced by a photo (at right) reproduced on Pauline Gashinski's web page, The Williams Travelling Show FamilySome time in the 1880s, Samuel Whiting switched careers to join his younger brother in the show business, and became the proprietor of a "swing boat". At the time of the April 1891 Census, he and Hannah and son John were living in a caravan at Morledge, Derby St Peter. Interestlingly, his neighbour, also in a caravan, was Charles Isler, another photographer. His two eldest sons Charles, describing himself as a travelling showman, and Samuel, were also living in a caravan although just off Chatsworth Road in Brampton. Image © & courtesy of Pauline Gashinski
John Whiting
Samuel Whiting senior died some time between 1891 and 1901, and by the time of the census in April 1901, his widow Hannah, and sons Gervase and John - living in a caravan at the Bull & Butcher Croft in Selston, Nottinghamshire - all described themselves as travelling showpeople. Charles had taken over proprietorship of the swing boat, and was boarding at The White Hart Hotel, 10 Church St in Mansfield, Nottinghamshire.
Provisional Family Outline
William WHITING b. c1814 Roydon NFK m: 30 Aug 1835 St Martin-at-Oak, Norwich NFK Sarah WEBSTER b. c1813 Norwich NFK
|- Elizabeth WHITING bapt. 3 Feb 1837 Diss NFK
|- William WHITING b. c1838 Diss NFK m: Hannah b. c1842 Chesterfield DBY
...|- John WHITING b. c1879 Newbold DBY
|- Samuel WHITING b. c1840-41 Diss NFK m. Hannah b. c1844 Worcester WOR
...|- Elizabeth WHITING b. c1863 Chesterfield DBY
...|- Charles William WHITING b. c1864-66 Chesterfield DBY m1: Sarah b. c1867 Blackheath STS m2: Susan b. c1863 Pilsley DBY
...|- Mary Ann WHITING b. c1868 Chesterfield DBY
...|- Harriet WHITING b. 1871 Chesterfield DBY
...|- Samuel WHITING b. 1874 Chesterfield DBY
...|- Robert WHITING b. 1877 Chesterfield DBY
...|- James WHITING b. 1879 Chesterfield DBY
...|- Jarvis/Gervase WHITING b. cFeb 1881 Chesterfield DBY
...|- John WHITING b. c1883 Chesterfield DBY
|- Thomas WHITING b. c1841 Diss NFK m: Mary b. c1840 Leicester LEI
...|- William WHITING b. c1864 Chesterfield DBY
...|- Ada WHITING b. c1868 Doncaster YKS
...|- Thomas WHITING b. c1872 West Strockwith NTT
...|- Mary WHITING b. c1873 West Strockwith NTT
...|- Charles WHITING b. c1875 Walkeringham NTT
...|- Lizzie WHITING b. c1876 Walkeringham NTT
...|- Florence WHITING b. c1878 Walkeringham NTT
...|- Emily WHITING b. c1881 Walkeringham NTT
...|- Sarah A. WHITING b. c1882 Walkeringham NTT
...|- Henry WHITING b. c1886 Walkeringham NTT
|- John WHITING b. c1847-48 Diss NFK m: Elizabeth b. c1853 Ollerton YKS
|- Mary WHITING b. c1850 Diss NFK

Portfolio
Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Joseph Roper (1791-1868)
by S. Whiting of Vicar Lane, Chesterfield
Undated, but probably taken shortly before his death in 1868

Format: Carte-de-visite

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes: Inscribed "Joseph Roper" on the reverse.  Joseph Roper (1791-1868) was born in Brampton, Derbyshire.  He and two wives, both named Anne, had at least ten children, mostly in Chesterfield, where worked as a master plasterer.  Several of his sons followed him into this profession.  One of his sons was also named Joseph, but this Joseph Roper (1818-1895) would only have been aged 50 at the time this photograph was taken, and is therefore not a likely candidate for the subject.

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified woman with young man
by S. Whiting of Vicar Lane, near the Market Place, Chesterfield
Undated, but probably taken c. 1868-1874

Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 63 x 104.5 mm Photo 56 x 89.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:
Image © & collection of Brett Payne
Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified woman with young child
by S. Whiting of Vicar Lane,
near the Market Place, Chesterfield
Undated, but probably taken c.
1868-1874
Format: Carte-de-visite

Size: Mount 62.5 x 106 mm Photo 56.5 x 95.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes:
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Lesley Anderson
Grandma Platts (c.1799-c.1879) of Windwhistle Farm, Grassmoor, Hasland
by S. Whiting of Vicar Lane (near the Market Place), Chesterfield
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1870s 

Format: Cabinet card?

Image © & courtesy of Lesley Anderson

Notes

Image © & courtesy of Lesley Anderson

References
Images and information provided by Liz Newberry, John Bradley, Pauline Gashinski, Lesley Anderson & Brett Payne 
1841-1901 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
FreeBMD
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
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.
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. University of Leicester's Digital Library of Historical Directories
Anon (1895) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly & Co. Limited, London.
Anon (1895) History, Topography, and Directory of Derbyshire, T. Bulmer & Co. - by kind courtesy of Sonia Addis-Smith
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.
Craven, Maxwell (ed.) (1993) Keene's Derby, Breedon Books, Derby, pp. 200-202. - by kind courtesy of Sonia Addis-Smith

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