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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
William Bentley

of Buxton

William Bentley worked as a photographer in Buxton in the late 1860s and early 1870s, before opening a lodging house, which he continued to run until at least the early 1890s.


Go straight to Portfolio


William Bentley was born at Bury, Lancashire in about 1837.  By the time of the 1861 Census, however, he was living with his married elder brother Samuel Bentley (b. c.1830) at Tottington Road, Elton, and working as a "stripper and grinder."
 
He married Jane Pepper (b. c.1840 Newcastle under Lyne) at Newcastle under Lyne in early 1866, and their first daughter Clemence was born at Bury in the first half of 1867.  Their second daughter Kate Ann/Annie was born at Buxton c. 1868-1869, so they must have moved there by then.  According to William Bentley's great-grandson, Charlie Bentley, they lived for a short while at The Broadwalk.  Then, with a partner, he bought some land and built Buckingham House - then two lodging houses, now a hotel - in about 1875.  Adamson (1997) shows Bentley working as a photographer in Buxton, with premises at 3 Market Place, Dunmore Square, from 1870 until 1872.  Harrod's 1870 directory shows him already working by late 1869 (assumed compilation date), and I suspect that he was active from the time he first arrived there, i.e. between 1866 and 1869.
 
By the time of the 1881 Census, William Bentley no longer described himself as a photographer.  Presumably he found the business of letting out lodgings more lucrative, because he remained in that occupation at Buckingham House, Burlington Road, in nearby Fairfield, until at least 1891.  By then he was a widower - his wife probably died between 1886 and 1891 since the youngest of his nine children was born c. 1886.

Portfolio
Image © & courtesy of David Simkin
Unidentified elderly woman (seated) and younger woman (standing)
by William Bentley of 3 Market Place, Buxton
Undated but probably taken in the late 1860s

Format: Carte-de-visite

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

Nothing further is known about this photo

Image © & courtesy of David Simkin

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young couple
by William Bentley of 3 Market Place, Buxton
Undated but probably taken in the late 1860s

Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 63.5 x 103 mm Photo 56 x 92.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne


Notes
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters Unidentified young woman
by William Bentley of Market Place,
Dunmore Square, Buxton
Undated but probably taken in the late 1860s

Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 65 x 100 mm (trimmed at base)

Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters

Notes
Image © & courtesy of Gail Waters

References
Images kindly provided by Brett Payne, Gail Waters, Charlie Bentley & David Simkin
1881 UK Census - online from the LDS church
1861, 1871, 1891 & 1901 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
1901 UK Census index - online from the PRO
FreeBMD
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
North East Midland Photographic Record - Picture the Past
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.
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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