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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
W.N. Statham & Sons

of Matlock Bridge

William Nathan Statham, and later his sons, operated a photographic studio at Matlock from the late 1880s until at least 1932.  He was also at various times a china painter and art master.

Go straight to Portfolio


William Nathan Statham was born c. 1863 in Matlock, Derbyshire, the youngest child of grocer, chemist and druggist, Abanathan "Nathan" Daffin Statham (1823-1874) and his wife Sarah Robinson (1823-1896).  His father died when he was in his early teens, and his eldest brother Luke Robinson Statham took over the family grocery in Matlock.  By the age of 17 William had started working as a china painter/artist, but in the late 1880s he appears to have set up a photographic business at Matlock Bridge (Kelly, 1891).  He described himself in April 1891 as a "photographer/art master".

In 1891 William married Alice Sophia Wigg, daughter of an Inland Revenue supervisor William J. Wigg of Claines, Worcestershire.  William and Alice had at least three children, including sons Percival Joseph (born 1894) and Leonard Nathan (born 1899) who may have later joined the business.

Between c. 1900 and 1908 the premises moved to Dale Road in Matlock.  The firm operated until at least 1940 (Bradley), and the latter years' directory entries (1932, Kelly) as "W.N. Statham & Sons" suggest that his sons were then assisting in the studio.  John Bradley provides a very interesting account of Statham's career and an colourful contemporary description of the studio in his article "The Snapshot & the Postcard" presented on this site.

As an interesting post-script, Bernard Alistair Storey (1921-2002), a grandson of W.N. Statham, although he trained as a teacher and taught in Matlock for most of his life, was with the RAF as a front line photographer during the Second World War.

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley This large John Valentine photo from John Bradley shows Matlock Bridge, with a glimpse of WN Statham’s studios just over the top of the bridge. You can see his name in big letters and the three skylights he has inserted in to the roof to light his studio.
Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Portfolio
Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified group
by W.N. Statham of Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1880s
Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount 108 x 167.5 mm Photo 102.5 x 144.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter John A. Potter (born c. 1865) & George Potter (born c. 1863)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, taken c. 1890

Size: 145 x 103 mm (photo), 165 x 107 mm (mount)
Format: Cabinet Card, glossy black with bevelled gilt edges

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Notes: (DP) John emigrated to western Canada c. 1913 with his wife Marie (nee Bower) and two children, Leonard and Kathleen. According to a note Leonard wrote on the back of another picture, George was later the father of Mildred, Connie, Hilda, and Audrey Potter.  (BP) Mike Spencer believes that the bikers may be posing for this photo on a cycling track no longer in existence, but formerly situated on the side of the River Derwent, off Dale Road in Matlock.


Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified woman
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1880s
Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount 107 x 166 mm Photo 103 x 144 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Margery Whitham Selina Taylor (1847-1878)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge,
produced c. 1891 but probably originally taken c. 1859-1862

Size: 144 x 100 mm (photo), 166 x 109 mm (mount)
Format: Cabinet Card, pale grey mount

Image © & courtesy of Margery Whitham

Notes by MW: Selina Taylor was born on 23rd July 1847 at Castle Top Farm, Matlock (between Cromford and Lea), daughter of William and Mary Taylor.  William's ancestors had farmed at Castle Top since 1630 and possibly earlier. The 1861 Census shows her aged 13, living at Castle Top with her parents.  Selina married Samuel Wright on 2nd October 1866 and there were five children of the marriage, the youngest being Samuel, born on 7th July 1878.  Selina died a week after his birth and was interred at St. James, Bonsall on 15th July 1878.

Click here to read more about this picture
Notes by BP: I am confident from the style of the mount that this particular copy of the photograph was produced in the early 1890s.  However, several aspects suggest that it was a copy of a pre-exisiting, and much earlier photograph.  I would estimate from the look of the girl, and her size in realtion to the height of the back of the chair, that she is in her early-teens.  The pose, the centre-parting and tied-back hair are characteristic of a much earlier time, perhaps the late 1850s to early 1860s.  The short sleeves suggest that she is not an adult.  I believe, therefore, that the photo is a c. 1890-1892 copy of a photograph originally taken roughly thirty years earlier, c. 1859-1862.  Many photos at that time (1860s) were full portraits i.e. they included the entire body from head to toe.  The later copy may have been trimmed from the original carte-de-visite to reflect the tastes of the 1890s, cutting her off just below the knees.  Compare it with the cabinet card portrait of Hetty Porter lower down on this page.  Alternatively, something about the tone of the photo makes me think that the original may actually have been an ambrotype, rather than a carte-de-visite.  An ambrotype photograph from my collection (above right), taken c. 1860, shows a girl in almost exactly the same pose, with short sleeves, drawn-back hairstyle with centre-parting and possibly a hair net.  A carte de visite dated at c. 1862 (at right) shows an almost identical dress, although with a slightly wider neckline to that worn by Selina! Click here to read more about this picture

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter Catherine Potter (b. c1839)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge,
taken c. 1891
Size: 144 x 100 mm (photo), 166 x 109 mm (mount)
Format: Cabinet Card, pale grey mount

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Hetty was one of seven children of Charles and Catherine Potter.


Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter Henriette "Hetty" Potter (b. c1871)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, 
taken c. 1892
Size: 85 x 56 mm (photo), 103 x 63 mm (mount)
Format: Carte de Visite, pale grey mount

A very thin tissue paper dust cover with a spiderweb design (right) and inscribed PERCY LUND & Co BRADFORD (SO) is glued to the top edge

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Hetty was one of seven children of Charles and Catherine Potter.

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter Henriette "Hetty" Potter (b. c1871)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, 
taken c. 1892
Size: 146 x 100 mm (photo), 165 x 108 mm (mount)
Format: Cabinet Card, pale grey mount

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Hetty was one of seven children of Charles and Catherine Potter (see previous image)


Alexander Robertson (1830-1916)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, 
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1890s
Format: Carte de visite

Image © & courtesy of Jean Baloo


Notes by JB:  This is my great grandfather Alexander Robertson (1830-1916). It must have been taken (1890's?) when he was visiting his daughter Anne (1873-1947), my grandmother, who married Arthur Whittaker of Matlock Bath and Starkholmes. Alexander was a shepherd and Annie was brought up in a stone croft on Rannoch Moor, Perthshire, Scotland.

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter Two photos, probably of George Potter
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, 
both taken on the same occasion, probably in the early 1890s

Left (Cabinet Card): 144 x 100 mm (photo), 165 x 109 mm (mount)
Right (Carte de Visite): 84 x 53 mm (photo), 103 x 64 mm (mount)
both with pale grey mount, matte finish

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

George was one of seven children of Charles and Catherine Potter

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter Charles Herbert Potter (b. c1869)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, 
taken in the early 1890s
Size: 138 x 96 mm (photo), 165 x 109 mm (mount)
Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Charles Herbert was one of seven children of Charles and Catherine Potter

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Gertrude Statham (1882-1961) and Lilian Statham (1886-1959)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s
Format: Carte de visite
Size: Mount 63.5 x 105.5 mm Photo 58.5 x 96 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes: Identified by family member Marilyn McMillan (see Photo-Sleuth story). Gertrude (born 4 April 1882) and Lilian (born 16 Feb 1886) were daughters of Henry and Ann Jane Statham (see below).  Gertrude married Henry Cundy in Exeter, Ontario, Canada on December 2, 1908.  They had one child, Lois.  Lillian married William Heaman in Centralia, Ontario, Canada on Nov. 3, 1903.  They had five children Grace, Dorothy, Laurence, Murray and Frederick.
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Henry Statham (1853-1937) & Ann Jane Statham née Wass (1853-1937)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken in the late 1890s
Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount 107 x 166.5 mm Photo 102 x 150 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes: Identified by their great-granddaughter Marilyn McMillan (see Photo-Sleuth story).  Henry Statham was born on October 22, 1853 in Starkholmes, Derbyshire.  He was the son of Isaac Statham and Sarah Carline.  Ann Jane Wass was born on February 20, 1853 in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.  She was the daughter of Jonathan Wass and Ann Beecroft.  They were married on March 28,1876 in the Parish Church, Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire.  They had four children who lived to adulthood: Henry Lewis (1876-1966), Isaac (1878-1962), Gertrude (1882-1961), and Lillian (1886-1959).  Henry, Ann Jane and their four children emigrated to Ontario, Canada in 1903.  Ann Jane died in 1927 and Henry died in 1937.
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified young man
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken in the early to mid-1890s
Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount 110 x 166 mm Photo 102.5 x 149 mm
Card Mount by Marion Imp. Paris

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes
Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of John Palmer William Doxey (born April 1894)
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge
Taken in late 1894
Format: Cabinet card
Size: 165 x 105 mm

Image © & courtesy of John Palmer

Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © & courtesy of John Palmer

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter Leonard Bower
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, 
Undated but probably mid-1890s
Size: 143 x 97 mm (photo)
Format: Cabinet Card

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Leonard Bower was probably a brother of Marie Potter née Bower, wife of John A. Potter and mother to Kathleen Potter (see below).

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter Sabine Hay, near Darley Dale
by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, 
Probably taken in the late 1890s
Size: 201 x 155 mm (photo), 303 x 254 mm (mount)
Hand-tinted with cream coloured mount

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

"Sabine Hay" was the family home of Marie Potter née Bower.


Image © & courtesy of John Bradley Unknown house
by W.N. Statham of Matlock Bridge
Date unknown
Format: unknown

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Notes by Mike Spencer: This house (shown in at right) is on the A6 going towards Matlock Bath and stands opposite High Tor, so it has a fantastic view of a sheer cliff face across the road and beyond the river.  The building hasn't changed, although its front and right hand side gardens have gone, to make way for a drive and car parking spaces.  It is now a B&B.  It is red bricked but has a stone extension added to it  on its hidden left hand side, I would imagine some time ago.  The almost pointed conifer tree between the two chimneys is now an elegant giant.  The white piece near right of the tree is a wall that has a roadway in front of it and that comes out at the bottom near the lamp post, which has now gone.  The house does not appear on the 1847 Tithe map, but it is on the 1899 Ordnance Survey map.

Image © & courtesy of Mike Spencer
Image © & courtesy of Mike Spencer

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified elderly woman
taken by W.N. Statham of Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken around 1897-1900

Format: Carte de visite
Size: Mount 63.5 x 106 mm; Photo 57 x 91 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Nothing further is known about this photo.


Image © & courtesy of Mike Reeve
Image © & courtesy of Mike Reeve
Two unidentified young men with bicycles, by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken in the early 1900s

Format: Cabinet Card  Image © & courtesy of Mike Reeve


Image © & courtesy of Ian Ward Image © & courtesy of Ian Ward
"Viscount Sidmouth and Sancho Panza, of Dean Hill", by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken between 1900 and 1904

Size: 106 mm x 167 mm  Format: Cabinet Card  Image © & courtesy of Ian Ward

Notes: This is an image of one of several photos contributed by Ian from a family album that he inherited from his aunt.  The subject of the photograph always puzzled Ian, but the penny dropped when I sent him a 1901 Census extract for his grandmother!  In April 1901, Mary Louisa Hinge (brother of Ashbourne photographer Henry Hinge) was employed by Margaret Harrison, of independent means, as a domestic housemaid at Dean Hill House, Matlock Bridge.  One wonders how much of Mary Louisa's duties included walking the dogs?  Mary Louisa Hinge married Tom Ward at Ashbourne in 1904, and photos of her may be viewed in the portfolios of J.L. Hart and Henry Hinge.

Image © & courtesy of Cynthia Maddock Three young unidentified women
taken by W.N. Statham of Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken around 1895-1899

Format: Cabinet card

Image © & courtesy of Cynthia Maddock

Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © & courtesy of Cynthia Maddock

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified yong woman
taken by W.N. Statham of Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount 108 x 167.5 mm Photo 102 x 148 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified yong woman
taken by W.N. Statham of Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount 109 x 158.5 mm (trimmed at base) Photo 101 x 148.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne Unidentified yong woman
taken by W.N. Statham of Matlock Bridge
Undated, but probably taken in the mid- to late 1890s

Format: Cabinet card
Size: Mount 109 x 166 mm Photo 102 x 145.5 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Notes

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter
Kathleen Potter (1902-1971), by W.N. Statham of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, taken in the Summer of 1904
Size: 145 x 100 mm (photo), 165 x 108 mm (mount)  Format: Cabinet Card, pale brown mount
Image © & courtesy of Denis Potter

Kathleen Potter was the only daughter of John A Potter and Marie Potter (née Bower), and the sister of Leonard Potter. The family emigrated to Canada c1913. Kathleen never married and had no children. She was later a nurse on Indian reservations in Alberta, Canada, then for the last few years of her life she turned to professional painting, concentrating mainly on portraits of native Indians and prairie scenes.

Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson
Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson
Marriage group, by W.N. Statham of Matlock, Undated
Format: Post card with "W.N. Statham Matlock"
blind stamped in lower left corner
Size: 140mm x 90mm
Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson
Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson
Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson
Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson
Unidentified baby, by W.N. Statham & Sons of The Studio, Matlock Bridge, Undated
Format: Post card with "W.N. Statham Matlock" blind stamped in lower right corner
Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson
Nothing further is known about this photo.

Image © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin
E.A. (Lena) Cross
taken by W.N. Statham of Matlock Bridge
Undated

Format: Mounted oval print
Size: Mount 110 x 152 mm Photo 51 x 70 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne; courtesy of David Simkin

Notes: Inscribed on the front, "gratefully yours, Lena Cross"; Inscribed on the reverse, "E A Cross, The Home Close, Matlock" and "My father (Dr. A. Hartley) saved her life from drowning"

Image © Brett Payne & courtesy of David Simkin

Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson William Rhodes & Ada Mary Oxspring,
taken by W.N. Statham of Matlock,
on the occasion of their marriage on 10 August 1929 at Wirksworth

Format: Post card with "W.N. Statham Matlock" blind stamped in lower left corner

Image © & courtesy of Graham Robinson

Nothing further is known about this photo.


References
Images and information provided by Marilyn McMillan, Brett Payne, Cynthia Maddock, David Simkin, Mike Reeve, Ian Ward, Jean Baloo, Margery Whitham, Graham Robinson, Mike Spencer, John Palmer, John Bradley & Denis Potter
Obituary of Bernard Alistair Storey (1921-2002) - University College Chester Alumni
1841, 1851, 1861 & 1871 Matlock Census Transcripts - Ann Andrews' Matlock & Matlock Bath Pages
1881 UK Census - online from the LDS church
1891 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
1901 UK Census index - online from the PRO
FreeBMD
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
Anon (1855) The Post Office Directory of Derbyshire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire and Rutlandshire, pub. Kelly and Co., London, pp.107-109,  Ann Andrews' Matlock & Matlock Bath Pages
White, F. & Co. (1857) History, Gazetteer and Directory of the County of Derby. Transcribed by Neil Wilson.
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, Ann Andrews' Matlock & Matlock Bath Pages
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, pp. 141-144, Ann Andrews' Matlock & Matlock Bath Pages
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
Anon (1908) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, pub. London, pp. 323-325, Ann Andrews' Matlock & Matlock Bath Pages
Anon (1912) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, Kelly's Directories Ltd., London.
Anon (1916) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire, pub. London , pp. 327-330, Ann Andrews' Matlock & Matlock Bath Pages
Anon (1932) Kelly's Directory of Derbyshire 1932, Kelly's Directories Ltd., London.
Craven, Maxwell (ed.) (1993) Keene's Derby, Breedon Books, Derby, pp. 200-202. - by kind courtesy of Sonia Addis-Smith

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