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Benjamin Brecknell Turner

(1815-1894), Photographer

Artist of 1 portrait
Photographer. Turner was one of the leading topographical photographers of the 1850s, combining this work from a studio in the Haymarket with his family business as a tallow chandler. He took out a licence in 1849 to practice Fox Talbot's patented photographic process and exhibited six of his photographs of the interior of Crystal Palace at the Royal Society of Arts in 1852. He became a founder-member of the Photographic Society of London in 1853, continuing to exhibit there and at other important exhibitions throughout Britain in the 1850s. A major exhibition of his work, with a publication by Martin Barnes, Rural England through a Victorian Lens, was held at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2001.

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Dr John Andrew Hemingway

06 October 2020, 16:01

Life of Humphrey Chamberlain

Humphrey Chamberlain was the eldest son of Henry Chamberlain (son of Humphrey Chamberlain (owner of the Royal Worcester Porcelain Works) and Agnes Davidson. He was born in College Yard in St. Michaels parish, Worcester on the 24th June 1824 and baptised at St Michael’s next to the Cathedral, while his father was still working for the company. The family moved out to Elm Cottage in Catherine’s Vale, east of the town, till 1835 when Henry gave up the business and moved to Bredicot Court Farm with his family. Humphreys initial schooling was a Dame School at Whittington kept by Miss Watson and then onto Mr Bushell’s school in Pershore. His parents considered education was wasted on him and he was sent to Mr Tilt’s farm in Kent to work in agriculture. It was probably there that he began a began a courtship with his cousin, Frances Barlow who was living in London. When he returned to Bredicot in the 1840 he told the family that he was going to marry her which was not appreciated as they thought the Barlow’s were a sickly family. They married at Bredicot Church in September 1845 and lived at Horn Hill, halfway between Bredicot and Worcester. About the same time, he opened a brickyard in Bredicot.
He attended with his wife, his sister, Agnes’ wedding with Benjamin Brecknell Turner in 1847 and his first daughter, Agnes was born in 1849, another daughter followed called Frances Alice in 1850. In the 1851 Census he is recorded as farming 170 acres in Claines, but by 1855 he is farming at Clerkenleap, south of Worcester, and Turner took a photograph of him leaning against a fence there in the same decade. In 1859 and 1860 he is recorded as a farmer as well, as a brick and tile manufacturer. By 1860 he seems to have moved up to Barnsley in Yorkshire and was recorded as owning/occupying a brick works, a position he held till the end of his life. His wife, Frances died there in June 1878. In 1881 he was recorded as belonging to the Institute of Civil Engineers and as an Associate Member he is recorded as having shares in the Central Uruguay Railway, with a house in Buenos Aires. He married Frances’ sister, Mary Ann Barlow on the 5th April 1880. He is recorded in the 1891 Census but died in 1892 in Barnsley.
Dr John Hemingway, The Cottage, Bredicot, 2020.

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