IOW Photographers - Adams


Photographer Edward Peter Adams
Active Period 1858 - c1881
Lifespan Born:  c1820     Petersfield, Hants Died:  1884   Wandsworth, London
Studio Addresses 26 High Street, Ryde (from 1858)
30 High Street, Sandown (c1861 - c1867)
Melville Street, Sandown (c1867 - c1875)
9 Osborne Terrace, Fitzroy Street, Sandown (from c1875)
(also known as the Sandown Photographic Studio)
Associates Edward Peter Adams (son)
Frederick Dade (partner c1860)
Established 1860
Trade History 1859 White's Directory IOW
Edward P Adams, 26 High Street, Ryde

1865 Harrod & Co's Directory Hampshire & IOW (page 1159)
Edwin Adams, photographer & agent to Integrity Life Assurance & Sick Benefit Society,
Melville Street, Sandown

1867 Kelly's Directory IOW
Edward Peter Adams, photographer, Melville Street, Sandown

1875 Kelly's PO Directory IOW
Edward Peter Adams, photographer, Fitzroy Street, Sandown

1879 Hill's Historical & Commercial Directory (page 399)
Edward P Adams, Landscape & Photographic Artist, 9 Osborne Terrace, Fitzroy Street, Sandown

Evidence Found
3758 - negative number advised of photo with address of Sandown Photographic Studio, Fitzroy Street, Sandown
Examples of
Trade Cards,
Adverts, etc
AdamsAd.jpg (36513 bytes)
An advertisement from the front page of the I W Chronicle, 1 Jun 1876

My thanks to Les Barrett for locating the above advertisement.

Family History Edward Peter Adams was born c1820 in Petersfield, Hants, (records show he was baptised on 20th February 1820), the son of a grocer John Adams and Hannah Mundy. The Adams' family first came to the Island c1830-32 as Edward's younger brother, Albert Thompson Adams, was born in 1832 at Ryde. However, Edward Peter left the family home at some point, because the 1851 census records him as being a 31 year old unmarried travelling bookseller lodging in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales. He was lodging with tobacconist William Williams who lived next door to a bookseller William Churchill in the High Street, with whom Edward may have been doing business.

Edward returned to the Island prior to 1858 when he married Fanny Greenham at St Helens. Fanny was born c1834 at Seaview, the daughter of Cornelius Greenham, a mariner. The marriage register entry of 6th February 1858 records Edward as being a widower and shoemaker of St Helens. Nothing is known about Edward's first marriage or the circumstances that led him to return to the Island. 

Edward must have taken up photography shortly after his marriage to Fanny, because the baptism entry for their son (also named Edward Peter) in November 1858 at Holy Trinity, Ryde, records him as being a photographic artist of 26 High Street, Ryde. An advertisement in the IW Chronicle in 1876 (see above) confirms that he was established in 1860.

Around 1860, Adams went into partnership with photographer Frederick Dade from London, producing stereocards featuring views of the Island. The partnership ended after a year or so, and Frederick Dade & family moved to Chichester. [This information was taken from the Sussex Photo History website, where further information about Frederick Dade can be found].

By the time of the 1861 census, the family had moved to 30 High Street, Sandown, and comprised Edward and Fanny, their son Edward Peter (2) and a daughter Grace (11 months); Edward's occupation still being recorded as a photographic artist. They also had living with them a lodger - 22 year old watchmaker Frederick Baker from Newport.

The 1871 census shows the family had moved to 24 Fitzroy Street, Sandown, and had expanded with the addition of daughter Jessie Cox (9) and son Harry (5) [mistakenly written as Harvey in the census]. In this census, Edward was described as a 51 year old photographer. It may be of interest to note that Jessie was given the second name of Cox after her grandmother Elizabeth Cox who had married John Adams in 1792.

The 1881 census shows the family had moved again, this time to nearby 9 Osborne Terrace off Fitzroy Street, and had expanded further with the addition of three more children - Ernest (9), Harold (7) and Eunice (4). In this census, Edward was described as a 67[sic] year old photographer.

Absent from the family home in 1881 were the three older children - Edward, Grace and Jessie. Son Edward jnr had married Mary Ann Harvey in 1879 and was living nearby at Bradford House, Fitzroy Street, and was working as a gilder and picture frame maker; presumably making frames for his father's photographs. Daughter Grace was a school mistress in Battersea, London, and daughter Jessie was a servant to a large household in Hastings, Sussex. (Another servant there was Matilda Leaver age 34 from Ryde).

Edward and Fanny had three further children - Albert John (1864), Vincent (1867) and Teminia (or Jemina) (1869) but, sadly, they did not survive childhood and missed being recorded in the 1871 census. Also, the birth registers records that both Grace and Ernest were given the middle name of Mundy after their mother's maiden name.

Edward Peter Adams snr (and it is assumed the rest of his family) left the Island sometime after 1881, and he died in 1884 at the age of 64 in Wandsworth, London. The 1891 census records Edward's widowed mother Fanny Adams (55) living in Battersea, London, along with her children Grace (30), Harry (25), Ernest (19), Harold (17) and Eunice (14). Meanwhile, Edward and his wife Mary Ann were living in Greenwich, London, where 32 year old Edward was employed as a photographer. [The National Archives holds some photos taken by Edward Peter Adams at Greenwich which were copyrighted by him in the 1890's]

By the time of the 1901 census, Edward Peter Adams jnr had become a photographer employer, and living with him in Greenwich were his wife Mary Ann, young daughter Theodora and two nieces, Mary and Ada Harvey from the Island, both working as photographic retouchers. In 1901, Edward's mother Fanny Adams was also living in Greenwich with her son Harry and his wife (he had married Fanny Julia Branwin in 1893) and their two children. Harry was working as a picture frame maker, possibly to frame his brother's photographs.

Of Fanny's other children: Harold had died in 1891 aged 19; Grace became a school teacher and married Harry Smith in 1899 (becoming Grace Adam-Smith) and lived in Battersea (Harry worked in the Accounts department at Battersea Town Hall); Ernest became a hot water engineer and married Ellen Harvey in 1893 and they lived in Wandsworth; Jessie Cox was unmarried and was a cook living in Kensington; and in 1900 Eunice married William Matthew Moore Dyball who worked for the London to Brighton South Coast Railway.

By the time of the 1911 census, Edward Peter Adams jnr and family had moved to Llantrisant, Wales, where he continued to work as a photographer. He died in 1943, and his death certificate records him as being a retired photographer.

Note - Edward Peter Adams should not be confused with another photographer Edward Adams who was operating on the Island in a similar time frame. Whilst it may seem attractive to believe there was some connection between them, it is probably just an uncanny coincidence as no evidence has been found to date to show that they were related or even associates.

My thanks to Doreen Ridden, great-granddaughter of Edward Peter Adams snr, for contributing to above family history.

Further Notes "Sandown Photographs ... We have had the opportunity of inspecting some photographs lately taken, with the Vicars sanction, of the interior of Sandown Parish Church, including all the recent improvements. The artist is one E.P.ADAMS of Fitzroy Street and the pictures will, we doubt not, prove to many of our visitors, a valued memorial of the church."
- IW Chronicle, 8 Jun 1876.

My thanks to Ann & Les Barrett for supplying the above press cutting.


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