IOW Photographers - Brading


Photographer James Brading aka Brading & Co
Active Period 1861 - c1895
Lifespan Born:  1832  Shoreditch, London Died:  1919  Ventnor, IOW
Studio Addresses 9 Carisbrooke Road, Newport
118 High Street, Newport
59 Node Hill, Newport
Associates Walter J Brading (son)
Thomas Brading (son)
Trade History 1865 Harrod & Co's Directory Hampshire & IOW (page 1130)
James Brading & Co, photographic artists, 119 High Street, Newport

1867 Kelly's Directory of IOW
James Brading, photographer, 118 High Street, Newport

1875 Kelly's Directory of IOW
James Brading, photographer, High Street, Newport

Awards 1866 & 1868 Prize medals awarded by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Exhibition of Industry & Art
Evidence Found
1869 - estimated date of photo by James Brading
1871 - dated photo by J Brading (High Street)
1872 & 1878 - dated photos by James Brading (118 High Street - see examples below)
1875 - estimated date of photo by James Brading (118 High Street)
1131 - negative number of photo by Brading & Co (118 High St), estimated taken early 1900's
           (in the light of further evidence, this photo must have been taken much earlier)
Examples of
Trade Cards,
Adverts, etc
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Example of Brading & Co's photo and back thought to be c1860's

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Another example of Brading & Co's photo and back thought to be c1860's

My thanks to James Downer (Maidstone) for the above two photos.

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Examples of James Brading's photo backs dated April 1872 & 1878

My thanks to Diana Wheeler (Melbourne) for the above photo left dated April 1872.

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Examples of Brading's Awards of 1866 (left) & 1868 (right). Also note change of address.

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A more ornate example of photo back

Another example of a James Brading photo and back, date unknown

My thanks to Simone Reeves (Wollogong) for the above photo which she inherited from a Jane Reeves who died in 1947 in Ben Lomond, NSW. Simone is desperate to identify this unknown man who may be related to the Reeves family (originally from Ludgershall, Wiltshire) or Tarrant ancestors from Tidworth.

Another example of a James Brading photo c1875

My thanks to Peter Brading (Bristol) for the above photo which is of his g-grandparents Edmund & Eva (nee Cheek) Brading who was a school teacher at Wootton Bridge, IOW.

Family History James Brading was born in 1832 in Shoreditch, London, where his father and grandfather had moved to from West Cowes at the beginning of the decade. His father, Eli, was a carpenter and his grandfather, Henry, a master builder who built the tower of St Marys, West Cowes, and the wall around Northwood Park. Henry also did work at the Fountain Quay and the original Custom House.

Before taking up photography and moving to the IOW, in the 1851 census James Brading was listed as a bootmaker at 6 Francis Street, Hoxton Old Town, Shoreditch, London. James became a photographer shortly after this and moved to the IOW with his wife, Harriet from Southampton, and their son, Walter, who was born c1855 in Shoreditch. Their next child, James, was baptised on the Island 1857.

At the time of the 1861 census, 29 year old James was living at Node Hill, Newport, where he was listed as a photographic artist. Living with James was his wife Harriet (28), sons Walter (4), Stephen (2) and Henry (1), and his unmarried aunt Sarah Thompson from Portsmouth who was occupied as a servant. Son Stephen had been born in Ventnor, and Henry in Newport.

By 1871 the family had moved to 108 High Street, Newport, and had grown considerably. Living with James and his wife Harriet were their children Walter (14), Stephen (12), Frank (9), Rose (7), Thomas (5), Mary (4) and Lilly (2), Also in the household were James' widowed mother Anne Brading, unmarried aunt Sarah Thompson and 14 year old niece Mary Barnes from Portsmouth. James was listed as a photographer.

At the time of the 1881 census, the family was living at 9 Carisbrooke Road, Carisbrooke (Newport) and comprised James, his wife Harriet, their eight children (the eldest being Walter) and his widowed mother Ann Brading. James was listed as a photographer as was his son Walter (now aged 25) and another son, Tom aged 15, was listed as a photographer's assistant.

James retired about 1895 and moved from Newport to Ventnor to live with his son, Thomas, who had reverted to the family tradition of being a builder with the additional carpentry skills of undertaker.

James Brading died at the age of 87 in July 1919 and was buried at Ventnor Cemetery in his wife's grave; Harriet having predeceased him in May 1912.

Nothing is yet known about what happened to Walter Brading, save that he married about 1882 and that his only son, another James, was killed in a motorcycle accident in Exeter. Limited research to date suggests that Walter may have left the Island.

Thomas Brading continued to live in Ventnor, working as a builder and carpenter, and died there in 1950; being buried at Ventnor Cemetery with his wife, Emily Jane, who had died in 1922.

Interestingly, a Julian Brading is currently operating as a professional photographer in Dartmouth, Devon. Whilst not being a direct descendant of the photographer James Brading, Julian is descended from the East Cowes branch of the Brading family - his grandfather was Bernard Brading, a carpenter!

My thanks to Peter Brading (Bristol) for contributing to the above historical notes. Peter is descended from a branch of the IOW Brading family and would like to hear from any other Brading researchers.
You can contact Peter at

Further Notes James Brading is known to have photographed the East Cowes Reservoir (of which only the decorated foundation stone now remains), probably when it was completed in 1876, thus confirming he took photographs of views as well as studio portraits.

A reference to James Brading supplying the renowned Island photographer Julia Cameron with photographic chemicals appears in the book "The Portrait in Photography", edited by Graham Clarke, Reaktion Books, 1992. In the article 'Julia Margaret Cameron', by Pam Roberts on page 58, it refers to crazing of her negatives and says "At this stage, Cameron was using the thicker collodion manufactured for large plates, and had tried samples from Mr R.W. Thomas and Mr Brading of Newport, Perry's collodion being too thin to work on large plates."


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