IOW Photographers - Briddon


Photographer James Briddon
Active Period c1863 - 1894
Lifespan Born:  1827   Wirksworth, Derbyshire Died:  1894   Ventnor, IOW
Studio Addresses The Esplanade, Ventnor
St Boniface Studio, 137 High St, Ventnor
Associates John Edward Briddon (son) 1881 - 1941
Trade History 1865 Harrod & Co's Directory Hampshire & IOW (page 1169)
James Briddon, printer, photographer, bazaar & refreshment rooms, Esplanade, Ventnor

1875 Kelly's Directory of IOW
James Briddon, photographer, Esplanade, Ventnor

1898 Kelly's Directory of IOW (pages 310 & 551)
John Edward Briddon, photographer, Regent's Parade, Station Road, Shanklin

1899 Kelly's Directory of Hampshire & IOW (page 663)
John Edward Briddon, photographer, 137 High Street, Ventnor
J E Briddon, photographer, 137 High Street, Ventnor
(Note - this was formerly the premises of photographer Edward Mason)

1910 Kelly's Directory of IOW
John Edward Briddon, photographer, 137 High Street, Ventnor

1915 Kelly's Directory of IOW (page 1089)
John Edward Briddon, photographer, 137 High Street, Ventnor

1921-22 Kelly's Directory of IOW (page 729)
John Edward Briddon, photographer, 137 High Street, Ventnor

Evidence Found
1863 - dated photo by James Briddon (see example below)
1881 - dated photo by James Briddon (see example below)
1892 - estimated date of photo by John E Briddon (137 High Street)
1898 & 1901 - dated photos by John Edward Briddon
Examples of
Trade Cards,
Adverts, etc

Example of a James Briddon's photo - dated August 1863
My thanks to Anne Johnson for submitting this photo of Amelia X
The photo also carries the annotation "Queen of Jubilee"
If you recognise Amelia or can shed light on the annotation, please contact Anne at  <>


Briddon.jpg (12517 bytes)Briddon4.jpg (14768 bytes)
Examples of James Briddon's photo backs - dated 1881

Briddon2.jpg (11643 bytes)Briddon3.jpg (14832 bytes)
Examples of John Edward Briddon's photo backs

Briddon5.jpg (12077 bytes)
Briddon's shop on Ventnor Esplanade c1910 (date 26th August)

Another photo of Briddon's shop on Ventnor Esplanade, date unknown
My thanks to Bill Myers for contributing to the above photo

Family History James Briddon was born in 1827 in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, the son of John & Elizabeth Briddon (nee Armitage), a farrier and veterinary surgeon. In 1841, James was working as a bookbinder in Wirksworth, but by 1851 he had moved to the IOW. This was probably after his father had died in 1846. It is believed he made the move south to take advantage of the beneficial sea airs as he suffered from TB. In 1851 James was a printer & bookseller living at Cross Street, Ryde where he started the IOW Mercury newspaper. He married Annie Martha Woodrow in 1852 at Ryde. Annie was the daughter of Edward & Elizabeth Woodrow (nee Baker). James & Annie's first son John Edward Briddon was born in 1854 in Ryde.

By 1861, James Briddon was employing 7 apprentices and boys at Cross Street, Ryde in his expanding printing, bookselling and IOW Mercury newspaper businesses. It is thought he purchased the Esplanade Bazaar at Ventnor in 1863 where he lived until his death in 1894. He continued his printing, bookselling and IOW Mercury businesses from the Bazaar and also added a fancy goods repository, refreshment rooms and circulating library to his list of activities - no doubt ably assisted by his wife and children. It was here that James also diversified into the photographic business, probably as early as 1865 according to Harrod & Co's Directory entry above..

After leaving school, John Edward Briddon became an assistant to his father and, by 1875, he was classed as a printer, publisher, proprietor and publisher of the IOW Mercury at the Esplanade, Ventnor. By 1881 he was recognised as a photographer, assisted by and living with his brother, sister and others at Geneva House, High Street, Ventnor. This house is now believed to be the British Legion Building.

In 1882, John Edward  Briddon married Ellen Elizabeth McGonnell, the daughter of a navy pensioner from Ventnor. For some inexplicable reason the ceremony took place at Kensington, London. When his father died in 1894, John Edward took over the full photographic business at 137 High Street, Ventnor, but at some point before 1898 it would appear that he also set up a photographer's studio in Regent's Parade, Shanklin.

John Edward continued living as a photographer in the High Street, Ventnor, until his death in 1941. He was buried at Ventnor Cemetery, being reunited with his wife in 1944.

My thanks to Sue Holloway (North Queensland) and Janet Griffin (IOW) for contributing to the above family history.

Further Notes  


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