IOW Photographers - Mullins


Photographer Gustav Mullins  &  Hughes & Mullins   &  Barrie & Mullins
Active Period c1880 - 1921
Lifespan Born:  1854   St Helier, Jersey, CI Died:  1921   Ryde, IOW
Studio Addresses 60 Union Street, Ryde (1880 - 1910)
64 Union Street, Ryde (1910 - 1921)
Associates Jabez Hughes
Dora Mullins (dau)
Newton Barrie
Trade History 1898 Kelly's Directory IOW (pages 250 & 551)
Hughes & Mullins, photographers, 60 Union Street, Ryde

1899 Kelly's Directory of Hampshire & IOW (page 637)
Hughes & Mullins, photographers, 60 Union Street, Ryde

1899 Kelly's Directory of Hampshire & IOW (page 638)
Gustav Mullins, photographer, see Hughes & Mullins [sic]

1906 Kelly's Directory IOW (page 662)
Hughes & Mullins, photographers, 60 Union Street, Ryde

1915 Kelly's Directory IOW (page 719)
Hughes & Mullins, photographers, 60 Union Street, Ryde

1915 Kelly's Directory of Hants & IOW (page 1090)
Gustav Mullins, photographer, 64 Union Street, Ryde

1920 Kelly's Directory of Hants & IOW (page 721)
Mullins G. H., photographer, 64 Union Street, Ryde

1921-22 Kelly's Directory of IOW (page 729)
Mullins Gustav, photographer, 64 Union Street, Ryde

1927 Kelly's Directory of Hants & IOW (page 1105)
Barrie & Mullins, photographer, 64 Union Street, Ryde

Evidence Found
None found to date.
Examples of
Trade Cards,
Adverts, etc
HughesAd.jpg (18355 bytes)
An advertisement from the IW County Press dated 4 January 1894

MullinsAd.jpg (15367 bytes)
An advertisement from the IW County Press dated 9 April 1910
announcing Gustav Mullins' new studio at 64 Union Street, Ryde

An advertisement from the IW Observer dated 10 June 1911

An advertisement from the IW Observer dated 7 July 1917

My thanks to Ann Barrett for locating the above advertisements.

Family History Gustav Henry William Mullins was born in St Helier, Jersey, CI, in 1854, the son of photographer Henry Mullins, originally from London, and his wife Anna Jane, a local girl. At the time of the 1861 census, 1 year old Gustavus[sic] was living with his parents at 45 Davids Place, St Helier, Jersey. His father was recorded as being a photographer, and the family had the services of two live-in female servants.

By the time of the 1871 census, the family had apparently moved along the road to 38 Davids Place, where 16 year old Gustav was still living with his parents and recorded as a scholar. In that census, his name was given as Henry William Mullins and, in the absence of a birth registration or baptism records, it is unknown if the name Gustav was informally adopted to avoid confusion with his father. [There was inconsistency in the spelling of Gustav throughout his life, and even the names Henry and William were swapped around on occasion!] The 1871 census also shows that his father was working as a local photographic agent and, interestingly, one of their close neighbours was a photographer; a Francis Swan from London. It is likely that this close association with the photographic world influenced Gustav into the profession.

By around 1880, Gustav had moved to the IOW and had become an assistant to the photographer Jabez Hughes at his studio at 60 Union Street, Ryde. In the 1881 census Gustav was found lodging with the Morris family at Norris View, John Street, Ryde and his occupation was described as a photographic operator.

In 1883, Gustav married a Fanny Hulse at Malling, Kent, where Fanny had been born c1855, and the following year the couple had their first (and only?) child, Dora Fanny, who was born in Ryde.

Also in 1883, Hughes took Mullins into partnership, trading under the name HUGHES & MULLINS. The following year Hughes died, and Mullins purchased the furniture and fittings from Hughes' widow, but continued trading under the name HUGHES & MULLINS for nearly 30 years. It is interesting to note that the large enamel sign of HUGHES & MULLINS is still in place today on the roofline at 60 Union Street (see Hughes' notes for photo).

By the time of the 1891 census, Gustav and his family had moved into Hughes' old studio at 60 Union Street, Ryde, and the census records him as being a photographer (employer). As well as his wife Fanny and daughter Dora, the household was complemented with a 21 year old general servant Lucy Toogood from Lake. It is not known if Lucy assisted with the business, or if she was related to the photographer Edward Toogood at Freshwater.

Gustav Mullins, together with his wife Fanny and daughter Dora, were still living at 60 Union Street at the time of the 1901 census, with Gustav being recorded as a photographer employer at home. Also living with the family was Fanny's married sister Eliza Simmons (age 47 from Chatham, Kent) and a 19 year old domestic servant Laura Howling from Ryde.

The firm of HUGHES & MULLINS were granted a Royal Warrant on 15 January 1885 when they were named "Photographers to Her Majesty at Ryde". Mullins made a number of portraits of Queen Victoria and the Royal Family. A group portrait taken in the Council Room at Osborne House in April 1886 is particularly noteworthy because it shows four generations of the Royal Family and it features a smiling Queen Victoria. The Queen was evidently very pleased with Mullins' portraits, describing them as "very successful" in her journal. Mullin's work for the Queen was not limited to portraits, because he was commanded to photograph the royal Christmas fayre at Osborne in 1888 (see press cutting below). In the late 1880s, Mullins was commissioned to re-photograph the large number of early photographs in Queen Victoria's collection. Mullins used the permanent carbon process process to make photographic prints of images from the 1840s and 1850s which needed to be preserved.

Gustav Mullins continued to trade as HUGHES & MULLINS until just before the First World War. In 1910, he moved to smaller premises at 64 Union Street, where he traded under the name Gustav Mullins only. The 1911 census records 59 year old Gustavos[sic] as a general photographer living at 64 Union Street along with his wife Fanny and daughter Dora. The census also records 25 year old Dora as an assistant in the business. Presumably, the move to the smaller premises was as a result of Mullins being made bankrupt (see press announcement heading below). Later, he entered into a partnership with the photographer Newton Barrie at 64 Union Street. After Mullins' death in 1921, the business continued under the name BARRIE & MULLINS until around 1935.

The above advertisement of 1917 indicates that a mainland photographic studio, Russell & Sons of Southsea, had continued the business of the former Hughes & Mullins studio at 60 Union Street during the First World War. It is not known for how long Russell & Sons continued to trade as Hughes & Mullins, but the former were in business at Southsea until at least 1939. However, Kelly's 1927 directory lists Sir Francis Pittis & Son, auctioneers, at Hughes & Mullins former studio 60 Union Street.

Gustav Mullins died on 27 December 1921 and was buried at Ryde Cemetery.

Further information about Gustav Mullins and details of his grave can be found on the Ryde Social Heritage Group website at 

My thanks to David Simkin for contributing to the above historical notes.

Further Notes

"We understand that early this (Friday) morning, the infant Prince of Battenberg was brought into Ryde to be photographed by Mr. G. Mullins and that at the same time several members of the Royal Family came into the town in a private carriage, and drove around the town to view the decorations."
- IW Observer 30 July 1887 (page 4)

"We hear that by special command, Mr. G. MULLINS (of the firm of Hughes and Mullins), attended at Osborne on Thursday, and had the honour of sittings from the Queen, for photographs in the dress worn by Her Majesty during the State Jubilee celebrations at Westminster Abbey on June 21st."
- IW Observer 6 August 1887 (page 5)

"PHOTOGRAPHING THE BARON, - Mr. Gustav Mullins, by command of Her Majesty the Queen, recently attended at Osborne, and secured a number of excellent photographs for Her Majesty. Amongst other things he photographed the royal baron of beef as it rested, in regal state, on the sideboard, garnished on its side with the figures "1888" worked in horse-radish. On the left-hand side is the enormous boar's head, sent to Her Majesty from Germany; on the right towers a gigantic game pie (with pyramid of crust) and a splendid wood-cock pie. Her Majesty has kindly given Mr. Mullins permission to publish this photograph, and we are sure many of our readers will be pleased to secure so interesting a souvenir of Her Majesty's Christmas in the Isle of Wight in the year 1888."
- IW Observer 5 January 1889

"A ROYAL VISIT. - On Saturday last the Royal carriage was seen in Union-street, with the Princess Beatrice. It transpired that Her Royal Highness paid a visit to Mr Gustav Mullins to be photographed in some of the dresses she wore at the recent tableaux vivants and amateur theatricals at Osborne."
- IW Observer 8 February 1890

"A ROYAL PHOTOGRAPHER – Mr. G. Mullins, of this town, has again had the honour of taking photographs of Her Majesty at Osborne. The Queen was taken in her phaeton in the grounds, with the Princess Victoria of Schleswig-Holstezin standing by the carriage. Mr. Mullins also photographed H.R.H. Princess Victoria of Battenberg on the pony which formerly belonged to Messrs. Sanger’s circus. Some splendid views of the magnificent Indian banqueting room were obtained, some of them showing the tables laid for the Royal banquet to the German Emperor. The Royal photographer has received Her Majesty’s special commands to publish these views."
- IW County Press, 6 August 1892

"Messrs. Hughes and Mullins are now exhibiting at their well-known establishment, a picture in crayons, representing the “Morning Star,” one of the most admired of the tableaux vivants, at the Town Hall. It is a difficult subject to depict, but it is treated very artistically. Mr. Debenham also exhibits interesting photos of others of the same series of tableaux vivants."
- IW Observer 10 December 1892

"T.R.H. the Duke and Duchess of the Connaught and the Royal children were photographed at Messrs. Hughes and Mullins establishment on Thursday."
- IW Observer 31 December 1892

"MR GUSTAVUS MULLINS - had the honour of photographing his Imperial Highness the Czarewitch and her Grand Ducal Highness Princess Alice of Hesse at Osborne on Monday last. Prince Galitzin was also photographed on the same occasion."
- IW County Press, 28 July 1894

"An exhibition of professional photography is now being held in London at the house of the British Journal of Photography, 24 Wellington-street, Strand, W.C.  The exhibitors are limited members of the Professional Photographers Association, and among leading photographers we see the names of Messrs. Hughes and Mullins, Ryde."
- IW Observer 13 October 1906 (page 4)

On Monday, at the Guildhall, Newport, before the Registrar (Alfred Dashwood, Esq).
Re GUSTAVUS HENRY WILLIAM MULLINS, of Regina House, Union street, Ryde, photographer. - Debtor attended for his adjourned public examination. ..."
- IW County Press, 22 January 1910

"Mr. Gustav Mullins attended on Thursday at Osborne and took photographs of the King and Queen of Spain, H.R.H. Princess Henry of Battenberg, Princess Patricia of Connaught, Princess Christian and Princess Victoria of Schleswig Holstein. Mr. Mullins also attended at the meeting of the Gun Club on Wednesday and took some interesting photographs of the King of Spain, and the members."
- IW Observer 20 August 1910

At the Borough Bench on Monday, Mr. Robert Chapman, George-street, and Mr. Gustav Mullins, Union-street, were sworn in as special constables for the borough."
- IW Observer 15 July 1915 (page 5)

We regret to record the death of Mr. G. H. Mullins, Court Photographer of Union-street, which occurred on Tuesday.  The deceased some time ago underwent an operation and his health was much impaired but his death came as a shock to his many friends by whom he was greatly esteemed and much sympathy is expressed with Mrs. Mullins in her bereavement.  He also leaves a married daughter who is resident in New Zealand.
The late Mr. Mullins was one of the leading photographers in the Island and was honoured with frequent patronage from Royalty in the time of Queen Victoria and even later.  He also enjoyed a high class local connection.
The funeral takes place today Saturday.
- IW Observer 31 December 1921 (page 2)

The funeral took place on Saturday afternoon and was attended by brethren of the East Medina Lodge of Freemasons to which he belonged also by representatives of the Special Constabulary (in connection with which he did most useful service during the war at the Pierhead), the Ryde Club, Mead Club, etc.  A service was held at All Saints at which the Vicar (the Rev. Hugh le Fleming) officiated, assisted by the Rev. H. D. Caesar.
The principal mourners were Mrs. Mullins (widow), Capt. and Mrs. Simmonds (sister and brother-in-law) and Mr. J. P. Watts.
There was also present the Mayor (Alderman A. Andrews, J.P., C.C.), Alderman W. H. P. Thirkell, J.P., Alderman G. A. Blackall, J.P., Mr. and Mrs. H.B. Fowler, Mr. and Mrs. J. B. Purnell, Mr. F. W. and Mrs. Randall, Messrs. C. J. de Launay, W. E. Weeks, Major J. Ellery, E. A. Coombes, M. Riddett, J. H. Down, J. Osborne, A. G. Purnell, Dr. Pridmore, A. Wellesley-Hill, A. G. Page, A. E. Lowe.  The Chief Constable (Mr. Chas. Greenstreet) with Sergt. Orchard and Messrs. Miller, Read, and Betie representing the Special Constabulary were also present.
At the graveside the concluding portion of the service was conducted by the Rev. H. D. Caesar and the brethren of the lodge deposited sprigs of mimosa on the coffin.  The breastplate was inscribed "Gustav Mullins, Died December 27th Aged 67 years." 
The wreaths included the following:- "In affectionate remembrance and fraternal regard from the Worshipful Master, Wardens, and Brethren, East Medina Lodge."  "With deepest sympathy from the members of the Ryde Club."  "With remembrance and much sympathy from the members of the Mead Club."  There were also floral tributes from personal friends.
The funeral arrangements were entrusted to Mr. Charles Langdon.
- IW Observer 7 January 1922 (front page)
(there was also an announcement in the deaths column on the same page)

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


Photographers Index

Home page