Is This You, Agnes Phillips?

I am now delving into the not-so-easily identified selection of images from the Barnstaple Album in the hope they might provide clues and maybe, just maybe, someone will recognise them as they browse the internet.


Above is a carte-de-visite of a Victorian lady in her finery, with the following inscription on the reverse: For Agnes Phillips with K.F.P’s love. Or perhaps V.F.P.? Either way, I originally assumed the initials belonged to the sender, the image being the sender’s image.

But could it be the reverse? Perhaps the image is that of Agnes Phillips herself, the photograph being a present from K.F.P.?

A little research shows that Agnes Phillips was the daughter of John South Phillips and niece of Fanny Heigham. Her full name was Agnes Maria Desborough Phillips, and she married Rev. Alfred Edward Gover in 1887 when she was about 37 years old:

Bury and Norwich Post - 4 Oct 1887
Bury and Norwich Post – 4th October 1887

According to the newspaper article, the guests included various members of the Heigham family and Mr and Mrs W. N. King, whose wedding gift was a photograph book. Mr and Mrs Raymond Smythies gifted a brass inkstand, candlestick and paper knife, and Colonel Alderson a china basket.

Cousin Jane

A second Carte-de-Visite (above) shows the portrait of a woman who is labelled Cousin Jane. I have yet to find a Jane. I am struck by her resemblance to Agnes Phillips / K.F.P., though, so I am sure she cannot hide for too long!

Newspaper clippings are from The British Newspaper Archive  © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


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