Victorian Butcher

CDV of a butcher by Henry Harper

This worn and faded carte-de-visite dates to the 1870s. Two well-dressed gents wearing bowler hats sit either side of a young man sharpening knives. I assume he was a butcher, otherwise the scene might be a rather sinister one!

CDV of a butcher by Henry Harper - cropped

The photographer’s name was Henry Harper, of Lincoln Chambers, Cookridge Street, Leeds. In 1871 Henry was living with wife Emma and daughter Florence on Hanover Street, and gave his occupation as photographer. His photographic career seems to have been a short one however, beginning around 1870 and ending in bankruptcy in 1876 (1).

Knaresborough Post - Saturday 21 May 1870.pngImage © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (2)

Henry moved on to a new career, as proprietor of the Tramway Dining Rooms, Boar Lane, Leeds. He obviously had aspirations, since the venue later evolved into a restaurant:

Wetherby News, and Central Yorkshire Journal - Thursday 11 December 1879.pngImage © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (3)

Sadly this second career was also short-lived, because Henry died (aged 35) on 2nd January 1881. According to the death notice, his younger brother died the very same day.

Yorkshire Gazette - Saturday 08 January 1881.pngImage © THE BRITISH LIBRARY BOARD. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. (4)

I haven’t yet discovered any details linking the two deaths. Is it possible the brothers were together on that day, perhaps in Manchester? Or was it just a terrible and tragic coincidence?

If I find any clues, I’ll add them to this post.

Newspaper clippings courtesy of the British Newspaper Archive; The British Library Board. Further research carried out using Ancestry and The Gazette.

References:
(1) The London Gazette – 24 March 1876 (Issue 24308 Page 2109)
(2) Knaresborough Post – Saturday 21 May 1870
(3) Wetherby News and Central Yorkshire Journal – Thursday 11 December 1879
(4) Yorkshire Gazette – Saturday 08 January 1881

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11 thoughts on “Victorian Butcher

  1. A butcher, or possibly a fishmonger? The striped apron suggests a butcher.
    How sad if the two brothers died together (or even if they didn’t). And isn’t it also sad how we, who collect these photos, can often find out plenty about the photographers and their studios, but little about the subjects of the photos?

    Liked by 3 people

      • I would have thought so too, but they seem to be added in batches regardless of date. Sometimes there are gaps within the batches that are filled in later. I found some important information about my gt-grandmother in one of the archives and when I went back later to double check the newspaper (and others) it had been removed! Good job I’d already made a low-res copy… maybe it was something to do with licensing/copyright?

        Liked by 1 person

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