John Robert Mather Sawyer
(This timeline does not claim to be a full biography of Sawyer. It simply presents some accumulated information and sources in chronological order. It represents work in progress and may be amended or augmented in the future. Where primary sources have been used, references are given; where no references are given, information should be regarded as subject to verification. For details of his work in partnership, see the Sawyer and Bird timeline.)
June 6 (Census: HO107/1337/2:13/18)
With his parents, John and Jane, in
Said to have placed his earliest advertisements as photographer. But these have yet to be found, and information from the 1851 census makes their existence seem open to question.
March 30 (CensusHO107/1529/155/12)
Silk warehouseman, living with many other warehousemen at 39 &40, Old Change, in the City of
January 29 (
An advertisement for rented premises in
February 14 (Parish register: South Hackney, Middlesex)
John Robert Sawyer, warehouseman of Bethnal Green, of full age, son of John Sawyer, cutler, married Laura Bumpstead, 18, of Ash Grove, daughter of Edmund Bumpstead, manufacturer. Witnesses: Edmund and Louisa Bumpstead.
December 10 (
Sawyer advertised a photographic studio at
January 16 (
An advertisement referred to his ‘residence of three years in
March 15 (
Article praising Sawyer’s work.
March 22 (
The paper praised Sawyer’s portrait of Mr George Dawson: ‘a most striking likeness of this gentleman’.
March 27 (
Sawyer was one of three photographers who exhibited portraits at the Norwich School of Art’s annual soirée.
October 11 (
He had recently returned from
Nov 17 [until
His work was represented in the exhibition of the Norwich Photographic Society (founded 1854). He showed collodion portraits and architectural views.
November 29 (
Sawyer announced the opening of a ‘New Studio’, with portraits ‘taken in any weather from Ten till Three’, at
June 16 (
He was about to make his usual visit to ‘Continental Markets’.
September 15 (
Earliest mention so far found that Sawyer was producing cartes de visites.
Sawyer announced that he had purchased the entire stock of fellow-photographers Rogers and Havers. He also regretted that ‘the late dull weather has prevented the punctual execution of orders’.
April 7 (Census: RG/1219, f123, p37)
With wife (Laura), two children (Robert, 5, and Ellen, 3) and mother-in-law (Louisa) in
Date not known
Birth of his son, Charles, in
January 4 (
He announced the opening of his ‘New Drawing Room Portrait Gallery’ at
July 26 (
He had just returned from ‘Paris and the Continent with all the latest improvements of the most eminent photographers’.
August 8 (
The paper praised his series of photographs of the encampment of the Norfolk Rifle Volunteers.
August 22 (
Sawyer was still operating at
October 3 (
He advertised his new studio at
October 3 (
The paper gave a description of both exterior and interior of Sawyer’s new Italian Studio at
October 21 (
Sawyer’s first branch studio: an advertisement referred to his new Italian Studio at
January 13 (
Announced that his
March 31 (
April 6 (
Sawyer announced that he had disposed of his
August 31 (
Announced that he had ‘just returned from the Paris Exposition’.
April 11 (
His studio at
Said to have travelled to
He announced the introduction of ‘The New Photo Crayon’ to
February 12 (
The paper printed a letter from Sawyer about ‘advanced’ Liberal politics.
May 28 (
Mentioned as secretary of the Advanced Liberals.
August 6 (
First mention so far found of a branch studio at
March 21 (
First reference found so far to the formation of the Sawyer and Bird partnership.
April 2 (Census: RG10/1811/38/18)
Photographer, living in Thorpe Road, St Matthew, Norwich, with his wife, Laura, and three children: Ellen (13), Charles (9) and Walter (0).
April 3 (Census: RG11/1345, f16, p26)
Described as ‘Director of Autotype Works’, living at
October 1 [to Nov 14] (Exhibitions of the RPS, http://erps.dmu.ak.uk)
Exhibited Views in
His will was proved. Charles, his son, and Walter Bird were co-executors, and his personal estate was worth £9,091 8s 3d.
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