Clement’s Inn, London

pankhursts-on-roof-garden1908-lse-libraryChristabel and Emmeline Pankhurst on the roof at Clement’s Inn, London, October 1908, via LSE (London School of Economics) Library Commons on flickr. A note on the back of the photo says that they were hiding* from the police.

At the time of the photo, numbers 3 and 4 Clement’s Inn† housed the offices of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU), which Emmeline had founded in 1903. The organization was an all-female group campaigning for women’s suffrage and was known for its physical confrontations with police, hunger strikes, and arson. Christabel was Emmeline’s oldest daughter and eventually took over leadership of the group.  At the outbreak of WWI, both women called for a halt to WSPU militant activities in support of the war effort and became involved in the “white feather” movement, handing out the traditional symbol of cowardice to men in civilian clothes.

There’s an interesting history of the Pankhurst women (there were two more daughters, Sylvia and Adela) here.


* A warrant had been issued for their arrest.  After the photo was taken, they went down to the street and were arrested.

†Located about here. The Clement’s Inn buildings, built in the 1880s, were five to seven stories high and housed both offices and apartments.  They were all demolished by 1977. The photo above was taken from the roof garden of the apartment of another WSPU member.

Vintage landscape: Lacock Abbey

Lady's Elizabeth's, 1840s, Museum of Photographic Arts“Lady Elisabeth’s Rose Garden, Lacock [Abbey], England,” early 1840s, by William Henry Fox Talbot, via Museum of Photographic Arts Commons on flickr (both photos).

Lady Elizabeth Fox-Strangways Feilding was the photographer’s mother.

Lady's Elizabeth's rose garden, 1840s, Museum of Photographic Arts

Talbot was one of the early fathers of photography.  He developed the paper negative and the process of permanently fixing photos on chemically treated paper.

This is the body of light. . . .

— Ronald Johnson, from “BEAM 30: The Garden

The Sunday porch: the Jones

crj00 006Calvert Richard Jones (on the right), with six women, a man, boy, girl and dog, standing and sitting in a colonnaded porch way,” probably Swansea, Wales, ca. 1860, via National Library of Wales Commons on flickr.

Jones was a member of Swansea’s wealthly, landowning elite.  He studied mathematics at Oxford and was ordained as an Anglican priest, but spent much of his time traveling and painting. Like many men and women of his class in the Swansea area from the 1840s to the early 1860s, he was a photography enthusiast. In 1841, he took a daguerreotype that is now the earliest accurately dated photograph in Wales.

The photo may include Mrs. Jones (Portia Smith) and one or more of their three daughters.

Vintage landscape: Grimsby, Ontario

Maj. Buller's tent, Grimsby camp, Hamilton Public LibraryMajor E. M. Bullers’s tent in the Prince Consort’s Own Rifle Brigade encampment at Grimsby, Ontario, between 1862 and 1864. Photo taken by a member of the Ridley* family and used here courtesy of Local History & Archives, Hamilton Public Library (both photos).

Prince Consort’s Own” was a previous name of the British Army infantry regiment that is currently called “The Rifles.”  Their history during the Napoleonic Wars was popularized in Bernard Cornwell’s “Sharpe” novels.

A battalion of the Brigade was sent to the Grimsby/Hamilton† area during a British military buildup in Canada in response to the Trent Affair of 1861.  They arrived there in February 1862, just after the crisis had been resolved diplomatically — evidently clearing time for landscaping.

Grimsby camp, Hamilton Public LibraryAbove is another photo of the encampment, showing the tent of its Lieutenant, Lord Edward Cavendish.

The Library’s notes say that Hamilton had landed the most socially desirable regiment in Canada — after the Grenadier Guards, a prize won by Montreal.


*The photos are from the Mills Family Album.

†Grimsby is about 18 miles from Hamilton.

Vintage landscape: Ambleside

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Ambleside, stepping stones, Lake District, England,” ca. 1890 – ca. 1900, a photochrom print by Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

Addendum: Below, two more views of the same type of stream crossing. . .

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“Abbey stepping stones, . . . Bolton Abbey, England,” ca. 1890 – ca. 1900, photochrom prints by Detroit Publishing Co., via Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division.

The three images are from the Library’s photochrom collection “Views of the British Isles.”