Cornelius   Jabez   Hughes

(20 July 1819 - August 11, 1884)

An early student of phrenology and related pseudo-scientific subjects, Cornelius Jabez Hughes was an assistant to John Jabez Edwin Mayall in London. After 1847, he moved to Glasgow, where he opened his own successful studio. He became active in the Glasgow Photographic Society in the early 1850s; in 1855, he returned to London and bought Mayall's studio. Hughes later built the Regina House Studio in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. Queen Victoria, who had a residence there, and other members of the British royal family became frequent visitors.

Hughes published frequently on the subject of photography, basing his writings on his own photographic successes, including often-cited articles with quirky titles such as "About Light, and About Lighting the Sitter; with Some Reflections About the Room in Which He is Lighted." One of the most popular photographers in England in his day.

Born in Westminster July 20 1819.
Christened January 17 1827 in Westminster.
Marriedd Esther Wright (b. Canterbury 1820) June 19, 1843 in Westminster, one son.
STUDIO: 433 West Strand, Westminster May 1855-1859. Successors to J J E Mayall; succeeded by E S Hughes.
1871: photographer living at Morley's Hotel, Trafalgar Square, Westminster.
1881: photographer living in Ryde, Isle of Wight.
Assistant to Mayall in London 1847; worked for Bernard in Glasgow, then opened own studio.
Member of Glasgow Photographic Society in 1850s.

After John Werge bought studio, Hughes moved back to London, bought Mayall's studio. Took over Lacy's studio in Ryde, Isle of Wight after latter's death in 1861; extensively patronised by royalty.

Member of the Photographic Society (later The Royal Photographic Society) from 1870, council member 1866-1871 & 1876 - 1884.
Freemason, member of St Mark's Lodge, Glasgow.
Partnership with Gustav Mullins in Ryde dissolved February 27, 1886.
Times adverts November 21, 1855, March 19, 1856, April 2, 1857 (as 432 & 433 Strand);
Notes & Queries advert March 15, 1856, May, 1858 as 433 Strand only.

Photographic warehouse moved to 11a Berners Street, Westminster 1872, under control of John Werge.

Died in Ryde, Isle of Wight August 11 1884. Buried in Abney Park Cemetery, Hackney next to his son, Alfred (d. 1878).
How to learn photography, C Jabez Hughes & John Werge, 1861. Gernsheim, incunabula 853 (14th ed 1887), C Jabez Hughes. The principles and practice of photography familiarly explained in a course of easy lessons. London, the author, 1861. (6th ed. 1864; 13th ed 1883, with sub - title Being a manual for beginners. By John Werge). Gernsheim, Incunabula 854. List of journal contributions in Johnson. Thirty years of photographic progress; how it has been secured, and how it may be maintained November 30 1883.

LITERATURE: Court case regarding thefts from Hughes' warehouse by Frederick Smith, brother-in-law of porter Joseph Ricketts, April 9; advert for photographic warehouse, October 21 1873; Mr Jabez Hughes at Regina House, Ryde, August 20 1880, (Reprinted in Pritchard); obituaries, August 15 1884, August 29 1884 (with whole-page portrait); Channing & Dunn (for photographic apparatus); Raymond V. Turley. Isle of Wight photographers 1840-1940.

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External Link: The principles and practice of photography familiarly explained, (1861)



Birth: Jul. 20, 1819
Death: Aug. 11, 1884
He became a photographer to the Royal Family on the Isle of Wight, and employed as Mayall's secretary and chief assistant. He placed an advertisement for Mayall's Daguerreotype Institution in The Times newspaper on 18th May 1847. In the advertisement Mayall was presented as "Professor Highschool - late of Philadelphia, U.S." As mentioned earlier, Mayall had been associated with Philadelphia's Central High School during his stay in America and probably adopted the title of Professor to reflect his scientific training as a chemist and to reinforce his claims to be a pioneering inventor in the field of photography.
Burial: Abney Park Cemetery, Stoke Newington, London Borough of Hackney, Greater London, England
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