William Usherwood 1821 – 1915
William worked as a portrait and miniature painter and photographer in Dorking from 1860 until he sold the business in 1907. He had three different studio addresses in Dorking.
He died in 1915.
1841 – age 17, at St. Mary, Islington, London
1851 – age 28, at 95 Mary Street, Marylebone, London. Portrait and miniature painter
1861 – age 36, at Falkland Road, Dorking, Surrey. Miniature painter
1871 – age 48, at Falkland Road, Dorking, Surrey. Artist and photographer
1881 – age 59, at Falkland Road, Dorking, Surrey. Artist and photographer
1891 – age 68, at 32 High Street, Dorking, Surrey. Artist and photographer
1901 – age 79, at 32 High Street, Dorking, Surrey. Artist and photographer
1911 – age 88, at Sefton Villas, Holmwood, Dorking, Surrey. Retired photographer
William Usherwood was born about 1822 in London, Chelsea, Croydon or Marylebone, depending on which document you look at.
By 1841, the census records him as being in Islington in London and by 1851 he was still in London in Marylebone.
On 25th October 1853 William married Amelia Ann Westbrook at Marylebone Church, London. Amelia was born c. 1829 in St. Giles or Marylebone, London, the daughter of James Westbrook, a coach painter, of Beaulieu, Southampton.
William was a portrait and miniature painter and they (probably) lived at 95 Mary Street, Marylebone, London. According to the birth place of their first child, they moved to Walton on Hill near Dorking in Surrey shortly thereafter).
Their first child, Josephine Amelia Nathalie, was born in 1854 in Walton on Hill, followed by Charles William George (1855), Ernest Frank (1857), Alice Grace Emma (1859) and Julia Mary J (1860).
It is said that William took the first ever photograph of a comet when he photographed Donati’s comet in 1858, unfortunately, the picture itself has been lost.
At the age of 35, William moved his family and his business to Dorking and lived at Walton Villa, (possibly a link with Walton on the Hill) Falkland Road, later called 82 Falkland Road.
The family increased in size and Egmont Augustus was born in 1861 followed by Clarice Rose Ann (1863), Florence Madora Bertha (1865), Rosina (1867), Kate Ellen ‘Kate’ (1870) and finally Ada in 1872. Eleven children in all.
William is still recorded at the 82 Falkland Road address in 1861, 1871 and 1881.
Sometime between 1882 and 1887, the family moved to Shrub House at 32, High Street, Dorking on the corner of Mill Lane, and William had his studio at that address. He was still there at the time of the 1901 census. The High Street was renumbered in the 1930s and number 32 is now number 145 and is currently the site of the Original Factory shop. Shrub House was demolished sometime in the 1930s.
By 1907, William sold the business to John W Moorhouse, retired and moved to Sefton Villa, North Holmwood in Dorking.
Three of their children went on to become photographers: Charles William George Usherwood in Sheffield, Ernest Frank Usherwood in Nottingham and Egmont Augustus Usherwood in Norwich and Bishop Auckland. Another child, Clarice Rose Ann Usherwood married a photographer (William Henry Wallace TUCK (1856 – c1910) and lived in Cheltenham.
As was common in those days, the younger daughters Florence and Rose (Rosina) stayed at home to look after their parents and probably never married.
William and Amelia celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary in 1913 (see picture below).
According to an article on his 60th (not 70th as stated in the article) wedding anniversary, William did well in his life, working as a portrait and miniature painter of, among others, Queen Victoria, Princess Alice and the Duke of Wellington.
William died in 1915, and Amelia died at North Holmwood in 1919.
Kate and Rose were still living together in 1949.
Father – John Hughes Usherwood (1797 – 1870)
Mother – Mary Lacy (c 1800 – ?)
Born – 31 August 1821 in Marylebone, Croydon or Chelsea
Married – 25 Oct 1853 in Marylebone Church, London to Amelia Ann Westbrook, born c. 1829 in St. Giles or Marylebone, London and died c. 1919 at North Holmwood, Dorking, Surrey.
Children – (1) Josephine Amelia Nathalie Usherwood, born 20 August 1854 in Walton on Hill, Surrey (2) Charles William George Usherwood, born 17 December 1855 in Walton on Hill, Surrey. Died March 1931 in Rochdale (3) Ernest Frank Usherwood, born 20 June 1857 in Walton On Hill, Surrey (4) Alice Grace Emma Usherwood, born 13 Aug 1859 in Walton On Hill, Surrey (5) Julia Mary J Usherwood, born c. 1860 in Walton On Hill, Surrey (6) Egmont Augustus Usherwood, born 29 November 1861 in Dorking, Surrey. Died 6 January 1915 in Bishop Auckland (7) Clarice Rose Ann Usherwood, born 19 June 1863 in Dorking, Surrey. Died 1940 (8) Florence Madora Bertha Usherwood, born 21 Mar 1865 in Dorking, Surrey (9) Rosina Usherwood, born c. 1867 in Dorking, Surrey (10) Kate Ellen ‘Kate’ Usherwood, born March 1870 in Dorking. Died after 1949 (11) Ada Usherwood, born c. 1872 in Dorking, Surrey. Died after 1949.
Died 4 November 1915 at North Holmwood, Dorking, Surrey.
- Robert E Monk (great-great-grandson of William Usherwood), family historian, who provided the information for the life story above
- Sandy Barrie for trade directory information
- Ron Cosens for images from the Victorian Image Collection
William Usherwood – Gallery