Walter Downes Bradnee 1817 – 1898
Walter had studios at six different addresses in Torquay, Devon between 1866 and 1893. He also ran studios at at least two addresses in his home town of Newton Abbot between 1870 and 1883. He had retired by 1891 and moved to Canada.
|1851||Age 33||4 Lockyer Terrace, St. Andrew, Plymouth, Devon – Lodger – Wax modeller|
|1861||Age 43||Crane St., Chester, Cheshire – Lodger – Widower – Wax florist|
|1871||Age 53||? Hotel, College Place, Bristol, Gloucestershire|
|Visitor – Photographer with Rosalba Bradnee|
|Age 40 living Calabria, Newton Abbot, Devon – Professor of Music|
|1881||Age 63||1 Calabria, Newton Abbot, Devon – Photographer|
|1891||Age 73||St. Stephens, Charlotte Co., New Brunswick, Canada|
Walter’s father, William, a surgeon and apothecary was born in 1775 (the son of William Bradnee of Barrow and Elizabeth Downs of Haughton parish) and had married Harriet, the daughter of Lancelot Haynes of Ditton Priors, a small Shropshire village near Bridgnorth in 1812.
Walter was born on the 11th June 1817 at Wheathill, another small village in Shropshire between Bridgnorth and Ludlow.
Very little is known of his early life but by the age of 25, he had met Anna Forsell and married her on the 7th April 1842 at Leicester, her home town.
Their eldest daughter, Elizabeth M, was born in 1844 and Susannah C E was born in 1845, both in Leamington and a son William was born in 1848 in Milverton in Somerset. He died in 1851.
By 1851, at the age of 33, Walter was lodging at 4 Lockyer Terrace, St. Andrew, Plymouth and his occupation is given as a wax modeller.
A fourth child, Lydia Harriot, was born in 1856 but Walter’s wife Anna died soon after at Martley, Worcestershire on 19th September 1858.
The 1861 census shows Walter as a widower lodging at Crane Street, Chester, Cheshire. He is described as a wax florist. By this time he was 43 years old.
On the 21st June 1866 at Newton Abbot, Walter married Rosalba Mary Olivia Rinaldi of Newton Abbot, the daughter of Don Rinaldi.
In the same year, 1866, Walter opened his first photography studio at Torwood Street in the nearby seaside town of Torquay.
In 1870 he opened a studio at Newton Abbot. In 1873 he moved his studio to 1 Calabria, Newton Abbot and in 1881, at the age of 63, Walter and Rosalba were recorded as living at that address. He continued to operating there until at least 1883.
Walter’s business expanded in Torquay and he moved studios a number of times over the following years. He operated out of the Assembly Rooms, 36, 46, 47 and 8 Fleet Street until the business eventually stopped advertising in 1893.
In 1886 there was an application for registration for copyright regarding a photograph registered at the Stationer’s Company (COPY 1/376/1). The form is now held by The National Archives, Kew
‘Photograph of Edward Terry, Cabinet size.’ Copyright owner of work: Walter Bradnee, Calabria, Newton Abbot Copyright author of work: James Dinham, 46 Fleet Street, Torquay. Form Completed 31 March 1886. Registration stamp: 1 April 1886.
In 1889 there were further applications for registration for copyright regarding photographs registered at the Stationer’s Company.
- ‘Cabinet photograph of Miss Alice Gomes, standing, almost full face.’ Copyright owner and author of work: Walter Bradnee, 46 Fleet Street, Torquay. Form Completed 22 January 1889. Registration stamp: 25 January 1889
- ‘Cabinet photograph of Miss Alice Gomes, standing, ¾ face.’ Copyright owner and author of work: Walter Bradnee, 46 Fleet Street, Torquay. Form Completed 22 January 1889. Registration stamp: 25 January 1889.
- ‘Cabinet photograph of Miss Alice Gomes, head & bust.’ Copyright owner and author of work: Walter Bradnee, 46 Fleet Street, Torquay. Form Completed 22 January 1889. Registration stamp: 25 January 1889.
By 1891 Walter was living in St. Stephen, Charlotte County, New Brunswick in Canada and died at 45 Elgin Avenue in Toronto on the 23rd January 1898. His will to Rosalba indicated he had effects valued at £43.2s.0d.
William Bradnee – the nephew
Walter had a nephew, William Bradnee, who was also involved in the photography business. For more details, click here.
|Father||William Bradney or Bradnee of Wheathill, Shropshire.|
|Surgeon & apothecary, baptised at Barrow 12 May 1775|
|Died there 24 December 1850|
|Mother||Harriet Haynes born 1784, christened on 7th May 1784, died 1867|
|Daughter of Lancelot Haynes, Ditton Priors, Shropshire|
|Born||11 June 1817 at Wheathill, Shropshire|
|Married||April 7 1842 at Leicester to Anna Forsell, died 1858, Martley, Worcestershire|
|Child 1||Elizabeth M, born 1844 in Leamington, Warwickshire|
|Child 2||Susannah Catherine (Kate) Elizabeth, born 1845, Leamington, Warwickshire|
|Child 3||William John Forsell born 1848, Milverton, Warwickshire|
|Died 1851 Plymouth, Devon|
|Child 4||Lydia Harriott born 1855, baptised 3 Nov 1855, Ross on Wye, Herefordshire|
|Married 2||June 21 1866 at Newton Abbot to Rosalba Mary Olivia Rinaldi|
|(born c.1831 in London) of Newton Abbot, daughter of Don Rinaldi.|
|Child 5||Rosa born c. 1873, Kidderminster, Herefordshire|
|Died||23 January 1898 at 45 Elgin Avenue, Toronto, Canada.|
Chantal Martin email@example.com, family historian, who provided the information for the life story above
Marcel Safier for additional research and census data
Sandy Barrie for trade directory information
Walter Downes Bradnee – Gallery