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EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

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A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks

 

John Counsell
1818 - 1890

Brighton

John Counsell was born in Edmonton, Middlesex in 1818.  He became an assistant to William Constable, Brighton's earliest photographer in 1841 and possibly early 1842.

His work in Brighton is referred to in his advert of 1 September 1842, placed in the Caledonian Mercury during Queen Victoria's visit to Edinburgh.

Edinburgh

He became one of Edinburgh's earliest daguerreotype photographers in 1842.  Several advertisements for the Counsell studio at 19 Princes Street appeared in the Caledonian Mercury newspaper in 1842 and early 1843.  This studio was in the name of:

Messrs Edwards  March, April 1842

Edwards, Counsell & Miles  May, early June 1842

Counsell & Miles  late June, July? 1842

Counsell  July?, August 1842 to January 1843

In his later advertisements, John Counsell encouraged his clients to visit his studio before it closed.  The studio appears to have remained open until around Jan 1843; the final adverts being placed that month and recommending daguerreotype portraits for Miniature Christmas Presents!

John Counsell was married while in Edinburgh.  The entry in the Old Parish Registers for 1842 reads:

"John Counsell, Portrait Painter,
 residing at 19 Princes St, St Andrews Parish,
 and Miss Rebecca Baker, residing same place and Parish,
 daughter of the late John Baker, wine merchant,
 Kings Cross, London.
 Married at Edinburgh on 31st October 1842 
 by Rev Dr John Ritchie, Minister of Potterrow."

 

Cornwall

John Counsell Stephens had a photographic studio at West End, Redruth, Cornwall in 1855, where he also sold engravings.
[West Briton & Cornwall Advertiser, 20 July 1855:  Thank you to David Simkin for this reference]

Between 1847 and 1876, John Counsell is reported as living and working in Cornwall.  He called himself John Counsell Stephens, while working in Falmouth, Cornwall, and it was under this name that he appeared in the 1851 census at Falmouth, Cornwall

Name Change and Marriage

The reason for this name-change is not known.  There also seems to be some doubt about the details of John's marriage.  See below.

- David Simkin of Brighton, who has been researching the photographers of Sussex, told me in June 2002 that John Counsell married Sarah Herring (b1822) in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England in 1847.

- John Counsell of Devon, whose gg grandfather was the brother of the photographer John Counsell,  told me in June 2002   that the photographer John Counsell remained married to Sarah (née Herring) all his life until he died in 1890 in Dunedin NZ..

Name Change -  Update 1

Thank you to Liz Stephens whose husband was Michael Counsell Stephens, great great grandson of the photographer, John Counsell Stephens, for sending me more information about this change of name.

Liz wrote:

"The story we were told by Great Uncle Oswald Counsell Stephens was that John did something shady and changed his name to Stephens when he  ' ran away'. When a few years had passed he then re claimed Counsell which the NZ family have carried on.

However my understanding at that time, and on further conversation with my Mother in Law, was that this referred to John Jefferson Counsell Stephens, her husband Alan's  Grandfather who, they said, ran away from Falmouth when he was 12 yrs old, jumped on a ship and eventually ended up in NZ.

John  (Jefferson) Counsell Stephens was described as working for a baker and doing something wrong which made him leave in a hurry.  I now realise that it was Jefferson's father who changed his name.  One might assume from this that his alleged first wife Rebecca Baker's family may have been  the reason why John Counsell  'ran away' and changed his name!!

On recent investigation I have found that John Jefferson arrived two years after his father, in 1879 aged 17 yrs. The whole family were in Falmouth in 1871, after that I do not know what happened. I will keep investigating!"

LIz Stephens, New Zealand:  July 5, 2007

Name Change -  Update 2

Deirdre Long, an indirect descendant of John Counsell, wrote to me in October 2004. telling me that she was researching his family history.  She wrote again in 2007 with the following message:

"I now know that Sarah Herring, the second wife of John Counsell Stephens, was  born  in Darlton, Nottinghamshire, and was christened on 17th March 1822. She was the daughter of George and Mary Herring. I have taken this information directly from the 1861 Census for Falmouth, Cornwall.
(Ref RG9/1565)

Also, I know that John's first wife, Rebecca, died in Union Workhouse, Edmonton, Middlesex on June 6th 1846, at the age of 34. She died of heart disease. Her death record is spelled incorrectly as Rebecca Counsill.

With reference to the entry by Liz Stephens, this seems to knock on the head the theory that in some way the family of Rebecca would have been chasing John Counsell Stephens, causing him to change his name.

However, there is something of a coincidence. John's brother's servant was a girl by the name of Mary Stephens (1851 Census for Peckham, Surrey). Mary came from Brighton, which is exactly where John headed for to join William Constable in his photographic studio. Whatever their relationship (and their was possibly none at all), John may simply have taken the extra name to enhance his professional credibility.

Deirdre Long:  July 20, 2007

New Zealand

John Counsell spent 13 years in New Zealand, until his death in Dunedin, New Zealand, in 1890.  Some descendants still live in New Zealand, others in Australia.  Some use the name Counsell, others use the name Counsell Stephens.

 

Acknowledgements

Thank you to the following who supplied the Brighton, Cornwall and New Zealand information on this page:

John Counsell (gg grandson of the brother of photographer John Counsell) and his daughter

-  Deirdre Long et. al.  (I don't know who the 'et al' are)

David Simkin

-  LIz Stephens (who was married to the gg grandson of John Counsell.

-  Carol Stubbs for supplying details of John Counsell's marriage in Edinburgh, taken from the Old Parish Registers.

 

 

John Counsell

John Counsell:  Photographer in Brighton and Edinburgh

John Counsell:  Adverts in Edinburgh Newspapers - 1842

John Counsell Stephens (the same man): Photography in Cornwall

 

__________________

 

Links to Other Pages

EdinPhoto - Home Page  Please send me an e-mail ...  with your questions, comments, suggestions or news.   At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.     At any time, you can search for a word  -  perhaps a photographer's name or a photographic topic.  The search will produce a list of pages on the EdinPhoto web site where this word appears.  

Photographs and Other Images  -  These include portraits of photographers  -  photographic outings -  Princes Street views  -  Newhaven Fishwives  -  etc.  Early Photography in Edinburgh  -  Talbot, Brewster, Hill & Adamson, Early Professional Photographers in Princes Street, etc.  Professional Photographers in Edinburgh  -  1840 to 1940  -  Their names, dates of business and studio addresses.  The Photographic Society of Scotland  -  1856 to 1873  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, etc.  The History of Edinburgh Photographic Society  -  1861 to date  -  Lectures, Exhibitions, Outings, Poems, etc.  EPS Publications - EPS Handwritten Records  -  Photographic Journals  -  Trade Directories  -  Books  -  etc.  Thanks to all who have encouraged and supported me in creating the EdinPhoto web site  -  including descendants of photographers  -  researchers  -  providers of photographs and other material  Background notes on the research thal led up to the creation of this site  -   together with lists of new material added to the site since its launch.  Brief comments on how this site might be used  -  Just browsing?  -  Seeking specific information?  Please add your questions, suggestions or other comments to the Guest Book.  Links to other web sites  -  Photographic Societies  -  Photographic History  -  Family History  -  etc.  Click here to find the link to the Edinburgh Photogrpahic Society web site.

 

A selection of my photographs, many from Edinburgh throughout the year.   Also photos from Scotland, London, Iceland, Italy, Hong Kong and elsewhere    Many old maps of Edinburgh (Old Town, New Town, while City), Leith and Newhaven.  Includes several old transport maps and a comparison of old maps with recent aerial photos.   Old engravings, mailly of Edinburgh scenes.  Some from the 1820s, some from the 1890s,  some others - includes many hand-coloured examples from the 1820s.   News from Edinburgh today  -  Events, Collections, Buildings and Gardens, Transport   This site includes     1. Post card portraits taken in studios in Edinburgh:    2. Post card views either takeen/published by Ediburgh photographers or views of Edinburgh, or both.y Edinburgh    Views of Edinburgh, grouped into three sections:     1. Street views:    2. Buildings:    3. Around Edinburgh   Views of transport around Edinburgh  -  Horse drawn trams and buses, cable cars, electric trams, buses and a few railway photos.  Also several maps of Edinburgh's bus and tram routes.   Links to pages with Photos of Groups   Frequently Asked Questions

  Summary of the updates added to this site each month since the site was launched   Links to Dumbiedykes pages  Link to Granton pages  Link to Leith pages   Link to Newhaven pages   Links to Portobello pages   Link to My Recent Talks