Professional Photographers named


-  Grierson Gordon Mitchell  d.1916

      sometimes incorrectly listed  as George G Mitchell

-  Lawrie & Mitchell - a Grierson G Mitchell partnership

-  Mitchell & Laing - a Grierson G Mitchell partnership

-  Miss Maude Mitchell

-  WB Mitchell

-  WB Mitchell & Co


Grierson Gordon Mitchell

Professional Photographer


Grierson Mitchell was a partner in the above partnerships.  (In fact, this appears to be the same photographer as George G Mitchell who is listed in the 1871 census and in Slater's Directory for 1889.

Professional photographer

Grierson G Mitchell  was a partner in

-   Lawrie & Mitchell from 1857 to 1898

-   Mitchell & Laing from 1910 to 1915.

His own company, G G Mitchell  was listed in the trade directories at the addresses below

its addresses were:

-  1889-90    25 North  Bridge *

* I found the company listed at this address only in Slater's Directory.  It was listed under the name 'George G Mitchell, but I believe this was an error and should have read 'Grierson G Mitchell.

-  1899-1921    1 Nicolson Square  **

** Grierson Gordon Mitchell was still listed as being a photographer in the 1901 census.  He lived a further fifteen years, and died aged 84 in 1916.  Did he continue to run the company right up to his death, and who ran it after his death?


Cabinet Prints

Here are a couple of cabinet prints from G G Mitchell's studio at 1 Nicolson Square:

Cabinet print from the studio of Grierson Gordon Mitchell  -  lady and baby ©        Cabinet print from the studio of Grierson Gordon Mitchel  -  Young man and trellis ©



The period 1857 to 1916 seems very long to have been covered by one photographer.  Grierson Mitchell is not a common name, but there may have been several photographers with this name in the same family.


Thank you to David AM Grierson, author of 'Grierson World Project' for telling me that that there were, indeed, three members of the Mitchell family who were given the name Grierson.

Grierson Mitchell (1)

b. 22 April 1783, born in Liberton, Midlothian

Grierson Mitchell (2)

b. 16 August 1836:  born in Edinburgh

Grierson Mitchell (3)

b. 17 January 1869:  Christened in Manchester

However, please also see 'Update 2' below for further details of the Grierson Mitchells, and the conclusion that there may well have been only the one Grierson G Mitchell involved in these companies from the outset until some time between 1901 and 1916.


Thank you to Tammy Mitchell for sending me the results of some of her research into the Mitchell family.  Below, are the details of the Grierson Mitchells in the family.

The family history seems a little complicated, so please let me know, Tammy, if I've misinterpreted your comments in any way.

The details below are taken from emails sent to me by Tamm Mitchell.

As well as the three Grierson Mitchells listed above there was a Grierson Mitchell, born 1833.   I'll call him Grierson Mitchell (2a).  He is the Edinburgh photographer named Grierson G MItchell.

An very abbreviated family tree would look like this:

Abbreviated family tree for the family of Edinburgh photographer

Grierson Mitchell  (1) born 1783

-  His parents were Hugh Mitchell and Marion Grierson, married 1770

-  He was one of twelve children born between 1771 and 1793.

-  1st marriage:  to Christian Patterson (children Hugh, George, Elizabeth)

-  2nd marriage:  to Margaret Wilson (children Grierson (2), William Esq)

Grierson Mitchell (2) born 1836

-   He was the son of Grierson Mitchell (1) through his marriage to Margaret.

-   He was educated in Edinburgh and moved to England where he worked as a buyer in the cotton industry between India and England.

Grierson Mitchell (2a) born 1833

-   He was Grierson Gordon Mitchell, artistic photographer.

-   He was born on May 4, 1833, son of Hugh Mitchell (above) and Celia Gordon, so was grandson of Grierson Mitchell (1)
In fac, he was younger than Grierson Mitchell(2), son of Grierson Mitchell (1).

Grierson Mitchell (3) born 1869

-  Grierson Mitchell (3) was born in 1869, in Manchester, England

-  He was the son of  Grierson Mitchell (2) and Margaret Jane McKerrow.

-  He was living with his mom at the time of the 1881 census.

-  His mother passed away in 1888 in Altrincham.

-  His father died in 1917 in Warrington

-  His siblings were: Henry (aka Harry) McKerrow & Frank A.

-  His Uncle was Sir William Wilson Mitchell Esq.

-  His Uncle William's children were all born in Ceylon, India.


Tammy Mitchell also provided the following information from censuses and other records relating to Grierson Gordon Mitchell.  i.e. Grierson Mitchell 2(a)

Tammy wrote:

 Grierson Mitchell 2(a)

In 1851, Hugh Mitchell was living with his step mom Margaret (née Wilson) who was 1 year younger then him. Hugh had been a candle maker located on Cross Causeway most of his adult life.  In this census he is an 'invalid'. He is a Widower.

In 1851, Grierson Gordon Mitchell is about 17 and is in the home of his grandmother Agnes Gordon.  Occupation: Clerk In Wholesale Warch.

In 1861, I found him living alone at the same address as 1851, 2 Murray Street, Edinburgh St Cuthberts, Newington district, Midlothian, Scotland

In 1871, I found him with his wife Helen, and their first two children. In the index his name appears as George Mitchell. But his wife and children's names are correct.  He is living at 3 Gladstone Place, Occupation: photographer, spelled wrongly.

In 1881, he is living at 3 Gladstone Place, Edinburgh St Cuthberts, still, with his wife Helen and his children, Henry Cecil (16), Alice Pauline (13), Ernest Gordon (9), Helen Main (6).  Occupation: Photographic Artist.

In 1891, he and his family (above) are living at 12 Queen Street, Edinburgh St Andrew.  Occupation: Photographer

In 1901, he is living at 31 Sciennes Rd, Newington with his wife and youngest daughter Helen. Occupation: Photographer (Portrait).

Well it looks like he lived there until he died in 1916. *

( * Tammy also sent me a copy of the death certificate for Grierson Mitchell (2a), showing that he was a photographer married to Helen Duncan, and that he died  at 31 Sciennes Road Edinburgh, aged 83, on April 29, 1916.)


Tammy concluded:

"1.  I don't believe there was a George G Mitchell photographer, unless you yourself have knowledge of his work. I'm wondering if that name appears on your page because in the 1871 census, Grierson is listed incorrectly as George G Mitchell.

I think you are probably correct in assuming that there was probably not a professional photographer in Edinburgh named George G Mitchell.  I believe that in the entry in Slater's directory for 1889 listing the studio at 25 North Bridge should have referred to the name 'George' should have been listed as 'Grierson'.

However, there was an Edinburgh Photographic Society Member whom I have referred to above as George G Mitchell above.  He was in fact Secretary of EPS in the late 1880s.  I'll check the records and see whether he might have been Grierson, or whether he is likely to have been a different photographer, named George.

2.   As you can see, Grierson Gordon Mitchell was a photographer from before the 1861 census, probably until well after 1901 (I don't think they had pensions then) - so to answer your question, I think it was just one man who was the photographer throughout all those years!"

Tammy Mitchell, Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada: March 3+4, 2009


Grierson Gordon Mitchell



This obituary appeared in the British Journal of Photography on May 12, 1916.

"The Late Mr G G Mitchell  -  The death took place last week in his residence, 31 Sciennes Road, of Mr G G Mitchell, the last but one of the elder generation of Edinburgh professional photographers, at the advanced age of eighty-four.
(There was no mention of who was the last of the elder generation of  Edinburgh professional photographers.)

Mr Mitchell , who was a man of a very kindly and unassuming disposition, was in early life an employee of the Telegraph Company before the business was taken over by the State.

He early developed a love for photography, and when it came to be a commercial undertaking he started a business in the North Bridge where the Calton Hotel now stands, removing afterwards to Nicolson Square.

For some years, he taught photographic classes in the evening at Heriot Watt College"

[BJP:  12 May 1916]


Grierson Gordon Mitchell

1881 Census

There was a Grierson Mitchell listed as a Photographic Artist in the 1881 census.  Was this the same person as Grierson G Mitchell, above, who was shown as being an Artist in 1881 in the Edinburgh Trade Directories?

The 1881 census showed Grierson Mitchell to be:

Photographic Artist:  aged 47

Born:  Edinburgh

Resident:  3, Gladstone Place, Edinburgh

Wife:  Helen M


1.  Henry C:  aged 16    (born:  Edinburgh)

2.  Alice P:   aged 13    (born:  Edinburgh)

3.  Ernest:     aged  9    (born:  Edinburgh)

4.  Helen M:  aged  6    (born:  Edinburgh)

[DR Torrance]


Grierson Gordon Mitchell


Edinburgh Photographic Society

Throughout the pages of the EPS Transactions that I have checked, I have only ever seen the name GG Mitchell used. i.e. no first name used.

However when he was EPS Secretary, he also gave his address.  It was 3 Gladstone Place (in Jan 1887) then 12 Queen Street (in Jun 1888).  Both these addresses match addresses given by Tammy Mitchell for Grierson Mitchell (2a), so I think it safe to assume that the EPS Member, Secretary, Exhibitor, Lecturer was indeed Grierson Mitchell (2a)

British Journal Photographic Almanac

About three years before giving his first lecture to Edinburgh Photographic Society, G G Mitchell wrote an article for the British Journal Photographic Almanac for 1881, setting out several approaches to intensifying gelatine negatives.     [Transactions of EPS:  Sep 1881]

Edinburgh Photographic Society

G G Mitchell was Secretary from 1885 to 1888.  He gave the following lectures to the Society:

-  1884:  Photographers and Sitters

-  1886:  The New Year and Development

-  1886:  A Scheme of Cabinet Print Exchange

-  1887:  The Camera and its Improvements.

He presented transparencies to EPS Popular Meetings in 1886, 1887 and 1890. These meetings also provided musical entertainment and attracted large attendances.

In 1886, he made suggestions that led later to the setting up of the EPS Survey Section.

At the 1890 EPS Exhibition he exhibited landscape photographs (silver) and a pinhole camera, with a negative and print produced by it.

GG Mitchell


Thank you to Barry M who wrote:


"Here is just a piece of info that may or may not be relevant. There was a 19th century amateur artist G.G. Mitchell, one of whose watercolours is available on this eBay page.

Barry M, North Lincolnshire, England:  June 4, 2012

The Painting on eBay

The painting that Barry M refers to above is a watercolour of a rural scene including a figure with a jug beside a stream.  It is described as:

"Victoria Watercolour, Signed G G Mitchell 1879.

There were 10 bids for the painting.  It sold for £21.11 on June 10, 2012.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  June 12, 2012


Miss Maude Mitchell

Miss Maude Mitchell was based at 1 Nicolson Square, the same address as Grierson Gordon Mitchell from 1911 until at least 1914.

[DR Torrance]


WB Mitchell

WB Mitchell was a photographer in 1889, before setting up his business as WB Mitchell & Co for the next two years.  

He exhibited 4 photographs in the 1890 PSS Exhibition.

1881 Census

There was a William Mitchell listed as a Photographer in the 1881 census.

Was this the same person as WB Mitchell, above, who did not appear as a professional photographer in the Edinburgh Trade Directories until 1889-91?

The 1881 census showed:

Photographic Artist:  aged 32

Born:  Whiitburn, West Lothian

Resident:  23, Queensferry Street Lane, Edinburgh

[DR Torrance]


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