Capturing the moment: albums of a Welsh gentry family

The catalogue of diaries and other family papers from the Webley-Parry collection (ref. WP) will be available on our website soon. The photographs are being listed by our volunteer John Wiles whose guest blog – below – introduces this part of the collection.

The photographs of the Webley-Parry collection document the privileged lives enjoyed by members of the south Cardiganshire gentry during the Belle Époque, that is the late Victorian and Edwardian period. Ranging in date from the 1860s to the opening years of the 20th century, the photographs were taken at locations throughout Britain, the fashionable parts of the Continent, and across the better parts of the British Empire. They have come down from the family of Admiral Herbert Willis Webley Hope, who married his cousin, Katherine Kewley, in 1905.

Three leather cases, one from John Lewis, house collections of family portraits on cartes de visite and the rather larger and later cabinet cards.

[Click images to enlarge]

The four albums display a much wider range of subjects. The earliest probably belonged to Maria Brigstocke, née Webley Parry, ‘Aunt Brigstocke’, who was dowager chatelaine of Blaenpant between 1861 and 1898. It contains a large number of professional photographs, including several of the Blaenpant mansion. Others show the arrival of bells at the church built by Mrs. Brigstocke at Llandygwydd. Pictures of holidays and other travels were presumably sent to her by younger relatives.

[Click images to enlarge]

The other albums include large numbers of snapshots and box cameras sometimes appear in the hands of subjects. There are views of houses and estates, of sporting pursuits, excursions, holidays and tours, all interspersed with views of ships and of shipboard and colonial life. Herbert and Katherine make frequent appearances, he progressing from schoolboy to midshipman to lieutenant, she high-spirited with her unmarried contemporaries. Leisure pursuits included amateur theatricals and bicycling, this being the time of the great ‘bicycle craze’.

[Click images to enlarge]

Herbert Hope may have been gone to sea as a midshipman as early as 13 or 14 (1892-3) and was a lieutenant by 1900. He served on a number of ships, including the battleship HMS Empress of India and the second class cruiser HMS Astrea.

[Click images to enlarge]

A poignant group of snapshots documents a visit by two young ladies and their chaperone to three young lieutenants at the Royal Navy School of Gunnery, Whale Island, Portsmouth, in 1900. The young ladies are Katherine and Mary Kewley and one of the officers is Herbert Hope.

[Click image to enlarge]

Whale Island 1900

Whale Island 1900

[John Wiles]

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3 Responses to Capturing the moment: albums of a Welsh gentry family

  1. Dave Gorman says:

    Interesting and fascinating collection. Nina Katherine Angharad Webley Parry 1868 – 1954 married Captain Edward John Pryse, later Sir Edward Webley Parry Pryse, 2nd Baronet of Gogerddan, Penrhyncoch. I think they married at Llandygwydd Church in 1891 and he succeeded to Gogerddan in 1906.

    Like

  2. Sue Wright says:

    Fascinating photos of Mount Gernos. I am wondering whether the elderly relative in the bath chair is Judith TYLER nee PARRY? She inherited the property as a young girl from her father Llewellin PARRY and it then passed to the TYLER family on her marriage in 1852 to Gwinnett TYLER of Cottrell Glamorganshire. Am looking forward to seeing the albums when they become available for public viewing.

    Like

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