Samuel Lewis, silk mercer

Samuel Lewis, silk mercer

A carte de visite portrait of silk mercer and draper Samuel Lewis posing with several bales of fabric behind a shop counter mocked up in the photographer’s studio. A facsimile of his signature is printed in the lower margin, where the photographer is credited as ‘The Stereoscopic Company. The reverse of the mount carries a printed advertisement for Lewis’s business in place of a photographer’s backplate.

Born at Newtown in Montgomeryshire sometime between 1817 and 1820 [sources vary], Samuel Lewis was the son of carpenter Thomas Lewis.

Samuel was already a draper when on 5 November 1841 in Llanllwchaearn he married a servant named Elizabeth Bumford, the daughter of shoemaker Philip Bumford.

He was a draper living at Providence Row in Hackney when his daughter Louisa was born on 22 August 1849.

He appears on the 1851 census, a ‘Linen Draper’s Assistant’ living with his wife Elizabeth and daughters Jane and Louisa at 84 Snow Hill, Holborn.

In or about 1868, after 28 years as a draper’s assistant at the firm of T. Simpson & Co. of Farringdon Street he set up his own business, the firm of S. Lewis & Co. with premises in Holborn Bar and later also in Furnival Street, Holborn.

When the census was taken in 1871 he was a widower living at 359 Essex Road with his unmarried daughter Louisa, aged 21, and one servant. He gave his profession as ‘Silk Mercer and Draper.’

Samuel Lewis died, aged 71, on 2 March 1881 at his residence in Wellington Street, Islington. He left an estate valued at £40,950.

Photographed by the London Stereoscopic Company.


Code: 127617
© Paul Frecker 2023