The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Alfred Horley, Watchmaker

Alfred Horley, Watchmaker

A carte-de-visite showing a view of a watchmaker's shop. The exact location is unidentified but these are almost certainly the premises of Alfred Richard Horley, born at Great Bookham in Surrey in 1841. The man standing in the doorway of the shop is probably Alfred Horley himself.

At the time of the 1861 census he was boarding at a house in Chelsea. In 1871 he was living with his wife Mary and their three children at 3 St John's Wood Terrace in St John's Wood, London. In 1881 he was living with his second wife Alice at 163 Railton Road, Brixton, south London. A trade directory for 1878 lists business premises at 28 Clapham Road and at 383A Brixton Road, but the shop in this photograph is clearly at number 17 of whatever road or street it is on.

The shop next door was called Abraham's and advertised 'Indian Colonial Outfits' in their window, so was probably a gentlemen's outfitters. According to the sign painted on the column between the two shops, Abraham's also had premises at number 11. The shop on the other side of Horley's was a wine and spirit merchant's. I thought at first that the sign above the shop read 'Horley and Bennetts' but in fact it reads 'Horley from Bennetts', presumably meaning that the shop was formerly Bennett's.

By 1891 Alfred Horley had given up watchmaking as a profession and was working as a 'Hotel Valuer'. He died on 11 September 1901 at 58 Bath Road, Maidenhead in Berkshire. He left effects valued at £4774.

Photographer and location unidentified [reverse is blank].

Code: 125742
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