The Library of Nineteenth-Century Photography

Miss Gertrude Ker Seymer

Miss Gertrude Ker Seymer

Identified in the Silvy daybooks as 'Miss Ker Seymer,' this is probably Miss Gertrude Ker Seymer, born in 1842 at Hanford in Dorset, the daughter of politician Henry Ker Seymer (1807-1864), the Member of Parliament for the County of Dorset. Mr Ker Seymer was also a visitor to Silvy's studio, as were his wife and also his dog.

On 21 April 1864 at St George's Hanover Square she married Harry Ernest Clay (1832-1896). The following year her husband assumed the additional surnames Ker and Seymer by Royal Licence in compliance with the terms of the will of Gertrude's father.

She and her husband appear on the 1871 census living at 25 Montagu Square, Marylebone, the home of Ernest's father James Clay, who was the Member of Parliament for Hull from 1847 to 1873. According to the census, Ernest was a Deputy-Lieutenant and a Justice of the Peace. He had previously worked under Lord Lyons with the diplomatic service in Washington, been a second secretary at the embassy in Paris and a first secretary at the legation in Berne. He died in 1899.

In 1901 Gertrude was a widow living at 178 Cromwell Road with a Belgian butler, a German lady's maid, a French cook and an Austrian housemaid.

Mrs Gertrude Clay Ker Seymer died, aged 78, on 14 November 1921 in 14 Dorset Square, Marylebone. She left effects valued at £1115.

Photographed on 7 March 1861 by Camille Silvy of London.


Code: 126901
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