King’s Lynn Directory: A-B


BAYES, Charlotte

Tobacconist in St James’ Street, who in the early 1900s sold views with ‘Published by C. Bayes’ printed on the front. But the backs of these postcards reveal them to be part of ‘The Wykeham Collection’, a nationally published series for which she was evidently acting as the Lynn outlet.


The son of Thomas Belchambers, a shoemaker, Henry Belchambers was born in Lynn in 1827/8. He married Sarah Cawston (daughter of William Robert Cawston, carpenter) at St Margaret’s church on 9th May 1852, and the couple went on to have three children. Belchambers started his career as a portrait painter but switched to photography in about 1855. His studio in Railway Road continued in business until at least 1857 (when a press advertisement referred to his having practised in the town for two years), but there are no later records of him as a photographer. By 1861 he was working away from home in March, Cambridgeshire, and described as an artist. In 1871, reunited with his family, he was in Reigate, Surrey, and working as a house decorator. He was still there in 1881, when he was described as a grainer and sign writer.

Trade directory evidence:

Chamberlain Buildings, Lynn* – CN1856†

*i.e. Chamberlain Buildings, Railway Road.  †Described as ‘photographic portrait painter’.

 BENNETT, Mrs Charles (Sybilla)

Born in Donington, Lincolnshire, in 1820/21, she was the wife of Charles Bennett, builder and contractor. In August 1854 she advertised a photographic portrait studio at 7 London Road (the family home). She also offered lessons in making wax flowers. She contributed samples of her photographic work to the inaugural exhibition at the town’s Athenaeum (1854).

BLANCHARD, Valentine, (senior)

 According to the Lynn Advertiser, he opened a studio at the ‘Photographic Rooms of Mr Agger, the builder’ in Railway Road, Lynn, on 18th June 1859, and stayed there until late February or early March 1860.

Valentine Blanchard (1831-1901) was one of Cambridgeshire’s most distinguished photographers, but his only period of practice in that county appears to have been during a brief return to Wisbech in 1859, just before his stay in Lynn. His professional career was almost entirely London-based. He opened his first London studio in the 1850s and went on to practise in Regent Street from 1876 to 1884. Contemporary judgement ranked him with such figures as Francis Bedford, Henry Peach Robinson and Oscar Rejlander, and his obituary in The British Journal of Photography identified him as one of the pioneers who did ‘much to raise (photography’s) status and lay the foundations of what it has become today’.

BLANCHARD, Valentine, (junior)

The nephew of Valentine Blanchard, above. The 1881 census shows him as a photographer at 107 Norfolk Street, King’s Lynn. (No other record has been found of this studio.) He subsequently ran studios in Wisbech and Cambridge.

BLYTH, William

Appointed in November 1896 as agent and canvasser for T Smith & Sons (q.v.), replacing George Robertson (q.v.) and James Thompson (q.v.). The duration of his appointment is not known.

BOUCH, Ernest

He was described as ‘Apprentice’ (i.e. junior assistant) to Jasper Wright (q.v.) in 1895, when he drowned, aged 14, in the River Nar.


This was one of a family-owned chain of studios, building on the success of William Boughton’s work in Thetford during the 1880s. The Boughtons ran a number of studios in Norfolk, Suffolk and Northamptonshire (for which, see the appropriate county directories on the older part of this website).

Their first advertisement in Lynn, for their studio at St John’s Terrace, appeared on 12th March 1900. The latest evidence of their presence in town was a photo of the celebrations for George V’s coronation, 26th May 1911. But later that year, when information was being collected for KN1912, the studio at 102 High Street was being run by William Reynolds (q.v.), Boughton’s former manager.

Trade directory evidence:

 2 St John’s Terrace, Lynn – KN1900, TC1901

High Street, Lynn – TL1901

102 High Street, Lynn – KN1904, KN1908


This shop at 105 High Street was one of a chain of ‘penny bazaars’ built up by Max Nusen Brenner, a Romanian entrepreneur who settled in Norwich. It was opened by 1911, and an early manager was Sidney Chaplin (q.v.). Postcards were among the shop’s many cheap goods, and whilst, in most cases, the shop was simply a retailer for national publishers, a few images seem to have been commissioned and published locally.


A press advertisement of 14th March 1857 mentions Mr Brown as a ‘first-rate photographer’ engaged by W R Pridgeon (q.v.) to assist in his new studio. There is no sign of him in the 1861 census. (Brown may have previously been employed by Oliver Sarony (q.v.), who taught Pridgeon the photographic process before leaving the town.) 


A studio mount of the mid-to-late 1890s locates Mrs Brown’s East Gates Studio at 59 Norfolk Street. Her only trade directory entry shows her at a different address. Which studio came first is not clear. 

Trade directory evidence:

 East Gates Studio, 91 Norfolk Street, opposite Railway Road, Lynn – TAL1895


Born in Lynn in 1833/4, Edwin was the youngest son of Brame Bullock, grocer, and the younger brother of Henry Brame Bullock (q.v.). He worked as a photographer in London and Manchester before returning to Lynn to set up his own business. 

According to press announcements, he opened his St James’ Street studio in June 1865, moved to London Road in February 1872, and transferred his business to Wallis and Manders (q.v.) in November 1877. After leaving Lynn he worked in studios in Luton, Bedford, Leighton Buzzard and Leamington. By 1901 he had retired to Brighton, Sussex.

(For a non-family employee, see Smith, William L.)

Trade directory evidence:

St James’ Street, Lynn – HN1868, KN1869

4 London Road, Lynn – HN1872*, KN1875, HN1877*

*Mistakenly referred to as Edward Bullock. 

BULLOCK, Henry Brame

A native of Lynn and the oldest son (born 1820/1) of grocer Brame Bullock. He practised portraiture by the collodion process at his father’s premises, 110 High Street, from August to October 1852 (first advertisement, 21st August; last advertisement, 9th October). By June 1853 he was working in Hull. After a short period as an itinerant, he joined William Dolamore in London to form a partnership that lasted from 1854 until 1867. He died in Sussex in 1871.

BULLOCK, Thomas Brame

The son of Edwin Bullock (above), he was born in King’s Lynn in 1871/2. He was still a child when the family left Norfolk, but he later assisted in his father’s Leamington studio (1891 census), and went on to run his own studio in King’s Norton, Worcestershire (1901 census).

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