George and James Bashford

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George and James Bashford

Harbour1866 Bashford.jpg

A picture of St Helier Harbour taken from Fort Regent in 1866 by George W Bashford

This picture has been claimed, most notably on the website of the Channel Island Family History Society, to be the oldest surviving photograph of St Helier. There are, however, many others which predate it

An 1879 photograph taken by George Bashford
The back of a James Bashford carte de visite

It is not known for certain, but it is likely that George and James Bashford, who both worked from outlets on opposite sides of Bath Street, St Helier from 1859 to 1867 were related.


George William Bashford was born in Bletchingly, in Surrey, on 2 October 1833, the son of Thomas Bashford (1801-1870) and Mary Hubbard (1806-1868). He was married three times, to Mary (1831- ), with whom he had a daughter Emma, born in about 1856. He then married Helen, but they had no children, and in 1878 he married Emma Stevenson, born in Sheffield in 1845, and they had four sons, George Edward, Arthur, Reginald and Albert and a daughter Eliza, all born in St Helier. George died in Jersey in November 1891 and his third wife lived until 1928.

Although George had a brother James, who was five years younger than him, it is not known if this was the James who had a photographic business on the opposite side of Bath Street. George's brother James died in Christchurch, New Zealand, in 1881.

George worked at 15 Bath Street from 1859 and in 1867 he joined forces with Mercier, working as Bashford and Mercier from 1867 – 1871 at the same address. Photographs by George Bashford are quite common, but those attributed to Bashford and Mercier are rareties.

1866 harbour photograph

George Bashford's square photograph of St Helier Harbour, taken on 14 September 1866, is part of a near identical pair believed to have been taken for 3D viewing. It featured in the 2006 autumn review of La Société Jersiaise's Photographic Archive.

James Bashford worked at 12 Bath Street and his photographs are not often found today. His business was taken over by George Langlois, who worked from the same address from 1868 to 1871.

An Ambrotype portrait from the 1860s
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