‘My dear People’ – A Hall-Dare Photograph Album

‘Mrs Bent and her Camera. Photo by Russell & Sons, London, probably Spring, 1895’ (see No. 25 below)

THERE is a letter of Mabel’s (from a collection now in the RGS, London) dated Friday, 24 February 1893, from Aksum in ‘Abyssinia’, which begins ‘My dear People’ and signs off ‘Best love to you all, Your very loving Mabel’. It starts, alarmingly, ‘Don’t be anxious about us…’

Mabel’s letter to her family, 24 Feb 1893, written during the couple’s risky tour to Aksum and Ethiopia that year. Theodore published his adventures as ‘The Sacred City of the Ethiopians’ (1893).

What follows here on our site, a new leaf being added now and then, represents a virtual photo album of the many correspondents of Mabel’s, her closest Anglo-Irish family connections, to whom she wrote many, many hundreds of letters during her nearly twenty years of travelling with Theodore. You might like to meet them!

The prominent mid-19th century Hall-Dare family developed their wealth principally from the second half of the 19th century, primarily in Essex, as a result of the alliances of several influential families – Dare, Hall, Westley, Eaton, King, Grafton, Mildmay, and others. Between them they owned a portfolio of land and grand houses that gradually found its way into the merged family of the Hall-Dares by the early 19th century: Theydon Manor, Fitzwalters, Wyfields, Cranbrook, East Hall, Wennington Hall, Ilford Lodge, and several others. None of these residences remain in any significant manner. Two churches dedicated to St Mary contain memorials to the family: St Mary’s, Theydon Bois, Essex and St Mary’s, Bunclody, Co. Wexford, Ireland.

The early families’ combined wealth and influence (several members were MPs, Justices, Sheriffs, etc.) derived from agriculture, trade, property, and, it has to be said, plantation ownership, particularly in what is now British Guiana. A key family member was Robert Westley Hall (d. 1836), who, returning from British Guiana, married the heiress Elizabeth Grafton Dare in 1815, and, in 1823, changed his name to Hall-Dare. The couple had eleven children, who went on to be the beneficiaries of the many Essex estates, most of which now (2018) have been dispersed. There may well have been issues between father and his first two sons: the main residence was left not to Robert’s eldest boy (also Robert (1817-1866), and the eldest was after this always christened Robert Westley) but to his second son, Henry (1825-1908). The eldest boy promptly sold most of his share of the estates and took himself off to Ireland, where he married into an aristocratic family and can be said to have settled. There are many, many descendants from the eleven children of Robert and Elizabeth mentioned previously; perhaps the main seat of the family today might be thought of as being Newtonbarry House, Bunclody, Co. Wexford, although there does no longer seem to be a current Robert Westley Hall-Dare.

Most of the photographs to follow (from the Bent Archive Collection) are examples of the new carte de visite format developed by André-Adolphe-Eugène Disdéri (1819–1889). Two of the photographs to come are actually from the Disdéri Studio itself.

The rare albumen print below of Mabel’s mother, Frances Anna Catherine Hall-Dare (née Lambart), is from the studio of the eminent court photographer Camille Silvy (1834-1910). Coming from a French aristocratic background, Silvy established himself as one of the leading portrait photographers in London. He moved to London in 1859 and bought Caldesi and Montecchi’s studio on Porchester Terrace. He kept daybooks with the details of each sitter, the date, and a file print, and these, with five members of the Hall-Dare family, are now in the National Portrait Gallery’s archives, London.

Do visit regularly (sign up to our blog posts if you like!) to see new additions to our album of Mabel’s relatives, and please let us know if you have any faces to add (info@tambent.com).

Several excellent websites exist for those interested in Mabel’s side of the family, the Hall-Dares; Lord Belmont’s site; Paul Frecker’s collections; and the National Portrait Gallery’s Hall-Dare portraits by Camille Silvy:

We do hope you will find the album that follows both interesting and diverting.

Best wishes

The Bent Archive

PS. Many of the photographs on our website are from the Bent Archive Collection; please contact us for reproduction requests (info@tambent.com).

 

 

No. 1 – Mabel Virginia Anna Hall-Dare (1847-1929), later Mrs. J. Theodore Bent, aged 19.

SITTER: Mabel Virginia Anna Hall-Dare (1847-1929), later Mrs. J. Theodore Bent. The date is October 1866 and Mabel is just 19, the setting most likely the garden of Newtonbarry House, Co. Wexford, the family home, then as now. From this genteel, Anglo-Irish estate, Mabel was to travel just over a decade later, as Mrs. J. Theodore Bent, to remote and unrecorded corners of the Eastern Mediterranean, Africa, and Arabia, marking her out as one of the most well-known woman travellers of her era. Although Mabel is in mourning black for her father, Robert Westley Hall-Dare, who died in April of that year, the expression on her powerful face, her famous red hair tucked away, is enigmatic. She holds up to the camera what looks like the ace of spades or clubs, as if making some sort of statement to her father. The recently deceased Hall-Dare was anything but an ideal father, dying in the up-scale asylum for distressed gentry that was Ticehurst House Hospital at Ticehurst, East Sussex.
DATE: October 1866.
STUDIO: Detail from a private family photograph.

No. 2 – Mabel Bent in her wedding gown (1877?).

SITTER: Mabel Virginia Anna Bent (née Hall-Dare) (1847-1929), in her wedding dress. Mabel Virginia Anna Hall-Dare was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart. She married James Theodore Bent on 2nd August 1877 in Staplestown church, Co. Carlow, Ireland.
DATE: Presumably around the time of her marriage, 2 August 1877.
STUDIO: T. Fall, 9 Baker Street, Portman Square, London. Fall set up as a portrait photographer in the 1850s in Bedale, Yorkshire. In the late 1860s he moved to London to work for the established studio of Elliott and Fry in Baker Street, and from there founded his own business in 1875, also in Baker Street. He began to specialise in photographing dogs and was commissioned by the Princess of Wales, later Queen Alexandra, to photograph her with her dogs earning the company a Royal Warrant. Fall died In 1900.

No. 3 – Mabel Hall-Dare (later Bent) holding her niece Hilda (1870s?).

SITTER: Mabel Virginia Anna Bent (née Hall-Dare) (1847-1929), later Mrs J T Bent, holding her niece Hilda. Hilda Mary Hall-Dare was the daughter of Mabel’s brother, Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton. Hilda married James Erskine Wise Booth, son of George Booth and Georgiana Susanna Arabel Barton, on 30 December 1890. She died on 3 August 1953. Hilda and James had three children: Lt.-Col. Arthur Ronald Booth (1891–1954); Evelyn Mary Booth (b. 1897); Brigadier John Roberts Booth (1901–1971).
DATE: Late 1860s (?)
STUDIO: M. Allen and Co., 12 Westland Row, Dublin.

No. 4 – Mabel Hall-Dare (later Bent) as a young woman (1860s).SITTER: Mabel Virginia Anna Hall-Dare (1847-1929), later Mrs. J. Theodore Bent, as a young woman.  Very aware of her fine red hair, a lock falls casually over her left shoulder, escaping from an otherwise carefully managed coiffure. The photograph is from the collection of Turtle Bunbury and reproduced with permission.
DATE: Late 1860s (?)
STUDIO: Unknown.

No. 5Robert Westley Hall-Dare (Mabel’s brother).

SITTER: Robert Westley Hall-Dare (1840–1876); Mabel’s brother. Robert was born on 8 June 1840. He was the son of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart/Lambert. He married Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton, daughter of Henry Newton and Elizabeth Jane Doyne, on 27 October 1863. He died on 18 March 1876 at age 35 of typhoid in Rome, while on extended holiday. The couple had 6 children: Hilda Mary Hall-Dare (d. 3 Aug 1953); Elizabeth Frances Hall-Dare (d. 6 Feb 1956); Evelyn Una Hall-Dare (dates unknown at present); John Marmaduke Hall-Dare (b. 23 Sep 1865 – 1866); Robert Westley Hall-Dare (b. 14 Oct 1866 – 20 Feb 1939); Arthur Mildmay Hall-Dare (b. 11 Oct 1867 – 31 May 1941). Robert held the office of Deputy Lieutenant for County Wexford. He held the office of Justice of the Peace for County Carlow; the office of Justice of the Peace for County Wexford; the office of High Sheriff of County Carlow in 1868; the office of High Sheriff of County Wexford in 1872. He lived at Theydon Bois, Essex, England and Newtownbarry House, Bunclody, County Wexford, Ireland.
DATE: 1874; two years before his death.
STUDIO: Disdéri, 8 Boulevard des Italiens, Paris. Disdéri perfected the photographic visiting card. Robert and his wife Caroline had a base in Paris in the 1870s.

No. 6Robert Westley Hall-Dare as a boy (Mabel’s brother).

SITTER: Robert Westley Hall-Dare (1840–1876); Mabel’s brother. Robert was born on 8 June 1840. He was the son of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart/Lambert. He married Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton, daughter of Henry Newton and Elizabeth Jane Doyne, on 27 October 1863. He died on 18 March 1876 at age 35 of typhoid in Rome, while on extended holiday. The couple had 6 children: Hilda Mary Hall-Dare (d. 3 Aug 1953); Elizabeth Frances Hall-Dare (d. 6 Feb 1956); Evelyn Una Hall-Dare (dates unknown at present); John Marmaduke Hall-Dare (b. 23 Sep 1865 – 1866); Robert Westley Hall-Dare (b. 14 Oct 1866 – 20 Feb 1939); Arthur Mildmay Hall-Dare (b. 11 Oct 1867 – 31 May 1941). Robert held the office of Deputy Lieutenant for County Wexford. He held the office of Justice of the Peace for County Carlow; the office of Justice of the Peace for County Wexford; the office of High Sheriff of County Carlow in 1868; the office of High Sheriff of County Wexford in 1872. He lived at Theydon Bois, Essex, England and Newtownbarry House, Bunclody, County Wexford, Ireland.
DATE: mid 1850s?
STUDIO: Unknown, as is the location, but possibly the Hall-Dare estates in Essex. The image is from a group photograph including sister Ethel and aunt Elizabeth Catherine Hall-Dare. The children are dressed as if ready for a game of battledore.

No. 7Caroline Susan Henrietta Hall-Dare, née Newton (Mabel’s sister-in-law).

SITTER: Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton (b. 11 May 1842) was the daughter of Henry Newton and Elizabeth Jane Doyne. She was Mabel’s sister-in-law. She married Mabel’s brother, Robert Westley Hall-Dare, son of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart, on 27 October 1863. (For their children see No. 4 above.)
DATE: 1870s ?
STUDIO: Disdéri, 8 Boulevard des Italiens, Paris. Disdéri perfected the photographic visiting card. Robert and his wife Caroline had a base in Paris in the 1870s.

No. 8 – Caroline Susan Henrietta Hall-Dare, née Newton (Mabel’s sister-in-law).

SITTER: Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton (b. 11 May 1842) was the daughter of Henry Newton and Elizabeth Jane Doyne. She was Mabel’s sister-in-law. She married Mabel’s brother, Robert Westley Hall-Dare, son of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart, on 27 October 1863. (For their children see No. 4 above.)
DATE:  1870s (?)
STUDIO: Scott & Son, Devonshire Street, Carlisle, UK.

No. 9Olivia Frances Grafton Hall-Dare (later Johnston) (Mabel’s sister).

SITTER: Olivia Frances Grafton Hall-Dare (1843-1926) was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart. She married the Reverend Richard Johnston (died 27 November 1906) in July 1883. They had no children (?). Olivia died in 1926. She was Richard’s second wife. He married, firstly, Augusta Sophia Hamilton in 1844. She was known to the family as Iva.
DATE: 1860s or 70s (?).
STUDIO: Montabone, via dei Banchi 3, Florence https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Montabone

No. 10Frances Maria Hall-Dare (later Hobson) (Mabel’s sister).

SITTER: Frances Maria Hall-Dare (b. 1852) was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart. She married Reverend Edward Waller Hobson on 11 June 1891. They had no children. Frances Maria Hall-Dare (b. 1852) was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart. She married Reverend Edward Waller Hobson on 11 June 1891. They had no children.
DATE: 1860s or 70s (?)
STUDIO: Montabone, via dei Banchi 3, Florence https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luigi_Montabone

No. 11Frances Maria Hall-Dare (later Hobson) (Mabel’s sister).

SITTER: Frances Maria Hall-Dare (b. 1852) was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart. She married Reverend Edward Waller Hobson on 11 June 1891. They had no children. Frances Maria Hall-Dare (b. 1852) was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart. She married Reverend Edward Waller Hobson on 11 June 1891. They had no children.
DATE: 1860s or 70s (?)
STUDIO: C. Hawkins, Brighton School of Photography.

No. 12 – Ethel Constance Mary Hall-Dare (Mabel’s sister).

SITTER: Ethel Constance Mary Hall-Dare (Mabel’s sister) (10 Oct. 1848-1930). Ethel Constance Mary Hall-Dare (1848-1930) was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart. She married Lieutenant Beauchamp Frederick Bagenal, son of Philip Bagenal and Georgiana Thomasina Boyd, on 5 July 1870. She lived at Benekerry, Carlow, County Carlow, Ireland. The couple had 5 children (Mabel’s nephews and nieces): Mary Verena Bagenal (1871-1889); Beauchamp Walter Bagenal (1873-1952); Major Charles James Bagenal (1877-1955); Violet Ethel Bagenal (1882-1932); Kathleen Prudence Eirene Bagenal (1886-1974).
DATE: October 1866.
STUDIO: Detail from a family photograph.

No. 13 – Ethel Constance Mary Hall-Dare as a girl (Mabel’s sister).

SITTER: Ethel Constance Mary Hall-Dare (Mabel’s sister) (1848-1930). Ethel Constance Mary Hall-Dare (1848-1930) was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Frances Anne Catharine Lambart. She married Lieutenant Beauchamp Frederick Bagenal, son of Philip Bagenal and Georgiana Thomasina Boyd, on 5 July 1870. She lived at Benekerry, Carlow, County Carlow, Ireland. The couple had 5 children (Mabel’s nephews and nieces): Mary Verena Bagenal (1871-1889); Beauchamp Walter Bagenal (1873-1952); Major Charles James Bagenal (1877-1955); Violet Ethel Bagenal (1882-1932); Kathleen Prudence Eirene Bagenal (1886-1974).
DATE: mid 1850s.
STUDIO: Unknown, as is the location, but possibly the Hall-Dare estates in Essex. The image is from a group photograph including brother Robert and aunt Elizabeth Catherine Hall-Dare. The children are dressed as if ready for a game of battledore.

No. 14Lieutenant Beauchamp Frederick Bagenal. The husband of Mabel’s sister Ethel, thus her brother-in-law.

SITTER: Lieutenant Beauchamp Frederick Bagenal (1846–1930). The husband of Mabel’s sister Ethel, thus her brother-in-law. Lieutenant Beauchamp Frederick Bagenal (1846–1930) was born on 10 September 1846. He was the son of Philip Bagenal and Georgiana Thomasina Boyd. He married Mabel’s sister Ethel Constance Mary Hall-Dare (1848-1930) on 5 July 1870. He died on 7 January 1930 at age 83. He was educated at Cheltenham College, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. He was educated at Royal Military College, Sandhurst, Berkshire, England. He gained the rank of Lieutenant in the 45th Regiment. He fought in the Abyssinian Campaign in 1868. He held the office of High Sheriff in 1872; the office of Deputy Lieutenant; the office of Justice of the Peace. He was a volunteer under Garibaldi. He lived at Benekerry, Carlow, County Carlow, Ireland. The couple had 5 children (Mabel’s nephews and nieces): Mary Verena Bagenal (1871-1889); Beauchamp Walter Bagenal (1873-1952); Major Charles James Bagenal (1877-1955); Violet Ethel Bagenal (1882-1932); Kathleen Prudence Eirene Bagenal (1886-1974).
DATE: 1870s or 80s (?).
STUDIO: TL. Werner, 15 Leinster Street, Dublin.

No. 15 – Hilda Mary Hall-Dare (later Booth) (Mabel’s niece).

SITTER: Hilda Mary Hall-Dare (later Booth), died on 3 August 1953 (Mabel’s niece). Hilda Mary Hall-Dare was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton. She married James Erskine Wise Booth, son of George Booth and Georgiana Susanna Arabel Barton, on 30 December 1890. She died on 3 August 1953. Hilda and James had three children: Lt.-Col. Arthur Ronald Booth (b. 6 Oct 1891 – d. 25 Aug 1954); Evelyn Mary Booth (b. 30 Oct 1897); Brigadier John Roberts Booth (b. 5 Jan 1901 – d. 2 Jun 1971).
DATE: Late 1860s(?)
STUDIO: Lambert, Artist in Photography, Dublin Street, Carlow, Ireland.

No. 16 – Hilda Mary Hall-Dare (later Booth) (Mabel’s niece).

SITTER: Hilda Mary Hall-Dare (later Booth), died on 3 August 1953 (Mabel’s niece). Hilda Mary Hall-Dare was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton. She married James Erskine Wise Booth, son of George Booth and Georgiana Susanna Arabel Barton, on 30 December 1890. She died on 3 August 1953. Hilda and James had three children: Lt.-Col. Arthur Ronald Booth (b. 6 Oct 1891 – d. 25 Aug 1954); Evelyn Mary Booth (b. 30 Oct 1897); Brigadier John Roberts Booth (b. 5 Jan 1901 – d. 2 Jun 1971).
DATE: Late 1870s(?)
STUDIO: W. Clayton Browne, Sandbrook, Co. Carlow, Ireland.

No. 17 – Hilda Mary Hall-Dare (later Booth) (Mabel’s niece).

SITTER: Hilda Mary Hall-Dare (later Booth), died on 3 August 1953 (Mabel’s niece). Hilda Mary Hall-Dare was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton. She married James Erskine Wise Booth, son of George Booth and Georgiana Susanna Arabel Barton, on 30 December 1890. She died on 3 August 1953. Hilda and James had three children: Lt.-Col. Arthur Ronald Booth (b. 6 Oct 1891 – d. 25 Aug 1954); Evelyn Mary Booth (b. 30 Oct 1897); Brigadier John Roberts Booth (b. 5 Jan 1901 – d. 2 Jun 1971).
DATE: 1880s(?)
STUDIO: Julius Schaar, Dusseldorf and Trier, Germany. http://wiki-de.genealogy.net/Schaar_(D%C3%BCsseldorf)/Fotostudio

No. 18Olivia Francis Lambart (d. 29 July 1893) and Miss Anson. Olivia was Mabel’s much-loved ‘Aunt Loodleloo’. The Ansons were Hall-Dare family friends.

SITTER: Olivia Francis Lambart was the daughter of Gustavus Lambart (Mabel’s grandfather) and Anna Butler Stevenson (Mabel’s grandmother). She died on 29 July 1893, unmarried. Her sister Frances Anne Catharine Lambart married Robert Westley Hall-Dare.
DATE: October 1866.
STUDIO: Detail from a private family photograph.

No. 19 – Alice Mary Hall-Dare, née Tupper (wife of Mabel’s Uncle Henry, and known as ‘Aunt Alice’).

SITTER: Alice Mary Tupper (died May 1915) was known as ‘Aunt Alice’ to Mabel Bent and her family. She was the daughter of Daniel Tupper and Anna Maria Le Marchant [pers. comm. Kelly McDonald]. She married Mabel Bent’s uncle Henry Hall-Dare (8 Feb 1825 – Sep 1908)Hall-Dare (8 Feb 1825 – Sep 1908) on 24 May 1882. Alice was Henry’s second wife. Henry gained the rank of captain in the 23rd Regiment (Royal Welsh Fusiliers). He was also Under-Treasurer of the Inner Temple. He died in September 1908 at age 83.
DATE: Around 1882?
STUDIO: Durrant & Son, Torquay.

No. 20 – Alice Mary Hall-Dare, née Tupper (wife of Mabel’s Uncle Henry, and known as ‘Aunt Alice’).

SITTER: Alice Mary Tupper (died May 1915) was known as ‘Aunt Alice’ to Mabel Bent and her family. She was the daughter of Daniel Tupper and Anna Maria Le Marchant [pers. comm. Kelly McDonald]. (?). She married Mabel Bent’s uncle Henry Hall-Dare (8 Feb 1825 – Sep 1908) on 24 May 1882. Alice was Henry’s second wife. Henry gained the rank of captain in the 23rd Regiment (Royal Welsh Fusiliers). He was also Under-Treasurer of the Inner Temple. He died in September 1908 at age 83.
DATE: Later in life.
STUDIO: Fratelli Vianelli, Venice.

No. 21 – Arthur Mildmay Hall-Dare (1867–1941). Mabel’s nephew, the son of Mabel’s brother Robert.

SITTER: Arthur Mildmay Hall-Dare was born on 11 October 1867. Mabel’s nephew, he was the son of Mabel’s brother Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton. He was educated at Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England. He married Edith Clare Fitzherbert, daughter of Henry Gorry Fitzherbert and Mary Emily Vansittart, on 8 July 1897. He lived at Cliff, Rathfarnham, County Dublin, Ireland and Dangan, Thomastown, County Kilkenny, Ireland. The couple had three children: Irene Clare Hall-Dare (b. 4 Aug 1898); Lt.-Col. Derrick Arthur Hall-Dare (b. 4 Dec 1900 – d. Jan 1985); Ena Mildred Hall-Dare (b. 29 Aug 1905). He died on 31 May 1941 at age 73.
DATE: mid 1870s (?)
STUDIO: M. Allen and Co., 12 Westland Row, Dublin.

No. 22 – Robert Westley Hall-Dare (1866–1939). Mabel’s nephew, the son and heir of Mabel’s brother Robert.

SITTER: Robert Westley Hall-Dare was born on 14 October 1866. He was the son of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Caroline Susan Henrietta Newton. He married Helen Gordon, daughter of John Taylor Gordon and Margaret Watson, on 6 April 1896. He died on 20 February 1939 at age 72. He was educated at Malvern and Eton College, Windsor, Berkshire, England. He gained the rank of Captain in the 9th Brigade North Irish Division, Royal Artillery. He gained the rank of Captain in the Derry Artillery (Militia). He held the office of High Sheriff of County Wexford in 1891; the office of High Sheriff of County Carlow in 1896; the office of Justice of the Peace for County Wexford; the office of Justice of the Peace for County Carlow; the office of Deputy Lieutenant for County Wexford. He lived at Newtownbarry, County Wexford, Ireland and East Hall, Wennington, Essex, England.
DATE: Early 1870s.
STUDIO: Francis C. Earl, Malvern and Worcester.

No. 23 – Elizabeth Catherine Hall-Dare (Mabel’s Aunt).

SITTER: Elizabeth Catherine Hall-Dare, Mabel’s aunt, was the daughter of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Elizabeth Grafton. She married Reverend John Thomas Richardson Fussell, son of Thomas Fussell and Sarah (?), on 29 May 1855 at St. George’s, Hanover Square, London. Their children were Henry Davies Fussell (b. 1857, d. 11 Jun 1889) and Dorothy Evelyn Chetwoode Fussell (b. 17 Apr 1878, d. 13 Sep 1965). Elizabeth died on 11 April 1882.
DATE: mid 1850s?
STUDIO: Unknown, as is the location, but possibly the Hall-Dare estates in Essex; the image is from a group photograph including brother Robert and aunt Elizabeth Catherine Hall-Dare. The children are dressed as if ready for a game of battledore.

No. 24 – Frances Anna Catherine Hall-Dare (Mabel’s mother)

SITTER: Frances Anna Catherine Hall-Dare (née Lambart) was born c. 1819, the daughter of Gustavus Lambart and Anna Butler Stevenson. She married Robert Westley Hall-Dare, son of Robert Westley Hall-Dare and Elizabeth Grafton, on 18 April 1839, withwhom she had six children. She was born on the Lambart estates of Beau Parc, Co. Meath, residing at the Temple House, Sligo, then Newtonbarry House, Co. Wexford, and 49 Eaton Place, London, where she died after a long and painful illness on 2nd September 1862. She is buried in the Hall-Dare plot/vault at St Mary’s Theydon Bois, Essex, on 6 September 1862, aged just 43 (Burial record 422).
DATE: 20 November 1861 (ten months before her death).
STUDIO: Camille Silvy Collection, Album 5 (Daybook Volume 5), 1861-62, number 6506, albumen print. Sitting at the photographer’s studio, 38 Porchester Terrace, Bayswater, London.

[Four other Silvy portraits (shown below) can be seen at the National Portrait Gallery’s Silvy pages.]

No. 25 – ‘Mrs Bent and her Camera. Photo by Russell & Sons, London, probably Spring, 1895’

SITTER: Mabel Virginia Anna Bent (née Hall-Dare, 1847-1929). An illustration first printed in ‘The Album, A Journal of Photographs of Men, Women and Events of the Day’ (Vol. 2, no.2, 8 July 1895, pp. 44-45). This is an extremely rare studio photo of Mabel standing beside her camera and tripod and attired for the wilds; very few people will have seen this since it was published in July 1895. Assuming the portrait was taken in the first half of that year, Mabel – her trademark long red hair coiled elegantly as ever – would have just reappeared from Muscat, Oman and Dhofar, and be preparing for the coming winter’s journey with her husband along the west coast of the Red Sea. That Mabel would feature in ‘The Album’ is no surprise – ever since the couple’s journey in 1891 to the ruins of Great Zimbabwe for Cecil Rhodes the Bents were celebrities. It’s not immediately obvious which of her cameras she is displaying here; Mabel’s small apparatus of choice was her ‘Luzo’ box camera, however the protruding lens indicates another, larger model. If anyone can identify it, please write in.
DATE: Presumably April-June 1895.
STUDIO: James Russell and Sons were a firm of portrait photographers with their principal studio at Littlehampton and others at Chichester, Worthing, Bognor and Petworth. They also advertised themselves as landscape photographers and exhibited views at the International Exhibition, London, in 1862. It is almost certain that the portrait was taken in the Baker Street studio (17 Baker Street, Portman Square, London W.), the premises they operated from between 1889-1908. The manager then was John Lemmon Russell.

3 thoughts on “‘My dear People’ – A Hall-Dare Photograph Album”

  1. Regarding Alice Tupper (“Aunt Alice”) – her mother was Anna Maria Le Marchant, sister to Sir Denis Le Marchant. Will be in touch, as I’ve come across Alice and Mabel while researching the family Denis married into.

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