Mary Sadlier was listed as a photographer in Southampton in 1861 and 1863 at 18 Upper Canal Walk. Unlike the other women photographers in nineteenth century Southampton, Mary made it clear in the advertising that she was female, by giving her name Mrs M. Sadlier. Mary was recorded in the 1861 census living at 8 Canal Walk with her husband John Sadlier and her one year old son William, born in Chelsea in 1860. Mary's occupation was given as Photographer, and her husband's as 'Gent'. According to later records, William was Mary's son from a previous relationship.
According to the England and Wales Civil Registration Marriage Index Mary 'Sadleir' married Alfred Pibworth in Southampton in the summer of 1863, (see entry for Alfred and Mary Pibworth). Mary was a photographer with her husband in Southampton until the mid 1880s, after which time they moved to Landport, Portsmouth.
Before her marriage to Alfred Pibworth Mary's life was complicated, and records are confusing. At the time of the 1881 census Mary's 30 year old son William was staying with Alfred and Mary Pibworth and family in East Street. Mary's eldest son was recorded as William H Sabine, born Lambeth, 1860. His relationship to Alfred was given as step son, and his occupation was engineer. In later years William Henry Sabine, born London 1860, was an electrical engineer living in Portsmouth.
A marriage between a Mary Sadlier and Charles Sabine was recorded in Southampton in 1854. However another marriage was recorded in 1857, between Mary Sabine and William Henry Sadlier. Whatever had happened in Mary's life in the 1850s and early 1860s, there is no doubt that she was an independent woman who worked as a photographer in Southampton in 1861, and later married Alfred Pibworth and continued to be a photographer until the mid 1880s.