Carte de visite early 1860s, showing the base of the neck brace on the floor. Southgate was a skilled engraver and printer. The back of this portrait gave a rare image of the exterior of a photographer's studio. Above images of Southampton landmarks, (the Bargate, the Pier and The Hartley Institute), Southgate's portrait Rooms at 41 Canal Walk were proudly displayed.
Aged 11, in 1841 George Southgate lived in Shorts Passage, East Street, with 'ladies nurse' Mary 'Fishe', and dressmakers Anne 'Fishe' and Hannah 'Loughner'. Ten years later the census recorded that Mary 'Fisley' was his grandmother, Anne was his Aunt and Hannah 'Longland' was his cousin. In 1851 the family group lived in a Court behind East Street. Mary was recorded as a pauper widow, Anne was 'living at home' and Hannah was a dressmaker. George Southgate's occupation was given as engraver.
In 1853 George Southgate was listed as an engraver and copperplate printer at 2 Westgate Street. The 1859 White's Directory advertised Southgate as an engraver at 67 French Street. At the time of the 1861 census George Southgate, engraver, was in lodgings in College Street. At some time between 1851 and 1861 Southgate had married, but in 1861 his marriage status was given as widower.
Mid 1860s, with plain backs.
George Southgate married again in 1863, to governess Eliza Hart. Eliza's father was Thomas Gray Hart, a portrait and landscape painter in Millbrook. Around this time Southgate took up photography and advertised his studios at 41 Upper Canal Walk and 90 Upper St Marys Street in the 1863 Post Office Directory. Southgate worked in the 2 studios for about ten years, and then in the early 1870s he made the move to 4 Bernard Street. Canal Walk and St Marys Street were busy working class areas of Southampton, whereas Bernard Street was a spacious wide Street and considered to be more 'upmarket', with a concentration of photographer's studios.
Carte de visite 1860s
Southgate was listed as a photographer at his studio in Bernard Street until about 1887. Many examples of his carte de visites taken at the Bernard Street studio survive today, but all appear to be from the 1870s. Number 4 Bernard St was also the address of the Cheapside Photo Co in the 1870s, and then Mary Pibworth in 1881, and Arthur and Mabel Asher from the late 1880s. In the late 1880s Southgate was the landlord of a public house ; The Eagle Hotel at West Front (later Palmerston Road). In the 1887 Directory he was listed as a photographer at 4 Bernard Street, and also as the landlord of the Eagle Hotel. The 1891 census recorded publican George Southgate, his wife Eliza and one servant at the Turk's Head in West Street. In 1898 Kellys directory listed Southgate as the landlord of the Eagle Hotel, so he was probably running both establishments.
Early 1870s at 4 Bernard Street
Advertisement for photography and picture frames 1874
In 1901 George had retired as a landlord and he and Eliza lived in Waterloo Terrace near Bedford Place. George gave his occupation as picture frame maker for the census of that year. For the 1911 census Southgate gave his occupation as retired picture frame maker. This was despite having worked for many years as a skilled engraver and printer, and then as a successful portrait photographer. George Southgate died in Southampton in 1914, and Eliza in 1916.