Paul Frecker
Fine Photographs

Mrs James Bishop
5 March 1861

Volume 2, page 261, sitting number 2335. 

[Identified only as 'Mrs Bishop' in the Silvy daybooks, the preceding sitter is identified as 'James Bishop.' Mrs Bishop sat for Silvy again two months later on 18 May 1861; this time her name was entered as 'Mrs James Bishop' in the studio's records.]

Born on 14 June 1827, Isabel Jane Fish Marson was the daughter of solicitor Thomas Frederick Marson of Southwark and his wife Mary Ann née Buckle. She was baptised on 22 January 1828 at St George the Martyr in Southwark. As an adult, she changed her forename slightly to Isabella. 

In 1849 she married James Bishop, son of merchant George Bishop. Their marriage produced at least three children: William Henry Bishop; Charles Willoughby Bishop, a Major in the 9th Lancers; and Emily Rose Bishop, who married William Edward Phillips of the 10th Hussars.

James and Isabella appear on the 1851 census living with James’s parents at South Villa Lodge, Regent’s Park. Both George and James Bishop gave ‘Merchant’ as their profession.

When son William Henry was born in 1855, the family were living at 16 Park Square, one of the white stucco houses designed by John Nash on the south side of Regent’s Park

On census night in 1861 the couple were visiting Isabella's parents at Haydon Hill House, Bushey, Hampshire [later the childhood home of Richard and David Attenborough]. James now gave his profession as ‘Distiller,’ while Emily described herself as a ‘Distiller’s Wife.’ In 1881 James was a ‘Distiller, W&S merchant’ [Wines and Spirits].

He must have been an extremely successful one. By 1891 the couple were living at 42 Belgrave Square, with eleven servants to look after them, including a butler and two footmen. When James Bishop died, aged 85, on 21 June 1913 he left an estate worth a phenomenal £412,561.

Isabella had died a few years earlier on 6 March 1909 at Hempstead Park near Newbury, the couple’s country residence in Berkshire. Her effects had been valued at a comparatively modest but still substantial £14,904.


code: cs1665
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