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Stereographs Project

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HomeContents > People > Photographers > Francis Bedford

Dates:  1816 - 1894
Born:  Great Britain
Died:  Great Britain
Active:  UK
In 1854 Queen Victoria commissioned him to photograph objects in the royal collection. In 1862 he accompanied the Prince of Wales on a tour of the ancient sites of Egypt and the Holy Land and the photographs were published in the four volume "Photographic Pictures made by Mr. Francis Bedford during the Tour in the East, in which ... he accompanied ... the Prince of Wales" (London: Day & Son, 1863) and a later 1866 edition. He also took landscape and urban views of the British Isles. 
Stereographs project 
Business locations 
London, England, UK 
*"Photographer"; 326 Camden Rd. 76-83. Major producer of fine scy., most views serially numbered; many B/Ls, ÷3,000 fine views, comprehensive coverage of UK; some pub. by loc. outlets, such as Catherall & Pritchard of Chester. Dozens of series: "South Wales Illustrated", "Exeter Illustrated", "Herefordshire Illustrated", "Warwickshire Illustrated"; "Welsh Costume", on RM; also "English Scenery", pub. by Catherall & Prichard (C&P). Also made CDVs, CM photos, "scrap" images and lithos; some but not all have same # as the stereo image. Well established by 56; member of the Photographic Society; B. 16, D. 94. Major coll., T.K. Treadwell. 
T.K. Treadwell & William C. Darrah (Compiled by), Wolfgang, Sell (Updated by), 11/28/2003, Photographers of the World (Non-USA), (National Stereoscopic Association)
Credit: National Stereoscopic Association with corrections and additions by Alan Griffiths and others.
NOTE: You are probably here because you have a stereograph to identify. Please email good quality copies of the front and back to so we can create reference collections for all.

Preparing biographies

Approved biography for Francis Bedford
Courtesy of the Victoria & Albert Museum (London, UK)

Francis Bedford was an architect, as well as a draughtsman and lithographer. In 1854 he was commissioned by Queen Victoria to photograph objects in the royal collection, and later photographed Prince Albert’s native town of Coburg. He also captured previously unrecorded sites when accompanying the Prince of Wales on a tour of the Holy Land. But Bedford is best known for his numerous views of Great Britain; including views of Wales, Devon, Warwickshire and Stratford-upon-Avon, as well as a stereoscopic series, English Scenery. 
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Victoria & Albert Museum and is included here with permission. 
Date last updated: 11 Nov 2011. 
We welcome institutions and scholars willing to test the sharing of biographies for the benefit of the photo-history community. The biography above is a part of this trial.
If you find any errors please email us details so they can be corrected as soon as possible.

Further research

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References are available for subscribers.There is so much more to explore when you subscribe. 
If you have a portrait of this photographer or know of the whereabouts of one we would be most grateful.
Family history 
If you are related to this photographer and interested in tracking down your extended family we can place a note here for you to help. It is free and you would be amazed who gets in touch.

Exhibitions on this website

ThumbnailFrancis Bedford: Tour in the East (1862) 
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Visual indexes

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Internet biographies

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Wikipedia has a biography of this photographer. Go to website
Getty Research, Los Angeles, USA has an ULAN (Union List of Artists Names Online) entry for this photographer. This is useful for checking names and they frequently provide a brief biography. Go to website
Grove Art Online ( has a biography of this artist. 
[NOTE: This is a subscription service and you will need to pay an annual fee to access the content.]
 Go to website

Printed biographies

The following books are useful starting points to obtain brief biographies but they are not substitutes for the monographs on individual photographers.

• Auer, Michele & Michel 1985 Encyclopedie Internationale Des Photographes de 1839 a Nos Jours / Photographers Encylopaedia International 1839 to the present (Hermance, Editions Camera Obscura) 2 volumes [A classic reference work for biographical information on photographers.] 
• Lenman, Robin (ed.) 2005 The Oxford Companion to the Photograph (Oxford: Oxford University Press)  [Includes a short biography on Francis Bedford.] 
• Witkin, Lee D. and Barbara London 1979 The Photograph Collector’s Guide (London: Secker and Warburg) p.83 [Long out of print but an essential reference work - the good news is that a new edition is in preparation.] 

Useful printed stuff

If there is an analysis of a single photograph or a useful self portrait I will highlight it here.

• Gruber, Renate and L. Fritz Gruber 1982 The Imaginary Photo Museum (New York: Harmony Books) p.241 


The wit and wisdom.

"The life of the landscape photographer is assuredly an enviable one. The pursuit of his favorite art leads him to pleasant places, and brings him face to face with whatever is most lovely and enjoyable in Nature‘s fair domain; but it is not a life of unmixed content."
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