Hertfordshire Postcard Artists, Photographers, Publishers, etc.

James Craddock


of Hertford (1857/8) and Simla, India



date   data
1833   Born 11 January 1833, the son of John Craddock (1802-1872) and Ann Elizabeth Hawkins (1807-1858)

"Messrs HART & Craddock's Photographic and Chromo-Photographic Institution, North Crescent, Hertford," was opened on August 26th 1857 when "they hope to secure the patronage of the Nobility, Clergy, and Gentry, of this town and County, for their superiorly finished Talbotype Photographs."

There were a number of adverts and in October they were advertising that they were "Still Open" and supplied "Larger Virgnette Portraits, in Indian Ink 21s, small ditto, 10s 6d., Portraits finished in Water  Colours, Stereoscopes and Views of any size."

In December 1857 Hart's name disappeared from the adverts, which became more detailed and reported "The public are respectfully informed that fine weather is not essentially necessary for the production of good portraits. J. C. having a Glass House erected, he is enabled by a newly discovered process to produce as good portraits now as in the brightest days of summer." In addition he offers "Theoretical and Practical Instruction . Apparatus, Materials, &c., for all Branches of Photography." More is said of his way of working in a newspaper report in the same issue.


In June 1858 he was advertising "First-Class Collodiotype Portraits, in Morrocco Cases from 2s 6d." and "A large assortment of Views for the Stereoscope may be seen at Mr. Craddock's Establishment."

Then the adverts stop but it appears that Arthur Elsden continued the business.


James Craddock maintained a successful and prolific studio in Simla from about 1864-90.. He is known to have been one of the photographers involved in recording the durbar held in Ambala in 1869 between the Viceroy Lord Mayo and the Amir of Afganistan but is best known for the wide range of topographical and architectural subjects from all over Northern India, produced for the European market. In addition to his photographic studio, Craddock also had business interests in banking, building and printing and appearss to have lived in retirement in Simla until at least 1896. His son George Craddock (c1859-1934) continued the business, with studios at Simla, Kasauli and Lahore. From about 1890 he appears to have continued his activities on Lahore, where he died at the age of 75 and is buried in the Roman Catholic Cathedral.

Encyclopedia of Nineteenth Photography

1880   Could James (or more likely his son George) have been the travelling photographer in the following advert "Photography after dark, at Mr. Craddock's Photographic Van, Chapel Bank, Burslem. Portraits are taken at any hour, by means of the Patent Luxograph, equal to those taken by daylight, with less exposure. The Luxograph is in use every evening from dark until 10 pm. Photography during the day as usual." Staffordshire Sentinel, 28 January 1880.

His wife appears to have come to England for a time as in 1881 a Mrs Louisa Craddock, photographer's wife, was living at 33 Claremont Road, West Ham, Essex. She was born in India, and so, in 1864, was her daughter Emily F Craddock.

April 2016   Page created