Henri Victor Leménager, Photographer, Bushey & Watford, 1861-1887

Henri Victor Leménager (1822-1912) was born in Paris, France, and at the time of the 1861 census was a French teacher at Bourne House School, High Street, Bushey, run by Henry Biggs. Later the same year he married Mary Jane Braden (niece of Henry Biggs wife, Frances Amelia Braden) in London. They were living in Bushey in 1863 when  their first child was born. He is recorded as a French teacher & photographer at Chalk Hill Bushey in 1866 and was still there at the time of the 1871 census, when he was just described as a photographer. However the 1872-1886 trade directories recoded him as a photographer at 16 High Street, Watford. 

Carte de Visite from Chalk Hill, Bushey


CDV of unnamed little girl

The chair is the same as the one used later in the Watford Studio (D)



H V Leménager


Chalk Hill, Bushey Herts

within three minutes

of the Bushey Station


No plate number


Date 1861-1871


Painted CDV of an unknown Lady

The card backing is identical to the one shown above, except that it has been trimmed to remove the photographer's name on the front, and there is a pencilled number 90 on the back.

Particularly in the early day of photography painted photographs were available but never caught on


Their children (all born in Bushey or Watford) were Amelia Victoria (1863), Sophie (1865), Henri Victor (1871), Charles Seward (1873), Alfred William (1875) and Alexander George (1877). Amelia Victoria Leménager married John Charles Bruton in St Mary's, Watford, in 1881. I have found no later relevant UK birth, marriage or death certificate entries. This is undoubtedly because Henri and Mary Jane (and possibly other members of their family) emigrated to the United States in 1887. He died in Washington state in 1912, leaving Mary Jane as a widow, and she was still living in Washington, in 1930. She died at Tacoma, Pierce, Washington 15 April 1936. She was 94 years 8 months and 14 days old. This fits with her being shown as a minor on the marriage certificate.

An anonymous comment on the Newsletter (January 2014) reads: My research shows that Henry Sr. died in Tacoma, WA and Henry Jr. died in Washington DC. Henry Jr's first wife and two children died at the Iroquois Theatre fire in Chicago in 1903.

Examples of Carte de Visite from 16 High Street, Watford
CDV by Lemenager of Watford, Herts









CDV by Lemenager of Watford, Herts

CDV of Alexander Pytts Falconer with above back advertised on ebay with date 1873

CDV of gates to Cassiobury Park  with above back advertised on ebay with date of 1879

CDV by Lemenager of Watford, Herts Picture from http://www.fotosearch.com/C


These photos were all presumably taken between 1871 and 1887.

The five carte de visite all have different backs and probably relate to different dates - but the order is not known.

B, C, and D all have the words "Marion, Imp. Paris" in very small print - presumably the printer of the card backs.

C has a blank back.

If you know of any other CDV produced by H V Lemenager which can be dated (or where you can say one photograph is older than another) please Tell Me

CDV by Lemenager of Watford, Herts


A CDV with this back has been seen which could be dated  circa October 1881

CDV by Lemenager of Watford, Herts

CDV by Lemenager of Watford, Herts


CDV by Lemenager of Watford, Herts

Mother and two sons - cdv portrait by Lemenager of Watford

Click on images for larger size

F - This card has a plain back


  G - As D but print is in black

Other Online Photographs

St Albans museum has an example of a circa 1870 Lemenager photograph.

See a number of views of Watford/Rickmansworth area taken by Lemenager taken in 1870. These may include pictures used as illustrations for the book Historical Sketch of Rickmansworth and the Surrounding Parishes.


There are frequent CDV and other photographs by him advertised on ebay.

If you can add to the information given above tell me.

December 2011   Page created
April 2012   CDVs from Bushey and Watford "E" added
July 2012   CDV "F" added
August 2012   CDV "G" added

October 2012


Link toBourne Hall School added

January 2014


Theatre fire comment added

August 2014   CDV reference 1873 added
September 2015   CDV card  with back "D" seen f