James Gilchrist


P Gilchrist




James Gilchrist

James  Gilchrist had studios in Edinburgh at:


14 Nicolson Street


105 South Bridge

The cartes de visite that I have seen  all bear the 105 South Bridge address.  Eight of these are reproduced below.

There are four different backs to the cards.  The last five cards reproduced below all have back No 4.  One of the eight cards also has the photographer's name on the front.

None of the subjects is named or dated, so I am not able to say, at this stage, which backs might have been used in which years.  However, the armchair in use in Photo 1 appears also in Photo 5.

From the cartes that I have seen, it appears that James Gilchrist concentrated on photographing men rather than ladies.  Even in his Group Photo (No 8) the majority of the subjects are men.

There seems to be some doubt as to how long James Gilchrist's studio remained in business at 105 South Bridge.  The Edinburgh Trade Directories list  the following studios at 105 South Bridge:

J McPherson


James Gilchrist


Mackie Brothers


Charles Wright


Willes & Adamson


Thomas Jackson Bonne


Mrs Thomas Jackson Bonne


George Ritchie Mackay


EW Parken


TJ Bonne,  & Co.


However I have been shown this carte de visite, by James Gilchrist, from the author of www.cartedevisite.co.uk, which has the date 1881 written in ink on  the back.  See cdv No 9 below.


 Cartes de Visite   -   Nos 1 and 2  -  by James Gilchrist


Carte de Visite  -  No 1  -  front  -   by James Gilchrist

Carte de visite  -  No 1  -  back  -  by James Gilchrist


Carte de Visite  -  No 2  -  front  -  by James Gilchrist

Carte de Visite  -  No 2  -  back  -  by James Gilchrist

BACKS:  There are small differences in the font, and in the details on the crest

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce any of the images above, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk


 Cartes de Visite   -   Nos 3 and 4  -  by James Gilchrist


Carte de Visite  -  No 3  -  front  -  by James Gilchrist

Carte de Visite  -  No 3  -  back  -  by James Gilchrist


Carte de Visite  -  No 4  -  front  -  by James Gilchrist

Carte de Visite  -  No 4  -  back  -  by James Gilchrist

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce any of the images above, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk


 Cartes de Visite   -   Nos 5, 6, 7 and 8  -  by James Gilchrist


Carte de Visite  -  No 5  -  by James Gilchrist


Carte de Visite  -  No 7  -  by James Gilchrist


Carte de Visite  -  No 6  -  by James Gilchrist


Carte de Visite  -  No 8  -  by James Gilchrist

BACKS:  Cartes de Visite Nos 5, 6, 7 and 8 have the same style of back as No 4.

  Copyright: For permission to reproduce any of the images above, please contact peter.stubbs@edinphoto.org.uk


 Cartes de Visite   -   No 9  -  by James Gilchrist


Carte de Visite  -  No 9  -  front  -  by James Gilchrist

Carte de Visite  -  No9  -  back  -  by James Gilchrist

  Reproduced with acknowledgement to author of www.cartedevisite.co.uk




Linda Craddock

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Who was P Gilchrist?

We have information about James Gilchrist (above) but who was P Gilchrist?  Was he related to James and possibly working in James Gilchrist's studio?

Census records could be helpful for finding a photographer, P Gilchrist, in James' family and discovering how he was related to James.

The only evidence that I have of him is a photo of the front and back of one of his cartes de visite, sent to me by Linda Craddock of Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The address stamped on the back of the carte de visite is the same as for James  - 105, South Bridge.

Lynda wrote:


"This is a sepia photo on heavy stock paper, embossed (4h x 2.5w) with a slight sheen. I suspect it is an albumen silver print.

The photo was given to me by my grandmother (born 1891) presumably of her father when he was a young man.  I am guessing the photo is from about 1876.

Linda Craddock, Calgary, Alberta, Canada:  July 9, 2015

Carte de Visite

Linda's photo is a carte de visite.  Her estimate of its date seems fine.  I have no reason to doubt that date.  The carte de visite is on card with rounded corners and the photo enclosed in an oval frame.  This style of card and photo was popular with some photographers in the 1870s.

See this page for examples of Cartes de Visite from different decades in the 19th century.

So I believe that Linda's carte de visite probably dates from between about 1870 and 1878 when Charles Wright moved into the studio at 105 South Bridge.


Thank you to Tom Russell for letting me know about the relationship between James and Peter Gilchrist.  James was the father of Peter.

Please see Tom's Comment 3 below.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:   October 21, 2015




Tom Russell

Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England

Thank you to Tom Russell who wrote:

The Gilchrist Family


Railway Worker

"I'm researching my partner Lorna Bushnell's family history. James Gilchrist (1812 - 1878) was her 4 x great uncle. He was born in Kilsyth and at the 1841 Census was recorded there as a cotton hand-loom weaver. By the 1851 Census he was a Gate Keeper for the North British Railway and living at 10 Abbey Hill, Edinburgh."

James + Peter


"At the 1861 Census James was recorded as a Photographer, living at East Drummond Street. His son Peter (1840 - 1877) was also recorded as a Photographer. By 1871 James and Peter and the rest of the family were living at 105 South Bridge. James was recorded as a Photographer Master employing one man and one woman. Peter was recorded as a Photographer while his sister Elizabeth (1845 - ??) was shown as a Photo-grapher's Assistant."

Peter died on 7 February 1977 at 105 South Bridge of longstanding phthisis (TB); James was recorded as a Photographer on Peter's death certificate. James died on 29 April 1878 in Glasgow of cardiac failure although his usual address was given as 16 Livingstone Place, Edinburgh.

James was described on his death certificate as a Retired Photographer, so perhaps hegave the business up on Peter's death. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any trace of Elizabeth after 1871 so don't know whether she continued in photography."

Tom Russell, Sleaford, Lincolnshire, England:  October 21, 2015


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