Charles Raven Shaw (1873-1917)

Charles Raven Shaw was a local photographer who worked with his father as John E. Shaw & Son, but later committed suicide.


He was born in 1873, the son of photographer John Edward Shaw and his wife Martha (née Robinson), and was baptised on 9 November 1873 at the High Street Methodist New Connexion Chapel.

He married Lilly Edith Southworth, daughter of grocer Squire Henry Southworth, on 25 March 1896 at the High Street Chapel. It is believed they had only one child:

  • Raymond Hubert Shaw (1897-1970)[1]

The baptismal entry for their son notes that Charles Raven and his wife were at that time residing at Broomhill, Sheffield, where he was likely in charge of the Sheffield studio at Kensington House. At the time of the 1901 Census, the family was boarding 88 Prospect Road, Scarborough. By 1909, the local Electoral Registers give his address as Bottoms, Holmfirth, but the 1911 Census records the family residing at 27 Portland Street Huddersfield.

Huddersfield Daily Examiner (05/Mar/1917)

Following his father's death in September 1916, he continued the family business and went into partnership with another local photographer named Wilkinson.

However, by the following March, a decision had been made to end the business and adverts appeared in the local press announcing that the leasehold on Burlington House was offered for sale. Patrons were advised that they had two months to order any "photographs or enlargements from negatives taken during the last thirty years."[2]

On the morning of 19 December 1917, the body of Charles Raven Shaw was found hanging in the studio of Burlington House. It was reported he "had been somewhat strange in manner during the last few weeks". At the time of his death, he had been lodging at 27 Trinity Street and on the evening before had left saying he needed to "blow the cobwebs off". When he failed to return, the police were informed and his business partner Mr. Wilkinson went to Burlington House, where he discovered the body.[3]

Notes and References

  1. Born 16 June 1897 and baptised 25 July 1897 at the High Street Methodist New Connexion Chapel. Married and worked as a sales clerk. Died in 1970 at Leeds. His son Robert Brian Shaw worked as a station master and married Janet Mary Wilson on 23 July 1963 at St. Paul, Stanningley, Pudsey.
  2. Huddersfield Daily Examiner (08/Mar/1917).
  3. "Photographer's Suicide in Huddersfield Daily Examiner (19/Dec/1917).