Headington is now a suburb of Oxford (England) but at the time these photographs were taken, by, we think, Edward Holmes Jewitt, it was a village outside the city. In the 1830s Orlando Jewitt brought his wood engraving firm from further north, because he was receiving plentiful commissions from Oxford publishers. There is an archive of his work in the John Johnson Collection at the University Press, and a small collection of proof prints have come down to the present generation of my family.

Orlando Jewitt was in fact a company name, and at different times four of his younger brothers worked (anonymously) for him, including the father of Edward H., Henry, my direct ancestor, who was credited with 'being able to cut the finest line of anyone in the trade'. Several Jewitt's graves are in Headington Churchyard (though now beneath later burials). The fuller story is told in Harry Carter's book 'Orlando Jewitt, Wood Engraver' published by Oxford U.P. in 1962, still available via Amazon and elsewhere. 

At any rate, here was a firm providing book illustrations by an old and often beautiful process, brought slowly to an end with the growth of photography, and here are some photographs taken by a younger member of the family some 60 or 70 years after the firm came to Headington. Edward H. Jewitt worked for most of his life with the stained glass firm Shrigley & Hunt, and was responsible for many of their designs. This sequence was probably taken in the 1890s.  They have pencilled captions written on the back, which are shown on the expansions.  H.J. would be Henry Jewitt.





More photographs by E.H. Jewitt, taken in 1900, of Borwick and Borwick Hall in Lancashire, and Cartmel and its Priory church in Cumbria.