Can you identify any of these people?

Coleorton Hall staff

This image is taken outside Coleorton Hall and was kindly provided by Vikki McGill, another copy is also shown on the Ashby Museum website. It has been stated elsewhere that the central figure in the back row is the 10th Baronet Sir George Howland William Beaumont and that the photograph was taken on the occasion of Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in 1897. However, this cannot be correct for the following reasons:

  • At the time of Queens Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee in June 1897, and for the whole decade 1891-1901, Coleorton Hall was rented out to the Donisthorpe family. It is inconceivable that an aristocrat of Sir George’s standing would have visited his tenant and consented to be photographed with his tenant’s servants!
  • Also another early image of the 10th Baronet shows him to have a full black beard.

In my opinion the imposing central figure on the back row is almost certainly the butler, the most important servant in the household. The occupations of the other figures may be guessed at from their attire. Can any readers identify the sitters?

I will start you off. The rather nonchalant figure to the right of the butler is a distant relative of mine Henry William Cadwallader, he married Sarah Jane Platts on 27th March 1897 at St Mary’s Church, Coleorton and his marriage certificate states that he was a gardener at Coleorton Hall. William died during the first Quarter of 1900 at age 26 (I don't know the exact date or cause of death), so the picture must predate that time. Also we may be able to estimate the date of the picture from the ladies "leg of mutton" sleeves, which were popular in the mid to late 1890’s. If any readers have any further information on this picture the Coleorton Heritage Group would be pleased to hear from you.

Terry Ward, Coleorton Heritage Group, August 2021