Early Norfolk Photographs
1840 - 1860
Thomas Bayfield Photographer

Thomas Bayfield photographerPhotographer unidentified
Thomas Bayfield
Albumen print, 1850s
[Norwich Castle Museum]

Thomas Bayfield (1817-1893)

Ironmonger, geologist, secretary for the Norwich Institution for the Indigent Blind and member of the Norwich Photographic Society.


Thomas Gabriel Bayfield was taught Latin, Greek, arithmetic and English by Mr. Norman whose school was in Golden Dog Lane, close to his home at Stump Cross, Magdalen Street, Norwich where he lived with his wife Harriet and their three children. When his father died in 1834, he took over the running of the family ironmongery business, which he did for 45 years. He practised electro-typing1 and seems to have had a formidable memory that enthusiastically embraced natural history, archaeology, geology, ancient seals and coins.  He was a sometime member of the Norwich Geological Society and the Science Gossip Club (Norwich) as well as secretary of the Magdalen Street Institution for the Indigent Blind where, in 1881, there were 45 residents. Although he joined the Norwich Photographic Society there seems to be no record of his photographic activity but he was a signatory to the letter of thanks published in Notes and Queries for the contribution made by Dr. Diamond to the field of photography.

Sources and Notes

  1. Invented by Moritz von Jacobi in Russia in 1838, it enabled copper reproductions of engraved metal plates or wooden carvings, which were used to print artwork and was immediately adopted for applications in printing and several other fields.

    The Norwich Castle Museum archive contains the profile information reproduced here.