MONSON, Edward

1821 - 1907

Edward Monson, was born at Colchester, Essex on 2 May 1821 and baptised at Lion Walk Independent Meeting House, Colchester on 13 October 1822, eldest son of four, of James and Susannah Munson[sic]. As a ‘writing master’ he married at Stockwell Chapel, Colchester, Essex on 25 June 1844, Diana De'Ath (1819-1855), youngest daughter of John De’Ath of Wivenhoe, Essex. He moved to Ipswich as an assistant in the engineer’s office of the Eastern Union Railway working as an assistant to Peter Bruff (1812-1900), the railway builder, a reference which he included in his advertisement in 1862, and in 1848 published a map of Ipswich by the Anastatic process by Cowell's. He exhibited at the Suffolk Fine Arts Association held at the New Lecture Hall of the Ipswich Mechanics' Institution in August 1850 'Photographic Portraits'. In 1851, a 29 year old land surveyor &c. &c., at Falcon Street, Ipswich with his 31 year old Colchester born wife Diana and their three children 3 year old Edward, jun. 2 year old Philip and 8 month old Elizabeth Ann, all Ipswich born. In 1853, a daguerreotype artist, land surveyor & writing master, anastatic draughtsman, accountant, etc., still at Falcon Street, Ipswich but then seems to have moved to 2 Addenbrookes Place, Cambridge and was still at 57 Regent Street, Cambridge in 1859. He visited various towns for short periods including Wind Hill, Bishops Stortford in 1853, Bridge Street, Northampton, Warwick Row, Coventry and 117 New Street, Birmingham in 1854 also at Darlington Street, Wolverhampton and elsewhere. His first wife died at Birmingham in 1855 and he married again later in that year, Sarah Brown and by 1861 had returned to Ipswich where, as a photographic artist, he was living at 13 Priory Place with his 43 year old wife Sarah, born Paddington, London and with a new addition to the family, 3 year old son Henry, born at Cambridge. An advertising broadside at SRO/I printed by Cowell’s Economic Steam Printing Press [c.1860]:- ‘Photographic portraits, either plain or coloured, in the first style of the art. Photographic portraits painted in oils. Portraits in oil life–size. Mr. Monson, artist and photographer, 2 Queen Street, Ipswich.’ In 1860 he also advertises ‘Door and Copper Plate Engraving’ and his wife also advertises as being a governess for seventeen years and ran a private school. In 1862 he applied for the position as Surveyor and Inspector of Nuisances for the borough of Ipswich but was not successful but obtained a position as Surveyor to Halstead Local Board in Essex and in 1866, admitted an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers. In 1871, a 49 year old civil engineer & surveyor and local board inspector for Acton, London, living with his family at 2 Birkbeck Crescent, Turnpike Road, Acton, his 23 year old son Edward, jun., an architect & surveyor, and was at the same address with his 23 year old wife Mary. In 1891 described as ‘a printer’ living at 43 Mill Hill Road, Acton with his wife Sarah and 40 year old unmarried daughter Elizabeth Ann. His second wife Sarah died in 1891 and in 1893 he married for a third time, Eliza Isabella Winch and in 1901, a 79 year old ‘printer’, living at 3 Etherrow Street, East Dulwich with his 78 year old wife Eliza, born Burnham, Buckinghamshire and daughter Elizabeth Ann. He was of St James's Place, Garlick Hill, London when he died at his home 3 Norman Villas, Etherown Street, East Dulwich, Surrey on 29 March 1907, aged 85. His namesake son Edward Monson (1847-1935) is sometimes conflated with his father. (Copsey - Ipswich Book Trades. 2012)