Carte-de-visite of the week #18. The Trappists of Staouëli and the Basilica of Our Lady of Africa, Algiers

Although most of my carte-de-visites are portraits, a number of them show landscapes, usually views of famous buildings or picturesque sites. Among these is the card below:

The Basilica of Notre Dame d’Afrique (Our Lady of Africa) in Algiers

On the reverse of the card is this:

This cdv shows the Neo-Byzantine Basilica of Notre Dame d’Afrique (Our Lady of Africa) in Algiers, designed by architect Jean-Eugène Fromageauand built between 1858 and 1872. The cdv seems to have been issued (and perhaps sold) by the Cistercian abbey at Staouéli, some seventeen miles away, which was founded in 1843 by French monks from the abbey of Aiguebelle. Although the Cistercians had a reputation for asceticism and austerity, the motives behind the foundation were not entirely spiritual, and were in fact closely associated with the French colonization of the country, which lasted from 1830 until Algerian independence in 1962.

The Coming of the French

The French invasion of Algiers was undertaken for a number of reasons, including a wish to end the attacks by Barbary pirates who operated out of Algiers and the need to distract the French population from their dissatisfaction with King Charles X. The immediate catalyst for the invasion was an altercation between Hussein Dey, the Ottoman ruler of Algiers, and the French consul Pierre Deval, during which Dey was alleged to have struck Deval with his fan. An armada of 600 ships sailed from Toulon and around 34,000 troops under General de Bourmont landed at Sidi Ferruch, about seventeen miles west of Algiers, on 14 June 1830.

The landing at Sidi Ferruch

Hussein Dey sent an army of around 24,000 soldiers to meet the French forces, who had encamped at the edge of the plain of Staouéli, which stretched between the Atlas mountains and the coast. The two sides clashed on 19 June and, despite having a few advantages, the Algerian forces were defeated at the ‘Battle of Staouéli’ due to French superiority in artillery power and military discipline. Further skirmishes followed on the 24 June but the French were soon able to begin marching to Algiers, where the city was taken on 5 July. Hussein Dey surrendered and went into exile, leaving Algeria to remain under French occupation for over 130 years.

The Battle of Staouéli, 19 June 1830

The Coming of the Monks

At first the French administered Algeria as a military colony with the focus on the regions around the coast, but over time this policy changed to one of colonial expansion and total control across the whole country. Land was seized and offered to French settlers, factories and businesses were set up, and those in the French army and administration were encouraged to make private investments into land speculation and agricultural production. The Algerians continued to resist throughout the 1830s and 1840s, however, particularly under the leadership of Abd Al-Qādir. After a decade of costly fighting, a French delegation was set up to review the future of a colony in Algeria, and their report concluded that the country ‘…would cease to be French if she was not Christian.’ It was thought that the presence of a religious community in the colony would help to establish Christianity in the region, encourage a more positive view of the French settlers, and bring about some peace and stability. The Cistercians were the ideal choice, given their agricultural expertise and reputation for austere holiness.

After a preliminary visit in September 1842 by Abbot Orsise Carayo of Aiguebelle and Abbot Hercelin of La Trappe, a plot of land was chosen on the Staouéli plain. The site occupied 1000 hectares of rough ground between Wadi Bridja to the east and Wadi Boukara to the west, covered in dwarf palms, mastic trees and wild myrtles. The first monks arrived here on 13 September 1843 and the foundation stone for the monastery, dedicated to Notre Dame de la Trappe de Staouéli, was laid the following day, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross, by Dom François-Régis and blessed by the bishop of Algiers, Mgr Dupuch in the presence of General Bugeaud. The relationship between the monastery and the military remained close, with General Marengo using his personal wealth to stave off financial crisis in 1847 as the abbey farm had a disastrous year

The monastery church was consecrated on 30 August 1845 and raised to the status of an abbey the following year, as the community grew from 67 monks to around 120, bolstered by the addition of monks from the abbes of Bellefontaine and Melleray. One of the monks had actually been a soldier who had fought during the Battle of Staouéli. These early years were hard, however; the land was poor and unsanitary, with malaria claiming the lives of many of the monks. Over time, they gradually succeeded in establishing olive groves and mulberry trees, draining the marshes and planting hedges of cypress and bamboo to shelter their fragile crops from the strong sea winds. In 1853 the monks won first prize at the Agricultural Exhibition in Algiers, and when Napoleon III and the Empress Eugenie visited Staouéli on 4 May 1865 they marvelled at what had been achieved.

The Abbey

The main monastic buildings were built on two storeys around a cloistered courtyard garden, with the chapel occupying one wing, the kitchen and refectory on the ground floor, and the dormitories and infirmary up above. on the first floor. The farm lay on one side of the abbey, and on the other side a complex of workshops and other outbuildings, including a bakery, laundry, dairy and forge. It was a far simpler building than the magnificent basilica that was being constructed in Algiers. There is no mention of a photographic darkroom among the workshops in descriptions of Staouéli that I can find, and it is not clear if these cartes-des-visites were bought in commercially for resale as souvenirs at the abbey, or if they were in fact taken by a Trappist monk. There is no doubt that other such images were in circulation, as I have another cdv:

Dom Marie-Augustin Charignon OCSO (1818-93)
2nd Abbot of Staouëli 1856-1893

This cdv also has the abbey’s name printed on the back, but in a different font, and with some decorative work around the letters. Someone has helpfully added a pencil note to identify the portrait as that of Dom Marie-Augustin Charignon.

A merchant’s son, he was born Flavien Charignon on 21 February 1818 in Peyrus (Drôme), and entered the novitiate at the Cistercian abbey of Aiguebelle in 1845. After ordination, he rose to become the monastery’s prior, after which he was sent to Staouëli where he served in the same role.

 When Abbot François-Régis de Martrin-Donos was transferred to Rome as Procurator-General in 1854, Dom Augustin took over the running of the abbey. He was consecrated as Abbot of Staouëli in December 1856 by the Bishop of Algiers, Louis Pavy, who was the man responsible for the construction of Basilica of Notre Dame d’Afrique. Work began on the cathedral, which was designed by architect Jean-Eugène Fromageau, two years after Abbot Augustin’s consecration. Louis-Antoine-Augustin Pavy (1805–1866) was the second bishop of Algiers, but he died without seeing the cathedral completed.

Dom Augustin, on the other hand, remained Abbot of Staouëli for almost four decades, until his death at the abbey on 29 December 1893, just a few months after celebrating the abbey’s golden anniversary on 21 July 1893. He was succeeded by Abbot Louis de Gonzague Martin (1893-1898), who was the superior when Charles de Foucauld (then a Trappist novice at Akbés ) stayed at Staouëli for a few weeks between 25 September and 27 October 1896. The abbot had been one of the co-founders in 1882 of the Syrian monastery of Notre-Dame-du-Sacré-Cœur (La Trappe de Cheïkhlé) in Akbés near Aleppo, which became a dependent house of Staouëli in 1894. After his death in 1899 he was succeeded by Dom Louis de Gonzague André (1898-1904), the fourth and final abbot of Staouëli. By the early 1900s the abbey’s prospects were not looking good: there were no local vocations and the French government was enforcing strict separation of Church and State that threatened the confiscation of church property and the expulsion of religious orders from France. It was in sharp contrast to the close relationship between the monks and the French authorities that had flourished at the time of Staouëli’s foundation. To pre-empt the possible seizure of the abbey, Abbot Louis sold Staouëli in 1904 and transferred the entire community (apart from one monk) to Maguzzano on the shores of Lake Garda in Northern Italy.

Postscript: Staouëli and the Atlas martyrs

The monks remained at Maguzzano for over thirty years before the monastery closed in 1936. Their last abbot had been another monk of Aiguebelle, Bernard Barbaroux, who had been appointed Abbot of Maguzzano in 1930. The buildings were sold off in 1938, around the same time as another group of Trappist monks were starting a new foundation in Algeria. Our Lady of Atlas was situated at Tibhirine, some 20 km from Médéa and 100 km south of Algiers. In 1947 it was granted abbatial status, and Dom Bernard Barbaroux was consecrated as the first abbot on 26 September 1947, using Abbot Augustin Charignon’s old crozier from Staouëli. Several monks from Staouëli were members of this community, which continued its quiet life of work and prayer throughout the Algerian War of Independence (1954-62), although numbers decreased over the decades and in 1984 Our Lady of Atlas was demoted from abbey to priory status. That same year, Dom Christian de Chergé OCSO was elected prior.

Ever since independence in 1961, Algeria had been governed by the National Liberation Front (FLN) and was a one-party state until the mass riots of October 1988 forced a reform of the constitution. The new democratic system was tested by local elections in June 1990 when the FLN lost heavily to the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS). When it became clear that the FIS were going to win the parliamentary elections following the first round of votes in December 1991, the army moved in to halt the electoral process and declare a state of emergency, precipitating a civil war that would last for over ten years. There were two main Islamist groups that took up arms to fight the government, the Islamic Armed Movement (MIA) and the Armed Islamic Group (GIA). On 27 March 1996 members of the GIA arrived at Our Lady of Atlas and kidnapped Dom Christian and six other monks. They were held for two months with the offer that they would be released in exchange for a captured GIA leader. Negotiations failed, and the seven monks were executed on 21 May. A funeral Mass was said for the monks on Sunday 2 June at the Basilica of Notre Dame d’Afrique.

These two cdvs thus represent scenes from the long, complex and troubled history of French monastic involvement in Algeria. I have some other old photographs and postcards that can add to this story, but will keep them for another time.

Carte-de-visite of the week #16

This week’s carte-de-visite continues the religious theme, in that the subject of the photograph – a young boy, apparently named Alfred – is shown carrying a prayer book and a Rosary, suggesting that this was taken on the occasion of his First Holy Communion. In one of Baroness Orczy’s ‘Scarlet Pimpernel’ novels, Sir Percy Strikes Back (1927), she describes the young lad Amédé wearing for his First Communion ‘an exquisite cloth coat with brass buttons, a silk waistcoat, buckled shoes and a white ribbon sash on his left arm.’ The significance of the large white pole held in his right hand is unclear to me, however. It looks rather like a narwhal tusk, although perhaps it could have been a processional pole for a banner – but why show the pole and not the banner? Perhaps a reader can help?

The Catholic population on Jersey increased rapidly following the French revolution as thousands of Catholic clergy and emigres fled to the island in the wake of persecution. Further secular legislation in 1880 forced another wave of members of religious orders to leave France, and in October of that year two priests from the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate were among those who came to Jersey. Over the next few years they raised funds to build a church for the Catholics of St Helier, and St Thomas was opened in October 1887, possibly not long after this photograph was taken. Despite the large influx of French emigres, St Helier was a predominantly English-speaking town, and certainly the name ‘Alfred’ suggests that the boy was of English rather than French background.

The photographer, Ernest Baudoux (1828-1897), was  a French emigre, although he had been running a photographic studio in St Helier since 1869. He was joined by his son, also named Ernest, in 1885, so the inscription ‘E. Baudoux & Son’ on the reverse of the card dates this image to somewhere between 1885 and 1887, when Baudoux sold his business to an English photographer named John Stroud. The latest known negative number listed on the excellent historical website relating to the Channel Islands, ‘The Island Wiki’  ( is 36532, whereas this cdv is numbered 37548 – suggesting that this must be one of the very last photographs taken by Baudoux before winding up business.

The front of the card proudly states that the photograph was taken using the chromotype process, and was ‘printed in carbon.’  There were various versions of this process, patented by Joseph Swan and others, and practitioners needed to pay for a license in order to do so. Although it was therefore more expensive, the results were worth it, as the use of carbon instead of silver gave the chromotype a deeper, richer purplish colour and a hard, glossy, metallic finish. Unlike the sepia toning produced by silver, the carbon prints did not become yellow and faded with age, which explains the sharp tones of this image. For more details, see Audrey Linkman’s article ‘The stigma of instability’ in Photographica World 91 (Winter 1999/2000).


Carte-de-visite of the week #15

This week’s carte-de-visite is actually a cabinet card, the larger format version (typically ​4 14 by ​6 12 inches) which gradually displaced the smaller cards during the 1870s and 1880s. Over the following decade or so, the popularity of both forms declined as Kodak and others made amateur photography more accessible, thus reducing the reliance on studio portraiture.

This portrait follows on naturally from the previous carte-de-visite image of Canon Vavasour, as it also depicts a scene from Catholic religious life. The back of the card is blank and there is no information to provide any details about the location or the date. A few observations can be made nonetheless.

The portrait shows a young nun sitting with – presumably – her parents, and it is therefore likely that this was taken on one of two special days – either her admission to the novitiate, or the occasion of her simple profession.  There are various stages in religious life, the length and name of which varies between the different religious orders and congregations, but the normal sequence runs along the lines of:

  1. Postulancy (from the Latin postulare, to ask or seek.) Lasts a few months, in which the postulant lives in the community and learns the basics of religious life. This period not only gives them the opportunity to decide if they feel a genuine commitment to such a life, but it also lets the community observe them and decide if they are suitable. When the period of postulancy ends, the community vote on whether or not the postulant should stay, if that is what they wish.
  2. Novitiate. This period usually lasts a year, sometimes too. In female communities, entrance to the novitiate is usually marked by the ‘taking of the veil’ and often a change of name, i.e. the adoption of a religious name, usually that of a saint.
  3. Simple or temporary vows (obedience, poverty and chastity) – this period may last three years or so, sometimes more. Nuns in simple vows are sometimes called ‘juniors.’
  4. Solemn vows. These are lifelong and irrevocable.

The nun in the portrait is wearing a Carmelite habit and the white veil indicates that she is either a novice or in temporary vows. Those in solemn vows wore black veils. There is no difference, I think, between the habits worn by Carmelite novices and those in simple vows, which makes it hard to determine what the occasion was. In the 19th century Carmelites were strictly cloistered and contact with family was extremely rare. When visits were allowed, these would take place in the parlour with conversation conducted through a wooden grille. The fact that this nun is sitting with her family underscores the special nature of the event.

The backdrop is clearly artificial, and at the bottom of the photograph it can be seen that they are actually seated outside, on grass. They were likely photographed in the convent garden, although whether or not the family were actually allowed inside the enclosure is hard to judge.

One interesting feature of this image, however, is that none of the sitters are looking at the camera. This might have been deliberate – an attempt by the photographer to make the scene look natural, as if they were captured in conversation rather than staring fixedly at the lens – or it may have been accidental, the sitters being momentarily distracted by a chance remark just before the shutter clicked.

With regard to the location, there is something about the parents’ dress that suggests they are European, perhaps French. The man appears to be wearing a military jacket, with heavy horizontal braiding reminiscent of the uniform of a hussar. The significance of the white (?) sash and the pinned badge are unclear, so any comments on this would be most welcome.


Close-up of the uniform

Paris, a walk through the city – in 1942

This book of Parisian views might at first glance seem like any other compilation of photographs of the French capital, showcasing its architectural beauties, churches, gardens & street scenes, presumably intended as a visitors’ souvenir. Yet, there’s a little more to it..


The front cover of the book

The photographs in Paris, wanderung durch eine Stadt [Paris, a walk through the city] are by Emmanuel Boudot-Lamotte (1908-81) but the text is in German, written by Hans Banger, and it was published in 1942 when France was under Nazi occupation.

The 165 photographs contain no signs of the Occupation, as the images were all taken before the war, originally published in Paris: Cent soixante-cinq photographies de l’auteur (Paris: Paul Hartmann, 1939). There are, however, one or two giveaway references in the text:

Hans Banger was head of Die Zentrale der Frontbuchhandlungen (ZdF) book distribution centre in Paris & the book was published by the Deutschen Arbeitsfront, the vast trade and industry organisation of which ZdF was a part. The flyleaf inscription provides further evidence that the book was intended for the occupying forces, as it has been signed by around a dozen members of Gruppe Mot/Zgkw as a parting gift to ‘Our workmate Hüllingshorst on the occasion of his departure from the Mot / Zgkw group. with best wishes.’

Zgkw. = Zugkraftwagen, or a half-tracked vehicle, but I’m not sure if the ‘Mot’ means that the unit was involved in mechanical repair rather than combat duties.


Inside the book are a few loose aerial photographs of Paris, stamped ‘Photographie Aérienne’ on the reverse but with the words ‘freigegeben durch R.L.M Kontr. No.’ Printed below, indicating that they were released by the Nazi Ministry of Aviation, or Reichsluftfahrtministerium.

It’s a wonderful compilation of images of Paris, the work of talented photographer who saw his views of the French capital published in French both before and after the war, yet the accompanying texts (both printed and handwritten) reveal how his work was appropriated during the Occupation – whether or not this was with his consent would be interesting to know.

Henrietta Ross (1815-94): photographer

After a great many years of neglect, photographic historians are gradually uncovering and sharing the individual histories of early women photographers whose lives and work have been languishing in the shadows. As yesterday marked the 125th anniversary of the death of Henrietta Ross (1815-94), this seemed a good occasion to write a little about her life and photographic activities. Some of this has appeared in my 2004 article on Horatio Ross, and Henrietta will be treated in more detail if I ever manage to finish writing Horatio’s biography, but in the meantime I have put together this brief sketch in the hope that it interest some readers.

Henrietta Macrae was born on 17 April 1815 in Demerara, an island off the north east coast of Brazil which was ceded to Great Britain under the terms of the Anglo-Dutch Treaty. Her father, Colin Macrae (1779–1854), had helped broker the treaty, which was signed in London on 13 August 1814. Colin hailed from the West Highlands: his parents were Farquhar Macrae of Inverinate, and Mary, daughter of Alexander Mackenzie of Davochmaluack. As head of the Inverinate branch of the family he had a rightful claim to be recognized as Chief of the Clan Macrae. Like many young Scotsmen he sailed abroad to seek his fortune, finding work as a merchant and planter in Demerara.  He became a colonel in the colonial militia and was also appointed to the colonial legislation. His status is indicated by his marriage in 1805 to Charlotte Gertrude, daughter of John Cornelius Vandenheuvel, Dutch Governor of Demerara from 1765 to 1770.

They resided at Cumingsburg, in the capital Stabroek (later renamed Georgetown) where they raised a large family of eleven sons and daughters, many of whom went on to take prominent positions in the colonies. Some of their time was spent in New Haven, Connecticut. Colin Macrae published a short tract, Suggestion of a Plan for the Effectual Abolition of Slavery in all of the British West India Colonies in 1830 and soon after returned with his family to Scotland, where he divided his time between Edinburgh, Perth and Nairn. Henrietta was in her late teens when she met her future husband, Horatio Ross (1801-86), who was then MP for Aberdeen Burghs and one of the more remarkable men of his age.

Ross’s accomplishments were extraordinary. His father Hercules – like Colin MacRae – had left Scotland as a young man to seek his fortune overseas. Through a blend of enterprising trade and marine activities bordering on piracy, Hercules Ross made a fortune in Jamaica, where he succeeded in winning the friendship of the young Captain Horatio Nelson, then a naval lieutenant. Hercules Ross returned to Scotland on his own 32-gun frigate, a wealthy man, and married Henrietta Parish, a beautiful heiress whose portrait was painted by Raeburn. They settled near Montrose on the east coast of Scotland and set about building Rossie Castle.

Rossie Castle

They had four daughters before a son was born in December 1801. Nelson agreed to be godfather to Ross’s son – hence the name Horatio. Hercules Ross was an enthusiast for the volunteer movement, and after an embarrassing scene when five year old Horatio ran away at the sound of guns on the lawn at Rossie, he had his valet fire guns daily over the head of his son. Horatio developed an interest in shooting and turned out to be a brilliant marksman. His feats with a gun became the thing of legend and he was reckoned the best pistol shot in the British Empire. In 1821 he joined the army but grew bored with barrack life and resigned in 1826. He was then able to devote himself fully to the sporting and shooting activities which were his joy, among the most notable of which include the first ever recorded steeplechase, a 97 mile non-stop walking competition and some astounding feats of marksmanship with both pistols and rifles. Some of these were documented in my article, ‘The Delight of their Existence’: the photography of Horatio Ross of Rossie (1801–86) Studies in Photography (2006) and will be treated at greater length in my biography of Horatio Ross, which I hope to complete one day.

Perhaps in need of a greater focus for his talents he stood as a Reform candidate for Aberdeen burghs and was returned in 1831. His contributions to parliamentary debate reflect his interests in rural affairs – he spoke forcefully on matters such as game laws and hemp tax, but was also appointed to a commission of inquiry into child labour in factories. Other members included Robert Peel, who became Prime Minister a few years later and remained a friend. Ross was well-connected and moved among high social circles. He dined with Thomas Carlyle in London, corresponded with leading peers of the realm, and took part in adventurous sporting activities with aristocratic gentry from both Scotland and England.

Although now in his early thirties, he had still not found a wife. Although it was later said that he sought a wealthy heiress, the woman with whom he fell in love was far from that. Henrietta Macrae was in her late teens when they met.  She married Ross in Nairn on 26 December 1833. They had five sons: Horatio, Edward, Hercules, Colin and Robert Peel.

Having left politics in 1835, Ross was in possession of a little more leisure time when photography was invented four years later and unsurprisingly was one of the first in Scotland to take it up. Beginning with daguerreotypes, he switched to the calotype process, but continued to concentrate on landscape photography. Naturally, he was fond of hunting scenes, and took numerous photographs of deer both living and dead. Some of these photos were used by his friend Sir Edwin Landseer as an aid for painting. Henrietta appears in one of his earliest known images, an 1848 daguerreotype entitled ‘Craigdarroch’ which show her with a rifle in the (clearly posed) act of shooting a stag.

Many of Horatio’s photographs are labelled Glen Dibidale, which was the site of a lodge in the Ross-shire highlands at which they spent much of their time. Some years ago I acquired Henrietta’s own Bible, which was signed and inscribed while she was staying. The Bible is of interest because it contains many marginal notes and pasted in scraps, giving some idea of Henrietta’s own spiritual inclinations.


Queen Victoria’s residence on Deeside had made this part of the country increasingly popular, but Ross had already been shooting deer here for over two decades. Horatio and Henrietta Ross joined the royal household for a shooting party at Mar in October 1850; Her Majesty noted in her diary that ‘Mrs Ross is a very pretty ladylike person, & an excellent shot herself, but without any ‘prétention’. Her husband, no longer a young man, is considered the best deer stalker & best shot in Scotland.’ (Journal entry for 5 October 1850.)

As well as being an excellent shot, Henrietta soon began to try her hand at photography. Her husband did a great deal to promote Scottish photography and in 1856 Ross helped found the Photographic Society of Scotland (PSS). This gave a great boost to photographic activity in the country, bringing photographers together for meetings and talks, allowing them to discuss methods and arrange for annual exhibitions. Although she was not a member of the Society, Henrietta displayed her work at some of the PSS exhibitions, as the comments below indicate:

‘Mrs Ross of Rossie’s works are not alone in showing that photography has been most succesfully pursued by the fair sex.’ Scotsman 21st December 1857

‘Mr and Mrs Horatio Ross also exhibit a considerable number of well chosen river and burn scenes. To portray running water properly by the camera – more particularly falls – is a difficult matter; indeed, the latter cannot be accomplished with any degree of success – the rapid motion of the descending and broken water giving a blurred appearance to the picture. In No.348, ‘Highland Burn and Waterfall’ by Mrs H. Ross, may be observed what we regard as a great improvement when a better cannot be offered. The falling water is touched by the pencil, which gives it much better effect, and throws a spiritedness into the photograph which it would otherwise lack.’ – Caledonian Mercury, 25th December 1857

Regarding another photograph on waxed paper, Cat. No. 350 ‘Highland Burn’ – probably the same image of that title that Henrietta exhibited at The British Association for the Advancement of Science’s meeting at Aberdeen in 1859  (cat 161, waxed paper) – critics noted its ‘pleasing landscape… sugar-white stones on the heathery brae… gleam on the water

Henrietta Ross, ‘A Photographer in his Studio’ (1858)

At the third exhibition in December 1858 Henrietta Ross had on show a fine portrait of her husband entitled A Photographer in His Studio, depicting Ross in the act of preparing a collodion plate. Apart from its clever composition, making use of the overlapping ‘V’-shape of tripod legs, deer antlers and a funnel, the picture is also of interest for demonstrating the sheer size of a contemporary camera. This image was later designated a self-portrait by Horatio Ross, although there are grounds for disputing this.

Henrietta’s sons inherited their parents’ shooting skills. Edward was the best, winning the Queens Prize at Wimbledon in 1860 and taking a prominent role in the development of the National Rifle Association. Colin and Hercules also joined their father at shooting competitions during the 1860s. The youngest son Peel took less interest in shooting and entered the Church, being ordained a priest of the Church of England in . He was Rector of Drayton Bassett from until when he retired to Inverness and took up residence at Druim, a short distance from where his parents lived at Rossie Lodge on the banks of the River Ness.

Horatio and Henrietta celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary in December 1883. Ross was now 82 but still succeeded in shooting a stag on his 83rdbirthday the following year. He was out for the Glorious Twelfth in 1884 but that was the last time. His health gradually declined, and he spent his last few months arranging his photographic negatives at Rossie Lodge before dying here in September 1886.

Henrietta left Inverness for the other end of the country, moving down to Portsmouth to be near her eldest son Horatio Jr, who worked in the Bank of England in Portsmouth. She took a house at in Southsea where she died on 17 October 1894.

There is much more to be written about Henrietta, some of which I may do another day – this has been cobbled together somewhat in haste, as most of my boxes of research notes on Ross are inaccessible following the house move. Commemorative dates are always a good spur for writing something, however, and if I can raise a little more awareness of Henrietta Ross then this raggedy little blogpost will have done some good.