Ashton, Ernest Russell 1

Birth Name Ashton, Ernest Russell
Gramps ID I0599
Gender male
Age at Death 91 years, 10 months, 10 days


Event Date Place Description Notes Sources
Birth [E4305] 1860 St Pancras, Camden town, Essex  
Death [E4306] 11 November 1951 Broadlands, Camden Park, Tunbridge Wells  
Occupation [E4307]   Tea Merchants Clerk, Photographer


Relation to main person Name Relation within this family (if not by birth)
Father Ashton, Alfred [I0595]
Mother Hyatt, Mary [I0552]
    Sister     Ashton, Jessie Marian [I0596]
    Brother     Ashton, Percy [I0597]
    Sister     Ashton, Gertrude Annie [I0598]
         Ashton, Ernest Russell [I0599]
    Sister     Ashton, Agnes M [I2323]


Ernest had a long photographic career. He exhibited his work at the 1895 to 1898 and the 1908 Exhibitions of the Royal Photographic Society with an address of Camden Park, Tunbridge Wells, and is noted in the book "Ernest R.Ashton, Memoirs of a photographic pioneer" June 13, 1930.

There are records of him living at Broadlands, Camden Park, Tunbridge Wells from 1913 to 1951 and a date of death of November 11, 1951 at Tunbridge Wells and a newspaper obituary that reads:

"Ashton-On Nov 11, 1951, Ernest Russell Ashton of Broadlands, Camden Park, Tunbridge Wells, aged 91. Funeral, Tunbridge Wells Borough Cemetery on Friday Nov 16 at 12 noon"
(ref; Local newspaper dated Nov 13, 1951).
Source: Ed Gilbert (Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada, Member of the Tunbridge Wells Family History Society).

Dictionary of British and Irish Botanists and Horticulturists:
Including Plant Collectors, Flower Painter and Garden Designers:
ASHTON, Ernest Russell (c. 1860-1951)
d. Tunbridge Wells, Kent 11 Nov. 1951
He grew and exhibited orchids.
Contributed many floral photographs to Orchid Review.
Orchid Review 1952.

At the Tunbridge Wells Museum Art Gallery there is an amazing collection of Victorian Paintings that were left to the museum in the will of Ernest Russell Ashton in 1952, and are known as the "Ashton Bequest". A varied collection, the work of many local artists and Victorian painters.


Approved biography for Ernest Ashton
(By Christian Peterson)

Ernest R. Ashton took up photography in 1887, while living in the Australian bush, and became an adventuresome cameraman. He made most of his images in India and Middle Eastern countries such as Tunisia and Egypt, taking on the pseudonym "Orientalist." Based in Tunbridge Wells, a town southeast of London, he was a neighbor, friend, and protǧ ̌of Henry Peach Robinson, the great early artistic photographer.

Ashton was admired for his masterful handling of the harsh, high-contrast lighting conditions where he photographed. He produced landscapes, figure studies, and architectural images (both interior and exterior). His most revered picture was Evening near the Pyramids, an atmospheric image shot at Giza, with an expanse of water in the foreground providing effective reflections. This image appeared in the October 1898 issue of Camera Notes as a rich photogravure and in Antony Guest's 1907 book Art and the Camera.

Stieglitz probably became aware of Ashton in 1895, when he won an award for his architectural lantern slides in a competition sponsored by the magazine American Amateur Photographer. It seems that few of Ashton's pictures were exhibited in the United States, but some were included in the Eastman Kodak exhibition in New York in 1898 and the photography section of the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis. In January 1896, he was elected to membership in the Linked Ring Brotherhood, England's most artistic group of photographers. Photograms of the Year reproduced his images in 1896-99, 1901, 1905, and 1907, as did the American Annual of Photography in 1901. Ashton exhibited his work from about 1895 through the 1910s, at shows in Amsterdam, Brussels, Florence, Leeds, Paris, and Vienna. He was a regular contributor to the London salon and in 1899 presented a one-person exhibition of his work at the Camera Club of London. His last known photographic activity was as president of the Tunbridge Wells Amateur Photographic Association in 1913.

Christian A. Peterson Pictorial Photography at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts (Christian A. Peterson: Privately printed, 2012)


Type Value Notes Sources
RFN 633485649


  1. Ashton, Alfred [I0595]
    1. Hyatt, Mary [I0552]
      1. Ashton, Agnes M [I2323]
      2. Ashton, Gertrude Annie [I0598]
      3. Ashton, Jessie Marian [I0596]
      4. Ashton, Ernest Russell
      5. Ashton, Percy [I0597]


Source References

  1. Orchid Review 1952 [S0059]