Thomas Singleton

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Thomas Singleton was born in the Isle of Wight in 1846, the fifth son of Peter Singleton and Elizabeth Grant. Between 1851 and 1861 he moved with his mother and one elder brother, Charles to Guernsey. It is not known why they moved to Guernsey or what happened to his father.

Thomas married Anne Hamilton from Northern Ireland in January 1868. They had six children – Mary (1868–1947), Thomas (1870–1949), Ursula (1873–1960), Hamilton (1875–1949), Robert (1876–1941) and Frances (1879–1885).

Thomas was an active photographer in Jersey, Alderney and Sark, as well as in his home island. He was helped in Guernsey with the printing by his wife and in later years by two of his children, Mary and Hamilton.

It is known as fact by a Guernsey collector and archivist that Thomas Singleton took at least 90 photographs in Jersey (An original record list 90, with 54 actual images in the archive). Unfortunately there are only 35 Jersey views among the 110 Singleton images in the Photographic Archive of La Société Jersiaise. Sadly fewer than half of these can actually be seen on the Societe's website, and the majority of images of the other islands are not viewable. A previous contributor has mentioned that due to the limited number of pictures known to have been taken by Singleton in Jersey plus an absence of portraits, it seems unlikely that he could have made a sufficient living to support his wife and six children, from just his photography work. This statement cannot be substantiated at the present time as Thomas had a successful business in Guernsey. In his early years CDV's and stereo views and commissions were also undertaken.

The backs of his landscape views of the islands were not pre-printed, but stamped in purple 'T Singleton Landscape & General Photographer, Guernsey'. Many early images taken by him cannot be identified due to them being stuck down. His later c1880/90 albumens have annotation on the actual photograph.

His son Hamilton produced postcards as 'H J Singleton Photo' after 1902 but it is not known whether these were taken by him or by his father, who died in 1915.

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