CHERRILL, Nelson King

Nelson King Cherrill

born 27 April 1845, Lee, Kent, England
died 18 September 1916, Hawthorn Cottage, Haslemere, England
aged 71 years


Nelson King Cherrill was born in the Parish of Lee in Kent on 27 April 1845 the son of Alfred Nelson Cherrill and Maria Cherrill nee King. He was baptised at St Margaret's Parish Church, Lee on 31 May 1845.

His parents had married at Hawkedon in Suffolk on 10 February 1836:

On the 10th inst., by the Rev. James King, at Hawkedon, Suffolk, Alfred Nelson Cherrill., Esq., of Doctor's-commons, to Maria, youngest daughter of the late James King., Esq., of Wykham-park, Oxfordshire.

The Times, Monday, Feb 15, 1836; pg. 7; Issue 16026; col D


His father Alfred Nelson Cherrill (c.1814, Clerkenwell -1886) was the son of Edward Cherrill and Philadelphia Gosford. His mother Maria King (c.1810 - 1887) was the youngest daughter Elizabeth and James King Esq. of Wykham Park in Oxfordshire. In 1843 his father is shown as a Proctor and Notary with Thomas Blake at 6 Great Knight Rider Street, London, later in 1851 he is a Proctor at the Arches Court of Canterbury. The 1861 census shows his occupation only as "Proctor" and in 1871 he is a Proctor in Doctor's Common a court situated in Great Knight Rider Street. In the 1881 census he is aged 68 years and is retired.
Nelson King Cherrill had an elder brother Alfred King Cherrill who was born at 11 Mary Abbott's Terrace, Kensington, London on 8 July 1841 and a younger sister Mary Ellen Cherrill who died aged 8 months on 6 August 1850 at Lee.
The 1851 census shows Nelson Cherrill living with his parents at Lee Road in Lee. In 1861 he was living with them at 1 Belmont House, Lee, he was a scholar aged 15 years. 

In 1871 the census shows Nelson King Cherrill living with his parents at Bedford Lodge, Beckenham in Kent. He was then a photographer aged 25 years. The following year he married Elizabeth Curtis (born 26 May 1840 Sarratt, Hertfordshire) the daughter of Alfred Curtis (16 July 1807 London - 14 January 1888 at 27 Brondesbury Road, London), a paper manufacturer and Henrietta Curtis nee Stevens (15 October 1805, Sarratt - 17 April 1887). The Ipwich Journal reported on November 5, 1872:

Cherrill – Curtis, - 30th ult., at Sarratt, by the Rev. F Curtis, rector of All Saints’, Colchester, uncle of the bride, and the Rev. A. K. Cherrill, brother of the bridegroom, Nelson K. Cherrill, of Tunbridge Wells, younger son of Alfred N. Cherrill, Esq., of Shortlands late of Doctors’ Commons, to Elizabeth, second daughter of Alfred Curtis, Esq., of Sarratt, Hertfordshire.

The couple had two known children:

1. Amy Lilian Cherrill (born 22 August 1873, birth reg. Tunbridge in 1873) 
2. Ida Mary Cherrill (birth reg. Tunbridge 1875).

Robinson and Cherrill
  1 Grove Villas, Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells
1868 - 1876

In 1868 Nelson King Cherrill became a partner with Henry Peach Robinson in a commercial photographic studio in Tunbridge Wells, Kent.

Robinson and Cherrill collaborated on many artistic combination prints during their partnership, which lasted until 1875. Their lavish studio featured prominent displays of studio portraiture and also many examples of Robinson's artistic exhibition photographs. It also exhibited nearly fifty medals Robinson had won at various exhibitions throughout Europe and America. Robinson retired in 1885 and his son Ralph Winwood Robinson (1862-1942) took over the studio. 

Encyclopedia of Nineteenth-century Photography, by John Hannavy.

Marion and Co., 22 and 23, Soho Square, London.
Photographs of all kinds may be seen and selected from
Robinson and Cherrill

of Forest Scenery, the Sky, and the Sea.
A new series of Microscopic Photographs.
250,000 Carte Portraits always in Stock.
Photographs Framed, mounted, and Bound.
The Pall Mall Gazette (London, England), Wednesday, October 19, 1870; Issue 1773

John Harry Gregson by Robinson and Cherrill, 1 Grove Villas, Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells.
John Harry Gregson born 30 June 1851 Benenden, Kent, died 15 September 1919, 1 Cowley Street, Westminster, Middlesex, son of Jesse Gregson and Harriet Anne Reeves
[purchased July 2020]

Herbert Hays Gregson aged 5 years by Robinson and Cherrill, 1 Grove Villas, Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells.
photographed June 1868 
Herbert Hays Gregson born 23 January 1863, Benenden, Kent, died 20 February 1938, Croydon, Surrey, England, son of Jesse Gregson and Harriet Anne Reeves
[purchased July 2020]

 Alfred Hayley Gregson aged 16 years by Robinson and Cherrill, 1 Grove Villas, Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells.
photographed 1868
Alfred Hayley Gregson born 14 October 1852, Benenden, Kent, died 12 June 1933, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England, son of Jesse Gregson and Harriet Anne Reeves
[purchased July 2020]

Percy Barrow Gregson aged 14 years by Robinson and Cherrill, 1 Grove Villas, Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells.
photographed 1868
Percy Barrow Gregson born 1 April 1854, Benenden, Kent, died 5 July 1926, Henley, Oxfordshire, son of Jesse Gregson and Harriet Anne Reeves
[purchased July 2020]

unknown girl by Robinson and Cherrill, 1 Grove Villas, Upper Grosvenor Road, Tunbridge Wells.
photographed about 1870
[purchased December 2021]


above - an early carte de visite by Henry Peach Robinson of 15 Upper Parade, Leamington. He was later the partner of Nelson King Cherrill.

above - another early carte de visite by Henry Peach Robinson

above - the medals on the reverse of this carte de visite indicate this photograph by Robinson and Cherrill dates from about 1872.

above: a carte de visite by H. P. Robinson and N. K. Cherrill Tunbridge Wells
Pictured is Alice May Russell born circa 1869, married 1901 Frederick Henry Huish.


 above - a cabinet card by Robinson and Cherrill circa 1867-1868.
reverse inscribed - "2 elder children of the Hon. W. P. M. & Lady Emma Talbot"
Charles Stanley Chetwynd-Talbot (b. 31 Jan 1862, d. 20 Oct 1890) and Cecil Emma Chetwynd-Talbot (b. 6 Apr 1864, d. 26 Jan 1934)
These are the two elder children of Colonel Hon. Sir Wellington Patrick Manvers Chetwynd-Talbot and Lady Emma Charlotte Stanley, daughter of Edward Geoffrey Smith-Stanley, 14th Earl of Derby.

above - a photograph by H. P. Robinson and Son
Redhill and Guildford
(Henry Peach Robinson and Ralph Winwood Robinson)

He won medals for photography in Cornwall 1867, Paris 1867, Cornwall 1868, London 1872, Cornwall 1874 and London 1875. 

Melbourne, Australia
July 1876

The Photographic Society of Victoria held an adjourned meeting on Friday evening last, at Mr. C. Hewitt's rooms, Swanston-street. An eminent English photographer, Mr. Nelson K. Cherrill, who arrived per Whampoa, enroute to New Zealand, was present and gave a most interesting address on the position and prospects of the profession in Europe. Much valuable information in reference to the carbon and other new processes was supplied.
The Argus (Melbourne, Victoria), Tuesday 18th July 1876 Page 5

A large meeting of the Photographic Society of Victoria took place at Mr. C. Hewitt's rooms, Swanston-street, on Friday evening last. Mr. Cherrill, late of the photographic firm of Robinson and Cherrill, Tunbridge Wells, England, was present, en route for New Zealand and addressed the meeting on Photography in General, at Home and on the Continent. Mr. and Mrs. Cherrill were invited to a dejeuner on Saturday, held at the same place, which was provided by Mr. Clements in his usual style.
The Age (Melbourne, Victoria), Thursday 20th July 1876 Page 3

New Zealand
July 1876 - August 1881

In a directory published in 1877 he is shown as a "gentleman" living at 1 Fern-villa, Queens Road, Tunbridge Wells (1). However by this time he had left England for New Zealand. He arrived with his family in Melbourne on the s.s. Whampoa in July 1876 and after a short stay there arrived in Lyttelton on the s.s. Arawata on 25 July 1876. He was aged about 32 years at this time.

Already in Canterbury were two of his wife's brothers John and Alfred Curtis, a third brother would later settle in Auckland. On 31 December 1876 his nephew Frank William Curtis [born 12 November 1876 Christchurch, later a jeweller, watchmaker and optician in Ashburton] was baptised at St Luke's Church, Christchurch, the godparents were Nelson King Cherrill, William Hood and Emily Bair. The parents of this child were Nelson Cherrill's brother-in-law John Curtis, an accountant and Caroline Curtis nee Hood of Springfield Road, Christchurch. They had married at St Luke's Church on 19 May 1875. In 1878
Emily Wright nee Curtis the sister of Nelson Cherrill's wife arrived in Lyttelton with her husband Rev. Alfred Cecil Wright and three children, he would become the Archdeacon of Waimea in 1894.

Press, Volume XXVI, Issue 3518, 14 December 1876, Page 2
Nelson King Cherrill purchased John Gaul's negatives following his death on 27 November 1876.

Board of Health
Mr N. K. Cherrill, of Clare road, wrote complaining of a neighbor having a pigstye of a very offensive character, considerably within the limit permitted by law from the writer's house. Mr Cherrill also referred some cesspools near his place, which were a nuisance. Mr Pearce (inspector) said he had visited the place, and found the stye near the house, but perfectly clean. He had served a notice on Mr Berry to remove his stye to the required distance. The cesspools complained of were also not in the state as represented.
Press, Volume XXVII, Issue 3649, 20 March 1877, Page 3

 Press, Volume XXVII, Issue 3649, 20 March 1877, Page 1

Lithographic Portraits.
To The Editor of The Press. Sir.— In your issue of this morning you have favorably noticed the third portrait of a series now in course of publication by Messrs Brunsden and Co. In all your notices you have, however, omitted to state that in each ease the credit of the portrait, so far as likeness, pose, and other pictorial qualities are concerned, is due to me. You state in your review that the portraits are drawn on stone this is true in a way, but it is only half the truth. There is a very wide difference between a portrait drawn on stone, direct from a sitter (as your notice would lead any person to imagine had been the case in these instances) and a tracing made on stone of an enlarged photograph prepared expressly for that purpose. The truth in respect of the lithographs you have so favorably reviewed is this: —The gentlemen have in each case sat to me for their portraits, which, in the first instance, were taken of a small size, and proofs were then submitted for approval. In one or two instances some alteration was suggested, and in these cases a new sitting was given, so as to obtain a perfectly satisfactory portrait to start upon. This point gained, I enlarged the portrait to the size it appears in the finished result, and then reversed it, "so as to render tracing on the stone more easy." In this stage the portraits were handed by me to Messrs Brunsden and Co.

I do not wish for a moment to derogate from the skill of Mr T. S. Cousins, who is a most excellent draughtsman, as well as a masterly painter, but I think, the truth being as I have stated, I should in common fairness have my share of the credit attached to this work.
Yours, &c., Nelson K. Cherrill.
June 7th, 1877.

Press, Volume XXVII, Issue 3708, 9 June 1877, Page 3

Fine Arts.—There is now on view in the window of Mr Cherrill, photographer, Cashel street, a very finely executed photograph which is worth a visit. It consists of the photographs of a number of the officers and members of the Christchurch Battery of Artillery, of large size and oval in shape, which occupy the centre. At the four corners are very artistically executed views of the battery in parade order, as gun detachments, and with the guns dismounted. The whole picture is exceedingly creditable to Mr Cherrill's skill as an artist, the photographs and views being coloured excellently. The picture is intended as a presentation to Sergeant-Major Roberts from the officers and members of the battery as a mark of their esteem.

Press, Volume XXVII, Issue 3695, 14 May 1877, Page 2


It is very seldom one sees a satisfactory photograph of a horse, but there are two at present on view at the studio of Mr Nelson K. Cherrill. They are Mr Webb's two favorites, Knottingly and Admiral. In each case the artist has succeeded admirably, and these portraits will make a very good beginning to the gallery of sires and race-horses which Mr Cherrill hopes to form.
Press, Volume XVIII, Issue 3785, 8 September 1877, Page 6

Fine Arts.—We understand that Mr Nelson K. Cherrill has received the appointment of photo-enameller to His Excellency the Governor. Some very fine specimens of this description of photography have been executed by Mr Cherrill, who is the only one in New Zealand who carries on this branch of the art.

Press, Volume XXVIII, Issue 3787, 11 September 1877, Page 2


At the opening of the Canterbury Museum in 1877 -
Under the supervision of Mr N. K. Cherrill, photography ranked next in order, his display being a particularly interesting one. The Woodbury process of mechanical printing, and the art of ceramic enamel photography, with the accompanying specimens in various shapes being especially commented upon. Mr Cherrill also showed a very fine collection of cameras and the various lenses in use.

The photographer John Spiller, who had worked as a photographer in Tunbridge Wells arrived in Christchurch in September 1877 and worked as an assistant to Nelson Cherrill until 1880 when he set up his own studio. (Perhaps he had also worked for Robinson and Cherrill in Tunbridge Wells?)


At a meeting of Philosophical Institute of Canterbury held on 4 April 1878 it was reported that Nelson Cherrill had become a member.

Mr N. K. Cherrill's Studio.
There are few arts which have been so greatly improved of late years in the same ratio as that of photography. When one compares the somewhat smudgy, always misty, and generally unsatisfactory portraits of a few years back with the present really artistic productions of the photographic camera, this improvement is the more marked.

Amongst the Christchurch studios there are few which will better repay a visit, or in which an hour can be more pleasantly spent, than in that of Mr Cherrill. Here one sees the art brought to the greatest perfection and the latest novelties introduced. As perhaps many residents have not had on opportunity of becoming personally acquainted with the secrets of the prison house — or rather the dark room — a few notes of a recent visit may not prove uninteresting.

In the arrangement of the studio Mr Cherrill has gone to considerable trouble in order to obtain the very best light. Strange as it may appear, he does not work with the sun — that is, he has so built his studio only to have a small modicum of the sunlight. The skylight is built facing the south, and is also so arranged as to have a modifying light from the north when required.

Entering the studio from Cashel street, the first room is the reception room, 32 x l6, in which are displayed the photographs taken in the establishment. Off the reception room is a finishing and coloring room, which is also connected by means of a sliding panel with the printing room. At the other end of the room is the staircase leading to the studio, which is the same size as the reception room. Here Mr Cherrill is in his element describing the various novelties which he has in fall swing.

Prominent amongst these may be noted a most ingenious contrivance invented by Mr Cherrill for the more effective taking of children's portraits. Inside the camera is fired a small electric battery, to which is connected a wire. The front of the lens, instead of having the usual cap, and necessitating going through a very intricate performance, is covered with a shutter. The shutter is connected with the wire held by Mr Cherrill, and the raising and falling of it is managed by a mere touch of the finger. By means of this Mr Cherrill can sit by the child whose portrait is being taken, and amuse it, a simple touch being all that is needed to raise the shutter and close it when the operation of taking the portrait is completed. For the amusement of Mr Cherrill's small patrons there is a very excellent musical-box, besides quite an array of dolls and other things likely to rivet a child's attention. The invention of Mr Cherrill will effect quite a revolution in the matter of sittings, as it will enable the artist to do away with that stiffness of expression which detracts so much from the finish of photographic portraits. The artist can now seize the favourable moment when the sitter is entirely at his ease, and thus be enabled to make an excellent picture.

Another novelty which has been introduced by Mr Cherrill is the ceramic enamel portrait, which possesses the double advantage of durability and lasting retention of colour. The mode of producing these pictures is somewhat complicated, but the effect is very beautiful. The enamel ovals, before the portrait is taken upon them, resemble a watch dial in appearance, and are slightly concave. They are composed of copper covered with porcelain. The picture is taken, and the film floated on to the enamel blank in water. When this operation is complete the picture is placed in a muffle in a gas furnace which has been heated to a white heat. The picture is thus, as it was, melted into the porcelain. At this stage of the process the picture is covered with porcelain glaze and once more subjected to intense heat. This results in the picture being, so to speak, between the porcelain glaze and the porcelain body, so that it is practically indestructible. When completed it resembles a very fine miniature on ivory, with the difference that hardly any amount of wear will dim it.

Another novelty which has recently been introduced is photographing on biscuit porcelain, the photograph being afterwards painted. Mr. Cherrill has some very beautiful specimens of this description of picture.

Connected with the studio is an electric bell telegraph, which is worked from the reception room and by means of a simple code the labor of running up and down stairs is obviated.

In order to have all the accessories of the pictures complete, Mr Cherrill has recently imported from England a very handsome suite of carved oak furniture, which takes the place of the theatrical like properties one is so familiar with in photographic galleries.

In the matter of mounts and frames, also, Mr Cherrill has an endless variety of novelties, which also show the great advances made in this branch of the art, as compared with those in which the two pence plain and sixpence colored, so dear to the hearts of the youth of a few years ago, were enclosed.

In connection with this studio, it may be remarked that the owner has an idea of handing down to posterity the likenesses of those who have taken a distinguished part in the founding of the settlement and its progress. In fact, Mr Cherrill proposes to establish a sort of National Portrait Gallery which, shall find a place in the Museum. Briefly stated, the proposal is to form a gallery of portraits of eminent men whose names are connected with the present rapidly advancing prosperity of Canterbury, the intention of such a collection being to serve as a foundation for a National Portrait Gallery. It is proposed, if such a plan meet with the acceptance of the public, to offer sittings to representative men in leading positions; to make the portraits of a good site, and all of the same size, so as to range together; and as soon as a suitable picture gallery is provided in which they can be hung, a properly finished and framed copy of each will be presented to the authorities, as a permanent addition to the collection. No charge whatever will be made either for the sitting or for the copy sent to the gallery. In the first instance invitations for sittings will be limited to those who hold leading official positions, and if the movement should be well supported in these quarters, it can be then determined to what extent it should be subsequently carried. Such a proposition is well worth considering, and might be carried out so as to form a really representative gathering of the Canterbury colonists.

The other details in connection with the studio are a commodious and well lighted painting room, where the painting of photographs is done, a printing room, and the other accessories connected with a photographic gallery, in all of which the same inventive genius is displayed in perfecting all the arrangements. Altogether one can spend an hour or so very agreeably in company with Mr Cherrill in a visit to his studio.

Press, Volume XXIX, Issue 4034, 29 June 1878, Page 2

On 13 October 1878 the ship "Waitangi" arrived at Lyttelton, on board was Emily Wright nee Curtis the sister of Nelson Cherrill's wife. With her was her husband Rev. Alfred Cecil Wright and three children, in 1894 he would become the Archdeacon of Waimea. (more information on Curtis family - here)


Christchurch Volunteer Fire Brigade
C.V.F.B.— Mr Cherrill, the photographer, Cashel street, has just completed a very handsome photograph of the entire brigade, grouped together, with views of the different stations. The way in which this has been managed is very artistic. The four companies of which the brigade is composed are shown with their engines at the four corners of the picture — the Deluge and company, and the Dreadnought at Chester street, the Extinguisher and hook and ladder at Lichfield street. The two latter are shown at the scene of the fire at Mr Saunders' premises in Lichfield street. The upper centre is occupied by a photograph of the Chester street station, and the lower centre by one of the Lichfield street. In the middle of the picture are photographs of Mr Superintendent Harris and the four foremen, with the secretary and treasurer of the brigade immediately above.

The remainder of the bridge are grouped on each side in order of seniority as to joining the brigade. The number of portraits in the picture are forty-one, and there are also six views of the stations, &c. The picture is now on view at Mr Cherrill's studio, Cashel street.

Press, Volume XXXI, Issue 4333, 19 June 1879 

On 1 May 1879 he was appointed the Hon. Secretary of the Philosophical Institute, replacing Mr J. S. Guthrie who retired. That year he delivered a lecture on “The Modern Magic Lantern" to the Institute. 

 above - Cherrill's Studio in Cashel Street, Christchurch was next door to the Twentyman and Cousin's building. In the 22 February 2011 earthquake brickwork from this building would collapse onto the old studio building.

above - Nelson King Cherrill's old studio building in March 2009. 
Owned by Antony Gough it was apparently soon to be "redeveloped" however it was pulled down following the 22 February 2011 earthquake.

At a meeting of the Christchurch Ratepayers' Association on 2 September 1879 at the Congregational Schoolroom in Manchester Street, Nelson Cherrill was selected with two others to be a candidate for the Christchurch North West Ward in the City Council elections. The Star reported:

"Mr. N. K. Cherrill desired to make a few remarks upon the possible future of the Association. He might mention that the Association had originated to some extent in an attempt to establish a Society similar to one which existed in Tunbridge Wells, and of which he was formerly a member. He would briefly point out the nature of the work done by that Society, which might perhaps serve as a useful model. Its first business was essentially that which had been done that evening. As soon as vacancies occurred, the first business was to select names and recommend them; and, as a general rule, they passed their men. That was the only way in which they interfered with the polities of the town. The subscription was a guinea a year, and there were between 380 and 400 members. The funds were expended every year on such objects as would be beneficial to the town, but in directions which could not be followed by the City Council. The first thing they did was to subsidise largely a very superior band of music. The new pumproom at Tunbridge Wells, a picture of which had been given in the Illustrated London News, was the work of the Association, and many other things were undertaken by them, such as providing suitable walks, or improving them, even outside the limits of the town. All these matters were quite exterior to advance its best interests in every possible way. This course might, to some extent at least, be followed by the Christchurch Ratepayers' Association. (Applause.)" 
The Star, 3 September 1879, Page 3

He was elected to the Christchurch City Council, North West Ward in September 1879.
G. R. MacDonald Dictionary of Canterbury Biographies - Canterbury Museum

Thanks to the newly formed Ratepayers Association, a number of very good men have been secured for the next City Council. There were only three candidates for the North-west Ward, viz., Messrs N. K. Cherrill, J. Gapes and T. S. Lambert, who were declared elected. 

 Timaru Herald, Volume XXXI, Issue 1547, 5 September 1879, Page 2

At the Annual General Meeting of the Philosophical Institute on 6 November 1879 he was elected the Hon. Secretary for the following year. However on 1 April 1880 he resigned and was replaced by Mr. G. Gray and at the following meeting on 6 May he was elected to the council to fill the place of Mr Gray.

photograph above - Thomas Gudsell (1861-1842) my great grandfather, photographed by Nelson King Cherrill.

At the Christchurch Industrial Exhibition in 1880 Nelson Cherrill displayed the latest improvements in the art of photography, including a new instantaneous emulsion process, by which a picture could be taken in one-twentieth of the usual time. It was reported the portraits by this process were “remarkably sharp and well defined.” He also displayed photographs on porcelain, some “admirably colored pictures in fancy dress” and the “apparatus necessary for carrying out the various processes.” 

Timaru Herald, Volume XXXIII, Issue 1821, 23 July 1880, Page 2

On 5 August 1880 he delivered a paper titled “On some recent criticisms on Partial Impact.” In 1880 he delivered at the Science Lecture Theatre of Canterbury College a lecture on the “Progress of Modern Photography” and in the election of officers for 1881 he was elected again to the council. 

Transactions and Proceedings of the Royal Society of New Zealand 1868-1961

At the Melbourne International Exhibition held from 1 October 1880 to 30 April 1881, Nelson Cherrill received an award for photography.

The following further Exhibition awards are published:
Second prizes — Chamber of Commerce, Oamaru, for photographs of Oamaru; N. K. Cherill (sic), Christchurch, Clifford and Morris, Dunedin, and J. J. Taylor, Motueka, Nelson, for photographs.
Third prizes— J. Bragge, of Wellington, W. B. Gibbs, Wellington, and Brunton, Dunedin, for photographs.

Evening Post, Volume XXI, Issue 28, 4 February 1881, Page 2

Star, Issue 4037, 29 March 1881, Page 2

At a recent meeting of the Christchurch Industrial Association, the Chairman exhibited two bricks, one of which had been experimentally treated by Mr K. Cherrill, with the view of rendering it impervious to water. The other had been coated with cement. The solution used by Mr Cherrill was bichromate of potash and gelatine (in the form of common glue), in the proportion of three ounces of a saturated solution of bichromate, to half a pound of glue. The hollow of the brick was filled with water, and at the end of 24 hours there had not been the slightest absorption. At the same time the process was cheaper than the application of oil to brickwork. The rationale of the treatment under notice was that by the action of light the mixture of bichromate and gelatine was converted into a leather-like substance; and theoretically it might be assumed to be indestructible, since the substance penetrated beneath the actual surface of the brick.  
Wanganui Herald, Volume XV, Issue 4117, 20 April 1881, Page 2

Marlborough Express, Volume XVI, Issue 137, 15 June 1881, Page 2


Nelson Cherrill may have been acquainted with Joseph Wilson Swan the founder of the Swan Electric Lighting Company, as Swan had devised a method of drying the wet plates, initiating the age of convenience in photography. Later he patented bromide paper, developments of which are still used for black and white photographic prints. Swan had also patented the carbon filament incandescent lamp. His brother George Henry Swan was an early partner with J. D. Wrigglesworth running the Napier branch of the partnership. Nelson Cherrill would later work for the Swan Electric Lighting Company as their Paris Manager. - Nelson King Cherrill by Bill Jay 1984.In August 1881, as he was going on a visit in England, he resigned from the Christchurch City Council. The Council accepted his resignation and gave a vote of thanks for the valuable services rendered by him to the citizens of Christchurch.

The Star, 16 August 1881 page 2

Councillor Cherrill, who was about to leave Christchurch, tendered his resignation. During his contemplated stay of six months in England he would be most happy to forward the interests of the city in any possible way, such as by collecting information on water supply schemes and other matters. He desired to mention that he was resigning now in order to save the citizen the expense of a special election.

Councillor Taylor, in moving that the resignation be accepted, spoke in warmly eulogistic terms of Councillor Cherrill's value to the citizens.

Councillor Thomson, in seconding the motion, heartily endorsed the remarks of the previous speaker, and specially referred to the large amount of practical knowledge possessed by Councillor Cherrill with regard to water supply and other questions. Councillors Cuff, Ayers, Treleaven, Lambert and Hulbert, and his Worship the Mayor also expressed very great regret that there should be a necessity for Councillor Cherrill's resignation.

The resignation was accepted, and it was unanimously resolved that the thanks of the Council be tendered to Councillor Cherrill for his past valuable services. 
Star, 16 August 1881, Page 4

He sailed with his wife and two daughters on the s.s Te Anau from Lyttelton on 16 August 1881 for Melbourne, there they transferred to the Kaiser-i-Hind and sailed for Southampton.
Star, 17 August 1881, page 2
 Index to Outward Passengers to Interstate, UK, NZ and Foreign Ports 1852-1896: Public Record Office, Victoria (under surname Chenill).

Press, Volume XXXVI, Issue 4995, 20 August 1881

Press, Volume XXXVII, Issue 5131, 13 February 1882

Press, Volume XXXIX, Issue 5450, 8 March 1883

An advertisement in The Press on 17 August announced that E. Wheeler & Son had purchased the portrait negatives of the photographer Nelson King Cherrill totaling over 17,000.

Photographic Notice
E. Wheeler & Son Cathedral Studio, Cathedral Square,

Beg to inform the clients of Mr. N. K. Cherrill that they have purchased the whole of his very numerous stock of PORTRAIT NEGATIVES, numbering more than 17,000, together with copyright of same.
Any orders for prints from them with which they may be favored, shall receive careful and prompt attention.
E. Wheeler & Son have also brought the entire set of Mr. Cherrill’s VIEW PLATES, which they have incorporated with their own previously extensive series of Scenery Negatives, making it without doubt the premier collection in New Zealand.
Cathedral Square,

An advertisement in The Star of 17 August 1881 shows that 10,000 of the negatives were taken by Cherrill and the balance of 7,000 by the late John Gaul. Unfortunately during the removal of these negatives from Cherrill's studio to Wheelers the indexed catalogue of negatives was stolen. They offered a "liberal reward" for information or the return of the catalogue. Another advertisement in the Lyttelton Times by the solicitor W. B Perceval advised that the house formerly occupied by N. K. Cherrill was available for sale or to let. The house was located "over Park, near Riccarton Railway Crossing" and consisted of "9 rooms, with pantries, storeroom &c."
His house in Riccarton was sold for £650 in August 1881. - G. R. MacDonald Dictionary of Canterbury Biography, Canterbury Museum, N.Z. 


England and Europe

Shortlands, Beckenham, Kent: Bedford-lodge, May's-hill - Sale of Furniture and Effects, the property of the late Alfred Nelson Cherrill, Esq., contents of the residence, comprising bedsteads, bedding, bed-room suites, toilet glasse, marble-top washstands, wardrobes, Brussels and other carpets, mahogany sideboard, dining-room, drawing-room, and library suites, occasional and other tables, carved oak bookcase, a 13-step American organ by Chappell, a 7-octave iron frame cottage piano by Pleyel, oil paintings, water-colours and engravings, silver plate, china, glass, and the usual effects, garden roller, mowing machine, &c.
Mr. W. Levens is instructed by the owner, who is leaving England, to sell the above by auction, on the premises, on Tuesday, the 31st July, and following day, at 12 for 1 o'clock. On view Saturday, 28th, day prior, and morning of sale. Catalogues of the Auctioneer, Railway-bridge, Beckenham. N.B. The Residence to be Let or Sold. 
 The Times, Wednesday, Jul 25, 1888; pg. 16; Issue 32447; col A

His wife Elizabeth Cherrill died on 1 September 1901 at Fleur d'Orient, Lausanne, Switzerland. 

New Zealand newspapers are desired to announce the death, on September, 1st, at Fleur d'Orient, Lausanne, Switzerland, of Mrs Elizabeth Cherril (sic), wife of Mr Nelson K. Cherril (sic), erstwhile of Brussels. 
Hawera & Normanby Star, 26 October 1901

The 1911 census shows Nelson King Cherrill living at Hawthorne Cottage, Haslemere, Surrey, he was then aged 65 years, also shown is his daughter Amy Lilian Cherrill then aged 38 years and two servants, a cook named Margaret Ann Pierce aged 52 years and a housemaid Alice Madgwick aged 15 years.
He died on 18 September 1916 at Hawthorn Cottage, Haslemere aged 71 years.

Probate of Nelson King Cherrill

His daughter Amy Lilian Cherrill was the author of "Story of a New Zealand Sheep Farm" published by The Courier Printing and Publishing, Tunbridge Wells in 1950. Her other novels and short stories included:
Basket of Summer Fruit: Being the Gathering Up of Short Stories and Vignettes from Many Lands
Whereas I was Blind: A Story of Three Loves
At the Villa Violetti
The First and the Last. Short Stories 
The French Count: An Alpine Story. 

She died at the Manuka Street Private Hospital, Nelson, New Zealand on 14 June 1962. (refer Nelson High Court Probate Records - Archives New Zealand, National Office, Wellington AAOO 17072 W5410 170 7825)
Ida Mary Cherrill married Henry Francis Bellamy at the British Consulate in Lausanne, Switzerland on 4 September 1903. Her husband was born about 1876 in Clerkenwell, London the son of Henry Thomas Bellamy, a clerk at the Audit Office and Annie Elizabeth Cox. (1891 Census)

 Story of a New Zealand Sheep Farm by A. L. Cherrill

"Bertie 1886"
pencil inscription "A. Herbert Cherrill (ph's son?)"
probably Alfred Hubert Cherrill, born circa June 1870 • Eastbourne, Sussex, England, died 24 November 1938 • Charmouth, Dorset, England, the son of Nelson King Cherrill's brother Rev. Alfred King Cherrill and Emily Stenning.
by W. W. Gregory, Photographer, Marlborough [England].

reverse inscription "Winifred Mary Cherrill Aged 21 Months. b. 1877 ?Wright  from Picton NZ"
by G. Churchill, 4 Cornfield Road, Eastbourne.
 Winifred Mary Cherrill, born circa June 1877 • Eastbourne, Sussex, England, the daughter of Nelson King Cherrill's brother Rev. Alfred King Cherrill and Emily Stenning, died 8 March 1948, married 25 April 1907 at St Mary the Virgin Church, Hampstead, London by Rev. Alfred King Cherrill, Edward Herbert Stenning, solicitor, son of Herbert Edward Stenning, solicitor.

Julius Von Haast

Portrait of Johann Franz Julius von Haast, ca 1860s-1870s Reference Number: PAColl-7581-29 
Portrait of Julius von Haast Reference Number: PA2-0471 P
Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

 The portrait (above) of Julius von Haast, issued under Wheeler's name would have been printed from one of the negatives Wheeler purchased from Cherrill in 1881.

(1) Jackson's Oxford Journal (Oxford, England), Saturday, February 24, 1877; Issue 6465. Partnership list of the London and County Banking Company.

Painting by Nelson King Cherrill

Nelson K. Cherrill - Oil painting - Village beside a lake with mountains to background, canvas 13.25ins x 21.25ins, in gilt moulded frame
Lot 273
Fine Art & Antiques including Militaria, Medals & Gun, Tuesday 11 August, 2015
The Canterbury Auction Galleries, 40 Station Road West, Canterbury, Kent


square cornered cards




The Venerable Archdeacon Dudley by Nelson King Cherrill
Benjamin Woolley Dudley born 1805 Staffordshire, England, arrived Lyttelton 1850 as chaplain of the “Cressy”, died 28 August 1892. 


"taken March 23, 1877, born February 13, 1876". This may be Edward Allan Denham the son of Emily Nalder and Edward Denham (Registrar of Deeds) who was born at Christchurch on 13 February 1876. He married Emily Gertrude Friedlander in 1909.

"Tom Mullans" - perhaps Thomas Carter Mullins


"Uncle Sydney

above: A copy of this photograph is also held in the collection of the National Library of New Zealand - Alexander Turnbull Library, where these girls are shown as the daughters of John MacPherson.
reference: ID:PA2-0468

If the date shown on the reverse of this carte de visite is correct it would have been taken during Cherrill's first year in Christchurch.


The following three portraits probably show three brothers.

rounded cornered cards

rounded cornered yellow cards, red border.

"M. H. Macdonald"

"July 1880"

above cdv courtesy of The Laurence Eagle Collection

above cdv courtesy of The Laurence Eagle Collection

above cdv courtesy of The Laurence Eagle Collection
above cdv courtesy of The Laurence Eagle Collection



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