These photographs have been contributed by a descendant of Robert and Mary Elizabeth Mossop.   There is little identification and we would be very pleased if anyone could help to date them more accurately such as by the style of dress or by the persons themselves if known.   


The tall gentleman centre stage is surely a younger version of Robert Mossop (1805 - 1882), Solicitor of Long Sutton, Lincolnshire, pictured right.   It is not his own wedding to Mary Elizabeth Peele in 1829 as that would be before the general photographic era and he looks older than the 24 years he would have been at that time.

It is presumed therefore that he is the Father of the Bride and that the groom is probably the younger gentleman standing to the left of the bride, holding his top hat.  On the other hand, the bride could be the only lady seated and the groom the gentleman standing prominently on the right who appears to have a hand on her shoulder and to be holding a bridal bouquet.  There appear to be at least eight bridesmaids all attired similarly to the bride.  Although the foliage and parasol suggest a summer's day, the young ladies are heavily cloaked.  Was this the fashion of a particular era?   By then Robert would be established as an important local personage which his daughter's wedding would reflect.   Robert is wearing an old fashioned tail coat whilst the younger men are wearing the incoming frock coats.

[Since writing the above, Kay Inverarity, a costume historian, has kindly contacted me with the following interesting information "Whilst looking for images of weddings on the net I came up with your site where you have the Mossop photos. I am a costume historian and have been collecting and lecturing on the costume, and sociology of the Victorian period for over thirty years. I can tell you that the bride and bridesmaids are wearing Spoon bonnets that came into fashion at the end of the 1850s and remained fashionable until about 1864 and were certainly out of fashion by 1866. With weddings we are fortunate that the bride and the bridal party usually wear new gowns made in the latest fashion. From the general appearance and line I would tend to date this photo at about 1863-1864. The bride has chosen to wear a bonnet instead of a veil this means that the dresses would be cut with a high neckline. In Victorian times even in summer it was not considered appropriate  for a lady to be out in public without some form of outer garment, hence the capes. These could be made in many fabrics including fine wool, silk, muslin, lace, and barege according to the weather.   The woman on the extreme left with the parasol was probably the mother of the bride."   and later in response to my query "Yes, Lincolnshire fashions would have been a little behind London it often took about six months to a year for new fashions to disseminate through from France. Here in South Australia the Governors wife Lady Tennison in 1900 used to keep her Paris gowns for a year before wearing them so as not to appear too ahead of the general fashion. In this case the year 1865 would fit well with the photo."   Thank you Kay]

Robert's daughters married as below:-

LOUISA to Thomas Henry Rule between August and October 1857 when the bride was aged 20, the groom 24 and Robert 52.

MARY to Revd. Stewart George Holland on 18 April 1865 when the bride was aged 23, the groom 26 and Robert 60.

AMELIA to George Skelton on 6 July 1869 when the bride was aged 20, the groom 28 and Robert 64.

JULIA to Arthur Skelton on 4 June 1874 when the bride was aged 27, the groom 31 and Robert 69.

ELIZABETH ANNIE to Richard Price Davis between April and June 1876 when the bride was aged 22, the groom 23 and Robert 71.

It seems most likely therefore to be the wedding of Mary Mossop and Revd. Stewart George Holland.   However, the Holland family from whom this photograph came say that although they have no photographs from this era none of the men appear to hold a family resemblance.

Below are enlarged sections of this photograph.   Whilst the images are not sharp they may bring out further detail.








                    PERSONS FEATURED LEFT                                                    THOSE FEATURED RIGHT













            TAKEN c. 1877 AT AGE 39


Two more family portraits in the possession of the Holland family are given below










The portrait on the left is painted onto a brooch.   On a backing card is pencil written "G. G. Mossop - Cannes".   We know of no Mossop of this family with the initials G.G.   Could it stand for Great Grandfather?   If so, whose?   This family had connections with Cannes through Robert Mossop's sister Catherine (1801 - 1894) who married Thomas Robinson Woolfield (1800 - 1888) one of the primary developers of the resort so it is quite likely that a member of the family visited them there.   Does the style of dress indicate who and when it might have been?   It appears that Thomas arrived in Cannes in 1838 after Catherine's father, Rev. John Mossop, died in 1834 at the age of 80 so it is unlikely to be a portrait of him, unless very flattering, as it appears to be a much younger man.  

The photograph on the right is likely to be one of the large Mossop family of Long Sutton but there is no indication of which one.

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