BRAY, James and Elizabeth of Moor Park, Harrogate. A pair of framed tinted full plate ambrotypes behind oval window mounts, each inscribed respectively on the reverse “James Bray Moor Park” and “Elizabeth Bray Moor Park Harrogate”. Both frames measure c. 7 ½ x 9 ½ inches, and both plates are very dark.
James Bray was born about 1802 in the Huddersfield-Bradford area of Yorkshire, and in 1821 married Elizabeth Golder at Tong, Bradford, by whom he had three sons and three daughters. Bray became a successful builder and set up in about 1846 the ironfoundry business of Bray, Waddington and Co. James Bray undertook many major contracts in the north of England for railway companies, public utilities and harbour authorities. He purchased the Moor Park Estate, Harrogate, in 1848, spending over £8,000 renovating the house and grounds, where he lived with his family until moving to Fulneck near Leeds in 1869.