CARTWRIGHT - SPEAKE. A Victorian carte-de-visite album, containing 35 portraits of which 24 bear pencil written names. The album was assembled by the Cartwright family of Wombourn (Staffordshire) and Bridstow (Herefordshire), and bears a presentation inscription on the fly-leaf reading “Edith Cartwright from her Mother Aug. 12th / 89”. Other family names represented in the cartes include Sparrow, Beavan, Dowell, Tweed and Twining. Two notable Twining cartes are present, that of Richard Twining (head of Twinings tea merchants) and his sister Louisa (the philanthropist). There are 9 pages with names written on but have no accompanying photograph. The album (about 5 x 6 inches) is bound in embossed brown leather (small split to front joint), and has a pair of brass clasp straps on the front cover edges (the clasps and rear clasp straps are missing). The pages are worn and grubby in part. The album comes with a modern hand sketched family tree and list of the album contents compiled by a former owner, plus some photocopies from the 1871 and 1881 censuses listing the Daniel & Martha Cartwright family.
Central to this album are the portraits of Daniel Cartwright (1833-1908) a gardener, born in Wombourn, Staffordshire, and his wife Martha nee Speake (1833-1901), born in Church Stretton, Shropshire, of whom the latter presented the album to their daughter Edith Cartwright (1871-1922). Daniel and Martha had 6 daughters and 4 sons, most of whom are represented in the album, together with a few cartes of Daniel & Martha’s in-laws and grandchildren. The inclusion of cartes of Richard Twining (1807-1906) head of Twinings tea merchants, and Louisa Twining (1820-1912) the famous philanthropist are interesting, although there is no indication given in the album of a family relationship. Initial research does however suggest a potential link via a carte of a Mrs Tweed found in the album, and records of a Henry Wilson Tweed (died 1892 Bridstow, Herefordshire) who married Frances Mary Twining at St Pancras in 1856.