London-born Cornelius Jabez Hughes was a photographer who, in the latter part of his career moved to the Isle of Wight and set up a business at Regina House Studios in Ryde. His studio stands on Union Street and is decorated with statues along the front at rooftop height. He specialised in portraiture and his early work was with daguerreotypes, later adopting more modern methods using albumen silver prints.
Hughes reputation grew and he became one of the most famous photographers of the period. He was a favourite with Queen Victoria who employed him to take many of the photographs of her family. Many of his pictures show the Queen and the royal children in beautiful and naturalistic poses. Jabez was also called upon to take photographs of the many important guests staying at Osborne House such as John Brown, Disraeli, and the young African prince Alemayou.
It is also thanks to Hughes that there is a photographic record of the exterior and much of the interior of the house and the estate whilst the Queen lived there.
Prince Alamayou of Abyssinia and Tristram Speedy (
Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield (
Prince Albert Victor, and Queen Victoria (npg)
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