The Speight Family of Photographers

Edward Hall Speight, headmaster turned photographer, worked in Rugby from the early 1870s.  His subjects ranged from town scenes to family groups, from the workhouse poor to local worthies, including the Brooke family and their son who was the famous Poet, Rupert Brooke.    Edward Hall Speight had eight children who are pictured below.


Left:  Edward Hall Speight

Above:  The Speight Family at home in Rugby, Christmas 1900
Left to Right back row:  Gulliver; Edward; James Walker; Clare; Lizzie [née Speight] Walker; Harry.
Left to Right front row:  Charles; Edward Hall Speight; Dora Walker; Louisa [née Gulliver] Speight; Henry Walker.

James Speight was also present, as mentioned in his diary, but is not in the photograph.  He presumably took the photograph.

A booklet on the Speight family and their work is available – see Publications.   The family are shown below.

Lizzie Hall Speight  
b. 27 October 1862

Assisted her father in the business and then married James Walker, a retail chemist and photographer, and moved to Birmingham and later Sutton Coldfield

Gulliver Hall Speight
30 March 1864 – 26 October 1951

He had a studio in Market Harborough from about 1888, until retirement in 1951.  He was also a sportsman, musician and a champion rose grower.

Edward Atkinson Speight
15 April 1865 – 1957

He worked in Poole, then had studio in Exmouth from about 1895 to 1900.  He then gave up studio work and the family moved to Rochdale and Oldham.

George William Clare Speight
15 May 1869 – 19 March 1959

He was always known as Clare and worked  in Nuneaton from 1893 until 1926, and from about 1920 to mid 1930s he was also running the studio in Rugby.  He was a prolific producer of postcards.

Charles Eyles Speight
9 February 1871 – February 1939

He worked in Kettering from the early 1890s until his death.  His daughter, Helen Speight later Larratt (below right), then continued with the business until the 1950s.

Harry Harrison Speight
18 January 1873 – November 1951

He worked as Harrison Speight, from early 1898 in Leamington Spa and then from 1901 until 1904 in Redditch.  He never had the success of most of his brothers.  Very few examples of his work are known

Eleanor Speight
b. 28 December 1877

Eleanor was ‘given’ by her father to his childless sister and her husband, and brought up by them in Cark, in the Lake District.  She ‘didn’t talk until she was five, and then never stopped’!

James Speight
25 February 1879 – February 1977

The youngest and possibly the most successful son.  After training with various other photographers in England and Paris [as recorded in his diaries], he worked in Sutton Coldfield.  He served in WWI and was later commissioned.  He then returned to work in Sutton Coldfield.

Helen [Speight] Larratt
29 December 1912 – 18 February 2013

The daughter of Charles Speight, she worked with her father from 1933, and then took over the running of the Kettering studio when her father died in 1939, until the 1950s.  She was also a County Champion golfer!