Could This Be The Enigmatic Mrs Wombwell?

A carte de visite is now part of the archives. It shows a Victorian lady in mourning dress. Across the back is pencilled ‘Mrs Wombwell’. Could this be the enigmatic ‘Mrs Wombwell’ of Menagerie fame? The carte was made either in Newcastle or London by the studios of W & D Downey a popular photographer to the Royal family and others.

Image of Mrs Wombwell

Back view of Carte

There’s no guarentee of this being George’s partner, but the locations are consistent with Mrs Wombwell travelling to Newcastle or being photographed in London. The eminence of Downey might also suggest the wife of Sir George Orby Wombwell, 4th Baronet, although he married Lady Julia Sarah Alice Child-Villiers who would not have been known as plain Mrs! Incidentally, Villiers is also one of my names too and other relatives existed in Maldon, Essex during the twentieth century with the same family name.

*Downey was an active studio from the mid century to the end of the nineteenth century.

I’ll keep an open mind on its authenticity.

Macomo Representation by Horner

Macomo and friends by George Christopher Horner. Oil on Canvas, whereabouts unknown

This is probably the closest we will get to knowing how Martini Macomo[Maccomo] (1835 or 1836–1871), the Lion King appeared to his audience. He has been described in the Dictionary of National Biography as being born in Angola (1861 Census aged 25 residing in Bath), although Frost suggests he was a sailor. Others suggest he may have been one Arthur Williams from the Caribbean. This representation was painted by George Christopher Horner (1829 – 1881), an accomplished Victorian animal painter as Macomo and friends. Current whereabouts unknown.