Bedford, Francis

Francis Bedford (1816-1894) travelled extensively in Britain during the 1850s and 1860s taking good quality stereo photographs which were sold as named and numbered sets. One set named Welsh costumes was mostly of women taking tea at a cricket table outside, or spinning or knitting. Some reappeared at the end of the century as postcards and some were copied by Levi.

for some of these images see World of Stereo views



Stereoscope photograph by Francis Bedford no. 252 ‘Welsh Group, Market Women’. All three are wearing Welsh hats and goffered caps. The woman on the left is wearing a shawl, short bedgown, apron and long skirt. The bedwown has short sleeves with broad striped fabric of another material. She is also wearing separate sleeves. The woman in the middle has a light coloured shawl, short-sleeved bedgown and separate sleeves. The woman on the right is wearing a cloak with large hood. The blanket hanging on the left may be an attempt to hide something behind it. (Ceredigion Museum 1979.106.46)


Postcard, published by Francis Frith, postmarked 1900, based on Francis Bedford’s stereo pair, no. 255 ‘Welsh Group, Market Women, no 2’ (Ceredigion Museum 2000.116.9)







Detail of a stereo photograph of Aberystwyth promenade, about 1860, showing women in Welsh costume selling their produce (eggs, butter, cheese), too sea-side visitors.

‘335 Aberystwyth Marine Terrace looking East’ (Ceredigion Museum : 1979.106.40)



Bedford’s photographs of Welsh costume
number   title
125      Llanberis – Group of three Welsh peasants
126      Llanberis – Group of three Welsh peasants     later reissued as 1259
127      Llanberis – Group of four Welsh Costumes

252      Welsh Group, Market Women            later reissued as 1254
253      Welsh Group, The Market Stall          later reissued as 1255
254      Welsh Group, Old Women at Tea
255      Welsh Group, The Spinning Wheel    later reissued as 1252
256      Welsh Group, The Cottage Door

278      Tenby Oysterwomen on the Beach

1249    Three Old Women at tea, no 1
1250    Welsh Group – Three Old Women at tea, no 2
1252    Welsh Group – The Spinning Wheel
1253    Welsh Group – The cottage door
1254    Market Women, no 1 (also produced as a postcard by Francis Frith, no 3255)
1255    Welsh Group, Market Women, no 2. (later published as a postcard by Francis Frith, no 3256)
1256    Market Women no 3
1257    Market Women no 4
1259    Four Welsh Peasants

1917    Devil’s Bridge, Women at Tea no 5 (Three women seated around a table)
1918    Devil’s Bridge, Spinning. (Three woman by a spinning wheel and niddy-noddy)

It was almost certainly Bedford’s photographs which were advertised (as an insert) in T.O. Morgan’s ‘Aberystwyth and its Environs, (3rd edition, 1858), List of Stereoscopic Views of Aberystwyth and Neighbourhood, sold by J.Cox, 30 Pier Street. Also a large assortment of Stereoscopic Views of other Welsh Scenery, Welsh Costumes etc.