The John Lawson-Reay Photograph Collection

Scope and Content

A collection of photographs made from 10 x 8 inch glass plates of Thomas Edge, photographer, Gloddaeth Street, Llandudno and printed by photographer, John Lawson-Reay. The collection includes images of soldiers and police, early vehicles, sport and leisure, buildings and photos possibly of the Mostyn family and staff taken at the end of the 19th century and the first 2 decades of the 20th century.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Edge was born in Fylde, Lancashire and came to Llandudno as a roving photographer working for the London Stereoscope Company. He set up his own studio around 1862. He photographed literally everyone of note, including Alice Liddell. He was also a painter and a pioneer of the art of re-touching - equivalent of today's air-brushing, which may explain why he was so popular!

One of his early Cartes-de-Visite was purchased by the National Portrait Gallery.

Jeannie, Thomas Edge's wife, managed both the studio and adjoining Art Shop. Their eldest daughter Elsie May married James Jones Marks, County Court Registrar and Chairman of Llandudno Urban Council 1906-1907, second daughter Kate married Mostyn Estates Agent and Architect, G.A. Humphreys and their third daughter married G.A. Humphrey's brother. They had one son, Frank who became the editor of the Llandudno Advertiser. There is no record of what happened to their youngest daughter. Thomas Edge died around 1900 and by 1907 the business was in the name of Edge Ltd and continued until 1919.

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research. Access to some documents may be restricted due to Data Protection legislation, Conwy Archives will advise where this is the case. For details and opening hours see

Custodial History

The plates were found in the Mostyn Estate office, these are a small proportion, the rest sadly, were destroyed.