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Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists: A Guide & Handbook

BAMBRIDGE, William 1819–1878

BAMBRIDGE, William 1819–1878

Born at Windsor, England: educated at Norwich. Was trained as a chorister and when he later became a schoolmaster he also took charge of the school singing. Married in 1841: he and his wife came to New Zealand with Bishop Selwyn to work at St John's College at that time at the Waimate, Bay of Islands. In 1844 the school was moved to Auckland. Bambridge made pencil, pen and wash drawings mainly of the St John's College buildings and surroundings, both at Te Waimate and at Purewa, Auckland. Also made drawings of people connected with the college. While in Auckland he drew the artist J. J. Merrett and Merrett drew him but neither of these portraits have come to light. He made many of the illustrations for the journals of Rev. W. C. Cotton, the headmaster of St John's. Returned to England 1847 and eventually became Queen Victoria's official photographer. A watercolour by Bambridge is said to be in the Queen's collection. Died at Wandsworth. An album of this drawings is in AIML. Pen and ink sketches illustrate his Journal which is in Turnbull.