Convent of the Holy Child Jesus at St Leonards
Photographer, by 1909 at 239 London Road, St Leonards, and after 1918 also at 241. Cousens, who also spelt his name Seymour-Cousens, and is wrongly listed in many Directories as Cousins, was active as a photographer at St Leonards from about 1908 until his death in the town in 1928, when his business was acquired by Pirie Maclachlan. He published real photographic cards of Hastings and St. Leonards, usually with small, neat handwritten captions in capitals, added in some examples in purple using a rubber stamp. The photographs have no borders and often lack sufficient contrast. Some are printed on photographic card supplied by Thomas Illingworth & Co. of London. At least 18 real photographic cards show the convent at St Leonards, and may have been produced for the exclusive use of the nuns and visitors. Some are interior views, others portray the building exteriors and the well kept gardens. One card even shows Jenny, the convent donkey, staring suspiciously at the photographer. Another, lacking a caption, is believed to record a welcome for the Rev. Mother General at the Convent. Cousens also produced many real photographic cards of entertainers and theatrical productions in Hastings.
Cousens was born at Eton in 1876. His father, William Cousens, was an upholsterer's salesman, who had been born in Suffolk in about 1846. His mother, Alice, came from Camberwell, and was 5 years younger than William. He had an elder brother, William Cousens, and younger sister, Lillie Alice Cousens.
In 1881 the Cousens family were living in Winchester Street, near Preston Circus in Brighton. By 1891 they had moved to Newbury in Berkshire, and Harry had started work as an office boy at a firm of architects. The 1901 census records that he had become a self-employed photographer in Tunbridge Wells, boarding with a family in Berkeley Road. In 1908 he married Jessie Gladys Hitch, who had been born at Eastbourne in about 1887. The 1901 census records that her father, Alfred Hitch, was a warehouse manager in Leyton, Essex. She and Harry had had no children when the 1911 census was held. When Harry died on 5 August 1928 he left effects of £1016.To directory of publishers
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