Manoah Duplock


Card sold by Manoah Duplock showing his house and shop at Five Ash Down. Posted in February 1914.

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Photographer, Five Ash Down, near Uckfield. Cards issued by this photographer are surprisingly scarce and take a lot of finding. Most examples are hand stamped on the back "M. Duplock, Photographer, Five Ash Down" in blue-grey ink. The photographs on the front lack borders and are reproduced mostly in black and white, less commonly in sepia. The captions are handwritten generally in a rather flowery style with capitals only at the start of words. However, some cards have captions written entirely in small sized capitals.

Two photographic prints have also been discovered, which are stamped on the mounts "M. Duplock, Photographer, Five Ash Down" in the same blue-grey ink used for the cards. They show the Maresfield Champion Tug of War Team and have captions superimposed on the photographs in the same flowery style of handwriting that appears on many of the cards (they may possibly be enlargements of postcards). Unfortunately, neither print is dated.

Although not listed as a photographer in any Sussex Directory, M. Duplock can be assumed to have been Manoah Duplock, who opened a small general store in Five Ash Down between 1899 and 1905, and continued to be listed as a shopkeeper in Kelly's Sussex Directories until 1924. The 1909 Directory mentions that Manoah was also a cycle agent. By 1915 he had become the village sub-postmaster.

Manoah was born at Pevensey Road in Eastbourne on April 4, 1875 and was the youngest of four sons of John (1866-1944) and Mary Ann Duplock, formerly Farrant (born1834). He married Louisa Jane Townsend in Eastbourne on August 29, 1896. Following his death at Brighton in September 1926, his wife took over the running of the post office and store at Five Ash Down (see Kelly's 1927 Directory). She was still in charge in 1930.

Manoah has left a strangely incomplete archival record. He is not listed in the 1901 and 1911 census indexes, and his wife is also unlisted. The 1901 census entries for all households at Five Ash Down have been examined, but without success. Did he deliberately hide from the census enumerators?

Manoah had two aunts, Anna and Mary Duplock, who were born in Buxted and lived at Cocksbrook, near The Hermitage in High Hurstwood. They ran a small dairy farm and described themselves as cow-keepers. Sharing their home in 1891 was 16-year-old Manoah and his brother Luther, who at that date was a postman.

John Frisby of Uckfield published cards with handwritten captions that resemble those on many of the Duplock cards. Conceivably, Duplock left his wife in charge of the Five Ash Down shop in order to work for Frisby and write the Uckfield publisher's captions. However, a more probable interpretation is that Duplock had some of his photographs made up by Frisby into postcards and prints. If Duplock had been merely Frisby's agent, he would hardly have claimed to be a photographer.

A photograph of Duplock's shop appeared in volume 11 of Hindsight, the Journal of the Uckfield and District Preservation Society (2005, p. 67).

Brian Gregory (Uckfield) has found two cards of a newly built house of inter-war design that lack captions and are likely to have been a private commission from the owner or architect. One is stamped on the back "A. Duplock, Photographer, Ringles Cross, Uckfield", and the other "A. Duplock, Photographer, Moulden Wood, Buxted". More recently, a third card has turned up, which shows a military funeral procession at an unknown location and is stamped on the back "A. Duplock, Photographer, Ringles Cross, Uckfield" (see Gallery). Who was A. Duplock? Presumably he or she was a relative of Manoah, but not the latter's Aunt Anna or wife, Mary Ann. Perhaps Manoah had a son, who has yet to be identified in the archival records.

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