Raymond Rouse Ebbetts


Upper High Street by the Green, Rottingdean

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Minor Rottingdean publisher. Raymond Rouse Ebbetts was born in South Kensington early in 1873. His father, Thomas Rouse Ebbetts, variously described as a clerk and an East India merchant, had been born in Islington in about 1844. When the 1881 and 1891 censuses were held, Raymond and his father were living at 24 Longridge Road in Kensington. His mother, Rose Webster Ebbetts, was away visiting. Three female servants were employed to keep house.

Raymond married Marie Grimaldi in London in about 1900. She had been born in Rome in 1873 or 1874. The 1901 census records that she was living with Raymond at 24 Adelaide Road in Hampstead, which was the home of her widowed mother, Maria Grimaldi, who worked as a professional pianist. Also living at the house were her two younger sisters. Raymond was a wine merchant's clerk.

Within the next two or three years Marie aand Raymond moved to Rottingdean. By the time the 1911 census was held, they had settled in a house in the High Street. Marie is listed as having had a child, which though still alive was not at the time at Rottingdean. Although only 38, Raymond had retired, having earlier been a Stock Exchange clerk.

Raymond continued to live at Rottingdean until the early 1930s. Pike's 1927 Brighton and District Directory gives the name of the house as Scarsdale. According to Kelly's 1930 Directory of Brighton, Raymond offered cars for hire. It is not known why he left Rottingdean, but his next home was 71 Greenways Crescent at Shoreham. He died at 24 Chatham Road in Worthing on May 15, 1953, at the age of 80.

Raymond published small numbers of sepia-tinted real photographic cards of Rottingdean, which had no captions, but had both his name and the name of the village impressed in purple ink on the edge of the pictures or else at their base. Some cards had white basal borders; others completely lacked borders. The earliest known postmarks date from 1904 and 1905. A card of an unidentified couple standing beside their house has been found that was posted after the Great War though it used a type of back that Raymond adopted as early as 1908.

As a local producer of Rottingdean cards, Raymond was much less successful and technically less proficient than his main competitor William Bowles. Most of his work is now badly faded, but to a limited extent can be digitally restored.

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