The People of Gibraltar
1865 - Francis Frith - Robert Peters Napper

Francis, or Frances Frith was born in Chesterfield in 1822. In 1850 he started a photographic studio in Liverpool.  He sold his company in 1855 and dedicated himself entirely to travel and photography.


 Francis Frith ( 1857 - Self Portrait )

By 1859 he had established F. Frith and Co at Reigate producing photographs for albums and book illustrations. These included international travel views some of which were of Gibraltar. Many of these are very similar to those taken by James Hollingworth Mann (See LINK) although they probably predate Mann's work by a few years.

Frith travelled on three occasions to the Middle East, the first being in 1856 and may have stopped over on his way. However I think it is very doubtful that Frith took any photographs himself and may have left all the dirty work to somebody in his employ - of which the most likely candidate is another British photographer  - Robert Peters Napper. A selection of these historical photographs of Gibraltar which are invariably attributed to Frith are shown below.



Windmill Hill


The Rock from the Western Beach, Neutral Ground


Photograph presumably taken minutes before or after the one above


Engraving based on the above photo  ( T. Taylor )


The New Mole


North Front


The Arsenal


View of the New Mole


View of the South


View of the town from Waterport


View of the town towards the Queen of Spain's Chair


Neutral Ground from Spain.


North Face of the Rock from the Spanish Lines


A Spanish Bar in Gibraltar - A rare photographs showing local people. The scene is a posed montage - known as a tableau vivant - supposedly showing different Gibraltar types. Most of the people in it are dressed either in ordinary British style civilian clothes of the mid 18th century or in the Spanish costumes of the Campo area. The ubiquitous Moors and Jews of contemporary literature appear to have been given a miss - 
The photograph is one of the few in which Robert Peters Napper is actually mentioned