Photographers Index

Lawrence and Selkirk

Active Dates: circa 1875 - circa 1879
Active Area: Africa (continent)
South Africa (nation)
Western Cape, Province of the (province)
Cape Town (inhabited place)
Likenesses: None
Photographs: See list of photographs
Publications: None found.
Related Entries: None found.
William Lawrence was born in 1835 in Brechin, Scotland. He emigrated to South Africa in 1856. He initially worked in the building industry, but turned to photography in 1864. He served an assistantship with Lawrence Bros. and then opened a studio in Caledon Street, Cape Town, in 1865. In 1866 he went into partnership with David Selkirk. In 1867 Lawrence photographed the Duke of Edinburgh during his visit to the Cape. Lawrence and Selkirk used the occasion to inaugurate a new branch establishment called 'The Royal Photographic' Saloon at 14 Strand Street. In 1869 Lawrence went to Pniel to seek his fortune as a diamond digger. Lawrence and Selkirk dissolved their partnership in 1872. Lawrence continued with a career in the diamond industry. He briefly lived in Brechin, but returned to South Africa in 1891. Lawrence died in 1905 (Bull and Denfield 1970, pp.203-205).

David McKenzie Selkirk was born in 1829 in Dumfries, Scotland. He emigrated to South Africa in the mid-1850s. He opened a photographic studio in Rondebosch in 1862. In 1863 he established photographic rooms in Simon's Town. Selkirk was taught photography by James Lawrence. Selkirk went into partnership with William Lawrence in 1866. When the partnership was dissolved in 1866, Selkirk continued the business under the same name. In 1880 he sold the business and went to Kimberley to open a studio. Selkirk died in 1904 (Bull and Denfield 1970, pp.209-210).
Sources: Bull, Marjorie and Denfield, Joseph (1970), 'Secure the shadow: the story of Cape photography from its beginnings to the end of 1870'. Cape Town: Terence McNally.

New search

© Cambridge University Library 2003. Last updated 10 May 2004.
Contact details