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Henry Bate

Male 1863 - 1944  (81 years)


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  • Name Henry Bate 
    • Henry Bate is last recorded as a professional photographer in 1913. When the 1915 edition of Kelly's Directory of Sussex was compiled, Henry Bate is still listed as the householder at 36 Goldstone Villas, Hove in the street directory, but he is no longer listed as a professional photographer at this address in the commercial section of the 1915 directory and does not reappear in subsequent editions.

      Henry Bate died in February or March 1944 at the age of 80. Contemporary newspapers and journals reported that Henry Bate had died at his home in Hove, yet his death was registered in the West Sussex district of Worthing during the First Quarter of 1944.



      [ABOVE] The announcement of the dissolution of the business partnership between John Weaver Innes and Henry Bate "carrying on business as Photographers at Hove, in the county of Sussex, under the style or firm of Innes and Bate", as published in The London Gazette on 31st May 1901. John Weaver Innes had been joined by photographer Henry Bate (born 1863, London) at 36 Goldstone Villas, Hove, at the end of 1900. The partnership of Innes & Bates was dissolved by mutual consent on 25th March 1901. The studio at 36 Goldstone Villas, Hove, remained in the hands of Henry Bate until about 1914.





      [ABOVE] The famous magician David Devant (1868-1941) lighting a cigar by pouring hot water over it with his 'Magic Kettle'. (Photographed at The Palace Theatre, London around 1904). The "Magical Kettle" was an illusionist prop made by Henry Bate, Hove photographer and 'manufacturer of conjuring tricks'. Henry Bate made a number of magical devices for Devant, including "The Henry Bate Coin Wand" and the "Bottomless Tub". [ABOVE] A poster advertising "David Devant and his Mystic Kettle". The "Mystic Kettle" was made by Henry Bate (1863-1944) for the famous magician and illusionist David Devant. In his autobiography, Devant remarked: "With this innocent-looking receptacle I could supply my audience with any drink they wished, from water to cr?me de menthe". Bate manufactured many 'magic props' for Devant.



      [ABOVE] The magician and illusionist David Devant (1868-1941), on the left, performing his "Giant's Breakfast" act . The man with the moustache standing on the right holding the picture frame could be Henry Bate (1863-1944), the 'magician's mechanic' who made most of David Devant's apparatus.
      In his autobiography, My Magic Life, David Devant mentions that Henry Bate bore a physical resemblance to Nevil Maskelyne (1863-1924), a British stage magician and inventor. Mr Maskelyne was around the same age as Henry Bate and also sported a bushy moustache.


    Born 1863  Fitzroy Square, London Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Census 1871  Stock Terrace, Heybridge, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Census 1881  High Street, Maldon, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Census 1891  11 Market Hill, Maldon, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 1891 
    Gun & Bicycle Maker 
    Census 1901  59 Fonthill Road, Hove, Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 1901 
    Manufacturing Conjuring Tricks 
    Census 1911  36 Goldstone Villas, Hove, Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Occupation 1911 
    Photographer 
    Died 1944  Worthing, Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID I1001  Wright and Savill
    Last Modified 5 Feb 2019 

    Father Samuel Bate
              b. 12 Jun 1931, Werrington, Devon Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 1888, Maldon, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Mother Elizabeth Stapleton
              b. Abt 1833, Poundstock, Cornwall Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 1893, Maldon, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age ~ 60 years) 
    Married 1855  Plymouth, Devon Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Family ID F125  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Sarah Annie B Chappell
              b. 1871, Edmonton, London Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 1938, Hove, Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 67 years) 
    Children 
     1. Elsie Gladys Bate
              b. 1894, Maldon, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 1976, Brighton, Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 82 years)
     2. Aubrey Claud Bate
              b. 10 Jun 1896, Maldon, Essex Find all individuals with events at this location
              d. 1972, Brighton, Sussex Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 75 years)
    Family ID F649  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 1863 - Fitzroy Square, London Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1871 - Stock Terrace, Heybridge, Essex Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1881 - High Street, Maldon, Essex Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChild - Elsie Gladys Bate - 1894 - Maldon, Essex Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsChild - Aubrey Claud Bate - 10 Jun 1896 - Maldon, Essex Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1901 - 59 Fonthill Road, Hove, Sussex Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsCensus - 1911 - 36 Goldstone Villas, Hove, Sussex Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 1944 - Worthing, Sussex Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 
    Pin Legend Address Location Church Parish or Cemetery Registration District Town/City/Village County State/Province Country Region Cant Locate Not Set

  • Notes 
    • Known from the 1881 census for Maldon.

      In 1891 Henry Bate was living at 11 Market Hill, Maldon.
      Henry Bate aged 27, single, a gun and bicycle maker who was born in Fitzroy Square, London
      Elizabeth Bate, his mother, a widow aged 57, housekeeper who was born in Poundstock, Devon
      Elizabeth Ann Bate, his sister aged 31, mother's helper who was born in Holsworthy, Devon.

      Henry Bate was born in Fitzroy Square, Marylebone, London, in 1863, the youngest son of Elizabeth Stapleton and Samuel Bate, an engineer, tool-maker and gunsmith from Devon. Samuel Bate, Henry's father, had been born in 1831 in the Devonshire parish of Werrington (now in the county of Cornwall). In 1855, Samuel Bate married Elizabeth Stapleton (born c1832, Week St Mary, Poundstock, Devon/Cornwall), This union produced at least 4 children: Thomas Stapleton Bate (born 1856, Woodley, Devon), William James Bate (born 1858, Holsworthy, Devon), Elizabeth Ann Bate (born 1859, Holsworthy, Devon) and Henry Bate (born 1863, Marylebone, London).
      By 1871, Samuel Bate and his family were living in the Essex village of Heybridge on the outskirts of Maldon. The 1871 census records Samuel Bate as a 39 year old "Engineer, Tools Maker" at No.9 Stock Terrace, Heybridge. Samuel Bate's eldest son, 14 year old Thomas S. Bate was also working as an 'engineer tool maker', but his three youngest children, including 7 year old Henry Bate, were still at school. When the census was taken 10 years later, Samuel Bate and his family were residing in the Essex town of Maldon, where he had established a gun-making business in the market town's High Street. In 1881, seventeen year old Henry Bate was employed as an assistant in his father's gunsmith's shop in Maldon's High Street.

      Henry Bate followed his father into the gun-making business and when Samuel Bate died in 1888, at the age of 56, Henry Bate took over his father's workshop in the Essex town of Maldon.

      At the time of the 1891 census, Henry Bate was recorded as a "Gun & Bicycle Maker" at 11 Market Hill, Maldon, Essex. Two years later, Henry Bate married Sarah Annie Barbara Chappell (born 1871,Edmonton, Middlesex), the daughter of Mrs Sarah Chappell of Edmonton. [ The marriage of Henry Bate and Sarah Annie Chappell was registered in the Essex district of Epping during the 3rd Quarter of 1893]. Henry Bate's wife Sarah (known as "Annie") gave birth to two children - Elsie Gladys Bate (born 1894, Maldon, Essex) and Aubrey Claude Bate (born 1896, Maldon, Essex) before she moved down to Hove in Sussex with her husband around 1900.

      In 1900, Henry Bate entered into a business partnership with the photographer John Weaver Innes (1862-1928) who had for the last year or so been operating a photographic portrait studio at 36 Goldstone Villas, Hove, Sussex.

      Photographic portraits produced at the Goldstone Villas studio during the first few months of 1901 carried the trade plate of Innes & Bate, but, by early Spring, the partnership between John Weaver Innes and Henry Bate had come to an end. A notice in The London Gazette published on 31st May 1901 announced that the firm of Innes & Bate, photographers at Hove, had been dissolved by mutual consent on 25th March 1901. The photographic business at 36 Goldstone Villas, Hove was retained by Henry Bate, who remained in business as a photographer at the Goldstone Villas studio until the outbreak of the First World War.

      When the census was taken on 31st March 1901, Henry Bate did not give his occupation as "Photographer" as one would expect. Instead, Henry Bate informed the census enumerator that he earned his living by "Manufacturing conjuring tricks". Although Henry Bate was at this time a professional photographer, taking photographic portraits at his studio in Goldstone Villas, he had also gained a reputation as an ingenious inventor of magic tricks and conjuring apparatus. It is reported that his fascination with conjuring and magic tricks began when he was still at school and that he spent many hours in his father's gun-making workshop manufacturing magician's 'props'. In his twenties, Henry Bate was earning a living making guns and bicycles and he used his mechanical skills to devise and build "magical properties" for illusionists and magicians and to produce magic tricks for toy shops. Apparently, in his spare time, Henry Bate performed magic tricks and provided entertainment as a conjuror at private parties. In 1902, Henry Bate met the famous magician and illusionist David Devant - real name David Wighton - (1868-1941). David Devant employed Henry Bate as a "magician's mechanic", commissioning him to devise and manufacture his illusionist props. In his autobiography, My Magic Life, David Devant recalled his first encounter with Henry Bate at a performance in Brighton in 1902:

      "I was fortunate in meeting Mr Bate ...He came up on the stage one day to examine a box, and ...we got into conversation. I asked him to come round to see me afterwards, and I found he was an experienced maker of tricks and had been working for years through toy-shops. He was the very man I wanted - a clever mechanic who understood the work....The first thing of importance that Bate made for me was the 'Magic Kettle', which became one of my most celebrated illusions". FROM My Magic Life by David Devant
      Today, Henry Bate is more well-known for the magical apparatus and conjuring props he made for the magician and illusionist David Devant than for the photographic portraits he produced at his Goldstone Villas studio. Henry Bate's name appears in books on the history of magic acts and in articles on conjuring tricks produced during his lifetime. In his book "This is Magic: Secrets of the Conjurer's Craft", William Thomas Pritchard refers to "Henry Bate of Brighton (sic), that famous builder of magical properties". In 1924, The Strand Magazine published an article entitled "How Conjuring Tricks are Invented", which featured "an interview with Mr. Henry Bate". The interviewer explained that "although the name of Mr. Henry Bate is unknown to the general public, he is one of the most active members of that exclusive body known as the Inner Magic Circle". Edwin A. Dawes, an authority on the history of magic, described Henry Bate as "a leading 'back-room' man of magic".

      Between 1902 and 1914, Henry Bate operated a photographic studio at 36 Goldstone Villas, Hove, while managing to manufacture magic apparatus for David Devant, the leading magician and illusionist of his day. (David Devant was also the first President of the Magic Circle). In 1911, Henry Bate declared on the census form that he was a "Photographer" working on his "own account" at his home address of 36 Goldstone Villas, Hove. Sharing his home in Goldstone Villas was his 39 year old wife "Annie" (Mrs Sarah Annie Bate), his two children - Edith, a 16 year old "Civil Service Student" and Aubrey, a 14 year old school boy - Elizabeth Bate, his older unmarried sister, and a 26 year old servant Marion Webb, who is described as a "Mother's help".