His pictures were taken more than a century ago but are still loved and appreciated by many to this very day.

Francis Godolphin Osbourne Stuart, Southampton based photographer and publisher of postcards, was born in 1843 to a poor family near Braemar in Scotland.

At that time, many aristocratic landowners were throwing people off their farms, and out of their homes as to create huge deer forests to indulge their love of hunting.

Stuart’s father, a gamekeeper, was in a more secure position than most but his mother obviously felt it could not hurt to curry favour with her husband’s employer, Francis George Godolphin D'Arcy D'Arcy-Osborne, Duke of Leeds, by bestowing three of his names on her son. Having been christened with a cumbersome name, it is unsurprising that he was later happy to be known by his initials.

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As a young man, Stuart moved from the Mar estate to Aberdeen, in search of work.

The 1861 census lists a Francis G. Stuart as an Assistant Draper but by the end of that decade he had gained employment with Andrew Adams who had Photographic Rooms at Rettie’s Court, Broad Street. He obviously learned a great deal about his chosen profession and was soon able to set up in business on his own account.

He must have been a man of ambition for the 1881 census finds him in London.

He and his wife, Agnes, lived in Penge Road, South Norwood and he employed two men and a boy.

There isn’t a huge record of the work he produced during this time, but it certainly included portraiture and probably for clients of generous means.

His portrait of Prince Arthur, Duke of Connaught and Strathearn, seventh child of Queen Victoria is part of the collection at the National Portrait Gallery. At the same time, he was building a reputation as a landscape photographer.

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It is unclear why he decided to move to Southampton in around 1882.

He started out at 72, Bedford Place, moving after a few years to Cromwell Road, slightly to the north of the Bedford Place area.

His home was at 57, Cromwell Road which was destroyed by a wartime firebomb and the site is now occupied by a modern building.

He used 61 as a studio and later bought 59 as a store.

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In 1901, Stuart decided to branch out from photography to the production of postcards.

The early twentieth century was the golden age of the postcard; people were travelling more courtesy of the train and even taking holidays at the seaside and other picturesque spots. It was natural to want to send a visual memento.

The speed of the postal service meant that it could be described as an early form of texting – you could send a postcard in the morning arranging a date for that evening!

Stuart had by this time amassed a considerable body of work, mainly of Southampton and the wider South of England, which he was able to convert into cards.

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His composition was and is widely admired. His first cards were printed in this country in black and white but later he had colour tinted cards produced by the Röder firm of Leipzig.

With the onset of The First World War, the printing could no longer be done in Germany and any existing stock had to be trimmed so that the shameful words ’printed in Germany’ could be removed.

Before the world descended into war, he had a wonderful opportunity to make a visual record and contribute to the photographic archive of perhaps the most famous ship that ever sailed – albeit briefly.

His photographs of the Titanic, as she left Southampton, have been recreated in drawings, paintings and other media.

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Stuart had need of his camera at the docks again when he worked as an official government photographer recording damage to the shipping and the port.

By now he had an assistant in the business; his daughter, Flora, had married Charles Dowson who was able to carry on his work.

FGO Stuart died in 1923 and is buried in the Southampton Old Cemetery on the Common.

Ally Hayes is a tour guide with SeeSouthampton.co.uk .