Born in Cheltenham, into a working class home, Ada Schofield became one of the most
prolific photographers of the suffragettes. In the 1881 census aged 21 she was still living at
home with her mother a domestic servant and her father a tobacconist, and was described as
a Photograph’s Assistant, She married a photographer who died in 1889 and she carried on as
a widow caring for her three children, and building up her photography skills and business

By 1911 she was living as an “Artist Photographer “ in a 4 room dwelling at 17 Albert Road,
West Hill, Brighton. Living with her were both her son Harold and daughter Winifred, both
photographers like her. Brighton and Sussex had a significant number of women making their
livelihoods out of photography. In those days, the studios / photographic shops were places
where people went for their family portraits, both group and individual. It was a lucrative
business for Ada and her family.

Ada died in 1937. Probate records state that Ada died 18 January 1937 at The Tarner Home,
Tilbury Place, Brighton. Her residence is given as 20 Buckingham Place, Seven Dials, Brighton.
It is typical of the legacy of a photographer of that day for us to be able to see their work, but
not be able to see a photograph of them. So far we are not able to show you what Ada looked
like, but her work is on view at Brighton Museum. She photographed suffragette Minnie
Turner, and the photograph can be seen in the ‘Images of Brighton’ section under ‘Votes for
Women’. Her work is also on display in the Museum of London.