Charles Bayliss (left) and Henshaw Clarke, outside A & A Photographic Company premises, Hill End, New South Wales
Charles Bayliss and his family
When about sixteen years old Bayliss met the travelling photographer, Beaufoy Merlin, who came to the Bayliss house in suburban Melbourne while photographing houses and families throughout Victoria, with a view to selling the photographs to people along the way. Merlin operated under the name of the American and Australasian Photographic Company (A & A Photographic Company). Bayliss became Merlin's assistant and the pair travelled extensively throughout Victoria and New South Wales. By September 1873 the major part of New South Wales had been completed. However Merlin died at this time.
After Merlin's death, Charles Bayliss continued to work under the patronage of Bernard Otto Holtermann. Bayliss, then 23 years old, was contracted to continue the work on the project in both New South Wales and Victoria and, in 1874, Holtermann purchased a mammoth Plate camera for Bayliss and the first images taken with it were of Holtermann's recent purchase of the Post office Hotel in Sydney. Bayliss also completed a panorama of Ballarat using this camera.
In 1875 a panorama of Sydney was completed. This was taken from the tower attached to Holtermann's house in North Sydney, now part of Sydney Church of England Grammar School (Shore). Bayliss was the main photographer, with work also done by Holtermann together with another photographer, Henshaw Clarke.
Up to this time Bayliss was based in Melbourne. Then, in 1876, he and the family moved to Sydney and he established a studio in the city.
On 4 June 1897 Charles Bayliss died at his home, "Hadleigh" in Wemyss Street, Marrickville, a suburb of Sydney. He had previously caught a chill which swiftly turned to a "galloping pneumonia." He left a wife and young family, the oldest child being only 13 years old. He is buried at Rookwood Cemetery.
Quotes from others about the person
The obituary in the "Australian Photographical Review" noted that: "As a man he was ever genial and kindly; as a landscape photographer he had few equals and no superiors. His memory is forever honoured in the hearts of all who knew him."
In 1883 Charles Bayliss had married Christiana Salier. They had seven children together: Raymond Charles (born 1884), Alfred John (1886), Charles (1887- died in infancy), Bessie Salier (1888), Emily Annie (1891), Walter Norman (1893), Eric Edward (1896). Alfred and Walter were both killed in France during World War One.