Show Navigation

Empire & Industry

Rich & Poor

Mama Lee

19th Century

The central character in this picture is Mama Lee, the first black man to live in Kilmarnock, he came here from the far east with the family of a Kilmarnock man who he had served as a servant to.  It is the other two figures though which most clearly demonstrate the differences in wealth within the population of the town in the 19th century.  The woman in her hat and tailored clothes is obviously fairly well off while the child with his breeches and bare feet shows a harsher side of life in the town.


The shops are also typical of those in Kilmarnock at the time, instead of sticking to one type of produce many tended to be Aladdin's Caves full of all sorts of wares.

Place of Production:
glass plate negative
Dean Castle
Digital Number:
East Ayrshire Council