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Derbyshire Photographers' Profiles
by Brett Payne, of Tauranga, New Zealand
& John Bradley, of Derbyshire, England
John Latham

of Derwent Terrace, Matlock Bath

John Latham was the first resident photographer in Matlock Bath, and operated a studio in Derwent Terrace from 1862 until 1868.

Go straight to Portfolio


John Latham was born c. 1830 in Manchester, Lancashire.  He was the earliest resident commercial photographer recorded in Matlock.  He moved there prior to the 1861 census of April that year, and lived with his uncle and aunt, Robert & Elizabeth Latham, at Taghill Cottage.  His cousin Marianne Norman was also described as a "photographist", and was perhaps an assistant.  He appears to have been the only photographer in Matlock for his first two years in business.

Latham was a photographer of some stature, whose work was widely praised by his contemporaries, and whose stereoscopic landscapes are today regarded as  fine examples from the classic period of the stereoview.

Ann Andrews' Matlock web site includes an extract from The London Gazette showing that on 16 November 1869, John Latham was a "prisoner for debt at County Gaol, Stafford for twelve years or thereabouts at Matlock, Photographic Artist and General Toy Dealer, adjudged bankrupt. First Meeting of Creditors 4 Dec next."

In the late 1860s, presumably after his bankruptcy, John Latham moved to Trentham, near Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, where he married Elizabeth Bott.  They had a daughter Constance Elizabeth in March 1871.  He remained in this area for the next thirty years, although in 1901, when his daughter was assisting him in the studio, he was shown by the census as living in Longton.


Advertisement from Buckley's Guide, c. 1868
Courtesy of John Bradley
Courtesy of John Bradley

Portfolio
Image © & courtesy of Roger Vaughan (at left) View of Matlock, Derbyshire,
by John Latham of Matlock,
Undated, but possibly taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte-de-visite

Image © & courtesy of Roger Vaughan

(at right) View of Lichfield Cathedral (Staffordshire),
by John Latham of Matlock,
Undated, but possibly taken in the late 1860s
Format: Carte-de-visite
Size: Mount 63 x 104 mm Photo 57.5 x 89 mm

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & collection of Brett Payne

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley (at left) Christmas photograph,
by John Latham of Matlock,
Undated
Format: Carte-de-visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

(at right) View of Matlock, Derbyshire,
by John Latham of Matlock,
Undated
Format: Carte-de-visite

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

Image © & courtesy of John Bradley

References
Images kindly provided by Brett Payne, Roger Vaughan & John Bradley
1861 Census of Matlock Bath on the Wirksworth Web Site by John Palmer
1871 Census of Matlock Bath on the Matlock & Matlock Bath Web Site by Ann Andrews
1881 UK Census - online from the LDS church

1891 UK Census - online from Ancestry.com
1901 UK Census index - online from the PRO
FreeBMD
International Genealogical Index - online from the LDS church
Before the Snapshot & Postcard - Victorian Photography & Photographers in Matlock & Matlock Bath, by John Bradley

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