DIAMOND, Hugh Welch. 19207



Autograph Letter Signed, to Henry Lee at The Aquarium, Brighton, inviting him to visit, a covered vehicle (in case of rain) will await him “near the Cross in West St. Chichester”. 3 pp. 7 x 4 inches, with the original envelope. Clarence House, Bognor, 16 October 1874. “Rain has nothing to do with the question. Simpson says it will rain in London as well as here.” Uncommon. Hugh Welch Diamond (1809-1886) has been described as “the father of psychiatric photography”. From 1848-1858 he was Resident Superintendent of the Female Department of the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum. During this time he was influential in disseminating information on new developments in photography and applied this interest to his professional work. He wrote many articles and was a popular lecturer, and he also sought to encourage younger photographers. Among the latter was Henry Peach Robinson, who was later to refer to Diamond as a “father figure” of photography. Recognition for his encouragement and for his willingness to share his knowledge came in 1855, in the form of a testimonial amounting to £300 for services to photography; among those who subscribed were such people as Delamotte, Fenton and George Shadbolt. In 1867, the Photographic Society awarded its Medal in recognition of “his long and successful labours as one of the principal pioneers of the photographic art and of his continuing endeavours for its advancement.”