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By Alexa Cox, August 2014

We are most grateful to Alexa Cox for allowing us to use this detailed history of Maddison, Hinde and Whitney. It is work in progress and Alexa would welcome information from other sources relating to these Huntingdonshire photographers and others mentioned below. You can E-mail Alexa at Hunts Archives [hunts.archives@cambridgeshire.gov.uk]

John and Elizabeth Maddison, the parents of Arthur Maddison

John Maddison, the father of Arthur Maddison, was born in Huntingdon and his baptism is recorded in the register of St Mary & St Benedict:

  • 4 June 1800 John son of Francis & Elizabeth Maddison

On the 8 April 1819 John Maddison, bachelor, of St Benedict’s parish married Eliza Sale, spinster, of St Mary’s parish at the church of St Mary & St Benedict in Huntingdon. (According to the 1851 census Elizabeth was born in Marylebone parish, London c1800).  The baptisms of two of their children are recorded in the baptism registers of this parish:
  • 10 December 1819 Elizabeth, dau of John & Eliza Maddison of St Mary’s, cabinet maker, born 8 October
  • 3 March 1822 Mary Ruth, dau of John & Eliza Maddison of St Mary’s, upholsterer, born 18 September 1821

Another child was baptised in the church of All Saints & St John:
  • 20 November 1820 Charles son of John & Eliza Maddison of St Mary’s, cabinet maker

These are the only baptisms of the children of John & Eliza Maddison to be found in the indexed transcripts to the registers of the two Huntingdon (Anglican) parishes.  On the 1 June 1828 John and Elizabeth were admitted as members to the newly built chapel in Cook’s Lane (now Grammar School Walk, and the building which housed our Record Office until 2009).

Arthur Maddison was born in Huntingdon in 1833, but I have not yet found a record of his baptism.  His father’s upholstery and cabinet making business was situated in the High Street, Huntingdon.  The 1841 census records the family as living in the High Street next to Stephen Pumfrett, innkeeper (he was innkeeper at the Falcon Inn on Market Hill at this date).  John and Elizabeth have five children living with them - Elizabeth (20), Charles (15), John (11), Walter (9) and Arthur (8), with a visitor Martha Sale, two apprentice upholsterers and a female servant.  By 1851 John and Elizabeth were living in the High Street next to William Peacock, saddler and near to William Bryant, chemist.   Peacock’s business was at 103 High Street later in the century, so if it was at this address in 1851, John Maddison’s business may have been at 102 High Street (now Point Recruitment).

The Trinity Church minute book (FR10/1/1/1) records that Elizabeth Maddison died in 1854 – “Died Dec 4 Mrs Maddison – a worth and consistent member of the church for several years.  Her end, though sudden and unexpected even by herself, was peaceful”.  By the time of the 1861 census John Maddison had remarried.  He was still an upholsterer, aged 61, his new wife Anne was aged 40, and they were still living in the High Street next to W Peacock.  By 1871 John had retired, and he and his wife Anne had moved to Brampton Road in Huntingdon.  John died three years later, as recorded in the Trinity Church minute book – “Died July 7/74 Mr John Maddison a member of the church for more than forty years.  His end was peace, and his dying testimony was humbly given to the power of the blood of Jesus to cleanse from all sins”. (FR10/1/1/2).  His widow Anne may have moved from Huntingdon, as the 1871 census records that she is living in Heighington, Lincolnshire, with her nephew Richard King and his wife Sarah.

John Maddison’s estate was sold at the Fountain Inn, Market Hill (now the 99p shop) on the 16 October 1874 (ED/4169/1/1 p.368). Lot 1 was a brick and tiled residence and berlin wool fancy shop, with a large modern frontage on the High Street in the centre of town, with a workshop and warehouse at the back, and in the occupation of Mrs Barnard under a 14 year lease from 11 October 1868 [is this the year John retired and moved to Brampton Road] and with a right of renewal for a further 7 years.  The rent was £51.10s per annum, reserve selling price &800, and it was bought by M.C. Smith for £900.  Lot 2 was a public house, the True Blue in Arnold’s Yard [this now is a private house in the re-named Newton’s Court, off the High Street], with two more cottages and a coach shed in the same Yard (Lots 3-5).  Lot 6 was a house and baker’s shop in Post Street, Godmanchester, next to Church Road, tenanted by a Mr White, and Lot 7 two new houses in Church Road.
A few months earlier, on the 16 July 1874, an auction had taken place of “the Household Furniture and Effects of the late Mr John Maddison, deceased”.  The account book of the sale records all the items for sale and the purchasers and the price they paid for each item (4824/258).  Inside is a letter written by Arthur  Maddison to the solicitor Mr Day, in which he writes “I have…paid in £8.12s. for things bought at sale by my brother”.  An account attached to the book shows that fifteen lots were bought by John Maddison, presumably Arthur’s brother, including an eight day clock in a mahogany case for £2.10s., a rosewood tea caddy for 1s.6d.,an oil painting [unspecified] for 4s.,  a tea urn and stand for 9s.,a portrait of Edward Lord Ellingborough for 4s., a mahogany chest of drawers with secret drawer for £2.2s. 

Arthur Maddison 1833-1887

Arthur Maddison established his photography business in Huntingdon in the mid-1850s.  The 1851 the census reveals that Arthur, aged 17,  was living at 28 Featherstone Street, in St Luke’s parish, Finsbury, London,  with his brothers Charles (28) and John (21). Charles describes himself as an upholsterer and cabinet maker employing 3 men, while John and Arthur describe themselves as upholsterers and cabinet makers. At some time between 1851 and 1854 Arthur trained as a photographer (possibly with a Mr Cuttriss of Bedford).  In July 1854 Arthur described the technique for the production of positive images using waxed black paper and Archer’s collodion emulsion in the Journal of the Photographic Society.

It is not known exactly where Arthur Maddison’s studio was located before he moved to Ermine Street in 1874, but one website (www.early-photographers.org.uk/The%20Huntingdonshire%20directory.html) has the information that “according to Heathcote, Arthur Maddison began taking portraits in January 1855 at Maddison’s Cabinet Warehouse, High Street, Huntingdon. (John Maddison, the proprietor, was an auctioneer and cabinet maker; and was probably Arthur’s father [yes he was]).  Arthur ran a branch in Bedford (1864-1869) and another (no dates given) in St Ives.  He also traded during his later career as a nationwide supplier of photographic chemicals.“

The earliest photograph taken by Arthur Maddison dates from 1855, and is of a Maori Chief, Hoani Wiremu Hipango, who visited England in 1855 in the company of the missionary, the Reverend Richard Taylor.  The latter had married Mary Caroline Fox in All Saints Church, Huntingdon, in 1829, and his sister had married the noted local historian Robert Fox, and lived in Godmanchester.  In June 1855 Richard Taylor was in Huntingdon, and on the 11th June Hipango (or, as Taylor always referred to him, John Williams), joined him in the town.  On the 12th June there was a meeting in the Town Hall at which presents for the Queen were exhibited.  Presumably the photograph taken by Arthur Maddison was taken at this time, before they departed for London.  They eventually had an audience with Queen Victoria and Prince Albert at Buckingham Palace in September 1855. (From Richard Taylor’s diaries, transcribed by Dr Philip Saunders).

The earliest bill head for his business found so far is dated to 1859 (Accession 815).  Arthur Maddison describes himself as a “Photographic Artist and Chemist.  Manufacturer of superior collodion…”

In 1861 Arthur was lodging with Samuel Berreseford, bootmaker, and his wife Elizabeth in the High Street, Huntingdon, and he is described as a “photograph artist”.  In the same year he advertised his “superior collodian and varnish”, again in the Journal of the Photographic Society. 

On an early 1860’s carte de visite (this item must be pre-1868 as there is no royal connection in the advertising logo on the back) among the Baumgartner records, Accession 3915, Arthur advertises himself as “Artist and Photographic Chemist, Huntingdon and at No. 1 Priory Terrace, Bedford.”  The earliest glass plates among the Whitney collection date from the 1860’s  and it was during this decade that Arthur established himself as a photographer of note in Huntingdon and Bedford,  photographing local families, properties and events.

In 1866 Arthur was admitted as a member of the congregation of Trinity Chapel.  The minute book records that on the 1 May 1866 “Arthur Maddison [and others] having given satisfactory evidence of Conversion were received into fellowship.” On the 5th May he was admitted to the congregation. (FR10/1/1/1).

In February 1868 he photographed the Prince of Wales during his visit to Kimbolton Castle (WH/1/38-40 and WH3/348-349) and from this date he described himself as a Royal photographer and incorporated the Prince of Wales feathers into his advertising art work.

The 1871 census records that Arthur Maddison, aged 37, was a portrait painter and photographer living in the High Street, Huntingdon, and employing Charles W. Blair as his photographic printer.

Arthur Maddison
Arthur Maddison
From 1860-1869 Arthur Maddison also leased studios at I Priory Terrace, Bromham Road, Bedford.  I have not yet researched the Bedford Studios in detail, though an article in the Illustrated Bedfordshire: its History & Commerce dating from 1895 records that by this later date the firm of Hinde & Carpenter, artistic photographers, were at Union Bank Chambers, High Street, Bedford. According to the article the firm had only been established in the town for a few months “but the success already attained had far exceeded expectations, and they bid fair to become the leading photographers in Bedfordshire….a special sitting had been given to the firm by her Grace the Duchess of Bedford.  Excellent photographs have been taken of her Grace…”(See WH3/359B).  See also WH2/78 for an image of the studio at the Union Bank Chambers.

On the 20th August 1874 Arthur married Julia Hinde (nee Chancellor, the widow of Michael Hinde, plumber and glazier of Bedford), in Lambeth parish, London.  Julia already had two sons, Frederick and Albert, and one daughter Gertrude, all of whom were born in Bedford.  Arthur and Julia went on to have three more sons, Arthur A., Harold C.M. and Cecil W.M. Maddison.

Arthur Maddison
Maddison's studio in Ermine Street, Huntingdon

On the 23 May 1874 Arthur bought a freehold dwelling house and cottage in Ermine Street, Huntingdon “as the same premises are in the occupation of the purchaser…” for £500 and moved his business from the High Street to 74- 75 Ermine Street, Huntingdon (see 3480/2/10-12).  He may also have established a business in Godmanchester as the 1877 Trade Directory lists him as a photographer at North End, Huntingdon (i.e. Ermine Street) and in Godmanchester.  Indeed, Arthur and his family (his wife Julia, his step daughter Gertrude, and his sons Arthur, Harold and Cecil, his cousin Maria Wilson, nephew George Maddison and two servants) are all living in Post Street, Godmanchester at the time of the 1881 census.  Arthur’s two step sons, Frederick and Albert Hinde are not with the family, but a Frederick M Hinde, aged 12, and an Albert E. Hinde aged 11, both of whom were born in Bedford, are to be found on the 1881 census at a boarding school at 8 Arthur Road, Cliftonville, Margate.  By 1884 the trade directory records that Arthur Maddison is only at North End, Huntingdon and is no longer listed as a photographer in Godmanchester.

Old letterhead from Arthur Maddison's business
Letterhead from Arthur Maddison's business

And finally, Arthur Maddison took photographs of those who had committed crimes and were imprisoned in Huntingdon Gaol.  This image is not in the Whitney collection, but is taken from one of the two Habitual Criminal Returns registers 1870-1878 in the Archives (4440/367/89), which record prisoners in the Gaol, and with photographs taken by Arthur Maddison of each criminal and detailing their appearance, and offence.

A Page from the Habitual Criminals Register
A page from the Habitual Criminals Register from Huntingdon Gaol, with a Maddison photograph

Here we have one John Saunders, aged 41, 5’ 4½’’, with light brown hair, grey eyes, a fresh complexion.  He was a married labourer from Great Gidding, and was tried at Huntingdon on the 1 May 1870 for stealing a sack and a fork head.  He received 6 weeks hard labour for each offence. 

Thomas Percy Graham of Bedford

Arthur Maddison died in 1887 and his stock in trade, including lenses, cameras and working plant, was valued at £120 (4824/253).  It has been thought that the photography business was taken over by Arthur’s step-son Frederick Hinde (aged 19 at this time), but the family papers in accession 4824 reveal that on 15th April 1887 Julia Maddison, Arthur’s widow, entered into an agreement with a Thomas Percy Graham, photographer,  of St Mary’s, Bedford.  Mr Graham agreed to hire the “Studio, Reception and other Rooms situate in North End, Huntingdon as lately occupied by Mr Arthur Maddison deceased with the use of the Furniture, Negatives and Working Plant therein……for the term of one year”.  Julia Maddison agreed “to do all that she can to introduce the Lessee to the customs of her late husband and otherwise do all in her power to assist the Lessee in establishing a good business”.  Thomas Percy Graham also agreed to “employ Frederick Michael Hinde (son of the Lessor) in the said Business at a Salary of Ten shillings per week…”.    A letter head of January 1888 reveals that Mr Graham was operating as a photographer at the St Mary’s Studios, Bedford, the Royal Art Studios, Huntingdon and at The Studio, St Ives (4824/249). 

Letterhead for Thomas Percy Graham
A Thomas Percy Graham Letterhead

Thomas Percy Graham presumably continued renewing his annual lease until 1890, when, on the 28th May of that year he and Julia Maddison entered into a new agreement (4824/253).  Julia agreed to accept the surrender of the lease of the studio, reception and other rooms in North End, Huntingdon on the 30th May, when Mr Graham agreed “to deliver up possession of the said premises including all the Furniture, Negatives, Lenses and Working Plant belonging to the said Julia Maddison, whether at Huntingdon or Bedford.  The said Julia Maddison to purchase the Studio Camera Stand lens Working Plant and fittings complete belonging to the said Thomas Percy Graham at St Ives…. for the sum of Fifty Pounds….”.  Mr Graham also agreed to “do all that he can to introduce his present Customers to Frederick Michael Hinde (son of the said Julia Maddison) and otherwise do all in his power to assist him in establishing a good Photography business both in St Ives and Huntingdon”.  Percy also agreed not to practise photography or establish such a business in St Ives or Huntingdon or within a fifteen mile radius under the penalty of £50.  It is therefore appears that Frederick Hinde trained under Thomas Percy Graham for three years, and that by 1890 he was ready to take over his step father’s business and trade under the name of Maddison and Hinde.

Frederick Hinde 1868-1927

Frederick Michael Hinde was born in Bedford on the 1st October 1868, the son of Michael Hinde, plumber and glazier, and his wife Julia (nee Chancellor).  He was educated at boarding school in Margate and at Biggleswade Grammar School.  According to Who’s Who in Huntingdonshire and Northamptonshire Frederick commenced his training as a photographer with his stepfather Arthur Maddison, and took sole charge of the business in 1892 (not 1890 as above). The 1891 census records that Julia Maddison is a photographer living at 74-75 Ermine Street, Huntingdon, along with her son Frederick, also a photographer.  Her daughter Gertrude and sons Arthur and Harold are all described as photographer’s assistants, and her youngest son Cecil is a scholar.  The family were also still operating the studio in St Ives (listed as in the Sheep Market in the 1898 trade directory)  and also one in the Union Bank Chambers in the High Street in Bedford under the name of Carpenter and Hinde,.  An article published in Illustrated Bedfordshire: its History and Commerce in 1895 (accession 2638) on “Messrs. Hinde & Carpenter, Artistic Photographers” contains photographs of the Union Bank Chambers premises and describes the studio as “containing the latest appliances for carrying on their work, some of them being their own invention….the studio contains one of the finest cameras that modern ingenuity has been able to invent.  It is of double expansion, and can be extended to five feet in length, and brought to any desirable position.  It takes any size of photograph, from a midget to a 15in. by 12in. plate.”

Frederick Hinde
Frederick Hinde
From the 1890’s the business continued to expand. The order book (accession 2086) shows that Frederick Hinde was in constant demand to photograph local dignitaries, families, events, the local militia, houses, sports’ teams and even animals. He was also involved in local affairs, becoming a Town Councillor in 1905, a Deacon and Secretary of Trinity Church, Huntingdon, a member of the Huntingdon Lawn Tennis Club, Assistant Scoutmaster of the 4th Hunts Troop and a founder, with a Mr Tysoe, of the Trinity Church Boys Brigade (see WH3/167).  He was also a keen footballer and was member of the Huntingdon Town team until his resignation owing to a serious accident , and was also a member of the Huntingdon Rowing and Cricket Clubs. 

In 1896 Frederick married Maud Leila Violet Bayntoun and both he and his new wife continued to live at 74-75 Ermine Street with Julia Maddison and Frederick’s sister Gertrude and half-brother Cecil.  In 1903 a fourteen year old lad called Ernest Whitney joined the business as an assistant.  Writing many years later from New Zealand, he described his early days at the business (accession 2638/Z1).  Mr Hinde used the studio built by Arthur Maddison in the garden of the house in Ermine Street and was assisted by his half-brother Cecil Maddison until he emigrated to Canada.  He writes that “Mr Hinde was not in any way content to continue the Business exactly as it had been in Mr Maddison’s time.  He was first and foremost a portrait photographer (and still used the fine stipple retouching of Maddison’s day) – in this he was a past master! – but I can never remember him branching out in any way, or trying out new ideas and methods”

The Maddison and the Hinde families were staunch members of the Trinity Free Church in Huntingdon, and many references can be found to them in the records of this church deposited in the Record Office.  When King Edward VII visited Huntingdon in 1906 Frederick refused to photograph the visit as it occurred on a Sunday.  It was left to his rival, Alfred Hendrey of Godmanchester, to photograph the royal visit.  After this, Maddison and Hinde were not the only local photographers able to advertise themselves as royal photographers.

Julia Maddison died on the 15th October 1925, aged 89.  In her will she left all her household furniture and effects in her house to Frederick and that he should “have the option of purchasing…my freehold property known as 74 & 75 Ermine Street”.  The administration account reveals that Frederick did pay £700 for the Ermine Street property. However, Frederick did not live to complete the administration of his mother’s estate. It was particularly difficult to administer, mostly due to property disputes in London, and in fact the whole process was not wound up until 1929.  Frederick died unexpectedly on the 9th March 1927, intestate and without issue.  The Hunts Post reported that “a painful feeling was caused in Huntingdon on Thursday by the news of the passing the previous evening of Mr Frederick Michael Hinde, the well-known photographer of Ermine Street.”  He had been advised “to take things easy” by his doctor, and the death of his aged mother and the administration of her complicated estate had been a great worry to him. In a letter written by John Harrison, one of the administrators of Frederick’s estate, to Albert Hinde, Frederick’s brother, John concludes with “I have no doubt that the worry of the whole thing [the administration of his mother’s estate] rather hastened Fred’s death”.   On the day of his funeral most of the businesses in the town closed, and the flag on the town hall flew at half-mast.
The previous year the house and business in Ermine Street had been valued for insurance purposes.  The “photographic Artist’s Studio” comprising a dressing room, dark room and work room with store room thereunder, brick slate and glazed was valued at £150, with the furniture, fixtures, stock and utensils in trade exclusive of negatives were valued at £100.  No one photograph was deemed to be of greater value than £3.  An interesting inventory of the contents of the studios at Huntingdon and St Ives was drawn up after Frederick’s death, noting the condition of each item.  At the Huntingdon studio there were about 4,000 negatives which were noted as “old”, an enlarging camera which was noted as “useless”, and an enlarging camera in [the] roof was considered “out of date”.   

Ernest Whitney (1889-1978)

In June 1927 Ernest Samuel Whitney, photographer, entered into an agreement with Maude Leila Violet Hinde, Frederick’s widow, for the purchase of the “goodwill and contents of the reception room, dark room, printing room and the Studio situate at Ermine Street…..and the contents of the Studio and premises at St Ives” for £200.  Ernest Whitney had been apprenticed to Frederick Hinde in 1903 as a 14 year old assistant and he worked at the studio until c1910.  His letters written from New Zealand in the 1970’s (accession 2638/Z1) contain interesting information about the business. He recorded that “at first practically all our work was the P.O.P. daylight printing method ….our enlarger was a box, fitted into the dark room roof, and negatives were placed in frames outside, so printing was by daylight through the box in the roof.  (This method was a pretty dangerous performance!).  Mr Hinde used bromide papers for enlargements.” 

Ernest Whitney
Ernest Whitney
By 1911 Ernest Whitney was operating as a photographer on his own. The Huntingdonshire Coronation souvenir brochure of that year contains photographs taken by Ernest Whitney of Hartford.  The 1911 census records that he was living with his widowed mother Elizabeth and his brother Sydney on Sapley Road, Hartford, and was working as a photographer from home. The Hunts Post of the 2nd April 1915 contains an advert for E.E. Whitney’s Photographic Studio which had just opened at 129 High Street.  During the First World War he served as a photographer with the Royal Flying Corps in Italy (see WP/1/1-65 and W/1-5).

After the war Mr Whitney returned to Huntingdon and re-started his business.  In1924 he is listed in the trade directory as a photographer at 148 High Street, Huntingdon (now part of Barker Storey Matthews, and next door to Niche Comics at 147), and at 28 Great Whyte, Ramsey.  By 1928 he had, of course, added 74 Ermine Street to his list of studios in the trade directory of that year.  He advertised his studio in the High Street as an “Electric Photographic Studio”, and described himself as a “Camera Artist and Press Photographer”.  In 1939 he joined the R.A.F. and served in France, Wyton and High Wycombe, again in the photographic section.

During his long career Mr Whitney was responsible for many well-known photographs of Huntingdonshire.  He was the official photographer at the Papworth settlement (see WH9/204-227), and took photographs for the Hunts Post newspaper.  He retired from professional photography in 1959.  Before he emigrated to New Zealand in the early 1970’s he, with the David Cozens of the Huntingdonshire Local History Society, gathered together all the glass plate and plastic negatives, prints and lantern slides which he had saved from his business and the original Maddison & Hinde studios, and presented them to the Huntingdon County Record Office (now Huntingdonshire Archives).  He died in New Zealand in 1978.

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Illustrations all by kind permission of Huntingdonshire Archives


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