British photographic history

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Dr J H Robbins writes...Readers may be interested to know that a Victorian Scrap Album has been identified as belonging to Major-General Richard Clement Moody RE (previously Colonel) who had a significant role in British Columbia in the years 1858-1863. Bought in the 1970s in Dorchester, England, this has just been identified as belonging to Col Richard Clement Moody RE. The Royal Engineers are widely recognised as being amongst the pioneers of photography 


In around 1859, Col. R.C. Moody, commander of the Columbia detachment of the Royal Engineers based at New Westminster, had his portrait taken with an unidentified Aboriginal. The photographer was probably Lt. Arthur Reid Lempriere RE, who was in charge of photography for the detachment. This image and two others including a portrait of the same Aboriginal that appear to have been taken at the same time; form part of a large number of photographs, many captioned in pencil as well as others from British Columbia and a pencil drawing of Moody's house dated 1863 and signed by Henry Pering Pellew Crease.There are also pictures of houses lived in or visited by the Moody family in England, a Grand Tour of Loire Valley châteaux, Brittany Costumes, Brussels and Bologna. It seems probable that Moody took at least some of the photographs himself, although others like the two hand coloured prints entitled Japanese Dancing Girls, and a Japanese Priest as well as those from France and Italy have been purchased or collected. A photograph (circa 1859) of the people involved in the Boundary Commission survey to establish the 49th parallel has the name of Colonel Moody on the reverse.

Two pictures from the album and some more information can be seen at 

The pictures here are: top: a portrait of an unknown First Nations man.; below: Portraits, Moody is on left in photo, his companion is believed to be Captain Luard RE. 

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