British photographic history

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Information request: F. W. Broadhead, photographer active between c.1865 and c.1925

My name is Matthew Broadhead, an artist and photographer based in southwest England. At present, I am enrolled on the new MA Photography program at UWE Bristol with course leaders Aaron Schuman and Angus Fraser, due to graduate in 2019. 

The project I am working on investigates the life and practice of my third-great grandfather, Frederick William Broadhead, commonly abbreviated as F. W. Broadhead. In the context of my studies I am primarily working with the Belvoir Castle estate to record the interior and exterior of the building as my ancestor did, and explore the area photographically. This will culminate in an exhibition next season in 2019 and the same results will also been seen in my final MA exhibition at the Martin Parr Foundation in Bristol. 

Whilst I am looking for any photographs and information connecting F. W. Broadhead and the Belvoir Castle estate, I am also interested in the same about any area of his life's occupation. 

In my own collection and archive, I have around 200 examples of photographs from his studio, along with comprehensive newspaper records such as stories and advertisements in connection with his business. Original advertisements featured in business directories are also present along with reproductions from the Wigston Record Office and former clients of F. W. Broadhead.

One purpose of this request is to establish whether there are any F. W. Broadhead examples in the private collections of the membership on this site, and to possibly collaborate on aspects of my long-term project. As a practitioner in the field myself, it is of great personal interest and investment to learn more about my own heritage but share my findings back into the field of photo-history in the form of exhibitions, talks, and publications. 

My website is and I can be contacted on my mobile at 07554 879388 or

Please see below a close up of a money order with his studio address at 55 Welford Road, Leicester

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Comment by Robert Pols on August 6, 2018 at 18:06
It's nice to know my suggestions were, at least, apt, but I'm sorry I couldn't suggest anything new! Better luck from other sources.
Comment by Matthew Broadhead on August 6, 2018 at 17:45

Yes, the RPS had interesting information about the captions of artworks he exhibited over the years whilst he was active. 

Actually, F. W. Broadhead went bankrupt in the 1890's and the London Gazette and newspaper records provided a lot of information about this.

Comment by Robert Pols on August 6, 2018 at 16:56
I'm sure you're right, Matthew. Good luck with finding more.

You have, presumably, checked out the RPS Journal (link above right), which I notice has a few references to him?

The London Gazette can also sometimes throw out a lead (on patents, partnerships or financial matters - irrelevant in the case of many photographers, but occasionally useful.)
Comment by Matthew Broadhead on August 6, 2018 at 13:25

Robert, your comment is much appreciated. 

I have come across those sources before, but I am sure there is more to discover that is not online or even in the public domain.

Comment by Robert Pols on July 18, 2018 at 23:31

I suspect none of this will be new to you, Matthew, but for what it's worth:


(Transcript of F W Broadhead’s advertisement in

Wright’s Directory of Leicestershire, 1887/8)   



Artist Photographer


Imperial Buildings, Halford St. (opposite National Provincial Bank),



Carte de Visites from - - - - - 5/- Per Dozen

Cabinet Portraits, from - - - - 14/- Per Dozen

BEST FINISHED: CARTES, 8/6 Per Doz.; Cabinets, 10/- Per Doz. 

IMPORTANT NOTICE – Persons residing within fourteen miles of Leicester upon ordering

One Dozen Cartes or Six Cabinets, the Railway Fare paid one way; on double that number, their

return journey will be paid. 



A summary of his Leicestershire trade directory entries can be found at

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