Hertfordshire Postcard Artists, Photographers, Publishers, etc.

Thomas Benwell Latchmore of Hitchin


Thomas Benwell Latchmore (1832-1908) was the eldest son of a Quaker family who ran a grocery business in the High Street. He was educated at Isaac Brown and Benjamin Abbott's Academies in Hitchin and then at Ackworth, the Quaker school in Yorkshire. At first he assisted his father but an interest in chemistry led him to study photography. About 1865 he built a studio in Bancroft and set up in business. He had experimented with daguerreotypes and the collodion process but after 1871 successfully adopted the use of the dry plate method. His business thrived and enabled him in 1870 to buy out an earlier photographer, George Avery, who had worked from the Old Town Hall yard in Brand Street. On their completion, he moved into more commodious premises with a studio on the roof' and resided at 11 Brand Street until his death.

from Old Hitchin: Portrait of an English Market Town

Lucy and Agnes Hensley, photographed by Latchmore, Hitchin, in 1864/5

Lucy & Agnes Hensley

circa end 1864

This was probably one of the first photographs taken by Thomas after setting up his studio in Bancroft Street.

T B Latchmore, Hitchin, 1864/5

Herts Express 4 April, 1867 (First mention of Royston Address)

Samuel Rudd 0f Hitchin, circa 1870, photographed by Latchmore

Samuel Rudd

This back gives the Bancroft address so must be between 1865 and about 1870 and presumably later that the above example

It also gives  a Melbourne Street, Royston, which I have not identified from elsewhere.

Reference Be5

Very faint writing at the bottom of the back of the card.

In 1871 Samuel Rudd was a 63 year old market gardener living at Church End, Hitchin, who died shortly after the census.

A CDV of Essendon Mill (advertised on ebay) with an identical back and dated  July 1867 confirms the approximate date of the above picture

Hertfordshire Express 5th March 1870

A cdv by George Avery was numbered 4735  and it seems likely that Thomas continued the number sequence when he took over the business in 1870.

No reference to Stevenage in adverts before 1870 and once he had successfully taken over George Avery's business it looks as if he concentrated his efforts at Brand Street, Hitchin, with no active advertising.

CDV by T B Latchmore of Hitchin

Plate No: 8306


Carte de Visite by T. B. Latchmore

After 1870

Possibly all of the same unknown family.

  First on white card, others on cream.

All have same printing but first two in gold, other two in purple

Comparison with other cards may allow more precise dating


CDV by T B Latchmore of Hitchin

Plate No: 8711

CDV by T B Latchmore of Hitchin

Plate No: 9466



CDV by T B Latchmore of Hitchin

Plate No: 11843

4060 (showing a choir master) has same back - ? reprint of Avery photo?

7783 & 19379 have same back as above, in purple ink

CDV by T B Latchmore of Hitchin  

Plate No: 9164

with gold printing on back as above


The George Avery Plate No

4735 appear to show the same lady several years earlier and came from the same source (as does Plate No: 13717, below.)


Plate No: 12387

with gold printing on back as above.


This picture shows John Maynard of Cottered who is known to have died in June 1876 - so picture must be earlier than that.

George Maynard of Cottered, photographed by Latchmore of Hitchin
  CDV by T B Latchmore of Hitchin

Plate No: 13717

CDV of lady - by Latchmore of Hitchin

Plate No 14795

(Same back noted No 12229)


14670 has a different lady, same chaise longue and same reverse.


These two CDV have identical backs, the one of the lady having at reference "331 cab" suggesting that negatives for cabinet cards had a different numbering - and this CDV was taken from a negative originally intended for a cabinet card.

The other card shows a small boy about 4-5 years old has the number 17127. It was sent by Jackie Embury who initially thought it could be John (Jack) Christy, who was born in 1911.

However John grandfather was a John Christy who in 1881 was a farmer and draper employing 12 men. living in Ashwell. The census shows a 4 year old son Harry Oakley Christy (who became Jack's father in 1911) and he would be an obvious candidate for this picture.

Not only do the numbers fit - but John Christy senior could clearly have afforded to have his son photographed - and Hitchin is the nearest town to Ashwell.

While it would be nice to get some more datable cards the above numbers suggest that Thomas was taking about 1000 portrait per year, or something like four a day.

Payne Primett photo by Latchmore  

This cabinet card is owned by Carol Primett Beeton and the young couple are believed to be  George Payne and Annie Elizabeth Primett, who married in 1901. The problem is the negative number 6147 which does not fit into the number series above. Could this be an earlier family marriage, between William Primett and Elizabeth Weeden that took place in 1870.

My feeling is that the clothing (particularly the man's suit) suggests the later date, in which case Latchmore must have started a new series of negative numbers?


There are many pictures taken by T. B. Latchmore in the book

Old Hitchin: Portrait of an English Market Town


Real photograph post card of three soldiers in uniform. If taken by T. B. Latchmore (rather than his son) it must have been taken no later than 1908. The simple divided back suggest circa 1905 or later. (After Thomas's death trade directories describe the business as T. B. Latchmore and Son., but the 1911 census lists his widow, Mrs. T. B. Latchmore as a photographer, employer, and head of household.)




?? Lion and unicorn with shield and crown??

(identical post card back to the above)

Post Card by T B Latchmore of Hitchin - School Play

The above school play is one of six such photographs  probably taken in about 1906 at an unknown school in the Hitchin area - tell me if you can identify the school, or even better any of the pupils.


Recorded as

T.B. Latchmore & Son, Brand Street, Hitchin

Old Meeting House, Tilehouse St., Hitchin.

Real photograph of drawing or print.

I have seen some later cards which are marked "Latchmore, Photographer, Hitchin" which are presumably by his son

Portrait of soldier, J B Morgan, by Latchmore of Hitchin

First World War Soldier

Signed P. B. Morgan

Published "Latchmore, Photographer, Hitchin"

Pencilled negative number  2381


Lilian Cox


Published "Latchmore, Photographer, Hitchin"

Pencilled negative number  4472

Unknown House near Hitchin

8 cards with similar backs



If you know of dated cards by T. B. Latchmore with negative numbers please tell me as this will make it possible to relate negative numbers to the dates the photographs were take.

Permanent Link   www.hertfordshire-genealogy.co.uk/links/latchmore.htm
January 2012   Page created
February 2012   Further CDV added
April 2012   3 soldiers post card

January 2013


Maynard CDV with boundary date

Payne/Primett picture added

August 2013   Christy photograph
December 2013   Morgan photograph
March 2014   Rudd CDV and 14795 CDV
April 2014   CDV with "ref 331" cab added
December 2014   Hensley CDV added
May 2015   Lilian Cox PC added
August 2015   1870 Advert added
October 2015   1867 Advert added