Series ETN 3/7/1-27 - Photographs acquired by Thomas Damant Eaton

Identity area

Reference code

ETN 3/7/1-27


Photographs acquired by Thomas Damant Eaton


  • c 1850s-20th century (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

27 photographs

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Born in Norwich, and educated at Norwich Grammar School. Eldest son of William Batchelor Diamond, a surgeon in the East India Company, and his wife, Jane née Welch. Married Jane Warwick on 14 June 1831.
From 1824, Diamond studied medicine at the Royal College of Surgeons. In 1828, he became a student at St Bartholowmew's Hospital, London, and was appointed pharmacist to the West Kent Infirmary in Maidstone. Following his marriage in 1831, he opened a private practice near Soho Square in London. In 1834, he became a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons and in 1846 was elected fellow of the Medical Society of London. In 1848, he became asylum superintendent of the female department of the Surrey County Lunatic Asylum. Diamond was active in London antiquarian circles and had a particular interest in the printing of images and the early art of photography. He was a founder member of the Photographic Society of London which was established in 1853. Diamond also belonged to the Photographic Exchange Club, an organization that exchanged prints by post between its members twice a year. Thomas Damant Eaton was also a member of the exchange club and he and Diamond were close associates. During the 1850s, Diamond published a number of writings on the subject of photography, including a series in 'Notes and Queries' and contributed to the 'Photographic Journal' published by the Photographic Society of London. However, he is probably most well known for his portraits of mental health patients and the use of such photographs in the treatment of mental health disease. In 1852, he presented a series of photographs entitled, 'The Types of Insanity', at the first exhibition of photography at the Society of Arts. In 1856, following the accidental death of a patient, Diamond resigned from his post at Surrey County Lunatic Asylum and moved to Twickenham where he established a private asylum for female patients. He maintained an active rôle in the Photographic Society, editing the society's journal from 1859-1869 and also serving as its secretary and later as Vice-President. He died in 1886 at his home, Twickenham House.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Most of these photographs were likely to have been part of the first photographic exchange club of which Thomas Damant Eaton and Dr Hugh Welch Diamond were members. Some of the photographs, where known, were taken by Dr Hugh Welch Diamond, see ETN 3/7/1-4, 8-10, 19-20. Photographic material was exchanged by post twice a year from circa 1855. However, the collection includes six photographs which appear to be a much later date, possibly 20th century. The provenance of these later photographs is unknown.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


System of arrangement

Originally contained in a folder numbered IX.

Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access

Not to be produced to the searchroom. For access copies, see ETN 12/4/1-27.

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Related units of description

For other photographs taken by Dr Hugh Welch Diamond, see ETN 3/6/1-15.

A photocopy of the 'Catalogue of Exhibits', for an exhibition entitled 'Hugh Welch Diamond, Doctor, Antiquarian and Photographer', which took place at Orlean House Gallery, Twickenham, 12 July-10 August 1980, and referenced in this catalogue, can be found in the accession paperwork for ACC Eaton 22/02/1971, and provided on request.

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Dates of creation revision deletion

Created 22/02/2012 by drobf. Modified 12/02/2019 by Drobf.


Accession area