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Document number: 6155
Date: 18 Jun 1848
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: MALONE Thomas Augustine
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA48-032
Last updated: 27th February 2010

122 Regent St
June 18. 1848

To H F Talbot Esq


Mr Kilburn <1> came to us yesterday & asked us to make a Talbotype copy, of a Daguerreotype, taken from a painted portrait of the Queen. <2>

It appears that Mr Kilburn has taken upon himself to Tell her Majesty, that he can produce Talbotypes for her. –

& then coolly asks us to work & let him obtain the credit. –

he does this learning that Henneman <3> has her Majesty’s appointment.

When I told him that our names would be attached to any thing we did, he said, “O I should frame that out” He said if we did not do it for him he should do it himself, & make her Majesty a present of the copies required; now this appears to me to be an infringement of your rights, & also of Hennemans right. – you would lose the percentage due to you on account of a paper copy of a Daguerreotype, I told Kilburn that if her Majesty had commanded me to take a Daguerreotype picture, I should have explained, and said I have no license your Majesty, I can get it done, but do not think it would be fair to deprive Mr Kilburn, who has been appointed Daguerreotypist by your Majesty, of his privilege of making such Daguerreotype pictures

I hoped to induce Mr Kilburn to explain this to her Majesty, – he does not see the necessity of such explanation, & if we refuse, I suppose he will get some amateur to do it for him. We should feel obliged by your opinion on the subject.

I think Mr Kilburn had no right to accept the task, & that it is an invasion of Hennemans privilege as well as your own. –

I remain Sir Your very obedt Servt
T A Malone


We have refused to act until we hear from you


1. William Edward Kilburn (1818–1891), photographer, London. He pioneered the electroplating of daguerreotype plates and was one of the most highly respected daguerreotypists in London. He daguerreotyped Queen Victoria in the greenhouse of Buckingham Palace in 1847. Her Majesty recorded in her diary that the results were "not much improved to what they were originally... Mine was really very successful. Those of the children are unfortunately entire failures." Kilburn must have been more pleased with the results, for in the 1848 London Post Office Directory his advertisement named him as ‘Photographist to Her Majesty and His Royal Highness Prince Albert’. He had started advertising his "special appointment" at least a month before approaching Henneman & Malone, stressing his 'photographic miniatures' as a great improvement on Daguerreotype portraiture.

2. Victoria (1819–1901), Queen of the United Kingdom (1837–1901), Empress of India (1876–1901).

3. Malone's business partner, Nicolaas Henneman (1813–1898), Dutch, active in England; WHFT’s valet, then assistant; photographer.

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