Captain King remains a tangled mystery. His calotype group portrait of the Maitland family of Ramornie, Fife, survives in an album that once belonged to Sir David Brewster, who was himself related to the Maitlands. Another album belonging to the Maitlands includes a series of large calotype views, including one of Ramornie, along with watercolors attributed to Captain King. Isabella Louisa Heriot Maitland married a Henry King in 1850, but the most likely candidate for our photographer entered the Royal Navy in 1795 and in 1814 participated in the sack of Washington, an episode in the War of 1812. Captain Henry King was then promoted but he never again saw service at sea. Retiring from the navy in 1852, he was later a police magistrate in New Zealand, where a branch of the Maitland family had established a new Ramornie.
Roger Taylor & Larry J. Schaaf Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860 (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2007)
This biography is courtesy and copyright of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and is included here with permission.
Date last updated: 4 Nov 2012.
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