Lewis HARDING

1807—1893

Four members of the Langmaid family of Polperro were among those fishermen photographed by Lewis Harding, a local Polperro photographer who pioneered the art of collodion wet plate photography in Cornwall in the 19th Century.

Born in London, he was educated in France, becoming a lay catechist in the Roman Catholic Church. He then accompanied the first Catholic Bishop of Sydney to Australia in 1835, and in 1838 was sent to the penal colony on Norfolk Island to prepare the way for the appointment of two priests.

He returned to Cornwall in 1846 in poor health, and appears to have taken up photography in 1856. Harding's remarkable photographs of Polperro and its inhabitants in the 19th Century can be seen today in the Polperro Heritage Museum, including the portrait of Joseph Langmaid.