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It seems that portraits of Kingston-upon-Hull’s civic dignitaries are very rare or at least I haven’t succeeded in tracing the identity of this obviously very prominent Hull resident by looking for portraits of the city’s Sheriffs and Mayors on the internet. The gentleman does look a bit like Hull’s best known bearded Victorian civic leader Zachariah Pearson, whose name was still commonly heard in the city when I was studying there [mainly because a public house on Beverley Road bears his name]. Pearson resigned from his last public offices in 1862 however and the reverse of the photograph informs me that Mr. Barry established his photographic studio in 1870, so it must be somebody else [unless you know something I don’t, which is always a possibility].


The reverse of the photograph is covered in interesting details about the photographer, Mr. Barry, for example, he received a “Honourable Mention For Excellence In Photographs” at the Plymouth Art and Industry Exhibition in 1881. The rest of the reverse you can read for yourself, but If I had to point out one more thing it would be that Mr. Barry’s Town Office has a means of “telephonic communication” on the premises. Was Mr. Barry as pioneer of the telephone in Hull as well as a talented photographer?