This is an exceptional archive, with considerable research potential, and which is also the largest existing collection of Taylor's papers, either in private or institutional hands. There is no institutional repository of his letters, correspondence or papers, in fact very few of his letters survive, a handful can be found scattered as elements of larger institutional collections. This collection comprises Taylor's surviving papers. The papers remained in the possession of Taylor's only daughter and descended through her children, and recently emerged from the attic where they had been stored, in a provincial auction in Britain. The collection spans Alfred Swaine Taylor's pioneering research in forensics and his teaching practice at Guy's Hospital from its very beginnings through the major developments of his professional life. The archive traces the development of Taylor's work in chemistry, and in forensic medicine and science, and offers enormous potential for new understanding of the man who built the foundations of medical jurisprudence and modern forensics, and includes his chemistry notes and lectures. The chemical notes and papers in the collection also document his contributions to the emerging field of photography at its very beginnings in 1839 and the early 1840s.
Some of the notable materials in this archive include:
- Taylor was a pioneer in photography and the archive includes material dealing with his photographic work, including: a photogenic drawing with inscription on verso in Taylor's hand: "Dec'r 2 H Lime 1839," dated the first year of photography. The "H Lime" is a reference to Hyposulphate of Lime, the fixing process developed by A. S. Taylor in February 1839 when he first experimented with photography, or what he called "photogenic drawing," since the word photography did not yet exist. The image is of a fern measuring 8 cm x 11cm. Taylor devised improvements in the fixing and printing processes used by William Henry Fox Talbot and the archive includes material related to these improvements. (See image above).
- Autograph letter signed by William Thomas Brande to Alfred Swaine Taylor, dated [London] Royal Mint, 21 October 1839; 4 pp. dealing with photogenic drawing; there are also at least a dozen mentions of photogenic drawing, chemical drawing, or photography, within Taylor's notebooks and papers in various sections on silver, gallic acid, and hyposulphites, dealing with early coatings for photographic paper, fixing agents, etc.
-Taylor's manuscript notes for lectures on chemistry he delivered at Guy's Hospital including early notes on toxicology which date from the beginning of Taylor's work in toxicology, over 7000 manuscript pages in Taylor's hand.
-Mahogany box containing Taylor's microscopy slides as well as his original drawings taken under the microscope.
-Three annotated copies of his major publication, 'A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence'. This includes the 1st edition together with the 3rd and 5th editions. There are annotations by Taylor in each copy and together they bear witness to the development of his thinking on the subject, the field in which he made an important and lasting impact.
Alfred Swaine Taylor (1806-1880)
Alfred Swaine Taylor was born on 11 December 1806 in Northfleet, Kent, England. He was an English toxicologist and medical writer, Taylor has been called the "father of British forensic medicine." He was also an early experimenter in photography. As the ODNB notes, "As a toxicologist Taylor's experience was equaled only by Robert Christison, and he appeared as a witness for the prosecution in a number of trials for suspected murder by poisoning, becoming in time adviser to the Treasury in cases of particular difficulty. By combining legal precedent and judicial ruling with chemical and anatomical evidence he established forensic toxicology as a medical specialism".
Taylor was the son of Thomas Taylor by his first wife, Susan Mary, daughter of Charles Badger of Kent. His father, was a captain in the East India Company's fleet, and by at least 1818 had become a merchant. Taylor's mother, was the daughter of a flint knapper. The couple had only one other child, Silas Badger Taylor, who followed their father into business as a merchant. Nothing in his background suggested that Taylor might emerge as the leading forensic doctor of his generation.
Taylor was sent to a private school until he was sixteen years old and then apprenticed for one year to a doctor at Lenham, Kent. He excelled in anatomy and started his studies at the Medical School of the United Hospitals (Guy's Hospital and St. Thomas's Hospital) in 1823. After the separation of the hospitals in 1825 he went with Guy's Hospital as a pupil of Astley Cooper. As a pupil, he was able to visit wards, see operations and dissections, as well as take lectures in science subjects. It was here that he discovered his love of chemistry and this combined with medicine, put him on the path to becoming a toxicologist, studying the effects of poisons on the body.
Taylor took an extended Continental tour upon completion of his medical studies where he studied in Paris and attended the lectures of Orfila, the surgeon Dupuytren, and the chemist Gay-Lussac. He also visited medical schools in Italy, Germany, and The Netherlands, before returning to Guy's in the winter of 1829. His journey was fraught with danger; his ship from France to Naples was racked by storm, and he was chased off Elba by pirates. He was arrested twice: once for having dangerous books, and secondly for espionage after he sketched some fortifications in northern Italy. He later claimed that he was only freed when most of his artwork was destroyed, though some have survived. While in Naples, he wrote two ophthalmological articles in Italian, 'On inverting objects at the back of the eye' and 'On adapting the eye to the distance of objects.' Along with his fondness for sketching and his eventual interest in photography, these articles demonstrate Taylor's fascination with the visual. He was also interested in geology, and was consulted on matters of public health; it was Taylor who warned the public about the dangers of arsenical wallpaper dyes.
In 1830 he returned to Paris where, during the insurrection of July 1830, he studied the treatment by Manec and Misfranc of the gunshot wounds received by the combatants in the street fighting. It was during these visits to Paris that his interest in forensic medicine was aroused. These events, plus his reading in 1826 of "Elements of Medical Jurisprudence" by the American physician Theodric Romeyn Beck, propelled Taylor to choose medical jurisprudence (what we might loosely call forensic medicine today) as his special object for study and practice.
Taylor showed an early interest in medical jurisprudence and was appointed to the newly established Lectureship in Medical Jurisprudence at Guy's Hospital. He was a young physician, but the best prepared for the post, which he held until 1877. In 1832 he succeeded Alexander Barry as joint Lecturer on Chemistry with Arthur Aitken (1773-1854), a leading chemist of the day.
The 28-year-old Barry had blown himself up while working on a compressed gas experiment.
From 1830 to 1832, Taylor had a general practice in Great Marlborough Street, Soho, and resumed writing journal articles. He became such a regular writer on the subject of medical jurisprudence that rival Henry Letheby would later haughtily refer to Taylor's 'cacoethes scribendi' – an insatiable desire to write. But these articles, along with his many books, helped to elevate Taylor's status in the emerging field of medical jurisprudence.
Taylor published several important books. His two main books passed through many editions and came to be regarded both by lawyers and by physicians as standard works in his lifetime. His Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, first published in 1836, which formed the basis of A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence (1844) and of The Principles and Practice of Medical Jurisprudence (1865), and his Poisons in relation to Medical Jurisprudence and Medicine (1848) performed an invaluable service in codifying legal precedents and rulings and relevant anatomical and chemical data." He also contributed to the Dublin Quarterly Journal and medical periodicals, and edited the Medical Gazette.
When photography was announced to the world in January of 1839, Taylor took a quick interest in it and became one of the early pioneers in the new field and it remained an interest to him for most of his life (see below for an in-depth look at Taylor's contributions).
Dr. Taylor was known to a wider public by his appearance as a witness for the prosecution in celebrated murder trials, including those of Drory, and the poisoners Tawell, Palmer (who first exploited the possibilities offered by life insurance policies), Smethurst and Catherine Wilson. He was the expert witness that coroners in the east of England would most often refer to, and once the 1840s dawned, Taylor appeared so often in newspaper reports of inquests and trials that he became a household name. He was a commanding figure in the witness box, unbending and relentless. In view of the danger of partisanship in medical witnesses, Taylor favored the establishment of official experts or assessors for trials involving medical evidence.
Taylor's expertise was called upon to deal with the worst that one human being can do to another and his career is filled with one grisly case after another. He is most well-known for the William Palmer and Thomas Smethurst trials, possibly because they were difficult cases and the only ones he worked on which would appear in the Notable British Trials series. Taylor's celebrity was such that Charles Dickens, fascinated by crime and its detection, visited Taylor's laboratory at Guy's Hospital, and sensational novelist Wilkie Collins owned not one but two copies of Taylor's On Poisons. When Taylor gave evidence at the trial of the murderer of "Sweet Fanny Adams" (a case so notorious it gave the expression "sweet FA" to the English language), a newspaper put a picture of him on their front page – a drawing 'from a photograph'.
Known as a toxicologist, Taylor branched into other areas of forensic medicine, and was examining blood stains as early as the 1850s. Dorothy L Sayers, Golden Age crime author, used Taylor's books in her research, and fictional forensic detective, Dr. Thorndyke, was based on him. He may well be one of the medical jurists that Arthur Conan Doyle had in mind when he created Sherlock Holmes – certainly Taylor's Medical Jurisprudence is mentioned in Conan Doyle's semi-autobiographical novel The Stark Munro Letters.
In 1834, Dr. Taylor married 24-year-old Caroline Cancellor, the youngest child of stockbroker John Cancellor. Her father had left her well-provided for financially when he died in 1831, as had her brother Richard, who had died a few months before the Taylors' marriage. Richard left Caroline the lease and most of the contents of his house, 3 Cambridge Place (now Chester Gate) on Regent's Park, which would be the Taylors' home for almost twenty years. It was later said of Taylor that he was 'a man of quiet and domestic tastes', who was 'little seen either in the medical societies or in social medical intercourse.'
Dr. Taylor died on 27 May 1880 in London. He was a Hon MD St and MRCS LSA FRCP (1853) FRS. After Taylor died in 1880, the British Medical Journal's obituary was the only one to mention that Caroline had helped him to revise his books for publication. This was no easy task, as Taylor's books Elements of Medical Jurisprudence, A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence, On Poisons in Relation to Medical Jurisprudence and Medicine and The Principles and Practice of Medical Jurisprudence ran into several editions and consisted of both Taylor's experiments and experiences on actual cases, as well as information garnered from other cases in newspapers and journals from across the world. They also contained correspondence on cases and experiments between Taylor and other scientists. The subject matter would hardly have been deemed 'ladylike', with poisonings, wounds, drownings and sexual crimes filling the pages, yet Caroline diligently worked beside her husband, her name never to appear on the title page with his, nor in any list of acknowledgments. Caroline's initials appear on several early photographs as well, showing her interest in photography in the early years as one of the earliest woman photographers.
Alfred Swaine Taylor's Early Experiments and Contributions to Photography
Alfred Swaine Taylor had proven to be an enthusiastic if not talented draftsman during his Continental tour, and perhaps that skill and his interest and proficiency in chemistry were equal draws for him when photography was announced in 1839. He took it up immediately and carried out his own experiments on the process of photographic pioneer Henry Fox Talbot (1800-1877) for more than a year, publishing his findings in 1840 in a 37-page pamphlet titled "On the Art of Photographic Drawing."
Christina Z. Anderson in her book on Salt Paper, states that Talbot "used salted paper aka "photogenic drawing", what we today call a photogram. Thin opaque objects such as leaves or lace were placed in contact with the light sensitive paper and exposed outside. This of course produced a negative image as the object shielded the paper from the light, leaving behind a 'white shadow." As he gained more mastery over the process and increased its sensitivity in 1835, Talbot was then able to use the same sensitive paper inside a camera and the first camera negative was born.
Anderson goes on to say that "Talbot's discovery – making a negative in-camera and using that negative to make multiple prints – is the basis of all photography to this day and its cultural importance cannot be overestimated. Talbot's process defined photography as reproducible and multiple. The daguerreotype may historically mark the introduction of photography to the world, but it produced a singular image. Salted paper's multiplicity was game changing."
In Taylor's pamphlet, he calls photography "photogenic drawing" because at the time, when salted paper was invented, there was no photographic language in existence. Even the word 'photography' wasn't in the lexicon. Developer, fixer, negative, positive, all these words came after the invention of salted paper, as did the name "salted paper," … which was invented by Henry Fox Talbot in 1834, who later called it "photogenic drawing" in 1839.
Taylor, like many others, found Talbot's original process "capricious" and he devised his own process, based on ammonia nitrate of silver. He developed the use of hyposulphate of lime as a fixing agent for photography and worked with Henry Collen to improve Collen's prints and to gain access to the artist's fine Ross camera. Taylor particularly liked copying prints by photography, and one early example published in 1987 in an article by Stephen White had the caption by its owner "Photogenic before Photography by Faraday and Dr. Alfred Taylor." (The collection includes a photogenic drawing by Taylor, dated December 2, 1839, for which he used hyposulphate of lime as a fixer).
On 19 April 1839, Taylor exhibited photographs made with the ammonio-nitrate of silver at the Royal Institution. Writing to Michael Faraday (1791-1867) on 17 April 1839 to send the examples for exhibition, Taylor said that 'I make no secret of my process' and proceeded to explain it in full, basing his work on refinements of the approaches used by Sir John Herschel (1792-1871) and Talbot. He told Faraday that he did not copy directly from engravings but rather from lampblack tracings of them.
In Taylor's pamphlet "On the Art of Photogenic Drawing," we find his explanation of the process he developed. According to Laurence Alt, Taylor explained: "…how he had tried Talbot's method of obtaining photogenic drawings, and 'From the unsatisfactory results in pursuing Mr. Talbot's directions, I was induced after many trials to adopt the process about to be described'. Taylor gives all credit to Talbot for the original discovery and with modesty declines to claim originality for his own process of preserving drawings, which he believed was identical to that process pursued by Sir John Herschel. From the experiments that he began in February 1839 he concluded that ammonio-nitrate was the best liquid for preserving photogenic drawings. Talbot had soaked the paper in a weak solution of salt and, when nearly dry, painted its surface with a moderately strong solution of nitrate of silver, thereby producing chloride of silver. However, Taylor found 'There is much inconvenience attending on this plan .... The paper is often uneven in its sensitiveness to light, from the chloride not being equally formed in it; and in copying engravings, the saline particles are apt to become detached and seriously damage the print'.
Ammonio-nitrate speedily acquired the desired colour of deep black-purple. The correct strength was obtained by mixing half an ounce of fused nitrate of silver with six fluid ounces of distilled water. To this solution was added a pure strong solution of ammonia until the brown precipitate at first produced disappeared after further drops of ammonia were introduced. The liquid was best kept in the dark for some weeks before being used.
Talbot had not proposed a process for removing the undecomposed salt of silver once the drawing had been made. From his own experiments Taylor concluded that washing the drawing in near boiling water and applying hyposulphite of soda or lime preserved the image even from sunlight. Perhaps the most significant discovery of Taylor's was that when the photogenic paper was exposed ammonia escaped and a portion of the oxide of silver in the salt was reduced to the metallic state, the dark in the drawing being silver metal and the light colours being the paper deprived of the silver salt originally applied to it. It appears that not even Herschel had appreciated this unequivocally…
Later in his paper Taylor describes in detail his method of obtaining 'faithful copies of rare etchings of the old masters'. A photogenic drawing was taken of an engraving by the usual method of laying it face down on prepared paper and exposing the whole to bright sunshine. A 'proof was thus obtained, which was naturally a reversed image. Once fixed a photogenic drawing was taken of this proof and a positive image obtained, which Taylor called 'a fac-simile'…"
Ms. Anderson wrote about Taylor's process stating: "Ammonia was added drop by drop to the silver nitrate to make a combination ammonio-nitrate sensitizer. The print was thought to expose more quickly and be a more pleasing color. Ammonio-nitrate was popular 1840-1860 but its disadvantages were that prints yellowed quickly, the solution discolored quickly, and it couldn't be used with albumen. It can also create potentially explosive fulminating silver."
Alt stated that "The enthusiasm that Taylor showed for photography never left him, although he seems to have abandoned serious experimentation in 1840. An album preserved by Taylor's daughter Edith indicates that Taylor's interest in photography extended beyond his 1840 book; it includes a salted paper print of the back of his house and a caricature drawn and titled by Taylor "Cambridge Photography Saloon," a reference to the house on Cambridge Place near Regent's Park that he occupied until 1854.
John Werge (1824-1911), an early photographer who wrote a book on the history of photography, interviewed and corresponded with Taylor. According to Werge: "...it is not generally known how much photography was indebted to him [Taylor] at the earliest period of its birth…in 1840 he published a pamphlet "On the Art of Photogenic Drawing," in which he advocated the superiority of ammonia nitrate of silver over chloride of silver as a sensitizer, and hyposulphate of lime over hyposulphate of soda as a fixer, and the latter he advocated up to the year of his death as the following letter will show:
"St. James Terrace, February 10th, 1880
Dear Sir, - I have great pleasure in sending you for the purpose of your lecture some of my now ancient photographs. They show the early struggles which we had to make. The mounted drawings were all made with the ammonia nitrate of silver; I send samples of the paper used. In general, the paper selected contained chloride enough to form ammonia chloride. I send sample of unused paper, procured in 1839 – some salted afterwards.
All these drawings (which are dated) have been preserved by the hyposulphite of lime (not soda). The hypo of lime does not form a definite compound with silver, like soda; hence it is easily washed away, and this is why the drawings are tolerably preserved after forty years. All are on plain paper. Ammonia nitrate does not answer well on albumenized paper. The art of toning by gold was not known in those ancient days, but the faded drawings on plain paper, as you will see, admit of restoration, in dark purple, by placing them in a very dilute solution of chloride of gold, and putting them in the dark for twenty-four hours. The gold replaces the reduced silver and sulphide of silver. I send you the only copy I have of my photogenic drawing. Five hundred were printed, and all were sold or given away. Please take care of it…Alfred S. Taylor."
Taylor's expertise in explaining his findings of his photography experiments in simple and clear language probably contributed greatly to his success as a forensic scientist. No doubt the juries at the Victorian Old Bailey, during the heyday of poisoning, were often persuaded by his plain explanations. His eventual choice of ammonia-nitrate is not surprising, for he had intimate knowledge of it throughout his career.
Alt, Laurence Alt. Alfred Swaine Taylor (1801–80): Some Early Material. History of Photography, 16:4, 397-398, Taylor & Francis: published online 1 Oct 2013.
Anderson, Christina Z. Salted Paper Printing: A Step-by-Step Manual Highlighting Contemporary Artists. New York: Routledge, 2018.
Barrell, Helen. Fatal Evidence: Professor Alfred Swaine Taylor & the Dawn of Forensic Science. Barnsley, South Yorkshire: Pen and Sword, 2017.
British Photographic History. Biography: 'His heart was with his work' Alfred Swaine Taylor and Caroline Taylor: a brief biography Posted by Michael Pritchard on February 4, 2018 http://britishphotohistory.ning.com/profiles/blogs/biography-his-heart-was-with-his-work-alfred-swaine-taylor-and-ca
Coley, N.G. Alfred Swaine Taylor, MD, (1806-1880): forensic toxicologist. Medical History, 1991, 35 (4): 409-427.
James, Frank A.J.L. The Correspondence of Michael Faraday; Volume 2: 1832-1840. London: Institution of Electrical Engineers, 1993.
Oxford Dictionary of National Biography: Taylor, Alfred Swaine (1806-1880) , M. P. Earles, https://doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/27017
Taylor, Alfred Swaine. On the Art of Photographic Drawing. London: Jeffery, 1840.
Taylor, Robert. Impressed by Light: British Photographs from Paper Negatives, 1840-1860. New York, Washington, DC, Paris: Metropolitan Museum of Art, National Gallery of Art, Musée d'Orsay, 2007-2008.
Werge, John. The Evolution of Photography, with a Chronological Record of Discoveries, Inventions, Etc…London: Piper & Carter, 1890.
White, Stephen. "Alfred Swaine Taylor: A Little-Known Photographic Pioneer," History of Photography, 11:3, July-Sept 1987.
Alfred Swaine Taylor. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred_Swaine_Taylor
Full Inventory of the Archive:
1. Photogenic drawing, originally found laid into "Part 17" of item #6 below. Part 17 is labeled "General Chemistry / Sulphur / Sulphuric Acid" and at the paragraph on "Hyposulphates," this Photogenic Drawing with inscription on rear in Taylor's hand: "Dec'r 2 H Lime 1839"
was found. The "H Lime" is a reference to Hyposulphate of Lime, the fixing process developed by Taylor in February 1839 when he first experimented with photography, or what was then called "photogenic drawing," since the word photography did not yet exist. The image is of a fern, which is in white on paper that has been tanned by his chemical process. The image measures 8cm x 11cm. In his early efforts, photography pioneer Henry Fox Talbot, used salted paper aka photogenic drawing as what we today call a photogram. Thin opaque objects such as leaves or lace were placed in contact with the light sensitive paper and exposed outside. This produced a negative image as the object shielded the paper from the light, leaving behind a 'white shadow." This appears to be the process used for this image as the image is a white shadow. Taylor found Talbot's original process "capricious" and he devised his own, based on ammonia nitrate of silver. He developed the use of hyposulphate of lime as a fixing agent for photography, thus this image is one made by Taylor's new process and being dated December 2nd, 1839, places it just months after the announcement of photography to the world by Louis Daguerre.
Notebooks, Lectures and Papers
2. Manuscript notebook entitled: 'Chemistry Part 1st.' Consisting of notes on experiments and lectures in Organic Chemistry in Taylor's hand. Original paste board covers, corners heavily worn, not dated, circa 1834-1835, measures 23.5 cm x 17 cm, approximately 148 pp.; first section is experiments, followed by lectures.
3. Manuscript notes on toxicology in Taylor's hand, dated 1834 and Summer 1836, later dates of 1839 and 1841 found as well, original paste board covers, rubbed and worn, measures 27.5 cm x 18 cm, approximately 135 pp., topics include Opium, Morphine, Lead, Arsenic, Cyanide, etc.; notes in rear for cases of arsenic poisoning have dates of 1841-1843, notes on "Analysis of Blood Stains," also notes in rear of courses he gave on Practical Toxicology 1838-1839 and Practical Chemistry 1839.
4. Manuscript notes entitled: 'Experiments &c on the Non Metallic Bodies' in Taylor's hand, dated 1836-1837, original paste board covers, rubbed and worn, octavo, measures 22 cm x 15 cm, approximately 128 pp., includes notes on opposite pages, edits, corrections, some hand drawn illustrations, etc.
5. Manuscript entitled 'Chemistry. Introductory Lectures' in Taylor's hand, with annotations on facing pages, undated, circa 1830s, loose signatures tied with ribbon, measures 24.5 cm x 19.5 cm, 16 numbered parts, approximately 469 pp., annotated, with various edits, notes on opposite pages, several hand drawings, diagrams, etc. There were 5 letters (item #22 below) originally found laid into the lecture titled "Expansion of Solids."
6. Manuscript entitled: 'General Chemistry' in Taylor's hand, undated, loose signatures, mostly undated, although several are dated 1837-1843, measures 24.5 cm x 19.5 cm, 26 numbered parts, bound in 27 sections, plus loose sheets, approximately 920 pp.; appears to be lectures written for his teaching work at Guy's Hospital; several lectures include hand-drawn illustrations, diagrams; notes on opposite pages, annotations; the lectures often include the history behind the chemicals, who discovered them, what the "old time" chemists, or alchemists thought, etc.; this collection includes his lectures on Nitrates of Ammonia (Part 16), Hyposulphates (Part 17), etc. It was Taylors knowledge of these aspects of chemistry that helped him in his experiments in early photogenic drawing. An original photogenic drawing (item #1 above) dated 2nd December 1839 was found laid into this manuscript in Part #17.
7. Manuscript entitled: 'General Properties of Metals, Salts, &c' in Taylor's hand, undated (several newspaper clippings laid in are dated 1840, 1843, 1844, other pieces of paper laid in have dates of 1842-1843, with text describing an event of 1828 and June of 1840, thus this manuscript would appear to date around 1840-1844, loose signatures, measures 24.5 cm x 19.5 cm, tied with ribbon, 47 parts, some in wrappers, approximately 1114 pp., with notes on opposite pages, and annotations, edits, etc., on topics including: platina, silver, bromine, copper, mercury, zinc, gold, aluminum, silica, arsenic, cobalt, etc. Includes:
- Part #18 titled "Silver," has a section on hyposulphates, where Taylor describes the efficacy of hyposulphates in "photogenic drawing."
8. Manuscript notes on medical jurisprudence in Taylor's hand, not dated, circa 1840s-1860s,
24 parts and loose pages, measures 24.5 cm x 19.5 cm, numbered sections, approximately 348 pp.; includes edits, corrections, notes on opposite pages at times, etc. not all parts present but each appear to be complete in themselves; appear to be handwritten sections and notes by Taylor for his book "Medical Jurisprudence," which went through a number of editions in his life time; the sections are labeled similarly to those in the book: Drowning, Hanging, Strangulation, Lightning, Infanticide, Hermaphroditism, Rape, Pregnancy, Delivery, Starvation, Buoyancy of Bodies in Water, etc., There were two letters found laid into this manuscript, they are now listed below as item #23.
9. Large quantity of manuscript notes on physics and natural philosophy in Taylor's hand and likely relate to his editorial work for Arnott's "Elements of Physics or Natural Philosophy." These pages consist ofa wide variety of material including manuscript notes, printed clippings pasted onto sheets and then copiously annotated by Taylor, etc., undated, circa 1870s, loose sheets, measures 23.5 cm x 19 cm, approximately 505 pages. Neil Arnott (1788-1874) first published his work in London in 1827. The book remained popular throughout the 19th Century and into the 20th. Taylor is listed as an editor with Alexander Bain for the 7th edition, the first edition published after Arnott's death, and which was issued in 1876.
10. Manuscript notebookentitled: Organic Chemistry. March 3. 1842. Introductory Lectures. October 1843, in Taylor's hand, original boards, octavo, measures 21.5 cm x 15 cm, 83 pp., includes text to rectos and additional notes to versos, followed by blanks.
-Pages 23-25 discuss Gallic Acid, used in early photography, and mentions "Calotype Paper Year Book 1842."
11. Manuscript notebook containing notes on Chemistry, in Taylor's hand, dated circa 1844-1876, original cloth, brass clasp loose, octavo, (17.5 cm x 11 cm approx.), 313 numbered pages (pp. 262-312 blank) with Taylor's manuscript notes throughout and with chemistry related newspaper clippings pasted in (pp. 213-261), an illustration of laboratory apparatus, plus some loosely inserted notes. Appears to be similar in nature (but later chronologically speaking) to Item #10 mentioned above. Includes:
-Pages 129-131 discuss Gallic Acid and mentions varieties, resemblances to tannin, differences, and also references "Calotype Year Book 1842," when describing other chemicals used in photography like albumen, gelatin, nitrate silver, etc.
-Also includes various recipes such as: "Faraday's Hard Cement for Glass Tubes" (pp. 186); "Mr. Aitken's Ink"
(pp. 194), "Substitute for Photographer Yellow Glues" (pp. 197), etc.
12. Manuscript notebook entitled: 'Observations and reflections,' dated circa 1845, octavo, 44 pp., written in Taylor's hand, plus blanks, contains manuscript dealing mainly with medical and scientific matters, some printed clippings inserted.
13. Manuscript notebook detailing accounts rendered for his services in criminal cases, water analysis, etc., dated 18 January 1856 to 21 December 1863, contemporary roan binding, wear at edges, manuscript accounts in Taylor's hand, octavo, approximately 277 pp., includes the fees for some of his most famous cases, such as:
- Case of Isabella Banks or Smethurst, May-July 1859 (5 pp.). Banks was poisoned by Dr. Thomas Smethurst in order to inherit her estate and to rid himself of her and the fact that she was several months pregnant. This case represented one of the biggest blunders in Taylor's career and Smethurst eventually got off with murder due to Taylor's mistakes.
-Case of Catherine Wilson who killed several people (Atkinson, Mawer, Soames, etc.) by poison July-August 1862 (6 pp.).
14. Manuscript draft of a lecture on Chemistry in Taylor's hand, loose sheets, dated October 3, 1850, 14 pages, with numerous corrections and amendments throughout in Taylor's hand.
15. Manuscript entitled: 'Notes on Inorganic Chem'y 1867, 8, 9.' Large bundle of loose sheets containing notes, held between cloth boards and tied with ribbon, octavvo, measure 12 cm x 18 cm, approximately 851 pp., dated circa 1863-1869, includes some drawings, diagrams, on topics such as chemical force, properties of matter, electrolysis, laws on chemical union, hydrogen, water, mineral waters, carbon, etc., includes:
- A 2-page section on "Light" dated 1863, where Taylor writes about "photography dependent on Chemical decomposing action on light…", with two pages talking about light, photography, the chemicals involved, etc.
16. Manuscript entitled: 'Chemistry Spare Notes. Feb. 1868.' Large bundle of loose sheets filled with notes on chemistry and experiments, held between cloth boards and tied with ribbon, approximately 830 pp., other dates between 1849 to 1867 show up, perhaps gathered and bundled up in 1868 as a group of 'spare notes." Several newspaper clippings laid in; topics include combustion, products of combustion, experiments on products of combustion, matter and its properties, gases, metalloids, physical forces, chemical attractions, lime, magnesium, hyposulphites, gelatin, albumen, etc., includes:
-discussion of photography and photogenic drawing, and what Taylor terms, at one-point, chemical drawing. In a section on Hyposulphurous Acid Taylor writes "Class of salts Hyposulphites important application to Daguerreotype and Photogenic, or Chemical Drawing" and goes on to discuss hyposulphites, etc. He mentions photogenic drawing two pages later on the same topic. These two-pages are within section dated 1849. A section dated 1853 under the topic of Silver, Taylor continues to discuss aspects of photography, in which he mentions photography 4 times. Taylor writes: "ammonia salts used in photography," then on the same page a reference appears to allude to photography and has written in pencil "silvered glass photography." The following page has the word "photograph" written in pencil under the "purple," where he appears to be describing what happens when exposed to light, then again the following page and the page after that, both mention "photography" when he writes: "Hyposulphate made by adding Hypolime or soda to Nitrate…use in photography…" and "chloride silver darkened by light made in chloride paper – photography / metal found as blackened surface conducts elect'y…" These sections dated 1849 and 1853.
17. Manuscript entitled: 'Anterior Thoracic Region,' octavo, 24 pp., not dated, circa 1830s-1840s, stitched and bound into a piece of an old vellum deed used as binding; of the 24 pages, 16 pages consist of "Anatomical Questions and Answers."
18. Manuscript entitled: 'Chemical Notes. Non Metallic Bodies. 1860.' Large bundle of loose notes tied with ribbon, approximately 126 pages of manuscript notes with numerous clippings from printed journals laid in; some clippings dated 1846-1863; other notes dated 1847-1855.
19. Manuscript notes mainly on chemistry written in Taylor's hand, loose sheets, various dates, dated circa 1842- 1865, approximately 918 pp., notes on various topics including: atmosphere, ozone, nitrogen, ammonia, chlorine, hyposulphites, etc., also several newspaper clippings, and notes for lectures. Includes:
-In a section on "Hyposulph's Acid" dated 1859, Taylor writes: "This acid is only known in comb. State. The Hyposulphits were discovered many years since & their properties described by Herschel. They are very largely employed in photography in fixing the drawing produced by light (why)" On the reverse side of the page Taylor explains why and writes more about photography over the next two pages. Later, in a section on another section on "Hyposulphurous Acid" he writes: "important in its applic'n to Daguerretype and Photog'c displaces salt of silver…" In a section dated 1843, on Gallic Acid, Taylor discusses Gallic Acid and mentions its usage in creating "Calotype."
There is also a scrap of paper where Taylor writes some notes on photography.
-In a section on "Colouring Matter" and "Art of Dyeing" there are two fabric samples laid in, dated 1844.
-Includes several pages of "lists of prizes" in the shape of books that would be given out.
20. Autograph letter signed by William Thomas Brande to Alfred Swaine Taylor, dated [London] Royal Mint, 21 October 1839; quarto, 4 pp. Letter discussing "photogenic drawing" from chemist William Thomas Brande, including four hand drawn illustrations. The first part of Brande's letter, written in the fall of 1839, reads:
"Many thanks my dear sir for your kind note. I will send a proper messenger to your house for the photogenic drawings, which will be truly acceptable, as I have sadly failed in the greater number of my attempts. I cannot get an even ground, except upon bibulous paper, and that will not admit of the due washing requisite for fixing the image-the truth is I want tact and practice, and hope that someday when a part of my labours has been transferred to my colleague, that you will allow me to see you go through the whole operation. Your sample of the chromate is not very promising, but I should thing that some other chromate, or ammoniacal solution perhaps of a chromate-or a manganesate, may be found, to vary the monotony of nitrate of silver. I forgot to ask you how the ammoniacal solution of chloride of silver answers. I dare say you have used it…"
The remainder of Brande's letter contains detailed descriptions, illustrated with drawings, of ways to demonstrate the circulation of heat in liquids. Brande succeeded Humphry Davy as professor of chemistry at the Royal Institution in 1813 and also held high-ranking posts at the Royal Mint; his Manual of Chemistry (1819; 6th ed. 1848) was the leading chemistry textbook of its day. He would later collaborate with Taylor on a Chemistry textbook (1863).
21. Autograph letter signed by William Allen Miller to Alfred Swaine Taylor, 2 pp., dated "King's Coll. Lon. / 13 July 1857."
-W.A. Miller (1817-1870) held the Chair of Chemistry at King's College, London. Although primarily a chemist, the scientific contributions for which Miller is mainly remembered today are in spectroscopy and astrochemistry, new fields in his time. Miller won the Gold Medal of the Royal Astronomical Society in 1867 jointly with William Huggins, for their spectroscopic study of the composition of stars. Miller writes to Taylor detailing the people he has working for him, what they do, how much they are paid, tells Taylor he will supply more information if needed
22. Series of 5 letters, 15 pages, dated 14 September - 28 September 1835, 3 letters are written by Arthur Aitken to Alfred Swaine Taylor, and 2 letters are written by Taylor to Aitken, all signed.
-In 1832, Taylor succeeded Alexander Barry as joint Lecturer on Chemistry at Guy's Hospital with Arthur Aitken (1773-1854), a leading chemist of the day. These letters were originally laid into a chemistry lecture on "Expansion of Solids" contained within item #4 above and the letters deal with this topic on which the two men write back and forth to each other, with various calculations in which Taylor shows Aitken that he is correct on the particular problem they were working on.
23. 2 letters, 3 pp., dated 20 February and 21 February 1840; one of the letters is written by physician Dr. John Forbes, with the other letter written to Forbes, presumably by Taylor. Both letters are written on the same sheet, Forbes wrote first and his correspondent answered using the same sheet. The letter deals with the legitimacy of a child, in which a boy of 18 was being accused of being the father, when in fact the child in question may have been the illegitimate child of an English "gentleman." The letters were laid into the section of the manuscript (item #8 above) of medical jurisprudence titled "Law of England relative to Legitimacy."
-Sir John Forbes FRCP FRS (1787-1861) was a distinguished Scottish physician, famous for his translation of the classic French medical text De L'Auscultation Mediate by René Laennec, the inventor of the stethoscope, and physician to Queen Victoria from 1841–61. Forbes first moved to Chichester in 1822, where he successfully combined private medical practice with his hospital work at the new Infirmary, which he helped to build. On 15 October 1840, John Forbes resigned as senior physician at Chichester Infirmary and moved to London where he eventually became the physician to Queen Victoria. The letter is docketed on verso "Dr. Forbes, M.D. / Chichester."
24. 1 letter, 1 pp., signed, dated 7 October 1848, written by Mr. Noyes of 42 Moorgate St., to Alfred Swaine Taylor, asking for a "testimonial" so that he may get a job as the Sanitary Officer in the city where he is writing from (not given, probably London). The verso was used by Taylor as scrap paper for notes on chemistry.
Printed Works by Taylor with Manuscript Annotations:
25. A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence. London 1844. First edition. Being a revision of Taylor's 'Elements of Medical Jurisprudence' (1836), contemporary half calf, marbled boards, spine detaching. octavo, xiv, 679,  pp., notes in Taylor's hand to half title and verso of final leaf, and with marginal annotations throughout.
26. A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence. London 1849 (manuscript note in Taylor's hand
"Pbd. Nov. 9. 1848"), third edition. octavo, xx, 849,  pp., author's signature on title page, notes on front blanks and some marginal annotations.
27. A Manual of Medical Jurisprudence. London 1854, fifth edition, contemporary half calf, marbled boards. octavo, xx, 935,  pp., [1 pp. corrigendum], author's signature and address on title page, annotations on front blank and a few in the text.
28. Aikin, Arthur and Taylor, Alfred S. 'Syllabus of A Course of Chemical Lectures delivered at Guy's Hospital'. London: Jeffery, George Yard, Lombard Street, 1839, contemporary diced calf, octavo, measures 22 cm x 14 cm, 77 pp., interleaved with 64 pp. of Taylor's manuscript notes, some illustrations, also text annotations; front flyleaf has inscribed "23 Lectures from No 12 /39 to Jan'y 7th / 40 inclusive," then lists the names of the lectures, also mentions of lectures for 1843.
29. Thermometrical Table on the Scales of Fahrenheit, Centigrade and Réaumur comprising the most remarkable phenomena Chemical and Physiological, connected with Temperature, by Alfred S. Taylor, Lecturer on Chemistry in Guy's Hospital. London 1845 Published by T. Willats…," single folded printed sheet, measures 31 cm x 50 cm, inscribed in Taylor's hand to upper margin, 'additions to January 1845' and with a number of Taylor's manuscript annotations. Five copies are listed on WorldCat.
Taylor spent four years working on this table, which is a comparative temperature scale for Fahrenheit, Centigrade and a popular European scale Réaumur. The paper thermometer was designed to obviate the necessity for those perplexing calculations required to work out the different methods used in Britain and on the Continent. Taylor heavily annotated his scale to convey information on numerous interesting points, connected with temperature in relation to Climatology, Physical Geography, Chemistry and Physiology. [Barrell "Fatal Evidence" pp.48]
Drawings, Engravings, Microscopy Slides, Scrapbook, and Miscellaneous Ephemera
30. [Scrapbook] The Medical Practitioners' Visiting List, and Register of Engagements for 1849, tall 8vo, measures 10 cm x 25 cm, 77 pp. with newspaper clippings pasted in relating to the Regent's Park Explosion, which occurred 2 October 1874 and Taylor's manuscript notes referring to this on opposite side; clippings appear to date from October 1874, when the explosion occurred, to the trial in the summer of 1875 and have been annotated by Taylor. Taylor lived close enough to the explosion that all the windows in his home were shattered, glass flew on him while he slept, his hands and feet were cut up. Unclear if this was a case that he worked on as witness, etc.; also includes one short note to Taylor from a Mr. Jackson, concerning his brother being ill and not being able to make it to work; also includes a drawing by Taylor of the group of boats that were carrying the gunpowder that exploded.
31. Engravings Principles 2nd Ed., approximately 66 small cards and pieces of paper, with illustrations of things seen under a microscope; mostly hand-drawn pencil and ink illustrations, some are engravings, together with some prints, and Taylor's manuscript annotations, all collected between boards and tied with ribbon; given the inscription of the title of the collection on the front board (Engravings Principles 2nd Ed.); the images likely relate to the 2nd edition of Taylor's book, "The Principles and Practice of Medical Jurisprudence." The first edition came out in 1865, the second edition circa 1873. Included is one small card, measuring 6cm x 10 cm, on which is mounted a small circular photograph with a diameter of 4 cm titled "Yew leaves."
32. A large quantity of specimen slides, the majority annotated and in fitted boxes.The collection includes twelve slides in box annotated Blood, Birds, Reptiles, and Fish; twenty-four slides in box annotated Minerals, Salts, and Poisons; twenty-four slides in box annotated Blood, Human and Mammals; together with some loose slides with specimens such as animal hair and grain, and a small quantity of chemicals, research notes and measurements etc., all housed in a "mahogany box." (Inventory #: 30791)