Henry Charles Malden (1829-1907) was one of the earliest persons to take up photography as a hobby, and the earliest photograph of Godalming High Street was one taken by him, signed and dated July 1854 when he was 25. Malden must have visited Godalming, as it was not until 1897 that he came to live in Godalming and was here until he died in 1907.
Malden was born in 1829, the eldest son of Lieutenant C R Malden, RN. He was educated at his father’s preparatory school for boys at Windlesham House, Brighton, which had been founded by his father in 1837. He succeeded to the headmastership on the death of his father in 1855, resigning the school to his son in 1888. His picture is from a painting of him which hung at Windlesham House School.
In 1848, at Trinity College, Cambridge, Malden chaired a meeting with representatives from public schools who all had different rules for playing football so that they had to agree whose rules they were to play under at each game. At the meeting The ‘Cambridge Football Rules’ were drawn up and 15 years later The Football Association, at its formation in 1863, adopted the Cambridge Rules. Malden graduated in 1851. “Very satisfactorily they worked,” Malden said, “for it is right to add that they were loyally kept, and I never heard of any public school man who gave up playing from not liking the rules.
Malden married in 1855 Euphremia Margaret Scott who died in 1862 and secondly in 1865 Catherine Walters who died in 1923.
He came to Godalming in 1897 and in 1901 was made a Town Councillor; and a Justice of the Peace in 1904. He was a keen antiquarian and instrumental in restoring the Godalming Parish Registers. He edited and wrote the forward to the Parish Registers for the period 1582-1688 published in 1904. Volume 1 (1582-1626) was in paper folio, a copy from an older book, as it was in the handwriting of several persons, who took it in turns to copy. Volume 11 (1626-1654) was also of paper in contemporary handwriting but in a tattered and torn condition. Volume 111 (1653-1688) was in a good order. He wrote “I hope all the names have been correctly deciphered, but in some parts the writing is most difficult to read.”
Malden died at Copse Lodge, Peperharow Road, and was buried in Nightingale Cemetery. The burial register recorded he was a gentleman.
The inscription reads:-
HERE RESTS TILL THE LORD COME
THE BODY OF
HENRY CHARLES MALDEN, M.A.
TOWN COUNCILLOR, JUSTICE OF THE PEACE
MAJOR 1st V.B. ROYAL SUSSEX REGT
BORN 24TH FEBRUARY 1829
DIED 13TH JUNE 1907