Richard Worthinton Preston was a portrait photographer, and also produced photo-lithographs for publishers. He was born in Stepney, and married in Scotland in 1855 when he was a Sapper in the Royal Engineers. At that time the Ordnance Survey was connected to the Royal Engineers.
Preston was recorded in the 1861 census with his family in East Wickham, Kent. At that time the headquarters of the Royal Engineers was in Chatham, Kent. At some time in the next 2 years Preston left the Royal Engineers and started a photography studio in Southampton in partnership with Archibald Griffin Rider, who had also recently left the Royal Engineers. The Ordnance Survey was based in Southampton after 1841 and Preston and Rider may have transferred to Southampton before they left the service to start their own business. The firm was listed at Clarendon Terrace in the 1863 Southampton Directory, and another branch opened in Hammersmith, London. Preston and his family were resident in Southampton in January 1863, when a third daughter was born.
Southampton Directory Trades and Professions 1863
The business was not a success as in March 1864 the London Gazette reported that the partnership had dissolved, and that Rider had retired from it. A day later Perry's Bankrupt Gazette published a notice that Archibald Griffin Rider and Richard Worthington Preston, photographers and photo-lithographers, had filed for bankruptcy. The Hammersmith address was given for the business.
A.G Rider and R.W Preston started again independently, and Rider was a successful photographer in Southampton for many years. Preston moved to Upper Holloway where he concentrated on his photo-lithography work. In the late 1860s Preston and family moved to Kensington. His occupation was given as artist for the 1871 census. Preston died in St Mary Cray, Kent in 1880. The record of his death gave his occupation as Photographic Artist.