amateur photographer and clerk, was born in London, son of Henry Leigh Hunt and Ellen, née Simpson. He came to New South Wales in 1854 to work as chief clerk of the bullion office at the Royal Mint and soon started to practise photography as a hobby. Hunt and John Smith 's outdoor stereoscopic views taken in 1855 are believed to be the first colonial examples of this type of photograph on card. In 1857 Hunt photographed the wrecked Dunbar on which his two sisters had lost their lives.
Hunt went on photographic excursions around Sydney with William Stanley Jevons , an assayer at the Mint who wrote to his sister Lucy about one such occasion in November 1858:
Mr Hunt of the Mint agreed to go photographing with me and accordingly we started out about 2 p.m. last Saturday … for Middle Harbour, intending to camp out all night and photograph in the calm clear air of early morning. Hunt’s boat is a beautiful light skiff or wager boat named the Terror … [at Middle Head] our photographic zeal was so incited by the bold water-worn cliffs that we decided on landing my lighter apparatus, and taking them off … this was not easily done, nor, after spending an hour and a half over four trials, did we get at all a perfect photograph.
After camping overnight at Willoughby Falls, they finally managed to take photographs which satisfied them: 'Hunt has since printed and mounted one of his plates, producing a really beautiful picture, and certainly the best he has taken. My plate is smaller, and has a slight defect, but otherwise ought to turn out even better’.
In December 1858, together with other amateur photographers, including Professor John Smith , M.F. Moresby and their superior at the Mint, Captain Edward Ward , they exhibited their work at the first photographic conversazione of the Philosophical (Royal) Society of New South Wales. Then, on 22 December 1859, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that the second photographic exhibition of the Philosophical Society contained: 'Twelve views around Sydney from collodion negatives, by Mr Hunt; six large photographs (imported); [and] twenty-three stereographs, from collodion negatives by Messrs. Hunt, Jevons, Moresby and Captain Ward’.
Hunt married Mary Paul in Sydney on 25 November 1860. In 1870 he was transferred to the Melbourne Mint and remained there until appointed deputy-master of the Sydney Mint seven years later. From Sydney he sent a collection of coins and medals struck at the Mint to the 1883 Calcutta International Exhibition. He continued to be an active photographer, producing sets of panoramic cabinet cards up to 1888, his favourite subjects being exteriors and interiors of houses and Sydney’s water supply. Appointed CMG in 1888, Hunt died at Sydney on 27 September 1892.
Three photograph albums and 200 stereo cards donated to the Historic Photograph Collection at the University of Sydney came from Hunt’s collection. Most are his work but almost all his Sydney Philosophic Society colleagues are included.