William Stanaway – Portrait uncovered

Over this last weekend I happened to jump onto the John James Stanaway Facebook page, which Wendy set up a few years back for the revised edition of the Tides of Time (check it out if you have not visited the site yet – there is a link to the page on our Home page).

When going through the latest correspondence I can across two messages from a descendant of Harriet Clark (Sarah Clark’s sister-in-law – Harriet married George Clark). Both messages had portraits attached to them and a note stating that they were found inside Harriet Clark’s Family Photo album.

The first message contained a picture of Elizabeth Heath Clarke as a young girl with either Laura or Phoebe Stanaway sitting in a chair next to her (see link to Elizabeth’s page).

The second message had a copy of a portrait of a young man, which had a note written next it stating “probably William Stanaway”.

From Harriet Clarks album has probably William Stanaway noted against it

Portrait from Harriet Clark’s Photo Album stating “probably William Stanaway”.

I am endeavouring to contact the author of the message to get further details and perhaps arrange a meeting. In the mean time we can only speculate if this is in fact William Stanaway. We do have two William Stanaway’s – a father and son at this period of time – so potentially it could be either.

The first is William Henry Stanaway (1843-1916). We will call him William snr. We have one confirmed portrait of William snr which is of an older man and taken sometime in around 1905-1915. We also have another portrait of a younger man perhaps in his mid to late 30’s (although if is also though this could be of his son William).

We have lined these portraits up at the bottom of this post – there are some similarities in the cheek bone, jaw and foreheads.

I do wonder if this portrait is part of a set, and is in fact a portrait of William at the time of his wedding in 1871 (he was 28 years old), and that there could well be a portrait of his wife of similar size in the Harriet Clark album (Note Sarah, when she remarried after JJ’s death had similar portraits taken of her and her new husband).

I could understand that a portrait of William snr could appear in the Clark album as he was working with his father as well as he was living at Tokatoka and would have had may dealings with his step mothers family.

The second is William is William Alfred Stanaway (1875-1900) the son of William Henry Stanaway – we will call him William jnr. We do not have any pictures of this William, he died in a fire at the Aratapu lock up, aged just 25. The age of the man could fit as he looks to be out of his teens but not yet into his 30’s.

We could say that he would look similar to his father which there are some similarities of this younger man to the other portraits – cheek, chin, forehead etc

I think it maybe a stretch that Harriet Clark would have a portrait of William jnr in her album as from the age of the subject, William snr and his family had moved to the opposite side of the river and that JJ would have died some years before contact may have been less and less particularly a to a sister-in-law of a step mother.

Young William11William Stanaway 1william_henry

Of these portraits the left is the portrait found in Harriet Clark’s album, the middle is thought to be William snr (but could be William jnr) and the portrait on the right is confirmed to be that of William snr.

Your thoughts please.

5 thoughts on “William Stanaway – Portrait uncovered

    1. gregorypaulskinner Post author

      Thanks Betty – for you comments maybe we are heading in the right direction, I am still waiting to hear back from the person who posted the picture on the Facebook page, hopefully a meeting with them will provide more answers


  1. Pingback: Susan Stanaway nee Anderson (Anihana) | Captain John James Stanaway 1813 – 1874

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