Inside the front cover of Louisa's Album are two very decorative pages, as can be seen in the images above. It would appear that they were probably hand-drawn, then printed onto the first two pages of the album.
For ages, I was curious as to whom might have drawn this and who it might have been printed by. It was only after scanning the page, that I noticed some very tiny writing at the bottom left of the "Album" page that read: "Illuminated by Samuel Stanesby". The picture to the left is a blown up version of what appears on the original scan. Curiosity then got the better of me and so I decided to see if perhaps I could establish whom this Samuel might have been.
This didn't appear to be too difficult when I tried looking at the 1881 census. There was only one Samuel STANESBY in Surrey and with his occupation being given as an "Artist Portrait Painter", he seems to fit the bill perfectly for the artist of these lovely pages - so I think that is very likely that he is the person who provided the artwork in the front of Louisa's Album. To date, I have found no known family connection between Mr. STANESBY and Louisa ROADWAY and her family.
According to the 1881 census, Samuel STANESBY was born in Derby around 1830 but by the time he was around 26 had married a girl by the name of Elizabeth and set up home in Kensington in Middlesex, where the six children shown in the census appear to have been born. The family presumably lived in Kensington at least between 1856 and 1868, but then sometime afterwards moved away. In the 1881 census the family were living at 20 Gowrie Road, Battersea, Surrey.
|Sex||Age||Occupation||Place of Birth|
|Samuel STANESBY||Head||M||M||51||Artist Portrait Painter||Derby, Derbyshire|
|Elizabeth STANESBY||Wife||M||F||52||Risley, Bedford|
|Frank M. STANESBY||Son||U||M||22||Commercial Traveller||Kensington, Middlesex|
|Caroline E. STANESBY||Daur||U||F||25||Kensington, Middlesex|
|Albert E. STANESBY||Son||U||M||17||Assistant City Warehouse (Man)||Kensington, Middlesex|
|Alice M. STANESBY (Twin)||Daur||F||16||Kensington, Middlesex|
|Beatrice M. STANESBY (Twin)||Daur||F||16||Kensington, Middlesex|
|Edwin D. A. STANESBY||Son||M||13||Scholar||Kensington, Middlesex|
|Ethel M. STANESBY||Grand-Daur||F||3||Battersea, Surrey|
A search of the Internet for the name Samuel STANESBY and I was surprised to find a number of mentions on websites where books are for sale. Certainly between 1857 and 1865, a Samuel STANESBY illuminated eleven books for the book publishers Griffin and Farran. So if the above is the same Samuel, mentioned in these books, it would appear that he was a was a well known illuminator and illustrator of books during Victorian times.
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