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Montague Stanley

1809 - 1844

Minor artist and actor. Born in Dundee, with a father in the Royal Navy, Stanley was taken the New York at an early age. His father died while he was still an infant and his mother married again causing a move to Nova Scotia and eventually Kingston (Jamaica), where his step-father died. He had shown an early talent for acting and, on the return of the family to Britain, made this his profession. He appeared at the Edinburgh Theatre in 1828 but soon after took up art. He retired from the stage in 1838 and became an artist of some note, contributing to the annual exhibitions of the Royal Scottish Academy. He also taught art in Edinburgh but, in 1843, decided to spend most of his time in Bute. Soon after he fell ill and died at Ascog, where he lies buried. While several of his paintings were adapted as book illustrations, sadly little of his original work survives. After his death his widow sent much of his output to be auctioned in Edinburgh. The railway van caught fire and his paintings and sketches were destroyed.

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