Guide to the Papers of the Stanley Family (as filmed by AJCP)



National Library of Australia View Catalogue Record

Created: 2018

Collection Summary

Stanley (Family)
Papers of the Stanley Family (as filmed by the AJCP)
Date Range
1832 - 1893
Collection Number
97 items
Language of Materials
Australian Joint Copying Project
The Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP) online portal was created with the assistance of the Australian Public Service Modernisation Fund, 2017-2020. The National Library of Australia gratefully acknowledges the contribution of the other foundation AJCP partners, the State Library of New South Wales and The National Archives of the UK, and all other organisations which supported the work of the AJCP, the world's most extensive collaborative copying project, operating from 1948 to 1997.


Scope and Contents

The material filmed by the Australia Joint Copying Project includes:

Miscellaneous typescript notes on Capt. Owen Stanley collected by Adelaide Lubbock for her book Owen Stanley, including a biographical sketch and chronology of his life, and a photograph of his grave at Sydney with notes on his voyages 1837-1850, references collected from various published sources and a copy of the Stanley Family tree.

Correspondence of the Stanley Family 1837-1850 containing some original letters, some handwritten copies and typescript copies of all letters. A major part of the correspondence consists of letters between Owen Stanley and his father, Bishop Edward Stanley. There are also letters from Owen Stanley to other members of the Stanley Family. Also included are two letters from Owen Stanley to Dr J. Thomson 1846, three letters from Dr Thomson to his wife 1849-1850, and letters from Owen Stanley to C.J. Tyers 1847-1849. With the correspondence for 1849 is a manuscript copy of Owen Stanley's account of the fifth cruise of HMS Rattlesnake 3 June-2 October 1849, and a continuation of this account addressed to his sister Mary, 16 October 1849-January 1850. There are also typescript extracts from Thomas Huxley's diary of the fifth voyage of the Rattlesnake 1849-1850. It includes several references to Stanley interspersed with comments by Adelaide Lubbock.

Correspondence of Charles Stanley 1832-1849 with his family, especially his sister Catherine Stanley. They relate chiefly to his voyage to Tasmania on the Windermere and to his life in Tasmania. With this correspondence are miscellaneous sketches, maps and plans done by Stanley, some of which relate to his voyage to Tasmania.

Conditions Governing Access

Available for Access.

Conditions Governing Use

Many of the records digitised as part of the AJCP are still in copyright. Readers wishing to publish or reproduce documents should seek permission, in the first instance, from the owner of the original material.

Preferred Citation

Acknowledgement of use of this material should refer to the location of the original material and to the Australian Joint Copying Project.Items from this collection should include references to the location of the original material and to the AJCP nla.obj number, which serves as the online identifier for the digital copy.

For example: M Series: Journal of Capt. James Cook, 18 February-23 September 1770, British Library Add. MS 27885 (AJCP ref:

Archival History

Filmed at the Cheshire Record Office as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project, 1963 (AJCP Reel: M463). Original microfilm digitised as part of the NLA AJCP Online Delivery Project, 2017-2020.

Existence and Location of Originals

Cheshire Archives and Local Studies, Duke street, Chester, England.

Collection Reference DSA 1.For further information see Cheshire Record Office (

Existence and Location of Copies

The original AJCP microfilm of the records filmed from this collection is available at the National Library of Australia [] as well as other institutions holding AJCP microfilm.

Finding Aid Note

This finding aid is a revised online version of the original finding aid prepared by the Australian Joint Copying Project (AJCP), published by the National Library of Australia in 2018. The original AJCP finding aids were unpublished typescripts or photocopies available from libraries that held copies of the original microfilm.

Dates used in this finding aid refer to the date range of the records selected for filming rather than to the date range of the Series or Files.

Advisory Statement

Australian Aboriginal, Torres Strait Islander, Maori and Pacific Islander people are advised that this Finding Aid contains material and descriptive information which may be considered culturally sensitive and may cause distress, including names and images of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people now deceased. This Finding Aid contains terms that reflect authors' views or those of the historical period, but which may not be considered appropriate today. While the information may not reflect current understanding, it is provided in an historical context.


Auckland, New Zealand; Royal Navy: exploration and surveys; Genealogy and genealogies; Huxley, Thomas H.; Lubbock, Adelaide; Tasmania: maps; Maps, plans and charts; Norwich, England; Paintings, drawings, and prints: Tasmania; Papua New Guinea; Photographs; Port Essington, Northern Territory; Rattlesnake, HMS (ship); Stanley Family; Stanley, Catherine; Stanley, Charles E.; Stanley, Edward, Bishop; Stanley, Owen, Capt.; Maps, plans and charts: Tasmania; Thomson, J., Dr; Tyers, Charles J.; Royal Navy: voyages; Windemere (ship)


Originally cited in Australian Joint Copying Project Handbook. Part 8: Miscellaneous (M) Series. Third Edition, published 1998. Entry 435, p. 170.

Biographical / Historical

Edward Stanley (1779-1849) was the son of Sir John Stanley, 6th Baronet, and the brother of John Stanley, 1st Baron Stanley of Alderley. He was the rector of Alderley, Cheshire, from 1805 to 1837 and the Bishop of Norwich from 1837 until his death. He married Catherine (Kitty) Leycester and they had five children: Owen, Mary, Arthur, Catherine and Charles.

Owen Stanley (1811-1850), the eldest son of Edward and Catherine Stanley, was educated at Charterhouse and entered the Royal Naval College in 1825. He became a midshipman in 1826 and served for four years on HMS Ganges on the South American Station. In 1831 he was commissioned lieutenant and served on HMS Belvidera in the Mediterranean and on HMS Terror on an expedition to the Arctic. In 1838 he was given command of the brig Britomart, which was mostly engaged on surveying in the East Indies and on the north coast of Australia. He was in New Zealand waters in 1840 and, at the request of the governor, negotiated with the French commandant at Arakoa. Stanley was promoted to the rank of captain in 1844. In 1846 he was given command of another surveying ship, HMS Rattlesnake, which spent three years surveying the northern coasts of Australia, the Torres Strait, the southern coast of New Guinea and the Louisiade Islands. He died in March 1850, shortly after the ship returned to Sydney.

Arthur Penrhyn Stanley (1815-1881), the second son of Edward and Catherine Stanley, was educated at Rugby and Balliol College, Oxford. He was ordained as an Anglican priest in 1839. His biography of the headmaster Thomas Arnold was published in 1844. In 1856 he was appointed Professor of Ecclesiastical History at Oxford. In 1864 Stanley became Dean of Westminster and held the post for the rest of his life.

Charles Edward Stanley (1819-1849), the youngest son of Edward and Catherine Stanley, was educated at Rugby and enlisted in the Royal Engineers in 1836. He was promoted to 1st lieutenant in 1838 and captain in 1846. He served for five years in the Ionian Islands and worked on the Trigonometrical Survey of England and Wales. He married Eliza Clayton in 1846. In the same year he was appointed private secretary to Sir William Denison, the Lieutenant-Governor of Van Diemen's Land. Stanley and his wife left England with Sir William and Lady Denison in October 1846 and arrived in Hobart in January 1847. In addition to his official duties, he was active in the affairs of the Royal Society of Van Diemen's Land and other local institutions. He died suddenly in August 1849. Eliza Stanley returned to England in 1850 and died in 1901.

(Mary Katherine) Adelaide Stanley (1906-1981) was the daughter of Sir Arthur Stanley, 5th Baron Stanley, who was the Governor of Victoria in 1913-1920. She married Maurice Lubbock 1n 1926. She was the author of Australian roundabout (1963), Owen Stanley R.N. 1811-1850, Captain of the Rattlesnake (1968) and People in glasshouses: growing up at Government House (1977).

Item Descriptions

Series 1. Typescript notes on the Stanley Family by Adelaide Lubbock, 1846 - 1879

11 items

Family tree of the Stanley Family of Alderley (File)

Biographical notes and chronology of Owen Stanley's life (File)

Owen Stanley in Port Essington (3pp.) (File)

'End of the Britomart May 1843' (File)

References to Owen Stanley in Alex Chisholm. Strange new world (4pp.) (File)

Stanley in New Zealand: chronology of episodes (25pp.) (File)

Stanley in Tasmania (6pp.) (File)

Voyage of HMS Rattlesnake (8pp.), 1846 - 1850 (File)

References to Owen and Charles Stanley in Arthur Stanley's memoir of Edward and Kitty Stanley (7pp.), 1879 (File)

References to Owen Stanley in other publications (4pp.) (File)

Photograph of the grave of Owen Stanley, St Leonards, Sydney (File)

Series 2. Correspondence and manuscripts of Owen Stanley, 1837 - 1850

48 items

Some of the letters and documents are the originals, while others are fair manuscript copies. In addition, there are typescript copies of all the documents. The typescripts sometimes have footnotes or comments inserted, presumably by Adelaide Lubbock.

Owen Stanley (Lough Swilly, Ireland) to his cousin William Stanley, 3 September 1837 (File)

Admiral Francis Beaufort (London) to Bishop Edward Stanley, 8 Sept. [1837] (File)

Lady Bremer (Plymouth) to Catherine Stanley, 6 November 1839 (File)

Quotes letter from Sir Gordon Bremer at Port Essington; news of Owen Stanley and HMS Britomart in East Indies.

Owen Stanley (Akaroa, New Zealand) to his family, 24 August 1840 (File)

Voyage to Bay of Islands; arrival of French emigrants; New Zealand scenery; death of Capt. Croker at Tonga.

Owen Stanley to Mrs Phipps Hornby, 17 November 1840 (File)

Voyage to Bay of Islands; refusal of French to acknowledge William Hobson as Governor of New Zealand; wreck of the Buffalo. (extracts)

Bishop Edward Stanley. Account of his ascent of Mount Snowden, Wales, 20 October 1842 (File)

Owen Stanley (Harwich) to his uncle Lord Stanley, 17 February 1846 (File)

Owen Stanley (Harwich) to Lord Stanley, 29 June 1846 (File)

Owen Stanley (HMS Rattlesnake) to his cousin Louisa Stanley, 17 October 1846 (File)

Preparations for the voyage of HMS Rattlesnake; refers to lieutenants Robert Suckling, Price and Joseph Dayman and surgeons John Thomson and Thomas Huxley.

Owen Stanley to Louisa Stanley, 4 November 1846 (File)

Pleased with the officers appointed to the ship; the quality of the young midshipmen.

Owen Stanley to John Thomson, 10 June, 21 Aug. 1846 (File)

Thomson's appointment as surgeon; offers to introduce him to Sir William Hooker.

Bishop Edward Stanley (Norwich) to his brother Lord Stanley, 15 January 1847 (File)

Bishop Edward Stanley (London) to Owen Stanley, 18 March 1847 (File)

Visit to Southampton to farewell Arthur Stanley; no news of Sir John Franklin and his expedition.

Owen Stanley (Sydney) to Charles Tyers, 28 August 1847 (File)

Trouble with tenders Bramble and Castlereagh; Rattlesnake 'is very comfortable'; enjoyment of returning to Sydney; visit to Twofold bay to determine the site of a customs house; mutual friends.(Copy)

Bishop Edward Stanley (Norwich) to his son Owen Stanley, 17 October 1847 (File)

Visit of the singer Jenny Lind to Norwich; invitation to Sir James Brooke of Sarawak; need for Stanley to keep Admiral Beaufort informed of the ship's movements; meeting with Edmund Strzelecki; letters from Charles Stanley in Van Diemen's Land; reference to Owen Stanley in the Quarterly Review.

Bishop Edward Stanley (Norwich) to Owen Stanley, 25 December 1847 (File)

Meeting with Sir James Ross; fate of Sir John Franklin; death of Archbishop of York; financial matters; possibility of promotion for Lieut. Robert Suckling.

Bishop Edward Stanley (Norwich) to Owen Stanley, 29 January 1848 (File)

Bishop Edward Stanley (Norwich) to Owen Stanley, 20 March 1848 (File)

Owen Stanley's letters; Lieut. Robert Suckling; receipt of birds and shells; revolution in France.

Owen Stanley (Sydney) to his family, 7 April 1848 (File)

Exploring expedition on north-east coast led by Edmund Kennedy; Stanley's advice to Governor FitzRoy.

Chronology of the Kennedy expedition (File)

Typescript, 2pp.

Owen Stanley (Cumberland Islands, Rockingham Bay) to Bishop Edward Stanley and to his sister Mary Stanley, 17 May 1848 (File)

The extract of the letter to Edward talks about the voyage to Rockingham Bay. The extract of Mary's letter refers to the landing of Kennedy's party; encounters with Indigenous Australians.

Bishop Edward Stanley (London) to Owen Stanley, 29 June 1848 (File)

Revolution in France; possible resignation of Lord John Russell; receipt of boxes of birds and insects.

Bishop Edward Stanley (Norwich) to Owen Stanley, 25 December 1848 (File)

Ipswich Museum dinner; frigate birds; award of C.B. to Edmund Strzelecki; exhibition of electric light; financial matters.

Bishop Edward Stanley (Alderley Park) to his wife Catherine Stanley, 16 February 1849 (File)


Owen Stanley (Sydney) to Charles Tyers, 7 May 1849 (File)

Plans to explore Cape York reef; magnetic observations.

Owen Stanley (Moreton Bay) to Louisa Stanley, 15 May 1849 (File)

Work on charts of Torres Strait; promises to send an account of his adventures with New Guinea people; brief meeting in Sydney with Charles Stanley.

Bishop Edward Stanley (London) to Owen Stanley, 3 June 1849 (File)

Sends note from Sir Francis Beaufort; Edmund Strzelecki and Lady Franklin; despatch of books.

Bishop Edward Stanley to Owen Stanley, 29 June 1849 (File)

News of death of Edmund Kennedy; visit by Capt. Phillip P. King.

Bishop Edward Stanley (London) to his niece Louisa Stanley, 14 July 1849 (File)

Rev. Arthur Stanley (Dingwell) to [Owen Stanley], 7 September 1849 (File)

Death of their father Edward Stanley.

Maria Hare to Louisa Stanley, 21 September 1849 (File)

Funeral of Bishop Stanley.

H. Grey to Catherine Stanley, n.d. (File)

Death of Bishop Stanley.

Owen Stanley (Cape York) to Miss Tunno, 5 October 1849 (File)

Magnificent view of mountains of New Guinea in setting sun; quotes Sir Walter Scott.

Owen Stanley (Cape York) to Lord Stanley, 5 October 1849 (File)

Exploration of Louisiade Archipelago and southern coast of New Guinea; treachery of natives; mountains and gorges in New Guinea; dangerous shoals. (extract)

Private journal of Owen Stanley on fifth cruise of HMS Rattlesnake, 3 June 1849 - 2 October 1849 (File)

Probably written for his sisters Mary and Catherine. (54pp.)

Owen Stanley (Cape York) to his sister Mary Stanley, 16 October 1849 - January 1850 (File)

Account of cruise of HMS Rattlesnake; rescue of white woman Barbara Thompson living with Australian Aboriginals; encounters with Indiginous Australians; visits to Mount Ernest and Darnley Islands. (14pp.)

Owen Stanley to Charles Tyers, 22 December 1849 (File)

Explorations of Louisiade Archipelago and coast of New Guinea; charting of Torres Strait; rescue of Barbara Thompson; collection of weapons; Stanley's illness. The final portion of the letter was written in Sydney in March 1850.

Thomas Huxley. Account of the 5th cruise of HMS Rattlesnake, 8 May 1849 - 16 October 1849 (File)

Typed extracts, 31pp.

Thomas Huxley. Account of the 5th cruise of HMS Rattlesnake and the discovery of Barbara Thompson, 16 October 1849 - 7 February 1850 (File)

Typed extracts, 10pp.

Oswald Brierly. Account of passing through the coral reefs of Louisiade Archipelago (4pp.), June 1850 (File)

John Thomson (Sydney) to his wife Mary Thomson, 5 March 1850 (File)

Refers to deteriorating relations between Capt. Owen Stanley and his officers. (extract)

John Thomson (Cape York) to Mary Thomson, 9 October 1849 (File)

Louisiade Archipelago; exasperating prudence or cowardice of Capt. Stanley in refusing to explore interior of New Guinea; survey has added nothing to chart of Dumont D'Urville. (extract)

John Thomson (Sydney) to Mary Thomson, February 1850 (File)

Illness of Capt Stanley; distress arising from deaths of his father and brother; his petulance and discourtesy to his officers. (extract)

Thomas Huxley (London) to John Thomson, 31 March 1851 (File)

News from Australia; publication of John MacGillivray's account of the voyage of HMS Rattlesnake. (typescript copy)

Owen Stanley (Sydney) to his family, 1 March 1850 (File)

Illness; sad news received on reaching Sydney; letters from home and also from Eliza Stanley [in Hobart]; hopes for a shore appointment. (extracts)

G. B. Griffiths (Sydney) to Sir Francis Beaufort, 14 March 1850 (File)

Death of Capt. Owen Stanley; Stanley's pleasure in receiving a letter from Beaufort.

Robert King (Sydney) to Mary Stanley, 14 March 1850 (File)

Death of Capt. Owen Stanley.

Epitaph of Bishop Edward Stanley and his sons Charles and Owen Stanley (File)

Series 3. Typescript notes on Charles Stanley by Adelaide Lubbock and maps and drawings

9 items

Notes and extracts from Life and letters of Dean Stanley (2pp.), 1893 (File)

Extracts from Nancy Mitford. The Ladies of Alderley (3pp.) (File)

Extracts from manuscript diary of George Boyes (1p.) (File)

Extracts from diary of Thomas Huxley (1p.) (File)

Sketch maps by Charles Stanley, including the route of the Windermere on its voyage from England to Van Diemen's Land (File)

Drawings by Charles Stanley (File)

Sketch map of Norwich (File)

Drawing of the Windermere and the American barque Wallace (File)

Sketches made on board the Windermere (File)

Series 4. Correspondence and manuscripts of Charles E. Stanley, 1832 - 1849

30 items

In addition to the original letters and other documents, there are typescript copies made by Adelaide Lubbock. They occasionally contain explanatory notes or comments.

Catherine Stanley (Alderley) to Julius Hare, 2 February 1832 (File)

Charles Stanley (London) to his sister Catherine Stanley, 4 March 1837 (File)

Life at Brompton Barracks; new acquaintances.

Charles Stanley (Preston) to Catherine Stanley, 26 January 1844 (File)


Charles Stanley (Preston) to Catherine Stanley, 21 February 1844 (File)

Horse; hunting.

Charles Stanley to Catherine Stanley, 21 September 1844 (File)

Marriage proposal to Eliza Clayton.

Journal of Charles Stanley on the Windermere on the voyage from Spithead to Madeira en route to Van Diemen's Land (12pp.), 16 October 1846 - 1 November 1846 (File)

Charles Stanley (Windermere) to his family, 30 October 1846 (File)

Voyage; gales in the English Channel; fellow-passengers; Eliza Stanley 'will never make a good sailor'.

Charles Stanley (Windermere) to his brother Capt. Owen Stanley, 31 October 1846 (File)

Voyage; gales; good relations with Sir William and Lady Denison.

Charles Stanley (Madeira) to Capt. Owen Stanley, 2 November 1846 (File)

Arrival at Madeira; scenery; meetings with Lowe and Gordon families.

Eliza Stanley (Hobart) to her mother-in-law Catherine Stanley, 26 January 1847 (File)

Arrival in Hobart; official welcome to Sir William Denison; Sir John Eardley Wilmot living in cottage assigned to Stanleys; Government House.

Charles Stanley (Hobart) to his family, 27 Jan. 1846 [ie. 1847] (File)

Voyage; Sir William Denison contradictory and argumentative; Lady Denison kind but formal; their ill-disciplined children; insolence of the governess Miss Webb; improved health of Eliza Stanley; death of Sir John Eardley Wilmot.

Charles Stanley (Hobart) to his sister Catherine Stanley, 16 February 1847 (File)

Death of Sir John Eardley Wilmot; first impressions of Hobart; fern trees; eucalyptus; fruit and vegetables; climate.

Charles Stanley (Hobart) to Catherine Stanley, 16 February 1847 (File)

Life at Government House; kindness of Denisons; believes voyage and climate have suited Eliza.

Eliza Stanley to her sister-in-law Mary Stanley, 18 February 1847 (File)

Unofficial ADC during absence of Sir William Denison and Andrew Clarke; intricacy of colonial society; invitations to parties will cause great difficulties; improved health; climate; beauty of gardens; bushfires; acquisition of a pony.

Eliza Stanley to her mother-in-law Catherine Stanley, [March 1847] (File)

Appointment of a housemaid, butler and groom; relations with the Denisons; the move into their new home; receipt of letters; departure of the Windermere. (incomplete)

Eliza Stanley (Hobart) to her sister-in-law Catherine Stanley, 24 March 1847 (File)

Receipt of letters; Charles Stanley visiting convict stations with Sir William Denison; behaviour of governess Miss Webb; hopes of Owen Stanley visiting Hobart; Lieut. Joseph Kay; new acquaintances.

Charles Stanley (Hobart) to his sister Catherine Stanley, 13 March 1847 (File)

New cottage; views of harbour; horses.

Charles Stanley. Account of a visit with Sir William Denison and John Hampton to the convict stations on Tasman Peninsula, including Port Arthur, 23 March 1847 (File)

7pp. [Addressed to Bishop Edward Stanley]

Charles Stanley to Catherine Stanley, 26 April 1847 (File)

Approach of first wedding anniversary; vulgarity and forwardness of Miss Webb; Mrs Meyer at New Norfolk.

Charles Stanley to Bishop Edward Stanley, n.d. (File)

Sends account of tour of Tasman Peninsula; garden.

Charles Stanley (HMS Rattlesnake) to his mother Catherine Stanley, 13 July 1847 (File)

Holiday cruise; difficulties of working with Sir William Denison; his violent temper and superficial knowledge; Lady Denison has changed for the worse; improved health of Eliza; Owen Stanley's relations with Charles Denison and his officers.

Charles Stanley (Hobart) to his sister Catherine Stanley, December 1847 (File)

Weather; a walk to a waterfall on Mount Wellington; Hobart Regatta; size and quality of cherries; dogs; arrival of the Windermere; report of death of Lady Mary FitzRoy in Sydney.

Charles Stanley (Hobart) to his mother Catherine Stanley, 16 June 1848 (File)

Anxiety about events in Europe; complaints about continuance of convict transportation; birth of a son to Lady Denison; departure of John P. Gell and Francis Simpkinson.

Charles Stanley (Hobart) to his brother Rev. Arthur Stanley, 6 October 1848 (File)

Progress of Christ College; replacement of J.P. Gell as warden by Frederick Cox; Bishop F.R. Nixon not judicious or wise in his public capacity; hopes of colonists for a representative assembly.

Bishop Edward Stanley (Norwich) to Charles Stanley, 25 December 1848 (File)

Scientific societies; dinner for Edmund Strzelecki; financial matters; expects John Gell will marry Eleanor Franklin; no news of Franklin expedition; discussions about electric light.

Account of a visit by Charles and Eliza Franklin to Tullochgoram, the home of the Grant Family, including stops at Oatlands, Campbelltown and Avoca (12pp.), February 1849 (File)

Charles Stanley (Hobart) to his sister Catherine Stanley, 22 February 1849 (File)

Decision of Capt. Denison to return to England; 'an extremely unsociable man'; news of Owen Stanley; theft of a yacht owned by Bishop F.R. Nixon.

Bishop Edward Stanley (Norwich) to Charles Stanley, April 1849 (File)

Death of aunt Gibson; Ruck murder case.

Charles Stanley (Hobart) to his sister Catherine Stanley, 30 June 1849 (File)

Cruise; neglect of Eliza by Lady Denison; death of their grandmother; Jenny Lind; Bishop F.R. Nixon; Francis Simpkinson; Magdalene Society in Hobart.