Walter Donald Angier the ARTIST 1878-1935.

This is a Blog and some family history about one of my Christmas gifts from a lovely friend, it’s such a beautiful hand coloured CDV by the photographer William Pankhurst Marsh I found some information about him on Photo History Sussex. ‘He was born on 9th October 1850, the son of William Marsh senior, (a victualler and tea dealer of Dover ) and Charlotte Sinclair who were married in Dover 1847. Two of the couple’s sons William Pankhurst Marsh (born 1850, Dover) and Henry Marsh (born c1851, Dover) both became photographers.
W P Marsh trained as a photographer in the famous studio of Sarony & Co. of Scarborough. Oliver Sarony (1820-1879), a Canadian-born photographer, had established a photographic portrait studio in Scarborough, a fashionable seaside resort, in 1857. The studio was a great success and Sarony & Co. employed a large number of photographers, artists and miniature painters at the firm’s magnificent business premises at Gainsborough House, Scarborough.
By 1878, W. P. Marsh had moved into a new studio in a prime location on Bognor’s seafront. The studio was situated on the eastern side of Waterloo Square, between Bognor’s Fire Station and The Beach Hotel, and faced the Pier and a popular stretch of a Bognor’s beach
.’ Photo History Sussex:

Named and Dated! Walter Donald Angier 1879.

Walter Donald Angier. 11 months old in July 1879. I found a match very quickly and indeed Walter was born in August 1878 to Father Athelstan Alfred Angier and Mother Henrietta Blanche (Story) they had married on 17 September 1873 just a month before their first child Jessie Ethel Clara Angier was born, sadly her death was also registered in the same month. What an awful start to their marriage. On 3 Jun 1875 they had a son Edgar and then Walter came next in 1878 and his birth was registered in Kingston, Surrey. Lastly they had a daughter Vera Dorothy in 1881. Walter was part of a very interesting family and he certainly made the headlines himself too!

Walter Donald Angier timeline:

13 Oct 1878. Baptised at St Mary, East Molesey, Surrey. Father described as a Ship Owner.
July 1881. Birth of sister Vera Dorothy Angier (1881-1960 )

In the 1891 census he’s a Scholar at Rossall School, Rossall, Thornton, Fleetwood, Blackpool, Lancashire. Charles Coverdale Tancock aged 39 a Clerk in Holy Orders, a Licensed Preacher was the Headmaster.
30 Nov 1892. Death of his father Athelstan Alfred Angier (1845-1892)
31 March 1901. Lived in Glamorgan Road, Hampton Wick. Lived with his Mother and siblings, Brother Edgar and Sister Vera. Both the brothers were Ship Brokers Clerks.
27 Jul 1903. Marriage to Ethel Maud Cobbett at All Souls Church, St Marylebone, London. He is described as a Gentleman. His father Athelston Alfred Angier (deceased) Shipping Owner. Walter giving his address as Langham Chambers.
10 Jul 1904. Walter arrived back in Liverpool, England from New York, travelling on his own, likely a business trip.
The following year sees Walter arriving back in America. Arriving on 8 Jun 1905. And there is very likely an excellent reason for his escape to America as a Petition had been filed by his wife Ethel on the 23 May 1905 at the Court in the Royal Courts of Justice, Strand, Middlesex. Walter had left for America on 30 May 1905.

Hitting the Headlines!

On the Divorce papers the ‘Setting down ‘ was on 7 June 1905 and ‘Decree’ dated 24 July 1905. His wife Ethel was after him, she wanted him to return to her (letter explains more, further down) applying for an order for him to return to her and to give her her conjugal rights back! The Divorce papers make really interesting reading:

Just sharing a few pages from Ancestry of the Divorce preceedings (Above) including the interesting letter that Ethel presented to the court (Below)explaining what happened.
Meanwhile Walter was staying at the luxurious Holland House Hotel in New York!

This is just one description I have read: ‘The list of Holland House guests was a veritable who’s who of society, business, and politics from here and abroad. U.S. presidents, lords and ladies of England, ambassadors, governors, senators, congressmen, famous authors and artists, archbishops and cardinals, members of the House of Commons, actors and actresses‘ It seems Walter wasn’t interested at all in his wife or the survival of his marriage.

Continuing Walter’s Timeline on 2 March 1906 he arrived back in New York but this time he had a lady travelling with him, an Evelyn May Angier? Described as his wife! No! it was not! and I have found no record of the lady at all. Same initials as his wife Ethel Maud but a ruse. Very naughty! In 1907 he was still living at 62 Carlton Mansions, Paddington North and then in the summer of 1907, reported in the London Gazette on 2 Jul 1907 that he split with his business partner, they were Engineer’s Agents.

Ethel finally gave up the fight for her husband and marriage in 1908 with the Divorce Final decree dated 14 Dec 1908.

Walter is accused of Desertion and Adultery in 1908.

The next record I found of Walter is on the passenger list for July 1923 arriving back in Southampton coming from Quebec, Canada. Proposed address was given as 15 Monmouth Road, Bayswater, London. He was travelling 3rd Class and is described as a Merchant. Aged 49 and Canada was listed as his last permanent residence now to be England. He was not travelling with anyone. So had he just visited Canada for business or did he live there for a few years? I had to know….so I just put in Walter Donald Angier and Canada in the Search Box and wow I came up trumps! Notice of a marriage on on Ancestry! As I haven’t got a subscription to that, I quickly registered for a FREE 7 Day trial. So pleased I did as there were 2 articles:

He got married again!!!!!! Note: ‘American Beauty‘ is a deep pink rose.
It was a splendid Wedding wasn’t it. Charlotte’s father was a Tailor both her parents were originally from Scotland. The Bishops were her sister Jennie/Jean (married Samuel Bishop) and her daughter.

After reading the account above we now know also that he came home to his mother’s address 15 Monmouth Road, Bayswater, London. His Mum Henrietta died in 1930, did he live with her till then? I wonder what happened with his second marriage? It didn’t even last a year by the look of these records. So it would seem he deserted his second wife Charlotte just has he had his first wife Ethel. I wonder what happened to Charlotte? research for another time I think.

This was also on the same page of the Newspaper mentioning Walter’s uncle, more on him later.

So what happened to Walter between 1923 and 1935……..I found a likely death for him in Falmouth, Cornwall in July 1935 aged 57. Had he moved down to Cornwall or was he just visiting? Very tempting to send for his death certificate…….maybe

BUT After looking through all the records I then found this report in the British Newspaper Archives which confuses things but definitely saved me from sending for a death certificate!

After searching through the various records on different sites I found this 1931 Electoral Roll record on Find My Past, I bought a few credits 60 for 8.95, just in case I might need them. This was worth it as it confirmed that a Walter Donald Angier was in Cornwall in 1931! Did he decide on a new life after his Mum died in 1930?

So the dilemma I have now is…….is that death record of Walter Donald (Adrian) Angier the Artist the death record of my Walter Donald Angier are they one and the same person? I have followed up on so many records and links to try and confirm or deny whether these two gentlemen match I feel totally fuddled! The first record I can find about Artist Walter this reference to him being in Cornwall in 1931 on Find My Past, then mentioned in that Newspaper report on his death in 1935 as arriving at that particular location in 1933 (that we now know was 1931) as an Artist. No records on the Artist Walter before this date here in UK or in America. Looking up what different sites have said about Walter the Artist they say he was born in 1878 likely in America, one site said he retained his American citizenship when he came to the UK. Another record has another Walter Donald Angier an Artist b1900-d1972, have found nothing at all to confirm this man either in any records, unless someone used this name as an alias. The works of art on the internet all seem to have just the one name attached Walter Donald Angier (no Adrian) Another source says he was part of the Angier Chemical/Pharmaceutical Company. Looking at the family of that company there is no match at all. The President of the company did have a son called Donald but different birth date etc etc, no connection.

This is just one example on Art Blog Website, nobody knows who he was it seems.

So after searching all possible sites I can’t find any other births in America or in the UK of another Walter Donald (Adrian) Angier at all. I do have the details of the registration and baptism of my Walter. But I cannot find another death record in that name. Definitely no births anywhere with Adrian as a middle name. Plus the very strange thing is that although this Artist Walter died in Cornwall he was buried in Brookwood Cemetery, Brookwood in Surrey. Now isn’t that puzzling? Did another family member bring him back to Surrey after his death? So basically no record of Artist Walter before 1931 and no record of my Walter after 1930, just too much of a coincidence isn’t it. This then is the same man, who decided he wanted to live a peaceful simple life in Cornwall after all the turmoil and excitement. What do you think? Am I right?….. Oh yes I am! Yay!…..I kept searching and decided to go back to Family Search where I had found his record of burial and look through for any other Angier family burials at Brookwood Cemetery and yes! they were all there, his Mum Henrietta Blanche Angier buried 18 Nov 1930, His Father Athelstan Alfred Angier buried 3 Dec 1892, his uncle Sir Theodore Vivian Samuel Angier buried 13 April 1935, Linda Beresford Angier, Sir Theodore’s first wife buried 4 September 1890. Still don’t know where the Adrian came from, but we can’t win them all.

As you can see Walter was at the Meadow Studio, now known as the Anchor Studio, here’s some info about the studio from the website Anchor Studio was constructed in 1888 as a purpose-built studio for Stanhope Forbes, the father of the Newlyn School, and the most commercially and critically successful member of the Newlyn art colony‘…………’in 1897 Forbes and his wife Elizabeth, set up the Newlyn School of Painting which was also known as the Forbes School. The School ran until about 1940‘……….It was originally called Meadow Studio, and was probably renamed Anchor Studio by John Wells in 1949 because of the presence of a large anchor next to the building‘. UPDATE: I had an email from a lovely chap Chris concerning the Meadow Studio, I hadn’t realised there were two! He said Meadow Studio (now Anchor Studio) is in Newlyn and there is no record of Walter being there. My electoral roll & newspaper article is St Ives (my error getting St Ives and Newlyn mixed up!)so he thinks it could have been a Studio called Meadow Studio along ‘The Meadow’ St Ives and he’s pointed me in the direction of a Cornish Historian who has written books about the Artists and area around here in St Ives, so have sent off an email to him, so fingers crossed I might have more information about Walter very soon.

Matt Cocking’s Corner

So back to 1911 and his ex wife Ethel in the 1911 census describes herself as a Widow (more respectable than a Divorcee) and a Dramatics Student. I wonder if she made a success of the acting? She is living with her widowed Mum and sister Alice Cobbett who was single and described as a Playwright. See below. Although I haven’t found any plays she wrote I have found she edited and published some of her fathers work and also published her own work.

After I discovered Ethel and her sister Alice on here above, I had to research further and was astonished by what I found, so interesting and enabled me to add a little more to their family tree.

COBBETT, ALICE [MARY VIOLET] (1872 – 29 Jan 1942) 1930s Daughter of Victorian sports journalist Martin Richard Cobbett. Author of two novels— Somehow Lengthened (1932), which freely adapts Jane Austen’s unfinished novel Sanditon, and A Tale of Treasons (1937), about which information is lacking. Blogger Deborah Yaffe wrote about the former, noting that Cobbett’s version of Austen’s story includes “a Caribbean love potion, a kidnapping, a near race riot, a blindfold nighttime journey over rough terrain, a smuggling gang, a dying prostitute, and a filthy-rich countess with a philanthropic bent” but also concluding that it’s “quite a lot of fun.” I found this on the website The Blog by Deborah Yaff mentioned above is here:

This is one of the fabulous things about researching and why it always takes me so long to write a Blog, I often get sidetracked! Ending up going down winding pathways that are so interesting I can’t stop! Some often lead to nowhere and some you just have to save for another day, but some you can’t resist, that’s the beauty of Family History.

Walters parents were Athelstan Alfred Angier who was born in Jul 1845 in London City, Middlesex, England as the third child of Samuel Haynes Angier and Elizabeth Ann Morton. He had five siblings, namely: Jane Eliza, Theodore Vivian Samuel Sir, Louisa Ellen, Jesse Annie, and Walter Frederick Sherwood. When he was 28, he married Henrietta Blanche Story, daughter of Henry Story and Jane Angelica Dixson, on 17 Sep 1873 in St John, Paddington, England. He died on 30 Nov 1892 in Middlesex, England. Henrietta died on 14 Nov 1930.

Athelstan Alfred Angier and Henrietta Blanche Story had the following children:

Jessie Ethel Clara Angier was born in Oct 1873 in Kensington, Middlesex, England. She died in Oct 1873 in Kensington, Middlesex, England.
Edgar Athelstan Vivian Angier was born on 03 Jun 1875 in East Molesey, Surrey, England. He married Mary Abell on 18 Sep 1913 in St John the Baptist, Huntley, Gloucestershire, England (Looked up to 1921 and have found no children of the couple. Banns for their marriage were read in St John the Baptist at Hampton Wick, Middlesex, London.) He died on 22 Feb 1951 in Middlesex, England.
Walter Donald Angier 1878 -1935
Vera Dorothy Angier was born in Jul 1881 in East Molesey, Surrey, England. She never married or had any children that I have found. She died on 25 Jun 1960 in Oxford, England.

Walter’s brother Edgar Athelston Vivien Angier has an entry in the volunteer Royal Navy Reserves found on National Archives. Also an entry for his previous service, 2 pages, where he was a Petty Officer.

We can access these record for free at the moment & not pay £3.50. (Worth checking if there is a record that you would like to see is included in this offer) ‘We are making digital records available on our website free of charge for the time being, as our reading room service is suspended in line with National Restrictions in England. Registered users will be able to order and download up to ten items at a time, to a maximum of 100 items over 30 days‘ So easy to register too. In this 2nd record below he was an Honorary Lieutenant 10.5.19. then 14.2.20 Comm (Commission) destroyed. Thanks so much to my friend Simon at Charnwood Genealogy for his help in explaining this record and giving me more information about the Royal Navy Reserves, he pointed me in the direction of this website, a great resource :

Edgar Athelston Vivien Angier was also the person in the family to deposit the records of the ‘Fifty years freights, compiled by E.A.V. Angier, 1869-1919‘. Relating to the Angier shipping companies. These are in the Royal Museum at Greenwich. There are also many records at the National Archives of the Angier Shipping Companies. In the 1939 Register Edgar was a A Chartered Ship Broker. He was still with his wife Mary who is described as working at a First Aid Dressing Station. They lived in Twickenham. Mary died on 2 Jan 1977 at 15 Spencer Rd, East Molesey, Surrey.

National Archives. ‘Angier Brothers, steamship owners, link here: 1868-79: charter parties, freight reports‘.

Another one of Walter’s relatives Ralph has an interesting tale to tell, he was an Uncle, Half Brother of his father (Walter’s Grandfather Samuel Haynes Angier 1820-1868) was twice married, the second time just 4 years before his early death at aged 48, Ralph Haynes Fournier Angier was just three years old when his father died and brought up by his mother Augusta Fournier 1837-1923. Augusta later remarried in 1878 to a John West.

Ralph in the 1881 census, aged 16 and was a Boarder at the “Grammar School” Preist End, Thame in Oxfordshire. Then the next I found of him was a court report in 1903 that his occupation was a Mining Engineer and he applied to get his money back, he lost it on appeal and it seems it made him Bankrupt. But only for a few months as he applied for a discharge:

Then on 7 April 1909 Ralph marries Alice Louise Gaymer (1874-1956) at St Saviour, Ruskin Park, Southwark, London. In 1911 the couple are living at Oswald House, Bradwell, Derbyshire. Ralph is described as a Consulting Engineer. I have found no children of the couple. In the 1918 and 1919 electoral roll the couple were living at 100 Queens Ave, Finchley, London. By 1920/1 Alice was on her own living at 43 St. Luke’s Road. Paddington. He is living still in their home at 100 Queens Avenue, Finchley, London in the 1920’s and it wasn’t until the 1939 Register I found this that his wife had reported that he deserted her in 1919! So I wonder what happened? Alice in 1939 is living in a room on the first floor of a building in Marylebone, London. She reported: ‘Married. “Femme Seule” (Lone woman since 1919) Believed to be a widow. Retired Secretary.’ Alice is the last entry below:

In contrast Ralph in the 1939 Register is living in ‘Arrandene’ Villas Station Rd, St Thomas’s area of Exeter, Devon. Describes himself as Divorced. Retired Consulting Engineer. Also living with him is a Margaret Dorothy Walker aged 67, Housekeeper. Unmarried. When he died on 1st March 1944 he left everything to Margaret.

Another Uncle, Sir Theodore Vivian Samuel Angier was made a Sir in 1904.

Announcement in the London Gazette in 1904.

Walter’s Uncle, another of his Fathers brothers…..Info/Biography below found at Prabooks (World Biographical Encyclopedia): Studied at Rossall School. King’s College, London. At 20 articled to business in father’s firm.
Left home—spent some years in Russia, Turkey, Danubian provinces, Italy, France, etc., with father’s agents in business. Became Senior 42 Partner on father’s decease, 1869. Elected member “the Baltic,” 1864.
Joined Middlesex Yeomanry, 1880. Resigned as Senior Captain, 1896. Vice-President, Chamber of Shipping, 1894.
President elect 1895. Chairman General Shipowners’ Society, 1894. Elected on Committee of Lloyd’s Register, 1894, and Lloyd’s Agency Committee.
Member Executive Council Shipping Federation, and Liberal Unionist Council. And of late Thames Conservancy Board. Gave evidence before Load Line Commission and Naval Reserve Committee.
Volunteered for service in South African War. Contested Orkney and Shetland, 1902, Gateshead, 1906. Travelled over India, 1895-1896.
United States 1896-1897. Canada, East and West, 1903. Australia and Egypt, 1904.
Retired Lieutenant, Sussex Div. R.N Victoria Regina (Queen Victoria). President, Walworth L.U. Association. Senior Partner of Angier Brothers, steamship owners (Angier Line).
Clubs: Bath, Ranelagh, Sandown.
Early years to 45, rowing, boxing, gymnastics, cavalry work, hunting, swimming (won several cups), driving.
Spouse 1897, Lilian Maud Routledge, daughter of Edmund Routledge (George Routledge and Sons, Publishers)

John Humpries Angier was Walters Great Grandfather and he was a Ribbon Weaver. More information on Ribbon Weavers on this interesting Blog about Nuneaton by Sandra Noon:

On her Blog Sarah shares these beautiful examples of Ribbon Weaving from 1833.

Walters Mothers family STORY were more of a ordinary family, but no less interesting. Henrietta’s parents were Henry Story 1922-5 Jan 1865, born in Newcastle at the age of 16 he signed up for six years to train to become a Solicitor, so likely he couldn’t afford to be married until he had completed his time. He married Jane Angelica Dixson on 11 July 1844 in Norton, Durham. The couple had 5 girls and 2 boys. It was their third born Henrietta that married into the Angier family. Two of Henrietta’s sisters went into service, Julia being a Governess, then a Companion and Housekeeper, another Augusta a Domestic Servant. They didn’t marry. Her sister Constance married a Tutor at Bowdon House School, College-road, Harrow. The youngest sister Harriet died at aged 18. One of the two boys was a Solicitor like his father and the other became a Mariner and later a Confectionery Merchant. I haven’t found any scandal either!

How gorgeous must Walters second wife Charlotte’s Wedding bouquet have been made up with these stunning American Beauty Roses.

Here’s the direct link to the family tree I have compiled:

Till next time then……….


  1. Oh Lynn I do admire your patience, what a fantastic story and wasn’t he a brilliant artist, but a rogue at the same time. I hope you get some feed back so that you can put our minds at rest,yours too. Hope all is well with you during these troubled times .Stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I occasionally search the internet for W D Angier because ~ 30yrs ago I bought a painting from an Ealing art gallery which was more than I could afford. But I was young and single and liked the large oil on canvas painting of a bridge. The gallery told me the artist was a St Ives painter but knew no more. I was delighted to come across your recent research blog proving that my theory he was related to the Angier Chemical Co was completely wrong. On hearing that he was born in Kingston, it made me look at Kingston Bridge as the probable subject of the painting. Photographs of the bridge from the 1920s leave me in no doubt. The Thames Valley Arts Club is also based there which would justify his painting of that local landmark. From David Tovey’s update it is also fanciful to wonder whether this was a work included in the British Modern Artists at the Whitechapel Art Gallery in January 1929 (or even London Bridges in 1930).

    Liked by 1 person

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