Mary Ann Stanley, 1801-1881

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Mary Ann, the only child of Sir Edmond & Jane Talbot, was born 24 Oct. 1801.  Died 7 Jan. 1881.

Mary Ann was born in Ireland some 15 years after her parents were married. Edmond was 44.  She had quite an interesting life travelling to far off places with her parents.  Her mother & herself spent 5 months travelling home, perhaps for some more advanced schooling with her rapidly approaching status as a young lady of quality.

This event must have been tarnished somewhat by her elopement & marriage of 1815 to a widower 16 years her senior. His name was Edward Trant Bontein, Army Captain, b: 1785 in Balglas, Scotland. She was not quite 14 years of age. There were no objections to the match but those which arose from her extreme youth.

Her first son Edward was born Jan 1818 & was only 4 months old when the family all sailed for Madras to join Sir Edmond. Just under a year later in Sept. 1819 she gave birth to her second son James.  Only two months later her husband died while in service at the age of 34. She was only 18 at the time.  The family stayed in Madras, leaving in 1824.

Little is known of her life thereafter except that towards the end of her father’s life, her mother having already died, she was living with him at Richmond. By this time her sons surnames had been changed to Stanley by Royal License, registered at the College of Arms. Mary Ann referred to herself as Mrs. Bontain Stanley. It was the condition of Sir Edmond’s Will that she should take back the name Stanley & pass it on to her sons.  Interestingly she had the full support of Sir James Bontain, her father-in-law. She lived most of her life in rather elevated circles in Brussels where she moved & is buried.

The late Mrs. Bontein Stanley was very much respected by all indicated by the large number who assembled at her house afterwards joined in the funeral service in the English Church Rue Belliard. It was quite evident that all present were deeply affected on bidding a final farewell to one who had been such a universal favourite & whose generous efforts in the cause of charity will long be remembered.

Further information on Edmond Stanley can be found at: http://www.thebrassbuddha.net/stanley/?p=413″


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