Henry Blyth Stanhouse

He lived the last ten years if his life in Wellington, and died in 1907 aged 83.

Henry was born in Kinross, Scotland in 1824. He married Margaret Watterson in 1848 and worked as a vinter. The young family emigrated to Victoria, Australia in the 1850s and then to New Zealand in 1869 where he worked as a warder in the Auckland Gaol and was discharged in 1874. The family then moved to Dunedin where they owned a house in Maitland Street. Henry worked as a [house] painter.

In 1881 the Victorian Police were searching for him under ‘Missing Friends’. Apparently he had in his possession a box of Deeds for land in Footscray, the property of James Elder who had left them with Henry in a boat they shared 21 years ago. The search was successful and Henry was found in Dunedin.

‘The Manor Place Tragedy’. In 1883 his daughter Mary, aged 33, was murdered by her husband George Stephenson. Henry had not looked favourably on the marriage from the outset.  The newspaper reported ‘It appears that the man and his wife had separated for several years owing to domestic differences, and we may assume there was some ill feeling  in consequence on the husband’s part’.

George followed his wife up Manor Place in Dunedin, armed with a cartridge of dynamite and a match. It is assumed that he put his arm around his wife’s neck and held her, at the same time lighting the match which was about 2 inches from the fuse. It was a short time before the dynamite exploded causing instant death to both.

Henry said at the inquest ‘About two months ago he [George] was taken up and got seven days for using violent language to her. On that occasion he said “One of us must die”.

Henry’s wife Margaret died in 1892. Of their seven children, only three remained alive at this point. About 1898 Henry moved to Wellington with his daughter Agnes and son George. They all lived in a house at 13 Hankey Street with Mary’s children Charles Frederick and Margaret Florence Stephenson. Henry’s widowed daughter Jean Chinn moved to Wellington at about this time too.

On his death, Henry left the house in Hankey Street to George, Agnes, Frederick and Margaret. And £400 for Agnes. She died in 1934 aged 70 and is the only other interment in this plot.

Plot: *Public 2/M/13

By Julia Kennedy

Stanhouse plot.
Stanhouse plot detail.

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