Frederick George Anstey (BI 14)

See ‘Anstey: A Complete History From the Norman Invasion to World War One‘ for much more on the Birmingham Ansteys. In addition to biographies of various Anstey individuals who make up this sub-branch, the book contains a plethora of Anstey research and statistics, including an analysis of how the Birmingham Ansteys fit into the pedigree descendent from Hubert de Anesti, the 12th century originator of the ‘Anstey’ surname.

BI 14. Frederick George Anstey: He was born in Birmingham in 1823 to father John Anstey (BI 5). Known as Fred, he became a vaguely famous and fairly rich sculptor (for example one of his sculptures of Queen Victoria still stands today at the Old Town Hall Building in Blagrave Street, Reading). He married Mary Armstrong in St Martins in the Field, London in 1853 and they had a daughter: 

  • Charlotte Mary Anstey (b 1856 Paddington, never married and inherited much of her father’s wealth. She died 9 February 1904 living at 2 Powis Square Bayswater executors of her will were Henry James Rimell bookseller and her first cousin once removed Edwin Herbert Anstey (BI 36)).

The ‘Reading Mercury‘ 23 June 1866 reported “Reopening of Pangbourne Church…the reredos is undoubtedly the principal feature in the building…the subject is the ‘Descent from the Cross’ carved in Caen Stone..the work was executed by Mr Anstey of 32 Alpha Road Regents Park, London and a more beautiful work of art it has rarely been our lot to see“. The ‘Middlesex County Times‘ 1 August 1868 reported on St Paul’s New Church Brentford – “ These fittings, as well as the carving throughout the church, have been executed by Mr. G. F. Anstey, of St. John’s Wood, who has done full justice to the architects designs.”.

In the 1881 Census the family were living at Alpha Road, Marylebone; he was a sculptor. The ‘Newbury Weekly News and General Advertiser‘ 26 July 1883 reported “THE NEW PUBLIC BUILDUINGS . -A statue of Her Majesty the Queen has just been placed in position in the canopied niche over the reading room. The statue is of White marble, and is life size. Mr. F. B. [G] Anstey is the sculpter. The cost of the statue, including the expense of raising into position, is about $100, part of which will be Defrayed out of the balance remaining in the hands of the committee appointed to decorate the town on the occasion of the Royal Agricultural Show

He died in 1891, his probate reading “The will of Frederick George Anstey late of 11 Alpha Road, St Johns Wood, sculptor, who died 27 March 1891 was proved by Mary Anstey widow the relict and Charlotte Mary Anstey spinster the daughter and George James Rimell of Maida Vale Bookseller“. 

He was a wealthy man when he died, and members of the family were still benefitting from his will decades later – for example Archibald Francis Anstey (BI 37) who communicated with Anstey researcher Thomas John Anstey (Tom) in 1912 stated in a letter that “we were connected to Fred Anstey of Alpha Road who was an artist and sculptor…I know that Fred Anstey left a considerable amount of money, which I personally benefit from“.

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