Unknown - portrait of Anne Gordon White

This miniature portrait is unsigned, but the sitter is identified by an engraved inscription on the reverse "Anne Gordon White 1849" (there is a mark below the "9" and so it is not really clear whether the date is 1840 or 1849). The frame appears to be silver gilt, although the gilt has largely worn off and it is not hallmarked. However, it does appear to be silver and was possibly made in India.

A friendly visitor to this website has advised that they believe the sitter is the Anne Gordon Hubbard who married James Thomas White. He was employed as an agent to encourage emigration from China and India to the West Indies, after slavery had been abolished there.

Internet references give conflicting places for Anne's birth place. One says it was in St Kitts and another gives Boston, Massachusetts. Both sources agree she was born in 1811, the daughter of John Hubbard and Jane Parkinson and she died in 1872. One reference notes that Jane Parkinson was born in St Kitts and so that may be the reason for confusion over Anne's birthplace. However there is also a 1867 death record for Anne Gordon White, then aged 55, in Tonbridge, Kent, which appears to conflict with her stated date of death and so further research is needed.

Anne and James White had a son, John Hubbard White (1835-?) who was a student at Putney College in the 1851 English census and born in Boston, Massachusetts.

For the 1901 English census, he was a retired Major-General in the Royal Engineers who lived in Rochester Kent with his wife Emma who was born in Jersey in 1833.

Between these census dates it seems likely he lived much of his life in India, as his daughter Beryl Hubbard White was born in Bombay, India in 1874. Beryl was married in 1901, just after the census, to Bertram Arthur G Shelley.

The same kind visitor has now resolved the apparent conflict in birthplace information for Anne as above. He has found out that Anne was actually born at Mainstay Plantation, Demerera in what is now Guyana. Her father was a major plantation owner and used to stay in the tropics when it was otherwise cold in Boston, which is where the family came from. Thus the family was perhaps an early 19C version of the "jet set"!!

Anne was born in 1811 and died in Tonbridge Wells in 1867. She married James Thomas White who went on to be a successful merchant in Ceylon. It seems possible the silver frame was made in Ceylon, as it is unhallmarked. They had a number of children, see http://contentdm.byu.edu/cdm4/document.php?CISOROOT=/FH16&CISOPTR=41485&REC=2 and look in Chapter XIV, Hubbard family genealogical tables. The visitor's grandmother was Beryl White who was Anne's grand daughter. 669


Martin said...

I was interested to see this miniature as I believe it to be of my gt gt grandmother who was born in Boston Mass. If you have any further info, I would be most grateful. Martin

Don, the collector said...

Hi Martin,
You are welcome to contact me at collector@actrix.co.nz I would like to know more about her.

From memory, this portrait came from Australia. I have tried to research the name, but the only reference I have found so far, which might be her is the Anne Gordon White born around 1812 and died Dec 1867 in Tonbridge, Kent

Is this the one you are connected with?