top of page

Charles Edward "Owen" Stanley, Captain, British Royal Navy - Brother inlaw of Lady Frederica Bruce

Owen Stanley, born on June 13th, 1811, was the brother inlaw of my 3rd cousin, Lady Frederica Elizabeth Bruce and the younger brother of her husband, the Very Reverend Dean of Westminster, Canon of Oxford, and Honour Chaplain to Her Majesty, Queen Victoria and to His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales.

Owen joined the Royal Navy at the age of 15 in 1826 and for the next 10 years he served on a number of survey ships in South America, the Straights of Magellan and in the Mediterranean. In June, 1836, he joined an Artic expedition and was in charge of astronomical and magnetic observations. In 1838 he was a member of an expedition to found a settlement at Port Essington in the Northern Territory (Australia).

In 1846 Owen was made Commander of the survey ship HMS Rattlesnake and conducted hydrographic surveys of New Guinea waters. He died of a fever in his cabin on the HMS Rattlesnake in Sydney Harbour in the arms of the ship's surgeon, Thomas Henry Huxley (later achieving fame as a biologist). A painting of the Rattlesnake from 1882 is shown below.

The "Owen Stanley Ranges" in Papua New Guinea were named after Owen who first observed them in 1849 during a survey of Papua New Guinea (photo above).

Owen died without issue, leaving his wife, Mary, a widow at age 34 (she did not remarry that I can find). Owen is buried in St. Thomas Rest Park, Crows Nest, New South Wales, Australia. His wife, who lived until 1901, was buried in Alderley, England.

bottom of page