William Henri Colchester Mollett Gallery
Since beginning the exploration of our family's history I have been lucky enough to 'meet' family members who have been able to provide extra information. None more so than Philip Mollett, who I did indeed meet just once. He had a veritable treasure trove of things, including some photographs of William Henri who was also his great grandfather. There are enough to devote a page to, so here they are. Some are not in the best of conditions, but that is part of their charm. Some have been used in my story. A few are extra.
As a child - the painted portrait at left and a photograph taken in the studio of E.J Stoneham, Cheapside in the city of London.
Of course I have no idea of age, but this portrait at left is clearly labelled as William Henri. A teenager? I do not know where it was taken.
The collection at right was taken by Elliot & Fry of Baker Street in London. A serious, pleasant, thoughtful young man. Quite good looking too.
Here is the portrait of a young man that I originally chose to represent William Henri, as I liked to think of him.
I show it again here because I really am quite pleased that the portraits below are really not too dissimilar.
Just add a moustache.
Of these two portraits from Philip Mollett's collection, the one on the left is labelled as unknown. But it is taken at the studio of Albert Flint in Camberwell where the family lived. The one at right is definitely William Henri, and resembles the portrait at left hugely I think, which why I have included the 'unknown' one. Mind you it could, of course, be one of his brothers. The 'real' portrait was taken by Lombardi of Brighton - where his future wife lived.
The one on the left is my favourite - together with the four heads. I once heard Alan Davis, on TV, talking about Victorian photographic portraits of young men as 'louche'. A wonderful word. And this one is just that.
The portrait at right is of William Henri and his bride - who looks very Victorian in this picture - not that you can see her face properly I guess.
And here is the 'signature' portrait. In the far left version it has been digitally enhanced to be quite striking. One is almost there. The one on the right is the original. I can't remember now who brought it up to modern standards.
Note how the cape is flung over his shoulder. And what about the moustache?
And last of all we have William Henri with his sons. I'm not sure who is who - other than William Henri, obviously loved his hat - so tragic if indeed it led to his death. I think the youngest looking one on the top left must be my grandfather Gerald, for he was indeed the baby of the family.