SPANTON, William Silas

1845 - 1930

William Silas Spanton

Born at 42 Abbeygate Street, Bury St Edmund's, Suffolk in 1845, son of William Spanton [q.v.] and his wife Sarah née King. He studied painting at the Royal Academy of Arts in London but on the early death of his father gave up his studies and returned to Bury St Edmund's to carry on the family business as a photographer, carver & gilder and artist at 16 Abbeygate Street. He exhibited at the Royal Academy between 1867 and 1868 from an accommodation address in Pimlico but lived in Bury St Edmundís. He widened the scope of the business further, adding to framing and glazing the sale of art materials, and also built up a considerable business as an optician. He married at Bury St Edmund's in 1876, Sarah Pechey (1847-1917), sister to Bury St Edmund's printer Elisha Pechey. In 1881 still at 16 Abbeygate Street as artist, photographer & artists colour man with his wife and children. His interest in painting continued, and had some reputation locally as a copier of paintings. He was at the centre of many local controversies taking a leading part in the opposition to the Corporation's proposal in the 1890s to convert Moyses Hall into a fire station, and was Honorary Secretary of the Committee formed to repair the Hall for its opening as a museum. In 1901 he was still at Abbeygate Street but his wife Sarah and daughter Helen Margaret Spanton [q.v.], an artist, were staying with Sarah's brother Elisha Pechey, a typefounder's agent, at his home Greencroft, Hadley Crescent, Hadley Wood, Barnet. In that year Spanton sold his business, and its collections of negatives, to Harry Isaac Jarman, former apprentice to John Palmer Clarke and on Clarke's move to Cambridge in 1903, Jarman also purchased Clarke's extensive stock of negatives of views of the town and neighbourhood. By 1911 William had removed all his family to Hadley Crescent where he was an artist, portrait painter & copyist in oil. He lived at The Paragon, Blackheath and died as a result of a motoring accident at Blackheath on 24 December 1930, aged 85, and left £8,269 to daughter Helen Spanton, a sum equivalent to nearly half a million pounds in today's money.

Works by This Artist