The Purloined Rector

While looking for information about the early “photographist” Oliver SARONY, I happened upon this irresistible tale.


Oliver, born in Quebec in 1820, came to England to make his fortune and wandered the eastern half of the country for about ten years before settling in Scarborough. His studio stamp there seems to have first appeared in 1857.

The Reverend WHEELER was only about 21 years old when Oliver stole his soul and the tramp Mulligan made off with his image. The cleric’s long life of good and faithful service to the Anglican communion was rewarded with the honorary title of Canon of Worcester. He died in 1910 aged 76. Find him on FamilySearch Tree.

Oliver died in 1879. I plan to visit his last resting place on Saturday and will write more about him then. If you can’t wait, the Scarborough Civic Society offers a detailed and profusely illustrated account of his life (as a PDF).

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