Alfred Percy Whitelaw, a renowned Launceston photographer, was born on 31 Dec 1868 to James Percy Whitelaw (1820-1912) and Elizabeth Chamberlain Thompson (1831-1919) who were married on 9 Jul 1851. He was their ninth child and seventh son. Percy's father James was born in Kells, Kilkenny, Ireland and his mother was from Swanton Morley, Norfolk. They had ten surviving children, brought up in a close and loving family environment. Percy married Fanny Whitaker at Christ Church, Longford, on 16 Aug 1910. Fanny was born on 17 May 1884 to William Alexander Whitaker and Louisa Purdy. Percy, Fanny and their three sons lived in Canning Street before moving to Lyttleton Street.
Percy had been apprenticed to William Cawston in 1883. He opened his own studio in 1892 at 195 Charles Street, Launceston which soon gained popularity for his brilliant portraiture. It has been claimed that he was the first Launceston photographer to make enlargements in the early 1890s. In 1896 he moved his studio to 74 St John Street, where he stayed until his retirement in 1950. He died on 18 Nov 1957 aged 89 having been a Rotarian, a Mason and a sportsman. Percy's brother George, nephew Edgar Whitelaw and aunt Hannah Room are also pictured in this Album. See The Examiner 28 Jul 2007, page 33.