Mrs Alice Clara Grahame (1864-1954)

Although Mrs Grahame (known as Clara) bequeathed these paintings on her death in 1954 the portraits were in fact of members of her husband’s family. Clara’s husband was Lt Colonel John Crum Grahame (1870-1952).

Figure 1. Humphrey Ewing Maclae of Cathkin (1773-1860) By John Graham Gilbert. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. Acc 3017.

Humphrey Ewing Maclae was born Humphrey Ewing .His father Walter Ewing had inherited Cathkin Estate near Rutherglen in 1790 through Walter Maclae an uncle of his mother Margaret Maclae and had added Maclae to his name at that point.Humphrey Ewing did the same on inheriting Cathkin in 1814.Walter Ewing Maclae had built Cathkin House in 1799 funded in the main through the fortune he had made in the West India Trade. By the 1790s  the family owned several sugar plantations in Jamaica and 449 slaves. According to the slavery compensation claims in 1836 Humphrey Ewing Maclae owned at least three plantations which were Dallas Castle Port Royal with 161 slaves; Southfield in St Ann with 195 slaves and Lilyfield in St Ann with 93 slaves.1 John Crum Grahame was Humphrey Ewing Maclae’s great-great-nephew through his mother Agnes Crum. See Figure 4 below.

Figure 2. Thomas Grahame of Whitehill (1792-1870) by Chester Harding c1825. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. Acc 3018.

Thomas Grahame was the son of Robert Grahame of  Whitehill, advocate and former Lord Provost of Glasgow and brother of James Grahame.2 He was born in Glasgow in 1792. There is no information on his early life. Although he used the title of major there is no information at this point of his military service which may have been in a militia regiment. He married Hannah Finlay of Castle Toward in 1823 with whom he had three daughters.   Hannah died in 1834.3 Thomas moved to England sometime in the late 1830s at about the same time as his father Robert Grahame.  In 1847 Thomas married Elizabeth Campbell in London.4 They had no children. The 1851 and 1861 census records his occupation as ‘landed proprietor,stocks and shares’ so he was of independent means. Thomas spent the rest of his life in England . In 1851 he was living in Rickmansworth  in  Hertfordshire   with his wife, three daughters and his ninety-one year old father Robert 5 and in 18616  the family were living in  Broadwater  in  Sussex where  Thomas  died in 1870.7 Thomas Grahame was the great-uncle of our donor through his father’s family. See Figure 5 below.

Figure 3. Hannah Finlay Of Castle Toward by Chester Harding 1825-25. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. Acc 3019.

Hannah Finlay (1803-1834) was the eldest daughter of Kirkman Finlay (1773-1842). After the death of his father in 1790 Kirkman Finlay took over the running of his father’s business  James Finlay & Co,Glasgow Merchants.   He  moved into the new business of cotton spinning and owned mills in Ayrshire,  Stirlingshire and Perthshire. By 1810 he was the largest exporter of cotton yarn to Europe and managed to evade Napoleon’s wartime blockade.  He was Lord Provost of Glasgow 1812-15 and 1818 and MP for Clyde Burghs 1812-1819.As well as Castle Toward in Argyll the Finlays had a town House in Queen Street Glasgow.8     Hannah was the first wife of Thomas Grahame of Whitehill and died at the age of 31.

Figure 4. Link between John Crum Grahame and Humphrey Ewing Maclae. © J.M Macaulay.
Figure 5. Link between John Crum Grahame and Major Thomas Grahame of Whitehill. © J.M Macaulay.
Figure 4. John Crum Grahame © R.Purvis.

John Crum Grahame (1870-1952)

John Crum Grahame, known as Jack was born in Auldhouse ,  Renfrewshire on 2  February 1870. He was the son of James Grahame and Agnes Crum. His mother was the daughter of John Crum of Thornliebank and his great -great -grandfather was Archibald Grahame of Drumquassie  Drymen  in  Stirlingshire. Jack was educated at Harrow. He joined the 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry in 1892 as a 2nd Lieutenant after serving with the Militia and was promoted to Lieutenant in 1894. He served on the Northwest Frontier in India. In 1900 he was attached to the 1st Battalion West African Frontier Force and took part in the Ashanti Campaign and was Mentioned in Despatches and awarded the Ashanti Medal in 1901. During this period he was promoted Local Captain.

During 1901-2 he saw service with the 3rd Battalion as Local Major on the West African Frontier in Southern Nigeria and  was once again Mentioned in Dispatches after the capture of Aro Chuko. He was slightly wounded during this campaign. He was awarded the DSO, the entry in the London Gazette of 12 September  1902 reported:

John Crum Grahame,Captain Highland Light Infantry. For services during the  Aro  Campaign in Southern Nigeria.

 Between 1904 and 1907 Jack served with the Egyptian army and The Sudan Administration.9 It was during this period that Jack married Clara. 

Donor. Mrs A. C Grahame  1864-1954 

Our donor was born Alice Clara Purvis on 28  July 1864 at Kinaldy House on the Kinaldy Estate near St Andrews in Fife. She was the daughter of John Purvis of Kinaldy  (JP) (1820-1909)  and Wilhelmina(Mina) Berry of Newport-on-Tay(1827-1905). 10 She was known as Clara. Clara was the youngest of two surviving daughters.  Her sister Ethel was born in 186011 and there were four brothers who lived to adulthood-Alex, Herbert, Harry and Robert.12 John Purvis’s father Alexander Purvis (1766-1844) originated from Northumberland. He emigrated to South Carolina after the American War of Independence and set up a store and cotton broking business with his eldest brother John at Charleston, Sumter and Columbia. In Columbia the site of the Purvis premises on the corner of Gervais and Main Street was known as Purvis Corner as late as 1900.The business was very successful and Alexander became an American citizen in 1795. He retired in 1809 and returned to Scotland. He purchased the Kinaldy estate near St Andrews in 1829. His only child John was born in 1820.13

Figure 5. Dining Room Kinaldy House © R.Purvis.
Figure 6. Kinaldy House near St. Andrews Fife. © R.Purvis.
Figure 7. Wilhelmina Purvis (or Berry) of Newport on Tay. By William Clark Wontner 1897. © R.Purvis.
Figure 8. John Purvis of Kinaldy by C. Goldsborough R.A. 1897. © R.Purvis.

John  Purvis(1820-1909) was a landowner and astute businessman. He was a Justice of the Peace, and a director of the Anstruther and Fife Railway. He also had many business interests abroad.For example he invested in The Pacific Sugar Mill Company and a plantation at Kukuihaele in Hawaii (see Appendix) which was later managed by son Herbert14 and investments in New Zealand. According to Aylwin Clark:

JP was always ready to seize the opportunity to invest in something promising well but then his caution would weigh in reproachfully, reminding him how infrequently there was a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.15

JP’s investments were worldwide. In the 1870s for example he invested in the Imperial Ottoman Bank, the Natal Colonization Company,  the Central Railway Uruguay, the Tay Bridge and Leuchars  Extension,the East London Railway,the Kansas and Pacific Railway,  the Lanberg and Czarovitz Railway in  Rumania and many more.16

1870s. Schooldays at home  and abroad.

According to the 1871 Census the Purvis Family were staying at a house in Newport -on -Tay  from where  Clara’s mother Wilhelmina Berry originated. According to Clark John Purvis was not overly impressed with the way his children were turning out. At one point he wrote in is diary of his  depression at the melancholy spectacle of Ethel, Clara and Harry on a Sunday evening as ,devoid of sense as of sensibility’. His main grumble seemed to be that they were not enough like their mother.17

Figure 9. Ethel, Clara and Robert Purvis. c.1871. © R.Purvis.

Ethel and Clara appear to have inherited their father’s love of sport and the outdoors rather than the more ladylike pursuits of their mother.

In order to improve the education of his family John took them to Dresden in 1872 for an extended stay presumably to widen their horizons. Clara would have been about ten at this point.18 At this time Dresden was a very popular city with the British and other European visitors and known as ‘Florence on the Elbe’.19 John Purvis was very keen on education both for boys and girls and he was one of the founders of St Leonards School for Girls in 1877. John Purvis was keen that girls,

should be taught matters of substance at school and be challenged to use their minds.20

The staff at St Leonards, headed by Louisa Lumsden, formerly of Cheltenham Ladies College were mostly graduates and encouraged the ideas of plain living and high thinking.

John Purvis was on the School Council for many years and acted as Chairman for the bulk of that time. Clara was a pupil at St Leonards from April 1878 to July 1879 during which time she was in the Upper Third Form.21 One of the teachers at the school, Constance Maynard, kept a diary in which Clara is mentioned several times and not to her credit. Such diary entries as ‘Clara’s ill-concealed smile’ andwhose influence was the worst possible’ and ‘rude, loud and on the look-out for fun22 leads us to believe that Clara, aged about thirteen, was not the best behaved of pupils. In fact according to Clark Clara hated school.23

Perhaps part of the reason for this was that  from about 1878 to 1880 the rest of the Purvis family was living in Bruges,  Belgium or was it simply that she did not respond to being taught matters of substance and to use her mind. It appears that John Purvis’s affairs were undergoing financial difficulties as a result of a series of bad harvests, bad weather and a fall in the price of corn following the repeal of the Corn Laws.  Kinaldy was rented out for the shooting while the family moved to Bruges where they could live more cheaply and where John Purvis had family connections.24

Clara joined the family in Bruges for the Christmas holidays in 1878 where she put pressure on her mother to let her leave St Leonards. According to Clark Clara could always persuade her mother to do as she wished and Mina could always influence her husband.  As Mina did not approve of the ethos of the school either she was probably won over quite easily. This episode is an early indication of  Clara’s character in that she was very strong minded and liked her own way and was often described as ‘difficult’.  Clara did not return to St Leonards after July 1879 but was sent to a convent school in Bruges. How she performed there we do not know.25 The family underwent tragedy in Bruges in 1879 when Clara’s younger sister Mona died of pleurisy. This affected John Purvis for the rest of his life as Mona had been a favourite child.26

 1880s. The Social Whirl 

By the time of the 1881 census the Purvis Family was back at Kinaldy without Clara. She had been sent to The Beehive School in Windsor at the urging of her mother even though the family finances were rather stretched at this time. Correspondence between John Purvis and his wife early in 1880 gives us further indication that Clara was ‘difficult’.

Mina writes in February 1880:

 I wish to send Clara to school and this cannot be delayed until we have the money as she will be sixteen in July and she should be at school till she is eighteen. We must borrow what is necessary as I think it is the only chance of making her a girl we can have any comfort in. 

John Purvis replied:

 As for Clara, though you do not say so I see she is giving you trouble. To spend £500 on sending her to a fashionable boarding school is, in my opinion, just so much money thrown away- she appears to delight in living in a spirit of antagonism to anyone  she should be subject to and until she is …less insolent in manner and speech need not care where you send her.27

The Beehive School had been set up by Mariana Alice Browning in 1876 for the education of girls whose brothers were attending Eton College which is also in Windsor. The Beehive School was relocated to Bexhill-on-Sea in 1900.28 According to the 1881 census Clara was one of 27 girls at the school ranging in age from eleven to seventeen. There were four female teachers all in their twenties as well as the headmistress and nine servants at The Beehive.29 There is no information as to how long she stayed there. There is no mention of her in her father’s diaries for quite some time so perhaps   Clara did not cause her parents any problems whilst at the school.30

After leaving school Clara lived the social life typical of a young lady of her ‘class’. She loved the outdoors and was a keen tennis player, golfer and foxhunter. She was an excellent horsewoman and a member of the Fife Hunt. Clara excelled at all sports 31 and was a member of the St Andrews Ladies Golf Club and the Fifeshire Lawn Tennis Association. There are many newspaper reports of Miss C. Purvis being successful in the Fifeshire Lawn Tennis Annual Championships.32 She also took part in the social whirl of St Andrews  attending,  along with other members of her family, the annual Fife Hunt Ball and the Annual Ball of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of which her father was a member.33

Clara benefited from her father’s enthusiasm for travel and in 1885 she accompanied her parents,brother Aleck  and sister Ethel on a trip to the Rhineland.  They visited Heidelberg, Treves, Spa, Brussels and Bruges. Unfortunately Mina developed bronchitis while the family were in Stuttgart causing great worry to her husband.34

Figure 10. Clara in her twenties. © R.Purvis.

In March 1886 Clara was bridesmaid at her sister Ethel’s wedding to Thomas Jeffrey of Edinburgh.35 There is a family story that Clara was presented at court -presumably when she was about eighteen and possibly in Edinburgh but as yet there is no documentary evidence to back this up.
For an unmarried woman of the time Clara had a lot of freedom visiting her friends on her own and joining her parents on their travels. According to Alwyn Clark,’ she could usually get her own way with her mother and as her mother could usually get JP to do what she wanted then Clara was not being frustrated as may women in her position would have been’.

Clara was now twenty- two  but there is little information regarding any romance in her life.  However while her father was on his second business trip to Hawaii in 1886-7 Mina took Clara to Cannes about which her mother wrote:

As far as I am concerned I could leave without regret but K(Clara) likes the life greatly. There are a number of pleasant young men, lots of tennis and a dance every week, and she usually meets with a good deal of attention and, as I came for her I shall stay until nearly the end of the month.

According to Clark one of the ‘pleasant young men’ was a Mr Glover whom Clara got to like. When Mina discovered that Mr Glover’s father’s name was over a shop called ‘Tailor and Clothier’ she put an end to the friendship, presumably as being unsuitable. Mina wrote to her husband on 27th December 1886 that Clara felt it very much but that she had given him up and her mother was sorry for her.36

Figure 11. Clara’s brothers Alex, Harry, Robin and Herbert. © R.Purvis.

Another trip took place in December 1889 this time to Egypt spending a few days in Malta on the way arriving in Alexandria on Christmas Day37 and then to Shepherd’s Hotel in Cairo where once again Mina was ill.38

Figure 12. Clara’s elder sister Ethel. © R.Purvis.

  1890s.   Travel and More Travel

Clara’s diary for the first half of 1890 records lots of socialising in Cairo and Alexandria, numerous mentions of army officers and going to the races. She appears to be having a ball. The Purvises visited Pireaus and Athens, Trieste on April 6,Venice on April 7 followed by a tour round Italy. In May they were in Mainz on the Rhine and were back in London by 21 June where they dined at Hampton Court at whose invitation is not known.39

The Purvis family are nowhere to be found in the 1891 Census. Where were they?  According to Clara’s diary for 1891 the family were off again on an extended voyage back to Egypt via the Mediterranean . One of the ships they were on was the SS Agia Sophia which called in at several North African ports. On February 2 the Purvises, lunched with the Rempsters ,intro to Colonel Kitchener presumably the Kitchener who later became famous for his service in the Sudan, Boer War and First World War. Clara visited Luxor and ‘Karnak on a donkey’ and on March 30 visited the Bey’s Palace in Tunis. She was back in England in time to attend Ascot on June 11. 40

She was off again in 1893 leaving London on the SS Victoria this time to Gibraltar, Tangiers then to Spain where she spent time in Malaga, Seville, Cordoba and Granada.41 In 1894 she went on a trip to India with a Miss Price where  they travelled widely and were treated royally and did not return until 1896.’42

It is in 1896 that the first references to ‘Mr Grahame ‘appear in Clara’s diary for that year. There are also references to quite a few letters to Mr Grahame who is given the initial “J”.43   Lieutenant John Crum Grahame (Jack)of the 2nd Battalion Highland Light Infantry was to be Clara’s future husband.

By 1898 Jack appears to have become a fixture in Clara’s life. He accompanied Clara and her mother on a trip to Dieppe on 3 June 3 and there are numerous references to her watching Jack fishing at Gilmerton (her brother Robert’s home) and dining at Kinaldy.  In 1898 Clara had her portrait painted.  A letter written to her brother Herbert in that year illustrates the rather cold relationship she appears to have with her father. She writes:

My portrait which I think your father rather depreciated (sic) is thought a very good likeness. No doubt it is a well-painted picture and will therefore do credit to the family gallery. Your father is obdurate about having his done so there is no use fighting him. 44 It seems sad she could not just call him ‘Father’.

Figure 13. Clara’s portrait 1898. © R.Purvis.

 1900-1905. A Difficult Time 

Clara was back at Kinaldy by the time of the 1901 census along with her parents and youngest brother Robert who was at home possibly recovering from wounds he had received in 1900 fighting in the Boer War. Clara was thirty -seven by this time. These years were not happy ones as in 1900 Clara’s mother had a severe stroke which affected her speech. A trained nurse, Margaret McKenzie, was also living at Kinaldy presumably to take care of Mina.45 John Purvis had become very deaf by this time and

was unable to discuss matters with Mina because he could not understand her slurred speech. This was a very unhappy time for him as on top of Mina’s illness he and Clara did not enjoy a good relationship.

Part of the problem appears to have been the worry over the financial provision her father would make for her after her parent’s death. This issue was made more pressing when The Amicable Life Insurance Company refused to insure John Purvis’s life in Clara’s favour after he had undergone a medical examination in Edinburgh. J P wrote in the spring of 1901:

I was kept in hot water with respect to Clara’s provision,giving rise to much acrimony and unpleasantness and in order to avoid matters coming to an impasse I yielded…much against my better judgement.

This appears to mean Clara was put in charge of running the household.46

No other members of the family were living at Kinaldy at that time and Clara seems to have used her new authority to its utmost. Although Clara’s brothers Aleck and Herbert recognised the misery Clara was causing their father they did not confront her even though Aleck admitted that ‘Father leads a dog’s life in his own house’.

  She behaved rather strangely in several ways according to the family papers. For example she accused her brother Herbert’s children, Arthur and Inez, of stealing when they were visiting their grandparents at Kinaldy which angered Herbert’s wife greatly. Apparently the butler had complained that Arthur had taken food from the press. When questioned by Herbert the butler denied making any such complaint. Clara forbade the children to be given anything without her orders. Even more strange was a short note in the family archives from Clara’s youngest brother Robert to Herbert telling him:

Mother asks me to tell you she hopes you come out today and that when you come you will lock your bicycle up in the School Room. This is because Clara puts pins in the tyres when it is left in the lobby.

Clara also read her father’s letters and diaries and treated the servants very unfairly. So bad was the situation that in November 1904 the butler, gardener and coachman had gone before JP knew they had been given notice. By 11th July 1905 JP had been more or less driven from his own house. He wrote to his son Herbert from the Monifeith House Hotel,

I have thought it expedient to evacuate the house …. Your Mother is now so much under the evil influence of Clara that I thought more prudent on the fifty-third anniversary of our wedding to clear out.47

Of course there are always two sides to every family dispute but Clara’s behaviour does seem rather inexplicable.

As we have seen Clara had met John Crum Grahame(Jack) around 1896 when he began to appear in her diaries.  Jack is recorded in various newspapers as attending social functions with the Kinaldy Party from that time.48 He also accompanied Clara and her parents on a visit to Harrogate in 1902. It is unclear how they met but Clara’s brother Harry was also in the Highland Light Infantry so perhaps they met through him. It appears to have been a long courtship. Perhaps the Boer War and other military offences postponed thoughts of marriage or there may have been another reason. Correspondence between brothers Harry and Herbert tells us:

The Mother told me yesterday that it is her belief that Clara is waiting for the Father’s death in order to marry Grahame ,intending  thereby to profit by the clause in Father’s will, which gives  a larger allowance if she is unmarried at her death.49 

 1905-1914 Married at Last

The marriage between Clara and Jack Grahame took place in St Giles Cathedral, Edinburgh on 27 July 1905.  Any friction between Clara and her father appears to have been put aside and the bride was given away by her father.  As there is no mention of Mina in the press report of the wedding we can presume she was too ill to attend. The reception was held at the Roxburgh Hotel in Edinburgh after which the couple left for a honeymoon in the Austrian Tyrol.50 At this time Jack was attached to the Egyptian Army serving in the Sudan and  Clara returned to Kinaldy after the honeymoon, presumably to take care of her mother. Relations between father and daughter do not appear to have improved as in his diary for 30 September  1905 JP wrote:

Do not see how I can continue to live here while Clara is at the head of affairs-setting everyone by the ears and making mischief continually.51

It is difficult to account for this state of affairs but everything was about to change.  On October 14th 1905 Mina lapsed into a coma and died at midnight.  Clara wrote in her diary on Sunday  15 October :

My Mother died just at midnight with her hand in mine. She looked up just before death and gave me a sad loving look and I think recognised the others.52

JP was eighty-six two days later. Clara moved to Gilmerton the home of her youngest brother Robert but not before dismissing all the servants without consulting her father. She also took with her items which did not belong to her according to her father.53This matter was eventually sorted out only with the intervention of William Kirk an Edinburgh lawyer who was also a relative and this seemed to put an end to the battle between Clara and her father.54                                                                                                                     

Kinaldy House was rented to JP’s eldest daughter Ethel and her husband Tom Jeffreys and JP moved to the Imperial Hotel St Andrews and then to a house in Queens Gardens St Andrews. JP’s eldest son Aleck took over the running of the Kinaldy Estate.56

 The couple returned to Kinaldy after the honeymoon and on 7 September Jack left for the Sudan.56 It was not until January 1906 that Clara set off to join him. She was in Cairo by February where she sees the local sights and socialises with other army types. She arrived in Khartoum in Sudan on Thursday 15 March via Luxor and sees Jack who looks ill.57

In 1908 Jack was posted to India and Clara went with him. Entries in her diary record the journey thus:

January 16th passed Malta, January 24th passed Aden,30th January arrived in Bombay,3rd February arrived Dinapore after which Jack left for Barrackpore.

Clara joined him on  10 March  and they enjoyed some socialising in Calcutta. They were still in Calcutta in November 1908 and appear to have stayed there for a further year.58 By this time Jack had been promoted to Major.59

John Purvis died on 21 June 1909 in a nursing home in Edinburgh60 and Clara inherited Lingo Estate which her father had purchased in 1852. Lingo Estate adjoins the Kinaldy Estate to the south west.61 This was to be the home of Clara and Jack until 1952.62

Figure14. Jack 1910. © R.Purvis.

In 1910 Jack was with the Second Battalion HLI in Cork.63 He also took part in the Coronation Ceremony of King George Vth in 1910 after which he was awarded the Coronation Medal.64 In 1911 he was appointed Superintendent of the Military Prison in Cork. 65 There is no information regarding Clara’s whereabouts during this period and she does not appear to be in the Census records for England, Scotland or Ireland. By 1913 and with war looming Jack was commanding the Third Battalion HLI, a Special Reserve Battalion based in Hamilton.66 Jack was in command of the troops during the visit of George Vth and Queen Mary to Hamilton in July 1914.67

An advertisement had appeared in the Situations Vacant section of the Scotsman on 30  May 1914  asking for  a house sewing maid  from early June for a small house in Lanarkshire  to serve a lady and gentleman. Particulars were to be sent to Mrs J C Grahame at 31 Dover Street, London. This suggests that Clara and Jack would be living near to the Hamilton Depot and also that they had a base in London. The advertisement also tells us that a cook and butler were also employed.,

War Years 1914-18 

On 19  August 1914 Jack was promoted Temporary Lieutenant Colonel of the 10th (Service) Battalion HLI which he had raised organised and trained. In May 1915 he and his battalion were sent to France.68 Clara appears to have spent at least some time in London as on June 5 1915 an advertisement appears in the Hamilton Advertiser asking for donations for comforts for the 10th Battalion HLI  and that donations be sent to Mrs J C Grahame wife of Lt Colonel Grahame  at  the  Dover Street address.

An entry in Clara’s diary for 25  September 1915 tells us that Jack was badly gassed at the Battle of Loos.  In January 1916 he was Mentioned in Dispatches for gallant and distinguished conduct in the field’.69 He continued to command the 10th battalion until March 1916 when he was invalided home presumably because of the cumulative effects of front line service. Later entries in Clara’s diary inform us that she went to visit him in hospital in Dublin and brought him back to England on the night boat.70 What Clara does not mention, perhaps because she was preoccupied with Jack, was that her nephew John,son of Clara’s brother Herbert, was killed on 25 September71  and her brother Harry was wounded while commanding the 15th Battalion HLI and for which he won the DSO.72

Jack returned to the front in December 1916 in command of the 10th/11th HLI, then the 12th Battalion, later the 9th Battalion (The Glasgow Highlanders). Finally he assumed field command of his old battalion the 2nd HLI. Also in December 1916 he was promoted to full Lt Colonel.73 In  April 1917 at the Battle of Arras Jack was severely wounded and  this put an end to his front line service until the end of the war.74 There is no information at this point as to Clara’s activities during the war.

From 1918                                                                    

In October 1919 Jack attended the funeral of Major General  Scrase- Dickinson who had been invalided out of the HLI after the Battle of Loos in October 1917 and never recovered. Scrase -Dickinson had been best man at Jack and Clara’s wedding in July 1905.75

Jack retired from the army in 192176 as a result of his wounds and he and Clara lived at Lingo House until 1951.There are few snippets of information about Jack and Clara during the 1920s.  On 1 January 1927 The Scotsman reported a break-in at Lingo House on 18/19 November  when James Taylor of no fixed abode stole an Indian tweed overcoat, scarf, lady’s coat, three postage stamps and two message bags. Taylor was sent to prison for six months.

Figure 15. Clara in later life. © R.Purvis.

There is little information about Jack and Clara in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s.  Clara’s brother Robert owned the nearby Gilmerton and Brigton Estates while her brother Harry lived at Kinaldy which he had bought from his elder brother Alexander in 1921.77 One presumes there would be contact between the siblings. Clara’s great nephew John Purvis  remembers cycling over to Lingo to visit Clara and despite her fearsome reputation does not remember having any problem with his great-aunt and describes Jack as  ‘quite delightfully easy going‘.78 There are numerous mentions in the local press about Jack’s salmon fishing on the River Tay. One day in February 1935 he caught a 20lb salmon79, in January 1937 a 22lb fish80 and in January 1939 a 27lb salmon.81

In November 1940, 551 acres of the Lingo Estate was requisitioned for war use.82 According to his obituary Jack played his part in the Home Guard from 1940 until 1944.83

According to family legend Clara continued to be a force to be reckoned with. One story relates how a visitor to Lingo during the war found the local post lady sitting in the hall. When asked why she replied that she had been ordered by Mrs Grahame to wait until she had finished her correspondence so the post lady could take it with her to the post office.84                                                                  

In 1949 Jack made a claim to the General Claims Tribunal for damage done during the requisition period. He was awarded £1500.   At a  different tribunal, the Land Court  in 1951, the Secretary of State put in a claim for £3430 for improvements done during the requisition period. This was reduced to £2150 and was upheld by the Land Court. A case of two tribunals looking at an issue from different points of view as the judges commented. The final outcome of the matter is unknown.85

Jack and Clara sold Lingo in October 1951 and moved to an apartment in Cameron House Arden Dunbartonshire86 where they lived until Jack’s death on 19 August 1952.He was buried in Dunino Churchyard with representatives of the Highland Light Infantry honouring him.87

Clara moved back to Fife and lived in a flat at Strathvithie House, Dunino. She died two years later on 17th August 1954 and was buried in Dunino Churchyard alongside Jack.88

As well as the three paintings she donated to Glasgow Museums Clara donated  to the 2nd Battalion  HLI a  silver bowl which Jack had won in Jersey riding his horse Sir James. To the regimental depot she left a testimonial for valor  signed by King George V after the 1914-18 war along with an oak display table and a French cabinet containing Jack’s  manuscripts with maps and portraits of the history of the 74th Highland Regiment. After several bequests the residue of her estate   which was £24,714  was used to  set up the John Grahame of Lingo Memorial Trust  which is still used to help the families of former HLI soldiers especially for education purposes.89 

Appendix.   The Hawaii Connection

Archibald Scott Cleghorn whose family came from   Anstruther in Fife,  had gone out to Honolulu with his father in 1851 to set up a dry goods business. He stayed on after his father’s death and expanded the business. He married Miriam K Likelike, his second wife, whose brother David became the King of Hawaii in 1874. As David had no children the Cleghorn’s daughter Victoria Kaiulani (Princess Kaiulani) became heir presumptive to the throne of Hawaii. Hers is an interesting but sad story. She returned to Hawaii after a British education only to see her country annexed by the USA in 1893 and died in 1899 at the age of twenty-three.90

Clara’ brother Herbert had gone out to Hawaii in the late 1870s to join his father’s cousin Robert Purvis who had invested in a sugar plantation in Hawaii, John Purvis having given Herbert £1000 to start him off.  The investment at Kukuihaele was extended to include a sugar mill.91

The Cleghorn family were related to the Sprots of Strathnivie, the estate which bordered Kinaldy and so were neighbours of the Purvises.92  Nancy Sprot was a bridesmaid at Jack and Clara’s wedding.93Through that connection the Purvis family became close to Princess Kaiulane . She was godmother to Herbert’s daughter Inez and gave her a napkin ring made of silver Hawaiian coins as a christening gift. This gift is still in the  possession of the Purvis Family. Clara must have known her, as she signed Kauilane’s autograph book sometime in the 1880s, probably during the time the princess was at school in Britain.94

References

  1. https:glasgowmuseums.co.uk/2019/07/02cathkin-house-and-slavery
  2. http://www.glasgowmuseumsartdonors.co.uk Felicia Pepys Cockerell
  3. http://www.clanmacfarlanegenealogy.info/genealogy
  4. http://www.ancestry.co.uk Parish Records
  5. www.ancestry.co.uk Census Records 1851
  6. ibid 1861
  7. www.ancestry.co.uk Statutory Deaths
  8. http://www.theglasgowstory.com
  9. http://www.soldiersofthequeen.com
  10. Purvis,John Purvis Family History(PFH) unpublished. p.1178
  11. PFH p.1198
  12. PFH pp.1179,1180,1203,1218
  13. PFH pp.1175-1177
  14. Clark, Aylwin John Purvis of Kinaldy 1820-1909. 1995 unpublished. p6. Based on Purvis family papers. University of St Andrews Special Collections.MS 38684/1.Misc Box 1 No 57 (Clark)
  15. ibid p 54
  16. Clark pp. 54-62
  17. ibid p.13
  18. ibid p.18
  19. www.britanica.com/place/Dresden-Germany
  20. op cit Clark p.14
  21. ibid pp. 50-51
  22. Maynard, Constance. Green Book Diaries 1878/1879/1880 https://www.library.qmul.ac.ukop cit Clark p.51
  1. ibid p.38
  2. ibid p.14
  3. ibid p.11
  4. ibid p.14
  5. www.ancestry.co.ok Census Records 1881
  6. www.bexhillmuseums.org.uk
  7. op cit Clark p.14
  8. ibid p.15
  9. Dundee Courier 21/08/1885 p.8
  10. ibid 26/09/1884
  11. op cit Clark p.34
  12. East of Fife Record 12/03/1886 p.3
  13. op cit Clark p.16
  14. Diary of Alice Clara Purvis. Family Papers. Unpublished. December 1889 (Diary ACP)
  15. Clark p.16
  16. op cit Diary  ACP  1890
  1. ibid 1891
  2. ibid 1893
  3. op cit Clark p.16
  4. op cit Diary ACP 1896
  5. op cit Clark p.16
  6. www.ancestry.co.uk Census Records 1901
  7. op cit Clark p.16
  8. ibid p.17-18
  9. Dundee Evening Telegraph 30/10/1903 p.5
  10. op cit Clark p.17
  11. Fife Record 04/08/1905 p.5
  12. op cit Clark p.18
  13. Diary of Alice Clara Grahame (Diary ACG )15/10/1905. Purvis Family Papers unpublished
  14. op cit Clark p.18
  15. ibid p.19
  16. ibid p.18
  17. op cit Diary ACG 07/09/1905
  18. ibid January -March 1906
  19. ibid January-November 1908
  20. www.soldiersofthequeen.com/Egypt-John CrumGrahameDSO.html
  21. op cit PFH p.1177
  22. 61 ibid p.1178
  23. ibid p.1202
  24. Army Lists 1910
  25. op cit ref 59
  26. Army and Navy Gazette 14/01/1911 p.29
  27. Army Lists 1913
  28. Daily Record 10/07/1914 p.6
  29. op cit ref 59
  30. ibid
  31. op cit Diary ACG post March 1916
  32. op cit PFH p.1197
  33. ibid p.1203
  34. op cit ref 59
  35. Dundee  Courier  20/08/1952 p.4. Obituary for John Crum Grahame DSO
  36. West Sussex Gazette 30/10/1919 p.10
  37. Army and Navy Gazette 10/09/1921 p.452
  38. op cit PFH p.1204
  39.  Interview with John Purvis 28/10/20
  40. Dundee Courier 05/02/1935 p.9
  41. Perthshire Advertiser 20/01/1937 p.14
  42. Scotsman 31/01/1939 p.16
  43. St Andrews Citizen 17/03/1951 p.6
  44. op cit ref 74
  45. op cit ref 79
  46. op.cit ref 82
  47. Dundee Courier 10/10/1951 p.2
  48. St Andrews Citizen 30/08/1952 p.6
  49. op cit PFH p.1202
  50. St  Andrews Citizen  6/11/1954 p.6
  51. www.mau.celtic.com/hawaii-scots.htm
  52. op cit Clark pp6-7; 28-32
  53. Information from John Purvis e-mail 30/10/2019
  54. op.cit ref 90
  55. op.cit PFH pp.1196-7

 

Acknowledgements.

My grateful thanks to Clara’s great -nephew John Purvis and his wife Louisa for welcoming me into their home and sharing information about the history of Purvis Family which John has been researching for many years. I am particularly grateful for his discovery of Aylwin Clarks biography of Clara’s father John Purvis of Kinaldy. Thanks also to their son Rob who also welcomed me into his home and gave me permission to use wonderful family photographs and portraits. Rob was also responsible for extracting invaluable information from Clara’s diaries which I used in Clara’s story. Last but not least I must thank Angela Tawse, Librarian of St Leonard’s School, St Andrews for confirming Clara’s attendance at the school and for putting me in touch with the Purvis family. JMM

 

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