Mary Jackson Kirkpatrick (1876 – 1956)

Seven oil paintings were presented to Glasgow Corporation on 14 July 1947. The donor was a Miss Kirkpatrick of 6 Cleveden Crescent, Glasgow. 1

The paintings were:

Figure 1. Constable, John (in style of); On the Wye, Herefordshire. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 2. Donald, John Milne; Cattle in a Pool. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 3. Boughton, George Henry; Girl with a Muff, Winter Scene. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 4. Boughton, George Henry; Girl with Pitchers, Summer Scene. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(

Figure 5. Billet, Pierre; Bringing in the Catch. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(

The other two paintings in the donation were: The Old Story by D.A.C. Artz (2627) and Highland River by John MacWhirter, RA, ARSA  (2628).

         According to the Glasgow Voters’ Roll for 1948, there was a Mary J. Kirkpatrick resident at 1 Cleveden Crescent. In 1937 the Voters’ Roll has Mrs Mary A. Kirkpatrick and Mary J Kirkpatrick living at 6 Cleveden Crescent. This suggested that the two women were mother and daughter and that the mother had died sometime between 1937 and 1948. Mary Anne Kirkpatrick, widow of Thomas Kirkpatrick, grain merchant, died at 6 Cleveden Crescent, Glasgow on 13 December 1940. She was 86 years old, and her death was reported by her daughter Mary J. Kirkpatrick. Her father, John Jackson, was also a grain merchant. 2

                Thomas Kirkpatrick was employed by the firm of John Jackson & Co., grain and flour factors of 23 Hope Street, Glasgow. 3 He was thirty-four years old and a bachelor when he married the boss’s daughter, twenty-year-old Mary Anne Jackson at the bride’s residence, 13 Lauder Road, Grange, Edinburgh on 25 March 1875. Thomas Kirkpatrick’s address was 24 Berkeley Terrace, Glasgow.4 Mary Jackson Kirkpatrick was born the following year on 20 January at 2 Park Quadrant, Glasgow.5  Two years later, a son, Thomas was born and a second daughter, Edith Grant Kirkpatrick was born in 1880. 6 The family was completed with the birth of Arthur in 1887.7 By 1891 the family had moved to 6 Montgomerie Crescent in Kelvinside. Thomas Kirkpatrick’s occupation was ‘grain merchant, employer’. Mary was a scholar aged fifteen. 8 Ten years later, on 18 November 1901, Thomas Kirkpatrick died aged sixty-one after an operation for an epithelioma of the colon. 9  The family remained at 6 Montgomerie Crescent with Mary Ann Kirkpatrick living on private means along with her daughter Mary, son Arthur who was now an accounts clerk and two servants. 10 Edith Kilpatrick had married John Ernest Jarrett in 1902 11 and Thomas Jr. followed in his father’s footsteps as a grain merchant and took over the family business.

Kirkpatrick, Thos., grain merchant, 67 Hope street; ho. 4 Grosvenor cres. 12

                Sometime between 1911 and 1936, Montgomerie Crescent was renamed Cleveden Crescent. Mary Anne Kirkpatrick died at 6 Cleveden Crescent on 13 December 1940. She was eighty-six. Her daughter Mary reported her death. 13 After her mother’s death, Mary moved to 1 Cleveden Crescent 14 perhaps to a smaller flat and this may have occasioned the donation of the paintings to Glasgow. Mary Jackson Kirkpatrick died at the Royal Glasgow Cancer Hospital on 18 February 1956 aged eighty. Her sister Edith who was living with her at 1 Cleveden Crescent, reported her death. 15,16


  1. Glasgow Corporation, Catalogue of Donations, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  2. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  3. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1874-5
  4. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  5. Scotland’s People, Birth Certificate
  6. Ibid
  7. Ibid
  8. Scotland’s People, Census 1891
  9. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  10. Scotland’s People, Census 1911
  11. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  12. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1918-19
  13. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  14. Glasgow Voters’ Roll, 1948
  15. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  16. Glasgow Herald, 20 February 1956, p1

Robert McNeil Ker (1878 – 1953)

On 11 December 1946, an oil painting entitled Mrs. Scott, Wife of James Scott of Kelly (2590) by John Graham-Gilbert RSA, was presented to Glasgow Corporation by Major Ker of Easterton, Milngavie. 1

Figure 1. Graham-Gilbert, John; Mrs James Scott of Kelly; Glasgow Museums;

The subject of the painting is Jane Martha Galbraith who was born in Barony on 7 May 1830. (She  died aged 87 in 1917 at 8 Woodside Crescent, Glasgow). Her parents were Andrew Galbraith, a cotton spinner/merchant, and Margaret Bogle Scott. 2 In 1848, aged eighteen, Jane married the thirty- eight-year-old James Scott. 3 (Appendix) The following year James Scott bought the estate of Kelly in the parish of Inverkip, Renfrewshire. The painting is dated to 1850 (ArtUK) so either commemorates the couples’ marriage or perhaps the birth of their first child Margaret Bogle Scott who was born on 14 July 1850. 4 Between 1850 and 1866 Jane Martha Scott gave birth to ten children, five boys and five girls. One of the girls, Helen Bethia Scott who was born on 16  July 1855 in Inverkip 5 was the mother of the donor. Helen Bethia Scott was 21 when she married Thomas Ripley Ker ‘gentleman’ of Dougalston, Milngavie on 20 June 1877 at St. Mary`s Tower, Birnam, Little Dunkeld. 6 (Thomas Ker’s father Robert Ker went out East as a merchant in 1825 and made his fortune before returning to Glasgow in 1836 and becoming a partner in Ker, Bolton & Co. of 27 West George Street, Manilla and Singapore Merchants. In 1841 he married Elizabeth Johnston of Shieldhall and had four children).7                   

Thomas and Helen Ker’s first child, Robert McNeil Ker (later ‘Major Ker’ the donor of the painting) was born in Strathblane on 18 February 1878. 8 A second child, Ronald Scott Ker was born in 1879 and the family took up residence in Bardowie House (Castle), Baldernock, Stirling. 9

Finely situated on its north-east side of Bardowie Lochan, and
embowered among foliage, is Bardowie House, an edifice of moderate
size, and somewhat timeworn, yet withal wearing an appearance of
quiet cosieness and comfort .’ 10                                                           

Figure 2. Bardowie_Castle in 1870 By Thomas Annan httpwww.theglasgowstory.comimage.phpinum=TGSB00235, Public Domain, httpscommons.wikimedia.orgwindex.phpcurid=15233785

Robert was educated at Dalvreck Academy (later Ardvrek Academy) in Crieff and appears on the school roll in 1891 11 but no record of Robert’s time there could be found by the school archivist. By 1901 the family had moved to Dougalston Mansion. This was a large house – according to the census there were thirty-five rooms with one or more windows – situated in Milngavie. 12

Figure 3. Dougalston, Milngavie (From an old post card)

 The house had been built by John Glassford, one of the Glasgow ‘Tobacco Lords’ in the early 18th century. Robert’s grandfather Robert Ker bought the house and estate in 1870 13 and had the house restored about 1872-73. 14 He also, in 1883, acquired the estate of Easterton . When he died in 1888, Robert Ker left an estate valued at £220,000 not including Dougalston. 15

The family now consisted of Thomas and Helen, Robert aged 23 was a ‘militiaman’, Ronald, an Oxford undergraduate and a sister Helen Ripley Ker born in 1887. They employed eight servants and a governess. 16

On 24 September 1902, Robert joined the army – the Officer Cadet Battalion with the rank of Honorary Captain. 17 The following year as a lieutenant in the Royal Garrison Regiment he married Margaret Lilian Blagden in Tisbury, Wiltshire.18,19 On 29 April 1904, the Royal Garrison Regiment embarked for South Africa to take up garrison duties at Fort Napier, Pietermaritzburg. 20 Tragically, Margaret Lilian Ker died in Pietermaritzburg on 7 April 1905. Robert later erected a memorial plaque to her in the church of St. Mary the Virgin, Donhead St. Mary, Wiltshire:

In Memory of

Margaret Lilian Ker

Nee Blagden

Who was married in this church 13th October 1903

And who died in Pietermaritzburg, Natal

7th April 1905

Erected by Robert MacNeil Ker

Xmas 1905

Robert returned from South Africa later that year with three battalions of the regiment. (The Royal Garrison Regiment was disbanded on 1 September 1908 21). In the same year as the death of his wife, Robert’s grandmother Elizabeth Ker died at Eastertoun. 22

On 17 April 1907, Robert McNeil Ker married Lucy Winifred Strickland -Constable at Holy Trinity Church, Sloane Street, Chelsea. 23 Lucy was born in Wassand Hall, Seaton, Yorkshire in 1875. She was the daughter of Henry Strickland – Constable and niece of Sir Charles Strickland eighth baronet of Boynton. After the wedding, the couple left for Paris and a continental honeymoon. 24

They had a son, Neil Ripley Ker, born on 28May 1908 in Brompton, London. Neil became an eminent palaeographer and his entry in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography says that his father was a captain in the 3rd battalion of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (A & SH). During the war years his mother and grandmother held garden fetes etc. to raise funds for the A & SH Comforts’ Fund. 25

According to the census of 1911, Robert, aged 33 was living ‘on private means’ at Friningham Lodge, Detling, near Maidstone in Kent. With him were his wife Lucy aged 36 and son Neil aged 2. In 1914, with the advent of war, Robert was a captain in the Reserve of Officers attached to the Brigade of Infantry. In the same year he joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and then the Machine Gun Corps with the rank of major. At some point during the war, he was made acting lieutenant colonel of the corps. 26

Figure 4. Easterton House (Alexander Nisbet Paterson, 1915)Old Postcard View found in Crawford, James, Old Mugdock, Balmore, Baldernock and Bardowie, 2016, Stenlake Publishing, Ltd.

 After the war he seems to have lived quietly at Easterton, his father’s house in Milngavie taking an interest in local affairs. Lucy Winifred Ker died at Eastertoun on 7 December 1942. 27She was sixty-seven. Robert’s father, Thomas Ripley Ker, died at Eastertoun on 18 July 1947. An extensive obituary was published in the local paper. 28Robert McNeil Ker died on 15 October 1953 at Easterton. His death certificate states that he was a Major in the Royal Garrison Regiment (retd.) and the widower of Lucy Winifred Strickland – Constable. 29 A brief report appeared in the local newspaper stating that ‘he was well known locally for the deep interest and kindness he showed in philanthropic institutions, and particularly of the Old Folks Clubs. He was of a quiet genial disposition and will be missed by many in the district’. 30   

After a private funeral he was buried in Baldernock Churchyard alongside his parents, his brother and his second wife. His father had earlier gifted land to enlarge the churchyard ‘where the maternal ancestors of President Roosevelt are buried’. 31

Figure 5. Ker family gravestones in Baldernock Churchyard. httpswww.findagrave.commemorial196889564robert-macneil-ker



James Scott 1810 – 1884

James Scott had been made a partner in the firm of James Black & Co., calico printers, at the age of twenty and largely thanks to his efforts the firm’s business grew rapidly. In 1835 it acquired the Dalmonach printworks in Alexandria and through Scott’s ‘extraordinary enterprise’…….. attained it’s present position in the foremost ranks of printing’. James Scott retired from business in 1847. However, in 1852 he returned to set up the firm of J. & W.J. Scott with his younger brother. It became the largest cotton spinning works in Scotland. He also had interests in the railways and in oil setting up works at Clippens in Renfrewshire. 32 As a town councillor in Glasgow he was largely responsible for the formation of Kelvingrove Park. He sold the estate of Kelly to James ‘Paraffin’ Young in 1867. James Young died there on 13 May 1883 and is buried in Inverkip cemetery. James Scott died in 1884. Kelly House burned down in 1913 allegedly from suffragette activity. 33


  1. Catalogue of Donations, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  2. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate 1917, Jane Martha Scott
  3. Old Parish Registers, Family Search, Scotland
  4. Ibid
  5. Scotland’s People, Birth Certificate
  6. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  7. Smith, John Guthrie, Strathendrick, and its inhabitants from early times, Glasgow, J Maclehose and sons, 1896
  8. Scotland’s People, Birth Certificate
  9., 1881 Scotland Census
  10. Macdonald, Hugh, Rambles Round Glasgow, 1854
  11., 1891 Scotland Census
  12., 1901 Scotland Census
  13. Smith, John Guthrie, Strathendrick, and its inhabitants from early times, Glasgow, J Maclehose and sons, 1896
  15. Stirling Advertiser, 11 October 1888
  16., 1901 Scotland Census
  17. https//
  18. England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005,
  21. Ibid
  22. Milngavie and Bearsden Herald, 10 February 1905
  23. England and Wales Marriage Registration Index, 1837-2005,
  24. Hull Daily Mail, 18 April 1907
  25. Milngavie and Bearsden Herald, 12 April 1918
  26. https//
  27. Glasgow Herald, 8 December 1942
  28. Milngavie and Bearsden Herald, 26 July 1947
  29. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  30. Milngavie and Bearsden Herald , 17 October 1953
  31. Kirkintilloch Herald, 2 January 1929

Mrs Anna Bella Baird nee Maltman (1870 – 1963)

On 28 February 1944, an oil painting by Sir John Lavery presented by Mrs Baird of 8 Northbank Terrace, Glasgow, N.W., was accepted by Glasgow Corporation.1 The subject of the painting was Mr. George Ure Baird who was the father-in-law of the donor.

Figure 1. Lavery, John (1885). George Ure Baird (2361) © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(

The Donor

Anna Bella Walker Maltman was born at 17 Kelvinhaugh Street, Anderston, Glasgow on 14 January 1870.2 Her father, Thomas Maltman was a drapery warehouseman who had married Anna`s mother Isabella Adam on 6 July 1860 in Glasgow.3 In 1871 the family consisted of Thomas, (who was now a shipping clerk) and Isabella with Magdalena aged 8, Frances 6, John 4 and Anna Bella.4 Ten years later the family was living at 9 Windsor Street, Kelvin, Glasgow. Anna Bella was a scholar, aged 11 and there were two other children, Johanna aged 7 and James aged 2.5  

            In 1891, the twenty-year-old Anna was living at 52 Ardbeg Road, Rothesay with her sisters Frances and Magdalena and brother-in-law, Andrew Adamson who was a photographic artist. Anna was ‘living on private means’.6 On 9 April 1896 Anna married George Callwell Baird at her home, 22 Montgomerie Street, Glasgow. George was a commercial traveller, aged 27, living at his brother`s home, Killadoon, Langside. Anna`s sister Johanna was a witness.7

            By 1901 Anna and George had moved to 2 Albany Street, Kelvinside. They now had a son George Ure Baird aged 3 and employed one servant.8 Ten years later, they were living at 242 Wilton Street, (later 8 Northbank Terrace) and now had three children, George, Dorothy, aged 9 and Thomas, aged 2.9 George senior was now a silk buyer employed by Gilmour & Co. silk merchants of 5 Royal Exchange Square, Glasgow. 10

            George Callwell Baird died in the Western Infirmary, Glasgow on 18 May 1943. He was 75.11 The following year Anna donated the painting of her father-in-law to Glasgow Museums.

            Anna Bella Walker Baird died on 10 December 1963 at 44 Balshagray Avenue, Glasgow. She was aged 93 and the cause of death was ‘senile decay’. Her usual address was that of her son Thomas at 242 Wilton Street.12

The Sitter

            George Ure Baird was born in Saltcoats on 8 January 1832 although the birth was registered in Stevenston. His parents were Hugh Baird, gentleman, and Margaret Anderson.13 On 18 July 1860, George married the nineteen-year-old Mary Helen Robertson at Gothic Cottage in Govan, and the couple took up residence at 3 Osborne Place, Govan. George was a commission merchant in sewing machines and lace.14 By 1881 the family had moved to Cartbank, 45 Netherlee Road, Cathcart. (This small Georgian house consisted of a single storey with a basement. It was described as symmetrical, two ends circled, ashlar, large square bay window on front. Probably circa 1770, with ends added circa 1800).15 The family now consisted of four sons and three daughters.16

It was about this time that the portrait of George Ure Baird was commissioned from John Lavery – probably to help the artist become established. Lavery later said that ‘Mr. Baird was one of my first patrons and his kindness to me still excites my warm gratitude’.17 Lavery`s paintings The Tennis Party and a watercolour Lady on a Safety Tricycle, (now in the government art collection) were painted at Cartbank and dated to 1885.18

Figure 2. Lavery, John. The Tennis Party © Aberdeen Art gallery. (

At about this time, George Ure Baird moved to a different address. An entry in the Glasgow Post Office directory for 1884/5 is

Baird, George Ure, commission merchant, 62, Queen Street; House, Anglsey Lodge, Langside

         George Ure Baird died of consumption aged 53 at Anglesy Lodge on 21 January 188519 and was buried in the Glasgow Necropolis along with two sons and a daughter who had predeceased him. The inscription on the headstone reads;-

    ‘GEORGE URE BAIRD ANN OGILVY born 22nd April 1873 died 6 March 1875, DAVID ANDERSON born 6th Oct 1870 died 28th March 1875 JESSIE born 3rd Jan 1877 died 9th Aug 1877, GEORGE URE BAIRD born 8th Jan 1832 died 21st Jan 1885, MARY HELEN ROBERTSON wife of the said GEORGE URE BAIRD who died 4th Oct 1903 aged 61’.

His business of commission merchant was carried on by his son Hugh Baird in partnership with Mr. William Ewing. However, the name George Ure Baird was retained. 20

The Painting and the Artist

            John Lavery was born in Belfast in 1856 but was orphaned three years later. At the age of ten he was sent to live with a rich cousin of his aunt who had a pawnshop in Saltcoats.21 George Ure Baird was one of his earliest patrons and the portrait was one of the first painted by Lavery. It may have been commissioned partly to help the artist become established. (It is not clear if the Saltcoats connection is relevant to their relationship since Baird would have moved to Glasgow before Lavery arrived in Saltcoats). However, the present portrait at GMRC is not the one commissioned by Baird.

         Lavery had bought and insured a studio in St.Vincent Street and ‘very shortly afterwards it succumbed to a mysterious fire’. Lavery recalled later that he had completed the original painting at his studio one Saturday evening but was not at all happy with the finished work. On returning to the studio the next day he found the place in flames and the painting destroyed ‘to his secret pleasure’. He pretended to be aggrieved but was secretly pleased with the outcome. More especially since he collected £300 of insurance money with which he financed his departure in 1880 for the Heatherley School of Fine Art in London and then to Paris.22

            Sometime later (1885) he painted the present portrait from a photographic miniature. Unfortunately, it was completed after the sitter’s death and was delivered to his widow. When Mary Helen Baird died on 4 October 1903, the painting passed to her son George Callwell Baird, husband of the donor. There is a letter on file at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre from Lavery to Mr. J. (sic) C. Baird dated 3 October 1931 from 5 Cromwell Place, London in which he says that he will be ‘passing through Glasgow on Monday with an hour to spare’ and stating that he would wish to come and visit and view the painting. The letter was handed in to Kelvingrove in February 1962 by Mr. T. M. Baird the grandson of the sitter.

Figure 3. Lavery, John (1885). George Ure Baird (2361) © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 4 Photographic Miniature from the Glasgow Evening News 4 September 1931.



  1. Glasgow Corporation, Committee on Art Galleries and Museum, Minutes, 15February 1944. (Mitchell Library)
  2. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  3. Scotland`s People, Marriage Certificate
  4., 1871 Scotland Census
  5. Scotland`s People, 1881 Census
  6. Scotland’s People, 1891 Census
  7. Scotland`s People, Marriage Certificate
  8. Scotland`s People, 1901 Census
  9. Scotland’s People, 1911 Census
  10. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1911-12
  11. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate
  12. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  13. Old Parish Registers, Ayrshire, Family Search
  14. Scotland`s People, Marriage Certificate
  16. Scotland’s People, 1881 Census
  17. Glasgow Evening News, 4 Sept 1931
  19. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  20. The Edinburgh Gazette, 24 April 1885
  21. Billcliffe, Roger, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography,
  22. ibid

George Edgar Campbell (1899 – 1976)

On 16 October 1950 an oil painting Mimosa (2863) by F. J. Conway was donated to Glasgow Corporation by Mr George Campbell, per Dr. Honeyman. 1

Figure 1. Mimosa © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (

In 1952, the same donor gave a second painting, Amintas Revived by Sylvia (2959), by François Boucher, (after). 2

Figure 2. Amintas Revived by Sylvia © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (

This painting has labels on the reverse, ‘19219’; ‘Pictures with Care Dr T. J. Honeyman Glasgow’; ‘G E Campbell’ ‘no. 2/’; ‘5GA’; ‘6013-2’S’. At one time it was in the possession of Asher Ezra Wertheimer a London art dealer. It was sold at Christie’s, London in 1923. 3

                Also in 1952, a companion piece to the above was purchased from George Campbell by Glasgow Corporation. This is Sylvia Saved by Amintas also by François Boucher  (after) (2958)

Figure 3.  Sylvia Saved by Amintas © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (

            The artist F. J. Conway (Ferdinand Joseph Conway) 4 was born on 19 January 1888 in Paddington, London. 5 He was the son of the British art dealer Asher Ezra Wertheimer and his wife Flora. Asher had inherited premises in London from his father Samson. Ferdinand  and his older brother changed their name to Conway ‘perhaps to avoid anti-German sentiment during the First World War’. 6 He became known as Bob Conway, artist, and writer. John Singer Sargent was commissioned by Asher to paint twelve portraits of his family between 1898 and 1908. Nine of these portraits are now in the Tate Britain Gallery in London.

Figure 4, Essie, Ruby, and Ferdinand, Children of Asher and Mrs Wertheimer,John Singer Sargent, 1902. © Tate Gallery. (

When Conway died on 1 April 1950, he left his house, Tarras, Crawley Drive, Camberley, ten thousand pounds, ‘and all my personal chattels’ to his friend George Edgar Campbell. He also instructed his trustees to pay George Edgar Campbell during his lifetime, the income from his estate. 7 Although not specifically mentioned in his will, it is likely that the two donated paintings were among his ‘personal chattels’ since Conway and Campbell shared the same house for many years.

            George Edgar Campbell was born on 9 December 1899 in Liverpool. 8 His parents, Thomas Campbell and Margaret Farrell were Scottish. He was christened at Edge Hill on 10 January 1900. 9 In 1911 he was living at 85 White Rock Street, Liverpool, the youngest of the family of four sisters and four brothers. His eldest brother Thomas Matthew Campbell aged 33, a railway van man, was head of the family his mother having been widowed. An uncle, Robert Edmond Farrell was also living with them. 10

            On 20 August 1917, George, aged seventeen, joined the White Star Line shipping company as a steward and sailed to New York aboard the RMS Adriatic. He is described on the ship’s manifest as ‘Scotch’. 11 The following year from 1 to 25 June he served as an ordinary seaman in the Royal Navy Volunteer Reserve (RNVR) on HMS Vivid 3 based at Devonport. From 26 June to 20 October, he was based at HMS Victory 6. Like H.M..S Vivid, this was a land-based establishment and not an actual ship. (At this time, Crystal Palace was used as a Royal Navy training establishment and was given the name HMS Victory 6). He returned to HMS Vivid on 21 October 1918 and remained there until discharged with a disability on 6 February 1919 and was paid a war gratuity.12 The RNVR records describe him as being 5’10”, 38” chest with light brown hair, grey eyes and a fair complexion. His character was VG and his ability Satisfactory.

            After his war service, George enrolled in the Regent Street Polytechnic to study sculpture. After five years he passed the exams of the Royal College of Art and won the Whitechapel Prize for sculpture. On completing his studies, he travelled in Italy, Switzerland and the USA and lived for a time in France. 13 He continued to sculpt and between 1934 and 1937 he completed at least three works, Virginia (1935), Helen (1936) and A Youth (1937) which were shown at the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture exhibitions between 1935 and 1937. His address at that time was 26 Holland Villas Road, London, W14. Between 1934 and 1966 he exhibited one or two works per year (twenty-two times in all) at the Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibitions. 14

            ‘Bob’ Conway commissioned a house to be built at 32 Newton Road, Paddington from the architect Denys (later Sir Denys) Lasdun. The house was completed in 1938 and was occupied by Conway and Campbell till at least 1943.15

Figure 5. The house at 32 Newton Road, Paddington, London. © Copyright Jim Osley, licensed for reuse under the Creative Commons  Licence.

The house was bought in the 1950s by the cartoonist Ronald Searle and his wife Kaye Webb. It was remarked that the house was,

‘built for a pair of bachelor artists, (unknown artistically, but extremely wealthy) it was topped by a splendid studio favoured by north light, as the estate agents say, and a fine terrace overlooking half of Paddington. As Searle remarked to his friend David Arkell, ‘If one had to overlook half of Paddington, this was the way to do it.’ 16

The Searles found that ‘the cellar was full of stuff left by the previous owners (including several Lucian Freuds, which they returned)’.17

It is not clear that the ‘previous owners’ were Conway and Campbell since in 1943 they were in residence at Tarras, Crawley Drive, Camberley. In that year George Campbell exhibited Archangel Gabriel at the RSA. 18

            George Campbell again saw service in WW2. He was promoted to lieutenant on 23 June 1941 and, as part of the Royal Naval Reserve, was stationed at the shore base HMS Lucifer in Swansea. 19 This was the base for a mine sweeping trawler fleet tasked with ensuring the Bristol Channel was kept free of mines. 20

            When Conway died in 1950, he left an estate valued at £83,690 with George Campbell one of his trustees and main beneficiary, He was buried in St. Peter’s Churchyard, Frimley, Surrey. 21 George Campbell had two nephews and a godson living in Sydney 22 and on 22 November 1951, he travelled first class to Australia aboard the P&O steamship Strathnaver. His London address was now 37 Holland Park Road, W.14. 23

On his return he continued to exhibit at the Royal Academy summer exhibitions, and he also executed a large amount of religious works. He became an Associate Member of the Royal Society of British Sculptors (RSBS) in 1941 and organized Children in Sculpture for the society in 1947. Two years later he served as a Member of Council. He was elected a Fellow of the RSBS in 1951. 24 In the same year, Glasgow Corporation bought one of his sculptures, Torso from the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts Exhibition. 25

Figure 6. Torso – Sculpture in Wood by George Edgar Campbell, 1944 (S.265). © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (

George Edgar Campbell died on 11 May 1976 at 71 Marsham Court, Marsham Street, London, SW1. He was seventy-six.26                                              

            On 10 March 2021, a 44.5 inch, bronzed, plaster maquette by Campbell, of Judith at the Well was put up for auction with an estimate of £1500 – £2000. It was unsold. 27

Figure 7. Judith at the Well


  1. Catalogue of Donors to Glasgow Museums, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  2. Ibid
  3. Toutziari, Dr. Georgia, National Inventory of Continental European Paintings, Culture and Sport Glasgow (Museums): Kelvingrove Museum
  4. Information from his will published 15 June 1950
  5. “Find A Grave Index,” database, FamilySearch ( : 3 August 2020), Wertheimer, ; Burial, Frimley, Surrey Heath Borough, Surrey, England, St. Peter’s Churchyard; citing record ID 197025066, Find a Grave,
  7. Information from his will published 15 June 1950
  8., Royal Naval Reserve Service Records Index, 1860-1955,
  9., England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975
  10., Census 1911, England
  11., New York, U.S., Arriving Passenger and Crew Lists (including Castle Garden and Ellis Island), 1820-1957
  12. https//
  13. Stevenson, Hugh, Catalogue of Sculpture Collections, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, August 2008
  14. ‘George Edgar Campbell’, Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [, accessed 12 Nov 2021]
  16. Russell Davies in
  17. Ibid
  18. ‘George Edgar Campbell’, Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [, accessed 12 Nov 2021] This gives George Campbell`s address from 1943
  19. Forces Records, UK Navy List, February 1942.
  22. Information from his will, published 30 July 1976
  23., UK and Ireland, Outward Passenger Lists, 1890-1960
  24. ‘George Edgar Campbell’, Mapping the Practice and Profession of Sculpture in Britain and Ireland 1851-1951, University of Glasgow History of Art and HATII, online database 2011 [, accessed 12 Nov 2021]
  25. Catalogue of Donors to Glasgow Museums, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  26. Information from his will, published 30 July 1976

Jessie Whyte Craig (1856 – 1950)

On 18 November 1950, fifteen oil paintings, three watercolours and one pastel were received by Glasgow corporation having been bequeathed by Miss Jessie Whyte Craig through Messrs. Frame and Macdonald, 5 Fitzroy Pl., Glasgow, C.3. 1 Fourteen of the oil paintings are shown below, the fifteenth has been presumed stolen.

Figure 1. Campbell, Colin Cairns Clinton; Sweet William in a White Vase. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 2. Campbell, Colin Cairns Clinton; Sweet William in a Lustre Jug. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 3. Algie, Jessie; Rambler Roses; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 4. Muir, Anne Davidson; Primulas in a Blue and White Vase. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 5. Muir, Anne Davidson; Spring Bouquet. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 6. Dobson, Cowan; Old Lady Reading. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 7. Morris, May; Rocky Cove. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 8. Perman, Louisa Ellen; Red and White Roses. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 9. Hornel, Edward Atkinson; Children on the Sands. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 10. Hornel, Edward Atkinson; Two Girls and Swans at a Pool. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 11. McGhie, John; Rocky Seascape; Glasgow Museums. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 12. Wylie, Kate; Wallflower. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 13. McKinna, Mary E. Tait; Nasturtiums in a Lustre Jug. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(
Figure 14. Carrick, William Arthur Laurie; Iona. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(

The watercolours were ‘By the Sea‘ by Robert Eadie R’S’W., ‘Pink Roses‘ by James G. Lang and ‘Kintello Village‘ by Charles A. Sellar. The pastel is ‘Delphiniums‘ by M. Hamilton.                                                     

Jessie Whyte Craig was born in ‘the village of Bothwell’, on 8 October 1856, the second child of Robert Craig, an accountant, and Agnes Brown.  Robert, Jessie’s older brother was born in Tradeston on 3 February 1855. 2 Jessie’s birth was registered in Bothwell and Glasgow where the family home was at 163 Eglinton Street, Tradeston.3 Her younger brother George was born on 2 February 1861 and her sister Jane on 2 September 1863. 4 In 1861, the family was living at Shields Road Junction Cottage with the four-year-old Jessie ‘an accountant’s daughter’. 5 In the following two years the children became orphaned when first their father died followed by their mother Agnes on 9 April 1865 at 42 Grant Street. She was thirty-three. 6 The children appear to have been taken into the care of their maternal grandparents, George and Janet Brown (both born in 1800) living at 79 Eglinton Street. By 1871, Robert was an apprentice clerk with Jessie, George and Jane, scholars. Also living with them and their grandparents, was their unmarried aunt, Jessie Brown who was twenty-six. 7 By 1881, the family had moved to 109 Eglinton Street with Jessie Brown now the head and housekeeper. Jessie Craig had her occupation listed as ‘milliner’ with her sister Jane aged seventeen, still a scholar. George Craig was an ‘analytical chemist’ living as a lodger at 387 Craigston Square, Auchinleck, Ayrshire.8

  George Craig became a tenant at 9 Hampden Terrace, Cathcart 9 *and by 1901, his two sisters, Jessie, and Jane as well as his aunt Jessie Brown had moved in with him. 10 There is no occupation given for Jessie in the census. Jessie Craig remained domiciled at 9 Hampden Terrace for the rest of her life, living on ‘her own account’. 11 When her brother George died in the early 1930s, Jessie took over the tenancy. 12

            Jessie Whyte Craig died aged 94 at 9 Hampden Terrace on 10 October 1950. Her death was reported by her cousin Jean Craig Renton whose address was in Canford Cliffs in Devon. 13 She was buried in Cathcart Cemetery on 12 October 1950. 14 The following month, Glasgow received the bequest of nineteen pictures.

  • 9 Hampden Terrace was probably built about 1880 and consists of three storeys and a basement and large external staircase. It is now category C listed.


  1. Glasgow Corporation, list of donors held at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  2. Scotland’s People, Birth Certificate
  3. Ibid
  4. Ibid
  5. Scotland’s People, Census 1861
  6. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  7. Scotland’s People, Census 1871
  8. Scotland’s People, Census 1881
  9. Scotland’s People, Valuation Roll, Cathcart, 1895
  10. Scotland’s People, Census 1901
  11. Scotland’s People, Census 1911
  12. Scotland’s People, Valuation Roll, Cathcart, 1935
  13. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  14. Glasgow Herald, 11 October 1950, p1






Helen Murray (1868 – 1959)

On 22 June 1946, a painting entitled Nurse and Child (2557) in oils by R. C. Crawford was presented by Miss Murray of 15 Belhaven Terrace, Glasgow. 1

Figure 1. Crawford, Robert Cree; Woman and Child; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (

On ArtUK the painting is entitled Woman and Child by Robert Cree Crawford and is dated to about 1895 – 97.

The initial problems with researching this donor were that she was listed simply as ‘Miss Murray’ with no first name or initial given. Also, she could not be located at the address given in the Glasgow Post Office Directories spanning the years 1944 to 1949.

However, in March 2014, a distant relative of the artist visited the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC) to view the painting. She was able to identify the child in the painting as Helen, youngest daughter of the artist Robert Cree Crawford. 2 It then seemed possible that ‘Miss Murray’ might be the woman in the picture – the child`s nurse/governess. On checking the 1891 Census 3 there was listed at 46 St. James Street, Hillhead, along with the Crawford family, an ‘Ellen Murray’ who was single, aged 23 and employed by the family as a nurse. She had been born in England. There was no Helen Crawford but there were six children under the age of eleven, one of whom was deaf, so it would have been appropriate to employ a governess.

By 1901, the family had moved to 12 Derby Crescent, Kelvinside and in the census of that year 4 there appears, ‘Helen Murray, governess, single, aged 31’ in the Crawford household. There is also a Helen C(harlotte) Crawford, daughter of Robert and born in 1892.

        So, assuming the child in the painting is Helen Charlotte aged about five, the painting must have been completed about 1897 when Helen Murray would have been about 28 and a ‘governess’.

            By the time the picture was painted Helen would have been with the family for ten years. Perhaps it was a birthday/anniversary present? In his will, Robert Cree Crawford left everything to his wife but there is no mention of this painting. 5 It is also a possibility that Helen Charlotte was named after a favourite nurse/governess as there seemed to be no other ‘Helens’ in the family. If this is so it shows that Helen Murray was held in high regard by the family.

Helen Murray was christened on 11 March 1868 in Everton, Liverpool. 6  Her father, David Murray was a joiner from Canonbie in Dumfries who had married Mary Beattie in Canonbie on 29 August 1862. 7 The couple and their eldest daughter, Jane moved to Liverpool around 1865 and lived there for about the next ten years. In the 1871 census 8 they were at Toxteth Park, Liverpool, and ‘Ellen’, aged 3, now had a brother Robert. By 1881 they had moved back to Scotland to Carrutherstown Village, Dalton, Dumfries. 9 Helen was now thirteen and a ‘scholar’. She had, in addition to Jane and Robert, two younger siblings, George and Mary. Ten years later, Helen, aged 23, was employed by Robert Cree Crawford as a ‘domestic servant, nurse’ and was living with the Crawford family at 46 St. James Street, Hillhead. 10 The donated painting was completed about 1897. By 1901 the family had moved to 12 Derby Crescent, Kelvinside and in the census of that year Helen`s occupation is ‘governess’, aged 31. 11

Robert Cree Crawford married his first cousin, Sophia Jean Cree. His ‘in-laws’ (or uncle and aunt) lived at ‘Woodneuk’, Rahane near Garelochhead. His father-in-law (uncle) died in 1894 and his mother-in-law (aunt) in 1903. 12 Sometime after this the Crawford family moved to Rahane, and Helen went with them. In the census of 1911 for ‘Woodneuk’ she is described as a ‘lady help’ aged 42.13 However, the family must have kept the house at 12 Derby Crescent as this was described as his usual address when Robert Cree Crawford died in 1924.

Sophia Jean Crawford died intestate in 1929 at ‘Woodneuk’ leaving £3123, 5s 5p. Her two daughters Sophia Cree Crawford and Helen Charlotte Crawford were granted confirmation, and both gave their address as Woodneuk, Rahane. 14, 15 The following year Helen Murray was in residence at 15 Belhaven Terrace, Glasgow 16. She was now 62 and had been employed by the Crawford family for over 40 years. She presented the painting to Glasgow in 1946 when she was 78.

Helen Murray died at 2 Lorraine Road, Glasgow – a nursing home – on 8 March 1959. She was 91. Her usual address was still 15 Belhaven Terrace. 17

MURRAY – At a nursing home, Glasgow on 8th March, 1959, Helen Murray, 15,

Belhaven Terrace, Glasgow, W2 – Funeral tomorrow (Wednesday) at 12.10 p.m. from Messrs Wylie & Lochhead, Ltd., 31, Bath Street to Glasgow crematorium, Maryhill arriving at 12.30 p.m.; friends desirous of attending phone …..; no flowers or letters please. 18

Helen Charlotte Crawford died, unmarried, in 1979 at Callender. She was 87.19


  1. Catalogue of Donations to Glasgow, Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC)
  2. Information in the Object File at GMRC
  3. Scotland`s People, Census 1891
  4. Scotland’s people, Census 1901
  5. Scotland`s People, Wills and Testaments, Robert Cree Crawford,
  6. Births and Christening Records, Old Parish Registers, Family Search, England
  7. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  8., Census, England, 1871
  9. Scotland’s People, Census, 1881
  10. Scotland’s People, Census, 1891
  11. Scotland’s People, Census, 1901
  12. Scotland’s People, Death Certificates
  13. Scotland’s People, Census, 1911
  14. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate
  15. Confirmations and Inventories, Mitchell Library, Glasgow
  16. Scotland’s People, Valuation Roll, 1930
  17. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  18. Glasgow Herald, Death Notices, 10 March 1959
  19. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate

Mrs Elizabeth Webster Gow (1873 – 1951)

On 19 January 1943, an oil painting by James Godsell Middleton entitled Jeannie Deans and the Queen was presented by Mrs E. W. Gow, Ardchattan, 2 Wellshot Drive, Cambuslang. Its acquisition number is 2309. 1

Figure 1. Middleton, James Godsell; Jeanie Deans and the Queen;
© CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

The frame of the painting bears a tablet with the inscription ‘J. Middleton (Scottish School) Jeannie Deans and the Queen / Lent by Captain Dennistoun’.

The painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy Exhibition of 1845 by the artist whose address was 76 Newman Street, London . It carried the caption:

Jeannie Deans begging the life of her sister from Queen Caroline.
“Tear followed tear down Jeannie`s cheeks as, her features glaring and
quivering with emotion, she pleaded her sister`s cause etc. Heart of
Midlothian”, (481). 2

The artist also exhibited the painting at the Royal Scottish Academy the following year with a shortened caption!

Jeannie Deans begging the life of her sister from Queen Caroline,
vide The Heart of Midlothian (136) 3

There was no record of the donation in the Corporation Minutes.

            Elizabeth Webster Waugh (later Mrs. E. W. Gow) was born on 2 June 1873 at 5 East Howard Street, Glasgow. 4 Her father, Robert Waugh, was a storekeeper who married, Elizabeth Chambers, a domestic servant, on 30 September 1870 at Hamilton Street in Motherwell. 5 Elizabeth Waugh was the second of six children of the marriage. In 1881 “Bessie” (Elizabeth) and her family were living at 115 Stirling Road, Glasgow along with four older siblings – children of Robert Waugh`s first marriage to Janet Marshall. Robert Waugh died on 6 July 1888 6 and the family moved to 9 Glebe Street, Glasgow. In 1891, Bessie, aged 17 was a ‘furniture polisher’. 7 (It may have been because of her occupation that she met her future husband Walter Gow who was a house furnisher/furniture dealer).              
Elizabeth`s mother died in 1892 8 and three years later, on 19 March 1895, Elizabeth, aged 21, married Walter Gow who was then 35.  It was Walter`s second marriage. (He had first married Elizabeth Marquis on 29 June 1883 in Glasgow 9. At that time, he was a cabinet maker and upholsterer with an address at 73 Buccleuch Street. However, Elizabeth Marquis “formerly married to Walter Gow” re-married in 1894 10 presumably after she and Walter divorced).

            The marriage to Elizabeth was ‘by declamation’ at 63, Cockburn Street, Edinburgh in the presence of Elizabeth`s sister Margaret and her brother Thomas. According to the marriage certificate Walter Gow was a bachelor whose occupation was ‘cabinet maker’. He gave his address as ‘The Grand Hotel, Charing Cross, Glasgow’. 11 (Walter Gow`s father Joseph was also a cabinet maker and had originated the family business of ‘J. Gow and Sons’, house furnishers. In 1899 the business was based at 187 (later 175) Trongate, 12).

                    After their marriage, Walter and Elizabeth moved to ‘Glenholm’ a large house at 31 Hamilton Drive, Cambuslang.13,14 The marriage did not produce any children. However, by 1911 Walter and Elizabeth had adopted Mosina (Ina) Mills the daughter of Elizabeth`s sister Annie and were living in Hamilton Drive along with Elizabeth`s older sister Margaret and one servant. Walter was a house furnisher and employer. 15

                    By 1927 Walter and Elizabeth had moved to ‘Ardchattan’, 2 Wellshot Drive, Cambuslang. The business was now based at 11 Hope Street. 16 (The name of the house would have derived from Walter`s interest in Clan or Family History. In 1898, he had been a subscriber to a book concerning the history of Clan Chattan.17 Gow is one of the minor Septs of Clan Chattan).

On 30 April 1929 Elizabeth`s niece and adopted daughter Ina, married Alexander Stephen, a fishery officer from Peterhead, in Glasgow Cathedral.18

 Walter Gow died aged 76, on 26 March 1936 at 2 Wellshot Drive, Cambuslang and was buried in East Kilbride Cemetery. 19 He left an estate valued at £100,111:18s:7d.20 Elizabeth inserted “In Memoriam” notices in the Glasgow Herald each year from 1937 to 1951 (apart from 1949 and 1950) in memory of her husband.

For example, the following appeared in the ‘In Memoriam’ column of the Glasgow Herald, on 26 March 1943:

            GOW. In loving memory of my beloved husband Walter Gow, J.P., who died on
26th March 1936. Inserted by Mrs Gow, “Ardchattan”, Cambuslang”

Elizabeth moved from Cambuslang to 29 Newlands Road in 1945 or 1946 and in the following year to ‘White Croft’, Barrhead. (Taken from Glasgow Herald, In Memoriam Columns.) Sometime between 1948 and 1951 she moved to ‘Glengyron’, Whitecraigs in Renfrewshire.

Elizabeth Gow died aged 78 at ‘Glengyron’, 38 Ayr Road, Whitecraigs on 21 August 1951 21. She was buried beside her husband in East Kilbride Cemetery on 24 August.22

The business of J. Gow and Sons was still operating from 11 Hope Street in 1964 23.


  1. Glasgow Museums Record of Donations
  2. Graves, Algernon, The Royal Academy of Arts; a complete dictionary of contributors and their work from its foundation in 1769 to 1904, H. Graves and Co., London, 1905.
  3. Object File at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  4. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  5. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  6. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  7., Scotland Census 1891,
  8. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  9. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  10. ibid
  11. ibid
  12. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1899-1900
  13. Cambuslang Suburban Directory, 1900/01
  14. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1902/03 till 1920/21
  15. Scotland`s People, Census 1911.
  16. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1927/8.
  17. Fraser-Mackintosh, Charles, of Drummond, An Account of the Confederation of Clan Chattan: Its Kith and Kin; The Minor Septs of Clan Chattan. J. Mckay, Glasgow, 1898
  18. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  19. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  20. Confirmations and Inventories, Mitchell Library
  21. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  22. Glasgow Herald, Deaths, August 22, 1951, page 1.
  23. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1966-67

Mary Alston Waddell Thomson (1876-1947)

‘There was submitted a letter from Messrs. A. and J. Graham, writers, intimating that the late Miss M. A. W. Thomson of Ridge Park, Lanark, had bequeathed to the corporation a collection of pictures and the committee, after hearing a report from the Director, agreed to accept eighteen of the pictures mentioned in the list now submitted.’1

The pictures selected consisted of five watercolours and thirteen oils. The water colours were:

Sir John Lavery R. A.   Head of a Child                                          (2634, Accession No.)

Sam Bough R. S. A.     Busy Harbour                                             (2635)

Jan Zoetelief Tromp   The Young Harvesters                                 (2636)

Janet M. Aitken          Trafalgar Square                                         (2645) 

This artist lived at 2 Woodlands Terrace until 1925. She exhibited at the Glasgow Instutute 1906 – 1920.                           

M. B. Barnard (?)        Shore Scene                                                (2648)  

The thirteen oils are shown below. Given the dates of completion, it seems likely that Miss Thomson purchased all of them.           

Figure 1. Park, Stuart; Vase of Roses; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (2633)
Figure 2. Park, Stuart; Orchids; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (2649)(
Figure 3. Park, Stuart; Daffodils; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (2650) (

Figure 4. McEwan, Thomas; Tea Time; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (2638) (

Figure 5 McGhie, John; Fisher Girls Landing the Catch; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (2639) (

Figure 6. Hornel, Edward Atkinson; The Paper Hat;  © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(2641) (
Figure 7. Hornel, Edward Atkinson; In a Japanese Garden; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(2642) (

Figure 8. Allan, Archibald Russell Watson; Harvest Time; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(2643) (

Figure 9. Elwell, Frederick William; The Squire; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(2644) (
Figure 10. Jansen, Willem Georg Frederik; Milking Time; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(2646) (

Figure 11. Anderson, James Bell; Still Life; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(2647) (

Figure 12. de Hoog, Bernard; Tea Time; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(2637) (
Figure 13. Westerbeek, Cornelis; At the End of the Day; (currently under restoration). © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(2642) (

Mary Alston Waddell Thomson was born on 14 December 1876 at 10 Moray Place, Regent’s Park, Strathbungo – one of a row of houses designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson but apparently no relation. This was the home of her grandparents after whom Mary was named. Her mother Catherine was born in 1851 at Wiston, Lanarkshire to James Waddell a coal master and his wife Mary Alston.2 Catherine married William Thomson on 28 October 1875 also at 10 Moray Place.3 Mary’s birth was registered in two separate birth certificates – one for Kinning Park and one for Shettleston which was her father’s ‘domicile’. Her father, William Thomson a rope manufacturer, had a house ‘Ferndean, in Shettleston, Glasgow.4 The family business was the Glasgow Rope Works which was founded in 1842 by William’s father, Archibald Thomson. The firm had offices at 58 Howard Street, Glasgow, and a factory in Shettleston. Archibald Thomson lived nearby at Braidfaulds, Tollcross. 5 In 1891 this was ‘one of the oldest houses engaged in this branch of productive industry in Glasgow. The trade of the firm is of world-wide proportions and at one time employed over three hundred people’.6

The 1881 census recorded Mary and her parents at Ferndean, 299 Main Street, Shettleston. Mary’s father was a ‘cordage manufacturer, master, employing 105 men, 95 boys, 40 females’. Also on the census was Mary’s younger brother Archibald and her aunt Mary Waddell.7 Mary’s sister, Helen Jane Thomson was born in 1883.8 William Thomson died suddenly and intestate at Ferndean on the 11 September 1888 aged forty-two.9 An inventory valued his personal estate at £1189.16.3. 10 Archibald Thomson then assumed sole control of the ropeworks and moved into Ferndean. 11

In the 1891 census the family was at Stockbriggs House near Lesmahagow. (Stockbriggs was a family estate owned at one time by Mary’s great grandfather James William Alston a wealthy Glasgow merchant one of whose sons Edward Richard Alston became a prominent zoologist contributing many papers to the ‘Proceedings of the Zoological Society’. He was elected Zoological Secretary of the Linnean Society in 1880 but died the following year. 12) In the census, the head of the household was John Waddell, Mary’s uncle, who was a coal master. Also present were Mary’s grandmother Mary Waddell, aged seventy-five and Mary’s mother Catherine both of whom were living on private means. Mary, aged fourteen, her brother and sister were all ‘scholars’. Also present were Catherine’s sister Mary McMillan and her family. 13

Archibald Thomson died aged seventy-four on 27 October 1893. Shortly afterwards the firm amalgamated with John Black and Co. to become Archibald Thomson, Black and Co. 14 They maintained the works at Shettleston until about 1911. 15 Mary’s grandmother, Mary Waddell died at 11 Newark Drive, Glasgow on 30 January 1899. Her death was reported by her son John A. Waddell whose address was 10 Moray Place. 16

In 1901 Mary was with her mother who was living on her own means, brother Archibald and sister Jane, at Cragieburn, Crichton Road, Rothesay. Mary was twenty-four, with no occupation listed. Archibald aged twenty was a bank clerk and Jane aged seventeen, was a scholar. 17 Archibald Thomson was a former pupil of Glasgow High School. In 1914 he succeeded his maternal uncle to became Laird of Stockbriggs. He was interested in agriculture and would have been keen to develop the land around Stockbriggs for farming but with the outbreak of WW1 he enlisted in the 16th Highland Light Infantry. 18 He served with the 14th Platoon, ‘D’ Company and later transferred to the 97th Machine Gun Corps. Unfortunately, he did not survive the War and was listed as missing in action on 2 December 1917. He was commemorated as ‘Private Archibald Thomson, H.L.I., of Stockbriggs, Lesmahagow, Lanarkshire. Only son of Catherine Thomson (now of Largs, Ayrshire) and the late William Thomson.’ 19

Mary and her mother Catherine moved to Largs possibly as early as 1914. By 1925 Mary was the proprietor/occupier of Moorburn House and Grounds on the north side of Largs. 20 Five years later she was still the proprietor of Moorburn but apparently, not the occupier. 21 Mary’s mother Catherine died at Moorburn on the 21 May 1931. She was eighty-six. 22 In the 1935 valuation roll Mary is listed as the proprietor of Moorburn and also of Moorcote House in Haco Street, Largs. 23 Moorburn House was described as ‘one of the most stunning mansions in Largs’. 24 After her mother’s death, Mary put Moorburn House on the market. It sold for £7,500 and became the offices of the district council in 1936. 25

On 26 May 1934, Ridge Park House in Lanark was advertised for sale. 26 This was after the death of the owner Maria Louisa Roberts Vassie the previous month. 27 However, the house did not sell and was re-advertised the following year when it was purchased by Mary Thomson. The house was set in nine acres of land and has three public rooms, a billiard room and five bedrooms with central heating, a garage, a tennis lawn and a greenhouse. 28

While resident at Ridge Park, Mary Thomson involved herself in local affairs and especially those involving the youth of the area. She ‘acted as inspecting officer for a Girls’ Guildry display in 1938 and expressed herself greatly impressed by the smart appearance of the girls. She also presented prizes and decorations.’ 29 The following year she was present, along with the great and good of the district, at the opening and dedication of the new Salvation Army Hall in Westport. She proposed the vote of thanks after the dedication service. 30 Towards the end of 1945 she was present at the re-opening of the Lanark YMCA Institute, which had been commandeered by the military during the war. In her speech she said that ‘the YMCA was the big brother of the BWTA the women of which had run a soldiers’ parlour in the town for three years and the YMCA had helped greatly. She thought it would be nice if the YMCA could carry on the work among the men who were returning from the forces. She was pleased that BWTA had helped them furnish their premises and she wished them every success.’ 31

Mary Alston Waddell Thomson was found dead at Ridge Park on the 21 April 1947. She was seventy years old and had died suddenly from heart failure. Her death was reported by a friend Walter J. J. Cook. 32 After a service at Ridge Park, she was buried in Cathcart Cemetery. 33

In her will, Miss Thomson left bequests to various charities and to her household staff as well as the bequest to Glasgow Art Galleries. 34 In November 1947 a sale of furniture and household effects was conducted by McTears auctioneers. This raised £5000 and was notable for the fact that a bedroom suite sold for more than £700 which, as the local newspaper reported, could have purchased a small bungalow.35 Miss Thomson left Ridge Park House and her estate of £74,000 to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow. She hoped that the house would be converted to a childrens’ or nurses’ home. However, the hospital decided against conversion and sold it to the local council for £8,555. 36

Miss Thomson suffered from a rare eye condition called side-vision which meant she could not see things in front of her, only to the side. As part of her bequest, she instructed that her eyes should be offered for research to either the Glasgow Ophthalmic Institute or the Glasgow Eye Infirmary. Both institutions turned down the bequest. 37


  1. Glasgow Corporation Minutes, 10 June 1947, Mitchell Library
  2. Old Parish Registers, FamilySearch
  3. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  4. Scotland’s People, Birth Certificate
  5. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1880-81
  7., 1881 Census, Scotland
  8. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  9. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  10. Scotland’s People, Wills and Inventories
  11. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1890-91
  12. Bettany, George Thomas. Edward Richard Alston, in Dictionary of National Biography, , Vol 1,1885-1900
  13. Scotland’s People, 1891 Census
  14. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1900-1901
  15. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1911-1912
  16. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  17. Scotland’s People, 1911 Census
  20. Scotland’s People, Valuation Roll, 1925, Largs, Ayrshire
  21. Scotland’s People, Valuation Roll, 1930, Largs, Ayrshire
  22. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  23. Scotland’s People, Valuation Roll, 1935, Largs, Ayrshire
  25. Ibid
  26. Scotsman, 26 May 1934
  27. Scotsman, 7 April 1934
  28. Scotsman, 2 March 1935
  29. Carluke and Lanark Gazette, 28 April 1938
  30. Carluke and Lanark Gazette, 17 November 1939
  31. Carluke and Lanark Gazette, 26 October 1945
  32. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  33. Glasgow Herald, 23 April 1947
  34. Carluke and Lanark Gazette, 22 August 1947
  35. Carluke and Lanark Gazette, 21 November 1947
  36. Ibid
  37. Carluke and Lanark Gazette, 22 August 1947

Joseph Henderson R.S.A., R.S.W. (1832-1908)

Figure 1. The Sweep’s Land, Stockwell Street by Thomas Fairbairn © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

‘The gifts include a water colour, “The Sweep`s Land, Stockwell Street” by James (sic) Fairbairn, presented by Mr Joseph Henderson, R.S.W., Glasgow, and this sub-committee resolved that a special vote of thanks be accorded him for the gift’. 1

Joseph Henderson was born on 10 June 1832 in Stanley, Perthshire, He was the third of four boys. When he was about six, the family moved to Edinburgh and took up residence in Broad Street. The two older boys joined their father, also Joseph, as stone masons. 2 Joseph’s father died when Joseph was eleven leaving his mother, Marjory Slater, in straightened circumstances. 3 As a result, Joseph and his twin brother, James, were sent to work at an early age and the thirteen-year-old Joseph was apprenticed to a draper/hosier. At the same time, he attended part-time classes at the Trustees’ Academy, Edinburgh. At the age of seventeen, on 2 February 1849, he enrolled as an art student in the Academy.4 From the census of 1851, Marjory, Joseph and James were living at 5 Roxburgh Place, Edinburgh. Marjory was now a ‘lodging housekeeper’ with two medical students as boarders. James was a ‘jeweller’ while Joseph was a ‘lithographic drawer’.5 In the same year Joseph won a prize for drawing at the Academy enabling him, along with fellow students, W. Q. Orchardson, W. Aikman and W. G. Herdman, to travel to study the works of art at the Great Exhibition in London, which he found to be a very formative experience.6

He left the Academy about 1852-3 and settled in Glasgow. He is first mentioned in the Glasgow Post Office Directory for 1857-8 where he is listed as an artist living at 6 Cathedral Street.7 The census of 1861 confirms this address where he is a ‘portrait painter’ living with his wife Helen, daughter Marjory aged four and his mother Marjory who is now his ‘house keeper’.8

Joseph Henderson’s first exhibited work was a self-portrait which was shown at the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) in 1853.9 He painted several portraits of friends and local dignitaries including a half-length portrait of his friend John Mossman in 1861. His painting, The Ballad Singer established his reputation as one of Scotland`s foremost artists when exhibited at the RSA in 1866.10 Throughout his career he continued in portraiture. He executed portraits of James Paton (1897) a founder and superintendent of the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (this portrait was bequeathed to Kelvingrove in 1933) and Alexander Duncan of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow. 11 He also painted Mr. Scott Dickson, Sir Charles Cameron, Bart., DL, LLD (1897), RGI and Sir John Muir, Lord Provost of Glasgow (1893). 12 His portrait of councillor Alexander Waddell (1893) was presented to Kelvingrove in 1896.13

However, it is probably as a painter of seascapes and marine subjects that he became best known. His picture Where Breakers Roar attracted much attention when exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institute (RGI) in 1874, ‘as a rendering of angry water’.14

Figure 2. Joseph Henderson, The Bailie, No. 277, 6th Feb. 1878. (Mitchell Library).

Henderson was in part responsible for raising the profile and status of artists in Glasgow and was a member of the Glasgow Art Club (he was President in 1887-8), the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts (founded 1861) and the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour.15 Between 1853 and 1892, he exhibited frequently at the RSA and at the RGI and between 1871 and 1886 he had twenty pictures accepted for the Royal Academy in London. In 1901 he was entertained at a dinner by the President and Council of the Glasgow Art Club to celebrate his jubilee as a painter. He was presented with a solid gold and silver palette. An inscription on the palette read: ‘Presented to Joseph Henderson, Esq., R.S.W. by fellow-members of the Art Club as a mark of esteem and a souvenir of his jubilee as a painter, 8th January 1901’ 16

Joseph Henderson was married three times. On  8  January 1856 he married Helen Cosh (d. 1866) with whom he had four children including a daughter Marjory who became the second wife of the artist William McTaggart. On 30 September 1869 he married Helen Young (d. 1871) who bore him one daughter and in 1872 he married Eliza Thomson with whom he had two daughters and who survived him.17 Two of his sons, John (1860 – 1924) and Joseph Morris (1863 – 1936) became artists; John was Director of the Glasgow School of Art from 1918 to 1924.18

By 1871 he had moved with his family; wife Helen, daughter Marjory and sons James, John and Joseph and his mother Marjory from Cathedral Street to 183 Sauchiehall Street. He also employed a general servant. He is described in the census as a ‘portrait painter’.19 In 1881, Joseph was living at 5 La Belle Place, Glasgow with Eliza, two sons and four daughters.20 He later moved to 11 Blythswood Square, Glasgow. 21 In the 1901 census he was still at this address with his wife Eliza, sons John and Joseph and daughter Mary and Bessie. His occupation is ‘portrait and marine painter’.22

Figure 3. Joseph Henderson in 1894. Painted by his son-in-law William McTaggart. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (
Figure 4. Joseph Henderson, The Bailie, No. 1472, 2nd Jan. 1901. (MItchell Library)

Joseph Henderson painted many of his seascapes at Ballantrae in Ayrshire. At the beginning of July 1908, he again travelled to the Ayrshire coast. However, he succumbed to heart failure and died at Kintyre View, Ballantrae, on 17  July 1908 aged 76 and was buried in Sighthill cemetery in Glasgow. 23  A commemorative exhibition of his works was held at the RGI in November of that year. 24 A full obituary was published in the Glasgow Herald. 25

As well as his devotion to art, Joseph Henderson was a keen angler and golfer. A contemporary account states that he was ‘frank and genial, with an inexhaustible fund of good spirits and a ready appreciation of humour, of which he himself possesses no small share’. 26

A comprehensive account of the life and works of Joseph Henderson has been written by Hilary Christie-Johnston. 27

Thomas Fairbairn (1821 – 1885) was an older contemporary of Henderson and both were friends of John Mossman and Robert Greenlees.  A series of his drawing were acquired by Glasgow Corporation. 28 It is possible that the painting The Sweep`s Land, Stockwell Street was given to him by the artist.


  1. Glasgow Corporation Minutes, 6 July 1898, p 642.
  2. Scotland’s People, 1841 Census, St. Cuthbert’s Edinburgh
  4. J. L. Caw, rev. Elizabeth S. Cumming. ‘Henderson, Joseph (1832–1908)’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  5. Scotland`s People, 1851 Census, St. Cuthbert`s Edinburgh
  7. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1857-1858, National Library of Scotland
  8. Scotland`s People, 1861 Census, St. David`s, Glasgow
  9. Baile de Laperriere, Charles (ed.) Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors, 1826 – 1990, Vol II,  Hillmartin Manor Press, 1991
  11. Billcliffe, Roger, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1989. Vol 2, Roger The Woodend Press, 1991
  12. Glasgow Herald, 18th July 1908, p9
  13. Art UK/ Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  14. Waters, Grant M., Dictionary of British Artists, (1900 – 1950),  Eastbourne Fine Arts Publications, 1975.
  16. Glasgow Herald, 18 July 1908, p9
  17. Caw, J. L.  rev. Elizabeth S. Cumming. ‘Henderson, Joseph (1832–1908)’. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004.
  18. Glasgow School of Art, archives
  19. Scotland`s People, 1871 Census, Glasgow, Barony
  20. Scotland’s People, 1881 Census, Glasgow
  21. Scotland’s People, 1891 Census, Glasgow
  22. Scotland`s People, 1901 Census, Blythswood, Glasgow
  23. Scotland`s People; Death Certificate.
  24. Billcliffe, Roger, Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1989. Vol 2, Roger The Woodend Press, 1991
  25. Glasgow Herald, 18 July 1908.
  26. The Bailie, Mitchell Library, Glasgow, GC 920.04 BAI., No. 277, Feb. 6th, 1878; No. 1472, Jan. 2nd. 1901.
  27. Christie-Johnston, Hilary, Joseph Henderson: Doyen of Glasgow Artists, 1832 – 1908,   Macmillan Art Publishing, Melbourne, Australia, 2013


Robert Gemmell Hutchison (1855 – 1936)

Robert Gemmell Hutchison pre 1900
Figure 1. Robert Gemmell Hutcheson, R.S.W., R.B.A.from a chalk study by H.W.Kerr, A.R.S.A. G. Setoun, Art Journal, 1900 p 321

In December 1918, Robert Gemmell Hutchison of 8, St. Bernard`s Crescent, Edinburgh and “Coral Den”, Carnoustie presented the painting Getting Ready to Glasgow Corporation as a memorial to his son the artist.1

(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Figure 2. Getting Ready by George Jackson Hutchison, 1916. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (

Robert Gemmell Hutchison was born at 35, North Richmond Street, Edinburgh on 1st July 1855. He was the first child of George Hutchison, a brass founder, and his wife Margaret Forman. 2 Soon after his birth, the family moved to 37, Carrubbers Close, Canongate. 3 It is not recorded which school Robert attended but he did not enjoy the experience! He was described as “scraping from class to class with as little work as possible, and, as soon as he could, leaving it gladly”.4 From the census of 1871, the family was still at 37, Carrubbers Close and had increased to seven; three sons and four daughters. Robert`s occupation was “seal engraver”. 5 “Still, if he did not like school, he liked seal-engraving, to which he was apprenticed, less”. With encouragement from his mother of whom he “always speaks with great reverence”, he was determined to become an artist and gave up seal-engraving to attend, aged 17, the Board of Manufacturers` School of Art in Edinburgh (also called the Trustees Academy).6 One of his instructors here was William McTaggart. He also attended the Royal Scottish Academy (RSA) Schools. At this time, he received valuable advice and help from the artist J. Campbell Noble, RSA and thus encouraged he sent some of his paintings to the RSA Annual Exhibitions. After several rejections, he was eventually successful in 1878 when he had three small landscapes exhibited: Youthful Labour, Quiet Pastures and A Country Well. 7 One of these was bought by the Royal Association for the Promotion of the Fine Arts in Scotland and for which Hutchison received the sum of six guineas. 8 He submitted the paintings from his studio at 1, India Buildings, Edinburgh.

On 24th June 1879, Robert aged 23, married Janet Boe who was 21 and the daughter of a grocer in Biggar. The marriage took place at 4, Morningside Park, Edinburgh. On the marriage certificate he listed his occupation as “artist (figure painter)” and his address as 38, Jamaica Street, Edinburgh. For some reason he omitted to sign his surname on the certificate! 9 The couple had nine children only five of whom survived infancy 10. These were four daughters; Jane (1880-1956), Marion Maud (1887-1963), Roberta Louise (1889-1966), Ann Carr Forman (1893-1978) and a son, George Jackson Hutchison who was born in 1895. In 1881, Robert was with his wife and daughter Jane at 26, Caledonian Place, Edinburgh. His occupation was “artist”.11

After a period spent painting landscapes along the Fife coast, Robert began to specialise in scenes of Scottish rural life especially those involving children and in the year after his marriage, he had a painting The Empty Cradle exhibited at the Royal Academy (RA) in London. His studio was now at 53, George Street, Edinburgh. There followed five exhibits at the RA over the next decade all sent from addresses in London.12 He continued to exhibit annually at the RSA and in 1886 was awarded a prize for his painting Boys Guddling Trout. From 1888 onwards he also exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institute. At the 1891 Census he was an “artist, figure and portrait”, living at 4, Melville Place, Edinburgh with his wife and four daughters. 13 His son George was born at the same address four years later. 14

He began to paint and exhibit widely throughout Britain. A favourite location was Carnoustie in Angus where he had a house, “Coral Den”, in William Street. He also painted in Macrihanish, at Musselburgh and on the Farne Islands. From about 1896 to 1903 the family (Robert, Janet, Roberta, Ann and George) was living at St. Ive`s Cottage Lanark Road, Braidwood, Carluke. 15,16 Robert was elected to many prestigious institutions throughout the British Isles; e.g. to the Royal Society of Painters in Watercolour, (RSW) in 1895, the Royal Society of British Artists (RBA), 1896, the Royal Institute of Oil Painters (ROI), and Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy (ARSA) in 1901 and RSA in 1911.17 In 1903 he exhibited a work Bairnies Cuddle Doon at the Paris Salon. 18 He was awarded a gold medal and the painting was purchased by the Scottish Modern Arts Association.21 He was awarded a second gold medal at the Paris Salon Exhibition of 1928 for his painting The White Seam. This was bought by Paisley Corporation and is now at the Paisley Museum and Art Gallery. Hutchison was elected to full membership of the RSA in 1911, replacing William McTaggart who had died the previous year.20 “Gemmell Hutchison had held McTaggart in the highest esteem and it was to him that he owed his loose painterly technique and in many ways his most popular subject matter – that of children on the beach. Both his family and that of McTaggart confirmed that the latter was a luminary for Hutchison. 21

RGHutchison Edit
Figure 3. Robert Gemmell Hutchison (early 1900s). Royal Scottish Academy Archives  Copyright R.S.A                                   

Another influence on Hutchison was the artistic style of the Hague School in Holland which he visited in 1905. On his return to Scotland he took to painting in the open air with a “looser technique and lighter palette”. 22 One of his works of this period was Seagulls and Sapphire Seas (1909) which he sold to Bolton Art Gallery in 1912 (Appendix 1). In 1910 he was commissioned to paint the coronation of George V and Queen Mary at Westminster Abbey. From the census of 1911 he and his family were living at 14, Craighall Terrace, Inveresk, Musselburgh. In his later years he spent his summers at his daughter`s home in Coldingham, Berwickshire painting outdoors. His subjects included views of St. Abbs, Gulls on the Farne Islands as well as portraits of his daughter. He continued to exhibit up till the year of his death.

Robert Gemmell Hutchison died of a cerebral haemorrhage at Coldingham on 23rd August 1936. He was 81 years of age. 23 He was buried in the Dean Cemetery in Edinburgh after a private service at his home at 8, St. Bernard`s Crescent. Two of his daughters, his son-in-law and a nephew were among the pall-bearers. Also present were many fellow artists and members of the artistic establishment. 24,25

His estate was valued at £11,079.10s.7p with his two daughter named as next of kin. 26

Figure 4. Gravestone in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh.©

Various critics have commented on his painting style:

“Robert Gemmell Hutchison is one of the best-known of the early twentieth-century Scottish artists who drew their inspiration from the Hague School of painters and by the work of the nineteenth century Dutch artists Joseph Israels and Bernardus Johannes Blommers. His paintings of fisher-folk, especially of young children playing by the sea or seated in cottage interiors, have a charming pathos and are similar in subject to those painted by his luminary William McTaggart ”. 27

He “has an appreciation of the fusing influence of tone and atmosphere, and brings a broad and vigorous method of painting, good drawing, and effective design to bear upon a rather fresh view of village life. Despite a certain commonness, his pictures are usually well thought out, and, logically put together in a pictorial way, tell their stories with considerable point. His feeling again, although lacking in charm or novel insight, is sympathetic, and his treatment of childhood, if somewhat literal, fresh and individual”. 28

His paintings today are valued and continue to sell well e.g. The Village Carnival sold for £110,000 in Edinburgh in 2006. 29 (See also Appendix 2).

George Jackson Hutchison was a gifted painter but was killed in action at Merville, France on 28th June 1918 aged only twenty-two. He had served as a private in the K.O.S.B.s. After George`s death, his father presented his painting Getting Ready to Glasgow Corporation as a memorial to his son. The painting was accepted on 18th December 1918. The Minutes of the Corporation record that;

“The sub-committee agreed to accept the picture by this talented young artist, who made the supreme sacrifice for King and Country, and to recommend that the Corporation accord his father a vote of thanks for the gift and extend to him their sympathy and condolence in his bereavement”. 30

Each year, Edinburgh College of Art awards a “George Jackson Hutchison Memorial Prize” for outstanding painting. It seems likely that this was initiated by Robert Gemmell Hutchison in memory of his son. However, Edinburgh College of Art, now incorporated into Edinburgh University, could not confirm this due to the current state of their records.


  1. Glasgow Corporation Minutes, Sub-Committee on Art Galleries and Museums, C1 3.60, p330, 18th December 1918.
  2. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  3., Scotland Census 1861
  4. Setoun, G., R. Gemmell Hutchison, R.S.W., R.B.A., Art Journal, 1900, pp 321-6
  5., Census 1871
  6. Setoun, G., R. Gemmell Hutchison, R.S.W., R.B.A., Art Journal, 1900, pp 321-6
  7. Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitors, 1826 – 1990, Hilmartin Manor Press, 1991.
  8. Setoun, G., R. Gemmell Hutchison, R.S.W., R.B.A., Art Journal, 1900, pp 321-6.
  9. Scotland`s People, Marriage Certificate
  10. Scotland`s People, Census 1911
  11. Scotland`s People, Census 1881
  12. Catalogues of the Royal Academy Exhibitions, 1880-89, W. Clowes and Sons, Ltd.
  13. Scotland`s People, Census 1891
  14. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  15. Scotland`s People, Census 1901
  16. Slater`s National Commercial Directory of Scotland, 1882-1915
  17. Johnson, J and Greutzner, A., Dictionary of British Artists, 1880 – 1940, , Antique Collectors Club, 1976).
  18. Setoun, G., R. Gemmell Hutchison, R.S.W., R.B.A., Art Journal, 1900, pp 321-6
  19. Fowle, Frances, The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004-13, May 2011.
  20. The Scotsman, February 9th, 1911, p5.
  22. Fowle, Frances, The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, OUP, 2004-13, May 2011.
  23. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate
  24. The Scotsman, August 27th, 1936, p8.
  25. The Scotsman, August 24th, 1936, Death Notices
  26. Confirmations and Inventories, 1936, Mitchell Library, Glasgow
  27. › Auctioneer Directory
  28. Caw, J.L., Scottish Painting, 1908, p 427-8.
  29. Edinburgh Evening News, May 3rd, 2006.
  30. Glasgow Corporation Minutes, Sub-Committee on Art Galleries and Museums, C1 3.60, p330, 18th December 1918.

Appendix 1

One of the finest paintings by Robert Gemmell Hutchison, possibly the best loved of Scottish artists, set a new world record for the artist at Bonhams Annual Scottish Sale in Edinburgh on Wednesday 31 August, 2011 when it was sold for £120,000. Sea Gulls and Sapphire Seas was painted in 1909 and represents the artist at the height of his powers. In a dazzling display of impressionistic technique, Hutchison places a characteristic foreground of children in the sand dunes against the sparkling sea and whirling gulls. Many of his most popular paintings feature children playing beside the sea and he often used his daughters and their friends as models in coastal locations in Berwickshire, East Lothian and Carnoustie. The painting was sold by Bolton Museum which bought the work from the artist for £150 in 1912.

Figure 5. Public Domain (

Appendix 2

A pensioner has unearthed a hoard of stolen art treasures in the loft of his Helensburgh home. The 67-year-old discovered the missing paintings while rummaging in the dusty room and – not realising their value – decided to try to raise a few pounds by selling them. After seeking advice from an art expert, he was told the paintings were not his to sell. The canvasses were the creations of two celebrated Scottish artists, which had been stolen five years ago and were worth at least £250,000. Inquiries revealed that the three paintings by Robert Gemmell Hutchison and two by Sir James Guthrie were stolen from a house in Helensburgh’s Cairndhu Gardens in 2002. Investigators believe that when the thieves failed to sell the works they dumped them in the communal attic above a block of flats in the town’s Kirkmichael estate. The paintings are The Pink Pinafore, Feeding the Gulls and Cottarita by Gemmell Hutchison and Luss Road and Candlelight by Guthrie.

One resident said: “The old boy went up there on Thursday and initially tried to sell them on. He contacted someone at the Fine Art Council and they made checks and realised they were stolen. “There were five paintings in total and my mate was offered them as a set, but wasn’t that impressed and wouldn’t have paid more than £50 for the lot.” He added: “The paintings have obviously been nicked years ago by a gang of young lads, but when they found out they couldn’t get anything for them, they just dumped them.

Robert Gemmell Hutchison was born in Edinburgh in 1855 and was a prolific artist whose works were lauded around Britain. His work, The Village Carnival, was sold for £110,000 in 2006.  At the time of their theft in 2002 the five paintings were valued at £246,000.

The Scotsman, Saturday 12 January 2008