Alexander Walker, C.B.E., D.L., J.P., F.S.I. (1886 – 1945).

On the 21st of September 1943 Mr. Alexander Walker, Esq. of 20 Queen`s Gate, Glasgow presented a portrait in oils of himself by J. Raeburn Middleton. The portrait was probably painted about 1936 when Walker was 70. Its acquisition number is 2341.

Figure 1. Alexander Walker. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

“The committee agreed to accept, with thanks, an offer by Mr Alexander Walker, 20, Queen`s Gate, Glasgow, W.2, to present to the Corporation a portrait of himself by the late Mr. Raeburn Middleton”. 1

Alexander Walker was born on 28th of March 1866 at 27 ½ Crown Street, Hutchesontown.2 (He used to recall that his mother would speak of the public executions she could see from the house).3 His father, Andrew Walker was a “tobacco spinner” (i.e. a person who made and sold tobacco products). He married Agnes Wilson on 31st of December 1858 in Brechin.4 By 1871 Alexander was living at 168 Gallowgate with his parents, his older brother William aged seven and two sisters Agnes aged three and Margaret aged one.5 He was educated at Wilson`s School – a free, school located at 87 Montrose Street, Glasgow.6,7 (Although Wilson`s School in London had originally claimed Alexander Walker as one of their illustrious alumni there is no connection between the two schools and the reference to Walker on their website has now been removed).8

Figure 2. Wilson’s School Pupil, 19th Century. Glasgow University Library, Special Collections Department, MS Murray 593
Figure 3. This building, formerly Wilson’s School was demolished to make way for the James Weir building, Strathclyde University. www. strath.ac.uk/archives/iotm/june 2013.

Alexander left school at the age of twelve to become a “van boy with a Queen Street firm”. However, after a few months he entered a lawyer`s office and later spent five years training in general law business at the firm of W.B. Paterson.9 In 1881 the family was still at 168, Gallowgate Street with Alexander described as a “law clerk”.10

In January 1884, Alexander entered the service of the Corporation of Glasgow in the Town Clerk`s Office under Sir James Marwick. In the same year, aged 18, he matriculated at the University of Glasgow in the Arts Faculty. His class for his first year was “Junior Humanity”.11 He subsequently attended classes in Scot`s Law and in 1888 was awarded a prize for “Eminence in Class Examinations” and also received a prize awarded by the Faculty of Procurators of Glasgow.12 The following year he was placed in the “Eminently Distinguished” category after the Ordinary Class Examination in Conveyancing.13 He was now a “law student” still living at 168 Gallowgate with his mother, brothers and sisters in 1891 although his father does not appear on the census.14 There is no record of him graduating from the university although he was able to enrol as a law agent and a “writer”.

Alexander married Jessie Winchester at Loanhead, Rathven, Banff on the 2nd of June 1896. She was a schoolteacher and the daughter of a farmer. Alexander`s address at the time was 146 Onslow Drive, Glasgow and he gave his occupation as “solicitor”. His younger brother James was a witness.15 After their marriage the couple moved to “Loanhead”, Eastwood, Renfrewshire and by 1901 had a son, Alexander Reid and a daughter Lillias.16 In 1905, Alexander was appointed Depute Town Clerk in Glasgow and three years later was promoted to City Assessor at a salary of £750 rising to £900 a year.17 His entry in the Glasgow Post Office Directory for 1908/09 was, Walker, Alex., writer, lands valuation and registration of voters assessor, and surveyor of assessments, City Chambers, 249 George Street; ho, Loanhead, Giffnock .

Figure 4. Alexander Walker in 1909. Who’s Who in Glasgow, 1909.

This was the beginning of Mr Walker`s most outstanding work in the civic service. Within a very short period he instituted what were regarded as almost revolutionary changes in the sphere of valuation and rating, including a revision of the rating of the various trading departments of the Corporation and a claim from them for amounts greatly in excess of what they had hitherto been paying. The result of these changes was to bring about a considerable reduction in the rates. Within this brief period also he instituted changes in the manner of collecting assessments which proved a great convenience to the citizens, and led to a conspicuous increase in the amount collected”.18

During his time in office the valuation of Glasgow more than doubled to over 11 million pounds.

In 1914 he was appointed a J.P. for Glasgow and moved to 18 Queens Gate, Dowanhill. About this time he spent three months in America and Canada investigating various systems of rating and municipal administration.19 During the First World War he was secretary and treasurer of the committee of magistrates set up by Glasgow Corporation to look after the welfare of Belgian refugees around 20,000 of whom had fled to Scotland after the occupation of their country. A large number of them settled in Glasgow and a sum of £500,000 was raised for their welfare by Glasgow Corporation. At the same time a committee of ladies was set up to organise sales of the various goods produced by  the refugees, to visit and superintend the refugee hostels and “many other tasks”.20

Figure 5. CBE. This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.

Figure 6. Order of the Crown of Belgium. Fdutil [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D
Towards the end of the war, Alexander Walker was employed by the Admiralty to organise the introduction, housing and feeding of the additional labour coming to work in the Clyde shipyards. As a result of carrying out these duties, he was awarded a CBE. in the Birthday Honours of June 8th 1918.21,22 His wife, along with three other members of the “ladies committee”, was awarded an MBE. in 1920. (Appendix 2) Later Alexander was appointed Commander of the Order of the Crown of Belgium23 and a Member of the Order of St. Sava of Serbia, for his work as Honorary Secretary of the Glasgow-Serbian Relief Committee.24 His wife and the three other ladies were awarded the Queen Elizabeth Medal by the King of the Belgians and were personally thanked by him for their work with the refugees when they visited Belgium.25

Alexander was a Fellow of the Surveyors’ Institution of London (F.S.I.) and a member of the Royal Scottish Automobile Club.26 He was President of the National Association of Local Government Officers and in 1920 was appointed Honorary Solicitor in Scotland by NALGO to advise on aspects of law pertaining to Scotland. He held this post until 1925.27 He was Deacon of the Incorporation of Cordiners in 1928 and was a member of the Incorporation of Bonnet Makers and Dyers. Through his wife`s connection with the North East, he served for many years as a director and president of the Glasgow Angus and Mearns Benevolent Society, and was instrumental in bringing help to natives of Angus, in whose welfare he took a very keen interest. He was also an “enthusiastic freemason”.

In 1928, it seems that Alexander Walker received an offer of an appointment with a London firm at a salary of £3000. He duly submitted his resignation to the Corporation. However, prior to the council meeting which would “decide his fate” he had given his promise to members of the Corporation that if the Finance Committee`s recommendation (to accept his resignation and to pay him three months salary in lieu of notice) was not approved he would remain with the Corporation. It would seem that this was not approved and he remained in post.28 He retired from his post with Glasgow Corporation in 1935 but continued as a solicitor with offices at 141 Bath Street.29

It seems likely that his portrait was painted to commemorate his retirement and may even have been commissioned by Glasgow Corporation. He was described as being “short and plump, like an elderly Puck …… who does not look like a financial genius”.30

Alexander Walker died suddenly on 20th November 1945 during a visit to his daughter in Northwood, Middlesex. His body was cremated at Golders Green cemetery on the 24th.31 An obituary was published in the Glasgow Herald. 32 He was survived by his wife and two married daughters. His only son, Mr A. Reid, C.A., died in July, 1944. For a lawyer, his will, dated 15th Feb 1933, was very simple. It consisted of a single, hand-writen page in which he left everything to his wife. His estate was valued at £8,722.19.9.33

References

  1. Minutes of Glasgow Corporation, Committee on Art Galleries and Museums, Vol. Apr. – Nov. 1943, p 1404, Mitchell Library.
  2. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate.
  3. The Bailie, No. 135, 13th August, 1934
  4. Scotland`s People, Marriage Certificate
  5. Scotland`s People, Census, 1971
  6. Eyre-Todd, George, Who`s Who in Glasgow, 1909: a biographical dictionary of nearly five hundred living Glasgow citizens and of notable citizens who have died since 1st January, 1907”,  Gowans & Gray, Glasgow, 1909, page 210
  7. Glasgow PO Directory, 1880; Wilson`s Charity School for Boys, 87 Montrose Street; George Liddell, teacher.
  8. wilsonsschool.sutton.sch.uk/about/history/ow/‎The Bailie, No. 135, 13th August, 1934
  9. The Bailie, No. 135, 13th August, 1934
  10. Scotland`s People, Census, 1881
  11. University of Glasgow Matriculation Albums 1884-5; University of Glasgow Archives
  12. University of Glasgow Calendar, 1888, 1889; University of Glasgow Archives
  13. University of Glasgow, Schedules of Graduates in Law from 1888; University of Glasgow Archives
  14. ancestry.co.uk, 1891 Census, Glasgow
  15. Scotland`s People, Marriage Certificate
  16. Scotland`s People, 1901 Census
  17. Eyre-Todd, Who`s Who in Glasgow, 1909, page 210
  18. Glasgow Herald, Nov 21st, 1945, page 6
  19. Thurston, J, Scottish Biographies 1938, Jackson, Son & Co.
  20. The Baillie, No. 2478, 14th April, 1920
  21. Glasgow Herald, June 8th 1918, p6
  22. Third Supplement to the London Gazette, No. 30730, 7th June 1918, p 6693
  23. The Edinburgh Gazette, 22nd June 1920
  24. Op cit.
  25. The Baillie, 14th April, 1920
  26. Op cit.
  27. unionancestors.co.uk/NALGO.htm
  28. Glasgow Herald, Nov 17 1928
  29. Glasgow Post Office Directories, 1935-36
  30. The Bailie, No. 135, 13th August, 1934
  31. Glasgow Herald, Deaths, Nov. 21st 1945
  32. Glasgow Herald, Nov 21st 1945, page 6
  33. Records of Scotland, Wills, recorded 13th 1946

Appendix 1

A Short History of Wilson`s School, Glasgow

Scotstarbet`s Mortification

On the 7th and 13th of June 1653 and on the 28th April 1658, contracts were drawn up between Sir John Scott of Scotstarbet, one of the Senators of the College of Justice, and the Magistrates and Council of Glasgow whereby “out of the love he had for this city, being the prime city in the west, out of which country Sir John descended, and in consideration of the calamity of the inhabitants through fire, he mortified and conveyed to the Magistrates and Council the lands of Pucky and Pucky Mill” which were located in St. Leonard`s in Fife.1 The rents from these lands were to be used “for putting four boys to apprenticeships, to any lawful honest trade or calling, within the Burgh; no greater sum is to be paid for their apprentice-fees than 100 merks, and after their apprenticeships are over, they are to be admitted Burgesses by the Magistrates gratis”. 2

Sir John agreed that the choice of boys (“Scotch bairns”) should be from within the burgh, in preference to any from Edinburgh. Three of these boys were to be presented by the Donor’s successors and the other by the Magistrates and Council. By act of Council, 5th April 1781, an agreement was made between David Scott of Scotstarbet Esq. the successor of Sir John, and the Magistrates and Council, to increase the number of boys presented if the rental income increased. However, the apprentice-fees should not be augmented, notwithstanding any rise in the rent. 3

Wilson`s Charity

In 1778 Mr. George Wilson, a native of Glasgow who had made his fortune as a merchant in London, gave £3000 for clothing and educating a certain number of boys in Glasgow. These funds were augmented by subsequent donations and “by the proceeds of the annual collection at the sermon preached at the procession of the Charity Schools”. The patrons were the Magistrates and Ministers of the City, and other inhabitants, up to 30 in all. The charity later incorporated Scotstarvet`s Mortification the rent from the latter having reached “upwards of £90 per annum”.4 The number of boys in the school was 48 in 1804 5 and “about 80” in 1826 when the rental had reached £150 per annum. “They are admitted between the ages of seven and eight, and must produce a certificate of their health”. 6 They then spent four years in the school before being apprenticed to a trade. By 1826 the boys received clothing instead of apprentice fees. “The patronage is vested jointly in the Magistrates of the Council, and in the Duchess of Portland, formerly Miss Scott, daughter of General Scott of Balcomie in the county of Fife”.7

John Buchanan who owned the Dalmarnock estate in Lanarkshire in the late eighteenth century was a Governor of Wilson`s School and was also director of the Buchanan Society. He was Member of Parliament for Dunbartonshire from 1821 to 1826. He purchased an estate in Balloch and built Balloch Castle on it. His son-in-law Robert Findlay, a tobacco merchant, was also a Governor of Wilson`s School. 8

At one time, Wilson`s School was located north of the Trongate and Wilson Street got its name from the institution. Wilson Street is listed in the Glasgow Directory as early as 1799. However, “The governors have lately erected a handsome school-house near the head of Montrose Street. It is in a very airy situation and has an extensive open area in front”.9

Wilson`s School closed in 1887 and may have amalgamated with other “Charity Schools” in Glasgow. The following is a listing from the Glasgow Post office Directory of 1886/7;

“Montrose Street, 87, Wilson`s C. School for Boys; Liddell, George, teacher,

McDonald, Misses, Morton, Miss”.

There is no listing for 87 Montrose Street in 1887/8 and in 1888/9 the listing is;

“Montrose Street, 87, Children`s Shelter, Pirie, A.”

The building remained a Children`s Shelter until the early 1930s but fell out of use thereafter and was eventually demolished to allow for expansion of the Royal Technical College.

References

  1. Account of Bursaries in the University of Glasgow, 1792.djvu/12
  2. Denholm, James. A History of the City of Glasgow and Suburbs. 1804
  3. Account of Bursaries in the University of Glasgow, 1792.djvu/12
  4. Chapman, Robert. The Picture of Glasgow. 1812
  5. Denholm, James. A History of the City of Glasgow and Suburbs. 1804
  6. Glasgow Delineated, Second Edition, 1826, Wardlaw and Cunninghame.
  7. ibid
  8. Lee, A. Seekers of Truth, Emerald Group Publishing, 2006 (Google)
  9. Glasgow Delineated, Second Edition,  Wardlaw and Cunninghame. 1826

Appendix 2

Figure 7. The Bailie, No.2478 1920. Mitchell Library, Glasgow GC052 BA1.

Four Glasgow women, identified only by their husbands’ names, were awarded the MBE in 1920 in recognition of their work on the Ladies’ Committee set up by Glasgow Corporation to look after Belgian refugees during the First World War.

Following the occupation of most of their country by German forces in 1914, around 20,000 Belgian refugees fled to Scotland, and a large number settled in Glasgow. City Assessor Alex Walker was secretary and treasurer of the committee of magistrates which helped find them homes and raise funds for their maintenance; he freely acknowledged that his work would have been impossible without the assistance of his wife. The other three ladies were all wives of magistrates.

The caricatures appeared in The Bailie, which noted: “The honours that have been so worthily bestowed on these four ladies are more than mere personal recognitions of merit. The awards may be regarded in a wider sense as an honour to the vast multitude of women workers who toiled unremittingly in the service of the country during the whole of the war.”

Allan Maxwell Wilson (1873 – 1951)

Allan Maxwell Wilson of 14 Kelvin Court, Glasgow presented three oil paintings by R. Macaulay Stevenson to Glasgow on the 30th of November 1946

Two of these paintings are in the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC).

Stevenson, Robert Macaulay, 1854-1952; In the Gloaming
In the Gloaming (2586) © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection
Stevenson, Robert Macaulay, 1854-1952; An Old World Mill
An Old-World Mill (2587) © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

The third painting, Lambing Time was one of ten paintings given by Glasgow to the Museum of Brest in France in 1948 1 “as a goodwill gesture in light of the town’s wartime suffering”.

Allan Maxwell Wilson was born at 125 John Street, Glasgow on the 21st of February 1873.2 His parents were William Wilson a mercantile clerk and Marion Mitchell Maxwell. William and Marion were married on the 26th of January 1869 and had a family of three boys and four girls. The family moved to 17 Princes Street, Govan3 and then to 11 Newark Drive in Kinning Park.  In 1891, Allan was described as a “coal merchant`s clerk”4 presumably employed by D. M. Stevenson and Co. although this connection is first mentioned in 1899.5 In the 1901 census he was a “coal exporter”, aged twenty eight living at 11 Newark Drive with his mother, four sisters and two brothers, 6 his father having died the previous year.7

By 1903 Allan had become one of three partners in D. M. Stevenson & Co. (This was the coal exporting business – the largest in Scotland – established in 1879 by Daniel Macaulay Stevenson – later Sir Daniel Macaulay Stevenson, Bart., Lord Provost of Glasgow and Chancellor of the University). With the retiral of one partner in 1903, the business was carried on by the two remaining partners, Allan Maxwell Wilson and Daniel Macaulay Stevenson.8

The following year on the 14th of June 1904, Allan married Janet Craig Wallace the daughter of a grain merchant from Sherbrooke Avenue – not far from Newark Drive.9 The couple took up residence at Hillside, 26 Hamilton Drive, Pollokshields, Glasgow and had two children, William born in 1905 and Allan Maxwell in 1909.10 In the 1911 census the family was at the same address and employing three servants. Allan is described as a “coal exporter, employer”. By 1915 they had moved to 45 Sherbrooke Avenue, probably to Janet`s former home.11

By 1920 they had moved to Roundelwood, Drummond Terrace in Crieff.12 (This was a baronial style mansion designed by John Honeyman). However, by the late 20s they had moved again, this time to Barnsford, Kilmacolm.13  By 1938, Allan was 65 and seems to have retired from D. M. Stevenson & Co. as this connection is not mentioned in the GPO Directory.14 The family was still at Kilmacolm in 1940 and moved to Kelvin Court probably just after the war. This may have occasioned the donation of the paintings to Glasgow as a result of moving to a smaller house.

In 1946 the three oils were presented to Glasgow. The artist was a brother of Daniel Macaulay Stevenson, Allan`s business partner.

Allan Maxwell Wilson died aged 78 on the 19th of September 1951 at 15 Park Terrace, Glasgow. His “usual residence” was 14 Kelvin Court.15 His death certificate states that he was a “retired colliery director”. Janet Craig Wilson died on the 10th of August 1959 at 1 Kelvin Court. She was 80.16

References

  1. Entry on file at GMRC – Object File 2588
  2. Scotland’s People, Birth Certificate
  3. Ancestry.co.uk, Scotland Census, 1881
  4. Scotland`s People, Census 1891
  5. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1899-1900
  6. Scotland`s People, Census 1901
  7. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  8. The Edinburgh Gazette, 22nd Jan 1904
  9. Scotland’s People, Marriage Certificate
  10. Scotland’s People, Birth Certificates
  11. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1915-16
  12.  Ibid, 1920-21,
  13.  Ibid, 1927-28,
  14.  Ibid, 1938-39
  15. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate
  16. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate

 

Sir Frederick Crombie Gardiner, K.G.B., LL.D. and Lady Elizabeth Morton Gardiner (nee. Ritchie)

 

Two paintings were donated to Glasgow Corporation in 1947 by “The Sir F. C. and Lady E. M. Gardiner Trusts”, per Messrs Brownlie, Watson and Beckett, 241 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. C.2. The Glasgow Corporation minutes record that “There was submitted a letter from Messrs Brownlie, Watson and Beckett, solicitors, intimating bequests by the late Sir Frederick Gardiner and Lady Gardiner of Old Ballikinrain, Balfron, of their portraits by Sir James Guthrie, and the committee, having heard a report by the Director, agreed to the bequests being accepted.” 1

Guthrie, James, 1859-1930; Sir Frederick C. Gardiner (1855-1937)
Figure 1. Sir Frederick C. Gardiner, K.B.E., LL.D. (1920). © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (2651)
Guthrie, James, 1859-1930; Lady E. M. Gardiner
Figure 2. Lady Elizabeth Morton Gardiner (1914). © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (2652)

Frederick Crombie Gardiner was born on the 10th of February 1855 at Kincardine Manse, Tulliallan, Perthshire where his father Dr. Andrew Gardiner was minister of the United Presbyterian Church.2 Frederick`s mother Jane Guthrie, was a sister of the Rev. Dr. John Guthrie father of the artist Sir James Guthrie. Andrew and Jane were married in 1842 and went on to have a family of six boys and two girls. In 1861 the family was living at the U.P. Church manse in Tulliallan.3 However, after serving for twenty years at Tulliallan, the Reverend Gardiner accepted the post of pastor at Dean Street Church, Stockbridge, Edinburgh. On the 26th of March 1863, the family, including Frederick then aged 8, moved to Edinburgh – first to 24 and then to 26 Scotland Street. 4,5

tulliallan manse
Figure 3. Tulliallan Manse
Guthrie, James, 1859-1930; Reverend Dr Andrew Gardiner (d.1892)
Figure 4. Guthrie, James, 1859-1930; Reverend Dr Andrew Gardiner (d.1892). James Gardiner 1902, National Galleries of Scotland. Bequest of Lady Gardiner 1947

Elizabeth Morton Ritchie was born on the 28th of June 1861 at 14 Henderson Row, in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh.6 She was the only daughter of William Ritchie a “master bookseller” with the firm of Paton and Ritchie 7 and his wife Wilhelmina Morton.8 Elizabeth enrolled in the Mary Erskine School for girls in October 1870. This was in the year the school moved to Queen Street and became a day rather than a purely boarding school resulting in a large increase in the school roll.9 The following year the family was living at 12 Lonsdale Terrace with Elizabeth a scholar aged nine.10 Elizabeth may have remained at school as a “pupil-teacher” as ten years later aged nineteen she is still recorded as a “scholar”. 11

As a boy, Frederick Gardiner suffered from delicate health and indeed he was troubled with asthma throughout his life. Health problems interrupted his schooling – his attendance at the Edinburgh Institution was restricted to two years between 1868 and 1870 12 and was part of the reason he did not attend university. Some sources suggest that he was about nineteen when he travelled to New Zealand partly to see if the change of climate would improve matters. However, he was not with his family in the 1871 census suggesting that he may have travelled out much earlier – possibly aged sixteen. During his time in New Zealand he worked as a clerk in the firm of Oliver and Ulph.13, 14 His co-workers clearly thought highly of him as a report in a local newspaper of 1876 indicates.

“A pleasing ceremony took place at the warehouse of Messrs. Oliver and Ulph yesterday, when the employees presented Mr. F. C. Gardiner, who has long been a clerk in the employ of the firm, with a handsome gold albert and locket, as a memento of their respect for him on his leaving them for a visit to his native country.” 15

 This further suggests a longer stay in New Zealand. Whatever the case, Frederick appears to have put the experience gained to good use as, returning to Scotland in 1880, he joined with two of his elder brothers, James and William to set up the firm of James Gardiner and Co., shipowners. The firm operated extremely successfully for almost forty years amassing a fleet of fourteen cargo vessels by the start of the first World War. 16

On the 15th of September 1887, Frederick married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Morton Ritchie whose father was now a “wholesale stationer” at her home, 6 St. Margaret`s Road, Edinburgh. Frederick`s father Andrew was the officiating minister. At the time, Frederick`s address was 15 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh.17 The couple settled in Glasgow and four years later were living at 1 Rowallan Quadrant, Kelvinside.18

Although not a university graduate himself, Frederick put great store by the benefits a university education could bring and in 1898, along with his brother William, he endowed two lectureships at the University of Glasgow; one in Organic Chemistry and one in the Pathology of Diseases of Infancy and Childhood. 19 The following year he was elected a member of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and became a Director ten years later.

Another interest of Frederick`s was electrical energy generation and in 1911 he became a director of the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Company. In the census of that year he was living at 5 Dundonald Road, Kelvinside with his wife Lizzie and three servants. In 1920 he became chairman of the company and under his leadership it increased its customer base to 130,000 and from the 1920s was linked to the National Grid. 20

The portrait of Elizabeth Gardiner was painted in 1914 and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy the following year. 21

During WW1, Frederick served on several war-related committees including the “Foodstuffs Requisition Committee” and the “Advisory Committee of the Admiralty Transport Department”. He was also a member of Lloyds and was Chairman of the Glasgow Lloyd’s Association.22 The company`s fleet of ships would have been invaluable in the war effort but at the end of the war, the decision was taken to dispose of the fleet and perhaps contemplate retirement. With this in mind, Frederick had earlier purchased the estate of Old Ballikinrain in Killearn, Stirlingshire. 23 The estate consisted of a mansion house, four houses, a sawmill, two lodge houses, a farm and separate fields, woods and shootings. His brother William also had a house on the estate.24

In 1919, he and his brother William continued their association with the University of Glasgow by each providing £60,000 to endow the “Gardiner Chairs” in Physiological Chemistry, Bacteriology and Organic Chemistry. In 1920 Frederick was awarded the degree of LL. D. by the University in thanks for his generosity.25 This was also the year that his portrait was painted by his cousin, Sir James Guthrie. Thanks to his services to the country during the war, Frederick Gardiner was knighted in 1921. In 1923 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Glasgow and Lord Dean of Guild. The following year he was also appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Stirling.26

The firm of James Gardiner & Company was dissolved by mutual consent on the 31st of December 1924 when Sir Frederick C. Gardiner retired.27

Sir Frederick and Lady Gardiner spent a good part of their retirement in travelling. In 1925 they sailed aboard the Empress of Canada from the Philippines to Hong Kong and Japan and thence to Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria B.C. On this trip Frederick’s occupation was listed as “Naval Architect” 28 and “Civil Engineer”29. The following year they were in South Africa 30 and in 1932 they left Southampton for Colombo, Sri Lanka 31.

Sir Frederick and his brother William continued to make charitable donations. In

1926 they gave £20,000 to be distributed among youth organisations and charities in Glasgow and the West of Scotland including the Boys` Brigade, Boy Scouts, Girls Guides and Girls` Guildry and in 1928 they gave £12,000 to endow the Gardiner Chair of Music at Glasgow University as well as a lectureship in the “Pathology of Diseases of Infancy and Childhood”.32 In the same year the brothers presented a series of sixteen studies to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Another portrait study, that of William Ferguson Massey, Prime Minister of New Zealand was presented to the National Portrait Gallery in London in 1930. These studies were made by their cousin Sir James Guthrie for his painting “Some Statesmen of the Great War”. 33  

In 1927 Lady Gardiner was elected to the Board of Governors of the Atheneum School of Music in Glasgow. She served on a joint committee one of whose objectives was to establish a Chair of Music. The committee was formed from Governors of the Atheneum together with members of Sir D. M. Stevenson`s committee. Lady Gardiner was first present at the meeting of the 3rd of May 1927 and was present at the Finance Committee on the 3rd of June. She was a subscriber to the scheme to raise funds for the Music Chair and was involved in trying to elicit funds from others. At a meeting on the 2nd of August 1927 it was agreed that the name of the institution would be changed from the Atheneum to the Scottish National Academy of Music.34 In 1928 Sir Frederick and William Gardiner endowed the Gardiner Chair of Music with the incumbent occupying a dual role as Professor at Glasgow University and Principal of the SNAM 35. (This arrangement persisted until 1953)

Lady Gardiner was for some years President of the Nurses` Memorial to King Edward VII at Hazelwood House, Dumbreck, Glasgow.36 This house had been an auxiliary hospital during WW1 and was now a home for retired nurses.

In October 1931 a memorial exhibition of Sir James Guthrie’s works was held at Glasgow`s Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Sir Frederick contributed to the exhibition by lending the portraits of himself and Lady Gardiner. 37

sir-frederick-crombie-gardiner
Figure 5. Sir Frederick Crombie Gardiner in 1930 by Walter Stoneman © National Portrait Gallery, London

In 1936, the year before his death, Sir Frederick donated £10,000 for the provision of the Gardiner Medical Institute at Glasgow University with the trustees of his brother William`s estate providing the same sum – William having died in 1935. After experiencing some years of ill-health, Sir Frederick Crombie Gardiner died on the 7th of August 1937 at Old Ballikinrain, Balfron. He was 82.38 He left an estate valued at £541,466. Among the bequests in his will were £7,500 to build and equip the Gardiner Medical Institute  (the Institute was officially opened by Lady Gardiner in 1938), £3000 to the Glasgow Royal Cancer Hospital, £1500 to the Glasgow Western Infirmary and £1000 to the Royal Society for the Relief of Indigent Gentlewomen in Scotland.39 The funeral service was held at Landsdowne Church Glasgow of which he had been a member, followed by burial in the Necropolis.40

Lady Elizabeth Morton Gardiner died aged 85 on the 17th of May 1947 at Old Ballikinrain, Killearn. 41 She was buried beside her husband in the Glasgow Necropolis. The Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama immediately after her death record the following:

 “The chairman paid tribute to the late Lady Gardiner (died 17th May 1947) who had been a Governor since the inception of the Academy and had latterly been an Honorary Vice-President.  She had always maintained a warm and practical interest in the work of the Academy and her kindly presence would be missed.”

A brief obituary also appeared in the Glasgow Herald.42

 

References

  1. Glasgow Corporation Minutes 12th August 1947
  2. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  3. ancestry.co.uk, Scotland 1861 Census.
  4. Askew, Bob George Gardiner, Early Days and Musical Influences; Hampshire Voices, September 2011
  5. ancestry.co.uk, Scotland, 1881 Census
  6. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  7. Edinburgh Post Office Directory, 1860-61
  8. Family Search, Scotland
  9. Archives, Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh, Dorothy Sharp, archivist
  10. Scotland’s People, 1881 Census
  11. Scotland’s People, 1891 Census
  12. Stewart’s Melville College Archives, Ian McKerrow, Archivist
  13. The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Vol. 9, 1st August 1934
  14. New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 133, p 422
  15. Otago Witness, 11 November 1876; https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/ODT18761108.2.10
  16. http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH0037&type=P
  17. Scotland`s People, Marriage Certificate
  18. ancestry.co.uk, Scotland, 1891 Census
  19. http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH0037&type=P
  20. theglasgowstory.com/image/?inum=TGSE00499
  21. Information from an Object File held at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre (GMRC)
  22. Glasgow Herald, 9th August 1937, Obituary
  23. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1917-18
  24. Valuation Roll of the County of Stirling, 1925-26
  25. www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH0037&type=P
  26. London Gazette, 26th August 1924
  27. Edinburgh Gazette, 2nd January 1925
  28. United States Passenger Arrivals, ancestry.co.uk
  29. Canadian Immigration Records, ancestry.co.uk
  30. United Kingdom Departures from Southampton, ancestry.co.uk
  31. United Kingdom Arrivals in Southampton, ancestry.co.uk
  32. http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH0037&type=P
  33. Glasgow Herald, 9th August 1937, Obituary
  34. Minutes of the Board of Governors Meetings, Glasgow Atheneum
  35. Royal Conservatoire of Music, archives
  36. Glasgow Herald, 19th May 1947, Obituary
  37. Object File at GMRC
  38. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  39. The Scotsman, October 1937
  40. Glasgow Herald, 9th August 1937, Death Notices
  41. Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
  42. Glasgow Herald, 19th May 1947, Obituary

 

Footnotes

The Gardiner Brothers owned several of Sir James Guthrie’s paintings. James Gardiner bequeathed The Highland Funeral to Glasgow in 1903 Acquisition Number 1060). Sir Frederick Gardiner owned The Garden Party (now in a private collection) and The Wash which was passed down through the family and is now in the Tate Gallery in London.

Oliver and Ulph were the proprietors of the first railway in New Zealand – the Port Chalmers to Dunedin line which operated from the 18th of September 1872. The firm was also involved in import/export and shipping.

Samuel Miller Mavor, J.P., M.I.Min.E., F.R.G.S. (1863 – 1943)

 

On 3rd September 1943 an oil painting with the title Landscape by R. Macaulay Stevenson was bequeathed by Mr Samuel M. Mavor. The painting has an acquisition number 2339.

Landscape
Landscape, R. Macaulay Stevenson © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

The minutes of Glasgow Corporation for the 17th August 1943 contain the following: “There was submitted a letter from Mclay, Murray and Spens, Solicitors, intimating that the late Mr Mavor of Cleghorn House by Lanark had bequeathed to the Corporation, subject to the life-rent enjoyment of his sister, a landscape by Macaulay Stevenson and that Mr Mavor`s sister had given authority for the picture to be delivered to the Corporation now. The Committee, after hearing a report from the director, agreed that the bequest be accepted, and that delivery of the picture be taken now.”

On 3rd September 1943, a note in the minutes indicates that a “Landscape by R. Macaulay Stevenson had been received”. 1

Samuel Miller Mavor was born on 3rd June 1863 at 25, Kelvinhaugh Street, Anderston.2 He was the fifth of seven boys born to James Mavor, a schoolmaster and Free Church minister, and his wife Mary Ann Taylor Bridie. His parents married on 22nd August 1851 in Barony.  Samuel also had three sisters, 3 one of whom, Jessie, was also to become a donor to Glasgow (see Acquisition Number 2559). At the time of the 1871 Census the family was at Middleton Cottage, Dunoon with Samuel aged seven and a “scholar”. His father`s occupation was “schoolmaster” born in Aberdeen; his mother was born in Forfar. 4

Samuel`s father graduated M.A. from the University of Glasgow in 1871 as a Licentiate of the Free Church. Thereafter he was the Principal of a Private Academy in Pollokshields till his death in 1879.5 It was at this Academy that Samuel received his early education before moving to the Glasgow Royal Technical College.6 He then began serving his time as an apprentice engine fitter with Robert Harvey and Co. at Parkgrove Ironworks 7 and in the 1881 census, he is aged 17 and an “engine fitter”, living with his mother, seven siblings and two servants at “Devon Bank Villa”, Kinning Park.8 Later that year he enrolled at Glasgow University to study Natural Philosophy.

Matriculation
Matriculation Album, 1881. University of Glasgow Archives

However, his time at university seems to have been short or non-existent as he went to work for his brother Henry, the agent in Scotland for the firm of Crompton and Co., who were pioneers in setting up electric lighting systems in Britain and Ireland.10 His first “lighting” task was to illuminate the square in front of Holyrood Palace while Queen Victoria was in residence in 1881. Earlier he had been on parade as a volunteer in the 105th Glasgow Highlanders and from his own account, had to do a quick change to prepare for the demonstration.11

One of the Mavors` achievements was to install, in 1884, electricity to light the General Post Office in George Square, Glasgow. This was the first public building in Glasgow to have electric lighting installed. This was followed by other establishments in Glasgow i.e. the Royal Exchange and Messrs. Arthur & Co., Ltd. (In 1890, Glasgow Corporation purchased the generating plant, and this became the nucleus of the public electricity supply in Glasgow).12

Samuel undertook the first of many foreign travels in 1886 when he sailed from the Tyne aboard a Japanese warship to serve as a junior engineer in the Japanese Navy.13 On his return he joined his brother`s firm of Muir and Mavor, electrical engineers.14 Later, when the firm became Mavor & Coulson, Samuel became a partner.15

He had been involved in the erection of electric lighting plant during the construction of the Forth Rail Bridge and had become friends with Sir William Arrol. After his return from the Far East, Sir William had offered him the post of Chief Electrical Engineer at the bridge which, because of his commitment to his firm, he felt obliged to refuse. Later he introduced Arrol to the collector and connoisseur T.G. Arthur when they met at Ayr Racecourse. 16

In the 1891 census, Samuel was living with his mother, three sisters and two servants at 4 Elmbank Crescent, Glasgow He was now an electrical engineer aged 27.17

The Mavors had a long connection with Russia. His mother had spent a winter in St. Petersburg and Moscow and his grandfather, Captain Bridie “in 1839 left Dundee on the brig Europe” bound for St. Petersburg. But in the Gulf of Finland the ship was chased by pirates and ran ashore. (Using the insurance money, the captain later managed to have the ship refloated but on its return voyage it was wrecked in a storm off the Mull of Kintyre and was not insured). 18 The Thornton Woollen Mills Company owned a giant mill near St. Petersburg and in 1896 an order was placed with Mavor and Coulson for the electric lighting of the mill.  Samuel travelled out to see the completion of the first stage of the enterprise. As well as St. Petersburg he visited Moscow and other cities in Russia. Two years later, in 1898 he undertook a voyage across Russia as the guest of a large Russian transport company which had ordered electrical plant from Mavor and Coulson. 19 In 1899 and 1900 he addressed the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow about his travels in Russia. 20

By 1901 he had moved to 37 Burnbank Gardens, Maryhill with his sister Isabella. He continued to work for Mavor & Coulson who advertised themselves as;

manufacturers of electric dynamos, motors and coal cutters; and contractors for the erection and equipment of electric power and lighting in Central Stations, public             works, factories, coal mines, and public and private buildings”. 21

In 1897 the company had started to build electric coal-cutting machines. They were the first to manufacture a completely enclosed electric coal-cutter and the first to incorporate an ironclad motor in one of these machines.22 Samuel specialized in this part of the business. He was a pioneer “notably in the providing of the machinery for mechanical coal cutting” and was “recognised as one of the highest authorities in the country in that branch of his profession”. He wrote many papers on the subject and many of these were translated into French and German 23.

It was Sam Mavor`s faith in the future of electric coal-cutters that kept the enterprise going, and when mining machinery became a permanent part of the company`s interests, it was he who organised the nucleus of mining engineers who supervised the commissioning of machines. Sam Mavor was active in other countries as well – by 1914 continental coal- producing countries were buying 90 percent of their long-wall requirements from Mavor and Co.” 24

In 1908 he was one of a group invited by the Canadian Mining Institute to tour Canada`s mining and smelting industries. The tour began in Nova Scotia and extended to Vancouver Island. On his return journey while staying at the Banff Springs Hotel, he met an acquaintance whom he had known in Scotland:

Bull Head
© CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

“My friend was Edmund Morris, a Canadian artist whom I had known some years earlier when he spent a summer painting on the coast of Fife. He was now working on a commission for the Canadian Government – the painting of portraits of the Chiefs of the various Indian tribes; these now hang in the National Gallery at Ottawa. ……I asked him to paint for me the portrait of a representative chief; some time after my return home it arrived – a very striking portrait of Tcillah (Bullhead) the Head Chief of the Sarsee Indians, titled “The Mourner” for his only son had just died”. 25 

This portrait was donated to Glasgow Corporation in 1946 by Samuel`s sister Jessie. (Acquisition Number 2559) © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Samuel continued to travel; in 1910 he was in Germany and was one of the passengers in the maiden voyage of the airship, sseldorf; he was in America in 1911 and in Provence in 1912 and also found time to travel in Scotland 26 His address was still 37, Burnbank Gardens where he was now living with two of his sisters and two servants. 27

By 1913, the output of coal cutting machinery reached its peak and was exported world-wide. In this year, 25 percent of Scottish coal was cut by machinery and Mavor and Coulson were at the forefront of production. When his brother Henry died in 1915 Samuel took over the management of the company.

During WW1, Samuel Mavor was a director of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and served on various government committees including the Industrial Welfare Committee of the Ministry of Munitions. 28

Photo from Bailie
(from “The Bailie” – Mitchell Library)

Throughout his life Samuel Mavor made friends with people from many different backgrounds. He befriended; revolutionaries – Prince Peter Kropotkin, academics – George Forbes – Professor of Natural Philosophy at Anderson`s College, Glasgow and for many years the deliverer of the David Elder Lectures on Astronomy at the Royal Technical College; John Scott Haldane whom he met at meetings of the Council of the Institution of Mining Engineers (Professor Haldane carried out research into the composition of the atmosphere  in mines); authors – R.B. Cunninghame Graham whom he last met in 1935 at the unveiling of a memorial to Neil Munro near Inveraray, (Mavor and Coulson had previously installed equipment for the lighting of Inveraray Castle); shipbuilders – Sir Archibald Denny whom he met when Peter Denny placed an order with M&C for a power station to provide electric light in his shipyards. The two also met at meetings of the British Standard Institution. He met Auguste Rodin in 1900 with a group of admirers of Balzac. He later wrote that “Our Kelvingrove Galleries contain casts of Rodin`s St. John the Baptist, Head of Victor Hugo and a figure from the group The Burgesses of Calais”. 29

He was also a well-respected employer. Thanks in large part to his initiatives, Mavor and Coulson adopted enlightened methods for works organisation and were praised for their scheme for education and welfare among their apprentices. They produced the “Mavor and Coulson Apprentices Magazine”, the first of its kind in Scotland. A bonus system of wages was introduced – payment by results which enabled the employees to earn high wages – while a suggestion scheme provided workpeople with awards for initiative.  When Mavor and Coulson celebrated its jubilee in 1931, Samuel was presented with his portrait in oils from the employees. 30

Mavor and Coulson Engineering Works
Mavor and Coulson Engineering Works, Broad Street and Orr Street, Glasgow in 1931³¹© Historic Environment Scotland.

  The following year he left Glasgow for New York aboard the “Cameronia” and arrived there on the 9th of February 1932.  He was then 68.32 He retired from the position of managing director of the firm in 1934 but retained the chairmanship. He was succeeded by his nephews, Mr J. B. Mavor and Mr. E. I. Mavor, sons of the founder of the firm. In the same year, to recuperate from a severe illness he spent three and a half months of the winter in Jamaica. This included a two-week voyage through the Azores and a stop in Bermuda. He visited South Africa in 1935 and flew from Johannesburg to Capetown a distance of 820 miles in a time of 8 hours. In 1939 at the age of 76 he left Liverpool 33 bound for South America visiting Chile and the Falkland Islands and voyaging around the tip of the continent to visit Juan Fernandez (Robinson Crusoe`s island).

In 1940 he published a volume of reminiscences, “an informal record of 50 years of engineering and the friendships it yielded”.34

Sam Mavor photo
Portrait from frontispiece of his “Memories”)

In this book he also records another donation which he made to Glasgow – King Theebaw`s Bed. Theebaw was the last king of Burmah deposed by the British. Samuel first came across the bed at the house of a retired Rangoon merchant. When this merchant died his goods were dispersed and sometime later Samuel came across it again in an antique furniture shop in Edinburgh. He bought it and so this “gaudy relic of fallen royalty” now resides in the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre looking rather the worse for wear.35

20170301_133414 - Bed
King Theebaw`s Bed © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection

 

In 1925 Samuel Mavor made a further donation to Glasgow. This was a bronze bust of the poet Roger Quinn by Alexander Proudfoot, A.R.S.A.36 

20170301_133934 - Bust
Portrait Bust of Roger Quinn by Alexander Proudfoot, A.R.S.A.© CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Roger Quinn was a Border`s Poet author of “The Borderlands”. His death in 1925 seems to have prompted the donation of the bust. One of his poems describes a scene in George Square, Glasgow;

NOCTURNE George Square, Glasgow, 2 A.M.

The City’s clamour now has ebb’d away,

And silence settles o’er the dusky Square,

Save for a cough, sepulchral, here and there,

From shivering forms, that wait the coming day;

Hunger and Houselessness, without one ray

Of hope to chase the shadow of Despair,

Keep weary vigil in the wintry air,

Each heart to dread Despondency a prey.

Proudly the Civic Palace, over all,

Looms through the night, and, with a sculptur’d frown,

Meets the dull gaze of Want’s lack-lustre eye:

Till slowly, like some vast funereal pall,

The chill, dense curtain of the mist creeps down,

Shrouding the splendour, and – the Misery!

Roger Quin 1850-192537

The following is a list of the many posts Samuel Mavor at one time or another held

“Chairman of Mavor and Coulson Ltd; Member of the Scottish Committee on Art and Industry; Governor, Glasgow Western Infirmary; Glasgow Royal Technical College; Glasgow School of Art; Director on Board, Glasgow Chamber of Commerce; President, Mining Institute of Scotland, 1936-38; past Chairman, Scottish Section of Institution of Electrical Engineers; Member of Council, Institution of Mining Engineers; Director on Board, Glasgow Eye Infirmary; past Chairman, N.W. Engineering Employers Assoc.; Member of Council, The Royal Scottish Geographical Society.” He was also the author of many papers on Geographical, Engineering and Mining subjects. 38

Samuel Miller Mavor died, unmarried, on 11th June 1943 aged 80 at Cleghorn House, Lanark.39 His death was announced in the Glasgow Herald of 12th and an obituary, was published on page 4 of the same issue.

Although Samuel Mavor had no children, his nephew was Dr. O. H. Mavor aka James Bridie the playwright.

References

  1. Minutes of Glasgow Corporation, Committee on Art Galleries and Museums, Vol. Apr. – Nov. 1943, p 1300 (Mitchell Library)
  2. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  3. Family Search, Scotland, births
  4. Scotland`s People, 1871 Census
  5. Addison, W. Innes, “Roll of Graduates of the University of Glasgow, 1727 – 1897”, Glasgow, James MacLehose and Sons, 1898
  6. Scottish Biographies, 1938. London: E. J. Thurston, Glasgow: Jackson, Son & Co., 1938
  7. Glasgow Herald, 12th June 1943, p4 (Obituary)
  8. Scotland’s People, 1881 Census
  9. Matriculation Album, University of Glasgow Archives
  10. Glasgow Herald, 12th June 1943, p4 (Obituary)
  11. Mavor, Sam, “Memories of People and Places”. London: William Hodge and Co., 1940, p11
  12. http://www.theglasgowstory.com/image.php?inum=TGSA05173
  13. Mavor, Sam, “Memories of People and Places”. London: William Hodge and Co., 1940, p4 and p236
  14. The Glasgow Story, Mitchell Library, GC 052 BAI (theglasgowstory.com/)‎
  15. Index of Glasgow Men, 1909, (glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/1909)
  16. Mavor, Sam, “Memories of People and Places”. London: William Hodge and Co., 1940, p45
  17. Scotland`s People, 1991 Census
  18. Mavor, Sam, “Memories of People and Places”. London: William Hodge and Co., 1940, pp 4 and 5
  19. Ibid, pp 163 – 186
  20. Op. cit, Preface
  21. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1911-12
  22. gracesguide.co.uk/Mavor_and_Coulson
  23. The Bailie , “Men You Know”, No. 2498
  24. “Mavor and Coulson, Ltd.”, Colliery Guardian, July 23rd, 1965
  25. Mavor, Sam, “Memories of People and Places”. London, William Hodge and Co., 1940, pp305 – 306
  26. A collection of his photograph albums, Mitchell Library, Glasgow Archives, TD1440
  27. Scotland`s People, 1911 Census
  28. Glasgow Herald, 12th June 1943, p4 (Obituary)
  29. Mavor, Sam, “Memories of People and Places”. London, William Hodge and Co., 1940, p 116
  30. Glasgow Herald, 12th June 1943, p4 (Obituary)
  31. britainfromabove.org.uk/image/spw035722, (Image reference SPW035722 Date 30th June 1931)
  32. ancestry.co.uk, ‎New York Passenger Lists, 1820-1957
  33. ancestry.co.uk, UK Outward Passenger Lists, 1890 – 1960
  34. Mavor, Sam, “Memories of People and Places”. London: William Hodge and Co., 1940
  35. ibid. p 325
  36. Letters on file at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre
  37. https://www.flickr.com/photos/summonedbyfells/5992710917 (https://creativecommons.org/)
  38. Scottish Biographies, 1938, E.J. Thurston, Glasgow: Jackson, Son & Co., 1938
  39. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Kenneth Sanderson W.S. (1868 – 1944)

On 29 December 1943, a bequest from Kenneth Sanderson, Esq., W.S., Edinburgh, of a portrait in oil of George Murdoch (2352) by David Martin was received.

 

donor 3
Portrait of George Murdoch (1715-1795) – Provost of Glasgow 1754-55 and 1766-67 – by David Martin. Painted 1790. ©CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

“There was submitted a letter from Wishart & Sanderson, solicitors, Edinburgh, intimating that the late Mr. Kenneth Sanderson, W.S., had bequeathed to the Corporation the portrait of George Murdoch, Lord Provost of Glasgow, 1766, by David Martin. The committee, after hearing a report by the Director, agreed that the bequest be accepted”.1 (Accepted 29th December 1943).

Kenneth Sanderson was born on the 1st of July 1868 at Knowe Park, Galashiels. 2 He was the fourth of eight sons born to Robert Sanderson a woollen manufacturer and his wife Elizabeth Cochrane whom he had married on the 22nd of September 1859. The eldest child of the family was a daughter, Jane, born in 1860. 3

Sanderson was educated at the Edinburgh Institute (now Stewart`s Melville College) which he attended from 1882 to 1885. The following lists some of his achievements during and after his time at school 4:-

“SANDERSON, Kenneth, 5, Northumberland Street. Particulars at School – 1st XV, 1884-85. After Leaving School – W.S., 23, Rutland Street, Edinburgh; Chairman, Edinburgh Public Library; Lawn Tennis: Scotland v Belgium, 1914; 1914-18, Assistant in Law Department of Board of      Trade; Fellow of the Society of Antiquities of Scotland; Director, Scottish Power Company”

After leaving school in 1885, he attended Edinburgh University. At the same time, he was serving his apprenticeship as a Writer to the Signet which he began on the 2nd of November 1885.5 From the census of 1891, he was at his parents` home with four of his brothers. His occupation was “apprentice law clerk”.6 Having studied Civil Law and Conveyancing, he completed his apprenticeship in the office of Messrs. Bruce and Kerr, W.S. on the 13th of July 1891 when he became a member of the W.S. Society. 7 The following year, along with Andrew Wishart W. S., he formed the firm of Wishart and Sanderson where he remained a senior partner throughout his life. The firm built up a considerable practice both in Edinburgh and the Borders.8 In 1897 he wrote a letter to the Scotsman from 65, Castle Street, Edinburgh supporting the idea that “Scottish bills …. could fittingly be dealt with by a tribunal sitting in Scotland”.9 In both the 1901 and 1911 censuses he was living at 5, Abercromby Place and employing two servants. His profession was “W.S. and N.P.” 10

donor 4
Photograph of Sanderson from, James Hamilton, Research Principal, The WS Society, The Signet Library, Edinburgh

Kenneth Sanderson was a talented lawn tennis player. In 1887 he competed in tournaments in Galashiels and Melrose and in 1888, he entered the Scottish Championships, reaching the semi-finals. He competed in the Queen`s Challenge Cup in 1890 and reached the final of the Scottish Border Championships in 1903. In 1904 another entry into the Scottish Championships ended when he lost in round one. He also competed in tournaments on the Continent, South of France (quarter-finals in 1905) and Cannes (semi-finals in 1905) and again in 1909. He again reached the semi-finals of the Scottish Championships in 1908 and played in the South of Scotland Tennis Championships at Moffat as current North of Scotland Champion. He reached the men`s singles final and played in the mixed doubles.11 In April 1914 he toured Belgium with the Scottish Lawn Tennis Team and represented Scotland against Belgium in the first international match in which a Scottish team was involved. (He won two and lost two matches). (The team attributed its relatively poor form to having to play the match so soon after arriving in Belgium!)12

donor 5
Sanderson (right) playing at Moffat from “Aspects Of Scottish Lawn Tennis”, Being A Series Of Articles By J. Patten Macdougall, C.B., A. Wallace Mcgregor, A. Morrice Mackay, Edinburgh, 1st Jan 1910.

He wrote a critique of Scottish Tennis comparing the standard of play now and 40 years previously. In it he mentions some of the prominent players and tournaments.13 This was republished, (unaltered because of its historical interest), in 1927. 14

In other arenas, he was an expert angler (“a passionate sport from boyhood on Ettrick and Tweed”) and a fine golfer becoming a member of the Royal Burgess Golfing Society. He was also elected a council member of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in 1907.

When the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club was established in 1893, Sanderson was a founder member and was elected to the post of Honorary Secretary. The First Annual Meeting and Dinner of the club was held on the 7th November 1894.

The Secretary (Mr. KENNETH SANDERSON, W.S.) read the Minute of the Meeting constituting the Club, which was held on 13th June last, and the same was approved of. He reported that the membership to date numbered 496”. 15

His address at this time was 15, York Place. The following year he attended the meeting of the Club in the Synod Hall, Edinburgh where the Rev. John Watson (a.k.a. Ian Maclaren) was the speaker. The speaker commented that even then Scott was “not read”. 16 The 7th Annual Dinner of the Club was held at the Royal Hotel, with Sanderson as Hon. Sec. 17 In this capacity, he wrote to Sir Donald MacAlister in 1909 inviting him to be President of the Club for the following year. Sir Donald was then Principal of Glasgow University and the letter is preserved in the archives of the University. 18 The invitation was accepted. On the 8th of April 1910 he wrote to Lord Crewe possibly with a similar invitation. 19

After 27 years as Hon. Sec. of the Club, he indicated his intention to resign that position on 31st October 1921 and his resignation was accepted at the AGM and Dinner on the 17th of December that year.20 Presumably this prompted a presentation to him of “the Bracket Clock by Joseph Kniff, given to me by the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club” which is mentioned in his will and which was left to his nephew Robert Kenneth Sanderson. He retained a connection with the club and attended its Thirtieth Annual Dinner in 1930 at the North British Hotel, with the Rt. Hon. Stanley Baldwin presiding. He was no longer an office bearer.21

In 1932 he wrote authoritative articles in the Scotsman describing exhibits (for example “The Engraved Portraits” of Scott) on display at the Scott Centenary Exhibition in the National Galleries of Scotland.22

The Old Edinburgh Club was founded in 1908 with Sanderson a founding member.23

Kenneth Sanderson`s main interests outside of his law practice were Scottish Art, Prints and Engravings, and libraries. He was regarded: “as one of the finest art connoisseurs in Scotland; he had not only one of the largest private collections of pictures and prints, but an intimate knowledge of the work of each of the great painters and engravers, particularly of the 18th century. His favourite portrait painter was probably David Martin, the master of Sir Henry Raeburn, though he had an affection for Allan Ramsay and Andrew Geddes”. 24

His “intimate knowledge” is exemplified in a letter of 1917 on the subject of “Sir Henry Raeburn`s “Glengarry””25. He was instrumental in the foundation of the Scottish Print and Fine Arts Club which held exhibitions in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen and he contributed regularly to “The Print Collector`s Quarterly”. For example, he wrote an article on “Engravings after Raeburn” for one of the 1925 editions.26

In 1928 he became Curator of the Signet Library a post which he held for the rest of his life.27 He was Chairman of the Edinburgh Library Committee from 1930. 28 In a letter of that year he requested donations of local materials to be housed in a new library being built in Leith.29 In 1934 he presided over a meeting of the General Committee of the Edinburgh Public Library and announced that he was giving two pencil drawings by Henry Gastineau and a letter of James Gordon dated 1680, to the Edinburgh Room.30 This was followed in 1935 by his gift of two watercolour drawings to Edinburgh Central Library; “The Edinburgh Tollbooth, 1829” and “View of Portobello, 1838”.31 He was also chairman of the Library Committee of Edinburgh University.32 He was passionate about “the extensions and welfare of the Public Library – which he regarded as his chief life`s work”.33

In 1936 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS). He subsequently served as the National Galleries of Scotland Accounting Officer.34 In 1938 in his capacity as Trustee he was a member of the Executive Committee set up in Edinburgh in connection with “the most comprehensive exhibition of Scottish Art which has ever been undertaken”. The exhibition was to be held at the Royal Academy, Burlington House, London in 1939. Other members of the committee were Sir James L. Caw, Sir D. Y. Cameron, Mr. Stanley Cursiter and Mr J. R. Blyth, Chairman of the Kirkcaldy Art Gallery Committee.35 John Lavery and Sir Muirhead Bone were involved in the London committee. In connection with this exhibition he gave a series of weekly lectures on Scottish painters featuring, for example, the work of Wilkie and Geddes.36 He also lent the portrait of George Murdoch (subsequently donated to Glasgow) to be exhibited at the Royal Academy.

Sanderson visited many of the galleries in Europe the last being those in Copenhagen and Stockholm in the year before the war.37 In 1941 he represented the Trustees of NGS at an exhibition of “Inter-Allied Art” which was opened by Tom Johnston Secretary of State.38 He was reappointed to the Board of Trustees in 1942 (along with Sir William Burrell and Sir D. Y. Cameron).

Kenneth Sanderson, 1868 – 1943. Connoisseur and collector; trustee of the National Galleries of Scotland, David Foggie, National Galleries of Scotland. © THE ARTIST’S ESTATE https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/3620/kenneth-sanderson-1868-1943-connoisseur-and-collector-trustee-national-galleries-scotland

 “Interested in the development of electrical supply in the South of Scotland, he became a director of the Scottish Power Company and the various electrical supply companies associated with it”. 39

Kenneth Sanderson never married. He died aged 75 on the 16th October 1943 at his home, 5, Northumberland Street, Edinburgh. “An Appreciation” appeared in the Scotsman;

“His bright, engaging and energetic personality endeared him not only to friends in the Parliament House and in other legal quarters, but in several artistic, literary and other societies. His zest, wide knowledge, sincerity and sound judgement were characteristics which won the admiration of all whom he came in contact with.” 40

The Edinburgh Evening News of 18th October 1943 contained a brief obituary and according to the Weekly Scotsman, his estate was valued at £26,503. 41 Among other bequests he left £1000 to the City of Edinburgh Council of Social Service, £500 to the Kirk Session of St. Cuthbert`s Parish Church – of which he had been an elder – (“for behoof of the Choir Endowment Fund”) and £200 to the Scottish Modern Arts Association. He also bequeathed a print showing the opening of the Scott Monument to Edinburgh Central Library.

The National Galleries of Scotland have a large collection of prints and drawings from the Kenneth Sanderson bequest of 1944. In addition, the Fine Arts Library in Edinburgh Central Library has a collection of artists` autographs and letters also from the bequest.

 

References

  1. Glasgow Corporation Minutes, 16th November 1943, Committee on Art Galleries and Museums. (Mitchell Library)
  2. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
  3. co.uk
  4. Edinburgh Institution, 1832 – 1932, J.R.S. Young, George Waterston & Sons Ltd., 1933
  5. Information and photograph of Sanderson from, James Hamilton, Research Principal, The WS Society, The Signet Library, Edinburgh
  6. Scotland`s People, Census, 1891
  7. Scots Law Reporter, 1943, p191
  8. Information from Andrew Wishart, grandson of Kenneth Sanderson`s partner; He also provided the information that a walnut tallboy was bequeathed to the Royal Scottish Museum and is on display there;
  9. The Scotsman, 13th April 1897, p9
  10. Scotland`s People, Censuses, 1901 and 1911
  11. tennisarchives.com/player.php?playerid=9422 and The Scotsman, 7th August 1909 p13
  1. “Fifty Years of Lawn Tennis in Scotland”, 1914, Wallace MacGregor, editor and publisher
  2. “Aspects Of Scottish Lawn Tennis”, Being A Series Of Articles By J. Patten Macdougall, C.B., A. Wallace Mcgregor, A. Morrice Mackay, Edinburgh, 1st Jan 1910
  3. “Fifty Years of Lawn Tennis in Scotland”, Wallace MacGregor, publisher. 1927
  4. Minutes of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club,7th November 1894, reprinted 9th March 2009
  5. The Scotsman, 26th Nov 1895. p9
  6. The Scotsman, 10th January 1901, p9
  7. Glasgow University Archives, MS Gen 544/42
  8. Cambridge University Archives, Crewe C.14.1.24
  9. From the Minutes of the Edinburgh Sir Walter Scott Club, courtesy of Lee Simpson, Hon. Treasurer
  10. The Scotsman, 17th January 1930, p10
  11. The Scotsman, 1st and 2nd July 1932, p12
  12. Information from, James Hamilton, Research Principal, The WS Society, The Signet Library, Edinburgh
  13. The Scotsman, 19th October 1943, p4; 18th October 1943. Notice of his death and an obituary
  14. The Scotsman, 24th July 1917, p6
  15. The Print Collector`s Quarterly, Vol. 12, No. 2, April 1925
  16. Information from, James Hamilton, Research Principal, The WS Society, The Signet Library, Edinburgh
  17. The Scotsman, 22nd January 1930;
  18. The Scotsman, 24th January 1930 p7
  19. The Scotsman, 31st July 1934, p7
  20. The Scotsman 1st October 1935, p13
  21. The Scots Law Times, 6th November 1943, pp 47,48
  22. “A Friend`s Tribute”, The Scotsman, 21st October 1943
  23. I am grateful to Kerry Eldon, Librarian, Scottish National Gallery, for information and for allowing access to its collection of Sanderson papers.
  24. The Scotsman, 4th June 1938, p17
  25. The Scotsman 28th January 1939, p15
  26. “A Friend`s Tribute”, The Scotsman, 21st October 1943
  27. Glasgow Herald, 31st May 1941
  28. Edinburgh Evening Dispatch, 18th October, 1943
  29. The Scotsman, 19th Oct 1943
  30. The Weekly Scotsman, 3rd Jan 1944, p3

The Painting

The portrait was painted by David Martin (1737 – 1797) in 1793. It is signed “Martin, P.W.P* pinxit 1793”. It was a family commission and remained in the family till 1931.

It was exhibited in Glasgow in 1868 (with the attribution that it was by Raeburn) and in 1894 at an exhibition of “Old Glasgow Art”, lent by Andrew B. Yuille.

It was sold at Christie’s in London on July 10, 1931 from the property of C.T. Murdoch, Esq., M.P.** It was bought by Leggatt for £105 and sold on to Kenneth Sanderson.

In 1937 it was loaned by Kenneth Sanderson to The Scottish Fine Arts and Print Club Loan Exhibition and again in 1939 to the Exhibition of Scottish Art at the R.A., London.

*P.W.P. = Painter to the Prince of Wales

** Charles Townshend Murdoch (27 May 1837 — 8 July 1898) was a banker and Conservative politican who sat in the House of Commons between 1885 and 1898.

The Sitter

George Murdoch was admitted a burgess of Glasgow on 26th September 1737, “by right of his father”. He was Dean of Guild in 1751 and 1752. He was elected Provost of Glasgow from 1754-1755 and again from 1766-1767. He was a merchant primarily trading in wines from Madeira, but became involved in related enterprises such as becoming a partner in a glass bottle works in 1742, and forming Murdoch & Warroch to build and operate the famous Anderston Brewery. George Murdoch was thrice married. His first wife was Margaret Leitch, daughter of a Glasgow merchant whom he married about 1740 and had a family of five sons and three (four?) daughters. His subsequent marriages (to Janet Bogle and Amelia Campbell) produced no further children.

One of his sons, James, went to work in Madeira at the age of thirteen and another, George, ended up in Grenada. In 1767, while in his second term as Provost, Murdoch laid the foundation stone for the new Jamaica Street Bridge. A mason, in 1769 he became “Provincial Grand Master over the Counties of Lenrick (Lanark?), Renfrew, Air, Dumbarton and Argyle”.

George Murdoch died at Frisky Hall, Dunbartonshire on 19th September 1795 and was buried in Blackfriars Churchyard. He was survived by his third wife.

The information about the painting and the sitter comes from the object files at Glasgow Museums Resource Centre.

Hugh Locke Anderson, Junior (1863 – 1928)

Hugh Locke Anderson, junior, of Ava Lodge, Helensburgh bequeathed several works by Joseph Crawhall. They were given to Glasgow on 20th April 1943.

The works were:

2324 The Purple Cow – Charcoal, watercolour, wash, paper.

2325 Lady on Horseback – Pen, watercolour, paper

2326 The Country Gentleman – Ink, watercolour, wash, paper

2327 Horse and Cart with Lady – Gouache, linen.

2328 The Whip – Chalk, watercolour, gouache, paper.

 

Figure 1. Crawhill, Joseph. Horse and Cart with a Lady. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

This painting was exhibited at the Royal Academy Exhibition of 30th October 2010 to 23rd January 2011.(1) Another version of this painting is to be found in the National Galleries of Scotland.

He also donated “Hunting and Coursing” – six pen and ink sketches on paper catalogued as PR. 1943. 8.1 to 8.6. (Numbers 8.1 and 8.3 are drawn on menu cards of the Calfe Hotel, Tangier, Morocco.) All works are located at the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre in South Nitshill.

Hugh Locke Anderson was the son of a master house painter. His father, also Hugh Locke Anderson, was born about 1818 in Glasgow. He trained as a painter while living at 223 Gallowgate Street, Glasgow.(2) After completing his apprenticeship he formed his own company based at 119, Renfield Street and by 1851 was employing twelve men.(3) He married Helen Willox, on 9th of December 1847 in Pollokshaws,(4) and in 1851 they were living at 113, Cumberland Street, Lauriston, Glasgow.(5) Throughout the 1850s the business continued to thrive necessitating the addition of a workshop at 13, Renfield Lane and later at 16, East St. Vincent Lane.(6)

About 1860, Hugh Locke Anderson, moved with his family, which now consisted of two boys and three girls, to Williamwood House, Cathcart. (7),(8) Hugh Locke Anderson, junior was born there on 21st March 1863,(9) and was christened in Glasgow on the 3rd of May. Two years later the family moved again, this time to Hillside House, Partickhill. The firm was now styled, “H. L. Anderson and Co., Carlton, house painters and decorators”.(10) In 1871, the family moved to “Ava Cottage” at 92, Glasgow Street in Helensburgh. Hugh senior now employed 30 men and 8 boys with premises located at 141, St. Vincent Street, Glasgow.(11),(12)

In 1875 the family was living at 11, Glasgow Street, Helensburgh with the name “Ava Cottage”, moving with them!(13) With the success of his business, Hugh senior was able to have his sons John and Hugh educated privately at Larchfield Academy in Helensburgh.(14) Both boys had successful school careers with John going on to become a procurator fiscal and Hugh a marine insurance broker. Hugh continued to take a keen interest in the activities of his old school and in 1899 was a member of the committees of the Larchfield Academical Club and the Larchfield Literary Society.(15)

Both Hugh, senior and his wife Helen owned substantial stock in the City of Glasgow Bank.(16) The collapse of this bank in 1878 may have hastened Helen Anderson`s death which occurred in 1879 when she was 53.(17) After her death, the family moved again, this time to “Ava Lodge” at 14, Glasgow Street.(18) There is no mention of the family in the 1881 census.

Hugh Locke Anderson, senior, died aged 70 in Helensburgh on 11th of January 1888 and his son John became head of the family. In the 1891 census, Hugh, junior, was a marine insurance clerk, living at 14, Glasgow Street, Helensburgh and ten years later he had become a “marine insurance broker”.(19) He was employed by Bennett, Browne and Co. an old established Glasgow firm based at 17, Royal Exchange Square.(20) He became a joint partner and then sole partner, a position he held for many years until his retirement.(21) Other positions he held were the vice- chairmanship of the Royal Exchange and Justice of the Peace for the County of Dumbarton.

He also devoted a good deal of time to philanthropic work, and as a Director of the Glasgow Sailors` Home was a keen and enthusiastic supporter of that institution. For many years, until its winding up in 1923, he was a Director of the `Empress` Training Ship for Boys.(22) (This ship, formerly HMS Revenge, was moored in the Gareloch from 1889 to 1923 and was owned by the Clyde Industrial Training Ship Association. The Association had the object of providing for the education and training of boys who, through poverty, parental neglect, or any other cause, were destitute, homeless, or in danger from association with vice or crime).

Figure 2. Talisman at Rhu with The Empress Training Ship in the background. Courtesy of Helensburgh Heritage Trust.
Figure 3. Christmas Card sent from The Empress Training Ship. Courtesy of Helensburgh Heritage Trust

Hugh Locke Anderson had a great appreciation for art and possessed a valuable collection of paintings. He was an Extraordinary Member of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts. In this capacity he is likely to have encountered a variety of contemporary artists especially those with a connection to Helensburgh. Edward Arthur Walton was born in 1860 and was thus a contemporary of Hugh Locke Anderson. He was one of the “Glasgow Boys” and among his friends were the artists James Whitelaw Hamilton, James Guthrie and Joseph Crawhall. Walton, Crawhall and Guthrie spent a great deal of time painting in Helensburgh and district and stayed with Hamilton at weekends at his home “The Grange”, 23 Suffolk Street. They spent one whole summer at Rosneath. Like Anderson, Whitelaw Hamilton (1860 – 1932) was a former pupil of Larchfield Academy. One of his paintings “Evening on the Gareloch” (In the Anderson Trust Collection, Helensburgh) contains a view of the Empress Training Ship.

It is thus likely that Hugh Locke Anderson knew Crawhall and it is possible that the paintings he subsequently donated were given to him by Crawhall or that he purchased them from him.

Figure 4. Walton, Crawhall, Guthrie and Whitelaw Hamilton in 1883. Courtesy of T & R Annan and Sons.

The photograph above appeared in the programme for Helensburgh and District Art Club’s loan exhibition ‘Helensburgh and The Glasgow School’, staged in the Victoria Halls, Helensburgh from September 9-23, 1972.

In his leisure pursuits, Hugh Locke Anderson was a member of the Helensburgh golf and tennis clubs and in 1926 was President of the Helensburgh Bowling Club.(23) For a great many years he was a member of the choir of the Helensburgh Congregational Church.(24) He also found time to travel. In 1914 he sailed from Liverpool to New York arriving there on the 5th of June. Again, on 3rd of December 1926 (probably after he retired) he left London for Australia. He stayed till the end of the month, leaving Sydney on the 30th of December bound for London. On the way home, the ship called at Melbourne, Adelaide, Colombo and Bombay.(25)

Hugh Locke Anderson, junior died on 22nd December 1928 at Ava Lodge in Helensburgh (26),(27) and was buried in Helensburgh Cemetery on the 26th.(28) His estate was valued at £72,813:3:7. In his will he stipulated that “all my pictures by Jos. Crawhall I bequeath to Glasgow Corporation in decease of my sister Jessie Jane & the large picture by Simon to my brother Stuart outright”. All his other pictures were left to Jessie Jane.(29) This explains the time interval between his death and Glasgow Corporation receiving the pictures. Jessie Jane Anderson died at Ava Lodge in November 1942. She was 85 years old.(30)

A list of Hugh Locke Anderson`s bequests to Glasgow is contained in “Joseph Crawhall, The Man & The Artist” by Adrian Bury, published by Charles Skilton Ltd., London 1958.

References

1. static.royalacademy.org.uk/files/gallery-3-etruscan-red-864.pdf (Lent by Culture and Sport Glasgow on behalf of Glasgow City Council)

2. ancestry.co.uk, 1841, Scottish Census

3. Scotland`s People, 1851, Scottish Census

4. Family Search, Scotland

5. Scotland`s People, 1851, Scottish Census

6. Glasgow Post Office Directories, 1851-1859

7. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1860/61

8. Scotland`s People, Census 1861

9. Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate

10. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1865/66

11. Scotland`s People, Census 1871

12. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1871/72

13. Helensburgh Directory, 1875

14. Helensburgh and Gareloch Times, 26th December 1928, p3

15. ibid

16. Otago Daily Times, 28th November 1878, page 2 (paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d…2.4‎)

17. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate

18. Helensburgh Directory, 1879

19. Scotland`s People, Census 1891

20. Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1891/2

21. Helensburgh and Gareloch Times, 26th December 1928, p3

22. ibid

23. Past Presidents` Board, Helensburgh Bowling Club

24. Helensburgh and Gareloch Times, 26th December 1928, p3

25. Ancestry.co.uk, UK Arrivals/Departures

26. Glasgow Herald, Death Notices, 26th December 1928.

27. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate

28. Helensburgh and Gareloch Times, 26th December 1928, pp 2 and 3

29. National Records of Scotland, SC65/36/28, page 183

30. Scotland`s People, Death Certificate

Matthew Dickie (1873 – 1944)

(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Figure 1. Oil, Alexander Roche R.S.A., “Girl in Red Hat”. Donated by Matthew Dickie, 74 Ormonde Avenue, Glasgow, S.4., on 18 February 1942. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.
M. Dickie
Figure 2. Matthew Dickie from a portrait by David Gauld. Courtesy of Matthew K. Dickie.

Matthew Dickie was born on the 6th April 1873 at 15, Naburn Street, Hutchesontown, Glasgow. (1) His father was John Kennedy Dickie, a mason builder born in Kilmarnock in 1844, who founded the building firm of “John Dickie and Son” in 1880. (2) His mother was Janet Ramsay. Matthew was the elder son in a family of four girls and two boys. At the time of the 1881 Census the family was still living at 15, Naburn Street with Matthew, aged 8, described as a “scholar”. (3) It is not recorded where he attended school, however, it seems that about this time he began accompanying his father to work thus learning the essentials of the building trade from an early age. He later completed his apprenticeship as a stone mason and by the time he was twenty one he was managing the firm with his father. In the 1890s, the firm was based in Greenside Street, Glasgow. (4)

John Kennedy Dickie died on the 7th May 1897 and the “assets and liabilities” of the firm were passed on to Matthew and his mother Janet. (5) The business, now under the name of John K. Dickie and Son, was based at 20, South Coburg Street, Glasgow (6) and continued to flourish under Matthew`s leadership. He was living with his mother at “Largs Villa”, Myrtle Park, Crosshill. However, on the 4th of August 1900, Matthew Dickie married Mary Hutchison the daughter of a master joiner in Lesmahagow. (7) and they moved to a house at 1132 Cathcart Road. (8) The following year their daughter Nettie Duff Ramsay Dickie was born and a son, John Kennedy Dickie, arrived in 1903. (9) By 1905, the family had moved to “The Priory”, King`s Park Avenue, Cathcart. (10) A second son, Matthew, was born in 1908. (11)

In 1909 the firm moved its premises to King`s Park Road, Mt. Florida and in the following year the family moved house, this time to Chartley Lodge in Cathcart. (12) According to the 1911 Census (13) this was a large house with at least fourteen rooms, it may have been about this time that Matthew started to amass his collection of art (or perhaps the house was purchased to display his already extensive collection). He had been to Holland in 1909 visiting the major cities and may have acquired pictures there. He bought paintings sometimes through dealers and at other times from junk and second hand shops. According to his grandson, he had an excellent eye for works of art and a favourite ploy if he spotted something interesting among a group of paintings was to pretend that he was only interested in the frames and the glass and to offer a price for the whole lot which was invariably accepted.

Figure 3. Dickie family in America. Courtesy of Matthew K. Dickie

It seems that from his visits to Europe he got a sense of how things were progressing there and, realising that war was probably inevitable, he took the decision to emigrate to the U.S.A. This necessitated the sale of Chartley Lodge and ultimately of his art collection. At this time he also sold Eastwood House and estate to John (later Lord) Weir. In 1913 he sailed to the USA aboard the “Mauretania” and visited Chicago, Los Angeles and California where he tried his hand at gold prospecting and successfully unearthed some nuggets which he brought back to Scotland. This may have been a trip to ascertain the “lie-of-the-land” because in the following year on 17th July, Matthew, now aged 41, and his wife Mary arrived in New York having sailed from Liverpool aboard the “Aquitania”. (14) They travelled all over America and Canada visiting Sacramento, California, Vancouver and Montreal and sailed on the St. Lawrence River. They returned to Scotland but Matthew arrived back in New York, via Liverpool, on 24th April 1916 aboard the “St. Louis” having left Mary at home at 11, Royal Crescent, Queen`s Park. (15)

During this visit, he seems to have decided to try his hand at farming and employed a land agent to find a suitable property. Meantime he returned to Scotland to collect the family and on 18th September 1916 they all arrived in New York aboard the “Tuscania” which had sailed from Glasgow. (16) With Matthew were Mary, daughter Nettie aged 15 and sons John aged 12 and Matthew aged 8. They settled on a farm in Virginia, called “Deanwood” which Matthew had bought and the family lived there till about 1919. With the help of William Sheriff and a foreman who had travelled out from Scotland with them he was determined to make the farm productive and applied all his energies to that aim. (William Sheriff was a young engineer employed by the firm who remained with John Dickie and Son into the 1950s).

Meanwhile, back in Glasgow, on 5th October 1916, the bulk of his art collection was sold at auction by J. and R. Edmiston. Matthew`s address was listed in the catalogue as “late of Chartley Lodge, Cathcart”. (17) The star item in the sale was “Homewards at Dawn, Loch Fyne” which was painted in 1883 by William MacTaggart. It was bought for 1100 guineas by Alexander Reid. The picture was probably acquired by Matthew from the Ramsay Collection in 1909. Other items in the sale included pictures by Sir Henry Raeburn R.A., Sir Joshua Reynolds, P.R.A., George Henry, A.R.A., R.S.A., Sir James Guthrie, Fantin Latour, B.J. Blommers as well as paintings by J. Lawton Wingate, Muirhead Bone and S.J. Peploe. The Glasgow Herald in announcing the sale reported that “The pictures to be sold include not merely one or two of importance, but several of absolutely outstanding character”. (18) The sale realised a sum of about £39,000.

Figure 4. Deanwood. Courtesy of Matthew K. Dickie

In 1919 Matthew was approached by a prospective buyer who offered twice the sum he had paid for Deanwood; an offer that Matthew couldn’t refuse! With the profit, he bought “Cornwell”, a mansion in Virginia dating from 1731, with 200 acres of land around it. He renamed this “Parklands”. However, the family did not live there for long. Within eighteen months, and with Mary becoming increasingly homesick, he reluctantly sold “Cornwell” (Parklands) and the family moved back to Scotland. “Cornwell” was one of the “Historic Houses of Virginia” which featured in a book published in 2003. (19) Two years later, Matthew again set sail from Glasgow bound for New York, this time accompanied by his son John. Part of the reason for this trip would have been to visit his son Matthew who was still at school in Virginia. They arrived in New York aboard the “Cameronia” on 30th June 1921 with their final destination Vienna, Washington, D.C. Their home in Glasgow was now at 71, Broomhill Road, Newlands. (20) They returned to Glasgow but on 18th of June the following year, Matthew arrived alone in New York having sailed from Glasgow aboard the “Columbia”. Mary was at home in “Underwood”, Giffnock, Glasgow. (21)

In 1930 Matthew purchased Eaglesham House together with ‘its gardens, cottages, lodge houses and farmland of 250 acres’ from the trustees of Captain Angus Cecil Gilmour. Planning consent was obtained to develop the estate with a country club, golf course and surrounding housing built in a village form including a school, shops etc. (22)

Eaglesham
          Figure 5. Eaglesham House in 1927. Courtesy of Mathew K. Dickie

Eaglesham House was requisitioned in 1940 by the War Department (Scottish Command) and occupied until 1946. Then planning consent was changed to make part of the Eaglesham estate ‘green belt’. This, together with the cost of death duties, persuaded Dickie’s Trustees to sell the house and estate to the Polnoon Estate Company. One of those involved in this purchase was the Hon. J.K. Weir, son of the Lord Weir who had purchased Eastwood House. (23)

1931 saw the death of George Leslie Hunter the artist who had been a good friend of Matthew`s. Matthew had helped Hunter financially and, at the time when Hunter`s work had fallen out of favour with collectors, Tom Honeyman wrote that “Among the older friends and patrons who still believed at this time that Hunter was by no means a spent force I can only recollect McInnes, McNair, Harrison and Dickie”; and later “The Bon-Bon was the pretentious title of a very ordinary tea room in the Central Station (which was) the meeting place for the morning coffee of McInnes, McNair, Hunter and myself. Occasionally we would be joined by Willie Gordon, who was on the staff of the Evening News; Ion Harrison, Matthew Dickie, Sam Warnock, R.C. Roy were among others who would more infrequently, join in discussions …..”. (24)

Mrs Matthew Dickie
Figure 6. Mary Dickie by George Leslie Hunter. Courtesy of Matthew K. Dickie.

Matthew owned several of Hunter’s work including one of his wife Mary. In 1941 he lent a “Still Life” by Hunter to be shown at the RGI Exhibition of that year. (25) He also owned “Fan and Fruits” which, when it came up for sale much later, was described as “one of the most dramatic Leslie Hunters ever to be on offer in recent years”. (26) Another of his paintings, “Boats in the Harbour, Cassis” by Hunter was sold at Christies in 1998 for £3,105

On the 29th October 1933, Matthew, now aged 60, Mary and their son Matthew arrived in New York aboard the “Caledonia” having left Glasgow on the 19th of October. (27) Perhaps the intention was to try to settle in the U.S.A. because they repurchased “Cornwell”. However, it was not to be and they sold up within two years and returned to Glasgow. In 1935, he purchased around 30 acres of land on the Castlemilk Estate on the outskirts of Glasgow. He proposed to erect 230 houses and 10 shops on the ground. The plans were finalised in February 1937 and preparations were made to start the work. However, Glasgow Corporation had plans to develop the estate for community housing and set a Compulsory Purchase Order on Dickie’s holding. After an inquiry in 1937, the lands and mansion of Castlemilk were finally bought by Glasgow Corporation. (28)

Matthew Dickie died on 22nd January 1944 at the Southern General Hospital, Glasgow. He had gone to visit one of his foremen in the hospital and collapsed and died from a cerebral haemorrhage. (29) His home at the time was at 74, Ormonde Avenue. Matthew was buried in Cathcart Cemetery, Glasgow. (30) According to his grandson, he left an estate worth well over £150,000 but this was severely reduced by death duties. The published value of his estate was £8,112:8:10 (31)

Matthew Dickie was an avid art collector. He owned several Peploes, a Raeburn and J.D. Fergusson`s “Lady with the Hat” now in Kelvingrove. He was a friend of Dr. Tom Honeyman who is reputed to have said that “Matthew Dickie taught me everything I know about art……. and I mean everything”. It was probably due to Honeyman that he donated “Lady in Red Hat” to Glasgow. He seemed to excel at most things he did including fishing and was an excellent artist himself. He was very musical as were two of his sisters who became opera singers. A third sister taught music at the Atheneum in Glasgow.

(I am very grateful to Matthew K. Dickie, grandson of the donor, for informative discussion and for allowing me access to family records and photographs).

References

1. Scotland`s People.

2. (The firm later became “Dickie Homes”). http://www.s1homes.com/newhomes/developer/dickie_homes/4107.shtml

3. Ancestry.com (Census Data)

4. Glasgow Post Office Directories.

5. The Edinburgh Gazette, 8th October 1897.

6. Glasgow Post Office Directories.

7. Scotland`s People.

8. Glasgow Post Office Directories.

9. Scotland`s People.

10. Glasgow Post Office Directories.

11.  Ancestry.com (Census Data)New York, Passenger Lists, 1820 – 1957.

12. Glasgow Post Office Directories.

13. Ancestry.com (Census Data)

14. Ancestry.com; New York, Passenger Lists, 1820 – 1957.

15. Ibid.

16. Ibid.

17. Glasgow Herald, 30th September 1916

18. Glasgow Herald, 6th October 1916, page 9.

19. “The Land at Cornwell Farm” by Jean Tibbetts. Copy General, 102 – 9, Executive Drive, Sterling, VA 20166. (Copyright – “The Great Falls Historical Society”, PO Box 56, Great Falls, Virginia 22066).

20. Ancestry.com; New York, Passenger Lists, 1820 – 1957.

21. Ibid.

22. http://www.geograph.org.uk/article/Eaglesham-The-Story-of-a-Planned-Village

23. Ibid.

24. “Introducing Leslie Hunter, T.J. Honeyman, Faber and Faber Ltd., 1937.(Also published in “Hunter Revisited”, Bill Smith and Jill Marriner, Atelier Publishing, 2012)

25. The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, 1861-1989: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions, Roger Billcliffe, (Woodend Press, 1990).

26. Glasgow Herald.

27. Ancestry.com; New York, Passenger Lists, 1820 – 1957.

28. Glasgow Herald, 6th November 1937, p7; also Carmunnock Heritage Trail Booklet – Glasgow City Council.

29. Scotland`s People.

30. Glasgow Herald, 24th January, 1944, p1.

31. Confirmations and Inventories, 1944. National Records of Scotland, CAL/1944/A, pp 236