In October 1950 Mrs. Helen Percy presented to Glasgow Museums a portrait of her mother by the artist John Graham Gilbert.
Her mother was Elizabeth Bannatyne, wife of Glasgow merchant John Jarvie who was heavily involved in trade with China and the Far East during the middle of the nineteeth Century.
This article looks at both their family backgrounds and how he became a ‘foreign merchant’ particularly in Singapore, who was not always successful.
John Jarvie’s grandfather was William Jarvie, a coal master of Pollokshaws. He married Agnes McGie in 1754 and they had at least four children, three girls and one boy. They were all baptised on the same day in 1762 in the parish of Eastwood, their birth dates ranging from 1755 to 1762.
William was a coal master at a time in Scotland when essentially miners were no better than slaves and were legally tied to mines (bondsmen) by an Act of Parliament (1606), unless their master agreed to release them. Another Act in 1672 authorised ‘coal masters, salt masters and others, who had manufactories in this kingdom to seize upon any vagabonds or beggars wherever they can find them, and to put them to work.’  This state of affairs continued until the beginning of the 19th Century. For more on the history of coal mining in Scotland the Scottish Mining Website (http://www.scottishmining.co.uk/index.html) is an excellent source of information.
Whilst his main occupation is given as coal master he also farmed at various locations within Sir John Maxwell’s Pollok estate, including at Clogholes farm, PolIocktoun and Northwoodside. His will, he died c.1767, details the value of equipment and crops at each of these locations and others, and also includes the value of tools, equipment and instruments associated with his coal works at Napiershall. When household goods, furniture and so on are included his estate was valued at £334 2s., his wife Agnes being his named executrix.
His son Robert was born in July 1758 at Shaws. His initial schooling has not been established, the only certainty being that he did not attend the University as the matriculation or graduation records do not include his name. It’s probable he worked for his father at some stage but again nothing has been found to indicate what he did in the early part of his life.
Robert eventually became a merchant in Glasgow however his first appearance in the Post Office Directories does not occur until 1806 where he is described as a merchant with James Hamilton, Sen. and Co., his home address being given as Charlotte Lane, which is where he lived until 1815. He remained with that company for the rest of his active life, eventually becoming a partner in the business and others. He was also a director of the Chamber of Commerce from 1829 until 1833.
He married in 1814 Jane Milligan, the daughter of William Milligan, merchant, and Jean Ure of Fareneze Printfield, Neilston. They had seven children, five sons and two girls. The family home was at Maxwellton Place from 1815 until 1824, at which time they moved to 19 Carlton Place.
Robert died at home on the 28th April 1843. At the time of his death his movable estate was valued at £8378 9s 3d, equivalent to £800,000 today by simple RPI changes, in terms of economic power it equates to several millions of pounds.
However, that does not tell the whole story of his wealth. In 1830 he set up a Trust Disposition and Settlement which dealt with his heritable estate in Glasgow plus what is described as his ‘stock in trade’ including his ‘share of same’ from other co-partneries with which he was involved. Included was property/ground bounded by the west of Robertson Street and the Broomielaw, subjects in Queen Street, property in Carlton Place and other properties and ground.
Eleven trustees were named whose function was to manage the trust to support his wife and children and if need be, their children. There are three codicils to the deed the last of which in 1836 names his eldest son William as a trustee.
Four of the five sons, William, Robert, James and John,more of whom later, all matriculated at the University between 1829 and 1837, and all became merchants in due course. There is no evidence to suggest the youngest son Alexander became a merchant or attended the University, however there was a bit of a mystery about his whereabouts after 1856 which led to a petition for him to be presumed dead.
In 1885 Robert’s sister Agnes, the widow of Isaac Buchanan, resident in Hamilton, Canada, sought to have Alexander presumed dead in accordance with the 1881 Presumption of Life Limitation Scotland Act. In her submission to the Lords of Council and Session she stated that her brother had sailed from New York to Melbourne, Australia in 1856 and had not been heard of since. She also stated that he was unmarried at that time.
Deposited in a bank account in his name was his share of his father’s estate which was finally settled in 1865, plus other bequests and interest accrued amounting to £1644, all of which had remained untouched since the account had been set up.
Judgement was given in her favour and Alexander was presumed to have died on or about the 23rd February 1864. Why that date is not made clear however a reasonable guess would be that since he was presumed to have died before his father’s estate was settled then his share would automatically go to his siblings, otherwise it should go to any heirs (children) he may have had which would have entailed a difficult search for proof.
In the event with Alexander being declared dead Agnes, as the only surviving sibling, was confirmed as executrix and sole beneficiary of his estate in January 1886.
When I tried to find out if he did die in Australia only one possibility arose in that an Alexander Jarvie died in Wellington, New South Wales in 1902. The data from the NSW web site is sparse but intriguingly the first names of the parents quoted in the document were Robert and Jane. Pure coincidence or could this have been the long lost brother?
The other brothers’ stories are also somewhat interesting. The eldest, William, started on his own account as a commission agent in 1839 in Robertson Street. By 1846 he was a partner in Rainey, Jarvie and Co. and by 1848 he was declared bankrupt and had his assets sequestrated. He never appears in the Post Office Directories again.
Very little is known about James except he died in 1867 at Lismore, Argyllshire. The registration document describes him as a merchant, no other source has been found to confirm that, and that he died of ‘excessive drinking’.
A little more is known about Robert. He undoubtedly was a merchant but it’s not obvious with whom in Glasgow. The most likely is Buchanan, Hamilton and Co. as in 1860 a partnership was established in Shanghai between Buchanans, Robert Jarvie and William Thorburn, which was styled Jarvie, Thorburn and Co. This partnership lasted until Robert’s death in Shanghai in 1866.
John Jarvie, the second youngest of the brothers was born in 1822. He matriculated at the University in 1837 and by 1842 he was in Singapore donating 20 Spanish dollars for raising a spire and tower for St. Andrew’s Church there.
He was essentially to remain there for the next eighteen years, travelling around the Far East as required by business. In 1848 he was acting as an agent for the Glasgow firm of Hamilton, Gray and Co. and in 1852 he became a partner of the company in Singapore and also of Buchanan, Hamilton and Co. in Glasgow. During that period, he travelled to and from Hong Kong,Siam, India, and Australia. His travels continued to these destinations and others until he returned home circa 1860.
In 1854 he was appointed Consul for Denmark in Singapore, an appointment he fulfilled well on behalf of that country. In 1858 he travelled to Siam accredited to the Royal Court there by King Frederich VII of Denmark. His task was to negotiate a treaty with the ‘first and second kings’ of Siam and their ‘magnates’. As he was well known to all of the personnel involved he had no difficulty in concluding a treaty of friendship and commerce along the same lines as other countries had done before.
He played his part in Singapore civic life serving on several grand jurys between 1849 and 1854. In 1853 he served on a jury whose calendar comprised of eighteen cases including two murders. In November 1850 he was elected Master of the local Masonic lodge from the position of Senior Warden.
In 1859 in recognition of his service to Denmark he was created a Chevalier of the Royal Order of Danebrog by the King of Denmark.
He returned to Glasgow in 1860 and married Elizabeth Bannatyne in November of that year. She was the daughter of Andrew Bannatyne, writer, and Margaret Millar.
Her paternal grandfather was Dugald Bannatyne a prominent citizen of Glasgow in the early part of the nineteenth century. He was a stocking weaver who was influential in the development of George Square around 1800. He formed, along with Robert Smith Jr and John Thomson, the Glasgow Building Company. He was able to attract English capital to what was a speculative venture through Thomson’s brother-in-law, an English stocking weaver called Johnston. By 1804 the Square had buildings on each side which were being described as ‘elegant, particularly on the north (side).’
He was appointed Post Master General in 1806 and was secretary to the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce from 1809 to 1830. In 1817 he was a member of a committee of the Glasgow Merchants House charged with bringing about the building of a new Merchants Hall. Dugald’s wife was Agnes Stirling, who was a descendant of the Stirling family of Drumpellier.
John and Elizabeth had 11 children, six boys and five girls. Sadly, with two exceptions they all died before they were forty-five years old, the exceptions being Helen the donor of the painting and her sister Agnes. Two died as infants, four as teenagers, two of whom, Andrew and Robert, died from pneumonia within 8 days of each other in 1878. The other five all married, more of which later.
John continued in partnership with Buchanan, Hamilton and Co. and others this time based in Glasgow, the family living at 13 Park Circus. Unfortunately this situation did not last for very long. In 1865 the funds of all the partnerships he was involved with and those of the individual partners were sequestrated. The companies involved were Buchanan, Hamilton and Co., Jarvie, Thorburn and Co., and Hamilton, Gray and Co., the partners being Walter Buchanan, William Hamilton, John Jarvie and George Henderson. The process of dealing with creditors lasted until 1876.
John however around 1866/67 had already formed another partnership with George Henderson apparently unaffected by the sequestration problems they both faced. They were known as Jarvie, Henderson and Co, in Glasgow  and J. Jarvie and Co. in Shanghai. However, this was another venture which ended up in failure, the funds of the companies and those of the partners being sequestrated on the 2nd June 1873.
There is no evidence that he formed any other partnerships following that with George Henderson, as from 1874 on his entries in the Post Office Directories simply state that he is a merchant.
He died intestate in 1879 at 9 Lyndoch Crescent, the family home since 1866. When he died his occupation was recorded as wine agent. The value of his estate was eventually given as £642 5s 7d. John’s wife Elizabeth died in Bournemouth in 1924. Her estate was valued at £9690 16s, probate being granted to her daughters Agnes Bannatyne and Elizabeth Helen Percy.
The five surviving children of John and Elizabeth were George Garden Nicol, Norman Alexander, Helen (Elizabeth Helen), Agnes and Susan Evelyn.
George married Sarah Elizabeth Tuffin at St Peter’s Limehouse in 1900. He was 29 years old and Sarah was 22. At the time of his marriage his occupation was given as mariner. They had a son in 1903, George Norman who died a few months after his birth. George’s occupation at that was time given as ‘independent’. Not much more has been established about him except that he died on the 10th May 1907, age 36 at the Deddington Arms, a beer house in Poplar, Middlesex. He left estate valued at £30. He seems to have been the landlord of the establishment as two years later his wife was still at the same address.
Norman spent some of his life in the military. In 1895 he was given a commission as a second lieutenant in the 3rd/4th battalion of the Highland Light Infantry. As a lieutenant he acted as aide-de-camp to Colonel Thackery, his battalion commander, when the Duke of Connaught, son of Queen Victoria and the battalion’s honorary chief, visited the battalion in June 1899.
He eventually attained the rank of temporary captain and was an Instructor of Musketry when he was seconded to a line battalion in South Africa early in 1900 at the start of the second Boer War.
It seemed his military career was progressing satisfactorily though it came to an abrupt end a few months later whilst he was in South Africa. In the London Gazette of the 1st May 1900 it was announced that Captain N.A. Jarvie was to be appointed second lieutenant. I have not been able to ascertain what caused this demotion but worse was to follow. About seven weeks later his new appointment was cancelled to be followed by his dismissal from the army in November, the official Gazette notice stating that he was ‘removed from the army, Her Majesty having no further occasion for his service’.
Norman married Edith Nora Ferguson in Huntingdon in 1903. By the 1911 census they were living in a private apartment in Llandudno with no family. Norman’s occupation was given as actor working on his own account. You can’t help but get the impression that he had led a rather nondescript life since his dismissal from the army.
However, there are two postscripts to his army life. In 1905 there was a further entry in the London Gazette about him, which stated that the paragraph about his removal from the army in the November 1900 issue was to be substituted by one that simply said that Captain (temporary) N.A. Jarvie has retired from the Military.
The other is that three weeks after Great Britain declared war on Germany on the 4th August 1914 Norman enlisted as a private with the King Edward’s Horse at the age of 41. He did not see any active service as he died on the 13th December of that year at a hospital in Hounslow, cause of death not stated but seemingly from an accident or an illness. The army documentation which records his enlistment and his death also records that his estate was not entitled to any war gratuity as he had not served for six months. His estate was valued at £11.
Agnes married chartered accountant John Allan Bannatyne in 1894.[71He was the son of her mother’s brother John Miller Bannatyne, that is, they were first cousins. He was a partner in Bannatyne, Bannatyne and Guthrie when the company was founded in 1892 but after 1902 he is no longer mentioned in the directory and the company name has changed to Bannatyne and Guthrie. What he did subsequently is unknown. They had a son Ninian John, born in 1896, who was killed in action in France in 1917. John died intestate in Sierra Madre, California in 1909, leaving £688 2s 7d, probate granted to Agnes twenty years after his death. She died in Durban, South Africa in 1949.
Susan Evelyn married Duncan Forbes Robertson Aikman in 1903 in Westminster, London. He was a member of the Robertson Aikman family of Ross House and New Parks House Leicester. His father was Hugh Henry Robertson Aikman whose brother Frederick Robertson Aikman won a V.C. during the Indian Mutiny in 1858. The marriage was childless and did not last very long as Susan died at the age of 32 in 1908. He died in 1920.
Helen, the donor of the painting was born in 1868. She married Edward Josceline Percy in 1907 in London. He was the son of Hugh Josceline Percy who was descended from Hugh Percy, the 1st Duke of Northumberland (great grandfather), via the 1st Earl Beverly (grandfather),and the Rev. Hugh Percy, Bishop of Rochester and then Carlisle, his father. Edward died in 1931, probate granted to Helen, his estate being valued at £7898. She died in 1954. There were no children of the marriage.
In the Necropolis in Glasgow, the family lair has fifteen family names inscribed on its headstone starting with Robert Jarvie and his wife Jane Milligan. They are followed by John Jarvie and his wife Elizabeth Bannatyne and all of their children. Not all of them are buried there however, the exceptions being George Garden Nicol Jarvie and Susan Evelyn Jarvie.
When it’s considered that Robert Jarvie left a very significant fortune when he died in 1843 it’s difficult not to come to the conclusion that none of the adult sons took advantage of the start in business that had been given to them. In fact, the family fortune went in reverse due to their combined lack of the business acumen shown by their father.
On a sadder note, despite having eleven children there are no direct descendants of John Jarvie and Elizabeth Bannatyne.
 Testamentary Records. Scotland. 8 May 1925. JARVIE, Elizabeth. National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1936. 1925, p. J10. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Marriages (SR) England. Limehouse, Tower Hamlets. 30 July 1900. JARVIE, George Garden Nicol and TUFFIN, Sarah Elizabeth. England, Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1932. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Births (SR) England. Poplar, St Stephen, Tower Hamlets. 10 May 1903. JARVIE, George Norman. London, England, Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1917. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary Records. England. 18 July 1907. JARVIE, George Garden Nicol. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate. 1907, p. 325. Collection: England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Marriages (SR) England. Huntingdon. 1st Qtr. 1903. JARVIE, Norman Alexander and FERGUSON, Edith Nora. England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915. Vol. 3b, p. 630. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary Records. England. 14 June 1916. JARVIE, Norman Alexander. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate. 1916, p. 285. Collection. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary Records. Scotland. 26 November 1929. BANNATYNE, John Allan. National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1936. 1929, p. B15. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary Records. England. 30 June 1950. BANNATYNE, Agnes Marion. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate. 1950, p. 317. Collection. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Marriages. (SR) England. London. 1st Qtr. 1903. AIKMAN, Duncan Forbes Robertson and JARVIE, Susan Evelyn. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, 1837-1915. Vol. 1a, p. 768. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Marriages. (SR) England. London. 1st Qtr. 1907. PERCY, Edward Josceline and JARVIE, Elizabeth Helen. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes, 1837-1915. Vol. 1a, p. 868. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary Records. England. 8 August 1931. PERCY, Edward Josceline. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate. 1931, p. 679. Collection. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary Records. England. 11 April 1954. PERCY, Helen Elizabeth. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate. 1954, p. 377. Collection. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1995. https://www.ancestry.co.uk
John Keppie was a renowned Glasgow architect whose business partners during his career included John Honeyman and Charles Rennie Mackintosh. He was also an accomplished watercolourist and had studied at the Glasgow School of Art and in Paris. On his death in 1945 he bequeathed a number of paintings to Glasgow which included works by Edward Walton, Bessie MacNicol and Joseph Crawhall.
The following notes describe his family background, his early life, career and painting activity. Inevitably they touch on his relationship with Mackintosh whose fame, some sources suggest, has unfairly overshadowed Keppie’s success and achievements as an architect. Keppie is almost invariably referenced, when mentioned, as a partner of Mackintosh as if he had no other meritorious claim.
The Keppie family originated in Haddington, East Lothian. John’s paternal grandfather, also John (Keppy), married Mary Quelain, the daughter of James Quelain, a Haddington flax dresser, in Edinburgh on 20th April 1810. He was aged about twenty four and worked as a gentleman servant, Mary was about 17 years old.
Between 1811 and 1836 they had five sons and seven daughters all born in Haddington. John Keppie’s father, James was born on the 19th October 1816 and baptized on the 3rd November. Grandfather John appears to have had a number of occupations being variously described as a labourer, carter and finally a farmer.
James Keppie married twice. His first wife was Janet Smith whom he married in Canongate Parish Church on 12 June 1840. At the time of his marriage he was described as a tobacconist lodging with William Corns, a bookbinder, in Leith Walk. Janet was the daughter of John Smith, a gentleman’s butler of North Berwick. She was also lodging in Edinburgh at the time with a Miss Ritchie at 21 Lothian Road.
In the following year James was working as a tobacco spinner in Glasgow, he and his wife living in Buchanan Court in the Gorbals. It’s likely he was in the employ of Henry Spence and Co. whose tobacco and snuff manufactory at that time was located in Park Place, Stockwell Street. Spence commenced trading around 1813 in Main Street, Gorbals  moving to Stockwell Street in 1816  where he remained until 1848 when he ceased trading from that address. His company continued for another year from premises in the Trongate which he had occupied since 1842.
In 1848 James Keppie set up his tobacco business in the premises in Stockwell Street vacated by Spence, hence the conjecture that Keppie had worked for Spence and had learned the broader business from him. By 1851 Keppie’s snuff and tobacco manufactory business employed two men, one apprentice and nineteen boys. The smuggling and adulteration of tobacco and snuff at this time were of major concern to the legitimate manufacturers, and to the Excise. In 1851 thirty one of Glasgow’s tobacco manufactories, including Keppie’s, formed a society whose purpose was to protect themselves against such activities. In the Glasgow Herald of the 7th March 1851 notice was given of the society’s formation, included in which was the threat that retailers found selling such contraband would be liable for an Excise fine of £200.
His marriage to Janet Smith was childless and sometime after March 1851 she died. The exact date has not been established but James remained a widower until 1856 when he married Helen Morton Hopkins on the 14th February in Glasgow. Helen’s family came from Galston in Ayrshire where her parents, James Hopkins, a bookseller and Elizabeth Cuthbertson, had married in 1824.
James and Helen had eight children, five daughters and three sons , John, the eldest boy, being born on the 4th August 1862. The family lived at various addresses in Glasgow including Frederick Street, where John was born, Granville Street and by 1879 at 42 Hamilton Park Quadrant  which James owned. This address became 42 St James Street with the street name changed late in 1887. By 1875, in addition to his Glasgow home, James owned two properties in Station Road in the parish of Monkton. One was rented out to Mr. John Campbell, a police officer in Glasgow, the other was the family second home.
James’ tobacco business seems to have been very successful with premises at different times in Stockwell Street, Brunswick Street, and finally at 157 Trongate where he owned two properties, acquired around 1859. He used one to run his tobacco business and rented out the other. At one point he employed two travellers, four spinners, two message boys and forty two boys in the workshop. He retired from business in 1880 having rented out his business property to another tobacconist, F & J Smith & Co. five years previously. He continued to operate some business from these premises until his retirement. He died at home in 1889 from chronic bronchitis, his death registered by his son-in-law David Riddoch  who had married John’s sister Elizabeth in 1887.
His will and particularly his inventory makes interesting reading. The net value of his estate was £22,494 which included a number of shareholdings as well as heritable and other moveable property. His shareholdings ranged from railways to land holdings in New Zealand, Australia and Canada.
Initially his will, which was written in 1874, refers to an ante-nuptial agreement between him and his wife Helen dated 1856. She would inherit all his property should he predecease her. His will recognized that they now had seven surviving children who should be provided for in the event of his death, his wife agreeing to these provisions. It also notes he had significantly more assets than at the time of his marriage. Essentially the daughters were to be educated and supported until they married, the sons until they could ‘stand on their own two feet’. Five trustees acting as executors, curators and tutors were named to ensure the intended objectives of the will were achieved.
A codicil was added in 1883 which along with some minor changes replaced two of the original trustees with his sons John and James, and added his wife Helen, Hugh Hopkins and Dr James Corns of Oldham.
There were two items in the inventory which were unexpected. The first was that in addition to his estate in Scotland he had assets abroad, namely in Henderson County, Kentucky where he had an interest in Thomas Hodge and Co., a tobacco manufacturing company established in 1884 . His interest in the company was valued at $40,076.
What happened to that interest has not been established despite a search of Kentucky probate records and others of the period 1889 – 1895. This company continued into the 1970s when the then owner (another Thomas Hodge) sold it.
How did Keppie come to invest in a tobacco company in Kentucky? It’s very likely the initial connection was with tobacconists J & T Hodge, established in 1850, whose business was located at 12 Maxwell Street, Glasgow. They were members of the same society as Keppie that set out to deal with smuggling and the adulteration of tobacco.
James Hodge was a partner in the business and two of his sons emigrated to the United States. Son John Henderson Hodge (b.1854) emigrated in 1876  and set up the John Hodge Tobacco Co. in Madison, Kentucky. His younger brother Thomas (b.1859) joined him in 1880 , establishing his own company in 1884. In Keppie’s will that company is referred to as Thomas Hodge & Co., in a history of tobacco manufacturers in Kentucky it is referred to as the Hodge Tobacco Manufactory.
The other point of interest was that Keppie’s son James was described as a janitor in the inventory and also as a “sometime tobacco manufacturer in Henderson, Kentucky, U.S.A., at present in Glasgow”. It therefore seems probable he had been working for Thomas Hodge and Co. whilst in Henderson County. He returned to Glasgow in 1890  and was living with his mother Helen, brother John and sister Mary at 42 St James Street in 1891. He died in Glasgow in 1918  having been in the Gartnavel Royal Lunatic Asylum since before 1901, his infirmity recorded as ‘lunatic’.
James Keppie senior’s estate for the time was exceptional. Looking at RPI changes since 1889 his Scottish assets equate to £2.2m today; taking into account economic power that value increases to between £17m and £29m. His interest in the Kentucky tobacco company equates to somewhere between £2m and £10m, using the 1889 exchange rate of $4.87/£1.
When you consider his father at the time of his marriage in 1810 was a gentleman servant and that James had been a tobacco spinner in 1841, it was an incredible transformation in the family’s wealth in the following near fifty years. It provided a standard of living that all his children benefited from significantly throughout their lives.
John Keppie’s initial schooling was at Ayr Academy. At the age of about 15 he began a five year architectural apprenticeship with the Glasgow firm of Campbell Douglas and Sellars. In the following year he enrolled at the Glasgow School of Art, remaining a student there until 1882, when his apprenticeship was complete. During this time in 1879 he also attended Glasgow University for two sessions studying mathematics. In his final year he gained a bronze medal in the National Competition, won five guineas (second prize) in the Worshipful Company of Plasterers competition and achieved a third or highest grade in the advanced section of the school.
He then went to Paris to study at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and the Atelier Jean Louis Pascal apparently because the Campbell Douglas practice was concerned that it was being threatened by others with Paris trained architects. He remained there for eighteen months, sharing rooms with fellow architects Frank Lewis Worthington Simon and Stewart Henbest Clapper.  In the autumn of 1886, he toured northern Italy with an artist friend. This tour produced sketches and watercolours of Lucca, Florence and Sienna  which were used to illustrate a talk called ‘A Tour of Italy’ he gave to the Glasgow Architectural Association in May 1887. The association published some of them in their sketch book of 1888, the year in which he became their president.
A watercolour of a Sienna street scene was also exhibited in 1888 by the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. His future travels were to become a major inspiration for many of his watercolours and sketches.
Later in 1886 he was successful in the Royal Institute of British Architects’ William Tite Prize competition winning the silver medal, as reported in the Glasgow Herald of the 24th January 1887. He was to repeat this success in 1887.
In January 1887 a competition was advertised for the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888 and Keppie worked with Sellars to produce the firm’s entry which was successful and built. However the years 1887 and 1888 were generally difficult for the practise with Campbell Douglas becoming ill and making no contribution to the business and Sellars dying late in 1888 from blood poisoning. This resulted from a wound sustained by him to his foot during a visit to the exhibition site.
As a consequence of this Keppie, late in 1888, was taken into partnership by John Honeyman thus establishing John Honeyman and Keppie. This was not only a positive move for Keppie but probably saved Honeyman’s business as at that point it was chronically short of work and capital, Keppie bringing with him the ongoing contract for the Anderson’s College of Medicine. His final service to his old colleague and mentor James Sellars was to design his memorial which was erected in Lambhill Cemetery.
The partnership between Honeyman and Keppie seems to have flourished from the beginning. In 1888 Herbert McNair joined the practise as a draughtsman and in 1889 Charles Rennie Mackintosh also joined as an assistant or junior draughtsman, in addition to at least four other members of staff. Mackintosh had served an apprenticeship between 1884 and 1889 with architect John Hutcheson and like Keppie had attended the Glasgow School of Art.
A friendship developed among the three young men which saw them spend working weekends at the Keppie Prestwick home along with, in due course, Keppie’s sister Jessie, the McDonald sisters Margaret and Frances, Agnes Raeburn, Janet Aitken and Katherine Cameron, who all stayed in rented accommodation at Dunure further down the coast. They referred to Dunure as the ‘Roaring Camp’ and collectively called themselves ‘The Immortals’.
Between 1889 and the mid 1890s the practice was involved in a number of projects and competitions, perhaps the most notable of the former being company offices for the Fairfield Shipbuilding and Engineering Company in Govan (1889-1891), the Glasgow Art Club building in Bath Street, Glasgow (1893) and the Glasgow Herald building, known as ‘The Lighthouse’, in Mitchell Street, Glasgow (1893-1895).
Keppie had been elected an artist-member of the Glasgow Art club in 1888. In 1891 he was appointed honorary secretary of the artists section and he and three other members were tasked with investigating the possibility of the club acquiring its own premises, it then currently renting a property at 151 Bath Street. Adjacent properties at 187 and 191 Bath Street were purchased in 1892 for £5500 with the aid of a loan of £3500 from the trustees of James Keppie, John Keppie’s father. The loan was secured over the two buildings and eventually discharged in 1941.
The job of adding to and refurbishing the property, perhaps unsurprisingly, fell to Honeyman and Keppie, a sum of £1500 being allocated for the work which commenced on 16th September 1892 and was completed in June the following year at almost twice the planned cost. John remained a member of the club for the rest of his life becoming Vice-President between 1896 and 1898 and president twice, in 1905-06 and again in 1926-27.
The firm also had three entries in the competition for the new Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in 1891/92, all of which were unsuccessful. 
Keppie, as his career developed, joined a number of architectural organisations, the first being the organisation for apprentices and junior architects, the Glasgow Architectural Association. He then became a member of the Glasgow Institute of Architects in 1890, becoming its President twice, in 1904 and 1905. In 1898 he was on the council of the newly formed Scottish Society of Art Workers and in 1906 he was Deacon of the Incorporation of Wrights in Glasgow.
The Honeyman and Keppie partnership continued to progress. The staff recruited in 1889, including Mackintosh, gained in confidence and experience, as would their responsibilities in design and draughting. How this was shared with each staff member and Keppie is difficult to determine, (part of the Keppie/Mackintosh who did what debate), however Keppie or Honeyman would be signing off each project as lead architect until Honeyman retired in 1901 when Mackintosh became a partner.
This would not be a passive role. In any collaborative process, the lead would ensure that the team worked together, guiding, intervening, advising, contributing to design activity and artistry, and bringing practical architectural experience and skill to the project to ensure the customer objectives were being met.
The Art Club project, as reported in various newspapers and periodicals of the time illustrates Keppie’s design and artistic skills as well as the leadership of the Honeyman and Keppie team which included Mackintosh.
The Glasgow Herald of 6th June 1893 in its report on the Club’s reopening commented that “Mr John Keppie….prepared the designs, and the work….has been carried out under his supervision”.  The Studio magazine of July 1893 stated “The architectural alterations……in fact all the details have been carried from the designs of Mr John Keppie and display much artistic taste”. 
Keppie’s and Mackintosh’s personal lives at this time were intertwined particularly at Prestwick where he formed an attachment with John’s sister Jessie. That appears to have lasted from c.1891 to 1897 with one source saying, unconfirmed by any other and unlikely, that they became engaged in 1891. In the event the relationship came to nought with Mackintosh marrying Margaret McDonald in August 1900.
Whether or not Mackintosh’s original intention for his prolonged involvement with Jessie was to benefit professionally from the working weekends at Prestwick and to stay close to John Keppie, his boss, is pure conjecture, however Jessie was very disappointed with the outcome and remained unmarried throughout her life.
John’s personal life also had its disappointments in that he never married. He had hoped to marry widow Helen Law however that was not to be as she married the artist Edward Arthur Walton in Glasgow in June 1890. In 1897 there appears to have been, at least, the beginnings of an attachment to the artist Bessie MacNicol. However she was ill that summer and “any hint of romance with John Keppie did not survive the illness”
In 1896 the director of the Glasgow School of Art Francis Newbery announced a competition for the design of a new school building. He had been instrumental in raising £21,000 for the project, £14,000 of which was to be spent on the new building. In the event Honeyman and Keppie won the competition and were awarded the contract. The first phase started in 1897 and was completed in 1899, however work on phase two did not commence until 1906 finishing three years later in 1909.
The building has deservedly become of world renown mainly because of its association with Charles Rennie Mackintosh. However there is perhaps a bit more to it than it being the work of one man. In his book of 2004 “Mackintosh and Co.” David Stark, then managing director of Keppie Design*, stated the following: “Mackintosh is traditionally credited with designing the Art School himself. More recent research (he does not say by whom) suggests the design of the building was a team effort with each partner (Honeyman and Keppie) and their assistants playing to their strengths.”
One aspect of the building on which Keppie brought his skills and experience to bear was the design of its ventilation system. He had worked on such a system for the Victoria Infirmary with James Sellars in 1887 which was subsequently very successful, being described as “exemplary, leading to good air quality in the wards and quicker patient recovery.” 
The Art School system consisted of a series of very large basement tunnels and horizontal and vertical ducts. Keppie understood that fans large enough to move air through this system would be required and following research with the school builder appropriate fans were obtained from B.F. Sturtevant. It has been described by some as the first planned air conditioning building in the world.
Mackintosh undoubtedly made a significant contribution. It seems clear that Keppie also did likewise. The site location is on a steep hill which made for a complicated structure. The large windows specified and the ‘air conditioning’ system of the building suggests that more than one mind was at work, perhaps a mix of the artistic and the practical. Did the external and internal aesthetics of the building ‘disguise’ the more mundane issue of the technical difficulties associated with the build design and process?
In 1901 the business was renamed Honeyman, Keppie and Mackintosh reflecting Mackintosh’s new status as partner. The partnership did not require any capital from Mackintosh and initially profits were split such that he got the lowest share primarily because Keppie had the largest clientele. That changed in 1906 when the original agreement expired and profits were split equally between the two men, Honeyman having been bought out in 1903.
Following the partnership agreement Keppie returned to designing for his own clients producing a number of projects which were very well received. Perhaps the two most praiseworthy are the McConnell Buildings in Hope Street opposite the Theatre Royal (1907) and the Glasgow Savings Bank at Parkhead Cross (1905).
His stature as an architect growing, in 1904 he became a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and in 1905 undertook the role of competition assessor, judging “the competition for Glasgow’s Mitchell Library, a contest of much more than local significance” In 1906 he proposed Mackintosh as a Fellow, which was approved in November of that year.
The end of the first decade of the 20th century brought a number of difficulties to the partnership, particularly for Mackintosh whose personal client base diminished significantly. There had been problems with the Scotland Street School project in 1905 and also with the second phase of the Glasgow Art School in 1907. In 1912 Mackintosh failed to complete the firm’s entry for the Jordanhill Training College competition. “Some of his corridors terminated in mid-air…his preliminary sketches were unworkable. After working on the project for several months he had nothing to show.” Eventually the required design drawings for the demonstration school were done by Andrew Graham Henderson who had joined the firm in 1904. When the competition was won, despite these problems, Keppie sent Mackintosh a cheque for £250 as his share of the competition award.
Around this time Henderson advised Keppie he would not stay with the firm if Mackintosh remained a partner. There seems a number of reasons for this, some of which, according to Thomas Howarth (a Mackintosh biographer), would have been as a result of his mood swings, his sometime lack of purpose and vagueness in directing his team, his drinking, and his general inability to listen to advice and suggestions.
Keppie had concerns of his own and subsequent to the then current partnership agreement running out in January 1910 he reviewed the firm’s accounts for the period 1901 to 1911 which effectively resulted in the partnership being ended, the formal end being sometime between 1913 and 1914. During the review period Keppie had brought £16,303 new business to the practice whilst Mackintosh new business amounted to £4,934 with his share of the profits being £5,467. Keppie had also been warding off complaints from some of the business’s clientele, both issues making the continuation of the partnership untenable.
The partnership reverted to its original title of Honeyman and Keppie although John Honeyman had died in 1914. Henderson had gone off to war in the same year, and was wounded in 1916 resulting in him being invalided out of the forces and returning to work for Keppie. He became a partner in the firm at the end of the war, it then trading as Keppie and Henderson.
From that time until Keppie retired in 1937  the majority of design activity was undertaken by Henderson. During this time two notable projects were the Mercat Building (1925-1928) at Glasgow Cross and the Bank of Scotland building (1929-1931) in Sauchiehall Street both of which included statues by the sculptor Benno Schotz.
He continued to be involved with the professional bodies which saw him become President of the Glasgow Institute of Architects again in 1919-1920, President of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland in 1924-1926 and Vice-President of the RIBA in 1929.
In 1915 he had joined the Old Glasgow Club becoming a life member, and he continued with his involvement with the Glasgow Art Club becoming known as ‘King John’ to the members.
He was keen golfer and had joined the prestigious Glasgow Golf club in 1892. The club was formed in 1787 and was initially located at Glasgow Green. For a number of reasons between circa 1835 and 1870 it enjoyed only sporadic activity. It was reconstituted in that year and was located at Queens Park, then as membership continued to grow, Alexandra Park and, in 1895, Blackhill. By the early 1900s the club was again looking for new premises which resulted in Killermont House, owned by the Campbell Colquhoun family, being leased for a period of twenty years. By this time Keppie was a member of the House and General committees of the club and was very much involved with the necessary and substantial internal refurbishment of the house.
It’s not clear when the original house was built however in 1804/05 the South front was added by architect James Gillespie Graham. The estate owner at that time was Archibald Campbell Colquhoun whose father John Coats Campbell of Clathic had succeeded to the estate through his wife Agnes Colquhoun. A perhaps interesting aside is that Coats Campbell was the brother-in-law of John Glassford who had married his sister Anne Coats in 1743.
Honeyman, Keppie and Mackintosh were retained as architects and it is generally understood that the project was designed and led by Keppie. The major part of the work to be done required gas fitters, stone masons, plumbers and painters and tenders were issued early in 1904, the first quote being accepted on the 23rd February. The quotes totalled just over £978; the final bill however was £1,404, the main ‘culprits’ being the masonry work (+£230) and the gas fitting which was nearly £200 more than the quote of £43! An all too modern story.
Simultaneously the course layout was designed by Old Tom Morris and all was ready for the opening ceremony on the 21st May 1904, performed by the then Lord Provost of Glasgow John Ure Primrose. In 1922 the club acquired the house and grounds permanently.
In 1909 Keppie became club captain and in 1926 he gifted prints of four of his own etchings, two of which remain hanging in the club Gun Room.
Throughout his life Keppie had continued to paint and exhibited frequently at the annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts and at the Royal Scottish Academy. Between 1888 and 1943 sixty seven paintings, mainly watercolours, were exhibited by the Institute, a number of them resulting from his travels in Europe and North Africa.
At various times he had travelled to Spain, Morocco, Italy, Holland, Belgium, France and Egypt, each trip providing subject matter for his watercolours. His exhibits included paintings of ‘Chartres’ – 1890, ‘Grenada’ – 1898, ‘Patio, Alhambra’ – 1910, ‘Bovignes, The Ardennes’ – 1907, ‘St Marks, Venice’ – 1912, Mosque Courtyard, Cairo – 1916, and ‘A Street in Tangiers’ – 1939. He also exhibited four of his etchings between 1932 and 1939. In time his Scottish paintings outnumbered those of his foreign excursions. He became an Associate of the Royal Academy in 1920 and a full member in 1937.
His connection with the Glasgow School of Art after his student days had begun in 1892 as a design competition examiner for the school. In 1904 he joined the Board of Governors. As Keppie’s company were the architects for the second phase of the new school he resigned from the Board in 1907 and did not re-join it until 1923. From 1926 to 1944 he served two terms as Vice-Chairman of the Board (1926-1931 and 1937-1944) and was Chairman from 1931 to 1937. He also endowed two scholarships in architecture and sculpture in 1923.
The last few years of Keppie’s life saw him live with his sister Jessie at Haddington Park West in Prestwick having given up his home in Glasgow at the start of World War Two. He died there on 28th April 1945, cause of death myocarditis. He is buried in Monkton and Prestwick cemetery, in the same grave as his sisters Jane (d. 1924), Mary (d. 1923) and brother-in-law John Henderson who was the husband of sister Helen and had died in 1918. Jessie died in 1951 and was buried with her siblings.
He left estate valued at £40,931(around £8m today in economic power) , bequeathing £2,000 to his partner Andrew Graham Henderson, and eleven paintings to Glasgow. Interestingly he left estate in Scotland and Wales, his sister Jessie and Matthew Wylie being granted probate in Llandudno in August 1945. All his sisters when they died left significant estates, and all had property in Scotland and England.
One final point about Keppie’s reputation or lack of one. I have no competence in the architectural debate however it does seem to me that Keppie is diminished by Mackintosh’s supporters undeservedly. The website ‘Glasgow – City of Sculpture’ in its biographical notes on Keppie states “Keppie’s contribution to the firm’s design work in the 1900s has been overshadowed by Mackintosh’s celebrity, with every one of his surviving architectural drawings scrutinized by historians eager to find evidence to confirm that drawings previously credited to Keppie were, in fact, actually by their God, Mackintosh.”
It’s as if by diminishing Keppie, Mackintosh is somehow enhanced. They were two different people with similar and different skills, each deserving merit for the application of these skills. Artistically Mackintosh was the better of the two, however both had trod similar paths at the School of Art and had toured Italy producing sketches and watercolours of scenes observed. Keppie certainly was the more durable of the two professionally and was a more stable character than the temperamental, unstable, and depressive Mackintosh. It is perhaps forgotten or dismissed that Mackintosh not only would be influenced by the older Keppie, but there would be a cross fertilisation of ideas with Frances and Margaret McDonald. In 1897-98 ‘The Studio’ magazine published an article over ten pages detailing the artistic endeavours, with illustrations, of Mackintosh and the McDonald sisters. Looking at these illustrations it’s difficult to dismiss the idea that some form of collaboration or cross inspiration occurred. That is not to say there is no distinction between the three, there is, however they were, along with Herbert McNair, a close knit group (The Four) who would surely share ideas, enthusiasms and techniques as part of their way of life.
We should be celebrating two significant architects both with artistic skills rather than trying to deify one at the expense of the other. The Glasgow School of Art biographical notes on Keppie describe him as a superb draughtsman and watercolourist. The Glasgow University project ‘Mackintosh Architecture’ headed by Professor Pamela Robertson and Joseph Sharples is probably the most balanced I’ve read with Keppie’s achievements being given due credit. It ends by saying that by the time Keppie died in 1945:
“Mackintosh’s elevation to the role of neglected genius was already underway, and Keppie’s posthumous reputation has suffered by comparison with his more illustrious associate. When his death was announced in the RIBA Journal, the opening sentence summed him up as partner of Charles Rennie Mackintosh – this despite a long and productive career of his own, with major buildings to his credit, and a lifetime of behind-the-scenes work on behalf of architecture in Glasgow and beyond”.
* Keppie Design are the ‘descendants’ of the architectural company started by John Honeyman in 1854. The book is an account of architects and architecture in the following 150 years.
My thanks to Donald Macaskill (Glasgow Art Club Archive) for access to the club’s information on John Keppie and Charles Rennie Mackintosh and also for the many conversations involved.
My thanks also to Nevin McGhee, Glasgow Golf Club Archivist, for his help with John Keppie’s involvement with the club.
 Glasgow Museums, John Keppie object file at GMRC, South Nitshill.
 Births (OPR) Scotland. Haddington, East Lothian. 25 February 1821. KEPEY, William. GROS Data 709/0 0070 0020: Census 1841 Scotland. Haddington, East Lothian. GROS Data 709/00 003/00 015: Marriages Scotland. Central District, Glasgow. 14 February 1856. KEPPIE, James and HOPKINS Helen. GROS Data 644/01 0039. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:
 Testamentary Records. England. 20 August 1945. KEPPIE, John Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the grants of probate. p.49. Collection: England and Wales, National Probate Calendar 1858-1966.
As is the tradition, when Sir Hector McNeill retired as Lord Provost of Glasgow in 1949, he had his portrait painted by the artist David Shanks Ewart. On its completion he gifted the portrait to Glasgow museums in 1950.
His paternal ancestry came from fairly humble, rural beginnings. His grandparents were Archibald McNeill, the son of farm servant John McNeill and his wife Flora McDonald, and Flora McNeill, both of Campbeltown. They married there in April 1840, he a labourer, and she the daughter, age 24, of shoemaker Archibald McNeill and his wife Jean McIntyre. They lived all their lives in Campbeltown at various addresses, latterly in Queen Street where Flora died in 1883 . Archibald also died there in 1895, age 78, his occupation being given as a distillery maltster.
He had been a labourer until circa 1848 at which time he is recorded as being a maltster. His job was to create malt by wetting barley on the floor of the malthouse, turning it over for several days to allow the barley to germinate and then drying it out. When that process was complete the malt would then be passed on to the distiller to make alcohol from the sugars that were produced. Campbeltown in the ninetenth century was a major fishing port for herring and was a significant producer of whisky. It’s therefore probable he worked in one of the many distilleries there. In the early 1800s there were over thirty, by 1885 there were twenty one, producing two million gallons of spirits per annum. From farm labourer to a maltster in a thriving industry would have meant a significant improvement in the family’s situation. There are now only three distilleries in Campbeltown; Springbank, Glen Scotia and Glengyle.
Between 1840 and 1855 Archibald and Flora had seven children, the first a daughter Catherine was born seven months after they married, Sir Hector’s father, yet another Archibald, was the seventh, and third boy, born on the 28th October 1855. They had two other sons after 1855, Duncan, born c. 1859 and James born c. 1864.
In the 1871 census son Archibald is recorded as a scholar, age fifteen, which is perhaps surprising in that the majority of young men at that age would have been in employment unless from a well to do family. However, it may have been his father’s wish to have his children educated as well as possible, especially as he was illiterate at the time of Archibald’s birth in 1855. Where he was schooled has not been established however it may have been at Campbeltown Grammar School which was founded in 1686.
Ten years later Archibald is still living with his parents, in Queen Street, as are brothers Hector and James. His occupation is given as a clerk, Hector is a tailor and James is a pupil teacher.
He married Margaret Burns in 1884 by which time he was living in Glasgow at 396 Argyle Street, working as a mercantile clerk. Margaret, who was a milliner and lived at the same address, was age 29 and the daughter of Robert Burns, farmer, and Catherine McPhail, both deceased.
Like his paternal ancestry Sir Hector’s maternal forebears were farming folk. That however is as much as I have been able to establish directly about his maternal ancestry. His mother’s birth date has also proved elusive however there is one possibility which would also add more information about his maternal ancestry.
According to the 1901 census she was born in Kilmaronock in Dunbartonshire. Her age at the time of her marriage to Archibald would mean she was born circa 1854. A search either side of 1855 produced only one result and that is for a Margaret Burns born illegitimately to Robert Burns of Little Finnery and Catherine (no surname) on the 26th July 1851. She was a servant to an Andrew Paton.
Little Finnery was a farm in the parish of Kilmaronock, adjacent to which was another also referred to as Little Finnery. In the 1851 census Little Finnery was occupied by widow Mrs. R. Burns, her forename being Margaret, and her two sons, James and Robert who was age 22. It’s clear the family worked the farm, which extended to 50 acres, as they employed a number of ‘outdoor servants’ to assist them. The adjacent farm was of 40 acres and occupied by Andrew Paton and his family. He employed agricultural labourers and servants amongst whom was servant Catherine McPhail, age 20, born in Islay. Strong circumstantial evidence I would say that these are Sir Hector’s maternal grandparents.
Mrs Burns was 60 years old when her granddaughter Margaret was born in 1851 and remained at Little Finnery at least until 1857 by which time she was joined as occupier by a William Burns. There is no reference to either son. In 1861 there is a Mrs Margaret Burns, age 70 living in the village of Gartocharn, Kilmaronock with her granddaughter, also Margaret, age 9, further evidence that seems to support the contention above.
Regarding Robert and Catherine no other evidence as to whether they got married, their whereabouts or deaths have been established. It’s more than likely for that time period, she would be deemed the ‘guilty’ party and perhaps had to leave the locality.
Archibald, shipping clerk, and Margaret continued to live in Glasgow and by 1901 were living at 70 Carrick Street, Back Yard with son (Sir) Hector age 9 and James, Archibald’s brother. They also had a boarder, Annie Cooper who was a book folder.
In that census and in 1911 Hector is said to have been born in Motherwell his age in each case indicating he was born in 1892. Unexpectedly I have not been able to confirm that directly. There were no Hector McNeills born in Motherwell between 1888 and 1894 despite varying the spelling of the surname. Searching the whole of Lanarkshire produced two possibles, one being the son of a master mariner, the other the son of a Clyde Trust labourer. The parents in each case had different forenames.
In 1908 Hector’s mother Margaret, died in the Western infirmary of a cerebral haemorrhage, she was 54 years old. At that time the family still lived in Carrick Street at number 77, however by 1911 father and son had moved to 9 Buchanan Court in Lauriston in Glasgow where Archibald continued working as a commercial clerk and Hector was employed as an ‘iron turner’ in the engineering industry.
Working in engineering with its strong involvement with the trade union movement of the day Hector would have got involved with the unions and the Labour party fairly early on in his working career. His ‘point of entry’ would likely have been as a local shop steward which led to a progression through the ranks of union and party. By 1924 he was President of the Glasgow Trades and Labour Council and also chairman of the Central Division Labour Party.
In the 1923 General Election the Labour party decided to support the communist candidate for Kelvingrove constituency, Aiken Ferguson. McNeill was chosen by the party as their contact point with the communists, and again in 1924 when there was a by-election at Kelvingrove, Ferguson standing again as a candidate. This occurred at a time when there was some talk of the Communist and Labour parties joining together which never happened, the support for Ferguson in 1924 being lukewarm because of what was considered to be his and others radical views.
Later that year the municipal elections were held in Glasgow and McNeill was chosen as the socialist candidate for the 14th (Anderston) Ward. His opponent, described as Moderate, was painter and decorator Edward Guest who had been a member of the council for 16 years. On a 63% turnout of the electorate of 12,585 McNeill won with a majority of 388. 
The first meeting of the new council was held on the 7th November and McNeill was duly appointed to five committees, including Gas Supply and Water. He was also proposed as a governor of the Victoria Hospital but lost by four votes despite being supported by Bailie Mary Barbour, renowned for her leadership of the women of Govan in the rent strikes of 1915, Pat Dollan, future Lord Provost of Glasgow whose wife Agnes had been involved with Barbour during the rent strikes, and his two fellow councillors for Anderston.
He was re-elected in 1927, with a similar majority, served in the same committees as previously and in 1929 became depute water bailie in addition to joining the General Finance and Streets, Sewers and Buildings committees.
His political career however stalled in the 1930 municipal elections when he lost his council seat. There were three candidates on this occasion representing the Moderate Party, Labour, (McNeill) and the Independent Labour Party (I.L.P.), the Moderate candidate Jonathan Harvey winning by 1285 votes. No doubt the left wing vote was split because of the two socialist candidates however the Moderate majority was greater than the vote for the I.L.P. candidate by 165 votes.
During his first tenure as a councillor Hector’s father had died in 1926 and in 1927 Hector had married Grace Stephen Robertson, a milliner of Skelmorlie, age 35. He was described as an insurance agent living at 9 Alexandra Street. The marriage was by declaration in front of witnesses authorised by warrant issued by the Sheriff Substitute of Lanarkshire on the same day. Her father was a retired wholesale grocer, her mother, Grace Simpson Stephen had died in 1914 at the age of 59.
There were two sons of the marriage, Ramsay, born in 1929 and Hector John, born in 1934.
McNeill did not stand again for the council until 1932 when he was one of the Labour candidates for the newly created Ward 38 (Yoker and Knightswood) with an electorate of 16,109. Each ward has three councillors, with one retiring for re-election each year. As ward 38 was new the election was for three council seats instead of the usual one.
There were eight candidates, three Socialist or Labour, three Moderate Party, and two I.L.P. Those elected were E. Rosslyn Mitchell (Soc.) – 4813 votes, Hector McNeill (Soc.) – 3077 votes and Elphinstone Dalglish (Mod.) – 2775.
Rosslyn Mitchell had been a councillor for Springburn and also stood for parliamentary election in 1910 and 1922. In the 1924 General Election he stood as the Labour candidate for Paisley and beat the sitting member Herbert Asquith the ex-Liberal Prime Minister by 2,200 votes. He declined to stand again for parliament in 1929 citing business and personal difficulties. He died in 1965.
Elphinstone Maitland Dalglish was a grocer, described as a wholesale egg merchant in the Town Council lists. He died in 1942. He had a very famous policeman son, of exactly the same name, who as Detective Superintendant was initially in charge of the investigation into the ‘Bible John’ murders in Glasgow which were never solved. He finished his police career as Deputy Chief Constable of Glasgow and then Strathclyde. He died in 1988.
For the following twelve years or so McNeill served on a variety of committees which typically included municipal transport, parks, the Kelvin Hall, streets sewers and building, and health. He was also a Justice of the Peace from 1932.
He became a Baillie in November 1933 remaining so for three years, and in 1941 he joined the General Finance committee as city treasurer, his tenure in that role again being three years.
His business address during his time as a council member from 1932 was given as 218 West Regent Street, his home address being initially Clarion Crescent in Knightswood. In 1942 he moved to Larchfield Avenue, Newton Mearns where lived for the rest of his life.
On the 9th November 1945 he was elected Lord Provost of Glasgow, beating his opponent for the office, James Grey, by 65 votes to 42. As was normal for the time he was appointed Lord Lieutenant of the City of Glasgow in December 1945 and was knighted in June 1946.
As well as his duties as Lord Provost he became involved with a number of other governmental organisations.
These included; in 1946 he was appointed to the Scottish Advisory Council for Civil Aviation by British European Airways (BEA) with the approval of the Secretary of State for Scotland, and in 1947 he was nominated by the Minister of Transport to serve on the board of David MacBrayne, Ltd., primarily to monitor a contract between the government and the company to provide shipping services to the Western Highlands and Islands,
He was also a member at various times of the Docks and Inland Waterways Executive of the Ministry of Transport, the Clyde Navigation Trust and the Scottish Tourist Board.
Other organisations he was a director of were the Economic Insurance Company which he joined the board of in 1949 and SMT Sales and Service Co. Ltd. (Motor Engineers).
He died in 1952, age 60, in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, his occupation given as company director. His memorial Service was held in Glasgow Cathedral, the service conducted by Rev. Dr. Nevile Davidson. An address was given by former Secretary of State Tom Johnston who described him as a middle of the road traveller. A man of high ideals who laboured all his life to promote social ownership and cooperation between all his countrymen, and who had earned the respect of opponents and colleagues alike. At the time of his death he was the Chairman of the Glenrothes Development Corporation.
The Trades House of Glasgow recorded his death in their minutes and noted that there was a deep loss sustained by the community through his death.
His wife Grace died in 1954, age 62, from chronic bronchitis.
 Bonavia, Michael R. (1987) The Nationalisation of British Transport: The Early History of the British Transport Commission 1948-1953. New York: Palgrave McMillan. p. 177. https://books.google.co.uk
In November 1950 a Mr. John Duncan M.B.E., of Cairnhouse, Wigtown, donated to Glasgow Museums an oil painting of the Glasgow Tobacco Lord John Glassford and his family. How did it come about that a farmer, born in the small parish of Menmuir, Angus in 1897, had in his possession that particular painting which was begun around 1765 and completed sometime after Glassford married his third wife in December 1768?
As it turns out it was not by purchase but by direct descent through the Glassford family to him. These notes will tell the story of the painting’s journey to John Duncan and also comment on the people it portrays.
Firstly, it may be useful to relate some of the history of John Glassford and his marriages.
His first marriage was to Anne Coats whom he married in 1743.  Her father Archibald Coats, a Glasgow merchant, along with Bailie George Carmichael, was taken hostage in 1745 by Bonnie Prince Charlie to ensure the terms he enforced on Glasgow were implemented. These demands included “six thowsand shirt cloath coats, twelve thowsand linnen shirts, six thowsand pairs of shoes and the like number of pairs of tartan hose and blue bonnets.”
John and Anne had five children, all but one dying in infancy. Daughter Jean, born in 1746, was to become a ‘staging post’ for the painting’s journey. Anne died a few weeks after giving birth to her fifth child in 1751.
Less than a year later in 1752 Glassford married Ann Nisbet the daughter of Sir John Nisbet of Dean. They had six children, born between 1754 and 1764, all of whom, with the exception of the fifth child John, survived into adulthood. Ann Nisbet died in April 1766 from child bed fever.
In 1768 there were two Glassford family marriages. The first was that of daughter Jean who married James Gordon on the 18th August. This marriage was key to the painting getting to John Duncan.
The second was when Glassford married his third wife Lady Margaret McKenzie, daughter of the Earl of Cromarty, on the 7th December. There were three children of this marriage, born between 1770 and 1773. Unfortunately, just over five weeks after the third child Euphemia was born, Lady Margaret died on the 29th March.
It’s worth noting at this time that between 1745 and 1767 Glassford had bought three significant properties. The first was Whitehill House purchased c. 1745 and sold in 1759, the second was Shawfield Mansion bought the following year for 1700 guineas from William McDowall, and finally the Dougalston Estate, purchased from the Grahame family in 1767.
In common with the two other major tobacco traders Alexander Speirs and William Cunninghame, Glassford was fabulously wealthy during this period, however, that was not to last, particularly as far as Glassford was concerned.
By the early 1770s the general tobacco trade was not in the best financial health. The business model was such that debt (money owed by the planters to the traders) had grown significantly, resulting in potential working capital and cash flow problems in the longer term. When the War of Independence broke out in 1775 it signalled the end of the trade as it had been. As the war progressed the French market collapsed due to French sympathies lying with the revolutionaries, import volumes dropped and debts were not being paid as settlers probably saw a way out of their debt issues.
What of Glassford’s fortune? His difficulties began before the commencement of the war. He was by nature a gambler both in business and in gaming. In particular a number of disastrous business speculations between 1774 and 1778 fundamentally laid the foundations for the loss of his fortune. He believed the war was essentially an English conflict which should have not involved Scotland. He sided with the revolutionaries, unlike his peers, even to the point of refusing to sell ships to the government to aid the war effort, leaving them berthed in Port Glasgow Harbour. This at a time when he was already in deep financial trouble and could have done with the funds that these sales would have brought.
As 1783 approached Glassford’s financial affairs continued to be problematic and he was in poor health. On the 6th August he created a tailzie (entail) of his Dougalston estate in favour of his son Henry and his heirs thus protecting it from his creditors. On the 14th August he established a trust covering the rest of his property, real and personal, the purpose of which was the winding up of his financial affairs and to further protect the entailed Dougalston estate.
Glassford died on the 27th August 1783, cause of death was given as ’growth in stomach.’ He was buried in the Ramshorn Churchyard, where also lie several members of his family. It took a further ten years to sort out his finances, his personal debt amounting to £93,140. Today that sum would equate to somewhere between £11million and £1.1 billion, dependant on the measure used.
On his father’s death Henry, who was the only surviving son of Glassford and Ann Nisbet, succeeded to Dougalston. He was an advocate, was Rector of Glasgow University from 1805 until 1807 and MP for Dunbartonshire from 1806 to 1810. He never married and when he died in 1819 his half-brother James, son of Lady Margaret and John Glassford, succeeded him.
James’ succession to Dougalston was not without some difficulty. Henry had amassed significant debt during his life and in 1823 the terms of the tailzie was challenged in the Court of Session, the pursuers claiming the Dougalston estate was liable for these debts. In the event the pursuers lost, two of the five judges finding for the defender, one for the pursuers, and the two others excusing themselves as “they had an interest”!
James was also an advocate and legal writer. Despite marrying twice, he died in 1845  without any offspring. He was the last of John Glassford’s sons which meant that in accordance with the tailzie his daughter Jean Gordon would succeed. However, she had died in 1785, which meant that her eldest surviving son, James Gordon, would inherit. A further condition of the tailzie was that the surname Glassford should be adopted by any heir, should that be necessary. James Gordon therefore legally became James Gordon Glassford. By this means the painting began its journey to John Duncan.
James Gordon Glassford died two years later to be succeeded by his brother Henry Gordon, who, as required, adopted the surname Glassford. He married Clementina Napier in 1831 and had five children, the eldest being James Glassford Gordon, born in 1832. He inherited Dougalston on his father’s death in 1860 and became known as James Glassford Gordon Glassford. As far as I can tell he was the last Glassford owner of Dougalston.
James married Margaret Thomson Bain, the daughter of a banker, in 1861. There was no information found about them in the UK census of 1871 however in 1881 they were living at Over Rankeillour House in Monimail, Fife with ten children. This census also recorded that three of the children (two girls and a boy) had been born in Otago, New Zealand between 1868 and 1872, James being described as a Runholder (lessee of a sheep run) there. This explained their absence from Scotland in 1871.
In 1891 a similar picture emerged with another two daughters now living with the family, one had been born in New Zealand in 1879, the other born in Australia in 1865. Margaret was a widow by then, James having died in 1881. One other crucial piece of information was also evident. Staying with them at 35 Coats Gardens, Edinburgh was a 24 year old visitor by the name of James Duncan.
My first thoughts were along the lines of, which daughter did he marry? Well he did marry one of the daughters, as it turned out it was not one who had been recorded in either of the 1881 or 1891 censuses.
He married Margaret Edith Gordon Glassford in St Giles, Edinburgh on the 12th June 1894. He was a farmer aged 26, the son of a doctor, she was the daughter of James and Margaret, aged 29, living at 35 Coats Gardens.
Margaret Edith was born in 1864 in New South Wales, Australia. When she returned to the UK is not clear however in 1881 she was living with her aunt Christian’s family in Kent. Christian was the sister of her mother Margaret Bain.
By 1901 James and Margaret were living in Balfour, Menmuir where James farmed. They had two children, daughter Margaret aged five and son John aged three who was in due course to inherit the Glassford family painting. He was born on the 29th April 1897 at Menmuir and married Nancy Marion Robertson in 1943. They had one child James born in 1944 whilst they were living at Uckfield in Sussex.
John was awarded an MBE. I believe in 1943. I’m not entirely sure that this date is correct, but it is the best fit for him for the years 1940 to 1955. If this is indeed him, and I believe it is, then he was a pilot officer in the Royal Air Force Volunteer Reserve in 1940, service number 03227. In 1942 he was a Flight Lieutenant and had been with the Administrative and Special Duties Branch before being released from active service.
He subsequently farmed at Cairnhouse in Wigtown and according to the present owner Mr. Colin Craig he remained there until c.1955 when Mr. Craig’s parents took over the farm. Mr Craig also related that John’s son James had died in tragic circumstances and that his wife Nancy and her daughter in law had visited the farm in the 1970s.
In generational terms John was John Glassford’s great, great, great grandson. It’s likely therefore he inherited the painting on his mother’s death in September 1950, her father James having previously inherited it along with Dougalston. On the 23 November he gifted it to Glasgow, which was the end of its journey within the Glassford family.
He died in the Royal Northern Infirmary in Inverness on the 13th August 1966, his normal home address being Allt-A-Bhruais, Spean Bridge.
The Family Portrait
The Glassford family portrait, as might be expected, demonstrates how wealthy John had become with the fine clothing on display and the room’s furnishings, which was within Shawfield Mansion. Much has recently been written about it particularly around the time (2007) when conservation work on the painting was being undertaken at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
The painting contains the surviving children from his first two marriages and his third wife Lady Margaret McKenzie. The conservation work led by conservator Polly Smith established that his second wife Ann Nisbet had originally been included but had been painted out following her death in 1766, suggesting that it was in progress prior to that date or possibly had been completed. Lady Margaret would have been added subsequent to their marriage in 1768, probably early in 1769.
Another figure was also established behind John Glassford’s chair, that of a negro manservant. It had been believed previously that he had been painted out to avoid any family connection to slavery, however it seems that the figure simply faded over time.
I believe the children in the painting to be Jean at the rear to the right of her father, the middle row left to right being Rebecca, Christian, Anne, Catherine and on Lady Margaret’s lap Henry, and standing at the front, John.
Who was the negro servant and by what means did he come to Glassford’s household? Perhaps the answer lies in the following extracts from Frederick County, Maryland Land Records and the Maryland Genealogical Society Records.
Robert Peter or Peters was a Scottish tobacco factor working for John Glassford and Company in Maryland. He began in Bladensburgh circa 1746, moving to Georgetown in 1755. (In 1790 he became the first mayor of Georgetown). He was also John Glassford & Company’s attorney in Maryland. On the 27th September 1756, he bought a negro boy named Jim for 4,000 lbs of tobacco and £2 5s. For this purchase he is recorded as Glassford’s attorney. I think it probable therefore that this purchase was made in the name of the company. Why else record that it was made by the attorney of John Glassford?
Robert Peter bought other slaves but those records I have seen clearly state that the purchases were on his own or his family’s behalf, and they never involved a single slave purchase.
Was ‘Jim’ purchased for Glassford personally? Is he the manservant in the painting? In truth who knows but intriguing none the less.
Devine, Tom. (1975). The Tobacco Lords. John Donald, Edinburgh.
 Goodfellow, G. L. M. “Colin Campbell’s Shawfield Mansion in Glasgow.” Journal of the Society of Architectural Historians, vol. 23, no. 3, 1964, pp. 123–128. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/988232.
 Devine, T. M. (1990) The Tobacco Lords. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. p. 181.
 Castle, Colin M. (1989). John Glassford of Dougalston. Milngavie and Bearsden Historical Society. p. 22,23 and Oakley, Charles A. (1975). The Second City. Glasgow: Blackie. p. 7,8.
 Shaw, Patrick and Dunlop, Alexander. (1834) Cases Decided in the Court of Session 1822-1824. Vol II. Edinburgh: Thomas Clark.pp. 431 to 433.https://books.google.co.uk
 Maryland State Archives. Maryland Indexes, (Chancery Papers, Index), 1788-1790, MSA S 1432. 1790/12/013990: Robert Peter vs. William Deakins, Jr., Bernard O’Neal, Edward Burgess, Richard Thompson, John Peters, and Thomas Beall. MO. Contract to serve as securities. Accession No: 17,898-3990. MSA S512-4108 1/36
In 1911, from the 2nd May to the 4th November, the Scottish Exhibition of History, Art and Industry was held in Kelvingrove, Glasgow. The exhibition was formally opened on the 3rd May by the Duke of Connaught (brother of the late King Edward VII) and his wife. It was not on the same scale as the exhibitions of 1888 and 1901 however over its course it attracted 9.4 million visitors. Its central point was the Stuart Memorial in Kelvingrove Park surrounded by a number of palaces, the principal one being the Palace of History which was modelled on Falkland Palace. It was divided into four galleries, one of which, the West Gallery, dealt with the historical ties between Sweden and Scotland.
One of the exhibition’s key objectives was to fund the creation of a Chair of Scottish History and Literature at Glasgow University, which was achieved, the Chair being founded in 1913. , 
Between 1909 and 1911 a number of visits between the two countries had been made to determine what the Swedish/Scottish exhibition should contain. The Swedish committees were led by Professor Oscar Montelius, of Uppsala University, a noted pre-historian and archeologist, and Dr. E.E. Etzel of Stockholm and Uppsala University. The convener of the Scottish committee was John S. Samuel. , 
The agreed Swedish exhibits included the following items:
from Professor Montelius, prehistoric artefacts from graves and tombs in Sweden, similar to objects found in Scotland
a collection of medals struck in honour of celebrated Scotsmen, from the Swedish Academy of Science
pistols, guns and daggers made in Scotland and taken to Sweden by Scottish soldiers of fortune, loaned by the Royal Armoury in Stockholm
heraldic shields of Swedish Nobles of Scottish extraction. These were replicas of the originals and they were to be used again at the ‘Scots in Sweden ‘exhibition held in the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh in 1962.
genealogical documentation of Scots who had lived and stayed in Sweden. This information was eventually published in The Scottish Historical Review in 1912, taken from work carried out by Dr. Etzel and given to the magazine by John Samuel.
portraits of Swedish and Scottish Royalty which included two copies of portraits from the Royal Gallery in Gripsholm Castle, being the work of Swedish artist John Osterlund (1875-1953), completed between 1900 and 1910. These were the paintings eventually gifted to Glasgow at the end of the exhibition by Dr. Etzel.
The first portrait was that of ‘Mary Queen of Scots as a Child’, which had been discovered during a Scottish deputation to Sweden in 1909. The catalogue of the exhibition described it as ‘a unique and valuable portrait of Mary Stuart… its existence had not previously been recorded by any historian of the period of history to which it belongs.’ The original artist was unknown and the date attributed to the painting was 1577.
The other was a portrait of King Gustavus Adolphus II. Again the original artist was unknown although it had been annotated with the initials ‘G.T.’ and dated 1630.
The entry in the exhibition catalogue regarding Gustavus Adolphus is interesting in that he is described as the ‘Lion of the North and Bulwark of the Protestant religion, the hero of the 30 years war, that awful period of bloodshed, rapine and robbery that devastated Germany in the early part of the 17th century.’ It also added that his victorious armies included 13,106 Scotsmen.
In an attempt to find out more about the original paintings I contacted the National Museum of Sweden. The initial response from the Museum confirmed there was a painting of ‘MariaStuart’ in the Royal Gallery collection; inventory number NMGrh 1142, artist unknown. In a very comprehensive second reply I was informed that the museum did not now consider it to be a portrait of Mary Stuart and that it depicted an unknown girl. The inscription on the painting they believe to be later, the date of 1577 questionable and that the girl does not resemble Mary. They now list the painting as ‘possibly 16th century, or a later copy after a painting from the 16th century – Unknown child’.
With reference to the painting of Gustavus Adolphus, there are a number of such paintings in museum collections in Sweden, none of which seemed to be the original we were looking for. It was suggested that as Osterlund had spent most of his life in Uppsala it may be that the original lay there, possibly within the University. I contacted Uppsala University who were able to confirm that they had a portrait, very similar to the Osterlund copy, which had been painted in the 17th century. It did not however give an exact date, and the artist is recorded as ‘The Monogramist P.G.’ who, it was thought, may be Pieter de Grebber.
In appearance this painting fits the bill very well, and it’s possible, maybe probable that it is the one Osterlund copied, although the copy is darker in some areas., 
In a letter to the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sir Archibald McInnes Shaw, dated 20th November 1911 Dr. Erik Erikson Etzel formally gifted the two Osterlund copies to Glasgow.
Little is known about Dr. Etzel except that he was a D.Ph. probably from Uppsala University. He was born in 1868 in Karlskoga, Sweden. In 1902 he lived in Stockholm which is where died in 1964. , 
John Smith Samuel was the private secretary to Lord Provost McInnes Shaw, and had held that position for 10 years serving others in that office. He was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1902, held various other civic positions and was a member of the Glasgow Art Club. He was appointed Knight of the Royal Order of Vasa by Professor Montelius on behalf of King Gustav V of Sweden in 1910., 
Professor Oscar Montelius, was born in Stockholm in 1843. He studied history and Scandinavian languages at Uppsala University between 1861 and 1869. He was attached to the Museum of National Antiquities, Stockholm, from 1863 and was appointed professor in 1888. He was the Museum’s director from 1907 to 1913. Still controversial is his theory, the “Swedish typology,” suggesting that material culture and biological life develop through essentially the same kind of evolutionary process. In 1911 he was Director General of the Swedish Board of National Antiquities. He died in Stockholm in 1921., 
John Osterlund was born in 1875 in Stockholm and was mainly known as a landscape artist and conservator of paintings, particularly church paintings. He died in 1953. 
In 1913 the artist Thomas Hunt donated to Glasgow Museums a painting, Patchwork, accession number 1325, by his late wife Helen Russell Salmon. This report contains biographical notes on both artists.
Thomas Hunt was born in Skipton, Yorkshire in 1854 , the sixth child of ten, , of John Hunt and his wife Betty (nee Wood) who married in 1848 . John’s main occupation was as a limestone merchant and canal carrier, and he had also been an inspector of tolls. In 1877 he stood for election as a Liberal candidate in the South Ward of Leeds, duly winning by 34 votes. He remained as a councillor until 1892 when he retired from politics. He died in 1900, age 81, leaving an estate valued at £1034 7s 3d, probate being granted to his sons Richard and Henry.
Thomas initially started out as commercial clerk  probably working for his father, however by the age of 21 he had become a full-time artist having been inspired to do so after attending an International Art Exhibition in Leeds at the age of 15. There is reference in a Scottish Art Dictionary to him studying in Paris under Raphael Collins, receiving an honorable mention at the Paris Salon in 1905, and attending the Glasgow School of Art and the Leeds equivalent. However there is no record of him attending the Glasgow school  nor has any better source been identified which confirms his connection with the Leeds School or Paris. By 1879 he was living at 113 West Regent Street in Glasgow, that address consisting of a number of offices, housing professional people such as architects, writers and accountants, and six artist studios, one of which he occupied. In 1884 another studio at that address was occupied by the artist Helen Russell Salmon, whom he eventually married a few years later.
Helen, born in 1855 in Glasgow, was the daughter of the architect James Salmon, whose company James Salmon and Son, between 1862 and 1903, was involved with the building of a number of public and professional structures in Glasgow and elsewhere, including schools, churches, banks and hospitals. He first made his name with the building of St. Matthew’s Church in Bath Street and building, for Archibald McLennan, an art warehouse in Miller Street. In 1854 Salmon was commissioned by Alexander Dennistoun to design the new east end suburb of Dennistoun, a design not fully realized, where, by 1871 the Salmon family was resident at 3 Broompark Circus. They were however unsuccessful participants in the competition for the City Chambers in George Square in 1880, and also for alterations to the Virginia Street side of the Trades House in 1882. James was the co-founder of the Glasgow Architectural Society in 1858 and was a Baillie of Glasgow between 1864 and 1872.  His wife was Helen Russell whom he married in 1837 in Edinburgh.
In the census of 1871 daughter Helen Russell Salmon is recorded as a scholar living in the family home. In 1874 she is listed in the Glasgow School of Art student catalogue, during which year she won a local competition, ‘Stage 6b, figure shaded from flat, book prize.’ Where she was resident at that time is not listed in the school records however by 1881 she is living with her sister Margaret and her husband David Miller in Bridge of Allan and is described as an artist. Her father, now a widower, her mother having died in January 1881, continued to live at Broompark Circus with two of Helen’s siblings. Her usual residence for the next few years is unclear, however from 1882 to 1883 she had a studio at 101 St Vincent before moving to 113 St Vincent Street in 1884, at which address she painted from until 1888. It’s quite possible that she also lived at these addresses at varying times however when she married Thomas Hunt on 27th October 1887, her usual residence was given as 3 Broompark Circus which is where her marriage took place.
In 1891 Tom and Helen were living In Garelochhead,  where she died in August of that year having been ill with phthisis (tuberculosis) for two years. In the 1891 census her occupation is not recorded which perhaps suggests she had ceased to paint some time before then due to her illness. Patchwork, which was painted in 1888, and was exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institutes of the Fine Arts in 1889  was one of her last works.
In a letter dated 29th January 1948 to John Fleming, Deputy Director of Kelvingrove Art Gallery, from Robert Lillie, founder of the Lillie Gallery in Milngavie,  the subject of the painting is identified as Miss Annie Elizabeth Nisbet, the adopted daughter of John Nisbet, church officer of St John’s Church in George Street, Glasgow, and his wife Agnes. In the letter, which tells of her death, she is described as the ‘Belle of St John’s’. In 1900 she married Robert Arbuckle Mackie, her adoptive parents being deceased by then. She died, aged 80 in January 1948.
Helen had 23 paintings exhibited by the Glasgow Institute between 1882 and 1891, the last of which were painted in 1889, and two, Madge and Wallflowers which were completed at her home in Garelochhead, in 1891.She also had her work exhibited by the Royal and Royal Scottish Academies between 1884 and 1890.
In 1935 the Catalogue of the Pictures in the Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries, page 205, carried a short biography of Helen in which it stated she had trained in Paris. Also included were details of her painting Patchwork.
In 1982 an exhibition in the Collins Exhibition Hall of Strathclyde University was held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists. The catalogue of the exhibition, which also took place at the Fine Art Society premises in Edinburgh later that year, included on page 23 a black and white illustration of one of Helen’s paintings.
Tom eventually moved back to Glasgow and by 1895 was living at 219 West George Street. Between then and his death he stayed at various Glasgow addresses including Holland Street, Bath Street, and finally Hill Street in Garnethill.
He was elected a member of the Glasgow Art Club in 1879, became vice president in 1883 and was club president in 1906-1907.
He exhibited at the club and elsewhere including the Burns Exhibition of 1896 in Glasgow where his paintings A Winter’s Night and AllowayKirk were shown, the annual RSW shows, and also several times from 1881 at the Royal Academy in London and the Royal Scottish Academy. He also exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institutes of the Fine Arts yearly between 1879 and 1929 with a total of 138 paintings being shown during this period, the last three of which were posthumous.
The prices of his paintings during these exhibitions were anywhere between £30 and £300. His wife Helen’s were typically priced at under £30.
He was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) in 1885  and was made an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy (ASRA) in 1929.
He is represented in the museums of Sheffield, Leeds, Perth and Kinross, Paisley, Inverclyde, South Ayrshire and the Hunterian in Glasgow. There are three of his paintings in Glasgow Museums: Corner of Hope Street and Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, gifted 1917, accession number 1444, A Few Remarks’ gifted 1939, accession number 2124, and November, Braes of Balquidder purchased 1914, accession number 1343.
He died of pnuemonia on the 13th March 1929 in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, his usual residence being given as 156 Hill Street. His death was registered by E.E. Smith his niece from Leeds. His estate was valued at £1889 12s 3d and on the 15th August his fellow artists Joseph Morris Henderson and Archibald Kay, were confirmed as his executors.
 Births (PR) England. Skipton, Yorkshire. 1st Qtr 1854. HUNT, Thomas. England & Wales Births 1837-2006 Transcriptions. www.findmypast.co.uk:
 McEwan, Peter J M (1994). Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411. MCE
 Grant, Jocelyn. (2015) Thomas Hunt and Helen Russell Salmon. E-mail to George Manzor, 30 November 2015. email@example.com:
 Billcliffe, Roger (1991). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 2. Mitchell Library (Glasgow) reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.
 Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library (Glasgow) reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.
 Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library (Glasgow) reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.
 Marriages (CR) Scotland. Dennistoun, Lanark. 27 October 1887. HUNT, Thomas and SALMON, Helen Russell. GROS Data 644/03 0383. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk
 Census 1891 Scotland. Row, Garelochhead. GROS Data 503/00 013/00 009.
 Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library reference: (Glasgow) f.709.411.074 Roy.
 Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library reference (Glasgow): f.709.411.074 Roy.
 McEwan, Peter J M (1994). Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411. MCE
 McEwan, Peter J M (1994). Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411. MCE
 Billcliffe, Roger (1991). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 2. Mitchell Library reference (Glasgow): f.709.411.074 Roy.
 Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library reference (Glasgow): f.709.411.074 Roy.
In 1944 ship owner, Sir William Burrell donated to Glasgow his collection of paintings, Japanese and Chinese ceramics, tapestries, sculpture, stained glass and many other artefacts, totalling some 6000 items. By the time of his death in 1958 the donation had grown to over 8000 items, probably one of the greatest collections ever amassed by an individual. The collection is housed in a dedicated building in Pollok Park and has a world-wide reputation for its range and quality.
Earlier that year, on the 19th March, another ship owner, William McInnes, died at his home in Mariscat Road, Glasgow. In his will he bequeathed his collection, some 700 items including over 70 paintings, to Glasgow. Compared to Burrell, McInnes is much less well known to the Glasgow public, however his French paintings, which include works by Degas, Renoir, and Matisse are amongst the finest in any European Municipal collection.
Undoubtedly McInnes is, correctly, overshadowed by Burrell. The following however is an attempt to appropriately redress the balance between the two men. Whilst there can be no doubt that Burrell’s gift is and will remain unsurpassed, McInnes’s significant contribution to Glasgow’s cultural life deserves broader acknowledgement than it has received so far.
William McInnes’s paternal family originated in Crieff, Perthshire. His grandparents William and Janet married in 1825  and had eleven children, not all of whom survived childhood. William’s father John was the oldest child, born in Crieff at the end of December 1825. Seven of the children were born in Crieff or Comrie, the others in Glasgow after the family moved there sometime between 1841 and 1851. Grandfather William, John and his brother Alexander were all working on the railways by 1851, William as a labourer, John as an engine man and Alexander as a fireman.
Ten years later the family home was at 6 Salisbury Street in the Gorbals where John and his siblings lived with their parents. The three men continued to work on the railways, William now being a timekeeper. John’s three sisters, Jessie, Jeanie and Mary were milliners.
In 1867 John McInnes married Margaret McFadyen from Neilston on 28th June. At the time of his marriage he was working as a railway engine driver. They lived at 6 Cavendish Street where their four children were born: son William on 13th September 1868, to be followed by Finlay (1870), Thomas (1872) and Ann (1876).
Tragically, at the early age of 33, Margaret, died of plithisis (tuberculosis) in 1879  which resulted in John and the four children, who were aged between 3 and 11 years, moving to 6 Salisbury Street to live with his brother Andrew and sisters Jessie and Mary; where Jessie acted as housekeeper and surrogate mother to the children. This manifestation of strong family ties working to bring some good out of a bad and difficult situation I’m sure had a lasting impression on William. His friendships, particularly with the artist George Leslie Hunter and his support of family members in later life, provide evidence of that.
It’s not clear where William received his schooling although one source has suggested that he attended Hutcheson Grammar at the same time as the author John Buchan. Having talked to the administration staff at the school this has not been confirmed.
In 1882 John’s sister Mary married Gavin Shearer in Glasgow. Gavin aged 44 was an Insurance Broker working for the Glasgow Salvage Company Ltd. whose business was marine salvage. The marriage was childless and short lived as he died in 1887 from tuberculosis. At the time of his death he was secretary of the salvage company.
William was aged 19 at this time and probably had been in employment for some time. Was Gavin Shearer his entrée to the world of insurance when he was old enough? Considering how the family stuck together and supported each other it’s not unreasonable to think that his uncle helped him to get work, especially in an industry where he would have some influence. This is clearly conjecture as it’s not known what employment, if any, he was in at the time of his uncle’s death, however by 1891 he was working as a marine insurance clerk for P.H.Dixon and Harrison.
Four years later the company merged with Allan C. Gow to form Gow, Harrison and Company. Allan Carswell Gow had established his shipping company in the early 1850s. In 1853 he was joined in the business by his brother Leonard who on Allan’s death in 1859 became head of the firm. His younger son, also Leonard, in due course joined the business which by this time had offices in London as well as Glasgow. Senior partners in the new company which was located at 45 Renfield Street were the young Leonard Gow and John Robinson Harrison; McInnes continued to be employed as a marine insurance clerk. In 1899 the Glasgow Ship Owners and Ship Brokers Benevolent Association was formed, which Gow, Harrison and McInnes joined in its inaugural year. Another well-known Glasgow shipping name also joined later that year, George Burrell of William Burrell and Son, brother to the future Sir William Burrell. McInnes possibly became a partner in the business in 1907, the first year he appeared in the Glasgow Post Office Directory, however it’s more likely to have been 1922 when John Harrison retired from the business and his son Ion joined it. In 1929 William became godfather to Ion’s son Iain Vittorio Robinson Harrison.
Between 1899 and 1907 William’s brothers and sister married. Thomas married Jessie McEwan in 1899 at the Grand Hotel, Glasgow, there were no children of the marriage; Finlay married Agnes Hamilton at 95 Renfield Street on 15th February 1907, they had one son who was born on 8th December of the same year; Ann married William Sinclair on 27th February 1907 at 22 Princes Street, which was where the McInnes family then stayed. Shortly afterwards Ann and William emigrated to the United States and settled in Maine where their three sons William (1908), John (1912) and Andrew (1916) were born.
William McInnes never married although according to one source he was close to it. Lord McFarlane of Bearsden relates the story that his wife’s aunt and McInnes planned to marry but her father forbade it because he ‘didn’t have enough siller’.
McInnes moved to 4 Mariscat Road, Pollokshields in 1909 and lived there for the rest of his life with his elderly father and his uncle Andrew and aunt Mary.
It’s not clear when he started his collection, however it’s likely that his collecting activity would be prompted, certainly influenced by his relationship with Gow who became a renowned collector in his own right, particularly of paintings and Chinese porcelain. You can also envisage that Gow was the means by which McInnes met Alexander Reid and hence Leslie Hunter. What is known is that he bought his first painting, ‘Autumn’ by George Henry from Alexander Reid in 1910. His final purchase was ‘The Star Ridge with the King’s Peak’ (near Gardanne) by Cezanne, in 1942, from Reid and Lefevre, London. This painting eventually came into his sister-in-law Jessie’s (widow of brother Thomas) possession. In between those purchases he bought a number of significant paintings ranging from French Impressionists to Scottish Colourists. He bought works by Degas, Renoir, Picasso, and Matisse and was the first Scottish collector to buy a van Gogh, (The Blute Fin Windmill, Montmatre) bought in 1921 for £550.
He also purchased, glassware, ceramics and silver which in due course, along with his paintings, formed the basis of his eventual bequest to Glasgow.
In a Kelvingrove museum publication of 1987 the then Fine Art keeper Ann Donald commented as follows: ‘The most important individual 20th Century benefactor to date has been William McInnes (1868-1944), a Glasgow ship owner who left to his native city his entire collection of over 70 paintings as well as prints, drawings, silver, ceramics and glass. The bequest included 33 French works (many of them bought from Alexander Reid) by key artists such as Monet, Degas, Renoir, van Gogh, Cezanne and Picasso, whilst the British pictures were mostly by the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists, of whom he was a regular patron. This donation firmly established the international importance of Glasgow’s French collection.’
McInnes is described by those who knew him as a modest, unassuming individual who did not seek attention or the limelight. and may have found these comments not particularly welcome, despite them being highly complimentary. McInnes valued his friendships and his family, which is evident from the support he gave, and his ability to listen to the advice he was given. He was able to take the artistic guidance given him by the likes of Leslie Hunter, Tom Honeyman and others, and act on it if he thought it appropriate to do so, which wasn’t always. He bought paintings it’s said not only for his own pleasure but for that of his friends. He gave unstinting support to family and friends, particularly Leslie Hunter and his closest family members.
As stated earlier, William lived with his father, and aunt and uncle, for a number of years at Mariscot Road, incidentally where most of his paintings were housed. His father died in 1911, aged 85, cause of death being senile decay and pneumonia. His uncle Andrew, aged 81, died in April 1930 from senility and glycosuria (untreated diabetes); his aunt Mary, aged 83, also died in 1930 (August) from glycosuria. Both died at home.
These are very distressing and difficult conditions, not only for the sufferers, but for those who have to care for them. When it is considered that he had a senior position in a significant shipping business, that he was a member and leader of a number of industry organisations and also of the Ship Owners Benevolent Association, in addition to whatever he had to do at home, it’s clear that William had a strong sense of service and duty, perhaps inculcated by his early family experiences. It seems reasonable to presume he found this to be more intrinsically rewarding than anything else. When his support of Leslie Hunter is taken into account, then that presumption gains credence.
The artist must have seemed to McInnes to be a vulnerable, possibly unstable individual, whose life style could be fraught and chaotic at times. This must have resonated with McInnes’s home life in that here was another person who needed care and support. This may be more fanciful than factual, however there does seem to be this pattern to how William lived his life.
Hunter and McInnes met before 1914 and are known to have been in Paris pre WW One along with John Tattersall, the trip expenses, according to Hunter, being paid for by his two friends. There are examples of how Hunter was helped and encouraged by McInnes and others in Tom Honeyman’s biography of him. The most tangible evidence of McInnes’s support is, I suppose, the fact that his collection contains 23 paintings by Hunter. There was one occasion apparently when McInnes commissioned a portrait of himself because the artist needed the money. The friendship between the two men was not a one-way street however. McInnes was in many respects helped and guided by Hunter in his artistic education; however the better part of the bargain must have what McInnes gave to Hunter in encouragement, friendship, and in helping to sustain his motivation and confidence. McInnes has been described as Hunter’s most important patron; that is true in a way that goes well beyond the expected understanding of the phrase.
After Hunter’s death in 1931  McInnes continued to promote him by persuading Tom Honeyman to write his biography of the artist and along with Honeyman and William McNair, by organizing a memorial exhibition of his work, which was held in Reid and Lefevre’s gallery in West George Street during February 1932. Mrs Jessie McFarlane, the painter’s sister, asked the group to decide which paintings to keep and which to destroy.
McInnes and Honeyman met around the time Honeyman gave up medicine and moved into art dealership, probably through Leslie Hunter. It developed into a well bonded relationship, not only when Hunter was a common link between them but also after his death. Probably Honeyman is the only person to have recorded in any detail McInnes’s personality and interests which he did in his autobiography ‘Art andAudacity’. He is described as having a keen interest in classical music in which he indulged through his gramophone records and pianola, and his attendance at the Scottish National Orchestra’s Saturday evening concerts. He is said to have played the church organ in his younger days. Art and learning about paintings and artists was also a primary interest. It’s perhaps a moot point as to which he preferred. He also enjoyed travelling to the continent, during which time visits to the various museums and galleries would further develop his knowledge of art, art styles and artists, particularly when in the company of Hunter. Honeyman describes visits to the McInnes home as always stimulating and interesting.
In many respects because of his interest in painting in particular, McInnes was fertile ground for Honeyman in his quest to interest industrialists of the day in fine art and bring them to the idea of donating to municipal collections. I don’t believe this was a ‘corruption’ of their friendship but a celebration of its strength and depth. Between 1921 and 1943 he donated works by Hunter, Peploe and Fergusson and in 1940 William presented Matisse’s ‘Woman in Oriental Dress’ to Kelvingrove to commemorate Honeyman’s appointment as Museum Director.
In 1931 McInnes was nominated for the vice-presidency of the Ship Owners Benevolent Association and was duly elected. The rules of the Association meant that he would become president in 1932. However at the last board meeting of the year it was agreed that ‘having regard to the very serious time through which the country was passing the directors felt that the president and vice president should carry on for another year, especially as the honour to Mr McInnes was only deferred.’ In 1933 McInnes duly became president.
It’s clear from the minutes of the meetings held during his tenure that he played a full and influential part in the decision making process of the Association. On his retiral from the post he donated £100 to the association funds, equivalent to £5000 in today’s money.
William McInnes died at home on 19th March 1944 from a heart attack. He was senior partner in Gow, Harrison and Co. at the time of his death, taking over from Leonard Gow on his death in 1936. In his will he left in excess of 700 items, including 70 paintings, to Glasgow. His bequest was made free of any legacy duty or any other expenses, his only stipulation was that his paintings would go on show at Kelvingrove. The same day his bequest came before a special meeting of Glasgow Corporation’s committee on Art Galleries and Museums it was accepted with ‘high appreciation’ following a report on the collection by Tom Honeyman, the Director of Art Galleries.
His obituary in the Glasgow Herald stated: ‘McInnes was a man of cultured taste, he was keenly interested in music and art. He had brought together in his home a collection of pictures which was notable for its quality and catholicity.’ It adds finally “He was an intimate friend and patron of the late Leslie Hunter with whom he made several visits to the continent.’
In a sense William’s contribution didn’t stop there. In 1951 his sister-in-law Jessie donated Cezanne’s ‘The Star Ridge with the Kings Peak’ to Kelvingrove. In 1985 a portrait of McInnes by Leslie Hunter was sold to Kelvingrove by his sister Ann’s son Andrew McInnes Sinclair of Massachusetts, USA. The painting was handed over in person by Andrew and his cousin John McInnes, the son of William’s brother Finlay, on 9th July. The portrait had been commissioned by William for his sister to take back to America following a visit to Scotland in 1930
 Marriages (OPR) Scotland. Crieff, Perthshire, 342/00. 1 May 1825. McINNES, William and McDONALD, Janet. GROS Data 342/00 0020 0113. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk: accessed June 2011.
 Births. Scotland. Tradeston, Glasgow City, 644/09. 1 May 1870 McINNES, Finlay. GROS Data 644/09 0689. Births. Scotland. Tradeston, Glasgow City, 644/09. 2 June 1872 McINNES, Thomas GROS Data 644/09 0989.
Births. Scotland. Gorbals, Lanarkshire, 644/12. 22 October 1876, McINNES, Ann GROS Data 644/12 1367.
How does it come about that an English spinster lady, of no note whatsoever as was typical of most of her class at the time, donates a painting to Glasgow? The answer lies not with her father William Miller Coultate who was born in England but with her maternal great uncle James whose life, friendships and achievements were typical of the men who made the Industrial Revolution.
On the 13th November 1912 Miss Amy Esther Coultate of Colwyn Bay wrote to James Paton the Superintendent of Glasgow Corporation Art Galleries offering to Glasgow a portrait of the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell by the artist James Lonsdale. In a second letter to James Paton Miss Coultate stated that she had always understood the portrait had been painted at the request of her maternal great uncle James Thomson who paid the artist 500 guineas, and had been done at Primrose House, Clitheroe, the home of her great uncle, where the poet sometime stayed.
Miss Coultate was the middle child of three and was born in 1852 to William Miller Coultate and Eliza Jane Thomson, James Thomson’s niece, and was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Habergham Eaves, a suburb of Burnley in Lancashire. Her elder sister Marion Elizabeth and younger brother Arthur William were born in 1850 and 1856 respectively.
Her father, born in Clitheroe, Lancashire in 1813, was a surgeon and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in England. He had been in practice in Burnley since 1836 after completing his studies in Dublin. He was also vice president of the British Medical Association in Lancashire and Cheshire and had at one time been surgeon of the Fifth Royal Lancashire Militia.
His wife Eliza Jane Thomson was born in 1821, the daughter of William Thomson, the brother of James, both of whom were calico printers. They married in 1849 and lived at 1 to 3 Yorke Street in Burnley for most of their married life and where William also had his practice.
Amy’s mother died at a relatively young age in 1871. As was typical for wives of the time perhaps she left very little, her ‘effects’ being valued at less than £20.
The family continued to live in Yorke Street and in the 1881 census, no occupation for any of the children is given despite them being well into their twenties. In subsequent censuses the sisters are recorded as living on private means, and Arthur is described as a gentleman when he marries in 1883.
Amy’s father died in 1882 from an apoplectic seizure. He left an estate valued at £4583 11s 11d, probate being granted to a fellow surgeon, Joseph Anningson, and Amy’s sister Marion Elizabeth.
The two sisters, who never married, by 1901 were living together at Cae Gwyn, Colwyn Bay. Marion died in 1902, leaving an estate valued at £3757 17s 2d, probate being granted to Amy.
Both sisters clearly led very uneventful, unremarkable lives essentially living on their inheritances from their father. Amy’s one departure from the ordinary appears to have been a trip she made on the SS Hildebrand in 1920. Its departure port was Manaos, Brazil. Her port of embarkation was Lisbon, arriving in Liverpool on 25th March. At this time she was living in Southport. She died on 29th October 1930 at the Barna Private Hotel, Hindhead, Surrey. She left an estate valued at £4155 0s 6d.
If Amy’s life was that of a typical Victorian spinster, her great uncle James’s life was that of an educated, entrepreneurial, enlightened male of the Industrial Revolution. He was born in 1779 in Blackburn to John Thomson, (a “Scotch” gentleman), and his wife Elizabeth. His father was an iron-liquor merchant, a fixing chemical used in the calico dyeing industry.
In 1793 he attended Glasgow University befriending Gregory Watt, the son of James Watt and the poet Thomas Campbell. At the age of sixteen he joined the calico printing company of Joseph Peel & Co in London remaining there for six years developing his knowledge and understanding of the chemical technology involved in the industry through study and friendships with scientists including Sir Humphrey Davy and William Hyde Wollaston.
Joseph Peel was an uncle of Sir Robert Peel, 1st Baronet, and there is a suggestion, not proven, that James Thomson’s mother Elizabeth was a sister of Sir Robert. If true, that plus the fact of his father’s involvement in the calico industry would certainly have aided his employment with Joseph Peel.
He subsequently managed the company’s works near Accrington until 1810 at which time he set up his own calico printing company in partnership with John Chippendale of Blackburn, the new company eventually being established at Primrose near Clitheroe. He travelled extensively in Europe to further his business, his fundamental drive being to identify and implement scientific improvement to his printing processes. In 1821 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. He supported schools of design and the extension of copyright periods for dress patterns as he believed this would establish and enhance standards for the industry as a whole. His skill as a chemist and his process improvements in design and printing led to him being referred to as the ‘Duke of Wellington’ of calico printing.
He married Cecilia Starkie in 1806 and had four sons and three daughters, which raises the question of how the painting came into Miss Coultate’s possession. With so many children the expectation would have been that one of his offspring would inherit. Unfortunately, this research has not established how it came to her; via her mother seeming the most likely route.
James was mayor of Clitheroe in 1836-1837 and became a JP in 1840. He died at home on 17 September 1850 whilst preparing for the Great Exhibition of 1851. He is buried in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, Clitheroe.
The artist James Lonsdale was a friend of Thomson’s and was a frequent visitor to his home. He was a popular portrait painter of the day and painted many eminent individuals including British and foreign royalty. His portrait of Thomson is in the Salford Museum and Art Gallery.
 Object Files at Glasgow Museum Resource Centre (GMRC), Nitshill.
 Baptisms (PR) England. Clitheroe, Lancashire. 8 August 1821. THOMSON, Eliza Jane. Register; Baptisms 1813-1829, Page 93, Entry 741. LDS Film 1278857. Lancashire Online Parish Clerk Project. http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Search/indexp.html
 Marriages (PR) England. Habergham Eaves, Burnley, Lancashire. 20 February 1849. COULTATE, William Miller and THOMSON, Eliza Jane. Collection: Lancashire, England Marriages and Banns 1754-1936. Reference Pr 3098/1/13. http://ancestry.co.uk:
 Testamentary records. England. 8 February 1872. COULTATE, Eliza Jane. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p. 293. Collection: England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://ancestry.co.uk
 Marriages (PR) England. Burnley, Lancashire. 6 January 1883. COULTATE, Arthur William and BRIDGES, Mary Jane. Lancashire, England Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1936http://ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary records. England. 20 May 1882. COULTATE, William Miller. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p. 338. Collection: England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://ancestry.co.uk
 Census. 1901. Wales. Llandrillo yn Rhos, Colwyn Bay, Caernarvonshire. RG13, Piece:5290; Folio:10; Page:11. http://ancestry.co.uk:
 Testamentary records. England. 19 December 1902. COULTATE, Marian, Elizabeth. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p. 169. Collection: England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://ancestry.co.uk:
 Passenger List for S.S. Hildebrand arriving Liverpool. COULTATE, Amy Esther. 25 March 1920. Collection: UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1870-1960. http://ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary records. England. 3 January 1931. COULTATE, Amy Esther. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p.791. Collection: England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://ancestry.co.uk:
 Aspin, Christopher. (2004) Thomson, James (1779-1850). In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://www.oxforddnb.com
 Marriages (PR) England. Blackburn, Lancashire. 18 March 1806. THOMSON, James and STARKIE, Cecilia. Register; Marriages 1801-1809, Page 357, Entry 1419. LDS Film 1278807. Lancashire Online Parish Clerk Project. http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Search/indexp.html
Mrs. A.B. Clements donated two paintings by George Leslie Hunter in September 1940
Her address was given as 186 Woodville Street, Govan, Glasgow. This was the address of the Scottish Machine Tool Corporation at the time of the donation. That, plus the lack of a residential address and first names for the lady meant that initial research focused on the history of the company. As my researches progressed it became clear that Mrs. Clements husband was the originator of the donation (he gave seven paintings in total between 1940 and 1945) which he chose to make in his wife’s name. For that reason, whilst I have biographies of them both, Mr. Clements is more detailed and extensive.
The late Mrs. Jane Pelosi (granddaughter) provided me with a good deal of information about her grandfather and allowed me to take photographs of the several family items which illustrate this article.
Albion Works at 186 Woodville Street was the place of business of G. and A. Harvey who were engineers and machine tool makers. The company was founded in 1857 (Woodville Street being its original place of business) and remained independent until 1937 when along with four other Scottish engineering and machine tool makers (James Allan Senior & Sons, Loudon Bros., James Bennie & Sons, Craig & Donald) it became part of the Scottish Machine Tool Corporation. The new company prospectus dated 18 March 1937 identified Alexander Blair Clements as joint managing director of Harvey’s.
His wife Margaret was the ostensible donor of the George Leslie Hunter paintings.
Alexander Blair Clements was born in Shanghai China on 3rd March 1884. His father Ebenezer Wyse Clements (1850 – 1928) worked as a ship’s engineer with Alan C. Gow and Company (known informally as the Glen Line at that time), sailing on the company’s Far East routes. At the time of Ebenezer’s marriage in 1877 to Jeanie Ramsey Blair (1848 – 1919) he was an engineer on board the SS Glenroy sailing to Penang, Singapore and China. His first son (also Ebenezer Wyse Clements) was born in Glasgow on 10th June 1878 and the 1881 census shows that Jeanie and her son were staying with her mother in Glasgow. It’s safe to assume therefore that sometime between 1881 and Alexander’s birth the family moved to Shanghai where Ebenezer presumably pursued an on-shore engineering career possibly with the Shanghai Dock and Engineering Company. Alexander’s younger brother Edward Joshua Wyse Clements (1886 – 1958) was also born in Shanghai.
Alexander’s schooling was initially in China where he attended the Shanghai Public school. His secondary education was completed back in Glasgow where he was a pupil at Allan Glen’s Grammar school.
On his return to China he served an engineering apprenticeship with the Shanghai Dock and Engineering Company. During his apprenticeship he attended evening classes and in 1905 distinguished himself by winning the prize for ‘Best Paper Submitted by a Student at the Evening Classes’ presented by the Shanghai Society of Engineers and Architects.
The prize consisted of three technical publications: ‘The Construction of Locomotives’, ‘Marine Propellers’, and ‘Petrol Motors and Motor Cars’. He also subsequently gained an Extra First-Class Board of Trade certificate. He was subsequently employed as a third, then a second engineer with the China Merchants Shipping Company from 1906 to 1908.
What he did in the years immediately after 1908 is not particularly clear however he and other members of his family travelled to the USA and Australia, New South Wales. In 1908 Alexander sailed from Yokohama to Seattle on the SS Minnesota arriving on 13th May. The passenger list details his destination as London and his next of kin as his father at Nayside Road, Shanghai. What he did there and when he returned to China has not been established. In 1910 his brother Edward and his father and mother travelled from Sydney, Australia to St. Albans, Vermont via Canada on the SS Manuka. The passenger list indicates that both men had no employment and that Alexander had remained in Shanghai. Alexander was again travelling in May 1911 when he sailed from Kobe to Sydney on the SS Empire. He subsequently ended up in New Zealand but returned to New South Wales that year on board the SS Maheno sailing from Auckland to Sydney arriving on 4th August. It could be concluded perhaps that the family were looking to leave China maybe to improve their situation or simply to seek employment. Another consideration perhaps was the fact that China was in turmoil at the time which resulted in the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and the establishment of the Republic of China in 1912, headed by Sun Yet Sen.
What Alexander did in New South Wales is not known but in due course he met his wife to be Margaret Fraser Harvey of Blackburn, Yass.
Margaret was the daughter of Robert Harvey (1853 – 1921) and Margaret Adair (1852 – 1931) both originally born in Scotland and married there in 1884. Margaret was born in Shelby Springs, Birmingham, Alabama on the 2nd August 1890. She may have been born there due to her grandfather Thomas Harvey being a ship’s master. It’s possible that her parents sailed with Robert’s father hence her birth place.
She was the third of four children, one (a son) was stillborn in Cumberland in 1885, the second (a girl) also born in Alabama died at one year in 1889.
The youngest, Thomas, (born 1893 in Alabama) reached adulthood only to be killed in action in Gaza, Palestine in 1917. At some point the family ended up in Yass, New South Wales where Robert became a sheep farmer.
The family had a connection with Yass through Margaret Adair’s mother Jane Kirkland Blair (1830 – 1914) who married George Weir (1833 – 1909) after her first husband George Frederick Adolphus Augustus Adair died in Calcutta in 1856. Sometime after 1895 the Weirs moved to Yass where they lived until their deaths.
An interesting aside is that George along with his brother James (1843 – 1920) formed in 1872 the engineering company G & J Weirs (Weirs of Cathcart). In 1887 or thereabouts Weir’s design for a horizontal boring mill was built by G and A Harvey. After the business became a limited company in 1895 James bought out his brother (he was apparently annoyed at George casting church bells in the company forge for free) who shortly afterwards moved to Australia with his wife.
The Weir’s mother Jane Bishop (1811 – 1899) was a granddaughter of Robert Burns. Her mother was Elizabeth Burns (1785 – 1817) the illegitimate daughter of Burns and Elizabeth Paton (b.1760).
Alexander married Margaret on the 4th June 1912 at St Andrews Church, Yass with both sets of parents present. Shortly afterwards Alexander, Margaret, and his parents set sail for London on the T.S.S. Themistocles arriving there on the 15th August. A small painting of the ship executed by Alexander during the voyage was autographed by several passengers and crew. One of the signatories was Robert Baden Powell.
By 1913 Alexander and Margaret were living in Glasgow at 79 Fotheringay Road, with Alexander being employed by G and A Harvey, as was his father and his brother Edward who lived at 12 Kelbourne Street. How this came about is not known; were Margaret’s family connected to G and A Harvey in some way? Did the Weir connection play a part? At any rate all three were to remain in employment there for some time.
In 1913 and 1918 respectively their daughter Margaret Jean and their son Eben Harvey were born in Glasgow. By this time, they were living at 6 Larch Road Dumbreck. Around 1923 Ebenezer moved in with the family subsequently dying there in 1928.
Alexander and Edward remained with Harvey’s until 1947 by which time it had become part of the Scottish Machine Tool Corporation. In the new company’s 1937 prospectus it was stated that Harvey’s held 50% of the new company equity. As joint managing director Alexander was clearly a senior employee and probably had shares in the new company. Additionally, he jointly with the company in 1943 and 1944 was granted patents in the UK and Canada, relating to the manufacture of briquetting machines and lathes respectively. The new company traded from 1937 (having become an associate of a forge equipment manufacturer in the 1960s) until 1982 when it went into liquidation.
For a period after 1947 Alexander was chairman of C. and A. Stewart Ltd, located at Spiersbridge Industrial Estate Glasgow.
Alexander had a number of interests and it has been established that he was a reasonably serious collector of paintings albeit with no obvious theme in mind. At some point he became friends with Tom Honeyman (prior to Honeyman’s appointment to Kelvingrove) and was proposed as a member of the Glasgow Art Club by him in 1941. He was seconded by the famous Glasgow photographer James Craig Annan. He remained a member of the club until resigning in October 1948.
Amongst his collection were works by J. Pettie (‘The Step’), S.J. Peploe (‘Roses’), D.Y. Cameron (various), Leon L’Hermitte (‘Figures in Field’) and George Leslie Hunter. He donated a total of seven paintings to Kelvingrove from 1940 to 1945. This was confirmed in a letter to his son in 1990 from Anne Donald who was Keeper of the Fine Art Department of Kelvingrove at that time. As it happens one of these paintings (a Leslie Hunter) was gifted to the Brest Museum in France, the museum being destroyed during the war. The letter is shown below – Figure 10.
It may be that his donations (and his purchases) were inspired by Tom Honeyman, which would certainly fit with Honeyman’s modus operandi of seeking to influence industrialists of the day towards purchasing paintings. Where and when he bought is generally not known however he did buy the Pettie in 1947 for £150 from W.B. Simpson of St. Vincent Street and gave it to his son Eben.
He was also something of an amateur artist, his favourite subject being ships. Some of these drawings are in a sketch book in the possession of his granddaughter Mrs. Jane Cossar Pelosi.
He had a keen interest in music and the theatre. He had an eclectic taste in music ranging from classical (Aida, La Boheme) through cinema (Dianna Durban, Paul Robeson) to music hall (Will Fyfe, Harry Lauder). His record collection was large and meticulously recorded in a notebook currently in Mrs. Pelosi’s possession. He was a life member of the Glasgow Citizens Theatre society – possibly another Honeymoon influence at work?
He was also a keen stamp collector being President of the Caledonian Philatelic Society in 1920-21 and again in 1956, its golden jubilee year. Incidentally an exhibition of the society’s collections was held in Kelvingrove from the 27th February to the 11th March of that year to celebrate the occasion.
Alexander and his wife Margaret lived at a number of addresses in Glasgow finally resident at 69 St. Andrews Drive where he died on the 20th April 1966 from cancer of the oesophagus. His wife died on the 21st October 1980.
Alexander’s collection of paintings in due course passed to his son Eben and daughter Margaret. Margaret married Douglas Alexander Wright in 1939 and had two sons who inherited their mothers share of the collection on her death in 1994. I understand these paintings remain in the family.
Eben married Jane Brown Cossar of the Cossar publishing family in 1941and had a daughter Jane (Mrs. Jane Cossar Pelosi). In 1969 he had his paintings assessed for insurance purposes by Tom Honeyman who valued them at £5615.
On his death in 1982 his paintings passed to his wife who subsequently bequeathed them to the National Trust for Scotland on her death in 2004.
‘The Step’ by Pettie has recently been seen by the author on display in ‘Greek’ Thomson’s Holmwood House in Cathcart.
 Passenger List for S.S. Minnesota departing Yokohama. CLEMENTS, Alexander Blair. 1 May 1908. Collection: Washington, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1965. http://ancestry.co.uk
 Passenger List for S.S. Manuka departing Sydney. CLEMENTS, Ebenezer Wyse, wife Jeanie and son Edward Joshua. 9 May 1910. Collection: Washington, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1965. http://ancestry.co.uk
 Passenger List for S.S. Empire departing Kobe. CLEMENTS, Alexander Blair. 24 May 1911. Collection: New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922.http://ancestry.co.uk
 Passenger List for S.S. Maheno departing Auckland. CLEMENTS, Alexander Blair. August 1911.
Collection: New South Wales, Australia, Unassisted Immigrant Passenger Lists, 1826-1922.http://ancestry.co.uk
 Marriages Australia. Yass, New South Wales. 4 June 1912. CLEMENTS, Alexander Blair and HARVEY, Margaret Fraser. Certificate of Marriage in the possession of Mrs. Jane Pelosi. Minister’s register number 31, registration number 55883.
 Passenger List for T.S.S. Themistocles departing Sydney. CLEMENTS, Alexander Blair.1912.
In 1945 Ernest Charteris Holford Wolff of Fair Oak Lodge, near Eastleigh, Hants, donated an oil painting, ‘Portrait of William Johnstone of Glenorchard’ by Sir Daniel Macnee, to Glasgow Museums.
The Wolff family originally came from Hamburg, Germany, Ernest’s paternal grandfather Arnold Julius Wolff being born there in 1798. He was the son of Carl Heinrich Wolff and his wife Maria Carolina Anna and was born at Ritzebuttel a town on the Elbe belonging to Hamburg where his father had been a protestant clergyman for over thirty years. He came to England in 1828 and subsequently married Lucy Taylor on 23 June 1831 in Manchester Cathedral (Church of St. Mary, St. Denys and St. George). She was a minor (age 17) and required her father’s consent to the marriage. Arnold was a merchant, both he and the Taylor family living in the township of Chorlton Row which was part of the parish of Manchester.
Arnold was employed by the cotton trading firm of James Holford & Co., who were the largest British exporters into Russia having branches in Russia, Britain, Germany (Hamburg) and the United States. It may well be that Arnold had been employed by the company in Hamburg and had transferred to their offices in Manchester, however whilst likely, there is only circumstantial evidence to support that.
He became a naturalized British citizen in 1840, having become a partner in the Holford business some time before that. However the business had been experiencing liquidity issues which resulted in some of its branches being taken over by its employees or partners. In Manchester the business, operating as Holford, Sauer & Co., was dissolved in January 1840 and taken over by Wollf and another employee to become Wolff, Hasche & Co. It became a member of the Manchester Royal Exchange and continued to trade at least until 1853 and probably beyond that date.
Arnold and Lucy continued to live in Chorlton in the Greenheys area after their marriage and by 1841 had four children, two girls and two boys, a third boy being born later that year. Incidentally Thomas de Quincey lived in Greenheys as a youth, his father building the area in 1791.
The eldest of the three boys was Arnold Holford Wolff. He was born on the 8th December, 1834 and baptised on the 18th May 1835. By 1861 he along with his brother Ernest Julius were living in the family home at Greenhays and were in their father’s employ as clerks, presumably in his export business. He was still living there with his mother and sister Lucy Catherine in 1871, his father Arnold Julius having died in 1866. Probate was granted to his three sons, the estate being valued at “under £60,000”.
Arnold Holford Wolff, described as a ‘Russian merchant’, married Jane Johnstone Crawford on the 13th November 1872 in Edinburgh. It was through his wife they ultimately came to possess the painting of William Johnston of Glenorchard, he being the brother of Jane’s mother Mary Johnstone.
The Johnstone family originated in the parish of Baldernock, then in Stirlingshire, where Thomas Johnstone and Mary Baird were married in 1803. They had six children all born in Baldernock including the aforementioned William (b.1805) and Mary (b.1812).
William married Agnes Ewing in 1846 at Dunoon Parish Church. He was a banker and had been an agent of the Commercial Bank of Scotland since 1845. In 1848 he and his wife were living in the Barony Parish of Glasgow at 5 Newton Place, staying there until 1858-59. They became tenants of Glenorchard House around 1855 but did not permanently reside there until 1859. He subsequently became the owner of the estate sometime between 1858 and 1861, living there, still with the Commercial Bank, until he died.
He died in 1864, not at Glenorchard, but at 200 Bath Street, Glasgow, the home of James Campbell jnr. of J & W Campbell & Co., Warehousemen. The cause of death was recorded as apoplexy.
He left estate valued at just over £27,100 and had set up a Trust Disposition and Settlement early in 1863 which essentially took care of his widow, his siblings where they survived, and their children, there being no children of his own marriage. In particular his niece Jane (Johnstone) Crawford, the daughter of his sister Mary who had died in 1855, and who lived with William and his wife Agnes following her father John Crawford’s death in 1861, received initially £150 per quarter. On Agnes’s death he stipulated that Jane was to receive £3,000.
Jane was born on the 5th February 1849, the last of four children. Her parents had married in 1842, John being a grocer and spirit merchant in Shettleston. She continued to live with her aunt Agnes following her uncle’s death, remaining with her at Glenorchard. Sometime after 1871 Agnes and Jane moved to Edinburgh living at 32 Moray Place which is where Jane’s marriage to Arnold Holford Wolff took place.
Her aunt died on the 15th March 1873 leaving Jane £5,000 and some personal items. Although the Macnee painting is not specifically mentioned it is clear it came into Jane’s possession either when she married or as a bequest.
Jane and Arnold had two boys, Arnold Johnstone Wolff (b.1873) and Ernest Charteris Holford Wolff who was born on the 3rd July 1875. In late 1880 Jane was widowed when Arnold senior died at the age of 46 leaving her to bring up her two young sons.
By 1891, at the age of 17, Arnold jnr. was attending the Royal Military Academy, subsequently joining the Royal Engineers as a Lieutenant. He served in the Boer Wars between 1899 – 1902 gaining the Queen’s South Africa medal with clasps for the Orange Free State, Cape Colony and the Transvaal. He was also awarded the King’s South Africa medal with clasps for 1901 and 1902.
He saw further service during WW1 gaining promotion eventually to Lieutenant Colonel. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order in February 1916 at which time he was at his final rank on a temporary basis. He retired from the army sometime after 1922 and by 1939 he and his wife Nora Gladys Platt, whom he married in 1905, were living in Southampton. He died there in 1941 leaving an estate valued at just under £27,500.
In 1891 Ernest was living with his mother in Edinburgh, still at school, subsequently going to Oxford where he graduated BA in 1897. He joined the colonial civil service that year with the Pahang Government, travelling in November to take up his post on the SS Himalaya to Colombo, Ceylon, then on the SS Thames for Malaysia.
Pahang was part of the Federated Malay States (FMS) which also included Selangor, Perak and Negri Sembilan. Between 1897 and 1908 he held a variety of positions within FMS becoming secretary to the British Resident of Negri Sembilan in 1901, taking on additional roles in 1904 (Sanitary Board chairman, Seremban) and 1905 (District Treasurer of Telek Anson). By 1908 he was the secretary to the Resident General of the colony. In 1923 he was appointed by the King as an Official Member of the Legislative Council of the Straits Settlements.
He was also a very keen sportsman being on the committees of the Selangor Polo and Golf clubs in 1909, and was captain of the golf club from 1907 to 1909. He won the club championship in 1907/08 and subsequently the Coronation Cup.
He married Mary Lilias Alison on the 6th December 1911 at Grange Parish Church of Scotland, Edinburgh. She was the daughter the Rev, John Alison of Edinburgh and Margaret McGeorge. They had two daughters, Stella (b.?) and Alison Jean (b.1914).
Ernest’s civil service career continued to progress and in 1924 he became the British Resident of Negri Sembilan, retaining that position until 1928 when he retired to Fair Oak Lodge, Hants, where he lived for most of the rest of his life. In January of that year he was appointed Companion of the Order of St. Michael and St. George (C.M.G.).
He and his wife travelled home on the SS Empress of Canada, embarking from Hong Kong on the 6th April 1928 and arriving in Victoria, British Columbia on the 6th May for a month long tour of Canada. Following the tour they travelled home to Southampton where his brother Arnold lived at Bitterne Park.
It’s not clear when the Macnee painting came into his possession. Did his mother Jane leave it directly to him or did it first go to his brother Arnold who bequeathed it to him on his death in 1941? However, on the 9th July 1945 Ernest presented the painting to Glasgow, just a few months before he died.
He died on the 23rd April 1946 at Cheniston Compton near Winchester leaving estate to the value of £12,420, probate being granted to his wife Mary and George Eaton Stannard Cubitt.
The Wolff family motto was “Res non verba”  which translates as “deeds not words”, which, it seems to me, all members of the family lived up to.
Note: Johnstone is spelled with or without an e in various records.
 Baptisms (NCR) England & Wales. Manchester, Lancashire. 8 April 1814. TAYLOR, Lucy. Class Number: RG 4; Piece Number: 2009. Collection: Non-Conformist and Non-Parochial Registers, 1567-1970. http://www.ancestry.co.uk
 Marriages (PR) England. Manchester, Lancashire. 23 June 1831. WOLFF, Arnold Julius and TAYLOR, Lucy. Collection: Manchester, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1930 (Cathedral). Archive Roll 699. http://www.ancestry.com
 Testamentary records. England. 10 April 1866. WOLFF, Arnold Julius. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p. 438. Collection: England & Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://www.ancestry.com
 War Office (Great Britain). Record of Service. WOLFF, Arnold Johnston. WO100/157 page 56, WO100/314 page 58 FindMyPast Transcription. Collection: Anglo-Boer War Records 1898-1902. http://www.findmypast.co.uk
 War Office (Great Britain). Record of Service. WOLFF, Arnold Johnston. Lieutenant Colonel, Royal Engineers 1922. Collection: British Army Lists, 1882-1962. http://www.ancestry.com
 London Gazette (1916) Supplement. 2 February 1916. Military Award, Companion of D.S.O. WOLFF, Arnold Johnston, p.1336, 1337.
 Marriages Index (CR) England & Wales. RD: Hampstead, London. Last Qtr. 1905. WOLFF, Arnold Johnston and PLATT, Nora Gladys. Vol.1a. p.1415. Collection: England & Wales, Civil Registration Marriage Index, 1837-1915. http://www.ancestry.com
 Testamentary records. England. 2 September 1941. WOLFF, Arnold Johnston. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p. 432. Collection: England & Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://www.ancestry.com
 Passenger List for S.S. Empress of Canada departing Hong Kong WOLFF, Ernest Charteris Holford. 6 April 1928. Collection: Canadian Passenger Lists, 1865-1935 and Washington, Passenger and Crew Lists, 1882-1965 http://www.ancestry.com
 Testamentary records. England. 23 April 1946. WOLFF, Ernest Charteris Holford. Principal Probate Registry. Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p. 585. Collection: England & Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://www.ancestry.com