Mary Morris (1873-1951)

Donor    Mary Morris (1873-1951)


Figure 1. Captain Hugh Morris.  Artist unknown. Date unknown Acc. 2905  © CSGCIC  Glasgow Museums and Libraries. 


Mary Morris (1873-1951)

The donor of this painting was Mary Morris (see below) who bequeathed the portrait on 22  May  1951 as well as several other items.1 At the time of her death she was living at 67 Argyle Road, Saltcoats.2  There is no date or artist attributed to this portrait and there are several members of the Morris family named Hugh  but evidence leads us to believe that the portrait is that of Mary Morris’s great -great grandfather (see  Morris Family Tree below).3 Before discussing the life of Mary Morris   the Morris Family who came before her  will  be discussed.

Figure 2. Morris Family Tree . © J M Macaulay. * Probable subject of Portrait

*Captain Hugh Morris (1736-1786 or1819)

Captain Hugh Morris was our donor’s great-great grandfather. He was possibly born on 6 May 1736  in Largs ,Ayrshire. His father was John Morris and his mother was Jean McFie.4 After his birth the next information we have is his marriage on 31  July 1764 to Elizabeth Newlands at Calton then a separate weaver’s village outside Glasgow. Elizabeth’s father Richard was a weaver and Hugh Morris’s occupation is given as ‘mariner.5 By the time of the birth of their first child John in 1766 Hugh Morris  was described on the baptism certificate as a ‘shipmaster’ (captain)of Port Glasgow’.6 Subsequent children were born in Port Glasgow leading us to believe that the family lived there while the head of the family was at sea. Hugh and Elizabeth had at least seven children. All but Hugh (b1768 in Barony, Glasgow) were born in Port Glasgow between 1766 and 1785 including our donor’s direct descendant Richard  Morris born in 1776.7 Also there is a Captain Hugh Morris, shipmaster of Port Glasgow listed in John Tait’s Directory of the City of Glasgow 1783.8

There is evidence that Captain Hugh Morris was involved in Glasgow’s tobacco trade  with Virginia as captain of a ship owned  by  William Cunninghame, one of Glasgow’s foremost ‘tobacco lords.’  Morris was captain of the ship Neptune from about 1769 to at least 1781. 9 The Neptune appears to have made  at least two voyages each year. For example it was reported  in February 1775, ’A Manifest of the Lading on board the ship Neptune, Hugh Morris Master, for Glasgow 476 hogshead tobacco, 30,000 staves, 30 dozenHoops’.10 Then in July 1775 the James River Manifest Book 1774-5 reported ‘a manifest of lading of the ship Neptune, Hugh Morris master, to be 474 hogshead of tobacco,13,000 staves  and 40 dozen hoops’.11

In 1777 shortly after the beginning of the American War of Independence an Act of Parliament was passed allowing the Lord High  Admiral or his Commissioners to grant Letters of Marque to merchant ships which allowed them to be armed and to seize any enemy ships encountered in regular trading enterprises for the duration of hostilities. Any prize money gained from the selling- off of enemy ships and or cargo went to the ship owner, captain and possibly the crew. The Letter of Marque was given to the captain of the ship and a copy was preserved in the records of the High Court of the Admiralty.12 In 1777 one such Letter of Marque signed by Registrar Godfrey Lee Tarrant was granted to Captain Hugh Morris and the ship Neptune.13  

 There are two  further reports of Captain Morris’s  involvement in voyages to Virginia after the issue of the Letter of Marque but no information as to seizure of American ships. In 1779 the Chester Courant reported the arrival  at Falmouth of the Neptune from Jamaica  with  Morris as Captain. It is unclear if this was referring to Falmouth Virginia or Falmouth in England.14 Then in September 1781 the Neptune, captained by Morris, sailed from Portsmouth (presumably Portsmouth Virginia) to London.15 There is no information after this date of any further voyages.

Perhaps Captain Morris retired from sea at this time? Perhaps he had  gained some prize money from seized  American ships? Information on this point is speculative. Did he develop business interests of his own in America perhaps? James Robinson, superintendent factor  of W. Cunninghame and Co. who was based in Falmouth, Virginia reported in a letter to Cunninghame on 15 September 1774 that ,’Captain Morris…wants to go to Carolina to look after some old affairs’.16 So perhaps he had business interests there.

In The Biographical Register of St Andrews Society of the State of New York 17 the entry for Richard  Morris (see family tree above) our donor’s great grandfather, who appears to have joined the society in 1797 while living in New York, describes him as, ‘ a son of Captain Hugh Morris of the Greenhead, Glasgow’. Greenhead was an old industrial part of Glasgow north of John Street (now Tullis Street) in  Bridgeton extending into the Calton.18  There is  a present day Greenhead Street near to Glasgow Green which possibly took its name from the area known as Greenhead.

Jones Directory or Useful Pocket Companion  for  1787 lists a Morris ,Hugh &Son, manufacturers, Todds Land, High Street and for  1789 Morris ,Hugh & Sons, manufacturers  High Street,’ above no 16’.19  The family business was certainly known as Hugh Morris &Sons  in 1797 in a letter written to the United States Secretary of State, James Madison  by John J Murray Consulate General in Glasgow  concerning a dispute over ownership of ships being traded by the company to New York.20 The business later moved to St Andrews Square(see below). There are also examples of Hugh Morris & Sons  trading with Jamaica. For example in July 1802 when customers were invited to contact Hugh Morris& Sons  regarding freight and passage  aboard The Maria sailing from Port Glasgow.21

A map of Glasgow of 1807 shows a piece of land off Glasgow Green owned by Hugh Morris Senior.22  

Figure 3 Extract from Peter Fleming Map of Glasgow and Suburbs 1807. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland.

 The Glasgow Sasines Register  1801 shows that a Hugh Morris   bought land in St Andrews Square off Glasgow Green23 and  The Post Office Directory for 1801  has an entry for Morris H & Sons  Merchant, 55 St Andrews Square  and in 1806 for Morris H Senior merchants 55 St  Andrews Square.  House, Greenhead.24 By this time his second son Hugh and third  son Richard appear to have joined the business (see below).

 It is unclear when our Captain Hugh Morris died. A Captain Hugh Morrice, shipmaster, died on 20 April  1786  with no indication of age.25 But a  Captain Hugh Morrise died 22 February  1819 aged 89. Both died in Glasgow and both were buried in the Parish of Ramshorn and Blackfriars.  However as there continued to be a Hugh Morris Senior mentioned in the various directories later than 1786 it is probable that our Hugh Morris(or Morrise) died at the later date.26 The alternative is that the name of the firm Hugh Morris Senior  was used by  his son  Hugh for several years after his death.

Hugh Morris (1768-1819)

This Hugh Morris was our donor’s great- uncle. The second son of Captain Hugh Morris and Elizabeth Newlands he was born on 21 March 1768 in Glasgow Barony.27 There is little information  about his early life and no evidence that he went to sea. It is not clear exactly when he started in  the family business of Hugh Morris and Sons  but as we know from about 1801  the business premises were at 55 St Andrews Square. Around 1806 his brother Richard appears in the Glasgow Post Office Directory at the same address.28

 In 1807 Hugh  married Jane Bannatyne  daughter of John Bannatyne of  Castlebank, Lanark.29  As we have seen, the Morris Family appears to have lived in the Greenhead area  better known as Bridgeton today and  many streets have  been renamed  for example the then William street is now Templeton Street around the area of the  former Templeton Carpet Factory building. By 1819  Jane and Hugh  had a house in St Vincent Street.30

There do not appear to have been any children as when Hugh  was thrown from a gig and killed at Pitcaithly near Perth in August 31  his  estate,  after making provision for his wife Jane, went to his brother Richard and  various nephews and nieces.32

Around 1810 a Hugh Morris appears to have become part of the firm of Morris, Kinnear &Co at 55 St Andrews Square and this partnership continued until Hugh’s death in 1819. They were listed as ‘merchants’.33

 By the time of his death in 1819  as well as being a partner  in the Glasgow firm of Morris, Kinnear and Company,  Hugh Morris was also a partner  in the firm of Ferguson, Morris and Co of St Lucia34 which suggests an involvement in trade with St Lucia. He left an estate worth £10,000 including the house in St Vincent Street and a house in Largs which he left to his brother Richard together with the  business property in St Andrews Square.35

Richard H Morris (1776-1827)

Richard Morris was our donor’s great-grandfather. He was born 28 July 1776 in Port Glasgow.36There is little information about his early life but one presumes it was spent in Port Glasgow with the rest of the family. Most of our information in this period comes from  The Biographical Register of the St Andrew Society of New York, which Richard joined in 1797. He was introduced as ‘a son of Captain Hugh Morris of the  Greenhead of Glasgow.’

 By the age of twenty Richard had moved to New York and had begun business principally as a shipping agent and commission merchant for the family business Hugh Morris &Sons. He was also part owner of the brig  Moses Gill which traded between New York and Greenock.37 On 16 June 1797 he married Mary Ford (1778-1840).38 They went on to have nine children between Agnes, born in New York in 1801 and Jean born in 1815 a total of seven girls and two boys.39

By 1799 Richard’s business was operating from 10 Liberty Street,  New York.40 He and Mary appear to have travelled back to Scotland around 1802 as a son Hugh was born there about 1802.41 Richard’s brother Captain John Morris, master of a vessel  The Hunter  went to New York in 1804 to take over the business in Liberty Street which suggests that was when Richard and Mary  moved back to Scotland. Unfortunately John Morris died of consumption in 1807 which brought Richard back to New York to settle up his brother’s affairs. Then  on 15  December  1808 ,along with his nephew John, he set sail on the British packet Chesterfield  for Falmouth.42

 As we have seen Richard went into the family business  known as Hugh Morris & Sons with  his father and then his brother  Hugh. In 1809 the firm of Morris ,R H  & Co merchants was based at 55 St Andrews Square as was Morris, H, Merchant. In both cases the home address was given as Greenhead possibly 63 William Street43 (later renamed Templeton Street) in present day  Bridgeton. Between 1810 and the death of his  brother Hugh in 1819 the firm changed to Morris ,Kinnear &Co still based at 55 St Andrews Square.44

 He was executor of both his brother’s estate, Hugh Morris (junior) and that of Hugh Morris( senior) of Greenhead, presumably his father. On 16 June 1820 an advertisement appeared in the Glasgow Herald  for the sale of

Property at Greenhead belonging to the late Mr Hugh Morris Senior ,extending to about 2 acres and bounded by the Camlachie Burn…’

 suggesting that as executor for both his late father and brother he was dispensing with the Greenhead land. It is also further indicates that Hugh Morris senior died at the later date of February 1819 but of course we cannot be certain.

  Richard was also  Treasurer of the Calton Chapel of Ease and owned a house in Rothesay.45

By 1824 Richard and his family were living at 24 Monteith Row off Glasgow Green.46 In 1814 permission had been granted to build a terrace of houses  to front Glasgow Green. The row of houses which was in three sections, was not completed until the1840s. The street was named after Henry Monteith the then Lord Provost of Glasgow. This development had been planned for several years, the plans having been drawn up by architect David Hamilton in 1812. Monteith Row was referred to as the ‘Park Lane ‘ of Glasgow where affluent citizens lived until smoke and industrial development moved them out to the developing West End.47

Figure 4. 1830 Map of Glasgow showing Monteith Row and Morris Place48. Reproduced with the permission of the National Library of Scotland

 In his will Richard Morris refers to his building a three-storey tenement in Monteith Row of which his wife Mary was to receive the  rental as part of her settlement49. As can be seen from the above map there was a short road called Morris Place  between the second third terraces  of Monteith Row which possibly takes its name from the Morris family. Mrs Richard Morris was living at 1 Morris Place in 1831-2.50

Richard had retired from business in August 1827  and died  in Rothesay on 22 October  1827 of cholera morbus  an old medical term for acute gastroenteritis. He was buried in  St Davids (Ramshorn) ‘in Capt Morris Lair’.51

Hugh Morris (1802-1851 )

This Hugh Morris was Richard Morris’s eldest son born around 1802 and the grandfather of our donor. There appears to be no record of his birth at this point but the UK Census of 1851 puts his birth around 1802 or 1803. He attended  Glasgow University from 181852 and then joined the family business.53

On 11 July  1824 Hugh married Mary Baxter  at the Chapel of Ease,Calton.54 Hugh is described as a ‘cloth merchant’. Mary was the daughter of Isaac Baxter who was also a merchant with a business Isaac Baxter & Sonswho were  grocers, confectioners, oilmen and wine merchants  operating from The Italian Warehouse in Candleriggs and from 137 Buchanan Street.55 At some point Isaac bought Rhinsdale  House close to Baillieston on the outskirts of Glasgow56  together with nine acres of land. There is a Rhinsdale  Tavern and a Rhinsdale Crescent in Baillieston today. The house had five bedrooms, a drawing room, dining room and parlour, servants quarters stables and coach house together with a large garden.57

Figure 5.Extract from 1890 Map of Glasgow showing Rhinsdale.58 Reproduced with the Permission of the National Library of Scotland.

Mary and Hugh went on to have at least nine children including another Richard born in 182559, Mary born in 1827, Hugh born in 1830 and our donor’s father Campbell Brisbane Morris  born in 184760. They  appear to have lived for a time at 48 West Nile Street.61

When his father Richard retired in August 1827 Hugh appears to have bought his father’s share of the family business by an agreed series of instalments. When his father died he inherited the family business as well as receiving £3,000 from his father.62

In 1829  the firm of Hugh Morris &Co Cloth Merchants was still operating but from 18 Hutcheson Street.63 By 1832 Hugh had become a partner in the firm of Morris Kirkwood & Co, merchants and warehousemen. Unfortunately the company  and the two partners went bankrupt in 183264  but the following year sees Hugh applying for a discharge of bankruptcy so he must have been able to pay off his various creditors.65 It is difficult to know exactly what was going on as no other details are forthcoming.

The family appears to have gone  to live  at Rhinsdale  House in Baillieston with Mary’s father as Hugh is referred to as ‘Hugh Morris Esquire of Rinsdale’ when his son Hugh Baxter was born in 1828.66 The present A8,Edinburgh Road, cuts through what was once the site of Rhinsdale House and its policies and stood where Kaldi’s (formerly the Little Chef) restaurant stands today at the Baillieston end of the Edinburgh Road.67

 Mary and the children were still at Rhinsdale at the time of the 1841 Census but Hugh was not there. There are two  entries for a Hugh  Morris  of relevant age in the 1841 Census. One, a seaman in Port Glasgow aged 30 and one in Mount Stuart Road in Rothesay aged 35.68 The Rothesay entry would appear to be the closest as the age is about right and we know Hugh’s father  Richard owned a house in Rothesay.69  This Hugh Morris  was said to be of independent means.

We can presume the family remained in Baillieston until Isaac Baxter’s death in 184870 when the house was advertised for rent probably by Mary’s brother Walter.71 As daughter Jane was born in Ardrossan in 1845 and son Campbell in West Kilbride (see below Campbell Baxter Morris) in 184772 perhaps the family then moved to Ayrshire. Certainly by 1851 the family was living at Sandlands House, Seamill.73 Hugh’s occupation in the 1851 Census is given as ‘retired cloth merchant’. Along with wife Mary were five of their children. Mary was twenty, Walter was fourteen, Eliza was eleven, Jane six and our donor’s father Campbell Brisbane was three.

In April 1851 Sandlands House was put up for sale.74 However it had not sold by 4 October of that year when Hugh Morris died.75 He was buried in Glasgow Necropolis.76

Campbell Brisbane Morris (1847-1924)

 Campbell Brisbane Morris our donor’s father was born  on 19 April  1847 at Kenningbrae Cottage, Seamill 77  in the Parish of West Kilbride.78 He was only three years old when his father died. By 1861 aged thirteen he was a pupil at Montgreenan  House School, Kilwinning while his mother, now a widow, lived at Springburn Cottage, Ardrossan  Road, Saltcoats.79

Figure 6. Montgreenan House Kilwinning. © Chris Hawksworth

Montgreenan  House  was built in 1810 by Robert Glasgow  a Glasgow merchant who had bought the Montgreenan Estate in 1794. Robert Glasgow had owned two sugar plantations  and 247 slaves in St Vincent in the West Indies. After Robert Glasgow’s death in 1827 the house was often let out.80

 Montgreenan School was opened in 1849 by Thomas R Wilson who  originally ran a boarding school at North Woodside in Glasgow. The school was  ’For the Education of Young Gentlemen’.81  Thomas R Wilson also taught mathematics. At the time of opening the school had three residential teachers covering Classics, English, Writing and Drawing as well as visiting teachers of French and German, Fencing and Gymnastics, Music and Dancing. Many of the pupils were from the British Colonies.82 We do not know when Hugh started at the school but perhaps he was a pupil on 20 August 1856 when the school went on a trip to The Isle of Arran  but unfortunately missed the last ferry home and had to stay the night on Arran. No doubt the boys found that an adventure.83

There are several examples of the boys donating pocket money to the local poor. For example at Christmas in 1856 they donated £25. There were four mining villages nearby whose inhabitants lived  precarious lives.84 In August 1861 the School moved to Sunderland so presumably Hugh left Montgreenan at that point.85

The 1871 Census puts Hugh age twenty-three at Clydeview Terrace, a row of villas on the north side of Whiteinch in  Partick  with his mother Mary now sixty-eight. His occupation is ‘engineer in steamships.86 On 20 April 1871  at 20 Laurence Place, Partick, Campbell married Jane Smith Wilson, daughter of the late David  Wilson of Rothesay, a grocer and wine and spirit merchant. One of the witnesses at the wedding was Hugh Baxter Morris, Campbell’s elder brother.87

The newly-weds lived at 20 Laurence Place. They had two daughters, Jane born in 1872 and our donor Mary in 1873.88 Sadly Campbell’s wife Jane aged only thirty, died in July 1877 of a long-standing pulmonary complaint. She died at 5  Mount Stuart Road, Rothesay. Perhaps this was her former family home or the house in Rothesay owned by Campbell’s grandfather Richard. Campbell was still a marine engineer at the time of Jane’s death.89

By 1881 Campbell appears to have given up his maritime career as his occupation  in the 1881 Census is given as  ‘calico printer’. The family was living at Primrose Place, 219 Paisley Road. Also in the house was  nephew Hugh Low, a marine  insurance clerk, and a domestic servant called Margaret Milne aged twenty-three. Ten-year old daughter Jane died  the following year of diptheria. She died at 5 Mount Stuart Road, Rothesay.  As has already been suggested perhaps this was her mother’s family home or the house which had been in the  Morris family since the time of Richard Morris.90 Our donor Mary then became an only child. The family was still at Primrose Place in 1891 with Campbell’s occupation now ‘warehouseman/calico printer’ and he was an employee rather than an employer. Margaret Milne was still employed in the house as ‘housekeeper’ now aged thirty-three, assisted by a sixteen-year old domestic servant Janet Jack.91

According to the Valuation Rolls of 1885 Campbell  owned Mansfield Cottage, Howgate, Kilwinning as well as being tenant/occupier of Primrose Place. Mansfied Cottage was rented out.92 He was also a partner in Charles Cassils &Co, Calico Printers based at 13 St Vincent Place in Glasgow. The company went bankrupt in 189893  but by 1901 Campbell seems to have recovered from this as his occupation was that of calico printer but this time he was an employer. He and Mary were now living at 5 Walmer Crescent, Bellahouston with one servant.  Margaret  Milne was  included in the census as a visitor so she must have remained very close to Campbell  and Mary.94

The next census in 1911 tells us that Campbell and Mary had moved to  53  Glencairn Drive,Polloksheilds. Campbell’s occupation was ‘calico  printer/salesman’ and he was now ‘a worker’ rather than an employer. Once again Margaret Milne was  a visitor at the house at the time of the census.

There is no more information concerning Campbell Brisbane Morris until his death on 21 May 1924 at home in Glencairn Drive. He was seventy-six.95

Mary Morris (donor) (1873-1951)

As has been experienced many times before it is always difficult to find information about female donors apart from the little which is contained in official documents such as Census Reports. Mary Morris is no exception to this thus much of Mary’s early life has been covered in the above section about her father.

Mary Morris was born on 27 August 1873 at Primrose Place, Paisley Road Govan.91  Mary was the second daughter, her sister Jane having been born on 14 February  1872.96 The family had moved to Primrose Place ( 219 Paisley Road) in Govan by the time of the 1881 Census. Also living in the family home was Mary Milne, a general domestic servant aged twenty-three. Mary was seven at this time and was at school.

As we know Mary had lost both her mother and her only sister by the time she was  nine years old and she lived with her father and servants. She was at school at the time of the 1881 census . At 17 in1891 Mary was still a scholar97 which was beyond the normal school leaving age at that time and  suggests she may have either been at a private school or had entered further education of some kind but this is speculation.

 Mary’s next home was 5 Walmer Crescent, Bellahouston where she still lived with her father and there is no information as to any occupation. Again, as  at the time of the 1901 census, Margaret Milne was a visitor and again at the time of the 1911 census when the family had moved to Pollokshields and was living at 53 Glencairn Drive. Perhaps Margaret Milne, former housekeeper, had become something of a mother figure to  Mary or perhaps there is some other explanation for her continued presence in the house.

In 1911 Mary who was thirty-two by this time and  unmarried   with no recorded occupation perhaps looked after the house for her father as was the lot of many unmarried daughters. They still had one servant  Williamina Cunningham aged seventeen.98

Mary remained at 53 Glencairn Drive until 193099 when she bought a property at 67 Argyle Road, Saltcoats. This may have been a flat as there was another occupier of that address who appears unconnected to Mary. This remained her address throughout World War II.100 We have no information as to any involvement in war work as it has been impossible to access the 1939 Scottish Register at this time.

 It was in Saltcoats Mary  died on 19 February 1951. Interestingly on her death certificate her occupation is given as ‘artist’ but this was the first mention of any such occupation and so far no information has been found to give more details.101


Many thanks to Chris Hawksworth of  Kilwinning Heritage   for sharing  his research on the Montgreenan Estate and Montgreenan  House.

Many thanks also to Jane Raftery of Glasgow Museums Resource Centre for bringing to my attention the Letter of Marque issued to Captain Hugh Morris in 1777

Notes and References

  1. As well as the portrait Mary Morris donated the following items which are in stored at the Glasgow Museums Resource Centre.

Glasgow Museums  Resource Centre Object Files:

  1. Punch Bowl  ref A.1951.38.a
  2. Vase              ref A1951.38.b
  3. Mustard Mill  ref A 1951.37.c
  4. Letter of Marque 1777.ref A.1951. 37.d (See Above p1)
  5. Two Toddy Ladles  ref A.1951.38.a

2. Statutory Deaths. Mary Morris

3.The name Hugh Morris is very common and although every care has been taken to be accurate the information in the Old Parish Registers is often incomplete and errors do happen unintentionally.

4.  Births OPR 602/10 186

5. Marriages  OPR 622/60 162

6.  Births OPR 622/20 286

7.    eg. David- OPR 574/30/306 ; Robert OPR 574/30/255

8.National Library of Scotland John Tate’s Directory of the City of Glasgow 1785

9.Devine T.M. A Scottish Firm in Virginia. 1767-1777. Clark Constable,1882. pp113,155,201

10.  Naval Documents of the American   Revolution. Volume 1 Part 8

11. As above p 1329


13.op cit. ref 1

14. Chester Courant 01/06/1779 p.2

15. Hampshire Chronicle  17/09/1781 p.2

16.op. cit. Devine p.155

17. McBean W.M.  Biographical Register of the St Andrews Society of the State of New York . Volume II. New York, 1925.

18. Smart, Aileen. Villages of Glasgow . Volume 1  John Donald 1988. P43

19. www.nls.ukJones Directory or Useful Pocket Companion. 1787,1789.


21. Glasgow Courier 01/07/1802

22.  Fleming, Peter Map of the City of Glasgow and its suburbs. 1807.

23.Burgh of Glasgow  Register of Sasines 1801. Mitchell Library Archives 1801 B10/5/10/11

24. Post Office Directories . Glasgow 1801,1806

25.  Deaths OPR 644/1 590 323

26. Deaths  OPR 644/1 610 221

27. Births  OPR 622/20 286

28. Post Office Directories. Glasgow 1806

29. Marriages OPR  644/1 280 66

30. Wills and Testaments. Hugh Morris (junior)

31. Caledonian Mercury  23/08/1819

32. op cit. ref 30

33.  Post Office Directories Glasgow 1810-1820

34. Glasgow Herald 27/11/1820

35. op cit.  ref 30

36. Statutory Births

37. op cit.  ref 17 p.327

38. /family-tree/person/tree17218896

39. as above

40. op cit. ref 15

41. UK Census 1851

42. op cit. ref 34  pp.379/80

43.    Post Office Directories 1806,1809 above 1810-1819

45. Wills and Testaments. Richard Morris

46. Post Office Directories Glasgow 1825

47.   Mitchell Library Archives. The Regality Club. RC4 4th Series. James Macelhose &Sons 1912. P110.

48. maps/nls/towns/rec/7507 City of Glasgow and its Suburbs c1830. Pub James Lumsden & H Wilson Glasgow 1830. Hamilton Street is now London Road.

49. op cit. ref 45

50. http://www.nls/uk  Post Office Directories  Glasgow 1830-31

51. Deaths  OPR 644/1620 182

52. op cit. ref 17

53. www.nls/uk  Post Office Directories  Glasgow 1822

54.  Marriages  OPR 644/1 400 276

55 www.nls/uk Post Office Directories  Glasgow 1828

56. UK Census 1841,1851

57. Glasgow Herald  10/04/1841 p.1

58. Lanarkshire/Baillieston

59. OPR 644/1 320 65

60.  op cit. ref 53

61. www.nls/uk Post Office Directory Glasgow 1828

62. Wills and Testaments. Richard Morris

63. www.nls/uk   Post Office Directories   Glasgow 1829

64. Perthshire Courier 05/04/1832 p.4

65. Scotsman 24/08/1833

66. Births OPR 652/20  113

67.Wilson, Rhona  Old Baillieston, Garrowhill and Easterhouse. Stenlake  Publishing 1997.p26

68. UK Census 1841

69. op.cit. ref 62

70.. Deaths OPR Deaths 644/1 580 9

71. Glasgow Herald 10/04/1848 p.1

72.  Statutory Births. Jane Campbell Morris

73. www.nls/uk Post Office Directories  Ayrshire 1851-2

74. Glasgow Herald  07/04/1851

75. Glasgow Herald  10/10/1851 p.5

76. The Glasgow and West of Scotland Family History Society. The Glasgow Necropolis. DVD 2012 .KAP104a

77. Glasgow Chronicle  28/04/1847 p.8

78. Births OPR 620/30 239

79. UK Census 1861

80Chris Hawksworth Kilwinning Heritage  

81. Greenock Advertiser 15/01/1861 p.2

82. op cit.  Ref 80

83. Ardrossan and Saltcoats Herald 23/08/1856 p.2

84. Scottish Guardian  16/03/1855 p.3

85. Dundee Courier 02/08/1861 p.1

86.UK Census 1871

87. Statutory Marriages

88. Statutory Births

89. Statutory Deaths

90. as above

91. UK Census 1891  Valuation Rolls 1885

93. Edinburgh Evening News 07/05/1898 p.4

94. UK Census 1901 Statutory Deaths

96  Statutory Births.

97. UK Census 1891

98. UK Census 1911

99.  Valuation Rolls 1920,1925

100.  as above 1930

101.  Statutory Deaths

Family and Trustees of Reverend Robert Buchanan DD (1802-1875)

 Donors-Family and Trustees of Reverend Robert Buchanan (1802-1875)

Figure 1. The Reverend Robert Buchanan DD, by Norman Macbeth ARSA 1872 . © CSGCIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries. Acc 883

This painting was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy Annual Exhibition in 1873.1The subject is the Reverend Robert Buchanan DD, Minister of the Free Church College Church in Lyndoch Street Glasgow . He is painted wearing the robes of the Moderator of the Free Church sitting to the right of stairs leading to the entrance of the Free Church College in Edinburgh. The portrait was donated to Glasgow Corporation  by the family and trustees of the late Robert Buchanan in a letter dated 5 July 1898 from Messrs McKenzie Robertson and Co Writers.2 The donation was made after the death of Mrs Elizabeth Stoddart Buchanan in April 1898.3

Robert Buchanan  was born in St Ninians, Stirling on 15 August  1802. He was the sixth son of Alexander Buchanan, a brewer and farmer. He was educated at the University of Glasgow (1817-20) and then at the University of Edinburgh (1820-25). He was first licensed as a preacher in the Church of Scotland by the Presbytery of Dunblane in 1825. Buchanan served briefly as tutor to the Drummond family of Blair Drummond and through their influence was ordained  minister to the Parish of Gargunnock in 1826. He then served in the parish of Saltoun in East Lothian from 1829 to 1833.

In 1833 a vacancy arose at the prestigious Tron Church in Glasgow where Thomas Chalmers had begun his Glasgow ministry. Buchanan was called to fill this charge and so began the most important part of his career. At the time the bulk of the congregation were not from the area surrounding the Tron Church around Glasgow Cross but from a much wider area to the west  which had a growing and much more affluent population.

Robert Buchanan agreed with the views of Thomas Chalmers regarding the missionary work of the church among the poor of the city, the importance of setting up and maintaining  schools as well as Chalmers’ evangelical views. He did much work in the Wynds, a very poor area around Glasgow Cross and was instrumental in raising money for several new churches.

In fact Robert Buchanan became one of the leading figures in the evangelical wing of the Church of Scotland in the west. The story of the Disruption of the Church of Scotland in 1843 is well-known and need not be repeated here except to state that Robert Buchanan was a leading figure during the period leading up to the Disruption. He represented the dissenting evangelical majority party in the negotiations with the Westminster government in London to try to resolve the situation. It was Buchanan who moved the ‘Independence Resolution’ at the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1838 where the majority refused to defer to the civil courts in spiritual matters especially in the appointment of  church ministers. Buchanan was one of the signatories to the  Disruption document in 1843.

Figure 2. First General Assembly of the Free Church of Scotland. Signing of the Deed of Demission at Tanfield May 1843. By Amelia Robertson Hill, after David Octavius Hill. © The Hunterian, University of Glasgow.

After the Disruption Buchanan took his congregation from the Tron Church  and for a while held church services in Glasgow City Hall which had opened in 1840. The congregation then moved to the new Dundas Street Free Church opened in 1844.4 In 1857 a new church was opened in Lyndoch Street adjacent to the recently opened Free Church College for the training of ministers which was designed by architect Charles Wilson. The Free  Church College Church was also  designed by Charles Wilson at the cost of £10,000.5 Robert Buchanan was invited to be  minister of the new church a post which he accepted.

Figure 3. Free Church College ,31 Lyndoch Street from Sauchiehall St c 1900. © CSGCIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries.     

 In 1847 on the death of Thomas Chalmers, Buchanan  became the Convener of the Sustentation Fund, the financial system devised by Chalmers  whereby the  richer congregations of the Free Church subsidised the poorer. For thirty years he managed this fund, giving the Free Church a sound financial footing and earning the respect of his contemporaries. Such was thought to be Buchanan’s influence on the Free Church that the caricaturist of the satirical magazine The Bailie portrayed him as its ‘puppet master’.

Figure 4. The Puppet Master. © CSGCIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries.

 The Ten Years of Conflict  was Buchanan’s  scholarly account of the Disruption which went a long way to justify to the public the actions of those who ‘went out’. He also published  Clerical Furloughs an account of a visit to the Holy Land in 1860.6

In 1860  Robert Buchanan was elected Moderator of the Free Church of Scotland which showed the high esteem in which he was held.7

Figure 5. The Moderator and Ex-Moderators of the Free Church of Scotland Assembly 1860. Photograph John Moffat. © National Galleries of Scotland

His congregation at the Free Church College Church ,along with other subscribers, also showed their appreciation of their minister when in  August 1864  the sum of 4000 guineas was presented to Robert Buchanan  at a reception at the Queens Hotel in George Square, part of what is now the Millenium Hotel. The gift was  presented, ‘as a tribute to his private worth and to his public labours as a citizen of Glasgow’. Mrs Buchanan was presented with ,” a silver epergne and appendage’.8 The same congregation  commissioned our portrait.9

Robert Buchanan continued as senior pastor to the Free Church College Church  as well as serving the city of Glasgow in many ways. For example he was elected to the newly formed Glasgow School Board in 1873.10 In  the winter of 1874 when he went to Rome to take charge of the Free Church in Rome for the winter, his wife and two of his daughters went with him. While there he caught a cold and died on 31 March  1875. He had just been appointed the next Principal of the Free Church College in Glasgow.11 

The body was brought back to Glasgow by members of the family. Robert Buchanan was buried in the Glasgow Necropolis on 18 May  1875. According to the Glasgow Herald which reported the funeral in great detail, 15000 people lined the streets to see the funeral cortege. Among the many of Glasgow’s most notable citizens who walked behind the coffin were the Lord Provost, the Dean of Guild and the Deacon Convenor.12

The Buchanan Family (1)

Robert Buchanan was first married in 1828 to Ann Handyside in Edinburgh. They had six children of whom three survived to adulthood. Alexander was born in 1829,Hugh in 1831 and Ann Wingate in 1837. Sadly Buchanan’s wife Ann died in 1840.13 In 1841 Robert and two of the boys were living in Richmond  Street  Glasgow which is now the site of one of the University of Strathclyde buildings.14 Alexander became an engineer and spent most of his adult life in Derby15 and as we shall see he was one of the trustees of his father’s estate.

Hugh attended The High School of Glasgow16 which until 1878 was situated between John Street and Montrose Street. The High School of Glasgow began in the twelfth century as the Glasgow Cathedral Choir School. It was absorbed into The Glasgow School Board in the early 1870s only to become an Independent School once again in the 1970s.17

Figure 6. Location of  High School of Glasgow  1840s. © National Library of Scotland

Hugh died in 1852 aged only twenty. He  is recorded in the 1851 census as being a warehouseman. As he died in Georgetown, Demerara one can only assume  that he had gone out there to improve his prospects.18

In 1843 Robert Buchanan   married again to Elizabeth Stoddart who was born in Hertfordshire in 1825.19 Daughter  Ann lived in the family home until her marriage to John McLaren on 22 August  1861.20 John McLaren is recorded in various census reports as being a merchant. He must have been fairly prosperous as in the 1871 census he and Ann were living at 5 Belhaven Terrace, a prestigious address off Great Western Road and they had five  servants. They had six  children between 1864 and 1876.21

Buchanan Family (2)

Elizabeth and Robert went on to have six children between 1844 and 1855.

  • Charlotte Gordon born 1844
  • Elizabeth born 1846
  • Lawrence Barton born 1847
  • Isabella McCallum born 1849
  • Harriet Rainy born 1852
  • Edith Gray born 185522

The family moved to 11Sandyford Place, Sauchiehall Street around184523 and then to 2 Sandyford Place around 184824  where they remained until Robert Buchanan’s death in 1875.25 The family then dispersed, several to live in England as we shall see.

By the time of the 1881 census Mrs Buchanan had moved to 192 Berkley Street, Glasgow and was living with two servants. She then moved to London as the 1891 census puts her at 52 Ladbroke Grove, Kensington where she was living with her unmarried daughter Harriet and her granddaughter Louise McLaren, daughter of her stepdaughter Ann. Elizabeth Stoddart Buchanan died at this address in 1898.26 As we have seen it was after their mother’s death that the portrait was donated to Glasgow by the family and trustees of Robert Buchanan, though there was no mention of the portrait in  Elizabeth’s will. One of the trustees was Alexander Buchanan, eldest son of Robert Buchanan’s first wife Ann Handyside.27

Charlotte Gordon Buchanan (1844-1919)

There is very little information about the life of Charlotte Buchanan except for the minimal detail provided on census records. She was born in 1844,presumably at 11 Sandyford Place and would have moved to 2 Sandyford Place along with the family around 1848.28There she remained until her father’s death in 1875 when the family was dispersed. Charlotte accompanied her parents on the trip  to Rome in 1874 and it was she who sent the simple telegram, ‘Father died suddenly last night’ to her  step-sister Ann’s husband  John McLaren  to inform the world at large of her father’s death.29

Charlotte was staying with her sister Mrs Edith Gray Wilson at 9 Woodside Crescent, Glasgow at the time of the 1881 census.30She does not appear in the 1891 census but by 1901 Charlotte had moved to London and was living at 31 Hawke Road, Upper Norwood in a  ten bedroom house called St Ninians which was the name of the village outside Stirling where her father had been born. Perhaps she moved to London to be near other members of the family who had moved there. She is still at that address in 1911 and is said to be ‘of independent means’.31 Charlotte died in London on 5 September  1919. 32

Elizabeth McAlpine Thornton  (1846-1932)

Figure 7. Elizabeth c. 1875. Photography Ralston & Sons Whitby Ontario. © Public Domain.

Elizabeth was born in 1846 and lived in the Buchanan’s family home at 2 Sandyford Place 33 until her marriage to the Reverend Robert McAlpine Thornton on July 20th 1871. Robert McAlpine  was the minister of Knox’s Presbyterian Church, Montreal at the time of the marriage.34The marriage ceremony was performed by Elizabeth’s father. Robert became minister of Wellpark  Free Church in the east end of Glasgow  around 1872.35 As with most women of the time it was Elizabeth’s husband’s life which is on record rather than her own.

Robert Thornton was born in Ontario, Canada ,the second son of the Reverend Robert Hill Thornton who had been called to Whitby Township, Ontario in 1833 as minister of the first Presbyterian Church and who went on to have a distinguished career as founder of several churches and schools and was also Superintendent of Education until his death in 1875. Robert McAlpine Thornton was one of ten children.36In 1881 the Reverend and Mrs Thornton were living at 12 Annfield Place, Dennistoun, Glasgow along with three sons. Kenneth Buchanan was seven, David Stoddart was five and Robert Hill was four.37

The family moved to London around 1883 as Reverend Thornton was called to be minister of Camden Road Presbyterian Church.38By this time four more children had been born. Margaret Elizabeth  was  six, Edith Wilson was seven and John McLaren was aged one. The family were living at 72 Carleton Road, North Islington.39

The Reverend Thornton had a distinguished career. He raised large sums for the African Missions.40 The Mail reported on the 25 November 1910 that  he was unanimously chosen as Moderator of the next Synod  of the Presbyterian Church of England which was to meet in Manchester in May 1911.

1898 the Reverend Thornton was one of many ministers who contributed to what was to be the third edition of Charles Booth’s Life and Labour of the People of London  which was published in seventeen volumes 1902-3.41The Thorntons were still at 72 Carleton Road  in 190142. In 1911 Robert visited his son Robert Hill Thornton in Whitley Bay ,Northumberland where he was a Church of England Minister. Robert Junior was married with two children. Elizabeth was at home with the children at 18 Hilldrop Road North London.43

The Reverend Robert Thornton died in London on 19 July  1913. His death was marked by a complimentary obituary in the London Times.44 It was perhaps fortunate he did not live to experience the sadness of the death of his youngest son John McLaren who was killed in action in Flanders in 1916.45 At the time of Robert’s death the family were living in Elgin Crescent Notting Hill46 and it was there that Elizabeth died on 28 March 1932 aged 86.47

Lawrence Barton Buchanan (1847-1926)

Born about 1847  Lawrence lived at the family home at 2 Sandyford Place.48He attended Glasgow Academy, Glasgow’s oldest independent school founded in 1845 and which was in Elmbank Street at that time. Lawrence’s father had been involved in setting up the school.49


Figure 8. Original Glasgow Academy building, Elmbank Street . High School of Glasgow from 1878. Porticos added by High School. © CSGCIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries.

 William Campbell of Tullichewan, founder of the drapery and warehouse emporium  J&W Campbell50 had been instrumental in setting up the school. He was a generous benefactor to the  Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow Botanic Gardens and to the Free Church of Scotland among many others. In May 1845 William Campbell convened a meeting  with Free Church ministers at the Star Hotel in George Square to discuss the possibility of setting up ‘ an academic Institution in the city’. Dr Robert Buchanan, Lawrence’s father and then Minister of the Tron Church, proposed that ‘an academic Institution shall be established for the purpose of teaching youth the various branches of secular knowledge, based upon strictly  evangelical principles and pervaded by religious instruction’. This was unanimously agreed by those present. A school of 400 pupils was envisaged. Although admission of girls was discussed this did not happen for another 145 years. Lawrence’s father headed a committee charged with selecting the  headmaster and staff of the school. The first headmaster or rector as he was known was James Cumming, who was appointed in January 1846.  The  school was built in Elmbank Street, Charing Cross  and was designed by Charles Wilson. It was financed by the issuing of 200 shares at £40 each.51 In 1878 the school moved to Colebrooke Street  Kelvinbridge  and the Elmbank Street premises were sold to the High School of Glasgow which was taken over by the Glasgow School Board after the passing of the 1872 Education(Scotland )Act.52

The Glasgow Post Office Directory of 1874-5 tells us that Lawrence was a ‘writer’ meaning a lawyer, working for Bannantyne, Kirkwood and McJannets, a legal firm, at 145 West George Street,  while still living in the family home. After his father’s death in 1875  Lawrence moved to 17 Ashton Lane, Hillhead which remained his address until about 188053 by which time he was a writer with premises at 190 West George Street but living at ‘Fernlea’ in Bearsden.54

On 28 May 1877 The Glasgow Herald reported the laying of the foundation stone of the Buchanan Memorial Free Church in Caledonia Road ,Oatlands. Lawrence attended the ceremony and spoke of his father’s work  and ‘expressed the hope that the Church…would be the means of prospering Christian work in the district.’ The church was designed by Glasgow architect John Honeyman.

Lawrence married Elizabeth(Lizzie) Agnes McLachlan in October 1877 in St Pancras in London.55Lizzie was the daughter of  Elizabeth McLachlan and the late David McLachlan.56 David McLachlan  had been first a wine and spirit merchant with premises in Oxford Street ,Glasgow and also had  business dealings in London.57 In June 1868 he took over the George Hotel at 74 George Square at the  east corner of what is now Glasgow City Chambers.58                                                                                                                               

Figure 9. George Square from the south-east c1829 by Joseph Swan. © CSGCIC  Glasgow Museums and Libraries. Carriages can be seen depositing patrons outside The George Hotel far right

George Square had undergone many changes since it was laid out in  1781.59 At the time of the Jacobite Rising in 1745 it was a marsh surrounded by meadowlands and kitchen gardens.60 At the beginning of the nineteenth century it was still ,’a hollow filled with green water and a favourite resort for drowning puppies ,cats and dogs while the banks of  this suburban pool were the slaughtering place of horses’.61 Building began around 1789  with a series of elegant town houses. The only statue in 1829 was that of Sir John Moore, erected in 1819.62 As Glasgow prospered the town houses of George Square were taken over by commercial enterprises and hotels.

By the 1860s  George Square had many hotels. Along the western side for example was The Edinburgh and Glasgow Chop House and Commercial Lodgings. In 1849 this had been taken over by George Cranston, father of Catherine Cranston who became famous later in the nineteenth century for her tearooms. The Chop house was renamed  The Edinburgh and Glasgow Hotel and then Cranston’s Hotel. Around 1855 the  town houses on the  north side of the square were converted into the Royal, the Crown and the Queen’s Hotel. This  expansion was possibly as the result of the opening  of the Edinburgh and Glasgow  Railway with  its Queen Street Station (known as Dundas Street station at first) in  1842. David McLachlan became a well-known Glasgow hotel keeper.63 After  her husband’s death in 187264  Elizabeth McLachlan took over the running of the  hotel and when the George Hotel was due for demolition to make way for the new Glasgow City Chambers Elizabeth McLachlan took over the Queen’s Hotel at 40 George Square   and later changed the name  to the George Hotel.65

Figure 10. George Square c. 1868. © CSGCIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries.The George Hotel can be seen in the far right corner. The Queen’s Hotel can be seen  on the far left . 

One  can only speculate how  Lawrence and Lizzie met  but  in  February 1877 Lawrence, in his capacity as a lawyer, defended Mrs Elizabeth McLachlan when she was prosecuted for a breach of the George Hotel licence.66 If this was when they first met and they were married the following October it must have a whirlwind romance or perhaps Lawrence had been acting as Mrs McLachlan’s lawyer for some time as his office was in nearby West George Street. Why they married in London  raises  a question unless it was because, as we have seen, Lawrence’s mother and other members of his family had moved to London by then.

By the time of the 1881 census Lawrence and Lizzie had three children. May Hamilton  aged four was born in France rather unusually. A second daughter Ethel Howard was born in England about 1879 and a son Lawrence Gordon in New Kirkpatrick, Dumbarton in May 1880.67

Around 1880-1 Lawrence’s life seems to have taken a different direction. At the time of the  1881 census Lawrence and his family  were living  at 40 George Square  Glasgow at  the Queen’s Hotel, later renamed The George Hotel. He and his mother-in-law, Elizabeth McLachlan,  were listed as hotel keepers.68  What made Lawrence decide to give up the legal profession and take up that of  hotel keeper is not known but it turned out to be a fortuitous  decision. On 14 October  1881 Mrs McLachlan died suddenly of ‘apoplexy’.69 She was only 58 years old.70 There had been a serious fire at the George in July 1881 which had destroyed a third of the roof. The Glasgow Herald  commented that the damage was around £200 and even though the premises were insured ‘the loss to the lessee of the hotel was considerable‘.71 Perhaps the stress of the fire  caused  the stroke.

Lawrence was proprietor of the George Hotel for the next ten  years.72 Sometime in 1890 The George was taken over by J. Fritz Rupprecht73  who previously owned the  Alexandra Hotel  at 148 Bath Street.74The name of the hotel was changed to the North British Railway Hotel sometime in 1891.75 Then in 1903 this hotel and the Royal at 50 George Square were bought by the North British Railway Company and became one hotel. This is today the Millennium Hotel.76

There is no trace of either Lawrence or his wife after about 1890. They do not appear in the 1891 census. The only clue we have is contained in Lawrence’s mother’s will. When she wrote her will in July 1893 she commented that her son was  living in Stuttgart in Germany but no reason for this is given.77 Neither  do they appear in the UK  census of 1901 but by 1911 Lawrence, aged 64, was back in the UK living in Saffron Waldon with his wife ,daughter May and  son Lawrence. His occupation was given as ‘retired solicitor’.78 Lawrence Buchanan died on 31 July  1926  at 2 London Lane, Bromley Kent aged 79 and was buried in Plaistow Cemetery in Bromley.79

Isabella McCallum Bruce (1849-1908)

Isabella Buchanan lived in the  family home at 2 Sandyford Place until at least 1871 according to the census of that year. There is no trace of her in the 1881 census.80 She married Thomas Boston Bruce who was a barrister. They married at the British Consul in Rome on 26 February 1885.81 Thomas was six or seven years younger than Isabella. It is not known at this time why the wedding took place in Rome. In 1891 the Bruces were living at 22 Ladbrooke Grove in Kensington. They had three children by this time. Charles Gordon was  four, Isabel M  two and Rosamund was one.  There were four servants living in the house demonstrating that the Bruces were quite prosperous.82 Another daughter Elizabeth Winifred was born about 1894.83 As we have seen several members of the Buchanan family had moved to London by this time and Isabella’s mother was living close by at 52 Ladbroke Grove at the time of her death in 1898.

According to the 1901 Census the Bruce family were at  2 Lunham Road Upper Norwood. Thomas Boston Bruce had  chambers at 32 Camden House Chambers, Kensington at the time of his death. 84 There is very little information forthcoming about the Bruces except that gleaned from the census records. We do know that the eldest son, Charles Gordon followed in his grandfather’s footsteps and became a minister of the church though it was the Church of England rather than the Free Church of the Reverend Robert Buchanan.85 Isabella died at the Lunham Road address on 5 January 1908 aged 59.86

Harriet Rainey Buchanan (1852-1925)

Harriet was probably given her middle name in honour of the Reverend Robert Rainey, a friend and colleague of her father. Robert Rainey was a leading figure in the Free Church of Scotland and was for many years  Principal of New College Edinburgh, the first training college for Free  Church ministers in Scotland after the Disruption.87 Harriet lived at the family home in Sandyford Place until the death of her father in 1875.There is no trace of her in 1881 but by 1891 she was living with her mother at 52 Ladbroke Grove ,Kensington.88Her sister Isabella was living at 22 Ladbroke Grove at this time. After her mother’s death in 1898 Harriet appears to have moved in with her eldest sister Charlotte in Hawke Road, Norwood. Also living in the house was niece Margaret Thornton, daughter of elder sister Elizabeth and Robert McAlpine Thornton.89

At the time of the census in 1911 Harriet was staying with her sister  Edith Gray Stewart who was married to Robert Barr Stewart ,a  solicitor. Their home was  Hillfoot House ,New Kilpatrick. It appears the middle classes were already moving to Bearsden by this time.90

In all the census reports consulted Harriet is said to be ‘living on her own means’ and there is no evidence of her having a paid occupation. Like her eldest sister Charlotte Harriet never married. Harriet died in Edinburgh of pneumonia in October 1925 aged 73. At the time of her death she was living in Eglinton Crescent , Edinburgh. Her death was registered by her brother-in-law Robert who by this time was living at 4 Huntley Gardens, Glasgow.91

Edith Gray Stewart (1855-1938)

Edith was the youngest of the children of  Robert and  Elizabeth Buchanan. She lived in the family home in Sandyford Place92 until her marriage on 4 November 1874. She was nineteen when she married Dr James George Wilson, Professor of Midwifery at Anderson’s College Glasgow.93 Dr Wilson was more than twice Edith’s age and already had a home at 9 Woodside Place in Glasgow’s west end.94 Dr Wilson died  on 4 March 1881 at the age of 52.95 Edith  remarried in the spring of 1887 to  Robert Barr Stewart, Writer to the Signet and Notary  Public. They were married in Kensington possibly because, as we have established, Edith’s mother and other members of the family were living in London by this time. Edith’s brother-in-law the Reverend  Robert  McAlpine Thornton assisted at the wedding.96 In 1891 Edith and Robert were living in Inverallen Place ,Stirling97 and later moved to Carronvale Road, Larbert.98

They moved again to Hillfoot House in Bearsden along with their two children . Alex was 22 at this time  and Lillian was twenty.99 At the time of their deaths the Barr Stewart’s usual residence was 4 Huntley Gardens Glasgow. Edith died of cerebral thrombosis at Balmenoch, Comrie Road Crieff on 21 September  1938 aged 84. Her death was registered by her daughter Lilian, now Oldham.100 Less than a month later on 20 October  Edith’s husband Robert died in Perth.101

The Buchanans appear to have been a very close family. Through the years we have seen numerous examples of members of the family visiting one another, living with one another and generally supporting one another. Even as late as 1939 when she was in her eighties we find Lawrence Buchanan’s widow Lizzie and unmarried daughter May  either visiting or living with the Reverend Charles Gordon Bruce , the son of Lawrence’s sister Isabella.102


  1. Baile de Laparriere (editor). The RSA Exhibition 1826-1990. 1991
  2. Minutes of Glasgow Corporation Parks and Gardens Committee July 6th
  3. Statutory Deaths. Elizabeth Stoddart Buchanan
  4. Stephen, Sir Leslie (editor). Dictionary of National Biography.(DNB). OUP, 1921
  5. Morning Post 02/04/1875
  6. Op cit 4
  7. http:/
  8. Glasgow Herald (GH) 08/08/1864
  9. Op cit 5
  10. Op cit 5
  11. GH 05/04/1875
  12. GH 19/05/1875
  13. Op cit 4
  14. UK Census Records 1841
  15. UK Census Records 1861-1891
  16. GH 29/091846
  18. Inverness Courier 28/10/1852
  19. Op cit 4
  20. Marriages
  21. UK Census Records 1871,1881
  22. Ibid 1851,1861
  23. Glasgow Post Office Directory (GPOD)1845
  24. Ibid 1848
  25. UK Census Records 1881
  26. Will of Elizabeth Stoddart Buchanan
  27. ibid
  28. UK Census Records 1851-1881
  29. GH 01/04/1875
  30. UK Census Records 1881
  31. UK Census Records 1891-1911
  32. England and Wales National Probate
  33. UK Census Records 1851-1871
  34. Statutory Marriages
  35. GH 26/09/1874
  37. UK Census Records
  38. London Times 21/07/1913 Obituary Reverend R. M. Thornton
  39. UK Census Records
  40. 0p cit 28
  41. Charles Booth Online Archive . Ref Booth B213 pp2-10** check
  42. UK Census Records 1901
  43. Ibid 1911
  44. Op cit 38
  45. University of London Student Records 1836-1945.Role of War Service
  46. Op cit 32
  47. Deaths
  48. UK Census Records 1851-1871
  49. McLeod, Iain The Glasgow Academy.150 Years. Glasgow Academy 1997 pp1-9
  50. Lt Colonel Henry Alastair Campbell OBE
  51. Op cit McLeod
  53. Glasgow Post Office Directories1876-1881
  54. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1880-81
  55. General Record Office. Marriage Certificate. Lawrence Barton Buchanan and Lizzie Agnes McLachlan 02/10/1877
  56. GH 25/07/1872
  57. UK Census Records 1851
  58. GH 11/06/1868
  59. Sommerville,Thomas A History of George Square. Glasgow 1891 p12
  60. Ibid p9
  61. Ibid p12
  62. Ibid p26
  63. ibid p43
  64. North British Daily Mail 03/07/1874
  65. Glasgow Evening News and Star 04/12/1880
  66. GH 24/02/1877
  67. Births
  68. UK Census Records 1881
  69. Dundee Evening Telegraph 15/10/1881
  70. Deaths
  71. GH 11/07/1881
  72. Glasgow Post Office Directories 1881-1891
  73. Dundee Courier and Argus 23/12/1890
  74. Glasgow Evening News 08/03/1890
  75. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1891-2
  77. Op cit 26
  78. UK Census Records1901,1911
  79. London Times 03/08/1926
  80. UK Census Records1851-1881
  81. Dundee Courier 02/03/1885
  82. UK Census Records 1891
  83. Ibid 1901
  84. England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966
  85. Ibid
  86. Op cit 54
  87. Robert Rainey DD 1826-1906 DNB
  88. UK Census Records 1861-1891
  89. Ibid 1901
  90. Ibid 1911
  91. Deaths
  92. UK Census Records 1861,1871
  93. Marriages
  94. UK Census Records 1871
  95. Deaths
  96. ibid Statutory Marriages
  97. UK Census Records 1891
  98. Ibid 1901
  99. Ibid 1911
  100. Deaths
  101. Ibid
  102. 1939 England and Wales>search>collection

Illustrations Notes:

Figure 2. Amelia Robertson Hill was the wife of David Octavius Hill. The original was painted by David Octavius Hill between 1843 and 1866 and is owned by the Free Church of Scotland.

Figure 3. Mitchell Library Special Collections. Virtual Mitchell Ref C2607

Figure 4. The Baillie No 29 May 1873

Figure 5. National Galleries of Scotland .ID PGP751

Figure 6.

Figure 7. Whitby Online Historic Photographs Collection.


Figure 8. Mitchell Library Special Collections. Virtual Mitchell Ref C5141

Figure 9. Mitchell Library Special Collections. Ref GC914.14353 SWA

Figure 10. Mitchell Library Special Collections. Ref C8571

Mrs Alice Clara Grahame (1864-1954)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Figure 4. Link between John Crum Grahame and Humphrey Ewing Maclae. © J.M Macaulay.

Figure 5. Link between John Crum Grahame and Major Thomas Grahame of Whitehill. © J.M Macaulay.

Figure 4. John Crum Grahame © R.Purvis.

John Crum Grahame (1870-1952)

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

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

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

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

Donor. Mrs A. C Grahame  1864-1954 

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

Figure 5. Dining Room Kinaldy House © R.Purvis.

Figure 6. Kinaldy House near St. Andrews Fife. © R.Purvis.

Figure 7. Wilhelmina Purvis (or Berry) of Newport on Tay. By William Clark Wontner 1897. © R.Purvis.

Figure 8. John Purvis of Kinaldy by C. Goldsborough R.A. 1897. © R.Purvis.

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

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

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

1870s. Schooldays at home  and abroad.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 1880s. The Social Whirl 

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

Mina writes in February 1880:

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

John Purvis replied:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1890s.   Travel and More Travel

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 1900-1905. A Difficult Time 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 1905-1914 Married at Last

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Figure14. Jack 1910. © R.Purvis.

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

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

War Years 1914-18 

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

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

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

From 1918                                                                    

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Appendix.   The Hawaii Connection

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

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

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


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



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


Christopher Bell Sherriff OBE TD (1896-1967)

Donor – Christopher Bell Sherriff OBE TD (1896-1967)

The Painting

Highland Croft by Alexander Fraser (2)
Fig. 1 A Highland Croft by  Alexander Fraser RSA( 1827-1899) Acc 2552 © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collection

This painting was presented to Glasgow by Christopher Bell Sherriff (CBS) on 18th March 1946.1 There does not appear to be any record of the painting being exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy or in any other exhibition.2

There is reference to an oil painting by Alexander Fraser in the inventory of Carronvale House, the family home of the Sherriff family in Larbert, Stirlingshire, from about 1857.This inventory appears in the trust papers of John Bell Sherriff, grandfather of  CBS who died in 1896. Unfortunately the painting is not named but is hung in the dining room.3 Again, on the death of George Sherriff, father of CBS, who died in 1908, an oil painting by Alexander Fraser appears in the inventory of Carronvale House. This time the painting is given the name, Moorland Scene and again is hung in the dining room. There does not appear to be any record of a painting by that name executed by Alexander Fraser . Looking at the painting one could speculate that whoever compiled the inventory ,a lawyer’s clerk perhaps with little specialist knowledge, might give our painting that name as that is what he saw, rather than the name given by the artist.4

Were the Sherriff family art collectors? The two inventories of the contents of Carronvale House refer to many oil paintings, watercolours and drawings scattered throughout the house. These include works by James Faed, W.C Faed and Horatio McCulloch as well as books on painting in various rooms in the house. George Sherriff, father of CBS, was also a talented amateur photographer, with a “Photography Room” complete with equipment in Carronvale House. CBS’s sister Flora was a talented amateur artist and contributed to a book on the local area.5 Whether or not the many paintings in the house were merely the “wall furniture” normal in the home of a wealthy family at that time one cannot say for certain but it appears that at least some of the family had more than a passing interest in art.6

The Sherriff Family Origins

The Sherriff family originally came from East Lothian. CBS’s great-great grandfather, Thomas Sherriff, a wheel and cartwright, had come to the Carron area in 1760, attracted by the work on offer from the Carron Ironworks which had opened in 1759.7 On 12th December 1861 Thomas married Marion Cowie at Bothkennar. Between 1762 and 1780 they had four sons and three daughters. The eldest son was George (1768-1843), great-grandfather of CBS. George was born in Stenhousemuir on 8th May.8

George Sherriff (1768-1843)

George appears to have been the one who started the Sherriffs on the road to prosperity. He went to work for the Carron Iron Company at an early age. This was a period of rapid technological development in the science of engineering and in particular in new developments and improvements in the steam engine and when Scotland was producing many of its best inventors. George must have done well, as at the age of 18 he went to work for the firm of Boulton and Watt at the Soho works in Birmingham. There he stayed for two years learning the trade of engineering.9

In 1789 the engineer John Rennie was asked to erect a Boulton and Watt engine in Copenhagen and George Sherriff assisted with the installation on site. By this time there were many Scots  working in Russia, employed by the Imperial Government and headed by Charles Gascoigne who had been poached from the Carron Iron Company.10  It had been Admiral Greig, an admiral in the Russian imperial navy, who had first suggested the employment of Scottish engineers to Catherine the Great.11 George saw opportunity here and turned up in the autumn of 1789 at the foundry in Petrozavodsk, where the Scots had the task of improving production. George worked for and with Gascoigne until the end of 1792 when he was released with a testimonial to his satisfactory work. He remained in Russia ” gradually amassing a substantial sum of money”.  While still in the service of Russia on 12th September 1792 he married Sarah Roper of Kirkaldy, the daughter of one of Gascoigne’s original artisans. Sadly Sarah died on 26th September 1793 at Petrozavodsk,shortly after giving birth to a daughter, also Sarah.12

George came to the notice of the Russian Royal family when in 1797 Gascoigne sent him to St Petersburgh to install a steam engine at the Royal Mint. Sherriff is mentioned in a letter from Rennie in September 1799 as a “man skilled in the construction of steam engines which he has completed at the Bank mint.13” Tsar Alexander 1st gave George a tortoise-shell snuff box with his portrait on the lid. Tsar Nicholas gave him a silver medallion. In 1799 George returned to Britain and in 1804 opened the Dalderse Iron Foundry near Falkirk. He acquired two more acres of the lands of Dalderse close to the foundry and built Abbotshaugh House. 14 George took an active part in the local community, a habit which appears to have been passed down the following generations of the Sherriff family. He helped to raise funds for Grahamston Subscription School, completed in 1810, and contributed to the building of a new steeple in Falkirk. In 1806, already a mason, he became a member of Falkirk Masonic Lodge.15

On 5th February 1808 George married for the second time. His bride was Margaret Bell of Camelon, daughter of a prosperous merchant John Bell. Six children were born at Abbotshaugh, three girls and three boys, one of whom ,John Bell Sherriff grandfather of our donor CBS, was born in 1821.The Dalderse Foundry was not a success and  had to close in 1810,many of the workers moving to the new Falkirk Iron Works.

Around 1823 George returned to Russia, presumably to work for the Russian Government again. From that time Abbotshaugh seems to have been occupied by members of his wife’s family, the Bells.16 Margaret Bell died in St Petersburg on April 1826, giving birth to the youngest son Alexander. She was thirty- nine. George died on 10th December 1843 aged 75. He is buried in Russia at Tautilo Deravino.17

John Bell Sherriff (1821-1896) (JBS)

The UK Census for 1851 tells us that our donor’s  grandfather was living with his mother’s family the Bells at Abbotshaugh House, was 20 years old and a medical student. He abandoned medicine to join his uncle Christopher Bell in business in Glasgow. He later started up in business on his own account. According to the 1849-50 Glasgow Post Office Directory JBS was a merchant and agent for A&J Dawson, St Magdalene Distillery Linlithgow and in the 1851 UK Census he was a wine and spirit merchant, living in Westercommon Craighall Road, Glasgow. The 1854-5 Glasgow Post Office Directory lists JBS as merchant and agent for St Magdalene Distillery Linlithgow and Lochindaal Distillery  Islay with offices at 9 Virginia Street and bonded stores in St Andrews Lane.

In 1854 in Stepney, London, JBS married Flora Taylor who was born in Islay. She was the daughter of Colin Taylor who had been a general retail merchant in Killarow, Bowmore,Islay. 18 In 1859 he bought Lochindaal Distillery at Port Charlotte, Islay.19

Whether the connection with the Taylors on Islay influenced the purchase of Lochindaal one can only speculate. The Taylor family were also owners of the Lochhead distillery in Campbeltown (William Taylor & Company) and JBS went into partnership with John Taylor.20 When John Taylor died in 1857 JBS became the   surviving partner.21

Carronvale House-Falkirk Local history society
Fig. 2 Carronvale House  Larbert. © Falkirk Local History Society

JBS bought the Carronvale Estate and the residence Carronvale House, Larbert Stirlingshire in 1857. He also purchased the neighbouring estates of Stenhouse and Kerse(on which Grangemouth stands today). By the late 19th century many of these estates were being feud for housing and other urban development. He also bought the country estate of Kingairloch in Loch Linnhe.22

The couple had two children, George (b.1856) and Margaret (b.1857).23They were very involved in the local community. JBS was honorary president Local Liberal Association.24 He supported The Larbert Asylum-Scottish Institution for Imbecile Children25 and was a member of the Glasgow and Stirling Sons of the Rock Society.26 This was a philanthropic organisation founded by a group of Glasgow businessmen who lived in Stirlingshire and aimed to help those in the county of Stirling who were in dire need. The society still exists today.27

By the time of his death in 1896 JBS had also begun to invest in sugar plantations and rum distilling in Jamaica.One such plantation was Long Pond in the parish of Trelawney .He set up a company JB Sherriff &Company (Jamaica) Ltd) to manage the Jamaica end of the business.28 This was managed in Jamaica by a George Taylor but whether  this was a member of his wife’s family it has not been possible to establish as Taylor was a well-established name among Jamaican planters. 29

JBS set up a trust to manage his affairs. The trust papers reveal the extent to which JBS had built up the family wealth and business. There is page after page of investments in railways in the USA, South America, mines and shipping companies such as the Glen Line. The list of properties owned in Glasgow is similarly impressive. One example is the land in George Street Glasgow on which the first building of what is now Strathclyde University stands. This was first the West of Scotland Technical College later Royal College.30

George Sherriff  (1856-1908)

George, our donor’s father, was born in Pollokshields, Glasgow, where his parents appear to have been living before they moved to Carronvale House. 31 He was educated at Blairlodge School in Polmont now the site of Polmont Young Offenders Institution32 and then, according to the 1871  UK Census, at Rugby School. He entered his father’s firm J.B.Sherriff and Company Distillers Glasgow and eventually became a partner.33

In 1883 George married Catherine Jane Nimmo, daughter of Alexander Nimmo of Howkerse Bothkennar, who was also a Lieutenant Colonel in the  Stirlingshire Volunteers-perhaps the source of future interest in things military among the boys in the Sherriff family. Catherine and George went on to have six living children. Flora  was born in 1887, John George in 1891, Edith Mary in 1892, Alexander Nimmo in 1885  our donor Christopher Bell in 1896 and George in 1898.34

British Architect 20th July 188 (002)
Fig. 3 Architect’s Plan of Woodcroft . British Architect  20/07/1888. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collection:The Mitchell Library Special Collections.

Home was Woodcroft,  Carronvale Road Larbert. By this time part of the Carronvale Estate was being feud for housing by John Bell Sherriff and George appears to have taken a plot for a family home. The house was built in 1888.  George commissioned architect Thomas Lennox Watson to design the house in the English Arts and Craft style.35

As his father before him George played a leading part in the local community. He represented Larbert Division for some years on Stirling County Council and he was a Justice of the Peace for the County. He was also a philanthropist. For example he was a director of the Scottish National Imbecile Institution( in more enlightened times known as Larbert Hospital).36

george sherriff 1856-1908
Fig 4 George Sherriff  © Falkirk Community Trust Callendar House.P24738 . Photographer unknown

George was also one of the local wealthy men who were instrumental in setting up in 1894 The Larbert and Stenhouse Nursing Association with the aim of appointing a Jubilee Nurse and providing funds for a   nurse to care for the poor in their own homes.37 The scheme came about as a result of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 when to commemorate this event the women of Britain collected £70,000 which they presented to the Queen. Victoria used the money to set up a training school for nurses to look after the poor in their own homes. Larbert was one of many districts in Britain which established a Nursing Association.  The Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute for Nurses was set up, “for the education of nurses to attend the sick poor in their own house”. The Institute was also used to promote the establishment of branches throughout the UK. Within Scotland training facilities were soon developed in Glasgow and a Central Training Home was established in Edinburgh. At first this was a small flat in North Charlotte Street but such was the demand that the organisation moved to much larger premises in Castle Terrace. The training of Queens Nurses continued at Castle Terrace until 1970 when it moved to what is now Queen Margaret University. Although there had been earlier pioneers of what we now know as district nurses, in Liverpool and Glasgow for example through the work of William Rathbone, it was the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute which was the major turning point in the provision of this service. Among the prominent families who supported the “Jubilee Nurse” was that of George Sherriff of Woodcroft. These families supported the Association financially and raised funds. In practice it was the wives and daughters of the prominent men who did all the work. They appointed the nurse, went over all the activities of the Association which were carefully minuted each month and even inspected the accommodation provided for the nurse to make sure it was kept up to standard. In his will John Bell Sheriff left £1000 to the Jubilee Nurse Association in memory of his daughter Margaret Eugenie Flora who had been an active supporter. Catherine Nimmo Sherriff, George’s wife and the mother of our donor, was also very active in the Association.38 Politically George was an ardent Conservative (known as Unionist at that time).39

As we have seen he appears to have had an interest in photography. According to the inventory of Carronvale House after his death there was a Photography Room. In here were racks of photographic materials and equipment including “an adjustable camera stand”.  George also had shares in Eastman Kodak, again demonstrating his interest in photography. 40

Unfortunately George had “indifferent health” and died at the relatively young age of 52 on 10th November 1908. 42 His estate was left in trust to his eldest son John George who was   just twenty-one.

Christopher Bell Sherriff (CBS) (1896-1967)

CBS was born on 28th February 1896 at Woodcroft.  Shortly after his birth his grandfather John Bell Sherriff  died, leaving his large  estate in trust to his son George.43 The family moved to Carronvale House after it had been modernised. George Sherriff had engaged the architect John James Burnet to redesign and modernise the house in the Arts and Craft Style.44 George Sherriff and Burnet had  both attended Blairlodge Academy in Polmont 45  which was a prestigious boarding school  in the last half of the nineteenth century and is  now Polmont Young Offenders Institution.46

School Days

Although his eldest brother John George had attended the Merchiston School Edinburgh47 in 1910 CBS followed his elder brother Alexander to Sedbergh School in what is now Cumbria.48 Alexander joined the Officers Training Corps (OTC) at Sedbergh and went on to Sandhurst in 1912, from where he passed out in December 1914 and was gazetted into the Northamptonshire Regiment. Like his brother CBS was pupil in Evans House. His school career is documented in the school magazine The Sedbergian. He played rugby and cricket for the school and in 1912 won several prizes for his proficiency in the hurdles and high jump. In July 1912 he was awarded the “Mathematical Prize”  on Speech Day. He was also a member of the OTC and was promoted to Sergeant in February 1914. Also in February 1914 CBS was made a prefect as well as gaining a try in the 1st Team rugby match against Windermere School.

In July 1914 he was a warded the “Prefect’s leaving prize”.49 On 14th June 1914 CBS went up to Trinity College Cambridge where he began to study Engineering Science. The outbreak of war in August 1914 was to interrupt his studies.50

Sedberg School Main School
Fig. 5 Sedburgh School © Sedburgh School

  War Service 1914-1918 

CBS joined the army from Cambridge on December 7th1914. This must have been very hard for his parents as his brother Alexander had been killed in action at the end of October.51 Or perhaps that is why our donor “joined up”. At first CBS was commissioned as a 2nd Lieutenant in the 11th Service Battalion of the Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders known as Princess Louise’s Regiment. However on 11th October 1915 he was transferred to the Army Service Corps.52 By this time his eldest brother John George (7th Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders) had also been killed in action on 24th April 1915.53 Whether this transfer to more of a support position was because of the death of two brothers is only speculation. In any event the death of his two eldest brothers left CBS the largest landowner in Stirlingshire and heir to a vast commercial portfolio as well as owner of distilleries in Campbeltown  and Islay and of sugar plantations and rum distilleries in Jamaica.54 On his death at the age of twenty-four John George Sherriff ‘s personal estate had been worth £80,000.55 All these assets were managed by a trust set up by his father.

CBS had also inherited a vast amount of land. Apart from the Carronvale estate the Sheriffs were proprietors of The Stenhouse and Kersie Estates in Stirlingshire and the Kingairloch Estate in Argyle.56 However in 1915 his responsibilities at home were probably far from his thoughts.

CBS 1914-18 2
Fig. 6 Lieutenant Christopher Bell Sherriff  c1914. © IWM (HU126440)

Unfortunately our donor’s WW One war records are among the many destroyed during World War Two.  We do know that CBS served in Malta and in Salonika from April 1917. 57 According to the London Gazette he was one of the many former cadets of the Officers Training Corps to be made acting 2nd Lieutenant in on 7th December 1914. 58  He was promoted to Lieutenant (temporary) in July 1917 and Acting Captain (temporary) in the renamed Royal Army Service Corps in May 1918. 59 At the end of the war he was awarded the Victory Medal ,1914-15 Star and the British War Medal three medals irreverently known by the troops as “Pip, Squeak and Wilfred.60

Inter War Years 1919-1939

After the war CBS returned to Trinity College Cambridge to complete his degree. He graduated BA in 1920 with an Ordinary Degree in Engineering Science. For students whose degree course had been interrupted by the war  degree requirements to reside for nine terms were waived so a degree could be awarded in two years.61

CBS and his mother were Trustees for his father’s estate. He attended his first meeting  on 5th May 1920. Around 1919/20 J.B.Sherriff & Company Ltd went into voluntary liquidation for reasons which are unclear. The whisky business was sold to J.P.OBrien Ltd. A  new company  J.B.Sherriff &Company (Jamaica ) Ltd, was formed to manage the Jamaican interests. The meetings of the Trustees appear to have been annual.62

By 1921 the new company owned at least five sugar plantations in Trelawney Parish ,Jamaica. These were Long Pond, Parnassus, Hyde Hall, Steelfield and Etingen. There was a central factory at Long Pond for the distilling etc of rum.63 CBS made several trips to Jamaica for example inMarch 1923 on the “Patuca”   and on the “SS Bayano” in 1931 where CBS is described as a company director.64 The day-to-day running of the Jamaican business was in the hands of agents .The sugar and rum business was eventually taken over  in 1953 by the Canadian company Seagrams, a wholly owned subsidiary of Distillers Corporation. 65

In 1925 the company bought Bowmore Distillery in Islay and ran it until 1950. During World War Two production ceased and the distillery hosted RAF Coastal Command. So as we can see CBS, as a director of J.B.Sherriff(Jamaica)Ltd was very involved in the running of the business which his grandfather John Bell Sherriff had developed.66

On Thursday 15th November 1928 in Paisley Abbey Christopher married Elizabeth Mary Greig  who was the eldest daughter of Robert Greig of Hall of Caldwell Uplawmoor Renfrewshire.67 Robert Greig was a prominent Glasgow businessman. In the strange way of the coincidences of life Elizabeth was a direct descendant of Admiral Greig of Catherine the Great’s Imperial Russian Navy. It was Admiral Greig who had recommended that the ruler of Russia employ Scottish engineers, especially Galbraith, formerly of the Carron Iron Works. Galbraith in turn employed George Sherriff great grandfather of our donor.68

 The report of the wedding in the Falkirk Herald  of 24/11/1928 noted the presence at the wedding of the bride’s uncle Wing Commander Louis Greig,” former comptroller to the  Duke of York” later King George VI. Louis Greig had studied medicine at Glasgow University and in 1906 he joined the navy. In 1909 he joined the Royal Naval College at Osborne, where he met Prince Albert, later Duke of York. The prince was ill-equipped for this hearty all male society and Louis took him under his wing. The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography rather unkindly suggests that Louis was “ambitious enough to realise how the royal cadet could further his career” though went on to say that he genuinely liked the prince and saw his potential. For his part the prince hero-worshipped his self-confident mentor. Having met Louis Albert’s father King George V encouraged the friendship and pulled strings to ensure they served together on HMS Cumberland where Greig was ship’s surgeon. In 1918 Louis was appointed equerry. During the early 1920s the two were inseparable. It was Louis who partnered the prince at his famous appearance at Wimbledon.

He encouraged the prince’s wooing of Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, which in turn put an end to his position in the royal household. Louis was gradually frozen out. Louis was also close to Ramsay MacDonald and played a small but useful part in the formation of the National Government. It was Macdonald who persuaded Louis to accept a knighthood in 1932.69

Having spent their honeymoon in Sicily70  the newly-weds set up home at a house called Craigmarloch in  Kilmacolm. The house had a substantial four acre garden and a further six acres of grazing and stabling for two horses. Elizabeth Sherriff seems to have been an keen member of the Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Hunt. Many meetings were hosted at Craigmarloch.71

Carronvale House was still occupied by CBS’s mother Catherine. Catherine was the last of the Sherriffs to live at Carronvale House. She died in 1936. During World War 2 it housed the entire claims department of the Prudential insurance Company which had been removed from London. In 1946  Carronvale House was sold and became the Headquarters of The Boys Brigade in Scotland.72

Elizabeth and Christopher had three sons. Christopher George was born in 1930,John Alexander in 1931 and Robert Mark in 1936. 73

Around 1921 after his return from Cambridge CBS joined the reformed 7th Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders (T A). He was a member of Company B based at Larbert. He took an active role in the activities of the battalion throughout the interwar period.74 He was regularly promoted until in 1934 he was made Commanding Officer with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. According to the Stirling Journal and Advertiser “he is popular with all ranks and should make an ideal commanding officer for the Seventh”.75

As his father, grandfather and great -grandfather before him, CBS played an active part in the local community. He was Honorary President of the 35th Larbert East  United Free Church Scout Troup, and an honorary member of the Stenhousemuir Bowling Club. The Sherriffs had provided the land for the club and eventually sold it to the members for a very reasonable price, similarly the land for Falkirk Tryst Golf Club.76 CBS was also a member of the Larbert and Stenhouse Masonic Lodge 77 and became the President of the Larbert and Stenhouse Unionist Associaltion.78

CBS carried on the long family involvement with The Larbert and District Nursing Association79 as a Board Member and was appointed Honorary President in 1946.80  The name of the Association had been changed in 1919 to Larbert Parish and Carron District Nursing Association when Carron District was set up and a second nurse was employed following a bequest from the trust of one Miss Dawson. The Association lasted until the National Health Service took over the provision of District Nursing Services in 1950.81

Following in the footsteps of his father and grandfather CBS was  a member of The Glasgow, Stirlingshire  Sons of the Rock Society, the philanthropic organisation founded in 1809 by a group of Glasgow merchants and tradesmen living in Stirlingshire to give practical and financial assistance to people within the county boundary who would otherwise be destitute. It is one of Scotland’s oldest charitable bodies and still exists today.82 CBS attended a meeting at the Golden Lion Hotel in Stirling in January 1938.83

Life for our donor was not all duty. There are several references in the local press to his attendance at annual balls of the Seventh Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and the Stirling County Ball, again at the Golden Lion in Stirling.84  CBS was also a keen tennis player in his youth. For example in 1920 he and his brother George won the Men’s Doubles at the Scottish Central Lord Tennis Championships  and he is mentioned each summer in the Falkirk Herald  until his marriage in 1928 as entering various tennis championships.85

 War Service 1939-45

According to the Army Lists, CBS enlisted for war service on 28th August 1939. At the age of 43 he was commissioned as a Class I Lieutenant Colonel in the Royal Pioneer Corps.86 By June 1940 he was Commanding Officer of 16 Group Royal Pioneer Corps.  16 Group had been formed at Westcliffe-on Sea and was then moved to Tonbridge. The unit remained in Britain until 29th October 1942 when the men moved to Glasgow and boarded the ‘Arundel Castle’ landing in Algiers on 1st December.87 According to Major E.H.Rhodes-Wood in his war history of The Royal Pioneer Corps CBS and Group 16 were one of the units which served in North Africa, “to provide the First Army with its military labour force.” The unit saw action in North Africa throughout 1943, returning to Gourock on 26th November 1943.88 While in North Africa CBS was Mentioned in Dispatches in September, but there is no information as to the event.89

On returning to the UK CBS’s unit proceeded to St Albans  and in January 1944 moved  to Bury St Edmunds then to Ipswich, Putney and by 4th June 1944 the unit was in the marshalling area in West Ham  in preparation for D-Day. The unit embarked for Normandy on 8th June two days after the Normandy Landings. The unit moved to Arromanches on 12th June and for the rest of June and July were working on or near the beaches.90

.According to  Rhodes-Wood, on  September 4th 16 Group, commanded by Lt-Colonel C.B.Sherriff, with four companies and a Civil Labour Unit entered Dieppe which had been captured the previous day  and immediately started  on repairs to docks, constructing a train ferry ramp and lifting unexploded bombs. These activities provide an excellent example of how the work of the Pioneers and civilians was coordinated to get a port in running order. The unit remained in Northern France until April 1945 when the men moved to Eindhoven in Germany and there celebrated VE Day on 6th May.91 According to the Army Lists CBS had been demobilised by October 1945.92 

Post War Years.

When the war ended CBS and his family were still living at Craigmarloch near Kilmacolm where they remained until 1958. As well as carrying on his ‘day job’ as a director of JB Sherriff and Co(Jamaica)Ltd, he played an active part in the local community.  He was on the Board of Management of The Princess Louise Scottish Hospital for Limbless Soldiers and Sailors at Erskine, Renfrewshire-known to us as Erskine Hospital. In 1950 he was appointed a Deputy Lord Lieutenant of Renfrewshire and was also a member of the Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland-The Royal Company of Archers.93

Around 1958 CBS bought the Pitnacree Estate near Ballinluig, Perthshire to where he and his wife moved in 1958. They lived at Pitnacree House. CBS took a great interest in farming and improving   the estate and always took part very successfully  in the local cattle shows. It was during his’ watch’ that the gardens at Pitnacree House became the wonderful sight they are today. Mrs Sherriff appears to have been the gardener in the family. The gardens of Pitnacree are still open each year as part of Scotland’s Garden Scheme in which Mrs Sherriff took a great interest. Both CBS and Elizabeth were members of Strathtay Kirk where CBS was an Elder.94

The Seventh Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders continued to play an important part in our donor’s life. He was Honorary Colonel from 1957 to 1963.95

Lt Col C B Sherrif 1954 -58 7th Bn 001 (002)
Fig. 7 Lt Col C B Sherriff OBE TD Hon Col 7th Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders  1957-63.© The Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders Museum

Political loyalties were also maintained after the move to Perthshire where CBS was a member of the Strathtay Grandtully and Mid-Atholl Unionist Association.96

Christopher Bell Sherriff died at Pitnacree House on 29th October 1967 at the age of 72 of a heart attack97. Elizabeth died on July 26th 1990.98 According to a friend who wrote an appreciation of him in the Glasgow Herald shortly after his death,

”Chris Sherriff…will be greatly missed by a wide range of friends in all walks of life…..The countryside was his great love and he was happiest on the moor or making and growing things at Pitnacree surrounded by his wife and family.

In a world of bewildering changes of outlook and standards, his own views of what was right and wrong never varied. He was a modest man and probably never realised what a source of strength he was to all who came in touch with him….”.99 



F H -Falkirk Herald

GCA -Glasgow City Archives Mitchell Library

GMRC-Glasgow Museums Resource Centre

P A -Perth Advertiser

S J A-Stirling Journal and Advertiser

S O-Stirling Observer


1. GMRC. Object File. Accession No 2552

2.Charles Baile de Laperriere.The Royal Scottish Academy.1826-1900.Hilmartin Manor Press 1991

3.John Bell Sherriff Trust Papers. GCA.T-BK 165/7

4.George Sherriff Trust Papers. GCA.T-AF-254 p.40

5.John C. Gibson. Lands and Lairds of Larbert and Dunipace Parishes.Hugh Hopkins Glasgow 1908

6.George Sherriff Trust Papers .GCA T-AF 254 p.153

7.John C Gibson. Lands and Lairds of Larbert and Dunipace Parishes


9.Geoff B. Bailey.’Carron Company and the Export of Technology to Eastern Europe.’ In Calatria  Vol 17 Autumn 2003. Journal of the Falkirk Local History Society.

10. ibid pp. 14-17

11. ibid pp. 3-5

12. ibid p 14

13. Boulton and Watt Collection.

14. op cit  Bailey pp 14-17

15. ibid p 17

16.UK Census

17.  op cit Bailey p 17

18. Statutory Marriages


20. Ulf Buxrud ‘Lost Scotch Whisky Distilleries1885-1945’ Ulf Buxrod 2000

21. John Bell Sherriff Trust Papers.GCA .T-BK165/7

22. Papers of the Sherriff Family 1715-1937. Russell and Aitkin Papers. Falkirk Archives Ref A1847;

23. http:/

24. FH 19/9/1896

25. FH11/1/1877 ;FH1/1/1887

26. FH 19/1/1878


28.1900 Handbookof Jamaica ; Pond

30.John Bell Sherriff Trust Papers.GCA.T-BK165/7

31. UK Census 1841


33. SJA 13/11/1908


35. British Architect 20/07/1888 ;Building News 17/07/1891

36. SJA 13/11/1908

37.FH 23/06/1894 ;

38. Larbert Parish and Carron District Nursing Association. Minute Books 1894-1944. Falkirk Archives. Ref A1800-020/1-4

39. SJA 13/11/1908

41. George Sherriff Trust Papers GCA T-AF256 p.153

42. SJA 13/11/1908


43. John Bell Trust Papers .GCA.T-BK 165/7

44. Brian Watters 2006. “Carronvale House”

45. SJA 19/11/1908

46. Ian Scott 2005 “Polmont and Brightons.”

47. FH 08/05/1915

48. UK Census

49. The Sedberghian 1907-1914 ;


51. FH 08/05/1915

52. London Gazette23/10/1915 Supplement 10477

53. FH 08/05/1915

54. SJA 13/11/1908; George Sherriff Trust Papers GCA T-AF256


56.George Sherriff Trust Papers GCA T-AF256

57. FH10/06/1939

58.London Gazette 18/12/1914 Supplement 10452

59.London Gazette  30/05/1918 Supplement 6313


62. George Sherriff Trust Papers GCA T-AF256 p.260

63. Pond

64. UK Passenger Lists Pond

66. Neil Wilson The Island Whisky Trail.  Angels Share 2003 p.71

67. FH 24/11/1928

68. op cit Bailey.  p3

69. Geordie Greig  Louis and the Prince Hodder & Stoughton 1999

70. FH 24/11/1928

71. Scotsman  21/10/1937

72. op cit  Watters. Statutory Births

74. “Peacetime” 1908-1958. 7th Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders:their peacetime life.1908-1958.Paramount Press ND.Mitchell Library SRH 355.31ARG/PEA pp52,64,66

75. SJA 22/11/1934

76. FH 29/04/1933

77. FH 19/03/1927

78. FH 18/10/1924

79. FH 23/06/1894

80. FH.09/11/1946.

81. Larbert Parish and Carron District Nursing Association : Minutes and Annual reports 1912-1950. Falkirk Archives. Ref A1800.020/05/06


83. FH 09/10/1926 ;FH 19/01/1938

84. Scotsman 04/10/1938

85. Dundee Courier 19/07/1920

86 .FH 19/01/1934


88. Major E.H. Rhodes-Wood. A War History of the Royal Pioneer Corps 1939-1946.Aldershot,Galen& Poden 1960. p181


91. op cit Rhodes-Wood p181

92. Army Lists October 1945 p 2075

93.SJA  02/11/1967

94. ibid

95.op cit “ Peacetime”1908-1958. p.43

96. SJA 02/11/1967

97. Death Notice Times 31/10/1967

98. PA 26/07/1990 ;

99. GH 06/11/1967 4b















Archibald Montgomery Craig (1872-1947)

Donor- Archibald Montgomery Craig (1872-1947)


(c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
Figure 1. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

A Miser- 18th Century German School Accession Number 2367

The painting was donated in 1944. It is unsigned but has been attributed to the eighteenth century German School by Hamish Miles in 1961.1 In addition the National Inventory of Continental and European Paintings gives 1700 as the earliest date and 1800 as the latest date and goes on to say, “The figure of the old man,the embodiment of greed and miserliness,reflects well-known models of Netherlandish tradition ,including those of Rembrandt.”The inscription in the painting,”Haec mea voluptas” means,” this is my obsession.”

Although the painting was donated by Archibald Montgomerie Craig(AMC) it had belonged to his father William Blackburn Craig , a wealthy Glasgow merchant, at least as early as 1902.AMC also donated an 18th Century Scottish tablecloth  dated 1783 or 1788 to Glasgow Museums in September 1925.4

There is no record of the painting  ever having  being exhibited.

Family Background

AMC’s paternal grandfather was James Craig, a wine and spirit merchant, who married Margaret Aitkin Blackburn in 1821.5James Craig had various business premises in Glasgow including 22 Stockwell Street and 9 Miller Street.6They were fairly affluent, living at  such genteel addresses as Abbotsford Place7 and 4 Carlton Place in the Gorbals.8 Carlton Place was begun in 1802, designed by Peter Nicholson and the brainchild of John and David Laurie  who had bought the land on the south side of the river, now known as Laurieston, with the intention of developing an up-market suburb on the south side of the River Clyde.9  James Craig and his family , including AMC’s father William, were living at 4 Carlton Place from at least 1851 to 1861 along with two live-in servants10, an indication of affluence. By 1861 ,William, aged 18, was a clerk, possibly in his father’s business.11

Family Homes to c 1890

Athough AMC  was born at Fordbank House , Lochwinnoch, the Craigs only occupied this house between c 1872 and c1874.12  William Craig and his family followed the path of most wealthy Glasgow merchants, living first of all at various addresses in Glasgow’s New Town, Blytheswood Hill.13 William and Elizabeth’s first home post marriage in 1863 was in West George Street( formerly Camperdown Street) 14.From 1865 to 1871 they lived at 239 St Vincent Street.15

On returning from Renfrewshire they lived at 245 St Vincent Street then c187516 , as Blytheswood Hill was more and more being turned over to business premises, they moved out to the west end of Glasgow to 2  Lancaster Terrace off Great Western Road.17By the time AMC was about nine years old the family were living at 10 Westbourne Terrace18,in a terrace of houses designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson.19


AMC’s father owned 10 x£10 shares in Kelvinside Academy20, a private school which opened in the West End of Glasgow on 21st September 1878 with places for 155 boys.21The Kelvinside Academy Company Limited had a share capital of £15-20,000 in £10 shares.22 In Colin McKay’s History of Kelvinside Academy 1878-1978 there is a photograph of the First Elementary Class 187823 ,one of whom is Arthur Blackburn Craig, AMC’s elder brother.

Figure 2. © Kelvinside Academy

There is also a photograph of the Third Junior Class of 1881 where we find young Archibald Montgomerie Craig aged about eight . He is named in the photograph as ‘Montgomerie’.  Elsewhere in the book we are told that AMC was known as ‘Gummy’ to his classmates.The curriculum in those early  years included shorthand and book-keeping . The reason for this was that most of the pupils then were the sons of business men and were expected to join their father in business at the end of their time at the school rather than go to University.24   Although there is no evidence that Edward, the youngest Craig brother attended Kelvinside Academy, the fact that if three members of one same family attended the school only half the fee was due, might lead us to believe Edward went there too.25

AMC illus 5
Figure 3. © Kelvinside Academy

Family Wealth

According to the 1871 UK census William Blackburn Craig’s occupation was that of “drysalter”, a dealer in gums, dyes and various chemicals. From that period onwards he appears in census records as ‘living on private means’ or a ‘retired drysalter’.26 However the real wealth came from property. His obituary in the Bearsden and Milngavie Herald referred to “ …Mr William Blackburn Craig, well-known in property circles in Glasgow. One of his latest undertakings was the purchase of the valuable ground and the erection of a handsome block of red buildings in course of completion at the corner Buchanan Street and St Vincent Place…”.27 The Valuation Rolls tell us that in 1865 W B Craig was the owner of 5 properties in Glasgow City Centre consisting of three counting houses(Great Clyde Street and St Vincent Street) a warehouse(St Vincent Street) and two stores(St Vincent Street and Fox Street). 28 By 1895 he owned 41 properties in Glasgow City Centre, mostly in St Vincent Street and Virginia Street. These were rented out to a variety of businesses. No 11 Virginia Street was a Gospel Hall. No 63 St Vincent Street-presumably  at street level- was a tea room.29 No 151 St Vincent Street was a branch of the Commercial Bank.30His own main business premises were at various times 63a St Vincent Street  where John  Smiths Bookshop was for many years31 and 147 St Vincent Street.32

Family Homes from c1890

Our donor, AMC, never married and lived most of his life with his family first with his parents and brothers and sisters 33  and latterly with his unmarried or widowed  sisters .34 About 1890 the family moved to ‘Borva’, a substantial house in Middlemuir Road, Lenzie35 , a growing suburb of Glasgow to which many wealthy Glasgow merchants moved when the opening of a railway station made commuting to the city easy.36

AMC illus 6
Figure 4. Borva Middlemuir Road  Lenzie © J M Macaulay

William Blackburn Craig continued to follow the path of many wealthy Glasgow merchants when in 1896 he bought the 836 acre Ballagan Estate near Strathblane in Stirlingshire. Ballagan House was completely renovated and the family moved in around 1897.37 AMC was 18 by this time.

AMC Ballagan House
Figure 5. Ballagan House Strathblane © Norma Farquar 2005

Earning a living.1891-1914

According to the 1891 UK Census AMC was an accounts clerk, one presumes in the family business. He first appears in the Glasgow Post Office Directory in 1897 as an iron merchant ‘at Arthur Blackburn Craig , iron merchant’ at 63a St Vincent Street. Thus he was working with or for his elder brother. He remained there until 1903. 38 William Blackburn Craig died in February 190339 and AMC became  one of the trustees of Ballagan Estate along with his younger brother Edward and his three sisters. Strangely, Arthur Blackburn Craig, the eldest son, is not mentioned in the Will of William Blackburn Craig either as a beneficiary or as a trustee.40 Had Arthur already received his share in the family wealth, perhaps to set up in business for himself or is there some other explanation for the eldest son not to be mentioned?

Arthur had married Mary Balfour Robertson on 19th June 1900. The wedding took place at the Windsor Hotel, St Vincent Street. The wedding was carried out under the rites of the Episcopal Church.41  According to the 1901 UK census Arthur and his bride lived at ‘Beechmount’ Dalkeith Avenue Dumbreck, which was the home of Mary’s parents, Mr and Mrs Anthony Robertson. Anthony Roberston was an iron master42, which was also Arthur Blackburn Craig’s occupation at the time of his marriage.43

Had there been a family feud? Arthur’s sister Williamina was one of the witness at the wedding so some of the family were there.44 There is no evidence as to  why Arthur was not mentioned in his father’s will.

AMC became head of the household at Ballagan in 1903. Also living in the house were his mother, Elizabeth Samson Craig until her death in 1908 45, his younger brother Edward who was an accountant and his three sisters, Elizabeth, Williamina and Margaret.46

In 1903 AMC joined H F Docherty and Company-gas and steam heating and appliance manufacturers of Robertson Street.47 He remained with Docherty and Company until around 1906.48 During this period AMC and HF Docherty registered three patents:-

1903     Improvements in Gas Cooking Attachments for Kitchen Ranges

1905     Improvements in Apparatus for the Production of Acetylene Gas

1905     A New or Improved Generator for the Production of Acetylene Gas 49

Perhaps HF Docherty and Company manufactured this equipment for their customers but there is no information available to support this.

From about 1906 until 1914 AMC was in business for himself as a ‘bakery utensil manufacturer’ of whom there were many in Glasgow at that time.50 He had premises in St Enoch Square, then Queen Street, then from 1911 in Springfield Court between Buchanan Street and Queen Street.

In 1912 AMC put his name to another patent registration-Improvements in Egg Whisks.51 Robert McDiamid was the other name on the application. This was possibly a business or work colleague.From the technical drawing it appears that the egg whisk was for industrial rather than domestic use.

AMC’s  elder brother Arthur was also operating his business as an iron merchant from the Springfield Court Premises from about 1910.Whatever the reason for not being mentioned in their father’s Will the two brothers appear to have been on good terms.52

The Saturday Soldier 1890-1903

Around 1890 at the age of 17 AMC became what was often referred to as a ‘Saturday Soldier’. He joined what would be known today as the Territorial Army. He joined the 5th Volunteer Battalion (Glasgow) Highland Light Infantry.53 This battalion is better known as ‘The Glasgow Highlanders’.

In 1859, after the Crimean War had ended, the Government decided   a civilian Volunteer Force was needed in time of war when regular forces were deployed overseas. Regiments were formed at county level with no connection to the regular army.54

In 1868 a group of Glasgow migrants from the Highlands formed such a regiment. It was called the 105th Lanarkshire (Glasgow Highland) Rifle Volunteers.55

The 105th wore the Black Watch kilt and cap badge at that point.56 In 1881 Secretary of State for War Childers put through a series of reforms which linked the Volunteer Defence Forces more closely to regiments of the regular British army.57 The 105th was allied to the Highland Light Infantry and became the 10th Lanarkshire Rifles. In 1887 this was changed to the 5th Volunteer Battalion(Glasgow) HLI in . 58 Headquarters was  81 Greendyke Street near Glasgow Green.59

Figure 6. Glasgow Highlanders Headquarters Greendyke Street The Pibroch 1897 ©CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries  Collections: The Mitchell Library, Special Collections

The 5th VB was distinct from the other HLI volunteer battalions because they continued to wear the Black Watch kilt rather than the Mackenzie tartan trews of the HLI. They did have their own cap badge by this time.60As well as regular drills and rifle shooting out at the Rifle Range at Patterton61, there was annual camp which , according to the The Pibroch, the annual report of the Glasgow Highlanders published each December from 1895, was much enjoyed by the volunteers.

Figure 7. The Annual Camp  The Pibroch 1896 © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries  Collections: The Mitchell Library, Special Collections

An annual gathering each December at St Andrews Halls and one can imagine the good social life that would go along with the serious purpose of the organisation. In time of war many of the volunteers went on active service,in the South African War for example. In fact in 1900 the Annual Ball was cancelled and only a concert was held in order to respect those of the Highland Brigade who had fallen at Magersfontein.62

Figure 8. Pibroch 1896 © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collections : The Mitchell Library ,Special Collections

The 5th VB had companies A-M all over the city. AMC joined M Company based at Hillhead.63  This Company was commanded by Alexander Duff Menzies. AMC’s   brother Arthur was already in M Company as Colour Sergeant.64 The Pibroch-the annual record of The Glasgow Highlanders- enables us to follow  AMC’s career as a Saturday Soldier.

Figure 9. First edition of The Pibroch December 1895© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collections : The Mitchell Library Special Collections

In 1895 AMC was promoted to Lance Sergeant and in 1897 to Sergeant.65

On 21st June 1897 both AMC and his brother Arthur took part in Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee Parade in Glasgow.66

Figure 10. The Pibroch 1897©  CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collections: The Mitchell Library Special Collections

In July 1987 they both attended a summer camp at Aldershot for all volunteer regiments to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee.67

Figure 11 The Glasgow Highlanders Sergeants at Aldershot July 1897 The Pibroch 1897 ©CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collection: Mitchell Library,Special Collections

For some reason AMC was demoted to Lance Sergeant again in 1899. The reason is not evident.68 Arthur resigned in 1899, the reason given is ‘expiry of term of service  and other causes’ one of which may have been that he was due to marry  the following year. AMC served until 1903, still as Lance Sergeant .On resignation he was given a special certificate ‘For long and good service’. AMC does not appear to have distinguished himself in any way-winning rifle shooting competitions etc- but appears to have given good service.69 Perhaps he resigned because of heavier business and family duties. His father had died in February 190370 and he was now head of the household. Also the volunteer forces were changing. The annual camp was shortly to be lengthened to two weeks and was to be compulsory, while the training was to brought much more in line with that of the regular forces.71 AMC was 31 by this time and perhaps he thought he had been a Saturday Soldier long enough.

War Service 1914-16

By the beginning of World War One in August 1914 the volunteer forces had been reorganised yet again.72 In 1908 the reforms of Richard Haldane,Secretary of State for War, had established the Territorial Force (TF) from the old volunteer brigades. In Scotland the TF consisted of 2 Divisions (1) Highland Division and (2) Lowland Division . AMC’s former battalion became the 9th (Glasgow Highland )Battalion HLI Territorial Force and was in the Lowland Division. The conditions of service had been altered from 1908.The men now had to complete 10 drills and a musketry course. The annual camp was now two weeks and was compulsory. This meant the entire annual holiday and more for many men in Glasgow and elsewhere. Even though many employers cooperated and the men were paid, a lot of good men resigned, either unwilling or unable to make this commitment. The weakness in the system, however was that no man in the Territorial Force was obliged to serve overseas.73

The 9th (Glasgow Highland)HLI now had eight companies-A-H and its HQ  and Drill Hall was still 81 Greendyke Street. It was probably there that our donor reported when on 9th September 1914 at the age 41 he enlisted in 2/9th Battalion(Glasgow) HLI-still known as the Glasgow Highlanders.74

Along with his fellow volunteers AMC was sent to Lochend Camp  Dunfermline. According to army records AMC (Service no 2989) was five foot  six inches tall with grey eyes and grey hair. His occupation is given as that of commercial traveller .75 In October 1914 he was promoted to sergeant .76 On 24th October AMC signed Army Form E624 whereby he volunteered for overseas service. It appears that the volunteers in Dunfermline had been paraded before the commanding officer, Colonel W Fleming, for the purpose of urging them to commit themselves to overseas service, which most of them did .77

The 2/9th Battalion (Glasgow) HLI embarked for France in November 1914.78 However AMC did not go with them. No reason is forthcoming at that point but in August 1915 we find AMC in Craigleith Military Hospital  in Edinburgh suffering from heart problems which had begun to show themselves in June 1915 . The medical report of 4th August 1915 states that he was suffering from myocardial disease which manifested itself in shortness of breath and occasional pains in his chest when marching etc. He was recommended for light duties.79

On 18th August 1915 AMC was transferred to 9th Scottish Provisional Battalion, Company A which was a reserve battalion used for coastal defence  formed in May 1915 of home service men. The 9th Scottish was a battalion of the 1st Provisional Brigade. The 1st Brigade was moved down to Kent in June 1915 and  the 9th Scottish Provisional Battalion was stationed in Deal .80  There is no information as to whether AMC was in Deal, one can only presume that he was with his battalion.

What is known is    from 3rd September to 12th October 1915 AMC was a patient in Newcastle on Tyne Workhouse Military Hospital.  His medical records state that he although he has myocardial disease the reason for his stay in Newcastle was that he was also suffering from a  disease which was very common in the army at that time .   AMC was discharged on 12th October 1915, presumably to go back to his battalion.81 In November 1915 he was promoted to Acting Company Master Sergeant of C Company. 82

There were several changes to the organisation and names of regiments and battallions of the British Army during 1915 and it has proved difficult to track the movements of AMC and the 9th Scottish Provisional Battalion during the period following  AMC’s stay in Newcastle. However, by September 1916 he was at the 2nd Scottish Command Depot near Randalstown  County Antrim in Northern Ireland. 83

Sir Alfred Keogh, Director of Army Medical Services, concerned about the availability of beds in UK Hospitals , set up four large convalescent camps in Blackpool, Epsom, Dartford and Eastbourne. This system was further refined early in 1916 by the establishment of over twenty Command Depots for the rehabilitative training of wounded soldiers who were too fit for a convalescent hospital but not fit enough to return to the front. One of these Depots was at Shanes Park near Randalstown, County Antrim in the grounds of Lord O’Neill’s Estate .84 Presumably AMC was there to assist in the retraining of troops as he had already been declared unfit for duty abroad .85

It was from here on 8th September 1916, after two years, that AMC was discharged from military service at his own request. The only reason given for his discharge was  ‘Termination  of Engagement ’.86 Perhaps it was AMC’s health problems or his age-he was 43 by this time. The Military Service Act of January 1916  had ended the distinction between home and  foreign service and all Territorial Force soldiers became liable for overseas service but they had to be medically fit, which AMC was not. Also the age limit for conscription was 41 so perhaps it was a combination of his health and his age which led him to request his discharge.87

Home Again-Glasgow 1916-c1921

At some point in 1914 our donor’s three sisters, Williamina, Elizabeth and Margaret, had left Ballagan House and became tenants of  Woodhall House , Kirkintilloch Road ,Bishopbriggs. 88  Ballagan House was rented to a farmer, John Paton. 89 Perhaps this was done because AMC, the head of the household, had volunteered for the army and the ladies wanted to live somewhere smaller(though Woodhall was a sizeable house ) and perhaps nearer to other members of the family. Younger brother  Edward and his wife lived in nearby Lenzie in a house called ‘Craigmillar’ .90 The Ballagan Estate was eventually advertised for sale in November 1917 .91 It was sold   to Colonel Peter Charles Macfarlane ,shipowner.92 The purchase price was £15,925.00. 93

It was to Woodhall House that AMC went after his discharge .94 According to the Glasgow Post Office Directories up to 1921 AMC  was a commercial agent based at 63a St Vincent Street.After   1921 there is no trace of AMC in Glasgow again until 1931 except in 1925 when he donated an eighteenth century Scottish tablecloth to Glasgow Museums95 giving his address as 9 Kelvin Drive. The  three Craig sisters had moved to 9 Kelvin Drive in the west end of Glasgow around 1922. 96

Where did he go? 1921-1931

AMC’s brother Arthur and wife Mary had moved to London around 1918 where Arthur set up in business as a merchant  in Chancery Lane 97 with a home at 24 Regent Court Park Road in  Westminster 98,a prestigious address  and later as a land agent at 8 Blenheim Street Mayfair,SW1.99  Arthur and Mary spent the rest of their lives in London at various prestigious addresses including Belsize Park Hampstead, Baker Street100, Courtfield Gardens  Kensington101 and from c about 1938 at 52 South Edwards Square Kensington 102 where Arthur died in on 20th August 1947. 103

Did AMC go down to London to join his brother? There are a few  tantalising yet inconclusive pieces of evidence that suggest he may have gone to London. In the London Telephone Directories of 1922,1923,1925 and 1927 there are entries for an A. Montgomerie Craig  in Chancery Lane where his brother Arthur was in business at that time and then in Dane Street Holborn. 104 As we have seen   AMC was probably known as Montgomerie rather than Archibald since his school days. Did his sisters move to the much smaller house at 9 Kelvin Drive because their brother was moving to London? We can only speculate. These slight pieces of evidence alone cannot allow us to say definitely that these London Post Office entries refer to our donor. So his whereabouts remain a mystery until further sources of evidence can be accessed.

Later Life 1931-1947.

AMC re -appears as a Glasgow resident in 1931 living with his sisters at 9 Kelvin Drive. He was about 60 years old by this time.105 There is no evidence that he worked again after his return to Glasgow. 106 As we know he donated the painting The Miser to Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in 1944. He died on May 26th 1947 of chronic myocarditis   at the age of 74. 107 He was buried in the family grave at Glasgow Necropolis which had been designed for his father in 1903 by Glasgow architect James Thompson (1835-1905). 108

AMC illus 22
Figure 12. Craig Family Memorial Glasgow Necropolis-  Epsilon. Copyright J M Macaulay

References and Notes

  1. Miles, Hamish Catalogue of Dutch,Flemish and Netherlandish Paintings in the Glasgow Art Gallery.  Glasgow Corporation 1961. Vol I p59
  2. The National Inventory of European Paintings.
  3. Label on reverse of painting. GMRC object file
  4. GMRC Object File 1925/2
  2. Glasgow Post Office Directories 1824-1829
  3. UK Census 1841
  4. UK Census 1851
  5. Foreman, Carole Lost Glasgow:Glasgow’s Lost Architectural Heritage. Birlinn. 2002  pp 88-89
  6. UK Census 1861
  7. as above
  1. Land Ownership Commission 1872-3
  2.  McKean, Charles et al – Central Glasgow: An illustrated Architectural Guide.   Pillans and Wilson 1989. pp116-118
  3. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1863-4
  4. as above 1865-71
  5. as above 1875-6
  6. above 1876-7
  7. UK Census 1881
  1. Will of William Blackburn Craig.
  2. Mackay, Colin H. History of Kelvinside Academy 1878-1978.  Kelvinside  Academy 1978
  3. as above p16
  4. op cit Mackay pp32,33
  5. op cit Mackayp26
  6. op cit Mackay Chapter 1
  1. UK Census 1871-1901
  2. Bearsden and Milngavie Herald 13 /02/ 1903
  3. rolls 1865
  4. as above 1895
  5. as above 1885
  6. Glasgow Post office Directories 1871-1901
  7. op cit 30 above
  1. UK Census 1881-1911
  2. Glasgow Post Office Directories 1912-21; Glasgow Electoral Rolls 1931-1947
  3. Glasgow Post Office Directories 1890-1895
  4. The Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway Company opened a station in 1848 to serve the town of Kirkintilloch,naming it Kirkintilloch Junction. The building of houses around the station for Glasgow commuters began in the 1850s but the housing and population boom really began in the 1870s when piped and running water was made available to the villas. The North British Locomotive Company renamed the station Lenzie Junction in June 1890. Local History and Heritage.
  5. House
  1. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1903/4
  2. deaths
  3. as above/statutory wills. William Blackburn Craig
  4. as above /statutory marriages-marriage certificate
  5. as above
  6. op cit ref 41
  7. as above
  8. op cit ref 39
  9. UK Census 1901,1911
  10. op cit ref 38
  11. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1906/7
  12. Espacenet Patent Search.
  13. Glasgow Post Office Directories 1905-14
  14. op cit ref 49
  15. Glasgow Post Office Directories 1910-14
  1. British Army Pension Records 1914-20. Attestation Papers Archibald Montgomerie Craig
  2. http://www.scottishmilitary
  3. The Pibroch December 1895. Introduction to first issue by commanding officer.
  4. Highlanders
  5. op cit ref 54
  6. as above
  7. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1892-3
  8. op cit ref 56
  9. op cit ref 59
  10. The Pibroch December 1900
  11. The Pibroch 1895
  12. as above
  13. as above
  14. The Pibroch 1897
  15. as above
  16. The Pibroch 1899
  17. The Pibroch 1903
  19. Force
  1. The Territorial and Reserve Forces Act 1907,also known as the Haldane reforms after Richard Haldane, Secretary of State for War, transferred existing volunteer and yeomanry units into a new Territorial Force where all units were attached to regiment of the British Army.
  2. Glasgow City Archives TD366/3/2. Glasgow Highlanders, Notes on Battalion 1908-18.
  3. as above
  4. British Army Pension Records 1914-20
  5. as above
  6. op cit ref 73
  7. as above 79. op cit ref 75
  8. Mixed Brigade
  9. op cit ref 75
  10. as above
  11. as above
  12. The Long Long Trail.
  13. op cit ref 75. Army Form B179. Medical Report on an Invalid
  14. as above Army FormB268A Proceedings on Discharge During The Period of Embodiment.
  15. Military Service Act 1916. Op cit ref 85 /msa1916
  1. 1915
  2. Stirling County Archives. SC4/3/40. Stirling County Valuation Rolls 1916/1917/1918.
  3. op cit ref 88
  4. Stirling Advertiser and Journal 15/11/1917
  5. op cit ref 89 1918/19
  6. Stirling Advertiser and Journal 15/11/1917
  7. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1916/17
  8. Glasgow Museums Accessions. Object File 1925/2
  9. Glasgow Electoral Roll 1922
  10. Telephone Directories 1880-1894
  11. Electoral Roll 1918
  12. op cit ref 97 1934
  13. op cit ref 97 1936
  14. op cit ref 98 1936
  15. op cit ref 98 1938-48
  16. and probate
  17. op cit ref 97
  18. Glasgow Electoral Role 1931
  19. as above 1931-47
  20. deaths. Death certificate of Archibald Montgomerie Craig






William Graham Greig (1910-1999)

In 1949 Baillie William Graham Greig (WGG) donated the following paintings to Glasgow.

Lavery, John, 1856-1941; Potter at Work
Figure 1. Potter at Work  John Lavery 1888  Acc. 2835 © CSGCIC Glasgow Museums

Lavery, John, 1856-1941; Woman Painting a Pot
Figure 2. Woman Painting a Pot  John Lavery 1888 Acc 2834 © CSGCIC Glasgow Museums







Two potters from Bengal,Tarini Charan Pal and Harakumar Guha, were brought to Glasgow to demonstrate their craft in the Indian Court at the 1888 Glasgow International Exhibition. The Indian Court was a very popular feature of the Exhibition.¹These paintings were two of the fifty or so which Lavery  painted of the 1888 Glasgow International exhibition. In October 1888 the paintings were exhibited at the Craibe Angus gallery in Queen Street ,Glasgow.²

There is no information as to how these paintings were acquired by William Graham Greig. Woman Painting a Pot has been exhibited on several occasions including in 1951 in an exhibition of John Lavery paintings at the Belfast Museum and Art Gallery, in 1983 at the St Andrews Crawford Centre for the Arts, again in an exhibition of John Lavery paintings,  and  in 1990 at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow in an exhibition entitled  Women in Art and Design 1880-1920. The paintings are currently on display in the Glasgow Boys Gallery at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow.3

The model featured on the Doulton stand was Alice Groom. According to the 1881 census she was living in Auckland Street, Lambeth with her widowed mother  Eilzabeth, who was a dressmaker, and two younger brothers. Alice’s occupation is recorded as ‘artist/painter’. She almost certainly trained at the  Lambeth School of Art which had been set up in 1854 to teach applied art and design to working artisans. The school formed a close relationship with the nearby Doulton &Co Pottery and from the 1870s had a curriculum designed to train young men and women for the pottery trade.4

John Lavery saw Alice demonstrating the art of painting pottery at the Doulton and Co stand at the 1888 Glasgow International Exhibition. He described her as,”a fascinating, red-haired beauty, attracting crowds by her dexterity in decorating vases.5 “. Even though her career at Doultons was short, vases  bearing her name still appear in auctions from time to time.6

Lavery was so taken with Alice Groom that he used her as the model again a year or so later. This painting, My Lady Disdain ,was painted in 1889.

It was exhibited at the 1890 annual exhibition of the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts (No748) and was bought for  £50 by a Mr W. Shields of Perth. Today this painting is on show at the Berwick Museum. It was one of 46 paintings, drawings and watercolours donated to the town in 1949 by Sir William Burrell to form the basis of an art gallery for the town.

Lavery, John, 1856-1941; Dear Lady Disdain
Figure 3. My Lady Disdain John Lavery 1889 © Berwick Museum and Art Gallery

How it came to be in Burrell’s collection is unclear but he must have bought it fairly soon after the 1890 exhibition, possibly through a dealer, as Burrell loaned it to Glasgow’s East End Industrial Exhibition of Manufactures, Science and Art in 1890. It appears in the exhibition catalogue as no 26.7 Burrell’s home, Hutton Castle in the Scottish Borders, was near Berwick.

In September 1888  Alice  married an artist called Frank Markham Skipworth9   who often used her as a model in his paintings. For example Portrait of a Red Haired Lady, painted in 1889 and which is in a private collection.10  Skipworth often exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.

She then went on the stage, appearing in 1894 at Daly’s Theatre in London in ‘The Gaiety Girl’. In 1895 the couple moved to New York where Alison Skipworth, as she was known there, carried on her stage career on Broadway. In 1897 she joined the company of Daniel Frohman at the Lyceum on Broadway and toured the US  acting and singing in plays and light opera. She did return to England in 1898 as The Stage reported on June 23rd . She appeared in a musical drama Adelaide  at St Georges Hall Langholm Place in London.  The review stated, ‘Miss Alison Skipworth ,a pretty and clever young lady, showed most commendable versatility as Clara, acting with intelligence and sympathy, singing charmingly and accompanying skilfully.’ However this was just a visit and she returned to New York appearing in many Broadway plays throughout the 1920s. She received very good reviews on many occasions. One such review appeared  in  The Era, an entertainment magazine ,on 2nd February 1927  when she appeared in  a play called New York Exchange in which she played the role of a wealthy and elderly cradle snatcher.’The role of the elderly pursuer of youth is in the skilful hands of Alison Skipworth and she acts the part for all its worth.’ Alison made her movie debut in 1912 in silent films and by 1930,by which time she was in her sixties, she had moved to Hollywood and graduated to ‘talkies’. She played character roles in over 50 films.

Alison Skipworth
Figure 4. Alison Skipworth as Mrs Crawley in Becky Sharp 1935. © Mary Evans Picture Library.

Alison Skipworth appeared in many films with W.C.Fields , Mae West, and Marlene Dietrich,often playing the role of formidable ‘grande dame’. In 1935 she appeared in The Devil was a Woman which starred Marlene Deitrich and was directed by Josef von Sternberg for Paramount. ‘Skippy’ as she was known to her friends and colleagues, played the part of the formidable Senora Perez. Photographs of her appear in the collection at the Paul Getty Museum. She was said to be very popular. 11

In 1936 John Lavery went to Hollywood with the intention of painting the stars. On his arrival at the Plaza Hotel he found an invitation to lunch from Alison Skipworth 48 years after he had painted her on the Doulton Pottery stand at the Glasgow International Exhibition. She reminded him of the other portrait he had painted of her12, telling him she had no idea at that time that she would become an actress. She introduced him to several famous stars of the time  including  Marlene Deitrich, Herbert Marshall and Rod La Roque.13

In his book  John Lavery A Painter and his World  Kenneth McConkey refers to a painting of  film actresses Maureen O’Sullivan,  and Loretta Young which was done by Lavery during his Hollywood visit.The painting was donated to the Limerick  City Gallery of Art  by the artist.

LCGA4458_Lavery_Sir_John_Stars in Sunlight_copyrightLCGA (002)

Figure 5. Stars in Sunlight by John Lavery ©  Permanent Collection of Limerick City Gallery of Art

The Donor

William Graham Greig(WGG) (1910-1999)

Our donor was the only son of James Graham Greig(JGG) (1879-1951) and Janet Alexander Buchanan, daughter of John Buchanan, a Falkirk timber merchant. At the time of WGG’s birth on 16th July 1910  the family home was at 2 Strathallan Terrace, Dowanhill in Glasgow’s West End.14 Janet Alexander Buchanan was JGG’s second wife. His first wife, Helen Stewart Jacob, who he married in 1905, sadly died at the age of 28.15

JGG was a stockbroker. Originally a co-partner in the firm of Service Brothers and Greig of 118 Queen Street, in 1909 the partnership was dissolved and James Graham Greig set up his own stockbroking business -James Graham Greig & Co- at 8, Gordon Street16. By 1930 the business had moved to 164 Gordon Street, premises owned by the Commercial Bank of Scotland.17

By the time of the 1911 census the family were living at 2, Caledon Street, Hillhead, off Byres Road. They had one live-in servant, Elizabeth McDonald18. In 1912 a daughter, Margaret Alston was born, followed a few years later in 1919 by another daughter, Doris Graham.19

JGG was a member of the Glasgow Stock Exchange Committee for many years. He was also appointed a Justice of the Peace for the County and City of Glasgow in 1935. He was a member of the Sandyford Burns Club and was president for a term. JGG was also one-time chairman of the Partick Unionist Association.20

There is little information available on the life of our donor, WGG, in the 1920s either about his schooldays or whether or not he went to university. Like his father he became a stockbroker and went to work in the family firm.21 He and his father shared an interest in angling. There are newspaper reports of them taking part in competitions for example on Loch Leven in April 1935.22

In 1936 WGG entered Glasgow local politics and was elected councillor for the Whiteinch Ward which he served until 1955.23 He stood for the newly formed Glasgow Progressive Party(formerly known as the Moderate Party) which was a mixture of  Liberals,Unionists and Independents. The Progresssive Party  supporters were members of the public who opposed the policies of the Socialists on Glasgow Corporation who were in the majority at that time.  The terms ‘Conservative’ and ‘Labour’ were not really used until the mid 1960s. Instead ‘Unionist ‘and ‘Socialist’ were used. What we now know as the Scottish Conservative Party was then the Scottish Unionists Association.24

WGG won the Whiteinch Ward from the sitting Socialist Hector McNeill with a comfortable majority of 1036.25 Overall the Progressive Party won seven additional seats, not quite the dozen they had hoped for but now the Progressives had   49 seats to the Socialist 55, an improvement on the previous election.26 At this time the family were living at 88 Balshagray Avenue in the West End27.

For the rest of the 1930s, while continuing his career as a stockbroker, WGG  served  on many of the Glasgow  Corporation committees. These included  Housing, Education, Water and Markets as well as the Police Committee, Sub- Committee on Baths and Washhouses  and the Sub -Committee for Continuation Classes. He was also on the Western School Management Committee   and the Advisory Committee for Juvenile Employment on which he represented Partick. WGG was one of the Town Council patrons of Hutcheson’s Hospital.28

Although only 29 when war broke out in 1939 there is no record of WGG serving in any of the services during World War Two. Whether this was because of a medical condition or some other reason there is no information available at this time. According to the National Register of 1939 WGG was  a   Stockbroker, Member of the Police Committee and of the Emergency Police Committee. There is no information available as to whether he was involved in such organisations as the Home Guard or Air Raid Wardens etc. His younger sister Doris, however, became a British Red Cross driver during the war.29 At the outbreak of war WGG was living at 88 Balshagray Avenue with his parents and sisters.30

During the war years WGG continued his career in local politics. In addition to the committees already mentioned he served on the Libraries Committee and the Special Committee for Public Indoor Gymnasia. In 1943 WGG was elected a Bailie of the Burgh by his fellow councillors, and was thus a magistrate.31

WGG also followed in his father’s footsteps by taking an interest in Robert Burns. He was a member of the Sandyford Burns Club and one of the speakers at the Annual Burns Supper   held on January 25th1943. This was the Jubilee Year for the club. Attending the meeting was King Peter II of Yugoslavia who happened to be on a visit to the west of Scotland and expressed an interest in the traditional ceremonies associated with the Bard.32

A report in the Glasgow Herald in October 1945 relates WGG as attending a meeting at Dunoon of the Glasgow and   West of Scotland Seaside Convalescent Homes where he was a speaker along with Reverend Neville Davidson of Glasgow Cathedral.33 Whether WGG was a patron of the home or a representative of Glasgow Corporation is unknown.  The home had been opened in 1869 ‘for the purpose of affording sea air, bathing and repose to those invalids (from Glasgow) whose circumstances prevented them regaining in any other way the health and strength necessary to resume work.’ Glasgow philanthropist Beatrice Clugston, along with councillors James Salmon and James Thomson, had been instrumental in raising the £11,000 to build the home, which housed 150 patients.34 The running costs were covered by annual charitable subscriptions from various philanthropic individuals and bodies, for example The Incorporation of Coopers of Glasgow.35  The Homes had been requisitioned by the Admiralty in September 1940 for the training of radar operatives. WGG spoke in support of a motion for the homes to be de-requisitioned quickly so the normal work of providing convalescent facilities for workers and their families could resume.36 The Dunoon Homes were de-requisitioned in May 1946 and eventually re-opened around 1948 after extensive renovation which was needed after damage done during the war-time occupation by the Admiralty. They remained supported by charitable subscription until closure around 1971.37

The Chief Constable of Glasgow  had not had a rise in salary since 1931. So reported The Scotsman in May 1947. WGG, as a member of the Police Committee, was reported as speaking in favour of such a pay rise as had been recommended by the Secretary of State for Scotland. The recommended rise was to £1700 per annum rising by £50 increments to a maximum of £2,200 plus a free house. This was still below the Secretary of States recommendation of £1900 with increments of £100 up to a maximum of £2400 plus a free house. The proposal was carried by 42 votes to 35. Opposition came from   Labour and ILP councillors.38  

In 1949 WGG was on the Galleries and Museums Committee of Glasgow Corporation, remaining on that committee for a couple of years.  As 1949 was the year in which WGG donated the two Lavery paintings,perhaps it was his membership of this committee which influenced him to make the donation. There is no record of the donation in the Glasgow Corporation Minutes.

In January 1951 the death of James Graham Greig, our donor’s father, was reported in the Glasgow Herald.  The business by this time was at 22a West Nile Street. JGG was reported as being one of the oldest members of the Glasgow Stock Exchange, joining in 1903, serving as a member of the Stock Exchange Committee for 12 years. He was a Justice of the Peace and also Chairman of the Partick Unionist Association and past president of the Sandyford Burns Club.39

In December 1953 WGG was adopted as Unionist Parliamentary Candidate for the Bothwell Constituency. Perhaps,once again, this was due to his father’s  interest in the Scottish Unionist Party. The Motherwell Times describes WGG as,”Former police judge and ex-Bailie of the Corporation of  Glasgow. Representative of the Whiteinch Ward since 1936 as a Progressive and at present sits on the Public Health and Welfare Committee”. At this time the Bothwell Constituency included Mount Vernon, Carmyle, Springboig and Garrowhill as well as Uddingston and Bothwell. 40 

In March 1955 WGG retired from Glasgow Corporation. 41 In May of that year he was appointed Master of Works for the following year.42 The appointment of Master of Works meant that WGG was the Glasgow Corporation Representative  in the Department of Public  Works (later the Engineers Department)and also on the Dean of Guilds Court which, until its abolition in 1975, dealt with all matters pertaining to the positioning and construction of streets and buildings.43 

In the General Election held on May 26th 1955 WGG had the daunting task of overturning a Labour majority of 6,000 gained at the previous election in 1951.  However in a report in the Motherwell Times of 18th May 1955 entitled,” No Need  for Despondency” , WGG was optimistic about his chances of being elected  because of the enthusiasm and hard work of his team of Unionist Party Workers and the reports from the canvassers and reports that many in the constituency  who voted Labour in 1951, seeing the job done by the current Tory Government, did not intend to vote against the government this time.44 In the event WGG was not elected but he did reduce his opponent’s (John Timmons) majority to 3,610.45

After retirement as a councillor WGG continued to work as a stockbroker at the firm his father had founded, still at 229a West Nile Street. By this time he had moved to another address in the West End-Westcraig ,22 Victoria Park Gardens North.46 He was living with his mother, Janet and his sister Margaret.47

In February 1958 at the annual meeting of the Bothwell Unionists Association WGG was once again elected as the prospective Unionist Candidate for the Bothwell Constituency.48 A few days later WGG gave a short address at the meeting of the Bothwell Constituency Association. At this meeting a motion from the Uddingston Branch was passed overwhelmingly, recommending the death penalty for all types of murder. This motion was to be forwarded to the May Conference of the Scottish Unionist Conference.49

WGG is reported as attending a meeting of the Women’s Section of the Bothwell Unionist Constituency Association later in February 1958.The Motherwell Times reported that a vote of thanks was given by Miss G Greig.50 This must have been WGG’s sister Margaret A. Graham Greig as his other sister Doris had married George Campbell McKinlay in 1943.51 Margaret appears to have had a similar interest in the Unionist Party to that of her brother. Also in March 1958 the Motherwell Times reported on a whist drive held by the Newarthill Unionist  Association,presumably a fundraiser,  which was attended by WGG who spoke a few words and by Miss G Greig who presented the prizes.52

In the Queen’s Birthday Honours List of June 1958 William Graham Greig Esq. JP  was awarded the OBE ‘for political and Public Services to Glasgow’.53

The General Election of 8th October 1959 proved no more successful than that of 1955 for our donor, though again he lost by the comparatively small margin of 4,352 again to John Timmons.54  At this time  the Labour Party were almost unbeatable in the Central Belt of Scotland, especially around Glasgow. This was to be the last time WGG attempted to become a Member of Parliament.

WGG continued as a stockbroker under the name of James G Greig until the early 1960s. He then moved to the firm of Campbell Neill and Co,Stock Exchange House,69 St Vincent Street. He appears to have remained there until around 1974 after which time his name disappears from the Glasgow Post Office Directory. By this time WGG would have been around 65 and perhaps he retired. His home up this point remained Westcraig in Victoria Park Gardens.55

There is no more information concerning our donor until his death on February 1st1999 at the age of 88. He died at the Lyndoch Nursing Home in Bearsden.56


    1. Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow. Glasgow Boys Gallery. Information Panel Potter at Work by John Lavery
    2. McConkey,Kenneth John Lavery :A Painter and His World pp40-45 .2nd Edition 2010   Atelier Books  Edinburgh
    3. Glasgow Museums Resource Centre Object File. Lavery, John
    5. Lavery, John The Life of a Painter p239 Cassell 1940
    6. op cit. 4 above
    7. e-mail .
    8. https//
    9. Statutory Marriages
    11. https//
    12. Hull Daily Mail 14/11/1936
    13. op cit 5 above
    14. Statutory Births
    15. ibid. Statutory Deaths
    16. Edinburgh Gazette 25.05/1909
    17. Valuation Rolls 1930
    18. ibid Census Records 1911
    19. Statutory Births
    20. Obituary James Graham Greig. Glasgow Herald (GH) 08/01/1951
    21. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1936-7
    22. Dundee Courier (DC) 20/04/1935
    23. Corporation of the City of Glasgow: Town Council Lists 1938-9. Glasgow Corporation 1939
    24. Seawright, David. An Important Matter of Principle:The Decline of the Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party. 2nd Edition. Routledge  2018
    25. GH 04/11/1936
    26. DC 04/11/1936
    27. op cit. 21 above
    28. op cit. 23 above
    29.  Statutory Marriage
    30. Glasgow,Lanarkshire,Scotland Electoral Registers 1857-1962.
    31. Glasgow Corporation Minutes 05/11/1943 Ref C1/3/109
    32. Burns Chronicle and Club Directory Second Series Vol X1X
    33. GH 23/10/1945
    34. https//
    35. Mair,Craig The History of the Incorporation of Coopers of Glasgow. Pub Neil Wilson 2013
    36. GH 08/10/1946
    38. GH 08/01/1951
    39. GH 08/01/1951
    40. Motherwell Times (MT) 18/12/1953
    41. Glasgow Corporation Minutes 17/03/1955. Ref C1/3/130
    42. ibid 06/05/1955 Ref C1/3/131
    44. MT 20/05/1955
    45. Birmingham Daily Gazette 28/05/1955
    46. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1957-58
    47. op cit. ref 30
    48. MT 01/02/1958
    49. ibid. 07/02/1958
    50. ibid. 14/02/1958
    51. Statutory Marriages
    52. MT 07/03/1958
    53. London Gazette 12/06/1958
    54. GH 10/10/1959
    55. Glasgow Post Office Directories 1960-1975
    56. Statutory Deaths




Ronald McNeilage and David Gordon Nicolson.

Donor-Ronald McNeilage (1935-1959) and David Gordon Nicolson (1870-1952)

The Painting.

Calves in the Cabbage Patch   by J Denovan Adam (1841-1896) Acc 3442

Adam, Joseph Denovan, 1841-1896; Calves in the Cabbage Patch
Figure 1. Adam, Joseph Denovan; Calves in the Cabbage Patch. © CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

Donated in July 19491, the painting was bought from an auction held at the Crown Hall Auction Rooms in Glasgow on 8th April 1949 for £1.2 ( Today  a Denovan  Adam painting can fetch as much as £60003).

Joseph Denovan Adam was a Scottish painter specialising in the painting of animals, Highland landscapes and still life. In 1887 he set up a school of animal painting at Craigmill near Stirling which became the centre for a group of Stirling and Glasgow artists. It was based on Adam’s small farm where students were encouraged to paint his herd of Highland Cattle from life.4


The painting was exhibited at the Smith Art Gallery in Stirling in 1996 in an exhibition called, Mountain,Meadow,Moss and Moor. 5

Ronald McNeilage (1935-1959)

The official donor of this painting is rather unusual as he was only 14 years old when he gave the painting to Glasgow. At the time of the donation Ronald was a patient in Killearn  Hospital,  Stirlingshire, suffering from a brain tumour. The brain tumour was pressing on an optical nerve and affected his eyesight. Killearn Hospital was a specialist hospital which dealt with brain injuries and illness which affected the brain. His parents were Alexander McNeilage, an electrical engineer, and Jessie Lowe Nicolson. They lived at 32 Alden Road Newlands, Glasgow at that time.

Ronald McNeilage and family
Figure 2. Ronald McNeilage(on left) , brother Alan ,Grandfather David G Nicolson and father Alexander (seated) on Hillman Minx AGG 149. © A McNeilage

The Director of   Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum, Dr Tom Honeyman, wrote to Ronald thanking him for  the painting . Ronald was so proud of the letter that he had it framed and showed it to all his visitors. Dr Honeyman even wrote again to Ronald who was still in hospital, in November 1949 to say that Ronald was still in the thoughts of himself and the staff of the Art Galleries.

As one might guess there was more to this story. In fact it was Ronald’s maternal grandfather, David Gordon Nicolson (DGN), who masterminded this donation. After acquiring the painting he wrote to Dr Honeyman explaining the circumstances of his grandson’s illness and asked him to write the letter of thanks to his grandson.6 As we already know DGN had bought the painting for £1 in at an auction in Glasgow in 1949 (buying and selling Figure 2. paintings at auctions was a hobby) and hatched the plan for its donation probably hoping this would cheer up his grandson who was in hospital for the greater part of 1949.

According to his younger brother, Alan, Ronald was in and out of Killearn for the next ten years . He had several operations and was under the care of neurosurgeon James Sloan Robertson. Ronald eventually went to work for the RNIB in Glasgow where he was a library assistant. Both Ronald and Alan were pupils at Glasgow High School.7

David Gordon Nicolson (1871-1952)

Thus our true donor is David Gordon Nicolson (DGN). He was born in Dunse, Berwickshire. His father, David William Nicolson, was a mariner and his mother was Mary Jane Whitelaw.8 The couple were married in Liverpool where Mary’s family ran a boarding house.9 Perhaps DGN’s father had been a lodger at the boarding house when his ship came to Liverpool? DGN had an elder brother William Darling and a sister Janet, known as Jessie. By 1881 the family had moved to Musselburgh. The father was not on the census and was presumably at sea.10

David was a pupil at Musselburgh Grammar School which was managed by the Musselburgh School Board. In July 1885 at the age of 14 he was employed as a pupil -teacher at the school. 11 At that time in Scotland and in England this was one road into teaching.

At the age of fourteen (after Standard III) the best pupils in a school were chosen to stay on as pupil-teachers. They remained as pupil-teachers until they were 18.

DGN as teacher pupil 001
Figure 3. DGN (front row centre)as a pupil teacher at Musselburgh Grammar School (c1885-9). © A. McNeilage

They were paid a salary starting at £10 per annum rising to £20. Schools were allowed to have one pupil teacher per 25 pupils and were paid to have pupil teachers.  Pupil -teachers had to sit an examination every year and were annually inspected.12

David remained as a pupil- teacher until 10th September 1889 when he left the Musselburgh School to take up the post of uncertificated teacher at Brand’s School Milnathort in Kinrosshire.13 It was common for ex-pupil teachers to work as uncertificated teachers after completing their ‘ apprenticeship’. We know he remained at Brands School for 15 months.14

DGN was back in Musselburgh at the time of the 1891 Census, usually held in March.  He was listed in the census as a ‘teacher of English’ while his sister Janet was a ‘certificated teacher’. It is unknown at this point in which school they were teaching.  Mary, DGN’s, mother appears to have been running a boarding house as there were two more certificated teachers and one assistant teacher living as lodgers at the same address.  Running a boarding house appears to have been a Whitelaw family business.

It is unknown at this time where DGN was between March 1891 and February 1892. There is a family story, backed up by a photograph of DGN in uniform that he served in the Boer War, however he does not appear in any of the military records.15 Information from Dr Patrick Watt  of the National Museum of Scotland  suggested the photograph was taken in the 1890s and identified the uniform as that of the Royal Scots, possibly a volunteer battalion. Perhaps DGN, like many other young men of that time had joined one of the volunteer regiments. The Royal Scots were the local Edinburgh Regiment based at Glencorse Barracks. The photograph may have been taken at the annual summer camp which was part of the commitment required of volunteer soldiers.

DGN in uniform 001
Figure 4. DGN is on the extreme left of the photograph. © Alan McNeilage

In February 1892 DGN began a course at the Church of Scotland Teacher Training College in Edinburgh. He was there for two years graduating in December 1893 25th out of a class of 13416. There is little information as to how teacher training was financed during the 1890s. Until the 1860s   pupil -teachers could sit a competitive examination for a Queens Bursary of £25 per year for men (less for women) which would maintain them while at college. Presumably college fees would be paid as well.17 There is some evidence that these bursaries carried on after the 1872 Elementary Schools (Scotland)Act when there was a huge rise in demand for teachers. It is not known if DGN was in receipt of a bursary as the records of male students have been lost but the list of female students records some in receipt of a bursary.18

Until 1905 provision of teacher training was in the hands of the churches either the Church of Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland, the Catholic Church or the Episcopalian Church.  The latter two were much smaller organisations. In Edinburgh the Church of Scotland Teacher Training College was first in Johnston Terrace and then in Chambers Street while the Free Church Training College was at Moray House. In 1905   teacher training was taken out of the hands of the churches and taken over by the Scotch Education Department as it was then known. The two Presbyterian Edinburgh Colleges amalgamated in 1907 and became Moray House Teacher Training College, one of four Provincial Training Colleges in Scotland, the others being in Glasgow, Aberdeen and Dundee.19

In January 1894 DGN began his first post as a probationary teacher at Grahamston Public School in Barrhead, Renfrewshire. The headmaster of the School was James Maxton, father of the James Maxton who became the ‘Red Clydesider ‘ MP in the 1920s.20 Even though he was in his first  year of probation DGN was given Standards 1V,V and V1 to teach- in other words what would be known today as  Secondary Education which had only been publicly funded since 1892. The 1872 Act had only provided public funds for elementary education before that date.21

.DGN’s appointment possibly came about as a result of comments made by the School Inspector during his annual visit to Grahamston School in 1893. When commenting on the Senior School, Standards 1V,V  and V1 –“The staff of the senior department would require to be strengthened if these subjects are to be carried on to any further extent.”22

DGN seems to have settled in well as the log book entry for February 2nd 1894 states,” Mr Nicolson is promising very well and manages Standard 1V… very satisfactorily”. DGN completed his two year probation and became a certificated teacher in February 1896.23  As the log books show, at this time schools underwent an inspection every year and the results of that inspection affected the annual grant given by the SED.

In December 1896 DGN married Ellen Agnes Robertson in Musselburgh.24 DGN’s home before  his marriage  was  in Albany Place Nitshill where he appears to have been a lodger. 25

DGN was obviously ambitious and keen to earn extra money as he quickly became involved in teaching evening classes at various schools under the Neilston Parish School Board. There are several entries in the minutes of the Evening Class Committees of the Neilston Parish School Board from 1895 onwards regarding DGN’s involvement in evening class teaching at Cross Arthurlie Evening School and Uplawmoor Evening School  where he was described as ‘Chief Teacher’ of the evening school.26

Figure 5. Uplawmoor Public School. © East Renfrewshire Archives

On April 29th 1898 after four years at Grahamston Public School another entry in the log book tells us that on the order of the Neilston Parish School Board Mr DG Nicolson was to be transferred to another Barrhead School i.e. Cross Arthurlie Public School (also under the Neilston Parish School Board) as First Assistant27(Deputy Head today). The Nicolsons continued to live at Nitshill where in 1898 a daughter Ellen was born. Mary followed in 1900 shortly after which  the family were living at  36 Carlibar Road Barrhead in a block of 3 storey tenements.28.

In 1902 the Nicolsons moved to Uplawmoor, Renfrewshire  as  on 8th September  DGN  took up his duties as  headteacher of Uplawmoor Public School, living in the School House.29

DGN was a keen golfer and was one of the founder members of the Caldwell Golf Club, Uplawmoor, in 1903. The first meeting was held at the Old School House in the village, DGN’s home. He became the club’s first secretary and treasurer.30

David G Nicholson aged 24
Figure 6. DGN at Caldwell Golf Club c1904. © Alan McNeilage

While at Uplawmoor  DGN was given leave of absence for two weeks to attend,” a course of instruction at the Royal College of Art ,South Kensington”. DGN had a keen interest and talent in artistic subjects. In the  annual Inspectors Report in May 1904 DGN was praised for  his teaching of the Supplementary Course in art subjects single-handed.31 

In 1905 DGN was transferred to Neilston Public School as Headmaster, again living in the School House. This was probably because of   the sudden death of the headmaster, Duncan Martin in February 1905. DGN’s salary was £200 per annum and use of the School House. Both Uplawmoor and Neilston schools were managed by the Neilston Parish School Board. The family lived at 47 High Street Neilston which was the School House.32  DGN is credited with starting the Neilston School Magazine.33

In 1908 another daughter, Jessie Lowe was born. She became the mother of our young donor Ronald.34                                                                  

DGN remained at Neilston until 1924 when he was appointed Headmaster of Mearns Street School in Greenock.35 He was headmaster of Mearns Street School until his retirement in 1932.36

Mearns Street School, Greenock 3
Figure 7. Mearns Street School Greenock © Inverclyde Heritage Hub

According to his grandson, Alan, DGN was a keen chess player and a member, Honorary Secretary and Treasurer for several years , of Glasgow Chess Club which met in the Athenaeum building in Glasgow. As we know he was a keen golfer. He was a keen angler too. His efforts were once reported in the press when he spent three hours on the River Stinchar bringing in a salmon with a trout rod. He used to go and stay at the Portsonach Hotel on Loch Awe and look after the fishing for hotel guests. His grandson, Alan, visited the Hotel in 1959 and found his grandfather’s handwriting in the catch record book.

David Gordon Nicolson
Figure 8. David Gordon Nicolson on his retirement in 1932. © A. McNeilage

DGN was a talented sketcher and loved carving items such as animals out of wood. As we have seen, a  favourite hobby was going to art auctions and buying and selling paintings. On his retirement he presented a painting to Mearns Street School and as we know he bought a painting for his grandson to present to Glasgow.

DGN was a freemason, holding the office of Provincial Grand Junior Warden for Renfrewshire East based in Paisley. On January 1st 1932 for holding this office DGN was presented with a small wooden mallet made from the old rafters of Paisley Abbey.37

DGN’s retirement was not short of adventure. In July 1937, he and Ellen his wife, daughter Ellen and son-in -law John embarked on a road trip to Venice. Ellen   chose Venice as she said she wanted to make sure, “it wasn’t just a Fairy Tale”. They travelled in a Hillman Minx-AGG 149- which the young people had just bought on HP. (see figure 2)

Details of the trip filled 4 large scraps books hand-written by DGN and illustrated with his own sketches as well as receipts for hotels and restaurants.©

To venice and back 1937
Figure 9. Front cover of Scrapbook 1. Drawing by DGN. © Alan McNeilage.

What was known as the Automobile Association in those days was extremely helpful providing them with routes and all the official documents they needed for the trip for the car and for themselves. The AA, as it is known today ,arranged the ferry crossing    from Dover to Calais with AA  representatives to smooth the path at the ports, all for £12/11/-(£12 and 11 shillings-£12 60 pence today). Each car had to be hoisted on board as there was no such thing as a roll-on roll-off car ferry in 1937.


Car ferry in 1937
Figure 10. Hoisting AGG 149 on board at Dover. Scrapbook 1 © A McNeilage

There is no time or space here to go into  too much detail of the trip but from the first stop of the trip outside Doncaster where bed, breakfast and supper for four at the Rosery Cafe was 30 shillings (about £1.25 today), they travelled  to Dover where bed and breakfast  and supper cost seven shillings  each (about 70pence). They then  drove through France, Switzerland and Italy to Venice where they spent only a few days before starting the journey home.

rosery Cafe Bill
Figure 11. Receipt from the Rosery Café July 5th1937. Scrapbook 1. © A. McNeilage

The party travelled back through Austria, Germany and Belgium where they spent time at the Great War Battlefields  such as Ypres. The scrapbooks are fascinating to  read. They tell of hair- raising climbs up  mountain passes such as the Brenner Pass as well as friendly meetings with local people and visiting places of interest such as Versailles, Cologne Cathedral and St Marks in Venice.

The travellers had taken with them a small spirit stove and everywhere they went in all the countries they passed through, often staying only one night, they made tea and had lunch by the roadside on most days, eating locally bought provisions.

They were in Italy during the time of Mussolini and in Germany during the time of the Third Reich where they only once came into contact with,” that Heil Hitler nonsense “, as DGN put it. In all they covered 3,500 miles in AGGI 49 as the car became known, having developed a personality by the time the party had travelled in her for a while. The car never travelled above 55 miles an hour and never had a puncture.38

DGN 1937 The Group
Figure 12. DGN ,daughter Ellen,wife Ellen and son-in-law John with unknown St Bernard. © A McNeilage

Ellen died in 194339 and eventually DGN went to live with his daughter Ellen in Hamilton from where he masterminded the donation of Calves in a Cabbage Patch on behalf of his grandson Ronald. David Gordon Nicolson die on  March 2nd 1952.40

And what of our young donor Ronald?  Unfortunately at the age of 24, after years of being in and out of hospital for numerous operations, the brain tumour returned once again41 and, sadly, Ronald died in Killearn Hospital on September 13th 1959.42 At least his grandfather did not live to see that.


While researching David Gordon Nicholson, entries were found on the website   referring to photographs of one David G Nicolson. They were posted by Lorraine Whitelaw Speirs who lives in Vancouver. As Whitelaw was the maiden name of DGN’s mother  the owner of these photographs was contacted in order to confirm that the posts referred to DGN. Mrs Lorraine Whitelaw Spiers   revealed that she was a descendant of Robert, younger brother of Mary Whitelaw, mother of DGN. Lorraine knew nothing of the McNeilage side of the family but had visited Scotland several times researching her family. When Alan McNeilage, Ronald’s younger brother and grandson of DGN was informed of the existence of a   branch of the family of which he was unaware he was delighted. By pure chance   he and his wife Caryl had a holiday planned in July 2018 to Vancouver. Alan and Lorraine are now in touch by e-mail and plan to meet during the visit. Who says there is no such thing as co-incidence?


1.Glasgow Museums Resource Centre. Object Files. Adam, J Donevan.
Acc 3442 1/1/563 (GMRC)
4.Julian Halsby, Paul Harris. The Dictionary of Scottish Painters 1600 to the Present. Canongate 2001 p.1
5.Glasgow Herald 7/7/1996
7.Interview with Alan McNeilage, grandson of DGN.  16/04/2018(A. McNeilage) Statutory Births Statutory Marriages
10.UK Census 1881
11.East Lothian Archives. SCH 34/1/1
12.Marjorie Cruikshank History of the Training of Teachers in Scotland.University of London 1979.p.56
13.East Lothian Archives SCH 34/1/1
14.Grahamston Public School Log Book 19/01/1894. Glasgow City Archives (GCA) REF. C02/5/6/4/1
15.A. McNeilage
16.Edinburgh University Library. Special Collections. REF GB237EUA 1N18.(EUL)
19.Cruikshank.Chapter 5.
20.Grahamston Public School Log Book. 19/01/1894.GCA Ref. C02/5/6/4/1
21.Cruikshank .p219
22.Grahamston Public School Log Book. 06/05/1893.GCA Ref.C02/5/6/4/1
23. As above 02/02/1896
24. Marriages.
25. Valuation Rolls 1895
26.Neilston Public School Board Minutes. GCA Ref.C02/5/3/14/11
27.Grahamston Public School Log Book 29/04/1898.Ref.GCA C02/5/6/4/1
28.UK Census 1901
29.Uplawmoor Public School Log Book 08/09/1902.Ref.GCA C02/5/6/78/2
30. Caldwell Golf Club:The First Hundred Years-1903-2003. Akros Printers 2003
31.GCA.Ref.C02/5/6/78/2. Supplementary Classes were classes aimed at the Intermediate and Leaving Certificate for pupils who stayed on after the age of 14. See Cruikshank.
32.Berwickshire News and Advertiser 11/04/1905
33.e-mail correspondence with Lorraine Whitelaw Speirs
34.UK Census 1910
35.Sunday Post 06/07/1924
36.A. McNeilage
37. ibid.
38. To Venice and Back July 1937.Scrapbooks 1-4 A. McNeilage Family Papers.
39.  Statutory Deaths
40. ibid
41. A McNeilage
42. Statutory Deaths


Many thanks to Alan McNeilage and his wife Caryl for their hospitality and for the supply of so much invaluable information from family papers and photographs. JMM




























































Felicia Pepys Cockerell 1890-1970

Felicia Pepys Cockerell 1890-1970


Harding, Chester, 1792-1866; Robert Grahame (1759-1851), Lord Provost of Glasgow (1833-1834)
Fig.1. Robert Grahame of Whitehill (1759-1851) Lord Provost of Glasgow 1833-4 by Chester Harding (1792-1866 )© CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. (

Artist  : Harding was an American portrait painter. He was born in Massachusets of humble origins. He was largely self-taught but became very successful. He spent time in Europe between 1823 and 1826 and was very popular. Even members of the royal family commissioned him. This portrait was probably painted around 1825 as another portrait by Harding of Thomas Grahame, Robert’s son, has a date of 1825. Our portrait was exhibited in Glasgow in 1868 in an Exhibition of Portraits held at ‘The New Galleries of Art’,Sauchiehall Street (McLellan Galleries).  It was loaned by Thomas Grahame of Leamington Spa – son of Robert Grahame(1) .


The portrait was presented to Glasgow Museums on 26th November 1947 by  Felicia Pepys Cockerell (FPC) of Brook House Aldermasten,  Berkshire2. The first question one must ask is how a lady living in Berkshire in 1947 came to possess a portrait of a former Lord Provost of Glasgow? In fact  FPC was the great-great granddaughter of Robert Grahame and the portrait was probably handed down through the generations of the family. The diagram below shows the link between  FPC and Robert Grahame.

Grahame Family Tree

Fig. 2. Jackie Macaulay

Robert Grahame (1759-1851)

Robert Grahame was born on 28th December 1759 in Stockwell Street, the son of Thomas Grahame, Writer to the Signet, (Solicitor) and from 1751 a member of the Faculty of Procurators in Glasgow. Robert followed his father into the legal profession and went into partnership with his father as the firm of  “Thomas and Robert Grahame”. He joined the Faculty of Procurators in 1792. On the death of Thomas Grahame in 1791 Robert carried on the practice alone until 1802 when he went into partnership with Andrew Mitchell and the practice became “Grahame and Mitchell”. ‘No firm ever stood higher in Glasgow’.

Robert married Helen Geddes(1751-1824) of Cupar, Fife, in 1786.They had four surviving children (see above diagram),one of whom was James Grahame, our donor’s great grandfather.

In 1797 Robert bought Whitehill House and Estate in what is now the east end of Glasgow in   the suburb of Denniston. The original house(the centre part) was  built by John Glassford , one of the Glasgow Tobacco Lords. Glassford sold the estate in 1759 to John Wallace of Neilstonside who in turn sold it to a retired London merchant, Nathaniel Gordon. Robert Grahame bought it from John Gordon, son of Nathaniel. The house remained in the Grahame family until the 1840s. It was eventually sold to the Denniston family3.

thumb_Whitehill House
Fig. 3. Whitehill House from The old country houses of the old Glasgow gentry. John Guthrie Smith and John Oswald Mitchell, 1878. Glasgow: James Maclehose & Sons.

Robert was one of the most respected  men of his time in Glasgow.   He was well-known for his liberal and democratic views . He was an ardent supporter of the emancipation of slaves, a friend and correspondent of William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson. He was against oppression throughout the world. He was President of the Glasgow Emancipation Society for many years. He was known to support the American War of Independence and be not entirely unsympathetic to the aims of the French Revolution. In 1793 the British Government was in something of a panic regarding the holding of liberal views and feared that the ideals of the French revolution might spread to Britain. As a result of this Robert was watched by the government. The Lord Provost of Glasgow received instructions from the Lord Advocate to activate an arrest warrant drawn up for Robert Grahame. The Lord Provost wrote to the Lord Advocate saying that such was the esteem in which Robert Grahame was held in the town that he could not guarantee civic order if Robert Grahame were to be arrested.  As the Lord Provost was Grahame’s political opponent it says a lot for the reputation and standing of Robert Grahame at the time. He was not bothered again.

This fracas did not prevent Grahame from acting as an agent in the defence of Thomas Muir and the political martyrs of 1793 or in trying to get a reprieve in 1819-20 for Hardy and Baird and James Wilson for their part in the Radical Insurrection of that year.

Grahame campaigned long and hard for Parliamentary Reform and was the first Lord Provost of Glasgow (1833-4) to be elected after the passing of the Reform Act. However by 1834 his health and his age was beginning to take its toll and he only served a year as Lord Provost. He left Glasgow for warmer climes and went to live  on the south coast of England. The 1841 Census finds him living with his daughter, Ann Donald, in Clifton, near Bristol. In 1851 he was staying with his son Thomas in Chorley Wood near Watford in Hertfordshire. He died on December 28th 1851 at Hatton Hall Northamptonshire, aged 91. Whether or not this was his home is not known  at this time4.

James Grahame (1790-1842)

The next name in the story is Robert Grahame’s eldest son James who was born in Glasgow on 21st December 1790. James was educated at the Grammar School of Glasgow in George Street. This became the High School of Glasgow in 1834. He then attended classes at Glasgow University where he heard lectures from Professor Playfair. Around 1810 he became a student at St John’s College Cambridge, it is thought to study literature as he had literary ambitions. Even though James’s time at Cambridge was short, while there he became great friends with a fellow student, John Herschel, who is to play a pivotal role in our story . John Herschel, later Sir John Herschel, became known as an astronomer and chemist.

During one university vacation James met and fell in love with a woman called Matilda Robley. As he wanted to marry Matilda  James went back to Scotland to study for the Scottish Bar in Edinburgh, presumably to be able to support a wife. He was called to the Scottish Bar as an advocate in June1812 and married Matilda in Stoke Newington in October 1813.

Unfortunately he found the practising of law not to his taste. He wrote to a friend,   (possibly John Herschel), ”Until now I have been my own master and I now resign my independence for a service I dislike”. However he does seem to have carried on a satisfactory practice, no doubt spurred on by his love for his wife, as he further wrote,  “Love and ambition unite to incite my industry.”

Who was this woman who captured James’s heart? According to one of her teachers, a Mrs Barbauld, she was “…young, beautiful, amiable and accomplished…. with a fine fortune”5. Ironically much of Matilda’s fine fortune came from the profits of plantations owned by her uncle , Joseph Robley, in Tobago. Sugar and  cotton were the crops grown on the plantations. Joseph owned several plantations and thousands of slaves. Matilda’s father, John Robley, managed the business from the London end. The Robleys lived at Fleetwood House, Stoke Newington6. How this all sat with James who had been brought up by a father who abhorred slavery in all its forms can only be guessed at. According to Eleanor M Harris, James was,” so moved at the privilege of gaining her that it brought about a religious conversion which lasted the rest of his life.” It must have been a case of love conquering all!

James and Matilda had three children: Anne(b1814), Robert (b. 1816) and Matilda (b.1817). Tragically daughter Anne died in 1817,followed by  much loved  wife Matilda in 1818. James was said to never really recover from these events.” He was left with his religion, his children, and the wealth”. After Matilda’s death the children, Robert and Matilda were left with a ninth share of the Tobago estate with James inheriting a life rent of it. In 1827  wrote that,”My conscience was quite laid to sleep.Like many others, Idi not do what  I could, because I could not do what I wished. For years past something more than a fifth part of my income has been derived from the labour of slaves. God forgive me for having tainted my store!…Never more shall the price of blood enter my pocket!…Till we can legally divest ourselves of every share, every shilling…is to be devoted to the use of some part of the unhappy race from whose suffering it is derived”. When his children were of age they gave up their shares.7

James Grahame was not of robust health. The death of Anne in 1817 and then of his wife the following year brought on illness which threatened his life (though it is not known  what the illness  was). However he slowly began to take up his literary pursuits again. He had previously written pamphlets on various subjects such as   Inquiry into the Principle of Population’  in 1816 and  in 1817 a spirited defence of Scottish Presbyterianism in opposition to Walter Scott’s ‘ The Tales of my Landlord ‘ which Grahame said subjected them to contempt. In 1823 he went to the Low Countries for his health. Also in that year he was admitted as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh. About the same  time,influenced by his father , he began to think about what was to prove the main work of his life, writing a history of the United States of America. One of his chief interests was American history. Washington and Franklin were his great heroes.

In 1825 his mother, Helen Geddes, died at Whitehill. In London in 1825 and early 1826  James was again suffering illness and depression. He was still working at his law practice in Edinburgh when his doctors prescribed moving to a warmer climate. In March 1826 he wrote,”I am now preparing to strike my tent…I quit my profession without regret, having little liked it and greatly neglected it.”

In 1827 the first two volumes of his history of the United States was published– ‘The History of the Rise and progress of the United States of  North America ‘till the British Revolution in 1688. During 1827 and 1828 he spent time in Madeira, Paris and Nantes, travelling for his health. He stayed in Nantes until May 1828. By December 1829 the 3rd and 4th Volumes of his history of the USA had been published-‘ The History of the United States of North America from the Plantation of the Colonies ‘Till their Revolt and Declaration of Independence. It has to be said that the works did not arouse much interest on either side of the Atlantic.

James suffered another bout of ill health and returned to Nantes where he spent much of his time, especially the winters, until his death. In 1830 he married  Jane A. Wilson, daughter of the Reverend Mr Wilson ,Protestant pastor in Nantes. Apparently this was a very happy marriage. Matilda, James’s daughter by his first marriage, lived with them in Nantes. She was of fragile health also and the new Mrs Grahame looked after them both very well. The family stayed at the Chateau L’Eperonniere. They took a central role in Nantes society and became warmly attached to the French people of Nantes.

About this time James began revising the four volumes of his history of the USA. Perhaps this was because in 1831 a favourable review of the first two volumes appeared in the North  American Review. He was urged by writer Washington Irving himself to write a history of the Revolutionary Wars.The first real evidence of public respect for his works in the United States came in August 1839 when he was awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Laws from Harvard University.  This was in recognition of his writings after the four volumes were republished in 1837 and in 1839 an American edition was published in Philadelphia.

Although James himself was backwards and forwards between London and Nantes, having to oversee his publications, his family remained mostly in Nantes. This was mainly because his daughter Matilda had several life-threatening periods of illness during the early 1830s. Much to everyone’s surprise she made a full recovery and went on to marry the next player in our story, John Stewart (1814-1887). They married in Nantes in 1839. (See below- Fig 4 Stewart Family).

James Grahame spent much of the remainder of his life in Nantes along with his wife and his daughter and son-in law who split their time between London and Nantes. His final publication was, ‘ Who is to Blame? Or a Cursory View of the American Apology for American Accession to Negro Slavery which was published in 1841/42. There is some evidence that James intended to return to live in Britain.  He died in London on 3rd July 18428.

The Stewart  Family

As we have seen, Matilda Grahame became Matilda Stewart on 2nd October 1839. Who was John Stewart and what was his family background?

Alexander Stewart (1764-1821)

From the family tree below9, John Stewart was the son of Alexander Stewart, a Scottish Presbyterian minister. At the time of John’s birth  his father was  parish minister in Dingwall, Ross-shire . Alexander Stewart was of the Evangelical wing of the Church of Scotland, having undergone a ‘conversion ‘ about 1796. He supported the abolition of slavery and the non-consumption of sugar, rum and tobacco as part of that support. His work  ‘Elements of Gaelic Grammar’ first published in 1801 , went into 12 editions between 1807 and 1823.

John Stewart’s mother was Alexander’s second wife, Emilia Calder, eldest daughter of Charles Calder, Minister of Urquart, Ross-shire. She and Alexander  had eight children. John, born in 1814, was the youngest. His sister, Margaret Brodie, born in 1810, plays an important part in our story. Alexander’s first wife was Louisa who died around 1799, having had two children, Alexander, who went on to be one of the Disruption Worthies of the 1843 Disruption of the Church of Scotland , and Catherine who married a local minister in Ross-shire.

Alexander had been plagued with ill health for several years, an unspecified internal complaint which caused him much pain. He decided, on the advice of his doctors, to take his family to Edinburgh where better medical facilities were available. Around 1819 the Stewart family moved to Edinburgh, living at some point, according to the Edinburgh Post Office Directory,at 5,Hermitage Place. Alexander’s health improved somewhat and when the minister in charge of Canongate Parish died suddenly, Alexander was given the post, thanks to the influence of one of his wife’s family. Unfortunately the illness returned with a vengeance in the winter of 1820 and although he valiantly carried out his duties as parish minister, he died on May 27th 182110. John was only about seven years old when his father died. The family appeared to have stayed in Edinburgh until about 1830 when they moved to London.

Stewart Family Tree

Fig. 4. Copyright Robert Haley

Why the family moved to London is unclear. John’s father’s financial position is not known,though he is referred to as a landowner in one source.  John Stewart’s financial position as the youngest son when he started out is not known either.  On 3rd March 1829 Margaret Brodie Stewart married John later Sir John Herschel, in Marylebone , London , a prestigious address. Herschel was the only son of William Herschel , the distinguished astronomer  who discovered the planet Uranus. His son John also became a distinguished astronomer , mathematician and photographic pioneer.  He appears to have become friends with his young brother -in – law. In the summer of 1829, while in the Pyrenees, John Herschel drawing with a’ camera lucida’ wrote in a letter to his mother,”  Johnny and I are running a race which shall sketch most-he draws very nicely …).They went on to develop a close relationship11.

In London John Stewart entered the printing business with his brothers. Between 1838 and 1841 he was in  partnership with Alexander Elder Murray as Stewart and Murray  printers , London. John Stewart’s brother Patrick (b.1808) was a partner in the publishing firm of Smith, Elder and Co. , so perhaps the world of publishing and printing became known to John through him. The printers did a great deal of work for Smith and Elder in which John Herschel had invested. Smith and Elder took over the printing company in 1855.

As we have seen, in 1839 John Stewart married Matilda Grahame, who was said to be ‘an old childhood friend’.  As the Stewart family lived in Edinburgh from about 1819 to 1830 and we know that Matilda’s father, James Grahame, was an advocate in Edinburgh from c 1813 to 1826, one presumes they became known to one another in Edinburgh. Also John Herschel and James Grahame had been friends since they were at Cambridge together which may also have brought John and Matilda together. John Herschel certainly went to Nantes to attend the wedding12 .  The newly- weds set up home in Nantes. This was possibly to be near her father who had moved there for his health or perhaps because the climate was good for her health too. As we have seen she suffered several periods of ill-health.

About 1846 they moved to Pau in the Pyrenees, South-West France13. Perhaps  after the death of her father there was nothing to keep them in Nantes. John’s financial situation at this time is not known. Whether he had financial resources of his own or he made use of his wife’s money is not known either. There was presumably some financial settlement on the marriage.  Even before her father’s death Matilda was a wealthy woman, having inherited wealth from her mother. On her father’s death, after her step-mother had been taken care of financially, she and her brother inherited half each of her father’s wealth also14. Whatever the source John Stewart went on to become very successful financially as we shall see.

The couple had two children. Matilda Jane was born in 1841 and James Grahame, our donor’s father, was born in 1842 while they were still living in Nantes.

Pau was already an important British ‘colony’ when John and Matilda moved there. The city had first been discovered by the British when it was occupied in February 1814 by Wellington’s troops during the Napoleonic Peninsular Wars. The troops found the flat terrain perfect for training, for horse-racing, even fox- hunting and golf. Twenty years later more and more British travellers went to Pau, attracted by its mild climate and the beauty of the scenery. When Dr Alexander Taylor went to Pau in 1833 to recover from typhus and dysentery and recovered in a very few weeks he decided to set up a medical practice in Pau. Whether as a clever piece of advertising or genuine belief Taylor wrote his book,On the Curative Influence of the Climate of Pau’  which was published in 1842. Immediately it became a best seller amongst British Society. Perhaps that was what attracted the Stewarts there. Certainly there was a large influx of the British aristocracy who went to Pau with their families and friends. The British ‘invasion’ would start in mid-September each year. John and Matilda Stewart and their children spent every winter in Pau from about 1850, the rest of the time in London

The British influx led to an economic boom in Pau in construction, housing and in the demand for valets, domestic servants, gardeners etc. Living was cheaper than in London and many other British cities. Magnificent villas were built with beautiful gardens. Pau changed from the 1850s and became a modern, for the times, city with an up-to date theatre, a Winter Palace  and many parks and gardens. The ‘Boulevard des Pyrenees’ gave wonderful views of the snow-covered Pyrenees. In 1842 the race course was opened and this became the main sports activity in Pau and remains so today15.

John stewart -Memoires of the Pyrenees
Fig. 5. Etablissement des Eaux-Bonnes. Photograph by John Stewart 1852.© Paul Getty Museum Collection.

One of the main sources of information about John Stewart is ‘Pau Golf Club Who’s Who 1856-196616.

According to the Who’s Who John Stewart was a man of many parts. He was a banker and a diplomat though there is no more information given  about his diplomatic life.  For forty years he and his family lived a large part of their lives in Pau  and played a large part in the life of the community. In 1847 John Stewart was awarded the Legion d’Honneur’ by the French Government for activities in French Indo China connected with the wrecking of a French Naval ship. Again here is tantalisingly little  information available about this incident.

Possibly as a result of his friendship with John Herschel,  John Stewart took up photography. Exactly when is not known. He joined a group of artists in Pau who became known as ‘L’Ecole de Pau’. Among these were well-known early photographers such as Henri-Victoire Regnault, Jean -Jacques Heilman and Maxwell Lyte. They established a studio and printing establishment. Stewart specialised in landscape photographs of the Pyrenees. In 1853 his photographs were published in an album, ‘ Souvenirs des Pyrenees by top photographic editor Blanquart- Evard. John Stewart exhibited in the London Exhibitions of the Society of Arts in 1852, the Photographic Institution  in 1854 and The Photographic Society in 1855. In that year also he became a member of the Societe Francaise Photographique.  His portrait of Sir John Herschel was exhibited  at the 1857 Manchester ‘ Art Treasures ‘ exhibition.

In 1856 , in London , the newly established Photographic Club produced an album of fifty photographs of views around Britain.  Fifty copies were produced to be distributed among the fifty photographers plus two more, one of which was presented to Queen Victoria and the other to the British Museum. To mark his contribution to photography, Stewart’s portrait of Sir John Herschel was included in the work.

Stewart’s photographs were much admired by his contemporaries. In a paper on photography’s relation to art, Sir William Newton in the Journal of the Photographic Society in 1853 commented that photographs should not only be chemically but also artistically beautiful, “The nearest approach in this respect…were the excellent Photographs exhibited by Mr Stewart.”17

John Stewart was a friend of George Smith, of Smith, Elder and Co., Charlotte Bronte’s publisher. Sometime during 1856-7 Smith arranged for Stewart to visit Haworth Parsonage to photograph the portrait of Charlotte Bronte by George Richmond to be used as the basis of an engraving for the frontispiece of Elizabeth Gaskell’s biography of Charlotte Bronte. This enabled the public to see Charlotte Bronte for the first time. He appears to have visited Haworth three times, also taking photographs of the parsonage. In a letter to George Smith in November 1856, Mrs Gaskell wrote that “Mr Stewart is an excellent amateur photographer gone out to Iceland by the Danish government’s request to take photographs of the boiling springs and those sort of things … and has had to go and show his photographs to the Queen as the ‘crackest ‘things of the kind in the Kingdom”.18

Apart from photography as a hobby, John Stewart was a keen golfer. In 1856 he was one of the five founder members of Pau Golf Club, the oldest golf club on Continental Europe. He was President in 1885 and 1886. He was also keen on fox-hunting and a great supporter of the Pau Hunt. When the Hunt was going through bad times around 1879, Stewart is credited with engaging the help of the Mayor, Aristide de Montpera, to save fox-hunting in Pau. According to  Who’s Who,it was down to Stewart that fox-hunting was legally recognised .

Apparently his business dealings towards the end of the 1850s led to the lessening of his photographic activities. There is not a lot of information available on John Stewart’s business life. Again we must depend on   Who’s Who . In 1857 Stewart bought land on which to build a house which was called ,”Villa Stewart” later known as “ West Cottage “ in what is now Avenue Dufau in Pau. In 1862 , along with Pastor Brown of the “Scottish Church”, John Stewart was instrumental in establishing the Holy Trinity Church in Pau which today is the “Cinema D’Arte et D’Essais” showing art films. Before the building of  the Holy Trinity  Church Scottish Presbyterians in Pau would hold services at the Stewart’s first home in Pau,La Maison Labetoure.

In 1866 John Stewart, along with Dr Alexander Taylor, Musgrove-Clay, director of the English Bank in Pau, and Henry Alcock, a banker from Skipton North Yorkshire, founded La Societe des Anglais ‘. The aim of the English Society was to buy farmland on which to build an  estate of apartments. These apartments were rented out during ‘the season’ which was from about mid-September to the end of March when British visitors would flock to Pau to escape the winter at home. This became known as ‘Quartier des Anglais’.

Who’s Who also reported that John Stewart was one of the founder members, then a director, of the  Ottoman Bank. This bank was founded by Sultan Abulaziz to mitigate the economic crisis within the Ottoman Empire. There were French, English as well as Ottoman Government shareholders. In 1875 the bank became the State Bank of the Ottoman Empire. Its main function was to negotiate international loans for the Ottoman Government. In the 1870s, the time of the Franco- Prussian War, it is claimed that John Stewart secured loans for the French Government  for the defence of France.

John  Stewart certainly  died a wealthy man. At his death on 29th July 1887 his personal wealth stood at £295,000. Today this sum would have a purchasing power of around £36millon19. He died in London at 5 Cleveland Row, his London home20. Before his death he had put his wealth into a trust for his wife and children. Matilda lived on in Pau until her death there in January 1893. Her funeral as held at the Holy Trinity Church in Pau attended by a large crowd of both British and French inhabitants. According to Le Journal des Etranges of 22nd January  1893 (a local newspaper for the British Colony in Pau )Matilda was an ”esprit agreeable et cultive,  quel coeur bon et charitable”21.

James Grahame Stewart   (1842-1913)

As we know,our donor’s father, James Grahame Stewart  was born in Nantes in North West France but the family moved to Pau in South West France and by 1850 was spending every winter there while maintaining a house in London. James received most of his education in Pau at Le Lycee de Pau where he was a brilliant honours student. There is no indication that he went to university. He appears to have followed his parents’ habit of spending much of his time in Pau where he played a full part in the life of the community. He was a member of Pau Golf Club and was its President  in 1901 and 1904. He also helped to found the ‘Societe de Jeu des Paumes de Pau’ ( Pau Real Tennis Club). In May 1901 he made a speech on behalf of the British Colony in Pau on the  occasion of the visit of the President of France, Monsieur Carnot, in the presence of the delegation led by the UK Vice Consul of Pau Foster-Barnham.22

There is some evidence that he had similar business interests to his father. For example he was elected a Director of the Bank of Egypt in May 187823. There are reports of his presentation at Royal Levees in London in May 1880 and 188524.

James was 43 when he married Helen Louisa Georgina Ellis at the Holy Trinity Church in Pau on 16th April 1885. Helena was 20 years younger than her husband. She was the daughter of Major Charles David Cunynghame Ellis,  late of the 60th Rifles, and granddaughter of the 1st Baron Seaford of Seaford.  According to the Morning Post of 20th April 1885 Helen was also the niece of Colonel Arthur E Ellis, Equerry to the Prince of Wales  and of the Honourable Mrs A Harding, Lady in Waiting to the Princess of Wales, thus the bride was very well connected.  The best man was Prince Clermant Tonnerre and one of the six bridesmaids was also French, which shows how integrated the Stewarts were with the French population of Pau. The honeymoon was spent in Paris25.

James and Helen appear to have spent much of their life in Pau along with their children, Felicia who was born in 1890 and John Cecil who was born in 1897 as they are nowhere to be found in the UK Census of 1891 and 1901. Only in the 1911 Census does the family appear to have given up spending winters in Pau and were now living at Stonewall Park,  near Edenbridge, Kent. Stonewall Park was a 140 acre estate about 26 miles from London. They lived in a beautiful Georgian House there but also spent time in London for “The Season”.

According to the 1911 Census James was “of independent means”. This probably meant he was living off the trust fund set up by his father26. As we have seen he also had business interests of his own. In 1907 he also inherited   the estate of his uncle, Robert Grahame, who was his mother Matilda’s only sibling. He was Uncle Robert’s sole heir, inheriting £46,530 of personal wealth. This would have the purchasing power of roughly £5millon today.  Robert Grahame was living in Brighton at the time of his death27.

James Grahame Stewart appears to have been well thought of while living at Stonewall Park. When reporting his death in September 1913 The Kent and Sussex Courier stated,” There will be no doubt that his cheery presence will be missed in many a village function. He was a model employer and much respected by all who knew him here”28.

Our Donor.  Felicia Pepys Cockerell (1890-1900)

Felicia was born in London on 4th October 1890 at 19 Carlton House Terrace in London29.  She had one brother, John Cecil, born in 1897.

We  know that there was no trace of the family in either the 1891 or the 1901 census and that this   is possibly because, like her father’s parents, John and Matilda Stewart, Felicia’s mother and father spent a good part of each year living in Pau until about 1911,though still keeping a house in London.

From the 1911 Census we know that Felicia’s home at that time was  Stonewall Park, near Eden Bridge in Kent some 26 miles from London. The Stewarts also had the house in London and as we are aware were obviously wealthy.  Felicia’s father died in 1913 leaving a personal estate of £260,000-worth £26m of purchasing power today.  On her father’s death, by which time Felicia was 23, she had inherited a trust fund of £35,000 -over three and a half million pounds of purchasing power today – which provided her with a very comfortable income. She was a very rich woman30.

Stonewall park 2
Fig. 6 Stonewall Park copyright Matt Clayton for Locations >

Like most girls of her ‘class’ Felicia did the London Season. In fact she did five Seasons-1908-1913, attending on average four balls a week31. She was presented at court on 15th May 190832.  She also appeared to be interested in amateur dramatics. There is an account in   the Tatler  for Dec 8th and Dec 15th  1909 which shows a photograph of her among a group of other ‘debs ‘ taking part in “St Ursula’s Pilgrimage” a play put on at the Court Theatre in London by the Hon Mrs Edith Lyttleton – a well-known member of London Society  who supported all sorts of women’s and worker’s causes , for example women’s suffrage. This production was in aid of The Industrial Law Indemnity Fund. In 1911 Felicia attended the Shakespeare Memorial Ball at the Albert Hall dressed as Juliet (one of about 40 Juliets! ). Perhaps she wore the same costume she wore the previous year when she played the part of Juliet in, “The Masque of Shakespeare” a theatrical event organised again by Mrs Lyttleton in aid of The Shakespeare Memorial Theatre Fund33.  In 1913 she and her mother attended the wedding of Vita Sackville West to Harold Nicholson34. Weddings seemed to feature greatly in her life.

After her father’s death in 1913   Felicia, her mother and brother  moved to The Grove, Exton ,Hampshire. They were living there by 1914.

At the outbreak of WW1 now aged 23 Felicia was still single  – maybe she was a bit choosy-she could afford to be!

By 1915 Felicia was doing her bit for the war by working at the Bere Hill VAD hospital near Whitchurch in Hampshire, leaving her mother at home at The Grove. Her mother had written on the 1915 National Registration Form for Females that she had no skills, could not work in munitions and was very busy at home!35

John Cecil, Felicia’s brother had gone to Eton and aged only 17 joined  the army on 15th August 1914 -5th Battalion Kings Royal Rifle Corps. He was promoted lieutenant on 14th August 1915 and sent to France. He survived for just a month. He was killed at the Battle of Loos on 25th September 1915.Thus Felicia would inherit everything after her mother’s death36.

There was a notice in The Times on July 23rd 1918 of Felicia’s engagement to Major Walter Headforte Brooke of the Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry. But the print was hardly dry when an announcement appeared in the same newspaper  the following month saying that the marriage would not take place-not usual in those days37. Had Walter been killed in action like so many young men? That was not the case. He  went on to marry someone else in 1920 and it is not known what went wrong between him and Felicia.

Fig 7 Felicia in 1918, age 28.T From ‘The Sketch’ 7th August 1918 . Copyright Mary Evans Picture Library

There is little information about Felicia during the years after her engagement was broken off. We know she drove a car as she managed to come up against the law in January 1918 by contravening the Gas Restriction Order of February of that year which forbade the use of gas for a private car. She managed to get off on a technicality and only had to pay two shillings costs. One can only presume that Felicia’s life carried  on during the years after the war as it had done before, attending weddings and balls. Her home during this period was 25 Edwardes Square, Kensington.38

At the age of 32 on St Valentine’s Day 1922 she married Frederick Pepys Cockerel MC OBE – he was 14 years older than she was. They married at St Margaret’s Westminster.  There is no information as to how they met. The wedding was reported in The Times the following day. ”Miss Stewart made a lovely Valentine’s Day bride in a crystal and georgette gown with a long silver tissue train”. The bride was given away by her cousin Sir Guy Campbell and the best man was Guy Ridley,a barrister friend of the groom.  Among the many guests The Times listed many titled people. The couple began their honeymoon at Greenwood Gate, Ashdown Forest, the home of The Earl and Countess of Norbury and then went on to the Riviera and Greece. After the honeymoon they lived in Palace Gate Kensington39.

Frederick was a barrister at the time of the marriage. He was a descendent of Samuel Pepys, the diarist, through Pepys’s sister Pauline. His father, also Frederick Pepys Cockerell, was a noted architect as was his grandfather . Frederick  had attended Winchester School and then New College, Oxford but left in 1896 to go out to South Africa where he served in the war against the Boers. He had been a distinguished soldier during the Boer War, after which he spent a couple of years in the Colonial service in South Rhodesia. He was called to the Bar (Lincolns Inn) in 190940. He stood twice, unsuccessfully, for Parliament in 1910 and 1912 as Unionist Candidate for Mansfield in Nottinghamshire41.

Frederick  was one of the Old Contemptibles, entering WW1 at the beginning as a  lieutenant.  He was captured after the battle of Loos, escaped, found his way back to the British lines and was arrested by a Colonel who did not know him and thought he was a German spy. He was a talented linguist and spoke several European Languages as well as several African dialects and served a large part of the war in the Intelligence Unit, ending up as Lt Colonel in the Middle East in charge of the policing of the largest oil depot in the world at that time at Baku. General Dunsterville said of him,”My chief of military police ,the then Captain Cockerell reaches the last degree of unsurpassed skills.” He continued to serve after the war, serving on the Upper Silesia Plebiscite Commission in 192142.

Frederick and Felicia had two children. John Lawrence, born in 1924 and Mary Georgina in 1926. The marriage did not last, however, and in 1928 there appeared a report in The Times of the granting of a decree nisi between Felicia and Frederick  on the grounds of his adultery at Palace Gate and the Park Lane Hotel. Felicia was given custody of the children44.

What does one  do to cheer oneself  up after a divorce? You buy yourself a castle! Holt Castle in Worcestershire to be exact. Felicia and the children, John Lawrence and Mary lived there from 1928 until 1947. In 1939 Felicia was living there with Mary and eight domestic servants45. It is not known how much contact the children had with their father.

Holt Castle, 11745-39
Fig 8 Holt Castle Worcestershire. ‘Country Life’ 20th July 1940. Copyright Country Life Picture Library

There was a notice in a local paper in 1937 saying that Holt Castle Gardens would be open to the public for a couple of afternoons to raise money for Birmingham hospital, so Felicia was obviously involved in local charities46. She also appears to have kept exotic pets as in 1939 she put a notice in The Times advertising a kookaburra for £5, cage included!47

Holt Castle, 11745-39
Fig. 9 The Hall, Holt Castle. ‘Country Life’ 27th July 1940. Copyright Country Life Picture Library

From 1940 to 1945 Holt was leased to Southover Manor School, a private Girls School which had been evacuated from Lewes, Sussex and at which Mary was a pupil48. Felicia also kept a house in London which in 1940 was 8 Westbourne Park Road W2. There is no information to date as to how Felicia spent the war49.

But what happened to Frederick, Felicia’s ex-husband? He married to Grace A. Corbett in 192850. He then attempted to go into show business putting on performances of Russian singers at various theatres52, then opened a book shop in London. He was apparently an expert on old coins and books. He seems then to have   got into financial difficulties after buying an old Tudor house , Ramsden  Bellhouse Hall near Wickford, spending a lot of money trying to get it back to its Tudor glory and throwing many parties. Sadly he committed suicide in April 1932. He was found by police in a garden in Wimbledon with a bottle of poison by his side. According to the inquest he committed suicide while temporarily mentally disturbed. His obituary in The Times described him as, “ a man of great ability and much personal charm”52. After this time Felicia always referred to herself as a widow.

Felicia’s mother died in 1934 and the contents of The Grove were sold53. We can guess that this was probably the time that Felicia inherited our portrait. There was an article in Country Life Magazine in July 1940 about Holt Castle  ( see above figs 8 and 9)  which has photographs of the interior showing many paintings on the walls and which refers in the text to family portraits of Pepys ancestors54. Perhaps we can guess that our portrait may also have been on a wall in Holt Castle and when Felicia downsized in 1947 to go and live in Brooke House in Aldermaston she had no room for this portrait and gave it to Glasgow Art Galleries.

There is little more information available about Felicia after this. Her son John Lawrence had joined the Colonial Service. Felicia sailed from Liverpool on June 19th1952 on MV Apapa, heading for South Africa. She returned on August 11th aboard MV Areol. We may presume she had  visited her son55. Her daughter Mary became an architect, following her grandfather and great grandfather Pepys Cockerell56. There is a reference in the local Aldermaston paper in the 1960s which refers to the local annual fete and lists the various cups and awards which have been presented over the years, one of which was the Pepys Cockerell Cup-so Felicia must have supported events in the local community57.

Felicia died at Brooke House on 10th June 1970 aged 80. The death certificate described her as  the widow of Frederick Pepys Cockerell , bookshop proprietor58. Perhaps she never really forgot him.


  1. Chester Harding; ‘Illustrated Catalogue of the Exhibition of Portraits on loan in the New Galleries of Art,Corporation Buildings,,Sauchiehall St.’(McLellan Galleries)
  2. GMRC Objects file. Acc 2683

   3.”Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry” Published  1878 James Maclehose and Sons 2nd edition

4. Robert Grahame of Whitehill .Obituary Glasgow Herald 12/11/1852

  1. Quincey,Josiah “Memoir of James Grahame LLD. ”Charles C Little &James Brown Boston 1845(.Originally) written for the Collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society.
  2. Robley Genealogy
  3. Harris,Eleanor .’James Grahame’ in “The Episcopal Congregation of Charlotte Chapel”.Online-
  4. Quincey,Josiah “Memoir of James Grahame LLD.”Charles C Little and James Brown Boston 1845
  6. Memoirs of the Late Reverend Alexander Stewart DD .One of the Ministers of Canongate ,Edinburgh”.pub William Oliphant 1822.
  7. Luminous -Lint. Photography :History,Evolution and Analysis.

12. .

13. Rossoni,Raphael (ed) “Pau Golf Club Who’s Who 1856-1966” 2016

  1. Will of John Stewart.GOV.UK.
  2. “Pau, it’s such a British City.”
  3. Rossoni, Raphael(ed) Pau Golf Club Who’s Who 1856-1966. 2016
  4. Luminous- Lint.Photography:History,Evolutionand Analysis .
  6. Will of John Stewart.GOV.UK. probate
  7. Register of Statutory Deaths John Stewart.
  8. Rossoni,Raphael (ed) Pau Golf Club Who’s Who 1856-1966
  9. ibid
  10. Morning Post(MP) 07/07/1878
  11. MP 08/05/1880 ;MP 12/05/1885
  12. MP 20/04/1885
  13. Will of John Stewart. GOV.UK.

27. Sussex Agricultural Express   02/02/19

28. Obituary Kent and Sussex Courier 19/09/1913

  1. Register of Statutory Births. Felicia Stewart
  2. Will of James Grahame Stewart. GOV.UK Wills Probate and Inheritance.
  3. Times 06/02/1954
  4. Times 16/05/1908
  5. Daily Telegraph and Courier 24/06/1910 ; The Globe 21/6/1911
  6. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 25/7/1930
  7. National Registration Act 1915.Form for Females.92A02/A1/22/469/470.Hampshire Record Office
  8. Eton College Chronicle No 1737 8th July 1920
  9. Times 16/09/1918
  10. West London Observer 22/02/1918
  11. Times 15/02/1922; Sheffield Daily Telegraph 15/02/1922
  12. Obituary Times 31/03/1932
  13. Times 25/10/1910 ;Sheffield Evening Telegraph27/09/1913
  14. New York Times 08/01/193o ; Visions of Azerbaijan .Summer 2006. Vol 1.2.
  15. Register of Statutory Births . John Lawrence, Mary Georgina.
  16. Times 23/10/1928
  17. 1939 Register
  18. Birmingham Gazette 03/07/1937; Birmingham Mail. 29/7/1939
  19. Times 21/7/1939
  20. National Archives Discovery:East Sussex Record Office .Ref amsnn/AMS6799
  21. London Telephone Directory 1940
  22. Register of Statutory Marriages.
  23. Exeter and Plymouth Gazette 25/7/1930
  24. Times 31/03/1932
  25. Hampshire Telegraph 10/08/1934; Portsmouth Evening News 25/09/1934
  26. Country Life 20/07/1934;27/07/1934
  27. Outgoing and Incoming Passenger Lists 1890-1960.
  28. The Tatler 09/02/1944
  29. Berkshire Record Office.
  30. General Register Office Death Certificate Felicia Marie Louise Pepys Cockerell








Archibald Cameron Corbett

Archibald Cameron Corbett (1856-1933) 

Property Developer ,Politician and Philanthropist


Archibald Cameron Corbett presented two paintings to the Corporation of Glasgow in September 18981.

Borderland   1896  by James Paterson

Copyright  CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

This painting was exhibited at The Royal Scottish Academy in 18962 and also in 1961 in ‘An Exhibition of Scottish Painting held at Kelvingrove Art Gallery . It was bought by Corbett in 1898,”for Glasgow Gallery” for £1504.

The Corbett family appear to have been patrons of Paterson over many years. The first recorded sale to  Corbett was of two watercolours, ‘Moxhill’ and ‘Old Mill Moniave’ bought for £35 in 1883. Corbett, his sister , Jessie, his father ,and his elder brother Thomas Lorimer Corbett went on to buy at least 16 more of Paterson’s paintings , both oil and watercolour. Corbett also bought many of Paterson’s watercolours to adorn the walls of Rowallan Castle,the family home in Ayrshire built in 19065.


The Right Honourable Arthur J Balfour MP 1896-1898

by William Ewart Lockhart

Lockhart, William Ewart, 1846-1900; The Right Honourable Arthur J. Balfour (1848-1930), MP

Copyright CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Painted by William Ewart Lockhart RSA,RSW 1896-1898. Exhibited at the Royal lScottish Academy in 18986. The portrait was commissioned by Corbett in order to be “presented to the new Art Gallery in Glasgow”.7

Early Life

Corbett was born at 8 Buckingham Terrace , Glasgow on May 23rd 18561. He was the second son , one of five children born to a wealthy Glasgow merchant, Thomas Lorimer Corbett , who had married Sarah Cameron in 18522. Corbett’s father was an ‘Australia merchant’ trading in timber and wool with his brother, Andrew , who had emigrated to Australia some years earlier.The Corbetts also had a summer home , South Park, at Cove on the Firth of Clyde, as did many wealthy Glasgow businessmen at the time4.

In 1864 when Corbett was about eight years old, Corbett senior moved his business to London with an office in Gracechurch Street5. By 1871 the family were living in a house called Oak Park in Cavendish Road, Clapham Park. By this time the family was complete with four children, three boys-Thomas, Archibald and Henry and one girl- Jessie6.

In January 1877, Thomas Corbett bought 110 acres of greenfield market garden land ,part of the Manor of Woodgrange, Forest Gate, originally part of Epping Forest, now in the London borough of Newham, and began the development of good quality housing estates in south –east London which was later carried on so successfully by his second son, Archibald7.

Despite their wealth the Corbetts lived a very unostentatious life. Mother, Sarah, appears  to have been a strict Presbyterian,allowing no games etc on Sundays and no dancing or theatre- going at any time! The family were also strict supporters of temperance. Even so our donor appears to have had a happy childhood with summers spent at Cove where he had a Shetland pony called Tottie, and winters in London8.

The Corbett children were educated at home by a series of ‘godly’ tutors, as their mother did not want them exposed to the’temptations ‘ of school life’9.

About 1870 Archibald and his elder brother Thomas  were given the choice of going on  a tour of Europe with a tutor or going to Oxford or Cambridge! What a difficult choice that must have been for a  fourteen and a fifteen year old!10. Fortunately we still have the detailed account of the trip written by Archibald in several exercise books which contain not only written details in a beautiful copperplate hand but also architectural drawings of the things he had seen 11. Whether  it was this tour  which sparked an interest in things artistic  we do not know, but soon after his European Tour Archibald enrolled at the  ‘Art School in South Kensington’ to study sculpture12. We know he was there in February 1876 as there is a letter written by him to his friend James Paterson, the artist, in which he writes ‘…..I am modelling pretty steadily at present and I hope to finish a bust of Clytie for the SK  competition…’.  How they became friends we do not know but they appear to have been quite close as in the letter Archibald tries to persuade Paterson to continue his studies in London where ‘…Millais would be one of your professors…’13

By the time he was 21 Archibald had abandoned student life  and was managing his father’s property development business in South East London  which he took over after his father’s early death in 1880. But even though his student days did not last long, according to his son ‘..he was left for life with a keen appreciation of both painting and sculpture’. As we shall see  and according to his son he became a modest patron of the arts14.

Property Developer

Archibald Cameron Corbett became one of the principal developers of the middle class suburbs of South East London. Between 1877 and 1914  Corbett managed the building of around 7,500 houses on 1096 acres of land1 . These good  quality  houses were spread over seven estates :-

Clementswood and Grange –Ilford

Dowanshall  at Seven Kings to the north of Ilford

Mayfield-to the east of Ilford

Woodgrange at Forest Gate

St German at Hither Green

Eltham Park.2

A catalogue was produced in 1913 showing the types of houses for sale in Eltham Park-not common practice among speculative developers at the time3.

The Corbetts were not builders but went into partnership with Mowlems(roads and drainage), J.J.Bassett and Son and the building firm of Picton and Hope. One of the Hope family bought one of the Eltham Park houses for himself-44 Craigton Road. There in 1913 was born Leslie Towns Hope-better known to the world as ‘Bob’4.

Many of the roads on the Corbett Estates had Scottish names. Also the estates were always built near to a railway station to encourage sales to the growing number of commuters into the City. The houses ranged from £530 for a six bed villa to £330 for a three bed terrace. The Corbett Estates had its own system of payment by  instalments . The houses were priced little higher than cost price as the real income came from the annual ground rent which ranged from £8.80 per annum for the large houses to £3.30 for a terrace house5.

The needs of the residents of the Corbett Estates were taken care of as Corbett gave land and financial support for parks, libraries and churches on all his estates. However one thing not to be found on any Corbett estate was a public house or hotel which sold alcohol as Corbett was always true to his temperance beliefs6.

IMG_20160611_0003 - Copy

Copyright  Frank Kelsall

The Corbett Estates had an office at 24 Sloane Square which exisited until 1926 when it made way for the Peter Jones Department Store7. The houses on many of the Corbett Estates are still sought after today. In 1976 the Woodgrange Estate was made a Conservation area and in October 2013 the Archibald  Corbett Society was formed in Hither Green whose aim is ,’to preserve the estate’s unique character and heritage for future generations’8.


Both Archibald and his elder brother  Thomas Lorimer Corbett were interested in a political career. Thomas was a life long Conservative and Unionist , while Archibald was a supporter of the Liberal Party for most of his political career however both brothers were life- long opponents to Irish Home Rule. After serving on the London County Council from 1889 to 1900, Thomas was eventually elected as Irish Unionist MP for North Down in 19001.

At first Archibald was unsuccessful when he stood as Liberal candidate for North Warwickshire in 1884 and seems to have been regarded as a carpet bagger by his opponents as illustrated in this cartoon by EC Mountford which appeared in ‘The Dart ‘ magazine in November 1882

cartoon ACCorbett

Copyright. University of Glasgow Archives and Special Collections. Archibald Cameron Corbett Collection GB248DC126/19

Finally in November 1885 Archibald Cameron Corbett was elected Liberal MP for the newly created constituency of Tradeston in Glasgow3. Glasgow’s seven MPs were all Liberals. The group sent a telegram to Prime Minister Gladstone which said ’Now we are seven.’4

The constituency of Tradeston included not only the district of Tradeston but also those of Kinning Park and Kingston,all industrial suburbs of Glasgow south of the Clyde now much changed as a result of the building of the M8 and M74 motorways and the Kingston Bridge.

Temperance and Home Rule were Archibald Cameron Corbett’s most cherished political beliefs. So strong were his opinions on these matters that he ‘crossed the floor of the House’ on two occasions in order to support his beliefs.

The first dispute , with his own Liberal Party led by Prime Minister Gladstone, came very early in his political career. In 1886 Archibald disagreed with Gladstone’s Irish Home Rule Bill and left the Liberal Party  to join the Liberal and Unionist Party ,newly founded by those Liberal MPs who were opposed to Irish Home Rule but yet could not bring themselves to join the Conservative Party. When the Liberal Unionists joined the Conservatives in a Coalition Government which was in power from 1895 to 1905,the Prime Minister was Arthur Balfour,leader of the Conservative Party . Thus we now know why a Liberal MP commissioned a portrait of  Conservative Prime Minister!5

The second parting of the ways occurred in 1908, when Corbett was still a member of the Liberal Unionist Party, now in opposition but taking the Conservative Whip.The Liberal Government under Gladstone introduced a Licensing Bill which was very dear to our donors heart. If passed  this Bill would close one third of the public houses in England and Wales,severly curtail Sunday opening hours and forbid the employment of women in public houses. The Bill was very unpopular ,especially among barmaids! There were even riots in Hyde Park.

The Conservative Opposition and the Liberal Unionists were very much opposed to the Bill,having many supporters in the drink and brewing industries. So Archibald , a life- long supporter of the Temperance Movement found himself in opposition to the Whips of his own party. The matter was aired many times in the Glasgow Herald and the Times during the summer of 1908, when the Tradeston MP toured the country in support of the Bill. Around August 18th  Archibald Cameron Corbett resigned from the Liberal Unionist Party. He wrote a letter to the Times in which he offered to resign his seat.6

There were several  meetings of the  Constituency Committee in Tradeston but as they had long known their MP’s views on Temperance  and as his opposition to Irish Home Rule was just as strong , he was asked to remain as the Tradeston MP.

In fact Archibald Cameron Corbett held his seat in Tradeston through eight General Elections between 1885 and 1910 , so great was his personal following  even when he stood as an Independent against the official Liberal Candidate as he did in January 1910. By the time of the December 1910 General Election he had rejoined the Liberal Party and was the victorious  official candidate.

The whole affair had taken a toll of his health and there are reports in the press in September 1908 of an illness due to exhaustion while campaigning in Newcastle. It must have been a disappointment to him, if not to the barmaids of England and Wales , that the Licensing Bill was dropped as it was so unpopular.7

There are few other insights into Corbett’s political career and beliefs. One came in the run-up to the passing of the ground breaking 1909 People’s Budget introduced by the Liberal Government . This budget would introduce welfare reforms and increase taxation on the rich. In a letter to the Times in May 1908, Corbett suggested the he regarded the Old Age Pension Bill, which proposed to give a better allowance to two single people than to a married couple , would lead to immorality!

He was also Chair of the Board of Conciliation and Arbitration  for the Steel Trades of the West of Scotland-there were no disputes on his watch! He was also a supporter of the Suffragette Movement. According to his son  Godfrey he was also responsible for  arranging for a young Marconi to transmit a message through the airwaves from Westminster across the Thames to St Thomas’s Hospital- the first wireless demonstration in Britain.8

Corbett was also noted for his innate kindness to his fellow man. According to his son , while still in the House of Commons, when the first Labour PMs were elected, his father helped them settle in.9

Perhaps it was a relief to Corbett’s political loyalties and to everyone else that further conflict was avoided when in the Coronation Honours List  in June 1911 he was raised to the peerage  and became 1st Baron Rowallan.

During his years in the House of Lords one of his favourite pastimes was taking groups of schoolchildren round Westminster, especially as the children had no idea who he was!10

When asked what gave him the greatest feeling of satisfaction in his political career, it is said that it was the passing of the Temperance( Scotland) Act 1913. This Act gave Scottish people the right to vote for a veto on the sale of alcohol in their local area if 10% of voters wished for a ballot. One wonders what the voters of Tradeston thought of that!

Personal and Family Life

Life was not all work for our donor. In  September 1887 he married Alice Mary Polson at Skelmorlie United Presbyterian Church. Alice was the 21 year old daughter of John Polson of Paisley one of the owners of Brown and Polson  Cornflower Manufacturers. Polson was a very wealthy man, his business interests included being  a director of the Vale of Clyde Tramway Company.1

Archibald and Alice  met on the  French Riviera probably in the spring of 1885 where Corbett  had gone possibly to lick his wounds after losing the North Warwickshire election. The Corbetts were staying in Nice and had gone to nearby Cimiez where the Polsons were staying. The couple met when the Corbetts took shelter from the rain at the Polsons’hotel. 2

Lavery, John, 1856-1941; Sir Archibald Cameron Corbett (1856-1933), 1st Baron Rowallan, MP

Archibald Cameron Corbett c1890  by John Lavery

 Copyright CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection


Alice Mary Polson  by W E Lockhart 1896 

 Copyright  The Fine Art Society  Edinburgh

According to his son Godfrey  Corbett waited until he got a seat in Parliament before  he embarked on marriage. The wedding reception was held at Castle Levan on the Clyde, the summer home of the Polsons.

In 1888 the Corbetts moved to 26 Hans Place in London not far from Harrods.They had three children. Elsie was born in 1893,Thomas Godfrey in 1895 and Arthur Cameron in 1898. As well as their London home the Corbetts always had a home in Glasgow and a summer home at Cove . Bellahouston House was the Glasgow Home from 1890 to 1900, then Thornliebank House on the Rouken Glen Esate until 1906.3

Thornliebank House

Thornliebank House

Copyright Glasgow City Archives

Corbett was very conscious of his own restricted upbringing, brought about by his mother’s attitude and beliefs. He was determined to “banish the Cameronian gloom”. For example both his sons went to Eton.4

In 1901 Mrs Polson bought the 6,000 acre Rowallan Estate for the Polsons. What a very generous mother-in-law! There was an old castle on the estate but Corbett felt it was unsuitable for a family and commissioned architect Sir Robert Lorimer  to design a new house on higher ground.5

Rowallan Castle-old

Old Rowallan Castle Copyright  East Ayrshire Leisure Trust

Then in 1902 disaster struck . In July 1902 following a short illness after attending a city banquet  Alice Corbett died suddenly at Hans Place. She was to the children ,”our gay and adored mother”. Ever a caring father and determined his children should not be exposed to such grief when so young , Corbett chartered a yacht and sent his children on a cruise along the Firth of Clyde with some friends to keep them company. Only in later life did his children realise what a sacrifice that must have been for their father and how lonely he must have been.6

The plans for Rowallan  were reduced by 100,000 cubic feet,much to the chagrin of the architect. No longer was there to be a ballroom for example. The Corbetts moved into the new Rowallan Castle  in 1906,while continuing to live in Hans Place when in London and life went on as well as could be expected without Alice until 1914.

Corbett’s eldest son Godfrey(always called Billy by the family) was at Eton when war was declared in August 1914.There can be no better demonstration of their upbringing than the desire of the three Corbett children to play their part in the war effort. Billy was commissioned into the Ayrshire Yeomanry and later transferred to the Grenadier Guards. He was badly wounded and won the Military Cross. Arthur  joined the Royal Naval Air Service in 19 16 when he was just 18. Sadly he was  killed in action in December 1916. Elsie joined a Woman’s Ambulance Unit ,serving in Serbia from 1915 until 1919. She was taken prisoner by the Austrians and held for a year.7 She later wrote a book of her experiences.8

True to his generous nature their  father moved from Hans Place to Browns Hotel in 1916. He gave 26 Hans Place over to Belgian refugees.That he was a much –loved father can be seen from the many letters written to their father during the war by Elsie ,Billy and Arthur.10 In 1918 26 Hans Place was sold and Browns Hotel became Corbett’s permanent  home.

But what became of Rowallan Castle? In August 1918 Billy married  Gwyn Grimond, sister of Joe Grimond , future Liberal MP. They took over Rowallan Castle as their main residence where they had four children. Billy went on to be Chief Scout of the Commomwealth from 1945 until 1957 after which he became Governor of Tasmania ,following his father’s example  a life of public service.11      


Archibald Cameron Corbett’s father,Thomas Lorimer Corbett was probably the role model for his second son’s lifetime of caring about those less fortunate than himself. While still living in Glasgow, Corbett senior set up the Glasgow Cooking Depots, canteens where working men could get cheap meals. These were very successful and made a profit which in turn was used to found Saltcoats Convalescent Home. T L Corbett was  instrumental in the financing of Quarrier’s Orphan Homes. He also founded Glasgow Working Men’s Club, the first of its kind in Scotland and supported the 1865/6 Glasgow Industrial Exhibition. His financing of bowling greens in Glasgow was true to the Corbett family tradition of trying to give working men an alternative to the public house!1

The Polsons were also a very generous family ,the town of Paisley benefiting from many gifts as in 1904 when Mrs Polson donated £10,000 to the local hospital. Thus when our donor married Alice Mary Polson in 1887 he had a wife who had been brought up with similar philanthropic views to his own.2

In Glasgow Archibald Cameron Corbett is remembered for his gift of Thornliebank House and Rouken Glen Estate(now Rouken Glen Park opened 26th May 1906) to the people of the city.He also bought the Ardgoil Estate in Argyle and gave it to the city in the hope that “large numbers of mothers and children from congested areas of Glasgow should be taken there by steamer”.4

A C Corbett c1906

Archibald Cameron Corbett c1906

Copyright Glasgow City Archives

The Corbetts were one of the  four Glasgow families who helped to finance and run The Royal Samaritan Hospital for Women,founded in 1886. Mrs Corbett was president of the Ladies Auxiliary Committee which raised funds for the hospital. The Alice Mary Corbett Memorial Home for Nurses was built in her memory after her death in 1902. Her husband  eventually became President of the hospital. The Corbetts were also involved in the Victoria Infirmary  where Corbett was its Chairman.5

After he took possession of the Rowallan Estate in 1906 ,Corbett took a great interest in how to improve the lives of his tenants. On discovering that the dairy farmers on the estate had to rise at 2am to milk the cows and then take the milk to Glasgow to sell, he set up the Rowallan Farmers Creamery ,a central point to which the farmers could take the milk to be cooled  and handled at reasonable hours. Based on a scheme which Corbett  had seen in Denmark ,it was the first of its kind in Britain.6

The list of Archibald Cameron Corbett’s charitable interests in Scotland are endless and include The Band of Hope,Temperance Association,Foundry Boys Association, Sunday Schools and many others.7 There is no better proof of the high esteem in which he was held than his repeated re-election as MP for Tradeston no matter which party he supported.

In recognition of his many years of service as both a Glasgow MP and of his great generosity to the City, Archibald Cameron Corbett was made a Burgess of the City  in January 1908.8

Because of his Parliamentary and business duties there Corbett spent a considerable part of his time in London ,”where he is as popular as he is in his Northern  Kingdom.” His philanthropic activities were as numerous in and around the Corbett Estates. Among these were:-

C1894-donated a drinking fountain for outside Forest Gate Station

1894-one acre of land given to tenants and residents of Ilford  for tennis courts and other games with £250 for layout.

1898 St German’s Recreation Grounds laid out “for tennis , croquet and other garden games”

1899-Downshall Baptist Chapel on on land and through finance given by Corbett

1900/1- 9 acres of land for parks at seven Kings Estate ,Ilford

1900/1-2000 children Lambeth given bulbs, a jar and growing instructions in December with a flower show in March to see the results.Mr and Mrs Corbett presented the prizes.

1902-ambulance given to Borough of Ilford

1903 –land donated for library at Hither Green,St German’s Estate

And many many more.9

Archibald Cameron Corbett’s philanthropy is perhaps best   summed up by the Glasgow Herald after his death.

“…supporter of every movement for the moral and social education of the populace…”10

Final Years

Corbett appears to have lived a quiet life at Browns Hotel in Albemarle Street after 1918. Little of his later life is documented. Perhaps he enjoyed visits from his  children and grandchildren . His daughter Elsie who never married  but settled in Spelsbury in Oxfordshire where she became a Justice of the Peace  for that county.1

On 19th March 1933 Archibald Cameron Corbett died peacefully at Brooks Club in London while sitting in his favourite chair reading a book . He was buried alongside his beloved Alice on Rowallan Moor in Ayrshire  in a simple grave. A short service was held at Rowallan House and was attended by large numbers of farm tenants and estate workers. The road to the burial was lined with local people,for example the boys of Fenwick School, and blinds were drawn in village shops and houses as a mark of the great respect in which this simple ,kind man was held.

A Memorial Service was held for our donor at Glasgow Cathedral on 23rd March 1933.2

Perhaps today we would find Archibald Cameron Corbett  rather paternalistic and patronising to ordinary people but the people of his time held him in great esteem.3

Notes and References


1.Glasgow Corporation Parks Dept .Museums Sub-Committee Minutes 2/9/1898

2. C Baile  de Lapariare (ed)RSA  Exhibitions 1826-1990 Vol 111.1991

3.Catalogue: Exhibition of Scottish Paintings from Early 17th Century to Early 20th Century.Kelvingrove Museum

4.James Paterson Sales Book.Glasgow UniversityLibrary (GUL)Special Collections.MS Paterson HC4


6.C Baile de Lapariere(ed) RSA Exhibitions 1826-1990. Vol111.1991

7.Glasgow University Archives(GUA)GB 0248 (GUA) Doc026/16.Letter from A.J Balfour to ACC

Early Life

1. Statutory Register of Births

2. T.G.P Corbett.Rowallan:The Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT pub Paul Harris 1976. p6

3.ibid p4

4.ibid p7

5.ibid p7 Census Records 1871

8. Corbett. Rowallan:The Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT p8/9

9.ibid p9

10.ibid p10

11. GUA Doc 26/20

12.Corbett.Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT p10.”SK” became Royal College of Art and Design

13. James Paterson Sales Book. GUL Special Collections.MSPaterson H4

14. Corbett. Rowallan :Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT p10

Property Developer

1.Cole,Oswald. The Quest for Cameron Corbett:A Study of an Eminent Edwardian


3.www.building,Frank/dating old buildings.

4.The Corbett Estate. Article in The Mercury(Greenwich)19/01/2000

6. Cole.The Quest for Cameron Corbett:A Study of an Eminent Edwardian. p43

7.ibid p47


1. Cole. The Quest for Cameron Corbett:A Study of an Eminent Edwardian p41 ; Lorimer Corbett

2.”Dart Magazine” 24/11/1882 Glasgow University Archives and Special Collections.Archibald Cameron Corbett Collection GB248DC026/19

3.Corbett. Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT. p15

4.Fisher,J. The Glasgow Encyclopaedia. Mainstream 1994

5.Glasgow Herald(GH) 20/03/1933;Cawood,Ian The Liberal Unionist Party. Taurus 2012

6.GH 18/08/1908

7.GH 28/09/1908;12/10/1908

8. GUA DC026/6;Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT. p77

9. Corbett. Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT. p29

10.ibid p76

Personal Life

1.Corbett. Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord RowallanKT. pp 13-16

2.ibid pp12,15,16

3.ibid pp17-24

4.ibid p18

5.ibid p26

6.ibid pp27-28

7.ibid pp37-52

8.Elsie Cameron Corbett. Red Cross in Serbia 1915-1919:A Personal Diary of Reminiscences. Mainstream 1964.

9. GUA DC026/6

10.GUA DC026/28/29/30/31

11.Corbett.Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT. Chap 4


1.Corbett. Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT p5

2.ibid pp 12,15,16,32

3.ibid p33;GH 20/03/1933

4.Corbett. Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT. p32

5.Stothers Glasgow,Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Xmas and New Year Annual 1911-12

6.Corbett. Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT. p63

7.GH  20/03/1933

8.Corbett. Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT. p35

9. Stothers Glasgow,Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire Xmas and New Year Annual 1911-12

10.GH 20/03/1933

Final Years

1.Elsie Cameron Corbett. Red Cross in Serbia 1915-19:A Personal Diary of Reminiscences.

2.Corbett. Rowallan:Autobiography of Lord Rowallan KT. pp76-78

3.GH 24/03/1933



Lt Colonel H.A Campbell OBE 1895-1971


In 1946 our donor presented the following family portraits to Glasgow Museums.

Underhill; William Campbell of Tullichewan (1794-1864)
Figure 1 Underhill; William Campbell of Tullichewan (1794-1864)© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

unknown artist; James Campbell of Tullichewan (1823-1901)
Figure 2 Unknown artist; James Campbell of Tullichewan (1823-1901);© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

William Campbell was our donor’s great -grandfather  and one of the founder’s of the family’s prosperity. The artist was” Underhill” but whether William Underhill (1848-1871) or Frederick Charles Underhill(1832-1896)  or another artist by that name is not known at this time. James Campbell was our donor’s grandfather  who continued the management of the family business after his father’s death.

There is no evidence that either painting was exhibited.

The Campbell Family

We cannot discuss the life and exploits of Henry Alastair Campbell (known as Alastair)  without looking into his family background  as the subjects of the portraits played such a great part in the economic and social life of Glasgow and the surrounding area in the 19th Century as well as in the prosperity of the Campbells , which affected future generations.

William Campbell (1793-1864)

“Christian Philanthropist and one of our Merchant Princes” was how William Campbell,great-grandfather of H.A. Campbell was described in his obituary1. William Campbell was one of the founders of the family fortune. His father was a tenant farmer on the Gartmore Estate  near Port of Menteith. He was the fifth of nine children. In 1805 his parents brought the family to Glasgow ,attracted by the burgeoning industry of the city. After learning weaving William was employed by John Craig,who had a “respectable Scotch cloth business “ in the High Street. Such was the good impression he made,through his honesty,cheerfulness and energy for hard work, that on the death of his employer, William was invited by the widow to run the business. However William decided to set up in business for himself. He was 22 years old. He began by selling handkerchiefs from premises in the Saltmarket in 1817. The business prospered ,extending to all types of drapery,eventually outgrowing the premises and William’s ability to run the business single-handed. One of the reasons for his success was his acknowledged  transformation of the art of retailing in Glasgow. He introduced a system of small profits,quick returns and fixed prices. Thus he ended the practice of “prigging” where the price of  everything on  sale was negotiable.  Different people paid different prices for the same product and the whole business was very time-consuming.

William  was eventually joined by his brother  James and together they formed the partnership of ‘J & W Campbell & Co General Warehousemen’ and moved to a purpose-built warehouse in Candleriggs. By 1841  William had became so prosperous he was able to buy the estate of Tullichewan on the shores of Loch Lomond and moved to Tullichewan Castle2. James bought the estate of Strathcatro in Angus. Both sons of James Campbell,James A Campbell and Henry Campbell  became Members of Parliament. Henry Campbell ,MP for Stirling , inherited an estate in Kent from his uncle Henry Bannerman in 1871 with the provision that he change his name to Campbell- Bannerman  He was later to become Henry Campbell Bannerman,Prime  Minister3.

Figure 3 Tullichewan Castle ©

The company continued to prosper, expanding into a wholesale business which traded with every part of the UK as well as Australia ,New Zealand ,South Africa,The West Indies,Canada and the USA. J&W Campbell also acted as agents for manufacturers and other warehouses which wanted to export goods abroad . In 1856 the company moved for the final time to large new premises in Ingram Street which had been built to the company’s specifications.

William Campbell  was an intimate friend of Thomas Chalmers, the minister who led  the Disruption of the Church of Scotland and to the founding of the Free Church of Scotland. Chalmers was a frequent visitor to Tullichewan Castle. William was an avid supporter of the Disruption ,not least in the financial support he gave. He took an active part in the scheme of William Collins to build 20 new churches in Glasgow and that of Thomas Chalmers to build two hundred new churches in Scotland. He is included in that very famous memorial to the Disruption,”The Disruption Worthies”4.

William Campbell’s generosity was not confined to the building of churches. He spent a large part of his fortune on those in need. He was co- founder and financial supporter of The Glasgow Night Asylum  for the Homeless to which he bequeathed a legacy of £1500. He supported The City Improvement Scheme,The Royal Infirmary and the Indigent Gentlewoman’s Fund. He did not shy away from the darker  side of life either in that he supported those who worked to rescue girls from a life working in the brothels of Glasgow and he is credited with financing the rescue of 30-40 girls. He was always alert to the need to improve the lives of working people. To that end he contributed £500 to the financially  struggling Glasgow Botanic Gardens so that  it could open its gates to the general public on the annual  Glasgow Fair Holiday. It is estimated that he gave away between £80,000 and £90,000 to charity of all kinds during his lifetime5.

In 1822 William had married Margaret Roxburgh. They went on to have five children  and became one of the leading families in Dunbartonshire.

When Queen Victoria and Prince Albert visited Dumbarton Castle in 1847,  Mr and Mrs William Campbell as well as their son James and his wife, Jessie, were among the party which greeted the queen6.

Figure 4 Painting by Hope J Stewart 1816-1881; Landing of Queen Victoria at Dumbarton © West Dunbartonshire Council

William Campbell died on April 2nd 1864 at the home of his son James at 200 Bath Street7. He is buried at Glasgow Necropolis“among the great of Glasgow”8 .

James  Campbell of Tullichewan (1823-1901)

Even before the death of his father in 1864  his second son, James, our donor Alastair’s grandfather, had taken over the running of  J&W Campbell & Company aided by two of his Campbell cousins, sons of James Campbell ,later Sir James Campbell, Lord Provost of Glasgow. In 1846 James had married Janet Black(always known as Jessie) daughter of the owner of a bleaching business. They were married for over fifty years and had five children-William born in 1848;Eliza  born 18519;Margaret born  1854;Jessie G born in 1855 and James Adair,Alastair’s father, born in 186010.

Under James’s leadership the company went from strength to strength. Since about 1856 when the company moved to the Ingram Street premises, it  had become a  completely  wholesale enterprise. The Ingram Street premises had three floors and a basement. The ‘counting house’ was on the ground floor,the basement housed  ‘heavier classes of goods’ for example ‘flannels and blankets…waterproof fabrics, moleskins…towellings … carpets and floorcloths…stock…representative of the best national products of its kind’. The first floor housed woollen cloth ‘embracing every variety of the tweeds of Scotland and England’ among many other drapery items.The second and third floors were equally well-stocked with every kind of drapery one could imagine including ‘a ready-made clothing department…silks and satins,ribbons,laces,flowers,fancy goods,smallwares,fans,bags,umbrellas,stays,braces,mantles,millinery and shawls’. The company employed between five and six hundred employees11. The Campbells had come a long way from selling handkerchiefs from a tenement in the Saltmarket!

On the death of William Campbell  James and Jessie moved from their home at 200 Bath Street to Tullichewan Castle. Like his father James continued to support  the Free Church,later the United Free Church, and carried on many of his father’s philanthropic works,for example he was president of the Glasgow Night Asylum For the Homeless for many years. James was also an ardent  Liberal and supporter of William Gladstone. He supported many Liberal associations in the Vale of Leven  both financially and by giving advice.He was also very interested in the education of young people12.

Although living at Tullichewan, James continued to take an active part in the life of the City of Glasgow. He was very interested in the education of the young and served on the School Board of  Glasgow. He was  a member of the Executive Council  for the 1901 Glasgow International Exhibition. He was also very interested in drama and music. The Glasgow Music Festival of 1874 owes no small thanks to James who was Chairman of the Executive Committee. James was also President of the Glasgow Choral Union and a patron of the Glasgow Amateur Dramatic Club which had been founded in 1883  as a charitable institution,’to promote the study and practice of Dramatic Art’. Tickets were only available from members13.

Jessie Campbell LLD
Figure 5 Jessie Campbell LLD © Glasgow University Archives

We cannot forget Alastair’s grandmother Jessie as she was an extraordinary woman for her time.Jessie was involved in many social and intellectual movements but her main interest was the promotion of the cause for the higher education of women in Scotland. It was she who first suggested in 1868 that Glasgow University hold lectures for women in Natural History,Moral Philosophy,English Literature and Astronomy,given by professors from the university. These lectures were held at the university and at the Corporation Galleries( known to us as McLellan Galleries where the city’s art collection was housed at that time). These lectures were very successful and continued until 1877 when the Glasgow Association for the Higher Education of Women was formed  to offer women the opportunity to study at University level. Jessie became Vice President of the Association. In 1883 the Association was incorporated as Queen Margaret College. Jessie took on the role of Vice President and chaired its executive committee. She persuaded her friend Isabella Elder, wife of ship builder David Elder and one of the greatest  Glasgow philanthropists of her  time, to buy North Park House,(Queen Margaret Drive)  in the West End of Glasgow for the college. Jessie was  the main fund-raiser of the £20,000 college endowment fund. At this time Queen Margaret College was the only college of higher education for women in Scotland. The college amalgamated with Glasgow University  in 1892 and was particularly noted for its medical faculty for the training of female doctors-separate from the training of male doctors of course! In 1901 Jessie Campbell was  awarded  an honorary LLD degree in gratitude for her services14.

Unfortunately the year 1901 was not a happy one for the Campbell family. In April 1901, James and Jessie’s grandson, George Gildea,son of their daughter Eliza and her husband, the late Major General George Frederick Gildea , died of enteric fever in Johannesburg  while serving as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Royal Highland Fusiliers as his father had done. Young George and his step-sister, Alleine,  spent a lot of time at Tullichewan with the Campbell grandparents while their parents were with his regiment.

Eliza was the second wife of George Fredreick Gildea who was a distinguished soldier. He fought in the Crimean War and in the Anglo-Boer war of 1880-81 when he was Garrison Commander of a fort near Pretoria. This fort was built around 1880 and he named it Fort Tullichewan after his wife’s home in Scotland15. Eliza accompanied her husband to South Africa and was awarded the Royal Red Cross for her services attending the wounded at the ‘investment of Pretoria’16. On  the Major -General’s retirement in 1886 the Gildea’s lived at Broomley House on the Tullichewan Estate.  According to his obituary James never recovered from the death of his young grandson and on August 14th 1901 he died  at Tullichewan and was buried in a newly built family vault in Alexandria17.

James Adair Campbell ( 1860-1932)  

At the time of his grandfather’s death our donor Alastair was living at Broomley House on the Tullichewan Estate with his parents James Adair Campbell (known as Adair) and his mother Jean Blanche Campbell. Alastair was five years old  his eldest brother ,James Haldane Adair Campbell was seven and his younger brother Melvin was two. A sister , Shena ,was born in 190318.

Adair Campbell had not married until the age of 32. He had served in the Matabele  with the British South African Company Police in 1890 and along with Cecil Rhodes  was in the pioneer column which penetrated what later became Southern Rhodesia . He received one of the few medals which were awarded during this campaign19. At St Mary’s Church in Tuxedo , New York ,in November 1892 he married  Jean Blanche Havermeyer whose grandfather  had been Mayor of New York. According to the Dundee Courier “they met and loved in Algiers”  during the previous summer20. The couple returned to Scotland in January 189321. Blanche was 10 years younger than her husband. Adair Campbell was involved in the running of J&W Campbell and Company during this period. The marriage appeared to be happy for the first ten years ,during which time,as we have seen, they had four children. Then, according to Blanche, Adair changed and ‘lost interest in home and in her and his interests appeared to be centred elsewhere’. They were divorced in 1925 , having not lived together since 191422. Divorce was unusual at that time and was not regarded as entirely the correct way to behave!

Blanche Campbell and her children Melfort,Sheena,Alastair
Figure 6 Melfort,Shena,Blanche and Alastair c1914 © Rupert Plummer

Perhaps the state of his marriage was the reason that on the outbreak of war in 1914 at the age of 55 Adair joined up on the first day. He was a Captain in the 8th Battalion Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders (AS&H). He was wounded and sent home from France after which he continued to serve in training camps, in Ripon for example.

Sadly  the Campbells suffered an even worse war casualty as on 7th June 1916 The Scotsman reported that Midshipman Melfort Campbell ,third son of Blanche and Adair,was killed in action aboard HMS Defence on May 31st. He was only 17 years old.

In 1919 Adair returned to Glasgow to continue as a businessman. Apart from his interest in the family firm he was also a director of the Royal Exchange Insurance Company. He was a member of The Royal Company of Archers, a keen yachtsman ,a first class shot and an enthusiastic fisherman. There is little information as to how much contact he had with his children after the divorce . His last permanent address,according to his death certificate, was The New Club Edinburgh.  According to his obituary ‘He had a happy capacity for making friends and will be missed by staff and customers alike23.

Henry Alastair Campbell OBE (1895-1971) 


Having looked at Alastair’s family background we can go on to look at the life of this donor. Alastair went to school at Wellington College in Berkshire from 1909 until 1912. Wellington College was built as a national monument to the Duke of Wellington. The school opened in 1859 and was originally intended to educate the sons of deceased army officers. While at the school  Alastair was in Mr Bevir’s House, was a ‘Gentleman of the Hunt’-a member of the cross-country running team -and played Rackets for the school24.

After Easter in 1912 Alastair enrolled at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst as a Gentleman Cadet. According to the Military Announcements in the Aberdeen Press and Journal of May 2nd 1914 he graduated from Sandhurst in May 1914 and was commissioned 2nd Lieutenant into the 2nd Battalion A S&H (Princess Louise’s Regiment) at Fort George. He was subaltern   to Lieutenant Hyslop in B Company25.

World War 1914-1918

Alastair was at Fort George when war was declared. He entrained for Southampton on 9th August and embarked with the 2nd battalion on 11th August on the ship “Sea Hound” for Boulogne. They were the first fighting troops to land in France26. He fought at the battles of Mons ,Cambrai and  Le Cateau  where it appears he was wounded and was shipped home. The Scotsman reported this on 11th September 1914. Alastair  was visited in his private nursing home by Princess Louise, Duchess of Argyll, who was not only Honorary  Commander-in- Chief of the regiment but had been a friend of the family for many years. Since 1890 the Princess’s main home had been Rosneath Castle in Argyll and so was a “neighbour “ of the Campbells, mixing socially with Mrs and Mrs James Campbell. The princess shared Jessie’s interest in the education of women and was a supporter of the suffragette movement27. Alastair  returned to France in May 1915 as part of a draft to join the 2nd Battalion. He was now a lieutenant. In August 1915 Alastair was appointed temporary Captain and in December 1915 set sail from Marseilles for Egypt as part of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. In  February 1916 he was transferred to the 1st Battalion the Lovat’s Scouts and was appointed adjutant. The battalion was sent to Salonika as part of the British Salonika Force. Alastair was adjutant until October 1917 when he was transferred back to the 1st Battalion A S &H, remaining in Salonika until Spring 1918. He arrived in the UK from Salonika on 4th June, one of the last  officers to leave Salonika28. He was then posted to the 4th Battalion A&SH in Edinburgh . In  the autumn of 1918, just after the end of the war, he was appointed a staff captain to the Adjutant General’s Department at the War Office in London29. Alastair was awarded  the 1914 Star,The British War Medal and the Allied Victory Medal-known to the British  “ Tommy”as,“Pip, Squeak and Wilfred” after popular cartoon characters of the time which appeared in the Daily Mirror .

Between the Wars 1919-1939

Alastair continued his career as a professional soldier after the war. He remained a Staff Captain at the Adjutant General’s Office in London until January 1920 when he was seconded to The Staff Training College in Camberly on a four month course after which he re-joined the 2nd Battalion A&SH at Aldershot. He remained with his battalion until 21st June 1921 when he was given 3 months leave to accompany the Earl of Dundonald and Lady Cochrane  as Military  Attache  to Peru to represent the British Government at the celebrations of the Centennial of that country’s independence, arriving back in England on 14th September30.

At some point in 1922 Alastair underwent additional training at the musketry school in Hythe. According to his Army Record he passed the course with distinction.

He then took up the post of acting  adjutant,then adjutant to the 2nd Battalion AS&H , in Aldershot, a post which he retained until 30th April 1925 after which he was restored back to the 2nd Battalion establishment31.

At the end of September 1923 the 2nd Battalion was posted  to Parkhurst Barracks on  the Isle of Wight to replace the Royal Ulster Rifles who had been stationed there for four years. The battalion remained in the Isle of Wight until September 1927. During the General Strike of 1926 the battalion  was sent to Gosport from 6-17th May “on General Strike duties” though there is no information as to whether Captain Campbell took part in these duties32.

During this period several events took place in Alastair’s personal life. In 1922 Tullichewan Castle and Estate were sold. Although William McOran Campbell was the eldest son of James and Jessie Campbell he  and his wife Marianne do  not appear to have lived  at Tullichewan which was in the hands of a Trust set up by James Campbell in 190033.  It is unclear whether Alastair’s father lived there permanently though he did take an interest in the affairs of the estate. For example in July 1922 The Scotsman  reports that Major Adair Campbell  won the medal for the best turkey at the Highland and Agricultural Society Show held in Dumfries34 and  in August he attended   the grouse shooting on the Tullichewan Estate35. The Estate had been put up for sale in May 1922 at an auction at the McLellan Galleries in Glasgow but did not sell. Despite dividing the 987 acre estate into smaller lots, there were no buyers. This was a time of depression after WW1 and there were many estates for sale at the time as landowners struggled to cope with the death duties which resulted from the death of so many men during the war. It was not until December 1922 that the Sunday Post reported that part of the Tullichewan estate had been bought by a Mr Scott Anderson “a Glasgow business gentleman”36. Tullichewan Castle was demolished in 1954 to make way for the A82 bypass around Alexandria along Loch Lomondside37.

In 1922 also the family firm of  J&W Campbell amalgamated with another Glasgow company  Stewart and McDonald to form Campbell, Stewart and McDonald, the warehouse in Ingram Street which continued in business until the 1980s. Apparently it was Stewart and MacDonald  who were in financial difficulties, not J&W Campbell.38

In 1922 Alastair acted as best man at the wedding of his elder brother James Haldane Adair Campbell to Princess  Ekaterina  Galitzine, daughter of Prince Paul  Golitzyn who had been Master of the Imperial Hunt and a State Councillor to Tsar Nicholas 2nd and  who had fled the Russian Revolution. Apparently Catherine had made her way to the South of France  possibly in the company of the Grand Duchess Vladimir of Russia and there met  Captain James Haldane Adair Campbell. The couple’s wedding was a big London Society affair held on Sunday 12th November at St Philip’s Church Buckingham Palace Road and was attended by that old friend of the Campbells, Princess Louise39.

In 1922 Alastair was awarded the Order of  the Star of Serbia with Crossed Swords (fifth class) for his services to that country during WW1.

The Dundee Courier of 23rd April 1925 reported that Captain Alastair Campbell and his fiancée Miss Aileen Emmett were entertained to lunch at Kensington Palace  by  Princess  Louise ,Duchess of Argyll, in order to receive a wedding present-a silver box for cigarettes and cigars engraved with the Princess’s initials. She could not attend the wedding as she was about to leave for the South of France. The couple appear to have known one another since at least December  1923  when Alastair was a guest at the wedding of Aileen’s eldest brother, J. A. Garland Emmett40.

On April 29th 1925 Alastair married Aileen (known as ‘Muffy’) ,daughter of Major and Mrs Robert Emmett of Moreton Paddox in Warwickshire. Robert Emmett and his wife,natives of New York, had settled in England early in the 20th Century and built a magnificent house. They bred horses and Aileen was a keen rider and fox-hunter.

Wedding H A Campbell (2)
Figure 7 © Rupert Plummer

They married at St James’ Church, Spanish Place in London .The Emmetts were a wealthy Catholic family and  the wedding ceremony  a Catholic one. It is not known if Alastair changed his religion  but ,as we shall see later, the children were probably  brought up in the Catholic Faith. At least one of the sons attended Ampleforth College , a famous Catholic boarding school in Yorkshire41. The wedding reception was held at 66 Grosvenor Square,the London home of the Emmetts.

The pipers of the A S&H played the tune, “Highland Laddie “as the happy couple left the church42. It would appear that the couple  lived in Elizabeth Street,Eaton Square in London as there is a report of the theft of £7000 of jewellery  belonging to Aileen43. It is not known if Aileen accompanied her husband on the posting to the Isle of Wight. She was certainly in London when their first child,John Alastair, was born in 192744.

One would have thought there would be few better postings for a soldier than the Isle of Wight  but the next posting for  the 2nd battalion was even better. In September 1927 the 2nd Battalion AS&H was posted to Bermuda in the West Indies!

Aileen  and infant John  Alastair were among the  eight officers’ wives, and five officers’ children who accompanied  husband  and father on this posting along with 34 soldiers’ wives and 40 soldiers’ children45. A second son, Robert Adair was born in Bermuda around March or April 192846 and a daughter Fiona was born in May 192947. A second daughter, Morag Nada, was born in 1932 after the family returned  to the UK48.

From August 1931 until  November 1934 Alastair was seconded to the post of adjutant to the 14th London Regiment ,known as the London Scottish, a Territorial Regiment. Shortly afterwards he was promoted Major and transferred to the 2nd Battalion A&S H in Edinburgh.

In November 1934 he exchanged postings with Major Ritchie of the 1st Battalion and joined that battalion in Edinburgh. Perhaps this exchange was because the 2nd Battalion was due to be posted to India and for some reason ,a young family perhaps, Alastair felt unable to go. The 1st Battalion was then transferred to  the Lucknow Barracks at Tidworth Camp, Wiltshire49 .  In 1936 he attended a training course for senior officers in machine gunnery at Sheerness50. This was because it was planned that the 1st Battalion was to become a machine gun unit.

During this period Alastair continued his interest in sporting activities  and won the Individual Cup in the Highland Brigade Point to Point 51. He remained at Tidworth as second in command of the battalion until he retired from the army,aged 43, in March 1938. During the period at Tidworth Alastair was awarded the King’s Jubilee Medal(1935) and the Caledonian Medal(1937)52.

Also during the 1930s, probably as a result of his family’s connections, Alastair had represented the Duchess of Argyll at several formal occasions such as the funeral of the Laird of Ardgour in June 1930 and at the Requiem Mass for the late King Albert of the Belgians in 1934 at Westminster Cathedral 53 .

Henry Alastair campbell
Figure 8 Major H.A.Campbell © Rupert Plummer

World War Two 1939-1945

If Alastair and Aileen  had hoped for a peaceful life after Alastair’s retirement from the army they were sadly mistaken. Only 15 months later Alastair was “back in the saddle”. In June 1939  at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel T.A. he was appointed Commanding Officer of the 8th Battalion A & S H(a territorial battalion). In August 1939 he was transferred to the 11th Battalion, again as Commanding Officer54. The Stirling Observer reported  on 19th November 1939 that the 11th Battalion had arrived in Doune,near Stirling, and were billeted in halls , hotels and private houses.The following June his army records show he was admitted to hospital but it not known where or why. However he must have recovered as on 12th November 1940 he was appointed  Local Defence Commander-defence advisor to the station commander- at RAF Bassingbourn in Cambridgeshire55. It would appear that many army personnel were seconded to the RAF,part of the RAF Regiment, to carry out defence duties at airfields at a time when the threat of invasion was very real.

On 23  February 1943, Lt Colonel Campbell was appointed GSO1,ie Chief-of-Staff  ,No 2 Group RAF Western Europe. This was one of ten ,later more ,groups of Bomber Command .In 1943 the HQ was at RAF Huntingdon ,Cambridgeshire ,and one presumes this is where Alastair was based. In 1943 2 Group  consisted of more than a dozen operational squadrons ,spread out over at least ten different areas. Alastair’s job was to keep the Group operation-a daunting task indeed!

In May 1943 2 Group left RAF Bomber Command to join the new  Second Tactical Airforce whose  main task was to prepare for the  allied invasion of Europe. It was felt that the threat of invasion was over and army personnel were more valuable training for the  invasion of Europe than defending RAF bases . Eventually the Group became part of the first occupational forces in Germany. There is no detailed information as to Alastair’s actions during this period other than he seems to have remained with 2 Group until June 1945 and left the service in August 194556.

In March 1945 Lt Colonel H A Campbell was awarded the  OBE for his service during the war57.

Aileen Campbell had also played her part in the war effort. From some point in  1939 the Campbells rented  Kilsythe  Castle near Dunblane, Stirlingshire, possibly because Alastair’s battalion, the 11th , was based at Doune which was not far away. Aileen remained there throughout the war. Throughout the war she was Commandant of the  local  Doune Voluntary Aid Detachment. The VAD had been formed in 1909 with the help of the Red Cross and St John’s  Ambulance  in order to train volunteers in medical ,nursing and other related skills. VADs played a valuable part in nursing wounded soldiers both at home and abroad during World War One. It is not known how or why Aileen  had become involved . Perhaps her interest was aroused during WW1 when her family home,Moreton Paddox in Warwickshire ,had been a military hospital  largely organised by her mother. There had been 50 beds in 8 wards at Moreton Paddox 58.

Aileen was also on the organising committee of the A&SH War Comforts  Depot,based at 19 Park Terrace in Stirling. The Stirling Observer reported that Fiona and Morag Campbell had presented bouquets to the Duchess of Argyll on her visit to the depot early in December 193959.

Post War Years 1945-1971

On 20th September 1945 The Stirling Observer reported the sudden death of Captain James Adair Campbell, Alastair’s elder brother , of a heart attack at the age of 52. Apparently Captain Campbell had been wounded at Gallipoli during WW1 and had been a semi -invalid ever since. At the time of his death he was living in Edinburgh60. Perhaps this is  the reason why, a year or so later, the two portraits of Campbell ancestors were given to Glasgow Museums . One  could believe that  it was decided by the family to give these paintings to Glasgow at a time when Captain Campbell’s estate was being dealt with. As the eldest son , he would probably have inherited the paintings from his father, Adair Campbell.

The  Campbells  left Dunblane in  November1945 as there is an account in The Stirling Observer of Mrs Campbell’s receiving a presentation as thanks for her work with the VAD in  “as she was leaving the district”61.  They moved to Ardhuncart Lodge near Alford in Aberdeenshire. There they played a full part in local society attending many local events such as the Aboyne Ball in September 1949 and the Ballater Ball in the same month62. In this article there is mention of Fiona Campbell’s skill as a skier and that she was a member of the British Olympic team in 1948. Lt Colonel Campbell was also involved in the formation of the Aberdeenshire Home Guard while at Ardhuncart Lodge63.

Next the Campbells moved to their final home Altries Estate near Maryculter, Aberdeenshire. In 1960 the Altries Fishing Company Ltd was set up, a private company controlled by the Campbells, renting out the Altries stretch of the River Dee to fishermen. A very keen rider ,Alastair took part in many local point -to-points on his horse,Lear. He continued his life of service in the local community.

He was a Deputy Lieutenant of Kincardineshire, a member of the Aberdeenshire County Council and Chairman of the Dee and Don River purification Board. He was also a member of The Royal Company of Archers,the Queen’s Bodyguard in Scotland.64

According to his obituary in The Thin Red Line Aileen and Ali, as he was known to his friends, had,”a particularly happy marriage” and ,”kept open house for their friends ,who will remember with gratitude their ever warm welcome and hospitality”65 .

Henry Alastair Campbell died in Aberdeen Royal Infirmary on 3rd September 1971 at the age of 76. He is buried in the cemetery of Kirkton of Maryculter. The Altries Fishing Estate is still in the hands of the Campbell family.



1.Glasgow Morning Journal  (GMJ)11/04/1864

2.James Maclehose.Memoirs and Portraits of One Hundred Glasgow Men. 1886. Mitchell Library

3.J&WCampbell &Co;

4. Rev John Roxburgh DD. A Memorial of the Disruption Worthies.1843.  Mitchell Library

5. Maclehose.Memoirs and Portraits of 100 Glasgow Men.

6.Dundee Courier (DC)  25/08/1847

7.Paisley and Renfrewshire Advertiser 09/04/1864

8. GMJ 11/04/1864

9. Census Records 1851

10.ibid 1861

11.J&W Campbell &Co

12.The Bailie 17/04/1878 and 05/12/1883

13Glasgow University Archives(GUA) ref GB248UGC055/1

14.Oxford Dictionary of National Biography

17.Glasgow Herald  (GH )16/08/1901 Census Records  1901 and 1911

19.G H  05/09/1932

20. DC 16/11/1892 Incoming Passenger Lists 1878-1960

22.Sunday Post 25/01/1925

23.G H 05/09/1932

26. ibid

27.C.Myers.University Co-Education in the Victorian Era:Inclusion and Exclusion in the United States and the United Kingdom. NY Palgrave Macmillan 2010

28.Thin Red Line  Vol 26 1971 p88

29.Army Form B119A  .Service Record of Henry Alastair Campbell ( HAC Army Record)

30.HAC Army Record; Incoming and Outgoing Passenger Lists 1878-1960

31.HAC Army Record

32.A History of the 2nd Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders(Princess Louise’s)(Formerly 93rd Sutherland Highlanders)1919-1947. Brigadier R.C.B. Anderson DSO MC.Unpublished. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum Collection ,Stirling. Wills and Trusts

34.Scotsman  (S) 19/07/1922

35. S .18/08/1922

36. S .11/05/1922 ; Sunday Post 10/12/1922

38.Anthony Slaven;Sidney  Checkland (ed)Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography Vol 2 AUP 1990

39.Dundee Evening Telegraph 27/11/1922

40.Warwick and Warwickshire Advertiser (WWA) 01/12/1923

41.Aberdeen Evening Express 30/12/1953

42. S. 30/04/1925

43.Yorkshire Post and Leeds Inteligencer  14/12/1925 Statutory Births

45.The 93rd Sutherland Highlanders Now 2nd Bn The Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders (Princess     Louise’s)  1799-1927. p281.Brigadier General A.E.J Cavendish CMG.Published privately 1928. Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum Collection ,Stirling Statutory Births

47.Aberdeen Press and Journal  (APJ)15/05/1929 Statutory Births

49.Brigadier R.C.B Anderson  DSO. MC.History of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 1st Battalion 1909-1939. p155. Privately printed  T.A.Constable Ltd Edinburgh.Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum Collection ,Stirling

50.HAC Army Record

51. Anderson. History of Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders 1st Battalion 1909-1939. p152

52.HAC Army  Record

53. DC. 02/06/1930 ; Nottingham Evening Post 28/02/1934

54.Thin Red Line Vol 26 1971 p88

55.HAC Army Record

56.Kris; HAC Army Record

57.London Gazette 20/03/1945 8424

58.WWA 24/10/1914

59. Stirling Observer  (SO) 07/12/1939

60. SO 20/09/1945

61. SO 29/11/1945

62. SO 10/09/1949 ; Tatler 21/09/1949

63. Aberdeen Evening Express 19/01/1952

64.  APJ 04/09/1971

65. Thin Red Line Vol 26 1971 p88






Many thanks for all their help to Fiona Thornton of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders Museum in Stirling and to Kris Hendrix of the RAF Museum .