Articles

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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

Appendix 1

A Short History of Wilson`s School, Glasgow

Scotstarbet`s Mortification

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

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

Wilson`s Charity

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

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

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

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

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

McDonald, Misses, Morton, Miss”.

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

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

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

References

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

Appendix 2

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

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

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

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

Thomas Hunt (1854 – 1929)

In 1913 the artist Thomas Hunt donated to Glasgow Museums a painting, Patchwork, accession number 1325, by his late wife Helen Russell Salmon. This report contains biographical notes on both artists.

Thomas Hunt was born in Skipton, Yorkshire in 1854 [1], the sixth child of ten, [2],[3] of John Hunt and his wife Betty (nee Wood) who married in 1848 [4]. John’s main occupation was as a limestone merchant and canal carrier, and he had also been an inspector of tolls.[5] In 1877 he stood for election as a Liberal candidate in the South Ward of Leeds, duly winning by 34 votes.[6] He remained as a councillor until 1892 when he retired from politics.[7] He died in 1900, age 81, leaving an estate valued at £1034 7s 3d, probate being granted to his sons Richard and Henry.[8]

Thomas initially started out as commercial clerk [9] probably working for his father, however by the age of 21 he had become a full-time artist having been inspired to do so after attending an International Art Exhibition in Leeds at the age of 15.[10] There is reference in a Scottish Art Dictionary to him studying in Paris under Raphael Collins, receiving an honorable mention at the Paris Salon in 1905, and attending the Glasgow School of Art and the Leeds equivalent.[11] However there is no record of him attending the Glasgow school [12] nor has any better source been identified which confirms his connection with the Leeds School or Paris. By 1879 he was living at 113 West Regent Street in Glasgow,[13] that address consisting of a number of offices, housing professional people such as architects, writers and accountants, and six artist studios, one of which he occupied.[14] In 1884 another studio at that address was occupied by the artist Helen Russell Salmon, whom he eventually married a few years later.[15]

Helen, born in 1855 in Glasgow,[16] was the daughter of the architect James Salmon, whose company James Salmon and Son, between 1862 and 1903, was involved with the building of a number of public and professional structures in Glasgow and elsewhere, including schools, churches, banks and hospitals. He first made his name with the building of St. Matthew’s Church in Bath Street and building, for Archibald McLennan, an art warehouse in Miller Street.[17] In 1854 Salmon was commissioned by Alexander Dennistoun to design the new east end suburb of Dennistoun, a design not fully realized,[18] where, by 1871 the Salmon family was resident at 3 Broompark Circus.[19] They were however unsuccessful participants in the competition for the City Chambers in George Square in 1880, and also for alterations to the Virginia Street side of the Trades House in 1882.[20] James was the co-founder of the Glasgow Architectural Society in 1858 and was a Baillie of Glasgow between 1864 and 1872. [21] His wife was Helen Russell whom he married in 1837 in Edinburgh.[22]

In the census of 1871 daughter Helen Russell Salmon is recorded as a scholar living in the family home.[23] In 1874 she is listed in the Glasgow School of Art student catalogue, during which year she won a local competition, ‘Stage 6b, figure shaded from flat, book prize.’[24] Where she was resident at that time is not listed in the school records however by 1881 she is living with her sister Margaret and her husband David Miller in Bridge of Allan and is described as an artist.[25] Her father, now a widower, her mother having died in January 1881,[26] continued to live at Broompark Circus with two of Helen’s siblings.[27] Her usual residence for the next few years is unclear, however from 1882 to 1883 she had a studio at 101 St Vincent before moving to 113 St Vincent Street in 1884, at which address she painted from until 1888.[28] It’s quite possible that she also lived at these addresses at varying times however when she married Thomas Hunt on 27th October 1887, her usual residence was given as 3 Broompark Circus which is where her marriage took place.[29]

In 1891 Tom and Helen were living In Garelochhead, [30] where she died in August of that year having been ill with phthisis (tuberculosis) for two years.[31] In the 1891 census her occupation is not recorded which perhaps suggests she had ceased to paint some time before then due to her illness. Patchwork, which was painted in 1888,[32] and was exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institutes of the Fine Arts in 1889 [33] was one of her last works.

In a letter dated 29th January 1948 to John Fleming, Deputy Director of Kelvingrove Art Gallery, from Robert Lillie, founder of the Lillie Gallery in Milngavie, [34] the subject of the painting is identified as Miss Annie Elizabeth Nisbet, the adopted daughter of John Nisbet, church officer of St John’s Church in George Street, Glasgow, and his wife Agnes.[35] In the letter, which tells of her death, she is described as the ‘Belle of St John’s’. In 1900 she married Robert Arbuckle Mackie, her adoptive parents being deceased by then.[36] She died, aged 80 in January 1948.[37]

Figure 1 ‘Patchwork;’ Helen Russell Salmon 1888.     © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(http://www.artuk.org)

Helen had 23 paintings exhibited by the Glasgow Institute between 1882 and 1891, the last  of which were painted in 1889, and two, Madge and Wallflowers which were completed at her home in Garelochhead, in 1891.[38]She also had her work exhibited by the Royal and Royal Scottish Academies between 1884 and 1890.[39]

In 1935 the Catalogue of the Pictures in the Glasgow Museums and Art Galleries, page 205, carried a short biography of Helen in which it stated she had trained in Paris. Also included were details of her painting Patchwork.[40]

In 1982 an exhibition in the Collins Exhibition Hall of Strathclyde University was held to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Glasgow Society of Lady Artists. The catalogue of the exhibition, which also took place at the Fine Art Society premises in Edinburgh later that year, included on page 23 a black and white illustration of one of Helen’s paintings.[41]

Tom eventually moved back to Glasgow and by 1895 was living at 219 West George Street.[42] Between then and his death he stayed at various Glasgow addresses including Holland Street,[43] Bath Street,[44] and finally Hill Street in Garnethill.

He was elected a member of the Glasgow Art Club in 1879, became vice president in 1883 and was club president in 1906-1907.[45]

Figure 2 Tom Hunt drawn by Wat Miller of the Glasgow Art Club. Courtesy of the Glasgow Art Club

He exhibited at the club and elsewhere including the Burns Exhibition of 1896 in Glasgow where his paintings A Winter’s Night and Alloway Kirk were shown,[46] the annual RSW shows, and also several times from 1881 at the Royal Academy in London and the Royal Scottish Academy.[47] He also exhibited at the Royal Glasgow Institutes of the Fine Arts yearly between 1879 and 1929 with a total of 138 paintings being shown during this period, the last three of which were posthumous.

The prices of his paintings during these exhibitions were anywhere between £30 and £300.[48] His wife Helen’s were typically priced at under £30.[49]

He was elected a member of the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW) in 1885 [50] and was made an Associate of the Royal Scottish Academy (ASRA) in 1929.[51]

He is represented in the museums of Sheffield, Leeds, Perth and Kinross, Paisley, Inverclyde, South Ayrshire and the Hunterian in Glasgow. There are three of his paintings in Glasgow Museums: Corner of Hope Street and Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow, gifted 1917, accession number 1444, A Few Remarks’ gifted 1939, accession number 2124, and November, Braes of Balquidder purchased 1914, accession number 1343.[52]

He died of pnuemonia on the 13th March 1929 in the Glasgow Royal Infirmary, his usual residence being given as 156 Hill Street. His death was registered by E.E. Smith his niece from Leeds.[53] His estate was valued at £1889 12s 3d and on the 15th August his fellow artists Joseph Morris Henderson and Archibald Kay, were confirmed as his executors.[54]

[1] Births (PR) England. Skipton, Yorkshire. 1st Qtr 1854. HUNT, Thomas. England & Wales Births 1837-2006 Transcriptions. www.findmypast.co.uk:

[2] Census. 1861 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 47, piece 3371, folio 51, page 10. www.ancestry.co.uk:

[3] Census. 1871 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 23, piece 4543, folio 6, page 5. www.ancestry.co.uk:

[4] Marriages (PR) England. Leeds, St Peter, Yorkshire. 29 August 1848. HUNT. John and WOOD, Betty. Collection: West Yorkshire, England, Marriages and Banns 1813-1935. www.ancestry.co.uk:

[5] Census. 1861 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 47, piece 3371, folio 51, page 10. www.ancestry.co.uk and Census. 1871 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 23, piece 4543, folio 6, page 5. www.ancestry.co.uk

[6] Leeds Mercury. (1877) Election Results. Leeds Mercury. 3 November 1877. Supplement p.1a. Collection: 19th Century British Newspapers. National Library of Scotland. www.find.galegroup.com.connect.nls.uk/bncn/publicationSearch.do:

[7] Leeds Times, (1892) Municipal Elections. Leeds Times. 22 October 1892. p.5f

[8] Testamentary Records. England.6 April 1900. HUNT, John. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the grants of probate. p.275. Collection: National Probate Calendar 1858-1966.www.ancestry.co.uk:

[9] Census. 1871 England. Leeds, Yorkshire. ED 9, Schedule 23, piece 4543, folio 6, page 5. www.ancestry.co.uk

[10] Eyre-Todd, George. (1909). Who’s Who in Glasgow 1909. Glasgow: Gowan and Grey. Collection: Glasgow Digital Library. http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/eyrwho/:

[11] McEwan, Peter J M (1994). Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411. MCE

[12] Grant, Jocelyn. (2015) Thomas Hunt and Helen Russell Salmon. E-mail to George Manzor, 30 November 2015. g.manzor@ntlworld.com:

[13] Billcliffe, Roger (1991). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 2. Mitchell Library (Glasgow) reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.

[14] Valuation Rolls. 1885. Scotland, Glasgow, West Regent Street, HUNT, Thomas. GROS Data VR102/335/171. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[15] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library (Glasgow) reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.

[16] Births (CR) Scotland. Central District, Glasgow. 17 October 1855. SALMON, Helen Russell GROS Data 644/01 1358. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[17] Dictionary of Scottish Architects. http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=200029

[18] Dennistoun Conservation Society. http://www.dennistounconservationsociety.org.uk/Page.asp?Title=History&Section=11&Page=11:

[19] Census 1871 Scotland. Springburn, Glasgow. GROS Data 644/02 100/00 022). www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[20] Dictionary of Scottish Architects. http://www.scottisharchitects.org.uk/architect_full.php?id=200029

[21] Ibid.

[22] Marriages (PR) Scotland. Edinburgh, Midlothian. 20 March 1837. SALMON, James and RUSSELL, Helen. GROS Data 685/01 0650 0219. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[23] Census 1871 Scotland. Springburn, Glasgow. GROS Data 644/02 100/00 022).

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[24] Grant, Jocelyn. (2015) Thomas Hunt and Helen Russell Salmon. E-mail to George Manzor, 30 November 2015. g.manzor@ntlworld.com

[25] Census 1881 Scotland. Logie, Bridge of Allan. GROS Data 374/00 003/00 001. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[26] Deaths (CR) Scotland. 19 January 1881. SALMON, Helen. GROS Data 644/03 0107.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[27] Census 1881 Scotland. Springburn, Glasgow. GROS Data 644/03 037/00 017.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[28] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library (Glasgow) reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.

[29] Marriages (CR) Scotland. Dennistoun, Lanark. 27 October 1887. HUNT, Thomas and SALMON, Helen Russell. GROS Data 644/03 0383. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[30] Census 1891 Scotland. Row, Garelochhead. GROS Data 503/00 013/00 009.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[31] Deaths (CR) Scotland. 5 August 1891. HUNT, Helen Russell. GROS Data 503/00 0124.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[32] BBC My Paintings. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/paintings/patchwork-85945

[33] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library reference: (Glasgow) f.709.411.074 Roy.

[34] East Dunbartonshire Leisure + Culture. http://www.edlc.co.uk/arts/lillie_art_gallery.aspx:

[35] Lillie, Robert. (1948) Letter to John Fleming. 29 January. GMRC Archives and Object file.

[36] Marriages (CR) Scotland. Blythswood, Glasgow. 26 September 1900. MACKIE, Robert Arbuckle and Nisbet, Annie Elizabeth. GROS Data 644/07 0994. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[37] Deaths (CR) Scotland. Milton, Glasgow. 26 January 1948. MACKIE, Annie Elizabeth. GROS Data 644/10 0045. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[38] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library reference (Glasgow): f.709.411.074 Roy.

[39] McEwan, Peter J M (1994). Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411. MCE

[40] GMRC Object File – Helen Russell Salmon.

[41] Ibid.

[42] Valuation Rolls. 1895. Scotland, Glasgow, West George Street, HUNT, Thomas. GROS Data VR102/463/167. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[43] Census 1911 Scotland. Blythswood, Glasgow. GROS Data 644/11 033/00 031.

www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[44] Valuation Rolls. 1925. Scotland, Glasgow, Bath Street, HUNT, Thomas. GROS Data VR102/1368/274. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk:

[45] Macaskill. D.K. (2015) Glasgow Art Club Minute Books. E-mail to George Manzor, 26 June 2015. g.manzor@ntlworld.com:

[46] (1898) Memorial Catalogue of the Burns Exhibition 1896.  Glasgow: William Hodge & Co. and T & R Annan & Sons. https://archive.org/stream/cu31924029635798#page/n7/mode/2up:

[47] McEwan, Peter J M (1994). Dictionary of Scottish Art and Architecture. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Antique Collectors Club. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411. MCE

[48] Billcliffe, Roger (1991). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 2. Mitchell Library reference (Glasgow): f.709.411.074 Roy.

[49] Billcliffe, Roger (1992). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 4. Mitchell Library reference (Glasgow): f.709.411.074 Roy.

[50] Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour. http://www.rsw.org.uk/pages/members_page.php?recordID=133:

[51] Billcliffe, Roger (1991). The Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts 1861-1998: A Dictionary of Exhibitors at the Annual Exhibitions. Vol. 2. Mitchell Library reference: f.709.411.074 Roy.

[52] BBC My Paintings. http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/thomas-hunt:

[53] Deaths (CR) Scotland. Dennistoun, Glasgow. 13 March 1929. HUNT, Thomas GROS Data 644/04 0530. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

[54] Testamentary Records. Scotland. 15 August 1929. HUNT, Thomas. Scotland, National Probate Index (Calendar of Confirmations and Inventories), 1876-1939. . www.anc

George Sheringham (1884-1937)

Figure 1. George Sheringham 1927 – (c National Portrait Gallery, London under Creative Commons Licence)

George Sheringham was born in London on 13th November 1884. (1) His father was an Anglican clergyman and vicar of Tewksbury Abbey. George was educated at Kings School, Gloucester and studied art at The Slade, London and The Sorbonne in Paris. He was interested in art at from early age and the decorative arts became a lifelong passion. He first exhibited at the Paris Salon and his work was subsequently exhibited in London, Ghent, Brussels, Melbourne and New York. (2) He specialised in flower paintings but he is probably best remembered as a theatre set designer, especially for designs for The D’Oyly Carte Opera Company.

George married Sybil Mengens in 1912. Sybil was born in Calcutta (Kolkata) and was living in Hampshire with her parents at the time of her marriage. (3) When George died in 1937 she gifted the watercolour Faded Roses painted by Charles Rennie MacKintosh to Glasgow. 

rose
Figure 2. Faded Roses, Charles Rennie Mackintosh 1905 (© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection)

Faded Roses was painted in 1905 and, as the title suggests, represents roses in a state of decay and depicted in a rather sombre colour scheme. It was painted at a time when MacKintosh had little work and may reflect his mood at that period. Mackintosh is well known for his architecture and interior design but when he moved to Walberswick, Surrey in 1914 he produced a series of watercolours depicting stylised flowers. In 1915 he moved to Chelsea, a fashionable, artistic district of London and socialised with many artists and designers, including George Sheringham and his wife Sybil, who was now a successful artist in her own right. (4) It was in 1923 that MacKintosh gifted Faded Roses to Sybil prior to leaving for France

There is a pencil sketch of George Sheringhame, drawn by Powys Evans in 1921, in The National Portrait Gallery in London,. Evans was a caricaturist who made numerous sketches of Sheringham.

In 1925 George was awarded the Paris Grand Prix, both for architectural decoration and for theatre design.(5) He also illustrated books including The Happy Hypocrite by Max Beerbolm.

Figure3. Drury Lane Theatre 1800, design for decorative panel, Claridges Hotel – permission of British Museum under Creative Commons attribution.

As a decorator he designed the music room at 40 Devonshire House, London and the ballroom at Claridges Hotel. He also completed a striking series of large paintings for the 8th Lord Howard de Walden (Baron Seaford), entitled The Cauldron of Anwyn, to illustrate his Celtic poem, probably for Seaford House in Belgravia. The house was being remodelled and included a fine onyx staircase from South American marble and it is said that to ensure the finest quality possible he purchased the quarry.(6)

Figure 4. Baptism of Dylan, Son of the Wave from The cauldron of Anwyn (c.1902)   http://www.johncoulthart.com

Sheringham became an authority on Chinese art and much of his work shows this influence. He designed fans,  which illustrate his thoughts on the fundamental differences between Western and Far Eastern art. In an article in The Studio magazine of January 1936 he describes how he thinks Western art is limiting in its scientific approach ‘science has put a fence around art ‘(the frame), whereas Eastern art, especially from China, expresses ideas in limitless detail (scroll paintings only finish when the meaning is complete). He explains…’Meaning being the very essence, the beginning, end and centre of all the greater Eastern Works of Art’. He criticises James McNeill Whistler’s paintings which combined eastern and western influences…’Whistler may be said to have missed the main underlying tradition of Eastern Art, for he snatches at Japanese fundamental insistence on perfection of arrangement; and discarded meaning’.(7)

Sheringham was particularly interested in flower painting influenced by a Chinese style. In The Studio he wrote an article entitled The Flower Sculptures of China which refers to work in jade (usually in the most sought after white colour) and which both George and Sybil collected. An image in the magazine of a rose-coloured peony is described as ‘capturing the essence of the flower, not just copying it’ and was part of Sybil’s collection. The illustrated watercolour by George  is included in The Studio article is entitled simply Flower Painting and was commissioned, among other artists, to hang in the newly launched Queen Mary.(8)

DR The Studio Jan 1936 P143
Figure 5. The Studio Magazine, January 1936, p.143“©CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collection: The Mitchell Library, Special Collections”

Sheringham also designed woodblock prints and received lessons from Ernest A Taylor, one of the Glasgow Boys painters who was living in Hampstead at the time and who was closely connected to Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style. . Although Sheringham may never have visited Glasgow he was much influenced by these artists with a Glasgow connection.

Another influence in Sheringham’s life was music which inspired much of his life, and his work for D’oyly Carte Opera Company would have combined his love of art and music together.  Mention has already been made of Whistler who was also influenced by music and many of his paintings were entitled ‘arrangements’ or ‘harmonies’. 

Sheringham’s fluid rhythmic style of painting was influenced by the rhythm of life, in the way plants grew and seasons changed, and in later life this aspect became more important. Indeed his last completed painting was titled ‘Jungle Rythm’. James Duncan Fergusson, one of the ‘Scottish Colourists’, had a similar interest and they knew each other when Fergusson was living in London. Fergusson produced a magazine called ‘Rythm’ while he was in Paris.

In 1936 The Royal Society of Arts established the Royal Designers for Industry Award and Sheringham was one of the first artists to receive the accolade in 1937.

George Sheringham died at his Hampstead home on 11th November 1937 and in the following year Sybil presented Faded Rose to Glasgow. Sybil passed away on 8th August 1942 at Golders Green London.

DS

References

(1) www.ancestry.co.uk, births

(2) Obituaries, The Times, 12th November 1937

(3) The Modernist Journals Project (Brown University and The University of Tulsa)

(4) Glasgow Museums, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Kaplan Wendy 1996, p305

(5) Obituaries, The Times, 12th November 1937

(6) www.johncoulthart.com/feuilleton/2007/08/the-art-of-george-sheringhame

(7) The Studio, January 1936, p5

(8) The Studio, January 1936, p8

Archibald Montgomery Craig (1872-1947)

Donor- Archibald Montgomery Craig (1872-1947)

Painting

(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

Schooldays

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

5. THE PIBROCH VOL1 NO3 DEC 1897 P11 HEADQUARTERS GREENDYKE ST (002)
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.

3. THE PIBROCH VOL1 NO2 DEC 1896 P28 IN THE FIELD (002)
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

4. THE PIBROCH VOL1 NO2 DEC 1896 P34 REGIMENTAL GATHERING (002)
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.

1. THE PIBROCH VOL1 NO1 DEC 1895 FRONT COVER (002)
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

6. THE PIBROCH VOL1 NO3 DEC 1897 P19 DIAMOND JUBILEE DETACHMENT (002)
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

8. THE PIBROCH VOL1 NO3 DEC 1897 P31 THE REGIMENT AT ALDERSHOT (002)
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. http://www.vads.ac.uk
  3. Label on reverse of painting. GMRC object file
  4. GMRC Object File 1925/2
  1. http://www.scotlandspeople.go.uk/opr/marriages
  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. www.scotlandsplaces.gov.uk 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. 17.as above 1876-7
  7. UK Census 1881
  8.  www.e.architect.co.uk/Greek-Thomson,
  1. Will of William Blackburn Craig. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/wills
  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. http://www.scotlandspeople.go.uk/valuation 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. http://www.edic.co.uk Local History and Heritage.
  5. http://www.strathblane.org.uk/history/Ballagan House
  1. Glasgow Post Office Directory 1903/4
  2. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/statutory 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. http://worldwide.espacenet.com
  13. Glasgow Post Office Directories 1905-14
  14. op cit ref 49
  15. Glasgow Post Office Directories 1910-14
  1. http://www.ancestry.co.uk British Army Pension Records 1914-20. Attestation Papers Archibald Montgomerie Craig
  2. http://www.scottishmilitary articles.org.uk
  3. The Pibroch December 1895. Introduction to first issue by commanding officer.
  4. http://www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glasgow 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
  18. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/statutorydeaths
  19. http://www.wikipedia.org/Territorial 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. http://www.ancestry.co.uk/ British Army Pension Records 1914-20
  5. as above
  6. op cit ref 73
  7. as above 79. op cit ref 75
  8. wikipedia.org/wiki/221st Mixed Brigade
  9. op cit ref 75
  10. as above
  11. as above
  12. The Long Long Trail. http://www.1914-18.net/commandposts
  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. http://www.scotlandspeople.co.uk/valuationrolls 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. http://www.ancestry.co.uk/British Telephone Directories 1880-1894
  11. http://www.ancestry.co.uk/London 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. http://www.ancestry.co.uk/wills and probate
  17. op cit ref 97
  18. Glasgow Electoral Role 1931
  19. as above 1931-47
  20. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/statutory deaths. Death certificate of Archibald Montgomerie Craig
  21. http://www.kinnairdhouse.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

Alexander Macphail M.D.Glas., F.R.F.P.S

In June, 1927, Dr Alexander Macphail gave Iona, White Sands of Iona, by George Huston, to Glasgow museums. (1)

GL_GM_1708
© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection

Alexander Macphail was born on 31 August 1872 to Janet Macphail nee Merry and her husband Dougal Macphail(2). They lived at 185 Hill Street, Garnet Hill, Glasgow. He was educated at Garnet Hill School, Partick Academy and Hamilton Crescent in Glasgow (3).After his father died, in 1887, he lived with his older brother Donald, a general Practitioner ,and his young family in Coatbridge.(4) In 1890, he matriculated in the medical faculty at Glasgow University and graduated (with high commendation) four years later. While still a student he edited the Glasgow University magazine ((GUM). He was a member of the Kelvin Jubilee students committee.(5)

Shortly after graduating, he took a post as surgeon on the s.s.Clan Mackenzie, sailing between the ports of Columbia and Suez. On the ship he encountered a case of confluent smallpox in a Lascar seaman. He wrote this up in the Lancet (6).

His first appointment was a demonstrator in the Anatomy Department at Glasgow University, a post he held until 1900. In 1900, he became Dean of the St Mungo’s Medical School, based at the Glasgow Royal infirmary in the east end of the city, a post he held until 1907. (7)

In 1907, London and Anatomy beckoned and he took up a post as lecturer in Anatomy at Charing Cross Hospital and King’s College, London. In 1912 he moved to St Bartholomew’s as lecturer in Anatomy a post he held until 1922.(8) During the First World War, he was a Captain in the RA MC attached to the ninth Battalion Highland Light Infantry .(9) In 1922, he proceeded MD at Glasgow University. His thesis was entitled “Historical and other notes on the Administration of the Anatomy Act “and is in the Glasgow University library. (10)

alecport
Dr Macphail. British Medical Journal 10 Septmber 1938. RCPS Glasgow. (Elliot and Fry)

In 1922, he was appointed HM Inspector of Anatomy for England and Wales (11) and a medical officer in the Department of Health.y The obituary in the British Medical Journal gives full acknowledgement of the manner in which he undertook the task. After the scandals of the early 1800s, the Anatomy Act of 1832 undertook the provision of bodies for dissection in medical schools. After World War I, the arrangements for obtaining such subjects had broken down and medical schools were facing a difficult situation. The Ministry of Health asked the Boards of Guardians for their cooperation in allowing unclaimed bodies of inmates in institutions to be released as subjects for dissection. (12) Tact and diplomacy were required and Dr Macphail exhibited both; an extra obituary in the Lancet (13) talked of” that rare combination of refinement and gentleness with moral courage and on occasion righteous indignation” which he showed. Prof FG Parsons told in the British Medical Journal(13) of Dr Macphail’s wish that his own body go to Oxford to be dissected. “Macphail felt that until an anatomist had himself been dissected, we should have no answer to the demagogues who accused us of cutting up the friendless poor”. Thus did he practice what he preached.

During his working life he served Anatomy in many roles. He was Chairman of the Board of Studies in Human Anatomy, University of London: Secretary and Vice President of the Anatomical Society of Great Britain and Ireland (15). He published in the Journal of Anatomy.

His recreations are listed as painting and music. He was a water colourist and exhibited at the Ministry of Health exhibitions (16). In 1934, (16) he was appointed Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy in London (the first Professor of Anatomy at the Royal Academy was William Hunter, another Glasgow man).(17) This involved giving 10 lectures a year to students in October and November. This was an appointment of which he was very proud.

Dr Macphail’s life reflects his upbringing so it is pertinent that his father was a native of Mull and a well-known Gaelic bard. The choice of painting to donate to Glasgow museums must have been influenced by his family origins.

References

  1. Minutes of Glasgow City Council June 1927
  2. National Records of Scotland Statutory Births 1872
  3. Who Was Who 1929-1940
  4. National Records of Scotland Census 1891
  5. Who Was Who 1929-1940
  6. The Lancet 1986 ;June20   A case of confluent smallpox in a lascar seaman
  7. British Medical Journal 1938; Sep 10: 600
  8. Op cit
  9. http://www.archives.gla.uk/honour/index
  10. Glasgow University library
  11. British Medical journal 1922; 2 :787
  12. British Medical Journal 1938; Sep 10: 600
  13. The Lancet 1938; Oct 15:922
  14. British Medical Journal 1938; Sep 10: 600
  15. British Medical Journal 1938; Sep 10: 601
  16. The Lancet 1938; Oct 15:922
  17. The Times, July 03,1934; p9

 

Dugald Macphail

Dugald MacPhail, the Bard, was from Mull, from the parish of Strathcoil living at Derrychullin Farm. He was born in 1819. His family had lived in Glen Forsa for many years (1 ).He married Janet Merry at Tarasay on the 23 August 1853.(2) His first son, Donald, was born there. (3) He left Mull shortly afterwards. He was initially a contractor but he studied   architecture and later became a   master of works. A devout Presbyterian, he joined the Free Church following the Disruption.(4)  His movements can be followed using the places where his children were born.(5 ) The family moved to Newcastle. (6) While there, he wrote the Gaelic song An T-lanmullach (7)which has been called the anthem of Mull. This is probably best known in the translation used by Sir Hugh Roberton and the Orpheus choir “O Isle of Mull, Isle of Joy Beloved”. He then moved to work for the Duke of Westminster as master of works in Shaftesbury where he lived at 1 Church yard (8) and the family had a servant. He moved back to Scotland, to Edinburgh and then to Glasgow. The family home was in Glasgow where Alexander was born (9) but in 1871, he is a lodger at 16 Gladstone Terrace Edinburgh.(10 )In the 1881 census(11) the family are in Glasgow without him so one can surmise that this was the stable family home and he moved with his work. He is at various times found in parish registers and voters rolls(12 ) in Edinburgh and in Glasgow. He died in 1887(13) in Partick in Glasgow. But he is buried in New Monklands Cemetery in Coatbridge, where it is said his firstborn grandson was buried.(14 )

His sons and daughters were well educated. Three sons, other than Alexander, were doctors. Donald was a General Practioner in Coatbridge(15 ): John was a Physician and Surgeon in Barnsley(16 ) : Rev James Merry Macphail was a missionary in India and died there. (17 )His daughters were schoolteachers. All bear witness to their upbringing in a religious and educated household.

monument 001
Thanks to Harry Davidson, Arran

In 1929, at Tarasay, a monument was constructed from the stones of his old cottage(18). It was recently refurbished by public subscription. It stands as a lasting monument to the Bard.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

  1. Macleod M C Dugald Macphail in Modern Gaelic Bards pp136-152. Stirling, 1908
  2. Ancestry
  3. Op cit
  4. Op cit
  5. Op cit
  6. Macleod M C Dugald Macphail in Modern Gaelic Bards pp136-152. Stirling, 1908
  7. English census 1861
  8. National Records of Scotland Statutory Births 1872
  9. National Records of Scotland Statutory census 1871
  10. National Records of Scotland Statutory census 1881
  11. National Records of Scotland Statutory valuation rolls
  12. National Records of Scotland Statutory deaths 1887
  13. Gazeteer for Scotland
  14. Macleod M C Dugald Macphail in Modern Gaelic Bards pp136-152. Stirling, 1908
  15. National Records of Scotland census 1891
  16. English census 1901
  17. Scottish National Probate Index. Wills and confirmations
  18. The Oban Times 2017 November 20

Marc A Béra (1914-1990)

Introduction

On 30th June 1948, M Marc A. Béra of the Institut Français d’Ecosse, 13 Randolph Crescent Edinburgh presented Kelvingrove Gallery with an oil painting named Apres la Guerre painted by Lucien Simon[1]. The name of the painting has since been translated into English as After the War and it is now known by this name in The Oil Paintings in Public Ownership series of catalogues and also in ART UK©.

The painting is shown below in Fig.1.

After the War painted by Lucien Simon (1861-1945)

Simon, Lucien, 1861-1945; After the War
Fig. 1 Simon, Lucien; After the War; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. http://www.artuk.org/artworks/after-the-war-86073

The office of Institut Français d’Ecosse [2] in Edinburgh was contacted and I learned that our donor Marc A. Béra had been its First Director in 1946. A further search on the Internet revealed an article in the Scotsman of 22nd June 2002 which gave the address of the French Institute in Edinburgh. [3] An extract from that article is printed below:

HEROES of the ‘French resistance are to reunite in Edinburgh tomorrow to mark the anniversary of a safe house opened by their country’s most famous Second World War general, Charles de Gaulle. The building in Regent Terrace, now home to the French Consul General, was opened by General de Gaulle in 1942 as a place for members of the Free French movement to recuperate between missions. After the war, the French government declared that the house was to be the permanent residence of its representative in Scotland. During the conflict, the building was particularly popular with members of the French naval forces, and tomorrow senior members of the French Admiralty will join resistance heroes at a special anniversary celebration organised by the Consul General of France for Scotland, Michel Roche.

There has always been a strong link between France and Scotland. War time was very difficult and it was vital at that time to stress the importance of historical links, because the Free French had to impose their existence on the world’s attention. We had long-term links with the Scots, but it is easy to forget about such connections when things are going well. But it is in difficult times of war that the strength of these connections is really tested.
said Mr Roche.

Marc André Béra (1914-1990)

Marc A Béra was born in Paris in 1914 and studied and graduated from the prestigious l’Ecole normale supérieure in Paris in 1935. He became the first Director of the Institut Français d’Ecosse in Edinburgh [4] when it opened in November 1946. He married the celebrated pianist Nadia Tagrine (1917-2003), whom he had met when she was touring in Scotland in 1947. They had two children. Their son, Michel Béra had become a mathematician and their daughter, Nathalie Béra-Tagrine, a pianist, who was as equally celebrated as her mother and often performed with her.

He stayed in Edinburgh until 1952. From 1953 to 1957, he was appointed Director of the Centre Culturel de Royaumont which was an Abbey in France built in the thirteenth century. It was partly destroyed during the French Revolution and had gone through several transformations. During the First World War, the family who owned the site made it available to the Scottish Women’s Hospital, which cared for more than 10,000 wounded soldiers between 1915 and 1919. Later, in the 1950s, it became a cultural centre.

Under our donor’s directorship, Royaumont established music, literature and philosophy firmly at the heart of the Abbey. This was exactly as Henry Goüin, who was the owner of the Royaumont estate had wished as he once remarked ‘a meeting place where attention is focused entirely on the mind and the intellect’. [5]

Our donor was an extraordinary man of his time. He made a colossal number of contributions during his life and most of them related to British scientists, authors and philosophers. In 1990 Marc A Béra was listed as Maître de Conférences at the l’Ecole polytechnique and l’Ecole des Sciences politiques de Paris – an important position in these two very prestigious institutions.

It is important to mention here that, apart from the contributions he made in the fields of literature, music, general art and science while he was living in France and Scotland, he also became a specialist in the works of two very important British scientists of the twentieth century.  They were Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) and James Gerald Crowther (1899–1983). Alfred North Whitehead was a British mathematician and a philosopher known for his work in mathematical logic and the philosophy of science. [6] His most notable work in these fields is the three-volume Principia Mathematica (1910–13), which he wrote with his former student Bertrand Russell.

On the other hand, J.G. Crowther was Britain’s very first official science correspondent. [7] During World War II, as Director of Science for the British Council, he furthered international links between scientists, which he thought could be a model for peace and cooperation between nations.

Royaumont Abbey

As mentioned earlier Royaumont Abbey played an important part in the life of our donor Marc A Bera. Therefore, it is appropriate to give some more information about it. Scotland has a strong connection with the Royaumont Abbey [8] which was built between the years 1228-1235 for the Cistercian order of monks, which was dissolved during the French Revolution in 1789. From 1914-1918 the Abbey was turned into a hospital. The Abbey was owned by the Goüin family from 1905 and when the war started, they made the site available to the Scottish Women’s Hospitals (SWH).  The SWH was founded by Dr Elsie Maud Inglis [9] (1864-1917) who was a remarkable person in her own right [10]. She was born in India to British parents and was educated privately. She was then enrolled in Dr Sophia Jex-Blake’s newly opened Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women and completed her training under Sir William Macewen at the Glasgow Royal Infirmary. She qualified as a licentiate of both the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Edinburgh, and the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow in 1892 – a remarkable achievement for women in those times.

A little anecdote relating to Dr Inglis’s life is as follows. During World War I, Dr Elsie Maud Inglis approached the Royal Army Medical Corps to offer them a ready-made Medical Unit staffed by qualified women. However, the War Office told her ‘go home and sit still’ [11]. It was, instead, the French government that took up her offer and the first hospital was based at the Abbey of Royaumont which worked under the direction of the French Red Cross.

In 1918, the Helensburgh born Scottish artist Norah Neilson Gray [12], went to Royaumont and served as a voluntary aid detachment nurse at one of the ten hospitals run by the SWH. She was also doing some paintings in her spare time. It should be mentioned here that she was commissioned by the Imperial War Museum to record the staff and the patients at the hospital in her paintings for their collection.

 

Gray, Norah Neilson, 1882-1931; A Belgian Refugee
Fig. 2  Gray, Norah Neilson; A Belgian Refugee; © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection. http://www.artuk.org/artworks/a-belgian-refugee-84289

Norah Neilson Gray, who was also one of the painters known as the Glasgow Girls, [5] painted very interesting works during the war. As early as 1916, she had painted a sensitive portrait of a Belgian Refugee (see Fig 2. Above) who had come to live in Glasgow when his country was invaded by the Germans. The painting of the Refugee shown above won the Bronze Medal in Paris 1921. Another one of the paintings she made Hôpital Auxillaire d’Armee 301-_Abbaye de Royaumont is often displayed in the Helensburgh library and it is depicted below in Fig3.

Gray, Norah Neilson, 1882-1931; Hopital Auxiliaire d'Armee 301 - Abbaye de Royaumont
Fig.3  Gray, Norah Neilson; Hopital Auxiliaire d’Armee 301 – Abbaye de Royaumont; Argyll and Bute Council; http://www.artuk.org/artworks/hopital-auxiliaire-darmee-301-abbaye-de-royaumont-163952

The other painting that Nora Neilson Gray made in Royaumont is called The Scottish Women’s Hospital and it is in the Imperial War Museum [14].

Conclusions

Our donor, Marc André Béra was a great specialist of Britain (he was agrégé d’anglais).[15] He was a shining example of a French intellectual and was a very competent person in many areas of literature, science and art to mention just three areas of human endeavour. He had made translations from the English Language to French of many plays by Shakespeare as well as works of many scientific articles and books. He also translated works of other scientists (i.e. by J. G. Crowther) and in addition to these, he wrote many books about various subjects himself.

A list of most widely held works by Marc André Béra is given in Reference [16] where his contributions at various dates in his life are listed.

Marc André Béra and his wife Nadia remained married for nearly 40 years until Marc André Béra died on 31st March 1990.

Acknowledgements

I should like to thank my colleague Caroline Steel and her husband James Steel for putting me in touch with their friend Prof. John Renwick of Edinburgh University to whom I am indebted for his invaluable help.

References

[1] Record of donor’s gift to Kelvingrove Gallery.

[2] Institut Français d’Ecosse 13 Randolph Crescent Edinburgh. (Please note the new address of Institut Français d’Ecosse is West Parliament Square, Edinburgh, EH1 1RF.

[3] https://www.scotsman.com/news/french-salute-to-city-safe-house-1-844615

[4] Private correspondence with Senior Honorary Professorial Fellow Prof. John Renwick,  MA (Oxon), MA (Cantab), PhD (Glasgow), DLitt (Glasgow) FRHistS, FRSE, University of Edinburgh.

[5] Royaumont estate https://www.royaumont.com/en

[6] Alfred North Whitehead https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whitehead/

[7] JG Crowther https://archiveshub.jisc.ac.uk/search/archives/d56f811d-2417-38ea-9486-f230c94f4653

[8] Op.cit. Royaumont estate

[9] Maud Inglis https://www.ed.ac.uk/about/people/plaques/inglis

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Noble, Stuart (Ed.) 200 years of Helensburgh. Argyll Publishing,  pp.166-67

[13] BurkHauser, Jude (Ed.) Glasgow  Girls. Cannongate, 1990

[14] Op.cit. “200 Years of Helensburgh”

[15] Op.cit. Private correspondence.

[16] WorldCat Identities http://worldcat.org/identities/lccn-no00104229/.

 

 

Allan Maxwell Wilson (1873 – 1951)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

References

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