The office of Institut Français d’Ecosse  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.  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  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’. 
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.  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.  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.
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  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  (1864-1917) who was a remarkable person in her own right . 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’ . 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 , 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.
Norah Neilson Gray, who was also one of the painters known as the Glasgow Girls,  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.
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 .
Our donor, Marc André Béra was a great specialist of Britain (he was agrégé d’anglais). 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  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.
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.
 Record of donor’s gift to Kelvingrove Gallery.
 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.
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).
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
In 1949 Baillie William Graham Greig (WGG) donated the following paintings to Glasgow.
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 Artand 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.
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.8
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 RedHaired 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 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.
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 PostOffice 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
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum Glasgow. Glasgow Boys Gallery. Information Panel Potter at Work by John Lavery
McConkey,Kenneth John Lavery :A Painter and His World pp40-45 .2nd Edition 2010 Atelier Books Edinburgh
Glasgow Museums Resource Centre Object File. Lavery, John
In 1944 ship owner, Sir William Burrell donated to Glasgow his collection of paintings, Japanese and Chinese ceramics, tapestries, sculpture, stained glass and many other artefacts, totalling some 6000 items. By the time of his death in 1958 the donation had grown to over 8000 items, probably one of the greatest collections ever amassed by an individual. The collection is housed in a dedicated building in Pollok Park and has a world-wide reputation for its range and quality.
Earlier that year, on the 19th March, another ship owner, William McInnes, died at his home in Mariscat Road, Glasgow. In his will he bequeathed his collection, some 700 items including over 70 paintings, to Glasgow. Compared to Burrell, McInnes is much less well known to the Glasgow public, however his French paintings, which include works by Degas, Renoir, and Matisse are amongst the finest in any European Municipal collection.
Undoubtedly McInnes is, correctly, overshadowed by Burrell. The following however is an attempt to appropriately redress the balance between the two men. Whilst there can be no doubt that Burrell’s gift is and will remain unsurpassed, McInnes’s significant contribution to Glasgow’s cultural life deserves broader acknowledgement than it has received so far.
William McInnes’s paternal family originated in Crieff, Perthshire. His grandparents William and Janet married in 1825  and had eleven children, not all of whom survived childhood. William’s father John was the oldest child, born in Crieff at the end of December 1825. Seven of the children were born in Crieff or Comrie, the others in Glasgow after the family moved there sometime between 1841 and 1851. Grandfather William, John and his brother Alexander were all working on the railways by 1851, William as a labourer, John as an engine man and Alexander as a fireman.
Ten years later the family home was at 6 Salisbury Street in the Gorbals where John and his siblings lived with their parents. The three men continued to work on the railways, William now being a timekeeper. John’s three sisters, Jessie, Jeanie and Mary were milliners.
In 1867 John McInnes married Margaret McFadyen from Neilston on 28th June. At the time of his marriage he was working as a railway engine driver. They lived at 6 Cavendish Street where their four children were born: son William on 13th September 1868, to be followed by Finlay (1870), Thomas (1872) and Ann (1876).
Tragically, at the early age of 33, Margaret, died of plithisis (tuberculosis) in 1879  which resulted in John and the four children, who were aged between 3 and 11 years, moving to 6 Salisbury Street to live with his brother Andrew and sisters Jessie and Mary; where Jessie acted as housekeeper and surrogate mother to the children. This manifestation of strong family ties working to bring some good out of a bad and difficult situation I’m sure had a lasting impression on William. His friendships, particularly with the artist George Leslie Hunter and his support of family members in later life, provide evidence of that.
It’s not clear where William received his schooling although one source has suggested that he attended Hutcheson Grammar at the same time as the author John Buchan. Having talked to the administration staff at the school this has not been confirmed.
In 1882 John’s sister Mary married Gavin Shearer in Glasgow. Gavin aged 44 was an Insurance Broker working for the Glasgow Salvage Company Ltd. whose business was marine salvage. The marriage was childless and short lived as he died in 1887 from tuberculosis. At the time of his death he was secretary of the salvage company.
William was aged 19 at this time and probably had been in employment for some time. Was Gavin Shearer his entrée to the world of insurance when he was old enough? Considering how the family stuck together and supported each other it’s not unreasonable to think that his uncle helped him to get work, especially in an industry where he would have some influence. This is clearly conjecture as it’s not known what employment, if any, he was in at the time of his uncle’s death, however by 1891 he was working as a marine insurance clerk for P.H.Dixon and Harrison.
Four years later the company merged with Allan C. Gow to form Gow, Harrison and Company. Allan Carswell Gow had established his shipping company in the early 1850s. In 1853 he was joined in the business by his brother Leonard who on Allan’s death in 1859 became head of the firm. His younger son, also Leonard, in due course joined the business which by this time had offices in London as well as Glasgow. Senior partners in the new company which was located at 45 Renfield Street were the young Leonard Gow and John Robinson Harrison; McInnes continued to be employed as a marine insurance clerk. In 1899 the Glasgow Ship Owners and Ship Brokers Benevolent Association was formed, which Gow, Harrison and McInnes joined in its inaugural year. Another well-known Glasgow shipping name also joined later that year, George Burrell of William Burrell and Son, brother to the future Sir William Burrell. McInnes possibly became a partner in the business in 1907, the first year he appeared in the Glasgow Post Office Directory, however it’s more likely to have been 1922 when John Harrison retired from the business and his son Ion joined it. In 1929 William became godfather to Ion’s son Iain Vittorio Robinson Harrison.
Between 1899 and 1907 William’s brothers and sister married. Thomas married Jessie McEwan in 1899 at the Grand Hotel, Glasgow, there were no children of the marriage; Finlay married Agnes Hamilton at 95 Renfield Street on 15th February 1907, they had one son who was born on 8th December of the same year; Ann married William Sinclair on 27th February 1907 at 22 Princes Street, which was where the McInnes family then stayed. Shortly afterwards Ann and William emigrated to the United States and settled in Maine where their three sons William (1908), John (1912) and Andrew (1916) were born.
William McInnes never married although according to one source he was close to it. Lord McFarlane of Bearsden relates the story that his wife’s aunt and McInnes planned to marry but her father forbade it because he ‘didn’t have enough siller’.
McInnes moved to 4 Mariscat Road, Pollokshields in 1909 and lived there for the rest of his life with his elderly father and his uncle Andrew and aunt Mary.
It’s not clear when he started his collection, however it’s likely that his collecting activity would be prompted, certainly influenced by his relationship with Gow who became a renowned collector in his own right, particularly of paintings and Chinese porcelain. You can also envisage that Gow was the means by which McInnes met Alexander Reid and hence Leslie Hunter. What is known is that he bought his first painting, ‘Autumn’ by George Henry from Alexander Reid in 1910. His final purchase was ‘The Star Ridge with the King’s Peak’ (near Gardanne) by Cezanne, in 1942, from Reid and Lefevre, London. This painting eventually came into his sister-in-law Jessie’s (widow of brother Thomas) possession. In between those purchases he bought a number of significant paintings ranging from French Impressionists to Scottish Colourists. He bought works by Degas, Renoir, Picasso, and Matisse and was the first Scottish collector to buy a van Gogh, (The Blute Fin Windmill, Montmatre) bought in 1921 for £550.
He also purchased, glassware, ceramics and silver which in due course, along with his paintings, formed the basis of his eventual bequest to Glasgow.
In a Kelvingrove museum publication of 1987 the then Fine Art keeper Ann Donald commented as follows: ‘The most important individual 20th Century benefactor to date has been William McInnes (1868-1944), a Glasgow ship owner who left to his native city his entire collection of over 70 paintings as well as prints, drawings, silver, ceramics and glass. The bequest included 33 French works (many of them bought from Alexander Reid) by key artists such as Monet, Degas, Renoir, van Gogh, Cezanne and Picasso, whilst the British pictures were mostly by the Glasgow Boys and the Scottish Colourists, of whom he was a regular patron. This donation firmly established the international importance of Glasgow’s French collection.’
McInnes is described by those who knew him as a modest, unassuming individual who did not seek attention or the limelight. and may have found these comments not particularly welcome, despite them being highly complimentary. McInnes valued his friendships and his family, which is evident from the support he gave, and his ability to listen to the advice he was given. He was able to take the artistic guidance given him by the likes of Leslie Hunter, Tom Honeyman and others, and act on it if he thought it appropriate to do so, which wasn’t always. He bought paintings it’s said not only for his own pleasure but for that of his friends. He gave unstinting support to family and friends, particularly Leslie Hunter and his closest family members.
As stated earlier, William lived with his father, and aunt and uncle, for a number of years at Mariscot Road, incidentally where most of his paintings were housed. His father died in 1911, aged 85, cause of death being senile decay and pneumonia. His uncle Andrew, aged 81, died in April 1930 from senility and glycosuria (untreated diabetes); his aunt Mary, aged 83, also died in 1930 (August) from glycosuria. Both died at home.
These are very distressing and difficult conditions, not only for the sufferers, but for those who have to care for them. When it is considered that he had a senior position in a significant shipping business, that he was a member and leader of a number of industry organisations and also of the Ship Owners Benevolent Association, in addition to whatever he had to do at home, it’s clear that William had a strong sense of service and duty, perhaps inculcated by his early family experiences. It seems reasonable to presume he found this to be more intrinsically rewarding than anything else. When his support of Leslie Hunter is taken into account, then that presumption gains credence.
The artist must have seemed to McInnes to be a vulnerable, possibly unstable individual, whose life style could be fraught and chaotic at times. This must have resonated with McInnes’s home life in that here was another person who needed care and support. This may be more fanciful than factual, however there does seem to be this pattern to how William lived his life.
Hunter and McInnes met before 1914 and are known to have been in Paris pre WW One along with John Tattersall, the trip expenses, according to Hunter, being paid for by his two friends. There are examples of how Hunter was helped and encouraged by McInnes and others in Tom Honeyman’s biography of him. The most tangible evidence of McInnes’s support is, I suppose, the fact that his collection contains 23 paintings by Hunter. There was one occasion apparently when McInnes commissioned a portrait of himself because the artist needed the money. The friendship between the two men was not a one-way street however. McInnes was in many respects helped and guided by Hunter in his artistic education; however the better part of the bargain must have what McInnes gave to Hunter in encouragement, friendship, and in helping to sustain his motivation and confidence. McInnes has been described as Hunter’s most important patron; that is true in a way that goes well beyond the expected understanding of the phrase.
After Hunter’s death in 1931  McInnes continued to promote him by persuading Tom Honeyman to write his biography of the artist and along with Honeyman and William McNair, by organizing a memorial exhibition of his work, which was held in Reid and Lefevre’s gallery in West George Street during February 1932. Mrs Jessie McFarlane, the painter’s sister, asked the group to decide which paintings to keep and which to destroy.
McInnes and Honeyman met around the time Honeyman gave up medicine and moved into art dealership, probably through Leslie Hunter. It developed into a well bonded relationship, not only when Hunter was a common link between them but also after his death. Probably Honeyman is the only person to have recorded in any detail McInnes’s personality and interests which he did in his autobiography ‘Art andAudacity’. He is described as having a keen interest in classical music in which he indulged through his gramophone records and pianola, and his attendance at the Scottish National Orchestra’s Saturday evening concerts. He is said to have played the church organ in his younger days. Art and learning about paintings and artists was also a primary interest. It’s perhaps a moot point as to which he preferred. He also enjoyed travelling to the continent, during which time visits to the various museums and galleries would further develop his knowledge of art, art styles and artists, particularly when in the company of Hunter. Honeyman describes visits to the McInnes home as always stimulating and interesting.
In many respects because of his interest in painting in particular, McInnes was fertile ground for Honeyman in his quest to interest industrialists of the day in fine art and bring them to the idea of donating to municipal collections. I don’t believe this was a ‘corruption’ of their friendship but a celebration of its strength and depth. Between 1921 and 1943 he donated works by Hunter, Peploe and Fergusson and in 1940 William presented Matisse’s ‘Woman in Oriental Dress’ to Kelvingrove to commemorate Honeyman’s appointment as Museum Director.
In 1931 McInnes was nominated for the vice-presidency of the Ship Owners Benevolent Association and was duly elected. The rules of the Association meant that he would become president in 1932. However at the last board meeting of the year it was agreed that ‘having regard to the very serious time through which the country was passing the directors felt that the president and vice president should carry on for another year, especially as the honour to Mr McInnes was only deferred.’ In 1933 McInnes duly became president.
It’s clear from the minutes of the meetings held during his tenure that he played a full and influential part in the decision making process of the Association. On his retiral from the post he donated £100 to the association funds, equivalent to £5000 in today’s money.
William McInnes died at home on 19th March 1944 from a heart attack. He was senior partner in Gow, Harrison and Co. at the time of his death, taking over from Leonard Gow on his death in 1936. In his will he left in excess of 700 items, including 70 paintings, to Glasgow. His bequest was made free of any legacy duty or any other expenses, his only stipulation was that his paintings would go on show at Kelvingrove. The same day his bequest came before a special meeting of Glasgow Corporation’s committee on Art Galleries and Museums it was accepted with ‘high appreciation’ following a report on the collection by Tom Honeyman, the Director of Art Galleries.
His obituary in the Glasgow Herald stated: ‘McInnes was a man of cultured taste, he was keenly interested in music and art. He had brought together in his home a collection of pictures which was notable for its quality and catholicity.’ It adds finally “He was an intimate friend and patron of the late Leslie Hunter with whom he made several visits to the continent.’
In a sense William’s contribution didn’t stop there. In 1951 his sister-in-law Jessie donated Cezanne’s ‘The Star Ridge with the Kings Peak’ to Kelvingrove. In 1985 a portrait of McInnes by Leslie Hunter was sold to Kelvingrove by his sister Ann’s son Andrew McInnes Sinclair of Massachusetts, USA. The painting was handed over in person by Andrew and his cousin John McInnes, the son of William’s brother Finlay, on 9th July. The portrait had been commissioned by William for his sister to take back to America following a visit to Scotland in 1930
 Marriages (OPR) Scotland. Crieff, Perthshire, 342/00. 1 May 1825. McINNES, William and McDONALD, Janet. GROS Data 342/00 0020 0113. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk: accessed June 2011.
 Births. Scotland. Tradeston, Glasgow City, 644/09. 1 May 1870 McINNES, Finlay. GROS Data 644/09 0689. Births. Scotland. Tradeston, Glasgow City, 644/09. 2 June 1872 McINNES, Thomas GROS Data 644/09 0989.
Births. Scotland. Gorbals, Lanarkshire, 644/12. 22 October 1876, McINNES, Ann GROS Data 644/12 1367.
James Lindsay was an architect whose work consisted mainly of large commercial buildings in his home city of Glasgow. Although he rarely won major commissions, he regularly just missed out on the top awards.
He bequeathed the painting Head of Holy Loch by George Henry to Glasgow. Henry was one of the most influential of the ‘Glasgow Boys’ artists based in or associated with Glasgow. The painting is dated 1882 and was sold at an exhibition of The Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Art in that year for £25 and it is possible that the purchaser was James Lindsay.
James was born on 10th May 1857 to William Lindsay, victualler and Mary Duncan (1) . He attended St James Parish School and Glasgow High School. He was articled to the firm of Peat and Duncan, Glasgow for five years followed by three years as a draughtsman during which time he studied at Glasgow School of Art, and in 1876 he won the RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) Silver Medal. In 1880 he set up on his own at 196 St Vincent Street (where he also lived).At around this time James had become friends with James Sellars, one of Glasgow’s leading architects with many fine examples of his work surviving, and who won the competition to design The International Exhibition of 1888 in Kelvingrove Park (2).
In 1881 James was admitted as an Associate of RIBA, having been proposed by John Honeyman (whose partnership was later to include John Keppie and Charles Rennie Mackintosh), James Audley, and John Burnet. He was living at 8 Morris Place by then (3), situated to the east end of the city centre.
James married Jessie Millar Black in 1883. Jessie lived at 48 Caledonia Street, Paisley and was the daughter of Robert, a local spirit merchant (4). They had six children, three boys and three girls, and by 1891 the family was living at 48 Garnethill Street (5).James had business premises at 167 St Vincent Street in 1884 and moved to 248 West George Street around 1886 and remained there till his death in 1914 (6). James junior followed in his father’s footsteps as an architect and carried on the business at the same premises after his father’s death. James junior is probably best known for Walter Hubbard’s bakery, 508-510 Great Western Road, Glasgow, an art deco design which is currently a nightclub (7).
Among James’ many architectural commissions were several schools including Wellshot Secondary at Tollcross, Glasgow which became a primary school in 1970.
Unusual commissions were for the Glasgow Sausage Works at 240 North Woodside Road in 1895 and The City Manure Office in Parliamentary Road, Townhead (horse manure on city streets had become a major health problem in cities around the world). Possil Iron Works in 1889, Kames Free Church on the Isle of Bute of 1898 and the City of Glasgow Dyeworks of 1902 are further examples of his numerous commissions (8)
On a more ambitious scale he entered competitions for major city projects. In 1884 he submitted plans for the New Admiralty and War Office, Whitehall, London and although awarded a £600 ‘premium’ did not secure the job. In 1889 he reached second place to design Sheffield Municipal Buildings and won a £100 ‘premium’. In 1905 his design for Hutchesontown Library in Glasgow was not taken up, and in the same year he submitted a competition design for Kirkintilloch Town Hall which made second place (9).
In 1880 James submitted an entry for the new City Chambers in Glasgow. This was described at the time as a ‘mannerist Hotel de Ville with a roman temple front, huge angle mansards and a Greco-Roman tower which bears a striking, and more refined and satisfying, resemblance to that of William Young’s winning design’ (10).
He also entered the competition to design plans for the new Glasgow Art Gallery and Museum in 1891, won by the London firm of Simpson and Allen. Entries were received from many established architects, and some from ambitious youngsters including Charles Rennie Mackintosh (11).
Occasionally he designed private houses, one such being Ardenwohr at 233 Nithsdale Road, Pollockshields, Glasgow. It has been describedas ‘looking remotely Jacobean with a repulsive red rock-faced finish’ (12), perhaps a little unfair as it would probably be described now as a rather handsome Victorian villa.
The Lindsays moved to 11 Moray Place in 1896 (13). This fine terrace sits alongside 1-10 Moray Place which was designed by Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, one of Glasgow’s most renowned architects. Thomson himself lived at number 1 from 1861 and the terrace incorporated some typical classical features e.g. the giant order of pilasters arranged along the frontage (14). The terrace which includes number 11 was added later and although sympathetic to Thomson’s work, was more eclectic in style.
Jessie Lindsay died in 1898 (15) and James continued to live at Moray Place till his own death in 1914 (16). At that time he was working on a successful commission to design The Netherton Institute (public baths and library) in Dunfermline, which was completed after his death (17). Although recognised as a talented architect who often came second best, it is ironic that success really came at the end of his life.
In the minutes of the Corporation of Glasgow on 28th March 1924, ex-Bailie Mr Charles Carlton (see Fig. 1) had offered to present to the Corporation an oil painting entitledThe Old Boating Station (1880) on the South Bank of the River Clyde, opposite Glasgow Green, by John MacNiven (1819-1895)RSW (as shown below in Fig.2). This painting is now called The Glasgow Regatta, The Closing Stages.
Our donor, Mr. Charles Carlton came from a large Glasgow family. His father, also Charles Carlton, was a Master Painter with his own Painter Decorator Company employing 25 men and 7 boys . In the 1871 Census, it is recorded that the family consisted of Mr. and Mrs. Carlton and 7 children, including our donor who was 16 at that time. They all lived at 72 Bath Street, Glasgow. The Family also had a servant living with them.
After leaving school, our donor was trained as an apprentice clerk . At that time his father was in partnership in a Glasgow painting and decorating firm which was headed by Hugh Locke Anderson (c. 1818–1888) for 43 years. On 5th February 1883 it was reported in the Glasgow Herald  that the partnership of M.L. Anderson and Charles Carlton, House Painters and Decorators located at 141 St Vincent Street Glasgow, was dissolved . It was then our donor came into his father’s new firm, now named Charles Carlton & Son, Painters and Decorators . Our donor’s father had started his own firm of Painter, Decorator and Gilders in the1840s  and his son took over as sole principal in 1886.
In 1886 Charles Carlton was now a married man, after marrying on 23rd April 1885 Miss Jessie McLean, daughter of William McLean, a carting contractor, and his wife Janet McLean, as well as being the sole proprietor of a well-known painter and decorator firm. They celebrated their marriage at the Grand Hotel in Glasgow after which they moved to 2 Athol Gardens, Kelvinside, Glasgow .
One of the first big contracts after becoming the sole principal of the firm Charles Carlton & Son, was the contract for painting the dome and main avenue of the 1888  International Exhibition building. Another big contract came soon after for decorating the Industrial Hall for the 1901 International Exhibition in Glasgow . Other commissions included the redecoration of Ardrossan Parish Church and work on the Municipal Chambers, the Mitchell Library and the City Hall . Furthermore, it may be mentioned that Messrs Charles Carlton & Son were also responsible for decorative painting of the principal hotels and numerous halls, churches and mansions throughout the country .
In 1911 Charles Carlton was elected to Glasgow Corporation as a Council member for the Blythswood Ward, and served as convenor of the Committee on Art Galleries and Museums. He was also a member of the Royal Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. He traveled widely on the continent, partially in connection with his work and he showed a keen interest in societies connected with his business. He was a Fellow of the Incorporated Institute of British Decorators, a former president and member of the Council of the Master Painters of Scotland, a member of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers, and a director of the Glasgow Master Painters Association. He was Vice-President of the architectural section of the Glasgow Philosophical Society and acted as chairman of the Art Union in Glasgow. He was a member of the Conservative Club and also the Royal Clyde Yacht Club. Furthermore, he was on the Municipal Buildings Committee and the Parks Committee, where he did sterling work. His most prominent endeavour was for the preservation of the Tollbooth in Glasgow. It was while he was convenor of the Parks Committee that the Lynn Estate at Catcarth was acquired for Glasgow. As convenor of the Committee on Art Galleries and Museums he was instrumental in carrying through improvements at the southern front of the Kelvingrove Art Galleries .
According to the archives of the Glasgow Art Club  Charles Carlton was admitted as a lay member in 1886 and was elected Vice-President in 1916 and 1917. He was one of the first people admitted when the Club opened up for lay members. Prior to November 1886, only “artists” could obtain membership by being elected .
Furthermore, he was one of those people who, in 1891, appended their names to a list requesting that the Corporation of Glasgow buy Whistler’s Arrangement in Grey and Black No2, a portrait of Thomas Carlyle  who was a Scottish philosopher, writer, historian, mathematician and teacher. The Corporation had agreed that the painting be bought and it hangs now in the Kelvingrove Art Gallery.
The picture depicts a boat race with the winner at the closing stages. You can almost hear the crowds of people who have gathered on the banks of the Clyde cheering the winners. Judging by the size of the crowd in the picture, it is clear that the boat races were in those days extremely popular.
When you look at the painting above, it tells the story of the Clyde and the people who used it. The artist John MacNiven (1819-1895) was employed by the town council. His favourite subject was The Clyde and the busy traffic on it. The people travelled to their places of work on the Clyde using Clutha ferries . The Clyde Navigation Trust introduced the first ferries in 1884 to provide passenger services along the river. There were twelve ferries, operating by 1898, collectively known as Cluthas, stopping at ten landing stages between the city centre and Whiteinch. The service was withdrawn in 1903 because it could not compete with cheap and efficient tramway and railway services along the riverside.
Apart from commuting on the Clyde, the Glaswegians, in their free time, gathered in the rowing clubs scattered along the riverside. Rowing was a popular sport among the young. It is important to note that there was a very strong link with the rowing clubs on the Clyde and the birth of football. One of these clubs was the Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club and the early members of the club are credited with involvement in the formation of Glasgow Rangers Football Club. J Allan in his book The Story of the Rangers: Fifty Years’ Football 1873-1923 mentions that in the club minutes of the time, there are bitter complaints of the amount of football being played by members of Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club to the detriment of their rowing . Rangers Football Club acknowledges its rowing roots on a mural in Ibrox. In 1872 the nucleus of what was to become Rangers FC played their first match on the Flesher’s Haugh in “The Green”.
Allan further writes: “In the summer evenings of 1873 a number of lusty, laughing lads, flushed and happy from the exhilaration of a finishing dash with the oars, could be seen hauling their craft ashore on the upper reaches of the river Clyde at the Glasgow Green. As keen then was their enthusiasm for the sport of rowing as it became in later years for the game of football; for these lads were the founders of the Rangers Football Club.”
Mr Charles Carlton was the representative for the Blythswood Ward from 1911 until 1920 when he was defeated at the polls. When he retired he went to Boscombe in Wiltshire, England where he lived at Stresa, Chessel Avenue until his death on 28th December 1933 .
In the ‘Wills and Bequests’ column in The Times of Tuesday 8th May 1934 , the following was reported:
Mr Charles Carlton of Boscombe, late Glasgow, died on 28th December 1933 and he had an estate of £73,577. He is survived by his wife Jessie Carlton. His nephew was Dr W. H. McLean, M.P. for the Tradeston Division of Glasgow.
I should like to thank the project leaders, information officers and the liaison officers of the institution, business and club, as well as all the librarians and information officers for their help and kind permission for letting me use information for the production of the above blog.
Two paintings were donated to Glasgow Corporation in 1947 by “The Sir F. C. and Lady E. M. Gardiner Trusts”, per Messrs Brownlie, Watson and Beckett, 241 St Vincent Street, Glasgow. C.2. The Glasgow Corporation minutes record that “There was submitted a letter from Messrs Brownlie, Watson and Beckett, solicitors, intimating bequests by the late Sir Frederick Gardiner and Lady Gardiner of Old Ballikinrain, Balfron, of their portraits by Sir James Guthrie, and the committee, having heard a report by the Director, agreed to the bequests being accepted.” 1
Frederick Crombie Gardiner was born on the 10th of February 1855 at Kincardine Manse, Tulliallan, Perthshire where his father Dr. Andrew Gardiner was minister of the United Presbyterian Church.2 Frederick`s mother Jane Guthrie, was a sister of the Rev. Dr. John Guthrie father of the artist Sir James Guthrie. Andrew and Jane were married in 1842 and went on to have a family of six boys and two girls. In 1861 the family was living at the U.P. Church manse in Tulliallan.3 However, after serving for twenty years at Tulliallan, the Reverend Gardiner accepted the post of pastor at Dean Street Church, Stockbridge, Edinburgh. On the 26th of March 1863, the family, including Frederick then aged 8, moved to Edinburgh – first to 24 and then to 26 Scotland Street. 4,5
Elizabeth Morton Ritchie was born on the 28th of June 1861 at 14 Henderson Row, in the Stockbridge area of Edinburgh.6 She was the only daughter of William Ritchie a “master bookseller” with the firm of Paton and Ritchie 7 and his wife Wilhelmina Morton.8 Elizabeth enrolled in the Mary Erskine School for girls in October 1870. This was in the year the school moved to Queen Street and became a day rather than a purely boarding school resulting in a large increase in the school roll.9 The following year the family was living at 12 Lonsdale Terrace with Elizabeth a scholar aged nine.10 Elizabeth may have remained at school as a “pupil-teacher” as ten years later aged nineteen she is still recorded as a “scholar”. 11
As a boy, Frederick Gardiner suffered from delicate health and indeed he was troubled with asthma throughout his life. Health problems interrupted his schooling – his attendance at the Edinburgh Institution was restricted to two years between 1868 and 1870 12 and was part of the reason he did not attend university. Some sources suggest that he was about nineteen when he travelled to New Zealand partly to see if the change of climate would improve matters. However, he was not with his family in the 1871 census suggesting that he may have travelled out much earlier – possibly aged sixteen. During his time in New Zealand he worked as a clerk in the firm of Oliver and Ulph.13, 14 His co-workers clearly thought highly of him as a report in a local newspaper of 1876 indicates.
“A pleasing ceremony took place at the warehouse of Messrs. Oliver and Ulph yesterday, when the employees presented Mr. F. C. Gardiner, who has long been a clerk in the employ of the firm, with a handsome gold albert and locket, as a memento of their respect for him on his leaving them for a visit to his native country.” 15
This further suggests a longer stay in New Zealand. Whatever the case, Frederick appears to have put the experience gained to good use as, returning to Scotland in 1880, he joined with two of his elder brothers, James and William to set up the firm of James Gardiner and Co., shipowners. The firm operated extremely successfully for almost forty years amassing a fleet of fourteen cargo vessels by the start of the first World War. 16
On the 15th of September 1887, Frederick married Elizabeth (Lizzie) Morton Ritchie whose father was now a “wholesale stationer” at her home, 6 St. Margaret`s Road, Edinburgh. Frederick`s father Andrew was the officiating minister. At the time, Frederick`s address was 15 Grosvenor Crescent, Edinburgh.17 The couple settled in Glasgow and four years later were living at 1 Rowallan Quadrant, Kelvinside.18
Although not a university graduate himself, Frederick put great store by the benefits a university education could bring and in 1898, along with his brother William, he endowed two lectureships at the University of Glasgow; one in Organic Chemistry and one in the Pathology of Diseases of Infancy and Childhood. 19 The following year he was elected a member of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and became a Director ten years later.
Another interest of Frederick`s was electrical energy generation and in 1911 he became a director of the Clyde Valley Electrical Power Company. In the census of that year he was living at 5 Dundonald Road, Kelvinside with his wife Lizzie and three servants. In 1920 he became chairman of the company and under his leadership it increased its customer base to 130,000 and from the 1920s was linked to the National Grid. 20
The portrait of Elizabeth Gardiner was painted in 1914 and exhibited at the Royal Scottish Academy the following year. 21
During WW1, Frederick served on several war-related committees including the “Foodstuffs Requisition Committee” and the “Advisory Committee of the Admiralty Transport Department”. He was also a member of Lloyds and was Chairman of the Glasgow Lloyd’s Association.22 The company`s fleet of ships would have been invaluable in the war effort but at the end of the war, the decision was taken to dispose of the fleet and perhaps contemplate retirement. With this in mind, Frederick had earlier purchased the estate of Old Ballikinrain in Killearn, Stirlingshire. 23 The estate consisted of a mansion house, four houses, a sawmill, two lodge houses, a farm and separate fields, woods and shootings. His brother William also had a house on the estate.24
In 1919, he and his brother William continued their association with the University of Glasgow by each providing £60,000 to endow the “Gardiner Chairs” in Physiological Chemistry, Bacteriology and Organic Chemistry. In 1920 Frederick was awarded the degree of LL. D. by the University in thanks for his generosity.25 This was also the year that his portrait was painted by his cousin, Sir James Guthrie. Thanks to his services to the country during the war, Frederick Gardiner was knighted in 1921. In 1923 he was appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the City of Glasgow and Lord Dean of Guild. The following year he was also appointed Deputy Lieutenant of the County of Stirling.26
The firm of James Gardiner & Company was dissolved by mutual consent on the 31st of December 1924 when Sir Frederick C. Gardiner retired.27
Sir Frederick and Lady Gardiner spent a good part of their retirement in travelling. In 1925 they sailed aboard the Empress of Canada from the Philippines to Hong Kong and Japan and thence to Seattle, Vancouver and Victoria B.C. On this trip Frederick’s occupation was listed as “Naval Architect” 28 and “Civil Engineer”29. The following year they were in South Africa 30 and in 1932 they left Southampton for Colombo, Sri Lanka 31.
Sir Frederick and his brother William continued to make charitable donations. In
1926 they gave £20,000 to be distributed among youth organisations and charities in Glasgow and the West of Scotland including the Boys` Brigade, Boy Scouts, Girls Guides and Girls` Guildry and in 1928 they gave £12,000 to endow the Gardiner Chair of Music at Glasgow University as well as a lectureship in the “Pathology of Diseases of Infancy and Childhood”.32 In the same year the brothers presented a series of sixteen studies to the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. Another portrait study, that of William Ferguson Massey, Prime Minister of New Zealand was presented to the National Portrait Gallery in London in 1930. These studies were made by their cousin Sir James Guthrie for his painting “Some Statesmen of the Great War”. 33
In 1927 Lady Gardiner was elected to the Board of Governors of the Atheneum School of Music in Glasgow. She served on a joint committee one of whose objectives was to establish a Chair of Music. The committee was formed from Governors of the Atheneum together with members of Sir D. M. Stevenson`s committee. Lady Gardiner was first present at the meeting of the 3rd of May 1927 and was present at the Finance Committee on the 3rd of June. She was a subscriber to the scheme to raise funds for the Music Chair and was involved in trying to elicit funds from others. At a meeting on the 2nd of August 1927 it was agreed that the name of the institution would be changed from the Atheneum to the Scottish National Academy of Music.34 In 1928 Sir Frederick and William Gardiner endowed the Gardiner Chair of Music with the incumbent occupying a dual role as Professor at Glasgow University and Principal of the SNAM 35. (This arrangement persisted until 1953)
Lady Gardiner was for some years President of the Nurses` Memorial to King Edward VII at Hazelwood House, Dumbreck, Glasgow.36 This house had been an auxiliary hospital during WW1 and was now a home for retired nurses.
In October 1931 a memorial exhibition of Sir James Guthrie’s works was held at Glasgow`s Kelvingrove Art Gallery. Sir Frederick contributed to the exhibition by lending the portraits of himself and Lady Gardiner. 37
In 1936, the year before his death, Sir Frederick donated £10,000 for the provision of the Gardiner Medical Institute at Glasgow University with the trustees of his brother William`s estate providing the same sum – William having died in 1935. After experiencing some years of ill-health, Sir Frederick Crombie Gardiner died on the 7th of August 1937 at Old Ballikinrain, Balfron. He was 82.38 He left an estate valued at £541,466. Among the bequests in his will were £7,500 to build and equip the Gardiner Medical Institute (the Institute was officially opened by Lady Gardiner in 1938), £3000 to the Glasgow Royal Cancer Hospital, £1500 to the Glasgow Western Infirmary and £1000 to the Royal Society for the Relief of Indigent Gentlewomen in Scotland.39 The funeral service was held at Landsdowne Church Glasgow of which he had been a member, followed by burial in the Necropolis.40
Lady Elizabeth Morton Gardiner died aged 85 on the 17th of May 1947 at Old Ballikinrain, Killearn. 41 She was buried beside her husband in the Glasgow Necropolis. The Minutes of the Board of Governors meeting of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama immediately after her death record the following:
“The chairman paid tribute to the late Lady Gardiner (died 17th May 1947) who had been a Governor since the inception of the Academy and had latterly been an Honorary Vice-President. She had always maintained a warm and practical interest in the work of the Academy and her kindly presence would be missed.”
A brief obituary also appeared in the Glasgow Herald.42
Glasgow Corporation Minutes 12th August 1947
Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
ancestry.co.uk, Scotland 1861 Census.
Askew, Bob George Gardiner, Early Days and Musical Influences; Hampshire Voices, September 2011
ancestry.co.uk, Scotland, 1881 Census
Scotland`s People, Birth Certificate
Edinburgh Post Office Directory, 1860-61
Family Search, Scotland
Archives, Mary Erskine School, Edinburgh, Dorothy Sharp, archivist
Scotland’s People, 1881 Census
Scotland’s People, 1891 Census
Stewart’s Melville College Archives, Ian McKerrow, Archivist
The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Vol. 9, 1st August 1934
New Zealand Parliamentary Debates, Vol. 133, p 422
Minutes of the Board of Governors Meetings, Glasgow Atheneum
Royal Conservatoire of Music, archives
Glasgow Herald, 19th May 1947, Obituary
Object File at GMRC
Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
The Scotsman, October 1937
Glasgow Herald, 9th August 1937, Death Notices
Scotland’s People, Death Certificate
Glasgow Herald, 19th May 1947, Obituary
The Gardiner Brothers owned several of Sir James Guthrie’s paintings. James Gardiner bequeathed The Highland Funeral to Glasgow in 1903 Acquisition Number 1060). Sir Frederick Gardiner owned The Garden Party (now in a private collection) and The Wash which was passed down through the family and is now in the Tate Gallery in London.
Oliver and Ulph were the proprietors of the first railway in New Zealand – the Port Chalmers to Dunedin line which operated from the 18th of September 1872. The firm was also involved in import/export and shipping.
In 1922, Mrs M D Lindsay (1) gave 5 paintings from the collection of Colonel Barclay Shaw to Glasgow Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This painting, which hangs in the Glasgow Boys gallery in Kelvingrove, is Japanese Girl with Fan by George Henry.
Margaret Dykes Cook was born (2) on 14th November, 1857, in Tradeston, Glasgow, the daughter of Christine and James Cook, Master Brass Founder. On the 30th April, 1878, she married (3) Robert Barclay Shaw at her family home, Tinavale, Shields Road, Pollokshields, Glasgow.
Robert Barclay Shaw (4) was born in 1852.He was the son of William Shaw, and Janet Barclay. His father, a builder, was a prominent member of the Incorporation of Wrights in the Trades House and one_ time Deacon (5)(6). When Robert was young, the family lived in Pollok Street, moving to Valleyfield, Aytoun Rd about 1870. Robert Barclay Shaw was only 19 years old when, on the death of his father, he succeeded to the business, William Shaw and sons, Wallace St. Glasgow. His firm moved into speculative building, building the impressive tenements in Glencairn Drive known as Olrig Terrace. After he married local girl Margaret Dykes Cook at her home, Tinavale, Shields Rd, he and his wife lived in number 6, Olrig Terrace. Later he built a detached house in Pollokshields, 40 Dalziel Drive, known as Dykeneuk, and was living there in 1888. The development of Pollokshields (7 ) as a garden suburb saw many fine houses built in varied architectural styles, indeed no two houses are identical. Shaw built three houses in Dalziel Drive, Dykeneuk, Oak Knowe and Hazliebrae.
His firm moved into specialist building construction and became very successful. His first main contract was for the buildings for the 1888 International Exhibition in Glasgow. (8 ) The architect was James Sellars, building in the Moorish style known locally as “Baghdad by Kelvinside”. James Sellars unfortunately died in October,1888 reportedly of blood poisoning from standing on a rusty nail.
Robert Barclay Shaw was the builder and he was much praised in The Bailie(9), being credited with the exhibition’s finishing on time and on budget. The site covered 10 acres. Shaw employed 1,000 men on the contract, used 5 million bricks, 750 tons of iron, 700,000 cubic feet of wood and 250,000 square feet of glass.
This was his first connection with Kelvingrove and it was the success of the Exhibition and the profit from it that enabled Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum to be commissioned. Both Barclay Shaw and Sellars are in this painting by John Lavery of the great and the good in Glasgow when Queen Victoria visited the Exhibition in 1888.
Shaw and William Smith later supervised the building, to the design of James Miller, for the Main Hall for the Glasgow Exhibition in 1901 and for the exhibition Concert Hall.
In 1895, he built the Kildrastan buildings with shops and adjacent tenements in Terregles and Glencairn Drives. In the valuation rolls for 1905 (10 ), Mrs Dykes Shaw is the proprietor of properties in Kildrastan Street which included shops and residential buildings. As well as the properties in Pollokshields, he built the Langside Tram Depot and stands at Hampden Football Park for Queens Park Football Club.
He was a sociable man. He followed his father as a member of Trades House- in the Incorporation of The Wrights- and was elected as Collector in 1888. (11) Why Colonel Barclay Shaw?
While he was still a lad he joined the 8th Lanarkshire Volunteers which became the 3rd Blythswood Volunteer Battalion of the Highland Light Infantry in 1887.(12) He was gazetted Colonel in 1904. (13)
In 1895, he purchased Annick Lodge(14 ) near Irvine, an imposing country house. The estate extended to 45 acres with 15 estate houses and a farm of 95 acres.
He died in 1905. His death is reported by Rev. William Lindsay, minister of Dreghorn.(15 )
After his death, his widow continued living at Annick Lodge. Valuation Rolls show that she ran the estate with a manager. In 1908 (16), she married the Reverend James Lindsay, M.A, B.Sc., B.D., D.D the minister of St Andrews Church of Scotland , Kilmarnock(17 ) and brother of the minister at Dreghorn, who had registered the death of Barclay Shaw. She continued to manage the estate. Dr Lindsay died in 1923 (18 ) but she continued to live at Annick Lodge, then administered by a Trust, (19) until it was sold in 1934 and she moved to Dalry. She died in 1942.(20 )
The Donated Paintings
The other oil painting in the donation is entitled The Storm by John Lawson.
The three others are watercolours.
The Kotoplayer Tokyo by George Henry
Minutes of Glasgow City Council, 1922.
National Records of Scotland Statutory Births 1857
National Records of Scotland Statutory Marriages 1878
National Records of Scotland Statutory Births 1852
The Bailie. The Man You Know. June 6th 1888. Mitchell Library, Glasgow
N.J.Morgan “Robert Barclay Shaw” in Slaven A. A Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography Aberdeen. Aberdeen University Press, 1986. Pp164-167
Donor-Ronald McNeilage (1935-1959) and David Gordon Nicolson (1870-1952)
Calves in the Cabbage Patch by J Denovan Adam (1841-1896) Acc 3442
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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)
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.
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.
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
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 aCabbage 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 http://www.ancestry.co.uk 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)
8.www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. Statutory Births
9.www.ancestry.co.uk. 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
16.Edinburgh University Library. Special Collections. REF GB237EUA 1N18.(EUL)
20.Grahamston Public School Log Book. 19/01/1894.GCA Ref. C02/5/6/4/1
22.Grahamston Public School Log Book. 06/05/1893.GCA Ref.C02/5/6/4/1
23. As above 02/02/1896
24. http://www.ancestry.co.uk.Statutory Marriages.
25. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk. 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
38. To Venice and Back July 1937.Scrapbooks 1-4 A. McNeilage Family Papers.
39.www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk Statutory Deaths
41. A McNeilage
42. www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk 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
How does it come about that an English spinster lady, of no note whatsoever as was typical of most of her class at the time, donates a painting to Glasgow? The answer lies not with her father William Miller Coultate who was born in England but with her maternal great uncle James whose life, friendships and achievements were typical of the men who made the Industrial Revolution.
On the 13th November 1912 Miss Amy Esther Coultate of Colwyn Bay wrote to James Paton the Superintendent of Glasgow Corporation Art Galleries offering to Glasgow a portrait of the Scottish poet Thomas Campbell by the artist James Lonsdale. In a second letter to James Paton Miss Coultate stated that she had always understood the portrait had been painted at the request of her maternal great uncle James Thomson who paid the artist 500 guineas, and had been done at Primrose House, Clitheroe, the home of her great uncle, where the poet sometime stayed.
Miss Coultate was the middle child of three and was born in 1852 to William Miller Coultate and Eliza Jane Thomson, James Thomson’s niece, and was baptized at Holy Trinity Church in Habergham Eaves, a suburb of Burnley in Lancashire. Her elder sister Marion Elizabeth and younger brother Arthur William were born in 1850 and 1856 respectively.
Her father, born in Clitheroe, Lancashire in 1813, was a surgeon and a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons in England. He had been in practice in Burnley since 1836 after completing his studies in Dublin. He was also vice president of the British Medical Association in Lancashire and Cheshire and had at one time been surgeon of the Fifth Royal Lancashire Militia.
His wife Eliza Jane Thomson was born in 1821, the daughter of William Thomson, the brother of James, both of whom were calico printers. They married in 1849 and lived at 1 to 3 Yorke Street in Burnley for most of their married life and where William also had his practice.
Amy’s mother died at a relatively young age in 1871. As was typical for wives of the time perhaps she left very little, her ‘effects’ being valued at less than £20.
The family continued to live in Yorke Street and in the 1881 census, no occupation for any of the children is given despite them being well into their twenties. In subsequent censuses the sisters are recorded as living on private means, and Arthur is described as a gentleman when he marries in 1883.
Amy’s father died in 1882 from an apoplectic seizure. He left an estate valued at £4583 11s 11d, probate being granted to a fellow surgeon, Joseph Anningson, and Amy’s sister Marion Elizabeth.
The two sisters, who never married, by 1901 were living together at Cae Gwyn, Colwyn Bay. Marion died in 1902, leaving an estate valued at £3757 17s 2d, probate being granted to Amy.
Both sisters clearly led very uneventful, unremarkable lives essentially living on their inheritances from their father. Amy’s one departure from the ordinary appears to have been a trip she made on the SS Hildebrand in 1920. Its departure port was Manaos, Brazil. Her port of embarkation was Lisbon, arriving in Liverpool on 25th March. At this time she was living in Southport. She died on 29th October 1930 at the Barna Private Hotel, Hindhead, Surrey. She left an estate valued at £4155 0s 6d.
If Amy’s life was that of a typical Victorian spinster, her great uncle James’s life was that of an educated, entrepreneurial, enlightened male of the Industrial Revolution. He was born in 1779 in Blackburn to John Thomson, (a “Scotch” gentleman), and his wife Elizabeth. His father was an iron-liquor merchant, a fixing chemical used in the calico dyeing industry.
In 1793 he attended Glasgow University befriending Gregory Watt, the son of James Watt and the poet Thomas Campbell. At the age of sixteen he joined the calico printing company of Joseph Peel & Co in London remaining there for six years developing his knowledge and understanding of the chemical technology involved in the industry through study and friendships with scientists including Sir Humphrey Davy and William Hyde Wollaston.
Joseph Peel was an uncle of Sir Robert Peel, 1st Baronet, and there is a suggestion, not proven, that James Thomson’s mother Elizabeth was a sister of Sir Robert. If true, that plus the fact of his father’s involvement in the calico industry would certainly have aided his employment with Joseph Peel.
He subsequently managed the company’s works near Accrington until 1810 at which time he set up his own calico printing company in partnership with John Chippendale of Blackburn, the new company eventually being established at Primrose near Clitheroe. He travelled extensively in Europe to further his business, his fundamental drive being to identify and implement scientific improvement to his printing processes. In 1821 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Society. He supported schools of design and the extension of copyright periods for dress patterns as he believed this would establish and enhance standards for the industry as a whole. His skill as a chemist and his process improvements in design and printing led to him being referred to as the ‘Duke of Wellington’ of calico printing.
He married Cecilia Starkie in 1806 and had four sons and three daughters, which raises the question of how the painting came into Miss Coultate’s possession. With so many children the expectation would have been that one of his offspring would inherit. Unfortunately, this research has not established how it came to her; via her mother seeming the most likely route.
James was mayor of Clitheroe in 1836-1837 and became a JP in 1840. He died at home on 17 September 1850 whilst preparing for the Great Exhibition of 1851. He is buried in the graveyard of St Mary’s Church, Clitheroe.
The artist James Lonsdale was a friend of Thomson’s and was a frequent visitor to his home. He was a popular portrait painter of the day and painted many eminent individuals including British and foreign royalty. His portrait of Thomson is in the Salford Museum and Art Gallery.
 Object Files at Glasgow Museum Resource Centre (GMRC), Nitshill.
 Baptisms (PR) England. Clitheroe, Lancashire. 8 August 1821. THOMSON, Eliza Jane. Register; Baptisms 1813-1829, Page 93, Entry 741. LDS Film 1278857. Lancashire Online Parish Clerk Project. http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Search/indexp.html
 Marriages (PR) England. Habergham Eaves, Burnley, Lancashire. 20 February 1849. COULTATE, William Miller and THOMSON, Eliza Jane. Collection: Lancashire, England Marriages and Banns 1754-1936. Reference Pr 3098/1/13. http://ancestry.co.uk:
 Testamentary records. England. 8 February 1872. COULTATE, Eliza Jane. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p. 293. Collection: England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://ancestry.co.uk
 Marriages (PR) England. Burnley, Lancashire. 6 January 1883. COULTATE, Arthur William and BRIDGES, Mary Jane. Lancashire, England Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1754-1936http://ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary records. England. 20 May 1882. COULTATE, William Miller. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p. 338. Collection: England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://ancestry.co.uk
 Census. 1901. Wales. Llandrillo yn Rhos, Colwyn Bay, Caernarvonshire. RG13, Piece:5290; Folio:10; Page:11. http://ancestry.co.uk:
 Testamentary records. England. 19 December 1902. COULTATE, Marian, Elizabeth. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p. 169. Collection: England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://ancestry.co.uk:
 Passenger List for S.S. Hildebrand arriving Liverpool. COULTATE, Amy Esther. 25 March 1920. Collection: UK Incoming Passenger Lists, 1870-1960. http://ancestry.co.uk
 Testamentary records. England. 3 January 1931. COULTATE, Amy Esther. Principal Probate Registry, Calendar of the Grants of Probate. p.791. Collection: England and Wales National Probate Calendar 1858-1966. http://ancestry.co.uk:
 Aspin, Christopher. (2004) Thomson, James (1779-1850). In Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford: Oxford University Press. http://www.oxforddnb.com
 Marriages (PR) England. Blackburn, Lancashire. 18 March 1806. THOMSON, James and STARKIE, Cecilia. Register; Marriages 1801-1809, Page 357, Entry 1419. LDS Film 1278807. Lancashire Online Parish Clerk Project. http://www.lan-opc.org.uk/Search/indexp.html