MACLEHOSE SISTERS

On 27 March 1908 Miss Sophia MacLehose wrote a letter to the Provost of Glasgow Corporation asking him to accept on behalf of the Corporation a present of a picture, which was entitled Ben Ledi painted by Charles N. Woolnoth (1820-1904), she and her sisters Sophie Harriet, Louisa Sing and Annie Russell were making. [1]

At the time of the presentation that was made to the Kelvingrove Gallery, the sisters were living together at their late brother’s house named Westdel, in Dowanhill, Partick. The red sandstone villa was designed by Edinburgh architect George Washington Browne and was built for Robert MacLehose, their brother who lived there with his wife, Seymour Martha Porter. Furthermore, during 1898-1901, the Glasgow architect Charles Rennie Mackintosh was responsible for designing the second-floor bedroom of their house. It included a dormer window and adjoining bathroom. This was one of Rennie Mackintosh’s first recorded ‘white room’.  The house still exists, but the room was dismantled. Furniture and fittings from the room as well as the original plans are held in the Hunterian Museum. [2]

THE FAMILY MACLEHOSE

As our donors’ name is very much entangled with their family, it is found that here a short introduction to their family may be suitable here.

The ‘MacLehose’ name had a special meaning in the publishing world, it is appropriate to start with the father of the donors, James MacLehose.  According to the 30 March 1851 Scotland Census [3], the father, James MacLehose, was the son of Thomas MacLehose, a weaver. James was born on 16 March 1811 in the District of Govan of the Burgh of Lanarkshire, Glasgow, Scotland.  In 1823, he was apprenticed for seven years to George Gallie, the Glasgow bookseller. In 1833, he made his way to London to Seeley’s, a well-known publishing house. Then, in 1838, he returned to Glasgow, where he began his business at 83 Buchanan Street with his business partner, Robert Nelson as ‘J. MacLehose & R. Nelson’. In 1841, he took over the business and continued in his own name.  In 1850, he married Louisa Sing, the eldest daughter of Mr John S. Jackson, a Manchester banker. The census records show that they lived at 1 Kelvingrove Place, Glasgow and Mr James MacLehose’s occupation was recorded as Bookseller and Stationery. It is interesting to note that David Livingstone, a missionary and explorer, and a friend of our donors’ father had visited his friend on the morning of his first visit to Africa as a missionary. The two breakfasted together. [4] 

The 1861 Scotland Census [5] shows that their first daughter Sophia Harriet was born in 1852 and then, their second daughter Louisa Sing in 1853. This was followed by Robert in 1854, Jeanie Maclean in 1855, James Jackson in 1858, Norman Macmillan in 1859 and finally Annie Russell, in 1862. [6,7]  James MacLehose was appointed as the Glasgow University’s bookseller in 1864, and then as publisher to the University in 1871. [8] Having assumed his sons Robert and James into the business which had become known as ‘James MacLehose and Sons’ in 1881, James MacLehose senior died on 20 December 1885. [9]

His sons Robert and James both graduated from Glasgow University with MA degrees and continued the publishing business. [10] The other son Norman MacMillan MacLehose also graduated from Glasgow University with an MA in 1882 and became a surgeon. [11] On 6 March 1886, Norman Macmillan MacLehose married Olive Macmillan, daughter of the late Alexander Macmillan, publisher in London, and they lived in London. Robert MacLehose married Seymour Martha Porter and in 1896, James married Mary Macmillan another daughter of Alexander Macmillan, hence, cementing a long great friendship between the two great publishing houses of Great Britain. Norman MacMillan MacLehose died on 30 August 1931. [12]

Our donors, the Misses Maclehose

Our donors studied at the ‘Glasgow Association of Higher Education for Women’ from 1879 to 1883.  They studied Logic, Moral Philosophy and Physiology in the class lists from 1877 onwards.

A name which is mostly associated with the ‘Glasgow Association of Higher Education for Women’ at the end of nineteenth century was one Janet Campbell (always known as Jessie Campbell) who promoted the need for higher education for women in Glasgow.  She proposed that lectures be given by professors from Glasgow University and these lectures were very successful and continued until 1877 when the ‘Glasgow Association for the Higher Education’ for Women was formed. [13]

In spite of being deprived of a University education, it is clear that the MacLehose women received a very good education as we see from their contributions. The eldest daughter Sophia Harriet and her sister Louisa Sing were both authors in their own rights. Sophia was the author of two books:

(1) Tales from Spencer.

(2) From the Monarchy to the Republic in France 1788-1792.

Both of these books were published by their family firm:

Glasgow, James MacLehose and Sons, Publishers to the University, I90I

These books are still available and can be bought from bookshops.

Sophia Harriet MacLehose died on 22 June 1912. [14] 

In 1907 a book entitled Vasari on Technique written by Giorgio Vasari, an artist, architect and a biographer of the artists of the Renaissance, was published in London by J M Dent & Co. The book was printed at the University Press by Robert MacLehose & Co. Ltd. and for the first time translated from Italian into English by Louisa Sing MacLehose, the translation being done during her stay near Florence.

Due to the fact that her brother Robert MacLehose passed away just before the book was published, there is a note from the author, his sister, on the first pages of the book.

The original book written by Giorgio Vasari was first published in Italian in the 1550s. Louisa Sing MacLehose’s translation into English was reprinted in 1960. Furthermore, Louisa S MacLehose was thanked by the editor of the Scottish Historical Review (issue October 1913) for her translation of some letters, written in 1543, from Italian into English. [15]

Louisa Sing MacLehose died on 7 April, 1917. [16] Her home address at the time of her death was recorded as Westdel, Dowanhill, Partick, and Glasgow.

The third eldest daughter of the MacLehose Family was Jeanie MacLean. She was born on 6 Sep 1855 and she last appears in the 1881 Scotland’s Census when she was 25. There is no record of her been married. But there is a record of her death in Ancestry.com pages of as ‘Death 30 October 1888 • Antwerp, Belgium’ [17] and no other references were given.

Annie Russell was the youngest of the MacLehose Family. She was born in 1862. She appears on the English census during a visit to London. She she also travelled to New York in 1924. She travelled back via Montreal, Quebec. On her return she stayed at Westdel.

Annie R MacLehose died on 1 December 1950 in Edinburgh in the Church Hill Hotel Edinburgh. [18]

References

[1] 1908 minutes of the Glasgow Corporation, Mitchell Library.

[ 2] Design for a fireplace, for the upper bedroom, Westdel, Glasgow c.1898,

http://www.culturegrid.org.uk/static/showResource/2929199

Also see additional Notes below at the end of the References.

[3] 1851 Scotland Census.

[4] Memoirs and Portraits of 100 Glasgow men,

http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/mlemen/mlemen101.htm

[5] 1861 Scotland Census.

[6] 1881 Scotland Census.

[7] 1891 England Census Record.

[8] The University of Glasgow Story,

http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/site-map/

[9] op cit. [4]

[10] ibid. [p. 345]

[11] op cit [8]

[12] Notice of Norman Macmillan MacLehose

Ancestry.co.uk (MacLehose Family)

[13] Jessie Campbell

https://www.worldchanging.glasgow.ac.uk/gallery/?id=UGSP00479

[14] op cit .[12]

[15] http://www.electricscotland.com/history/articles/papal.htm

[16]op cit [12]

[17] ibid.

[18] ibid.

Swedish Donation 1911 Erik Eriksson Etzel, Sweden

In 1911, from the 2nd May to the 4th November, the Scottish Exhibition of History, Art and Industry was held in Kelvingrove, Glasgow. The exhibition was formally opened on the 3rd May by the Duke of Connaught (brother of the late King Edward VII) and his wife.[1] It was not on the same scale as the exhibitions of 1888 and 1901 however over its course it attracted 9.4 million visitors. Its central point was the Stuart Memorial in Kelvingrove Park surrounded by a number of palaces, the principal one being the Palace of History which was modelled on Falkland Palace. It was divided into four galleries, one of which, the West Gallery, dealt with the historical ties between Sweden and Scotland.

Figure 1. Site Plan 1911 Exhibition – from Study Group website. http://www.studygroup.org.uk/Exhibitions/Pages/1911%20Glasgow.htm

One of the exhibition’s key objectives was to fund the creation of a Chair of Scottish History and Literature at Glasgow University, which was achieved, the Chair being founded in 1913. [2], [3]

Between 1909 and 1911 a number of visits between the two countries had been made to determine what the Swedish/Scottish exhibition should contain. The Swedish committees were led by Professor Oscar Montelius, of Uppsala University, a noted pre-historian and archeologist, and Dr. E.E. Etzel of Stockholm and Uppsala University. The convener of the Scottish committee was John S. Samuel. [4], [5]

The agreed Swedish exhibits included the following items:

  • from Professor Montelius, prehistoric artefacts from graves and tombs in Sweden, similar to objects found in Scotland
  • a collection of medals struck in honour of celebrated Scotsmen, from the Swedish Academy of Science
  • pistols, guns and daggers made in Scotland and taken to Sweden by Scottish soldiers of fortune, loaned by the Royal Armoury in Stockholm
  • heraldic shields of Swedish Nobles of Scottish extraction. These were replicas of the originals and they were to be used again at the ‘Scots in Sweden ‘exhibition held in the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh in 1962.[6]
  • genealogical documentation of Scots who had lived and stayed in Sweden. This information was eventually published in The Scottish Historical Review in 1912, taken from work carried out by Dr. Etzel and given to the magazine by John Samuel.[7]
  • portraits of Swedish and Scottish Royalty which included two copies of portraits from the Royal Gallery in Gripsholm Castle, being the work of Swedish artist John Osterlund (1875-1953), completed between 1900 and 1910. These were the paintings eventually gifted to Glasgow at the end of the exhibition by Dr. Etzel.[8]

The first portrait was that of ‘Mary Queen of Scots as a Child’, which had been discovered during a Scottish deputation to Sweden in 1909. The catalogue of the exhibition described it as ‘a unique and valuable portrait of Mary Stuart… its existence had not previously been recorded by any historian of the period of history to which it belongs.’ The original artist was unknown and the date attributed to the painting was 1577.[9]

The other was a portrait of King Gustavus Adolphus II. Again the original artist was unknown although it had been annotated with the initials ‘G.T.’ and dated 1630.

The entry in the exhibition catalogue regarding Gustavus Adolphus is interesting in that he is described as the ‘Lion of the North and Bulwark of the Protestant religion, the hero of the 30 years war, that awful period of bloodshed, rapine and robbery that devastated Germany in the early part of the 17th century.’ It also added that his victorious armies included 13,106 Scotsmen.[10]

Figure 2. © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(http://www.artuk.org)

In an attempt to find out more about the original paintings I contacted the National Museum of Sweden. The initial response from the Museum confirmed there was a painting of ‘Maria Stuart’ in the Royal Gallery collection; inventory number NMGrh 1142, artist unknown. In a very comprehensive second reply I was informed that the museum did not now consider it to be a portrait of Mary Stuart and that it depicted an unknown girl. The inscription on the painting they believe to be later, the date of 1577 questionable and that the girl does not resemble Mary. They now list the painting as ‘possibly 16th century, or a later copy after a painting from the 16th century – Unknown child’.[11]

With reference to the painting of Gustavus Adolphus, there are a number of such paintings in museum collections in Sweden, none of which seemed to be the original we were looking for. It was suggested that as Osterlund had spent most of his life in Uppsala it may be that the original lay there, possibly within the University. I contacted Uppsala University who were able to confirm that they had a portrait, very similar to the Osterlund copy, which had been painted in the 17th century. It did not however give an exact date, and the artist is recorded as ‘The Monogramist P.G.’ who, it was thought, may be Pieter de Grebber.

Figure 3. King Gustav Adolphus II © CSG GIC Glasgow Museums Collection.(http://www.artuk.org)

In appearance this painting fits the bill very well, and it’s possible, maybe probable that it is the one Osterlund copied, although the copy is darker in some areas.[12], [13]

In a letter to the Lord Provost of Glasgow, Sir Archibald McInnes Shaw, dated 20th November 1911 Dr. Erik Erikson Etzel formally gifted the two Osterlund copies to Glasgow.

Little is known about Dr. Etzel except that he was a D.Ph. probably from Uppsala University. He was born in 1868 in Karlskoga, Sweden. In 1902 he lived in Stockholm which is where died in 1964. [14], [15]

John Smith Samuel was the private secretary to Lord Provost McInnes Shaw, and had held that position for 10 years serving others in that office. He was elected to the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1902, held various other civic positions and was a member of the Glasgow Art Club. He was appointed Knight of the Royal Order of Vasa by Professor Montelius on behalf of King Gustav V of Sweden in 1910.[16], [17]

Professor Oscar Montelius, was born in Stockholm in 1843. He studied history and Scandinavian languages at Uppsala University between 1861 and 1869. He was attached to the Museum of National Antiquities, Stockholm, from 1863 and was appointed professor in 1888. He was the Museum’s director from 1907 to 1913. Still controversial is his theory, the “Swedish typology,” suggesting that material culture and biological life develop through essentially the same kind of evolutionary process. In 1911 he was Director General of the Swedish Board of National Antiquities. He died in Stockholm in 1921.[18], [19]

John Osterlund was born in 1875 in Stockholm and was mainly known as a landscape artist and conservator of paintings, particularly church paintings. He died in 1953. [20]

[1] Glasgow Herald (1911) Glasgow, Exhibition Opened. Glasgow Herald. 4th May pp 9, 10. Mitchell Library, Glasgow

[2] The Scottish Exhibition of  History, Art and Industry:  http://www.studygroup.org.uk/Exhibitions/Pages/1911%20Glasgow.htm

[3] Glasgow University: http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=CB0018&type=C

[4] Glasgow Herald (1910) Swedish Visitors in Glasgow. Glasgow Herald. 31st August p. 7b, c. Mitchell Library., Glasgow

[5] Glasgow Herald (1911) Scottish Flints at the Glasgow Exhibition. Glasgow Herald. 17th April p.11c. Mitchell Library, Glasgow

[6] Glasgow Herald (1962) Scots in Sweden Exhibition. Glasgow Herald. 10th August p.14d, e. Mitchell Library, Glasgow

[7] The Scottish Historical Review. (1912) Vol. 9, Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons. p. 268. https://archive.org/stream/scottishhistoric09edinuoft#page/268/mode/2up;

[8] Palace of History Exhibition Catalogue. Mitchell Library, Glasgow reference 272126 GC 606.4 (1911).

[9] Ibid

[10] Ibid

[11] Karlsson, Eva Lena (2012) Gustavus Adolphus II. E-mail to author.

[12] Thornlund, Asa (2012) Gustavus Adolphus II. E-mail to author.

[13] Thornlund, Asa (2012) Gustavus Adolphus II. E-mail to author.

[14] Forsberg Family Tree. http://forsberg.foppa.nu/individual.php?pid=I5158&ged=Family%20Forsberg:

[15] The Scottish Historical Review. (1912) Vol. 9, Glasgow: James Maclehose and Sons. p. 268. https://archive.org/stream/scottishhistoric09edinuoft#page/268/mode/2up

[16] Eyre Todd, George (1909) Who’s Who in Glasgow 1909. Glasgow: Gowans and Grey Ltd. Glasgow Digital Library. http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/eyrwho/eyrwho1601.htm:

[17] Glasgow Herald (1910) Swedish Visitors in Glasgow. Glasgow Herald. 31st August p. 7b, c. Mitchell Library, Glasgow

[18] Encyclopaedia Britannica: http://www.britannica.com/biography/Oscar-Montelius:

[19] Karlsson, Eva Lena (2012) Gustavus Adolphus II. E-mail to author.

[20] Ibid.