Colonel John Macfarlane (1846-1910)

Figure 1. Reynolds, Warwick; Colonel John Macfarlane (1846-1910); Glasgow Museums;© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection.

In 1933 Gertrude Elizabeth Macfarlane gifted a portrait of her father Colonel John MacFarlane to Glasgow Museums. The painting, titled Portrait of Colonel John MacFarlane M.V.O., V.D., D.L., J.P., of The 1st Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers was completed by Warwick Reynolds in 1907, who was  better known as a painter of animals, but he had an interest in depicting regimental figures. The portrait was exhibited at The Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Art in 1909.(1)

Figure 2. Reynolds; Warwick, Poster – Recruits Wanted for the Scottish Regiments: Permission of Imperial War Museum, Accession IWM PST 13490

In 1919 Reynolds designed a poster entitled Recruits Wanted for the Scottish Regiments, a copy of which is in The Imperial War Museum.(2)

Gertrude was born in Glasgow on 6 January 1877 to John Macfarlane, a grain merchant, and Marion Buchanan McCallum from Lanarkshire.(3) John was born at Gartmore, Perthshire on 19 June 1846 and his parents were John MacFarlane, farmer and portioner (inheritor of a small piece of land), and Janet Sands.(4)

John junior, the subject of our story, attended Dalmary School in Gartmore, and when the family moved to Glasgow he was educated at St Enoch’s Public School followed by Andersons College. (5) At age 16 he started in business in Helensburgh with his brother Robert. Six years later he was working in a grain store in Glasgow, and in 1869 he set up business with another brother Malcolm. (6) Number 14 Kent Road, Charing Cross, Glasgow was the business address of Robert S MacFarlane, grain merchant, from 1865 to 1868, followed by Malcolm MacFarlane, grain merchant from 1868 to 1870. The same address was then occupied by the firm of M & J Macfarlane from 1870 to1879, (7) so this appears to be Johns place of work for this period and his progression to a senior level within the business. The business expanded and a branch was opened in Coleraine in Ireland followed by several agencies in Africa. (8)

John married Marion on second of February 1872 at 15 Hill Street, Garnethill, Glasgow. (9) In 1881 they were living at 11 Camphill Quadrant adjacent to Queens Park in Glasgow, with their family, John, William, Robert, Gertrude (our donor) and Marion aged from five months to eight years.  They employed three servants. (10)

Figure 3. 20 Berkeley Street, Glasgow 1968. Permission of J R Hume https://canmore.org.uk/collection/685598

John then became senior partner with Messrs M and J MacFarlane, grain merchants, and eventually sole partner with Macfarlane Brothers, Job Masters, hiring out horse drawn carriages in Berkley Street. (11) The arched entrance gave access to two levels for horses and carriages. The premises were demolished in 2000 to make way for a large block of flats and shops.

In 1907-08 John and Marion were living at 15 Dundonald Road in the West End with their son William (12)  who was employed in both of these businesses.

During his lifetime John contributed much to public duty, beginning as a reforming member of The Barony Parochial Board. In 1884 he entered the Town Council as a representative of the fourteenth ward and was a Magistrate of the city from 1889 to 1903. He became Convenor of The Statute Labour Committee from 1894 to 1902, with responsibility for looking after the public streets of Glasgow, and laying the foundation stones of three Glasgow bridges; Millbrae Bridge over the River Cart, Rutherglen Bridge over the River Clyde and Kirklee bridge over the River Kelvin. (13)

Among his many prominent roles he was preceptor (chairman) of Hutchieson’s Hospital from 1905 to 1908 and a Justice of The Peace and President of Central Division Liberal Association, Glasgow. He was Deputy Lieutenant of the County of the City of Glasgow and was on the board of many charitable institutions. (14)

One of his overriding interests was in The 1st Lanarkshire Volunteers, where he passed through all the grades to command the battalion as Colonel Commandment. John’s services were recognised by being awarded The Volunteer Decoration, and in 1905 he was enrolled as a member of The Royal Victorian Order by King Edward V11 when on a visit to Edinburgh. (15)

During a Royal Visit to Glasgow in 1907 Colonel John MacFarlane’s skills were employed in organising the royal processions. (16) John also originated the ‘Marches Out’, and these included the then famous midnight march to Lenzie and the three day march to Gartmore and around Loch Katrine. Johns’ favourite pastimes were riding and shooting and he also made time to join The Royal Clyde Yacht Club.(17)

John died on 19 December 1910 of pneumonia at his home at 15 Dundonald Road.(18)

DS

References…

  1. Mitchell Library, Royal Glasgow Institute record of exhibitions
  2. https://www.vads.ac.uk/digital/collection/IWMPC/id/4526/rec/1
  3. (births 644/090118) 1877, https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/
  4. https://www.clanmacfarlanegenealogy.info/genealogy/TNGWebsite/getperson.php?personID=I8257&tree=CC
  5. Mitchell Library, Glasgow Contemporaries at The Dawn of the xxth Century, John M’Farlane p.82
  6. Mitchell Library, Index of Glasgow men 1909, Colonel John MacFarlane
  7. http://www.glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/Kent_Road/14_Kent_Road.htm
  8. Mitchell Library, Index of Glasgow men 1909, Colonel John MacFarlane
  9. (Marriages 64/060062),1872, https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/
  10. (Census, 560/00006/00044) 1881 https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/
  11. Mitchell Library, Gaskell, Ernest, Lanarkshire Leaders Social and Political, Col. John MacFarlane, D.L., M.V.O,  V.D., J.P.
  12. Mitchell Library, Post Office Directories 1907-08
  13. Mitchell Library, Index of Glasgow men (1909) http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/eyrwho/eyrwho1212.htm
  14. Mitchell Library, Gaskell, Ernest, Lanarkshire Leaders Social and Political, Col. John MacFarlane, D.L., M.V.O,  V.D., J.P.
  15. Mitchell Library, Index of Glasgow men (1909) http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/eyrwho/eyrwho1212.htm
  16. Mitchell Library, Gaskell, Ernest, Lanarkshire Leaders Social and Political, Col. John MacFarlane, D.L., M.V.O,  V.D., J.P.
  17. Mitchell Library, Index of Glasgow men (1909) http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/eyrwho/eyrwho1212.htm
  18. (Deaths 644/120946) 1910 https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/

John Alexander Stewart (1877-1962)

John Stewart became a partner in a grain merchants business and had lifelong interests in family history, boating and photography, but it is Lochranza on the island of Arran which provides a common thread which brings together all of these topics. In 1928 John gifted a painting to Glasgow Loch Ranza by Andrew Black to Glasgow, who often depicted west of Scotland coastal scenes incorporating fishing and leisure boats.

Black, Andrew, 1850-1916; Lochranza
Loch Ranza by Andrew Black (© CSG CIC Glasgow Museums Collection)
John A Stewart by permission of The Stewart Society

John Stewart was born at 15 Willowbank Street, Glasgow on 23rd March 1877 to Alexander Stewart, a seaman first mate, and Euphemia Hamilton Allen, a dressmaker (1). They married in 1875 at a time when Alexander senior was second mate aboard SS County of Sutherland, following his fathers’ maritime occupation as a ships carpenter (2). John lived with his mother and her sister, Margaret together with his grandmother Jane Allen. According to the census of 1881 his mother had been widowed by that date.

John and his mother went to live with his uncle, William McHarg and aunt Margaret at Hillbank Cottage in Milngavie (3). William was a grain merchant with a large store at 104-112 Cheapside Street, Glasgow. Around 1890 John was employed as a clerk in the business and in the early 1900s became a partner in the business when the name changed to McHarg and Stewart, by then described as grain merchant and general storekeepers (4).

Interestingly the Cheapside Street building was designed by architects Honeyman and Keppie in 1892, who employed the young Charles Rennie Mackintosh as a draughtsman from 1889. Mackintosh submitted some drawings for the premises but it is not known if any of his work was included in the plans for the building. The design was influenced by northern Italian palazzi, with massive arches and pilasters. The northern third was designed for William McHarg and remained in the McHarg family till the 1950s when Samuel McHarg and Company were the owners. It was then used as a bonded warehouse storing large quantities of whisky and other spirits (5).

Stewart cheapside
McHarg & Stewart Grain Stores, Cheapside Street by permission of University of Glasgow Library, Special Collections.

On 28th March 1960 a devastating explosion destroyed the building, the resulting fire killing fourteen members of the Glasgow Fire Brigade and five members of the Glasgow Salvage Corps. The date is commemorated in Glasgow each year.

In 1901 John was living with the McHarg family at 294 St Vincent Street, moving to 9 Clifton Street, Kelvingrove by 1909 (6).

John never married, and throughout his life maintained an interest in boats. In his early years he would accompany his mother to Arran, often in a small rowing boat. They especially loved Lochranza. Photography became a passion for John and he published a series of his work, mainly of west of Scotland scenes. One of these is titled ‘Fair Lochranza in the Isle of Arran’ which is dedicated ‘to my mother and happy memories of Loch Ranza in Victorian Days’,  and includes images of boats and hills around  the castle of Lochranza (7).

stewart lochranza 1
Fair Loch Ranza 1949, Geo Stewart & Co, Edinburgh – by permission of The Stewart Society
stewart lochranza
Photograph from Fair Loch Ranza by John A Stewart – by permission of The Stewart Society

Another is titled ‘Rosneath and Clynder Views’ which is introduced by Admiral Sir Angus Cunninghame Graham in 1958. The Cunninghame Grahams of Ardoch appear to have been family friends. He writes ’…the pleasing photographs reveal something of the generation which was concerned with the greatness of Glasgow and the Clyde.’(8) 

When John retired, about 1940, he moved to a large house, ‘Bonaly’ in the village of Clynder on the Clyde and quickly became a well known member of the yachting fraternity and contributed articles on yacht design in Yachting Monthly, leading to speed improvements in racing yachts (9). His greatest passion however was family history. Again Lochranza is the starting point. In 1262 the castle belonged  to Walter Stewart, third Steward of Scotland, gifted by the Earl of Menteith.

Walter and his wife were interred on the island of Inchmahome on Lake of Menteith and are represented by possibly the finest 14th century effigies in Scotland (10). Also interred on the island is Robert Bontine Cunninghame Graham (1852-1936) who made his name in politics (he was the first president of the Scottish National Party), and spent time in Argentina as a rancher with the local gauchos.

 John’s interest in the Stewart family led to him co-founding the Stewart Society in 1899 and he was an active member for nearly sixty years. He became known as John A Stewart of Inchmahome and is referred to as such in many of his publications. The Stewart connection with Inchmahome led to him purchasing the island in 1926, subsequently gifting it to The Stewart Society in 1948, and it is now administered by Historic Scotland on their behalf (10).

John also had an interest in heraldry and published ‘The Story of the Scottish Flag’ in 1925.  

On his death John wished to be buried on the island and arranged for a small mausoleum to be built. He died on 28th February1962 and his funeral was held at Port of Monteith Church. Thereafter the funeral party crossed the icy lake to lay John to rest in his mausoleum (11).

Inchmahome Stewart mausaleum
Mausoleum on Island of Inchmahome, by permission of The Stewart Society

 

 

References

  1. Births, 644/090607 Kelvin,  https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/

(2) Marriages, 644/090300, https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/

(3) Census, 1891 1891500/00013/00005, https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/

(4) www.glasgowwestaddresses.co.uk

(5) www.mackintosh-architecture.gla.ac.uk/catalogue/browse/display/?rs=68&xml=des

(6) Census, Barony, Glasgow 1901, 644/09041/09007, https://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/

(7) Fair Loch Ranza 1949, printed by G Stewart & Co, 92 George Street , Edinburgh 

(in author’s possession)

(8) Rosneath and Clynder Views, printed by G Stewart & Co, 92 George Street, Edinburgh- Helensburgh Library

(9) www.clyde1924.plus.com/clyde19-24/index.shtml

(10) www.stewartsociety.org, history of the Stewarts, castles and buildings.

(11) Helensburgh and Gareloch Times, 7th March 1962 p2 col 4.