Tag Archives: portrait

Some old photos of the WALKER family

This is one in a series of blog posts about some old papers of the WALKER family, from Kirkliston, West Lothian, Scotland. See a list of these papers HERE.

Here are a few photos that I have, of members of my WALKER family. These are currently the oldest photos that I know about, of members of this branch of my family. I found this group of photos together inside a plain blue envelope, aprox- A6 sized. The images are all about 2⅛ x 3¾” (54 x 95mm).

Although the photos of James WALKER and Margaret JOHNSTON are not dated, the details on the back, naming the studio where they were taken, can give us some indication of a date range. It seems clear that these 3 photos were all taken at the same time, during the same studio sitting.

The backs of these 3 Photos are all labled “ROSS & THOMSON, PHOTOGRAPHERS, 90 Princes Street, Edniburgh”. Websites with information about early photographers (for example HERE) indicate that this studio opperated at this address between 1848 and 1864, which suggests that the photos must be from this date range. I suspect that they date from fairly soon after James and Margaret’s marriage, at Bathgate in February 1847 (so earlier rather than later in the possible date-range).

The 4th photo in this group is of James and Margaret’s oldest son; John Johnston WALKER. John was born in January 1848, and went to New Zealand in 1869 where he was manager of a large Sheep Station at Edendale until 1877, when he decided to start on his own, and took up a virgin block of land on the Otamakapua Block, North Island. He died at Feilding, Manawatu District, NZ, in November 1891.

The back of this photo is labled; “J Horsburgh, PHOTOGRAPHER, 131 Princes Street, Edinburgh”. This photograhper’s name, at this address, appears to suggest a date between 1868 and 1898 (not earlier than 1868) (see HERE). So the year written on the reverse, “1869”, is probably accurate, suggesting that the photo was taken shortly before John left Scotland, for New Zealand.

In the envelope, along with these photos, there is a hand-written list of all the members of this generation of the Walker family (including the children’s birth dates). (I have shared this note previously). This is on the back of an old envelope addressed to James and Margaret’s youngest son (and my Gt-Grandfather), Thomas George WALKER, in 1891. I believe this list to have been written down by Thomas George Walker.

Transcription of note (with added details);

James Walker b. 24/1/1818, d. 6/5/1881. and
Margaret Johnston b. btw. Apr & Sept. 1818, d. 15/9/1890. married
23rd Feb. 1847 at Bathgate.

John Johnston Walker, born 21st Jan. 1848 d. 19/11/1891 – aged 43 – in N.Z.
Margaret Young “} and
d. 13/ 5/1891 – aged 41.
James (twins) “} 19 Oct. 1849 d.   4/ 5/1851 – aged 18 mths.
Isa(bella) Neill 3 May 1852 d.  8/11/1916 – aged 64. Married
Jemima Janet 30 Mar 1854 d. 24/12/1892 – aged 38.
Mary 9 Feb 1856 d. 25/ 6/1903 – aged 47. Married
Thomas George 4 Mar 1858 d. 19/10/1951 – aged 93. Married
Elizabeth Barron 7 Oct 1860 d. 14/10/1882 – aged 22

Note that several of these children have middle names which are the surnames of their Mother, Grandmothers, and Gt-Gt-Grandmother. This was common with many of the earliest recorded middle names, which can sometimes cause confusion knowing just who is being referred to. It is to avoid such confusion that on this site I tend to write SURNAMEs in CAPITALS, to distinguish actual Surnames from this kind of middle name.

Of these 8 children, only 2 have any descendants; Mary WALKER married John BRASH, and had 1 daughter. Thomas George WALKER married Helen Black CADZOW, and had 7 children.

For futher details please see A history of the WALKER family.

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WO Hutchison portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to be sold at auction in Edinburgh

I have heard this evening (from an uncle) that a portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, painted by my Great-Grandfather; William Oliphant Hutchison, is due to be sold at auction by Bonhams in Edinburgh on 12th April 2016.

Here is the press release from the Bonhams website;

William-Oliphant-Hutchison_portrait-of-Queen-Elizabeth-II
Sir William Oliphant Hutchison PRSA RP (British, 1889-1970) Portrait of Her Majesty the Queen

A portrait of Her Majesty the Queen by the Scottish artist, Sir William Oliphant Hutchison, is to be sold at Bonhams annual Scottish Sale on 12 April. It is estimated at £30,000-50,000.

Until it was acquired by its current owner, the painting hung for many years on the walls of the former Police Staff College at Bramshill House in Hampshire.

Sir William was born in Fife in 1889 and studied at Edinburgh College of Art (1909-12) under E. A. Walton, one of the Glasgow Boys group of artists, whose daughter he married. He also spent time working and studying in Paris.

On leaving college in 1912, he founded the Edinburgh Group which exhibited for three consecutive years before the First World War intervened.

As a painter, Hutchison specialized in portraits and after the retirement of Sir James Gunn assumed the mantle of Scotland’s premier society portraitist. The Scottish National Portrait Gallery in Edinburgh owns five of his works including a study of the Queen dating from 1956. The BBC owns another portrait of Her Majesty also from 1956 and Hutchison painted Prince Philip in the late 1950s. One of these is owned by the Royal College of Surgeons in Edinburgh, and one by the Defense Academy of the United Kingdom. His well-known portrait of the novelist Dorothy L. Sayers hangs in the National Portrait Gallery in London.

Bonhams Head of Scottish Art, Chris Brickley, said: “Sir William was a pillar of the Scottish art establishment – Director of the Glasgow School of Art from 1933 to 1943 and the President of the Royal Scottish Academy during most of the 1950s – but he also was a very fine artist. His works rarely appear at auction and I expect his portrait of the Queen to attract considerable interest.”

William Hutchison who was an Honorary Royal Academician, was knighted in 1953 and died in London in 1970.

Bonhams’ annual Scottish sale is now in its 17th year. As usual it will feature works by leading Scottish artists as well as a huge range of objects related to Scotland from highland dress and weapons to silver and glass; from books and furniture to ceramics. The sale will take place at Bonhams Edinburgh saleroom, 22 Queen Street, Edinburgh, EH2 1JJ over two days, 12 and 13 April.William-Oliphant-Hutchison_portrait-of-Queen-Elizabeth-II_Bonhams-auction-2016_c

Another website describes the painting as an “oil on canvas, 245cm x 153cm (8ft ½in x 5ft ¼in), in a carved giltwood frame surmounted by a coronet”.

Other details of the auction are available here; http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/23492/

Images of a selection of William Oliphant Hutchison’s paintings, that are owned by public collections in the UK, can be seen on the BBC’s “Your Paintings” website; http://www.bbc.co.uk/arts/yourpaintings/artists/william-oliphant-hutchison

I have just found a piece about W.O. Hutchison, with photos of him (including one with the Queen), and of some of his paintings, here; http://tweedlandthegentlemansclub.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/sir-william-oliphant-hutchison.html

What I know about my Great-Grandfather W.O. Hutchison’s ancestry, I have posted here; https://afamilyhistoryblog.wordpress.com/family-trees/hutchison-tree/ or please see the tag, and the HUTCHISON and OLIPHANT categories of this site.