Tag Archives: William Oliphant Hutchison

Scotland trip – May 2017 – day 6

I’m aiming to write and post a little bit each day about the family history research I’m doing, and what I find, during a week staying​ in Edinburgh. But for personal privacy, the posting of these travels on AFamilyHistoryBlog will be delayed by a few days, and will not necessarily be in day by day order! Some of these posts may be given later tweaks, with added photos, etc.

Update; You can now see all the posts from my May 2017 Scotland trip, here;
Day 1day 2day 3day 4day 5day 6day 7 – & day 8 & the big family gathering.

I took the train to Kirkcaldy, in Fife, where I went first into the museum and gallery, next to the railway station. I had a good look round the museum, and then the gallery, where there was a painting on display by my Great-grandfather, Sir William Oliphant Hutchison, of his wife Margery (Walton) and their two sons, Peter and Robert.

I then went into the local and family history room to see what I could find there. The librarian looked out for me a book titled “The Hutchisons of Kirkcaldy; A History of the Family and the Firm”. No author was identified for this text! But it looks likely to me to be by “J. Douglas Hutchison”, who complied the Hutchison family tree that I have a copy of (dated 1987), which traces the family (descendants) of the corn merchant and founder of Hutchisons Mill, Robert Hutchison, and his wife, Mary Oliphant. Title page

After looking through some of this book, I asked the librarian if I could copy some of it, using the camera on my tablet to turn it into a PDF file. But due to copyright principles, I could only copy a small portion of the book! So I focused on the start of the book, which dealt a little with some earlier generations of the Hutchison family, and with Robert Hutchison’s life up to the point of his marriage to Mary Oliphant in 1837. I would be very interested to obtain a copy of the whole document. If anyone can provide me with a copy, or knows where I can get one, then please leave a comment below, or use the Contact Page to get in touch. Thanks.

When I left Kirkcaldy Galleries, I went to have a little look round the town. Looking in the graveyard of Kirkcaldy Old Kirk, I found and gravestones with inscriptions to several members of the OLIPHANT and HUTCHISON families which I took photos of. These inscriptions included Robert HUTCHISON, and his wives; Mary OLIPHANT, and Jessie THOMSON. Another gravestone named Mary OLIPHANT’s Great-grandparents; “Robert OLIPHANT” and “Janet BETT”, “set up by” Mary’s grandfathers; “William and Henry OLIPHANT”. OLIPHANT gravestone in Kirkcaldy old kirkyard

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The story of Jackson Walton and his family, told by Martin Robb at ‘Past Lives’

At about the time that I began creating AFamilyHistoryBlog, I discovered a great article about my 3x Gt-Grandfather; Jackson Walton, and his family, written by Martin Robb on his blog; ‘Past Lives’. I would say that finding this article was one of the things that inspired me to begin AFamilyHistoryBlog.

Martin Robb is not a direct relative! Trying to describe the relationship is complex. So it’s impressive that Martin has researched his family connections so widely. Thank you Martin.

I have long intended that at some point I would post something onto AFamilyHistoryBlog, linking to Martin Robb’s article about the Walton family. And now – having just posted a piece about William Oliphant Hutchison (the husband of Jackson Walton’s granddaughter, Margery), it seems like a good opportunity to share more of my family’s artistic heritage.

Please read Martin’s article here;

Janet Young and Jackson Walton revisited

Past-Lives-screenshot_re-WaltonFor the basic details that I have about my Walton ancestry, please see the WALTON tree, or the WALTON Category on AFamilyHistoryBlog.

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;

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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.

HUTCHISON family gathering – May 2015

During the May half-term week, 2015, the Hutchison family had a great time on our regular “big family holiday”. This has typically been held every two years in recent times. But this time was the second consecutive year that we’ve been to stay at a site in the Teifi Valley, south Wales (on the border between Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion). Finding places to stay that can accommodate such a large family group is very challenging, and this site fitted us very well.

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The extended HUTCHISON family (4 generations) – whole group photo, dressed up as “pirates”, on the BIG family holiday, May 2015

The family group this time totaled 39 people; 4 generations; 27 adults, plus 2 teenagers, and 10 aged 10 or under. The young second cousins all had a great time running around together. A theme of “Pirates”  had been set for the week, and one evening we all dressed up for a “Pirate party” – partly as a birthday party for one of my cousins, who’s birthday it was that day, and also for the 4 other family members with birthdays in May. This is when we had a whole group photo.

During the week my gran gave little St John’s Gospels to various family members. These gospels are replicas of ones given to soldiers in the First World War, which were produced last year to mark the 100th anniversary of the war.

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These replica gospels were being given away through local churches and my gran had picked up 10 copies with the idea of giving one to each grandchild, with some details added about their Great-grandfathers who had served in the First World War. And she had tasked me with compiling those details to add to the gospels.

It was a challenge working out what to fit into such a small page space – the booklets are 11.5 cm (4 ½”) high x 7 cm (2 ¾”) wide! The details I was able to include – on a single extra page stuck inside the front of the booklets – were as follows;

  • William Oliphant HUTCHISON; b. 2/7/1889, Kirkcaldy, Fife. d. 5/2/1970, Kensington, London. Family were Corn Merchants in Kirkcaldy. He studied art at Edinburgh College of Art; 1909 – 1912. Served in the Royal Garrison Artillery during WW1, in Malta and in France, where he was severely wounded.
  • Ernest Garfield SWAIN; b. 20/8/1881, Leicester. d. 26/3/1968 (aged 86). Shoe and boot maker “E.G.Swain & Co.”, then Wholesale Confectionary for Clarnico & Co. Enlisted in the Leicester Regiment (TA) circa 1915. Appointed an officer; Second Lieutenant, Territorial Force, 4th Battalion (1/4th Battalion) The Leicestershire Regiment, on 21/11/1915. Deployed to France, where he suffered shrapnel injuries to his left leg and eye.

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Currently we’re not sure of the whereabouts of any of the medals that either of these two Great-grandfathers had (possibly somewhere in the wider families)! But I’ve had a search of the British Army medal index cards, on-line at the National Archives (UK), where I believe I’ve identified both their records, which I could order digital images of to gain some more details of their war service.