Friday, July 24, 2015

A Tribute to Eric Sowerby DRAKE

I spent all five years of my secondary school life, between 1961 and 1965, in Parramatta, N.S.W., with Eric Sowerby DRAKE as my English Teacher.

[E.S.D., as I knew him, tweed jacket with leather elbow patches over dark green pullover, and pipe in hand. 
Photograph published in the King's School Magazine, December 1971, page 10.
Image courtesy of The King's School Archives.]

He was a gifted teacher, and an extraordinary interpreter of Shakespeare, being able to recite large chunks from memory, and doing so in front of the class, sometimes prowling between the rows of desks, and at least once standing on top of one of them, with great evocation of character and rhythm of the language.
And he was a skilled story teller.
"Brother Animals," he would address us, as the class began... And so another story - this time, if memory serves, he was parachuting behind the lines in China, and giving the Kuomintang Nationalists under Chiang Kai Shek a few lessons in espionage! Or so I believed. I certainly remember his advice as to how to spot when you were being tailed, by pausing to look in a shop widow, and when you saw the fellow behind you casually stop, out of the corner of your eye or in reflection in the window glass, make an excuse for going inside by putting your pipe in your mouth & pretend to have no matches, make a quick entry into the said shop, & when your tail had rushed up, go out again & look him in the eye as you went on your way (all right, perhaps I did embellish some of that from my own imagination). And of how he confronted an attacking tiger by sticking his fist down its throat and strangling it - my brother Peter remembered that from 6 years earlier, which greatly amused his class.
Any disturbances in class were classified as "mucking up" - and the threat for that sin was Grammar. He kept good control by that stratagem, and the stories were legion.

This is my tribute to that inspirational English teacher, E. Sowerby DRAKE, our "Brother Animal" extraordinaire. And the following, as patchy as it cannot avoid being, is what I have been able to glean of his life story.


Eric Sowerby DRAKE was born on 22 December 1898, at Chou Ping (or T'sow-ping) City, Chefou, Northern China. Details of it were recorded at the British Consulate there.

Eric's father was Samuel Bingham DRAKE, who was born in 1851 at Oakham, in that "smallest" English County that used to be known as Rutland (his father, Reuben Cole DRAKE, was a Master Tailor in the High Street, Oakham, and his mother was Caroline BINGHAM, from whom Samuel acquired his middle name - they were married in the Baptist Chapel at Oakham on Tuesday 12 September 1848).

Rev Samuel Bingham DRAKE was aged about 28 when he went to China with the China Inland Mission; he reached the city of Ping-yang, in southern Shan-si Province, in the winter of 1879, in the company of W. HILLIER, Esq, of H.B.M.'s Consular Service, to join other missionaries already there carrying out famine relief, including Canon SCOTT, David HILL, Timothy RICHARD & J.J. TURNER [see Rev DRAKE's "Among the Dark-haired Race in the Flowery Land," Religious Tract Society, London, 1897]; after the relief work was completed, DRAKE stayed on at the Mission Station at P'ing Yang Fu (commenced in 1879 by HILL for the Wesley Mission), assisting Joshua TURNER; when TURNER & his wife went home on furlough in the autumn of 1881, he "...left the Station in the charge of Rev S.B. DRAKE who had been assisting him. For about 3 years, Mr and Mrs DRAKE worked on at P'ing Yang, most of the time single-handed... in the spring of 1885, Mr and Mrs DRAKE were obliged to leave for needed rest and change"; one of DRAKE's Chinese members was the former Confucionist, Hsi Shengmo, whom DRAKE made an Elder; opium abuse was rife in the area, and users had to kick the habit before being baptised into the missionary church; DRAKE assisted the process with anti-opium pills, evidently morphine, and Hsi's rival Fan, whose anti-opium "dens" DRAKE frequented to administer the pills, eclipsed Hsi in local influence - until DRAKE went on leave, and the supply of pills stopped. DRAKE wrote his "Story of Mr FAN of P'ing Yang Fu, Shan-si," in September 1883 ["China's Millions," by Alvyn AUSTIN, published by Wm EERDMANS, Michigan, 2007, pages 127-9].
But there was politics among the missionaries as well. The China Inland Mission, which was Protestant interdenominational, and the Baptist Missionary Society had both established stations in Tai Yuan Fu by 1879, and:
"...the C.I.M. pioneers, Joshua TURNER and Francis JAMES had been joined by two seasoned veterans, Samuel DRAKE and Thomas Wellesley PIGOTT... The B.M.S. consisted mainly of Timothy RICHARD and his wife... The B.M.S. claimed responsibility for the area north of Tai Yuan, as far as Mongolia, while the C.I.M took the south, to the Yellow River..."
[See "China's Millions," page 186.]
And these Missionaries evidently talked to each other.
In 1881, the C.I.M.'s founder, J. Hudson TAYLOR, raised his suspicions over RICHARD's call for "cultural accommodation" and indigenous leadership, and subsequently ordered his people to sever relations with RICHARD; in protest, C.I.M. members Joshua TURNER, Francis JAMES and Arthur SOWERBY all resigned, with their wives, to be followed later by Samuel DRAKE and Celia HORNE.
Samuel then joined the Baptist Missionary Society, gained an appointment with them in 1886, and served at Stations in Tsing Chow Fu (1886-1892), Tsowping (1892-1908) and again at Tsing Chow Fu (1908-1910); he retired to England, evidently in 1910; was living at Lee, in Lewisham, in 1911; and by 1919 was residing at Ercildonne, 55 Hide Road, Harrow-on-the-Hill [see his entry in List of Missionaries, 1918 Annual Report of the B.M.S., page 63].
An alternative address was recorded for him in September 1889, at the English Baptist Mission, Chou-P'ing, Hsien, Shantung (see his daughter Elizabeth's birth details below). I presume this may have been the same place as Tsowping, although the dates don't match.

Eric's mother was Florence SOWERBY, who was baptised at Dalston St Phillip, County Middlesex, with her twin Arthur, on 3 November 1857, the children of Joseph SOWERBY, Commercial Clerk, and Grace SEGUIER (both of whose fathers were Artists). It was she who gave Eric DRAKE his memorable middle name.
Arthur & Florence were living with their parents in 1861, at 2 Park Villas, Hackney, aged 3, as well as their three older siblings, Edward, Alice & Herbert; they were at 38 Fairford Road, Hampstead St John, in 1871, again with their parents & two older brothers, their father now being a Collector of Town Rates; and in 1881, shortly before she went to China, Florence was boarding at Kingston-upon-Thames, in the household of Henry N. STEPHENS, a Commercial Clerk, his wife Lucy E. (aged 24), and their infant son, being recorded as his "wife's companion."
And it was her brother Arthur SOWERBY, who served in China as a Missionary, from 1881 (at Tai Yuan Fu), who probably encouraged his twin sister to join him there.
Eric knew neither of his SOWERBY grandparents, who were both dead before his parents were married (both at Hampstead, Joseph in 1871, and Grace in 1879). But one of his SOWERBY kin was named as the guardian on his brother Frederick's enrolment at Eltham School in 1902.
But he would probably have known his seven SOWERBY cousins, the children of his uncle Arthur by his wife Louisa CLAYTON, and born between 1885 and 1896, probably in China, where Arthur was posted to Tai-yuen Fu (1881-97), Sinchow (1897-1900), Tai-yuen Fu again (1900-1911), Teintsin (1911-13) and Peking (from 1913).

Samuel & Florence were married at Peking, China, on 30 October 1882. One Chinese newspaper recorded this event as taking place at the British Legation, and between Mr S.B. DRAKE, China Inland Mission, and Miss SOWERBY, Baptist Mission, Tai-yuen Fu. Perhaps another good reason why DRAKE left the C.I.M and joined the B.M.S.

Samuel and Florence raised a family on the move in parts of North China:

1. Florence Caroline DRAKE, born at Tai Yuen Fu, Shansi Province, North China, about 1883. Aged 17 in the 1901 Census. She was an assistant teacher at Crouch End High School & College for Ladies, at Hornsey, 1911, aged 27 (her birth place was recorded); with her parents at 55 Hide Road, Pinner, 1919 Electoral register for Hendon. She died in a hospital at Hyde Park Corner on 11 October 1847, late of 61 Twyford Abbey Road, Park Royal, County Middlesex, unmarried. She died as the result of a road accident, and a brief notice to that effect appeared in the Eltham College Magazine, noting that the "Old Boys of the 1907-09 generation will be grieved" by the news, and that during that period at Blackheath she was "Mistress in charge of the 'Mangag'." It is likely that this last term is a corruption of Menagerie, and was applied by older boys to the most junior form in the school.

2. a child who died young, probably in infancy, perhaps about 1885, and inevitably in China.

3. Elizabeth DRAKE, born at the English Baptist Mission in Tsing Chou Fu, North China, on 17 April 1887 [Chinese Recorder and Missionary Herald, 4 July 1887]. Aged 13 in 1901. Aged 23 in 1911, & unmarried. No further particulars yet found.

4. Samuel Bingham DRAKE, born at the English Baptist Mission at Chou-P'ing, Hsien, Shantung, on 28 June 1889, the wife of Rev S.B. DRAKE, English Baptist Mission, of a son" [Chinese Recorder and Missionary Herald, 1 September 1889]. He was aged 10 in 1901; attended the School for the Sons of Missionaries, Blackheath (later Eltham College) from 1900 to 1905; and aged 21, Manager of a Real Estate Agency in Prittlewell, Essex, in 1911, boarding with a Mrs PAUL at 33 St Helen's Road, Westcliffe-on-Sea; and later a Surveyor's Clerk, of 23 Salisbury Road, Wealdstone, Middlesex (Dec 1915). Samuel enlisted on 7 Dec 1915 (S.N. 7414) in the 14th Battalion, London Regiment (London Scottish); he went to France in Aug 1916, and was killed by a "flying torpedo" at or near Arras on 11 October 1916; he was buried in Maroeuil War Cemetery, Pas-de-Calais, Calais Nord. His name appears on Memorial plaques in the Avenue Road Baptist Church, Westcliff (one of 15 names) and on a much larger memorial in St Saviour's Church, King's Road, Westcliffe-on-Sea (195 men of the parish and its churches)He was married at Westcliffe, Essex, on 8 August 1914, to Martha Louisa (Mattie) FRYER, with his brother Rev F. DRAKE acting as his best-man; they had a daughter, Mollie Florence DRAKE, born at Harrow, Middlesex, on 11 Jun 1916 [see British Army WW1 Service Records on].

5. Frederick Seguier DRAKE, born in Tsow Ping, Shansi Province, North China, on 13 April 1892. Aged 8 in 1901; attended the S.S.M. (later Eltham College) from 1902 to 1909; aged 18 in 1911; married firstly, at Shanghai, on 1 December 1916, to Dorothy Mabel PALMER, aged 23, a daughter of Rev John PALMER; Frederick married secondly, in China, on 28 January 1930, Dora Mabel CRACKNELL; he later occupied academic posts in China, and Hong Kong; he died in 1976.
In 2011, CHRISTIE's sold the fine art work "Birds and Kapok Flowers," by Zhao Shao'ang, 1959, Pen on paper, Dedicated to Yangshan (Prof F.S. DRAKE), with the following biographical note on Professor DRAKE, from whose former collection the work was sold:
"Professor Frederick Seguier Drake (1892-1976) was born in Shandong, China. From a distinguished English family, Drake was ordained minister as a young man and devoted himself to missionary work. Professor Drake was a traveller, and a scholar in Chinese and Divinity; as an archaeologist he travelled extensively within China and was Dean of the Faculty of Divinity at Qiliu (Cheeloo) University in Ji'nan, Shandong. After a brief return to his native England during the Chinese Civil War, Prof. Drake came to Hong Kong as Chair of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong and occupied the position for twelve years. Prof. Drake was widely respected by his students and within the academia. His most notable achievement included leading the archaeological excavation of the Lei Cheng UK Eastern Han Tomb in Hong Kong in the 1950s. Zhao Shao'ang gifted Prof. Drake with Birds and Flowers (Lot 3150) to celebrate his 72nd birthday and his retirement."

6. Henry Burgess DRAKE, born in Tsein Ping, Shansi, North China on 14 April 1894; aged 6 in 1901; attended S.S.M. from 1902 to 1912; aged 16, at Eltham College, 1911. He enlisted as a Stretcher Bearer in the R.A.M.C. in 1915, and later transferred to the Royal Field Artillery, and returned to France. B.A. (1st Class Honours in English), University College, London, 1920; Teacher's Diploma, 1921. Identified as the brother whom Eric would join in China in late 1944. For many years a teacher, initially with brother Eric back at Eltham (until 1927), and later, after a stint in Korea as an English Professor in a Japanese University, at Bromley County Grammar School (from 1930) with time out during the War, back in China (at Chanqing, then Xi'an), as a Major in the Intelligence Corps (he requested his brother Eric join him there in 1944), with a mission to recruit spies to penetrate Japanese held territory. He died in September 1963, late of 7 London Road, Widley, near Gosport, Hampshire; he married Rene BOWKER in 1921, and they had 2 sons, who were his executors - Terence Theodore DRAKE, Lecturer, and Alan Reginald DRAKE, Scientist.

And lastly,

7. Our Eric.


Of this place named Tai-yuen Fu, I have heard much, although not until after I had made a visit there in 1978 - I later discovered that it was the site of a set of Boxer executions of foreigners, including Missionaries, on 9 Jul 1900 - among these was Rev Thomas William PIGOTT, his wife Jessie (formerly KEMP), and their 14 year-old son Wellesley, and who was, as described by eye-witnesses, the last of his little family group to be beheaded, in a standing position, having to the last minute been holding his mother's hand, even as she fell. These PIGOTTs were distant relations, deriving, as I do, from the Dysart in Queen's County (Laois) in Ireland.
Recently discovered newspaper reports indicate that Rev DRAKE was in the area at the time, and may even have been witness to their group being led from an out-station into Tai Yeun Fu in chains just before they were killed.
It sent shock waves around the expatriate European community in China, and among their families at home, and the Church bodies there who sent them - and this resulted in the dependent part of the DRAKE family being withdrawn from the risk of danger, and shipped to the safety of England.

Indeed, on 12 September 1900, the New York Times carried a report emanating from the U.S. State Department concerning the efforts the U.S. Consul at Che-foo, John FOWLER, had made to secure a vessel to rescue the missionaries and their families who were escaping from the interior of China, attaching a list of their names, which included "...the Rev S.B. DRAKE, wife and three children."

Nine days later, on 21 September 1900, the Lincoln, Rutland & Stamford Mercury published more detail in a report of "The Crisis in China" under the sub-heading of "Stamfordians Had to Leave the Country," as follows:
"Mrs DRAKE, wife of the Rev S.B. DRAKE, formerly of Stamford, and now attached to the Baptist mission in China, has supplied to a representative of the Mercury some interesting observations respecting the position in China, and her experiences in that country since the 'Boxer' rising. Mr DRAKE, whose father lives in Recreation-ground-road, was stationed in the Shan Tung province in the north east of China. When he and his family left for the coast there had been no actual disturbance in that immediate neighbourhood. The American consuls kept them in touch with what was going on elsewhere, and up to a few days before they had warning to leave, they hoped to be able to remain at their Station; but things began to get alarming in the neighbouring provinces, and they had 2 days notice to clear out and get towards Chefoo. The Governor of Chi Nan Fu was asked to supply a guard of soldiers to escort the missionaries and their families, but he sent back that he could not grant one as there were so many guards in request. He advised them to get down to Chi Nan Fu and then, he said, he would see what could be done. At that time the Chinese were getting excited, and the Christians were getting nervous about what might happen, and the missionaries took the precaution to clear out at night. They left the Station at about 9 o'clock in mule carts, the party consisting of 4 ladies and 8 children, they youngest being a fortnight old, and the oldest eight years; and they travelled in these carts t the riverbank. Here the Chinese officials granted them a guard of ten soldiers. Native boats were obtained, and the party continued  the journey by water, being on the river three days and two nights. They were subsequently transferred to a big junk, and had to stop in it all night, and afterwards they got on to a Japanese cargo steamer, chartered for the purpose of getting the missionaries away, and then went to Chefoo. Here there was some excitement among the Chines, but there was no danger. Several missionary parties kept coming in, some of them having travelled three weeks under very trying circumstances, and with only the clothes they stood in. Mr DRAKE's party got away with comparative comfort, and Mrs DRAKE having arranged to go to England in the autumn had been getting prepared for the journey. It was a rough experience to Chefoo, but there were really no hardships. The Governor of the province was very good to them, being anxious to get all the foreigners away, and thus respect the wishes of the Empress to clear China of foreigners...
"After leaving Chefoo, the missionary party were taken to Shanghai..."

Just 2 months after the Tai Yuen Fu massacre, the "Houdini" that I seem to have imagined in Eric DRAKE had survived his first "scrape" with danger, and he was still not yet 3 years old!
And much later, Eric's nephew Alan DRAKE, the son of Henry Burgess, wrote that as the family was making its way down the Yellow River, the young boys had to be hidden in a tea chest!


On Census night of 1901, Florence DRAKE and 5 of her children were living at Ebenezer House, Queen Street, parish of Stamford St George with St Paul, County Leicester. She was aged 43, a Missionary (Wesleyan), born Dalston, Middlesex; the children were Florence C. (aged 17), Elizabeth (13), Frederick S. (8), Henry B. (6) and Eric S. (2), all born in China, British Subjects.
I wondered if Ebenezer House might have been a church property, or where Rev Samuel Bingham DRAKE had planned to retire to anyway - but there is a simpler explanation.
Eric's grandfather, Reuben Cole DRAKE, formerly a Master Tailor on the High Street of Oakham, had made his residence at Stamford, Lincolnshire, sometime after the Census of 1871, and was recorded there in 1881, as an Assurance Agent, residing at 11 Conduit Road, Stamford St Michael, along with his wife Caroline & 3 children (Emma, Ada & Edwin); in 1891 he was at 3 Recreation Ground Road, All Saints Stamford, with wife & 2 children (Ada & Edwin); and at the same street address in 1901, with just his wife Caroline. She died there on 31 October 1905, in her 78th year [see The Lincoln, Rutland & Stamford Mercury, Friday 15 September].
Eric's aunt Ada (his father Samuel Bingham's sister), the wife of Frederick CLARKE, a Wine Merchant's Traveller, was living at Stamford St George, Lincolnshire, in 1911, and with her was their father, Reuben Cole DRAKE, aged 84, a Widower and a Pensioner.
And in the same Census, 1911, at 4 Peters Street, in the parish of All Saints with Stamford St Peter, Lincolnshire, we find Samuel Bingham DRAKE, aged 10, born Chou Ping, China, boarding in the household of Mary Elizabeth WAKEFIELD, a Boarding House Keeper, her niece, and one other boarder.

Whether Florence & the family remained here is unclear. Perhaps things settled down in China after the Boxer Rising passed, & perhaps Rev Samuel felt it safe enough for them to re-join him. But if they did go back out, there is no mention of them in Passenger Lists for departures from or arrivals in England between 1901 & 1911 (although their arrival in 1900-01 was not recorded either).

Samuel Bingham & Florence DRAKE were enumerated in 1911 Census at 74 Manor Park, Lee, Borough of Lewisham, London S.W.; he was recorded as a Retired Missionary, with them were two of their children - Elizabeth (aged 23, born Tsing Chou Fu, North China) and Frederick Seguier (aged 18, born Tsow Ping, North China). It was here that they were recorded as having had 7 children born, with 6 surviving. Eric was absent, boarding at the School for Sons of Missionaries in Blackheath, as was his brother Burgess (aged 16); S. Bingham DRAKE Junior was at Prittlewell, Essex, an Estate Agency Manager, boarding with a Mrs Dulcie PAUL.
In his entry in the 1913-14 Annual report of the Baptist Missionary Society, his address was recorded as 65 Welldone Crescent, Harrow-on-the-Hill. And in Electoral Registers for Hendon, he was at 55 Hide Road, Parish of Pinner, with wife Florence, from 1919 onwards.

Eric's father died on 11 June 1935, at St Vincent's Nursing Home, Headstone Lane, Harrow, Middlesex, late of 55 Hide Road, Pinner, Middlesex; Probate was granted at London to Henry Burgess DRAKE, Schoolmaster, Eric Sowerby DRAKE, Fine art gallery Director, and Florence Caroline DRAKE, Spinster; the estate was valued at just over £5,900. A substantial inheritance indeed.
His mother Florence died 4 years later, of 55 Hide Road, Pinner, Middlesex, on 14 Dec 1939; her probate was granted to the same three children, Eric this time being recorded as a Camouflage Officer; her effects was valued, undoubtedly for the purposes of assessing death duty, at £2965 1s & 4d.


["Winchester House," Blackheath.
Built in the 1850s as the School for the Sons of Missionaries, it was vacated in 1912 when the school moved to new premises and was thereafter known as Eltham College.
Evidently Eric and his 2nd wife Janna rented separate rooms on the top floor before they were married.]

Eric started at the School for the Sons of Missionaries, at Blackheath, on 13 March 1905, his admission entry recording him as a Day Boy, and his father as Rev S.B. DRAKE of 65 Welldon Crescent, Harrow.
I'm not sure that we can assume that Eric's father was then actually living in London, and some evidence from China sources suggests he wasn't, but we can probably assume his mother was still in England, otherwise Eric would probably have been admitted as a Boarder.

[School for the Sons of Missionaries, Blackheath, 1909.  
Eric DRAKE, aged 9, is probably there - possibly on the extreme left of 4th row from the front?
Miss DRAKE, the  woman on the right (as we look at the picture) was probably his oldest sister Florence. 
Image courtesy of Eltham College Archives.]

Eric was a gifted student, and his Valete entry records him with French Certificate, 1912; 1st Class Cambridge Senior qualifying for matriculation, 1913; Prix Hatchette, 1914; Inter. Arts, London, 1916; & South African Bursary.
He did well at sports, and played in the 1st XV in 1915-16, with 1st Colours; his "Critique" in the School Magazine [Dec 1916, page 153] records that he was:
"An extremely good scrum half, lets the ball out well. His tackling, falling on the ball, and picking up the ball, have been very good. Has been handicapped by a sore leg, which has prevented him from kicking, Well deserved the colours."
He also played in the 1st XI, 1916; described [ditto, Aug 1916, page 127] as:
"Much handicapped by bad eyesight. Uses the strokes very well. A good catch and field in the slips."
Which last accolade would probably have been a little difficult to have achieved, I would have thought, with bad eyesight!
He was also awarded, on the votes of the Senior boys, with the Bayard Cup, 1916. I am not sure what this was for, but there were two others similarly awarded to 2 other boys (the "Blackheath Cup" and "Best Fielding," so probably sports oriented), and the Bayard & the Blackheath awards were both won by only very narrow margins over the elder of the two LIDDELL brothers, who both played in the 1st XI.
Eric was a Sergeant in the Cadet Corps; and he was Head Boy and Senior Prefect in 1915-16.
A very well-rounded achievement.

[Part of the 1st XI, 1916. Eric standing, with Eric LIDDELL seated. Image courtesy of Eltham College Archives.]

The younger of the two LIDDELL brothers was also named Eric - he was the famous English sprinter later immortalised in the film "Chariots of Fire."

From Eltham, Eric went to University College of London, where he was studying in 1917, having passed the Inter. B.A. London in 1916 (as annotated on his admission record when he went back to Eltham in September 1921).


Eric saw action on the Western Front during the first World War. I find only very scant reference anywhere to his war service; however, a snippet from a search, which have a habit of being frustratingly incomplete, gives us a glimpse.

From "Mervyn PEAKE, Vast Alchemies: The Illustrated Biography" by G. Peter WINNINGTON [Peter Owen Publishers, 2009], at page 49:
"...The other teacher, Eric Sowerby DRAKE, was an Old Elthamian... On leaving school, he enlisted, fought, and been wounded on the eve of his nineteenth birthday..."
This was an up-dated and illustrated version of WINNINGTON's earlier edition published in 2000. (See further below in the section concerning Sark.)

WW1 British Army medal index cards, date range 1914-1920 (, record an Eric S. DRAKE as a Private in The Queen's (Royal West Surrey) Regiment, Soldier Number 14154; and as a Private in the Middlesex Regiment, Soldier Number G/53862. Mentions are made of Campaign Medal and Silver War Medal index cards [WO 372/6]. It is not clear whether this entry was for 2 different Eric S. DRAKEs, with one of them being our Eric; and if so, which of the two might have been him.

Lloyd WADDY (a former pupil at T.K.S., whom Eric cast in one of his dramatic productions, he delivered the eulogy at Eric's funeral in 1988) mentioned that he was still in hospital when the Armistice was declared. Eleven months hospitalization would suggest that his wounds were not minor ones.

Malcolm YORKE, in his "Mervyn PEAKE: My Eyes Mint Gold: a Life," [Overlook Press, 2002], at page 38, wrote about the:
"...young brothers, Burgess and Eric DRAKE, both former pupils [of Eltham] and sons of Baptist Missionary parents serving in China. They had suffered in the trenches, read the latest psychological and pedagogical theories and were keen to blow fresh air and new ideas through the stuffy staff-room. Eric DRAKE (1898-1988) was a 'small moustachioed man'..."


Electoral Registers in England record Eric at 55 Hale Road, Hendon, Borough of Barrets, in 1920 and 1921, evidently residing with his siblings Henry Burgess and Florence DRAKE, at the family home.
He soon put all his energies back into his future career, continuing his studies at University College, London in 1919, where he gained his B.A. with 1st Class Honours in English (with French subsidiary) in July 1920; and a Teacher's Diploma during his post-graduate year at the London Day Training College from September 1920 to July 1921.

Eric joined the teaching staff at his old school, Eltham College, on 16 September 1921, being assigned principal duties in the subject of English, "also Latin," and at a starting salary of £305 per annum.

[Eric in the whole-of-School photo, 1921, centre of picture. Image courtesy of Eltham College Archives.]

Peter WINNINGTON's biography of Mervyn PEAKE had originally been published in 2000, as "Vast Alchemies," and, at page 49, he wrote of Eric's second time at Eltham, with his brother Burgess, where:
" a breath of fresh air, 'they stirred the  imagination of staff and boys and threw some doubts on the alleged values of orthodox pedagogy' (The Glory of the Sons, p.200). They had adopted and adapted the 'playway' method of Caldwell COOK (the brilliant English teacher at the Perse School, Cambridge) which involved much creative writing, projects and individual assignments. DRAKE passed on to his pupils his great love of classical literature, English poetry - his nick-name was 'Shelley-belly' - and, above all, drama..."
As he was still doing nearly 40 to 50 years later.

His farewell tribute was published in the School Magazine, by an unidentified contributor, under the heading of "E.S. - A SYMBOL,"  from which I have abstracted a few salient points:
"His going is a wrench to our school life, not because he has become built into us by mere longevity of service - he has only been with us five years - but because he has become part of us by affinity and understanding. We liked him; he belonged to our world; he didn't try to run us into uncongenial moulds...
"We have a much clearer understanding now of our school's particular mission by seeing it exemplified in his personality... we shall remember him not so much for what he did as for what he was. It was his personality that captivated us.
"Our memories of him will be of someone who knew how to handle a rugger pill, how to shoulder a ruck-sack, how to smoke a pipe, how to express disapprobation, how not to play cricket... We shall remember his charming swagger as he strolled the playing fields, the flying of his coat-tails as he chased a kid across the quod (sic), the absurd way his gown would slip off his left shoulder, the way he tossed back his ruffled hair... his way was that of someone who found life delightful as well as purposeful, an adventure as well as a problem, with a challenge in it to keep young as well as to grow wise..."
", like a musical instrument, may be lightly handled in two ways: there is the light touch of the sentimentalist, and the light touch f the master musician. The first is soft and enchanting merely, but behind the second is a reserve of strength. We hope you take our parable. E.S. was no sentimentalist. He knew boys too well to subscribe to the spiritual-comet-theory; for him they most emphatically did not come 'trailing clouds of glory.' But he sympathised with them deeply enough to make it a chief part of his aim to lighten the 'shades of their prison house'! The virtue of his brightness and boyishness lay just in this, that they were based on solid attainments both in experience and scholarship..."
"He will go far, even if he doesn't go high. That is not a distinction without a difference. To go high presupposes a certain pedagogical inflation which is incompatible with our conception of E.S.; but to go far requires just that impetus and energy which was characteristic of all his work.
"We must not grudge him to Outer Darkness; rather we send him forth as our own particular apostle with the special mission to tread on the corns of a decorously inhuman pedantry. May he tread hard and with precision! May his boots not be rubber heeled!"

Fine praise - and even 40 years later, in another school on another continent, these observations of his character still rang true.

[The present-day Eltham College. Image courtesy of their official web-site.]

Eric's enrolment by the Teacher's Registration Council did not occur until 1 February 1927 (see, after he had left his first job at Eltham College, and perhaps to conform with official requirements for his future visit to the U.S. and Scholarship at Yale University. It recorded the following details:
Eric Sowerby DRAKE, 6 Pembroke Studios, Pembroke Gardens, W.S.
Attainments - B.A., 1st Class Hons, English, French subsidiary. University of London Teacher's Diploma.
Training in Teaching - London Day Training College, W.C.
Experience - War Service, 1917-1919. Assistant Master, Eltham College, S.E.9, 1921-26. Private Teaching, 1929-
Register Number 74174.


Eric arrived in New York on the ship Arabic from Southampton (departed on 17 September 1927), aged 28, single, British Citizen born at Chou Ping, China, on a Visa issued in London on 5 August 1927, his last permanent residence being Harrow, England.

Lloyd WADDY [1988] mentioned Eric's time in America, evidently having won a Commonwealth Fund Scholarship to the School of Drama at Yale University. WINNINGTON (2009, page 50), also noted that he was at Yale from 1927 to 1929.

Indeed, WINNINGTON (page 233, end-notes) records that Eric wrote to him in 1978, stating that it was while he was at Yale that he:
"...conceived the ambition of 'doing for the fine arts what Community Theatre had done for Drama in the USA'..."

WADDY further recorded that he was a cowboy in Wyoming - perhaps during his vacations, although it is just a little difficult to shape a mental image of that from my time with him, then in his 60's; and that he also spent time in New York, which was rather inevitable, I suspect.

But he also spent some time at Columbia University, which is, of course, in New York. He was later "stung" into publishing an item in the King's School Magazine, in 1954, to mark the 200th anniversary of the founding of the King's College, which was closed for 8 years as a result of the Revolutionary War of American Independence, reopening, sans the Royal Crown in its emblem, as Columbia University.
His first marriage took place in Norwich, Connecticut, on 17 October 1929, to Eloise Crowell SMITH.
Eloise was born at Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on 8 December 1903, a daughter Leonard Owen SMITH and Jane CROWELL. They were all enumerated at Norwich, New London, Connecticut, in the 1920 Census.
Eric took his new wife to England, arriving in Liverpool on 28 October 1929 on the R.M.S. Laconia from New York. Their destination address was "Yaver," Mottingham Lane, London, S.E. - Eric was aged 30, Schoolmaster; Eloise was 25, a Student.

His old school magazine recorded in 1930 that he was in Germany, taking in, among other things, "sweet philosophy."

And it may have been about this period that he spent time in Fleet Street in Journalism, as also mentioned by Lloyd WADDY in 1988.

One record does exist of Eric's foray into literary criticism, in the form of his review of  the book "Plays for the Young; The School Drama in England," written from a modern American perspective by T.H. Vaile MOTTER, and published in New York in 1930.
Eric S. DRAKE's review of it appeared in The Saturday Review of Literature (an American weekly magazine that grew out of an earlier Saturday Supplement to the New York Evening Post), on 26 September 1931, at page 151. In it Eric observed that:
"There is a revival in Drama in English Schools, but it is not wrapt up with the individual School, often with the individual headmaster, as it was in the beginning... 
"Mr MOTTER seems to have missed the new orientation, which is based on a very different view of the child and of life from that of the traditional "public" school, and no less important to the audience. It makes such a vital appeal to the child's imagination that is looked on as somewhat uncanny and not quite respectable, and for that very reason is suspect even in Schools which pride themselves on their dramatic traditions. It is not a fulfilment of their traditions, but a disruption both of them and of the whole scholastic philosophy on which they are based."
MOTTRAM evidently bemoaned having had to endure a school performance he had seen with a "blushing youth" cast as Caliban. Eric snorted back:
"This plausible sneer does not alter the fact, though it may obscure it, that it has been demonstrated that boys of twelve and thirteen (i.e. in the maturity of boyhood, not in the monkey stage nor in the blushing adolescence) can act adult plays, and especially SHAKESPEARE, with an intensity and an abandon that are quite startling. To deny this is as sane as denying that boys of the same age can sing adult's songs and with anthems with a loveliness and penetration that are the despair of adults themselves."
The article is not accompanied by any notes identifying who this Eric S. DRAKE actually was, but I think there can be no doubt. This was our Eric the subversive. Our Eric the champion of the child's capacity to do great things when guided and encouraged. Here was a philosophy that Alain PHILLIPS would recognise another 30 to 40 years later.
And I see that Eric had a special category for some of his pupils (perhaps even myself in my junior forms under his tutelage - shock! horror!) - the "monkey stage"!

But whatever the details we do not have of his life at this time, it is clear that the next phase of his career, his engagement with the world of the fine arts, was about to begin in earnest.


Eric was involved in the establishment of an artists colony on Sark, one of the Channel Islands, and the building of a gallery there for exhibiting their work. This small colony of artists is said to have "...lived in holiday huts around a purpose built modernist gallery of pink and blue concrete" [see the Utopia Britannica web-site].

 [Eric & Lisel DRAKE's Art Gallery on Sark. Image courtesy of Peter WINNINGTON.]

Peter WINNINGTON [2009], at page 64, wrote that Gordon SMITH, otherwise known as Goatie:
"...heard from Eric Drake, who had returned from the United States and was announcing his intention of setting up an artists colony on Sark..."
And again, at page 76, he wrote, in light of the arrivals in Sark already of Gordon SMITH and Ethel CHEESEWRIGHT, that:
"...Eric DRAKE's ambition was to build on these antecedents and make Sark a famous centre for the arts. To do this, he had to gain the support of the Sarkese, who much resented the colonial attitude of English visitors and feared that his project would reduce the income they derived from serving morning and afternoon teas and hiring out boats. On the contrary, argued DRAKE, his gallery would draw a better class of tourist, and he invited all the islanders to join in the social activities (such as the evening dance-suppers that he planned) on an equal footing with the visitors and residents. That earned their approval, and he started planning. Ultimately DRAKE was so well accepted by the Sarkese that they initiated him into their lodge, the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes.
"His negotiations with the islanders was still in progress when Mervyn and Goatie visited him in the summer of 1932..."

Electoral Registers record Eric Sowerby and Eloise Crowell Smith DRAKE at 10 St Loo Mansions, Flood Street, Chelsea, in 1932, suggesting he did his negotiations in Sark while still maintaining a residence in England.

The project was evidently not without some initial resistance, and ongoing complaints, from some of the local Sarkese, which may have had more than just a little to do with what Malcolm YORKE ["My Eyes Mint Gold," 2002], at page 61, wrote, indicating that for enticements, including:
"...pints of beer, some of the Sarkese could be persuaded to sit for artists, but only with their clothes on. It was on this idyllic but inaccessible speck of land that Eric DRAKE proposed to set up an artists colony and a modern art gallery."

Indeed, there are some reports of nudity among the artist group, and one of them, Eric's former pupil at Eltham and his "guest" on Sark, was known to have painted on occasions wearing not much more than a large gold ear-ring and a cape.
That was Mervyn PEAKE, another son of Missionary parents who was also born in China, and educated at Eltham College. At one time he lived above the gallery in an small studio at the top of a prominent circular staircase.
Eric later wrote of Mervyn PEAKE, as Francesca BELL recorded in her doctoral thesis "The Salvaged Image", May 2001 (University of Newcastle, Ourimbah), with an arresting analogy:
"What lies behind Mervyn is too big to be just a cult, or a protest, or what have you. It is the base of a surprising pyramid, a lotus with its roots in the primeval slime and its head in the sun."

Others artists in the Sark group were Eric's wife Lisel, Brenda STEATFEILD, Janice THOMPSON & Antony BRIDGE - their works were displayed at Sark, and several London Galleries, including the Redfern Gallery and the Cooling Gallery.

John BATCHELOR, in his "Mervyn PEAKE: a biographical and critical exploration" (Duckworth, 1974), at page 18, wrote:
"Mervyn PEAKE and Gordon SMITH went on a holiday together to Sark in the Channel Islands, in the summer of... 1932, and PEAKE's appetite for islands was further whetted by this visit. Eric DRAKE, who had taught PEAKE English at Eltham College, was living on Sark. His American wife, Lisel, had helped him to found an art gallery on the island, and he proposed to Mervyn and his friends Tony BRIDGE and Brenda STREETFIELD, that they should go to the gallery and work there during their summer vacations from the R.A. Schools..."

BATCHELOR observed further, at page 20, that:
"Eric and Lisel DRAKE provided the money for both the gallery and the artists, and the whole venture was really created and sustained by them. In reality, the students were their guests, but Eric DRAKE organised things so that they could feel they were independent..."

Eric and Lisel designed the gallery, and he incorporated some novel advances in natural lighting, from ideas he gained during his time at Yale, in particular the principles of stage lighting developed there by Stanley McCANDLESS. And Mervyn PEAKE helped to build it.
I'm not sure who chose the pink and blue colour scheme!
[Eric (although I would not have recognised him without Eric identifying himself) with signature pipe,
and his 1st wife Lisel (lower right corner), relaxing on Sark. 
The photo and caption appear in Peake Studies, Vol.1, No.1, Autumn 1988, at page 4.
Image courtesy of Peter WINNINGTON.]

The Gallery was officially opened in late August 1933, with many in attendance, including the Dame of Sark, who officiated.

Electoral Registers later record Eric Sowerby and Eloise Crowell Smith DRAKE at 6 Pembroke Studios, Earl's Court Ward, Kensington, in 1933 and 1934. Perhaps they failed to advise the Electoral Office of the departure, or they may have kept a London address anyway.

Eric S. DRAKE sailed from Southampton on the ship Tanganyika, on 16 December 1933, bound for Laurenco Marques; his last address in the U.K. was Rembrandt Hotel, Thurloe Place, London S.W., he travelled on a 1st Class ticket, was aged 34, and was a "Proprietor and Director of Art Gallery"; his last permanent residence was "not in the British Empire," and he intended to live in Sark, Channel Islands. Travelling with him was Eloise C.S. DRAKE, aged 29.

Eloise was recorded in two subsequent passenger arrivals lists - both in Southampton, both in 1934, both indicating her residence was in Clos Roussel, Sark, Channel Islands - the first voyage on the Usaramo from Laurenco Marques, dated 13 March; the second on the  Albert Ballin from New York, arriving 29 November.

Lisel DRAKE's formal entry in the National Cyclopedia of American Biography (edited by George DERBY & James Terry WHITE, 1960), as Eloise SANEL, recorded that:
"In 1933, with Eric DRAKE, she founded and designed The Art Gallery, Sark, Channel Islands, which was operated until 1937..."


Eric's father died in Jun 1935 (see above), and he spent that summer in England, leaving Lisel and their manager in charge of the Gallery on Sark.
WINNINGTON [2009], at page 88, wrote that tensions had already arisen among the Sark group, and that while in England, Eric received a letter from Lisel:
" the effect that he was 'de trop...' He returned in the autumn, and she left."

Eric is said to have stayed on at Sark for a while, and may even have had to pay his taxes owing to the Dame of Sark in the form of his own labour, working on the roads. The artist Eric had invited to Sark, Mervyn PEAKE may not have helped the cause either, particularly when he insisted on painting the scene as one of the Sarkese was laid out in preparation for burial, which evidently offended the said Dame. One can only hope that he was wearing just a little more than the gold ear-ring and the cape on that sombre occasion!

There are some suggestions that Eric was on Sark until just before the Germans took control. There are reports that the Gallery itself became a brothel under the German occupation. I find no evidence to support these rumours. But by 1946, it had become a shop.

Eloise sailed off into the sun-set. She spent several years sailing in the Mediterranean and cruising about Northern France ports, and finally headed for home. Well, it was Florida, actually. She was recorded in the Palm Beach Post of 21 September 1939, as the "feminine skipper" of her small yacht Agwam, which she had been forced to put into dry dock for repairs; and as she was unable to spend the summer in Bahaman waters as she had planned, she decided instead to charter a schooner and sail to Havana for about 10 days. Eric is nowhere mentioned in the report.

Eric Sowerby DRAKE and Eloise C.S. DRAKE were formally divorced in Dade County, Florida, in 1941 [Cert No 1117; Vol.163].

Eloise married 2ndly, at Clearwater, Florida, in July 1942 (this event may well have precipitated the 1941 divorce proceedings), to Sanel BEER; she died in Miami, Dade County, Florida, on 5 September 1978; she is recorded in the National Cyclopedia of American Biography as artist and author, with exhibitions or her paintings, in oils and watercolours, in many group shows, including one in the Redfern Gallery in London in 1937; and her first showing in America was in 1952, at the Eve TUCKER Galleries, Miami Beach, Florida.

At this stage, it is not clear what Eric did between the ending if the Sark experiment, sometime between 1935 and 1937, and the outbreak of another World War.


Lloyd WADDY [1988] recorded that Eric was in Farnborough by the start of the war. Indeed, Staff Lists for the Royal Aircraft Establishment at South Farnborough, Hampshire, for December 1939 and April 1940, both record E.S. DRAKE, B.A., as their Camouflage Officer.
This institution grew out of the former Royal Aircraft Factory of W.W.1, and during W.W.2 the staff were fully engaged in work on engine problems in R.A.F. aircraft. It was renamed the Royal Aerospace Establishment in 1988.

Eric served during the better part of the remainder of the second World War as an officer with the Camouflage Directorate, but exactly when he went to Leamington Spa with them is not clear.
The Directorate had its Control Offices in the Regent Hotel, presumably in Leamington Spa, and comprised two wings, the Military or Naval unit, which worked in the town's Art Gallery, and worked on camouflaging warships at sea, and the Civilian or Factory unit, which occupied large premises in the town which had been an ice-skating rink. There, a force of some 250 artists, designers and technicians was assembled, and worked in secret on aspects of military and civilian camouflage - there they made large mock-ups of buildings & military installations to test their proposed methods, as described by WINNINGTON [2009, page 276], for:
"...making factories look like fields, and fields like factories."

A google search has unearthed an interesting abstract from an untitled book, which was displayed on the web-site in a post by "fjhuangjun" dated 25 March 2010, under the title of "Chapter 22. Leamington Spa."
It contains some interesting observations, made by a woman who is identified on another web-site ( as Felicity FISHER, formerly SUTTON:
"In May 1941 I went to Leamington Spa to take up the job of Junior Technical Assistant in the Department of Camouflage... I was to present myself at the Headquarters which were in the Regent Hotel... On Monday, I turned up at the Naval Section which was stationed in the town Art Gallery. A cruciform building with good lighting from above the glass ceiling. Commander BATEMAN was my boss... Senior Technical Assistant Helen RAE... in the Camouflage studios.
"It was, looking back quite calmly, a very odd set up in both sections of the Camouflage Directorate. Here were gathered about 80 artisans and craftsmen who, for some reason or another, were physically unfit or past calling-up age to be in the Forces fighting four our survival an Land, sea and in the Air. They were  a kaleidoscopic collection of all different shapes and sizes and ages. Many of them had spouses, either with them or left behind at home somewhere in England. The curious thing that occurred, during the four years that I was there, was the extraordinary re-arrangements of these married couples...
"There were some outstanding personalities...
"Janna, who was happily living with Mr BRUCE - who was in another part of the country - finally moved in with Eric DRAKE...
"Janna BRUCE, physically rather a bruiser with 'blonde' hair and an abrupt manner..."
Well, Felicity SUTTON got the bit about Mr BRUCE wrong, as BRUCE was, of course, Janna's maiden surname. But she did provide some details of how her branch, the Naval unit, operated, as well as, I now see, clandestinely identifying herself:
"A tank of water took the place of the raging seas and various 'weathers' and times of day or night could be switched on by 'that Miss SUTTON' and the vessels conned through binoculars from a black box in the centre of the gallery The effect of reality was astounding. Weather conditions were simulated with dimmed light and a fan (Mountbatten Pink, or Maiden's Blush, was found to be as effective as any camouflage in Northern waters).
"Victorine and I made exact machine drawings from 'Jane's fighting Ships' of plans and elevations of battleships... These were printed. Then we copied onto these prints exact replicas of camouflage designs from the models painted by the Officers. These plans and elevations were sent to the Dockyards with correct colour cards by special courier, Seamen were slung over the ship's sides and painting began."
And there was gossip, including the mention of a woman named Bettina, a former model and dancer, who was married to another Eric in the Directorate (the sculptor Eric SCHILSKY); she was described by Felicity as being, "...plainly, a little neurotic", and she eventually "gassed" herself in despair; this tragedy resulted in the unavoidable involvement of the local Police and a Coronial enquiry. Felicity's close friend & drawing colleague, Victorine FOOT, would later marry Bettina's widower, the other Eric. Just for the record.

As recently as April 2008, an item appeared in a Leamington Spa newspaper, concerning a Heritage Lottery grant which a local Community theatre group and the local Artists Studio planned to use to:
"...celebrate the work of the Civilian Camouflage Directorate...
"Surveying factories and installations from the ground and air, the unit created models and designs that could be viewed in all weather and light conditions. The men and women used a large turntable with viewing platforms and giant water tanks constructed in the building that is now the old art gallery and museum in York Road."
The plan was to recreate the turntable, the blue-prints of which had evidently survived.
The article also mentioned that several big names in the art world in Britain had worked at the Directorate there during the war, including Christopher IRONSIDE (who designed Britain's decimal coinage) and Wilfred SHINGLETON (who won an Oscar in 1946 for his work on Great Expectations). So too did Robert DARWIN, a grandson of Charles.
Further names can be added to this list, from a Press Quote on the web-site, taken from Virginia IRONSIDE's book "Janey and Me: Growing up with my Mother," as follows:
"...the Camouflage Unit teemed with men who would become huge artistic cheeses in the years after the war. They were the painter Tom MONNINGTON and the architect Hugh CASSON (both future presidents of the Royal Academy); Richard GUYATT, the graphic designer (future rector [sic] of the Royal College of Art); Eric SCHILSKY, the sculptor; and Edward WADSWORTH..."
These two separate listings may represent the two divisions of the Directorate.

Eric was already recorded in his mother's probate grant in December 1939 as a camouflage Officer, so he had evidently joined up early on.
We know (see below) that Eric's future 2nd wife Janna BRUCE also worked for a Camouflage Unit during the war. I had wondered if they may have already met through fine art circles, but WINNINGTON does record that they met while working for the Camouflage Directorate - although the marriage did not take place until October 1946, several years after Eric had left for his second stint in China, and immediately before he went out again, for the last time.
And Lloyd WADDY [1988] mentions that it was while:
"...hanging out of a bomb-bay in a less than serviceable bomber, checking the success or otherwise of the camouflage, that Eric looked up and met Janna BRUCE."

Lloyd WADDY also gives us an interesting insight into Eric's relationship with Janna at this time. They apparently went their separate ways to rent rooms, only to find they were both quite close to each other's, in the same building in Blackheath, which just happened to have been the old School for the Sons of Missionaries, and where Eric had lived as a schoolboy from 1905 until 1912. While Eric was in China, a German bomber missed his target, and demolished part of the building's roof, but not injuring Janna, not then yet married to Eric.

It appears likely that Eric served with them until the latter part of 1944, when the Directorate facilities at Leamington, presumably having served their purpose, were closed down.


There is another snippet from a search, this time from "The Sowerby Saga; being a brief account of the origins and genealogy of the Sowerby Family of..." by Arthur de Carle SOWERBY, 1952, at page 62, where we find that one of Eric's brothers was in:
"... Nationalist China, holding out against Japan. Later he opened a post in Hsian-Fu (sic), capital of Shensi Province, and one of the ancient capitals of China, and did most of his work from there - - right under the Japanese guns, so to speak. He was joined there by Eric Sowerby DRAKE, his younger brother and the youngest member of the family, who had been sent out, after serving most of the war with the Camouflage people. That was in 1945, when he held the rank of Captain..."

I am unable to determine, from the truncation caused by the snippet nature of it, whether this last statement referred to Eric, or to his older brother.
But the identity of the brother is established by WINNINGTON [2009], in an end-note on page 276, who wrote that:
"When the centre at Leamington closed in 1944, DRAKE was called out to China by his brother Burgess in the intelligence Service, spying on the Japanese."
And, as it appears that Burgess by then held the Army rank of Major, it follows that Eric himself was therefore probably the Captain.


Eric's 2nd wife was born Alice Joyce BRUCE, at Chatswood, Sydney, on 26 March 1909, the daughter of Alexander BRUCE, a Woolbuyer, and Alice DAVENPORT. She was on the Electoral Roll for 1935, living with her parents at Pibrac, Pibrac Avenue, Warrawee, the house in which she and Eric would eventually reside from 1950 until their deaths.
She signed her artworks as Janna BRUCE. She had studied at Datillo RUBBO's art school in Sydney, and from 1936 to 1938 at the Westminster Art School in London; she also studied at the Academie Ranson in Paris.

Janna had been in England since 1936, and their marriage took place in London in October of 1946, and registered at Chelsea, December quarter [Volume 5c, page 621].

She travelled to Sydney very soon afterwards, evidently on her own, and her arrival was reported in the Sydney Morning Herald on Fri 3 Jan 1947, as follows:
"An Australian who returned from the U.K. in the Otranto, Mrs J. Sowerby-DRAKE, formerly Miss Jana BRUCE of Wahroonga, has been art student, camouflage expert and film producer during 10 years abroad in Europe and England.
"During the War, Mrs Sowerby-DRAKE took a job with a camouflage unit. Later she was given direction of a film unit and made responsible for production, from scripts to editing, of documentary and educational films for the Army. Mrs Sowerby-DRAKE is en route to China to join her husband, who has been appointed adviser in English studies to the British Consulate in Nanking."


Eric sailed from Liverpool on 9 December 1946 on the Empress of Scotland bound for Shanghai. He was aged 47, his last address in the U.K. was 18A Alderbrook Road, London S.W. 2, he was employed as a British Council Officer, and he stated that he intended to settle permanently in China.

Again, not much detail has come to hand about Eric's third and last visit to China. From the previous and the next newspaper reports, it is evident that he went out initially either as an adviser in English Studies to the British Consulate in Nanking, or as an educational officer for the British Council in China, or perhaps they amounted to the much same thing.

He does appear, at a later time, to have been appointed to an academic post at Amoy University, Nanking, as Professor of English.

He was further described, by e-mail from the Archivist at T.K.S. (probably repeating information recorded in his eulogy), as having been:
" Intelligence Officer 1944-46 in China and Government Adviser in English Studies in the Chiang Kai-Shek Nationalist Administration and Education officer with the British Council in China 1946-49."

His arrival in Sydney, with his second wife Janna, was reported in the daily newspaper, the Sunday Herald (Sydney) on 7 August 1949:
"Chinese Communists and Nationalists had a battle over their heads one night when Professor & Mrs E. DRAKE were journeying down the Yangtze River during their evacuation from Nankin to Shanghai in H.M.S. Black Swan, which was involved in the Amethyst Incident.
"The destroyer was moored during the night, and eventually Mrs DRAKE, who, with her husband arrived in Sydney yesterday in the Shansi, said she became bored with it all and went to sleep.
"Professor Sowerby DRAKE was professor of English at Amoy University, and his wife, formerly Miss Janna BRUCE, is a well known Sydney artist. When her husband was educational officer for the British Council in China, she travelled with him all over the country, sketching as she went."

Once again, 49 years after his first scrape with danger, Eric yet again had found himself  forced to make his way down a Chinese river to safety on the coast, and a passage by sea, this time to the Antipodes.


Eric and Janna moved into her old family home in Pibrac Avenue, Warrawee, sometime after their arrival in Sydney.

In August 1949, Eric was cited by the Worker, Brisbane, under an article headlined "Coms Won't Hold China, Says Editor" as follows:
"A British educationist, Mr Sowerby DRAKE, a professor at Amoy University, China, said that the Communist authorities were re-organising every university of which they had gained control. 'They are concentrating on Medicine, Law, Commerce Economic and Sociology faculties,' he said. 'These subjects are usually taught in English, and that practise is being reorganised. They are advertising for students to do a months course in what amounts to indoctrination in Communist principles.' Mr DRAKE said that he was familiar with the Yangtze River, and he considers the escape of the Amethyst down the river was 'nothing short of a miracle'."
It is, of course, no real surprise that an Englishman who had advised the Anglo-sympathetic Nationlists under Chiang Kai Shek on educational matters, and had held an academic post there under that regime, should see the understandable "reorganisation" - or de-colonialization - of tertiary education by the the ensuing Communist regime as indoctrination. But it is interesting the Eric was being reported saying that, and in a presumably leftist Worker's newspaper.
I could find no further reference to indicate whether Eric was the Editor in the headline.

Eric revived his teaching career in 1951, joining the non-residential staff of The King's School in Parramatta, as an Assistant Master in the English Department. The Head Master was fellow Englishman Herbert Denys HAKE, but there is no indication, or even suggestion, that the two knew each other before Eric arrived at King's.
It was customary for Masters to coach at least one sporting team, but there is no indication in School Magazine records that he coached anything more serious than the Debating Team.
Masters often found themselves involved with one or other of the Boys Houses, and it does appear that Eric may have been an Assistant to the House Master of Macquarie House Senior, a House for Day-boys (non boarders).

His involvement with the Debating Society began almost as soon as he arrived, when he was invited to take on the responsibilities of Master-in-charge of the Society at the first meeting of the year, held on 5 April 1951 - to which request he agreed. His arrival in the Society coincided with a substantial increase in interest and membership, and it is evident that the two events were not unrelated. He made a regular habit of staying back at School on Wednesday nights to attend their meetings, and offer guidance - not all non-residential masters were so keen to do that.

[Master in charge of the Debating Team, 1951. The King's School Magazine, September 1951, page 43. 
Image courtesy of the King's School Archives.]

Eric quickly turned his attention to another aspect of school life, or created a greater impetus for it - he produced the Maquarie Senior House contribution to the Dramatic Evening held in the School Dining Hall:
"...towards the end of last term."
A Tragedy by James BRIDIE, entitled "The Pardoner's Trail," with a cast of 4 characters, it was:
" good that a second performance was staged the following evening. Congratulations to Mr DRAKE for a fine production" [School Magazine, December 1951, page 11].
The date of the Evening was not recorded, but I expect that it probably took place in Term 2, & not too close to final exams.

The success set the stage for the future - in May 1952, the report of the Dramatic Society included the news that:
"Mr E.S. DRAKE has been appointed to take control of all Dramatic work throughout the School."
The report added that:
"His wide knowledge of the wonders of Dramatic Art and his study of the subject in England and America abundantly equipped him for his work, and his own enthusiasm is unbounded."

And in December 1952, the School Magazine reported that:
"Mr DRAKE and the Dramatic Society presented a full production of 'Antigone' to a highly appreciative audience in the School Library on August 18th."

In 1953 it was a Shakespeare, the Scottish one. And in 1954, "The River Line" by Charles MORGAN, also in the Dining Hall. This one drew praise from the Headmaster, H. Denys HAKE, in his Annual report to the School on Speech Day [and published in the School Magazine of May 1955]:
"Those who were present at the presentation of "The River Line" in the Dining Hall or "The Mikado" at the Town Hall must have realised the great influence that Mr DRAKE and Mr [Cedric] ASHTON have already exerted on our Dramatics and Music. Both performances were of an excellent standard. Dramatics and Music are coming more and more to take their rightful places in the general life of the school."
And that was in a School with a very long tradition of sporting excellence and with a very strong Military Cadet culture. Very well done indeed, Messieurs DRAKE and ASHTON!

In 1955 he produced "The Lady is Not for Burning" by Christopher FRY. Then in May 1956, it was ANOUILH's "The Lark" translated by FRY, as well as Eugene O'NEILL's "Where the Cross is Made" (featuring a young Bruce BERESFORD as one of the ghosts of departed seamen).
And in 1957, he produced COCTEAU's "The Eagle Has Two Heads" (in which his eulogist, a young Lloyd WADDY, played the part of the Chief of Police).

Perhaps his most successful venture came in 1958, when he produced an acclaimed version of the Three Theban Tragedies of Sophocles, with Eric furnishing his own translation of the original. The Headmaster heaped even higher praise upon it in his Speech Day Report:
"Perhaps the most outstanding single event in the school year was the production of the Theban plays of Sophocles in April. The inspiration was entirely E. Sowerby DRAKE's. It was he who conceived the idea of producing the three plays as one play - a thing which has never been attempted before, as far as I know. He then sat down with Mr [Godfrey] TANNER's assistance to translate the plays into language which all could understand and appreciate - in itself a masterly performance. The whole production was executed by him to the minutest detail. It was a great feat of co-operative effort on the part of Masters, several wives of Masters, parents and boys, and an Old Boy who arranged the music - some 80 or so in number. Mr EVANS and a number of boys constructed the stage settings, Mr [Eric] JABOUR and another party painted all the scenery, Mr [Brian] DOWNEY supervised the lighting crew, and Mr TANNER helped Mr DRAKE to co-ordinate the production."

Quite why he stopped, I know not. His early management of the Debating Society, almost from his the day of his arrival at King's, he was to relinquish after five years, citing his other increasing work commitments, being succeeded in 1956 by Mr HORNE; and by 1959, the recently arrived Classics Master, Adrian KENT, was already in charge of the Dramatic Society.

Eric was the Senior English Master when I arrived at T.K.S. in 1961. He had charge of the "A" class, and took us from the Removes through to the Sixth form (there was no 2nd form, this being the quaint way that T.K.S. then handled a five year curriculum under the old English Greater Public School form-naming tradition). The "difficulty" was resolved, and the Remove grade abolished, when the year following mine commenced, as the very first Ist Form, under the elongated 6 year secondary scheme named for the Education Minister named WYNDHAM who had introduced it.

Eric was one of the diminishing number of old hands who continued on when the school moved to new premises up on Pennant Hills Road, beside the old BURNS family mansion "Gowan Brae", on property most recently owned by the Presbyterian Church.
This move was a culmination of many years planning, in particular by H. Denys HAKE, from the time of his arrival at the School in 1939.
It began with the occupation of the recently completed first phase, with classes in the first term of 1962, and did not end until all the new boarding houses were constructed, and the last of the old "outlying" boarding houses had been closed. I think that was well after I had left at the end of 1965.
They were disruptive times, with boys being bussed to and from the old boarding houses until their new ones were built. But for Eric's wife Janna, being a little closer now to Warrawee, it meant that her daily chauffering of the unlicensed Eric probably took up a little less of her dedicated time.

On his arrival in 1951, Eric was listed as the 20th Assistant Master in order of seniority.
By 1961, he had "seen off" a number of his more senior Colleagues from the Masters Common Room - E.M. FISHER in 1953; J.S.B. DOAK and E.A.W. LOGAN in 1955; G.F. AUSTIN and M. SEARLE in 1956; A.I.M. FRASER & E.H. BOYD in 1957; E.G. "Axe" DORSCH, G.V. "Coddy" CARDINAL and J.P. PRINCE in 1960; & F.C. "Fanny" HANCOCK in 1961. Two more left after the school moved - R.G. EDYVEAN in 1962; & W.G. COX in 1963, and there was some movement among staff who had joined after Eric, who was by now 7th in seniority. There is no record of what he thought of them, nor they of him.

And like those of us who were still there in December 1964, Eric joined in farewelling the great Headmaster of the now "previous era," H. Denys HAKE - although he did not join us boys as we hauled H.D.H. from Pennant Hills Road to Futter Hall by two tug-o'-war ropes tied the front bumper-bar of his large American sedan - and yes, alright, it WAS down-hill to start with!
Alas, no more to reverently stand to attention as H.D.H. passed, on his dignified progress around the school, slowed by his built-up shoe & calliper, evidence, I suppose, of a childhood polio. But his is an entirely different story, for another to tell. I cannot now remember whether the staff were like-wise expected to pause during his passing, or whether they may just have done so out of respect.

Eric retired from teaching at the end of 1971.
His departure was noted in the December issue of the Magazine for that year, at pages 10-12, having been almost "eclipsed" by another departure, that of the master of the Book-room (as I remember him, threatening to hit me with his ruler-booler if I didn't stop picking things up that weren't mine), old Robbo ROBERTSON.
A former pupil, Jonathan PERSSE, commented on Eric's ability to captivate boys in his classes:
" having a deep and genuine enthusiasm and delight in man and his achievements in their rich diversity; by his ability to see the heart of a matter, and yet at the same time comprehend the significance of even the smallest detail; by being able to communicate something interesting and worthwhile, either directly, or through story and analogy (and what wonderful stories they were - narrative, yes, but so much more than that, an inspiration and a delight in themselves); by being himself; by treating other people as sensitive and perceptive persons."
A Common Room colleague, Alain PHILLIPS (French Master), wrote of his being:
" of the most distinguished minds in Australia... a true educator... with a profoundly worked out educational philosophy... an inspiring teacher..."
And as man who:
 "...sees so clearly the importance of the inter-relatedness of things, and that education should be a humble quest for a glimpse of that truth... the wise man of the Common Room.
Alain (we knew him slightly less than affectionately as "Pinky" PHILLIPS) mentioned Eric's extra-curricular activities, including teaching both German and Chinese lessons after normal school hours; inevitably his work in Drama; and his profound interest in music.
And a former colleague and dramatic collaborator, Godfrey TANNER, who was by then Professor of Classics at Newcastle University, noted Eric's:
"...enthusiasm for Greek Tragedy and a producer of Drama with rare courage and imagination..."
Godfrey also mentioned the two page photo spread of the Theban Plays which was published in the London Illustrated Gazette, under the title of "Sophocles Down Under," which had almost upstaged the six page spread on General de GAULLE's appointment as Premier of the French Republic! TANNER rightly considered that this was no mean achievement!
Although the other Eric (JABOUR, the Art Master) may have been responsible for the photographic appeal to the London Press, TANNER observed that it was Eric DRAKE's "stubborn commitment" that got it to the stage, and that that achievement "...did much to change the tone and direction of the school."
He further recognised "...his wide range and adventurous intellect..." and added that he had "...a most human insight into the needs of the men and boys who worked with him, and a person to appreciate and encourage their efforts."

In 1980, Jonathan PERSSE, who had been a school-boy member of Eric's earliest Debating Team, and subsequently joined the staff at King's, gathered a number of Eric's poems that had appeared in the School Magazine over the years, and had them published in a limited edition of a rather slender volume, under the title of "Fact, Faith and Fantasy: poems contributed to the King's School Magazine by Eric Sowerby DRAKE, 1951-1975."
This work included three memorials to deceased colleagues, including John GRICE (Chemistry - and he materially assisted Eric with the Drama presentations), Adrian KENT (Latin & the Classics), and, of course, Herbert Denys HAKE.
A copy is among holdings of the State Library of New South Wales.

[Eric and his 2nd wife Janna in 1980, on the launch of his book of poetry, prepared for the publisher 
by Jonathan PERSSE, centre rear. 
Image courtesy of the King's School Archives.]

Eric died on 11 June 1988.

Lloyd WADDY delivered an impressive eulogy at the funeral service, which I was able to attend. Some information from it has already appeared in this tribute. There is a copy of it in the School Museum.
He began:
"... E.S.D. - To those that had the privilege of knowing him, those... initials conjure up memories of the fondest kind that echo through the recesses of the soul...
"As he lived in such unobtrusive personal humility, so undemanding for his bodily wants, so sparingly of spending anything on himself, so he has slipped away after a year of considerable suffering, his spirit courageous and sparkling to the end. And so we are left to mourn our loss awhile, and yet to rejoice in the sunshine of his effervescent love - of life, of knowledge, of wisdom - and to treasure his great vision of all things, in comity or order - his great legacy to those of us privileged to have known him..."
WADDY said further:
"In my History of the King's School in 1981, I described him as '...bestriding the Common Room like a Colossus.' I do not wish to alter that, nor the further assessment I made then: 'He has the perfect humility of the great scholar, the loving master; a man at peace through his knowledge, intellect and emotional balance.
"But Eric had two further great qualities.
"He was generous of himself to an uncommon degree. To his pupils he said: 'I shall look upon your successes as it, in some small way, they are mine own.'
"The second... was the way he lived his daily life. The only accolade which he may not have heard was in fact the highest those in the world can bestow. After a devoted marriage of almost half a century, through which Janna looked after him in every way, especially this last traumatic and painful year, it is clear Eric's genius went into his life when she could say, as she did, 'Truly, I have lived with a Saint'."

From a Funeral notice in the S.M.H., 14 June 1988, we learn that Eric's funeral service, on the following day (a Wednesday) at St James's Anglican Church, King Street, Turramurra, was appointed to be "...followed by a private cremation."
I do not know whether his last resting place is an identified niche, or he was, after being turned to ashes, and as the Crematorium subtle-speak goes, scattered.

His widow Janna joined him in the ranks of the dead on 11 October 2000. She was also aged 91 years.


My five years with E.S.D. resulted in my passing the Leaving Certificate with an "A" pass, which was perhaps a little unexpected for a student whose academic talents and curriculum focus lay elsewhere (Honours in Physics and Mathematics). So off to University I went, leaving the humanities in my wake, to study Civil Engineering (specialising in Structures).

Until years later, when the impact of E.S.D. sowed the seeds of doubt, and I eventually left Engineering for the world of live theatre, albeit in the back-stage and technical departments relating to sets and standing scenery, flying scenery and revolves, lifts and travelators, via brief spells in Lighting and Sound, Props and Stage Management, with even a brief foray into box-office and front-of house.

And the first indication of this shift came to me in 1974, during my first visit to the United Kingdom, as a 24 year-old Public Servant. After some time with friends in London, I stayed several weeks with my mother's sister, who ran a pub with her husband in Guildford, in Surrey, from where I explored a large swathe of the South of England between Surrey & Bristol, where her husband had family.

One night, an unexpected "muse" started moving in my mind, and a series of "poems" flowed out onto paper. And no, it was not the most recent pint of  light and bitter at work!
One of them went along the following lines (with one or two revisions, at least one made at the suggestion of the subject):

Fleet turn of wheel
That rolls on track through foreign land
To open fields of sight
Envisioned by another man.
A Teacher,
Not a pedant of the rod and ram and rote,
That some can be
And are.
His lessons were of life -
Not mine at once -
But later:
When the chill of test and mark had ceased to be,
When lust for knowledge
Of a type that suits the world of need and greed
And might have been
Is spent...
Like pennies in a store,
To buy the sweetmeats
That seldom can survive.
Now they live,
And with them do does he -
In field and lane,
In lake and hedge and dry stone wall they live,
In people such as he,
In lives of melancholy and glee.
I thank you, Sir,
For not demanding thanks as others did,
In grades and honours
And in misery of mis-spent youth.
I thank you, Sir,
That I can think of you
When others' memory is spent
Like pennies...

When I returned from my trip to England in early 1975, I collected my posted travel diary notes from my parent's house, including the "poem" I had written. My father knew Eric well, having served on the staff of the same school at Parramatta, for about the same period of time; he suggested I send Eric a copy of "Drake's England."
I thought father had gone slightly mad.
But then, probably against my better judgement, suspecting Eric either would not remember me, or if he did, it would have been as that insufferable boy who could not deliver any of his allotted five minute lectures-to-the-class exercises in public-speaking, I did find his address, and did send it to him.

Eric replied, with a very generous acknowledgement that, yes, the muse had been set dancing. And he enclosed a work he had just written in response. I treasured this work enormously.

Sadly, I am now unable to locate the letter, or his poem, both evidently lost in one of my many moves over the past 40 years.

I shall have to content myself with a fragment of one of my old term reports, with a rather typical observation, initialled by E.S.D., and perhaps a little less than "poignant" for what was my last report - for Term III, Form VI A., December 1965.


I am indebted to the following, for their thoughtful and cheerful assistance:
Jenny PEARCE, Archivist at The King's School Museum, near the Masters Common Room.
Mark STICKINGS, Archivist at Eltham College, Grove Park Road, London.
Peter WINNINGTON, author of "Mervyn Peake; Vast Alchemies."
The State Library of New South Wales, Macquarie Street, Sydney, for the use of their institutional subscriptions to the regular family history resources and digitalised newspapers, and the use of their computer facilities.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The GORRIE family of Condocloich, Perthshire

My earliest GORRIE ancestry can evidently be traced back to what is known amongst Scottish historians as a "ferm toun" in the Logielamond District of north-west Perthshire, where the River Almond tumbles out of the Sma Glen, on the Highland divide, and meanders across a lush part of  Perthshire to the east, and its confluence with the river Tay, a few miles north of Perth.
A ferm toun is, to the best of my understanding, a rural household (or a close group of houses) in which more than one branch of an extended family live together over an extended period.

There is a house in Logielamond named Condocloich, which is almost certainly the one shown in an early 19th century Ordnance Survey map of the area. It seems to be a reasonable presumption that this was the house, or a later up-dated version on the same site, in which the early generations of GORRIE's resided.

[Condocloich, as viewed from the main road, looking north. Photo taken by the author in 1993.]

It is said that there is a rounded boulder behind the house known as Condocloich, which boulder stood about 6 foot high, and had a sizeable "dimple" in the upper surface, which collected rainwater. Local folk-lore says it was known as the Baptismal Stone - but whether it was ever used for "consecrated" baptisms is unknown, although that would appear unlikely, as the parish had its own consecrated church.

One of the earliest families with vital events recorded in the Parish Register of Fowlis Wester Parish, and which identified a residence in Condocloich, was that of Humphrey GORRIE (or GORY) and his wife Margaret McCARA, who had children baptised there between 1698 and 1712, including a son John GORRIE (baptised in Apr 1707), who may have been my ancestor. See further below.

[The "baptismal stone" at Condocloich. Photo by Jean AYLER of York, ca 2000.]

But first we might profit a look at the name GORRIE, and what is speculated about its origins.


Some researchers believe that the surname derived from Gorrie [Siol GORRIE I], Lord of Garmoran and of lands on North Uist, who was born in 1341, the eldest son of John, Lord of Islay (or the Isles), by his 1st wife Amy McRUARI (his 3rd cousin; they were married in 1337 with dispensation from pope Benedict XII), but who did not inherit his father's lands after John repudiated Ami and married 2ndly (with dispensation from pope Clement VI) in 1350 or 1358 (the former date being indicated by Clement's death in 1352), the Lady Margaret, a daughter of Robert the Steward (who was to be crowned King Robert II of Scotland in 1371); John died at Ardtornish Castle in 1386, whence the Lordship of the Isles went to his eldest son of his 2nd marriage, one Donald of Harlaw, who claimed the Earldom of Ross by right of his marriage to Margaret LESLIE, the only daughter of Euphemia (died 1398), Countess of Ross.

Gorrie (or Godfrey) was evidently received at the English Court in 1388, with his brothers, as independent Celtic "princes"; said to have been superseded in the succession to the Lordship of the Isles in 1386, for  "...maintaining his mother's prior claims"; he is known to have granted in 1389, as Lord of Uist, a charter of lands in North Uist to the Monastery of Inchaffray; he dispossessed his brother Ranald's children when Ranald died shortly after their father John; and he himself died in 1401 at his mother's Castle at Tiorim, in Moydart.

[Ruins of Castel Tiorim. Photo taken by Jean AYLER of York, ca 2000.]

Gorrie's eldest son was Allastair [Siol GORRIE II] also known as Angus or Alexander; he was executed at Inverness by James I in 1427, having had issue by Margaret AIRD two known sons:
a.  Allastair [Siol GORRIE IV], born 1421; Lord of North Uist; died 1460.
b.  John Ranald [Siol GORRIE V]; he died in 1469 in battle at Cnoc Salltran, a mile south of the Vallay ford, his descendants "...becoming tenants Clan Uistein, the MacDONALD's of Sleat, in part of the lands which had been ruled by their predecessors" [See Erskine BEVERIDGE, "North Uist, Its Archaeology and Topography", 1911, at p.24 of the facsimile reproduction on 1999]. However, try as I might, I have been unable to establish corroboration of this Battle in any on-line resources.

Gorrie's other sons were:
2.  John (born ca 1362), Prior of Iona.
3.  Ranald [Siol GORRIE III], born 1365; settled Paible; gave his name to Balranald in the parish of Mantach; died in 1440, leaving issue.
4. Somerled; ancestor of the CAMERONs.

A modern chronicle of "The Clan MACDONALD," written by the Reverends Angus and Archibald MACDONALD, the Ministers respectively of Killearnan and Kiltarty, was published at Inverness in 1904; it records a very similar account of "The Clan GODFREY" beginning at page 359.

Another source for the above outline is to be found in the "History of the Western Highlands & Isles of Scotland, from A.D. 1493 to A.D. 1625," by Donald GREGORY, Edinburgh (Wm TAIT, Publisher), 1836, where the detailed story of John, Lord of the Isles, is told, and where "Siol GORRIE" mentions are made at pp. 34 et seq., and at pp.64-65.

A further important source for information about these events is "The Clans, Septs & Regiments of the Scottish Highlands," by Frank ADAMS, first published in 1908, with further editions in 1924 and 1934; and with a 4th and revised edition of it published in 1952 by Sir Thomas INNES of Learny, Lord Lyon King of Arms, incorporating additional information from historical deeds and other "...ancient legal documents" [see on-line copy of a 1970 re-print, at pp. 236 et seq].

[Map of North Uist, from the Bartholomew Half-Inch map series of G.B. - image courtesy of Collins Bartholomew.
The high-tide island of Vallay lies on the northern coastline, to the west of Udal (on the peninsula
pointing up to the north towards the island of Boreray) and just to the north west of Malaclett.
The valley of Hosta lies to the west, just inside the most western part of the arc of the main road.]

And there is yet another source, published earlier in the "Proceedings of the Society of Antiquities of Scotland," Vol.8, 10 Jan 1870, at page 276, in the form of letter by Alex A. CARMICHAEL, Esq, of Lochmaddy (an officer of the Excise Department, with antiquarian interests), to W.F. SKENE, Esq, LL.D., F.S.A. Scot., concerning CARMICHAEL's archaeological forays into the Outer Hebrides, undoubtedly with local folk-lore as his guide, supported by other published versions of the events that he probably had to hand, with the following account of the massacres on North Uist, which are not dated in this account, but which other sources suggest may have occurred in or around 1486:
      "The Siol GORRIE, previously referred to, was at one time numerous in North Uist; but a savage feud between themselves and the Siol MURDOCH, another sept of the MacDONALDs, brought them to the verge of extinction. The former were the legitimate possessors of N. Uist, but the latter disputed this, whereupon the two contending factions began a struggle which, in its destructiveness, might be compared to the War of the Roses, or the apocryphal story of the Kilkenny cats.
      "It would seem that the Siol MURDOCH (Siolach Mhurachaidh), the descendants of Murdoch, were the stronger, and consequently that the Siol GORRIE (Siolach Ghoirridh), the descendants of Gorrie, were as much indebted to their stratagems as to their strength in maintaining the unequal contest. The greater part of the Siol MURDOCH lived in the valley of Hosta. About three-quarters of a mile from, and in the hill above this, there was a lake. The Siol GORRIE upon one occasion came under cover of night and cut away the embankment of this lake, whereupon the water rushed down the glen and drowned the inhabitants of the valley beneath.
      "The scene of this tragedy has remained the site of the lake ever since. During calm, clear weather, I believe, the remains of houses can still be discovered in the bottom of the lake. To revenge this outrage, the rest of the Siol MURDOCH marched in a body against the Siol GORRIE, who lived at Udal, on the north-west side of the the island. It is said that Udal was the largest township in the Long Island at that time.
      "The Siol MURDOCH found the Siol GORRIE at their tillage in the fields, when they came upon them unawares, and put them all to the sword, except one man, who escaped by swimming and wading across to the island of Oirisey, whence he escaped to Boisdall, in South Uist, where it is said some of his descendants are still. After putting all their foes to the sword, the Siol MURDOCH pursued their course to the hamlet of Udal, the whole of which they gave to the flames, sparing neither young not old, male or female, in their savagery.
      "It is said there were eighteen 'ploughs' at work in the fields on this occasion, and considering that the rude mode of tillage in vogue in those days required 5 to 6 men attending each 'plough' the carnage in this field of slaughter must have been great..."

The Revs A. & A. MACDONALD ["The Clan MACDONALD," Op.Cit., p.366] also make mention of this particular "atrocity" - although the Godfrey/Gorrie mentioned here is instead a nephew of the one identified earlier (see above):
"DONALD, the son of John, succeeded his father at Balranald as tenant of the family of Sleat. We find him here flourishing in the time of the sons of Hugh of Sleat, of whom he was a contemporary. Hugh Macdonald, the Seanachie of the Clan Uistden, describes an episode in Donald's family life of which Angus Collach, son of Hugh, was the hero, and which led to fierce and sanguinary feuds, to which reference has been made in Vol. II.
"Donald married a lady of the Clanranald family, a daughter of Ranald Ban Allanson, 12th Chief. He had at least two sons:
"1. His successor at Balranald, name unknown.
"2. Godfrey, who settled at Vallay.

"For at least two hundred years his descendants occupied Balranald, and with other branches of the Clann Gorraidh engaged in many feuds, particularly with a tribe of Macdonalds, the Siolachadh Mhurchaidh. This sept is said to have been descended from an individual of the name of Murdoch, a natural son, according to the Sleat historian, of Angus Mor of Isla, and was numerous in North Uist, the only region where, so far as we are aware, they had a local habitation and a name. A tradition has been handed down in Uist regarding a strange weird act of vengeance perpetrated upon the Siolachadh Mhurchaidh by the Clan Gorraidh. Loch Hosta in North Uist at present adjoins the farms of Hosta and Baleloch, and it is said that in olden times the hollow now occupied by this sheet of water was dry, and inhabited by a settlement of Siolachadh Mhurchaidh. To the east, and on a higher elevation on the moor, was a lake, and the scheme of retribution concocted by the Siol Ghorraidh took the form of opening a way for its waters, so that their course might be directed downwards upon the unfortunate hamlet. The operation was with little difficulty carried through owing to the character of the moorland, and the lake let loose rushed down into the hollow at Hosta, through the channel of a burn now known as Amhainn Ealaidh, thereby submerging the habitations, and drowning many of the Siol Mhurchaidh. The night on which this terrible scheme was executed, a Clan Gorraidh piper composed and played a pibroch of savage vindictiveness, to which the words were wont to be sung:
               'thraigh gu traigh Siolachadh Mhurchaidh.'
"The links of the genealogical succession of Godfrey's descendants at Balranald have not been preserved either in record or tradition up to the time of Donald Macdonald in Paiblisgeary, whom we find in 1723 witnessing the Bond of Uist men in favour of securing the forfeited Estates of Sleat to the family in occupation."

It seems a pity to spoil a good yarn by asking difficult questions, to which we will probably never know the answers anyway. But I do wonder about the following:
1. Was the upper level "peat" dam a natural formation? Or might it have been formed or shaped by human hands, perhaps cutting away a local energy source for their kitchen or ceilidh fires, over a number of years and/or generations? Is that perhaps how the catchment may have been formed in the first place?
2. Was there a rise in water level behind the dam in the days or hours prior to the "collapse"? Or, in engineering-speak, might prolonged recent rain-fall have resulted in a natural rise in pore-water pressure on a potential slip-circle, which may have led to a spontaneous & natural collapse? For which the GORRIEs were instantly blamed, no less!
3. Why were the MURDOCH houses evidently built in a valley which became so easily flooded, lying as they appear to have done in a potential flood zone (with proven potential), in the flood-path of an upper level reservoir of water? And how did that lower reservoir form so quickly - did the upper dam peat wall get washed down substantially intact, and pile up against a restriction further down the glen?
4. If the GORRIE men did plan the "accident" and initiate it as stated, why then did they appear to have been so ill-equipped to react to the revenge attacks mounted by the MURDOCHs? Surely they would have expected such reprisals, and at the very least had weapons with them in their fields? Or posted a look-out to warn their kinfolk at Udal? Perhaps they did, to no useful avail.

Be that as it may, and as appears to occur with all good stories so far back in the past, there are other disagreements among recent & present day researchers concerning the accuracy or otherwise of each other's speculations.

Erskine BEVERIDGE [Op.Cit.] wrote, of the outer Hebridean Island of North Uist, that the "...first recorded occupant of Vallay whom we are able to trace with any certainty was Godfrey McGORRIE, who held Vallay about the year 1516, being there succeeded by his son Alexander and grandson Donald until after 1614."
He added that Donald, evidently the last, was under notice to leave, sometime before 1643, whereupon he received a lease for Malaclett farm, the ruins of which were still known in 1911 as Totaichean Mhic Ghoraidh.

My late great-uncle, Robert Maclagan GORRIE (1898-1970) had his mind wonderfully focused on matters relating to his Scottish heritage during a long stint abroad, working for the Indian Forestry Service between the 2 World Wars. I have photocopies of his typed pedigree notes, annotated by hand with corrections and additions - and much of his research was published during his lifetime, in articles that appeared in the Clan Donald Magazine (Vol. 1, p. 506) and elsewhere (including the Journal of the Scottish Historical Society, No 56). His major opus, "The Siol Gorrie," was published in 1968 in the Scottish Genealogist, Vol. 15, No 2, at pp. 36-43.
His sources included, of course, GREGORY's "History of the Western Highlands, etc" [Op.Cit.]; and an evidently earlier printing of ADAM's "The Clans, &c" [Op.Cit.].
This work was preceded by his evidently much shorter item, with the same title, published three years earlier in the Clan Donald Magazine, No 3, 1965 (Edinburgh), at page 16, as follows:
       "The name GORRIE recurs repeatedly in ancient Celtic records as a Gaelicised form of the Scandinavian Gudfroor or Gofrid. Kenneth McALPINE married a Gorries sister, so he may have cemented the entente between Picts and Scots.
       "When surnames were still considered unnecessary, GORRIE was a common name amongst both Irish and Dalriadans; it is still common in the Isle of Man today as 'ORREE.'  It also arose as an indigenous Norse version in the Orkneys, where it is spelt with one 'R,' whereas the Hebridean form has two. Some of the clan books would have us believe that it is the same as the Lowland Perthshire 'Gowrie,' but the broad 'OW' is not a typical Gaelic sound.
       "G.F. BLACK in his 'Surnames of Scotland' gives for MacGORRIE: 'settled in Logiealmond 400 years ago; now used as GORAIDH or GORRIE, a common name in the west Highlands especially among MACDONALDS and MACLEODS.' Descent is from GORRIE, the youngest son of 'Good John of Isla' who died in 1380.
       "The main stream of present day GORRIEs appears to be in Clan DONALD, although the LAMONTs and MacALISTERs have also used it. The Clan DONALD accepts the link between the Logiealmond GORRIEs and the descendants of Siol GORRIE of North Uist.
       "The 'decay' of the Siol GORRIE reported by GREGORY and repeated in ADAM's 'Clans' was actually a battle at Cnoc Salltran in 1469 when the Siol VURUCHIE of Clan MURCHAID beat the Siol GORRIE in a tribal quarrel.
       "GORRIEs remained on the island of Vallay, on the north-west coast of North Uist, until about 1620, but by that time they had become tenants of the Sleat chiefs, and no longer owned any land. 
       "A number of possible reasons can be advanced for their moving out:
       "1. There had been so much sea erosion that their holdings in Vallay, Baleshare and Balranald must have suffered heavily.
       "2. Some were put to the horn and escheated for sharing in a disreputable looting of the barque "Susannah" which was blown off its course from St Malo to Limerick and sought harbourage in Uist.
       "3. The Augustinian monks from Innerpeffray and Incharay in Logiealmond established a daughter priory at Carinish in North Uist, thus forming a direct link between these two districts.
       "4. A GORRIE of Vallay was invited by the Keppoch men to enter for the vacant Keppoch chiefship in 1478. He was not chosen but settled in Tirnadish in Lochaber and lived there until 1548, leaving numerous progeny.
       "5. Others of the name took service under CLANRANALD to fight in Ireland and raid the MACKENZIEs in Kintail and the CAMPBELLs in Glenlyon,
      " The first records of them turning up in Logiealmond as residents rather than unwelcome visitors are in 1637 and 1642 when William, the son of Donald GORRIE is charged with "hamesucken" of John GOK, and on another date with wrongful imprisonment of John McAGO. But by 1681 Thomas GORRIE was captain of the watch of Logiealmond - incidentally the earliest record of a watch formation, the Black Watch not being formed until 13 years later. The main centre in Logiealmond seems to have been a 'ferm toon' variously spelt as Condocloich, Culnaclich, Culnawhick, Condacloch and Culnacloich, where various families were raised until about 1800 when there was a local population explosion which scattered then into Crieff, Perth and Dundee."

Bob (RMG) also corresponded with Graham GORRIE of Brisbane (a descendant of Sir John Moffat GORRIE, a Justice in Fiji, with roots in Condocloich via Kingskettle in Fife), and their research seemed to disagree upon several details, including the assertion that the GORRIEs held Vallay, close to the north coast of North Uist, near Griminish Point, from 1380 to 1622, when Donald Odhar GORRIE was forced to move to Benbecula (later confirmed to be in error for Malaclett).
But Graham GORRIE left a pedigree in which he asserted that Alexander [Siol IV] and John [Siol VI] were sons of Ranald [Siol III] and not of Allastair [Siol II] as BEVERIDGE had speculated.

And Graham GORRIE continued the line further by asserting in his pedigree (which was in 2003 among papers in the possession of Jean AYLER of York) that Donald [Siol GORRIE VI], of Balranald, married a daughter of Ranald Ban ALLANSON, 12th of Clanranald, and had issue two sons - Donald Mantach, and Gorrie (the latter speculated as being ancestor of our GORRIEs of Condocloich).
Graham GORRIE also speculated that Donald [Siol VI] had a younger brother named Gorrie of Vallay and Tirnadish, ancestor of Alexander of Vallay, who had three sons, including Donald Odhar of Vallay (succeeded to it in 1614, and moved to Benbecula in 1622), Alexander, and John Dow McGORRIE, the two younger brothers both being outlawed in 1634 over the Barque Susannah Affair.

Either way, by the early to mid 1640s, it appears that descendants were settled in the north western reaches of Perthshire, an inland county with no boundaries touching the west coast of Scotland.
The significance of which may not be immediately apparent, except for further family lore which suggests that our GORRIE ancestors may have been "transplanted" into Perthshire because of their alleged involvement in and proclivity for a particular form of "piracy" - whereby "stalwart" citizens in the outer isles would light cairn-fires in stormy weather, so enticing passing ships in distress to seek haven on rocky shores, thereby strewing flotsam wreckage of cargoes along the shoreline for easy pickings.
It is indeed possible that the Barque Susannah Affair mentioned above does appear to have the faint whiff of this form of "piracy" attached it.

Although it is of interest to see, as several of the historians have observed, that there was an early link between North Uist chapelries and the Augustinian Abbeys in Logiealmond, with exchanges of personnel between them over many centuries. These unstudied connections may have resulted in this alternate destination for resettlement of errant Uisteans, whether or not they may have been caught indulging in a bit of piracy to make ends meet.

Although other researchers again suggest the GORRIE "migration" may have been by a different route, through Lochaber in Keppoch, where in 1497-98, the Clan elders deposed their then chief John MACDONNELL, allegedly for delivering up one of their number to an opposing clan chief.
John was a son of Donald, the 3rd chief; and a grandson of Angus, the 2nd chief, who had succeeded his father Alastair Carach, the first Chief of Keppoch, who was the eldest son of John, Lord of the Isles, by his 2nd and "Royal" wife Margaret STEWART (see above).
Whereupon, so the story goes, Gorrie, a descendant of Gorrie, Lord of Garmoran & North Uist, and a younger brother of Donald [Silo IV], was brought from Uist by some of the Keppoch tribe to oppose Donald McGlas McALLISTER, a cousin & heir-apparent (probably as Tanist) to the deposed chief. The arrival in Keppoch of Gorrie of Uist did not prevent Donald Glas from being elevated; but Gorrie remained, leaving a son at Vallay, and died in Keppoch in 1548, where his descendants were among the "...most attached vassals" of later MacDONALD Chiefs of Keppoch.
That was until 1663, when it appears that Siol Dughaill descendants of Gorrie allegedly murdered Alexander and Ranald McDONNELL, recently returned from Rome, on the occasion of Alexander's formal swearing in as Chief of the Clan, which resulted in the perpetrators, father and six sons, being be-headed. I regret that I am unable to source this somewhat macabre story immediately, and will have to trawl back through one of several hundred note-books to find same (and also wonder whether McDONNELL and McDONALD were variations of the same name).

And there is a further line of thought in Scottish naming traditions that GORRIE may be a corruption of the place-name of Gowrie, as in the Carse of Gowrie, suggesting that the North Uist origins may be a slight case of romantic "fiction." The Carse of Gowrie is that rich alluvial tract of land east of Perth, lying between the Tay estuary (to the south) and the Sidlaw Hills (to the north), heading in the direction of Dundee - in quite the opposite direction from the Outer Hebrides!


The first mention I have yet found of the GORRIE surname in the north-west of Perthshire appears in an alienation, dated at Perth on 30 Jun 1604, which confirmed to Chistane RONALDSON, the relict of Patrick STOBBIE at the Mill of Dalchavinoch, a life-rent of 50 merks out of lands in Arthalzie, evidently owned by George OLIPHANT; Cristine's sasine was dated at Perth on 31 Jan 1605, naming three beneficiaries of her 50 merks life-rent as:
1.  Patrick STOBBIE Junior (20 merks).
2.  Christane, lawful daughter of the late Thomas GORRIE in Tulliemoran (20 merks).
3.  Donald GORRIE, son of the said late Thomas GORRIE (10 merks).
I am not entirely sure what relationship existed between Christane RONALDSON and Christane GORRIE, if any, but it would appear that Tulliemoran was located in that part of Logiealmond which lay within the parish of Monzie, and so not too far distant from Condocloich [see "Rentall of the County of Perth, by Act of the Estates of Parliament of Scotland, 4th August 1649," edited by William GLOAG, Perth, 1835, p.101, Tulliemoran being listed in the "Lot 1st of Logielamond" under the proprietorship of "Grandtully" for the 1835 valuation].

In 1637, William GORRIE, son of Donald GORRIE in Logiealmond, was named in the Registry of the Privy Council. Date-wise, it is not impossible that this Donald was the son of Thomas GORRIE in Tulliemoran (see 3 above).
He was, as RMG observed,  probably the same William GORRIE who was charged, in the same year of 1637, with "hamesucken" - or forcibly imprisoning someone in their own home. William GORRIE, again probably the same, was further charged in 1642 with the wrongful imprisonment of John McARGO.
William was said to have been a tenant of the MURRAY family, who as the Earls of Tullibardine, were Lairds of extensive estates in "Logiealmond, with the Pendicles, Mylne and Mylne hauch" [GLOAG, Op. Cit., p.100, for the 1649 valuation], and which estates included the "ferm toun" of Condocloich.

The earliest mentions I have yet been able to uncover in Scottish Records of the name GORRIE directly associated with Condocloich (alias Culnacloich) appear in the Testamentary Records of the Commissariat of Dunblane, for the parish of Foulls (or Fowlis), as follows:
1.  Donald GORRIE in Culnacloich, 2 Apr 1668.
2.  Andrew GORRIE in Condocloich, 27 Oct 1670; died Jul 1670, survived by his widow Christane McMULLANE in Buchanty, & by his lawful sons Thomas & Donald.
3.  Donald Mantach GORRIE in Condocloich, 20 Apr 1676; died Dec 1674, survived by his widow Christian DOUGLAS and his children Janet, Margaret, Christian, Malcolm, Isobel & Katherine.
4. John GORRIE in Condocloich, 13 Jul 1684; died Oct 1683, survived by his un-named widow and lawful son & heir Thomas.
5.  Donald GORRIE in Condocloich and his spouse Margaret McCRISTANE, 30 Jul 1685; she died Sep 1684, husband and children surviving.
6. John GORRIE, 29 Aug 1728; spouse of Christian ALLAN.

[Condocloich, Logiealmond. Close-up photo taken with telephoto lens from the same spot as the view above.]

There were several other entries in the Index to Testamentary records, but they were not associated with Condocloich:
1.  John GORRIE of Gorthie, parish of Foulls (17 Mar 1656).
2.  Donald GORRIE in Cromelland (16 Apr 1663 - with spouse Margaret ROBERTSON and lawful son Finlay, a minor).

Kirk Session Records for Fowlis (Wester) have not survived for dates prior to the year 1674 - GORRIE mentions in them are a follows:
1.  Margaret GORRIE was given a Testificate dated 4 Jul 1675 (permission to move to another parish).
2.  Thomas GORRIE, on 20 Apr 1679,  was alleged to have transgressed by drinking on the Sabbath during the time of Divine Service.
3.  In Dec 1679, three Sabbaths were again broken - by William GORRIE, Andrew SMITH & Margaret GORRIE (14 Dec); by William GORRIE & Andrew SMITH (21 Dec); and by Margaret GORRIE (28 Dec).
4.  In Nov 1687, Calum GORRIE was charged with breaking the Sabbath on 20 Dec, with Alexander DOW, by fishing during the Sermon; they were summoned by the Beadle to attend the Session on 27 Nov & denied the charge; further charges relating to the alleged offence were made to Session on 11 Dec, & the Beadle was ordered to bring Thomas GORRIE & John his son to next Session as witnesses. The issue was still not resolved in Apr 1688, when Calum GORRIE, when further interrogated about who else was "..y't now fishing ye Sabbath," he componed that "...he saw Gorry McGORRY, Donald McCOWAN & Umphra GORRY in Culnacloich likewise."
There was nothing I saw in the Session records (G.R.O., Edinburgh, 1982) to indicate whether Thomas & John GORRIE were called to give evidence for or against Callum; DOW did not appear after the first Session meeting and the others named by Calum did not appear to have been similarly charged. I cannot help wondering whether this might have been evidence of a family feud, or were they simply wayward flock being dragged reluctantly into ecclesiastical line. The slowness of the process seems to suggest a very casual attitude by the GORRIE's towards the authority of the Kirk Session. Perhaps there was a settling in period after the formation of the modern Church of Scotland as part of the 1680 Revolution Settlement, and the GORRIE's were party to testing that settling in process? Especially when the salmon were running!

Likewise, Parish Registers for Fowlis Wester have not survived before the same date.

[Part of John STOBIE's 1783 map of Perthshire.
Image courtesy of the web-site.]


I suspect that all of the GORRIE families associated with Condocloich were blood related.
I further suspect that most of the other GORRIE families originating in the fairly small area of Perthshire comprising the parishes of Fowlis Wester & adjacent Monzie, and their neighbouring parishes of Crieff, Trinity Gask, Methven, Moneydie, etc, are likely to have also had some sort of kinship.

Apart from my own direct descent from Condocloich (see further below), there were other GORRIE families with origins in Condocloich, but whose direct relationship is not yet understood, and these are summarised as follows.

1.  John GORRIE in Culnacloich had a daughter Christian baptised on 27 Oct 1684.

2. David GORRIE in Condocloich married at Fowlis Wester, after proclamations on 16, 20 & 22 Aug 1680, to Jane McCARA; they had issue:
a.  Margaret GORRIE, baptised at Foelis Wester, 17 Aug 1685.
b.  Helen GORRIE, bapt ditto 7 Apr 1688.
c.   Catharin GORRIE, bapt ditto 20 Nov 1698.

3.  Gorrie MacGORRIE in Condocloich was married at Fowlis Wester on 5 Jun 1687 to Anna MURRAY, with issue:
a.  Helen (baptised on 3 Nov 1688).

4.  Calum GORRIE in Condocloich, inevitably the errant Sabbath fisherman, had a son John (baptised on 1 Jun 1693) and a son Donald (baptised on 2 Mar 1695).

5.  John GORRIE of Condocloich had twin daughters Margaret & Anna baptised on 2 Sep 1693.

6.  Donald GORRIE in Condocloich married at Fowlis Wester on 29 Dec 1700 to Margaret GARDNER, with issue:
a.  Helen GORRIE, baptised at Fowlis Wester on 4 Mar 1705.

7. Donald GORRIE in Condocloich had other issue, but the name of his spouse is not recorded in the register entries for their baptism, so whether he was the above (6), or the next (8), or another altogether (unlikely without another marriage), cannot yet be established with any confidence:
a.  William GORRIE, baptised at Fowlis Wester on 30 Aug 1702.
b.  Katherine GORRIE, bapt ditto 17 Aug 1707.
c.  Thomas GORRIE, bapt ditto 12 Aug 1708.
d.  Thomas GORRIE, bapt ditto 12 Jun 1709.
e.  John GORRIE, bapt ditto Oct 1714.

8. Donald GORRIE in Condocloich was married at Fowlis wester on 3 Feb 1702 to Janet McKAY, with issue:
a.  Daniel Dow GORRIE, baptised at Fowlis wester on 24 Dec 1704.
b. William GORRIE, bapt ditto 20 Jun 1707.
c.  Catharine GORRIE, bapt ditto Feb 1713.
d.  Patrick GORRIE, bapt ditto Jun 1715.
e. Alexander GORRIE, bapt ditto Aug 1717.

9. William GORRIE in Condocloich & his wife Christian had un-named twins baptised in Mar 1711, and a daughter Janet likewise in Jun 1713.

. . . [There is a significant time break here, which remains unexplained] . . .

12. William GORRIE in Condocloich was married at Fowlis Wester on 27 Nov 1772 to Ann MENZIES, with issue:
a.  Helen GORRIE, bapt at Fowlis Wester on 11 Jul 1774.
b.  William GORRIE, bapt ditto 4 May 1777.
c.  Archibald GORRIE, bapt ditto 15 May 1778.
d.  Peter GORRIE, bapt ditto 13 Aug 1789.

13. William GORRIE married at Fowlis Wester (perhaps the above with a 2nd marriage?) on 22 Jul 1793 to Isabel McISAAC, with issue:
a.  Daniel GORRIE, baptised at Fowlis Wester on 24 Apr 1797; Minister of the relief Church, Kingskettle, Fifeshre, for 30 years; died at Kingskettle on 31 Mar 1852; he was married at kingskettle on 16 May 1822 to Jane MOFFAT of Edinburgh St Cuthbert; she died at Edinburgh on 17 Dec 1865; they had issue:
          i.  Agnes GORRIE, born at Kingskettle, 9 Aug 1823; died in Edinburgh on 7 Aug 1888; married William BARCLAY, Solicitor in Edinburgh, with issue.
          ii. Isabel GORRIE, born at Kingskettle on 31 May 1825; died at Edinburgh on 17 Sep 1903, unmarried.
          iii. William GORRIE, born kingskettle on 10 May 1827; emigrated to Canada; died Aug 1890; married in Edinburgh, Jun 1854, Margaret Neill HALL of Berwick-upon-Tweed, with issue.
          iv. John Moffat GORRIE, born at Kingskettle on 30 Mar 1829; M.A. (Edin); Scottish Bar, 1856; an Advocate Deputy for Scotland, 1860; Substitute Procureur & Advocate-General for Mauritius, 1869; Chief Justice of Fiji & Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific, 1876; Chief Justice for the Leeward Islands, 1882, & for Trinidad, 1885; sought to enter Parliament for the Liberals in the constituency of St Andrews Burghs, 1892, but withdrew his candidacy under pressure; interdicted by the Governor of Trinidad, but died at Exeter on 4 Aug 1892 on his way home to Scotland, & before being able to defend himself before the Colonial Office Commissioners; he was married at Edinburgh on 6 Dec 1855 to Marion GRAHAM; she died at sea on 19 Jun 1884, on the H.M.S. Nile, 4 days out of St Thomas, & was buried at sea; they had issue 3 daughters & a son.
          v. Daniel GORRIE, born at Kingskettle on 17 Jul 1831; Editor of the Orkney Herald, 1860s; Writer, Cassell's Publishers, London; died at London, 16 Sep 1893; married at Edinburgh, 26 Aug 1861, Ann MUNRO; she died in London in 1915; issue 5 sons and 5 daughters, including an eldest son Daniel Stewart GORRIE, who was hanged for murder in London in Jun 1890.
          vi. Jean Moffat GOORIE, born Kingskettle on 27 Sep 1834; she died at Edinburgh on 30 Jul 1837, a child.
b. William GORRIE, baptised at Fowlis wester on 15 May 1802; Free Church Minister; emigrated to South Africa; died at Cape Town in Sep 1874; he married Mary HALL; she probably died in Cape Town in Mar 1893, without issue.
c.  Janet GORRIE, bapt ditto 5 May 1805; probably married in Jun 1825 to Robert McLAUGHLAN.

[The Fowlis Wester parish church. Image courtesy of the web-site.]


I expect that Humphrey GORRIE was born around 1665, or perhaps earlier. He was identified as being of Condocloich in 1687, when he was named in a deposition made before the Fowlis Wester Kirk Session as having been fishing during the time of the Sermon (although I am not sure whether or not this mention indicates that he was already of age); and he was residing at Condocloich when his children were born between 1698 and 1712. Details of his death and burial have not yet been found.

Humphrey was married at Fowlis Wester on 23 Nov 1694 to Margaret McCARA. Her parentage has not yet been determined, and likewise, details of her death & burial have not yet been fund.

Humphrey & Margaret had issue:
1.  John GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 27 Mar 1698; evidently died young.
2.  Margaret GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 17 Sep 1699.
3.  David GORRIE, baptised at Fowlis Wester on 25 Jul 1703.
4.  John GORRIE, baptised at Fowlis Wester on 6 Apr 1707. He was of an appropriate age to have married in Fowlis Wester in 1730. See next.


John GORRIE was residing at Condocloich when his children were born between 1734 and 1743; details of his death and burial have not yet been found.
Although he was of an appropriate age to have been the the 1707 baptism, one might have expected him to honour his father in the Scottish naming tradition - but we find no Humphrey among his issue, and perhaps that is because he was another, although there were no other appropriate baptisms in Fowlis Wester.

John was married at Fowlis Wester on 13 Mar 1730 to Christian ALLAN, a daughter of Donald ALLAN of Milntown of Logie, by his wife Christian COCK (who were probably married at Comrie in Nov 1702). It should be noted here that there was another John GORRIE (died 1728, aged 31) who was also married to another Christian ALLAN in 1720 - so as to avoid any confusion.

John & Christian had issue, including:
1.  Thomas GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 26 Feb 1734, who does appear to have been my earliest "confirmed" ancestral baptism to have been recorded at Fowlis Wester. See next below.
2. Christian GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 22 Feb 1736; married at Monzie on 3 Dec 1762 to John McLEISH of Monzie.
3.  William GORRIE,  born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 8 Apr 1739; probably married at Fowlis wester on 5 Jul 1765 to Elizabeth (Betty) PATON, with issue.
4. John GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 10 May 1741; of Condocloich, 1770 to 1785; Testament confirmed in Oct 1802; probably married at Methven, on 10 Jan 1766, to Janet WATT, with issue.
5.  Andrew GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 24 Apr 1743.

[Condocloich. Photo by Jean AYLER of York, ca 2000.]


Thomas GORRIE was recorded in successive entries in the Fowlis Wester baptismal register as being of Condocloich in 1763, 1765 & 1777; at Nether Condocloich in 1767, and an Elder, of Condocloich in 1772 & 1779. Details of his death & burial have not yet been found.

Thomas GORRIE of Fowlis Wester was married to Janet STEWART of Monzie, after proclamations were made at Fowlis Wester on 8 Nov 1762 and at Monzie on 9 Nov 1762.
Janet was born at Dallick and baptized at Monzie on 4 Jul 1742, a daughter of John STUART (this spelling recorded in the baptismal register) and Janet CAMPBELL (they were married at Monzie on 2 Mar 1739, & had other issue - Margaret STUART born at Dallick and baptised 25 Nov 1750; Catherine STUART, born at Dallick and baptised 15 Jun 1755; & John STEWART, baptised at Fowlis Wester on 21 Oct 1759).
The Edinburgh Sasine Registers record a Sasine dated 11 Oct 1798, in which Rev John STEWART, Minister of Falkirk (Associate Synod, or Antiburgher; he died at Falkirk on 7 Sep 1797, aged 39, after partaking in a mission for his Synod to the Orkneys), was seized of an acre of land on the north side of Falkirk, in the parish of Falkirk, which he had purchased on 17 Mar 1791 from James INGLIS of Glasgow, Hatmaker, and in which John named his heirs as his cousins:
1.  Janet STEWART, wife of Thomas GORRIE, Tenant in Condocloich.
2.  Margaret STEWART, wife of William MURRAY, Tenant in Dallick.
3. Catherine STEWART, wife of James MILLER, Tenant in Nether Kipney.
It would appear that their brother John may not have survived, or had already done well enough for himself.

Thomas and Janet had issue:
1.  John GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 24 Oct 1763; a Farmer; residing with his daughter Margaret in 1861, a Widower; he may have married, on 5 Dec 1782, to Catherine GORDON, with issue:
     a. John GORRIE, born Jul 1785; died Feb 1872; possibly married in 1809, to Catherine McGREGOR, with issue.
John was probably instead married in Jul 1790, to Christian HALLEY, with issue:
     b. John GORRIE, born ca 1797; of Condocloich, Gilmerton & Glasgow; died 1873; married at Crieff, 1819, Margaret SMITH, with issue.
     c. Margaret GORRIE, born 1799; died 1874; married at Madderty, 1828, Archibald CARMICHAEL, with issue.
     d. Helen GORRIE, born ca 1802; married James MUSHET & went to Paisley.
2.  William GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester, 28 Apr 1765.
3.  Andrew GORRIE, born at Nether Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester, 30 May 1767.
4.  James GORRIE, baptised at Fowlis Wester on 2 Apr 1769.
5.  Thomas GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 11 Mar 1772. Possibly married at Fowlis Wester in 1794, Janet McLEISH, with issue.
6.  Daniel GORRIE, baptised at Fowlis Wester on 1 Dec 1774. See next below.
7.  Catherine GORRIE, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 13 Jul 1777.
8.  A son, born at Condocloich and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 18 Oct 1779. Possibly Peter GORRIE.
9. Janet GORRIE, born ca 1782; died at Monzie on 28 Aug 1856, aged 74 (parents named in Statutory Registration); married at Methven on 18 Jul 1802 to Thomas HALLEY, with issue (a daughter Margaret who registered her mother's death).


Daniel GORRIE was a Slate Quarrier, and as he acquired a family, he moved around residences in the near vicinity of Condocloich - in Wester Lethendy, then in Easter Greenfield, after in Milrodgie, and eventually in Dalick House, which still stands, in all its stark whiteness, on the northern banks of the River Almond, at the foot of the Sma Glen.

[View of Dallick House.
The cleft in the hills (centre of the horizon, behind the left quarter of the house) is the Sma Glen.
Digital image of a print of a photo taken by the author in 1993.]

Daniel's parentage had not been satisfactorily established when his great-grandson, Robert Maclagan GORRIE (RMG), applied to the Lord Lyon in Edinburgh for a grant of Arms in the 1960s, although his association with Condocloich seems likely. Evidence suggests that RMG saw the 1841 Census of Scotland, identifying his great-grandfather as the Daniel GORRIE living at Dallick House, Logiealmond, Perthshire, a Slate Quarrier, aged 60+, with his two unmarried daughters Janet (11 - probably in error for 15+) and Catherine (14). It appears that RMG interpreted from this entry that Daniel was born about 1781, and with some family folk lore of a kinship with the Kingskettle GORRIEs, speculated that he may have been born on 3 Jun 1781, the son of Daniel or Donald GORRIE (another Condocloich GORRIE) by his wife Grizel MENZIES (they had other issue born at Condocloich, including Catherine ca 1774, Peter in 1788, Margaret in 1789, & Alex in 1793).
But it is also evident that RMG did not see the 1851 Census returns (which may not then have been publicly released), in which arguably the same Daniel GORRIE was still residing at Dallick, aged 76, a Dyke Builder, born Fowlis Wester, once again with the same two unmarried daughters Jeanet (28) and Catherine (24), and being honoured with a visit by his eldest son Thomas, up from Perth.
This more precise date, taken together with notions deriving from the Scottish naming tradition, suggest a much more likely baptism for Daniel at Fowlis Wester on 1 Dec 1774, as the son of Thomas GORRIE and Janet STEWART (see above). RMG had actually received advice to this effect from Mrs P.M. EAVES-WALTON, a genealogist he had engaged to research the family history, but evidently did not think it added anything to his Armorial claims (which probably did not need to proceed any further back in time to procure the grant anyway).
Further, it appears that the Daniel GORRIE who was born in 1781 may have been the Shoemaker in Methven who married Catherine MALLOCH in 1804 and had issue, including a daughter Grizel GORRIE born 1805, whose naming suggests she probably had a grandmother named Grizel.

Daniel appears to have signed the 18 Jan 1843 Declaration of Adherence to the Monzie Free Church (which initially met in premises at Gilmerton) as Donald GORRIE, Labourer at Dallick, together with his children Janet, Peter & Cathren (among a total membership of 450).
His entry in the Communicants Roll of the Logie Free Church, 1843, recorded him likewise as Donald GORRIE, a Labourer at Dallick, which entry was endorsed with the date of his death - 9 Dec 1853 (I presume that the Monzie Free Church Logie and the Monzie Free Church were probably one and the same). Details of his burial have not been found, but it is possible that he was buried in or near the plot in Monzie parish churchyard (Established Church of Scotland Synod), north of Gilmerton, where his son Peter's McLAREN in-law's gravestone still stands.

[Monzie Parish Church, north of Gilmerton. Image courtesy of the web-site.]

Daniel was married at Monzie parish church on 30 Jan 1813, to Janet MURRAY of Monzie, after proclamations on two preceding Sabbaths.
Janet MURRAY was baptized at Monzie on 12 Feb 1786, the daughter of William MURRAY (baptised at Monzie on 12 Nov 1749) of Dallick, by his wife Margaret STEWART, a sister of Janet STEWART the wife of Thomas GORRIE, and thereby Daniel GORRIE's first cousin (although some evidence of this might have been expected in some form of a special dispensation for the marriage to proceed, which is not in evidence); Janet was thereby a grand-daughter of John MURRAY of Wester Fendoch and his wife Janet MURRAY (they were married at Monzie on 19 Aug 1746).
Details of  Janet's death & burial have not yet been discovered.

[Lethendy, Logiealmond. Photo taken by the author in 1993.]

Daniel & Janet had issue:
1.  Thomas GORRIE, born at Wester Lethendy, and baptised at Fowlis Wester on 8 Jun 1814; Smith & Wireworker in Perth, working and/or residing at South Street (1843-44), Castle Gable (1845-51), Watergate (1852-69), Union Lane (1872), North Methven Street (1881-88) & King Street (1891); he died at 48 King Street, Perth, on 28 Nov 1892; he was married at Fowlis Wester on 12 Aug 1842 to Janet ROY of Crieff; she died at Perth on 17 Jul 1890; with issue:
     a. Mary GORRIE, born 1843; died 1909; the wife of George MAXWELL, Commercial Clerk & Newspaper Librarian of Dundee.
     b. Janet GORRIE, born 1846; died 1920; the wife of John SAUNDERS, Master Tinsmith of Perth; they were both buried at Abernethy.
     c. Catharine GORRIE, born 1847; died 1848.
     d. Daniel GORRIE, born 1849; died 1932; Solicitor & Town Clerk of Dunfermline, who married Ellen Elizabeth CONNAGHER, with issue.
     e. Jane GORRIE, born 1852; the wife of Andrew MACOWAN, Draper in Perth.
1.  Margaret GORRIE, born at Wester Lehanty (or Lethendy), and baptised on 30 Mar 1817.
3  William GORRIE, born at Easter Greenfield, and baptised on 18 Feb 1819; a House Carpenter in Aberdeen (1846-1851) and a Ship's Joiner in Rotherhithe, London (by 1854); he died at 2 Lavender Lane, Rotherhithe, on 11 Dec 1879; William married 1stly, at St Nicholas, Aberdeen, on 26 Feb 1847, to Sarah Ann MILNE; she died at Rotherhithe in 1854 (Sep quarter); they had issue:
     a. William GORRIE, born Aberdeen, 1848; died 1912; a Shipwright in Rotherhithe, who married Rebecca ORAM, with issue.
     b. Sarah Ann L. GORRIE, born Aberdeen, 1850; married Henry Richard CHAPLIN in Rotherhithe in 1874.
William Senior was married 2ndly, at Rotherhithe in 1862 (December quarter) to Mary ROBERTSON, a widow with children by her previous marriage; she died at Rotherhithe in 1868 (December quarter).
William Senior was married 3rdly, also at Rotherhithe in 1875 (March quarter) to Harriett GARTRELE, also a widow; she died at Fulham in 1891 (March quarter).
4.  Janet GORRIE, born at Milrodgie, and baptised on 29 Jul 1821 (although her father appears to have been mis-identified in the register as James GORRIE, her mother was correctly named as Janet MURRAY); with her widowed father in 1841 and 1851 Censuses; signed the 1843 Declaration of Adherence to the Monzie Free Church; went to London, where she was married, at St Thomas's, Stepney, on 6 Nov 1658, to James Walter COCKER, with issue; she was residing with her brother William GORRIE at Rotherhithe in 1861, with her husband and their infant daughter Jessie Ann COCKER.
5.  Peter GORRIE, born at Dallick on 5 Sep 1823 (although details of his baptism have not yet been discovered). See next below.
6.  Catherine GORRIE, born at Dallick, 13 Aug 1826; with her widowed father, 1841 & 1851; signed the 1843 declaration of Adherence to the Monzie Free Church; on the Logie Free Church Communicant's Roll, 1843; said to have later been a housekeeper to a Dundee Doctor.

[Detail of Dallick House. Digital image of a print of a photo taken by the author in 1993.]


Peter GORRIE was enumerated in the 1841 census as an Agricultural Labourer at an "Out-House" in North Kinkell, parish of Trinity Gask, aged 20+, and residing with two other Agr. Labr's (including Duncan STEWART, aged 25+, who may have been a relation).
Peter signed the Jan 1843 Declaration of Adherence to the Monzie Free Church; and was on the Communicant's Roll of Logie Free Church in May 1843. He  subsequently moved to Perth, where he was a wire-worker, and later an engine fitter with the Railways, with a home in Glover Street, near the Perth General Railway Station.
He was enumerated at Miss MOIR's Lodging House, 10 St John's Place, Middle Parish, Perth Burgh, in 1851, aged 27, Wire Worker, born Fowlis Wester.
He was directory listed as Wireworker, Newtown (of Perth), (1854-57), Engine Driver, New Town (1858-59), Engine Fitter at New Town (1860-69), at 18 New Town (1872), and at 18 Glover Street, new Town (1874).

[No 18 Glover Street, Perth. Photo taken by Jean Ayler of York, ca 2000.]

Peter purchased, in May 1864, from the Glover's Corporation of Perth, the north half of Lot 5 of a subdivision of St Leonard's lands near the General Railway Terminus; this was later known as 18 Glover Street (measuring 13 poles 18 yards imperial); he purchased in Apr 1868 the other half of the lot (measuring 12 poles), later known as 16 Glover Street, from his brother-in-law Duncan McLAREN.
Peter was already living at Glover Street in the 1861 Census, aged 37, Engine Fitter, with his wife and family; he was there in 1871, with his 2nd wife, & two sons by his first; his widow Mary was still there in 1881 and 1891.
Peter died at 18 Glover Street, Perth, on 6 Dec 1874, aged 51; the death was informed by his son Daniel, who named his father's parents as Daniel GORRIE, Labourer, and Janet MURRAY, both deceased.

Peter was at St John's Place, Perth, when he was married firstly, at South Kinkell, on 16 Jun 1853 to Margaret McLAREN of Kinkell, parish of Trinity Gask, a daughter of Alexander McLAREN (formerly of Killin, Perthshire), a farm servant; the marriage was performed by Rev Thomas GUNN, Minister of the Free Church at Madderty, and was recorded in the Perth Parish register.
Margaret GORRIE died at 18 Glover Street on 17 May 1867, aged 39; her details are recorded on the McLAREN stone in Monzie Churchyard, suggesting that she may have been buried there.

[The McLaren stone in Monzie Churchyard, photographed by the author in 1993.]

Peter was married 2ndly, at Glasgow, on 28 Oct 1870, to Mary NICOLL, of Springburn Parish, Glasgow. He had no further issue by Mary, who survived him, and died at 18 Glover Street on 24 Feb 1895, aged 69, her parents recorded as Andrew NICOLL, Crofter, & Betsy LOUTIT (Mary was baptised at Auchterarder on 11 Dec 1825, daughter of Andrew NICOL of Backbroin and Elizabeth LUTFOOT).

Peter & Margaret had issue:
1.  Daniel GORRIE, born at South Kinkell , parish of Trinity Gask, at 7.00 am on 23 Aug 1855; he was with his parents in 1861. See next below.
2.  Alexander GORRIE, born at Perth on 23 Feb 1858; with his parents, 1861; with his father & step-mother, 1871; Civil Service Post Office Sorter, with his step-mother, 1881; P.O. Clerk, 20 County Place, Perth (1889-91), and at 19 Queen Street (1891-1900); he died at 12 Viewlands Terrace, Perth, on 19 Apr 1912, aged 54; he was married at 39 Causewayside, Edinburgh, on 15 Dec 1887, to Barbara Jane McIVOR, a Domestic servant from Thurso (daughter of James McIVOR, Crofter, and Mary MACKAY); she died at Perth on 8 Jan 1921; with issue 5 daughters Mary Nicoll (1888-1967), Margaret McLaren (1889-1965), Barbara Jane (1891-1957), Catharine (1893-1970), Jessie McIvor (born 1897), & a son Peter (born 1901), all of whom died unmarried.
3.  Janet GORRIE, born at 5 Glover Street, Perth, on 10 Apr 1860; she was with her parents in 1861; she died at Glover Street on 29 Aug 1864, of chronic bronchitis, and was buried in the McLAREN plot at Monzie Churchyard.
4. Duncan GORRIE, born at Glover Street, Perth, on 4 Jun 1863; he died there on 30 Nov 1864, of hydrocephalus, & was buried in the McLAREN plot at Monzie Churchyard.


Daniel GORRIE was living with his parents at Glover Street in the 1861 Census; he was apprenticed to Alexander GLASS, a Pharmaceutical Chemist, of Bon Accord Villa, East Church parish of the Royal Burgh of Perth; Daniel was living with his father and step-mother in 1871, aged 15, an Apprentice Druggist; he was a Chemist's Assistant in Perth, Mar 1876, when he was declared the Heir-General to his father Peter GORRIE, Engine Fitter, and Heir-Special to several houses in Glover Street, Newtown of Perth (both of which he disposed of, after his step-mother Mary's death in 1895, to his brother Alexander); he was residing with his step-mother in 1881, together with his wife Janet, and he was now a Pharmaceutical Chemist.
After he completed his apprenticeship, he gained employment with T. & H. SMITH and Coy of Duke Street, Edinburgh, having gone up from Perth before Nov 1876, when he was residing at 20 Dublin Street; he moved to lodgings at 3 Barony Street in May 1877; he proceeded to Membership of the Pharmaceutical Society of G.B., passing their Major Examination in Oct 1877, and still employed at SMITH and Coy.
Daniel GORRIE, M.P.S., opened his own business at 31 Minto Street, Newington, in 1878, and resided at 13 West Mayfield (1878-80), at 12 East Mayfield (1880-81), at 12 Rosehall Terrace, 117 Dalkieth Road,(1881-91), and finally at 2 Cameron Terrace (from 1891).
Daniel published scientific papers in the Pharmaceutical Journal, including one on "Acetic & Allied Acids" (18 Dec 1880), another on "Preparation of Syrupus Ferri Phosphatus by a new method" (23 Dec 1882), and a third on "Liquor Bismuthi et Amonii Citratis" (28 Feb 1891).

[2 Cameron Terrace, Newington. Photo taken by the author in 1993.]

Daniel died at 2 Cameron Terrace on 9 Apr 1898, aged 42, of syncope from heart failure.
An obituary notice was published in The Chemist and Druggist, 16 Apr 1898, at page 641:
"GORRIE. — Mr Daniel GORRIE, pharmaceutical chemist, Edinburgh, died very suddenly at his residence, 2 Cameron Terrace, on Saturday morning last, April 9. He complained of slight indisposition on Friday night on returning home from business, and went to bed. On Saturday morning, as he did not get up at the usual time, his little girl went to call him and found him dead. Medical assistance was obtained, but the doctor said he had been dead for four hours, probably from syncope.
"Mr GORRIE was a native of Perth, and served his apprenticeship with Mr GLASS there.
He entered the employment of Messrs T. & H. SMITH, Edinburgh, about 1876, and on passing the Major examination he acquired the business, in 1878, at 31 Minto Street, Edinburgh, which he has carried on since. He was a thoroughly practical pharmacist, and occasionally read papers
at the evening meetings of the North British branch of the Pharmaceutical Society.

"Mr GORRIE was only 42 years of age, and leaves a widow and five young children."
His little girl was probably Beth, then aged 6.

His will, dated 17 Mar 1894, named his wife Janet as executrix; probate was granted on 11 May 1898, with Confirmation on 12 May, at Edinburgh, his estate valued at £2,360 1s 6d. Family lore records that Daniel's pharmaceutical business was or became a partnership, but with whom I do not know; however, it has been said that the partner "purchased" Daniel's share of the venture after his death, for a consideration the GORRIE's believed was undervalued; although it is possible that some of that value may have gone the way of Daniel's elder son Peter, who probably received his Pharmaceutical qualifications while working for the partner during his University years.

[The GORRIE Celtic Cross marking Daniel's grave in Newington Cemetery, Edinburgh.
photographed by the author in 1993.
Detail of  inscription below.]

Daniel was married in Edinburgh on 28 Sep 1880, to Janet Bissett MACLAGAN, Telegraph Operator, of Perth, the marriage performed by Rev James GIBSON, Free West Church. She was the eldest daughter of Robert MACLAGAN, of Perth, Superintendent of the Perth General Railway Station, and his wife Isabella CRICHTON.
Janet survived Daniel by 40 years, residing at 3 Cameron Park (1900-31) and at 7 Priestfield Road (from 1931), both in the Newington district of Edinburgh; she died in a Nursing Home in Edinburgh, on 30 Nov 1939, aged 85, of carcinoma of the tongue (under radium treatment), late of 7 Priestfield Road.

Daniel & Janet had issue:
1.  Peter GORRIE was born at 12 Rosehall Terrace on 1 Aug 1881. He attended George Watson's School, then Edinburgh University, & eventually graduated as M.D. (1910), before emigrating to South Australia.
His story is recorded elsewhere on this blog-site, in an earlier posting dated Apr 2009, at this link:
2.  Isabella Crichton GORRIE, born at 12 Rosehall Terrace on 22 Jan 1883.
3.  Mary Nicoll GORRIE, born at 12 Rosehall Terrace, 12 Apr 1886.
4.  Elizabeth Maclagan GORRIE, born at 2 Cameron Terrace on 7 Oct 1891.
5.  Robert Maclagan GORRIE, born at 2 Cameron Terrace on 26 Jun 1897; a bursaried scholar at George Watson's School, Edinburgh, Oct 1904-Jul 1912; started an apprenticeship on 7 Oct 1912, possibly in dentistry; enlisted in a Scottish Horse Regiment, 2 Oct 1914, & recorded in his diary as being stationed at Swanage; commissioned 2nd Lieutenant, Territorial Force, 10 Jul 1915; transferred to the Royal Field Artillery, 24 Feb 1917; embarked on 1 May 1917 for Le Havre and service on the Western Front; at Arras, Passchendale & Cambrai, 1917, the German Offensive of Mar & Apr 1918, and the Final advance, Albet to Mauberge; mentioned in despatches, 1918. After the War, Bob studied Forestry at Edinburgh University (Rowing Blue), B.Sc. Jul 1922; served with the Indian Forestry Service, in the Punjab & elsewhere in India (and Ceylon), and was a Lecturer at the Forest College at Dehra Dun (1933), retiring to Balnagowan, Murrayfield Drive, Edinburgh, having achieved the status of Commissioner of the Indian Forestry Service. He died there on 20 Dec 1970.
Robert was married at Lahore Cathedral, India, on 6 Dec 1923, to Sydney Grace EASTERBROOK, a daughter of Arthur Blake EASTERBROOK, Baillie of Edinburgh, and Grace Monteath CAMERON; she died in Dec 1976, having had issue a daughter Sheila Mary (a former Liberal Councillor in Durham & wife of the late Norman MACLEOD of Suardal), and sons Duncan (late of Edinburgh, Accountant) & Donald (late Liberal-Democrat Member of the Westminster Parliament for the Scottish Constituency of West Corstorphine, & an inaugural Member of the devolution Scottish Parliament at Holyrood).

The three daughters, Belle, Mary & Beth, were all active supporters of the "Votes for Women" campaigns of the Women's Social & Political Union. See their separate posting on this blog-site, at this link:

[The MACLAGAN residence at King Street, Perth, overlooking the South Inch parkland. 
Photo taken by the author in 1993.
Janet GORRIE & her two daughters were visiting here on census night in 1891.]