Reverend Neil Brodie Biography



Reverend Neil Brodie

The death of the Rev. Neil Brodie, emeritus-minister of West Free Church, Pollokshaws, took place last Thursday at Wellpark House, Craigmore, Bute, where he had resided for some time past.

Mr Brodie, who was in is 80th year, was born in Campbeltown, and while there was a school-fellow of the late Norman MacLeod, while in later life he was a personal friend of Hugh Miller. He was educated at Glasgow University, and after passing through the Theological College he entered upon his first charge at Kilmarnock. While there the Disruption took place, and along with his congregation he went over to the Free Church. He was subsequently minister at Shandon, on the Gareloch, and in 1873 he was chosen as minister of the West Free Church at Pollokshaws, the pastorate of which he held until abut eight years ago when, owing to advancing years, he retired.

In private life Mr Brodie was of an exceedingly affectionate nature, and his love for animals and birds in particular was one of his notable traits. Generally he was known for his genial temperament; he was deeply read, and a broad type of theologian. He had been twice married, and leaves a widow, but no family.

Shandon Church

Obituaries for Dr James Walker Downie

Attached are 2 obituaries for Dr James Walker Downie, one more general that appeared in the national newspapers and one more academic and career-orientated that appeared in the British Medical Journal.




Dr Walker Downie, who died at Cragmhor, Shandon, on Thursday night, was one of the most widely known medical practitioners in Glasgow.

For many years he practised as a specialist in affections of the throat and nose, and held various important appointments, including that of lecturer on these diseases at Glasgow University.

He was surgeon for this department at the Western Infirmary, aurist and laryngologist to the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, and examiner in aural and laryngeal surgery for the Fellowship of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons. Dr Downie was the author of several publications dealing with various aspects of diseases of the throat and nose.




Consulting Aural Surgeon, Western Infirmary, Glasgow.

We regret to announce the death, on July 21st, of Dr James Walker, the well-known oto-laryngologist of Glasgow.

Educated at Glasgow High School and University, he graduated MB, CM in 1881. After holding resident posts in the Glasgow Royal and Western Infirmaries, and at the London Hospital, he commenced the practice of his speciality in Glasgow, and obtained the appointment of lecturer on diseases of the nose and throat in the Western Medical School, and of aural surgeon to the Western Infirmary. Subsequently he held the posts of lecturer on diseases of the throat and nose in Glasgow University, and surgeon to the ear, nose and throat department of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, and for some years he was consulting laryngologist to the Ochil Hills Sanatorium.

Soon after graduation he had become a Fellow of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, and he was appointed one of the examiners for the Fellowship; he presented to the Faculty a handsome mace for use on ceremonial occasions. He was a former president of the Glasgow Medico-Chirurgical Society and of the Scottish Otological and Laryngological Society, a vice-president of the British Laryngological Society, and a member of many other medical societies, including the British Medical Association. Dr Walker Downie was the author of a Clinical Manual of Diseases of the Throat, which reached several editions, of a History of the Glasgow Medico-Chirurgical Society, and of many papers on his speciality in the medical journals.

There is no doubt that his health was affected by the loss of his only son in Mesopotamia during the war. He is survived by his widow and one daughter.

Shandon Valuation Roll 1925

Dear blog reader

Welcome to the ninth part in a series, a list of the people, with house names where known, who were connected with Shandon in 1925.

In 1925 Shandon had 73 households listed, a slight decrease on 1920. In 1920 Shandon had 76 households listed, a very slight increase on 1915. In 1915 Shandon had 75 households listed, a slight decrease on 1905. In 1905 Shandon had 82 households listed which was a vast increase on the anomaly of the valuation roll of 1895 when  only 16 households were listed but also an increase on the number of households in the 1885 Shandon valuation roll.   In 1885 Shandon had 74 households, a huge increase from 1875 when Shandon had 32 households. The 1875 number was the exact same number as the 32 households in 1865 which had been a growth of 4 households from the 28 households in 1855.

Hopefully those of you with ancestors from Shandon will find this list useful.


Agnes L Adams, Balernock
Doctor James A Adams, Balernock
Albert Beaumont, Blairvaddick
William Bissett, Cragmhor
A A Stuart Black, Croy
Thomas Boyd, Woodburn Cottage
Patrick Brady, Ardgare Lodge
Robert Braid, Shandon House
Andrew Brodie, Hillhead House
Henry Bruce, Hillhead House
Archibald Campbell, Hillhead House
David Carswell, Shandon House
Andrew Craig, house at 6 1/2 mile post
Thomas L Don, Greenhill Lodge
Robert M Donaldson, Blairvaddick
Thomas Dougan, West Shandon
Elsie S Walker Downie, widow, Cragmhor
Edwin O Fulton, Letrualt
Catherine Gibson, widow, Greenhill
James Gray, Shandon House
William Grieve, West Shandon
Robert Haliburton, Balernock
Margaret Hannah, Woodbank Place
John F Henderson, Glenfeulan
Robert Hill, Lagbuie
William Houston, Hillhead House
Margaret Howitt, Woodbank Place
Mrs Hughes, Shandon House
John Hughes, shop, Woodbank Place
Alexander Hutcheson, house at 6 3/4 mile post, Shandon Station
William Innes, Ardchapel Lodge
Joseph J Irons, Chapelburn Cottage
Joseph J Irons, workshop and store
Colonel Henry B Jordon, Bashley
Colonel Henry B Jordon, Woodside Cottage
Archibald J Kedey, Altnacoille
Hubert V Kirkpatrick, Lagbuie
John Knox, Oakbank
Peter Lowe, Linnburn Lodge
Mrs L MacAlpine, Woodbank Place
Peter Machray, Agnes Millar Wilson house
Colin MacKellar, Broomfield Lodge
Catherine MacKenzie, Stuckenduff
Colin MacKenzie, Croy
Margaret C MacKinlay, Woodbank Cottage
Margaret C MacKinlay, widow, Woodburn Cottage
John MacLachlan, Ardgare
Margaret MacLean, West Shandon
Reverend William H MacLeod, Fiunary
Mrs Margaret A B MacNicol, Ardchapel
Robert S MacNicol, Ardchapel
James Maltman, Blairvaddick
Reverend Hugh Miller, manse
R Mitchell, West Shandon
Nelson Mitchell, Shandon House
Alexander Mitchell, Croy Lodge
Robert Nairn, Greenhill
Thomas Nisbett, West Shandon
Matthew Potter, Shandon House
David Ross, house at 6 1/2 mile post, Shandon Station
John D Scotland, Woodbank Place
Ronald G Sillars, Stuckenduff
Ronald G Sillars, Ardgare
James Simmers, Letrualt
George Simpson, Linnburn
Edward Skinner, Glenfeulan
Janet Somerville, widow, Shandon House
Jeanie M Spence, Shandon Bank
J Stalker, West Shandon
George Strong, Blairvaddick
Joseph MacIntyre Taylor, Linnburn
James Troup, Blairvaddick
John Turner, Lagbuie
John Wilkinson, Ardgare
William Williamson, Fuinary
Jack Wood, Fuinary
Ethelreda Yarrow, Broomfield

An Unusual Marriage

Dear blog reader.

This account of an unusual marriage to an employee of the Shandon Experimental Station caught my eye and I thought you might find it interesting as well.




Saturday 13 September 1919.


Miss Mabel White, daughter of Mr and Mrs William White, 1 Thewlis Street, was married under novel conditions to Mr Donald Titchmarsh, of the Admiralty Experimental Station at Shandon, on Saturday.

Miss White has been living on Loch Lomond on the houseboat “Iris” with a friend for several months, and a neighbour was Mr Titchmarsh, of the houseboat “Why Not”.

The ceremony was performed on the “Why Not” by the Rev J T Sivewright, of Alexandra Parish Church. The honeymoon was spent afloat the Commodore’s yacht.

Sale of the Shandon Collection – part 8

Dear blog reader

Here is the eighth part of the series on the sale of the contents of Shandon House, also known as the Shandon collection. 

This blog post covers the sale of some of the contents of Robert Napier’s library in Shandon House on the first day of the sale of the Shandon collection.




London, Wednesday.

The amount of sales yesterday was £630 4s. There was a large attendance and bidding was spirited.

The following are some of the prices – Dibden’s Northern Tour, 2vols, calf, £6; Dr Finden’s Illustrations of Lord Byron, 3 vols, morocco, £5 2s 6d; Galerie du Musee Napoleon, 10 vols, large paper, morocco, £17 10s; Thane’s British Gallery of Historical Portraits, 4 vols, £3; Gallery of Portraits, published by the Society for the Diffusion of Useful Knowledge, 7 vols, calf, £9, Jerdan’s National Portrait Gallery, 5 vols, morocco, £5 15s; Gell’s Pompeiana, 2 vols, morocco, £5; Glasgow Past and Present, 4 vols, £2 14s; another copy, £3 5s; Gibson’s History of Glasgow, £1 9s; Armorial Insignia of Glasgow; £3 10s; Painted Windows of the Cathedral of Glasgow, £3 10s; Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry, £10; Memorials of the Old College of Glasgow, £6 6s; Annals of the Craft of Skinners of Glasgow, £1 18s; Diary of George Brown, Merchant in Glasgow, £2 8s; Glasgow Looking Glass, £2; Portraits of Deacons of the Trades of Glasgow, £2 2s; Glasgow Voters Manual, 1832, £2 4s; Glasgow Mercury, 1778-86, £7 10s; Grose’s Antiquities, 12 vols, £7 8s; Grose’s Antiquarian Repertory, 4 vols, £6 13s; Jamieson’s Scottish Dictionary, 4 vols, £17; Kay’s Portraits, 2 vols, large paper, £19; Geographical Blavianae, 1662, £5 5s; Hall’s Rova Gallery of Art, 2 vols, morocco, £36; H. B.’s Political Sketches and Index, 10 vols, £48 16s; Johnston’s Physical Atlas, £7; Owen Jones Grammar of Ornament, £18 10s; Owen Jones Illuminated Books of the Middle Ages, £10 10s; Meyrie’s Ancient Armour, 3 vols, £13; Milton’s Paradise Lost, illustrations by Martin, morocco, £5 15s; Nash’s Mansions of England in the Olden Time, 1st and 2d series, £9; Hume and Smollett’s History of England, Oxford edition with folio volume of plates, 17 vols, £12; Hood’s Comic Annual, 1830-39, £3 5s; Mrs Jamieson’s Works, 3 vols, £7 15s.

Robert Napier

Sale of the Shandon Collection – part 7

Dear blog reader.

Here is the seventh part of the series on the sale of the contents of Shandon House, also known as the Shandon collection. 

This blog post describes the porcelain sold on the 1st day of the sale of the Shandon collection and follows on from last week’s blog post discussing Robert Napier’s taste in fine art.




Robert Napier

To come to details, the proceeds of today’s sale amounted to £3142. The prices ranged from 14s to 325 guineas, the latter sum being given by Mr Werthemier for a pair of square white jardinieres, (No 170 in the catalogue), painted with cupids in pink by Michel and dated 1763.

The following are some of the other prices obtained: the figures in brackets represent the numbers in the catalogue.

A plate, turquoise ground, painted with a [illegible] in the centre and cameo subjects all round the border, from the Empress Catherine’s service (160) 155 guineas. A companion plate to the foregoing (161), 151 guineas. A fluted bowl, painted with battle subjects in richly gilt borders and gilt inside (50), £172 4s. A set of three vases with subjects and trophies in medallions on white ground (167), £73 10s. A pair of white [illegible] of the largest model, painted with figures in medallions in red, dated 1753 (166) £50. A clock painted with subjects after Watten and richly gilt, surmounted by a figure of [illegible] on pedestal similar (74), £73 11s. A pair of vases turquoise with gold stripes, painted with arabesques and figure subjects in medallions, (171) 50 guineas. A large oval shaped vase painted with flowers, dated 1771 (155), £35. A cabaret, consisting of oval tray, coffee pot and cover, and cup and saucer with boys in pink on gros bleu ground (143), £45 3s. A coffee cup and saucer, gros bleu painted, with views after Verney in metallics (129), £32 10s. A set of three oviform Berlin vases with covers and two beakers of old Berlin porcelain (52), £30 9s. A Mareolini cabaret set, £42. A cup and saucer, painted with Watten subjects (80), £35 13s. A cabaret, painted with bouquets of flowers (82), £30 9s. A small [illegible] barry two-handed cup and saucer, painted by Noeland, dated 1757 (90), £25 4s. A coffee cup and saucer, painted with cameo heads by Fontaine, the gilding by Chauvaux senr., dated 1711 (95), £25 4s. A teapot and cover, dated 1763 (103), £23 3s. A cup and saucer, gros bleu, with figure subjects in medallions, dated 1787 (115), £31. A cabaret, dated 1772, from the Duchess of Gordon’s collection (123), £33 12s. A pair of oviform gros bleu vases, elaborately jewelled (160), £35. An oblong tray, painted by Levepere, dated 1757 (158), £44. An ecuelle, with medallions of landscapes, dated 1766 (163), £35 14s. An ecuelle with trophies in medallions, painted by Bateux senr., (164), £47 5s. A ewer and stand, painted with cupids on red and white ground, and dated 1755 (168), £43 1s.

The attendance was not extraordinarily large, but the principal buyers, Rhodes and others, were well represented, and there was a considerable number of West of Scotland gentlemen. The second portion of the porcelain will be sold tomorrow (Thursday), and the sale of pictures begins on Friday.

Sale of the Shandon Collection Part 6

Dear blog reader

Here is the sixth part of the series on the sale of the contents of Shandon House, also known as the Shandon collection. 

This blog post is from the first day of the sale and gives us an excellent introduction to Robert Napier’s taste.




The high prices realised at the sale of the Shandon Collection at Christie, Manson & Wood’s today fully justifies the estimate of its value as formed by connoisseurs. Mr Napier seems to have been a collector from the beginning to the very close of his life, otherwise it would be impossible to account for such an enormous accumulation of curiosities of all sorts, some of which only passed through the market quite recently.

Robert Napier

Most amateurs are content with one mania at a time as, for instance, Mr Gillott and Mr Mendel, who bought pictures, the latter beginning with water colours and at last getting rid of all those in order to make room for his oil paintings; Mr Bohn, who collected china of all sorts, it is true, but who now sells it off to give space to his miniatures; Dr Sibsen, who made Wedgewood his sole hobby; and the Duc de Forti, whose collection of Dresden is as unrivalled as Mr Addington’s or [illegible] Dudley’s show of Sevres, or Lady Charlotte Schrieber’s Chelsea. These are only types of hundreds of others more or less known beyond the immediate circle of their friends, for every now and then there crops up into notice through the agency of Messrs Christie especially unknown men who for years have been quietly absorbing the best specimens of the various objects of their passion. Mr Napier seems to have outdone most of his rivals, for not only did he collect everything, but he bought with taste and discretion in every branch of art.

Twenty days are required to exhaust his almost inexhaustible museum, which, had it been purchased en bloc by the City of Glasgow, would have at once endowed the ‘second city of the empire ‘ with an art museum scarcely if at all inferior in the quality of its specimens to that which London possesses at South Kensington, and which is now the envy and admiration of foreigners of all nationalities, the French especially.

The Shandon sale opened today with Mr Napier’s Continental porcelain, and the prices realised show two very striking factors important to collectors and wholly ignored by Mr Bohn. He was always ready to give the ‘trade’ a turn, and in return the trade have shown an energy and enthusiasm in putting up the prices which were quite absent from Mr Bohn’s sale. Another good idea, due to Messrs Christie, is the arrangement of the specimens of porcelain in alphabetical order according to its fabric. An exception of course has to be made in favour of the Sevres which is divided into two portions, a half being sold on each of the first two days.  The fabrics which are represented in the collection are these chiefly known for the extreme beauty of their designs, the skill of the painting, or the rarity of the paste.

Specimens of such fabrics as [illegible] Retiro [I believe this refers to Real Fabrics del Burn Retiro] are difficult to obtain , either in this country or in Spain, and it is therefore not to be wondered at that Mr Napier’s solitary specimen, a pair of white cups and saucers with raised flowers in imitation of Chinese designs, realised 10 guineas. It was in 1759, when Charles III abdicated the throne of Naples in favour of his son, Ferdinand, that he withdrew to his Spanish capital, near the gardez of the Palace of Burn Retiro, and installed the two-and-thirty workmen he had brought with him from the Royal Porcelain Factory of Naples, and continued to reproduce works similar to that known as Capo di Monte. At this latter factory, founded also by Charles III in 1736, the idea of reproducing raised figures in high relief on the soft paste of the cups and vases was first practiced with success, but anything like really old and authentic specimens are now so rare that they command fabulous prices. Still more rare are paintings by some of the earlier artists of the Capo di Monte manufactory, and a small bottle, painted by one of the best of those, was hotly contested and eventually knocked down for 50 guineas.

Doccia was the only other Italian fabric represented in today’s sale, which was made up of specimens from Amsterdam, Angouleme, Ausbach, Berlin, Copenhagen, Dresden and Sevres.


The next blog post will look the details of the porcelain sold on the first day of the sale of the Shandon Collection.

Annual Meeting of Shandon Church in 1886



On the evening of Wednesday last the annual meeting of the congregation of the Free Church was held, the Rev. Hugh Miller, pastor, presiding.

Reports as to the work and condition of the Church were made by Messrs Walter MacLellan, jun., and Kirkpatrick. These showed the Church to be in a most flourishing condition.

The membership has increased during the past year, and is now double what it was three years ago. A sum of £1566 17s had been collected during the year, of which £1005 was got the building fund and £561 for congregational purposes, including £191 for sustentation fund, £45 for mission, and £32 for the other schemes of the Church.

The reports were adopted. The usual votes of thanks terminated the proceedings.

Shandon Church

Closure of the Experimental Station



The late Admiralty experimental station at Shandon Hydropathic, near Helensburgh, says the Times, is in the market. The estate, extending to 60 acres, and overlooking Gareloch, includes the mansion and a small power house. An ‘upset’ price of £15,000 has been fixed by the Disposal Board, and the auction will be held at Glasgow on January 18th. The experimental station was closed down on March 31st.




On the last day of March, 1921, the Admiralty Experimental Station at Shandon, Dumbartonshire, was closed down. It had been established during the war for various experiments, but principally those connected with anti-submarine work, and it had answered its purposes excellently. Since the Armistice it had been tackling it’s work with the added information obtained from surrendered German submarines, under Captain G L Massey, formerly Assistant Director of Paravanes.

Destruction of Summerhall



Yesterday afternoon, Summerhall House, the property of Mr John Bell, of Messrs Bell & Sons, Glasgow, was almost totally destroyed.

About four o’clock smoke was observed about the roof, and in less than an hour the main house was completely gutted. Mr and Mrs Bell and the servants were in the house at the time, but managed to escape in safety. The greater part of the furniture was got out, but the valuable silver plate presented to Mr Bell by the united fleshers of Glasgow in February 1876, was destroyed.

The property was bought by Mr Bell nearly two years ago at a cost of £5000, and is fully insured. It is not known how the fire originated.