While looking through old documents, it is almost inevitable that the reader's attention will be drawn from the intended target to other articles. The reports below were found in old Scotsman newspapers. Although they have no football content, they may be of interest.
PORTRAIT OF AN EARL ACQUIRED BY NATIONAL
Recently, a large and pleasant ‘heroic’ portrait of the Twelfth Earl of Eglinton came into the market and was purchased for the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, Edinburgh. Certain repairs having been found necessary and completed, the portrait has been cleaned and is now exhibited in the Queen Street gallery. The Earl is pictured in full Highland uniform – feather bonnet, red jacket faced with green and laced with silver, belted plaid or ‘big kilt’ of Government or ‘Black Watch’ tartan and red and white hose. He directs an attack with drawn broadsword and in the background is a battle scene with struggling Highlanders and Redskins. Although the portrait has clearly been painted in the 1780s showing the subject not only well on in his forties – as he then would be – but in uniform of the fashion of that date. The intention is obviously the commemoration of his war service in the early 1760s. His uniform bears the facings of his old regiment of the American war and not the yellow ones of the Argyll or Western Fungibles in which he was a Major from 1778 to 1783 so that an effort seems to have been made to avoid at least one discrepancy. As a likeness, it is interesting and convincing to compare the portrait with the two representations of the Earl in Kay’s Edinburgh Portraits. Hugh Montgomerie, Twelfth Earl of Eglinton (1739-1819) was the son of Alexander Montgomerie of Coilsfield, Ayrshire. He entered the Army in 1756, aged 17, served in American war of 1757 to 1763 and fought at Quebec and Saint John in the 78th Fraser Highlanders. Later he was with the 1st Royals. Although this was his only war service, he later held a majority in the Western Fencibles of 1793 to 1799. Apart from military services, he was Member of Parliament for Ayrshire from 1780 but resigned to become Inspector of Military Roads in Scotland. In 1796, he succeeded to the Earldom and became a Representative Peer, Lord Lieutenant of Ayrshire and State Councillor to the Prince Regent. He was responsible for many schemes such as improving and extending roads in the Highlands, commencing the harbour works of Ardrossan and the construction of a canal from Glasgow to Johnstone. He was feudal in character with a taste for magnificence and the grand style. Although the portrait is such an ‘important’ work, it does not appear to have been engraved and so far, as it has not been possible to identify the artist. It was labelled as by Raeburn when originally at Eglinton Castle – for the rebuilding of which the Twelfth Earl was responsible – but it is hardly possible to accept this. The attribution to David Martin, borne recently when in the saleroom, is also somewhat hard to accept. A replica with minor variations is in the County Buildings, Ayr, and a small version appears in the Scottish Service Museum in Edinburgh Castle.
The Scotsman, 1 March 1950
REVEREND MONSIGNOR ARCHIBALD McSPARRAN
The Right Reverend Monsignor Archibald McSparran, Saint Peter in Chains Roman Catholic Church, Ardrossan, who died at the weekend (on 10 March 1950) was a native of Ardrossan. Appointed to his first charge at Dumbarton over forty years ago, he later was for many years priest of Saint John’s, Portugal Street, Glasgow. He took an active interest in educational affairs and, while in Glasgow, was secretary of the Diocesan Education Board.
The Scotsman, 13 March 1950