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Random Historical, Social and Cultural Moments

St Andrew’s Ball, Montreal, 1912

Montreal Daily Star, 7 December 1912, page 10

St Andrew’s Society Ball

 

From a spectacular point of view St Andrew’s Ball last night surpassed all previous years.  Windsor Hall was literally transformed into a fairyland, and this achievement was largely due to the simplicity of color scheme in the interior decorations of the hall.  The delicate shades of green on white made a most unique and effective setting for the oriental splendour of the various colored gowns and headdresses.  Though the decorations of the ballroom might be called simple, on account of the elimination of colour, there was a grandeur of design which gave the whole scene a most luxurious appearance.

The hall was perfect representation of a Roman grape arbour, formed by arches of numerous columns of pure white, which were artistically draped with delicate strands of smilax and laurel. From the top of each pillar Laurel streamers ran in profusion, in the centre of room, forming a large canopy.  The centrepiece was a magnificent circular brooch of light, holding a shower of Southern smilax and Vinela, while thousands of small strands of evergreen fan up and were lost in the massive laurel canopy.

Behind the white columns, which ran completely around the room, there were heavy embankments of ferns, and palms.  Dimly the [illegible] woodwork of the walls could be seen through Laurel streamers of smaller dimensions running from the green embankment to the roof of the beautifully festooned arbour.  A soft lighting effect added greatly to the scene and assisted materially in the blending of a thousand colors.

The stage was allotted to the orchestra and was beautifully festooned in tall graceful palms rising from a bank of ferns.

Taking the Leap into Genetic Genealogy, 2016

I will start with the immortal words of my father when he handed my a lot of my Christmas and Birthday presents  – “It was on sale.”  It will be my fall back reasoning.  I digress already!

 

I was at the BIFHSGO Family History Conference last week and was deeply immersed through its sessions on the pros and cons of getting your DNA tested for researching your family’s history.  It was fascinating.  I hadn’t really thought seriously about testing my DNA.  I had felt, and still do, to some extent, that my documentary research has been sufficient to my needs.  I have been, over the long haul been able to trace back a lot of my family line to a level which is utterly satisfying, and for some lines damn impressive, and I didn’t feel I needed the confirmation of DNA for my results.  But the idea of autosomal DNA creating some kind of genetic tracing to other people, and perhaps an interesting evaluation of my ethnic heritage was compelling.

So I saw the kits,  they were on sale, and I bought one.  There you have it.

The biggest question is of course what do I want to get out this experience?  And this is a bit complicated.  I know my heritage, I know for at least 5 generations on most lines, and some further than that where my people come from.  I know that I am Irish, Scottish and English, and far, far, back the English is mixed happily with French.  So it will be interesting to see what the percentages say.  There is a lovely family rumour of an Aboriginal ancestor, which would be interesting to find.  But here is the catch, I know that the further back you go the harder these traces are to find, and from my calculations the ancestor is at least 5 generations back – at least.   I have no documentary evidence of this ancestor, so this would be the only opportunity to prove/disprove the rumour. What will my test reveal?

At the conference there were a lot of warnings made by the speakers about the results.  The key message was that if you are not interested in the family’s skeletons, don’t open the closet.  A lot of people get very upset about discoveries of non-relationship.  Someone wasn’t the son/daughter of the one of their parents, of the people who raised them.  Since I cannot test my paternity as my parents have passed, this is not a worry.  (Actually having known my parents, not a worry anyway.)  But I am prepared for things not being as they seemed.   I am ready for surprises.  I have already had a few shocks in my family research, and I think I can handle this.

This evening I registered my kit with Ancestry, and took the test.  I found spitting into a tube a bit gross.  I also think I am dehydrated because it took far too long to fill the damn thing.  The instructions say that it is not much, only ¼ tsp, but really, that seemed like a lot when I was spitting.  Yuck.  Once full, I added the lid and the stabilizer, shook it, sealed it, and not it is ready for mailing on Monday.  I am sending it to Ireland – a  long trip via Canada Post. And then comes the wait.  6-8 weeks is the standard according to the instructions.

 

Scottish Societies List – updated

I have had a lot of responses for assistance for the creation of a list of Scottish societies (of all types) dating from the start of settlement in Canada to the present.  I am up to 120 societies – but I am sure there are more, please keep the suggestions coming.

Thank you so very much for those who have already helped!  So appreciated.

 

Here is the updated list:

City Name Start Date End Date Notes
Halifax North British Society 1768 Now known as the Scots Society
Saint John St Andrew’s Society 1798 Still exists
Williamstown Highland Society of Canada 1818 1857 Ceased 1828 and reformed 1843
Fredericton Society of St Andrew’s 1825 ?
Montreal St Andrew’s Society 1835 Still Exists
Toronto St Andrew’s Society 1836 Still exists
Quebec City St Andrew’s Society 1837 Unknown – but no longer exists
Kingston Kingston and Midland District St Andrew’s Society 1840 ?
Miramachi Highland society of New Brunswick 1842 Still exists
Quebec Highland Society of Canada – Quebec 1843 1857
Montreal Highland Society of Canada – Montreal 1843 1857
Kingston Highland Socieyt of Canada – Kingston 1843 1857
Toronto Highland Society of Canada – Toronto 1843 1857
Niagara Highland Society of Canada – Niagara 1843 1857
Hamilton Highland Society of Canada – Hamilton 1843 1857
Amherstburg Highland Society of Canada – Amherstburg 1843 1857
Bytown [Ottawa] Highland Society of Canada – Bytown 1843 1857
Johnstown Highland Society of Canada – Johnstown 1843 1857
Goderich Highland Society of Canada – Goderich 1843 1857
Perth Highland Society of Canada – Perth 1843 1857
Ottawa St Andrew’s Society 1847 Still exists
Montreal Caledonian Society of Montreal 1855 1970 -ish
Embro Embro Highland Society 1856 1888
Hamilton Burns Club 1858 ?
Williamstown Caledonian Society of Glengarry 1858
Victoria St Andrew and Caledonian Society 1859 2014
Montreal Burns Club 1859 ?
Halifax Caledonian Club 1861 ?
Antigonish Antigonish Highland Society 1861 ?
Prince Edward Island Caledonian Club of Prince Edward Island 1864 Still exists
Petrolia St Andrews Society 1870 Still exists
Winnipeg St Andrew’s Society 1871 Still exists
Toronto Sons of Scotland – 1 Robert Burns 1876
Toronto Gaelic Society of Toronto (Comunn Gaidlhig Thoronto) 1880 http://www.cassoc.ca/frameset.htm
Calgary St Andrew – Caledonian Society of Calgary 1884 Still Exists
Vancouver St Andrew and Caledonian Society 1886 ?
Peterborough St Andrew’s Society 1887 ?
Restigouche Caledonian Society 1898 Still exists
Toronto Burns Literary Society of Toronto 1901 ?
Winnipeg Burns Club 1907 Still exists
Vancouver Gaelic Society of Vancouver 1908 Still exists http://www.vancouvergaelic.com/
Clan Logan society International 1913 http://www.clanlogansociety.com/
Toronto Cairngorm club 1921
Victoria Burns Club 1922 ?
Glengarry Clan MacLeod Society of Glengarry 1936 http://www.clanmacleod-canada.com/MacLeod.html
Embro Zorra Caledonian Society 1937 Still exists
Canada Clan Macpherson Association 1948 http://www.clan-macpherson.org/canada/
Canada Clan Ross Association of Canada 1960 http://www.greatclanross.org/
Calgary Calgary Burns Club 1964 Still exists
Clan MacDougall Society of North America 1965 http://macdougall.org/
Ontario Scots Federation of Ontario 1965
Vancouver United Scottish Cultural society 1966 Still exists http://scottishculturalcentre.com/uscsociety/
Vancouver Royal scottish Country Dance Society 1966 Still exists http://www.rscdsvancouver.org/
Ontario Clan Cameron 1966 http://www.camerons-ontario.org/Ontario%20Branch%20History%202008%20Main%20Body%20Dec%2008.pdf
Kingston Royal Scottish Country Dance Society 1967 Still exists first called St Andrew’s Scottish Country Dance Society
Canada Clan Hunter Canada 1970 http://clanhuntercanada.weebly.com/
Canada Clan Sinclair Association Canada 1972 http://www.clansinclair.ca/docs/history.htm#presidents
Canada Clan Graham Society 1975
Canada Clan MacLeod Societies of Canada 1975 http://www.clanmacleod-canada.com/
Canada Clan Munro Association of Canada 1975 http://www.clanmunroassociation.ca/frameset.htm
Canada Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada 1976 http://www.cassoc.ca/frameset.htm
Canada Elliot Clan society 1977 http://www.elliotclan.com/history/
Canada Clan MacLennan Canada 1978 http://www.clanmaclennan.ca/
New Brunswick Scottish Cultural Association of New Brunswick 1980 Still exists
Nova Scotia Clan Cameron 1980 http://www.clan-cameron.org/n-america/map.html
Canada Clan Macfie Society 1981 http://www.clanmacfie.co.uk/
North America Robert Burns Association of North America 1982 Still exists Based in Hamilton, ON
Canada Clan Lamont society of Canada 1986 http://www.clanlamont.ca/
Canada Clan Mackenzie Society of Canada 1986 http://www.clanmackenziecanada.ca/
Halifax Burns Club 1997 Still exists
Ontario Clan Donnachaidh society 1997 http://www.cassoc.ca/clans/donnachaidh/frameset.htm
Highland Prairie (AB, BC, MB, SK) Clan Cameron 2002 http://www.clan-cameron.org/n-america/map.html
Medicine Hat Medicine Hat Burns Club 2008 Still exists
Ottawa Scottish Society 2012 Still exists
Pictou St Andrew’s Society ? Still exists
Canada Clan Gregor Society ? http://www.clangregor.com/faq/
Edmonton St Andrew’s Society <1894 ?
London St Andrew’s Society <1902 ?
Montreal Ayrshire Society <1929 Still exists
Amherst St Andrew’s Society <1959 ?
Scarborough Caledonian society of Scarborough <1976
Ontario Highland Dancers Association <1976
Toronto Toronto Scottish Regimental Association <1976
Eastern Canada Highland Dancers Association <1976
Uist and Barra Scots Association <1976
Daughters of Scotland <1976
Timmins St Andrew’s Society <1982 ?
Canada Clan Watson Association of Canada 1980s http://www.cassoc.ca/clans/watson/frameset.htm
Quebec Quebec Thistle Council 2016
Annapolis Burns Club of Annapolis Still exists
Toronto Robert Burns Club of Toronto Still exists
Edmonton Edmonton Scottish Society Still exists
Montreal Sons of Scotland Still exists
Montreal Thistle Society Still exists
Chilliwack Sons of Scotland – 220 Fraser Glen Still exists
New Westminster Sons of Scotland – 191 Lord of the Isles Still exists
Winnipeg Sons of Scotland – 126 Melrose Still exists
Montreal Sons of Scotland – 76 Mount Stephen Still exists
Ottawa Sons of Scotland – 26 Argyle Still exists
Vancouver Sons of Scotland – 209 Lord Tweedsmuir Still exists
Toronto Sons of Scotland – 5 Dunedin Still exists
Verdun Sons of Scotland – 94 McKenzie Still exists
Vancouver Sons of Scotland – 212 Glengarry Still exists
Toronto Sons of Scotland – 6 Bellahouston Still exists
Regina Sons of Scotland – 177 Balmoral Still exists
Vernon Sons of Scotland – 166 Kildonan Still exists
Toronto Sons of Scotland – 104 Cameron Still exists
Victoria Sons of Scotland – 204 Balgownie Still exists
Vancouver Burns Club
Edmonton Burns Club
London West Elgin Caledonian Society
Canada Clan Chisolm society http://www.clanchisholmsociety.org/public/CANindex.php
Clan Irwin Association http://www.cassoc.ca/clans/irwin/underconst.htm
Ontario Clan Kincaid http://www.clankincaid.org/Constitution
Canada Clan Mackay Association of Canada http://www.clanmackay.ca/
Canada Clan MacNeil http://www.clanmacneilincanada.ca/about/past-chiefs-of-barra/
Belleville Belleville Scottish Country Dance Society Still exists
Brockville Brockville Scottish Country Dance Society Still exists
Prince Edward County Prince Edward County Scottish Country Dance Society Still Exists
Portsmouth Portsmouth Village Dancers Still Exists

Historic List of Scottish Societies in Canada – Assistance please!

I am trying to create a list of all the Scottish societies which have been founded in Canada since the beginning of Scottish settlement here in order to view trends etc.

I have below a partial list of societies which I have knowledge of, their names, location, and dates of existence.  If anyone can assist me with this it would be appreciated.

I will update the list as I receive more information, and do more research.

List of Scottish Societies in Canada through time

[Draft Updated! – Work in Progress]

City Name Start Date End Date Notes
Halifax North British Society 1768 Now known as the Scots Society
Saint John St Andrew’s Society 1798 Still exists
Fredericton Society of St Andrew’s 1825 ?
Montreal St Andrew’s Society 1835 Still Exists
Toronto St Andrew’s Society 1836 Still exists
Quebec City St Andrew’s Society 1837 Unknown – but no longer exists
Kingston Kingston and Midland District St Andrew’s Society 1840 ?
Ottawa St Andrew’s Society 1847 Still exists
Montreal Caledonian Society of Montreal 1855 1970 -ish
Embro Embro Highland Society 1856 1888
Hamilton Burns Club 1858 ?
Victoria St Andrew and Caledonian Society 1859 2014
Montreal Burns Club 1859 ?
Halifax Caledonian Club 1861 ?
Prince Edward Island Caledonian Club of Prince Edward Island 1864 Still exists
Petrolia St Andrews Society 1870 Still exists
Winnipeg St Andrew’s Society 1871 Still exists
Toronto Sons of Scotland – 1 Robert Burns 1876
Toronto Gaelic Society of Toronto (Comunn Gaidlhig Thoronto) 1880 http://www.cassoc.ca/frameset.htm
Calgary St Andrew – Caledonian Society of Calgary 1884 Still Exists
Vancouver St Andrew and Caledonian Society 1886 ?
Peterborough St Andrew’s Society 1887 ?
Restigouche Caledonian Society 1898 Still exists
Toronto Burns Literary Society of Toronto 1901 ?
Winnipeg Burns Club 1907 Still exists
Vancouver Gaelic Society of Vancouver 1908 Still exists http://www.vancouvergaelic.com/
Clan Logan society International 1913 http://www.clanlogansociety.com/
Toronto Cairngorm club 1921
Victoria Burns Club 1922 ?
Glengarry Clan MacLeod Society of Glengarry 1936 http://www.clanmacleod-canada.com/MacLeod.html
Embro Zorra Caledonian Society 1937 Still exists
Canada Clan Macpherson Association 1948 http://www.clan-macpherson.org/canada/
Canada Clan Ross Association of Canada 1960 http://www.greatclanross.org/
Calgary Calgary Burns Club 1964 Still exists
Clan MacDougall Society of North America 1965 http://macdougall.org/
Ontario Scots Federation of Ontario 1965
Vancouver United Scottish Cultural society 1966 Still exists http://scottishculturalcentre.com/uscsociety/
Vancouver Royal scottish Country Dance Society 1966 Still exists http://www.rscdsvancouver.org/
Ontario Clan Cameron 1966 http://www.camerons-ontario.org/Ontario%20Branch%20History%202008%20Main%20Body%20Dec%2008.pdf
Canada Clan Hunter Canada 1970 http://clanhuntercanada.weebly.com/
Canada Clan Sinclair Association Canada 1972 http://www.clansinclair.ca/docs/history.htm#presidents
Canada Clan Graham Society 1975
Canada Clan MacLeod Societies of Canada 1975 http://www.clanmacleod-canada.com/
Canada Clan Munro Association of Canada 1975 http://www.clanmunroassociation.ca/frameset.htm
Canada Clans and Scottish Societies of Canada 1976 http://www.cassoc.ca/frameset.htm
Canada Elliot Clan society 1977 http://www.elliotclan.com/history/
Canada Clan MacLennan Canada 1978 http://www.clanmaclennan.ca/
New Brunswick Scottish Cultural Association of New Brunswick 1980 Still exists
Nova Scotia Clan Cameron 1980 http://www.clan-cameron.org/n-america/map.html
Canada Clan Macfie Society 1981 http://www.clanmacfie.co.uk/
North America Robert Burns Association of North America 1982 Still exists Based in Hamilton, ON
Canada Clan Lamont society of Canada 1986 http://www.clanlamont.ca/
Canada Clan Mackenzie Society of Canada 1986 http://www.clanmackenziecanada.ca/
Halifax Burns Club 1997 Still exists
Ontario Clan Donnachaidh society 1997 http://www.cassoc.ca/clans/donnachaidh/frameset.htm
Highland Prairie (AB, BC, MB, SK) Clan Cameron 2002 http://www.clan-cameron.org/n-america/map.html
Medicine Hat Medicine Hat Burns Club 2008 Still exists
Ottawa Scottish Society 2012 Still exists
Pictou St Andrew’s Society ? Still exists
Canada Clan Gregor Society ? http://www.clangregor.com/faq/
Edmonton St Andrew’s Society <1894 ?
London St Andrew’s Society <1902 ?
Montreal Ayrshire Society <1929 Still exists
Amherst St Andrew’s Society <1959 ?
Scarborough Caledonian society of Scarborough <1976
Ontario Highland Dancers Association <1976
Toronto Toronto Scottish Regimental Association <1976
Eastern Canada Highland Dancers Association <1976
Uist and Barra Scots Association <1976
Daughters of Scotland <1976
Timmins St Andrew’s Society <1982 ?
Canada Clan Watson Association of Canada 1980s http://www.cassoc.ca/clans/watson/frameset.htm
Quebec Quebec Thistle Council 2016
Annapolis Burns Club of Annapolis Still exists
Toronto Robert Burns Club of Toronto Still exists
Edmonton Edmonton Scottish Society Still exists
Montreal Sons of Scotland Still exists
Montreal Thistle Society Still exists
Chilliwack Sons of Scotland – 220 Fraser Glen Still exists
New Westminster Sons of Scotland – 191 Lord of the Isles Still exists
Winnipeg Sons of Scotland – 126 Melrose Still exists
Montreal Sons of Scotland – 76 Mount Stephen Still exists
Ottawa Sons of Scotland – 26 Argyle Still exists
Vancouver Sons of Scotland – 209 Lord Tweedsmuir Still exists
Toronto Sons of Scotland – 5 Dunedin Still exists
Verdun Sons of Scotland – 94 McKenzie Still exists
Vancouver Sons of Scotland – 212 Glengarry Still exists
Toronto Sons of Scotland – 6 Bellahouston Still exists
Regina Sons of Scotland – 177 Balmoral Still exists
Vernon Sons of Scotland – 166 Kildonan Still exists
Toronto Sons of Scotland – 104 Cameron Still exists
Victoria Sons of Scotland – 204 Balgownie Still exists
Vancouver Burns Club
Edmonton Burns Club
London West Elgin Caledonian Society
Canada Clan Chisolm society http://www.clanchisholmsociety.org/public/CANindex.php
Clan Irwin Association http://www.cassoc.ca/clans/irwin/underconst.htm
Ontario Clan Kincaid http://www.clankincaid.org/Constitution
Canada Clan Mackay Association of Canada http://www.clanmackay.ca/
Canada Clan MacNeil http://www.clanmacneilincanada.ca/about/past-chiefs-of-barra/
3ds30nov1912
Montreal Daily Star, 30 November 1912, page 3

Frederick Pauline Sr – Artist.

While doing research for an article on the Paulin(e) family.  I began searching for examples of paintings done by Frederick Paulin(e) Sr. The main reason was that I had unearthed a newspaper article dated 1901, which spoke of an exhibit he had at the Great Northern Railway Offices [See below].

3col26sep1901 - f pauline artist

I knew that Frederick had been an artist having seen a couple of examples in my travels, but I hadn’t understood the importance that it had for him, which from the fact that he exhibited his work (though humbly) suggests.

So I have decided to launch a search for more examples of his work, to digitally construct an exhibit of his paintings in order to share with his family/descendants and other interested people in his vision of the world, through his art.

Example 1

IMG_0048

Beacon Hill Park, Victoria, from the collection of S Bunting.

Example 2

Paulin1 (1)

Possibly English River, dated 1909, from the collection of D Thornton.

If you have any paintings by Frederick and would be willing to share with the blog (and the family) I would be most grateful.

Frederick’s son Ernest Alfred Paulin was also a talented artist.  I have two examples of his decorative painting.

Example 1

EPaulin tin birds

Tin Plate, repurposed Ainsley Ware and decorated with birds.  Was a gift to Sidney and Kate [Smith, his in-laws] and dated Christmas 1899, from the collection of G Leitch.

Example 2

EPaulin mirror cake plate

Decorated mirror, nd, from the collection of S Bunting. Thought to be a cake plate.

Any images of Ernest or Frederick’s art would be gratefully added to this virtual exhibit.  If any other members of the family were visual artists, information and images would also be appreciated.

Work in Progress!

The Gallery can be seen here: https://gilliandr.wordpress.com/pauline-family-art-gallery/

A Voice from Turkey [Poem], Montreal, 1867

Ottawa Citizen, 3 January 1867, page 2

 

Getty Images, from BBC.co.uk
Getty Images, from BBC.co.uk

A VOICE FROM TURKEY

 

Dinner was o’er on New Year’s Day, and as I sat alone,

Methought that from the table rose a deep, unearthly groan,-

Tables have groaned in ancient time, should they not in our own!

 

“A hospitable sign,” said I, not in the least dismayed,

Not if the shades of slaughtered fowls, erst victimized, afraid,

Though scattered remnants of the feast were on the table laid.

 

Surely it was a dream, from out a heap of well-picked bones,

Though unlearnt in such lore, methought I heard mysterious tones,

And thus they wailed, and thus they plained, “Ye miserable ones.”

 

“Poor victims of relentless Fate, dear fellow suff’rers all!

This day beholds of our proud race the universal fall,

And well displays the cruelty which held us long in thrall.”

 

“What joys were ours in those calm days of verdant innocence,

When we the spacious farmyard ranged, nor feared to give offence,

Before the cook, with wily arts, strove to begull us thence!”

 

“Oh, fatal, fatal day on which, for the last time, we took,

In solemn state, the savory mess brought by that treach’rous cook,

How could be with composure meet our unsuspecting look.”

 

“But cooks have such cruel hearts, – beneath their blandest smiles will lurk

The cold, unfeeling selfishness which fits them for their work,

And though we come from Turkey they are “cruel as the Turk.”

 

Bluebell.

Untangling the Various Narratives – More About Maude Smith, Suffragette, 2016

When writing about a person of note it is always important to understand the different narratives which are used about them.  This is particularly important when you are writing about them as a part of a family history.  The role they played in the family, the way they were remembered in the family could be at odds with how they are portrayed in history books, and likewise their part in history might single them out for remembrance in family lore out of sync with their participation in the family.

Such is the case with my grandfather’s first cousin, Isabel Maude Kate Smith.  Maude was the daughter of Grandad’s mother’s sister.  She was a suffragette, and her story as a part of the Votes for Women movement in England is of note. But of course, she was a part of the family, a part of a network of relatives who lived in the Birmingham area.

Last week I found Maude’s prison record (for her second arrest) and did a subsequent Google search.  There  on the Press Association Archives I discovered a photo of Maude in the docks during her trial in 1914.  Having now obtained the rights to use this picture in my blog (and yes this cost money) I thought it a good idea to reflect on Maude, both as a suffragette and as a family member.

Maude

Isabel Maude Kate Smith was born the 7 September 1881 in Acock’s Green, Birmingham.  She was the eldest child of Sidney Smith and his wife Kate Jennings.  When she was born her father was a wholesale jeweller.  Maude had three brothers and a sister: Sidney, Percival, Leslie and Dorothy.

According to an interview Maude did with Brian Harrison in 1975 [The Women’s Library, London Metropolitan University, 8SUF/B/030] Maude had a varied primary education, attending several schools before leaving at the age of 12.  After leaving school she worked for her father.  When his business failed she worked intermittently in clerical/bookkeeping positions.  She loved numbers. She suffered from depression, and was often forced to leave jobs after suffering breakdowns.

After her period in the suffrage movement she moved to the country, and served as a housekeeper/companion to an accountant named Skinner.  The Skinners were apparently friends of the family.  She lived with him in the Shropshire area until about 1965, when he died.  She never married.

Maude as a Suffragette

Maude joined the suffrage movement after reading Votes for Women.  She didn’t just attend a few meetings, she was active in it, first selling papers for them, then serving as the secretary of the WSPU [Women’s Social and Political Union] in Birmingham.

In 1912 Maude, with a number of other women, went to London and smashed windows in Oxford Street.  She was arrested, and was given four months for that.  After sentencing, the ladies began a hunger strike, and were force-fed.  Maude was force-fed for a few months, and the emotional and physical damage followed her through her life. Released, she continued with the movement, and admitted to “firing a post box.” [“All this so Women Could Win the Right to Vote,” Solihull News, 8 January 1972].

British Politics - The Suffragettes - Trials - London - 1914
Suffragette Mary Spencer in the dock charged with causing criminal damage to the painting ‘Primavera’ by Sir George Clausen in the National Gallery in London. She was, in fact, the Secretary for the WSPU, Maude Kate Smith, using an assumed name. PA Images #5320230, used with permission

Maude is best known for another violent act, the slashing of the painting Primavera by George Claussen at the Royal Academy of Arts on the 26 May 1914.  The painting was a nude lady sitting sideways holding her hair.  When asked in 1975 Maude said that it was a lovely picture, and expressed regret that she had harmed it.  Upon slashing it she was arrested and taken to the Old Bailey.  There under the false name of Mary or May Spencer she was convicted, and imprisoned for six months. [TNA-CCC-H0140-00692]

Maude in her Family

In her interview Maude was asked a fair bit about her family.  She was very open about her father and his family.  Sidney Smith was from, in her words, landed gentry, and his family had owned land in Great Cumberton for over four hundred years. She attributed many of his and her preferences for quiet and country because of this landed heritage. Maude appears to have spent a great deal of time with her grandmother there (including in 1901 when she was listed as a visitor in her home in the Census).  She mentioned that she was named after three aunts and her mother.  (Isabel was her mother’s sister, the other two were Smiths, but she talks of three Smith aunts).

About her mother she said relatively little.  She described her as trier, worn out and angry.  She talked about how her mother was always trying to get her to take on chores in the house, but she refused.  Maude said that her mother came from business people [Swan Pub in Yardley] and that she was used to having servants.  She also noted that when Maude was born her mother was undernourished, and had ultimately gone through nine pregnancies (9 pregnancies – 5 children survived).

About her siblings she was vague.  She did mention that there was little affection among them.  She knew little about their lives, and while granted she was over ninety when she was interviewed and not as quick as she must have been, she was hard pressed to know what they did for a living, and rarely used their names.

What she did say was that Leslie went to technical school, and then worked at Dunlops.  Percy was a “tragedy” who worked at a GE then a bicycle factory, she also called him wild, and that he had three children.  No details to the wildness. Sidney was a “gentle dear” who worked first as a bookkeeper and then owned Magnus Welding Co.  Dorothy liked to garden.

The family view of Maude

Growing up both my brother and I were raised with the story of how Grandad’s cousin had been a suffragette fighting for the right to vote.  We were told how important it was to vote.

When researching Maude I came across a letter my Mom wrote to her cousin Dorothy in 1996 about Maude.  Daphne had kindly sent an article about her that she had found.  Here is a part of what Mom said:

“Apart from the fact that she’d been a suffragette and had been imprisoned, I didn’t know much about her.  I have a vague recollection of Auntie Hilda [Grandad’s sister] telling me that she’d been the housekeeper for a widower [actually he was still married, but separated] but nothing beyond that. . . . I was surprised to read in the newspaper article that Maude was a tomboy from having played with her brothers.  As far as I knew, she only had one brother, Leslie, and one sister, Dorothy.  Leslie worked at Dunlop at the same time as Dad (in the war) and had quite a senior job – and felt it beneath his dignity to acknowledge a mere clerk!  I believe he was married but didn’t have any children.  Dad always said what a lovely couple Uncle Sidney and Aunt Kate were (so I couldn’t understand Leslie’s attitude).”

Maude did not appear to be a part of the larger family circle, so really existed only in rumour, and legend.

Narratives

As you can seen there are four narratives here – first is the biographical narrative, the basic facts about Maude’s life; next is the larger national historic narrative – her being a significant part of the suffragette movement, and her very striking attack on a painting at the Royal Academy; third is her narrative, her view of her life and family; and lastly the family’s view of her.  All are valid, all interesting.

 

Bibliography

Women’s Library, London Metropolitan University, interview with Maude Kate Smith by Brian Harrison, dated 14 January 1975, 8SUF/B/030.

1901 Census, Great Comberton, Worcestershire.

1891 Census, Berkswell, Warwickshire.

Press Association Images #5320320 [www.paimages.co.uk]

“All This So Women Could Win the Vote,” Solihull News, 8 January 1972.

Helena Bonett, “Deeds not Words:’ Suffragettes and the Summer Exhibition,” Royal Academy of Arts, posted 15 July 2013.

Letter to D Tuckett from S Leitch, dated 10 March 1996.

Brian Henderson, “The Act of Militancy: Violence and the Suffragettes, 1904-1914” in Peaceable Kingdoms, Stability and Change in Modern Britain, eds. Michael Bentley and John Stevenson, Oxford University Press, 1982, 80-122.

TNA-CCC-H0140-00692.

Entertaining & Being Entertained – Etiquette, 1937

From: Etiquette: The Blue Book of Social Usage by Emily Post, New York and London, Funk & Wagnalls Co, 1922/37.

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The Late Guest

A polite hostess waits twenty minutes at most after the dinner hour, and then orders dinner to be served.  To wait more than twenty minutes, or actually fifteen after those who took the allowable five minutes’ grace, would be showing lack of consideration to many for the sake of one.  When one late guest finally enters the dining-room, it is she who must go up to the hostess and apologize for being late.  The hostess remains seated and the guest merely shakes hands quickly in order that all the men at the table need not rise. The hostess must never take the guest to task, but should say something polite and conciliatory such as: “I was sure you would not want us to wait dinner!”

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The ideal guest not only tries to wear becoming clothes, but tries to get into an equally becoming frame of mind. No one is ever asked out very much who is in the habit of telling people all the misfortunes and ailments she has experienced or witnessed, though the perfect guest listens with apparent sympathy to everyone else’s.  Another attribute of the perfect guest is never to keep people waiting.

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Formal invitations are always addressed to Mr. Stanley Smith.  All other personal letters may be addressed to Stanley Smith, Esq.  The title of Esquire was formerly used to denote the eldest son of a knight or members of a younger branch of a noble house.  Later all graduates of universities, professional and literary men, and important landholders were given the right to this title, which even today denotes a man of education – a gentleman.  John Smith, Esquire, is John Smith, Gentleman.  Mr. John Smith may be a gentleman or may not be one.  And yet, as noted above, all engraved initiations are addressed to “Mr.”.

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From: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/21814379414588243/

Illuminating Montreal’s Port, 1880

[I only wish I had a picture to illustrate this blog post with, because it would have been a heck of a sight!]

Montreal Gazette, 22 September 1880, page 2

Last Night’s Illuminations

Dryden’s hyperbole, that the stars lifted the curtain of the Night to gaze on a scene he was describing, would not, after all, seem so far fetched to one who saw the illumination of the harbour last night. The shipping was decked with parti-colored lights, arranged in wreaths and crowns and figures of every description, and from many of the vessels fireworks were sent off. As far as the eye could reach on either side were myriads of dancing lights of various colors, forming a strong contrast to the dark hulls and the waters grey in the moonlight, while in the background were the huge warehouses and stores whose grimness seemed intensified by comparison with the brightness of the scene in front. A large number of people visited the wharves to view this illumination and at the same time see how effectively the new electric light system performs it work.

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