Gabrielle Margaret Ariana Borthwick was initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn at
its Isis-Urania temple in
UPDATE JANUARY 2017
My biographies tend to run out of steam in the 1920s! There’s a lack of sources for GD members who lived longer than that. So it was great, in November, to be contacted by Nina Baker with news of Gabrielle’s doings in the 1920s and 1930s. Many thanks to Nina for alerting me, and for emailing me copies of documents that she was using for her own research. Inspired by her enthusiasm, I also found some newly available information on my own account.
Dr Nina Baker researches the history of engineering. She also works as a voluntary historian for the Women’s Engineering Society: see their blog at
THE BORTHWICK FAMILY
The Borthwick family were Scottish. At //clanborthwick.com you can read more about the clan they belonged to. Gabrielle was the eldest child of Cunninghame Borthwick, who was either the 16th or the 19th Baron Borthwick, depending on how you count it.
I shall go into this business of how you count the barons Borthwick as I think it really mattered to Gabrielle’s father in a way that is difficult to appreciate from the 21st century. The barony of Borthwick had lain dormant since the death of a Baron Borthwick in 1772 without any obvious heirs. Cunninghame Borthwick’s father, Patrick Borthwick, had claimed the dormant peerage in 1816. Cunninghame’s elder brother Archibald took up the claim when Patrick died; and when Archibald died in his turn in 1867, the baton passed to Cunninghame as Patrick’s younger son. Cunninghame went into the matter with a great deal more energy and determination than either his father or his brother: he spent a great deal of time and money petitioning the House of Lords to agree that he was the true baron, against the claims being made by two other members of the clan. After four years of effort by Cunninghame, the House of Lords’ Privileges Committee finally agreed with him, and he was declared the 16th Baron Borthwick on 5 May 1870.
Barons occupied the bottom
rung of the peerage: viscounts, earls, marquises and dukes all out-ranked them. But in an era in which precedence and
deference still really counted, some men were prepared to move heaven and earth
even to be a baron. Cunninghame
Borthwick really did want to be a baron.
He wanted to claim what his branch of the family thought was their
rightful place in the social hierarchy; and to have all the privileges that
went with it. By the mid-19th-century
the Borthwick barony lacked one of the most important defining characteristics
of a peerage: it no longer had a landed estate.
No matter: Cunninghame bought one in 1870. It was on the Machars peninsula in what was
What a fuss about a
barony. But as a historian I’m delighted
with it: in order to make his claim to the barony stick, Cunninghame Borthwick
was obliged to produce evidence the House of Lords’ Privileges Committee would
believe, of births, marriages and deaths in his family. The evidence he produced was that it showed
that the family was known and respected in
Patrick Borthwick was
appointed the first manager of the National Bank of
Patrick and Ariana’s second
son Cunninghame was born in 1813. By the
mid-1830s he was working as an actuary in the family accountancy business in
I think it was as a partner in a City firm, rather than as a would-be Scottish peer, that
Cunninghame Borthwick married
Harriet Alice Day in 1865. If he was
looking for a bride as the hopeful baron Borthwick, Harriet was rather a
strange choice, in that she was not related to any peer’s family as far as I
can discover, nor from a family of particularly great wealth, from any
source. Harriet - who was over 20 years
Cunninghame’s junior - was the daughter of Thomas Hermitage Day, whose family
ran a bank in
From the point of view of the
Day family, Harriet made a very good marriage: they probably didn’t rate her
prospective husband’s chances of becoming a baron very highly, but they could
appreciate the more tangible advantages he offered Harriet. Between 1865 and 1880 the Borthwicks lived
most of the year in various houses in fashionable and expensive Mayfair; and
after 1870 there was the estate in
In her biography of Alva and Consuelo Vanderbilt, Amanda Mackenzie Stuart credits Consuelo with inventing the neat summing-up of the duty of a peeress to her husband: the ‘heir and a spare’. Consuelo was speaking in the 1890s but of course the understanding of what was required was centuries old. Harriet Borthwick did part of what was expected, giving birth to a son in 1867 - I think it’s significant that Cunninghame’s efforts to get the barony resuscitated became more systematic from that year. However, Harriet was not able to supply a spare as well. Cunninghame and Harriet had five children, but the other four were daughters. In one other respect, Harriet didn’t measure up to the job-description for the wife of a peer or other man who wished to be upwardly mobile: from my readings of the Court Circular pages in the Times I’ve come away with the impression that she didn’t work the social scene in the way you needed to, to get your husband noticed when jobs were being handed out - giving dinners and balls, holding house parties, attending royal events - meeting and cultivating the right people. More or less the only times I found her in the Court Circular reports was when she went to Buckingham Palace (on four occasions over 10 years) to launch her daughters’ social careers by presenting them to royalty. It was not, of course, a way of life Harriet had been bred to; but she didn’t do it. From what I’ve read of her, I think she was just not very sociable.
Despite the fact that the
Borthwicks were not really a part of the upper-class social whirl, they lived
in opulent style. I can’t find them
anywhere in the UK on the 1871 census but on the day of the 1881 census they
and their daughters were at their Mayfair house, where their household included
a butler, footman, cook, a lady’s maid, the daughters’ governess, two
housemaids, two nursemaids and a kitchen maid.
Although Cunninghame Borthwick seems to have drawn the line at having
his own personal valet, the employment of two male servants indicates the
amount he was prepared to spend on giving visitors a good impression, and on
his family’s comfort - male servants came expensive. In addition, he will also have employed a
coachman and one groom, perhaps two, to drive at least one carriage and look
after its horses; but they were living in a separate household, probably in the
rooms over the stables round the back of the house. Even as a widow, Harriet Borthwick was able
to maintain a high standard of living; and she hadn’t had to move out of
Gabrielle Margaret Ariana
Borthwick was the eldest of the five children growing up in the Borthwicks’
lavishly-funded household. She was born
on 30 June 1866. The heir Archibald was
born in 1867;
In March 1884, Harriet
Borthwick overcame her reluctance to socialise with her peers and went with her
Gabrielle had been through
two ‘seasons’ when, on the day before Christmas, 1885, Cunninghame Borthwick
died. It may have suited Harriet
Borthwick’s un-sociable personality to have an excuse to observe the
one-year-long period of mourning that was expected of the widow and children;
but Gabrielle’s momentum as a young woman of marriageable age in British high
society was slowed down and I get the impression that it never really speeded
up again. With three other daughters and
the heir to establish, Harriet moved on:
Harriet Borthwick married off three of her daughters, but she failed with Gabrielle. That might have been intentional - some mothers hoped to have, or even schemed at getting, one daughter who remained unmarried to look after them when they were old. However, Gabrielle and her mother have bit-parts to play in two sets of memoirs that suggest a variation on that story.
Both the memoirs are from
Gabrielle’s time in the Golden Dawn and the years immediately after it; and
concern a group of wealthy ex-pats who spent all or part of their year in
Walburga Paget must have been
a very effective diplomat’s wife - even in her widowhood she entertained
constantly, and she knew a great variety of people. She even knew some Italians, which for ex-pat
Walburga Paget doesn’t
mention having Gabrielle to stay again but will have seen each other regularly
over the next few years. In November
1900, Violet was the last of Harriet’s other daughters to get married. With that marriage Harriet decided that her
social duties were finally done, as far as they could be, and for the next few
years she spent her winters in
Apart from confusing one year’s events with another’s, Walburga Paget strikes me as a fairly reliable memoir-writer. I’m not so sure about Mabel Dodge Luhan, however: she exaggerates, and I feel she is a bit too anxious to portray her lifestyle as one of conscious and unashamed rule-breaking. So I am not quite sure how much reliance to place on Mabel Dodge Luhan’s suggestion that she and Gabrielle Borthwick had a lesbian relationship; although an attraction to women rather than men could be one reason why Gabrielle didn’t marry.
Mabel Dodge Luhan arrived in
Mabel admits in her memoir that she was strongly attracted to Gabrielle from the start; and she means sexually. Before long she was inviting Gabrielle to stay at her villa. These visits seem to have taken place in a hot-house atmosphere of the sort that ends in tears. Mabel likes to feel that everyone she meets is sexually attracted to her; but she describes her son’s nanny, Marguerite, as having feelings towards Mabel that were certainly possessive, if not sexual, and sufficiently out-of-control as to be obvious to others in the house. She says that Gabrielle was one of several women-friends of Mabel’s who “made Marguerite suffer” over it, but goes further in Gabrielle’s case, describing how “her own [Gabrielle’s] muscles dimpled, reflecting the titillation of her being at someone else’s pain”. That’s not the way to behave towards anyone, least of all a servant; Gabrielle and Mabel ought both to have been ashamed of themselves. According to Mabel’s memoir, Gabrielle’s particular way of getting at Marguerite was to suggest to Mabel that they go and lie down together for a while. Does this mean there was a lesbian relationship between Gabrielle and Mabel? Maybe. Or maybe not, but they both wanted Marguerite to think so, and be jealous and hurt.
I wonder if it doesn’t just mean that these restricted societies full of people with nothing much to do, encourage everyone to act their worst.
Writing her memoir in the 1930s, Mabel hadn’t had second thoughts about Gabrielle’s sexuality - she still believed Gabrielle was a lesbian, and grouped her with women she knew in Florence whom Mabel thought of as never having any men in their lives, the group’s leader (if it had such a thing) being Violet Paget (not sure whether she’s a relation of Walburga), who dressed as a man and preferred to be known as Vernon Lee. Marriage was not had not been a bar to being one of this group: Mabel includes in it Mary Berenson despite her being married to Bernard Berenson who in his turn seemed to hate all women.
As regards relations between Harriet Borthwick and Gabrielle, Mabel’s memoir does suggest that she was in Gabrielle’s confidence, or close enough to her to make a good guess about things not actually stated in so many words. Mabel writes that, “The Honorable Gabrielle was in a hateful position of dependence upon her mother whom she disliked but lived with because they were so poor.” I’m not sure I agree that Harriet Borthwick was poor; she was certainly managing well enough in 1891. (Neither Harriet nor Gabrielle was on the census in the UK in 1901 or 1911; they were in Italy, I suppose.) It’s probably true, though, that Gabrielle was financially dependent on her mother at this stage in her life. And I think Mabel got it right when she surmised that mother and daughter had very little in common. But as the only remaining unmarried daughter, it was expected of Gabrielle that she would live with her ageing mother.
Cunninghame Borthwick had
leisure interests which Harriet doesn’t seem to have shared but which he did
share with some of his children. None of
them shared his curiosity about spiritualism, but Gabrielle, Archibald and Mary
were all interested in that area where archaeology, antiquarianism and folk history
all meet. Archibald was a member of the
Glasgow Archaeological Society; Mary’s first book was a selection of folk tales
Harriet Borthwick did not
prevent Gabrielle following up those separate interests. So Gabrielle was able to become one of a
select group of members who joined the Theosophical Society as friends of
Patience Sinnett, wife of the journalist and writer A P Sinnett. Both the Sinnetts were senior members of the
TS, as personal friends of its founders
The TS held regular meetings in London, with a programme of lectures by members and visitors, followed by time for discussion; and if you went to those meetings on a regular basis in the 1880s you will soon have met people who were later in the Golden Dawn - William Forsell Kirby for example, Isabel de Steiger, Lady Eleanor Harbord, Agnes de Pallandt (although these people were all much older than Gabrielle); and GD founder William Wynn Westcott. The TS was a very fruitful source of GD members especially in the early 1890s. As Gabrielle was thought interested enough in western occultism to be offered membership of the GD, she might also have gone to meetings of the Hermetic Society, which started out within the TS but became a separate society in 1884; but that Society’s records are lost and I can’t be certain she knew of it. If she did go to any Hermetic Society meetings she will have met another founder of the GD, Samuel Liddell Mathers.
During the 1890s Gabrielle kept up her theosophy-based friendship with Patience Sinnett and also worked when she could at the reading and other study required of Golden Dawn members if they wanted to be initiated into its inner, second order and do some real magic. Her progress was slow, though. In 1896 Gabrielle reached her 30th birthday and passed through the barrier that separated the possibly-still-marriageable from the unlikely-ever-to-marry. Given the lesbian feelings that Mabel Dodge Luhan was sure Gabrielle had, she may have seen reaching 30 as a release from a burden and a source of tension in the family; but she still would have had social duties to perform, as a member of the upper-classes, and it’s extraordinary how much time these took up: visits to well-known and influential hostesses in Florence, for example. However, there was another reason why Gabrielle wasn’t willing to give the attention to the GD’s programme of learning that some more enthusiastic members did: Gabrielle had discovered the excitements to be had from another kind of alchemy - the internal combustion engine.
In 1915 the Times described
Gabrielle as having many years’ experience as a car driver. Although they were still very unreliable, the
internal combustion engine was still being developed, and petrol had not yet
won the battle to be the major source of fuel, cars were beginning to be
everywhere in the 1890s. A quick search
of the web established that both Benz and Daimler were attempting to make cars
in numbers rather than as one-offs by 1890; the first organised motor race was
held in 1894 and the first grand prix in 1901 (both in
The Automobile Club of Great
Britain (now the Royal Automobile Club) was founded in 1897. Like most clubs, it had a ‘men only’ policy;
but by 1903 the agitation from women drivers was so noisy that it authorised
the setting up of a Ladies’ Automobile Club.
The early members of the LAC were all wealthy aristocrats - Consuelo
I’m assuming that Gabrielle’s
interest in cars dates from the 1890s but when I researched the founding of the
LAC, I didn’t see her name mentioned in connection with it; I suppose being so
The fact that the LAC so quickly organised access for its members to a garage reflected the hazards of early motoring: cars broke down so often! Even a woman driver was going to need to know how to fix the engine; or at least what was wrong with it so she could direct someone else while they attempted repairs. By 1906 the LAC was employing Mr R Sedgewick Currie to teach its members car mechanics. By 1907 he’d given four sets of lessons, each attended by 20-30 LAC members. He taught theory but also practice, on a six-cylinder Minerva supplied by a garage in Marylebone. I’ve said that I couldn’t find Gabrielle’s name as a member of the LAC in its earliest years, but I’m pretty sure she must have been elected a member of the LAC and done one of the LAC’s courses in car mechanics. And then practiced a lot on her own cars, despite how unfeminine her mother probably thought it.
Georgine Classen’s research
for her book Eat My Dust: Early Women Motorists has established that
Gabrielle went into business as a woman garage proprietor at some time before
the first World War, firstly in Slough, later in Northwood in west London. Late in 1915 Gabrielle rented a garage at
The photographs were part of
Gabrielle’s attempt to show that her driving and vehicle maintenance courses
could help women make a contribution to the war effort. Many women had already joined the work-force
to do the work of men who had volunteered for the armed forces. On 11 December 1915, Gabrielle was mentioned
by name and her garage featured by the Times in an article called ‘Increasing
demand for women drivers’. A series of
adverts for the garage at
In 1918 Gabrielle advertised
her courses again, this time focusing on ambulance driving. A course of 10 lessons would cost 5
guineas. Later coverage of Gabrielle’s
courses said that some of the women she’d taught had gone to drive ambulances
Running a garage and trying to get women to think of motoring as a source of employment, brought Gabrielle into a world she may not have experienced quite so directly in the rest of her life: the world where women worked, at a disadvantage. Although the motoring industry was a new one, it was already seen by men and women as a male preserve, so that women seeking a foothold in it were struggling against the same attitudes that prevailed in older industries. By the time World War 1 began, Gabrielle was taking part in the formation of a trade union for women, the Society of Women Motor Drivers, founded to fight women’s corner in the battle to be taken seriously in the motoring trade and have the same rights as its male workers. Another of the Society’s founder members was Barbara, social campaigner and wife of Bernard Drake who was a nephew of Beatrice Webb; so Gabrielle was making some very radical acquaintances through her garage business.
The Society’s Secretary,
writing in 1918, described how much prejudice there was against the idea of
trade unions, amongst upper-class women who might otherwise have joined the
Society; Gabrielle may have had to overcome such prejudice in herself before she was able to become a member. Other women weren’t able to overcome their
distrust, unfortunately, and the Society struggled to campaign
effectively. In March 1918, after some
difficult negotiations, it became a branch of a union it had probably seen as a
rival until then - the (male dominated) Licensed Vehicle Workers’ Union; though
the skill of the women in the negotiations ensured their women’s branch was
allowed to be self-governing; that women members would pay the same
subscriptions as the men and be entitled to the same protection from
exploitation; and that the women’s branch would continue to hold its own
monthly meetings. The idea of forming
what became the Society of Women Motor Drivers had originally come from the
London Society for Women’s Suffrage, and the Society met at its Women’s Service
Whether Gabrielle was still living with her mother while she was running her garage businesses and getting involved in all this politicised campaigning work, I don’t know. 1910 was a year of tragedy for the Borthwicks: in June Gabrielle’s sister Violet died aged 38; and then Archibald died at the age of only 43. I imagine Harriet Borthwick was hit hard, especially by the death of her only son. She was getting very old (she was 80 in 1914). She will have needed extra care, perhaps even nursing care, and may have been dogged, too, by a sense of her husband’s great project having failed. The Borthwicks tended to run to daughters, and Archibald had married into another family with the same problem. He and his wife, Susanna MacTaggart Stewart, had not produced a male heir to the barony Cunninghame had worked so hard to revive. Apparently, there was some discussion in the family about whether the Borthwick peerage could be inherited by Archibald’s only child, Isolde; but there was no documentation to back that argument up, so the matter was allowed to drop. The barony went into abeyance again on Archibald’s death and remains dormant to this day.
Harriet Borthwick died at Sevenoaks
It was either when her father died or - more likely - now on her mother’s death, that income from a trust fund became available to Gabrielle; probably with Harold Chaloner Dowdall (who was a barrister) as a trustee. However, Gabrielle didn’t consider shutting down her garages and retiring, even after the war finally dragged itself to a conclusion. The Borthwick Garages and her campaigning work gave her a purpose that she had not had before. She found being in business a challenge, though. The type of education given to upper-class girls in the 1870s and 1880s didn’t include book-keeping, let alone mechanics and engineering, and Gabrielle was really stretching her mental resources taking them on. Her campaigning work, too, moved her into areas where a woman needed to put ideas across by speaking in public and debate complex issues with a well-educated and possibly hostile audience. I think this must be why Gabrielle became involved with the Pelman system of mental training.
There’s a good website on the
Pelman system of mental training at www.ennever.com, compiled by descendants of
the man most associated with it in the
The other photograph I’ve found of Gabrielle comes from this period of her life. She had it taken on 5 September 1951 by the fashionable photography firm of Bassano Limited, and it may have been connected with the role she was taking at the Pelman Institute. Part of the Bassano Collection of portraits is now at the National Portrait Gallery and you can see this photograph of Gabrielle via the NPG’s website.
I have only one source for this, and that from
If Gabrielle was a rare bird
- a female member of the aristocracy working as a garage proprietor - so was
Lady Gertrude though in a rather different way: she was an experienced and
talented worker with lathes. Lady
Gertrude Crawford (1868-1937) had been born Lady Gertrude Eleanor Molyneux; she
was the daughter of the 4th Earl of Sefton. Both her father and her grandfather the third
earl had been enthusiastic ‘turners’ - they used a lathe to make things out of
ivory and wood - and Lady Gertrude’s father had started her off in the craft by
buying her a lathe when she was two! She
inherited both his talent and his enthusiasm and continued to do ‘turning’ work
all her life, exhibiting her work, winning awards and being made a Freeman of
the Worshipful Company of Master Turners in
1907; although she never took payment for her work. Lady Gertrude married Captain John Halket
Crawford in 1905. They lived mostly in
In 1924, Gabrielle and Lady Gertrude
expanded their business yet again, opening an estate agency (again I don’t know
where its offices were, but they were probably in or near
At the same time as they were
expanding the number of their own businesses, Gabrielle and Lady Gertrude also
committed themselves to another company run by a woman, someone Gabrielle at
least almost certainly knew as a fellow woman motorist. The gloriously-named Cleone de Heveningham
Benest was from a well-known Channel Islands family, though she herself was
Gabrielle had celebrated her 60th birthday in 1926, in the wake of the collapse of Cleone Griff’s business and while she was trying hard to prevent herself from going bankrupt a second time. Lady Gertrude was only two years younger, and after the winding-up of Borthwick Garages Ltd neither of them seem to have ventured into business again. Gabrielle was by no means finished with cars, however: in 1929 she got involved with the Women’s Automobile and Sports Association, which was founded to organise and promote sports events for women competitors.
As you would expect, WASA was
a moneyed, upper-class club. Its first
headquarters were at the St Ermin’s Hotel Westminster and it had negotiated a
deal whereby its members could have rooms there, presumably at a discount. Later it had enough funds to lease its own
headquarters building, at 17
WASA’s first president was Irene Mountbatten, the Marchioness of Carisbrooke; formerly Lady Irene Denison, a relation of GD member Albertina Herbert. Its second was Ermine Oliphant-Murray, Viscountess Elibank. WASA’s secretary was the author Edith Waldemar Leverton. Gabrielle was an active member of WASA from the beginning. At one of its first meetings she was elected chairman of its executive committee and she continued in that role until the second World War.
Although it held other events
from time to time, WASA’s main function was to organise cross-country trials
for vehicles whose drivers were mostly women.
The trials were mostly for cars though one or two, especially in WASA’s
early days, were for motorbikes. The
first trial was held in 1929, from Slough to
None of the references I found for WASA suggested Gabrielle had ever taken part in any of its trial-races: she was probably too busy running them. She was also in her 60s and then 70s and might have reached the stage when cross-country driving at night was a step too far for her.
During the 1920s and probably
until the second World War, Gabrielle was still living
The women in Gabrielle’s life had begun to die off in the 1930s. Lady Gertrude Crawford died in 1937 at her house near Lymington in Hampshire. Gabrielle’s sister Mary died a few months before the 1939 Register was taken; and her sister Alice died only a few weeks before it, leaving Gabrielle the last survivor of Cunninghame and Harriet’s children, though the oldest. On the day of the 1939 Register - 29 September 1939 - Gabrielle was at Wickhurst. With her were two women, though whether they were living there or just visiting isn’t clear, because the Register didn’t note that kind of information down. Either way, they were friends of Gabrielle, so it’s a pity that I didn’t recognise either of their names and I haven’t been able to identify either of them for sure from other sources. They were both widows, Mrs Evelyn C White, and Mrs Mary B Carleton. Mrs White’s year of birth was not transcribed for the Findmypast edition of the Register; but Mrs Carleton was a contemporary of Cleone Griff rather than Gabrielle - born in 1886. Gabrielle and Mrs White both told the Register official that they had no occupation, but Mrs Carleton told him or her she was a company director.
Gabrielle died, at Wickhurst, on 10 October 1952, leaving personal belongings valued at about £10,000 - which was worth a lot more than it is now, if you see what I mean. A few months later some jewellery Gabrielle had owned was sent for sale at Christie’s by her executors.
Gabrielle’s barrister brother-in-law, Harold Chaloner Dowdall lived on until 1955 and she could have made him the executor of her Will. But he was in his 70s and she could not be sure he would still be alive to do the work, so instead, when she made her Will, she chose two women as her executors: not Evelyn White or Mary Carleton, her friends from 1939, but a Mrs Teresa Mary Cecilia Muckleston, and a Miss Mary Charman.
Teresa Mary Cecilia Healy was
born in 1893. I found her on the 1901
census living in Hornsey, north
The Charman family had been
Rather an uncertain note to end with; but that’s history for you!
BASIC SOURCES I USED for all Golden Dawn members.
Membership of the Golden
Dawn: The Golden Dawn Companion by R A Gilbert.
Family history: freebmd; ancestry.co.uk (census and probate); findmypast.co.uk; familysearch; Burke’s Peerage and Baronetage; Burke’s Landed Gentry; Armorial Families; thepeerage.com; and a wide variety of family trees on the web.
Famous-people sources: mostly
about men, of course, but very useful even for the female members of GD.
Catalogues: British Library; Freemasons’ Library.
Wikipedia; Google; Google Books - my three best resources. I also used other web pages, but with some caution, as - from the historian’s point of view - they vary in quality a great deal.
CLAIM TO THE BARONY BORTHWICK
details on Cunninghame Borthwick: educated
Sessional Papers House of Lords 1869 p6 Cunninghame Borthwick’s plea to revive the barony of Borthwick was heard by the House of Lords Privileges Committee. This family history evidence formed part of his case and was included in the the Minutes of the hearing:
- marriage record of Patrick Borthwick to Ariana Corbett daughter of Cunningham (sic) Corbett “merchant in Glasgow”; the marriage took place on 13 November 1804
- baptism record, parish of
- baptism record, parish of
- burial record of Patrick Borthwick dated 16 April 1840; he was buried in the Centre Lair, Borthwick’s Tomb, West Ground
pA7 Patrick Borthwick described as manager of the
National Bank of
- burial record of Archibald Borthwick, 8 July 1863.
Verification that Patrick Borthwick had three sons: Archibald, Cunninghame and Thomas
- confirmation that Archibald Borthwick had died without male heirs; he’d only had pA8 daughters
- confirmation that the last holder of the title recognised by the House of Lords, Henry Lord Borthwick, had died in 1772 without issue.
There were two other men with surname Borthwick attempting to claim the barony.
Notes and Queries 4th Series number IV issued 18 December 1869 p535 has an article: Filius naturalis: Borthwick Peerage. In it there are a few more details of the evidence Privileges Committee was having to consider. There were allegations from the other claimants to the barony that Cunninghame’s claim was invalid because of an illegitimacy (I think it was in the 14th century!). Cunninghame in his turn was alleging that documents supporting the other claims were forgeries. Evidence p536 was being heard dating back to 1511!
Times Wednesday 4 May 1870 p13 rpt of House of Lords business, about the Borthwick barony. On behalf of the Crown, the Attorney-General had said at the hearing that he was satisfied that Cunninghame’s claim had been “satisfactorily established”; and so the Committee had allowed Cunninghame’s claim.
Times Thursday 12 May 1870 p9 A Scotch Barony Revived: this
report said the barony had originally been created during reign of James II of
HE’S VERY ANXIOUS TO ENSURE HIS NEW STATUS IS RECOGNISED: Times Saturday 8 April 1871 p4 letter dated 6 April  to Times from Grahames and Wardlaw of 30 Gt George Street Westminster, who act for Baron Borthwick. On Lord Borthwick’s behalf, Grahames and Wardlow were protesting that he had been left off a list of peerages issued by the Times recently. The letter reminded the Times that Borthwick was now a peer and should have been included in the list.
EXERCISING HIS RIGHTS AS A SCOTTISH BARON AND WORKING TOWARDS BEING A REPRESENTATIVE PEER FOR SCOTLAND
Times Fri 5 August 1870 p7 Election of a Scotch Representative Peer. Election held “yesterday” at Holyrood House. Baron Borthwick attended and voted. Voting ended with the Earl of Strathmore being unanimously elected in place of the late Earl of Haddington.
Times Fri 8 March 1872 p7 coverage of another election of a Scottish representative peer. Baron Borthwick was there and voted. This time there was much more argument between advocates of several possible candidates; though eventually the Marquis of Queensberry was elected unanimously.
CUNNINGHAME GETS ELECTED
HIMSELF: Times Saturday 17 April 1880 p12 report on elections for
Scottish representative peers, issued Edinburgh 16 April . The elections took place (as usual) at
FIRST SPOTTED IN HOUSE OF LORDS: Times Thursday 17 June 1880 p6 report House of Lords business Tuesday 15 June  - voting on the Burials Bill. Baron Borthwick was in House of Lords and voted.
HE’S A TORY: at
//special.lib.gla.ac.uk are listings of archives held in
Burke’s Peerage states that the estate at Ravenstone Wigtownshire was bought by Cunninghame Borthwick in 1870. Wife Harriet Day was dtr of Thomas Hermitage Day, banker.
Wikipedia: Wigtownshire is
now part of the
Website Another pic of
there’s a section on
The website There were more additions to the house c 1875 - by Cunninghame Borthwick. The result of the alterations was the alteration of the original floor-plan to more or less cruciform shape. The website has some sad-looking pictures of the Castle without roof and windows. However, it changed hands in 2000 and by 2008 the new owners had put a new roof on, renewed the windows and replaced a rotten door. As at July 2011 the Castle is still privately owned, by Mr and Mrs S Atterton, who were engaged in a room-by-room refurbishment of the interior (which sounds like Grand Designs!!) says a wing was added in the early 19th century.
NOT CLEAR EXACTLY WHERE THIS
IS, BUT PRESUMABLY ON THE RAVENSTONE CASTLE ESTATE: Times Tuesday 16
September 1884 p3 Ancient Lake Dwellings in
A BIT MORE ON BORTHWICK FAMILY BUSINESS CONNECTIONS
Seekers of Truth: The
Scottish Founders of Modern Public Accountancy T A Lee 2006 p80 on Patrick
Borthwick, whom the author describes as “a leading merchant and Burgess of
London Gazette no date at the top of the page at this early date but
p1246 is a list of legal notices issued dissolving partnerships. The list of includes one issued 29 April 1853
by the partners Dionysius Wilfred Dowling and Cunninghame Borthwick dissolving
of their partnership. They had been
I searched the Times for mention of Borthwick, Wark and Co but didn’t find a single item between 1850 and 1870; I think that the firm was under the Times’ radar during those years.
Times Thursday 7 September 1871 p5 Money Market and City Intelligence: Borthwick, Wark and Co, the Imperial Bank and Messrs Clews Habicht and Co were all acting together as “authorized agents of the State of Georgia” which was looking to float a loan of $1,400,000. Clews Habicht and Co were the main contractors for the loan; Borthwick, Wark and Co’s role was subsidiary.
Times Monday 15 February 1875 p13 advert issued by Robert Benson and Co: Bensons and Borthwick, Wark and Co had been authorised to sell 6% Construction Bonds about to be issued by the Illinois Central Railroad and Co. Borthwick, Wark and Co’s current address is Bartholomew House London EC.
Times Friday 6 July 1877 p10 Money Market and City Intelligence: an announcment that Cunninghame Borthwick had retired from Borthwick, Wark and Co. Andrew Wark and John Wark junior would continue “under the same style”. The firm’s address would continue to be Bartholomew House.
History of Foreign Investment in the
Slow Train to
Transactions of the Glasgow Archaeological Society volume 1 1890
p118 a reference to Baron Borthwick (that’s Gabrielle’s brother Archibald) as “now
head of the firm Borthwick, Wark and Co of
For the location of Bartholomew House: via the web to From
Tinfoil to Stereo which is an account of the early record industry, by W W
Welch and Leah B S Burt 1994. On p108
refers to the Edison Bell Phonograph company opening offices in 1892 at
The firm moved shortly afterwards: at //search.freefind.com a London Directory issued 1894 lists Borthwick, Wark and Co stocks and shares brokers at 11 Capthall Court London EC.
PO Court Directory 1880 p2049 Lord Borthwick’s current address is
PO Court Directory 1881 p2075 Lord Borthwick FSA can now only be contact at Ravenstone,
Whithorn Wigtownshire or via the Junior Carlton Club. He doesn’t have a house in
CUNNINGHAME’S OTHER INTERESTS
Proceedings of the Society for the Encouragement of the Useful Arts in Scotland issued 1836 p164 at a meeting held at the Royal Institution Edinburgh on 9 March 1836 p166 Cunninghame Borthwick of 27 Albany Street Edinburgh was one of several men elected as Ord members.
Transactions of the Royal Scottish Society of Arts 1841 p45 at a meeting held at the Royal Institution Edinburgh on 13 November 1839 p46 Cunninghame Borthwick “actuary” of 5 North Street David Street Edinburgh was one of several men elected as Ordinary members.
Report on Spiritualism of the Committee of the
Probate Registry: notice dated 12 March 1886. The Rt Hon Cunninghame Lord Borthwick had
died at Ravenstone Castle Wigtownshire on 24 December 1885. This notice is confirmation of the
Commissariot of the
Website Harriet Borthwick is in that grave as well. has a photo of the grave of Cunninghame Borthwick, their reference GPR 73728; it’s at Dean 2e Cemetery Edinburgh.
THE DAY FAMILY
Via familysearch reference England-ODM 9002530: baptism record for Thomas Hermitage Day, 10 February 1802 at St Nicholas Rochester. His parents were David Hermitage Day and wife Mary Ann.
Via familysearch reference
Twiggs’ Corrected List of the Country Bankers of England and Wales by T Twigg issued 1830 p67 bankers in Rochester: the only ones listed are Day and Sons, with conns to (the London firm of) Glyn and Co. The partners in Day and Sons are David Hermitage Day, David John Day and Thomas Hermitage Day.
Via familysearch reference England-ODM 0992530: baptism record for Harriet Alice Day, 1 January 1835 at St Nicholas Rochester.
At //freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.ancestry.com is a trans of a Directory issued 1838 and covering
Freebmd: birth of Francis Harry Emilius Day registered North Aylesford Kent July-Sep 1839
death of Harriet Day registered North Aylesford Kent July-Sep 1839.
Via familysearch ref
Via familysearch but I didn’t note down the dtls: Thomas Hermitage Day’s children. From the first marriage:
- Hermitage Charles Day born 1833
- Harriet born 1834
- Francis Harry Emilius; he marries Elisa Boulcott Taylor at St James Westminster in 1863
From the second marriage:
Hulkes Bingham-Day; he marries Katharine Margaret Watts in 1884 in
- and two more daughters, seen on the 1851 census
Website St Philip and St James Upnor, a chapel and a school-building, were built in 1869-78 and paid for by Thomas Hermitage Day and his wife (the second wife, that is - Emma). is the site of Frindsbury Extra Parish Council.
At //singletonsdiary.wordpress.com is a transcription
London Gazette 13 November 1860 p4178 promotions from cadet to Lieutenant include that of Francis Harry Emilius Day, as from 1 November 1860.
Hart’s New Army List 1868 p71 long list of lieutenants in the Royal Artillery includes Francis Harry Emilius Day.
Probate Registry: Francis Harry Emilius Day of West
Malling Kent died 21 December 1915.
Probate granted at
of Katherine Margaret Bingham-Day.
A career army officer: 5th Batt Devonshire Regiment. Served in
THE HEIR AND THE SPARE
Consuelo and Alva Vanderbilt: the Story of a Mother
and a Daughter in the Gilded Age by
Amanda Mackenzie Stuart.
Harriet Borthwick must have been presented at court sometime, because she presented all her daughters and she could only have done so if she had been presented herself. I searched Times 1865 and 1866 to see if she had been presented on her marriage; but she hadn’t been. So I searched 1870 and 1871 to see if the presentation had happened on her husband getting the Borthwick peerage, but it didn’t. I’m a bit puzzled about that.
Details of Harriet Borthwick’s death and funeral were published in Times Fri 23 February 1917 p9.
At //clanborthwick.com/lineage09.htm there’s stuff on GMAB’s siblings. Confirmation of most of it is on www.thepeerage.com
- Archibald 1867-1910 - see a bit further down, for more details on him.
- Alice Rachel Anne born 17 December 1868 married July 1893 Captain Alexander Stratton Campbell of Weasenham Norfolk. She died in August 1939
- Violet Dagmar Marion Olga born 3 June 1871 married November 1900 Captain Lewis Grey Freeland. Violet died in June 1910.
Frances Harriet born 11 February 1876 married July 1897 Harold Chaloner Dowdall
(1868-1955); barrister of
MARY DOWDALL Gabrielle’s youngest sister and the most interesting of them.
Times Wed 28
Feb 1894 p7 report on the Drawing Room held “yesterday” at
Times 2 July 1897 p10 Court Circ report issued Windsor Castle 1 July . A short paragraph, with no guest list, giving notice of the marriage of Harold Dowdall to Mary Borthwick at St Mary Abbot’s Kensington. The service was taken by the bishop of Glasgow and Galloway, assisted by the Rev Lancelot D Dowdall and Rev Charles Ridlay. Lady Borthwick gave a reception afterwards.
Mary was an author. Between 1911 and 1927 she published a book of folk tales; several novels; and some essays.
Via the web to a copy of Mary’s novel The Book of Martha. It has a frontispiece by Augustus John. Published 1913 by Duckworth and Co. NB that it is NOT a bible story; it’s a modern-day tale.
At Apparently there was a companion portrait of Mary Dowdall; but I can’t find a picture of it on the web. website of the National Gallery of Victoria: a reproduction of a portrait by Augustus John now in its collection, of Harold Chaloner Dowdall dressed for his role as Lord Mayor of Liverpool; portrait by Augustus John.
Times Sat 20 May 1939 p14: one-paragraph obituary of Hon Mrs Chaloner Dowdall, wife of Judge Dowdall KC, who’d died “on Thursday after a long illness” at Melfort Cottage, Boar’s Hill Oxford. Born 11 February 1876; married 1 July 1897; 1son 3daughters. No mention of her career as a writer.
The obituary of Mary’s husband has more information on
Mary: Times Fri 22 April 1955 p15 obituary of Harold Chaloner Dowdall QC
who’d died “on Good Friday” at his home near Oxford. The Dowdall family was Irish. Harold was the youngest son of Thomas
Dowdall, who was a stockbroker. Trinity
College Oxford where he studied Natural Sciences. Qualified for the bar 1893.
Via to list of contents of Liverpool Record Office. List includes a large collection, correspondence and other papers of Harold Chaloner Dowdall and Mary Dowdall, covering 1901-54. Part of the collection is letters to/from Augustus John, who taught at Liverpool School of Art; and became friends with both the Dowdalls then.
One of Mary Dowdall’s daughters, probably a god-daughter of Gabrielle is mentioned on Ursula died in October 1962.: Ursula Gabrielle Borthwick Dowdall who married 1920 Charles Alexander Petrie later 3rd Baronet but got divorced quite soon afterwards.
GABRIELLE’S BROTHER ARCHIBALD, the 17th Baron Borthwick:
Times Wed 8 May 1889 p13 report on the levee at St James’s Palace yesterday, with the Prinece of Wales presiding. Amongst the presentations made to the Prince: Baron Borthwick, who was introduced by the Earl of Orkney. In next few years I saw Baron Borthwick named in the Times as attending quite a few royal functions.
Wikipedia: it must have been the 6th Earl
of Orkney: George Fitzmaurice 1827 to 21 October 1889; married, no children,
succeeded by his nephew
Transactions of the Glasgow Archaeological Society volume 1 1890
p118 a reference to Baron Borthwick “now head of the firm Borthwick, Wark and
Times 19 July 1901 p10 Court Circular, short report on the marriage of Baron Borthwick to
Susanna Mary daughter of Sir Mark and Lady Stewart, at
Armorial Families p300 on Mark John Stewart, later MacTaggart Stewart. He’s 1st
Baronet and his main estate is Southwick Kirkcudbright. Born 1834. Tory MP 1874-80 and again
1866 Marianne Susanna Ommaney whose mother was the only child and heires of Sir
John MacTaggart of Ardwell. Sir
John MacTaggart died in 1895 and Mark inherited Sir John’s estate on condition
that he take the MacTaggart surname. Mark and Marianne had a large family, Susanna
being one of the younger daughters. My
Book of the Road shows Ardwell on the east side of the Mull of Galloway
peninsula; originally it was in Wigtownshire, it’s now in Dumfries and
Times 5 October 1910 p11 obituary of 17th Lord Borthwick who’d died “at his town house yesterday”. He was Archibald P T Bortwick, only son of 16th baron and his wife Harriet Alice née Day. The 17th baron was born in 1867. He became a partner in the stockbroking firm Borthwick, Wark and Co which had been founded by his father. The 17th baron was also an accomplished musician. In 1901 he married Susanna MacTaggart Stewart. They had one child, a daughter, and the barony would probably have to go into abeyance again. The funeral would be on Saturday at Kirkmadryne Ardwell Wigtownshire. The Hon Gabrielle Borthwick, Lady Cassilis (one of Susanna’s sisters) and Mr E O Stewart, Grenadier Guards (Susanna’s brother) were comforting Lady Borthwick.
Whitaker’s Peerage, Baronetage etc... 1910 p191 a note about the Borthwick barony: “Recently it was a question whether it was open to female succession” as no papers existed any longer which indicated exactly the conditions under which the barony could be inherited.
Using Burke’s Peerage on the dukes of Grafton. P1193 the 8th Duke of Grafton’s 2nd marr, in January 1916, was to Susanna Mary, widow of Baron Borthwick.
GABRIELLE’S SISTERS ALICE AND DAGMAR
Times Sat 25
April 1888 p10 rpt on Queen
Times Thurs 6 March 1890 p10 report on the drawing room at Buckingham Palace yesterday; at which Queen Victoria was actually present, with the Prince and Princess of Wales and Princesses Victoria and Maud. Amongst those presented was the Hon Violet Borthwick, by her mother Lady Borthwick.
Times Fri 23
Nov 1900 p7 Court Circular issued 22 November  includes a brief notice of
the marriage of Violet Borthwick to Captain Lewis Gray Freeland of
Northamptonshire Regiment, “lately invalided from South Africa”. The wedding at
Probate Registry: Hon Violet Dagmar
Via google books found these:
Burke’s Landed Gentry of Great Britain 2001 ed p77 gives Gabrielle’s date of birth as 30 June 1866: Gabrielle Margaret Ariana.
SHE COMES OUT
Times Sat 15
March 1884 p12 The Drawing Room held “yesterday afternoon” at
THE GIPSY LORE SOCIETY
Seen via archive.org/stream at the online collection
of the Gipsy Lore Society New Series Volume 2 July 1908-April 1909. Printed for the Society by
Edinburgh University Press though the offices of the Society are at
of the Gipsy Lore Society New Series Volume 5 July 1911-April 1912. Printed for Society by Edinburgh University
Press; offices now at 21a Alfred Street Liverpool. On pxii in members list: Gabrielle still at
No other person called Borthwick is a member; in either publication.
SHE’S IN THE THEOSOPHICAL SOCIETY
Theosophical Society Membership Register June
1898-February 1901 has her sponsoring a new member: p21 July 1898 it was Miss
Annie Roby Evans of Boundary Road London NW.
Annie’s other sponsor was A P Sinnett.
On p184 of the 1898-1901 volume there’s finally a membership entry for
her, in a group of members known personally to Patience Sinnett; these people’s
details only get added to their membership record after Patience Sinnett’s
death on 9 November 1908. None of this
group of members has as application date, there are no details of subscriptions
paid, no proper addresses and their sponsors are not named: on p184 against the
entry for Gabrielle Borthwick are membership dates of 1900-09 (which can’t be
correct) and then a note, “Resigned March 1. 1909". Gabrielle’s address from 1900-09 was: Viale
HERMETIC SOCIETY: there’s a very short account of it on pp322-23 of Gnosis and Hermeticism from Antiquity to Modern Times by R van den Broek and Wouter J Hanegraaff, 1998. There’s more but possibly not so reliable on the web; and search also for Anna Bonus Kingsford, the Society’s president.
THE TWO MEMOIR-WRITERS
FIRST is Mabel Dodge Luhan. Wikipedia on her: 1879-1962, wealthy American patron of the arts. Married 4 times (though she was on number two when Gabrielle knew her):
Married (1) 1900 Karl Evans, who was killed in an accident while out shooting, in 1902. Mabel’s son from this short marriage was her only child.
Married (2) 1904 in
Mabel is described on her wikipedia page as actively
bisexual. She lived in
Mabel Dodge Luhan’s memoirs are in 4 volumes. Gabrielle Borthwick appears in the 2nd: Intimate
Memories published 1935. The
references to Gabrielle come on p164, where Mabel writes that Gabrielle called
her ‘houri’. The fuller description of
Gabrielle and her circumstances, and the unpleasant goings-on in Mabel’s house
when Gabrielle was a guest there is at p280; and the placing of Gabrielle in a
wider group of women-without-men is on p283.
Again on p450 Mabel speaks of Gabrielle as very intimate with her at a
time (p445-46) when Mabel’s marriage to Edwin Dodge is in a bad way but she can’t
yet face the social consequences (which were very great) of getting a
divorce. Mabel speaks of Walburga Paget’s
socialising and her social status in
I checked the third volume of Mabel Dodge Luhan’s
memoirs - Movers and Shakers, published in 1936. It concerns the years after Mabel returned to
live permanently in the
SECOND is Countess Walburga Paget often wrongly
Wikipedia, in French but not in English, on Walburga Paget: Walburga
Ehrengarde Helen von/de Hohenthal, daughter of Count Charles von Hohenthal, born 1831 in
Wikipedia in English, on Augustus Berkeley Paget:
1823-96 son of Sir Arthur Paget and his wife Lady
Not always trustworthy website thepeerage.com says Walburga and Augustus’ two sons both married but neither had any children. Their daughter married the 1st Earl of Plymouth.
In My Tower by Walburga, Lady Paget. London,
Hutchinson and Co 1924 and it’s volume 2 of 2 with the
index to both volumes. The ‘name’
Borthwick doesn’t appear in the index which seems just to consist of the famous
and the titled. The book is based on
diary entries and letters. It’s not
organised very systematically and has very few fixed dates, so I could anchor
events in Walburga’s life only when she referred to events which were taking
place in the wider world. There is a
yearly pattern in the book, though: Walburga seems to go to
DATING GABRIELLE’S VISIT TO
The date of Lord Airlie: wikipedia on the earls of
Airlie establishes that Walburga means the 11th earl, David Stanley
William Ogilvy, born 1856 in Florence, son of 10th earl and his wife
Henrietta née Stanley. Career army officer.
He’d married in 1886 and had 6 children; his eldest son inherited the
earldom at the age of 6. At time of his
death he’d been fighting in
A BIT MORE ON WALBURGA PAGET:
Journal of the Society for
Psychical Research volume 4 1889-90. Published by the Society for members only. On p65 issue of May 1889; a list of new
associate members includes Lady Paget c/o The Embassy,
FOUNDATION OF THE LADIES’ AUTOMOBILE CLUB
I followed it through the Times from February 1903 to June 1904.
A Monthly Magazine devoted to the interests of New York Athletic Club volume 12 1903 p20 describes looking down the list of members of the LAC as like reading an edition of Burke’s Peerage.
Good Housekeeping volume 38 1904 p343 names the Duchess of Marlborough as one of the the LAC’s members.
Via google I reached Gabrielle was not on the list. where there was a list of the members of LAC in that year.
The Horseless Age volume 17 1906 p56 noted that the LAC had taken on an engineer to teach car mechanics, a Mr R Sedgewick Currie. P604 the LAC’s members had a special day at the Crystal Palace Show in February 1904.
The Auto: The Motorist’s Pictorial volume 12 1907 p329 gave a description of Mr Sedgewick Currie’s classes and the car the students worked on.
Automobile Topics volume 16 1908 p1157 the LAC was already organising races for its members.
Royal Automobile Club Yearbook 1908 p1 lists member clubs, which include the LAC. On p217 a note that you had to be elected to bec a member of LAC.
Gabrielle’s work during the war:
Times 11 December 1915 p11 an article with title ‘Increasing demand for women drivers’, as indicated by large number of adverts now appearing in the Times’ small ads for women who could drive and act as companion.
Times 4 February 1916 p13 and 17 February 1916 p2 in small ads: adverts for driving courses at Gabrielle’s driving school, where she was the Principal. There were no such adverts during the whole of 1917 but in Times 18 September 1918 p3 and 22 October 1918 p13, the advert does appear again. A slightly different wording was published in Times 27 February 1918 p14a this time specifying a training in driving ambulances.
volume 10 1918 p58 and again p223: an advert for a course in driving motor
ambulances: 10 lessons for 5guineas with “individual tuition” though the advert
doesn’t say who will do the teaching.
The lessons will take place at “the Hon Gabrielle Borthwick’s workshops”
volume 14 1918 p540 also has an advert for Gabrielle’s training courses. This gives two addresses:
Sketch: A Journal of Art and Actuality volume 115 number 1493 1921 p360 confirms that Gabrielle herself was able to strip down a car engine.
A TRADE UNION FOR WOMEN IN THE MOTORING INDUSTRY
Via the web to The Common Cause issue of 3 May 1918 article: the women motor drivers TU. This had been formed at the outset of World War 1 by Mrs Bernard Drake; “the Hon Gabrielle Borthwick, of the Borthwick garage”; Miss McLaren; Miss Tynan, who had experience of trade union organisation; and Mrs Chettle who became its first Secretary.
Via the web to Women’s Leader volume 10 1918
p145 refers to
Women in Trade Unions by Barbara Drake. Saw one via
archive.org from Cornell Univ’s library but couldn’t find a date of publication
on it; though all research ended with 1918.
It’s TU Series no 6, published jointly by the Labour Research Department
Barbara Drake is Mrs Bernard Drake; Bernard Drake is Beatrice Webb’s nephew: all quite clearly stated in a letter from Sidney Webb to John Maynard Keynes dated 6 Dec 1930. In The Letters of Sidney and Beatrice Webb volume 3, ed Norman Mackenzie, published 2008.
Modern sources on early women motorists:
Eat My Dust: Early Women Motorists by Georgine Classen.
Dictionary of British Women’s Organisations 1825-1960 Peter Gordon and David Doughan 2005 On p70 this books states that the LAC was founded because the RAC had decided that it wouldn’t have women as members. The LAC was formed by a group of women led by Lady Cecil Scott Montague and had a number of objectives: to fund and find a place where women drivers could meet; to help women drivers get the necessary technical skills and experience; to provide driving lessons; to organise touring and competitions; and to help women obtain the necessary papers to drive abroad.
Via the web to The Car and
British Society by Sean P O’Connell. Published
THE PELMAN SYSTEM
Wikipedia: a system of mind-training popular in the
first half of 20th century.
Devised in the
Website Very little is known about Pelman. A suggestion made by this site is that he was American but he might also have been German, with his surname originally spelled Poehlman or Pöhlman. is run by a descendant of William Joseph Ennever who developed the Pelman system though the name comes from a man claiming to be Christopher Louis Pelman, who is generally thought to have put together the actual course by which the system was taught.
Ennever’s Pelman course was probably launched in 1900
and in 1901 the
These people were listed by scouts movement; H Rider Haggard, author of She; and others, mostly men but also including the composer Ethel Smyth. as using the Pelman system: Herbert Asquith the Liberal Prime Minister; Baden-Powell founder of the
Pelman training was especially popular between the world wars but even survived Ennever’s bankruptcy which happened in 1940; the last ads for the training that the website could find were from 1967. Some good illustrations on this website.
The Accountant volume 62 1920 p82 advert for an evening meeting due at the Pelman Institute on 15 April : a talk on the Pelman system would be given by the Institute’s Director of Instruction, T Sharper Knowlson; followed by a discussion. Gabrielle Borthwick would be chairing the meeting. Woman’s Leader volume 12 1920 p191 has the same advert.
GERTRUDE ELEANOR MOLYNEUX CRAWFORD:
At //ornamentalturning.net/history, website of the
Worshipful Company of Turners; and entry for her in their page ‘Turners of the
Victorian Era’: Lady Gertrude Crawford 1868-1937, daughter of the 4th
Earl of Sefton. Both the fourth and third earls were expert turners, using
ivory - a collection of pieces they made is still on show at Croxteth
Hall. Gertrude’s father bought her her
first lathe when she was 2! He and his
father both used Holtzapffel lathes and in 1897, Lady Gertrude commssioned her
own lathe from Holtzapffel - the firm’s number 2332 which is now at Croxteth
Hall. Lady Gertrude moved to live in
Times Sat 27 April 1907 p11 Court Circular issued Marlborough House 26 April . Gertrude Eleanor wife of Captain John Halket Crawford of 32nd Lancers Indian Army had been admitted to the freedom of the Turners’ Company “yesterday” as a “skilled amateur”. She was a frequent exhibitor with the Company. Just noting that Angela Burdett-Coutts had also been a member of the Company. Gertrude made a speech of acceptance saying that her father had taught her her skills; he’d been an “enthusiastic amateur”. The ceremony was at the Guildhall.
Via web I came across a book for sale: Original Patent Application Number 4169... pubd HMSO 1898; it’s a patent owned by Lady Gertrude for improvements to the design of the pocket knife.
List of the Fellows...of the Zoological Society of
List of the Fellows...of the Zoological Society of
SHE MARRIES JOHN HALKET (SIC) CRAWFORD
At There’s no indication that they had any children. He died 23 September 1936; she died 5 November 1937.: Gertrude Eleanor Molyneux married John Halket Crawford on 25 April 1905.
Times Sat 26
Sep 1936 p1 death notices: John Halket Crawford had died “On September 23 1936
OBITUARY OF GERTRUDE CRAWFORD:
Times Mon 8
Nov 1937 p19 Gertrude Crawford had died in
At her death she was still preparing to show her work: Times Tue 9 November 1937 p13: Gertrude Crawford had got a stall of her work at the 15th Annual Exhibition of Applied Arts and Crafts which had opened “yesterday” at the Royal Horticultural Halls Westminster. She was the “only woman master turner”. More coverage of her work appeared in Times Wed 10 November 1937 p16: she worked in wood, ivory and plastic. Times described Gertrude as a “sound craftswoman” though “a little inclined to over-elaborate”.
Times 24 December 1937 an advert for Gertrude’s house, Coxhill near Lymington, now up for sale.
WITH GABRIELLE’S GARAGE ONE THING LED TO ANOTHER: via trove.nla.gov.au to Launceston Examiner Tue 6 May 1924 p7 short item saying that Gabrielle and Lady Gertrude Cochrane, sister of Lord Sefton, were in business together. They had been running a garage at Piccadilly, a restaurant and a hostel; and now they were setting up as estate agents. Gabrielle was described in the article as, “A qualified engineer”. Gertrude was a master turner and freeman of the Turners’ Company.
NB the Launceston Examiner has got Lady Gertrude’s surname wrong: the woman who fits the description as a master turner and sister of the Earl of Sefton is Lady Gertrude CRAWFORD.
BANKRUPTCY OF GABRIELLE’S BUSINESS
The only other references I found for the businesses run by Gabrielle and Lady Gertrude were these:
RAC Guide and Handbook for 1927 p50 has an advert for The Borthwick Garages.
The World’s Carriers and Carrying Trades’ Review pubd 1925 by the Carriers Pubg Co; p132 notice about
Borthwick Garages ltd: Sir William H Peat of
Gabrielle and Lady Gertrude seem to have staved that one off but in 1927:
18 March 1927 p1845 a set of winding-up petitions issued under the Companies
Acts 1908-17 includes one issued 15 March 1927 for The Borthwick Garages Ltd of
24 May 1927 p3435 winding-up orders under the Companies Acts 1908-17; re The
Borthwick Garages Ltd of 8 Brick Street.
The first meeting of the firm’s creditors would take place on 2 June 1927 at
14 Aug 1928 p5496 Notices of Release of Liquidator: the list includes a Notice
for Borthwick Garages Ltd, registered office 8 Brick Street Piccadilly. This company was released 18 July 1928 by the
liquidator George Digby Pepys of
Sent to me by Nina Baker in her email of 7 Nov 2016: list of items at the National Archives concerning the winding up of Borthwick Garages Ltd, company reference number 150653. Incorporated 1918. Document references J 13/11308; J 107/39; BT 34/4281/150563 the liquidator’s accounts; and BT 31/24082/150563.
CLEONE GRIFF’S STAINLESS AND NON-CORROSIVE METALS COMPANY LTD
Items sent in November and December 2016 by Nina Baker PhD who researches the history of engineering and runs the occasional blog Women in Engineering History:
- extract from The Woman Engineer volume 1 number 17 1923 p280: profile of Cleone Griff.
- items now at the National Archives concerning the winding-up of the company: list of shareholders with their addresses and the number of shares they owned; and a list of the company’s directors - Cleone, Lady Gertrude and Gabrielle who was described as a “motor car business proprietor” (though Lady Gertrude wasn’t).
And a couple of items I found:
Via www.newspapers.com to the Albuquerque Journal of New Mexico Sunday 2 December 1923 p9 a photo of Cleone Griff dressed as a pilot; and as Managing Director of the Stainless and Non-Corrosive Metal (sic) Co ltd of GB, which had what was thought to be the only all-woman board of directors in the world.
At archive.commercialmotor.com, a short reference to
the Company in Commercial Motor 8 September 1925 announcing its new
A modern reference to Cleone Griff, in Women, A Modern Political Dictionary by Cheryl Law. 2000
WOMEN’S AUTOMOBILE AND SPORTS ASSOCIATION
Sent by email 9 Nov 2016 by Nina Baker. From The Woman Engineer vol 3 issue 1 1929 p4:
The Women's Automobile and Sports
Association. An interesting new Club has been formed, with
headquarters at St. Ermin 's Hotel,
Most Hon. the Marchioness of Carisbrooke, and the Vice-President the Viscountess Elibank. We
are pleased to see that Miss Borthwick has been elected Chairman of the Executive Committee.
Full particulars of the Club can be obtained rom the Secretary,
Mrs. Waldemar Leverton, St. Ermin's,
Follow up WASA:
Times didn’t have anything on a rally f cars orgd by the Wood Green and Dist MC but on Tue 11 Jan 1927 p12 there was a short rpt on their wmn-only motorcycle trial, through Herts. There were 50 competitors; some were named but no mention of Gabrielle or Benest/Griff.
Times nothing on the setting up of WASA but Times Wed 6 Nov 1929 p17 in the Arrgts f To-day section of the Ct Circr page: annct of the inaugural dinner of WASA at the St Ermin’s Hotel 8pm.
Wiki on St Ermin’s Hotel wh
still exists, horseshoe shaped bldg at
Times Wed 4 Dec 1929 p1 Personal Ads; in the Club Anncts section an ad f WASA “a club f sportswomen” but also offering hotel accomm. The first 3000 members wldn’t be charged an “entry fee”. Contact is the Sec. Club already has a tel number. Ad rptd in Times 9 Dec and 11 Dec 1929.
From 1929 no coverage in Times of any event orgd by WASA.
Times 2 Jan 1935 p13 had a ref to a wedding reception held in WASA’s hq at 17 Buckingham Palace Gdns ((so they’ve still got the bldg at that stage)).
Times 27 March 1935 p11 at the bottom of an article on events orgd to benefit the ((GV)) Jubilee Trust Fund: WASA Ltd (sic) wld be holding a motor gala w proceeds going to the Fund; on Sun 14 July. Fur dtls wld be avail 8 April . Lord Rothermere had donated 50gns to get the prize fund started. After that, Times had no fur coverage of it. Next mention of WASA was:
Times Fri 22 Nov 1935 p17 Court Circr: Vcts Elibank wld preside at the annual dinner of WASA on “Tues” [26 Nov 1935] at the Savoy Hotel ((perhaps Elibank is the pres now)). The year’s trial prizes wld be pres’d at the dinner, incl the Lord Wakefield Trophy. No coverage of the actual event.
Via www.motorsportmagazine.com to issues of Motorsport in which WASA figured. I searched f Borthwick but all responses were men; searching f Gabrielle got no responses. Issues of:
December 1931 p32 WASA members were eligible to
compete in the 21st
July 1932 p10.
April 1934 p34 descg WASA’s trials as “well-orgd”.
Dec 1935 p17
Aug 1937 p24 WASA did allow men into some but n all of their Wakefield Trophy trials.
Aug 1938 p20 another mention of the Wakefield Trophy named after Lord Wakefield of Hythe. WASA’s 3 trials per year were consid the “most difficult” trials competitions.
And a mod take on it:
April 1996 p76 by “WB” who mentiond
sevl drivers at the time thinking that WASA putting its own scouts out on the
road was “overambitious”. The
Wood Green and Dist Motor Club ran a trial f wmn in Jan 1927: Ally Pally to
tring in a set time; lunch; then back again.
No mention of any of WASA’s first-year officers in the a/c of that trial
but the formn of WASA was a direct res of it. WASA’s first compv event was a night drive
from Slough to
End Motorsport mag
WASA’s first-year officers:
Pres Mcs Carisbrooke who’s a ?niece ?gt-niece of Albertina Herbert:
Wkp on the only Mqs of Carisbrooke, title cr 1917 f P Alexander of Battenberg 1886-1960, gson of QV via her ygt dtr Ps Beatrice; his sister marr Alfonso of Spain. Surname change July 1917 to Mountbatten. Marr July 1917 Irene Francis Adza Denison 1890-1956 only dtr of 2nd E of Londesborough. They had 1 child, Iris, 1920-1982 but Cecil Beaton’s diaries allege that the Mqs had a long-term male lover. The Mqs was the first member of the royal family to do a proper day’s work: starting in the offices of Lazard Brothers.
V-pres Vcts Elibank.
Wkp on the viscounts Elibank. Viscountcy cr 1911 f a man
who was already a baron; old Scottish title. WASA’s vcts is wife of the 2nd
Vct: Gideon Oliphant-Murray 1877-1951; colonial cvl serv; unionist MP to
1922. V conserv; v
1908 Ermine M K Aspinwall née Madocks.
No child. They moved to
At www.npgprints.com item X121207 is a photo of Vcts Elibank tkn 1948 at Bassano and Vandyk. She d 1955.
Sec Mrs Waldemar Leverton. Cldn’t see m abt her or indeed abt him via google - no dates, no wkp page. Google had books incl
householdbooks.com a copy of her The Veg Cookery Book pubd George Newnes Ltd; no pubn date.
BL catal had others but n that one. Her name’s Edith:
Little Economies and How to Practice Them. C Arthur Pearson Ltd 1903
Small Homes and How to Furnish Them. C Arthur Pearson Ltd 1903
Little Entertainments and How to Manage Them. C Arthur Pearson Ltd 1904
In entry f mag The World of Dress, pubd 1898-1905 by C Arthur Pearson Ltd she’s listed as the editor of its last volume; but there’s a diff name editing the first few vols.
Dressmaking Made Easy.
Housekeeping Made Easy. Subtitle states it’s aimed at the m-c
mistress of h/h.
Servants and their Duties. A Helpful Manual for Mistress and Servant.
Modern: Women, Clubs and Assocs in
Probate registry: Gabrielle Margaret Ariana Borthwick
of Wickhurst, Broadbridge Heath
At Teresa Mary Cecilia Healy is 1893-1973; she married 1919 Bertram Brookes Muckleston 1888-1983 - marriage details from freebmd. there’s a page for the Healy family.
Via archive.org/stream to the Air Force List for July 1941. On p7 a B B Muckleston is working in the Department of the Permanent Under-Secretary; he is not on active duty.
A Complete Memoir of Richard Haines... by Charles Reginald Haines, published 1899 pxxi
describes the Charman or Carman family as “an old and important clan in
At A John James Charman had
gone down with the Titanic (April 1912) aged 26; he was a son of Solomon and
Mary Charman who lived in the
Times 3 March 1953 p14e in set of adverts for forthcoming sales at Christies: some jewellery once owned by Gabrielle Borthwick was part of a bigger sale of such items; they were being sold by her executrices.
PORTRAITS OF GABRIELLE
At NPG x121152. there’s a portrait of her done by Bassano on 5 September 1921.
Wikipedia on Bassano. The firm was
started by Alexander Bassano 1829-1913, born London of Italian extraction. He opened his first photography studio in
Confirmation that Gabrielle’s photo is in the Bassano
archives: at //library.temple.edu/collections/scrc/bassano-ltd-photograph,
there’s a list of their collection of photos of society figures taken by
Bassano Ltd between 1920 and 1939. The
photograph of Gabrielle Borthwick is in the collection’s
A couple of Gabrielle, and several of the garage including her working on an engine: at
- number 1067006 is Hon G M A Borthwick School of Motoring and Engineering, Piccadilly London. Showing 3 women removing a car axle.
At //cache33.fkft02.de.topfoto.co.uk file number 1067012
- a photo of Gabrielle posing with her Great Dane. The website suggests the photograph is from
the 1920s or 1930s but her dress is nearly to her ankles and her hair is long
and done up Edwardian style, so I think it must be earlier. She’s standing in an empty side-street,
between imposing looking stone walls. I
think she must be near her
- She’s leaning over a car engine, watched by 2 other women also in grubby overalls - probably trainees.
Copyright SALLY DAVIS
18 January 2017
Find the web pages of Roger Wright and Sally Davis, including my list of people initiated into the Order of the Golden Dawn between 1888 and 1901, at: