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Papers of John Fleming, custom agent, bonded warehouse-keeper, antiquarian and photographer, Glasgow, Scotland

551 141

Description Papers of John Fleming, custom agent, bonded warehouse-keeper, antiquarian and photographer, Glasgow, Scotland

Date 1884 to 1923

Collection Papers of John Fleming, custom agent, bonded warehouse-keeper, antiquarian and photographer, Glasgow

Catalogue Number 551 141

Category All Other

Scope and Content A collection of approximately 400 photographic prints and negatives and two photograph albums, mostly of buildings of historic, archaeological and architectural interest, and in particular castles and tower-houses. Many of these are dated to the years 1885-1900, one to 1900, and the latest to 1924. The photographs record buildings and locations in Inverness-shire, Moray, Banffshire, Kincardineshire, Angus, Perthshire, Argyll, Ayrshire, Stirlingshire, Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Fife, Kinross-shire, Clackmannanshire, Kirkcudbrightshire, Dumfriesshire, West-, Mid- and East Lothian, Peebles-shire, Roxburghshire, and Berwickshire. There are also photographs of Fountains Hall, North Yorkshire, Grasmere, Cumbria, both England, Tintern Abbey, Wales, and Aix les Bains, France. The collection includes a number of photographs of groups and of animals. The collection also includes a small number of copper printing plates of images by Fleming, evidently intended for publication.

Archive History The collection comprises three elements. Some prints and negatives are recorded as having been presented to the Ministry of Works by Dr Thomas Ross, and subsequently donated to the SNBR in 1959. Two photographs albums 'Old Scottish Baronial Houses 1870-1894' were purchased by RCAHMS in 1983 (Acc No 1983/20). A wooden chest of glass negatives by Fleming was transferred to RCAHMS by National Museums Scotland in 2012 (Acc No 2012/85).

System of Arrangement The collection is arranged by accession.

Related Material Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum holds artwork from Fleming's collection, including: Woman Cooking at a Stove, by Louis Mettling (1847-1904), The Spinning Wheel, by John Phillip (1817-1967), Grandmother's Pet, William McTaggart (1835–1910); Family Devotions, Alexander Johnston (1815–1891); Winter Sunshine, Lochgoilhead, George Houston (1869–1947), bequeathed by John Fleming in 1923.

Access Conditions Open: much of the collection has been digitised, and is viewable online. Mounted photographic prints for many images are available in the Search Room, but note that access may be subject to conservation requirements. For conservation reasons the original glass negatives can only be consulted by special arrangement. Please contact the archive to confirm access in advance of a visit.

Administrative History John Fleming, photographer, Glasgow, c.1850-1923. By profession a customs agent and bonded warehouse keeper, from at least 1884 John Fleming undertook photography of Scottish historic buildings, travelling widely over Scotland, from Inverness-shire to the Borders. John was born 6 November 1850 to James Fleming (1814-87) and his wife Helen Johnston (1814-91). James Fleming was a shipping agent and bonded warehouse keeper, with a warehouse at 93 Jamaica Street, Glasgow. In 1850 he and his wife had moved from 99 South Portland Street to 28 Abbotsford Place, where the family remained until 1864/5, when they removed to 257 West George Street. The business was evidently profitable, adding premises in York Street and Great Clyde Street, and in 1860s expanding to include the manufacture of duty-free tobacco juice as a sheep dip. In 1876/7 the family again moved, to 1 Scotland Street, Woodlands, where they remained until about 1894. John and his younger brother James joined their father in the business, which appears as James Fleming and Sons from 1883/4: it continued to diversify and expand, adding vatting and bottling at premises in York Street, James Watt Street and Wood Lane, Broomielaw, where the firm had its offices. Following their father's death in 1887, the brothers took over the business: the introduction of technology can be seen in 1891/2 with the installation of a telephone. In about 1894 the brothers left Scotland Street for 1 Lynedoch Terrace, where they appear in the 1901 census, together with a housekeeper and two domestic servants. In 1910 John moved once more, to nearby 9 Woodside Crescent: the 1911 census records John, but not James, a housekeeper and a housemaid. John Fleming died at Woodside Crescent on 2 April 1923, leaving a total estate valued at £269,000 (£166,000 in the United Kingdom). From this he left legacies totalling £13,500 to the Old Man's Friend Society, the Old Woman's Home, Rottenrow, Glasgow, the East Park Home for Infirm Children, the Scottish Artists Benevolent Association, the Kintyre Club, the Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Yorkhill, the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Glasgow Western Infirmary. His collection of artwork was dispersed: paintings by John Philip. William McTaggart, Alexander Johnston, George Houston, D Y Cameron, Cecil Lawson and Louis Mettling, watercolours by D Y Cameron, Albert Nurhuys and W L Leitch, and twelve Tassie medallions were bequeathed to Glasgow Corporation for its galleries, while a collection of etchings is recorded as having been sold. He is buried in Cathcart Cemetery. Based upon the dates recorded for many of his photographs, it is possible to reconstruct something of the years of his activity, and the areas visited in each. A Glasgow resident, many of his photographs are of subjects in the surrounding counties of Lanarkshire (the earliest dated photograph, of 1884, is of Bedlay Castle), Dunbartonshire, Renfrewshire, and Ayrshire. In many years, however, he was able to range further afield: in 1885 to Clackmannanshire, Kincardineshire, West Lothian, Berwickshire and Dumfriesshire, and evidently also to Aix-les-Bains, France. 1886 took him to Angus, and East- and Mid-Lothian, and to Fountains and Grasmere, England. In 1887 he was in Perthshire and Kinross-shire, and on a foray to the borders, in Peebles-shire, Roxburghshire and Berwickshire. In April 1888 he was in Argyll, and in October, Edinburgh and East Lothian. 1889 saw Fleming in Ayrshire, Kirkcudbright, Kincardineshire and East Lothian. His photographs record continued travels across Scotland for the rest of the 1890s, and in 1896 to Tintern Abbey, Wales. No photographs appear to be dated after 1900, except for a batch of views of Kinnairdy Castle, Banffshire, of 1924, which, however, postdate his death. Presumably these are either misdated or possibly a later accretion. Although most of his photographs are of architectural subjects, his interests also encompassed archaeology: in 1902 he was in correspondence with Joseph Anderson of the National Museum of Antiquities regarding archaeological sites in Kintyre which he had visited while on holiday at his property at Kilchenzie, including the forts and duns of Sron Uamha, Rubh a'Mharaiche and Dunan. His descriptions, illustrated with his own photographs, were published in the Proceedings of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, volumes 36 (1901-2) and 37 (1902-3), as 'Note on a Stone-built Fort overlooking Borgadail Glen, near the Mull of Kintyre' and 'Notices of three Stone Forts in Kintyre'.

Accruals No accruals are anticipated.

Accession Number 1983/20; 2012/85

Permalink http://canmore.org.uk/collection/1176440

Collection Hierarchy - Collection Level

Collection Level (551 141) Papers of John Fleming, custom agent, bonded warehouse-keeper, antiquarian and photographer, Glasgow, Scotland

Preview Category Catalogue Number Title Date Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 292 General view c. 1889 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2153 Pedimented doorway c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2159 Unidentified doorway with sundial mounted on wall above c. 1890 Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images SC 394841 Pedimented doorway c. 1890 Item Level
Print Room LA 361 General view of West wing. c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2143 General view c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2144 General view c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2146 General view from South-West c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2147 General view from garden. c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2182 View from south c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2183 Photographic copy of a sheet of drawings by Lorimer: 'Front Elevation'; 'Section through Drawing Room'; 'North Elevation'; 'West Elevation'. 1887 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2125 Part view of west elevation c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images F 2126 General view of south west elevation c. 1890 Item Level
On-line Digital Images On-line Digital Images SC 395119 General view 1889 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images ST 1472 General view from E. c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images ST 1473 General view from S. c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images ML 919 Bavelaw Castle. 1886 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images ED 2550 Edinburgh, Glasgow Road, Gogar House. Modern copy of historic photograph showing view from South. c. 1886 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images ED 2546 Edinburgh, Stenhouse Mill House. View from South-West. c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images ED 2547 View of entrance to Stenhouse Mill House, Edinburgh. c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images ED 2548 Edinburgh, Stenhouse Mill House. Detail of armorial panel on doorpiece. c. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images RE 1573 Glasgow, 170 Brockburn Road, Crookston Castle. General view in snow. 1890 Item Level
Photographs and Off-line Digital Images RE 1572 Glasgow, 170 Brockburn Road, Crookston Castle. General view. 1890 Item Level
Print Room LA 360 General view of garden entrance with castellated gateway. c. 1890 Item Level

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