We are really appreciative of these last days of warmth and sunshine, but as the leaves turn golden and slowly drift from the trees, we are reminded that autumn in all its glory is on its way.
At the Fintry Manor House we have had an extraordinarily busy month as staycations seem to be the order of the day this year. People are exploring what is in their backyards and some are discovering Fintry for the first time! The Fintry Campground closes Thanksgiving weekend and so too will the Fintry Manor House, so you have one more weekend to come and refresh yourselves on Dun-Waters’ history, grab that Laird of Fintry T-shirt or one of our books, e.g. Trips and Trails of the Okanagan.
This month, we have a real treat for you! Our Vice-President and historian Paul Koroscil has made many trips to the UK over the years researching Dun-Waters’ life before he moved to the Okanagan. Following is a compilation of some very interesting facts and recollections as he walked in Dun-Waters’ footsteps.
Stay healthy everyone,
Friends of Fintry Provincial Park
Researching James Cameron Dun-Waters. Some recollections in England and Scotland by Paul Koroscil
One of my major research interests was emigration and resettlement in B.C. in the 19th and early 20th century. If the researcher explores the movement of immigrants from the homeland to the new environment knowledge of the immigrants’ social and economic background prior to emigrating provides the researcher with possible clues to understanding their adaptability and success or failure in their new environment. It was this research niche that I decided to embark upon and hopefully my findings would result in a small addition of knowledge to the settlement area. Hence, the publication of two editions of “The British Garden of Eden, Settlement History of the Okanagan Valley, British Columbia.” Why the Okanagan Valley? A number of reasons certainly influenced my decision to explore the past. However, probably the major reason for my interest in the topic relates to my critic and very best friend (V.B.F.) Maureen Montfort Selwood whose family heritage is embedded in England and Scotland and emigrated to the valley in the latter part of the 19th and early part of the 20th century. Another significant reason relates to the fact that every year we have returned to the U.K. to spend time visiting her relatives and at the same time, it gave me the opportunity to return to England where I lived as a post-doctoral student at the University of Cambridge. Thus these early visits to the U.K. during my research semesters were spent gathering material on individuals for the “Garden of Eden” book. One of the individuals that I chose to research was James Cameron Dun-Waters.
With the I.T. revolution and digitization one could argue that the researcher does not have to leave his/her home office to gather information/data on a particular topic. One simply needs to use one’s computer, iPad or telephone to research the topic. However, if the researcher is investigating a particular individual’s homeland and lifestyle the I.T. revolution/digitization does not include material that may not have been digitized in archives, museums and private collections, nor does it include the individuals one meets during the research in the homeland. This was certainly the case in my experience researching Dun-Waters.
Dun-Waters’ educational background included Wellington College and the University of Cam- bridge. At the age of 14 he was enrolled at Wellington College, Crowthorne, Berkshire.
The college is located on a 400 acre estate and the main college building was designed by John Shaw Jr. the architect chosen by Prince Albert. The imposing brick structure reflects the French Rococo design while the chapel was designed by George Gilbert. On the estate a number of residential houses were used to accommodate the students. At the entrance to the main building is a large plaque stating:
“On the 24th January, 1859 our visitor, Her Majesty Queen Victoria opened the College as a national monument to the Great Duke of Wellington on the 21st June, 1909. Our visitor His Majesty King Edward VII presided at the Jubilee Speech Day.”
On spending a day in Crowthorne my V.B.F. and I met John Edwards, Secretary, old Wellingtonian Society. He took us on a historical tour of the college and one could imagine the daily student life of Dun-Waters who was at the college from 1879-1881. It was during this time that Dun-Waters developed a passion for sporting activities, such as track and field, rugby and cricket. The only disappointment of the tour related to the residential house, Davenport, that Dun-Waters resided in at the college. John Edwards said that Davenport was demolished but he would find a photograph of the house and mail it to me. On my return to Canada I did receive a photo of Davenport, Dun-Water’s residential house. It was truly a memorable day at Dun-Waters’ Wellington College. After leaving Wellington College at the age of 19 he was admitted as a pens (pensioner – an ordinary fee-paying student) to Jesus College, University of Cambridge in1884. The athletic skills that he developed at Wellington College continued at Cambridge where he distinguished himself in sporting achievements rather than academics. For example, in 1884,1885 and 1886 he ran an athletic blue (mile) and in the 1884 event he set a Jesus College record of four minutes, forty-four and four-fifths seconds, beating second place finisher C.E. Tyndale-Biscog. On the following day the 14th November, he won a three- mile race beating Tyndale-Biscog by 20 yards in seventeen minutes and three-fifths seconds. Another sport that he exceeded at was cricket. In a match between Jesus XI and (Trinity) Hall XI played on 4th June 1887 he was well on the spot with the ball and took altogether nine wickets in this match. Dun-Waters’ outstanding athletic achievements at Jesus College was recognized in 1886 when he became President of the Cambridge University Athletic Club.
As President he would have been involved with two major sporting events, rugby at Twickenham and the Thames Boat Races between the Blues and Oxford. At a dinner at Kings College I sat beside Gerald Davies, one of the rugby players, who was playing in the annual match and after he graduated he would become a rugby reporter for The Times newspaper.
He indicated that I would thoroughly enjoy the match that attracted 50,000 spectators.
So, I followed in Dun-Waters’ footsteps to the annual match and imagined he was cheering for the Blues as I did.
Being at Cambridge, like Dun-Waters, I experienced other aspects of student life such as visiting a favourite pub (a definite) or attending a guest University lecture (a possibility for Dun-Waters). However, Michael Clegg, a long-time former Board member of the Friends of Fintry, was a student at Jesus College and would undoubtedly have experienced Dun-Waters’ daily routine at Jesus.
Another aspect of Dun-Waters’ life that I wanted to explore were the homes that he lived in.
In this regard, I was very fortunate to meet a gentleman, Douglas S. Wilson, who in retirement was a local historian. He had a son on Vancouver Island and on one of his trips to B.C. he visited Fintry. The first home (estate) that Dun-Waters inherited was Craigton House in 1888.
However, Douglas Wilson pointed out that the Victorian home was demolished but he was kind enough to provide me with a photograph of the home. Also he provided me with a Xerox copy of a private typescript on the history of Fintry, Stirlingshire. Recently a copy of the typescript was given to our Curator Dan Bruce for the Fintry archives.
In 1890 Dun-Waters acquired his second home, Culcreuch Castle (estate) which comprised some 6,000 acres for £58,000 from Lady Hume Spiers.
On another occasion visiting Fintry with my V.B.F., I made arrangements to meet two colleagues. One colleague was on sabbatical at the University of Dundee and the other colleague and his wife were in Scotland to attend a Highland Cattle meeting. We met my colleagues at an appointed time at the Fintry pub and I then took them on a field trip of the Culcreuch estate. I also arranged to book accommodation at the Culcreuch Castle Hotel. Staying in the Castle and noting the various rooms of the house and having breakfast in the dining room certainly gave me a feeling for Dun-Waters, living in his second home. Just an interesting note on Culcreuch…..in September of 2006 The Times listed
the 13th century hotel in Stirlingshire for sale. The advertisement stated: What you get: Four-teen twin, double or family rooms, eight self-catering lodges, conferencing and banqueting facilities plus 86 acres. Where it is: At the foot of Campsie Fells, near Fintry which regularly picks up the award for Scotland’s Best Kept Village; 20 miles from Glasgow, 42 from Edinburgh. Up- side: Become a Baron! As the ancestral home of the Barons of Culcreuch, the title comes with the sale. Downside: Expect plenty of visitors – at the moment it is a hotel complete with bar, restaurants and staff. Cost: £2.5 million. Contact: Knight Frank, www.knightfrank.com.
One sporting activity he developed a passion for was fox hunting. In 1898 he decided to pursue this activity in the rolling countryside of Shropshire. He rented Lutwyche Hall, Easthope and he accepted the position of Master of Wheatland Hounds. During the hunting season Dun-Waters and Alice commuted between Culcreuch Estate and Lutwyche Hall. In 1901 he decided to move permanently to Shropshire. After disposing of his land holdings, he acquired his third permanent home Plaish Hall, Plaish, Church Stretton in 1902. Plaish Hall is probably the finest Tudor designed home in Shropshire. On moving to Plaish he was asked to accept the master- ship of the South Shropshire Hunt Club where he enjoyed a great deal of success as he received the loyal support from landlords and farmers, as was evidenced by the almost entire absence of barbed wire in the country.
The feeling I had for Dun-Waters’ third home was certainly there but a stronger feeling was for the location of the house and the surrounding undulating landscape. Standing outside the home, I could just imagine Dun-Waters leading the fox hunt with his dogs which he felt were the best hounds in England. On another part of the property was a substantial kennel built for his hounds. As an aside, on another visit to Plaish we visited the owners of the kennel property and they indicated that the building had been renovated and they turned the former kennel into a Bed and Breakfast. Not far from the house, Dun-Waters set aside a graveyard for his beloved dogs. He put down a small slab of cement for each dog. While the cement was still fresh he used his finger or a stick and carved the name of the dog. What I found interesting about this procedure is that he did the same thing for Alice’s grave, where she is buried on the front lawn of the Fintry Manor House.
While on a visit to Glasgow, my V.B.F. and I visited the Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park. However, being in Glasgow Dun-Waters was on my mind and I made my way to the Glasgow Herald. I met the editor who was very accommodating discussing the history of the Herald. I then spent time in their library/archives room where the editor pointed out the historical sources of the Herald. Sitting in the room I could imagine Dun-Waters, who was a major shareholder in the Herald, making his way from Culcreuch to attend an annual meeting in the board room of the Herald.
After a Friends of Fintry board meeting Dan Bruce, our Curator, gave me a short piece of correspondence with the name Lochinch Castle and suggested on my next research semester to gather some information on the castle. Dun-Waters became convinced that Ayrshire cattle, which he had on his estates in Stirlingshire, would thrive in the Okanagan.
In a conversation with Elizabeth Long he stated:
“The Ayrshires are Scotch cattle and good cattle,” he explains, “So why should not Scotsmen in this country grow Ayrshires? Then, too, pure bred cattle are the only thing the Old Country farmer has to sell to this country, so why should not Scotch farmers in Canada buy them?”
His enthusiasm for Ayrshires led him to develop one of the finest herds in Western Canada. Knowing the breeding quality of Ayrshires coming out of Southwest Scotland, Dun-Waters made arrangements on at least three different occasions to purchase cattle from the 12th Earl of Stair, John James Dalrymple (1879-1961) of Lochinch Castle and Castle Kennedy, Stranraer, Wigtownshire.
Victorian Lochinch Castle was located at either end of an isthmus between two lochs, (the White Loch on the west side and the Black Loch on the east). The two-storey with a basement home was designed by Brown and Wardrop and was built in 1864-8 of cream coloured Lancashire stone. Architecturally it has been described as depicting a “relaxed Baronial manner with a few French touches, the mingling of styles perhaps an allusion to the Franco-Scottish alliance of the clients, the tenth Earl of Stair and his wife Louisa, daughter of the Duc de Coigny”.
Dun-Waters also revealed another aspect of his character in his Ayrshire promotional campaign; he was generous. In 1929 he offered to help fund the purchase and transport of 24 cows and one bull of registered Ayrshire cattle from the best herds in Scotland for the Departments of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, University of British Columbia. John Young was recruited by U.B.C. Professor H.M. King to develop a dairy farm which would support a teaching and research programme at U.B.C. In June 1929, Young, with cattle and family, boarded a ship in Glasgow and arrived ten days later in Quebec City. After six weeks of quarantine the cattle were put into rail- cars and trained to Vancouver. They arrived on August 10th in the middle of the Canadian Pacific Exhibition (now the P.N.E.). Following a pipe-band led parade through the exhibition, they were then trucked to their new home at the University Farm in Point Grey. On my visit to Lochinch Castle I went out to the home farm to search out the cattle operation. Unfortunately, the Ayrshire cattle had been replaced by a Holstein-Friesian herd. However in my research I was able to dis- cover a June 1931 photo of Ayrshire cattle grazing by the loch side at Lochinch Castle.
I will end my short précis of some recollections during the Ken and Jan Waldon regime (the founders of the Friends of Fintry). After a Fintry board meeting Jan asked me to search out some background information on Alice on my next research visit to the U.K.
Alice was born on June 19, 1866 to Charles William Orde and Francis Isabel Orde (nee Jacson) at Nunnykirk Hall in the sub-district of Rothbury in the County of Northumberland. The Hall lies in the heart of the Northumbrian countryside 10 miles from the market town of Morpeth. Nunnykirk Hall was one of John Dobson’s finest early country homes. In 1825 the Hall was rebuilt for William Orde on his inherited 2,500 acre family estate that included six farms.
“Very nobly Greek, with exquisite ashlar (square hewn stone) masonry. The stonework of much of the house has banded rustication after the fashion of French Neo-classical architecture. The five-bay centre of the Garden Front was a Queen Anne house which Dobson refronted and to which he added (two) lower projecting wings. The ground floor between the wings has an Ionic loggia of four columns”. The home is still owned by the Orde family but it is now leased out as a special needs school.
Growing up at Nunnykirk, Alice probably had the same feeling for the outdoors and eventual interest in a sporting life as Dun-Waters. For me this feeling for the latter case was confirmed when I had a visit with Michael Orde. In his home there were a number of large prints hanging on the walls of a room depicting the chase of the foxhounds. In every National Trust estate home that my V.B.F and I have visited there was always a room or a hallway that displayed an individual family portrait painting in an extra-large gilded frame. Again, in Michael Orde’s home I was quite startled to see a very large portrait painting of Alice hanging on a wall leading up to the second floor of the house. The next time you visit the Manor House at Fintry you can view a small replica of this painting.
On the 11th December, 1888, a year after leaving Cambridge, Dun-Waters married Alice. The marriage took place at St. Mary the Virgin, Parish Church of Morpeth.
“The event had been looked forward to not only by the people of Morpeth, but generally throughout the county. The hour fixed for the ceremony was half-past two o’clock. Long before that hour the church, with the exception of seats reserved for the wedding guests, was filled with a deeply interested congregation, while the long walk laid from end to end with carpet, from the main road to the south of the porch was lined on both sides by some hundreds of people.”
The interest in the marriage was no doubt due to the fact that her father was a prominent lawyer who held such offices as Justice of Peace, High Sheriff and Chancellor of Quarter Sessions for Northumberland from 1854-1873. Undoubtedly, the Orde family was part of the established elite and the marriage was certainly the social highlight of the year in Morpeth.
Walking up the long pathway from the road to the church, I could well imagine the people lining that pathway and Dun-Waters and Alice coming out of the church and walking on that carpeted pathway.
In conclusion, I hope that you enjoyed the read.
Just a few comments: In researching Dun-Waters and following his footsteps certainly was an adventure for myself and my V.B.F. Collecting non-digitized material at libraries/archives proved to be successful most of the time. Also, I was able to photograph the buildings and landscapes associated with Dun-Waters which reinforced my imagination during a particular time in his life.
Finally, I must say that one of the pleasures doing the research were the people I met who were extremely kind and helpful.