Lady Inverclyde Collection

The Lady Inverclyde Collection

A large collection of correspondence from Charlotte, Lady Inverclyde, documenting her involvement in philanthropic causes in the early 20th century.

About Lady Inverclyde

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Charlotte, wife of 3rd Baron Inverclyde, by Sir Frank Dicksee, 1910. Copyright CSG CIC Glasgow Museums and Libraries Collections

Charlotte Mary Emily Nugent-Dunbar (1865-1951), of Machermore Castle, Newton Stewart, was the wife of James Cleland Burns, 3rd Baron Inverclyde. After her marriage in 1891 she was styled Baroness Inverclyde of Castle Wemyss. She was heavily involved in fund-raising efforts for the Scottish Branch of the British Red Cross throughout the First World War and with agricultural and horticultural schemes. She also served on the Women's County Committee one of whose aims was to construct a horticultural relief fund to increase the output of medicinal herbs - large number of casualties during the First World War had increased demand for medicines. Garlic and sphagnum moss particularly were used in large quantities. As Germany had been one of the major exporters of medicinal herbs, British growers would have to plug this gap.

After the war, Lady Inverclyde campaigned on behalf of the Glasgow Cabmen's Mission to raise funds to pay for two missionaries to work among cab and taxi drivers in Glasgow. Glasgow Museums has a portrait of Lady Inverclyde in evening dress, painted by Sir Frank Dicksee in 1910 and there is a stained-glass window in her memory in Monigaff Parish Church, Newton Stewart.

About the collection

A large collection of correspondence of Lady Inverclyde of Wemyss Castle from 1914-1918. This collection features correspondence primarily from the First World War but also includes Lady Inverclyde's correspondence from her active philanthropic efforts in the pre and post war period.

Lady Inverclyde's involvement with various charitable efforts are extensively documented in this collection. For example, she was heavily involved with the Scottish Branch of the British Red Cross Society in fundraising efforts throughout the War and the material includes British Red Cross Society minutes from 1915-1917. Moreover, Lady Inverclyde also engaged with Agricultural and Horticultural schemes during the Great War. She was part of the Women's County Committee which was concerned with issues such as constructing a horticultural relief fund to increase the output of medicinal herbs.

The Women's County Committee also promoted the employment of women in agricultural duties throughout the War. In a letter addressed to Lady Inverclyde the difficulties in encouraging women to undertake agricultural work are expressed. 'It will take time to get women to go out and work on the land - especially in England. In Scotland, it is quite common, but at the present time there are so many openings for women at a high rate of wages, such as munitions, car conductors etc. that it is not easy to get them to go out and work on the land in all kinds of weather; they prefer to work under cover.'

In addition, the collection also features pamphlets and correspondence regarding women's suffrage issues including a letter from prominent Suffragist Millicent Fawcett. Lady Inverclyde was part of the Ladies Auxiliary during the First World War. Correspondence from the National Union of Women's Suffrage Societies is also represented in this collection. Furthermore, in the post-war period Lady Inverclyde undertook the plight of the Glasgow Cabmen's Mission and the correspondence within this collection shows she fundraised extensively. The Glasgow Cabmen's Mission involved efforts to pay the salaries of two missionaries working among cab and taxi drivers in Glasgow.

Finding aid

Please email Special Collections or phone 0141 287 2988 if you would like to access this collection.

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