Janet Young and Jackson Walton

Continuing my account of the next generation of the Robb-Thomson-Young family of Glasgow, I turn now to Janet Young, the middle child of Penelope Thomson by her second marriage to John Young.

Janet, who was born in about 1817, married Jackson Walton on 12th October 1835 in Glasgow. The ceremony was performed by Rev. Nathaniel Paterson of St Andrew’s church, the same minister who would marry Janet’s half-sister Elizabeth Robb and John Burns in the following year.

Jackson Walton, described in the parish register as a merchant, was born on 1st December 1808 at Longsight Hall, Fallowfield, then a rural village on the outskirts of Manchester, the son of John and Mary Walton. The Wikipedia entry for one of his sons describes Jackson as ‘a Manchester commission agent and a competent painter and photographer’.

Jackson and Janet Walton had two children. According to later census records, their son, also named Jackson, was born in about 1838 in England and their daughter, Mary, in 1841 in Glasgow.

The 1841 census finds Jackson, Janet, Jackson junior, and Mary, living on the north side of Raise Street, Saltcoats, in Ayrshire, less than a mile from Janet’s half-brother George Robb and his family at Parkend House. As mentioned in an earlier post, George was working as a coal and iron master at this time. Jackson Walton is described as an agent, which raises the possibility that he and George were working for the same company.

Like many of her relatives, Janet died at a young age, though we do not have any definite information about her death. She was certainly dead by November 1844, when Jackson Walton married his second wife, Eliza Ann Nicholson, a Quaker, in Old Machar, Aberdeen. The record describes Jackson as a wine merchant living in Chapel Street, while Eliza is said to live in Silver Street. They were married by the Rev. Sir William Dunbar, Baronet, in St Paul’s Chapel. Since St Paul’s was an Episcopal church, Jackson’s Anglicanism presumably trumped Eliza’s Quakerism on this occasion. For more on the controversial and schismatic Rev. Dunbar, see here.

The same clergyman baptised Jackson and Eliza’s first child, Gilbert Nicholson Walton, in the following year, and their daughter Barbara Anderson was born in the same city in 1847. A third child, Thomas Balfour, was born in 1849 in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, and their daughter Helen was also born there in 1850. The 1851 census finds the Waltons at East Clyde Street, Helensburgh, with Jackson’s mother Mary, as well as a house servant and a nursemaid. Jackson is now described as an annuitant, perhaps from his first wife’s legacy.

Ten years later, in 1861, the Waltons were living at Glanderstone House, in Neilston, Renfrewshire, where Jackson is described as a ‘partner in saw mills’, as is his 23-year -old son Jackson junior. They have five more children: Anne Eliza Mary, born in 1852; William Gandy, 1853; Richard, 1856; Dora Gandy, 1858; and Edward Arthur, 1860. All were born in Cardross, Dunbartonshire, except Edward, who was born in Neilston. As well as a general servant and a groom, the household also includes a visitor, one Walter Guy Buchanan, a managing clerk and sawyer.

According to one source, the Waltons settled in Glasgow in 1862, ‘Jackson becoming first a manufacturer of steam boiler coverings and later a manufacturing chemist, neither successfully.’ The 1871 census finds the family in Arlington Street, Glasgow, where Jackson is described as a manufacturing chemist employing four men.

Jackson Walton died in 1873 at the age of 65, apparently leaving his family in reduced circumstances.

Edward Arthur Walton  ‘Self Portrait’

Jackson and Eliza’s son George became a famous architect, while Edward and Constance become painters of some renown.  The  following extract from the entry about George Henry Walton in the Dictionary of Scottish Artists makes reference to the accomplishments of his siblings:

George Henry Walton was born in Glasgow on 3 June 1867, the youngest of the twelve children of Jackson Walton, a Manchester commission agent, by his second wife, the Aberdeen-born Quaker Eliza Ann Nicholson: the painter Edward Arthur Walton, born near Barrhead on 15 April 1860 was his elder brother and the flower painter Constance Walton his sister. The Waltons had settled in Glasgow in 1862, Jackson becoming first a manufacturer of steam boiler coverings and later a manufacturing chemist, neither successfully. He was, however, a good amateur painter and photographer: one of his elder daughters, the decorative artist, Helen, born 1850, also had marked ability, studying at Glasgow School of Design from 1865 and becoming artistic mentor to the younger members of the family. Jackson died in 1873 leaving his family in reduced circumstances. George had to leave Partick Academy in 1881 at the age of thirteen to become a clerk with the British Linen Bank, but while in its employ he studied at Glasgow School of Art (as the School of Design had become in 1869) and took classes with P. McGregor Wilson at the short-lived Glasgow Atelier Fine Arts.

The rest of the article, which details George Walton’s considerable achievements and renown as an architect and designer, can be found here.

George Henry Walton, by William Oliphant Hutchison (via wikipedia.org)

Here is some additional information about George’s brother Edward, who died in 1922:

Painter, who became one of the ‘Glasgow Boys’. Born in East Renfrewshire, Walton trained briefly in Dusseldorf (Germany), before returning to study at the Glasgow School of Art. Here he met, and began to paint with, James Guthrie (1859 – 1930) and Joseph Crawhall (1861-1913). The group later widened to include George Henry (1858 – 1943) and John Lavery (1856 – 1941), and became known as the ‘Glasgow Boys’. Walton acquired a studio in Cambuskenneth (Stirling) in the late 1880s and many of the Glasgow Boys were visitors.

Walton is recognised as one of the leading Scottish painters of his generation, specialising in both portraits and landscape subjects. He used detailed textures in his work and typically offset pure whites, symbolising the innocence of his subjects, against contrasting dark backgrounds. This technique reflected the influence of the English artist James Whistler, who Walton greatly admired. The two were friends and Walton led a campaign to persuade the Glasgow City Corporation to buy Whistler’s portrait of Thomas Carlyle (1795 – 1881), the first of his works purchased by a public body. Walton moved to London in 1894 and became a neighbour of Whistler. Walton had a studio in Cheyne Walk (Chelsea), where he painted until 1904, when he was persuaded to return to Scotland by James Guthrie and settled in Edinburgh, specialising in portraiture.

Walton married the artist Helen Law (née Henderson) after becoming engaged on 29 November 1889. Helen gave up her painting career in order to tend to their family. Their son John (1895–1971), became Regius Professor of Botany at the University of Glasgow.[4][5] Their daughter Cecile (1891–1956), was a successful painter, sculptor and illustrator in Edinburgh.[6] Their youngest daughter Margery married William Oliphant Hutchison in 1918.

And here’s a link to some information about their sister Constance’s flower paintings.

Constance Walton, ‘Still Life of Flowers’

As for Jackson Walton’s children by his first marriage to Janet Young: I’m not sure what became of Jackson junior, but we know that daughter Mary married her half-cousin, railway clerk John Gandy Walton, at Glanderstone House on Christmas Eve, 1861. They lived in Kentish Town, London, and had five children, though John died in December 1874, shortly before the birth of their last child, who bore his name.

In 1881 Mary and her children were at Gibson Street, in Govan, Glasgow, where she was living on ‘income from money lent on house property’ and son Francis was working as an insurance clerk. The 1891 census finds Mary, 54, back in Kentish Town, and living on her own means. Her son Francis is now a professional singer, daughter Bertha a governess in a school, son Ernest a telegraph clerk, John Gandy a railway clerk like his late father, and daughter Edith has no employment. I’ve been unable to discover the date of Mary’s death.

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