N E W S F E E D S >>>

Wick Library History Index

Wick Library Main Page 

 North Highland Archive  

History Of Wick Library


Andrew Carnegie
Born in Dunfermline, Fife on the 25th of November 1835, to William Carnegie & Margaret Morrison.

Married on the 1st of June 1887 to Louise Whitfield daughter of John W. Whitfield in New York, they had one child. Daughter called Margaret.

Died on the 11th August 1919 at Lennox, Massachusetts, and United States of America. Buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Tarrytown, New York, United States of America.

Source of information – The Dictionary of National Biography 1912 – 1919 Oxford University Press and Dornoch Library.

Hew Morrison, Chief Librarian, Edinburgh
Born in 1850 in Tongue, Sutherland, to James Morrison & Jane Clark Morrison.

Married twice, the first marriage took place on the 23rd of December 1874, Montrose, to Agnes Jack daughter of Alexander Jack & Mary-Ann Crammond. Second Marriage took place on the 19th August 1881, Newington, Edinburgh, to Agnes Veitch daughter of George Veitch & Agnes Robertson.

He died on the18th January 1935 at 12 Blackford Road, Edinburgh. So far I have not been able to find out exactly how many children, Hew Morrison had. As he was married twice, this was taken from 1881 census when he was a widower, his first wife Agnes Jack had died before the census of 1881 by then there was only one child mentioned a daughter called Emily. In 1901 census list of children was mentioned there was one girl & four boys they were Agnes, Hew, Reay, James & John this to his second wife Agnes Veitch. I have counted 2 daughters & 4 boys but there could be more.

Source of information - Edinburgh Library and www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk

Sir John Usher
Born on the 18th January 1828, in Edinburgh, to Andrew Usher
and Margaret Balmer. Married 18th August 1853 St. Cuthbert's, Edinburgh to Mary Anne Balmer daughter of Thomas Balmer & Agnes Stuart.

They had seven children, five boys & two girls. Children as follows: John Andrew, Robert, Thomas Balmer, Frederick, Francis James, Agnes Stewart & Mary Ann.

Died on the 24th March 1904 Cairo, Egypt. Buried at Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh.

Source of information - The Dictionary of National Biography 1901 – 1911 Oxford University Press, www.familysearch.org  & www.the-house-of-usher.co.uk

Emeritus Professor David Mather Masson.
Born at Aberdeen on 2nd of December 1822, son of William Masson & Sarah Mather.

Married on the 27th August 1853 to Emily Rosaline Orme daughter of Charles Orme & Eliza Andrews, they had four children, three girls & one boy. Rosaline, Flora, Helen & Orme.

In 1865 appointed to the post of professor of Rhetoric and English literature at the University of Edinburgh. Died 6th October 1907 in Locharton Gardens, Edinburgh buried at Grange Cemetery, Edinburgh.

Source of information – The Dictionary of National Biography 1901 – 1911 Oxford University Press & www.familysearch.org

John Mowat, F.S.A., (Scot.)
Born at Freswick, Canisbay, on the 14th of December 1868, son of James Mowat and Margaret Laird.

Married Georgina Dunnet, daughter of George Dunnet and Charlotte Laird in Glasgow on the 12th July 1899.

They had seven children, four girls & three boys. Charlotte, Margaret, Jessie, Chrystina, James George and John.

He died on the 30th January 1955 in Manchester; his home address was 50 Southampton Drive, Glasgow. Buried in Glasgow.

Effigy of St. Fergus  (Patron Saint of Wick)
This recumbent effigy is commonly believed to represent St. Fergus, patron Saint of Wick. It originally came from the old church of St. Fergus, of which a fragment still stands incorporated into the Sinclair Aisle next to the parish church in the High Street. In the past, the effigy spent some time reposing in the Town Jail and later stood upright in a garden next to the Town House. Prior to its removal to the former Wick Museum, here in the library, it once again lay in the Sinclair Aisle for a time.

The figure dates from the end of 15th or the early part of the 16th century. It shows a man with long, tonsured hair, dressed in a loose, cassock-like garment with narrow, loose sleeves. His hands are folded across his breast, and hold a cross with notched ends to the arms. Small round bosses, probably representing jewels, are seen on the arms of the cross and on a small, lozenge-shaped addition at the intersection. His feet rest upon a crouched or sleeping lion.

The effigy, blackened by the centuries and much disfigured by graffiti in the past has been partly cleaned. Further restoration work will be carried out in the future.

Glass engraving on the window in the library
Duncan Macdonald of the Shire of Caithness Gent the celebrated Scottish Equilibrist.

Excerpt from the John O’Groat Journal 12th April 1957

At a meeting of Caithness Library Sub-Committee on Friday, Dr F. W. Robertson, county librarian, informed the member that Mr James Robertson, architect, Glasgow, a native of Keiss, had gifted to the museum a photostatic copy of an 18th century broadsheet, showing a famous equilibrist, Duncan Macdonald, who was a native of Caithness. Submitting the copy for inspection by the members, Dr Robertson said: “This is a very rare sheet. I doubt if any modern man could perform this feat of balancing. Mr Robertson has given so many gifts to the library and we are indebted to him.” The sub-committee unanimously agreed to record their appreciation of the gift.

This reproduction of the photostat of the engraving from the original drawing gives the artist’s impression of Macdonald performing his famous act. Underneath the following report appeared in the broadsheet.

Refugee in France
This gentleman (who performs on the slack wire what neither Caratha the Turk, or any other would presume to attempt in that surprising art) being unhappily involved in the late Rebellion was obliged, with several of his countrymen, to fly to France as a place of refuge, and as he danced perfectly well, flattered himself that talent would subsist him as he was then destitute, but found there to his great disappointment few persons in that class who even got a comfortable subsistence, the French being more inclined to re-establish their Marine, than encourage a set of useless caperers, and England, the only happy climate for those volatile geniuses, where they wallowed in luxury. Necessity then prompted him to turn to equilibrist, being kindly assisted by nature with an extraordinary gift of agility, the success for which this print exhibits, whereby he is rendered capable of gaining a genteel subsistence, and enabled to remit proper sums to his distant wife and six children.

The Act
Imprimis with a pair of French post boots, under the soles of which are fastened quart bottles with the necks downwards, he exhibits several feats of activity on the slack wire, after which he poises a wheel on his right toe, on the summit of which is placed a spike whereon is balanced by the edge of a pewter plate; on that a board with fifteen wine glasses; at the top, a glass globe with a wheaten straw erect on the same, he fixes a sharp-pointed sword on the tip of his nose, on the pummel of which he balances a tobacco pipe, and on the bowl two eggs erect; with his left fore-finger he sustains a chair with a dog sitting in it, and two feathers kept erect, on the nobs and to show his strength of his wrist there are two weights of 100 each, fastened to the feet of the chair, after which a French horn and trumpet are brought him, both which he sounds distinctly at the same instant two different tunes, the one being the “Banks of Tweed,” the other not proper to mention, as a proof of his certainty not falling he places on the stage, under the wire, several sword-blades with the points upwards.

Foreword & Acknowledgements
Chapter 1  Libraries in Wick and Pulteneytown before 1887
Chapter 2 1887 – 1891
Chapter 3 1891 – 1900
Chapter 4 1900 – 1930
Chapter 5 1930 – 1975
Chapter 6 1975 – Present
Chapter 7 Librarians
Photo Gallery