The Mystery of Jack the Ripper

The mystery of Jack the Ripper started at the end of August 1888, when a dead woman’s mutilated body was found on a London street. From August 7 to September 10 in 1888, a serial killer terrorized the Whitechapel district when he murdered at least five women—all prostitutes—in or near London’s East End.

Whitechapel in the East End was a poor neighbourhood that seems out of place in Victorian London. However, the series of killings that began in August 1888 stood out from other violent crimes of the time. The killer was dubbed ‘Jack the Ripper’.

Who Was Jack the Ripper?

The psychological and social infrastructures of the nineteenth century produced the first modern serial killer. In 1888, however, the term “serial killer” had not even been coined yet. These murders were collectively known as the “Whitechapel Murders.”

Jack the Ripper horrifically and grotesquely mutilated his victims’ bodies, some of whom he removed the uteruses of after the fatal attacks. Other killings around the same place and same time did not feature the Ripper’s MO.

For over a century, the identity of the Ripper has remained a mystery. The killer must have looked nondescript and been part of the social fabric of the community setting. So few people knew him, and his permanent institutionalization occurred after the Ripper murders.

Even more than a century later, many people know his nickname and the mystery surrounding his murders. Moreover, the brutal murder inspired countless novels, films, and theories over the past 130 years.


The murder file that records the Ripper’s killings lists eleven murders. However, it is not possible to say for sure how many victims he had. There may have been as few as four victims or as many as eight victims of the Ripper.

  1. Mary Ann Nichols

Five victims have historically been “generally accepted” as victims of Jack the Ripper. The first murder, of Mary Ann Nicholls, took place on August 31. Mary Ann Nichols was a native of London who had spent a good deal of the 1880s homeless.

  1. Annie Chapman

The body of Annie Chapman, Jack the Ripper’s second victim, was found in the backyard of 29 Hanbury Street. A prostitute living in London’s East End, she was murdered on September 8, 1888. Annie Chapman spent most of her life between Knightsbridge, Windsor, Belgravia and Piccadilly. She was under-nourished and suffering from a chronic disease of the lungs (tuberculosis) and brain tissue.

  1. Elisabeth Gustafsdotter

The Ripper’s third victim was born Elisabeth Gustafsdotter on November 27, 1843. Elizabeth Stride was found dead from a cut throat on September 30 1888. It is highly probable that the killer was interrupted in his murder of Elizabeth Stride. Elizabeth, or “Long Liz” Stride, had spent the last afternoon of her life cleaning rooms. Unfortunately, in those days, she didn’t have access to the best water filter system or the best RO system.

  1. Catherine Eddowes

Because he was disturbed, killing Elizabeth Stride, Jack the Ripper went looking for his second victim of the night. On the afternoon of September 30 1888, the brutally mutilated supposed body of Kate Eddowes was discovered in Mitre Square. Catherine Eddowes was found lying on her back in a pool of blood.

When she died, Miss Eddowes was ailing from Bright’s Disease, a form of Uremia. Old friends described her as an “intelligent, scholarly woman, but of fiery temperament.”

  1. Mary Kelly

Jack The Ripper’s last victim was as mysterious as the notorious serial killer himself. Aged 25, Mary Kelly was way younger than Jack the Ripper’s other victims. But the extent to which Mary Jane’s body was mutilated inside and out was deeply distressing. Mary Jane Kelly was a familiar face around Whitechapel.

Bottom Line

For more than 130 years, the true identity of Jack the Ripper has been hotly debated. He was never caught, and nobody was ever punished for the women’s deaths. The number of Jack the Ripper suspects now runs to well over a hundred.

During the course of their investigations, however, police narrowed down the suspects to several men. Many of the police officers who worked on the case claimed that they knew the identity of Jack the Ripper. However, each of them went on to name a different suspect.

The lineup of possible suspects has included the father of Winston Churchill and Prince Albert Victor. It is likely that the true identity of Jack the Ripper will never be known.

7 Proven Ways to Prevent Murders

Safety is an essential factor in the modern society.

On the night of the Republican Convention that was focused on making America safe again, no exact answer explained how policymakers intended to secure America.

Many countries face challenges on how to efficiently prevent crimes and murders. The solutions that governments often come up with are never implemented fully. This has been attributed to corruption and the lack of enough resources in some countries.

More reliable evidence shows that high levels of gun ownership cause countries to experience high levels of violence and murders.

Another factor is alcohol consumption. According to the Alcohol Rehab Guide, 40% of the crimes are due to alcohol consumption.

Several other factors cause crimes. Here’re proven ways to fight and prevent murders and crimes in America:

7 Preventing Measures against Gruesome Murders

1) Implement strict policies on alcohol

There is a link between alcohol and violence. A study done in 2010 found that alcohol stores are strongly linked to gun assaults. Being in possession of a gun while drunk is, therefore, not allowed.

Policies can be implemented to limit issues related to alcohol in America and other countries across the world. Some of these policies include:

  • High taxes on alcohol
  • Minimizing the number of alcohol outlets
  • Denying alcohol users who commit offenses after drinking the right to drink.

2) Deploy focused deterrence policing

Proper understanding of community policing and executing it is essential to curbing murders and other crimes. The right community policy is based on the “focused deterrence policing” strategy, which is impactful.

It focuses on a community’s specific problems such as gun violence and rampant murders. It then follows the trail of the individuals and groups involved in such acts and focuses on them.

The community is strongly responsible for conveying strict and transparent standards against violence.

3) Fight identity theft

Identity theft is another factor that can, in one way or the other, lead to other crimes and, even worse, murder. It ranges from financial, criminal, medical, synthetic, driver’s license, and insurance identity thefts.

Criminals can steal your identity and use it to commit crimes, including murder. They also leave the trails of other crimes.

Smart criminals use identity theft to commit criminals so that they can hide from being identified and charged. The following are some ways you can help reduce identity theft:

  • Destroy pieces of evidence showing your personal information such as your account statements and education certificates.
  • Don’t leave trails like your debit and credit card receipts behind.
  • Live a private life and avoid giving your personal information to anybody, especially on social media.
  • Get used to creating strong passwords for your accounts.
  • Secure your data online as criminals use various tactics to get hold of your identity.
  • Sign up for identity theft prevention services that offer identity theft monitoring and status account checking. For instance, LifeLock solutions can protect you from being a victim of identity theft.

4) Raise the allowed school drop-out age

Raise the age or grade limit at which a person is allowed to drop out of school. Students should be kept for long in school; the further they continue their studies, the lesser their likelihood of committing a crime.

When students complete their studies, they’re likely to land good, well-paying jobs. This immensely reduces their tendency to take part in criminal practices for money.

5) Treat violence and murders just like public health concerns

Governments and citizens need to use various methods, including campaigns and technology, to reach every individual and warn them of the effects of crime.

Every individual needs to feel important and appreciated in society to reduce the number of people who feel neglected.

Otherwise, they can easily develop bizarre behaviors inclined towards committing crimes and murders.

6) Learn from past experiences & focus on gun control

Past human rights violation practices and neglect of particular groups of people in society led to crimes and murders. Learn from previous experiences and come up with better methods of conflict resolution and containment measures.

Gun deaths can’t occur in the absence of guns.

 It’s, therefore, necessary to eliminate illegal possession of guns. Strict policies on gun ownership should also be implemented.

7) Eliminate illegal drugs to reduce impact

Drugs have a high impact on murders and other crimes. Excessive use of drugs has driven users to cause violence, crimes, and insecurity around the globe.

All anti-violence initiatives should also focus on fighting hard drugs and the results of long-term use.


With the current population of humans on earth, it’s becoming hard to monitor everybody. People also have different characters with some inclined towards committing crimes and rampant murders.

Most crimes have a link to murders, making the environment risky to live in.


The crimes need to be curbed to improve everyone’s safety.

There are several methods to prevent crimes and murders; they work well if administered in the right way. Follow-ups must also be done to examine the extent to which a method has helped.

It’s unfortunate for humans to live like animals. Therefore, everyone is tasked with ensuring safety in local communities.

Everybody has a right to live comfortably, explaining the necessity to employ ways to prevent murders.

Madeleine Smith as the 19th Century Amanda Knox

The media has dubbed Madeleine Smith as the 19th century Amanda Knox. Although both murder trials took place over 150 years apart, both women were 20 years old at the time of their trial. A few people have also pointed out other similarities between both trials.

The Background

Madeleine was accused of killing her lover Emile L’Angelier, in 1857, in a bid for him not to expose their sexual rendezvous. Her father, James Smith, had earlier disapproved of her relationship with L’Angelier, who he considered a penniless clerk. He also forbade her from seeing him.

What James and the rest of the Smith family didn’t know was how far their daughter and sibling had gone with L’Angelier. They had been intimate and were exchanging letters alluding to their sexual intimacies. James Smith then approved of a courtship between Madeleine and William Minoch, who was a richer bachelor.

Madeleine began courting Minoch by day and visiting L’Angelier by night. When she got tired of this arrangement, she decided to settle for Minoch. She then requested L’Angelier to send back her letters, which he refused. A few months later, he died from poisoning.

Amanda Knox, on the other hand, was accused of killing her roommate Meredith Kercher in 2007. Both Amanda and Meredith had come to Italy as exchange students and met in September 2007. The following month they both attended the Eurochocolate festival and a classical music concert together.

By November 2007, Kercher was found dead with signs of violence. Even though both murder cases were different, one element was common in both cases: sex.

The Appeal of Sex and Death

During the Victorian era and now, sex and death was and is still a sensational tale for the tabloids. As separate entities, sex sells, and death sells. When you add both together, you have a media frenzy.

Madeline’s accusation for killing Emilie became the murder of the century for the same reason. The amount of attention that the murder story garnered was seemingly due to her voracious appetite for sex. At least 198 letters were found from her in Emilie’s office and apartment after he died. It was the discovery of the letters between her and her lover that led to her arrest.

These letters were an essential part of Madeleine’s trial and read in court to the hearing of all. Newspapers flooded with details of the explicit content of her messages. A young woman of Glasgow’s genteel society had slept with a man, enjoyed it, and went ahead to describe her pleasure in detail.

This information was appalling. In some of Madeleine’s letters, she talked about “tender long embraces” and “being fondled by you.” She further went to state that she didn’t regret what they did. Her honesty about sex was what shocked many.

However, was there something wrong about her appeal for sex during her day? Some people may have thought her sexual appetite was unnatural. Others may think she had been ingesting a kind of energy booster like the Keto diet pills with no additives that we have today. Afterall, decency was expected from mid-class to upper-class women during the Victorian era.

What if Madeleine had lived in our day? Maybe the shock about how much she enjoyed sex wouldn’t be there. However, there would still be the appeal of sex in the media. Such was the case of Amanda Knox.

One of the accused, Rudy Guede, had denied Amanda’s involvement. However, during his appeal, he claimed that she had been in the apartment at the time of the murder. Prosecutors for Amanda’s case managed to bring in the sexual element.

Although the discovery of Madeleine’s sexual appetite weighed heavily on her, what sexual motive would Amanda Knox probably have to kill another woman? It didn’t make any sense.

The prosecution suggested that she killed her roommate due to a sexual game they were playing.  They suggested that she may have taunted Kercher, saying, “You acted goody-goody so much… now you’re going to be forced to have sex!”

They further suggested that Guede, Amanda, and Amanda’s boyfriend had held on to Kercher while Guede sexually abused her.

Results from Both Trials

Another similarity between both trials were the results the women received. After six days of trial, Madeleine Smith got a “non-proven” verdict. Even though many members of the jury believed she did it, they just couldn’t prove that she did. She ended up walking away as a free woman. Till today no one knows for sure who killed Pierre Emilie L’Angelier.

Amanda Knox was not as lucky as Madeleine in the beginning. She was initially found guilty and sentenced to 26 years in jail. After spending four years in prison, the court later acquitted her of the murder due to evidence that proved she didn’t commit the crime.

Later Life

Madeleine Smith left Glasgow after her trial ended and changed her name to Lena. She got married to George Wardle, had two kids for him, and they later got divorced. She then moved to the US and married William Sheehy. Madeleine passed on in 1928, bearing the name Lena Sheehy.

Amanda went back to America and wrote a book about her trial. Today, she’s married to Christopher Robinson, an author. She speaks at different events, and she’s an activist for wrongfully convicted people.

Madeleine Smith’s Trial: A Scotland Murder Mystery

The story of Madeleine Smith’s trial is still popular in books, musicals, and movies. After over 160 years, the murder of her lover is still a mystery. How did her story capture the minds of the public? Why is Madeleine’s story still talked about today?

The murder of Madeleine’s lover, Pierre Emile L’angelier took place in 19th century Scotland, in the city of Glasgow. Murder cases were not new in the country before then. Eight years earlier, in 1848, there had been the murder of James Young. However, in Madeleine’s case, it was called the murder of the century.

19th Century Scotland

The 19th century was an era when Scotland moved towards modernization, with Glasgow and the River Clyde being a major shipbuilding center. The lifestyle during that era was quite different from the way it is now. They were a Victorian society upholding the rules of decency greatly. This view will help you understand why Madeleine’s story gained popularity.

Madeleine’s Early Life

Madeleine Hamilton Smith was born on 29th March 1835 to a middle-class family in Glasgow. Her father, James Smith, was an architect. Her mother, Elizabeth Smith, was the daughter of David Hamilton, a neoclassical architect.

The Smith family had their home at No 7, Blythswood Square, Glasgow. They also owned a country property at Rhu, on the Power Clyde, near Helensburgh. Madeleine was sent to school in London from 1851-1853 before returning to Glasgow at age 18.

The Secret Affair

In 1855 when Madeline was 20, one of her neighbors first introduced her to Emilie L’angelier. Emile was 29 and was originally from Channels Island. He worked as a packing clerk in a warehouse at 10 Bothwell Street.

Their match was unlikely at the time. While Madeleine was from a wealthy family, Emile was a working professional who was almost ten years older. They both began a love affair. The lovers would frequently meet at Madeleine’s bedroom window at night.

The pair would also begin communicating in secret by letter. Emile would deliver by hand through her window. Madeleine used the local postal service to deliver hers. Their love letters had records of several steamy conversations relating to their sex life.

Madeleine was well aware her family would never approve of such a match due to Emile’s financial and social status. They continued the affair anyway, and Madeleine promised to marry him.

In January 1957, things took a different turn. Her family approved a proposal for her with William Harper Minnoch, whom they considered a suitable suitor. In February, Madeleine agreed to marry Minnoch and asked Emile to return her letters. He refused, threatening to forward the explicit letters to her father if she didn’t marry him.

The Murder

Between February and March that year, Madeleine was known to have made three purchases of arsenic. Her third and last purchase was on 18th March.

In the early morning of 23rd March, Emile died after falling ill. The coroner later revealed that enormous amounts of arsenic were in his stomach.

On discovering Madeleine’s letters at his apartment, the police went on a raid of her home. They found a receipt for the purchase of arsenic from a local chemist. These revelations saw Madeleine arrested on 31st March and charged with murder.

Madeleine Smith’s Trial

On 1st July 1857, Madeleine Smith’s trial began at the High Court in Edinburgh. The court learned how the deceased had spent two months battling an unknown ailment. His landlady revealed that one February morning, he had been vomiting uncontrollably, and his complexion was pale.

The jury charged Madeleine with administering arsenic on three separate occasions with the intent to kill. The poison was allegedly given through cups of cocoa to the deceased through her bedroom window. The volume of letters between the two lovers formed a core part of the trial.

Throughout the eight days of the trial, she maintained her innocence and pleaded not guilty. Due to a lack of evidence, the prosecution could not prove that Madeleine was the murderer. The jury finally returned a verdict of “not proven.”

In Scottish law, a ‘not proven’ verdict doesn’t establish the innocence of the defendant.  Rather it concludes that the prosecution does have sufficient evidence to prove that the accused is guilty. Madeleine got away scot-free, and opinions remain divided over her innocence.

The Scandal

In the context of her time, Madeleine’s letters were a shocking revelation. Not only because of her gender and class, but because of their explicit content. As a member of Glasgow’s genteel high society, she had gone against the strict Victorian conventions.

It led to many questions about womanhood at the time. How a young woman could have sex before marriage and be bold enough to write about how much she enjoyed it. It was a crucial issue to society, and her trial became a scandal in Scotland.

How’s Scotland Like Today?

The lifestyle today in Scotland, just like the rest of the world has changed, particularly as it applies to women.  Today’s Scotland is a busy industrialized nation. The country experiences short durations of extreme weather.

You can experience extreme cold one day, and the next morning you can have sunshine. Living here means you’ll have to beef up your heating and cooling system for whatever the weather brings. The best option for you during winter might be a tankless water heater. When it gets warm, an air cooler will be best.

12 Things Creative Writers Should Keep in Mind When Working from Home

If you’re a writer, chances are that you carry out most, if not all your work from the comfort of your home. There are advantages to this style of working. One of which is, it saves you resources spent on commuting from home to office and back again.

However, there are challenges too. When you work from home, you tend to let your guard down, and you might not feel obligated to get things done. This attitude can lead to unproductivity if not well managed.

To help yourself, keep these twelve things in mind when working from home.

Establishing a Schedule Helps

Having a clear guideline for when you want to start and end the day’s work will help you maintain the right work balance. Find out your most productive times and schedule more demanding tasks for those periods. If your productive work hours are in the morning, try to start your day very early so that you can accomplish more before the day is over.

There are scheduling and time management apps you can download to help yourself. Setting a schedule provides structure to your day.

There are Indoor Distractions

Writing requires undivided attention, and the slightest sound can stop your thought process. However, distractions from your kids or other people living with you are common occurrences.

Consider setting ground rules to let them know what they can or cannot do when you’re working. If you cut down distractions, it will improve the quality of your work.

Using a Dedicated Workspace is More Productive

When you dedicate a workspace strictly for your work, it will help you differentiate between work time and home time. Your workspace can be a spare room or a corner in your home where you can fix a desk and chair. Avoid spaces that your mind can associate with leisure like the couch and the bed.

You Can Get Overwhelmed

Sometimes the task at hand can overwhelm you. When this happens, stop working, relax, and clear your mind. When you come back, you will be able to focus better on your work.

Take Breaks in Between

If you established a proper schedule, there should be adequate times during the day to take breaks. Give yourself a compulsory 1-hour lunch break every day. You can use apps that will notify you to take breaks at scheduled times.

Besides lunch break, you should also take short breaks away from your computer. These are times where you stare out the window or get up to get a snack. Taking breaks in between work helps you reset and gets your blood flowing for the next task.

Making Notes is Helpful

Inspiration can come to you when you’re not working. You may be cooking or doing the laundry and get an idea. Learn to jot down every idea rather than take mental notes only. Making quick short notes will remind you when you forget.

Eating Healthy is Important

When you work from home, it is easy to binge on chips, cookies, and chocolates. While taking snacks is okay, don’t overindulge. Focus on eating healthy meals with fruits and vegetables that will boost your productivity level.

Exercising is Good for You

Exercise is beneficial to both your mind and your body. It boosts your memory, increases your happiness, and interest levels, making you work better. Regular exercises also help you maintain a good posture.

Don’t Spend the Whole Day in Pajamas

Wearing pajamas relates to leisure and not work. Try to change out of them before you resume the day’s work. Dress like you’re not at home and wear something that can give you a mindset of work.

Work Time isn’t Social Media Time

Social media has its benefits, but it can be a distraction too. Don’t fall for the temptation to go against your schedule and take social breaks. You can shut off notifications while you work. When you minimize unnecessary use of social media, you will be able to focus on getting more work done.

Be Aware of Security Risks

Keep in mind that you can be a target for hackers. Get smarter about protecting yourself from security threats. Invest in devices that can alert you when you have a security breach. Companies invest in security tools, and you should do the same.

Your Body Needs to Move

Writing from home can keep you indoors for days, especially if you have a lot of work to do. Don’t get stuck up in your home and forget there’s an actual world outside. Learn to leave the house occasionally to get fresh air and sunlight. You can take a walk around your neighborhood even for a few minutes only.

An article from the SCOTTISH FIELD (May 1968)

“May 11th (1968) is the 200th anniversary of the birth of David Hamilton, the architect who gave style and dignity to Glasgow at a time when the city was just becoming conscious of its modern greatness.

FRANCIS WORSDALL traces his career and influence.”

When in 1857 a new concert-hall was erected in Glasgow, the decoration included medallion heads of the great figures in various artistic fields. These included Handel for music, Reynolds for painting, and inevitably, as it seemed at the time, David Hamilton for architecture. This gives some idea of how much he was revered by the succeeding generation of architects in the city, many of whom had, in fact, been trained in his office during the half century in which he practised. 

David Hamilton was born in Glasgow on May 11, 1768. He was trained and spent some years working as a stone-mason before deciding to become an architect. In those early formative years the city was rapidly expanding, with new streets of handsome villas and squares, erected by the new wealthy merchant class. This “New Town of Glasgow” in the style popularised by Robert and James Adam had a profound influence on Hamilton’s mature style. About 1790, he set up in business in his native city, and began the long series of works throughout Scotland which was to make him famous. 

In 1802, he was commissioned by the governors of Hutchesons’ Hospital to design their new building in Ingram Street. Here we can see a number of the characteristics which we associate with the contemporary work of Sir John Soane in London. Internally, there was originally a large central hall, expressed externally by a high main storey with Corinthian columns. The statues of the two Hutcheson brothers were rescued from the 17th century building in the Trongate where the school was originally housed. A fluted spire is the crowning feature. About 10 years later, two comparable structures were erected – the Town Steeple at Falkirk (probably intended to be attached to a town-house which was never erected) and Port Glasgow Town Hall, where the spire surmounts a Doric portico of individual type. 

Hamilton designed the Nelson Monument on Glasgow Green in 1806. It was the first to be erected to the hero of Trafalgar, and consists of a massive Roman obelisk 144 feet high, with the names of the great admiral’s victories inscribed on the sides. In 1810 it was struck by lightning during a violent storm and split almost from top to bottom. 

The first two decades of the 19th century saw the rebuilding of many Scottish parish churches, and Hamilton designed a number of them. In those days an architect had to be able to turn his hand to any style his client might choose, and was not always able to make his own choice. Clearly Hamilton favoured variations on Italian themes, but it must be admitted that his contribution to the Gothic Revival was among the most successful when one considers that his work pre-dated the discoveries of Pugin and Rickman. 

St. John’s Church, in Glasgow’s east end, has been demolished, but good Gothic examples remain at Larbert and Lennoxtown in Stirlingshire, and Bothwell in Lanarkshire. The towers in each case are well proportioned and form prominent local landmarks. The Bothwell church was originally erected against the medieval chancel, but in recent times the dividing wall has been taken down to form a single composition. Unfortunately, the removal of Hamilton’s galleries has resulted in the exposure of a large expanse or ugly rubble walling. Campsie High Church at Lennoxtown stands on a hill and its tower emphasises the strong vertical lines of the rest of the design. Allied to the Gothic churches is the tower of Kilwinning Abbey in Ayrshire, which he designed in 1814 to replace the original structure which had collapsed. 

The three churches in Renaissance style were all in Glasgow. Unfortunately two, have been demolished, and the third remain, in a mutilated condition. This is the earliest: Gorbals Parish Church, in Carlton Place erected 1810-11. The spire was demolished earlier this century after being damaged by lightning. St. Enoch’s Parish Church, formerly in the square of that name, was a design of 1827, incorporating the steeple of an earlier building. Traditionally the site of St Thenaw’s burial place (St. Thenaw was St. Mungo’s mother) and certainly that of a medieval chapel in her honour, it is a pity that this historic site is no longer marked by any monument. 

St. Paul’s Church in John Street had a portico similar to that of St. Enoch’s, but was surmounted by a cupola. It was removed to make way for an extension that is now Strathclyde University. All these buildings had a quality of elegance which we associate with the pre-Victorian period of architecture. 

Hamilton’s last church is at Ascog on the Isle of Bute and is quite different from the others in inspiration. It was probably largely designed by David’s youngest son, James who certainly did much of the firm’s later work. It is Romanesque in style with a simple square tower at the east end and the appearance of a simple Italian country church. It is a pity that tiles were not used for roofing instead of the rather dismal, slates as that would have completed illusion. 

Probably the best-known part of Hamilton’s practice consisted of private housing – from the small suburban villa to the huge country mansions of wealthy landowner. They are in many and varied styles. In some, the influence of Robert Adam is apparent, with that architect’s love of circular and elliptical rooms, often expressed externally in symmetrical curved bays, Hamilton’s approach, however, was more robust than Adam’s, and his ornamentation shows a boldness of detail which is absent from the earlier master’s style. Many of these houses have been mistakenly attributed to Adam, owing to the similarity between both architects’ external treatment. These Italian villas are to be found among Hamilton’s earliest and latest work. Two interesting examples of the latter are to be found at. Largs in Ayrshire. Brooksby is a restrained design. St. Fillan’s. now converted into a hotel, is on a very original plan, being shaped like a letter ‘A’ to allow views up and down the Firth of Clyde, and the main doorway placed in the angle facing inland. 

These are examples of the marine villa which became more and more popular as the 19th century progressed. The first of them was Curling Hall, also in Largs, built by Hamilton in 1805, and the series continued with such good specimens as Castle House, Dunoon, and Ellenbank, Inverkip. The culmination was reached in the magnificent pile of Castle Toward erected in 1820-21. A massive and romantic group in castellated Gothic style, it was erected at the height of the fashion for such structures. On the other side of the country, a large addition was made to the medieval buildings of Airth Castle in Stirlingshire in 1807. It consists of a wide embattlmented front flanked by octagonal towers. As in much of his work, the interior is Italian in inspiration, the centre-piece being an elliptical saloon which forms an ingenious link between the old and new parts of the house. Kincaid House, in the same county, is a less successful combination of styles and somewhat resembles a “Gothick Folly.” 

In Ayrshire, Dunlop House is an essay in the Jacobean manner and was one of its author’s favourites. The design began as an addition to an older house, but eventually the latter was almost completely demolished. Dating from 1833-34, the house is set in the midst of attractive landscaped parkland. 

Hamilton was commissioned to design, in a similar manner to Dunlop, a large mansion in Stirlingshire attached to a small 16th century house. The site was obviously unsuitable and the addition impossible to manage, so in 1837 the idea was abandoned in favour of a new house on a different site. On this occasion the style chosen was that of a Norman castle and the new structure given the name of Lennox Castle. A rnember of the family was at that time prosecuting a long and difficult court case hoping to revive the ancient title of Earl of Lennox, which had been first awarded to a Norman ancestor. The romantic grouping of three towers of different sizes within a massive framework is one of Hamilton’s most successful designs. The only concession to Victorian taste was the provision of a large porte-cochere at the principal entrance. 

In sheer size, Lennox Castle was eclipsed only by the additions made to Hamilton Palace in the years 1822-30 for Alexander, the 10th Duke. These consisted of an irnposing new frontage 264 feet in length with, as its centrepiece, a noble Roman Corinthian portico. The columns were each formed of a single stone 25 feet in height. The interior was on a similarly magnificent scale – vast rooms with richly decorated plasterwork, a great marble staircase, the whole to be crammed with priceless works of art. Owing to subsidence from the many pits in the area, the palace, like so many humbler dwellings, was demolished in the years following the First World War. 

It is not generally known that Duke Alexander also commissioned the design for the Mausoleum in the Palace grounds. Hamilton submitted three designs and work began on the project in 1840. Unfortunately, he died when only the crypt was finished and the completion of the building was entrusted to David Bryce of Edinburgh, who is quite wrongly often credited with the whole design. 

Hamilton was responsible for a large number of public buildings. Among them in Glasgow may be mentioned the old Theatre Royal in Queen Street, built in 1803-5 and burned down in 1829; and the Normal School in New City Road with its conspicuous clock tower.Most important is the Royal Exchange . Handicapped by the necessity of retaining the old mansion on the site, he cleverly added a fine Corinthian portico in front and a large richly ornamented hall behind. The vaulted and coffered ceiling of this hall is typical of Hamilton’s care over every detail of his design. 

In the last years of his life, when Hamilton was joined in partnership by his son James, there was a surge of activity and many designs with a new and experimental approach came from the office. Most of these buildings were banks, and sadly, most have been demolished. The only one remaining – the British Linen Bank in Queen Street, Glasgow – is one of the finest, with a well designed circular corner. 

The Western Club in Buchanan Street also belonged to this phase. Apart from two walls, it has been completely demolished. Internally, it had a splendid double staircase and fine spacious rooms. Externally, there is some bold carved ornament, and an attic storey in which the windows are separated by elongated consoles – a device later borrowed by “Greek” Thomson. 

Such a busy office left little time for such luxuries as competition entries. On one important occasion, however, time was snatched up to send an entry for the Houses Of Parliament at Westminster in 1835. As a result he was awarded the third prize of £500, the only Scottish architect to win a placing. 

The painting of Hamilton by Saxon shows a rather dandified young man, but the later one by Macnee is of a friendly old man with a mischievous grin. It is this kindly, humorous, fatherly figure that his apprentices remembered, treated, as they were, as part of the family in the old-fashioned, office-house. This was the training ground for many of Glasgow’s Victorian architects – Charles Wilson and J. T. Rochead are names that spring immediately to mind; and it was Hamilton’s example that enabled them and their colleagues to maintain such a high standard. He died on December 5th 1843, the most loved and revered of all Glasgow’s architects. From his stature and influence, David Hamilton can fairly be called the father of Glasgow architecture. 

Copyright © Scottish Field 1968 

[With thanks to the Scottish Field for their permission to reproduce this article].