Neil’s personal decades: 14 – 1885 — Christisons

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Me being atavistic…

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My grandfather, Roy H Christison (1886-1962) — late 1880s

I am not sure whether the marriage of his father John Hampton Christison to Sophia Jane Lillie on 24 May 1880 killed the minister, but…

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Yes, people also called her Sophia Jean. And I actually remember her as she died in 1952.

And here is Brechin, where John H came from:

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That photo actually came with the Christisons from Scotland around 135 years ago!  Nearby in Arbroath is this magnificent ruin:

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In 1772, the famous English diarist, Dr Samuel Johnson, passed through the town, and noted: “The Monastery of Aberbrothock is of great renown in the history of Scotland. Its ruins afford ample testimony of its ancient magnificence. I should scarcely have regretted my journey had it afforded nothing more than a sight of Aberbrothock.”source

When in 1885 John H Christison had a vineyard at Hinton where my grandfather Roy was born he called his property Aberbrothock.

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Quite the Romantic was John H, and a noted Professor of Scottish Dancing (and etiquette).

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January 1880

You can read more about this rather amazing but tricky character in my post My great-grandfather: “morally dubious to say the least.”  My cousin Ray Christison is mentioned quite a bit on that post; he has written a book about John H: Shapeshifter – the strange life of John Hampton Christison, Professor of Dancing. Here is an interesting snippet by Ray from the comment thread on my post:

Neil, I have been trawling through my old notes and have begun writing a full biography of John Hampton Christison (currently about 5,000 words and growing). I will publish it as a small book. You asked about John dancing before Queen Victoria. John listed his major dancing awards in the 1882 Manual of Dancing & Etiquette. He stated this: “at Edzell Castle, 1873 I took first prize, a Highland dirk, at Balmoral Castle in 1875, second against thirty, most of them professional men”. Queen Victoria may or may not have been present when John danced at Balmoral Castle. Given John’s penchant for self-promotion I find it bizarre that he would not have specifically mentioned this in a work as important as his Manual of Dancing & Etiquette. I have a very vague memory of Kathleen Christison telling me that he danced there before one of the other royals, however I can’t find any notes to corroborate this.

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3 thoughts on “Neil’s personal decades: 14 – 1885 — Christisons

  1. Neil, I am enjoying these newspaper snippets you post. I noted the “resort to Galvanism” in the report of a death in Braidwood – never considered that was part our early medical procedures.

    And this latest, with proof that your natural optimism is genetically based; how else to explain the ‘five pound reward” for finding (and returning) fifteen? Made I smile 🙂

  2. Pingback: Neil’s personal decades: 19 – Christisons 1895 | Neil's Commonplace Book

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