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Q: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923 ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   12 Comments )
Subject: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: probonopublico-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 09 Oct 2006 10:14 PDT
Expires: 08 Nov 2006 09:14 PST
Question ID: 771994
Yeah, I know it was AGES ago but your memory is amazing and you can
probably dig the information out of some of your old case books.

I have been trying to find out who lived at:

Weir Cottage

In 1923.

I visited the London Metropolitan Archives today but no joy in the
Electoral Rolls or anything else. (Shepperton was in the Metropolitan
Area in 1923.)

Let me tell you why ...

There's an intriguing letter in a certain MI5 file dated 10.6.1923
from this address and it's signed 'Don'.

My guess is that this was from Donald Makgill, son of and heir to Sir
George Makgill who, as you know, headed up the Industrial Intelligence
Board until he fell off his perch in 1926.

You have already met Don's wife, Lady (Esther) M, the serial kiter.

If you can't pin down Don to this address, I will settle for a hard
diskfull of info on Don himself.

I've already tracked down his wedding to the lovely Esther in 1927 and
I have noted one very interesting guest among those present.

Don also was one of the leaders of Mosley's January Club until his
lady wife helped herself to some funds. Until then, she had run the
Womens Section of the BUF.

Over to you!

All the Best


Oh yes ... and any images of George, Donald or Esther would be a real bonus.

Request for Question Clarification by scriptor-ga on 09 Oct 2006 11:06 PDT
This question is, of course, meant for my colleague Answerfinder
exclusively. But I can't resist to offer my opinion:

I have currently no detailed information about the English
administrative entities - villages, boroughs, districts and the like -
in the early 1920s. So this is only a guess: Could it be possible that
Weir Cottage, Shepperton-on-Thames used to belong to the same
administrative unit as Chertsey in those days, so that in a postal
address, Shepperton and Chertsey would have been interchangeable for
that house?

If that were true, I'd have a clue who lived in Weir Cottage. "The
Literary Year-book", issue 1923, publisher R. R. Bowker, lists one
"Thomas, William Luson, R.I. (Director of the 'Graphic'), Weir
Cottage, Chertsey, Surrey".

It's probably information of no value, but I thought I should let you know.
All the best,

Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 09 Oct 2006 11:34 PDT
Hi Scriptor

Many thanks for your interesting thought.

However, I cannot provide Clarification because I don't know.

What may be significant is that Don's letter bore the address
'Shepperton-on-Thames' whereas the Electoral Rolls that I have looked
at were simply for 'Shepperton'.

The assistant at the Archives did her very best but she was unable to
suggest any alternative.

My thanks also to Justaskscott and Bowler ... Nice to hear from both of you again.

All the Best


Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 09 Oct 2006 11:50 PDT
I've just taken a much magnified look at the letter which also
contains fragments of the phone number and a telegraphic address:

Tel 227. Weybr [idge]?

Telegrams. Shepperto [n]?

However, I still cannot tie in Bowler's or Justo's suggestions.

Maybe the 1901 Census will reveal something for the address?

Anyway that's for tomorrow: I'm famished and I've just got to eat!



Request for Question Clarification by answerfinder-ga on 09 Oct 2006 12:27 PDT
I've started on this. I'll report in tomorrow.

Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 09 Oct 2006 21:18 PDT
Hi Answerfinder

Well tomorrow has arrived ...

Or did you mean tomorrow as in 'Tomorrow Never Comes'?

The sun'll come out 
Bet your bottom dollar 
That tomorrow 
There'll be sun! 

Just thinkin' about
Clears away the cobwebs, 
And the sorrow 
'Til there's none! 

When I'm stuck a day 
That's gray, 
And lonely, 
I just stick out my chin 
And Grin, 
And Say, 

The sun'll come out
So ya gotta hang on 
'Til tomorrow 
Come what may 
Tomorrow! Tomorrow!
I love ya Tomorrow! 
You're always
A day
A way! 

Well, I'll certainly tune in again tomorrow; it's only a day away.


Request for Question Clarification by answerfinder-ga on 10 Oct 2006 03:24 PDT

Thank you for the song. Tomorrow has arrived and there?s been plenty
of red herrings flowing over this weir.

I can tell you all about the layout of the cottage, but frustratingly,
not who lived there in 1923. However, a trip to your library may give
a name for 1920. I will then be able to research it further. You need
the Times on microfilm. The digital option is no good. Unfortunately
my local library does not have back copies of the Times on microfilm.

Before I go on, I presume you tried the Council Rating Books if they
had them in the archive?

This is my research.

Weir Cottage is in Shepperton, opposite Shepperton Weir. It may have
been converted into a hotel. Weir Cottage, Chertsey, is a different

This is the area on Streetmap.,165981&st=4&ar=Y&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf&dn=588

This is a link to three images I have loaded up. Download to your
computer to view properly.
1875 map where you will see Weir Cottage marked.
2 modern aerial views of the same location.

Land Registry provides two addresses for this location:
Thames Court, Towpath, Shepperton, TW17 9LJ
Thames Court Hotel, Towpath, Shepperton, TW17 9LJ

I do not known whether the Land Titles (available at 3) would give
historical ownership information.
It may be worth trying.

Should you wish to visit the location, this page provides directions.

The copy of the Times you need to view on microfilm is page 1 of
Tuesday, July 20, 1920. The digital version is unclear. It appears to
be a short surname.
The far right-hand column has ?Situations Vacant? for Parlour maids.
The 7th advert down gives the address of Weir Cottage, Shepperton.
Maid wanted. Two in family; three maids; good home Apply Mrs? xxxx.

The Times reports that the property was owned in 1912 by a William
Yates who died that year. It was sold in October 1912 (purchaser not

In 1928 it was again up for sale (owner not known). It was described
as ?Facing Shepperton Weir? with a ?lounge hall, two reception,
billiards room with gallery, two staircases, quaint Dutch room, 7
bedrooms, bath room, ample offices.? 2 acres of gardens.

Again up for sale in 1936. Described as ?Oak, cedar, and mahogany
panelling and old Dutch tiles adorn the modestly named Weir Cottage,
Shepperton.? Private landing stage.
Sold on behalf of executors.

I have tried the telephone directories on but they
require a name to search and check the number you supplied.

These are some of the telephone directory entries for George and
Donald Makgill but they all relate to London. I would have to pay for
these to confirm the information, but these seem identical.

Sir Donald Makgill, Carlyle Square
Sir Donald Makgill, 25 Tedworth Sq S.W.3 

Sir George Makgill, 9 Earls Terrrace W.8
1923 and 1926
Sir George Makgill, 99 Eaton Place

Now to the antecedents of Douglas Makgill.

You?ve probably seen the Wikipedia entry. I have checked this against
Who Was Who and it appears to be correct. In addition, he was a late
Lt Coldstream Guards; education: Eton; RMC.

?Sir John Donald Alexander Arthur Makgill, 12th Viscount of Oxfuird
(Scotland 1651), 12th Lord Makgill of Cousland (Scotland 1651), 12th
Baronet (Nova Scotia 1627). (31 December 1899 - 1986).
Eldest son of Sir George Makgill, Bt (de jure 11th Viscount).
He married, firstly, 5 July 1927, Esther Lilian Bromley, daughter of
Sir Robert Bromley, 6th Bt. and Hon. Lilian Pauncefote. Divorced 1943.
He married, secondly, 6 October 1955, Maureen Magan (died 17 July 2002
aged 87), youngest of the three daughters of Lt.-Col. Arthur Tilson
Shaen Magan, CMG, and Kathleen Jane Biddulph.
Sir John Donald Alexander Arthur Makgill, 12th Viscount of Oxfuird
gained the title of 12th Viscount of Oxfuird 1977.
The Viscount had children by his first wife: Anne Elizabeth Jean
Makgill b. 8 Aug 1928, d. 6 Sep 1928 Hon. Diana Mary Robina Makgill b.
4 Jan 1930
He was succeeded by his nephew.?,_12th_Viscount_of_Oxfuird

National Archives indicate he was a member of the Special Operations Executive.

"Records of Special Operations Executive
HS 9  Special Operations Executive: Personnel Files (PF Series)
Covering dates  	1939 Jan 01 - 1946 Dec 31
Scope and content 	
Sir John Donald Alexander Arthur MAKGILL k/a Donald - born 31.12.1899;
Stanislaw MAKOWSKI aka Jean ROMIEU - born 10.05.1914, died 23.08.1944;
Guy Gaetan Marc Louis DE MAL aka Guy DE MUNCK - born 15.08.1917;
Anthony MALABRE - born 30.10.1921; Stanislav MALACHTA - born
05.11.1899; Marcel Jacques MALAISE - born 07.03.1914; David
Huntingford MALAN - born 21.03.1922; John MALANDRE - born 21.02.1916;
Albert MALAPERT - born 22.08.1915"

One London Gazette entry for Makgill.

22 June 1934. Page 26 of 72

"NOTICE is hereby given that the Partnership heretofore-subsisting
between us, the undersigned,
Dr. George Brook, William Clarke and Sir Donald Makgill, Baronet,
carrying on business as a Trust Syndicate, at 50-51, High Holborn,
London, W.C.l, under the style or firm of " THE BROWNLOW TRUST," has
been dissolved by mutual consent as from the sixteenth day of June,
1934. All debts due and owing to or by the late firm will be
respectively received and paid by the said Sir Donald Makgill, Baronet
and William Clarke ? the said business will be carried on in the
future by the said Sir Donald Makgill,
Baronet and .William Clarke.?As witness our hands this 16th day of June, 1934.
(192) W. CLARKE,"

The Makgill family have placed their papers in the Scottish archives
(means a visit to Bonnie Scotland). There may be information there
including photographs. Warning the page takes a long time to load.

?GD82/484-491 Printed papers and photographs, 19th-20th centuries
GD82/492-500 Genealogical papers etc., 1896-1920?


From the Times
June 09, 1927 announcement of forthcoming marriage. Sir Donald Makgill
Bart of Kemback and Miss Esther Lilian Bromley.

September 19, 1927
Marlborough Street Police Court, Pleaded guilty to unnecessary
obstruction with motor car. He had failed to answer a summons and a
warrant for his arrest was issued. Fined 5.

April 16, 1928
Involved with his brother Richard in a road traffic accident in Eaton Square.

January 07, 1930
Daughter born.

The Scotsman newspaper has an archive and a search of that produces
four hits which may be identical, including a possible photograph.
However, their site is not working properly at the moment because of a
?hardware failure?. You may want to go back later and purchase these
articles. This is search term already formatted.

A short biography appears in Feminine Fascism: Women in Britain's
Fascist Movement, 1923-45
By Julie V. Gottlieb

Makgill Sir Donald
?Sir Donald was Baronet of Kemblack and formerly a lieutenant in the
Goldstream Guards. One of the BUF Contact Officers - with duties to
attract members and gain support from other organizations - and one of
the founders of the January Club. Suspended with his wife from the BUF
in April 1934 and not permitted to take part in any BUF activities. He
resigned from the BUF in May, 1934.?

I presume you?ve seen the comments on this page.

I also tried the Surrey Archive Office, but no luck.

Let me know if you need anything else or clarification.


Clarification of Question by probonopublico-ga on 10 Oct 2006 04:01 PDT

Answerfinder, as always, I am mightily impressed.

Now, please post your findings as answer.

And I will follow all the links that you have provided.

Funnily enough, I had already seen the last link that you provided
but, of course, there's no way that you could have known that, is

All the Best

Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 10 Oct 2006 04:10 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you for accepting my research as answer. I'll just say: see above.
Best wishes.

Request for Answer Clarification by probonopublico-ga on 10 Oct 2006 05:00 PDT
But who is this asnwerfinder?

Could it be a tipsy answerfinder?

Or an impostor?

Wordier fo Ohve

Clarification of Answer by answerfinder-ga on 10 Oct 2006 05:58 PDT
Thank you for the generous tip.

Sorry about the spelling. That's my secretary's fault. You just can't
get the staff nowadays. I'm sending back them back to Labour Exchange.
probonopublico-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $15.00
Hi, Again, Answerfinder

And I shall just say: Brilliant!

Many thanks, again.


Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: justaskscott-ga on 09 Oct 2006 10:30 PDT
Perhaps a clue ... reportedly, a Mr. Yates resided at Weir Cottage in
or prior to 1906:

Search for: "weir cottage" yates
Google News Archive Search
Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: bowler-ga on 09 Oct 2006 10:35 PDT
Another clue:

"By the executors of His Honour Judge W Wightman Wood. Freehold
property "Weir Cottage", Chertsey & "Weir Lodge" which Dudley W Harris
& Co will sell on June 26th 1914. Solicitors: Sharon Turner & Mann.
Particulars, plan, views & conditions of sale. 1914. [1615]"
Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: justaskscott-ga on 09 Oct 2006 11:31 PDT
Is the Weir Cottage noted by bowler the same as the one identified by
Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: justaskscott-ga on 09 Oct 2006 11:35 PDT
I should have read scriptor's post before making my comment.  I
presume that bowler's and scriptor's Weir Cottage are the same as each
other, and could conceivably be the same as probonopublico's Weir
Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: bowler-ga on 09 Oct 2006 13:08 PDT
I will admit I have no way to know if this is the same "Weir Cottage".
 I am fairly ignorant of place names in the UK and simply saw this as
a search result and figured I'd post it and let Bryan determine its

Besides, its always fun to comment on one of Bryan's questions to see
what sort of witty response awaits.
Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: bowler-ga on 09 Oct 2006 13:14 PDT
Something else maybe of interest:

"...The Makgills are representatives of the Viscounts 'Oxfurd'. The
present Lord Oxturd, George Hubbard Makgill, succeeded his uncle, the
former Sir Donald Makgill, who lived in Ayrshire but who retained a
keen interest in Kemback, on his death in 1986.  The late Mr. W.
Harold Thomson purchased Kemback from the Makgills in the 1920s and it
is still retained by the family..."
Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: myoarin-ga on 09 Oct 2006 13:59 PDT
Weir Cottage is a fairly common name, and weirs were much more common
earlier on; the name of the cottage could relate to a weir that no
longer existed, and there could easily been a Weir Cottage in both
Hence, I expect that the Weir Cottages in Shepperton and Chertsey are
not the same place.

Shepperton:  the online map I used only found the Shepperton near
Weybridge.  Maybe "on Thames" was used on the stationery unofficially
to give the place a little more style.
Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: justaskscott-ga on 09 Oct 2006 14:06 PDT
Shepperton, Weybridge, and Chertsey are all close to each other.

"Map of Shepperton, Surrey United Kingdom"
Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: probonopublico-ga on 09 Oct 2006 21:26 PDT
Very many thanks Bowly, Myo and Justo for the further comments ...

However, for the record, the Makgill title referred to is NOT 'Oxturd'
... nor even 'Oxfurd' ...

It is actually 'Oxfuird' (as unlikely and as unpronounceable as it is).

Donald reportedly died in 1986 but I couldn't find any report in but, admittedly, I never thought of trying 'Oxturd'.

Maybe tomorrow? 

It's only a day away.

Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: probonopublico-ga on 09 Oct 2006 21:29 PDT
Maybe he anglicised his name to Lord Cowpatch?

I'll also try that ...

Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: fp-ga on 09 Oct 2006 22:09 PDT
Some biographical details (I suppose you've already discovered this page):,_12th_Viscount_of_Oxfuird

Sir John Donald Alexander Arthur Makgill had "a New Zealand connection":

according to an article in "(Autumn 2000) 74 New Zealand Armorist 4-9"

by Noel Cox

Another map showing both Shepperton and Chertsey:
Subject: Re: For Answerfinder: Who lived at this Address in 1923
From: probonopublico-ga on 10 Oct 2006 12:01 PDT
Many thanks, Freddy, for your Comment!

All the Best


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