Newsletter No. 6


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News Letter Number Six

Society of Edgar Families

Melbourne, Australia


Editorial Notes

It has been necessary to publish the News Letter on this occasion without the usual special article. This decision was made because it was desirable to include the complete history of the Edgars of Riddings in this issue. Our readers will appreciate the importance of this record and will not regret the use made of the space usually devoted to less important items.


Lawrence-Archer's Book

Ever since the foundation of the Society of Edgar Families, three years ago, strenuous efforts have been made by members of the Executive Council to obtain a copy of Lawrence-Archer's book on the Surname of Edgar which was published privately in 1873. The work is a most important one and is now extremely rare.

None of the large retail booksellers in Great Britain who were approached were able to locate a copy for us, and it seemed that the Society would have to remain in ignorance of Lawrence-Archer's contribution to the published history of the family. However, our member, Mr James Keithock Edgar, of Toronto, Canada, was aware of our disappointment and he, with the wonderful assistance of his wife, copied out the whole of Lawrence-Archer's work, carefully checked the copy, and forwarded it to Melbourne by registered mail. The copy is a fine production and is enhanced by the copies of the pedigrees in the original book and Mrs Edgar's pencil sketches of the original illustrations. The task which Mr and Mrs Edgar have completed would have daunted most of us, and we must all admire such patience. We greatly appreciate the thoughtful kindness behind their fine action, and extend our grateful thanks.


New Zealand Members: Enquiries made for us in New Zealand since our last issue indicate that subscriptions may still be remitted to Australia by money order, although a declaration may be required by the Post Office. Should any of our members experience special difficulty in forwarding subscriptions, the Hon Secretary should be advised so that another arrangement can be made.


Annual General Meeting: The third Annual General Meeting will take place on 5 March 1940, in Room 110, Railways Institute Building, Flinders Street, Melbourne. One of the subjects listed for discussion is a proposal by Mrs Keith Nicholson at the Meeting of the Executive Council on 18 January 1940, that the Society make plans to provide comforts for Edgars who are giving their services for their King and Country.


Edgar of Moffat

(see NL No.1, pp4a-24; No.5, p43)


DAVID EDGAR, a younger brother of John Edgar (1778-1868) of Moffat, Dumfries-shire (see NL No.1, p23), died at Millgreen, Moffat, 17 August 1859, aet 73. He married Jane Fleming, who died 18 July 1878, aet 85. They had issue:


I.        George. Died at Ballarat, Victoria, January 1841. Unm


II.       John. Died at Moffat, 27 August 1873, aet 77. Married Helen Johnstone (died Claremont, Shandon, 24 Octr 1876, aet 79). At his death there was a legal dispute. They had issue:


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1.       Alexander Johnstone. Married Jane McLellan. They had issue:

[1]      Jessie. Died young

[2]      Jeanie Salmond. Married her cousin, Johnston Edgar (see this genealogy)

2.       another son

1.       Janet, unmarried

2.       Jeanie. Married … Kean

3.       Elizabeth. Married … Mr Proudfoot


III.      David, died at Edinburgh, Scotland, 16 July 1892, aet 81. He married Janet Ewatt, who died 9 December 1893, aet 86. They had issue:

1.       Carlyle. Died at Moffat, 11 July 1848, aet 16

2.       William, died 1862, aet 26

3.       John, Died 1864, aet 25

4.       Thomas. Died in New Zealand, without issue

5.       Johnston. Married Jeanie Salmond Edgar, daughter of Alexander Edgar, who was a grandson of David and Jane [Fleming] Edgar. They had issue:

I.       Alexander Johnston. Married Margaret Marter. No issue

II.      David, of Beliskene, Moffat. Married Catherine Fraser Mackay, and has issue:

i.        Johnston Mackay

ii.       Janet Fraser

III.     Johnston. Lives in Ottawa, Canada, unmarried

I.       Jessie. Died young

II.      Jeanie McLellan. Married William Waddell, and has issue, a son, William Edgar Waddell, of Vancouver, Canada

III.     Margaret, unmarried

IV.     Isabella. Died young, Twin of Helen Somerville

V.      Helen Somerville, unmarried

1.       Isabella. Married Mr Parker

2.       Marion. Married Mr Hogg

3.       Christine


IV.      James, of Moffat. Flesher. Died 8 June 1889, aet 72. Married Mary Hastie, who died 4 September 1848, aet 31. They had issue:

1.       John, died in infancy

2.       James, of Cragbeck, died April 1938

1.       Margaret, died aet 15

2.       Jane, died 1897, aet 53

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V.      Peter, He married and had issue. There is a grandson in Canada


VI.      Robert, died unmarried


I.     Margaret, died at Crossmichael Village, 28 February 1827 aet 4


II.    Jessie, died at Cappergill, in March 1838, aet 2


III.   Margaret, died 17 July 1905, aet 73




The Editor is indebted to Mr Edgar of Boliskene, Moffat, for an outline of this pedigree. Monumental Inscriptions in Moffat Kirkyard have confirmed several relationships, and supplied a number of dates. The ages given, from the same source, are in some cases likely to be wrong. It cannot be said that the order of aenisrity is correct or that the names of all children of the various marriages are recorded. The genealogy as given above is presented as a basis for further research.


Two Monumental Inscriptions at Moffat which relate to Edgars as yet unidentified are given:


1. In memory of Daniel, youngest son of John Edgar, Mason, of Moffat, who died at Singapore, East Indies, 16 July 1857, aged 26 years; also Ellen, his daughter, who died 5 December 1854, aged 17 years; also Robert, his son, who died 6 Aug, aged 9 months; also Thomas, his son, who died 8 October 1864, aged 43 years.


2. In memory of Thomas Edgar, who died 22 May 1845, aged 59 years; also Carlyle Bell Edgar, his son, who died 29 June 1832, aged 18 years; also Marian Edgar, his daughter, who died 5 May 1836, aged 15 years; also Marian Richardson, his wife, who died 23 January 1854, aged 78 years; also Robert Edgar, his son, who died 12 May 1885, aged 80 years; also Jane Edgar, who died 1 October 1890, aged 80 years.


3. In memory of William Edgar, who died at Caldwell, 9 September 1848, aged 51 years; also Thomas and Jane; also Thomas, his son, who died 27 May 1869, aged 43 years



No3, page 30 for "Professor Pelham Edgar, FCRS, should read "Professor Pelham Edgar, FRSC


No4, page 33 for "In this mss…" should read, "In this manuscript …"


No6 page 48 The reference to Burke's Baronetage should be read after the paragraph dealing with the PEEK family


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Edgars of Riddings and Canonbie


William Edgar was born in 1791 at or near Longtown, in the parish of Arthuret, which is in the Diocese of Carlisle. Family tradition asserts that he served a draper in Longtown in his early youth. When still a lad, he set out on foot for London, with a letter of introduction to Mr Swan (d. 26 November 1821), a London draper with a small shop in Ludgate Hill. There he found congenial employment, and when it was decided to open a branch shop in Piccadilly, young Edgar was admitted to partnership and given charge of the new undertaking. Swan died within a few years, but William Edgar, possessed of an unusual aptitude for business, rapidly made the name of Swan and Edgar known throughout London, and indeed, throughout Great Britain. He was greatly assisted in the expansion of his undertaking by the financial assistance which his cousin, David Edgar, of Longtown, gave him. At his death, he left one of the most substantial fortunes which had, up until that time, been amassed by any person engaged in the softgoods trade. He died at his mansion home, Eagle House, Clapham Common, Surrey, on 25 September 1869, and was, until he disposed of it to the Duke of Buccleuch in 1872, the owner of a shooting box called Kirklands, which he built in 1850, at Closeburn, Dumfries-shire, Scotland. He was buried in the family vault in Norwood Cemetery. Will dated 21 February 1867. Estate sworn at under 300,000 pounds.


William Edgar married Frances Heyburn, daughter of George Heyburn (d. 17 December 1834, aet 64), by his wife, nee Skinner (1769-1851). He was actively associated with the construction of Old Waterloo Bridge and Highgate Archway. Mrs Edgar died at Eagle House, on 19 February 1889, aged 78 years. They had issue two sons and three daughters:


I.     William Schindler, born 17 March 1824, of whom presently


II.       George Henryk born in 1826, probably at East Hill, Wandsworth, London. Married Lucy Lowis. No issue


I.        Margaret Maria, born at Eagle House. She married on 20 July 1848, Sir Henry William Peek (1st baronet created 13th May 1874) (DJ, Devon Conservative, MP for Mid Surrey, 1868-1884). He was born 26 February 1825 and died at his seat, Rousdon, Devon, 26 August 1989. Lady Peek died 2 May 1884. They had issue an only child - Sir Cuthbert Edgar Peek, 2nd Baronet, born 30 January 1855. He married 3 January 1884, the Hon Augusta Louisa (d. 3 November 1934), daughter of William, 8th Viscount Midleton. Sir Cuthbert Peek died 6 July 1901, leaving issue


II.       Ellen, b 17 March 1827. Married Edwin Caldecott (see Burke's Baronetage), of Cheapside, wholesale merchant, and had, with other issue, a son, Andrew Edgar. She died 29 March 1882


III.      Lucy, born 1835, probably at Eagle House. She married Alexander Mackintosh. He, who had two brothers in business in Melbourne, Australia, in 1835, had issue. A daughter, Dorothy, married Mr Macdonald, who is stated in one pedigree to have been "the son of Lord Kingsburgh." Mrs mackintosh died 20 March 1864.


William Schindler Edgar, born 17 March 1824, in London. He was educated at Totteridge. Upon his father's death he became proprietor of the family business. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace and resided at Coombe Warren, a fine Gothic mansion (sold in June 1884) at Kingston Hill, Kingston-on-Thames, Surrey. He died on 18 August 1885.


William Schindler Edgar married on 20 March 1850, at St Peter's Church, Belper, Derbyshire, Eleanor, daughter of Thomas Ingle, solicitor, of Belper and Derby.


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Mrs Edgar died on 18 July 1897, aged 89 years, at 51 Cavendish Road, Clapham Common. They had issue, five sons and six daughters:


I.     Henry Ingle, born 7 March 1851, at Clapham Common. He joined the Royal Navy and was trained on HMS Victory and saw service in Australian waters. Lieutenant RN died in mysterious circumstances at Coombe Warren on 13 March 1876. Unmarried.


II.       Alfred, born 16 July 1855, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. He died, unmarried, on 20 July 1890, at 51 Cavendish Road, Clapham Common.


III.      Lewis, born 28 March 1858, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. On 6 July 1878, he married one of his father's employees (Ann Carruthers). She died 25 June 1885, at Wanganui, New Zealand, without issue. He died 21 March 1899.


IV.     Oswald, born 12 August 1860, at Hollywood, Clapham Common. He died at Bournemouth, on 7 December 1897, unmarried.


V.      Herbert, born 8 October 1864, at Hollywood, Clapham Common, of whom presently.


I.     Edith, born on 18 May 1852, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. She married on 9 August 1876, at the parish church, Clapham Common, Robert Clotworthy, of 8 Highfield Hill, Upper Norwood, London. She died, without issue on 24 October 1937, at her residence, 4 Clorane Gardens, Hampstead, London.


II.       Margaret, born on 26 June 1853, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. She married on 3 November 1881, at Norbiton, Kingston-on-Thames, Thomas Hale, of Sevenoaks, Kent. She died at Victoria, BC, Canada, on 3 September 1924, without issue.


III.      Mary, born on 21 July 1854, at "The Limes", Clapham Common. She married, on 4 June 1884, at Malden Congregational Church, Rev Charles Frederick William Wood, MA (d. 22 August 1927), of New Malden and afterwards of "The Maisonette", Clapham Common, son of the Headmaster of "Totteridge School". She died 6 January 1922. They had issue:

1.       Paul Bernard, b. 5 October 1885. Killed in action on France, 23 April 1917

2.       Keith Eric, b. 19 March 1888. Died of wounds in France, 27 May 1915.

1.       Ivy Cicely Katherine, b. 5 July 1887

2.       Violet Rosemary, b. 17 February 1892. Married 10 June 1920, James Berthon Sparke.

3.       Phyllis Mary Eleanor, b. 12 August 1894


IV.     Annice, born 27 May 1859. She died aged three years


V.      Katherine, born 12 January 1862, at Hollywood, Clapham Common. She married 10 February 1886, at the parish church, Clapham Common, William Francis Hune (d. 25 January 1894), of Croydon, Surrey. No issue.


VI.     Lillian, born 6 June 1863, at Hollywood, Clapham Common. She married on 15 January 1896, at Grafton Congregational Church, the Rev Edward Peter Rice, BA, of Bangalore, India. They had issue:

1.       Ernest Edgar, b. 20 May 1898. Died 30 January 1921.

2.       Llewelyn Cuthbert, b. 21 Oc 1903. Lieut 4th


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         Batt, Nigeria Regt. Married in 1932, Doris Gwendoline Gilbury.

1.       Grace Dorothy, b. 4 November 1899. Married 30 June 1931, Dr Dudley Proctor

2.       Irene Katherine, b. 6 May 1901

3.       Ursula Edith, b. 13 March 1909


Herbert Edgar, born 8 October 1864, at Hollywood, Clapham Common. He received his education at Windlesham House, Brighton, and at Uppingham. For a time he joined the family business. He served in the HAC as a Driver. About 1885 he came to Melbourne, Australia, in the ship "Cusco" to go on the pastoral property, Greenhills Station, Keilor Plains, which was owned by cousins of his mother, William Brown, Ingle Brown and Walter Brown. Herbert Edgar subsequently went to Bargrove, South Gippsland, to a property owned by Ernest Harriss, who had married his wife's sister, Isabella Mair.


Herbert Edgar married at Brighton Beach, Victoria, on 30 October 1889, Helen, daughter (and in her issue, co-heiress) of Lieut Colonel William Mair, of Mair Street, Brighton Beach.


(William Mair was born in Glasgow, on 31 August 1806, and died at Myora, South Gippsland, on 15 January 1904. He was a son of Hugh Mair, Captain 42nd Highlanders, who served under Abercrombie at Alexandra and also at Waterloo. William Mair held the following appointments:

§              Marshall of St Lucia, 25 June 1830;

§              Ensign 99th Regt. 26 November 1830 to October 1836;

§              Lieut 1st West India Regt 23 April 1836;

§              Lieut 99th Regt 29 July 1836;

§              Paymaster, 99th Regt and Adjutant and Paymaster of NSW Mounted Police, 1842; Commander Port Phillip Mounted Police, 1846 to 1849;

§              Commissioner of Disputed Boundaries, Gippsland District, 1849;

§              Police Magistrate, Western District, 1849; Gold Commissioner and Police Magistrate for Buninyong and Ballarat, 1 September 1851, for four months (Mair Street, Ballarat);

§              Commander Gold Fields Mounted Police, 1851 to 1853; Captain 99th Regt 7 July 1854; Paymaster and Commissioner of Police of Victoria, 1853 to 1872, when he retired on a pension.

§              Lieut Colonel, Volunteer Force, 14 October 1863;

§              Lieut Colonel, Victorian Military Forces, 20 April 1886.

Lieut Colonel Mair arrived at Port Jackson on 22 March 1842 in the ship "Richard Webb" having earlier, 126 days out from Dublin, handed over to the Hobart Town penal authorities, his charge of 200 convicts. Lieut Colonel Mair was primarily responsible for the creation of the Moorabbin Roads Board and was chairman of the Board for nearly five years. He married Catherine Lyons, of Sydney, NSW.)


Herbert Edgar returned to England about 1896. His death occurred at Maidstone, Kent, on 2 September 1905.


Mrs Edgar married secondly, Charles Maffey (deceased) of Melbourne.


Herbert and Helen Edgar had issue an only child:


I.                 William Herbert, born at Melbourne, 23 May 1891. Educated at Maidstone Grammar School, Kent, England. Returned to Australia with his mother in 1908. Until 1924 he farmed property at Myora and Woodleigh, Gippsland. He was, for some time, a member of the Phillip Island and Woolami Shire Council, and was President in the Shire's Jubilee Year, 1924. From 1924 until 1935, Mr Edgar was the proprietor of a motor garage at San Remo, Victoria. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace, 29 May 1934. A convenor of the inaugural Meeting of the Society of Edgar Families on 24 February 1937. Elected first President of the Society. Now Vice-President of the Society, and Assistant Hon Secretary. Mr Edgar has several times visited Great Britain, and, in 1932, and 1938, undertook pilgrimages to the Edgar districts of Scotland. Mr Edgar was appointed Air Raid Precautions Instructor, 1939, and Post Administrative Officer, 1940.


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William Herbert Edgar married on 18 February 1914, at the Australian Church, Melbourne, Elsa Margaret, daughter of Henry Keeble Aird, of Caulfield, Melbourne, and formerly of Nalong Station, near the border of Victoria and South Australia. Mr Aird, who was a brother of the late Sir John Aird, 1st Baronet, of London, married Margaret McCrae.

William Herbert and Elsa Margaret, who live at Canonbie, 6 St John's Avenue, Mont Albert, Melbourne, have issue two sons:


1.       William Henry Ingle, born 13 January 1915. Educated at box Hill Grammar School, Victoria. Engineer. Foundation Member of the Society of Edgar Families. Unmarried.


2.    David Herbert Hariss, born 4 June 1922. Educated at Box Hill Grammar School, Victoria.


NOTE: The Lineage of William Edgar (1791-1869) will be published at a later date.

Edited for the Society of Edgar Families by I Trentham-Edgar



Walter Scott, second Laird of Harden, who died in 1629, was a famous character in the Lowlands in his day and was known far and wide as "Auld Wat". He was twice married, first to Mary Scott ("the Flower of the Yarrow"), daughter of Philip Scott, of Dryhope, and afterwards to Margaret Edgar, daughter of the Laird of Wedderlie. By his first wife he had a son who was ancestor to Sir Walter Scott Bt, the famous novelist.


"Auld Wat's" only child by Margaret Edgar was named after her mother and became the wife of David Pringle, younger of Gallasheils. Upon his death she married Sir William Macdougall, of Mackerston.


John Edgar, Laird of Wedderlie, married (Marr. Contract C.1619) Elizabeth, daughter of William, first Lord Cranstoun and had issue. The Cranstoun peerage is considered to be dormant, an heir not having been found. By the terms of the remainder to the patent the descendants of the marriage of John and Elizabeth Edgar would stand in the line of succession.

Consult "Complete Peerage", second edition



A cordial invitation is extended to Members and Associates of the Society of Edgar Families to attend the Third Annual General Meeting which will take place at 8.00pm on Tuesday 5 March 1940 in Room 110, Railways Institute, Flinders Street, Melbourne (take the lift to the Third Floor).


·        Election of Officers

·        Annual Report

The President, the Honourable WH Edgar MP, has signified that he will take the Chair if he finds it possible to be in Melbourne on the night of the Meeting.

Hon Secretary: I Trentham-Edgar FSAG

Telephone: Windsor 3369

75a Fitzroy Street, St Kilda S2

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