S1: John Findlay Arthur

S1: Surgeon Major John Findlay Arthur

aa_a_arthurlair01

Inscription

IN MEMORY OF
DAVID ARTHUR
LATE FARMER IN
WELLHILL
WHO DIED 8TH MARCH
1860
AGED 79 YEARS
AND OF
JANE FINDLAY
HIS WIFE
WHO DIED 11TH MARCH
1860
AGED 80 YEARS
ALSO
OF THEIR SON JAMES
WHO DIED IN
INFANCY
ALSO
THE UNDERNOTED
J F ARTHUR ESQ. M.D. C.S.I.
WHO DIED AT LOCHSIDE HOUSE
26TH JULY 1886
AGED 79 YEARS
ERECTED BY
J F ARTHUR ESQ MD CSI
SURGEON MAJOR
HM’S INDIAN ARMY

TO THE MEMORY OF
ELIZABETH HOUSTON
WIFE OF
WILLIAM ARTHUR
LATER FARMER IN
WELLHILL
WHO DIED 3RD AUGUST
1885
AGED 59 YEARS
THE ABOVE
WILLIAM ARTHUR
WHO DIED 20TH FEBRUARY
1894
AGED 84 YEARS

.

Surgeon Major John Findlay Arthur, C.S.I.

  • HM’s Indian Army
  • Baptised 20 January 1807, New Cumnock
  • Died 26 July 1886, Age 79 , New Cumnock
  • John Findlay Arthur is the only ‘soldier’ in our Auld Kirk Soldier Trail that did not die while serving in this army

Family Life

John Findlay Arthur was the eldest of five children of David Arthur and Jane Findlay. He was born at Crook and, a small cottage on the lands of Wellhill that was later farmed by his father. His brother William (b.1809) was also born at Crook while siblings Margaret (b.1811), David (1813) and James (b.1816) were all born at Wellhill.

map_crook_wellhill

A life on the farm was not for John and he went to the University of Glasgow to study medicine. His university records show that the he graduated as a Doctor in Medicine in 1831 and as a Master of Surgery five years later [1].

Army Service

Now 29 years old John entered service as an assistant surgeon with the Indian Medical Service (IMS) at Madras on 14th February 1936 and was promoted to surgeon on 29th October 1852 [2].  The year before he had been living at Dundas Street, Edinburgh as a lodger at the home of Robert Cockburn, Master Coal Dealer when Arthur’s occupation in the Census 1851 is given as Physician Glasgow Indian Army.

On the 10th May 1857 mutiny of some Indian soldiers (sepoys) at the garrison town of Meertut some 40 miles north of Delhi sparked off what became known as the Indian Mutiny or Rebellion (1857-1859). By the end of June the rebel forces were laying siege to the British Residency at Lucknow.

The_Relief_of_Lucknow

[3] The Relief of Lucknow,” by Thomas J. Barker; a print from c.1914

Surgeon John Findlay Arthur served with the 1st Madras Fusiliers as part the 1st Relief Force and then again in the siege and capture of Lucknow in March of the following year. John retired from the service with the rank of Surgeon-Major on 29th February 1860.

S1_JohnArthur_StarofIndiaThe following year Queen Victoria issue the following proclamation

“The Queen, being desirous of affording to the Princes, Chiefs and People of the Indian Empire, a public and signal testimony of Her regard, by the Institution of an Order of knighthood, whereby Her resolution to take upon Herself the Government of the Territories in India may be commemorated, and by which Her Majesty may be enabled to reward conspicuous merit and loyalty, has been graciously pleased, by Letters Patent under the Great Seal of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, to institute, erect, constitute, and create, an Order of Knighthood, to be known by, and have for ever hereafter, the name, style, and designation, of “The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India” [4] .

The Order includes members of three classes Knight Grand Commander (GCSI), Knight Commande (KCSI) and Companion (CSI). In June 1869 John Findlay Arthur’s service in India was recognised with the honour of ‘The Most Ealted Order of the Star of India’, CSI.

He was probably living in Edinburgh at that time where in 1871 he is living at Moray Palce his occupation status rcored in the Census of that year as “M.C & M.C. Surgeon Retired, Madras Army”

By 1875, John Findlay Arthur C.S.I. has returned to New Cumnock and is living at Lochside House, then owned by the Marquis of Bute and previously used as a shooting lodge.

lochside_house

Lochside House today  now expanded into a hotel

J F Arthur later acquired Lochside House and the associated offices which was also home to his dometic servants, coachman and gamekeeper. It was at Lochside House that he died on 26th July 1886, aged 79 years and lies in the family plot in the Auld Kirkyard.

Acknowledgements

[1]  University of Glasgow Graduate Record

http://www.universitystory.gla.ac.uk/biography/?id=WH7805&type=P

[2]  Roll of the Indian Medical Service 1615-1930 Volume 2 (1800-1930). Lieutenant-Colonel D. G. Crawford, 1930

Roll of Indian Medical Service, Volume 2

[3] The Relief of Lucknow,” by Thomas J. Barker; a print from c.1914 http://www.columbia.edu/itc/mealac/pritchett/00routesdata/1800_1899/1857revolt/lucknowsiege/lucknowsiege.html

[4] Saturday 29 June 1861, Illustrated London News, London, England

National Library of Scotland

Scotland’s People

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