Arthur Andrew Jamison (1844 – 1900)


   1. His childhood

Arthur Andrew Jamison was born ca 1844 on the British Channel Island of Guernsey as the firstborn of Captain James Jamieson (1821 – 1888) and Ann Bostock (1825 – 1883).1 He was the eldest of nine children, of which four brothers and three sisters matured into adulthood. Arthur (my husband’s great-great-great-grandfather) spent most of his childhood in Scotland and England.

Notably, the spelling of his surname JAMISON differed from the JAMIESON surname that his father and siblings used, for reasons unknown. This spelling variation has been passed on to Arthur’s descendants.

   2. His wife

Arthur Jamison married Isabella Green on 4 Nov 1875 at St James Anglican Church, Parish of Weybridge, Surrey, England, United Kingdom.2

At the time of their marriage Andrew was about 31 years old and Isabella was 34 years. Witnesses of the matrimonial ceremony were John Long, Emily Green, Mary Emma Falcon and Isabel Maud Falcon, all relatives of the Green family (Isabella’s uncle, sister and two nieces, respectively).2,3  READ MORE on the Greens.Isabella was born on 13 January 1841 in Heathfield, Knutsford, Cheshire, England as the youngest child of Reverend Henry Green (1801 – 1873) and Mary Brandreth (1803 – 1871). Isabella grew up in Knutsford with her four sisters and one brother. The Green family members were avid letter writers and many of these letters have been preserved. She also was a talented amateur artist and continued to exhibit regularly at the Royal Academy of Arts after her marriage and move to London.3-5

Isabella outlived her husband by 37 years. She  died at the age of 96 years, but not before her historian daughter Evelyn prompted her six years earlier to start penning down her memoirs.4 In her memoirs, Isabella captures glimpses of life as a middle-class family in a town like Knutsford, her parents as the pastoral couple of the Brook Street Chapel from 1827 to 1872, the antics of their stupid, lazy pony Sheltie and their dear, grey donkey Billy, her sister Annie’s two-year long stomach ailment and a seven-week visit to Harrogate in the late 1840s, the tragedy of her favourite doll whose face caved in when it melted while lying in the sun – the same doll Isabella used to drape in a shawl and then imagined that people would think that she had a real baby – their first Christmas tree, their many friends including Reverend William Gaskell (1805-1884) and novelist Elizabeth Gaskell (1810-1865) and their four daughters, Marianne, Margaret, Florence and Julia, Isabella’s siblings and their families, the religious and political differences among various family members, as well as memorable trips to the Mediterranean and Egypt in 1868, and to Cuba and America in 1872. During these journeys Isabella kept travel diaries.4,5 Isabella died on 5 March 1937 at 48 Wetherley Mansions, Earles Court Square, London, England. The cause of her death was syncope and hypostatic pneumonia.6

NOTE ON REFERENCES 4 & 5: Isabella’s memoirs as well as an extensive collection of letters, diaries, journals, deeds, inventories, legal papers, family pedigrees, photos, lecture notes and sermons, books and manuscript poems, all related to various Green and Jamison family members and their friends, are kept at the John Rylands University Library, Special Collections, at the University of Manchester. These documents are an invaluable treasure of information on the lives of individuals – their social and political circumstances and views, their joys and their challenges – spanning over 140 years from 1830 to 1971. This collection was sold to the university in 2008 on behalf of the Jamison family by Jean Jamison, a great-granddaughter of Dr Arthur and Isabella Jamison, and my husband’s aunt. Many of these documents have been transcribed by Sarah Tanner and are available to read at letters (copyright applies). It is well worth the read!

   3. His career

In 1865, Arthur qualified from the University of Glasgow in Glasgow, Scotland as a medical doctor with the degree MD CM (Doctor of Medicine, Master of Surgeon).7,8 By the time Arthur completed his studies, the total enrolled students at the university numbered close to 1300. The college became the principle centre for medical studies in the United Kingdom from 1795 onward, when the Glasgow Royal Infirmary opened in December 1794, which acted as a teaching hospital. Medical students were taught a broad range of subjects including anatomy, botany, chemistry, forensic medicine, medicine, materia medica, midwifery, natural history, physiology and surgery.9

Soon after his graduation, Arthur moved to St Helens, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom. By 1861, this large town had a population of ca 18 400 residents. It was surrounded by coal fields, and is adjacent to Sankey brook and Sankey Canal. It lies about 25 km east of Liverpool in northwest England.10 When Arthur arrived, he served as an Assistant-Surgeon in the 2nd (St Helens) Lancashire Engineer Volunteer Corps, which existed from 1864 to 1867. He was promoted to Surgeon on 20 December 1866.11 The Rifle, Artillery and Engineer Volunteer units composed of part-time soldiers who supplemented the British Army when required.12

At St Helens, Arthur also joined Dr Edward Twyford in private practice – the husband of Isabella’s half-cousin, Caroline Twyford (née Casey) and daughter of Alice Casey (née Green), half-sister of his mother-in-law. For the next 21 years from 1866 to 1887, Arthur laboured in this medical practice while serving the large community of the mining and manufacturing town.8,13

In 1888, Dr Jamison and his family moved to 18 Lowndes Street, Belgrave Square, Middelsex (now Belgravia in London), England, where he then also died twelve years later.1,5,14 His family continued to live there long after his death. Belgrave Square is one of the largest and grandest 19th-century squares in London. It was laid out in the 1820s by the property contractor Thomas Cubitt, on behalf of Robert Grosvenor, titled 2nd Earl Grosvenor, 1st Marquees of Westminster.15 In 1889, Arthur Jamison was admitted a Member of the Royal College of Physicians of London in Belgrave Street, a British professional body dedicated to improving the practice of medicine. Later Arthur also became a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of London, an independent professional body that was enabling surgeons in England to achieve and maintain the highest standards of surgical practice and patient care. As a registered fellow, Arthur could practice as a senior surgeon.7,16  Like his parents and siblings, Arthur lived during the Victorian era when Queen Victoria reigned from 1837 to 1901. This time period is also referred to as Britain’s ‘golden age’, an era of peace and prosperity, industrial, engineering and technological revolution, as well as medical discoveries and religious revival. Living and health standards improved, although social inequality continued to exist. As a medical doctor, Arthur had the opportunity to contribute significantly to the upliftment of fellow Britains.17,18 How did his involvement with the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons motivate, equip and empower him, to do just that? Well, even in London, Arthur drew a large clientele of patients. He was known to be a thorough physician and his high character, personal charm, and cultured literary tastes added to his fine presence and sympathetic, kindly manner. He was loved and endeared by all who came in contact with him.3,19

The Jamison family seemed a fairly well-off upper-middle-class family. During the 1891 England & Wales census, four domestic servants were employed by the Jamison household: Ellen Morris (cook), Elizabeth Goodrose (housemaid), Sarah Cox (kitchen maid) and Catherine Wiles (waitress).1,7

    4. His death

Arthur Andrew Jamison died on 17 October 1900 at the age of 56 years. After suffering several repetitive influenza infections, he started to developed early symptoms of chronic nephritis renal disease by 1898. This steadily undermined his general heath. By June 1900, he experienced muscle weakness, a rapid heart rate and severe breathlessness. He had to cease working and was advised a few week’s rest. While in Switzerland, his health deteriorated, so much so that they had to return home. He died three weeks later at 18 Lowndes Street.8,13,18 He was buried at the Brookwood Cemetery (also known as London Necropolis), Woking, Surrey, England, which is 37 km southwest of central London.6 At the time of his death he was a member of the Anglican Church Parish of St George, Hanover Square, Middlesex (now central London). It was built in the early 18th-century.13,20 In this same church, his son Reginald would get married in 1908. The value of Andrew Jamison’s effects on 14 Nov 1900 was 20 940 pounds (£), 13 shillings (s) and 11 pennies (d). This was left to his widow Isabella, his son Reginald and his brother, Frederick William Jamieson, a merchant.13

In contrast to his father Capt. James Jamieson, Arthur seemed to have lived a settled and quiet life during the late Victorian era. He and his family remained together and rarely moved around, living in the same place for many years. Arthur never had any association with sunny South Africa, where his father spent three years of his live as a soldier, and where his son would later move to for health reasons and there, stay for twenty one years until his death.

   5. His children

 Arthur and Isabella had three children: Evelyn Mary (*1877), Reginald (*1878) and Catherine (*1881).4,6 Neither of the Jamison daughters married, but rather followed academic careers.4

5.1 Evelyn Mary “Evie”

Dr Evelyn Mary Jamison (24 February 1877, St Helens – 9 May 1972, London) excelled in the academia. After completing her school career at Francis Holland School in London in 1895, she attended an art school in Paris, France. In 1898, she enrolled at Lady Margaret Hall, a constituent women’s college of the University of Oxford in Oxford, Oxfordshire, England. This prestigious university with its 38 colleges was established in the 12th century.3,5,6,21-24

Evelyn graduated in 1901 and became the only woman student at the University to gain a First in the Honours School of Modern History. For two years thereafter she worked at Lady Margaret Hall as secretary and teacher. In 1903 she was selected for a research fellowship at the Oxford University’s Somerville College. This enabled her to travel to Italy and write on Italian art history while being enrolled at the British School at Rome. Returning in 1907, she was appointed Librarian and Bursar at Lady Margaret Hall, and later Assistant History Tutor. In 1921, she was promoted to Vice-Principal. She was also a University Lecturer in History from 1928 to 1935. Evie was awarded the Lady Margaret Research Fellowship in 1926 and was a Honorary Fellow until her death. She wrote and published extensively with a particular focus on the history of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily and Southern Italy in the 12th and 13th centuries. Evelyn retired to London in 1937 at the age of 60, but continued with her historical research until 1972 when she died at the age of 95 years.5,21,22,24 Read her full obituary here.

5.2 Reginald

Their only son, Reginald (my husband’s great-grandfather) was born on 8 September 1878 at St Helens, Lancashire, England, United Kingdom and died on 4 January 1942 in South Africa. Like his father, he also became a medical doctor. He married Eanswithe Elstrith Heyworth and they had four sons.4-6 READ MORE on Reginald Jamison.

5.3 Catherine “Kit”

Catherine, the youngest child of Isabella and Arthur, was born in 1880 in St Helens and died at the age of 88 years in 1968 in South Kensington, London. In her retirement, she shared a flat with her retired sister, Evie.5,6,24

Catherine was well educated in history and also achieved academic distinction by becoming a distinguished medieval scholar. She worked at the Public Record Office (PRO) in London on a variety of specialised research projects such as Chancer’s life records, on behalf of Professor Manly and Miss Rickert of the University of Chicago, in the early 1930s. She published various books.3,5,21,24


  1. Arthur A Jamison in the 1891 England Census.
  2. Weybridge, St James, 1837-1884, p170. Surrey, England, Marriages, 1754-1937.
  3. Photos, books and original water-colour paintings in possession of Tony Jamison, Randfontein, South Africa
  4. Tanner, S. 2008. Reminiscences of Isabella Jamieson (Daughter of Henry Green). 1831-1834. Letters/Isabella Remembers
  5. Papers of the Jamison Family (1830-1971), Box 1/2 (etc.), John Rylands University Library, University of Manchester.
  6. Jamison Family Tree Website by Rob Jamison.
  7. Rob Jamison: Family portraits 2016.
  8. Evelyn Jamison.
  9. Oxford.
  10. Obituary of Miss E.M. Jamison. Historian of the Normans in Southern Italy. The Times, Wednesday, 10 May 1972. Newspaper article in possession of Tony Jamison, Randfontein, South Africa
  11. Graduate record for Arthur Andrew Jamison. University of Glasgow.
  12. Arthur Andrew Jamison. University of Glasgow.
  13. Teaching at the University to 1914. University of Glasgow.
  14. St Helens. John Marius Wilson, Imperial Gazetteer of England and Wales (1870-72)
  15. The Edinburgh Gazette, March 15, 1867.
  16. 1st Lancashire Engineers.
  17. Family tree notes by Jean Jamison, made avaliable by Katie Taylor from Germany, October 2017
  18. Arthur Jamison in the England & Wales National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966.
  19. Belgrave Square.
  20. Royal College of Surgeons.
  21. The Victorian Period.
  22. Victorian Era.
  23. Medico-Chirurgical Transactions. 1901, vol 84 (series 2, vol 66).  Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society of London. Longmans, Green & Co.:London.
  24. St George Hanover Square, Middlesex Genealogy.,_Middlesex_Genealogy