Nimmo/Fairley Vault

By Morag T Fyfe

Compartment Delta only contains one family vault (at its southern end) and up until now it has been unidentified. Thanks to a passing reference in the Reformers’ Gazette Saturday, March 23, 1850 discussing monuments in Delta it has now proved possible to work out some of its history.

By the time George Blair wrote his article in 1850 it was known that the vault belonged to Edward Fairley, Esq of the Royal Bank and this is confirmed by an entry in the Proprietors in the Necropolis under 6 May 1859 which shows Edward Fairley as the registered owner of 16 sq yds (plot 56) in Delta. It also records the original owner as being William T Nimmo. With this information it proved possible to find the transaction by which W T Nimmo of the Royal Bank purchased 16 sq yds in Delta at 2 guineas per sq yd on 17 April(?) 1835.

On consulting the Burial Registers it turned out that four burials had taken place in Delta 56 between 1835 and 1847. Nimmo buried his wife Elizabeth Stewart, who died of consumption aged 42 years and 2 months, on 13 April 1835. It is this death that necessitated the purchase of the burial plot. Five years later, having remarried in the meantime, Nimmo buried a 5 month old son who died from teething (a surprisingly common cause of death in infants). Less than a year later, on 16 January 1841, Nimmo buried an unnamed son who only survived 3 hours. The final burial on 5 April 1847 was of a still born daughter of George Outram.

It is significant that by 1847 Edward Fairley is named as the owner of the plot and raises the question of how this happened. A quick search of the newspapers revealed that Nimmo had gone bankrupt at the end of 1845 and his property in Helensburgh was auctioned in 1846. It seems that amongst his possessions sold was the plot in the Necropolis. At the time Edward Fairley was cashier of the Royal Bank in Glasgow and Nimmo was, or had been, employed there.

By the time Edward Fairley bought this plot from W T Nimmo he was a man in his sixties. His wife, Euphemia Galloway died in April 1846 and I wonder whether he intended to bury her in the Necropolis. In the event she is not buried there and Fairley made no use of the plot he had bought. Sometime in the 1860s he moved to Torquay with his unmarried daughters and was buried there in 1869 when he died at the age of 85.
It is not known who erected the vault but it seems more likely to have been W T Nimmo. Unfortunately there is no tablet inside the vault commemorating those buried there and that is why the problems of its identification arose in the first place.

Nimmo Fairley Vault

Nimmo Fairley Vault

 

The mausoleum was unloved and uncared for until it was restored in 2013.

Nimmo Fairley Vault Roof

Nimmo Fairley Vault Roof

 
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