William Tulloch and family

Contributed by John Taylor Park

William Tulloch (1848-1923)

William Tulloch - From 'These Fifty Years: The Jubilee Story of Hillhead Baptist Church'

William Tulloch – From ‘These Fifty Years: The Jubilee Story of Hillhead Baptist Church’

William Tulloch was born in Elgin, Morayshire on 5th March 1848. He was the first of eight children for his parents William Tulloch senior and Margaret MacDonald who had married there in June of the previous year. William’s father was a Baptist minister and was originally from Blair Athol in Perthshire, while his mother was a native of Elgin. He was joined by younger siblings Elizabeth, Margaret, Patrick, John, Alexander, Ebenezer and James between 1849 and 1860.

William spent his early childhood living at 14 Academy Street in Elgin until his family moved south to Edinburgh in 1856. His youngest three siblings were born in the capital. The family were still living in Edinburgh in 1871 when the census for that year recorded them residing at Sciennes Hill Place in the city with 23-year-old William working as a bookseller.

A change of career and location soon followed for William however when he moved to Glasgow around 1872 and became a Starch & Gum merchant. This came about after his sister Elizabeth married Starch manufacturer Allan MacDiarmid that year and moved to the Glasgow area where his business was based. William moved to Glasgow around the same time to join his new brother-in-law in the firm.

The firm was ‘James Anderson & Co’, a Starch and Gum manufacturing business with premises at Surrey Street on the south side of the River Clyde and offices at 124 St Vincent Street in Glasgow city centre. James Anderson and Allan MacDiarmid were cousins and originally from Perthshire. William became a partner in the firm after which the company changed name to ‘Anderson, Tulloch & Co’. The business then enjoyed a period of steady expansion which saw the workforce more than double to around 80 employees by 1881. The firm also established a registered office at 9 Great Tower Street in London.

Away from their commercial interests, William Tulloch and Allan MacDiarmid also combined their shared interest in the church when they were amongst the founders of the Hillhead Baptist Church on Cresswell St in 1883. Their fellow co-founders were John Alexander and Alexander & Charles Rose. The building was designed by Glasgow architect Thomas Watson who also designed the very similar Adelaide Place Baptist Church in Glasgow city centre which had opened six years previously. Hillhead Baptist church remained in continuous use until 2004 when it closed its doors for the final time. It has since fallen into a serious state of disrepair and despite the Grade B listed building status the future of the church is now most uncertain.

Hillhead Baptist Church, photo credit WF Millar

Hillhead Baptist Church, photo credit WF Millar

William became the sole proprietor of Anderson Tulloch & Co following the deaths of James Anderson in 1874 and brother-in-law MacDiarmid in 1890 and continued thus until his own death in September 1923. A new limited company of the same name was then formed by his sons William junior and John, plus his son in law Peter Rintoul, to facilitate the continuation of the business thereafter.

Sophia Crombie Taylor (1851-1923)

Sophia Tulloch nee Taylor 1909

Sophia Tulloch nee Taylor 1909

William’s wife was Sophia Taylor who was born in the parish of Govan on 16th July 1851. She was the second of seven children for her parents John Taylor and Margaret Simpson who had married in Glasgow in June 1849. Sophia’s Paisley born father was a successful West Indies merchant who already had seven children by his first wife Janet before her relatively early death. Sophia’s mother was from the Liverpool area and Sophia’s Crombie middle name was her Grandmother Simpson’s maiden name. Sophia was followed by younger siblings Georgina, Victoria, William, Mary and Jemima.

Sophia’s family grew up living in a large townhouse at 17 Royal Crescent in Glasgow. Sadly, Sophia suffered the loss of both her parents before she had reached the age of 15 and this resulted in her and her young siblings living with a Taylor relative for a time until she reached adulthood. The siblings later moved together into ‘The Anchorage’, a substantial detached villa at 4 Kirklee Road (originally 2 Kirklee Avenue) in Kelvinside.

Baptist church links and a wedding

William and Sophia were married on 1st September 1875 at Sophia’s Kirklee Road home in Kelvinside, with William’s brother Patrick and Sophia’s sister Georgina acting as their witnesses on the day. William had been living at 509 Sauchiehall Street in the Charing Cross area of the city prior to their marriage.

It seems quite possible that William and Sophia had met through Baptist church connections. William’s father and Sophia’s Grandfather had both been Baptist ministers so both families had strong links to the church. William would later be acknowledged as one of the co-founders of Hillhead Baptist Church mentioned above, and both he and Sophia would play major parts in the day to day work of the church itself.

Family additions and moves

William and Sophia began married life living at 2 Ashton Terrace (now 3 Ashton Road) in Hillhead. They soon began to raise a family and their first child William junior was born the following year in 1876. Their first daughter Margaret arrived a year later and she was followed by John in 1879. The family then moved to Sophia’s previous home at Kirklee Road in 1880 and daughter Sophie Evelyn was born there the following year.

The 1881 census recorded the young Tulloch family on a Spring holiday break at ‘Ashcraig’ on Shore Road, Cove on the shores of Loch Long. They had three children by this time, and young Sophie would be born later that year in September.

41 Athole Gardens. Photo credit Ann Muir

41 Athole Gardens. Photo credit Ann Muir

The family moved home again in 1884, this time to the pleasant surroundings of 41 Athole Gardens in Hillhead, and this large townhouse would become the family home for many years to come.

The final addition to the Tulloch family was daughter Hilda who was born at Invercloy, Brodick on the Isle of Arran in June 1884. Hilda’s birth record gives the Tulloch’s new Athole Gardens address, indicating they were most likely taking a summer break on Arran when she was born. It seems certain that Hilda became the most unique holiday souvenir the family ever returned home with.

All but one of the Tulloch family were at their Athole Gardens home in the 1891 census. The missing family member was William junior who was attending the Leys boarding school at Cambridge at the time. He had two of his MacDiarmid cousins for company at the school. An electoral roll for the following year recorded Athole Gardens as William’s residential address along with his St Vincent Street business address and his ‘Starch manufacturer’ occupation.


Dariel, now 62 Cleveden Drive

Dariel, now 62 Cleveden Drive

In 1900 the family moved once again, this time to ‘Dariel’, a large villa at 62 Montgomerie Drive in Kelvinside, and it was here that William and Sophia would live for the rest of their lives. In the 1901 census all the family are living at the new family home including William junior who had returned from Cambridge and was now working in the family business as a clerk. This address would later become 62 Cleveden Drive as part of a major street renaming exercise in the Hillhead area.

The growing family eventually began to go their own ways in the world and by 1910 William junior, Margaret and John had all married and left the family home. Sophia and Hilda continued to live at home at ‘Dariel’ however and this arrangement would continue right through until the end of 1923. An electoral roll for that year recorded Sophia and Hilda both still living at home.

William Tulloch passed away at home on 21st September 1923 at the age of 75 and was interred in the Tulloch family lair at the Necropolis. Sophia passed away at their Montgomerie Drive home less than three months later on 11th December aged 72 and was laid to rest beside her husband.

The subsequent lives of the Tulloch family children are summarised below.

William Forbes Tulloch (1876 – 1948). William married his wife Margaret Farquhar at Hillhead Parish Church in 1910. They appear to have had two children, Margaret and Evan. During WW1 William served as a Captain in the 2/3rd Battalion of the East Riding Volunteer Regiment. His family were living at Sevenoaks in Kent by 1924 but they moved to the Knightsbridge area of London later that year. That same year William formed a limited company with his brother John and brother-in-law Peter Rintoul to facilitate the takeover of his late father’s business interests. William became a Stockbroker and was a director of the London Stockbroking firm Quilter & Co until he retired from that company in 1931. William and Margaret had moved to Windmill Hill House in Hampstead by 1939, an area popular with other Tulloch, Taylor, and MacDiarmid relatives, and they lived there until William passed away in 1948 aged 71. Margaret died in Kensington in 1972 aged 84.

Margaret MacDonald Tulloch (1877 – 1945). Margaret married her Bothwell born husband Peter Rintoul in Partick in 1904. They had five children, Margaret, Robert, Andrew, Barbara and Peter, and lived at ‘Kildowan’, a large property at 13 Victoria Circus in the Dowanhill area of the city. Peter was a most successful Chartered Accountant who became senior partner in the firm of ‘Graham, Rintoul, Hay, Bell & Co’ of 105 St Vincent Street in Glasgow. He was also on the board of the Union Bank of Scotland, Scottish Amicable Life, and various investment trusts. He had also been secretary of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary from 1908 to 1915. Peter died at Kilbryde Castle by Dunblane, where they had a summer residence, in 1933 at the age of 63. Margaret later moved to the Hampstead area of London and lived at 34 Ellerdale Road in the borough close to other relatives. She passed away there in 1945 aged 68. Both are commemorated on the Rintoul family headstone at the Necropolis.

John Taylor Tulloch (1879 – 1943). John played rugby for Kelvinside Academicals and later served as SRU president in 1906-7. He married his wife May Rose at Hillhead Baptist Church in 1909. They had three children, William, Alexander and Elizabeth, and lived at 11 Mirrlees Drive in Kelvinside. He saw action at Gallipoli during WW1 while serving as a Captain in the 5th Batt Highland Light Infantry and was awarded the Military Cross in 1917. John became a successful Chartered Accountant based at 209 West George Street in Glasgow and worked with several financial institutions including the firm of his brother-in-law Peter Rintoul. He was made a Justice of the Peace for Glasgow in 1928. His family had moved to 10 Huntly Gardens in Hillhead in 1923 and they were still at the same address by 1938. They later moved to Ayr and resided at 35 Monument Road until John passed away in the town in 1943 aged 64. May survived him by 16 years until she passed away in 1959, also in Ayr.

Sophia Evelyn Tulloch (1881 – 1932). Sophia remained single throughout her life and lived at the family’s Montgomerie Drive home until the loss of her parents at the end of 1923. She appears to have been known by her middle name Evelyn from around 1900 until 1923 and is listed in records as Evelyn or Evelyn Sophia during this period. She had reverted back to Sophia the following year when she embarked on an extended tour of the Far East.

P&O’s SS Khiva entering Colombo harbour

P&O’s SS Khiva entering Colombo harbour

She travelled outward from London to Singapore in November 1924 aboard the P&O liner ‘Khiva’, returning to London seven months later when she joined the ‘Khyber’ at Colombo in what was then Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The passenger list for her return voyage indicates she intended to reside in England upon her return. Sophia was residing at ‘Tomdhu’ in Peasmarsh in East Sussex by 1932, but she died later that year at the Devonshire Court Hotel in Eastbourne aged just 51. She is commemorated on the Tulloch memorial at the Necropolis.

Hilda Elizabeth MacDiarmid Tulloch (1884 – 1941). Hilda also remained single and never married. The 1911 census found her studying agricultural methods at Mercia Smallholdings at Hollingbourne in Kent, but she returned thereafter to live at the family’s Montgomerie Drive home until the loss of her parents at the end of 1923. Hilda then moved to 5 Cranworth Street in the Hillhead area and was still listed at that address in an electoral roll for 1940. Tragically, Hilda lost her life the following year at the hands of Nazi forces at Skredsvik on the west coast of Sweden in July 1941. The award winning Arolsen Archives confirm Hilda’s personal details but no other information is available regarding the circumstances of her death.

Tulloch Monument - Glasgow Necropolis

Tulloch Monument – Glasgow Necropolis


The following sources have been invaluable in providing some of these details and are gratefully acknowledged here:

The British Newspaper Archive website
The National Records of Scotland and the excellent ScotlandsPeople website.
Morag Fyfe at the Friends of Glasgow Necropolis website for accessing the Necropolis database.
Ann Muir, church secretary, Hillhead Baptist Church
Arolsen Archives








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