Old Photograph Interior William Davidson House Glasgow Scotland
Old photograph of the interior of the William Davidson house in Glasgow, Scotland. William Davidson was born on 6 February 1861 in Tradeston, Glasgow, the fourth child and third son of William, a provision merchant, and his wife, Agnes. William married Jean Steel Reid, born 1866, died 1945, on 13 June 1889 at Ferniebank, Kilmacolm, the home of her parents, under the auspices of the United Presbyterian Church. They had three sons: William Cameron, born 1890, died 1975; Hamish Reid, born 1893, died 1972, and Henry Steel, born 1896, died 1915, who was killed in action in France. All three boys were educated at Fettes College, Edinburgh. Around 1894 Davidson became acquainted with Charles Rennie Mackintosh, who soon designed furniture and interior schemes for Gladsmuir house. In 1897 Mackintosh designed a menu card for Mr and Mrs Davidson Senior's golden wedding celebration. In 1898 Jean Davidson's mother, Margaret Henry Reid, commissioned him to design a gravestone for her husband, James Reid. In 1920, Davidson bought 78 Ann Street, previously 6 Florentine Terrace and later 78 Southpark Avenue, the Mackintoshes house, and its contents, after they were unsuccessful in their attempts to sell. Since their departure from Glasgow in 1914 the house had been rented out, in the belief that their absence would not be permanent. William and Jean Davidson spent the rest of their lives in this second Mackintosh house. William Davidson was a loyal friend to Mackintosh, particularly during his difficult later years in London, England, and France when he supported Mackintosh financially with small loans and by buying a number of watercolours. After Mackintosh died in 1928 and Margaret in January1933, Davidson acted as a trustee of their joint estate. He was instrumental in the swift organisation of the Charles Rennie Mackintosh and Margaret Macdonald Mackintosh Memorial Exhibition at the McLellan Galleries, Glasgow, in May 1933. William Davidson died on 30 June 1945; Jean had predeceased him by two months.
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