Burrell family life at Hutton Castle

The Burrell Collection curator is trying to identify members of staff who worked for the family at Hutton Castle.
The Burrell Collection curator is trying to identify members of staff who worked for the family at Hutton Castle.

As part of its £66 million refurbishment, the Burrell Collection’s curator is looking for help to identify former domestic staff employed by the Burrell family at Hutton Castle from 1920s -1940s.

The Burrells are understood to have employed ten domestic servants including a butler, a cook and a liveried footman as well as gardeners, gamekeepers and chauffeurs. Now the task is underway to identify staff depicted in 15 photographs donated by Peter Clark, the son of Sir William Burrell’s butler.

Hutton Castle butler.

Hutton Castle butler.

Sir William purchased Hutton Castle in 1916, and lived there from 1927, with his art collection of 9,000 objects, until his death in 1958.

At various times during the Burrells’ lives at Hutton, the following staff are known to have been employed at the castle: Peter Clark (butler); Peter Freeny (cook); Jim Guthrie (maintenance); Erich and Maria Hofer (butler and cook); Lexie Lesenger (domestic service and office worker); James Lornie (head gardener until around the time of his death in 1930); Mr Phillips (chauffeur); John Pringle (estates); Duncan Rankin (chauffeur); Mary Renwick (domestic servant); Ethel Todd Shiel (secretary); Julia Turbitt (housemaid) and Jimmy Wallace (gamekeeper).

The information received about Hutton Castle domestic staff will be used to create a new gallery within the Burrell Collection Museum in Glasgow, introducing the Burrell family and offering a glimpse of what life was like at Hutton Castle, in Berwickshire.

The family’s art collection was donated to the City of Glasgow by Sir William and Lady Burrell in 1944 and part of the museum’s refurbishment will include example furniture and decorative art objects arranged to evoke the impression of a domestic space in which the objects where displayed and used. Interpretation for this gallery will focus on the lives of those who lived at Hutton Castle – primarily the Burrell family and domestic staff – and will offer visitors clues as to how the different rooms and collection items at the Castle were used.

Two members of the Hutton Castle staff.

Two members of the Hutton Castle staff.

If a relative or family friend worked for the Burrells in the 1920s– 1940s or you have anecdotes about Hutton Castle at the time, please contact Claire Rocha at claire.rochadacruz@glasgowlife.org.uk