Archive Blog - March 2015

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William Scott, Untitled, Pencil on paper, 18 x 22.8 cm / 7 x 9 in

William Scott’s drawings of Enniskillen

By Lucy Inglis on 12 March 2015

In 1924, having spent the first eleven years of his childhood in Greenock, Scotland, William Scott moved with his family to his father’s hometown of Enniskillen in Northern Ireland. The Scott family lived at 4 Queen Street (now no. 2) above a barber’s shop (the house still stands). Only three years later, on 4 November 1927, Scott’s father, William John Scott, died the day after falling from a ladder while helping to put out a fire at Kirkpatrick Brothers in Church Street, Enniskillen. The fire – and its tragic consequences – shocked the local community.

For Scott’s mother, with ten children and another about to be born, the death of her husband was devastating financially as well as emotionally. The local newspaper, The Impartial Reporter and Farmers Journal, reported on the funeral; the Rev. R.J. Jenkins, who conducted the service, in his concluding words about the deceased said: ‘We shall yet be proud of his children – one of his sons already exhibits signs of latent talent of no mean order of artistic ability’. The same paper reported how Rev. Jenkins was beseeching the citizens of Enniskillen to rally round and help support the Scott family: ‘An appeal for funds for the children of the deceased man has been issued, and already subscriptions have been received.’

The young William, aged only fourteen, did his best to help his mother and siblings, making small paintings which he sold to friends and neighbours. According to the owner of one such work, ‘the people of Enniskillen were happy to support the family in this way as it did not appear to be giving the widow charity.’

In the past, the William Scott Archive has been unable to trace any other examples of works sold by Scott in 1927 and 1928. Recently, however, a pencil drawing of Enniskillen has come to light, which is so alike one in the William Scott Archive as to suggest that Scott might have produced other, similar versions. Have you ever come across a drawing which looks like it? Or any other works by Scott from around this date? If so, we would love to hear from you.

For more information contact:
Lucy Inglis – lucy.inglis@williamscott.org

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The Impartial Reporter and Farmers Journal, 10 March 1927