J. C. Middleton

Painter

James Clark Middleton (c. 1854–1919), was a house painter and decorator, in Market Street, Brechin. 1 He was born in Logie Pert, Angus where his father managed one of two local flax-bleaching and spinning works. 2 In 1871, James was an apprentice painter in Brechin. He became self-employed in 1884, advertised for a 'good, plain hand', at 13 Market Street in 1885, and occupied various addresses in this same road for over twenty years. 3 He regularly appeared in the Brechin Alamanac, offering 'the latest styles in paperhangings, all at the lowest possible prices' (1892). 4 In the 1890s he also began picture-framing, stocking the necessary mouldings and glass. 5

Middleton achieved the property qualification for voting in 1897. Despite a legal objection that he was merely a tenant, he won the case as he was also a co-partner in the Scottish Cycle Co., from whom he rented his shop. 6 This was probably a short-lived enterprise in association with a 'Mr Bain' of Aberdeen, possibly a former Brechin bike-hirer, or less likely, William Bain, a sewing machine and cycle manufacturer, of Bridge Street, Aberdeen. 7 In the mid-1900s Middleton moved his 'plain and decorative painters' to the City Hall Buildings in Swan Street, and was still working in 1914. 8

Outside his business interests, Middleton was curator of the Brechin Photographic Association in 1892, and a long-serving official of the local masonic lodge. 9 He was also on the committee of the East U.F. Church Temperance Society from at least 1907. 10

Notes:

1: Death Date, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; Census Data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 22 July 2013]; Brechin Almanac and Directory, Brechin: Black & Johnston, 1892–1914; Slater's Royal ... Directory of Scotland, 1886, p. 635; 1903, p. 704.

2: Census Data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 22 July 2013]; Thomas Hill, 'Parish of Logie Pert', (1835), New Statistical Account of Scotland, 11, County of Forfar, 1834–45, pp. 265, 267–8.

3: Brechin Almanac and Directory, Brechin: Black & Johnston, 1914, Appendix, p. iii; Dundee Courier, 6 April 1885, p. 1.

4: Brechin Almanac and Directory, Brechin: Black & Johnston, 1892, Appendix (unpaginated).

5: Brechin Almanac and Directory, Brechin: Black & Johnston, 1894–1907, Advertising Appendices (Unpaginated).

6: Dundee Courier, 6 October 1897, p. 7.

7: Dundee Courier, 6 October 1897, p. 7; Aberdeen Post Office Directory 1897–8, p. 21; Brechin Almanac and Directory, Brechin: Black & Johnston, 1896, p. 17.

8: Brechin Almanac and Directory, Brechin: Black & Johnston, 1904, p. 33; 1907, p. 31; 1914, p. 28.

9: Brechin Almanac and Directory, Brechin: Black & Johnston, 1892, p. 39; 1894, p. 47; 1896, pp. 46, 54; 1900, p. 51.

10: Brechin Almanac and Directory, Brechin: Black & Johnston, 1907, p. 44; 1914, p.41.