Leading on from our last blog post Dr. Nicola Mills, a freelance archivist who has recently completed a revision of the muniments catalogue for the Haddo Estate, tells us more abut the intricate connections between the Gordon clan. The Gordons were among the first men who created a link between Scotland and Fiji in the 19th century, which is a theme being explored in the current King’s Museum exhibition ‘Fiji, Scotland and the Making of Empire’
Arthur John Lewis Gordon (c.1847 – 1918), born in Stockholm, was the grandson of Alexander Gordon, laird of Ellon and one of several illegitimate sons of the 3rd. Earl of Aberdeen. Arthur, an accomplished artist, was also incidentally the nephew of the artist Eleanor Vere Gordon or Boyle. He married, in Kensington in 1885, Caroline Augusta Hamilton Gordon, daughter of Colonel Sir Alexander Hamilton Gordon. Col. Sir Alexander H. Gordon (1817 – 1890) was the second son of the 4th. Earl of Aberdeen, and an older brother of Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon, governor of Fiji. Arthur John Lewis Gordon, who acted as secretary to his second cousin Sir Arthur when he went to Fiji in 1875, was the father of Cosmo Alexander Gordon, the writer on architecture.
Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon, later Lord Stanmore, was a younger son of the 4th Earl of Aberdeen, Prime Minister, and for many years acted as his father’s secretary and literary executor. Sir Arthur married Rachel Shaw-Lefevre in 1865: they had two children, George, 2nd Baron Stanmore, a sculptor and artist, and Nevill, neither of whom married. Rachel Shaw-Lefevre was one of several sisters all of whom were both academic and artistic: some of their sketch books, including drawings of scenes in Fiji, survive in the archives of the Earls and Marquesses of Aberdeen at Haddo, Aberdeenshire (NRA(S) 55), along with Sir Arthur’s diaries kept while in Fiji and on other postings.