- Two shops?
- William Cheyne, Broad Street, Fraserburgh
- William Cheyne, High Street, Fraserburgh
Several years ago, reading messages on a genealogy forum, I saw a message posted by someone who said they were descended from William Cheyne the draper in Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire in Scotland. Having traced the descendants of my great grandfather, William Cheyne, who owned a drapery shop in Fraserburgh, the name given at the end of that message was not one I recognised. How strange!
More recently, whilst on a visit to Fraserburgh, I was informed that there were two drapery shops owned by William Cheyne; one in Broad Street and the other in the High Street. I already knew quite a bit about my great grandfather's shop at 32 Broad Street, but sure enough, David Rennie's excellent book 'A Walk Down Cross Street and High Street' 2 confirmed for me that there was another shop, at 79 High Street.
If there were two shops and my grandfather only had one at any one time, then someone else had to own the other one; perhaps even another William Cheyne. Then, at the end of 2005, that other William Cheyne came to light in a message posted on another genealogy forum and I was able to make contact with two of his great grandchildren3: Michael Coffey and Margaret Holland.
William Cheyne drapery shop4
William Cheyne drapery shop5
This article highlights the two William Cheyne drapery shops through their proprietors William Cheyne (1860 - 1914) and William Cheyne (1841 - 1936), and their families.
William Cheyne, Broad Street, Fraserburgh
William Cheyne (1860 - 1914) - Early years
This William Cheyne was born at Newmill in the Parish of Methlick, Aberdeenshire on 29 April 1860 to John Cheyne and Helen Ironside. William was the eldest child of this marriage, although John Cheyne already had two illegitimate children from two previous relationships. Scottish census entries record William's father and both grandfathers working on the land with occupations such as 'farmer', 'crofter', 'agricultural labourer' or 'stone dyker'.
In the 1861 census, William was recorded, aged 11 months, in his father's household at Cairnorrie in the Parish of Methlick; then in the 1871 census, aged 10 years, in his father's much enlarged household at Balnamoon, New Pitsligo. However, William didn't follow in his father's footsteps.
William's eldest half-brother George Cheyne, son of John Cheyne and Ann Johnstone, was eleven years older but died in 1874. Although the 1871 census records George living with the family at Balnamoon and his occupation as 'farmer's son', this death registration in 1874 records his occupation as 'Tailor (Journeyman)'; someone working as a tailor having completed an apprenticeship. Perhaps George had demonstrated to William that there was an alternative career to becoming a farmer; one that would lead to a future in commerce as a master draper.
William Cheyne (1860 - 1914) - Commercial beginnings
William Cheyne's obituary7 reveals much about his progress from farmer's son to businessman. William Cheyne served an apprenticeship with Messrs. J and C Forrest, general merchants, Lonmay. In the 1881 census William Cheyne was recorded as head of household at 10 Kirktown, St Fergus, Banffshire, aged 20 years. Those present were William Cheyne (head, 'Grocer and Draper (Shopman)'), and Alexander McKesser (visitor, 'Draper (Shopman)'). By this time he had probably completed his apprenticeship and was working in one of Forrests' shops.
James and Charles Forrest were brothers with a range of business interests. In the 1881 census, James Forrest was recorded as head of household at Lonmay Station, his occupation 'Grocer, traction engine & bus proprietor' and employer of 12 men, 4 boys and 2 women'. Residents included two employees recorded as 'Shopman grocer apprentice'. Meanwhile, Charles Forrest was recorded as head of household at Woodbine Cottage, Rathen, his occupation 'Merchant and steam mill proprietor'. Residents included four employees recorded as 'Bus driver', 'Bus guard', 'Traction engine driver' and 'Shopman apprentice'.
Sometime between 1881 and 1885, William moved to Fraserburgh and, in company with a Mr William Taylor, commenced business as a draper at Cheyne & Taylor in the High Street. Meanwhile, on 31 December 1885, William Cheyne married Margaret Watson at Pitscow in the Parish of Kininmonth, daughter of William Watson, a farmer, and Agnes Webster of Pitscow, Mintlaw. The statutory registration of marriage records William's profession as 'Draper (journeyman)' and his residence as 53 Charlotte Street, Fraserburgh. Margaret is recorded as a 'farmer's daughter' of Pitscow, Kininmonth.
During the period when Cheyne & Taylor was in business, William and Margaret Cheyne (née Watson) had their three children:
- William Watson Cheyne, born on 5 October 1886 at Saltoun Place, Fraserburgh. The statutory registration of his birth records his father's profession as 'Draper, Master'.
- Margaret Helen Cheyne on 16 March 1888 at 82 Commerce Street, Fraserburgh. Father's profession: 'Draper'.
- Cummine John Cheyne on 24 June 1891 at 82 Commerce Street, Fraserburgh. Father's profession: 'Draper'.
In the 1891 census, before the birth of his third child, William Cheyne and family were recorded at 82 Commerce Street, Fraserburgh: William Cheyne (head, age 30, 'Draper and clothier'), Margaret Cheyne (wife), William W Cheyne (son), Margaret H Cheyne (daughter) and Amelia C Penny (domestic servant).
The advertisement1 below published in June 1893 implies that Cheyne & Taylor ceased in 1893 and William Cheyne went in to business on his own.
William Cheyne started his own business in Manchester House at 54 Broad Street1, Fraserburgh, in 1893. The family also moved home, from 82 Commerce Street to Elm Bank, Grattan Place, Fraserburgh.
William Cheyne Drapery Shop, 32 Broad Street
Then in 1899, the business moved to 50 Broad Street where it remained until 1901. During this time, plans were announced for new business premises to be built at the corner of Broad Street and Mid Street for Mr William Rae of Aberdeen. The article below was published in the Fraserburgh Herald in July 1900. William Cheyne must have seen this article and subsequently leased the large double shop at the corner.
Article in the Fraserburgh Herald in July 1900
about new business premises planned for Broad Street6
William Cheyne's household was recorded in the 1901 census at Elm Bank, Grattan Place, Fraserburgh. (This house is now 12 Grattan Place.) Those present were William Cheyne (head, age 40, 'Draper & clothier, employer'), Margaret Cheyne (wife), William W Cheyne (son), Margaret H Cheyne (daughter), Cummine J Cheyne (son) and Mary Mackie (general servant).
Within 2 months of the 1901 census enumeration, the William Cheyne drapery warehouse moved from 50 Broad Street to its new location: 32 Broad Street. The advertisement6 below referring to the move was published in the Fraserburgh Herald on Tuesday 4 June 1901.
The photograph of the shop at 32 Broad Street published on page 31 of 'A Walk Down Broad Street', would have been taken not long after the shop's opening as the name William Cheyne is displayed on temporary signs compared with the fixed signs displayed in the photograph below taken c. 1902.
William Cheyne Drapery Shop, 32 Broad Street, Fraserburgh4
Located above the shop at 32 Broad Street was the Faithlie Temperance Hotel and Restaurant which had its entrance around the corner in Mid Street. According to an advertisement published in the Fraserburgh Herald on 24 September 1901, the premises were leased by 'Morrison and Cheyne' and the hotel 'conducted by Mrs Cheyne late of the Dalrymple Café'. This Mrs Margaret Cheyne was the widow of Mr James Cheyne who had died the previous year at the Dalrymple Café; not to be confused with Mrs Margaret Cheyne the wife of William Cheyne. However, James Cheyne and William Cheyne were first cousins once removed.
William Cheyne Drapery Shop, 32 Broad Street, Fraserburgh4
It has been recorded that William Cheyne regularly travelled to Paris for the latest styles to use in his drapery shop and to dress his only daughter. Studio portraits by the Fraserburgh photographer William Norrie show William Cheyne and his family in their Edwardian finery. Margaret Helen Cheyne at the centre in the second photograph below was my Grandmother.
William Cheyne, proprietor of the William Cheyne drapery shop at 32 Broad Street4
William Cheyne and family4
(left to right) Cummine John Cheyne, William Cheyne, Margaret Helen Cheyne,
Margaret Cheyne (née Watson) and William Watson Cheyne
The Strawberry Drive
Staff and friends were treated to an annual outing, known as 'The Strawberry Drive', to the gardens at Cortes House, Rathen.
At Cortes, they would picnic, explore the gardens and take part in races and contests. (George Cruickshank, the father of a sister-in-law to Margaret Cheyne (née Watson) was a gardener at Cortes Gardens.)
William Cheyne, staff and friends in front of Cortes House
The Strawberry Drive: 'Milliner, dressmaker, Mother, Father at Cortes' 4
The Strawberry Drive: Ladies' Sack Race4
The Strawberry Drive: Men's Running Race4
The Strawberry Drive: Ladies' Egg and Spoon Race4
The Strawberry Drive: Tug o' War4
William Cheyne's household was recorded in the 1911 census still at Elm Bank, Grattan Place, Fraserburgh. Those present were William Cheyne (head, age 50, 'Draper, employer'), Margaret Cheyne (wife), Margaret H Cheyne (daughter) and Cummine J Cheyne (son, 'Shipbroker's clerk'). At this time the eldest son William Watson Cheyne was probably working on a farm in Canada.
32 Broad Street - Beyond William Cheyne
William Cheyne's business thrived, but in 1913 ill health took hold and his youngest son, Cummine John Cheyne, took charge of the business in addition to his own job. On 18 June 1914, William Cheyne passed away at Elm Bank, Grattan Place, Fraserburgh. His body was interred in Fraserburgh Kirkton Cemetery.
William Cheyne (1860 - 1914)4
William Cheyne's Obituary in the Fraserburgh Herald and Northern Counties Advertiser7
Notice Published in the Fraserburgh Advertiser6,8
Cummine John Cheyne gave up his job as a fish buyer for Colonel William McConnachie to take over management of the William Cheyne drapery shop, which continued until 1923.
The advertisement6 below for a 'Great Realization Sale' was published in The Fraserburgh Herald on 27 February 1923 and was the last advertisement for the William Cheyne drapery shop at 32 Broad Street. Note that after William Cheyne, Cummine's name, C J Cheyne, is also given.
The premises at 32 Broad Street then continued as a draper's shop called 'John Halkett' from 1923 to 19311.
William Cheyne's eldest son, William Watson Cheyne, returned from Canada, fought in the Great War with the Scottish Horse Brigade and survived a gas attack. He married Viola Harwell Sim in 1916, and settled in Stuartfield as a crofter at Knock Croft. William Cheyne's widow, Margaret, eventually moved to a bungalow at Knock Croft as well9.
His daughter, Margaret Helen Cheyne, trained as a nurse and midwife, and worked as a district nurse. She married Alexander Pirie, widower, of 28 Seafield Street, Portknockie in 1923. Margaret Helen Pirie (née Cheyne) was a grandmother of Neil Pirie, Cameron Pirie and Allister Pirie.
His youngest son, Cummine John Cheyne, married Elizabeth Morrison in 1917 and remained in business in Fraserburgh. He acquired the Fraserburgh Commercial Coal Company in Frithside Street, Fraserburgh where he was managing director and majority shareholder in the company from the mid 1930s until his retirement in 1975, aged 83. He died the same year. He was also Lloyds Shipping Insurance Agent and Norwegian Vice Consul, and was honoured by King Olaf of Norway in the 1960s10. Cummine John Cheyne was a grandfather of Michael Gaston and Maureen Wyatt.
William Cheyne's wife, Margaret Cheyne (née Watson) lived out her days at the bungalow at Knock Croft. She died in 1947, aged 89, and her body interred in Fraserburgh Kirkton Cemetery with that of her husband.
William Cheyne, High Street, Fraserburgh
William Cheyne (1841 - 1936) - Early years
This William Cheyne was born at West Crichie in the Parish of Old Deer, Aberdeenshire on 2 April 1841 to James Cheyne and Catherine Cryle. (Crichie is the byname for the village of Stuartfield.) He was the second youngest of five children.
William was recorded in the 1841 census in his father's household at Farm Court, Mains of Crichie, in the Parish of Old Deer, aged 2 months. Those present were James Cheyne (occupation: agricultural labourer), Catherine Cheyne, Jessie Cheyne, Robert Cheyne and William Cheyne.
In the 1851 census, William was recorded, aged 10, with his grandmother, Margaret Cryle, at Backhill of Bulwark in the Parish of Old Deer. Those present were Margaret Cryle ('housek.', age 75, 'Knitter') and William Cheyne (lodger).
He was recorded in the 1861 census in his widowed mother's household at Dens in the Parish of (Old) Deer, aged 20. Those present were Catherine Chyne (head, 'Crofter of 20 acres land'), Jessie Ann Chyne (daughter, 'Stocking knitter'), William Chyne (son, 'Ploughman') and Margaret Cryle (mother, 'Stocking knitter').
The mother of William Cheyne was recorded on her own in the 1871 census at Kirkhill in the Parish of Old Deer, whereas William was recorded as a boarder, aged 30, at Old Longside Road Cottage, Mount Pleasant in the Parish of Peterhead, and his occupation stated as 'Station Agent'. His obituary99 reveals that 'in the early days of the Buchan railway system he acted as stationmaster at Inverugie' which was nearby.
William Cheyne (1841 - 1936) - Commercial beginnings
On 24 December 1880, William Cheyne married Ann Hay in Fraserburgh. In the register of marriages he was recorded as employed as an accountant and residing in the Parish of Strichen.
In the 1881 census William Cheyne's household was recorded at the High Street, Strichen. Those present were William Cheyne (head, age 40, 'Banker's clerk'), Ann Cheyne (wife) and Catherine Cheyne (mother, 'Housekeeper').
William and Ann Cheyne (née Hay) then had three children:
- Catherine Cryle Cheyne, born on 22 December 1881 in Strichen.
- Mary Ann Cheyne on 10 October 1883 in Strichen.
- William Cheyne on 8 January 1886 in Strichen.
William Cheyne and his young family in Strichen are shown below.
Ann Cheyne (née Hay) and William Cheyne with children5
(left to right) Catherine Cryle Cheyne, William Cheyne and Mary Ann Cheyne
William Cheyne's household was recorded in the 1891 census at the Town & County Bank House, Strichen. Those present were William Cheyne (head, age 50, 'Clerk'), Ann Cheyne (wife, 'Clerk's wife'), Catherine C Cheyne (daughter, 'Scholar'), Mary A Cheyne (daughter, 'Scholar'), William Cheyne (son, 'Scholar') and Catherine Cheyne (mother, 'Formerly farmer's wife').
William Cheyne Drapery Shop, 79 High Street
William Cheyne's obituary11 reveals that at about 1894, aged about 53, he moved to Fraserburgh and set up a draper's business in the High Street. According to 'A Walk Down Cross Street and High Street', the 'William Cheyne' business was located at 79 High Street from 1900 to 1935 to be succeeded at the same location by 'Mary Cheyne'.2
His household was recorded in the 1901 census at 77 High Street, Fraserburgh. Those present were William Cheyne (head, age 59, 'Draper'), Ann Cheyne (wife), Catherine C Cheyne (daughter, 'Student (normal)'), Mary A Cheyne (daughter, 'Draper's assistant') and William Cheyne (son, 'Draper - apprentice'). From 1901 to 1935, the family lived at 77 High Street and ran the William Cheyne drapery shop next door, at 79 High Street.
William Cheyne (1841 - 1936), proprietor of 'William Cheyne'
drapery shop, 79 High Street, Fraserburgh5
William Cheyne's household was recorded in the 1911 census still at 77 High Street, Fraserburgh. Those present were William Cheyne (head, age 70, 'Dealer (Draper)', on own account), Ann Cheyne (wife) and Mary A Cheyne (daughter).
With William Cheyne's advancing years it is likely that his children took on more and more of the running of the shop. The photograph below includes the children but not the proprietor himself.
William Cheyne Drapery Shop, 79 High Street, Fraserburgh5
79 High Street - Beyond William Cheyne
By 1935 the business appears to have been transferred to William Cheyne's youngest daughter, Mary Ann Cheyne, as according to 'A Walk Down Cross Street and High Street', the 'William Cheyne' business was succeeded at the same location by 'Mary Cheyne'.2
Ann and William Cheyne5
William Cheyne died on 31 October 1936 at 77 High Street, Fraserburgh of old age; his wife, Ann, having died in 1933. His obituary in November 1936 is shown below.
William Cheyne's Obituary11
William Cheyne's eldest daughter, Catherine Cryle Cheyne, married Arthur Frederic Coffey, in 1908 in Fraserburgh. She was listed in the registration of the marriage as a school teacher. Catherine Cryle Coffey (née Cheyne) was a grandmother of Michael Coffey.
His youngest daughter, Mary Ann Cheyne, continued to run the drapery shop, renamed as 'Mary Cheyne', until she retired in 1949. The premises at 79 High Street then continued as a draper's shop called 'John Jack' from 1949 to 19722.
His son, William Cheyne, married Anna Alberta Stuartson Bell in 1910 and later moved to Canada.
During the period 1901 to 1923 there were two drapers shops in Fraserburgh named 'William Cheyne' and owned by two completely separate families.
The shop at 79 High Street was in business from 1901 to 1935 as 'William Cheyne' under the ownership of William Cheyne (1841 - 1936), and then from 1935 to 1949 as 'Mary Cheyne' under the ownership of his youngest daughter Mary Ann Cheyne.
William Cheyne drapery shop4
William Cheyne drapery shop5
Neil A. Pirie, 2011/12
- 'A Walk Down Broad Street', compiled by David Stephen Rennie, 1997, published by David Stephen Rennie, Fraserburgh, ISBN: 0 9531592 0 5.
- 'A Walk Down Cross Street and High Street', compiled by David Stephen Rennie, 1997, published by David Stephen Rennie, Fraserburgh, ISBN: 0 9531592 1 3.
- Correspondence with Professor Michael D Coffey of Riverside, California and Margaret Holland of Surrey, England. William Cheyne (1841-1936) was their great grandfather.
- Photograph from the album of Margaret Helen Pirie (née Cheyne), courtesy of Ian Alexander Pirie, her son.
- Photograph courtesy of Margaret Holland of Surrey, England.
- Kindly supplied by David Rennie of Fraserburgh.
- Obituary: "Death of Mr William Cheyne, Draper, Fraserburgh", The Fraserburgh Herald and Northern Counties Advertiser, June 23, 1914, page 5.
- "The Late Mr W. Cheyne", The Fraserburgh Advertiser, Fraserburgh, Aberdeenshire (26 June 1914)
- Conversation with Ian Alexander Pirie, son of Margaret Helen Pirie (née Cheyne) and father of Neil Pirie, the author.
- Conversation with Grace Morrison Noble (née Cheyne), daughter of Cummine John Cheyne.
- Kindly supplied by Professor Michael D Coffey.
- Photograph courtesy of Ian Alexander Pirie of Kent, England.
- Family history research of Neil A Pirie of Hampshire, England and Cameron S Pirie of Bedfordshire, England. William Cheyne (1860-1914) was their great grandfather.
- Family history research of Professor Michael D Coffey of Riverside, California and Margaret Holland of Surrey, England. William Cheyne (1841-1936) was their great grandfather.
- Recollections of Michael Gaston of Belfast, Northern Ireland. William Cheyne (1860-1914) was his great grandfather.
Cummine John Cheyne, Cameron S Pirie, Neil A Pirie (the author) and William Watson Cheyne
at 23 Alexandra Terrace, Fraserburgh in 1968 12