The Bullough family orginated in Westhoughton Lancashire. There is a pedigree of the family on the wall of the library at Kinloch Castle but please note that there are errors and inaccuracies in the original. For example, it states that Bertha Schmidlin’s father was Eduard Emil Schmidlin, when his name was simply Eduard Schmidlin. The marriage of John Bullough with Bertha nee Schmidlin took place in the church in Brienz which was never an English church. The tree is included for interest.
James Bullough was a handloom weaver born about 1799. He embraced the new power looms and moved around the county improving his skills in repairing and refining the machinery until he and his wife Martha nee Smith settled in Baxenden, Accrington with their family. After leasing two weaving mills, James bought into the recently established firm of Howard and Bleakley which then became Howard and Bullough‘s. He trained his third son John to follow him into this business and the firm grew, selling their textile machinery throughout the world. John Bullough continued in the business after his father’s death in 1868, and as he was both excellent technically and also very good at finding and employing good managers, the firm continued to grow. He married Bertha Stephani nee Schmidlin in 1869. Follow the link to read KCFA member Thomas Krebs detailed research on Eduard Schmidlin . Their son George Bullough was born in 1870 and daughter Bertha Bullough in 1872. Their marriage was not happy and Bertha left him in 1880 to return to her parents who had moved to the Hotel Bellevue, Thun, Switzerland. It was here that her son Edward Bullough was born on 28th March 1880. John and Bertha divorced in 1882. The original divorce papers are in the National Archives; this link takes you to a transcription. Bertha wanted custody of daughter Bertha and of baby Edward but was only awarded Edward. It was usual at that time for the father to have custody of the children. John had cited an Albert Nentwig in his divorce counter petition and it is possible John doubted Edward’s paternity.
In 1879 John had started to rent the shooting rights for Rum and in 1883 went on to purchase the Meggernie estate in Glen Lyon, Perthshire. In September 1884 he married Alexandra Marion Mackenzie, the daughter of a Stornoway banker, both giving Meggernie as their usual residence. John gives his age as 46, Alex 19. Son John, always known as Ion, was born in Accrington in 1886 and daughter Gladys Bullough was born at Meggernie in 1888.
But in 1891 John was taken ill in London and he died on the 25th February 1891 aged 54. His remains were brought back to Accrington for interment in the family vault at Christ Church alongside his parents.
George created a Mausoleum at Harris on Rum for John’s remains and these were taken by train and boat to be laid in the sarcophagus there.
John’s will had been made as recently as the December before he died, but was surprisingly poorly drawn up for such as astute businessman. The residue was left between George and Ion with George being left Rum and Ion Meggernie. Edward got no mention at all. At John’s suggestion the firm was made a limited company in 1891 and a public liability company in 1894. The two girls each received a sum of money but the wording was somewhat ambiguous and both later brought court cases to clarify how it should be dealt with. Alexandra was also left a considerable sum of money and although this was reduced should she remarry, it was still very generous.
George enjoyed a time of extensive travelling during which many of the objects in Kinloch Castle were collected. His new yacht, Rhouma, was used as a hospital ship during the Boer War.
George considered that the existing house on Rum was unsuitable and employed architects Leeming and Leeming to design something more imposing. How much he was influenced by his much younger brother’s inheritance of the imposing Meggernie estate we shall never know. The first people to stay in the Castle were convalescents from the Boer War.
On June 24th 1903 in Kinloch Castle, following her divorce from Charles Charrington, George married Monica Charrington, the daughter of Gerard Gustavus Ducarel, the Marquis de la Pasture.
Monica and George began a series of additions and improvements to the castle with Monica supplying the feminine touch which can be seen particularly in the drawing room. The gardens were also of great interest to them and very extensive until the First World War led them to reduce the staff. The number of gardeners was never to be repeated but while again it has been said that the gardeners went off to war and never returned, implying they died on the battlefield, there is no evidence of this and after the war the staffing levels were greatly reduced. Financially things were tighter everywhere than during the lavish pre war days and there was never the same grand parties, although the family still visited regularly and took a keen interest in the welfare of their staff.
Sir George was Master of the Ledbury Hunt for many years until succeeded by his brother, John “Ion” Bullough. Both had homes in Warwickshire.
The Bulloughs had an association with Newmarket which spanned over fifty years. In 1928 they had a house, Warren Hill, built in the town. Following the death of Sir George in 1939, Lady Bullough lived there until her own death in 1967 at the grand age of 98 years.
The family firm, Howard & Bullough Ltd of the Globe Works, Accrington, employed over six thousand people at its zenith. In the 1920’s the Company made many gifts to the local community in Lancashire including its cricket ground and six court tennis complex.