Newport Children's Home, Comerton
Deed of Constitution, registered 15th December 1893 and amended 27th March 1907
WE, DAVID CARMICHAEL, Engineer in Dundee, and JOHN SHIELL, Solicitor in Dundee (named JOHN SHIELL, Junior, in the Trust Disposition and Settlement after-mentioned), the surviving Trustees and Executors acting under the Trust Disposition and Settlement executed by Mrs CHRISTINA ROBSON or CURR, who resided at the Stannergate, near Dundee, widow of the late WILLIAM CURR, sometime merchant in Dundee, dated the third day of September, Eighteen hundred and seventy-two, and along with two relative Codicils dated respec¬tively the seventh day of February and the seventh day of August, Eighteen hundred and seventy-three, recorded in the Books of Council and Session the first day of January, Eighteen hundred and seventy-nine : WHEREAS at a Public Meeting held at Newport on fifteenth January, Eighteen hundred and ninety-one, for the purpose of inaugurating an Institution for the benefit of Poor Children belonging to Dundee and neighbourhood, and belonging to Newport, Fifeshire, and the vicinity thereof, to be called "The Newport Children's Home," at which there was a large attendance of persons connected with Dundee and neighbourhood, and of the inhabitants of Newport and neighbourhood, when the Chief Magistrate, ALEXANDER SCOTT, occupied the chair, and called upon the Reverend THOMAS WILLIAM HODGE, who gave an outline of the proposed scheme, which was supported by JOHN WATSON SHEPHERD, merchant, Dundee, and residing in Newport, and by JOHN LENG, proprietor of the Dundee Advertiser, and one of the Members of Parliament for Dundee, who also resides in Newport, and who proposed the election of Office-Bearers for the proposed Institution, and whose motion was seconded by Mr EDWARD MOIR, Manufacturer, Dundee, and residing at Craighead Villa, Tayport Road, Newport, and which motion was carried unanimously ; AND WHEREAS the Committee of Management hereinafter nominated for carrying out the objects of the present Institution have had considerable difficulty in obtaining a suitable building for the purposes of the Institution, but have now secured Comerton House, situated to the south of Newport, which will in every respect be a suitable house for the Institution, and have now applied to us, the said Trustees and Executors of the said Mrs CHRISTINA ROBSON or CURR, for a donation from the Trust Funds under our management of such a sum as will enable the said Committee to purchase said house ; AND WHEREAS, WE, the said Trustees and Executors, have resolved to set aside and pay over to the said Committee of Management out of the free Residue of the Trust Estate which we are directed by the said Trust Disposition and Settlement to pay and apply for such charitable and benevolent purposes as we may from time to time fix and determine, a sum of Seven hundred pounds, to enable the said Committee to acquire Comerton House, and the garden ground and cottages thereto belonging, for the said Children's Home; AND WHEREAS it is proper that the said purposes should be carried out by the present Deed of Constitution ; Therefore we, the said Trustees and Executors of the said late Mrs CHRISTINA ROBSON or CURR, do hereby declare, enact, and ordain the following Rules as the basis and Constitution of the said Institution :-
I. The said Institution shall be called "The Newport Children's Home."
II. The objects of the Institution shall be to provide, free of expense, rest and change for the poor or convalescent children of Dundee and neighbourhood, including Newport and the vicinity thereof.
III. The said Trustees and Executors and donors of not less than ten pounds shall be Life Members, and contributors of not less than one half-guinea per annum shall be Annual Members of the said Institution. Bequests shall also entitle the Executors to be Life Members in proportion of one Life Member for each fifty pounds, and when the Legacy amounts to one thousand pounds each Executor shall be a Life Member.
IV. The property of the Institution shall be vested in the said JOHN LENG, now Sir JOHN LENG; EDWARD COX of Cardean, Merchant, Dundee ; the said JOHN WATSON SHEPHERD ; WILLIAM THOMSON, Junior, Shipowner, Dundee, and residing at Lyndhurst, Newport ; and the said JOHN SHIELL, and the survivors and survivor of them, and such others as they and their successors may from time to time assume into the Trust, who shall hold the same to and for the purposes of the said Institution.
V. The general management of the said Institution shall be vested in a Board composed of a President, four Vice-Presidents, a Secretary, and a Treasurer, who shall be chosen annually, and a Committee of fifteen persons elected from the Members of the Institution, all hereinafter called the Board, of whom one-third shall retire from office annually, but shall be eligible for re-election. Three Members of the Board shall be a quorum. The order in which the Members of the Board at the end of the first two years shall retire shall be determined by ballot in the Board ; subsequently they shall retire by rotation. All vacancies in the Board shall be filled up ad interim, by the remanent Members until the General Meeting of Members next ensuing, when such vacancies shall be filled up by the Meeting. Directors appointed to fill vacancies occurring out of the ordinary rotation shall retire from office at the time when the Directors whose places they fill would have retired in the ordinary course of rotation.
VI. The first President, Vice-Presidents, Secretary, Treasurer, and other Members of Committee, shall be as follows :-The Reverend Thomas William Hodge, B.A., Congregational Minister, Newport, President. The said Sir John Leng ; William Young Blyth-Martin, residing at Blyth House, Newport ; the said John Watson Shepherd ; and the Reverend Samuel Baggaley Hodson, Episcopal Clergyman, residing at Struan Place, Newport, Vice-Presidents. William Kinnear Brown, Bank Clerk, Dundee, and residing at Clinton Cottage, Newport, Secretary. William Borwick Morrison, Merchant, Dundee, and residing at Kilnburn House, Newport, Treasurer. Mrs Isabella Smith or Bain, wife of William Bain, Clerk, Dundee, and residing at Bellevue Terrace, Newport ; Mrs Elizabeth Law or Low, wife of John Campbell Low, Merchant in Dundee, and residing at Sunnybank Cottage, Newport ; Mrs Anne Spink or Moir, wife of the said Edward Moir; Mrs Maggie Henry Murray or Robertson, wife of David H. Robertson, Draper, residing at Kilnburn Place, Newport ; Miss Jessie Wannan Donaldson, residing at Crescent Bank, Newport ; Miss Elizabeth Blanche Leng, residing at Kinbrae, Newport ; Miss Margaret Halley Scott, residing at Duncraig, Newport ; Miss Lydia Sievwright, residing at Eifer Lodge, Newport ; David Brand, Banker, Dundee, residing at Bay House, Newport ; Thomas Houston Fraser, Insurance Agent, Dundee, residing at Youngsdale Place, Newport ; David Paterson May, Merchant, Dundee, and residing at Inglewood, Newport ; James Morton, Clothier, Dundee, and residing at Darvel Lodge, Newport ; David Ritchie, Merchant., Dundee, and residing at Anerley Villa, Newport ; John Lornie Sievwright, Stockbroker, Dundee, and residing at Craiglea, Newport ; and the said William Thomson, Junior ; the remanent Members of Committee, and they shall all continue in office until the Annual Meeting in February or March, Eighteen hundred and ninety-four, which shall be held to be the first year's tenure of office.
VII. The General Meetings of the Members of the Institution shall be held at such times and at such places as the Board shall determine, and there shall be an Annual General Meeting on such day in the month of February or March as the Board shall fix, at which the Audited Accounts shall be presented as after-mentioned, and the proceedings of the Board during the past year reported and vacancies filled up ; and it shall be incumbent to call a Special General Meeting on receiving a requisition to that effect, signed by not less than Five Members, and Three shall be a quorum at any such Meetings.
VIII. The Board shall have power to purchase Comerton House, to purchase suitable furniture for the same ; and they shall have power, with the consent of the Trustees, to alter or add to the buildings or furniture.
IX. The Board shall have full power to frame Rules for the government of the Institution, provided the same be not inconsistent with the Constitution, or with the Constitution as the same may be competently added to, altered, or amended in terms hereof.
X. The Board shall meet once a quarter, or oftener if required, with full power to conduct the business of the Institution, recording their proceedings in a Minute-Book, and to appoint Sub-Committees (specifying their precise duties), either selected from their own number or from the Members of the Institution generally, as may from time to time be deemed necessary for the furtherance of the Institution.
XI. The Endowment Fund, if any, and all other funds belonging to the Institution, over and above the funds required for a working balance, shall, in so far as not already laid out, be laid out and invested in the purchase of such Public Funds, Stocks, Securities, Annuities, Feu Duties, Ground Annuals, and others, and in lending on the securities of such Stocks, Funds, or other property as from time to time may be authorised by Acts of Parliament as legal investments for gratuitous Trustees, and in the purchase of heritable property in Scotland, or in the Stock or Securities of the Government of India or of any British Colony or Dependency, or in the purchase of the Stocks or Shares. Ordinary or Guaranteed, or Lien or Debenture or Preference, of any Railway or other Public ur Incorporated Company carrying on business in Great Britain or India, or in any British Colony or Dependency, or in the United States of America, or on the security of the Bonds, Mortgages, or Debentures of any such Company, or the Bonds or Stock or other Securities of any Municipal Corporation or Local or Harbour Authority or other public body in Great Britain or in any British Colony or Dependency ; and the Board shall have power, with consent of the Trustees, to apply such funds or any part thereof, other than the Endowment Fund, as may be required for the general purposes of the Institution, but so long as not so applied the income derived from these funds shall firm part of the income of the Institution ; and the Trustees shall also have power to sell the said Funds, Investments, and property, heritable or moveable, or any part thereof, by public roup or private bargain.
XII. The Directors and Trustees of the Institution shall be indemnified out of the Funds of Institution from all personal liability arising from the execution of their office.
XIII. The Accounts of the Institution shall be balanced on the thirty-first day of December in each year, and the Balance-Sheet shall be audited by a professional Accountant. Salaries and all the financial details in the General Management of the Institution shall be annually revised by the Board, and no alteration in the established mode of keeping the Accounts shall be introduced without an express Minute of the Board to that effect.
XIV. At the Annual General Meeting of Members in the month of February or March of each year the Accounts of the Receipts and Expenditure of the Institution for the preceding year, attested by the professional Accountant and signed by the Treasurer, shall be presented and approved with or without alterations as to the Meeting may seem proper.
XV. In case at any time it shall appear to the Board that the ground and buildings belonging to the Institution for the time are inadequate and not suited to the purposes of the Institution, and that it is expedient to sell or let the same and purchase other buildings for the purposes of the Institution, and failing this to purchase ground and erect thereon buildings for the use of the Institution, then it shall be competent to the Board to submit to an Annual General Meeting of the Members a proposition to that effect; and in case the said proposition shall be entertained by two-thirds in number of Members present in person or by proxy at such Meeting, then a Special General Meeting of Members shall be called upon thirty days' notice, inserted at least four times in one at least of the Newspapers circulating in the City of Dundee and neighbourhood, and also by circular sent to each of the Members whose addresses are known to the Secretary setting forth the purpose of the Meeting; and it shall be lawful to the said Meeting, upon the vote of two-thirds of the Members present personally or by proxy, to sell or let on lease the ground and buildings of the Institution, and to acquire other ground and erect other buildings, and to remit to the Board to carry the resolution into effect, with power to call upon the Trustees then vested in the ground and buildings to grant and execute all Deeds needful to carry into effect such resolution, the Titles of the new ground and buildings so to be acquired and erected shall be taken to the same Trustees, and be subject to the like Trusts as the ground and buildings so to be sold or let shall at the time be held.
XVI. In the event of the Institution being unable to maintain all or any of their buildings in consequence of insufficiency of Income, diminution in the number of its Members, or any other cause, then the Board shall obtain the authority of the Trustees, and also the authority of the Institution in the manner provided in the immediately preceding Article, to sell the ground and buildings of the Institution, and shall then have power to sell the same, and to call upon the Trustees to grant and execute all Deeds needful to carry through the said sale, and the price received therefrom, under deduction of the expenses of and incidental to the sale, shall be held by the Trustees in Trust as part of the Endowment Fund ; and the income derived therefrom shall form part of the Income of the Institution, which Income shall be applied for the benefit of poor and convalescent children of Dundee and neighbourhood, including Newport and the vicinity thereof; in such manner as the Board may think right.
XVII. The first six Articles or Rules, and the Articles or Rules XV. and XVI. of the foregoing Constitution, shall in no way be added to or amended, and as the remaining Articles or Rules of this Constitution the same shall not be added to, altered, or amended unless by a resolution of two-thirds of those present at an Annual General Meeting of Members, or at a Special General Meeting duly convened upon thirty days' notice, inserted at least four times in one of the newspapers circulating in the City of Dundee and neighbourhood.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF these presents, written by James Fettes, Clerk to Shiell & Small, Solicitors, Dundee, are subscribed by us, the said David Carmichael and John Shiell, as Trustees and Executors of the said Mrs Christina Robson or Curr, and by the said Members of Committee of the said Institution, all as follows, viz. :- By the said Sir John Leng at Dundee, on the second day of November, in the year Eighteen hundred and ninety-three, before these Witnesses- William Arnot Watterston and James Melville M'Wee, both Clerks to the said Shiell & Small ; by the said Thomas William Hodge, John Watson Shepherd, Samuel Baggaley Hodson, William Kinnear Brown, William Borwick Morrison, Mrs Anne Spink or Moir, Mrs Maggie Henry Murray or Robertson, Jessie Wannan Donaldson, Margaret Halley Scott, Lydia Sievwright, David Brand, Thomas Houston Fraser, David Paterson May, John Lornie Sievwright, and William Thomson, Junior- all at Newport aforesaid, on the seventh day of the said month of November and year last above-mentioned, before these Witnesses- James Young, Baker, Newport, afore-mentioned, and Sarah Hannah Stead, Matron of said Institution ; by the said Mrs Isabella (otherwise Bella) Smith or Bain, Mrs Elizabeth Law or Low, Elizabeth Blanche Leng, and James Morton, all at Dundee, on the tenth day of the month of November and year last above-mentioned, before these Witnesses -the said James Fettes and William Ewart, Clerk to the said Shiell & Small ; by the said William Young Blyth-Martin and David Ritchie, both at Dundee, on the fifteenth day of the said month of November and year last above-mentioned, before these Witnesses- James Reid-Blair, Solicitor, Dundee, and John Millar, Clerk to the said Shiell & Small ; and by us the said David Carmichael and John Shiell, both at Dundee, on the twentieth day of the said month of November and year last above-mentioned, before these Witnesses- David Low Carmichael, Cashier, and Charles William Carmichael, Engineer, both at Ward Foundry, Dundee. (Signed) David Carmichael, John Leng, S. B. Hodson, Bella S. Bain, Maggie H. Robertson, T. H. Fraser, David Ritchie, John Shiell, W. Y. Blyth-Martin, William K. Brown, Elizabeth Low, Jessie W. Donaldson, Lydia Sievwright, D. P. May, J. L. Sievwright, T. W. Hodge, John W. Shepherd, W. B. Morrison, Anne S. Moir, M. H. Scott, David Brand, Elizabeth B. Leng, William Thomson, Junior, James Morton. D. L. Carmichael, Witness ; C. W. Carmichael, Witness ; W. Arnot Watterston, Witness ; James M. M'Wee, Witness; James Young, Witness; S. H. Stead, Witness ; James Fettes, Witness ; William Ewart, Witness ; James R. Blair, Witness ; John Millar, Witness.
Information from the Dundee Directory - sample entries are given below:
From the Dundee Directory 1901-02, p. 100
NEWPORT CHILDREN'S HOME, Comerton, by Leuchars, Fife.
Hon. President, Sir John Leng, M.P. ; President, John W. Shepherd; Vice-Presidents, Provost Thomson, W. Y. Blyth Martin, Rev. S. B. Hodson, Alex. Scott ; Trustees, Sir John Leng, M.P., Edward Cox, William Thomson, John W. Shepherd ; Committee, Mrs J. C. Low, Miss Moir, Mrs D. H. Robertson, Mrs Daniel Lawson, Miss B. Cunningham, Miss Leng, Miss Etta Johnston, Miss MacLeod, Rev. F. J. Rae, T. H. Fraser, David Brand, P. F. Husband, Daniel S. Smith, J. L. Sievwright, William Thomson ; Treasurer, William Bain ; Secretary, A. Scott Fithie, Beechwood, Newport ; Matron, Miss Mary Sturrock ; Medical Referee, Dr Stewart.
From the Dundee Directory 1911-12, p. 111
NEWPORT CHILDREN'S HOME, Comerton, by Leuchars, Fife.
Hon. President, William C. Leng; President, J. W. Shepherd; Vice-Presidents, Rev. S. B. Hodson, John A. Leng, Rev. W. Wood, Harry Walker; Trustees, Edward Cox, William Thomson, J. W. Shepherd; Committee, Miss Cunningham, Miss MacLeod, Mrs J. C. Low, Miss Moir, Miss Etta Johnston, Mrs Daniel Lawson, Mrs D. H. Robertson, Mrs R. C. Walker, Rev. Thomas Munn, Wm. Thomson, Daniel S. Smith, J. O. Adams, James Husband, John Ferguson, Wm. Bain ; Hon. Treasurer, F. E. Scott ; Hon. Secretary, James G. Cram, 3 Prospect terrace, East Newport ; Matron, Miss Janet B. Corr ; Medical Referee, Dr Stewart.
From the Dundee Directory 1922-23, p. 106:
NEWPORT CHILDREN'S HOME, Comerton, by Leuchars, Fife.
Hon. President, William C. Leng; President, John C. Low; Vice-Presidents, F. E. Scott, John A. Leng, Wm. Thomson, John W. Shepherd ; Trustees, W. C. Leng, J. W. Shepherd, J. C. Low, S. M. Falconer, E. Behrens, D. D. M'Pherson ; Committee, Miss Cunningham, Miss MacLeod, Mrs J. C. Low, Miss Moir, Miss Etta Johnston, Mrs Daniel Lawson, Mrs A. L. Brown, Rev. H. F. Frame, J. J. Lowson, Daniel S, Smith, G. L. Wilson, James Husband, S. M. Falconer, Wm. Bain ; Hon. Treasurer, E. Behrens; Hon. Secretary, D. D. M'Pherson, Seacraig, Tayport road, Newport; Matron, Mrs Jas. Fraser; Superintendent, Jas. Fraser; Medical Referee, Dr Stewart.
From the Dundee Directory 1941-42, p. 107:
NEWPORT CHILDREN'S HOME, Comerton, by Leuchars, Fife.
Hon. President, William C. Leng ; President, John C. Low ; Vice-Presidents, J. Meldrum Smith, S. M. Falconer, Miss Macleod; Trustees, W. C. Leng, J. C. Low, S. M. Falconer, E. Behrens ; Committee, Mrs A. S. Lowson, Mrs J. M. Smith, Miss Walker, Mrs Whalley, Mrs A. E. Brown, Mrs D. H. Brackenridge, Mrs William Ramsay, Rev. L. G. Seager, J. J. Lowson, J. M. Smith, E. Behrens, W. B. Edward, Rev. F. S. Maclntyre, Rev. J. S. Mutch; Hon. Treas., Thos. R. Currie, Clydesdale Bank, Newport; Hon. Secy., John Dunn, Rowanbank, Wormit; Matron, Mrs Wm. Kirkland; Superintendent, Wm. Kirkland ; Medical Referee, Dr Taylor.
Comerton is in Leuchars parish, so the census entries are not included on this site. However, the 1901 census lists only domestic staff, the 1911 census lists domestic staff and 13 inmates, and the 1921 census lists domestic staff and 17 inmates.
The home was closed in the 1960s and the location of any records is unknown.
Sketch : Dundee Courier, 13 May 1893 British Newspaper Archive
See also the blog Not In My Back Yard.
More information on the Children"s Homes site.
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