Lauchlan Macpherson was the janitor, and from 1862 the Bedellus, of the University of Glasgow from 1853 until his death in 1899.
His great great grandson, Duncan Macpherson, visited our searchroom last month to find out more about his role at the University and also to share some family photographs and documents with us.
Duncan was able to look through the senate minutes to find out about the duties and appointment of the University Bedellus and we were able to retrieve some letters written by Lauchlan concerning his position and wages. We even managed to find Lauchlan Macpherson’s own copy of the University Calendar from the session 1873-74 as he had written his name on the front cover.
The Bedellus of the University had an important role in the care and the upkeep of the buildings and the welfare of the students. He was to be “in perpetual and watchful attendance at the College Gate, day and night” and attend to the heating of College (later University) buildings. Other duties involved, “as Bedellus: Warns Examiners of Time and Place of Examination”, “Carries Diplomas to Professors for Signature”, and “Carries the Mace in Processions”. (GUA4621)
Duncan was very pleased to see the original documents concerning his great great grandfather’s employment here and he came back last week to do some further research into where Lauchlan lived in the University. We were also delighted to receive some more information and family photographs that Duncan allowed us to scan.
The Macpherson family also have a long history of studying at the University. Lauchlan Macpherson’s son John became a student in 1872, graduating with an MA, and since then five generations of the family have studied here, most recently Duncan’s son who graduated with BEng.
Categories: Archive Services (GUAS)