My great great aunt Agnes Fox’s scrapbook includes a B/W print of a portrait of Mrs St John Graham by Sir John Lavery RA RSA RHA (1856-1941). I found a catalogue entry for another portrait of Mrs St John Graham:
Her family connections would have reminded the painter of his early years in the west of Scotland. Born Emmie Mary Shuttleworth (1878-1942) she was the eldest of the thirteen children of Allen Thorton Shuttleworth (1839-1915) and Laura Phoebe Shuttleworth (nee Betham, 1855-1926). She married John St John Graham of Carfin in Lanarkshire. There was no issue from the marriage. The Grahams of Carfin were supporters of the Glasgow and South Lanarkshire Clans Association and contributed to Highland Bazaars at St Andrews Halls in Glasgow (Feill a’ Chomuinn Ghaidhealaich). Emmie St John Graham was of the same generation as Lavery’s second wife, and like Hazel Lavery, she sits with the self-confidence of one assured of her place in the world.
Finding this catalogue entry was really useful because there are quite a few Shuttleworth’s included in the Scrapbook. I also found a poem by Agnes dedicated to Emmie:
I have a friend whose heart is true
Through test and trials not a few.
We seldom meet, and yet I know
Her thoughts are white as virgin snow.
She knows the way to heal and bless
And never leaves me comfortless.
Her words are always right and wise,
Her truth is shining in her eyes.
Calm, peace, and patience live with her.
Her quiet courage naught can stir.
Her very soul is steadfastness,
Yet nought exceeds her tenderness.
She always values merriment
And gladsomeness and sweet content.
What will her richest help bestows
On any weeping wrong and woes.
She with a simple kindness brings
A sympathy with wounded things.
She is most beautiful and sweet,
So gracious, womanly, complete.
Her trust and faith in me is strong,
Nor has she ever read me wrong.
Her friendship of our childish years
Has stood through many storms and tears.
Her love and mine is strong and true,
It will not fail a whole life through.
The entry signed Emmie M Graham (above) on July 1906 in Agnes’ scrapbook includes a number of quotes below which end with one of her own “never be afriad to give up your heart and God will give you his better”:
Men could not part us with their worldly jars,
Nor the seas change us, nor the tempest bend;
Our hands would touch for all the mountain bars:(Elizabeth Barrett Browning)
They that love beyond the world cannot be separated by it. Death cannot kill what never dies.
Nor can spirits ever be divided, that love (William Penn)
Mortal! if life smile on thee, and thou find
All to thy mind,
Think, who did once from Heaven to Hell descend,
Thee to befriend:
So shalt thou dare forego, at His dear call,
Thy best, thine all. (John Keble)