Harry Lauder's Homes
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4 Bridge Street, Portobello, 1870-1871

Henry MacLennan Lauder was born on August 4, 1870 in a little house in Bridge Street, Portobello, a pleasant seaside town several miles east of Edinburgh.

Harry's mother was Isabella Urquhart MacLeod MacLennan. Her father owned the house where Harry was born, although there's some disagreement as to whether Harry was born at number 3 or 4, or if he was born in Bridge Street at all. Harry's father, John Currie Lauder, was employed as an apprentice at a Portobello pottery. 

Harry's parents, were married in the house on Bridge Street on August 26, 1870, a few weeks after Harry's birth!  The marriage registration shows them both residing in Bridge Street at the time of their marriage, presumably at number 3.
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Musselburgh, 1871-1882

Not long after Harry was born the family moved from Portobello to Musselburgh.  Harry, age 5, began his education at a school near the pottery where his father worked.

The Scotland Census of April 2, 1871 has John Lauder (age 20) living with his wife Isabella (age 18) and their son Henry (age 4 months) at 1 Newbigging Veitchs Cottages, Parish of Inveresk (Musselburgh). His occupation is "patter".

By the age of 8 Harry had found part-time work in a local piggery, bringing in a few extra pence each week.  Later he was hired as a caddy at the Musselburgh Golf Course, a job he enjoyed very much.

It appears the Lauders stayed in Musselburgh nearly 10 years, except for a short period spent in Glasgow in 1877 (see Nuneaton Street, directly below). 

Lauder family residences in Musselburgh include "Newbigging Veitchs Cottages", mentioned above, and "Brown's Buildings", the dwelling noted on the 1881 census, recorded when when Harry was 10.
19 Nuneaton Street, Glasgow, 1877-?

Nuneaton Street is just off the London Road in Glasgow. Harry's younger brother George was born at this address on October 12, 1877.

In his book "Ticklin' Talks" (circa 1934) Harry writes:  "When I was a little boy living with my parents in the London Road, Glasgow, I was going out to school one morning just as my dad, returning for his breakfast, brought the news of the great disaster at Blantyre".

The Blantyre mining disaster, the worst ever in Scotland, occurred at 8:45 a.m. on October 22, 1877.  Two hundred and seven miners were killed when "fire-damp", a build-up of gas vapour, resulted in an explosion.

5,556 British miners lost their lives in fire-damp explosions beetwen 1856 and 1878.
Whittington Moor, Chesterfield, Derbyshire, 1882

In 1881 Harry’s father, by now a Master Potter, was offered an excellent position at Pearson’s Pottery in Newbold, a neighbourhood in the north-west part of Chesterfield, Derbyshire. 

"Trade being very dull at home my father left Musselburgh", Harry wrote in his 1907 book "At Home And On Tour".

Some time afterwards the family followed, settling (in Needham's Row?) in nearby Whittington Moor, a Chesterfield neighbourhood near Newbold.  But after a week or two John caught a chill at work and developed pneumonia.  He died a few days later, in April 1882, age 31 or 32. Harry's mother received a £15 insurance payment and buried her husband in the Newbold Churchyard.

On July 17, 1948, Harry Lauder (age 78) visited Newbold Churchyard but failed to locate his father's grave. The Derbyshire Times newspaper reported the following, on July 23rd, 1948:

"How many people recognized a man who on Saturday evening sought a grave under a laburnum tree in Newbold Churchyard, Chesterfield, and later stopped his car in Whittington Moor to try to identify the cottage where he once lived as a boy?".
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Arbroath, Forfarshire, 1882-1884

Following the death of her husband, Isabella Lauder and her eight children returned to Scotland, setting up home in Arbroath where she had relatives.  Harry, age 12, found work in Gordon's Mill as a "half-timer" (he'd attend school on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and work at the mill on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday). Common in the 1800's, this practice was abolished in the 20th century as child labour laws were introduced.
Eddlewood Buildings, Hamilton, 1884-1888?

After residing two years in Arbroath, Isabella's brother Sandy, who was living in Hamilton, suggested the family might find more opportunity there, particularly coal-pit jobs for  In 1884 Isabella and her children left Arbroath and moved to the mining district of western Scotland, near Glasgow.

The family found accommodations in Eddlewood, a neighbourhood on the southern perimeter of Hamilton. Harry, age 14, took a position in Eddlewood Colliery at ten shillings a week ... however, at the end of the first week one of young Harry's co-workers disappeared with his entire wages, never to be seen again.

The Lauder family lived at Eddlewood Buildings "in a wee house the rent of which was three shillings a week".  In 1885 Harry transferred to Cadzow Colliery as a pony driver.  He later worked as a "water-drawer" in Allenton Colliery ... all of this before the age of 16.

Years later, when he was a successful entertainer, Harry used his position and influence to help enact the Mines Industry Act of 1911.  Among other things the legislation improved conditions for pit ponies.
25 John's Street, Hamilton, 1889-1890?

According to biographer William Wallace ("Harry Lauder In The Limelight") the Lauder family lived at this address after Eddlewood Buildings.
32 Portland Square, Hamilton, 1891

This is Harry's address, given to the Registrar on the date of his marriage (Harry and Annie were wed on June 18, 1891). On the registration form Harry's mother is noted as Isabella Millar, apparently having remarried since the death of her first husband, John Lauder, in 1882.

The 1891 Census records Harry (age 21) and his brother Matt (age 20) living as "borders" in the home of John Dempsey (36), coal miner, his wife Anne (35), and their five children: Janet (13), Mary (9), Andrew (7), John (4) and Anne (1).

The census notes that the dwelling has "two rooms with windows".
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8 Ramsay's Buildings, John's Street, Hamilton, 1891-1893?

When he was 19 or 20 Harry took a position at Number 7 Pit in the Quarter, a small coal-mining village near Hamilton.  The mine's manager was Jamie Vallance, father of Annie, age 17, the woman Harry was determined to marry.  Once he'd received Jamie's consent, and a wedding date had been arranged, Harry and Annie began looking for accommodations. 

The mining company had a small house vacant in a "miner's row" in John's Street, Hamilton. Harry and Annie began painting and furnishing their future home, eventually moving in after they were married in June 1891. Three and sixpence in rent was deducted each week from Harry's salary at the mine. 

Their son John Currie Lauder was born at this address on November 19, 1891.
30 Orchard Street, Hamilton, 1893-1894?

According to biographer William Wallace this is the second Hamilton address shared by Harry, Annie and their son John before moving to Glasgow.
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52 Dundas Street, Glasgow, 1894?-1900?

Once Harry began earning steady income as an entertainer his circumstances  By 1893-94 the Lauders had moved from Hamilton to Glasgow, where they were able to afford a rental flat on busy Dundas Street.  Annie and John stayed there while Harry travelled all over Scotland and England, for weeks, even months, at a time.

In his Lauder biography "Great Scot" author William Wallace places the Lauder's flat "on the south side of the Clyde" ... however the only "Dundas Street" in Glasgow, then or now, is on the north side of the river.  According to Lauder himself, the flat was on the "south side of Glasgow", which may refer to the southern most part of the city before crossing the river (?).

In his 1928 autobiography Roamin' In The Gloamin' Harry tells an amusing story about returning home from an out-of-town performance, arriving in Glasgow late at night by train.  He disembarked at the Buchanan Street Station (now demolished) and took a horse-drawn cab to his home in Dundas Street.  Harry had already climbed the stairs to his flat before he realized he'd left his wages in a bag in the cab.  He ran all the way back to the Buchanan Street station where he found the cab driver waiting for his next customer.  Harry was successful in recovering the missing cash. 

The point is, Harry demonstrates that one could actually run from Dundas Street to the former Buchanan Street Station in a few minutes.  Had Harry been living on the south side of the Clyde, it would have been a different matter altogether. 

I'm confident this story establishes that the Lauder's "Dundas Street" flat was, in fact, on the north side of the river.
19? Hamilton Drive, Cambuslang, Glasgow, 1900?-1903

The UK Census of March 31, 1901 places Harry (30), Annie (27) and John (9) in Hamilton Drive, in the Glasgow parish/village of Cambuslang. Harry's occupation is listed as Professional Entertainer.  The census entry notes that the dwelling has "7 windowed rooms". The property is named "Lauderdale", but no street address is mentioned.

Viewing Hamilton Drive on "Google Maps", the street seems to be comprised of large homes on spacious properties, no doubt an indication of Harry's ever-increasing income at the time.

In December 2006 I received an email from a woman now living in Canada, who, as a child in the 1960's and 70's, resided at #19 Hamilton Drive.  Her father told her it had previously been the home of Sir Harry Lauder.
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24 Longley Road (now #46), Tooting, 1903-1911

By 1903 Harry was firmly established as one of the favourites of the London music halls, often playing three or four venues in one night ... sometimes with only a quarter-hour between appearances in theatres a few miles apart. 

As he was now spending much of his professional time in London and environs, it was logical to make London his base of operations. 

In 1903 Harry and Annie purchased Athole House at 24 Longley Road*, Tooting.  It was an attractive detached home with a spacious back garden bordering the rail line.

Annie's brothers Tom and Harry were already living in London, where they served as Harry Lauder's managers, dressers and chauffeurs.  Annie's parents also joined the Lauder family at Athole House to care for young John, as Annie occasionally accompanied Harry on his tours abroad.

Harry sold Athole House in 1911, after which the Bonnington Hotel (92 Southampton Row) became his "residence" during visits to London.  It's there that he received a telegram on January 17, 1917 informing him his son John had been killed in battle in France.  

In addition to the Bonnington, Harry often stayed with his friends Willie Blackwood, Johnny Dewar, or with Tommy Lipton in Southgate.  Although he enjoyed Harry's company, Lipton complained that Harry would "take over" his house, ordering specific meals to be served at specific times, and making ample use of Lipton's cars instead of his own.

*U.S.A. Immigration records for October 3, 1908 show Harry and Nance Lauder arriving in New York, from Liverpool, on the ship Lusitania.  His occupation is listed as "Music Hall Entertainer", while Nance is listed as a "Housewife".  Their stated address is 24 Longley Road, Tooting.
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Laudervale, Bullwood, Dunoon, 1908-1932 or 1934?

limelight-page  /  roamin- pg 181 and 183

Laudervale, a house on the Innelan Road, a few hundred meters south of Bullwood, was purchased by Sir Harry Lauder and his wife from D. C. Gosling on May 20, 1908.

It was originally called Gerhallow House, but the Lauders disliked the name and changed it to "Laudervale" in 1912.

It's while living at Laudervale that Lady Lauder took ill and was sent to a hospital in Glasgow for surgery, possibly the result of complications dating back to John's birth 35 years earlier.

Harry visited his wife at the hospital on the afternoon of July 31, 1927, and found her comfortable and recovering well from her surgery.  He returned to his home near Dunoon later that day, only to learn the next morning that Lady Lauder had suffered a relapse and died the night before.

Following Lady Lauder's death, Harry's niece, Greta (the daughter of his brother Alick), took up residence at Laudervale.  She became Harry's constant companion, caring for him at home and traveling with him abroad. 

Some family members -- then and now -- question whether the arrangement was 100% in Harry's best interest.
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Invernoaden House, Glenbranter, 1916-1922

Harry Lauder may have leased the Glenbranter property as early as 1913-14, but according to Lauder biographer William Wallace, the actual purchase was not completed until November 1916.

Harry purchased the estate from Fitzcharles MacDonald of Strachur.  MacDonald had been very successful in Glasgow, and in 1915 he purchased Carfin Hall, near Motherwell, selling Glenbranterto the Lauders a year later.

Situated near Strachur, the estate included a large manor house, plus a farm with 14,000 acres of sheep pasture and forest.  An island in nearby Loch Eck and other lands (Glenshelish Ballimore, Ballibeg, and Invernoaden) were also included in the sale.

Harry planned on gifting Invernoaden House to his son John and his fiance Mildred Thomson (the daughter of Robert Thomson, who the Lauders had met when they were living in Tooting).  Sadly, John was killed in battle on December 28, 1916, near Poiziers, France.

The following is quoted from Harry Lauder's 1928 autobiography, Roamin' In The Gloamin' ...

"All my life, right up to the time I became one myself, I had envied the landed gentleman with his life of freedom in the open air, his horses, his cattle, his dogs, is fruitful fields.  Don't you believe a word of it.  The picture is all wrong.  I was lucky to get out of Glenbranter with my leather leggings and a haunch of preserved venison!  Fortunately the Forestry Commission of the British Government came along with an offer soon after the war to take over the Glen for afforestation purposes.  With bankruptcy staring me in the face, or at least, shall I say, peering its ugly head around the corner, I accepted the offer.  I might be a good enough comedian, I told myself, but I had proved a rank failure as a prosperous country squire!  Joking apart, however, we would never have left the Glen had John lived".

In December 1921 (according to a New York Times story) the Forestry Commission offered Harry £22,000 for the estate, which he readily accepted.  The Forestry Commission was established in 1919 to manage and replant forests after the First World War (massive amounts of woodland were felled during the 1914-1918 conflict). The commission planted spruce trees in Glenbranter Forest.

The manor house was demolished in 1956.  There is now a car-park where the house once stood, and the surrounding forest contains a popular hiking trail.
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Lauder Ha', Strathaven, 1936-1950

With Lady Lauder gone, Harry found the relative isolation of Laudervale too much to bear.  He was also finding it more difficult to travel from Dunoon to his engagements in Glasgow and elsewhere. Furthermore, it is believed that Greta, Harry's niece and live-in care-giver, had grown tired of Laudervale and wished to be closer to her family.

In March of 1932 Harry purchased the lands of Colinhill, near Strathaven, from John Watson, and commissioned the Hamilton architectural firm of Cullen, Lochhead and Brown to design Lauder Ha'.

Architect Lockhart Hutson produced the design.  The sandstone came from Hamilton Palace, which had been demolished a few years earlier, in 1928.

Construction on Lauder Ha' was completed in 1936 and Harry Lauder settled at Strathaven, where he remained until his death in February 1950.  There he played host to many famous personalities of the day including Laurel and Hardy, Abbott and Costello, Bob Hope, Danny Kaye, Jimmy Durante and Sir Winston Churchill.

Although purchased and maintained by Harry, ownership of Lauder Ha' was registered to his niece Greta to avoid paying duties upon his death. The property remained in Greta's name until her own death in 1966. 

Despite the urging of her solicitors, Greta neglected to transfer ownership of Lauder Ha' to a family member during her own life-time (vindictively, some say).  Instead, in 1968 the house was sold to pay the duties incurred upon Greta's death.