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Allan Macpherson (1818–1891)

We record with much regret the death of Mr Allan Macpherson of Blairgowrie, which took place at Blairgowrie House yesterday evening at half-past six o’clock.

Mr Macpherson and several other members of the household were seized with influenza some time ago, and in his case complications followed, which rendered his condition critical by about the middle of this week. On Wednesday his medial adviser, Dr C. S. Lunan, had a consultation with Dr Balfour, Edinburgh, who remained with him over night.

It was evident however, that extremely little hope of his recovery could be entertained, and he continued to become weaker till last night when he passed peacefully away in presence of several members of his family. The deceased gentleman was born in 1818 at Blairgowrie House. His father was William Macpherson, proprietor of Blairgowrie, and his grandfather, Colonel Allan Macpherson, of the East India Company’s Civil Service, who was descended from Cluny Macpherson, Chief of the Clan, and acquired the estate of Blairgowrie upwards of 100 years ago. His mother was the daughter of Mr William Chalmers of Glenericht, and sister of General Sir William Chalmers.

About 1828, Allan Macpherson went to New South Wales with his father, who held a Government appointment there, and he received his education in that colony.

He came home in 1851 and returned in 1856 to New South Wales where he resided for many years. Being repeatedly elected representative of one of the divisions of the colony as a member of the Legislative Assembly, he took a leading part in the proceedings of that body, and in after years he recalled with pleasure the more exciting events of his early political career.

In 1866 he became proprietor of Blairgowrie by the death of his father, who was buried in Sydney and to whose memory a beautiful and costly memorial window was erected in the church of which he was a leading member.

Since 1869, Mr Allan Macpherson has resided at Blairgowrie House, bringing the business experience he had acquired abroad to bear on the management of his property and on public affairs, in which he took an active part. He was a Justice of the Peace and a Deputy Lieutenant for Perthshire, and acted upon nearly all the executive Committees of the County of Perth. For a number of years he was Chairman of the Eastern District Road Trustees. On the Local Government Act coming into force, he was elected a member of the County Council. He has been Chairman of Blairgowrie Parochial Board ever since he came to reside at Blairgowrie, and for a period of three years he was Chairman of the School Board of the parish. In all of these public capacities he spared no pains in performing the duties entrusted to him. He expressed his views with clearness and vigour, and gave his opinion or vote with unflinching courage for the course he deemed right, whether it might happen to be popular or otherwise.

In politics he was formerly a Liberal, but latterly he became associated with the Conservative party, though on many points he continued decidedly in favour of reform.

In religious matters while respecting the sincere feelings of people of other views, he was a devoted member of the Episcopal Church.

Mr Macpherson married in 1853 Miss Blake, daughter of Mr C. H. Blake of Kensington Gardens, Nottinghill, London. He is survived by her, and by five sons and two daughters. Their sons are – William, of the Indian Civil Service (who was lately home with his family on a visit, and is now on his way back to resume official duty); Alan, a barrister in London; Charles, a member of a mercantile firm in India; George, an officer in the British Army; and Ewan, an advocate in Edinburgh. The elder daughter is married to Mr Wise of Rostellan, Ireland, and the younger resides at Blairgowrie House. Much sympathy will be felt with the family in their unexpected bereavement.

As a landlord Mr Macpherson maintained with scrupulous exactness his legal rights believing that a bargain deliberately entered into was not to be lightly broken; but he was equally scrupulous of the legal rights of others; and when he saw real hardship that he could alleviate, he spared neither his sympathy nor his purse. While he was constitutionally somewhat irritable under provocation he had a kindly heart beneath it all. Those who came much into contact with him noticed that his nature seemed becoming finer and mellower, with advancing years; and many in Blairgowrie and elsewhere will cherish a kindly recollection of Allan Macpherson of Blairgowrie.

It will be observed that all friends are invited to the funeral of Mr Macpherson, which takes place on Wednesday afternoon.

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'Macpherson, Allan (1818–1891)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 April 2024.

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