YHS was delighted to receive a copy of Linda Hendry Lennen's recently published book Scotland's Other Royal Family. Linda - of Blythe stock - has used some images from our archive and the end result is a fascinating account from her perspective of the story of some of her ancestors.
The first part covers relatively familiar territory - the various kings and queens from Will Faa to Charles Faa Blythe. Intriguing new material is brought to light in the second half. Firstly, she uncovers the long and fascinating relationship between her great grandmother Jeannie Blythe and the well-known artist Samuel J Peploe. Jeannie sold flowers at the top of Waverley Steps in Edinburgh and it was there that she met Peploe. She modelled for him many times and paintings of her can be found in many galleries around the world - the one below is in Aberdeen Art gallery. Not many people have such vivid images of one of their ancestors. Frustratingly, the family were gifted one of his portraits of her by the artist and it hung of their kitchen for many years - only to disappear at some point! Linda provides a black-and-white copy, but if anyone knows where the original has gone then I am sure Linda would be glad to find out.
The book also includes personal reminiscences of Matthew Kennedy, who led a semi-wandering life in the 20th century. Such a way of life always seems to have been the case, even before Will Faa I moved to Yetholm. It's intriguing that, for example, the court papers relating to Patrick Faa, sentenced to transportation for burning down Bridge End House in Kelso in 1714, show that the family had some sort of settled status in Roxburgh.
For anyone interested, the book is available via Amazon - see HERE - a bargain at £8.99!