Rankine, Charles Henry (1864-1930)

Before her death in 1991 my mother had been in contact with her cousin Joyce in Australia and had passed on this bit of family history in the 80s

After the death of his wife, Louisa in 1828, my mother's grandfather, Adam, left his home in London and moved in with his daughter-in-law, my grandmother, and her two children in Longtown, Cumberland. Sometime after this and before Adam's death in in 1936, they received a visit from my mother's 'Uncle Charles', mother wrote that she liked him and that he wasn't really an uncle but the son of Adam's first wife Caroline Haager a Danish widow.

Both Joyce's daughter and my niece had tried to find Charles without success so he remained a mystery until I managed to unearth him in 2009.

Born circa 1864, Charles was the son of Caroline Haager, daughter of one Gottlob Haager of Oehringen, Wirtemberg in Germany. Caroline married Adam Rankine, Inspector of Schools in 1873. At this time she gave her status as spinster. Unfortunately Caroline died on the 28th April 1878 and nothing more is known about her or her family, so we're not even sure of her nationality.

In the census of 1881 he is shown as a boarder living at 43, Cecil Street in Hillhead, Glasgow when he is described as a Student of Arts. In 1888 he graduated M. A. from Glasgow University and entered the teaching profession, teaching in Bellahouston Academy, Polmadie Public School and the High School, Falkirk before joining His Majesty's Inspectorate of Schools.

In 1892 he married Janet Paton Arbuckle, 24, daughter of Thomas Arbuckle, Cork Manufacturer of Glasgow. Interestingly Charles gives his father as Adam Rankine, was he or wasn't he?, as I can't find a birth certificate, I don't know. He was living in Broughty Ferry in Fife and his occupation is Inspector of Schools.

In the National Archives of Scotland I found a fascinating series of correspondence dealing with Charles. The first series of letters were part of a correspondence regarding the inspection of schools in Orkney and Shetland between their Lordships at the Education Dept in Edinburgh and H.M.I. in Aberdeen.

It appears that there had been a complaint from the Islands that they weren't getting enough Inspector time, Therefore the Education Dept in Edinburgh asked for the Aberdeen Inspectorate's plans for inspections in the islands. At the time there were 59 schools in Orkney and 62 in Shetland to inspect. There follows correspondence outlining first the plans, then reports of the Inspections including such gems as to why a fishing smack had to be hired, why an inspector could not visit more that one school in a day etc. There is also a mention of the fact that the previous century all Inspectors traveled to and around the Islands by Royal Navy Gunboat!!!.
The upshot of it all is that Mr.Rankine is appointed Inspector of Schools for Kincardine and Shetland in 1904. As part of his duties he is to spend at least a couple of months in Shetland at the beginning of each year with a further visit in company with the Senior Inspector later on.

The second short series of correspondence is between Charles and Their Lordships in Edinburgh in the latter part of World War I in which he basically says - if you want your schools in Shetland inspected then you'd better get the Navy to transport me as there have been ships torpedoed recently and I'm not happy about it. This is eventually agreed to.

By 1907 Charles and family wre established in Aberdeen first at 213, Forest Avenue, then 7, Fountainhall Road and finally 7, Kings Gate. He continued to inspect the schools of Kincardineshire and Shetland until he retired in 1928, but only enjoyed 2 years of leisure before he died in 1930.

He was obviously loved and respected by his collegues and those in the education sphere.

His obituary in the Press & Journal of Oct 4th 1930 reads.

Death of Mr.C.H.Rankine
Former Inspector of Schools
Well known in North of Scotland
A figure highly esteemed in Educational circles in the most North Part of Scotland has been removed by the death, which took place yesterday in an Aberdeen Nursing Home, of Mr Charles Henry Rankine, retired Inspector of Schools.
Mr Rankine who was 66 years of age, had been bad health for some months.
A graduate of Glasgow University, Mr.Rankine entered the teaching profession on completion of his training, but his marked abilities in Administration as well as in scholarship soon earned a post in the Inspectorate.
He held appointments in various areas in the south, and in 1904 he was appointed Inspector of Schools for Kincardineshire and Shetland, a position from which he retired after a quarter of century's devoted service in March last year. He was an Inspector for thirty-eight years and thus enjoyed a retirement of less than 2 years.

Warm Tributes
On his retirement, Mr.Rankine was presented with gifts of appreciation from the Education Authorities and teachers of both Kincardineshire and of Shetland, and the warmest of tributes were paid to his work for the educational system and the teachers whom he had been ever ready to advise and to encourage.
Mr.Rankine's interest in Education were not confined to his duties as Inspector and in Shetland in particular he became identified with all its branches. Mathematics was his special study.
For the past few years, Mr.Rankine has resided with his family of two daughters and one son at 7,Kings Gate, Aberdeen. He is also survived by his widow.

A further article appeared in the Press & Journal of Oct 8th 1930

Teachers Pay Last Tribute
Funeral of Mr Charles H Rankine

Many members of the teaching profession in the North East attended the funeral of Mr Charles Henry Rankine, retired H.M.I.S. from 7,Kings Gate, Aberdeen to Springbank Cemetery, yesterday afternoon. The Services and Pall Bearers were: Mr.Charles Rankine (son), Mr william Craig (brother-in-law), Mr.A.H.Hutt, Mr J.Moffat H.M.I.S., Mr.A.M'Donald retired H.M.I.S., Mr. F.R.S. Walker, H.M.I.S., Baillie Thomson, Stonehaven; Mr.J.Menzies, retired headmaster Banchory.

The Company
Among the general Company of mourners were : Prof.A.C.Morison, Dr.J.McDonald former Director of Education for Aberdeenshire: Dr.W.L.Marr, Mr.James Goodwillie lecturer in Mathematics at Aberdeen University: Mr William Gilmour, Struma, Culter: Mr.C.Inness, Fetterresso; Mr.A. Guillet, Banchory, Mr.W.R.Bain, Nigg, Mr.Oliver, Sutherland, retired Headmasters; Mr.Gillies, Cults; Mr.James G. Bissett, bookseller; Mr.W.M.Sellar, Advocate; Mr.A.Cruikshank, 4, Queens Gate; Mr.Allison, Foutainhall Road.

Charles left behind his wife
Janet Paton Rankine née Arbuckle moved to 84, Fountainhall Road where she died in 1944.
Agnes Craig Rankine b.1893, Monifieth, Angus d. 1939, Aberdeen
Muriel Edith Rankine b. 1903 Monifeith, Angus d, 1991, Aberdeen
Charles Adam Rankine b. 1912, Aberdeen d. 1986, Stirliing.

There was also another daughter
Caroline Louisa Rankine b. 1900, Broughty Ferry, Angus d. 1910. Aberdeen

The entire family, except Charles Adam are buried in Springbank Cemetery , Aberdeen.