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Agnes Moyes

Welfare Supervisor
Birthplace Clackmannanshire Alloa Scotland Date of Birth: March 6, 1872 Date of Death: August 21, 1937


Name of worker at H.M. Factory Gretna (and any other names they are known by) :Agnes Moyes

 Gender: Female
Date and place of birth: 6th March,1872, Alloa, Clackmannanshire
Date and Place of Death: 21st August 1937, Hawthorn Villa, Alloa
Nationality: Scottish
 Childhood: Alloa  in the same house
Parents: Andrew Adam Thomson Moyes and Catherine Norval
Parents occupations: Clerk in distillery/accountant
Schools / universities attended and years of attendance: Not known
Occupation: Welfare supervisor ( on death registration)
Place of residence at Gretna: Not known
Marital status: Single
Children: None
Travels: None to note
Awards/recognitions: None
Positions held: N/A
Trivia / any other information: N/A

Books published (Title, year of publication, publisher):
Books written about the individual or mentioning the individual (Title, year of publication, publisher):


Blogs about the individual:
Websites about the individual:
Further links, notes, and comments:



Agnes Moyes 1872-1937


Agnes Moyes was born on 6th March 1872 to Andrew Adam Thomson Moyes and Catherine /Catharine nee Norval at  Alloa, Clackmannanshire. Agnes was the second of 4 children and seemingly was named after her paternal Grandmother.  

She had an older sister, Catherine/Catharine/Katherine born in 1871, a younger brother John Barclay Norval Moyes born in 1881 and a younger sister Andrina Thomson born in 1887. At the time of Agnes’s birth, her father was 26 and her mother 22. ( 1881 census)

Her parents were both from Dunfermline. They married on 16th July 1869 at the Presbyterian church , Dunfermline according to their marriage registration. They were both the children of Dunfermline grocers. ( Census information) Alexander and Agnes Moyes nee Barclay were green grocers and potato merchants at 2 High Street , Dunfermline. Alexander and Catherine Norval nee Franchnie/Freachnie , were Grocers and spirit dealers on  Bruce Street, Dunfermline. 

At the time of their marriage, her father was described as an accountant on their marriage registration document. According to the 1861 census Andrew A T Moyes was a 16 year old Clerk at a distillery lodging with a family in Gaberston Whins Rd , Alloa.

By the time of the 1881 census he was described as a commercial clerk (distillery).

In 1887 a Post Office Directory lists A A T Moyes Esq. as Vice Chair to the Parochial Council. 


By 1891 , census information places Agnes age 19 and her older sister Catherine , 20 at Ochilview Villa, Alloa. Neither girl has an occupation.

The rest of the family are listed separately at Bass House, Largo, Fife. Andrew, 46, now an accountant, Catherine, 42 , John 10 and Andrina 4 both scholars. A general domestic servant, Euphemia Guthrie aged 13 completed the household. This coincides with the time that Agnes’s father worked for the Carsebridge distillery company as described in his obituary in 1903.

The Alloa Advertiser – Saturday 06 April 1895 published “I THANK you vary muah for your kind aupport at Poll on Tuesday last. Yours faithfully, AND. A. T. MOYES. Hawthorn Villa, Alloa, 4th April, 1895” This is the address that was published for Agnes in the Dornock Farewell .

On the 22nd November 1895 the Alloa Advertiser reports that  A A T Moyes had been elected to the County Council.

At this time , 1895, Valuation Rolls for Alloa list him as owning the following –“ 

Owned and occupied Ochilview Villa , Owned Park House and Land


Owned 25-47 alternate numbers    Park Place – a whole terrace plus land.


In 1901 , the census tells us that they are at 20 Clackmannan Road, Alloa which seems to be described in other documentation at Hawthorn Villa, Andrew is now a Distiller’s Agent, 56, Catherine is 53, Catherine and Agnes, 30 and 29 are single with no occupation listed, John is 20 and a rope manufacturer( probably with the Kinkardine Union Roperie Company) and Andrina is a 14 year old scholar.

The Glasgow Herald, Friday, November 27th., 1903 published an obituary for Agnes’s father which tells us a lot about his life and the sort of family she belonged to. 

“MOYES.- At Hawthorn Villa, Alloa, on the 26th inst., Andrew Adam Thomson Moyes, eldest son of the late Alexander Moyes, High Street, Dunfermline.- Friends kindly accept of this (the only) intimation.- Funeral private.”

…” formerly commanding officer of the 7th Volunteer Battalion Argyle and Sutherland Highlanders, passed away in the 59th year of his age at Hawthorn Villa, Clackmannan Road, Alloa. The deceased, who was a native of Dunfermline, had been in indifferent health for some months, but it was not until Wednesday of last week that his illness assumed a grave aspect. As a lad, Mr Moyes entered on office work at Carsebridge Distillery and for many years he acted as accountant at Carsebridge under the Distillers Company (Limited), and was latterly engaged in the head office in Edinburgh. He was best known in Alloa and district as an enthusiastic Volunteer, having been connected with the movement for about 38 years. For five years he held the appointment of commanding officer, and was very popular with the men. Some three years ago, owing to the age limit, he resigned his commission, and was granted leave to wear the uniform of the battalion and use the title of colonel.”

 “ In the early eighties the late Colonel Moyes was closely associated with social and municipal life of Alloa, and took a leading part in public affairs. He was at one time a Commissioner of Police, a Junior Magistrate under the old regime, and vice-chairman of the old Parochial Board. He was the first chairman of the Parish Council and was at one time a County Councillor. The deceased took a keen interest in sport having been for many years chieftain of Alloa Scottish Games, and hon. president of the Alloa Athletic Football Club.” places his burial at Sunnyside Cemetery , Alloa. His death registration certifies that he died of general paralysis syncope- described on Wikipedia as a general insanity brought on by Syphilis.

The above information is very interesting when set against a timeline of events affecting this family between May and November 1903.

The Edinburgh Gazette May 19th 1901 outlines that the KInkardine Union Roperie Company is to be wound up. It cites, Rope maker John B N Moyes. We also know from other reports that Agnes and John’s Father was the majority shareholder in the company. The solicitor to be appointed to oversee this winding up is Alexander Lees Roxburgh, Alloa.

Aberdeen Press and Journal – Saturday 25 July 1903 along with many other newspapers reported :-

“SCOTTISH BANKRUPTS. (From Last Night’s ” Edinburgh Gazjcttk.”)

Androw Adam Thomson Moyes, Hawthorn Villa, Alloa- Creditors meet in DoweU’s, Edinburgh, on 3rd August, at 3 o’clock. “


Edinburgh Evening News – Tuesday 25 August 1903  “A BANKRUPT WITH A LARGE SURPLUS. In Edinburgh Bankruptcy Court this afternoon before Sheriff-Substitute Dove Wilson, Andrew Adam Thomson Moves, Hawthorn Villa, Alloa, was examined in bankruptcy. Examined S.S.C, brankrupt stated that the first item his assets wae that of £10,000 which was estimated the reversion of his rights the Kincardine Company, which was now in Liquidation. He was the largest shareholder of that company and of the 800 scarce or thereby he held 463. Asked how he came to make up that sum bankrupt said that that was the value the plant, machinery, and shares. Mr Nicholson, solicitor, Edinburgh, who appeared for the bankrupt, said that Moyes was sequestrated owing to the debts due the Roperie Company for was guarantor. That was what had brought him into the Bankruptcy Court. Continuing, bankrupt said tha* altogether he expected sum of £12,000 from the Company, as there were £2000 at the credit of the company whioh were due to The debts which were due the company, said, would more than counterbalance those due the company. After further questions concerning the furniture of the house in Alloa, the examination was adjourned till Mow lay to allow of the bankrupt making fuller statement showing how the various estimated sums were arrived at. statement of affairs showed surplus of £11,980, the assets amounting to £12,177, and the labilities to £197.”

This was a rope company producing Rope, Linen and sails.

At the end of November Andrew died at the age of 59. We must assume that his son, John B N Moyes continued to cooperate in the winding up of the company. An advertisement for the sale of all machinery and all materials manufactured and raw was placed in several papers to take place on 11th January 1905.

At this time Agnes was 33 with her older and younger sisters to support their mother, Hawthorn Villa continues to be referred to in subsequent years therefore they obviously managed financially to maintain it. 


Their mother died on 1st March 1917 aged 68 an announcement in The Glasgow Herald informs us. She is buried alongside her late husband in Sunnyside Cemetery. (Findagrave,com)


At this time Agnes, now aged  45, probably responded to a call to war work at H M Factory Gretna. A new role was created by Lloyd George in 1916 , that of Welfare Supervisor initially created for the Munitions factories. A description of the new role appeared in the press nationwide including The Birmingham Gazette of Tuesday 3rd October 1916. “ A nation becoming the employer and restricting the workpeople , it became responsible for the welfare of the workers and a new profession, that of welfare supervisors had arisen…. Welfare supervisors should respect even a fierce spirit of independence.” They were also “ cautioned against the suspicion with which they would be received by the girls in the factories” Agnes’s death registration tells us that this was her job title. It is reasonable to assume that as she did not work at least up to the age of 32 ( 1901 census) , no record of the 1911 census can be found, that this role was the only one she fulfilled during her lifetime. 

At age 44 in 1916 she will have undertaken the statutory expected training of at least 4 weeks but anything up to 12 months provided by most of the leading universities.

Here we turn back to the rest of the family. As mentioned earlier, her mother died in 1917, whilst she was working at H M Factory Gretna. Andrina, the youngest sister went to live and work in Edinburgh ( various electoral registers). Her older sister Catherine is hard to trace but we know from that in 1902, prior to the bankruptcy proceedings , her brother was a Captain in the 7th Clackmannanshire and Kinross Volunteer , an Instructor of musketeers. In 1901 , Alexander Lees Roxburgh was in the same regiment.

It is unclear why John was not in the regular army during WW1, no confirmed record  can be found.

The Scotsman, Wednesday 2nd July 1919 published a very small death announcement for John Barclay Norval Moyes .

John’s death registration yields tragedy- he died by a “ self inflicted wound to the throat” whilst at 9, Grosvenor Street, Edinburgh. “ Usual residence Hawthorn Villa, Alloa. “ He was 38. The informant stated on the registration is Alex L Roxburgh – “ Intimate Friend” who we know to have been the solicitor from Alloa who had been given the task of winding up the Roperie Company. It is difficult to read John’s occupation but looks like Clerk Highlands and islands commissioner . The record is in the attached file.

On further investigation into valuation rolls, 9 Grosvenor street which now makes up part of the Grosvenor Hilton Hotel in Edinburgh’s West End, was the home of a famous Canon of St John’s Cathedral in 1915. In 1917 after the Canon’s death,  it was a boarding house but still belonging to the church and in 1920 it belonged to St Salvadoras and was overseen by a nurse. So in 1919 when this tragedy occurred it was definitely a lodging of some kind.


All 3 sisters including Agnes benefitted from the £344 and a few pennies left by John. Catherine signing as Katherine. The whole will is in the attached folder – 3 pages.

Listed in the Dornock Farewell Magazine, Agnes moved back to Hawthorn Villa with Catherine. 

Agnes died there on 21st August, 1937 aged 65 , single, of Gastric Carcenoma and her Occupation was described as Welfare Supervisor. ( Scottish death registers)

Her youngest sister Andrina  outlived her, dying in 1966 aged 80 in Edinburgh where she was a retired Civil servant – Labour office.


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