Return to Subscriber listings and search...

Walter Shepherd Esquire

Walter Shepherd was 26 years old when he came to Dundee in 1862. He entered into partnership with John Thomson and Henry Briggs at Seafield Works. Plans for the building of the Albert Institute would have been ongoing at this time.

Subscription value in 1863:


Relative to inflation up to 2024:


Relative to income compared to 2024:


Click Image to Enlarge

Personal details and history

Full name

Walter Shepherd

Date of birth


Place of birth




Marital status

Married - 03-07-1861 in Bradford[2]

Name of spouse

1. Mary Mitchell:[2] 2. Emma Von Krogh:[3]


Hildegarde (b1862): Agatha (b1863, d1864): Arthur(b1865): Madeline H (b1866): Philip (b1868): Edith (b1869-d1870)): Herbert H (b1871): Edward A(1875): Godfrey D B (b1874): + 4 other daughters[4]

Home address

West Riding Prison (1841 - 1861) - Father was Governor of the prison (West Riding House of Correction).[5][2]

Airlie Place (1862-1865)[6]

Union Mount (1865 -1904)[7][8]
Perth Road

Woodbrae (1904-1913)[8][9]

Age at death:

76 years[9]

Place of death:

Woodbrae, Dunkeld[9]

Date of death:



Western Cemetery, Perth Road, Dundee. Section X Lair27.[10][11]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Episcopalian - Associated with St Paul's Cathedral Church and described as a devoted member of the Episcopal Church[12]

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

Dundee Sick Poor Nursing Society - a President:[14] Dundee Social Union - a Supporter:[14] Dundee Day Nurseries - a Supporter:[14] St Andrew's Ambulance Association (Dundee Centre) - a Vice President:[14] St Paul's Cathedral Church - a Vestry member:[14] Acted as member of Brechin Diocesan Council[15]

Public offices

Justice of the Peace for the County of Forfarshire and for Dundee:[14] President of Chamber of Commerce(1889):[16][14] Dundee Royal Infirmary - President for a term and also a member of the Committee of Management:[14] Brechin Diocesan Council - acted as Secretary for many years:[14] Lady Jane Ogilvy Orphanage - a Director:[17]

Related subscribers

Subscriber     9 – Robert Adamson – neighbour of Walter Shepherd

Subscriber   30 – Thomas Bell – neighbour of Walter Shepherd

Subscriber   72 – James Edward – neighbour of Walter Shepherd

Subscriber 213 – John Sharp – fellow Director of Lady Jane Ogilvy Orphanage, Dundee Sick and Poor Nursing Society and fellow member of Brechin Diocesan Court

Subscriber 247 – Harry Walker – named executor for Walter Shepherd’s estate – also a pall bearer at his funeral

Career and worklife


Jute Spinners and Manufacturers[6]


Co-owner in partnership with John Thomson and Henry C Briggs[6]

Place of work

Thomson, Shepherd & Briggs[6]

Work address

Thomson, Shepherd & Briggs[6]
Seafield Works
Taylor's Lane

Career to date:

When Walter Shepherd lived in Yorkshire, his occupation was given as 'Matting Manufacturer.'[18] He came to Dundee in 1862[14] and became a partner in the firm of D & J Thomson, of Seafield Works.[14] The business expanded rapidly and Mr Shepherd's organising powers were a factor in the firm's development.[14] Seafield Works was one of the largest manufacturing establishments in Dundee, enjoying a particular reputation for carpet weaving. By 1864, the company employed 2,000 people.[19] For a number of years into the early 1870s, the partnership also included Henry C Briggs, Walter Shepherd's brother in law,[20] who was a colliery proprietor in the West Riding of Yorkshire.[20]

More information

Walter Shepherd grew up in Wakefield and worked as a Matting Manufacturer.[18] He married Mary Mitchell, whose father was a merchant in Bradford.[2] The Shepherds had a baby daughter, Hildegarde, when they arrived in Dundee in 1862. They would go on to have 13 children in total. They started life in Airlie Place, Dundee, before moving to Union Mount, 5 Perth Road, Dundee in 1865. Walter Shepherd purchased Union Mount, an imposing residence for the sum of £8,000.[21]

Walter Shepherd’s arrival in Dundee in 1862 coincided with soaring demand for jute products. The business at Seafield Works had expanded just a year earlier in 1861, with the building of an additional mill described thus:.

‘Seafield Works, belonging to Thomson, Shepherd & Briggs have risen with surprising rapidity, having been begun little more than ten years ago, and now they contain seven steam-engines of 165 horse power, 6,000 spindles and 120 power looms. The works also contain upwards of 450 hand-looms, the total number of people employed being 2,000. The older portions of these works, (1851-61[22]) have been quite eclipsed by the new mill and power-loom shed, which have been built to the south of them. This mill is a splendid building, about 300 feet in length, and four storeys and attics in height, and the factory, which communicates with the mill, is of the same length and nearly square. The machinery is only in course of being put into the new erections, but when completed the productive powers of the works will be doubled. The firm spin Jute chiefly, and manufacture carpeting, cocoa-nut-matting, sacking, bagging, etc., which are calendered and made up on the premises.’[19]

The firm of ‘Thomson, Shepherd & Briggs‘ was dissolved in 1872.[23] Thereafter, the business was styled as ‘Thomson, Shepherd & Co.’[24]

Family life brought sadness at times for the Shepherds. The memorial gravestone attached to the wall of the Western Cemetery lists the deaths of Agatha Helen in September 1864, at the age of 8 months. Another daughter, Edith Theodora, died March 1880, aged 1 year. Mary was Walter Shepherd’s first wife and she died in 1889 at the age of 47 years. Their son Philip, who was a leading, local cricket player, died of sunstroke after playing in an important match in 1896, at the age of 28 years.[25]

A picture of the Shepherd family life was captured in the 1881 census. Walter’s wife Mary was at home in Union Mount, along with 9 children, ranging in age from 18 years to 1 month. There were 3 servants, Table Maid, House Maid and Cook. Three Nurses were also listed, Nurse, Sick Nurse and Nurse Maid. Meanwhile, Walter was visiting his brother-in-law, Henry C Briggs and family, a Colliery Owner, in Leeds.[20]

Walter Shepherd married Emma Von Krogh in Trondhjem, Norway on 11 January 1893.[3] He was 57 years old and she was 29 years of age.[3] They had one daughter, Karen Margaret, born in Dundee in March 1894.[26] The family may have travelled to Norway regularly – they were on holiday there when Philip died of sunstroke. An article in the Scotsman, Friday 10th June 1904, reports that the Shepherds were in Hogret, near Trondhjem, Norway where Mr Shepherd was fishing. Mrs Shepherd was walking by the river bank when she fell into the water and drowned.

The partnership of  John Thomson and Walter Shepherd was formed into a limited company in 1896. Mr Shepherd was well liked by the workers and after 48 years connection with the business, the workers presented him with a gold watch and chain and pendant, on his retirement in 1910.[27]

The name of Emma Johanne Shepherd appears on the family gravestone as having died in June 1904, aged 40 years. Beneath her name is that of Walter’s daughter, Ethel Shepherd, who died 27th July 1910, aged 29 years. She had gone swimming with her sister, while holidaying in Sandsend, Yorkshire and was caught out by the strong current and could not be saved.[28]

Mr Shepherd purchased  Woodbrae, Dunkeld in 1904. It was reported that ‘Walter Shepherd bought this picturesque house on the hill above Dunkeld, having sold his residence in Juteopolis to the college authorities some six weeks ago.’[8] Union Mount was sold to University College for the sum of £11,000.[29]

While resident at Woodbrae, he continued to be involved in the Church. He was a member of the Vestry of St Mary’s and also acted as secretary.[30]

Walter Shepherd was survived by two sons and six daughters, at the time of his death, on 21st March 1913.[30]


  1. Church of England Births and Baptisms, 1813-1910. Wakefield. (1836). New Reference Number: WDP 3/2/5. Ancestry website.
  2. Church of England Marriages and Banns, 1813-1935. Bradford. (1861). Reference Number: BDP14. Ancestry website.
  3. Marriage details recorded on Birth Certificate of daughter, Karen. Dundee. Births. (1894). 282/1 231. ScotlandsPeople website.
  4. Family gravestone. (Broadbent Family 9) Public Member Tree. Ancestry website. ScotlandsPeople website to verify Ancestry entries.
  5. Census Returns. (1841). Class: HO107; Piece: 1272; Book: 9; Enumeration District: Wakefield House of Correction; Page: 1; Line: 4; GSU roll: 464242. Ancestry website.
  6. Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee, 1864-65. p.182. National Library of Scotland website.
  7. Census Returns. (1841-1891). Ancestry website.
  8. Dundee Evening Post. 11 May 1904. p.5. British Newspaper Archive website.
  9. Statutory Registers. Dunkeld. Deaths. 349/ 4. ScotlandsPeople website.
  10. Burial Administration Environment Department, City Square, Dundee.
  11. Dundee Courier. 24 March 1913. p.8. British Newspaper Archive website.
  12. Obituary. Dundee Courier. Saturday 22 March 1913. British Newspaper Archives website.
  13. Obituary. Dundee Courier. Saturday, March 1913. British Newspaper Archives website.
  14. Dundee Courier. 22 March 1913. p.7. British Newspaper Archive website.
  15. Obituary. Dundee Courier. Saturday, 22 March 1913. British Newspaper Archives website.
  16. Dundee Chamber of Commerce. Centenary Souvenir, 1836-1936. p.47.
  17. Obituary. Dundee Courier. Saturday, 22March 1913. British Newspaper Archives website.
  18. Census Returns. Wakefield. (1861). Piece: 3423; Folio: 89; Page: 1. Ancestry website.
  19. Warden, Alexander J. The Linen Trade, Ancient and Modern. (1864). London. Longman. p.628.
  20. Census Returns. Leeds. (1881). Piece: 4541; Folio: 163; Page: 46.
  21. Dundee Advertiser. 13 December 1865. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
  22. Watson, Mark. Jute and Flax Mills in Dundee. (1990). Tayport. Hutton Press. p.225.
  23. Dundee Courier. 28 June 1872. p.1. British Newspaper Archive website.
  24. Scottish Post Office Directories. Dundee. 1874-75. p.240. National Library of Scotland website.
  25. Funeral Report. Dundee Courier. Thursday, 3 July 1896. British Newspaper Archives website.
  26. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Births. (1894). 282/1 231. ScotlandsPeople website.
  27. Obituary. Dundee Courier. Saturday, 22 March 1913. British Newspaper Archives website.
  28. Dundee Courier. Thursday 28 July 1910. The Yorkshire Post. Thursday, 28 July 1910. British Newspaper Archive website.
  29. Dundee Courier. 21 April 1904. British Newspaper Archive website.
  30. Obituary. Dundee Courier. Saturday, 22 March 1913. British Newspaper Archives website.

The information above about Walter Shepherd has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.