|Some notable Anderstonians
Eugen Francis Charles D’Albert
Anderston has produced more than its fair share of colourful characters, but even in that company, Eugen D’Albert stands out. His father was French-Italian, his mother English. He lived for lengthy periods in Scotland, England, Germany, Austria and Switzerland besides touring widely and died in Latvia, along the way collecting British, German and Swiss citizenship and no fewer than six wives. Victorian values with their connotations of commitment and fidelity were unwelcome concepts. During most of his sixty-nine years he was reviled for his lifestyle and more so in Britain when he sided with Germany in World War 1. Probably, you would not have liked him, either. He was, though, a musical genius who has given pleasure to many then and since.
He was born on the 10th April 1864 at 4, Crescent Place, Anderston near the top end of North Street. His father, Charles Louis Napoleon D’Albert (now, there’s a fancy name – Charles’ father was aide-de-camp to Napoleon I) was a dancer, pianist and ballet-master and his mother, Annie Rowell (not so fancy), came from Newcastle upon Tyne.
Eugen was a pupil of Franz Liszt and worked with a number of famous musicians including Arthur Sullivan. His compositions included twenty-one operas and numerous other concertos, string quartets and piano pieces.
He married successively (but, clearly, not successfully) Louise Salingre Garcia de Sena, Maria Teresa Carreno, Hermine Finck, Ida Fulda, Frederike Jauner and Hilda Fels. It was while he was in Riga, Latvia seeking to divorce Hilda that he died on 3rd March 1932. He is buried in Morcote, Switzerland.
A Trade Unionist and politician, Arthur Henderson reflected the roots in Christianity of the Labour Party. Originally a Congregationalist, he converted to Methodism in which tradition he was a lay preacher. He attained high office in British Government and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
Arthur was born the son of Agnes Henderson on the 18th September 1864 at 10 Paterson Street, Anderston, a short street running between Richard and William Streets. Although he was registered as illegitimate, there was a father figure in his early years household but that person’s recurrent illness and unemployment compelled the nine-year-old to go to work as a photographer’s message boy. The family moved to Newcastle upon Tyne and Arthur was employed at the age of twelve as an apprentice foundryman.
Keen on self-improvement and on worker representation, he became a trade unionist and was appointed a full-time official of the Foundrymen’s Union in 1892. He then moved into mainstream politics and was a founder member with fellow Scot Keir Hardie of the Labour Party. In 1903 he was elected Member of Parliament for Barnard Castle. He moved through the ranks of the Party and, when Asquith formed his coalition government in 1915, Henderson was appointed to the Cabinet, the first Labour member to be so.
He was opposed to the First World War and in 1917 he and Ramsay MacDonald were appointed by the Labour Party to attend an international peace conference aimed at ending it. Pressure by American President Woodrow Wilson ensured, however, that they were forbidden to attend. In and out of Parliament from 1918, he returned as Home Secretary in the first ever Labour Government of Ramsay MacDonald.
A tireless worker for peace, Arthur Henderson chaired the Geneva Disarmament Conference from 1932 to 1935, his work being recognised with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1934.
He died in London on the 20th October 1935.