Friday, 18 October 2013


Two "leopardskin ottomans" were left to Helen Sievwright in the 1874 will of Marjory Sievwright of Brechin, her maiden aunt. I wrote about the will here.

Helen married Henry Speid in Quebec in 1880 and had one son Arthur Speid (read about the Speids here) who had 3 daughters.

The last surviving daughter Janet Speid Motyer who died last year, aged 93, gifted one of them to Lennoxville-Ascot  Historical and Museum Society in Sherbrooke.

I have been corresponding with Janice Fraser the Collections and Exhibitions Coordinator at the museum which is in the former Speid home of Uplands. She has kindly taken photos of the stool and a close up of the bullet hole which killed the poor leopard. Someone, probably Janet, had recovered the stool in plain fabric. Janice understands the leopard was shot by a family member. She doesn't know what became of the other stool.

The stool has on the underside "Gavin Patrie 1844" which I believe  to be Gavin Petrie of 6 Raeburn Place, Edinburgh a cabinet maker. (Gray's Almanac 1837- 8 and the1841 census) His son, also Gavin, was an upholsterer.

close up of the bullet hole

Many thanks to Janice at the museum for sending the photos. I am thrilled to see them.

Link to my family tree

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