James McHutchison Obituary


In the death of Mr.McHutchison, recorded in our
obituary of today, many of our readers will
recognise the passing away of one who for more
than half-a-century has enjoyed a well-deserved
popularity in his profession of a musician, and
a large amount of respect in consideration of
his many estimable qualities as a man. Bred,
like many of our townsmen, to the loom in his
early years, Mr.McHutchison necessarily enjoyed
many opportunities afforded by that – in its
palmy days – genial and pleasant occupation, for
any favourite study that was an object of pursuit.
Robert Tannahill had his paper and writing materials
at all times beside his loom:

the flute player and
violinist had their instruments and music continually
within reach; the florist had his geraniums on the
window-sill and the lover of the feathered songsters
of the grove his cages and their occupants nigh at
hand; while the politician had his newspaper on which
he never grudged to steal a half-hour from the
occupation of the day. These were the palmy days of
handloom weaving, when, as we have heard an old
tradesman say the master weaver wore his powdered
hair and had many of the airs and manners of those
higher in the social scale than himself. The
favourite pursuit of Mr.McHutchison was music, and
he followed it with that love and affection that
ultimately made it his profession. He attained to
a well-deserved reputation as a performer and teacher
on the violin, and we are certain many of his old
pupils will learn of his demise with sorrow. He
had a most winning way with his pupils, and had the
happy knack of leading them over early difficulties,
and giving them an encouraging start almost ere they
were aware. He invariably gained their affection.
So was it, too, with his personal friends. Of quiet,
modest, retiring manners, he did not uncover all his
good qualities at once, but as acquaintance lengthened,
he became appreciated and loved. His friends fondly
believe that he could scarcely have an enemy, at least
with anything like the shadow of a cause. Attaching
himself at an early period of life to a profession,
at the time beset with many temptations and dangers,
he bore himself through them all blamelessly and
without reproach. He may, indeed, be said to have
been one of those who served to elevate the tone of
his profession to what it now is, as compared with
the period at which he joined it. Mr.McHutchison,
too, may be looked on as one of the last remaining
examples of the old violinist who came out more
plainly and somewhat less Ostentatiously than the
style that now accords with our modern notions, and
in this respect he is worthy of something like a
special remembrance. About three years ago Mr.
McHutchison, on account of advancing years, finally
relinquished his profession, and disposed of his
long-kept and fondly-cherished stock of instruments.
His health was such as to afford him all the joys of

life attainable at his time. His illness has been
but of short duration, and he has passed away at the
good old age of seventy-nine years. His decease
took place on Monday and on Thursday his remains
were borne to their last resting-place by the members
of his family and a select circle of friends, among
whom were several of the more aged members of his
old profession. Now-a-days, when manly merit and
modest worth claim to meet with deserved recognition,
it is pleasing thus to note the termination of a
humble life, passed without pretence or ostentation
of any kind, in the performance of its round of duties.”

1869 15th May issue of
the Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette

Page Links:

Letter to James’s son, William on leaving Paisley

James’s obituary from the Paisley and Renfrewshire Gazette, 1869