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Friday, 2 May 2014

More on Philip Whiteside MacLagan

Following my blog, Thomas Fraser's Neighbour, Dr Philip Whiteside MacLagan, Linda Bankier of Berwick Record Office sent me some research she did on his memorial statue a few years ago.

Dr Philip Whiteside MacLagan,a popular and well respected doctor in Berwick died on 25 May 1892, aged 73. He was a native of Edinburgh but had lived in Berwick since 1853.

After his death, the town's people decided to erect a memorial to Dr MacLagan.
A public subscription was started and on 14 June 1893, a statue, designed by DW Stevenson of Edinburgh and costing £150 was unveiled in Marygate, Berwick.
There is an account of the opening ceremony in the Berwick Journal, dated 15 June 1893. In the article, there is a verbatim account of the Mayor's speech at the opening ceremony which indicates that the statue was handed over to the Urban Sanitary Authority, part of the Council.

Councillor Young, ladies and gentlemen, subscribers to the MacLagan Memorial Fund.
On behalf of the Corporation and the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed, I accept this monument - a monument erected to perpetuate the memory of Dr Philip MacLagan, of this town.
Again ladies and gentlemen, permit me most heartily to thank you all in the name of the Urban Sanitary Authority of Berwick for this handsome monument you have erected to the memory of the beloved Dr MacLagan

The memorial remained there, beside the bus station until 1922, when the Town Clerk wrote to Berwick Infirmary saying that they wished to move it to a more suitable site.
The Infirmary committee agreed to this proposal and after June 1922, it was moved to the open space in front of the Infirmary buildings. At the meeting dated 16 June 1922, it was agreed to place the monument in front of the laburnum tree in front of the building and that the tree would not be removed. The memorial remained there until 1993 when alterations at the Infirmary caused it to be moved to its present site.

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