Photocopy of a poem by O. H. Mavor and Walter Elliot c.1914

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Photocopy (taken 1999) of Poem, "Ballad of John Glaister" by O H Mavor and Walter Elliot c.1914.1937 Christmas card by O.H. Mavor.

Administrative / Biographical History

Osborne Henry Mavor (1888-1951) studied medicine at Glasgow University, qualifying in 1913. He was a consulting physician to the Victoria Infirmary and for some time professor of medicine in the Anderson College of Glasgow. He is better known, however, as the author of some forty plays. His main pseudonym was James Bridie, but he also wrote as Mary Henderson and A P Kellock. He was a friend of Alfred Wareing (1876-1942) who founded the Glasgow Repertory Theatre. His first public offering was The Sunlight Sonata (1928), written under the pseudonym Mary Henderson, and had plays performed by the Scottish National Players; but it was The Anatomist which really began his writing career. He wrote 42 plays altogether. In 1943 he was one of the founders of the Glasgow Citizens' Theatre, where many of his plays were performed. He also played a role in the founding of the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama, and was a member of the Arts Council's Scottish Committee and an adviser to the Edinburgh Festival. He served in both the First and Second World Wars in the Royal Army Medical Corps.

Walter Elliot (1888-1958), politician, was educated at Glasgow Academy and Glasgow University. He gained first class honours in science (1910) and medicine (1913). He served in the First World War and was awarded the MC and bar. Elliot married Helen Hamilton (d 1919) in 1919, and Katharine, the daughter of Sir Charles Tennant, in 1934. He was MP for Lanark (1918-1923), Kelvingrove, Glasgow (1923-1945, 1950-1958) and for the Scottish Universities (1946-1950). He held two cabinet posts, as Secretary of State for Scotland from 1936 to 1938 and in the Ministry of Health (1938-1940). He also served as Lord High Commissioner of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (1956-1957), Rector of the University of Aberdeen (1933-1936) and Rector of the University of Glasgow (1947-1950). A renowned national figure in Scotland, he received honorary degrees from each of the four ancient Scottish universities. His publications include "Toryism and the Twentieth Century", 1927 and "Long Distance", 1943.

Professor John Glaister (1856-1932), the subject of the poem written by Mavor and Elliot, was the Professor of Forensic Medicine, University of Glasgow.


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Acquisition Information

Gift from depositor's family.

Other Finding Aids

Descriptive list available at the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.

Archivist's Note


Conditions Governing Use

Identification of copyright holders of unpublished material is often difficult. Permission to make any published use of any material from the collection must be sought in advance from the Archivist. We will try to assist in identifying copyright owners but the responsibility for copyright clearance before publication ultimately rests with the reader.

Appraisal Information

Appraised in accordance with GB 250's collection policy.

Custodial History

Held with depositor's family.


Not expected.

Related Material

Cartoons in RCPSG 1; watercolour in College art collection.

Location of Originals

This material is original.


No known publications.


Geographical Names