National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936)

Phoebe Anna Traquair (1852-1936)

Artist

Phoebe Anna Traquair was born on 24 May 1852 in Kilternan, County Dublin, the daughter of William Moss and Teresa Richardson. She studied at the Royal Dublin Society's School of Design. On 5 June 1873 she married the palaentologist Ramsay Traquair in Dublin and moved to Edinburgh with him the following year. There she became a leading member of the Arts and Crafts movement producing watercolours, embroidered panels, illuminated manuscripts, book cover designs and illustrations, enamelling, jewellery and murals. In 1920 she was elected an honorary member of the Royal Scottish Academy. Examples of her work can be found at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the National Gallery of Scotland and the National Library of Scotland. Some of her mural paintings can be seen at the Mansfield Traquair Centre in Edinburgh.

1881 to 1911 censuses

In 1881 Phoebe A Traquair, 28, was enumerated with her husband, daughter and two sons at 8 Dean Park Crescent in Edinburgh. The census return for the district of St George gives her birth place as Ireland and her husband's as Rhynd in Perthsire. His occupation is MD Keeper of Natural History Collections in the Museum Science and Art Department. The household included a visitor from Germany and three servants.

1881 census return for Phoebe Anna Traquair

Detail from the 1881 census return for Phoebe Anna Traquair (88 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1881/685-1/126, page 12

There's no trace of the Traquair family in the Scottish 1891 census

In 1901 Phoebe A Traquair, 48, was enumerated at the same address. The census return for the district of St George gives her occupation as Keeper of Natural History Collections' wife.

1901 census return for Phoebe Anna Traquair

Detail from the 1901 census return for Phoebe Anna Traquair (50 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1901/685-1/62, page 2

In 1911 Phoebe Anna Traquair, 58, was enumerated at The Bush with her husband, son Ramsay  and a general servant. The census return for the district of Colinton gives her occupation as artist. The columns for 'Particulars as to marriage' show that she had been married for 37 years and had born three children who were all still living.

1911 census return for Phoebe Anna Traquair, part 1

1911 census return for Phoebe Anna Traquair, part 2

Detail from the 1911 census return for Phoebe Anna Traquair (36 and 35 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1911/677/6, page 4

Death in 1936

Phoebe Anna Traquair, widow, died at 8:20 am on 4 August 1936 aged 84. The entry in the statutory register of deaths for the district of Ratho gives the place of death as The Lodge, Ratho and her usual residence as The Bush in Colinton. It also shows that her father had been a medical practitioner. The informant was her daughter-in-law Beatrice.

Statutory register of death entry for Phoebe Anna Traquair

Death entry for Phoebe Anna Traquair (92 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1936/698A/13