John; Arrol Arrol.

The Arrol, Arroll and Arrell families online

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builder of the original Tay bridge. However, following the collapse of that bridge,
confidence was lost in Sir Thomas Bouch and eventually the contract was awarded to
William Arrol.


The design chosen for the Firth of Forth bridge was a cantilever bridge. It proved to be
one of the tremendous engineering achievements of the 19th century. For a number of
years, during the 1880's, Arrol was working on both the Tay and the Forth bridge
projects. His home was in Ayr and he would leave Ayr at 4 a.m. to arrive at the
Dalmamock works by 5 am. On many days he would travel by train to the construction
sites at the Forth and Tay. He would catch the 8:45 am train to Edinburgh to begin work
on the Forth Bridge. On Friday night he would take the sleeper to London to visit the
bankers, the attorneys, the politicians and the railway company executives.

Arrol devised a special technique for building the Tay and Forth bridges on the London
Road that involved hydraulic riveting. This necessitated the building of a special plant
to install the special equipment needed in the new riveting technique. Another new
innovation was the building of the Forth bridge by steel. This was the first large
structure built of steel. The Tay bridge and others before it were built partly of

While the firm was involved in two major projects, another gigantic job came to the
Arrol's - the contract to build the world famous Tower Bridge in London. The contract
was received by the firm in 1886 and this bridge was to take eight years to finish. In that
era, these three bridges were considered to be three modem wonders of the world and
they were all being built under the direction of one man.

The Forth bridge took seven years to build. The task was gigantic. The bridge consisted
of two main spans, each nearly a third of a mile long, two of 675 feet each, and fifteen
of 168 feet each, the total length of the viaduct being over one and a half miles. There
were 4,800 men employed daily on the bridge, and the equipment needed to build the
bridge included 30 steam and other barges, tugs, launches, and boats, 60 steamcranes and
winches, 50 hydraulic cranes, 100 hydraulic jacks, 100 hand cranes, 100 drilling
machines, and 40 steam engines. An entire village was built for the work force.

At the completion of the bridge in 1890, 160 trains a day were to pass over the structure
on the double railway line. The bridge cost 2.5 million pounds to build. The last rivet
was driven by the Prince of Wales, later King Edward VII, in 1890 in the presence of his
brother, the Duke of Edinburgh, later King George V. At a luncheon following the
opening of the bridge, the Prince of Wales delivered a speech in which he announced,
among many honors, that Her Majesty Queen Victoria had conferred that of knighthood
on the builder of the bridge and he would henceforth be Sir William Arrol.

Another honor received was the Freedom of City of Dundee on 14th December 1888 in
the form of a silver casket. On this occasion. Sir William said, "I would rather build two
bridges than make one speech!" A second silver casket was received on the 26th of
February 1890 with the Freedom of the Burgh of Ayr. There had only been five previous
recipients of this award during the previous century and one of them was Ulysis Grant,
President of the United States. Sir William received an honorary degree of LL.D. from
the University of Glasgow in 1890. He was made a fellow of the Royal Society of


Edinburgh and a Deputy-Lieutenant.

In 1909 the Board of Directors of Sir William Arrol & Co., Limited were: Sir William
Arrol, Chairman, Mr. AS. Biggart, who was Sir William's right-hand man on the shop
side during the construction of the Forth Bridge; Mr. Thomas Arrol, a nephew of Sir
William, whose principal charge was the engineering shop at Dalmamock Works; Mr.
John Hunter, who was also a nephew and who acted as secretary of the company; and
Sir Thomas Mason of Morrison & Mason Ltd., General Contractors, the outside Director.
In 1910 Mr. Adam Hunter, the Chief Engineer, was elected a Director.

Another of Sir William's ventures was in automobile manufacturing. Sir William formed
a joint venture with George Johnston in 1895 and the Mo-Car Syndicate Ltd. was formed.
Sir William Arrol was Chairman and George Johnston was Managing Director. Sir
William's interest in this business was one of primarily being the financial backer of the
new enterprise.

The main product of the company was the Arrol-Johnston automobile. A factory was
built in Camlachie, Glasgow and production began. The first car was a six-seater
dog-cart that was produced between 1895 and 1904. In 1901 a fire destroyed the factory
and the company moved to Paisley, renovating one of the old thread mills of the Coats
Thread Manufacturing Company. The Coats family had a financial interest in the Mo-Car
Syndicate Company.

The Arrol-Johnston was selling well in 1911 and 1912 and the company made the
decision to move their production facilities to Dumfries, with the actual relocation taking
place in mid-1913. The company was reorganized about 1927 and the Arrol-Aster was
introduced The company fell into financial difficulties and went into liquidation at the
end of 1929 It ceased to exist completely in 1931.

On a personal basis. Sir William was broad-shouldered and sturdy, a man of great
physical strength and endurance. He had a keen, clever face with shrewd eyes, which
could be kind and twinkle with merriment on small provocation, a resolute mouth and
jaw which betokened an iron, unyielding will, and a power of command. While one
newspaper article described Sir William to be a hard, lonely, unapproachable man, his
biographer and other articles described him as being easily accessible. He enjoyed his
garden at Seafield, his library, and his art. He never "put on airs" and had a great
contempt for those who did. He was known as a loyal friend and one who was a
fair-minded employer who could do a job on the factor,' floor better than the craftsman
that he paid.

Sir William Arrol was a member of Parliament for ten years. He first ran for office in
1892 in South Ayrshire as a Liberal-Unionist. He was successful in 1895 and was
returned to office in the elections of 1900. He sat on a number of committees, including
the Committees on Tube Railways, the London Water Board, the London Corporation,
and Cooper Hill Inquiry. He retired from Parliament in 1906 due to poor health.


In 1887 Arrol became a tenant of a house named Seafield, on the seashore, about a mile
south of the town of Ayr. A year later, in March of 1888, he purchased the house with
about fifty acres of the surrounding grounds and lands. He had the house torn down and
erected a new large, handsome mansion. Sir William installed a collection of art in his
home that numbered about 300 works of oil and watercolors. He also had a major library
in his home. When his business took Sir William to London, he enjoyed visiting the
Natural History Museum in South Kensington, the Geological Museum and the British

Shortly after his marriage to Elizabeth Pattison she became mentally ill. She died in
1903. He remarried on the eighth of March 1905 to his cousin, Jessie Hodgart, at Ayr.
Immediately following the wedding ceremony, Sir William and his bride traveled by train
over 400 miles to London so that he could cast a key vote in Parliament. For this extra
effort he was presented a cup by the then prime mmister, the Rt. Honorable A. J. Balfour.
The cup was inscribed:










Sadly, Sir William was agam a widower in just four years. Jessie died in 1909. On the
16th of November 1910 he married his third wife, Elsie Robertson. Sir William was now
71 years of age. Elsie was a daughter of James Robertson, Manager of the London
Branch of the Bank of Scotland. He remained childless all his life

Sir William built at least seven homes, at his own expense, for members of the Arrol
family to live in. He decorated them with copies of his paintings. He gave of his time
and finances to the Royal Infirmary of Glasgow and to the Scotland Technical College.
He was a trustee of the manager of the Savings Bank of Glasgow in addition to giving
of his resources to many other organizations.

Sir William died 20 February 1913 from influenza. He was buried at Woodside
Cemetery in Paisley, Renfrewshire.


A legacy of Sir WilUiam Arrol to all of the Arrols was the commissioning and
registration of the Arrol tartan. A sample of the Arrol tartan was found in a pattern
book belonging to Messrs. James Johnstone and Co., Glasgow. The sample was in
pattern book A-J containing 122 samples. There were three books containing a total of
274 samples. The books were donated to the Scottish Tartans Society' which is located
in the Highland Heritage Museum Trust, Fonab House, Pitlochry, Perthshire. The pattern
books were donated by Mr. G. Sime, Dairy, Ayrshire who was employed by the company
until the company ceased trading in 1963.

The Arrol tartan is described as Red (15) Blue (40) Black (40) Green (40) White (6)
Green (40) Black (40) Green (40) White (6)

The will of Sir William Arrol showed his total personal assets to be valued at £3 16,589.
He left to Lady Arrol the contents of Seafield House, valued at £16,849, the sum of
£5,000, and an annuity of £1,200; to Mrs. Cecelia Miller, £5,000; to the children of his
brother. Dr. Charles Arrol, £6,000; to the children of his sister, Mrs. Agnes Mclnnes,
£1,000; to his sister, Mrs. Janet Hunter, the free life-rent of his house, Meikleriggs House,
in Paisley; to his nephew, Mr. John Hunter, the life-rent of £10,000; to his sister, Mrs.
Mary McLardie, £1,000 and £10,000 for her children. Other bequests were to his
cousins, Janet Arrol and Bethia Arrol Robertson; to his nieces, Elizabeth and Mary
McLardie; to the sister of his wife, Maud Robertson; to his housekeeper; to each of his
servants, based on time spent with him; and to each of his trustees. He also directed that
£10,000 in value of preference shares in Sir William Arrol & Co. be placed at the full
discretion of the trustees to form the nucleus of a fund for deserving employees and in
assisting cousins and other relatives as the trustees deemed necessary. The balance of his
estate was divided between his wife, his nephew, John Hunter, and the children of Mrs.
Mary Arrol McLardie. Other provisions were made for amounts to be held for deserving

Lady Elsie Arrol remarried in 1928. She was the second wife of Sir Robert John Collie.
Sir Robert died in 1935. Lady Elsie resided at the Hendon Hall Hotel, London. Lady
Elsie donated her services during World War II to organizations in London catering to
the welfare of the servicemen of the allied nations.

Following Sir William Arrol's death in 1913, the firm continued to prosper. During
World War 1 the firm was involved with the erection of shell production shops, complete
with cranes, for such armament firms as Beadmores, Vickers and others. Other contracts
during the war included a contract for narrow gauge sleepers and a contract for the
construction of Harland & Wolff's Govan Shipyard.

During the war the then Prime Minister, Lloyd George, was not satisfied with the
progress being made in obtaining facilities quick enough to satisfy the needed production
of shells. Sir William's nephew, John Hunter, gave up his Directorship in the Arrol firm
and became successively, Director of Steel Production, and in the then new Air Ministry,
Director in charge of Aerodrome Construction. He received the honor of Knight


Commander of the new Order of the British Empire.

Following the war Sir John Hunter returned to the business as Chairman. Two of the
early projects after World War II was the completion of the Southwark Bridge over the
Thames and the completion of the Port of London Authority's Royal Albert Dock
Extension. This latter contract had been let to a German firm prior to the war and was
in their hands when war broke out.

Although the firm built many major bridges over the entire world, it also became
involved in many other engineering projects. At one time it was the dominant crane
manufacturing concern in the world. It was involved in manufacturing girders, cranes,
shipyards, power stations, pipe lines, lock gates, tunnels, canals, railway stations and
workshops. Workshops and railway stations were dimly lit, dingy places in pre-Victorian
times. Steel construction revolutionized their appearance. Such buildings now had
arched glass roofs and were bright and airy. The firm was a sub-contractor on the
Welland Ship Canal in Ontario, Canada, between Lake Ontario and Lake Erie.

Sir John Hunter resigned from the Chairmanship in 1935. He died in Montreal, Canada
in 1936. He was replaced by Mr. H. Cunningham. With the start of rearmament about
1937, the firm experienced the busiest period of its history. The company had orders for
cranes from all over the world and orders from Turkey and India were particularly
notable. A significant contract was the building of a Wind Tunnel for Farnborough, west
of London. This established the connection where Farnborough was and is utilized by
the Air Ministry on work on all types of aircraft construction During World War II
many of the projects were designed jointly by the company and the Air Ministry.

In 1938 the firm, through its Vickers subsidiary, designed and constructed an aircraft
assembly plant near Chester, England where the floor area covered 18 acres. Thereafter,
the company constructed many hangars for the Air Ministry. During World War II the
Company was engaged almost entirely with work for government departments. Major
projects included the production of Bofors Gun Carriages, projectors for anti-aircraft
shells, and tank landing craft. Ninety-five tank landing craft were produced in a special
yard in Meadowside, Glasgow Prior to D-Day, the firm leased an abandoned shipyard
at Alloa, erected a welding shop and redesigned the craft for welded construction. In this
yard 68 vessels were built, fitted out and taken over, including 8 specially large craft of
1000 tons deadweight.

The firm also fathered a program of frigates. These were almost of destroyer class and
the component structures were welded in large units and sent to ordinary shipyards for
assembly. The company also built Bailey Bridges. They were special bridges that were
relatively easy to move and to erect on the battlefields. Subsequent to World War II the
firm built power stations, pipe lines, cranes, open-hearth charging machines, shipyards
and caissons for Mersey Docks & Harbor, Liverpool.


In the early 1960's the firm was part of a consortium called the A.C.D. Bridge Company
to build the road bridge over the Firth of Forth. The massive towers of the bridge that
carried the cables from which the bridge deck were suspended, soared 512 feet into the
air, high above the cantilevers of the adjacent railway bridge. Each tower comprised
eleven sections that were prefabricated at Arrol's Glasgow works, (down to the boltholes)
The towers were fitted together at the works and then taken apart for transporting to the
site. The road bridge was built a short distance west of, and roughly parallel to, the
railway bridge.

Bridge building was a dangerous occupation, but the safety record in building the road
bridge over the Forth was significantly better than that of building the railroad bridge
some eighty years previously. One man was killed in the construction of the road bridge
compared with the fifty-seven who died on the railway bridge.

In the 1980's hard times hit the Sir William Arrol Company. It went out of business in

As a sequel to Sir William Arrol's legacy, a locomotive was named the Sir William Arrol.
This locomotive was so named in 1990 by the retiring Chairman of British Rail, Sir
Robert Reid, on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the Forth Bridge in honour of
Sir William Arrol.

At the 100th anniversar\' event several descendents of the Sir William Arrol family,
including John Arthur Arrol Hunter, Richard Jackson Arrol Hunter and Ena Arrol,
attended the ceremonies and rode the train across the Forth Bridge as part of the



Heraldry in Scotland is administered on behalf of the Crown by The Right Honourable
The Lord Lyon of Arms, a Great Officer of the State. He is assisted by the Lyon Clerk
and by three heralds and three pursuivants. All Coat of Arms must be recorded in the
Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in Scotland. Arms have been meticulously
recorded and strictly maintained there since 1672. Under Acts of Parliament, dating back
to 1592, an unauthorized user of a Coat of Arms may be charged for the offense and tried
in Court where The Lord Lyon is judge. The decision may ultimately be appealed
through higher Courts to the House of Lords.

Arms are granted to an individual and to his legitimate descendents, or to a corporate
body. Not everyone is entitled to a Coat of Arms and not every surname has a Crest.
Burke's General Armoury lists a total of only about 100,000 Coats of Arms that have
been either (1) granted to the bearers or (2) assumed by them.

A Coat of Arms has been granted to two ARROL's. On 1 February 1878, Archibald
Arrol was granted a Coat of Arms. This Coat of Arms is located at the Court of the Lord
Lyon, H.M. New Register House, Edinburgh, Scotland. The Coat of Arms is contained
in Volume 10, Number 34.

The Coat of Arms is inscribed:

Excerpt of Letters Patent from the Lyon King of Arms in favour of Archibald Arrol,
Esquire, dated the 1st day of February 1878.

Whereas Archibald Arrol of Number Eighteen Blythswood Square, Glasgow, Esquire,
Merchant in glasgow, hath by Petition of date the Twenty fifth day of January last
Represented unto Us, that he is the only son of Walter Arrol, Merchant in Glasgow and
Elizabeth Gilles his wife; that the said Walter Arrol is the only surviving son of Duncan
Arrol, tenant farmer at Easter Lead in the county of Stirling and Agnes Graham his wife,
and is descended from a family long resident in that county; and whereas the said
petitioner hath prayed that we would Grant Our Licence and Authority to him and to his
descendents to bear and use such Ensigns Armorial as might be found suitable and
according to the Laws of Arms; know ye therefore that we have devised, and do these
presents Assign, Ratify and Conform to the said Archibald Arrol, Esquire, and to his
descendents with such congruent differences as may hereafter be matriculated for them
and following Ensigns Armorial, as depicted upon the margin hereof and matriculated of
even date with these presents in our Public Register of All Arms and Bearings in
Scotland, vizt Or, a Lion rampart Gules armed and langued Azure between three
Escallops Sable. Above the Shield is placed a Helmet befitting his degree, with a
Mantling Gules doubled Argent, and issuing from a Wreath of his Liveries is set for


Crest, a demi-lion Gules armed and langued Azure holding in his dexter paw a Scymetar
proper, and in the Esrol over the same, this MOTTO, " Courage ."
Matriculated the First day of February, 1878

T. Lorimer

Lyon Clerk

William Auchincloss Arrol, son of Theodore Arrol, was also granted a Coat of Arms with
the same crest and motto. The family copy of the Arrol Coat of Arms is m the
possession of Donald Archibald Arrol of Shropshire, England, a grandson of William
Auchincloss Arrol, and great grandson of Archibald Arrol.

The Coat-of-Arms granted to these two Arrols is referenced in Fairbaim's Book of Crests
of the Families of Great Britain and Ireland. In addition, the family name of Anol is
referenced. This reference describes the name Arrol as being from Scotland and the
Coat-of-Arms as a:

"demi-lion rampant holding in the dexter paw a scimitar. Courage."

The Coat-of-Arms for both Archibald Arrol and William Auchincloss Arrol is described

"a demi-lion gu., armed and langued az., holding in the dexter paw a scimitar ppr.

Many surnames have undergone major changes in spelling and form over the centuries.
Coats-of-Arms were recorded under early spellings and it is impossible to know today
whether the translations of these early Coats-of-Arms actually pertain to the spelling Arrol
as used by the Arrol/Arroll as documented in this volume. The only actually known
Coats-of-Arms granted to Arrols is the Coat-of-Arms documented above which was
granted both to Archibald Arrol and William Auchincloss Arrol.

Keeping the fact in mind that there is no assurance that the following Coats-of-Arms
pertain to the Arrol/Arroll families documented in this volume, the following references
are given:

Sir Bernard Burke in his General Armor.' of Great Britain describes the Arrol Arms

"Or, a comish chough proper, a bordure argnet, charged with eight fleurs-de-lis

Sir Bernard Burkes General Armory Supplement:


"Or, a lion rampant gules between three escallops sable."

Translated this reads, "The shield is gold. In the center is a
rampant lion of red between three scallop shells of black."

Atienza's Diccionario Nobiliario has a reference Arrol as Arrola:

"Gules, a lynx passant or, in base a triple mount barry wavy azure and argent.'

Translated this reads, "The shield is red. In the center is a
lynx of gold walking. In the base portion of the shield is a
mound of earth with three heads coloured in alternating wavy
horizontal bars of blue and silver (or white)."











WALTER ARROL, b circa 1600/20 in Caldervan, Parish of Buchanan, Stirlingshire,
Scotland and d before 9 July 1662. He had the following children:

1 JOHN ARROL, b circa 1625/1640 in Cashell, Parish of Buchanan, Stirlingshire.
(See Section II below.)

2 DUNCAN ARROL, b circa 1625/40. He m 9 Jul 1665 to Janet McQueen.

3 ELLEN ARROL, b circa 1625/40. She m circa 1665 to John McAlpine and had

three daughters.

4 JANET ARROL (ARRELL), b circa 1625/40. She m 16 Jan 1661 in Buchanan.
Stirlingshire to Patrick McAuley of Row, Dumbartonshire and is believed to have
had three daughters.


JOHN ARROL, b circa 1625/1640 in Cashell, Parish of Buchanan, Stirlingshire.
JOHN was the son of WALTER ARROL of Caldervan. (See Section I-l above.) He
m circa 1649 to Janet Buchanan McWattie. They had the following children who
were all baptized between 1649 and 1665:

1 MUNGO ARROL(L), b circa 1650 in Croy, Killeam, Stirlingshire. (See Section
III, Page 151.)

2 DUNCAN ARROL, bapt 22 Nov 1657 in Gartavestan, Port of Menteith, Perthshire.
He m circa 1700 to Christian McKennan. They had:

2-1 CHARLES ARROL(L), b 8 May 1705 in Craignoughty. He m circa 1730 to
Isabel Graham at Aberfoyle. He was killed by a fall from a horse on 3 Apr
1781. They had:

2-1-1 DUNCAN ARROL, bapt 31 Dec 1731 at Easterlead, Drymen and m 27
Aug 1764 to Agnes Graham. They had:

2-1-1-1 WALTER ARROL, b 20 Feb 1786 and d 7 Feb 1880. He was
m 19 Jan 1814 to Jean Gillies who d Feb 1880. WALTER was a
general merchant and resided at 18 Blythswood Square, Glasgow.
They had:

2-1-1-1-1 ELIZABETH ARROLL, b 8 Sept 1814 in Glasgow and d
8 Aug 1836.
2-1-1-1-2 ARCHIBALD ARROL(L), b 29 Sept 1815 in Glasgow
and d 22 May 1888 in Glasgow. He m 5 Dec 1839 to Margaret
Reid Auchincloss who was b 31 Oct 1813 and d 26 Jun 1881.
ARCHIBALD was a merchant and brewer. He was the Managing
Director of Archibald Arrol and Sons. He purchased the Alloa
Brewery in 1866. ARCHIBALD'S father, WALTER, was also
involved in the family business. ARCHIBALD was the recipient
of a formal ARCHIBALD ARROL Coat of Arms from the Lord
Lyon King of Arms, Edinburgh. He was a Burgess of the City of
Glasgow. They resided at 18 Blythswood Square, Glasgow.


They had:

2-1-1-1-2-1 LOUISA ARROL, b 22 Nov 1840 in Glasgow and m
2 Jun 1863 to Thomas Kennedy in Blythswood, Glasgow.
Thomas d 28 May 1908. They had 3 sons and 8 daughters.
2-1-1-1-2-2 JEAN GILLIES ARROL, b 24 Oct 1842 m Glasgow

andd 16 Jan 1909.

2-1-1-1-2-3 WILLIAM AUCHINCLOSS ARROL, b 24 Oct 1844

in Glasgow and m 1st on 27 Oct 1880 to Elizabeth Agnes

Bateman who was b 28 May 1858, the daughter of Benjamin

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