Captain George David Clayhills Henderson

Provincial Grand Master 1880 - 1882

Clayhills Henderson

He was born 1832, married twice and died on the 13th July 1909, aged 77, and was buried in Dargie Churchyard, Invergowrie. He was descended from the 17th Century Clayhills, the Lords of Baldovie. 
As yet I have not found anything about his past service in the Royal Navy, he Affiliated to the Operative Mason Lodge of Dundee on the 27th July 1880.

Captain George David Clayhills Henderson Ex-Royal Navy, J.P., D.L., described in a 1901 Dundee newspaper as a well-known landowner of Invergowrie, became the next Provincial Grand Master after the resignation of Lord Ramsay. However he only ruled for two years.Brother Clayhills Henderson just appears on the scene and is selected as Provincial Grand Master very quickly.

He is first mentioned in the Provincial Grand Lodge Minute Book at the committee meeting of 9th July 1880, and was introduced by Brother the Rev James Crabbe of Brechin to the Provincial Grand Lodge at the quarterly meeting of 16th July 1880, they unanimously approved him as the next Provincial Grand Master.
On the 19th August 1880 in the Queen’s Hotel Dundee. The Earl of Kintore, (Formerly known to us as Lord Inverurie, Substitute Provincial Grand Master) acting for the Grand Master Mason installed him as Provincial Grand Master .

On that day Provincial Grand Lodge was opened by the Senior Right Worshipful Master present, that was Brother John Herald of Arbroath, he acted as the Provincial Grand Master. A Brother Longmuir of Lodge Operative No.47 acted as Provincial Senior Warden and Brother Buick of Lodge Ancient No. 49 acted as Provincial Junior Warden.
The commissioned office bearers were: -

David Small of Grey House as Substitute P.G. M.
John Whyte of Forfar as P. G. Senior Warden
David A. McCorquadale of Carnoustie as P. G. Junior Warden
James Berry of Carnoustie as P.G. Secretary
Rev James Crabbe of Brechin as P.G. Chaplain
Rev J. A. Dunbar Dunbar of Lochee as Assistant Chaplain.

Other office bearers at that time
John Herald of Arbroath as Treasurer
G. Pibbladdo of Montrose as Senior Deacon
H. Noble of Dundee as Junior Deacon

From the minutes he is the first P.G. Master to make a start to the regular visitations to Lodges, but in his short time, only managed to visit those in Montrose, Brechin and Arbroath. It was he was he who laid down the procedures for the visitations to the Lodges by the Provincial Grand Lodge.
He directed the Lodges to conform to the pattern of working degree rituals and the opening and closing of their Lodges to what was laid down by the Grand Lodge of Scotland.
Although suffering from severe illness the Provincial Grand Master presided at a meeting held in the new hall of St. Thomas of Aberbrothock on the 19th November 1880 and in the presence of over 100 brethren carried out the Consecrating ceremony. Afterwards a ‘sumptuous’ dinner was a served in the White Hart Hotel, Arbroath, courtesy of the Brethren of Lodge St. Thomas.

At a meeting in the Forfar and Kincardine Hall, Dundee on 29th April 1881, a discussion took place regarding requesting Grand Lodge to issue a “cheap” standardized “ritual” of Masonic working. The secretary was instructed to communicate this suggestion to them.
The Provincial Grand Master referred to a circular, which had been sent round the Lodges, by the “Board of Masters and Wardens of Dundee”, and issued by the Board Secretary, this letter contained a list names of brethren whom they wanted to be office bearers on Provincial Grand Lodge.
The Provincial Grand Master informed them that they had no right to do this, such selection was entirely a matter for the members of Provincial Grand Lodge and he trusted this would never happen again.

Capt David George Clayhills Henderson 

George David CLAYHILLS-HENDERSON (Capt.); Born 1 Dec 1832. Christen 29 Dec 1832 in Northallerton, YKS, ENG. Died 13 Jul 1909. Buried in Dargie Churchyard, Invergowrie. Occupation Capt., RN; DL, JP.  Of Invergowrie, Hallyards & Thornton-le-Moor (YKS) Clayhills Henderson
From 'Bulmer's 1890 History and Directory':
"THORNTON-LE-MOOR township, comprising 1,527 acres, is situated just beyond the borders of Allertonshire, in the Wapentake and Petty Sessional Divisional of Birdforth. It is in the Thirsk and Malton Division of the Riding, in the South Otterington Electoral Division, and the Thirsk Union and County Court District, The principal landowners are Earl Cathcart and the Earl of Harewood, joint lords of the manor; John Hutton, Esq., Northallerton; the trustees of the late Major J. W. Coates; Robt. Hutton-Squire, Esq., J.P., Holtby Hall; and Captain H. Clayhills. The soil is gravel and clay, and the chief crops wheat, oats, barley, beans and turnips. The rateable value is £2,711, and the population in 1881 was 335. "
He married Catherine Rose WARREN, daughter of John Warlase WARREN (Sir). Born 29 Mar 1845. Died 7 Dec 1898. Of Warrens Court, County Cork 6th daughter of her family - Buried in Dargie Churchyard, Invergowrie. 

Dargie Churchyard
Invergowrie House
Dargie Churchyard, Invergowrie, where the Clayhills-Henderson's are buried
Invergowrie House, once the Home of the Clayhills Hendersons. Now part of Ninewells Hospital

The Clayhills Hendersons of Invergowrie


Alexander Clayhills of Invergowrie

  • Joined  the Operative Mason Lodge of Dundee No. 47 on the 30th September 1829.
  • Of the Clayhills family of Invergowrie.
  • Main Residence - Invergowrie House.  House still exists, divided into flats and is situated in the grounds of Ninewells Hospital
  • Originally built in the 14th century, extended and baronialised by Alexander in 1837 (by the Architect William Burn.)
  • Alexander also donated 2 windows in the Cathedral Church of St Pauls in Dundee to his mother Henrietta Kinloch of Gourdie 

©Story by Iain D. McIntosh, 2014

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