Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn: The man
As a man, Littlejohn has been described as sometimes curt and businesslike. “Strangers might have thought him somewhat brusque – certainly he was curiously volatile in his moods, due perhaps, to the weight of responsibility which rested on his shoulders, and he was impatient with stupid people in whatever station in life. But, withal, under a certain outward hauteur, he was at heart a genial personality and to his poorer fellow-citizens…ever a sympathetic listener…”
Despite the commitment of time and energy required of such a renowned public figure, Littlejohn did not neglect his private life. As a devoted husband of Isabella Jane Harvey and father of thirteen children – 10 daughters and 3 sons – he was clearly a man who found time for his family.
In the summer months particularly, the Littlejohn family were often to be found residing at their country house, ‘Benreoch’, in Arrochar, Dunbartonshire. The Littlejohn archival collection in ECA helps throw some light on the family’s more private life; they were well known in the village it seems, and a few of Littlejohn’s daughters often helped in the local shop of Miss Cathie McFarlane.
No doubt, after his retirement and towards the end of his life, Littlejohn spent more time there. Indeed, it was in this tranquil setting, at Benreoch that Sir Henry Duncan Littlejohn died in 1914. Though he was cremated in Glasgow, the ashes of this remarkable and eminent son of Scotland’s Capital City were brought back east and interred in Dean Cemetery where a commemorative headstone was erected by his son.