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Robert Malcolm Kerr


John C. Lusk, B.A., B.D.

Robert Malcolm Kerr gave two windows to the church: the Emmaus window ( under the Choir gallery ) in 1891, and Christ blessing the children ( in the Choir gallery ) in 1902. Both were made by Heaton, Butler & Bayne.

RMK was for 43 years Judge at the Guildhall Court in the City of London. He was known generally as 'Commissioner Kerr'.

He was a fine old judge, capable, caustic, rugged, original, fearlessly honest, concealing under a crusty exterior a kindly heart. The world loves a character, and it had one in Robert Malcolm Kerr.
                            -- Robert Reid, Family Records, 1912

In 1873-4 his distant cousin Sir Andrew Lusk ( whose grandmother was a Kerr ) was Lord Mayor of London - in interesting case of two Scotsmen being prominent at the same time in the City.

RMK's parent were John Kerr and Elizabeth Malcolm. The Malcolm family seem to have lived in Govan. RMK gave the Emmaus window in memory of his uncle ( mother's brother ) Robert Malcolm, who had died in 1850 and was buried at Govan. The tablet near the window records also the burial near this church of RMK's parents, and another uncle and aunt, and his mother's parents Alexander Malcolm and Elizabeth Steele, and his mother's grandparents Walter Malcolm and Anne Gillies - three generations of the Malcolm family.

According to Reid's B, RMK's father John Kerr ( 1791 - 1853 ) was a Writer in Glasgow. After apprenticeship in Stewarton, Ayrshire, he became Notary Public and in 1823 member of the Faculty of Procurators of Glasgow. He belonged to the Society of Antiquaries, and took part in the founding of the Maitland Club in 1828. He belonged to a younger branch of the old Ayrshire family of Kerr of Kersland. Kersland in the parish of Dalry belonged to a Kerr in 1205, and the family claimed to be the oldest of that surname in Scotland, older even than the Kerr's of Ferniehurst, the family of the Duke of Roxburghe.

RMK showed his family piety by erecting in the Cathedral of Utrecht in the Netherlands a tablet in memory of Robert Kerr of Kersland who had died in 1680 at Rheni Trajectum, apprently a religious refugee. So visitors to Utrecht see the munificence of Commissioner Kerr as in Govan.

RMK, who died in 1902, had six sons and two daughters. It would be interesting to know whether there are descendants still living.

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Last modified on: Saturday, 08-Apr-2000 19:47:35 BST
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