MAKGILL, Sir George

1868 - 1926

George Makgill

Born at Stirling, Scotland on 24 December 1868, son of Captain John Makgill and his wife Margaret Isabella née Haldane, sister of Lord Haldane. Educated privately, Makgill lived for several years in New Zealand where his father had a station at Waiuku. He married in 1891, Frances Elizabeth Grant of Merchiston, Otago, N.Z.. His father died in 1906, when Makgill established his claim to the Baronetcy of Makgill, and continued to petition for the revival of the Lordship and the Scottish Viscountcy of Oxfuird. As Sir George Makgill, he leased from Lord Henniker, Yaxley Hall, an Elizabethan mansion, near Eye, Suffolk. During the First World War, Makgill was Secretary to the Anti-German Union, later renamed the British Empire Union which in 1915 and 1916 brought a lawsuit to strip German-born banker Ernest Cassel and American-born of German parents railway financier Edgar Speyer of their Privy Council membership, and although the case was dismissed, Edgar Speyer's English citizenship was stripped after the war. After the war business interests invited him to set up a private intelligence network, the Industrial Intelligence Board, to monitor communists, trade unionists and industrial unrest and in 1926 managed the day-to-day operations of the Organization for the Maintenance of Supplies, set up to supply and maintain blackleg workers during the General Strike. A member of the Ipswich Art Club 1911-1915 and exhibited from The Gazebo, Walberswick, Southwold, Suffolk in 1911 twelve pictures, four oils 'Fishermen', 'On the River Blyth', 'The Harbour' and 'Southwold Quary' and seven watercolours 'The Village', 'Fishing Boats Stranded', 'The Old Bridge', 'Autumn Sunset', 'Fishermen, Rive Blyth', 'Fishing Boats', 'Dunwich Church' and 'Snow and Sunshirne' and by 1914 was living at Aldbury, Tring, Hertfordshire but did not exhibit again. He was also the author of colonial adventure stories under pseudonyms 'Victor Waite' and 'Mungo Ballas'. He died in London on 16 October 1926. He had two sons and two daughters with eldest son, John Donald Makgill (1899-1986) inheriting the baronetcy.