George Masterton (1810-1884)

George Masterton (1810-1884)

Weaver and suicide

George Bruce Masterton, born in Newburgh, was a salmon fisher, and variously a linen weaver and jute warper. Sadly, he committed suicide by hanging at the advanced age of 73, the reason for which is attributed to the departure of his only daughter on her marriage. His wife Isabella Nairn had died some 20 years earlier.


George Bruce Masterton was the second son of seven children born to John Masterton, linen weaver and Janet Bruce. They belong to the very large family of Mastertons that flourished in Newburgh but can be traced back to John Masterton, shoemaker from Portsburgh, who moved from Leith to Newburgh, probably towards the end of the 18th Century. A fuller genealogy of the extended family of George Bruce Masterton can be found at this link.

Dundee Courier and Argus

At half-past eight o'clock yesterday morning George Masterton, a weaver, aged 73 years of age, was discovered by his son George suspended by the neck in his weaver's shop, life being extinct. The rope had been fasteneed to a nail in the joisting, and a chair was close by, where it is supposed the unfortunate man had leaped off. His toes touched the ground. For some weeks past he had been threatening to commit suicide. The reason assigned for his sad state of mind is that his only daughter married a short time ago, and he was left in his house alone.

The Dundee Courier and Argus
Tuesday, 14th October, 1884

The Scotsman

George Masterton, a weaver, about 70 years of age, residing in Craighead's Close, High Street, Newburgh, committed suicide by hanging himself in his weaving shop on Monday morning between 7 and 8 o'clock. Masterton had been in a depressed state of mind for some weeks, and had threatened to take his own life.

The Scotsman
14th October, 1884

Fife Herald

A weaver named George Masterton, has commited suicide by hanging himself in a weaving shop under his house. He was discovered on Monday morning at nine o'clock quite dead. He had fastened a hempsen rope to a ring in the ceiling, by which he managed to deprive himself of life. Masterton has been in a very depressed state for some time.

Fife Herald
15th October, 1884