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James Lawson Constable was born on 28th January 1890 in Hamilton, Lanarkshire, the youngest of 3 surviving children of Marion Constable (nee Lawson) and George Palmer Constable, a spirits merchant. Constable lived with his parents and two elder sisters in Quarry Street, Hamilton. He continued to live there after his father died in 1896 when his mother took over the running of the spirits business. Constable attended The Glasgow School of Art between 1908 and 1913, initially as an evening student of drawing and painting before commencing full time study for four years, continuing with drawing and painting and also life drawing. His studies were interrupted by WW1 when he served with Cameronians (Scottish Rifles), a regiment traditionally recruited in the Lanarkshire area. He joined up voluntarily, possibly with the Territorial Force and as such was not obliged to serve overseas although many Territorials did volunteer to do so. Constable initially served as a Private with the 5th Battalion before being promoted to 2nd Lieutenant in January 1916 and is likely to have served with a home service 'second line' unit, based in the UK. After the war, Constable returned to The Glasgow School of Art, studying drawing and painting as a day student in the 1918-19 session. On 6th September 1923, he married Margaret Alexandra Taylor, an art mistress, at the St Enoch's Hotel in Glasgow. His occupation is noted as a portrait painter. He also painted landscapes and still lifes and his work was exhibited on a number of occasions at the Royal Scottish Academy and on fourteen occasions in the 1920's and 30's at the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, including a portrait of his wife in 1934. His wife also exhibited a watercolour at the Royal Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts in 1933. In 1944, Constable's final painting was exhibited there and he died of a heart attack the following year at the age of 54. His main
Source of income does not appear to have been as a painter however, as his death certificate notes he continued with the family business as a wine and spirit merchant. James L. Constable is commemorated on The Glasgow School of Art's World War One Roll of Honour.
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Sources: Scotland's People: http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk; Ancestry: http://www.ancestry.co.uk ; The Long Trail: http://www.longlongtrail.co.uk; The National Archives: discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk: The Gazette http://www.thegazette.co.uk