Alexander (Alec) Ritchie

1856 - 1941

Jewellery maker and metal-worker. Born in Tobermory (Mull) and raised on Iona, Ritchie trained as a marine engineer and joined the British India Steam Shipping Company, travelling the world for more than twenty years. Having been injured in a shipwreck, he returned to Scotland and changed direction. He trained at Glasgow School of Art, where he met his wife Effie Ritchie (1862 - 1941). The couple settled on Iona, where Ritchie was appointed guide and custodian of the ruined Iona Abbey by its then owner, George Douglas Campbell (8th Duke of Argyll, 1823 - 1900). They set up a workshop and designed jewellery, bowls, frames and other items in brass, copper and silver decorated with designs inspired by Celtic and Pictish symbols. Their work became popular and highly influential within the arts and crafts movement.

Together the couple also produced a little book entitled Map of Iona with a Sketch Historical and Geological of the Island, published in Edinburgh in 1928. This map captured an important record of the island's Gaelic place-names and included topographical drawings by James E. Shearer (1858 - 1940).

Alec died at Shuna Cottage on Iona just two days after Effie, and they were buried together at St. Oran's Graveyard.

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better