Watercolour Painting by Thomas Millons

The Canongate


Looking to the east, down the Canongate

Canongate Tollbooth with turrets and clock is on the left

Early 1900s?

Watercolour Painting of Canongate, possibly early 1900s, by Thomas Millons

©  Reproduced with acknowledgement to Marjorie Hutchinson (née Chennells), Alberta, Canada


Canongate, Edinburgh

Thank you to John Ruelle and Marjorie Chennells Hutchinson for allowing me to reproduce this painting.

John wrote

Watercolour Painting

"This is from a water colour painting that  my wife’s mother,   Marjorie Hutchinson (née Chennells), won in a tennis competition in Vancouver, Canada in 1937.  It now hangs in our house.

Based on the attire, my wife thinks the painting might date to Edwardian times (1901 to 1911?).  The artist is Thomas Millons.  A 'Made in England' sticker on the back has a trade mark NORMILL and serial number 3025. 


Watercolour Painting

"We'd like to discover more about this painting and the artist, and have done an extensive Google search, but we could find nothing.

Do you recognise the artist, or are you able to add any comments on the vintage of the painting?"

John Ruelle, Calgary, Alberta, Canada:  October 21+26, 2012

Reply to John?

If you think you might be able to tell John anything more about his painting or about the artist, please email me, then I'll pass on your message to him.

Thank you.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 26, 2012




Peter Stubbs


The Artist

I've found a reference to the artist on the Artfact web site (now the Invaluable web site).  He is described there as:

Thomas Millons (1859-) *

Alias:  Thomas "Captain" Millons

Professions:  Architecture Painter, ;  Naval Painter;  Painter


Paintings Sold at Auction

The Artfact site lists two Thomas Millons paintings that have sold recently at auction:.  He is described there as:

1.  At Dominic Winter Book Auctions, 2007

Sailing ship at sea, 1925, watercolour on paper heightened with bodycolour, signed & dated, 220 x 300mm, mounted, gilt moulded frame, glazed (1)

2.  At Sotheby's, 1999

Entering Harbour, indistinctly signed (twice), watercolour heightened with white, 34.5 by 47.5cm.

The Artfact site can also show the prices that paintings attained at auction, but this info is only available to people who subscribe to their site.  I am not a subscriber.

I've not discovered Thomas Millons' date of death, but it seems fairly safe to assume that copyright on his paintings will have expired.  i.e. assuming that he died aged about 83 or younger.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh:  October 26, 2012




Sally Douglas

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Sally Douglas who read the request for information about the artist, Thomas Millons, and replied:

RSA Exhibition 1885

"Thomas Millons exhibited one of his paintings in at the Royal Scottish Academy Exhibition, 1885.

See the snippet below.

Snippet on p.280 from

Dictionary of The Royal Scottish Academy Exhibitions,

(Charles Baile de Laperriere, Royal Scottish Academy,1991)

Artist:        MILLONS, Thomas, 1859

                 Ptr. 137 George St, Edinburgh

Painting:   Glasgow 317 Misty morning - sunrise

Sally Douglas, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia:  December 23, 2012




Sally Douglas

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Thank you to Sally Douglas for sending me several more emails, telling me what she had discovered about the artist, Thomas Millons.

This is what I discovered from the emails.


Thomas Millons was born in Edinburgh in 1859.

Several of his voyages are listed in Lloyd's Register:

-  Vol. 52:  1888-90, 1892-95

-  Vol. 67:  1896-99, 1901

-  Vol. 82:, 1904-06, 1910

Source:  Institute of Historical Research Index to the Captains' Registers of
Lloyds of London Guildhall Library:  Ms18567, p.90


Thomas Millons' business was:

-  Hawley Wm  Millons & Co, Tile agents , tile layers and mosaic workers, 137 George |Street, Edinburgh.

(This was Thomas Millons' address in 1885.)

Source:  National LIbrary of Scotland - Scottish Post Office Directories  -  Slater's Royal National Commercial Directory of Scotland  -  Edinburghshire,.  p.106

Paintings Exhibited

Captain Thomas Millons exhibited his paintings of marines and architectural subjects in London and Australia.
(Which paintings did he exhibit, when and where?)

Source:  Australian Google Books web site:  Victorian Painters, p.356

Family HIstory

The Ancestry web site has two family trees for the Millons family. Thomas Millons' family included:

-  Father:  David Millons

-  Mother:  Isabella

-  Brothers:  William T Millons and David N Millons

(All three sons were born in Edinburgh)

Source: Australian Ancestry web site


Details of Milson family gravestones can be found on the Gravestone Photos web site.

Acknowledgement:  Sally Douglas:  December 26, 2012 (7 emails)

Message for Sally Douglas

Thank you, Sally, for providing all the details above about the Edinburgh artist, Thomas Millons.

Unfortunately, I don't have the resources to add any more information about him or his family to the EdinPhoto web site. 

Howeve, I have passed on your email address to John Ruelle, Calgary, Alberta, Canada who asked the original question about Thomas Mullins, a couple of weeks ago, so I'll leave you both to continue to discuss this topic, if there are any points that you would both like to discuss.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh: December 26, 2012




Andrew Davies

Thank you to Andy Davies who wrote:

Canongate Painting

Watercolour Painting of Canongate, possibly early 1900s, by Thomas Millons ©

"I now seem to be the owner of the painting! 

I was about to take it out and use the frame when I noticed a handwritten note  stuck on the back which says:

Thos Millows:  (Does this actually say 'Thos. Millons'?)  had a Welsh address when (he) first appeared in 'The Years Art'

(He had) two pictures in the Royal Cambrian Academy (1920).

By 1923 (he) was at Lasswade: (and had) two pictures in Royal Scottish Academy that year; one in 1928.

The picture in my possession also has a sticker on the back saying:

'Made in England'

 Trade Mark: NORMILL

Serial Number: 3025. 

I was about to throw the picture away but when I saw that it seemed to be an original.  I looked up the painter and came across your EdinPhoto web site.

Are you able to shed any light on this mystery?"

Andrew Davies:  18 February 2016

Message for Sally Douglas

Unfortunately, I don't have any further info to pass on to Andy Davies about this artist or his painting..  All that I know is already recorded on this page.

Does the evidence provided by Andy Davies (above) really suggest that Andy's painting is an original  -  or might it be a copy?

However, I've now sent an email to Marjorie Hutchinson, who allowed me to reproduce the painting at the top of this page, to let her know about Andy Davies' comments above.

Peter Stubbs, Edinburgh: 21 September 2016




John and Joe Ruelle

Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Thank you to Andy Davies who wrote:

Canongate Painting

Watercolour Painting of Canongate, possibly early 1900s, by Thomas Millons ©

"We have a copy of this painting and are thinking of taking it to an art gallery here in Calgary for an opinion on it being a print or not."

It was interesting to read that Andrew Davies mentioned that there is a sticker on the back of his painting identical to ours:

'Made in England'

 Trade Mark: NORMILL

Serial Number: 3025. 

That makes us think that Normill may have released a series of prints."

John & Jo Rouelle, Calgary, Alberta, Canada:  23 September 2016



Royal Mile