See caption
Self-portrait, c. 1875
Wikimedia Commons

Arthur John Lewis Gordon (1847–1918) was an artist and collector who acted as private secretary to his cousin, Sir Arthur Hamilton Gordon, when the latter took up his post as the first British Governor of Fiji.[1]

Born in Stockholm[1] on 19 March 1847, Arthur’s parents were George John Robert Gordon and Rosa Justina Young.[2] Educated at Radley College, he followed his father in a career in the diplomatic service. He was awarded a CMG in 1877 for his work involving the suppression of native tribes when they rebelled in Fiji.[3] In 1885 he married Caroline Augusta Hamilton Gordon,[1] the governor’s niece.[4]

During the 1880s Arthur inherited the Ellon Castle estateHistoric ruined castle remains, formerly Fortalice of Ardgith, focal point within a formal walled garden in Ellon and took up residence in the mansion house built by his grandfather, Alexander Gordon. Arthur’s son, Cosmo Alexander Gordon, was born in Ellon in 1886. When the 7th Earl of Aberdeen was appointed as Governor General of Canada in 1893, Arthur served as his secretary.[4]

The Ellon estate was heavily mortgaged and in severe debt when Arthur inherited it; by 1913 it was being administered by trustees.[4]

Arthur died on 13 August 1918 in a London nursing home.[3] The funeral and burial took place in Ellon on 21 August.[5]



Foster, Joseph. The Royal Lineage of Our Noble and Gentle Families. Hazell, Watson and Viney, 1884.
Gordon, Cosmo Alexander. “The Ellon Castle Estate.” A History of the Burgh and Parish of Ellon, Aberdeenshire, edited by James Godsman, Lindsay, 1958, pp. 61–72.
Mills, Nicola. “Meet the Gordons.” University of Aberdeen Museums, 14 Mar. 2014,
Staff writer. “Late Mr A. J. L. Gordon, CMG, of Ellon.” Aberdeen Daily Journal, 15 Aug. 1918, p. 2.
Staff writer. “Funeral of Mr A. J. L. Gordon of Ellon.” Aberdeen Daily Journal, 22 Aug. 1918, p. 5.