v 6.40.00
19 Dec 2022
updated 21 Dec 2022

Margaret Little
(26 May 1858 - 27 Jan 1940)

The narrative that follows is transcribed from Alexander (Sandy) Waddell's invaluable summary in his biographical documentation of the Little and Martin families.

Summary transcript

Born 26 May 1858 in Singapore. Fifth child of Sarah Sophia (née Whittle) and Dr Robert Little.

She married James Waddell at Singapore in Jan 1881. James was the Marine Superintendent Far East for the NISM shipping line. Her wedding was the last one in the family to be done in the grand style. Her elder sister Sophie took her to London to buy her trousseau - a dozen of everything (hand sewn). Dr Robert reeled when he received the bill. There were five children of the marriage and only by the record of their birth places do we learn of her movements in the earlier years:

Peter Hately Waddell18 Dec 1881Singapore
Robert Waddell4 Jul 1883Glasgow
Mary (Mollie) Campbell Waddell4 Mar 1885Singapore
Helen Halcro Wardlaw Waddell1887?
Margaret (Meg) Wardlaw Waddell8 Mar 1889Java

With the four surviving children they were repatriated to Glasgow early in 1892, when the NISM shipping line, managed from London, went into liquidation. The children had all suffered from malaria and Robert was in need of optical attention.

James was offered and accepted a new post with the Royal Dutch Company and left for Sumatra in May. Margaret was thus left to care for and arrange the education of the children. In the event James returned to Glasgow the following year and though unrecorded he must have obtained further employment, since he was unlikely to have received any pension from either NISM or Royal Dutch.

An injury sustained by a fall from a Jacobs ladder, believed to have been in the Tanjong Page Dry Dock, caused him to become increasingly invalid and he died in 1906. By then Peter had left for India, Robert was ready to emigrate to America and when Mollie and Meg had completed their studies at Glasgow University she moved to 9, Frognal Mansions, Hampstead where she was close to the second wife and widow (Harriet Agnes Little née Lawrence) of Matthew Little. There she lived through the First World War, being joined later by her daughter Mollie on her return from teaching in the Malay States.

Though a firm Germanophobe in old age she grudgingly confessed to the compiler of this record, when aged about 10 yrs, her approval of the wide range of products made by a company called Aktiengesellschaft (= generic term for any company quoted on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange!)

She died in 1940.