Tain Museum Image Library

Workshop of Sir Charles Ross
Tain Museum Image Library
Workshop of Sir Charles Ross

This photograph, gifted by Balnagown Estates, shows the workshop where Sir Charles Ross worked on his inventions.
Picture added on 17 May 2004
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Sir Charles Ross
Sir Charles was a keen marksman and won prizes for shooting at Eton, where he designed his first sporting rifle. He went on to produce a number of accurate high velocity rifles which were highly regarded by sportsmen, and went into the Boer War with the Ross Machine Gun Battery, which was equipped with guns designed by him. Much of the preliminary design and testing of his guns was carried out in this workshop. In 1910 he set up a company in Quebec to produce a military rifle, the Ross Rifle, which was used by the Canadian Army during WW1. It proved to be too delicate and unreliable for use in the field and the enterprise was a disaster for the soldiers who were trying to use it although not for Sir Charles, who by this time had made a great deal of money out of it. It was the Inland Revenue's demand for tax on this money which led Sir Charles to have the Balnagown estate declared US territory and thus outside British jurisdiction. This in turn led to his being declared an outlaw by the British government.

Added by Estelle Quick on 11 June 2004
I would be interested in contacting anybody who may have knowledge of any circumstances connected with Sir Charles's first marriage to Winifred nee Berens, and of the subsequent divorce.
Added by Glyn Jones on 21 June 2004
The museum has a lovely stereoscopic photograph of Winifred taken in the USA. We'll put this up on the site shortly.
Added by Estelle Quick on 22 June 2004
Sorry - the photo I thought was of Sir Charles' wife Winifred is actually of his mother Rebecca - see picture #171.
Added by Estelle Quick on 23 June 2004
I believe my ancestors were related to Sir Charles Ross.

I have Duncan Ross born March 06, 1839, Tarlogie, Tain, Ross-shire, Ross and Cromarty, Scotland

If anyone has information about Charles Ross genealogy and family line, please contact me.
Added by Debby Dunbar Ortman on 05 August 2005
Debby, you will find information about Sir Charles' ancestry in a number of books, of which the most detailed is probably The Great Clan Ross by J.R. Ross, published by Hemlock Press, Ontario, 3rd ed. 1993. This is now out of print but should be available via your local library.
Added by Estelle Quick on 06 August 2005
My husbands grandfather was a machinist in Quebec, his name was Stanislas Malo, he invented the shell-making machine for the ross rifle; it was patented in the U.S.A by Randolph and Company in 1911, I have the patent and the schematics
Added by Rita Amyotte on 04 August 2006
iIfind your site very interesting. I am on it for hours. I'm trying to find a link to my grandfather Charles Alexander Roberts. My family know he was related but never knew his family. He was disowned by his family but I'm not sure why. As I said we never knew his family. An aunt said his family had servents and staff> Whatever the connection is we know one of his family married the matron of Sir Charles' hospital in London. I am trying to find my mum's roots. As his children never got to meet his family it maybe his grandparents lived there? Any information would be helpful. We know his relations lived in the castle through a legal document. Please - any advice would be great. Thanks, Debi
Added by Debi on 08 January 2010
William Urquhart was the blacksmith helping him with this work!!! My husband s great grandfather!!!
Added by Elma and Ian Iversen on 18 April 2014
1939-40 my Father was stationed in Tain Scotland in the Canadian Forestry Corps. The Ross Estate was in fault of paying taxes and portions were logged for the lumber to use in the war, by the CFC.
Added by Phil Juby on 14 March 2021
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Sir Charles Ross

Sir Charles Ross at EtonDorothy Mercado (Lady Ross)Patricia Ellison (Lady Ross)Lady Ross of BalnagownHarvesting on Balnagown estateBalnagown CastleBalnagown Castle