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Bartholomew Helen

Female 1889 - 1977  (87 years)


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  • Name Bartholomew Helen 
    Born 21 Dec 1889  10 Belgrave Street, Glasgow,, Scotland Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Gender Female 
    Name Helen IBRAHIM ibn Abubakar 
    Name Helen Wilson 
    Residence 1947  Flat 5 The Hall 23a Grove End Road, London,, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Residence 1952  Flat 5 The Hall 23a Grove End Road, London,, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [3
    • Name:Lady Helen Ibrahim
      Address:5 The Hall 23A Grove End rd N.W.8. .
      Exchange:CUNningm
      City/Town:Cunningham
      Directory Title:London Surnames E - K
      Publication Year:1952
      Directory County:London
      Page Number:2297
    Died 13 Aug 1977  Homelands Nursing Home, Cowfold Horsham, Sussex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4, 5
    Notes 

    • Glasgow girl and the Sultan of Johore
      Helen Bartholomew, 1889-1977
      Premium Article !
      Published Date: 24 October 2006
      By ALWYN JAMES
      NO SCOT could match Helen Bartholomew's pathway to a postage stamp. In 1935 she was put on one as a present on her fifth wedding anniversary. Her husband could do this because he was Sultan Ibrahim, the Sultan of Johore (now Johor) and one of the richest men in the world.

      The daughter of a master saw-maker from Stirlingshire, Nellie, as she was known to the family, was born in Glasgow in September 1889. Her first husband, William Brockie Wilson, a Malay-born Scot, was the personal physician to the Sultan of Johore and Bartholomew travelled with him to the Far East. When her husband died, she returned to Britain but was soon to meet the Sultan once more.

      The Sultan was incredibly rich and had a reputation as a wild international playboy. His exploits ranged from changing the colour of his racing horse to present it as an unknown – with better odds of course – to less savoury behaviour in the red-light area of Vienna. To be fair, he spread his wealth around, giving a magnificent pair of Malay tigers to Edinburgh Zoo on the one hand and, on the other, sending a huge cash present to George V on his Jubilee.

      He was very much an Anglophile, and in 1914 appointed a British advisor to help him rule his country. Even then, the Sultan spent much of his life away from Johor, prefering the more liberal delights of Europe.

      When the Sultan sent his sons, by his Malay wives, to be educated in Britain, he renewed his acquaintance with the widow and asked her to keep an eye on his boys. He visited them from time to time and Bartholomew's relationship with the boys moved from motherly to step-motherly. They were married in a Surrey mosque in 1930 and Bartholomew became known as Her Highness Sultana Helen Ibrahim.

      The marriage lasted nearly ten years and when it ended, it did so amicably. The Sultan continued to add to his ex-wife's spectacular jewel collection, reputedly giving her an emerald on her birthday and a diamond on their wedding anniversary, even after the divorce. It is little wonder that her jewellery collection was held to be the finest in the world.

      Wilson returned briefly to her family in Scotland, then living in Cambuslang, but went south to spend the rest of her days in London. Apart from a sighting by one sister as she stepped from a grand Rolls Royce in Sauchiehall Street in the 1960s, she disappeared from Scotland's radar.

      Attempts by a Glasgow newspaper in the 1980s to find Bartholomew failed to shed any light on her final years, but did produce some faded school photographs which underlined the huge gap between her early working-class years in Glasgow and her later life in Johore and on the international circuit. However, more recent investigations revealed she died in a Surrey nursing home on 13 August 1977. It is not known whether her collection of precious stones were found too. [6]
    • crowned as Sultana at the Istana Besar, Johor Bahru, [4]
    Person ID I2236  Geniaus Family Tree
    Last Modified 20 May 2015 

    Father Living 
    Mother Living 
    Family ID F1103  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 1 Wilson William Brockie,   b. 10 Sep 1889, ,,,Malaya Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 19 Jul 1932, ,York, Yorkshire, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 42 years) 
    Married 14 Mar 1914  Presbyterian Church, Singapore,, Singapore Find all individuals with events at this location  [1, 7
    Children 
     1. Living
    Last Modified 20 May 2015 
    Family ID F1099  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family 2 IBRAHIM ibn Abubakar,   b. 17 Nov 1873, ,Istana Bidadan,, Singapore Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 8 May 1959, ,London, Middlesex, England Find all individuals with events at this location  (Age 85 years) 
    Married 15 Oct 1930  The Mosque, Woking, Surrey, England Find all individuals with events at this location  [4
    • 4th out of 5 wives Burke's Peerage,Baronetage and Knightage ; 1931 part 2
    Divorced 21 Dec 1937  [1
    Last Modified 11 Feb 2019 
    Family ID F1102  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Event Map
    Link to Google MapsBorn - 21 Dec 1889 - 10 Belgrave Street, Glasgow,, Scotland Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 14 Mar 1914 - Presbyterian Church, Singapore,, Singapore Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsMarried - 15 Oct 1930 - The Mosque, Woking, Surrey, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1947 - Flat 5 The Hall 23a Grove End Road, London,, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsResidence - 1952 - Flat 5 The Hall 23a Grove End Road, London,, England Link to Google Earth
    Link to Google MapsDied - 13 Aug 1977 - Homelands Nursing Home, Cowfold Horsham, Sussex, England Link to Google Earth
     = Link to Google Earth 

  • Sources 
    1. [S13] WWW, http://www.gibbonsstampmonthly.com/Journals/GSM/Gibbons_Stamp_Monthly/September_2007/attachments/johore.pdf.

    2. [S48] Ancestry.co.uk, London, England, Electoral Registers, 1847-1965 Record for Helen Ibrahim Westminster > St Marylebone > 1947 > 25.

    3. [S48] Ancestry.co.uk, British Phone Books, 1880-1984 about Lady Helen Ibrahim.

    4. [S13] WWW, http://www.royalark.net/Malaysia/johor14.htm.

    5. [S48] Ancestry.co.uk, England & Wales, Death Index: 1916-2005 about Helen Ibrahim.
      Name:Helen Ibrahim
      Birth Date:21 Dec 1889
      Date of Registration:Jul-Aug-Sep 1977
      Age at Death:87
      Registration district:Horsham
      Inferred County:West Sussex
      Volume:18
      Page:1752

    6. [S13] WWW, http://heritage.scotsman.com/stamps/Glasgow-girl-and-the-Sultan.2821207.jp.

    7. [S19] Marriage Certificate.
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