Valuation Rolls 1925

Prince Vallar, Pioneering Tattooist

A tattoo specialist calling himself ‘Prince Valler’ is the most unusual person revealed in a snapshot of Scotland in 1925 that is being released by the National Records of Scotland. Prince Valler is unique in being listed in the 1925 Valuation Rolls as a ‘tattooer’, a professional tattooist, working from a rented flat at 63 Stewart Street in the east end of Glasgow. His flat was modest, with a rateable value of £11. 15s.

More than 2.1 million indexed names and addresses from the valuation rolls will go online, as records of every owner, tenant and occupier of property in Scotland in 1925 are released on, the government’s family history website.

Prince Vallar or Valler is said to have been born Patrick Henson in Ireland in 1888, the son of Stephen Henson, and Henrietta Rosine. In the 1900s his father worked as Stephen Valler, ‘professional entertainer’ using his father John Valler’s surname. By 1911 Patrick was twenty two years old and had adapted his Valler surname to trade in Glasgow as ‘Prince Valler’, a ‘society tattooist’. This reflects a fashion among the upper classes of Victorian and Edwardian Britain which was already on the decline.

Valler probably visited his clients at home. To keep up his business, in September 1915 he even visited the Capital and opened a ‘pop-up’ tattoo shop on Leith Walk. After war service in the Army, Valler resumed his business. It was only in 1934 that he finally opened the first known tattooing premises in Scotland at 404 Argyle Street, Glasgow. By then tattoos were mainly favoured by the working class, and Valler’s shop became a well-known establishment, catering for sailors and others in search of personalised body art. Prince Valler, ‘Tattoo Artist’ died in 1947, and the business continued until 1965, run by his son Stephen and latterly his other son Robert.

Tim Ellis, Registrar General and Keeper of the Records of Scotland, said:

"The release of the Valuation Rolls for 1925 provides family and local history researchers worldwide with another powerful digital tool. The rolls will allow people to discover more about where and how Scots were living in the mid-1920s, fourteen years after the Census of 1911. This latest release is part of the commitment by the National Records of Scotland to provide access to the key records that researchers want."

Annelies van den Belt, the CEO of DC Thomson Family History, which enables the ScotlandsPeople website on behalf of the National Records of Scotland, said:

"We’re very pleased to add this seventh set of Valuation Roll indexes and images to the ScotlandsPeople website – bringing the current total of index entries on the website to over 105 million. These new records will complement the six previous releases of Valuation Rolls spanning the years 1875 to 1920, and will also help family historians who are looking to fill in gaps after the 1911 Census."

Notes for Editors

On Tuesday 9 December, 2,103,648 names and addresses will be added to ScotlandsPeople, the family history website of the National Records of Scotland. The entries have been created from 76,512 digital images captured from 186 volumes of Valuation Rolls . The 1925 rolls join six previous releases on the site, enabling anyone worldwide to find property owners, tenants and occupiers across Scotland between 1875 and 1925.

The 141 volumes of Valuation Rolls for 1875, comprising 70,000 images and 900,000 index entries, join previous releases on the site, enabling anyone worldwide to find property owners, tenants and occupiers across Scotland between 1875 and 1920.

The 1925 Valuation Rolls will be available on the ScotlandsPeople website, at the ScotlandsPeople Centre in Edinburgh, and at local family history centres in Glasgow, Kilmarnock, Hawick, Inverness and Clackmannanshire.

The ScotlandsPeople Media Website

To download high resolution images and stories for the launch of the 1925 Valuation Rolls, as well as background information and statistics, visit the ScotlandsPeople Media Website:


Access to the ScotlandsPeople website for journalists

If you would like to gain access to the ScotlandsPeople website to research a story for this launch or for a special feature, then please get in touch via the contact details listed below.

Lisa O'Hare:

Mobile: 07785 618844

The National Records of Scotland & ScotlandsPeople

National Records of Scotland is a Non-Ministerial Department of the Scottish Government. It holds and gives access to the nation's archives, oversees the registration of births, marriages and deaths, produces statistics on Scotland's population and conducts the Scottish Census. It is a centre of expertise on data handling, record keeping and archives., the official genealogy website for Scottish ancestry, is a partnership between the National Records of Scotland and the Court of the Lord Lyon, enabled by DC Thomson Family History.

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