Gerontology Wiki
David Henderson
David Henderson
David Henderson at age 99
Birth: 14 June 1889
Angus, Scotland, UK
Death: 14 November 1998
Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK
Age: 109 years, 153 days
Country: United Kingdom UK

David Henderson (14 June 1889 – 14 November 1998) was a British centenarian who was the oldest known man in Scotland and the United Kingdom at the time of his death. He was also Scotland’s oldest man ever until his age was surpassed by Alf Smith in 2017.


David Henderson was born in Angus, Scotland, UK, on 14 June 1889. He grew up on his father’s farm in Alyth, near Glamis Castle. He had dance lessons as a child, and his dance teacher would later teach Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, the future Queen Mother. Henderson once waved to Queen Victoria on a passing train.

By 1921, Henderson had bought his own farm in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, where he would live and work for the remaining 77 years of his life. During his adulthood, he was reported to have been 6’3” (190.5 cm) tall. He suffered from rheumatism as a young man, and was cured by an Australian doctor within two years.

Henderson married a woman named Elizabeth Cargill in 1919, who died in 1973 without having children. Henderson’s father died aged 98 and his sister reached 96. In his later life, his nephew, Douglas Cargill, assisted him with the farm work. Henderson himself lived in a nursing home that had been built on his farmland. At the age of 107, he had a pacemaker fitted, being one of the oldest people in the world to undergo such a procedure.

On 7 August 1997, aged 108, Henderson became the oldest man in the United Kingdom following the death of 109-year-old Vinson Gulliver of Manchester. Henderson came down with a chest infection a week before his death, and his final goodbye was to loyal farm worker of 53 years, George Thomson.

Henderson died in Laurencekirk, Aberdeenshire, Scotland, UK, on 14 November 1998 at the age of 109 years, 153 days, as the last British man born in the 1880s. His successor as the United Kingdom’s oldest man was Harry Halford (1891 – 2000).


United Kingdom's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

George Stanforth • John Mosley Turner • John Leng • Frederick Butterfield • James Harrow • Ernest Oxley • Harry Durrant • Arthur Emanuel • James Sellers • Walter Sandford • George Simms • Henry Norman • John Orton • Alfred Grant • John Evans • Samuel Crabbe • Joseph Randle • Jesse Yewdall • William Proctor • David Davies • Vinson Gulliver • David Henderson • Harry Halford • William Lee • Frederick Moore • Harry Laverick • Jerzy Pajaczkowski-Dydynski • Henry Allingham • Harry Patch • Stanley Lucas • Edward Anderson • Reg Dean • Ralph Tarrant • Harold Bracher • Frank Simes • John Mansfield • Alf Smith • Bob Weighton • Harry Fransman • John Tinniswood

Scotland's Oldest Living Man Titleholders (VE)

Andrew AmosAlexander MacPhailJames MathisonWilliam KirkpatrickThomas MaxwellRobert SpenceWilliam GreenSamuel BrownJames WebsterWilliam LaidlawJohn MacraeThomas SeniorPeter MelvilleGavin AllanJohn YoungAngus MacLeodJames WattDonald MaclellanRobert GrieveHenry ReidJohn MacaskillWilliam LaingGeorge WilkieDonald MacInnesJames MatchesJames BalnavesJames MorrisonJoseph McVinnieFrancis MathisonJohn MacGregorJohn DykesJohn NeillJames OgilvieAlexander PirieGeorge FergusonWilliam MairJock SmithAlexander MackayTom PetrieGeorge McLarenHenry KemptonAndrew MainGilbert CampbellJohn McNallyWilliam BurnsLachlan MacQueenGilbert WatsonAngus OrrWilliam EelesJohn GlendinningRobert McBrideJohn BarrJohn MortonAndrew DrummondPeter CummingsJames HardyDavid HendersonErnest ClucasEwen RossSandy GallAlfred AndersonJames WotherspoonBob TaggartSam LatterJohn HodgeLeo TavelliDavid CampbellJames HaganFrank SaundersTom MacIverAlf SmithJimmy SinclairChic KennedyWalter SharpGeorge PollardDavid Crawford