Tributes as Heinz heiress dies

The Herald - - NEWS - MARTIN WIL­LIAMS

DRUE HEINZ, the widow of the for­mer head of the global US food firm Heinz and long-time phi­lan­thropist, has died at her Scot­tish cas­tle aged 103.

It has been con­firmed Mrs Heinz died at Hawthorn­den Cas­tle, Mid­loth­ian, which she had lov­ingly re­stored through­out the 1980s and trans­formed into a writ­ers’ re­treat.

Born in Eng­land in 1915, Mrs Heinz went on to be­come widely re­spected in the US and Bri­tain for her gen­er­ous sup­port of the arts and she took a par­tic­u­lar in­ter­est in An­glo-amer­i­can lit­er­a­ture.

In the UK, she was a trustee of the Royal Acad­emy of Arts and a found­ing coun­cil mem­ber of the Rother­mere Amer­i­can In­sti­tute at Ox­ford.

She en­dowed the Drue Heinz Chair in Amer­i­can Lit­er­a­ture at St John’s Col­lege, Ox­ford, and as a mem­ber of the London Li­brary, she cre­ated an en­dow­ment there to de­velop its lit­er­ary col­lec­tions.

Hawthorn­den, in Lass­wade, was the for­mer home of poet Wil­liam Drum­mond and com­prises a 15th cen­tury ruin with a 17th cen­tury L-plan house at­tached which has been used by the likes of crime writer Ian Rankin, novelist Jonathan Coe and Scot­tish au­thor Alas­dair Gray.

Last night, a man­ager at the cas­tle said he be­lieved Mrs Heinz would be hon­oured with a memorial but that noth­ing had yet been planned.

The writ­ers’ re­treat is mar­keted as a “peace­ful set­ting where cre­ative writ­ers can work with­out dis­tur­bance”.

There is a strict rule of si­lence, with no-one al­lowed to speak be­tween the hours of 9.30am and 6pm and no vis­i­tors are al­lowed.

One vis­i­tor com­mented three years ago there was no in­ter­net and that Mrs Heinz was said to rarely visit Hawthorn­den.

Writer Ken­neth Steven, who twice used Hawthorn­den, wrote in the Scot­tish Re­view of Books that she had es­tab­lished the re­treat be­cause of “her love and fas­ci­na­tion for writ­ers and her de­sire to sup­port the en­deav­ours of up-and-com­ing au­thors, not only from this coun­try but from all over the world”.

There was spec­u­la­tion 10 years ago that she was be­hind an anony­mous £3 mil­lion do­na­tion for the cre­ation of a new “cre­ative and el­e­gant” arts venue in Ed­in­burgh.

In 1995 she do­nated £1m for the fore­court of a new Museum of Scot­land in Ed­in­burgh.

And she once gave Alex Mcewen, the late 6th Laird of Bardrochat in Car­rick, a par­rot which he cher­ished.

Over the years, Mrs Heinz was an ac­tive board mem­ber of the Metropoli­tan Museum of Art, the Mac­dow­ell Colony, the Pier­pont Mor­gan Li­brary, the Amer­i­can Acad­emy in Rome and served on the In­ter­na­tional Coun­cil of the Museum of Mod­ern Art.

She was also a di­rec­tor of the Carnegie Museum of Art where she founded the Heinz Ar­chi­tec­tural Cen­tre in hon­our of her late hus­band. She was the widow of H.J. Heinz II, of Pitts­burgh, Penn­syl­va­nia, who served as chief of the fam­ily com­pany founded by his grand­fa­ther.

For­mer UK arts min­is­ter Lord Gowrie said: “At the age of 100 and over, she still at­tended talks and read­ings at the sum­mer Ed­in­burgh (In­ter­na­tional) Book Fes­ti­val and fer­ried au­thors to and from Hawthorn­den for her an­nual lob­ster sup­per in style.

“Mod­est, even fru­gal, in her own tastes, she was the most gen­er­ous host­ess imag­in­able. She was a funny, un­for­get­table, eru­dite woman.”

She was a funny, un­for­get­table, eru­dite woman

„ Drue Heinz, pic­tured in Pitts­burgh in 1955, was a long-time pa­tron of the lit­er­ary arts in Bri­tain and the US.

„ Mrs Heinz died at Hawthorn­den Cas­tle in Mid­loth­ian.

„ Mrs Heinz with Count Guido Bran­dolini at a party in Venice.

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