Bessie was born in Dundee, one of four children. Their great-grandfather was the first editor of The Peoples’ Friend, and their father had been an editor too – evidently the family had printer’s ink in their bloodstream. Bessie attended Dundee High School and University College before getting a job as a journalist with D.C. Thomson. Then when she was 23 her big adventure began – a year-long trip with Marie Imandt to report on women’s position all over the world. You can read more about this in this webpage’s story about Marie Imandt and also in a storyboard exhibition at the McManus Gallery.

After she returned from the trip Bessie (who had “a descriptive power envied by many”) continued to report for the Weekly News, but come 1901 she had left home and it’s not clear what happened next. At fifty six she married, probably in England, Arthur Pitt Taylor, an elderly artist in his seventies. Bessie died, a widow, in December 1946.
Her sister Annie joined the staff of The Courier in 1896 and stayed there for forty years, becoming editress of Red Letter and “a leading light in the Meadowside building”.