Marjory Bruce was born in 1840 and raised and educated in Scotland. In 1887 she married Samuel Gilfillan McLaren and accompanied him to Japan where he became a missionary and was appointed Professor of History and Biblical Literature at the Presbyterian Union Theological Seminary, Tokyo. The conditions in Japan did not suit McLaren and after eight years, he was compelled to leave due to "lung troubles" and return to Scotland.
The homecoming proved brief and the McLaren family (now encompassing four children), migrated again in 1886, this time to Melbourne. Despite Samuel McLaren's "shattered health" and despondence regarding his employment prospects, he was inducted in the Coburg Church and also served as chaplain at Pentridge gaol for two years. In 1889, Samuel was selected by the Presbyterian Assembley to succeed Dr Andrew Harper as principal of the Presbyterian Ladies' College. Marjory McLaren worked at P.L.C. in the capacity of teacher. She died in 1932.