Tracing your Scottish Ancestry

Scotland's Music

Thomas Graham,
page 3 of 7

William Cunningham, from Stewarton, who acquired the estate of Lainshaw, in his native parish. His house is now the Royal Exchange.

John Glassford, who came from Paisley. He bought the Shawfield mansion, and was also laird of Dougalston and Whitehill. With him there was associated his son-in-law, James Gordon, also in the Virginia trade, who became laird of Aitkenhead.

David Dale from Stewarton. He purchased Rosebank, and founded mills at New Lanark, Catrine, and Blantyre.

George Macintosh, born in Rosskeen, Ross-shire, founded the chemical works at Dunchattan and Campsie.

Charles Tennant, founder of the St. Rollox works, was born in Ochiltree House. He is spoken of by Burns as

“Wabster Charlie . . I‘m tauld he offers fairlie.”

There was also James Finlay who founded the firm of James Finlay && Co., now in its second century. His son, Kirkman Finlay, opened up the trade to the East Indies and purchased the estate of Toward. All the Finlays have passed out of the firm, the principal partner of which is our present Lord Provost, John Muir of Deanston. With these there also came into prominence John Orr, Henry Monteith,” and others, who figured as “cotton lords.” But neither Orr nor Monteith can be regarded as strangers. The father of the former was town cleric, and the father of Monteith was a gardener in Anderston.

The Ewings were an old Dumbartonshire family, and came into prominence as Glasgow merchants at a somewhat later date. Walter Ewing did much for the credit of Glasgow during the trying time that followed the revolt of the American colonies, and perhaps there is no man better remembered in the city for the active part he took in its affairs than his son, the late James Ewing of Strathleven. He long resided in Queen Street Park, amid the trees and the noisy crows. He was the first member of Parliament after the passing of the Reform Bill. He has left his mark very distinctly upon the Merchants’ House, and on other institutions, and it is a matter of regret to many that his statue is not also in this square, with which he was so closely associated.

It would have been most unworthy of our city and of the memory of these enterprising men had there been no statue representing commerce along with the others representing war, science, and statesmanship in our central square. Happily there is no such blank. The Oswalds have for

* The Monteiths are a striking illustration of how those who have been most identified with Glasgow for more than a century had their original holdings at a distance from it. They were landlords around Aberfoyle. They suffered so much from the raids of neighbouring Highlanders that about 1730 or 1740 Henry Monteith came south and became a successful market gardener in Anderston. He was the founder of the family here. His son James, born about the same time, was successively a handloom weaver, a merchant weaver, an importer of fine yarns, a bleacher, and large manufacturer. He is well-remembered as the founder of the Anderston Relief kirk, after refusing to take church censure from the Duke Street Anti-Burgher kirk for having ventured on a wet Sunday to go into the Tron. His house was in Bishop Street. He had six sons — John, who established the first power-loom factory in Scotland at Pollokshaws;James, who bought from David Dale the spinning factory at Blantyre; Henry, who established the works at Barrowfield, and who became the principal partner of Henry Monteith & Co., with the works at Blantyre and other places. The other two sons of James Monteith, Robert and Adam, died in early manhood. Henry became the best known of all the sons. His force was early manifest to his father, who on one occasion was tempted to say, “0 Harry, Harry, a’ things will be set richt when ye’re made provost o’ Glasgow, and maybe, member o’ parliament.” The old gentleman’s prophecy was realised though he was not spared to see it. He purchased the estate of Carstairs in 1824 — now identified with the name. The firm figures by the old name in our directory but the personale is altogether changed.


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