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of his place and influence among Homeric scholars, and to give a glimpse, in addition, of the entirely new “setting” into which he fixed early legends, and of the clear light his researches have thrown on ancient customs and ancient habits of thought. But the space already occupied warns us at present from entering on such enchanted ground. One sentence more must suffice. Dr. Wm. Mure, who sat, as his grandfather had done, for Renfrewshire in Parliament, was succeeded on his death in April, 1860, by his eldest son, Lieut.-Colonel Wm. Mure, who twice successfully contested the county (1874, 1880), and died 9th November, 1880, leaving by his wife, Constance Elizabeth, third daughter of the first Lord Leconfield, one son, Wm. Mure (born 1870), the present youthful representative of his ancient and distinguished house.
Situate in parts of three parishes, Beith, Dunlop, and Neilston, the lands of Caldwell mark the boundary line of North Ayrshire and South Renfrewshire. The mansion house was commenced by Baron Mure in 1773 from designs by Robert Adam.
JOHN GLASSFORD OF DOUGALSTONE.
ALONG with William Cunningham of Lainshaw, James Ritchie of Busby, and Alexander Speirs of Elderslie, each to be noticed on another occasion, John Glassford of Dougalstone has always been reckoned as one of the merchant princes who planted the tree of commercial prosperity in Glasgow, and was happily spared not only to see it spread and flourish, but to enjoy an abundant store of its rich fruit. And yet neither his origin nor upbringing was in any way superior to that of hundreds of others who were then trying to cultivate such small trade as was carried on in the City. His father, James Glassford, was a worthy but not wealthy Magistrate and trader in Paisley, and, like many
, more in his walk of life, the best aid John ever received towards future greatness,
was a fair education at the ancient Grammar School of his native town. A peaceable man himself, and engaged in commercial pursuits which should always tend to peace, Glassford's life touches curiously enough upon some of the more threatening turbulent occurrences of his day. Born in 1715, a year when the peace of the country was seriously menaced by a Jacobite “rising" in favour of the exiled Stuarts, his earliest days corresponded with the period when Glasgow undertook to send into the field 500 men armed and provisioned, and also protected the City so skilfully by entrenchments, as to lead to a Royal recognition for the first time of the chief magistrate (Provost Bowman) as Lord.” So much for the old Pretender. While one of Glassford's early Glasgow residences was the then superb mansion of Whitehill, north from Duke Street, he latterly, when still more prosperous, purchased the great fabric in Argyll Street, known as the Shawfield Mansion, which had been so seriously injured by the malt-tax rioters in 1725 as to warrant compensation money being paid almost equal in amount to what the owner, Daniel Campbell, paid for a large portion of the Island of Islay. Here, curiously enough, the old Pretender's son, Charles Edward, took up his quarters on entering Glasgow with his ragged, starved, retreating followers, that dismal day after Christmas, 1745.
Again, the revolt of the colonists in Virginia, and ultimate independence of the States, affected few merchants more seriously than John Glassford, whose tobacco trade, which this new “rising" ultimately ruined, was amongst the most extensive in the world. Writing to a friend regarding his appearance before a committee of the House of Commons, selected to consider the involvements likely to arise through the resistance by colonists to pay claims made on them by British merchants, William Rouet of Belritero (now Auchindennan, Lochlomondside), records in February, 1766 —"I heard Glassford say that his mere private debts in the colonies amounted to £50,000.” In connection with an introduction to the great merchant, Smollett mentions in “Humphrey Clinker," the latest of his novels, that during the last war Glassford, whom he took to be one of the mightiest merchants in Europe, “was said to have had at one time five-and-twenty ships, with their cargoes—his own property—and to have traded for above half-a-million sterling a-year." Great Britain had so much strife on hand in these days, that “the last war” may be judged as of uncertain meaning; but as the novel was partly written and published in 1771, it may have been the expulsion of the French from Lower Canada, when Wolfe fell fighting so bravely on the heights of Abraham above Quebec, or the war with Spain of 1762, when Havana, Trinidad, and Manilla were seized.
Like most other merchants of his tirne, John Glassford took a deep interest in the construction of a Canal between the Forth and Clyde, although he was satisfied it could not be altogether so successful as its more sanguine promoters represented. For mineral, stone, timber, and general miscellaneous traffic, its utility, he thought, could hardly be overrated; but he doubted if the manufacturers of either Glasgow or Paisley would much avail themselves of that mode of transit. The cost of cartage to them from point to point appeared to him as trifling compared to what they were likely to reckon on as possible damage from water and delay in transhipment. Glassford's correspondence shows him to have been in frequent communication on this subject, and also on the Scotch paper currency, with his friends William Mure of Caldwell, Baron of Exchequer, ex-Provost Cochrane, Ritchie, and Colin Dunlop. Writing in 1762 to Baron Mure, Glassford expressed a hope that when the Baron came to Glasgow the Canal scheme might be a little riper for judging as to the expediency of taking any concern with others in carrying out the project. “I hope then to have the pleasure of seeing you, and that you will do me the favour of lodging in my house, as you lately gave me some reason to expect. You will be entirely at your own freedom. (Signed), JOHN GLASSFORD.” In the course of the year above-mentioned (1762), Francis, Fifth Lord Napier, employed two surveyors to examine the ground from Carron at Abbotshaugh, about two miles from the place where that river discharges itself into the Forth, to the Clyde at Yoker Burn, about five miles below Glasgow, and his Lordship likewise caused accounts to be taken of the quantities of goods carried between the two friths, and of the expense of carriage. In 1764 Smeaton declared himself strongly in favour of the route now so familiar to travellers by road and rail, and Lord Dundas, one of the leading promoters of the scheme, pushed an Act through Parliament for its construction. The works, the most difficult of the kind undertaken in the kingdom up to that time, were commenced in 1768, but lack of capital led to a delay of nearly twenty years, the canal not being finished till 1790 (by Whitworth, one of Brindley's pupils), when the opening of the new communication between east and west was celebrated with great rejoicing, the chairman of the Canal Committee, Archibald Speirs of Elderslie, symbolically performing the feat by launching a hogshead of Forth water into the Clyde at Bowling Bay terminus. It is but right to say that the name of John Glassford does not appear in the original list of the company formed under the Act of 1768 to carry out the canal works. There, however, will be found John, Earl of Glasgow, George Murdoch, Lord Provost of Glasgow, James and Richard Oswald, Archibald Stirling, and Patrick Miller of Dalswinton.
Powerful in the City as a “ Tobacco Lord” alone—for he might daily be seen marching in front of the Tontine in his scarlet cloak, with curled wig, cocked hat, and gold-headed cane-John Glassford had also a large share in such lucrative concerns as the Cudbear Purple-dye Manufactory, the Pollokshaws Dyeworks, and the Glasgow Tanwork Company, the largest business of the kind then known. All these were in addition to his interest as a shareholder in the Glasgow Arms Bank, established 1753, and the Thistle Bank, set on foot some five years later. When Glassford commenced business on his own account in Glasgow about 1740, the population was put down at a little over 17,000, while the Clyde shipping made up an aggregate carrying power of 5,600 tons, represented by sixty-seven vessels, fifteen of which traded to Virginia, four to Jamaica, and six to London. For some years after the tobacco trade was opened up by the Union, Glasgow had only one ship of its own, a vessel of sixty tons, built at Greenock, and the precious weed had to be conveyed froin the Plantations for the most part in vessels built at Whitehaven. Notwithstanding the pawky rule laid down by Bailie Nicol Jarvie about “pickling in their ain pockneuk," so far as concerned home-made goods for exportation, or at the worst, being able to buy English north-country wares cheaper even than English, merchants, the principle, if desirable, could not always be carried out, Dr. Carlyle of Inveresk, a student for two years at the University (1743-44), and a shrewd observer, found that while the chief branches of trade in Glasgow then was with Virginia in tobacco, and with the West Indies in sugar and rum, there were often not enough manufactured goods either in the City or Paisley to make up a sortable cargo to such foreign markets, and for that purpose shippers were obliged to have recourse to Manchester. The merchants, he admits, were men of honour, industry, and enterprise, ready to seize with eagerness and prosecute vigorously every new scheme in commerce which promised success; but manufactures among themselves were in their infancy, the single Inkle factory commenced in 1732, and extended in 1743 by the purchase of land in Ramshorn Vard, being shown cautiously to strangers as a great curiosity.
The tobacco trade may be said to have reached the height of its prosperity in 1773 and 1774. In the first mentioned year, when the Clyde shipping was over 60,000 tons, thirty-eight Glasgow firms imported the unprecedented quantity of 43,970 hogsheads (over 35,000 from Virginia), and, with stock-on-hand, were able to export to France, Holland, and other countries 47.778 hogsheads. Next year forty-six finns imported 19543 hogsheads, and exported 34,146, leaving a stock on hand at the close of the year of 6,3+7 hogsheads. Matters in the States took a threatening turn in September, when the first Congress assembled at Philadelphia; but reconciliation with the mother-country can bardly be described as hopeless till April, 1775, when the first blow for independence was struck at Lexington. In June foilowing Washington was appointed Commanderin Chief of the American Continental Army. In October of this eventful year Franklin requested one of his correspondents to inform a common friend that Britun, at an expense of three millions, “has killed 150 Yankees this campaign, which is £20,000 a-head; and, at Bunker's Hill, she gained a mile of ground,