A. & D. MacKay

Slaters

B/W Advertisement for A. & D. Mackay, 'Glasgow Building Trades Exchange', 1896, p. 125

A. & D. MacKay (also spelled Mackay), slaters and slate merchants, were brothers Alexander (c. 1829–1898) and Daniel (c. 1835–1906) Mackay, who were based in Oswald Street, Glasgow, from the mid-1850s. 1 Like their namesake Peter MacKay, they were natives of Easdale Island, near Oban, Argyll, a traditional slate-quarrying area. 2

From the 1860s, A. & D. MacKay were sole agents in Glasgow for Ballachulish slates, and also supplied Welsh products and Portland cement. 3 In 1881, they were employing 30 men. 4 The firm also catered for the export market, which around 1884 led Alexander to branch into ship-owning, as 'A. Mackay & Co.', shipbrokers, later joined by his son, Alexander Junior. 5 Daniel retained the slaters, and was in turn joined by his son James King Mackay (c. 1867–1919), and co-partner Robert Wallace (d. 1919). 6 In 1902, Wallace retired from the firm, and opened his own city-centre practice as slater and plasterer. 7 The business moved premises in the late 1900s, to 37 Douglas Street. James K. Mackay retired in 1912 and the business was continued by his younger brother, Daniel Mackay Junior, who was still trading in 1920. 8

Alexander and Daniel MacKay enjoy sufficient sucess to reside in large villas in leafy Pollokshields, which they named after the slate-producing districts of Kilbrandon (Scotland) and Penrhyn (Wales). 9 On his death in 1906, Daniel MacKay left the considerable sum of 15,979. 10

Notes:

1: Glasgow Post Office directories, 1850–1920; census information, www.ancestry.co.uk; wills search, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [both accessed 21 February 2013].

2: 'History of Easdale Island', Slate Islands Heritage Trust, www.slateislands.org.uk; 'Slate Industry' Easdale Island Folk Museum, www.easdalemuseum.org; 'Scottish Slate Industry', www.britishslateforum.wordpress.com [all accessed 21 February 2013].

3: Glasgow Herald, 24 April 1863, p. 2; 15 March 1869, p. 2.

4: Census information, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 21 February 2013]; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1850–1920.

5: Glasgow Herald, 7 May 1863, p. 2; 21 May 1866, p. 2; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1884–5, p. 401; 1890–1, p. 405.

6: Census information, www.ancestry.co.uk; wills search, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [both accessed 21 February 2013].

7: Edinburgh Gazette, 27 January 1903, p. 100; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1850–1920.

8: Edinburgh Gazette, 2 August 1912, p. 922; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1850–1920.

9: Census information, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 21 February 2013]; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1850–1920.

10: Scotsman, 14 November 1906, p. 12.