Robert Ramsey

Client

Robert Ramsey (c. 1832–1917), was the Beith-born son of a tanner and currier. 1 By 1856, Ramsey had relocated to Glasgow, where he too entered the leather-working trade. 2 He later became a highly successful skin and hide broker, holding weekly auctions of various grades of cowhides and leathers. He also sold tallow, sheep-dips and fleeces, which were advertised to Bradford’s woollen industry. 3

Ramsey eventually became the proprietor of the Skin and Hide Market, one of Glasgow's few privately-owned markets, hence outwith the control of the City Council. 4 It moved to Greendyke Street in 1868–9, and Ramsey altered the frontage in 1872. 5 He took his nephew, Robert Ker(r) Ramsey (1852–1921) into business with him. Another nephew, who lodged with him, was architect William John Kennedy (born Warrnambool, Australia, c. 1863). 6 Ramsey was professionally associated with the leatherworking family of James Tullis through various business and charitable associations, 7

On 27 October 1889, the four-storey market with its 'handsome stone frontage' was destroyed by fire, with damage worth 30,000 which was 'covered by insurance'. 8 At their temporary premises in Bridgeton, he advertised that business would be 'continued without interruption'. 9 Ramsey's new Skin and Hide Market was built by John Honeyman & Keppie.

Ramsey was a keen art collector, and patronised the Glasgow Fine Art Institute and the Artists' Benevolent Society. 10 He owned works by Courbet, Pettie, Faed, Albert Moore and Lady Butler, as well as Artz, Israels and M. Maris of the Hague School. 11 He was the first Provost of Crosshill Burgh, and highly influential as a Clyde Navigation Trustee, and a Deacon-Convenor and long-standing active member of Glasgow's Trades House. 12

Notes:

1: Census data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 4 April 2013].

2: Glasgow Herald, 24 February 1917, p. 6; Scotsman, 24 February 1917, p. 9.

3: Glasgow Herald, 27 October 1870, p. 6; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1875–6, Appendix p. 194; Glasgow Post Office Directory 1881–2, Appendix p. 181; Bradford Observer, 13 September 1875, p. 2.

4: Glasgow Herald, 13 June 1891, p. 4; 'Glasgow Valuation Rolls 1913–14', The Glasgow Story, www.theglasgowstory.com [accessed 8 April 2013].

5: Glasgow Herald, 27 April 1872, p. 3; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1868–9, pp. 289, 440, 590; 1869–70, pp. 297, 454.

6: Glasgow Herald, 2 April 1921, p. 1; census data, www.ancestry.co.uk [accessed 21 March 2013]; Glasgow Post Office directories, 1850–1925; Biographical Dictionary of Scottish Architects, www.scottisharchitects.org.uk [accessed 8 April 2013].

7: Scotsman, 28 November 1888, p. 1; Glasgow Herald, 18 March 1886, p. 4; 14 December 1892, p. 8; 2 April 1897, p. 1; 22 March 1898, p. 1.

8: Glasgow Herald, 28 October 1889, pp. 6–7.

9: Glasgow Herald, 9 November 1889, p. 1; 14 November 1889, p. 12.

10: Glasgow Herald, 4 February 1888, p. 10; 30 March 1899, p. 4; 24 August 1899, p. 4.

11: Scotsman, 11 April 1917, p. 9; 2 October 1920, p. 10.

12: Glasgow Herald, 14 December 1892, p. 8; 12 October 1893, p. 4; 8 November 1893, p. 4; 10 October 1895, p. 7; 18 October 1895, p. 4; 24 February 1917, p. 6.