William Smith


William Smith (1809–1897) was a wealthy cotton manufacturer and mill-owner, related to many members of Glasgow's 19th-century mercantile aristocracy. He was one of the Smiths of Craigend (Mugdock), Stirlingshire, wealthy West India merchants. Cousins included the Smiths of Jordanhill, one of whom designed mock-Gothick Craigend Castle. 1

In 1876 he and his brother James closed their business, the Lancefield Spinning Company to concentrate on muslin weaving with W. & J. G[raham] Smith & Co. of the Empress Mills, Swanston Street, Dalmarnock. They extended the mills twice. 2 The company closed in 1919 with James’s son, accountant David Johnstone Smith, acting as the liquidator. 3

William Smith had houses at 208 Bath Street, Glasgow, a smart city-centre terrace with 'three square stories, attics and [basement]' and Skelmorlie Bank at Skelmorlie on the Firth of Clyde, a 12-bedroom holiday home with five acres of ground. 4 Publisher John A. Blackie, brother of Walter W. Blackie, was acquainted with David Johnstone Smith and is recorded visiting him at the time of the 1901 census.


1: Baptism and death information, www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk [accessed 30 August 2012]; 'Craigend Castle', in J. G. Smith and J. O. Mitchell, eds, The Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry, Glasgow: James MacLehose, 2nd edn, 1878, Chapter 26 (unpaginated); 'William Graham (1786–1856)', in Memoirs and Portraits of 100 Glasgow Men, Glasgow: James MacLehose, 1886, Chapter 41 (unpaginated); 'James Smith (1782–1867)', in Memoirs and Portraits of 100 Glasgow Men, Glasgow: James MacLehose, 1886, Chapters 41 and 83 (unpaginated). All at Glasgow Digital Library, www.gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/glasgowebooks.html [accessed 30 August 2012].

2: Edinburgh Gazette, 16 June 1876, p. 434; Scotsman, 29 October 1875, p. 4; Glasgow Herald, 28 October 1895, p. 6.

3: Edinburgh Gazette, 23 September 1919, p. 3123–4.

4: Glasgow Herald, 4 February 1857, p. 2 (advertising for No. 206); Glasgow Herald, 2 October 1876, p. 3; 21 April 1886, p. 4.