This research is based on the people who appear in the Property Database on Bygone Bungo, in this case the entry for 7 Moray Place, which helps give the following context. You can explore further from the Address or Person Search in the main menu.

John Glassford

John Hamilton Glassford was the first occupant of 7 Moray Place, being there around 1862-3, but gone by 1865.

He was born in 1827 in Glasgow to Alexander Glassford and Catherine McDonald, the fifth of ten children. His great grandfather George was the elder brother of John Glassford of Dougalston, the (in)famous Glasgow tobacco lord and slave owner, after whom Glassford Street was named.

John attended Glasgow College and trained as an engraver, lithographer and draughtsman, and in 1856 filed his own patent for an improved method of lithographic printing. He worked from a variety of offices in Glasgow city centre. In 1860 he was living at Claremontville in Cove, but moved to Moray Place around 1862.

Robertsons & Eddie Coalmasters. Business card by John Glassford. Credit: Zetetic Books

Invite to Andrew Menzies’ Trades Hall Dinner in Glassford Street. Menzies pioneered the bus and tram network in Glasgow. Card by John Glassford. Credit: Zetetic Books

He then took a change in career direction. The PO Directory already listed him as a merchant in 1862, and by 1866 he was living in Streatham, London, and running a tobacco and produce importing company at Great St Helens Street in the City of London, Glassford & Co. In the 1871 census he was still in Streatham with his wife, Margaret and the youngest five of their 12 children, but by that point he and his company had just been declared bankrupt five days earlier .

The London Gazette, 31 March 1871

By 1881 he had returned to Glasgow, and was living at Broomhill Drive, working as a tobacco dealer. He died there in 1895, aged 68.

David Walker

A produce broker, who lived at No 7 in 1865, and later in various addresses in Crosshill.

James McNaught

James McNaught, in The Ballie. Credit: Mitchell Library

James McNaught (1833-1894) was a minister of both the Free Church of Scotland and the Church of Scotland.

A native of Kilmarnock, McNaught was educated at the University of Glasgow and the Free Church College. He was ordained at Maitland Free Church in the Gorbals in 1862, and moved to live in Strathbungo before 1868.

Maitland (Later Rose Street) Free Church. Credit: Mitchell Library

However during the 1870s there was upheaval in his church. In 1876 the church was sold and a new church built by the congregation, Abbotsford Parish Church at Devon and Mackinley Streets. Both minister and congregation defected from the Free Church and petitioned for admission to the Church of Scotland. This was granted, and the parish of Abbotsford created in 1877 . The Baillie’s caricature (above) shows him heading back to the Auld Kirk.

In 1877 the Abbotsford parish purchased the just completed 31 Moray Place as the manse, and James moved out of No 7 and along the road. He died there on 27 May 1894 and the manse appears to have been sold.

Abbotsford Parish Church, Devon St, 1973, shortly before demolition. Credit: Streapadair

He was succeeded at Abbotsford by Rev William Rattray, who would himself later become a Strathbungo resident.

In 1933 this church merged with Chalmers South (formerly United Free) Church to form Abbotsford Chalmers Church. The former Abbotsford Parish church closed, but survived in secular use as a cash-and-carry until the 1970s, while the latter building still stands as the Quarriers Stopover service for the young homeless. Urban Glasgow has some excellent photographs of the area, and Abbotsford Parish Church in particular, taken in the 1970s by Streapadair . The cluster of churches in the area is demonstrated on this map of 1909; only the Chalmers Church and adjacent Abbotsford School survive; you pass them if you cycle up the South City Way.

Map of Devon Street area

Devon Street area Churches c 1909. Credit: NLS Maps

Meanwhile the old Maitland Free Church became the Rose Street Free Church, but that was also demolished in the Gorbals clearances .

Robert Borland

By 1877 the house had been sold to Robert Borland, born 1840 in Stewarton. He married Mary Fleming of Neilston and had eight children. He worked at James Webster & Co at 86-88 Argyle Street. In 1879 on Webster’s death, Borland and his colleagues took over the company, forming Riley, Webster and Borland, at the same address . They were merchant tailors and shirt makers, and by their own words in the PO Directories, “collar & cuff manufacturers”, “originators of the 18s. 6d. trouser scheme”, “special outfitters for India, China, the Cape, Australia, and South America”, “Hawick hosiery”, “boys’ and youths’ tailors and clothiers, hosiers, glovers, and shirt makers” and “manufacturers of the patent chamois-flannel vest and underclothing”. I am particularly curious about what a “trouser scheme” was.

All good things come to an end, and the company, now just Webster, Borland & Co, was wound up in 1888 on Robert’s death at the age of 48 . His wife and family moved to Shields Road.

Note: I subsequently found Alex Riley still in business in 1889, and he offered this explanation of the trouser scheme. I am not entirely wiser.

Alexander Riley’s advertisement in the 1889 Glasgow Post Office Directory. Credit: NLS

Alexander Kirkwood Brown

The Kirkwood Brown family, c 1890s. Credit: Alastair Brown,

Alexander was the son of a customs officer in Berwick upon Tweed, and became a house factor and insurance agent in Glasgow. He married Jemima Stewart in 1870 and had seven children. He moved to 7 Moray Place with his family in 1891, but by 1894 had moved to 30 Moray Place (next door to James McNaught). In 1901 he moved back to 10 Moray Place, where he resided until his death in 1913. Two of his sons, John and Alexander, continued the business. His youngest som William Wallace Brown died at Gallipoli, and is remembered in the Roll of Honour.

PO Directory advert for A Kirkwood Brown & Sons, 1915

In the 1891 census there was a visitor, Jane Johnstone Burr, a 16 year old photographer. The daughter of Alexander and Agnes Burr, she managed the distinction of being in two places at once on census night, as she was also at home at 55 Cumberland St West. Her link to the family is unknown.

Maxwell Telford

Maxwell Telford was born in Canonbie, Dumfriesshire, in 1853, and married Jessie Dow in Govan in 1875. They had two daughters. In 1894, at the age of 41, he moved to 7 Moray Place, but left for Myrtle Park, Crosshill sometime after 1915. He died in Longtown, Cumberland in 1932, only a short distance across the border from his birthplace.

He was a dairyman based at 87-89 Crown Street, a partner in Telford, Grier and Mackay Ltd, described in 1910 as “electrical engineers, dairy engineers, and patent lamp makers, contractors to the British Admiralty, Japanese, Peruvian, and Greek Governments”, and Crown Engineering Co., dairy and refrigerating engineers.

In 1908 he was convicted of selling watered down milk to Stobhill Hospital! Telford, Grier, Mackay & Co developed a major business in selling ships lamps. The company survived to 1965.

Ships lamps by Telford, Grier, Mackay & Co. Credit:

James Stevenson

From 1920 to 1941 the house was owned by a James Stevenson, but he had no business interest listed in the PO Directories. However the electoral and ancestral registers reveal a couple, James Stevenson, a commercial traveller, and Christina Gillespie who had six children; James (b 1973), Peter G, Hugh (who died aged 14), Alexander G, Jessie B and Elizabeth (b.1889). James senior died in 1904, but by 1920 James junior had purchased 7 Moray Place, and in 1929 was unusually living there with his mother Christina and his two brothers and two sisters, all it seems unmarried. James was a mercantile clerk, as was his brother Alexander, while Peter was a house joiner. Peter and Alexander were still living there at the time of their deaths in 1941 and 1948 respectively.

Additions and corrections are welcome.


Streapadair’s Historic Photographs [Internet]. [cited 2023 Mar 19]. Available from:
The Edinburgh Gazette [Internet]. 1879. Available from:
The Edinburgh Gazette [Internet]. 1888. Available from:
1. [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jan 16]. Urban Glasgow-Glasgow in the 1970s - Last days of the Old Gorbals p7. Available from:
The London Gazette [Internet]. 1871. Available from:
vLex [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jan 13]. Telford v Fyfe. Available from:
TheGlasgowStory: James McNaught [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jan 13]. Available from:
NAS Catalogue - Abbotsford Chalmers Additional Records [Internet]. [cited 2018 Sep 27]. Available from: