Category: Biography (page 2 of 12)

4 Moray Place – the Frazer family

Four Moray Place was in the hands of the Frazer family for the first 85 years. This is their story.

James Frazer

James Frazer was born in Glasgow in 1815, the son of James Frazer and Isabella Bannatyne.

He was married on 23 January 1849 in the Presbyterian Church of Ballymacarrett, Belfast, to Rosanna Agnew, eldest daughter of the late Joseph Agnew, Esq, of Redhill, near Moira, County Down . At the time, he was working for the newspaper The Banner of Ulster. Rosanna’s maternal grandfather was the Rev William Moffat, himself a Scot, of the Secession Church in Moira .

The couple moved back to Glasgow, and in 1851 were at 9 Bellgrove Street in the east end, with a mysterious 9-year-old Richard McNeil, born in Java, “a gentleman’s son”. Bellgrove Street was adjacent to the Cattle Market. James was working as a General Commission Agent.

By 1861 he had become a publisher, printer and newsagent. The family were living at 121 North Montrose St, Townhead. Their fourth child had just arrived, and they moved to the newly built 4 Moray Place shortly thereafter.

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William Howie & Sons, builders

William Howie was the builder of the tenement on the south side of Nithsdale Road, which was completed and occupied in 1878. We know this as the deeds record the feuing of the land by William Stevenson, the developer of Strathbungo, to William Howie & Sons, on the understanding they would, within a year, raise a tenement of shops and houses.

Text of deeds

Excerpt from deeds of a Nithsdale Road flat, describing feuing of land to William Howie & Son.

At that time the street was known as Matilda Place, and the tenement was named Matida Terrace. It is now simply known by the odd numbers on Nithsdale Road, and includes establishments such as The Bungo Bar & Kitchen, formerly the Fotheringay, and Zinfandel, formerly Samuel Dow’s.

The building was Category B listed in 1989 .

Later 19th century late Georgian-style 3-storey terrace. Unusually long rank of identical single window bays, centre part (nos 33-41) very shallow recessed, public house at W end, shops and canted corner bay at E.

However the identity of William Howie had remained a mystery until I was contacted from Australia by his great great grandson, Adrian Howie. We can now add William to the list of Builders of Strathbungo. The architect remains unknown.

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The shop at 70 Nithsdale Road

This article is in response to a query from the new owner of the ground floor flat at 68 Nithsdale Road. 68 originally referred to the tenement flats above, and the ground floor flat was historically a shop, No. 70.

Matilda Place

The Old Shiels Road became Nithsdale Road when Pollokshields was developed, but once on the Strathbungo side of the railway, was named Nithsdale Street. A new road was created from Strathbungo Station (which opened in 1877) to Pollokshaws Road, and is now known as Nithsdale Road. In 1877 when newly laid out it was named Matilda Place, as required by the feu document of 1860. The name most likely derived from Sir John Maxwell’s late wife, Matilda Harriet Bruce, daughter of Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin, he who misappropriated the Elgin Marbles. Matilda had died in 1857.

The land of Strathbungo was originally bought from Sir John Maxwell by John McIntyre and William Stevenson. McIntyre died in 1872, and the title deeds state that at year’s end 1874 the land on the north side of the new road passed from his estate to his younger brother, Andrew, on condition that a tenement was raised on the site. Andrew McIntyre (1835-1881) was a builder and brickmaker, whose brickworks was in Moss side .

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