Category: People (page 1 of 6)

Theft by Housebreaking

Margaret Robertson appeared in court in August 1881 for the crime of stealing 18 bottles of porter from a cellar in Matilda Place, Strathbungo. As reported in the Glasgow Evening Citizen, she had several previous convictions but she had apparently been straight for several years, had married and had a child. Nonetheless she received nine months imprisonment for her crime .

Newspaper cutting

Glasgow Evening Citizen, 16 August 1881. Credit: BNA

Matilda Place is the tenement on the north side of Nithsdale Road, and given my previous story about Robert Adam the grocer selling beer from the shop in the rotunda (now the New Anand), one might surmise it was his cellar she broke into.

In the 1880s the Police came up with a new technology for keeping track of criminals, the mug shot. Margaret’s picture was taken when in HM Perth and was published by Aberdeenshire Archives for an exhibition in 2019 .

As a reflection on how society treated different classes, James Nicol Fleming, a director of the City of Glasgow Bank, was convicted for “complicity in the notorious bank frauds of 1878”, being found guilty of “falsehood, fraud and wilful imposition, as also fabrication and falsification”. The failure of the bank was catastrophic for Glasgow finance, and ruined many upstanding Glasgow citizens who as shareholders were held wholly liable for the debts, which amounted to £6m (perhaps £500m now). One such shareholder, Jane Fenwick, lived in Moray Place.

According to one account, the directors were recklessly lending to themselves. When the bank collapsed, unlike the other directors of the bank, Fleming did a runner He turned up in Spain and the US before returning to face justice .

Fleming got eight months, less than Robertson. I don’t think 18 bottles of porter and £6m are quite equivalent.

Sepia mughsot of James Nicol Fleming

James Nicol Fleming, a director of the City of Glasgow Bank, convicted of fraud in relation to the collapse of the bank. Credit: Aberdeen Archives

References

1.
Biographies | James Nicol FLEMING (#2728) - The Cobbold Family History Trust [Internet]. [cited 2022 Jun 10]. Available from: https://family-tree.cobboldfht.com/people/view/2728
1.
Mugshots of Scotland’s Victorian criminals to go on show. BBC News [Internet]. 2019 Feb 12 [cited 2022 Jun 9]; Available from: https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-scotland-north-east-orkney-shetland-47211731
1.
Theft by Housebreaking. Glasgow Evening Citizen [Internet]. 1881 Aug 16 [cited 2022 Jun 9]; Available from: https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/viewer/bl/0001458/18810816/027/0003

9 Moray Place

Note: This research is based on the people who appear in the Property Database on Bygone Bungo, in this case the entry for 9 Moray Place, which helps give the following context. You can explore further from the Address or Person Search in the main menu.

Thomas Henderson

The first resident of 9 Moray Place was Thomas Henderson, of the Glasgow firm of file manufacturers and steel merchants, M Hetherington & Co, in Dale Street (now Tradeston St), Tradeston. He moved in c.1862 but didn’t stay in Strathbungo more than a couple of years.

John Hetherington

Around 1865-8 the occupant was John Hetherington, of the Glasgow firm of file manufacturers, R Hetherington & Son, of Kingston, not to be confused with previous resident Thomas Henderson of M Hetherington, file manufacturers. Heaven forbid you should confuse them with the Glasgow firm of file manufacturers, J B Hetherington.

Realising there had to be some story here, I embarked on a two-week obsessive detour down some rabbit warren, researching the links between the Hendersons, the Hetheringtons and the history and importance of file-making. Their story features bosses versus unions, men versus machines, family rivalries and alliances, and boom and bust. Sort of the industrial revolution in miniature. But it’s too much for this post; you can read it all under The file-makers of Glasgow.

Poster of file making

The art of file-making. Credit: Lost Art Press

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7 Moray Place

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.

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