Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Burns (1789-1871)

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James Burns (1789-1871)

1789 Born in Glasgow, one of four sons of the Revd Dr John Burns (1744–1839) and his wife, Elizabeth, née Stevenson.

With his brother George, James went into trade, unlike the 2 other brothers.

1818 the 2 brothers set up as general merchants in Glasgow

1824 the brothers went into business with Hugh Mathie of Liverpool to establish a small shipping line of six sailing vessels trading between Glasgow and Liverpool.

Steamers soon replaced the sailings ships

1830 the firm G. and J. Burns in Glasgow joined with two Liverpool-based Scots, David and Charles MacIver to form the Glasgow Steam Packet Co to develop steamer services between Glasgow, Liverpool, Belfast and Londonderry.

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