Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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James Weir

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Published 1901.

James Weir (c1842–1920) of G. and J. Weir, engineer and inventor

1842/3 Born near Airdrie, Lanarkshire, the fourth of the five children of James Weir, a farmer, and Jean Bishop

Following the early death of Weir senior, the family moved to Glasgow, where James attended school.

1851 Living at 26 Scotland Street, Govan, Jean Weir (age 39 born Pollernet, Linlithgowshire), White Seam Worker. With her children George Weir (age 17), Len Smith Apprentice, Elizabeth Weir (age 15), James Weir (age 8) and Thomas Weir (age 6). [1]

c1857 Commenced work at Hamilton and Grandison in Glasgow

1860 Apprenticed at Randolph, Elder and Co. in Govan. To raise the requisite 5s. a week for three years for the apprenticeship, his mother turned to needlework and dressmaking but she may also have received financial help from her eldest son, George, who was a ship's engineer.

1861 Living at 21 Crookston Street, Glasgow Govan, Jean Weir (age 41 born Whitburn, Linlithgowshire) with her three sons, George Weir (age 27 born Blackburn, Linlithgowshire), Engine Smith Fitter; James Weir (age 18 born Airdrie), Engine Smith Fitter Apprentice; and Thomas Weir (age 16 born Airdrie), Engine Smith Fitter Apprentice. [2]

Patented a marine governor and supervised its construction at Smith Brothers and Co and it was fitted to SS Garland and the original model was exhibited by the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland.

1865 Went to sea as an engineer, serving first on the Sligo steamer Liverpool, then on the Bibby Line steamer Arabian that plied between Liverpool and the eastern Mediterranean.

1870 August. Promoted to first engineer, he left the Arabian to join the Oporto and subsequently the Princess Royal, on which George Weir, his elder brother, also served as an engineer.

While on the Princess Royal Weir had taken out patents for various improvements to steam machinery.

In 1871 or 1872 he went into partnership with his brother, George, as the consulting engineers G. and J. Weir and Co.

1875 James Weir married Mary Douglas Richmond (1848–1931); they had two sons and two daughters as well as a stepson, John Ritchie Richmond.

1877 Birth of son William Weir

1891 Living at Silverbank Villa, Wellshot Hill, Cambuslang (age 48 born Airdrie), Mechanical Engineer. With his wife Mary Weir (age 42), his stepson John R. Richmond (age 22 born Kilmarnock) and their children William Weir (age 13), Janet Weir (age 10), Mary J. Weir (age 7) and James G. Weir (age 3). One servant. [3]

1901 Living at St. Andrews Drive, Holmwood (age 58 born Airdrie), Mechanical Engineer. With his wife Mary Weir (age 52) and their children William Weir (age 23), Jennie Weir (age 20) and Mary Weir (age 17). Three servants. [4]

1903 Bought the estate of Over Courance in Dumfriesshire, where he built a house to his own design

1920 July 10th. Died at Over Courance

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. 1851 census
  2. 1861 Census
  3. 1871 Census
  4. 1901 Census