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British Industrial History

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James Baird (1802-1876)

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James Baird (1802-1876), ironmaster, of William Baird and Co

1802 Born in Monkland, son of Alexander Baird and Jean Moffat[1]

1826 With his father and brothers leased coalfields at Sunnyside, Hollandhirst and New Gartsherrie.

1828 Leased ironstone deposits at Cairnhill

1830 Assumed active management of the business, William Baird and Co

Expanded the business with coalmines and ironworks at Ayr, Dumbarton, Stirling and Cumberland.

1841 Jane Baird 70, lived in Gartsherrie House with James Baird 35, Iron Master, David Baird 20, Iron Master[2]

1851 MP for Falkirk

1852 Married Charlotte Lockhart

Outlived his 7 brothers

1856 Inherited his brother Robert's estates.

1857 retired from Parliament and devoted himself to religion

1859 Married Isabella Agnew.

1876 Died in Cambusdoon, Ayr[3]

1876 Obituary [4]

By means of a short paragraph we announced in last week's issue the death of Mr. James Baird, of the great firm of William Baird and Company, ironmasters, Gartsherrie; but the deceased was so intimately and extensively concerned in the development of the Scotch iron trade during the last forty or forty-five years, and had latterly become such a conspicuous character in Scotch public affairs, that some notice of his career may naturally be expected at our hands. With the exception of Mr. James Beaumont Neilson, the inventor of the hot-blast, no other person in Scotland was more closely identified with the improvement and extension of the iron trade; and in a commercial point of view, Mr. James Baird had no equal in connexion with the Scotch iron trade.

Mr. James Baird was one of a large family-eight sons and two daughters-whose father, Alexander Baird, was an industrious farmer like his ancestors for several generations....[much more]

1876 Obituary [5]

DEATH OF MR. JAMES BAIRD. — Under this heading, at line 7, page 278, it was mentioned that " Mr. Baird, with his sons, had eight furnaces in full blast." This should have been, "he, with his brothers, &c." Mr. Baird was twice married, but had no family.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • Dictionary of National Biography