Burns, James (1789-1871) (DNB00)

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BURNS, JAMES (1789–1871), shipowner, third son of Rev. John Burns, minister of the Barony parish, Glasgow, and brother of the surgeons John and Allan Burns [q. v.], was born on 9 June 1789. Entering into business as a shipowner with his brother, George Burns, he, along with him, began in 1824 to employ steam navigation. Six years later they formed a connection with the MacIvars of Liverpool, and in 1839 their business was extended by the formation of the famous Cunard Company for the establishment of a line of ocean steamers. The company included Messrs. Cunard and MacIvar, and the first ocean steamer sailed from Liverpool on 4 July 1840. Latterly James Burns retired from the business to his estate of Bloomhall, Dumbartonshire, where he carried out as a landed proprietor a system of enlightened improvements. He was a liberal supporter of religious and philanthropic enterprises. He died on 6 Sept. 1871, and was succeeded in his estates by his only son, John William Burns.

[Glasgow Herald, 8 Sept. 1871; Old Country Houses of the Glasgow Gentry, p. 220.]

T. F. H.