Coutts, John (DNB00)

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COUTTS, JOHN (1699–1751), merchant and banker, and lord provost of Edinburgh, eldest son of Patrick Coutts, a tradesman in Edinburgh, and formerly of Montrose, by his wife, Christina Smith, was born on 28 July 1699. He entered into business as commission agent and dealer in grain, and rapidly acquiring capital became a negotiator of bills, a business which the banks had not yet taken up. In 1730 he entered the town council, and in 1742 was elected lord provost, when he sustained the dignity at great expense, conducting the banquetings in his own dwelling. He held office till 1744, having been once re-elected. He was a great encourager of the fine arts. He died at Nola, near Naples, in 1751, at the age of fifty-two. By his wife Jean Stuart, who died in 1736, he had five sons and a daughter, his two sons James and Thomas [q. v.] being founders of the banking house of Coutts & Co. His portrait, painted by Allan Ramsay, belonged to the Baroness Burdett-Coutts.

[Rogers's Genealogical Memoirs of the Families of Colt and Coutts, 1879, pp. 16, 18–21.]

T. F. H.