Glassford, John (DNB00)

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GLASSFORD, JOHN (1715–1783), merchant of Glasgow, born in 1715, was a tobacco merchant on a large scale. He was one of the original members of the Glasgow chamber of commerce, and took a prominent part with Larnshaw, Ritchie of Busbie, and Spiers of Elderslie, in developing the trade of Glasgow. The firm of Spiers & Glassford, of which he was a member, imported in 1774 more than one-fourth of the entire 40,500 hogsheads of tobacco received by the forty-six firms then existing in Glasgow. Glassford was also the most extensive shipowner of his time in Scotland. He possessed twenty-four fine vessels regularly trading between the Clyde and America, and the West Indies. Glassford, who was made bailie of Glasgow in 1751, resided in the old Shawfield Mansion, on the north side of Trongate, facing Stockwell Street, which was built in 1712 by David Campbell, M.P. for Glasgow, and was subsequently razed to make way for the present Glassford Street. Glassford purchased the extensive lands of Dougalston, Dumbartonshire, in 1767, and greatly improved the estate by planting and building. He was three times married. By his second wife, Anne, daughter of Sir John Nisbet of Dean, he was father of Henry Glassford, M.P. for Dumbartonshire from 1806 to 1810, who died 14 May 1819; his third wife, whom he married 21 March 1769, was Lady Margaret Mackenzie, daughter of the third Earl of Cromarty, and by her he was father of James Glassford [q. v.]. She died at Glasgow 29 March 1773. Glassford died at Dougalston on 27 Aug. 1783.

[Irving's Book of Scotsmen; Pagan's Sketches of Glasgow; Glasgow Past and Present; articles in the Glasgow Herald; Douglas and Wood's Peerage of Scotland, i. 400; Foster's M.P.'s of Scotland.]

J. B-y.