Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Finlay, Kirkman (1773-1842)

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FINLAY, KIRKMAN (1773–1842), lord provost of Glasgow, the son of James Finlay, merchant, was born in Glasgow in 1773. He was educated at the grammar school and at the university, and at an early age entered on business on his own account. In 1793 he took a prominent part in opposing the monopoly of the East India Company in the cotton trade. He became a magistrate of Glasgow in 1804, and in 1812 he was elected lord provost of the city. He was M.P. for Glasgow from 1812 to 1818, and during this time distinguished himself as a political economist of an advanced type. In 1819 he was appointed rector of the university. He was really one of the founders of the commerce of Glasgow, on the wider basis which it took after the failure of the tobacco trade with America. He married Janet, daughter of Mr. John Struthers. He died in 1842, at Castle Toward, a residence which he built on the Firth of Clyde. George, the Greek historian, and Kirkman Finlay, both separately noticed, were his nephews.

[MacGeorge's History of Glasgow; Glasgow Past and Present; Irving's Eminent Scotsmen.]

W. B-e.