Sweet Family West of Scotland

John ROBERTSON

Person Chart

Parents

Father Date of Birth Mother Date of Birth
John ROBERTSON BET 1700 AND 1710 Katherine HUTCHISON ABT 1720

Person Events

Event Type Date Place Description
Birth 6 Nov 1750 Glasgow, Lanarkshire
Marriage 05 Aug 1766
Death BET 1792 AND 1816
Burial BET 1792 AND 1816

Notes

History of Govan: The lands of Plantation….extending altogethjer to about 80 acres. the northern boundary was the river Clyde, the southern the Paisley Canal (now the G&S-W Railway), the eastern the lands of Park House and the western the lands of Bellahouston and Haughead. They were probably put into shape about the year 1701, as a stone bearing that date was taken from the original building at a later date and inserted in the wall on Govan Road opposite where the old mansion house stood. In the year 1783 Mr John Robertson, merchant in the city, purchased the estate upon which there was a small dwelling house probably erected in 1701.

He was cashier of the Glasgow Arms Bank for many years. Also a partner in the Smithfield Company, which, established in 1734, was conducted by his descendants till about 1850. he had a slitting and rolling mill at the mouth of the Kelvin and owned a cluster of houses at the "Pointhouse", while he established the first regular ferry at the Kelvin mouth across to Govan. In Glasgow his warehouse stood on the Broomielaw, a short distance west of Jamaica Street, and the present Robertson Street was carried through his property, taking its name from him. Plantation was sold in 1793 to John Mair, a mason from Paisley.

The estate was later sold to Mr McLean in 1828 for £15,000. He spied the commercial value of the estate; he sold a small portion of the land to the G & S-W Railway Company for £30,000 [in 1839], he received nearly as much from the Clyde Tristees for a strip of the estate adjoining the river [30,000 yards, now a part of the bed of the river].

Adjoining Plantation is the estate of Cessnock…..in 1868 Cessnock House passed from the Hunter family, being sold to Mr John Robertson, manufacturer in Glasgow, who re-sold it to Clyde Trustees. For a time it was used as a home for boys by Mr Quarrier until its demolition and formation of the Cessnock Dock.
Glasgow Past and Present 1884 Volume 1 of 3; this version Vol I, II form Vol I
Page 463 onwards gives a very full analysis of banking in Glasgow, this was written in 1861 and provides by far the best insight to all the early banks of Glasgow to the extent that In the case of the Ship Bank it provides the relationship some of the partners had to one another. It does however suggest that the first Robertson involved with the Arms Bank was in fact John Robertson Cashier following the restructuring of the partnership consequent upon the death of Alexander Spiers on 10 Dec 1782 ( page 483). This was when there were only four partners in Murdoch, Robertson & Co.. Provost John Bowman, George Murdoch late comptroller of customs Port Glasgow, Peter Murdoch merchant Glasgow and John Robertson then Cashier. Of the original Arms Bank partners seven subsequently became provosts of Glasgow . John Murdoch was brother in law to Andrew Cochran. John Murdoch's father was Peter Murdoch and his mother was a daughter of John Luke (page 473)
North Woodside House was a summer home to Alexander Munro teller of the Arms Bank. He did however lose all his money and so this may not be the connection the Sweets had with this house where two of them were married.

Page 518 reference to M'Ure's history of the top 100 Virginia merchants about 1750 no title but she refers to them as sea adventurers

Witnesses at Christenings include:
William Robertson (John's brother probably)
James Murdoch (Elizabeth's brother probably) and
George Kippen (mentioned in Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship page 225). He was a Tobacco Merchant.
The West of Scotland was the main growth area for the Scottish economy by 1750 as trade with the colonies grew following the Union with England in 1707. The Bank of Scotland was formed in 1695 and was known as the "old bank" when its competitor the RoyalBank of Scotland was formed in 1727. Both were joint stock banks, their shares were freely traded . The majority of the banks being established to finance trade were partnerships . Glasgow's first independent bank was the Ship Bank established with six partners and the second established a few months later in November 1750 was the Arms Bank with 31 partners . Partners of both firms were principally involved in the Tobacco trade. One of the partners of the Arms Bank was John Robertson (cashier).[ The firstbank in Glasgow was a branch of the Bank of Scotland established in 1696 but closed as it was not economical]

John Robertson's daughter. Catherine. married Thomas Sweet of Sweet, Copland & Co on 14 October 1787.

The Arms Bank was closely allied to the Royal Bank and its Hanoverian ties while The Bank and the Ship Bank were close with Jacobite connections. The name of the partnership forming the Arms Bank in 1750 was Cochrane, Murdoch and Co, by 1793 the firm wasreduced to 4 partners ( from the original 31) and was known as Murdoch, Robertson & Co.. The bank failed on 14 March, 1793 following a general run on all banks at the outbreak of war with France in February, 1793. The bank paid all its debts in full and following a rescue by the Royal Bank which was prepared to inject £12,500 provided the Arms Bank also received aid from The Bank, the Arms Bank was able to continue trading . In 1793 there were 1,956 bankruptcies in Glasgow of which 26 were banks. The ArmsBank was incorporated into the Union Bank of Scotland in 1830.
The Arms Bank began trading in Smith's land near Bridgegate , moved in 1759 to a property near the junction of King Street and Princes Street and finally when Mr Robertson became manager moved to a stately property built for it by Deacon Ferrier near thesouth-east corner of Miller Street.


In the Edinburgh Gazette Nov 5 to Nov 8 1816 there was this notice:
Notice to the creditors of the late John Robertson, Banker and Merchant in Glasgow.
The trustee on the estate of the said John Robertson being now about to pay such of his creditors whose debts were owing previous to the original sequestration of his estate in 1792, and who have lodged their claims, the whole amount of their debts, agreeable to the scheme of division which lies in the Trustee's hands, he hereby gives notice, and certifies to such persons who have claims against the said John Robertson, and who have not hitherto lodged the same, that unless they do so between and Candelmas next, they will be cut off from all share of the funds which will be divided among such Creditors as have proved their debts to the extent thereof; and he wil then denude himself of the residues of the said estate in favour of the said John Robertson'srepresentatives, who will be answerable for such of his debts as may have been contracted subsequent to the original sequestration, as far as the said residue of the funds will admit.
(Signed) James Hill.
1, South Frederick Street, Glasgow.

So this proves JR died some time between 1792 (sequestration of his estate) and 1816. Given that he sold Plantation in 1793 (or his trustees did?) then his death would be after 1793 possibly.

This may not be "my" John:
Scots Magazine 1 Jan 1807
Deaths
3 At Glasgow, John Robertson, Esq., merchant in that City.




Alexander Sweet ( 1813 to 1923) was employed by the Union Bank, his son Wallace Graham Sweet ( died 1957) followed him into the Bank and the line ended with my father Alistair Sweet ( the son of Wallace Graham). Alistair Sweet worked in the Blythswood Square office of the Union Bank. From here ( after the merger with The Bank) he moved to become manager of the Troon branch of the Bank of Scotland was instrumental in the amalgamation of the two offices in Troon of the Union Bank and The Bank. consolidatingthe business in the Templehill office. He retiredfrom the Bank in 196-1 and died in 1975.
picture of a one guinea note signed by John Robertson on the Glasgow Arms Bank

http://nms.scran.ac.uk/database/results.php?field=who&searchterm=%22Glasgow+Arms+Bank%22&searchdb=scran&PHPSESSID=n3fl76h8b1setcepgo8q1dssu4
Conclusion.
(June 2016). The Murdochs who were in the Bank around the time of John junior were George and Peter. I have not proved a relationship to John Murdoch (Elizabeth’s father). So my guess is that John Robertson senior ‘cooked” up a plan with his partner (probably Peter) that John’s son should marry Peter’s grand daughter Elizabeth daughter to John Murdoch. John and Elizabeth named their son John Murdoch Robertson after he father.
Picture of ruin of Spinningdale Cotton Co mill.
http://www.scottishhighlanderphotoarchive.co.uk/imageDetail.aspx?ID=5660

https://canmore.org.uk/site/13845/spinningdale-cotton-mill

Glasgow Cudbear Co

Origins of Cudbear:
http://www.scottisharchivesforschools.org/naturalScotland/Cudbear.asp
Extracts from the Records of the Burgh of Glasgow 1739 to 1758 refer to the city of Glasgow banking with the Glasgow Arms Bank and the Glasgow Ship Bank. It may be a coincidence but there is a treasurer to the council by the name of John Robertson from 1756. He is referred to as the "late teasurer" throughout 1758 but with this description he is still being given instructions, so I don't think it meant he had died.
In T M Devine's book 'The Tobacco Lords' he refers to John Robertson born 1775 obtaining a burgess and purchasing Craigiehall (renamed Plantation) in 1783. I believe he is mistaken. It would be John Robertson senior born 1750 who bought Craigiehall and probably also him who purchased the Burgess-ship.
Origins of the Glasgow Arms Bank

Glasgow, past and present: illustrated in Dean of Guild Court reports, and ...
By James Pagan, Aliquis, Robert Reid, J. B., Guild Court (Glasgow, Strathclyde)
Printed by J. Macnab, 1851 - Glasgow (Scotland)

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gpMJAAAAIAAJ&pg=RA1-PA181&dq=john+robertson+banker+in+glasgow&hl=en&sa=X&ei=ue5PU7rdD6my7Aa3nYFQ&ved=0CEIQ6AEwAw#v=onepage&q=john%20robertson%20banker%20in%20glasgow&f=false

Page 180
16. With regard to the two oldest of Glasgow’s indigenous banks, “The Ship” and “Glasgow Arms”, it may ne remarked that the latter company removed, about 1765, from their antique office in Bridgegate, to a two-storey land, No 55 King street, east side. The house is still standing, a few doors south from Prince’s Street. The cashier lived above the bank.
17. After being there for about twelve years, “The Arms” again moved, in 1778, to more commodious premises in the west part of the town. In March of that year, they purchased a tenement, then newly erected, in Miller Street (the second from the bottom, east side), from George Ferrie, wright, who had feued several stances from John Miller, of Westerton, maltman in Glasgow, after whom this fine old aristocratic-looking street got its name. they paid £1,340 for this property.
18. At this time the cashier was John Robertson, who resided above the banking-office. The accountant, Mr Broadie Wyllie, who is well remembered as a gentleman of extremely methodical habits, resided in his country house, still existing, on the east sideof the “Byre’s Road”, Partick (a curious specimen of the suburban retreats of ancient men of business, with its “corbie” gables, and thatched roof), and was so punctual in his movements that people along the road used to say they could tell the very hours, from Mr Wyllie’s precision in passing their door, on his queer-looking pony, to and from the bank. They had one teller, Mr William Walker (afterwards Session-Clerk), ad three subordinates.
19. In 1763 the firm was changed from Cochran, Murdoch, and Co, to Spiers, Murdoch and Co. The partners were- Alexander Spiers of Elderslie, John Bowman, Peter Murdoch, Andrew Blackburn, Robert Donald, and John Robertson, all merchants in Glasgow; and George Murdoch, Comptroller of the Customs, Port-Glasgow. It was afterwards changed to Murdoch, Robertson, and Co.; the partners of which were – John Bowman, merchant Glasgow; George Murdoch, late Comptroller of the Customs, Port-Glasgow; John Robertson, andPeter Murdoch, merchants, Glasgow, formerly partners of Spiers, Murdoch, and Co,;- Mr. Spiers, Mr Blackburn, and Mr Donald, having retired.
30. In 1793, the Glasgow Arms, Merchant’s Bank, and Messrs. Thomson’s Bank, failed but all of them paid in full. The trustee for the creditors of the “Arms” was Mr Walter Ewing McLea, merchant in Glasgow, father of James Ewing, Esq of Levenside.
I cannot be absloutely certain that I have the correct split of activities between John Senior and John Junior. This will require more research into the background of these activiites.

John owned a plantation in Jamaica at Black River (I have since found this to be Heywood which is nowhere near Black River). John Sweet (born 1791) and Alexander Sweet (born 1793) went to the Plantation, one died of yellow fever and the other went to America.

John Robertson's brothers ,James and William, owned extensive plantations in the West Indies. John and Alexander Sweet ( born in 1791 and 1793) went there ( Black River Plantation. Jamaica). One died of Yellow Fever and one went to Canada.

John Robertson's brother . James, was cashier for the Merchants' Bank in Glasgow in 1792. All three brothers were also principal partners in the Smithfield Iron Works which was succesful.

A James Robertson "turns " up in the Union Bank as Manager from 1852 to 1865. I don't think he is any connection to the Robertson's above. John Robertson appears to have forfeited his capital in the Arms Bank around the time of the collapse and perhaps disappearedfrom banking at that time.

John bought the estate of Craigiehall in 1783 and renamed this Plantation, now a part of the Clyde development but there is a Roberston Street and an area called Plantation. According to 'Robertsons of Kindeace', Robertson Street was named after William R. It was sold by John in 1793. It was in 1793 that the bank failed but paid all creditors in full. In 1790 it looks as though John filed for bankruptcy, I have not seen the documents so cannot be sure.

In the Edinburgh Gazette Nov 5 to Nov 8 1816 there was this notice:
Notice to the creditors of the late John Robertson, Banker and Merchant in Glasgow.
The trustee on the estate of the said John Robertson being now about to pay such of his creditors whose debts were owing previous to the original sequestration of his estate in 1792, and who have lodged their claims,the whole amount of their debts,agreeable to the scheme of division which lies in the Trustee's hands, he hereby gives notice, and certifies to such persons who have claims against the said John Robertson, and who have not hitherto lodged the same, that unless they do so between and Candelmasnext, they will be cut off from all share of the funds which will be divided among such Creditors as have proved their debts to the extent thereof; and he wil then denude himself of the residues of the said estate in favour of the said John Robertson's representatives, who will be answerable for such of his debts as may have been contracted subsequen to the original sequestration, as far as the said residue of the funds will admit.
(Signed) James Hill.
1, South Frederick Street, Glasgow.

John purchased a Burgess-ship in 1775. He invested in Smithfield Iron Co, Muirkirk Iron, Co, Spinningdale Cotton Co, and Glasgow Cudbear Co. (source: Tobacco Lords)

John and William were partners (with others) in Robert McKay & Co SRO CC9/7/84/2 53.(Source: Tobacco Lords)

There are references in the RH15 series of business records extracted from Court of Session records held in Edinburgh RH15/1506 ledger Roberston, McKay & co 1797 - 1802 (Tobacco Lords)

As a margin note in the book Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship, Alex Sweet has added on page 145 " my Great Grandfather, his daughter Catherine married Thomas Sweet of Sweet Copland & Co, manufacturers Glassford Street Glasgow. Their yougest son, James,born in 1797 was my father. Alexr Sweet, Braehead, Cathcart, Glasgow Feb 1890."
"He was descended from a younger son of Robertson of Struan who went to Inverness and bought Kindeace"

and on page 149 " John Robertson was buried in lair 27 Ramshorn Churchyard, Ingram Street. Title deeds fell to his great nephew, William Copland, writer, Glasgow whose daughter (now Mrs Chas Scrimgeour) holds the deeds. All traces of his son's family lost, he had one Murdoch I've heard about".



The history of the Robertsons of Kindeace on Page 57 refer to John of the Bank, Glasgow which is this John's father. "He was the only owner of a private carriage in Glasgow at one time. He had two sons and six daughters. One son was called john Murdoch. Two Miss Robertsons at Largs and Mrs Spens Munro were descended from John of the Bank".
This reference is a useful link as now we know the Robertsons tree into which the Sweets married. The complete tree is collated separately under Robertson. However, from the OPR I have found two sons (William and John) and four daughters only ( Mary, Catherine, Margaret,Elisabeth).
However, I believe that John Murdoch Robertson was this John's son, only because of the portrait date. But This may not be right, they both may have had Murdoch in their name or only the father. Also the reference to the number of sons and daughters doesnot tally with what I have. So more work is needed here.

The reference "He was the only owner of a private carriage in Glasgow at one time" is interesting. In the "Annals of Glasgow from its origins until 1816" there is reference to "In 1752 the first four wheeled gentlemen's carriage was made for Mr Alan Dreghorn a timber merchant, caprpenter and joiner and had the carriage made by his own workmen". It may be that the type of carriage is the defining detail.

According to records on www.UCL.AC.UK the Robertsons also owned (with a Mrs Douglas) a plantation on St Vincent at Mount Pleasant.
The Glasgow Chamber of Commerce members list refers to John Robertson, Cashier (Arms Bank) and WI Merchant, Glasgow recruited by John Campbell and Archibald Ingram
http://www.geog.cam.ac.uk/research/projects/chambersofcommerce/glasgow.pdf
This is "John o' the Bank"; Cashier of Glasgow Arms Bank and of Plantation. according to Robertsons of Kindeace. "Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship" brings together the three brothers John, James and William Robertson; all sons of this John Robertson. They were merchants in Glasgow and appeared to be very successful. However, (June 2016) I now form the view that this John's father , also John, was John of the Bank. He was in partnership with others from 1763 which is too early for this John.

Media

Pictures

One guinea banknote

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Plantation. John Robertson