Papers of the Houston Family of Johnstone

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

Notebooks, letters, bills and receipts relating to the Houston Family of Johnstone and to Quarrelton Colliery

Administrative / Biographical History

The lands of Little Mains of Johnstone were purchased in the 1640s by Sir Ludovick Houston of Houston, who gave them to his second son, George. The latter's namesake, George Houston (1743-1815) became 4th Laird of Johnstone in 1757 at the age of 14 years. During his 58 years as Laird, George extended Johnstone Castle, developed the extensive coal mines at Quarrelton and opened lime works at Floor Craig. In the late 18th century, Quarrelton Colliery yielded 20,000 tons of coal per year, and employed 30-40 miners and 12 pit ponies. There were also cotton mills on the Houston Estate. In 1781 George began to sell land for housing near the Bridge of Johnstone and to plan the layout of the new town of Johnstone. He became a wealthy industrialist and was a partner in establishing the Paisley Union Bank in 1788. George was succeeded as 5th Laird by his son, Ludovick Houston (1780-1862) in 1816. Further information on the Houston Family may be found in In time: the Houston's story, by James Houston. Palmerston, New Zealand, 1976.

Conditions Governing Access


Archivist's Note

Archivist's note: Description prepared by Margaret Harrison, Web version by Graham S. Holton, Jordanhill LibraryRules or Conventions: Description based on Scottish Archive Network guidelines, based on ISAD(G): General International Standard Archival Description, International Council on Archives (2nd edition, 2000). and Rules for the construction of personal, place and corporate names, National Council on Archives (1997)Date of descriptions: December 2007.

Related Material

GB 247 TD263 papers of the Houston Family of Johnstone in Glasgow City Archives

Corporate Names