Papers of James Gourlay relating to Glasgow's water supply, in particular the Loch Katrine project, and Kelvingrove Park 1852-1868.
Papers of James Gourlay, 1804-1871, accountant
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Scope and Content
Administrative / Biographical History
James Gourlay was born in St Andrews in 1804 . His father, Robert Gourlay, was an ironmonger who died in 1811. In 1819, once James had just left school, the family moved to Glasgow. He was then apprenticed to the firm of Kerr & Adam, smallware manufacturers. James set up in business with his brother Robert, under the firm name of R & J Gourlay, working as a commercial traveller. In 1838 he established the Commercial Travellers' Society of Scotland, remaining as its treasurer until his death. He continued with his brother until 1836 , when the latter retired from the business, and James joined Mr John Knox, and the firm became Gourlay & Knox. In 1841 he gave up the wholesale country trade, and started as an accountant at 24 Queen Street and from 1848-1855 he served on Glasgow's City Parochial Board, where he worked on reforming rates and taxes. From 1849 he served on the Town Council and from 1853-1855 was instrumental in opposing the proposal to supply Glasgow with water from Loch Lubnaig instead of Loch Katrine. In 1850 he became a burgh magistrate. In 1855 , following a brief retirement, he accepted an offer to work for the Bank of Scotland on the south side of Glasgow. Gourlay died at Bothwell in 1871 .
The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received
Conditions Governing Access
Donated by Dr James T. Farquhar, Barr, Ayrshire, 18 February 1998
These papers were deposited with Mrs Ruby Thompson, West Bergholt, Essex until 1995 and transferred to University Library via Sheila Craik, 17 July 1996. See memo by Sheila Craik and MS Farmer 586-588.
Other Finding Aids
Details of descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue accessible from the University of Glasgow Library, Department of Special Collections http://special.lib.gla.ac.uk/manuscripts/, searching by the call number MS Gen 1675.
Alternative Form Available
No known copies
Fonds level description compiled by Andrew Thomson, Hub Project Archivist, 01 June 2005.
Conditions Governing Use
Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Special Collections.
Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents.
This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures
Location of Originals
This material is original
John Burnet, History of the water supply to Glasgow (Glasgow, 1869); Supply of water to the City of Glasgow: reports from John Frederic Bateman ... on the various schemes for supplying Glasgow with water (Manchester, 1853); To commemorate the public services of the late Robert Stewart, Esq., of Murdostoun, Lord Provost of the City of Glasgow from November 1851 to November 1854, to whose unwearied exertions the inhabitants are mainly indebted for the abundant water supply from Loch Katrine, the discussions in the Town Council on the subject have been collected [by James Gourlay] ... (Glasgow, 1868).