William Dixon (1788-1859) was the second generation owner of the iron and coal dynasty of the Dixon family of Calder and Govan, Glasgow, Scotland. His father had come to Glasgow from Northumberland, England, in 1771, and with his experience in coal working he took leases in Govanhill, Glasgow, and was amongst the first to exploit the Monkland coal field in North Lanarkshire where with David Mushet he established the Calder Iron Works. His youngest son, William, inherited the business in 1822 when it was the largest coal and iron concern in Europe.
William was a buccaneer who extended the business, purchasing numerous estates at Carfin, Crosshill, Broomelton, Earnockmuir, Mosesfield and elsewhere. But while the empire grew under his vigorous management, it also lost ground to newer firms like William Baird & Co, coal and iron masters, Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire. While companies such as Baird's poured their money into leases of minerals, especially in Ayrshire, Scotland, William Dixon poured over quarter of a million pounds into litigation, and at his death in 1859 , his financial affairs were being put into order by a body of trustees. He was not insolvent, but serious illiquid. His son, William Smith Dixon (1824-1980), inherited the business in 1859, turning it into t joint stock company in 1873 as William Dixon Ltd.
Slaven, A and Checkland, A, , vol.1Dictionary of Business Biography 1860-1960 (Aberdeen, 1986)