Records of W P Lowrie and Co, whisky stockholders, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Photographs taken in or around unidentified whisky distilleries. Images include workman, bottling plants, cooperages, whisky warehouses, offices, blending halls, saw mills and a distillery's steam engine 1887-1900

Administrative / Biographical History

William Phaup Lowrie ( 1831-1916  ) was born in Dalkeith, Argyll and Bute, Scotland, in 1831  . After serving an apprenticeship with the Commercial Bank of Scotland, Edinburgh, he became associated with John Ramsay of Kildalton Estate, Islay, Argyll & Bute, in the management of Port Ellen whisky distillery. In 1869  , he started his own business as a broker and commission agent for Scotch whiskies from premises first of all at Ann Street, Glasgow, Scotland, and later at Washington Street, Glasgow.

As a wine and spirit broker he was one of the largest stockholders in Scotland of Scotch whisky. Lowrie helped James Buchanan to devise a blend of whisky that appealed to the London market. The blend was produced by Lowrie and marketed by Buchanan, W P Lowrie & Co supplying whisky exclusively to James Buchanan & Co from 1885. In 1906  , at a time when the company could not provide the capital required to modernise its bonding, blending and bottling capacity, it was acquired by James Buchanan & Co. Around this time, the company was restructured and incorporated as a limited liability company as W P Lowrie & Co Ltd. Its warehouse was rebuilt and re-equipped and it became the largest branded store in the world. In 1916  , W P Lowrie & Co Ltd was one of four distiller-blender firms which took over the Highland distillery firm of Dailuaine-Talisker Distilleries Ltd, the others being Distillers Co Ltd (DCL), Edinburgh; John Walker & Sons Ltd, London; and John Dewar & Sons Ltd, Glasgow. When W P Lowrie died in July 1916  an obituary claimed that he had been the first to employ modern methods of blending Scotch whiskies. However, according to recent research, it is generally accepted that Andrew Usher, junior, was in fact the pioneer and patron of the modern blending technique. W P Lowrie & Co Ltd was dissolved in 1992  .

Sources: Slaven, A and Checkland, S (eds.), , vol 2Dictionary of Scottish Business Biography 1860-1960 , ( 1990  , Aberdeen )

Wilson, Ross  , Scotch, the Formative Years ( 1970  , London )


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Received prior to the introduction of formal accessioning procedures

Other Finding Aids

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Fonds level description compiled by Jenny Bunn, Assistant Archivist, 31 January 2000.

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Archivist.

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History



None expected

Related Material

See source list on Whisky in the searchroom of Glasgow University Archive Services.

Minutes, dividend accounts, liquidation papers, coopers wage book, papers 1893-1965 (Private), enquiries to the National Register of Archives in Scotland (GB 800001)

Location of Originals

This material is original


No known publications using this material

Corporate Names

Geographical Names