James Reid, born in Glasgow, was a partner in Douglas, Reid & Company, which operated in Demerara and Berbice. The other partner was John Douglas, who with his two younger brothers, Thomas and Archibald, traded from Glasgow as J, T and A Douglas & Company.
James Reid left Guyana in 1810 and died later that year at Bristol Hot Wells. His death was reported in both the Glasgow Herald and the Demerara & Essequebo Royal Gazette. His estate could not be settled until 1820 due to a legal dispute. His final share of the business was valued at £1,488 18s 2d [SC SC36/48/16 Inventory and settlement of the estate of James Reid].
In his will be manumitted a 'Mustie girl Kitty Crawford', left her 2,200 guiders and confirmed her ownership of three slaves which she had purchased from him.