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Merchant houses


The merchant John Gladstones (1764-1851), born in Leith, based himself in Liverpool from 1787, where he joined a firm trading in grain and cotton.  

With George Grant (partnership formed 1812) he traded with Demerara and the Caribbean islands, and to the Canadian maritimes, buying fish and timber for the plantations. A third partner, John Wilson, who was active in Demerara, was taken into the business in 1819 to form John Gladstone, Grant and Wilson.

Another partnership was formed to do business in Demerara itself, comprising Gladstone and John Wilson, together with Charles Simson and Donald Macpherson, both resident in Georgetown. They managed the mortgage arrangements of Gladstone, Grant and Wilson and made arrangements with plantation owners for the consignment of produce.

George Grant (above) was the son of Rev Mr Alexander Grant, minister of Cawdor, Nairn, who had been recommended by James Fraser - who was George’s uncle.

Charles Simson 'formerly merchant in Demerara, now agent, residing in Hutchisontown of Glasgow' was sequestrated in 1848 [Edinburgh Gazette].

In 1800 John Gladstone married Anne Mackenzie Robertson (1772-1835) of Dingwall.

From 1822 the Gladstone plantations in Demerara were managed by John Maclean.


Source: The Gladstones: a family biography, 1764-1851, S. G. Checkland (CUP, 1971)


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