The memorial was described in 1828 by Daniel Weir as -
"... elegant monument to the memory of Quintin Leitch, an amiable and highly gifted individual, who was for six years Magistrate of Greenock, and who saw executed, during this short period, the greatest improvements which Greenock can boast of."
Previous to becoming a town official, Quintin Leitch went to sea in command of his own brig Clyde, built by Steele & Carswell at their yard in the Bay of Quick in Greenock in 1796.
In the early days, his family were involved in trade with the West Indies importing mahogany (amongst other things). By 1805, he is listed in the local trade directory living at Nicholson Street in Greenock. By 1815 he is listed as being in business with this brother,
and also among the list of magistrates of Greenock.
Quintin Leitch was a friend of the great Scottish engineer Robert Stevenson and was with him in 1815 at the laying of the foundation stone of Corsewall Lighthouse near Stranraer. Stevenson also named part of the Bell Rock "Leitch's Ledge" after a visit there by him in 1818.
|Bell Rock Lighthouse. Image from Wkipedia.|
"the handsome Greenock Customhouse fronting the Old Steamboat Quay, the foundation stone of which was laid on the 2nd of May, 1817. It is interesting to note that “the ceremony was performed with Masonic honours by Sir Michael Shaw Stewart, Bart, [father of the present lord of the Manor], Provincial Grand Master of Renfrew and Dumbartonshires, in presence of Quintin Leitch and Robert Ewing, Esqrs., the Magistrates of the Burgh, and a large concourse of the inhabitants.” (Published by James McKelvie & Sons)
Customhouse Quay, Greenock|
It is fitting that his memorial can still be seen today in the Wellpark Mid Kirk Church in Greenock.