This interesting grave stone marks the final resting place of James Stewart and his family. It can be found in the Duncan Street Cemetery in Greenock.Sacred to the memory of James Stewart Esquire of Clydebank Merchant
Chief Magistrate of Greenock 10 November 1837
Born 13 November 1785 - Died 11 November 1837
also to the memory of Joanna Shaw his widow
Born 22 December 1793 - Died 27 November 1848
And of their children William Stewart
Born 31 January 1830 - Died 27 October 1838
Born 10 May 1833 - Died 10 November 1839
Born 22 July 1834 - Died 9 April 1842
James Stewart (1785-1837) was a merchant in Greenock and Newfoundland. He and his brother William formed J & W Stewart - a successful import/export business trading with Newfoundland. They owned many ships which were involved in this trade.
In 1825 James Stewart married Joanna Shaw in Greenock. They had several children but as the gravestone shows three died in infancy. The family lived at Clydebank House on the Low Gourock Road (now the Esplanade). James Stewart was a senior magistrate in Greenock and at the time of his death was Provost elect for the town. Two sons survived him – James Stewart and Daniel Shaw Stewart.
The other partner in the business (J & W Stewart) was James’ brother William Stewart (1792-1875) who also had a house (Seafield) on the Low Gourock Road (Esplanade). William married Eliza Paton in Greenock in 1832. They had no children. As well as his business interests, William was also interested in buying property. He had numerous properties in Greenock as well as Blackhouse Estate and St Fillans House (St Philans) both near Largs. On his death, he left the bulk of his estate to his nephews.
|James Stewart of Garvocks and Blackhouse, MP for Greenock|
James Stewart’s sons followed very different paths - His elder son, James Stewart (1823-1898) of Greenock took over his father’s interest in the business of J & W Stewart. In 1855 he married Margaret Parker Darroch (1831-1859) daughter of Duncan Darroch of Gourock and his wife Susan Parker. They had two daughters – Susan Caroline Stewart (1858-1955) and Margaret Parker Darroch Stewart (1859-1928). His first wife Margaret died in 1859.
In 1868 James married Margaret Sandilands Stirling, daughter of William Stirling and his second wife Olivia Salmond. William Stirling was West Indies merchant and a partner in the firm of Stirling Gordon & Co. The Stirling family lived at Kenmure House, Glasgow . James and Margaret had several children.
James Stewart took an active interest in the affairs of the town and was Chairman of the Greenock Industrial School and a member of the Greenock Harbour Trust. He was instrumental in forming the local Volunteers and became a Major. In 1878 he was elected Member of Parliament for Greenock (Liberal) but retired from political life in 1884 (He does not seem to have been very activive politically). He purchased the estates of Routenburn and Quarter near Largs and the Garvocks Eastate at Loch Thom. By the 1891 census he had retired to the Blackhouse Estate near Largs. He died at Edinburgh in 1898.
The younger son of James Stewart (senior) - Daniel Shaw Stewart (1833-1892) did not go into the family business. He became a Captain in the 11th Hussars and married (1858) Anna Dowson Earle (1838-1919), daughter of Joseph Earle (1803-1860) and his wife Anna Sim. Joseph Earle was a timber merchant who lived with his family at Kensington Palace Gardens in London. Daniel later moved with his family to West Park, St Andrews where he died in 1892.