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Memoirs of a Banking House
Memoirs of a Banking House


The founder of the Edinburgh house of business of which I am now to give some account, was Patrick Coutts, the fourth son of Alexander Coutts, provost of Montrose, whose grandfather is said to have been a son of the family of Auchintowl, and to have settled in Montrose in the end of the sixteenth century.

The pedigree of Mr Coutts has been thus stated to me by a letter from Mr Charles Thomson of Montrose, who had it from Mrs Patison, a relative of the family.

‘The first of the family came to Montrose towards the end of the sixteenth century. He is said to have been a son of Coutts of Auchintowl, a vassal of the family of Macdonald. This gentleman had a son, William, who was provost of Montrose. William was succeeded by his son, Alexander, who lived to a great age, and left six sons and three daughters: of the sons, William, the eldest, was also provost of Montrose, as was likewise John, the second son; Hercules, the third, settled in London; Peter, the fourth, settled in Edinburgh; Robert, the fifth, went to America, and died there; James, the youngest, also went to America, but returned after some time, and purchased the lands of Hallgreen, in the shire of Kincardine, and was also provost of Montrose. This gentleman was the father of the late Mr Coutts of Hallgreen; and Provost Coutts of Edinburgh was the son of Peter, the fourth son of Alexander Coutts. I shall only add that I have had opportunity to learn that the family have been long and universally respected in Montrose as people of very great benevolence, honour, and integrity.’ Of the truth of this last assertion there can be no better proof than that in three generations four of the family were elected chief magistrate of their native town.

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