ANDREW HOUSTON, Esq. of Jordanhill,
got into embarrassments in consequence of his having, in partnership with
some others, entered into an immense speculation in slaves, when the total
abolition of the slave trade was at first seriously agitated, and seemed
likely to be immediately accomplished; but as the measure was delayed, the
loss occasioned by the fall in price of negroes, by the expense of keeping
them, and by deaths amongst them, brought ruin to the speculators.
In these circumstances Mr. Houston
applied to Government for the loan of £100,000, which was agreed to be,
granted upon his giving satisfactory security.
Accordingly, Mr. Houston having gone
to the Government to name his security, gave in the name of "Hamilton and
Brandon," upon which the official on duty answered:
"Sir, we never take a firm for security." Whereon
Mr. Houston replied:
It is not a firm which is offered, but Douglas, Duke
of Hamilton and Brandon."