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The Anecdotage of Glasgow
Walter Gibson, one of the early Glasgow Foreign Merchants


THE origin of the foreign trade in this great commercial emporium is extremely worthy of attention. A merchant of the name of Walter Gibson, by a trading venture, first laid the foundation of its wealth. About the year 1668, he cured and exported, in a Dutch vessel, 300 lasts of herrings, each containing six barrels, which he sent to St. Martin’s in France, where he got a barrel of brandy and a crown for each. The ship returned, laden with brandy and salt, which cargo was sold for a great sum.

He then launched further into business, bought the vessel and two large ships besides, with which he traded to different parts of Europe and to Virginia. He also first imported iron into Glasgow, for before that time it was received from Stirling and Borrowstownness, in exchange for dyed stuffs; and even the wine used in this city was brought from Edinburgh. Yet there is no statue, and no grateful inscription to record these worthy deeds, and to preserve the memory of Walter Gibson.


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