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. Martinís 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.