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Stories from John Henderson
Great Founders of Falkirk and Glasgow

See also page on David Dale

Hi Alastair,

My Carron Iron Works’ discoveries led me back to my Great Founders story, and it brought out two more candidates for Significant Scots. My GGG Grand Uncle Andrew Liddell [1789-1854] and his industrial relationship with my 1st Cousin four times removed, his nephew Robert MacLaren [1817-1889] the main subject of the ‘founders’ pdfs that pop up from the URL above.

Context Abbreviated
1. Margaret Lawrie . My Great Great Great Great Grandmother who married twice!

Margaret married (1) Robert Maclaren.

They had the following children:

+ 2 F i. Margaret Maclaren was christened on 19 Jun 1775. She died on 31 Dec 1817. My Great Great Great Grandmother

+ 3 M ii. Robert Maclaren [Sub-manager of Carron Iron Works - Baptist Minister] was born about 1778. He died on 11 Aug 1826.

Margaret married (2) Andrew Liddell [Sub-manager of Carron Iron Works] on 10 Jun 1786 in Larbert Stirling Scotland. Brother Uterine of Robert MacLaren above

They had the following children:

4 iii. Unknown Liddell was christened on 30 Dec 1787 in Falkirk Stirling Scotland.

5 M iv. Andrew Liddell was born on 13 Dec 1789 in Falkirk Stirling Scotland. He was christened on 20 Dec 1789 in Falkirk Stirling Scotland. He died on 15 Nov 1854 in Bardowie House, Baldernock Stirling Scotland. The cause of death was Bilious Fever.

Andrew married (1) Janet Goodsir on 11 Jan 1820 in Glasgow Scotland.

Andrew married (2) Jessie Peddie.

"Andrew Liddell & Co." - [Owner Andrew Liddell (1789-1854)]
"Robert MacLaren & Co." - [Owner Robert MacLaren (1817-1889)]

An article by John Henderson based on research done by the following bodies...

'Mackintosh Architecture' led by The Hunterian, University of Glasgow, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council; with additional support from The Monument Trust, The Pilgrim Trust, and the Paul Mellon Centre for Studies in British Art; and collaborative input from Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland.

Robert Maclaren & Co. operated the Eglinton Foundry on the south side of the river Clyde for over 70 years. Robert Maclaren (1817-1889), son of a manager at Carron Ironworks, Falkirk, established his own firm when taking over his Uncle Andrew Liddell's 'patent gas-tube and lap-welded' pipe company named "Andrew Liddell & Co.", at the Globe Foundry in Washington Street, in 1844. Around twelve years later, the firm relocated to Eglinton Foundry, where business continued until 1931.

By 1888, the works covered an area of 26,000 square yards and employed between 600 and 800 men. Sixty per cent of the premises were given over to the storage of 'many thousands of tons of cast-iron pipes ... ready for shipment'. By 1901, the Foundry was 'producing 30,000 tons of pipes annually for water, gas or electric purposes'. This growth in the manufacture of cast-iron pipes was attributed to increasing standards in domestic sanitation and power-supplies. The Foundry's production process and mould-drying ovens were semi-automated with hydraulic, gas and electric-power, and it had its own dedicated railway sidings and a five-ton travelling crane. The firm was innovative and introduced standardised pipe dimensions, which were subsequently adopted industry-wide.

Robert MacLaren Junior (c. 1860-1936) later took over the running of the firm and was also involved in Glasgow business life at a high level, serving as a a director of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and as chairman of the Glasgow Royal Exchange for 18 years.

The firm supplied pipes to Liverpool Council (1889), for Edinburgh's first electric street-lighting scheme (1893-4), and Glasgow's municipal water-supply (1898; controversially beating a possibly-lower American tender). In the 1900s, it exported to Brazil, India, Argentina and to various Chilean coppermines. During the First World War, the Foundry produced 'eight million fuse stampings' and worked with William Beardmore, of Parkhead Forge, to construct tanks. In the 1920s, a subsidiary firm, Eglinton Founders Ltd, was established with Beardmore as co-partner. Also in the 1920s, Robert Maclaren & Co. produced thermostats and temperature controls. In 1931, the firm was wound up; shortly afterwards a new firm was established under the same name with new investment.


1: John Henderson, Great Founders of Falkirk and Glasgow,, pdf file, pp. 4-6 [accessed 21 March 2013]; 'Memoirs: Andrew Liddell 1786-1855’, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, 15,1855-6, pp. 102-3; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1844-5, p. 151; 1845-6, p. 193; 1846-7, p. 158: Belfast News-Letter, 11 August 1846, p. 3.

2: Glasgow Herald, 17 October 1856, p. 7; Glasgow Post Office Directory, 1857-8, p. 177.

3: Glasgow of Today: Metropolis of the North, London: Historical Publishing Co., 1888, p. 119; Henry Dyer, 'Mechanical Engineering', in Angus McLean, ed., Local Industries of Glasgow, Glasgow: British Association, 1901, pp. 80-2.

4: Henry Dyer, 'Mechanical Engineering' in Angus McLean, ed., Local Industries of Glasgow, Glasgow: British Association, 1901, pp. 81-2.

5: Scotsman, 6 May 1936, p. 12; 'I. G. MacLaren, Robert MacLaren & Company, Ltd,' 1962, quoted in John Henderson, Great Founders of Falkirk and Glasgow,, pdf file, pp. 13-14 [accessed 21 March 2013].

6: Liverpool Mercury, 6 June 1889, p. 3; Scotsman, 10 April 1895, p. 9; 16 September 1898, p. 7.

7: Scotsman, 26 Jun 1907, p. 12.

8: Scotsman, 19 July 1934, p. 5; 6 May 1936, p. 12; 'I. G. MacLaren, Robert MacLaren & Company, Ltd,' 1962, quoted in John Henderson, Great Founders of Falkirk and Glasgow,, pdf file, pp. 13-14 [accessed 21 March 2013].

Obituary of Andrew Liddell from the 'ICE Publishing Journal' - 'Essential Engineering Knowledge' Extracted by his Great Great Great Grand Nephew, John Henderson BA, DPE, PGCE of Stirling, Scotland

Mh. ANDREW LIDDELL, was bom in 1789 in the village of Bainsford, near Falkirk, where he received the elements of his education from his Father, who wa9 originally a schoolmaster, but subsequently obtaining an appointment as clerk in the Carron Iron Works, he employed his son as assistant. At eighteen years of age young Liddell proceeded to Edinburgh, and obtained a situation in a foundry, and afterwards, at a metal-morehant’s at Leith. He had, at this time, serious thoughts of becoming a surgeon, and followed, with that view, some of the University classes ; his employers kindly permitting him to write up his books at night, in order to afford him time to attend the College during the day.

He, however, relinquished this object, on being offered a partnership in an ironmongery establishment in Glasgow, where he eventually settled in 181+ or 1815. In a few years, his partners retired, and, with an advance of capital from his half-brother, Mr. Roliert McLaren, be became the head of the firm of Andrew Liddell and Co., and thus continued till 18++, when he relinquished the business in favour of his nephew, lie carried on the most extensive manufacture in Scotland, of wrought-iron tubes, employing a method of welding, somewhat similar to that introduced by Mr. Janies llussell, of Wednesbnry. On the general introduction of gas, be became engaged in manufacturing gas-pipes and apparatus, which he supplied to many towns in Scotland and Ireland, and extensively exported to Nova Scotia and Canada.

Ilis early scientific education and practical knowledge of mechanics, led him to take great interest in the proceedings of the British Association, and his exertions mainly contributed to determining the Meeting of that body at Glasgow, in 18+1. He again volunteered his services in 1854, and was one of the deputation sent to Liverpool for the purpose of arranging for the Meeting in 1856. He was admitted a Member of the Philosophical Society of Glasgow, in 1819, was frequently elected President, and held, for many years, the office of Treasurer. It was chiefly through his indomitable perseverance, that the Society was at one period of its existence, saved from dissolution : and it is related, that, not un-frequently, the meeting consisted but of himself and another member, who, however, duly entered the proceedings in the minutes. In connection with this Society, he took a leading part in organizing the exhibition of the operations and products of the arts and sciences, which took place at Glasgow, at the end of 18+6 and beginning of 18+7, and which was visited by nearly one hundred thousand persons. He was an authority on all matters connected with patent inventions, and a well-read man in general literature : of his talents as a biographer, he lots left a specimen, in the life of David Dale, which he contributed to Messrs. lllackie’s ‘Lives of Eminent Scotsmen.’ In 1843, he joined the Institution of Civil Engineers as an Associate, took much interest in its proceedings and welfare, and was a regular attendant whenever he came to London.

As a Magistrate, he lias left a well-earned reputation for inflexible impartiality; and, as a philanthropist, for his strenuous exertions in the cause of temperance, and his unwearied efforts in favour of the distressed. The Night Asylum for the Houseless, which he was the means of establishing in Glasgow, will ever remain a monument of his practical benevolence, lie was a member of the Scottish Baptist Connexion, and on his retirement from business, became the pastor of a church, in Brown-street, which he had purchased and presented for the use of the congregation. lie died from an attack of bilious fever, on the 15th of November, 1854 , at his residence, Bardowie House, aged sixty-four; having passed the latter years of his life in the society of his attached friends, and the enjoyment of his happy home.

N.B. "I have corrected the original entries for the birth and death dates of my GGG Grand Uncle, and added further details on his birth as the 13th of December, 1789" says John Henderson in 2014.

1870 photo of the death residence of Andrew Liddell in 1854

Modified Register for Margaret Lawrie

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