James Baird (1802-1876) was an ironmaster and an MP.
Baird was one of seven sons of a Lanarkshire farmer who began to lease coal pits in 1816. The brothers founded William Baird & Co to operate the business and opened an ironworks at Gartsherrie in 1830. James Baird managed the firm. He also developed and improved plant to improve furnace efficiency and output.
In 1851 Baird was elected MP for the Falkirk Burghs, serving for six years. In 1874 he fought on the successful campaign to have his nephew Alexander Whitelaw elected an MP for Glasgow. Baird was also a generous supporter of the Church of Scotland. In 1873 he made a gift of £500,000 to promote the erection and maintenance of churches in industrial area. Many of Glasgow’s Church of Scotland buildings were built and endowed with funds from his personal fortune.
Reference: Mitchell Library, 920.04BAI
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
benefactors, church building programmes, Church of Scotland, Gartsherrie Ironworks, iron industry, ironmasters, ironworks, Members of Parliament, MPs, philanthropists, William Baird & Co