A caricature of Robert Dreghorn of Ruchill which appeared in Kay's Morning Walk, 1793. Dreghorn was he son of Allan, a rich merchant, and lived in the mansion built by his father on Great Clyde Street. He was given the cruel nickname "Bob Dragon" because his face had been disfigured by smallpox - he lost an eye to the disease and was said to have pock-marks on his face "the size of threepenny pieces".
Dreghorn lived alone. Having inherited a fortune in property and capital he had no need to spend long hours at an office, and he took no interest in literature, sport or the theatre. Instead, according to his contemporaries, he spent much of his time strolling through the streets of Glasgow. It was said that he always carried a cane, with he used to lash out at street urchins who got in his way. He was notorious for following pretty young maids and factory girls to their homes - as he did not attempt to seduce any of the women, his behaviour was rather laughed at than frowned upon.
Despite being one of the wealthiest men in Glasgow, Dreghorn committed suicide c 1806. His ghost was said to haunt the Dreghorn Mansion for many years.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 GOR
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
canes, dandies, fashions, ghosts, landlords, mansions, merchants, property owners, smallpox, suicide