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William Harley

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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William Harley

William Harley (1770-1829), the water entrepreneur.

Harley was a manufacturer of turkey-red gingham who purchased Sauchy Hall (renamed Willowbank House) and its estate in Blythswood in 1802. He began to collect water from springs in his grounds and send the casks by horse-drawn carts to the city, where the wells were proving inadequate to meet the demands of a growing population for fresh drinking water. A few years later he opened public baths with four pools, on the road leading from the city to the pleasure gardens he laid out on the estate. The road was later named Bath Street.

Harley kept a dairy herd on the estate and founded a bakery at Blythswood. In 1829 he died in London en route for Russia, after the Tsar had invited him to establish a dairy herd in St Petersburg.

Reference: GC 941.435 OLD

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

Keywords:
cotton manufacturers, cows, dairy herds, gingham manufacturers, public baths, public water supply, Sauchie Hall, Sauchy Hall, turkey-red dyers, wells, Willowbank House



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