James Arthur (1819-1885) was a clothing manufacturer and one of Britain’s largest wholesale clothing dealers.
Arthur was born in Paisley, and became a draper there. In 1849 he went into partnership with Hugh Fraser, opening a drapery store in Buchanan Street. In 1856 they relocated their wholesale clothing business to Miller Street, trading as Arthur & Co, and in 1865 the Arthur & Fraser partnership was dissolved, leaving Fraser with the retail business. Arthur remained senior partner in Arthur & Co, which began manufacturing ready-made clothing in the 1880s. The business prospered and by the time of his death had three clothing factories and employed over 700 travelling salesmen.
In 1847 Arthur married Jane Glen, and he supported her campaign to become Scotland’s first female member of a school board. After Arthur’s death she established the Arthur Fellowship to promote the medical education of women.
Reference: Mitchell Library, 920.04BAI
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
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