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John Wallace

Mitchell Library, Glasgow Collection

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John Wallace

A woodcut of tobacco merchant John Wallace, 1793. It was published originally in a volume of caricatures of notable Glasgow figures called The Morning Walk, by an artist called Mr Kay.

Wallace was the owner of the estates of Neilstonshire, Cessnock in Ayrshire and Kelly at Wemyss Bay. He was a partner in the tobacco firm Somerville, Gordon & Co and in the King Street Sugar House and he owned three plantations in Jamaica which he called "Glasgow", "Cessnock" and "Biscany". In 1759 he purchased Whitehill House and estate from the prominent tobacco merchant John Glassford. Before he sold the property in 1782 Wallace made extensive additions to the building and added the lands of Easter Craigs to the estate. He built a carriage road from the house to the eastern end of Gallowgate where he built a lodge. Local people nicknamed the lodge "Mount Hooley" and claimed it became haunted by a man executed in 1808 for murdering his wife, and by the dead wife too!

As can just be seen in the illustration, one of Wallace's eccentricities was to wear a white nightcap under his cocked hat, instead of the conventional wig. He was believed to have been directly descended from the famous medieval patriot, William Wallace.

Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 GOR

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

caricatures, estates, executions, Gallowmuir, ghosts, hangings, hauntings, King Street Sugar House, lodges, Mount Hooley, murders, night caps, plantation owners, roads, The Morning Walk, Tobacco Lords, tobacco merchants, Whitehill House, wigs

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