Sunday, 22 August 2010

Angus Kennedy, Part III

Angus Kennedy obtained a number of other significant commissions as an architect. They included:-

In 1862 the Clyde Grain Mills at 14 Commercial Street, for John Arthur, long since demolished. The same year he entered a competition to design the Liverpool exchange, but didn’t win. Mr Arthur was a friend and eventually one of his executors.

In 1864 the Shandon Free Church Manse.

In 1866 the Fauldhouse Church at Whitburn.

The same year the Ibrox UP Church.

In 1868 David Rowat’s engineering works in Elliot Street, also demolished.

In 1870 the Westbourne Villa in Paisley Road West.

During the late 1850s and early 1860s Angus was also operating as a commercial estate agent, marketing numerous properties, development sites and so on.

The Glasgow Herald archives contain numerous advertisements for the sale of commercial properties, industrial land for development and so on. In 1862 he was the consultant engineer in charge of the new water reservoir for the Burgh of Whitburn.

Apart from working Angus was keen on joining societies. The Glasgow Herald records show that he was a member of the Glasgow Architectural Society, the Glasgow Institute of Fine Arts, the Glasgow Geological Society and the Philosophical Society of Glasgow. All of these offered the opportunity of learning, social improvement and good business contacts.

Angus died at home on 27 November 1870 of long term phlebitis. The practice was continued after his death by his son James, later joined by Thomas.

Here is a copy of the inventory of Angus’s estate:-

The list of items of moveable estate is interesting.

The loan of £50 to his son Thomas, secured by a document of debt repayable on one day’s notice, sticks out. Thomas was 24 when this was advanced.

The book debts due by clients contain a number of law firms and there is evidence that he was in demand as an expert witness.

The debt estimated by John Elder shows he was still doing work for the shipyard.

Most interesting is the loan of £200 to the Barrow Shipbuilding Company. This was an enormous investment, being nearly a third of his estate if we leave his furniture to one side. The company was set up by James Ramsden as the Iron Shipbuilding Company in 1871, so presumably Angus lent this money in the last year of his life to help with the start up. The yard eventually became Vickers, but I have been unable to trace if it paid off. When his widow Isabella died at the end of 1899 there was certainly no Vickers shareholding.

Ramsden had served his apprenticeship in the Liverpool firm of Bury, Curtis & Kennedy, who were builders of locomotive engines in Liverpool. But who was this Kennedy?

So far I have been unable to trace his parents, but found that he was born in Gilmerton, Edinburgh on 13 January 1797 and at the age of 13 started training as a millwright before going to England. He came to the notice of the famous George Stephenson, who appointed him his shop manager. He became the President of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers in 1860 and died at Garston, Liverpool on 25 September 1886. It seems possible that he was related to Angus in some way and this led to the investment.

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