James Richardson of Ralston 1790-1860 and Catherine Wemyss 1792-1839

Photographs and information supplied by Great Grandson of David Richardson, David Steel.

James Richardson of Ralston and his wife Catherine Wemyss, 1792-1839, were married in 1814 and are buried in the Glasgow Necropolis. James founded the firm of James Richardson and Co, Sugar Merchants. The firm began business in Edinburgh and the family moved to Glasgow about 1830. James purchased Ralston, Paisley in 1841. Following the death of James Richardson in 1860 the firm was run by Thomas Richardson (See 100 Glasgow men www.glasgowwestaddress.co.uk/100_Glasgow_Men/Richardson_Thomas.htm)

Thomas Richardson joined the family business at the age of 17 following a classical education in Edinburgh. When the sugar market moved to Glasgow’s Royal Exchange in 1829, the firm’s established premises in, variously, Virginia Street, Miller Street and Wilson Street. The West Indian market meant that the firm also retained property in Mauritius.

In 1867 Richardson chaired an inquiry into the Caledonian Railway Company, of which he was a major shareholder. He was also a director of the Glasgow and South-Western Railway and, in 1869, a member of the Audit Committee of the London and North-Western Railway. He died in Budapest, following an attack of dysentery, on 26 June 1872.
Following his death it was run by my great grandfather David Richardson till it was wound up in 1896 on his death.

James Richardson by Sir Daniel MacNee 1858

James Richardson by Sir Daniel MacNee 1858

Catherine Wemyss, wife of James Richardson

Catherine Wemyss, wife of James Richardson

The portrait of Catherine is a miniature and that of James was painted by Sir Daniel Macnee in 1858. There is a similar portrait in Paisley museum and art gallery and an Annan photograph of a Macnee portrait in the Mitchell library.

 
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