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British Industrial History

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David Hutcheson

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David Hutcheson (c1800-1880) of G. and J. Burns and David Hutcheson and Co

1880 Obituary [1]

A MAN of great mark in connexion with the progress of steam navigation, and more especially with regard to the development of the passenger service of the Clyde and the Western Highlands, has just passed away in the eighty-first year of his age. Mr. David Hutcheson, of the well-known firm of David Hutcheson and Co., Glasgow, departed this life last Saturday.

He was born in the town of Port-Glasgow, and when quite a youth he removed from his native town to Glasgow in search of an occupation, his first appearance being in the year 1817, when he was engaged as clerk by Mr. Cochrane, in connexion with two small luggage steamboats owned by that gentleman. He afterwards transferred his services to the Glasgow and Leith Shipping Company at Port Dundas, acting again in the capacity of clerk. At this time he became acquainted with the Burns family, now represented by Mr. John Burns.

In the year 1824 Messrs. G. and J. Burns went into the Liverpool steamship trade, and gave Mr. Hutcheson an important position in carrying it on. By-and-by the same firm established an important connexion with the carrying trade of the West Highlands, including Tobermory, Skye, Staffa, Inverness, &c . But their Liverpool trade, and the trade which they had also established with ce1-tain Irish ports, and more especially their great Atlantic traffic in the Cunard Line, became so immense that they deemed themselves justified in retiring from the West Highland steamship enterprise about thirty years ago. The success of the boats running to the West Highlands was comparatively small until the year 1851, when Mr. Hutcheson was invited to undertake the management of the concern, which he did in partnership with h1s brother, Mr. Alexander Hutcheson, and Mr. David MacBraque.

In the following year, 1852, there was built for them the Mountaineer, the first of what may be called the ornate boats, and the immediate precursor of the present magnificent line of fast mail packets plying to almost every part of the Western Highlands and isles.

The "Royal Route," which the firm opened up from Glasgow to Ardrishaig, and thence by the Crinan Canal to the looks and islands all along the west coast, became in course of time one of the most favourite tours within the reach of travelling pleasure seekers, and has in recent years been frequented by many thousands of persons from all parts of the civilised world.

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