Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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John McMillan, Senior

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John McMillan (1815-1891)

son of Archibald McMillan

of Archibald McMillan and Sons

1891 Obituary [1]

MR. JOHN McMILLAN, of Dumbarton, the oldest shipbuilder on the Clyde, and one of the few remaining links connecting the periods of wood, iron, and steel, died, we regret to say, on the 21st inst., at the age of seventy-six. The well-known firm of Archibald McMillan and Son was founded in 1834 by the deceased and his father, their first yard being situated on the south side of the river Leven. In 1838 they removed to a larger piece of ground on the north bank; and in 1846 they acquired the premises known as the Dockyard, containing one of the oldest dry-docks on the Clyde, which the firm enlarged to its present dimensions. After the death of his father, which occurred in 1854, Mr. McMillan took his sons, Robert and John, into partnership. The latter died some years ago, his place in the firm being taken by his brother James. A year ago the business was converted into a private limited liability company, in which the surviving sons are directors. Under the deceased gentleman's direction the firm produced some notable vessels, and on three occasions they built the largest sailing ships of their day, viz., the Peter Stuart in 1868, the Thomasina MacLellan in 1873 and the Stuart Hahneman in 1874. In 1877 they launched the clipper ship Coriolanus, which made a number of record passages; and for the model of which they gained the first prize at an exhibition promoted by the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights. In private life Mr. McMillan was greatly respected. He gave liberally towards all public objects; his chief act of munificence being the gift, in conjunction with Mr. Peter Denny, of Levengrove Park to the townspeople of Dumbarton.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • McMillan family tree of