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Andrew Benvie Esquire

Andrew Benvie was well respected and civic minded. When he died, the value of his estate was over £8,000, including shares in Dundee Gas Light Company and Scottish North Eastern Railway. He left a legacy of £1000 to Dundee Royal Infirmary.

Subscription value in 1865:

£10

Relative to inflation up to 2018:

£1000

Relative to income compared to 2018:

£8000

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Personal details and history

Full name

Andrew Benvie

Date of birth

20-01-1794[1]

Place of birth

Abernyte[1]

Gender

Male

Marital status

Married

Name of spouse

Jean Doig[2]

Children

John Benvie 1824; Andrew Benvie 1825; Jean Benvie 1828; Christian Benvie 1830; Jean Benvie 1833; Agnes Benvie 1835; Mary Benvie 1839[3]

Home address

7 Thistle Street
Forebank
Dundee 1834[4]

Parnell Street
Forebank
Dundee 1837-38[5]

7 Nelson Street
Dundee 1842-45[6][7]

9 Nelson Street
Dundee 1846[8][9][10][11]

8 & 10 Napier Place
Nelson Street
Dundee 1858-59[12][13]

9 Nelson Street
Dundee 1861-65[14]

Age at death:

72 years[15]

Place of death:

Napier Place, Nelson Street, Dundee[15]

Date of death:

07-11-1865[15]

Buried:

Western Cemetery, Dundee[16]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Unknown

Political affiliation

Unknown

Clubs / societies

A representative of the Nine Trades at the Harbour Board[17]: A representative of the Nine Trades on the Board of the Royal Lunatic Asylum[18]: Past Master of Caledonian Masonic Lodge, Castle Street, Dundee[19]: Ordinary Director of Forfarshire & Perthshire Fire Insurance Co.[20]: Member of Board of Management of Scottish Equitable Life Assurance[21][20]: Assessor of Guildry Incorporation[22]:

Public offices

Town Councillor[23]: Member of Dundee City Council Committee on Hospital Funds[23]: Member of Dundee City Council Committee on Barrack Park and Magdalen Green[24]: Member of Dundee City Council Finance Committee[24]:

Related subscribers

Subscriber 61 – Peter Miln Duncan (shipowner) – one of a number of trustees and executors of Andrew Benvie’s estate[25]

Career and worklife

Occupation

Linen merchant

Employment

Self employed

Place of work

At the time of his donation, Andrew Benvie was a retired linen merchant and manufacturer.

Work address

James Spankie & Co
Peter Street
Dundee 1834[4]

Cochrane & Benvie
131 Seagate
Dundee 1842-45[26][6]

39 Cowgate
Dundee 1846-47[8]

Baxter's Court
37 Cowgate
Dundee 1850-62[9][10][12][13]

Career to date:

Andrew Benvie became a linen merchant and manufacturer. He began his early working life as a "stamper."[27] After some time in that role, he was appointed one of a number of inspectors whose duty it was to inspect the cloth manufactured in Dundee.[27] Warden suggested in "The Linen Trade Ancient and Modern" - "that for several years after the repeal of the 'Stamp Act' (1823), a system of inspection was in operation, but it was entirely voluntary, there being no law to enforce it. The inspectors, in most cases, were the same parties who had acted as stampers under the Act, and they were generally well qualified, from their knowledge and experience in examining linens, for being inspectors."[28] He then began to sell goods on commission, becoming one of the partners in the firm of Messrs James Spankie & Co.[27] On the 24th September 1830, Andrew Benvie was admitted a free master of the Bonnetmaker Trade.[29] In 1834 he was still "of James Spankie & Co, Peter Street, Dundee" and from then on he appears to have been working on his own account, firstly as a merchant and partner of Cochrane and Benvie, 131 Seagate, Dundee and then as a tenant/occupier, linen merchant and manufacturer in the Cowgate. In 1837, Andrew Benvie was the owner of a schooner called Pilot[30] and by 1842 he also had a schooner called Liverpool.[31] The copartnery of "Messrs Cochrane and Benvie" was dissolved with mutual consent in October 1845.[32] George Cochrane continued operating from the same premises under the firm of "Cochrane & Co."[32] In 1851, Andrew Benvie was on the Nine Trades Committee.[33] A commemorative plate was found during extensive alterations and improvements to the ground floor of the Trades Hall. The Plate is in the custody of McManus Galleries with a plaque detailing the members of the committee. In 1854, he was elected a Town Councillor for the Third Dundee Ward and served on various committees until 1857. In 1861, he retired.[34]

More information

His Life

Andrew Benvie was born to George Benvie, cloth manufacturer and Elizabeth Wilkie in Abernyte, Perthshire.[1] He married Jean Doig on 1st  July 1823.[35] He and his wife had seven children, 6 of whom predeceased them and were buried in the “old graveyard,[36][37] the Howff, Dundee. His daughter Mary was the only one to outlive them and continued to live in Napier Place, Nelson Street.[38]

Civic Duties

From 1837 Andrew Benvie lived in Nelson Street, Dundee and by 1865 he was proprietor/occupier of a house in Napier Place, Nelson Street and also owned two other properties in Nelson Street, together with houses, offices and a warehouse in St Andrews Street, Dundee.[39] Napier Place is described as being “on the east side of Nelson Street. A short row of two storey houses with gardens in front, situated on the East side of Nelson St. The property of various parties.”[40]

“Nelson Street had a rather curious origin. This street was planned in 1841, and it was intended to call it Parnell Street, after Sir Henry Parnell, who had been M.P. for Dundee from 1837 until he was raised to the House of Lords with the title of Baron Congleton in the year 1841, when the street was being constructed. But in the following year, after a long period of ill-health, he committed suicide and the Town Council decided that this street should be named after Admiral Lord Nelson and another thoroughfare in the neighbourhood should be called Wellington Street, after the famous military hero, the Duke of Wellington.”[41]

Death of Mr Andrew Benvie

Andrew Benvie appears to have worked hard and been a very civic minded person who gave to various projects, such as the building of a library and art gallery. Unfortunately, Andrew Benvie did not live to see the Albert Institute completed but his contribution resulted in a legacy which continues to this day. At the time of his death in 1865 an obituary read:

“We have to record with sorrow the death of this most respectful citizen which took place yesterday. Mr Benvie was for a long series of years one of the most thriving and respected cloth merchants in the Cowgate. He also took a most active and prominent part in various departments of civic politics. He served for some years in the Town Council with great satisfaction to his constituents and was at one time a representative of the Nine Trades at the Harbour Board. For some years Mr Benvie has taken little or no interest in burgh affairs but his death will be sincerely regretted by a large circle of friends.”[42]

Sources

  1. 1794. Benvie, Andrew. (Old Parish Registers. Births. 327/10296 20/01/1794 Abernyte). ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. 1823 Andrew Benvie/Jean Doig. Old Parish Registers. Marriages. 282/21090. Andrew Benvie/Jean Doeg. Dundee. 01/07/1823. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. Benvie/Doig. (Old Parish Registers. Births. 282/Dundee) ScotlandsPeople website.
  4. Dundee Post OfficeDirectory, 1834, p.6. Printed and  Published by Archibald Allardyce,  Dundee,  Dundee City Archives.
  5. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1837-38, p.8. Printed and Published by James Chalmers, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  6. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1842, Dundee, p.9. Dundee City Archives.
  7. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1845, p.9. Printed and Published by Dundee Advertiser, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  8. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1845, p.19. Printed and Published by Dundee Advertiser, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  9.  Dundee Post Office Directory, 1850, p.76. Printed and Published by James Chalmers, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  10. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1853-54,  p.136 including Lochee, Broughty Ferry, Tayport & Newport. With a history of Dundee by James H. Donnan. Dundee: A. M. Stephen, James Chalmers et al, Dundee City Archives.
  11. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1861-62, p.116. Printed by Bowes Brothers, Dundee City Archives.
  12. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1858- 59, p.106. Printed and Published  by Hill & Alexander, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  13. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1861-62, p.240. Printed by Bowes Brothers, Dundee City Archives.
  14. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1864-65, p.97. Printed by James P. Matthew Dundee City Archives.
  15. 1865 Benvie, Andrew (Statutory Registers Deaths 1865  282/1 1168) ScotlandsPeople website.
  16. Lair purchased by Mr Andrew Benvie, Merchant, Nelson Street Register volume 3, Register number 849. Friends of Dundee City Archives, Western Burial Lair Records p.18 of 48.
  17. Dundee Post Office Directory1850, p.5. Printed and Published by James Chalmers, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  18. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1834, p.115. Printed and Published by Archibald Allardyce, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  19. Dundee Post Office Directory, (1834), p.118, Printed and  Published by Archibald Allardyce, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  20. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1856-57, p.15. Printed by Charles D. Chalmers, Dundee  Local History, Dundee Central Library, Wellgate, Dundee.
  21. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1850, p.272. Printed and Published by James Chalmers, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  22. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1853-54, p.54 including Lochee, Broughty Ferry, Tayport & Newport. With a history of Dundee by James H. Donnan. Dundee: A. M. Stephen, James Chalmers et al, Dundee City Archives.
  23. Dundee Council Minutes, 16th November 1854, p.90. Dundee City Archives.
  24. Dundee Council Minutes, 16th November, 1854, p.91. Dundee City Archives.
  25. 1865 Benvie, Andrew. (Legal Records, Wills and Testaments 11/12/1865 Dundee Sheriff Court SC45/31/19) ScotlandsPeople website.
  26. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1840,  p.7. Printed and Published by James Chalmers, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  27. Dundee Advertiser, 8 November 1865. British Newspaper Archive website.
  28. Warden, Alexander J. (1864). The Linen Trade, Ancient and Modern. London: Longman. p.474.
  29. Nine Trades of Dundee Lockit Book (1664- 1965) Bonnet Makers, p. 19.
  30. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1837-38, p.110. Printed and Published by James Chalmers, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  31. Dundee Post Office Directory, 1842, p.138. Printed and Published by James Chalmers, Dundee, Dundee City Archives.
  32. Dundee, Perth & Cupar Advertiser, 21 October 1845. British Newspaper Archive website.
  33. Phillips Parry (n.d.). Nine Trades of Dundee. Retrieved from ninetradesofdundee.co.uk.
  34. 1861 Benvie, Andrew. (Census 282/1 24/2) p.2 of 79. ScotlandsPeople website.
  35. 1823 Andrew Benvie/Jean Doig (Old Parish Registers Marriages 150/301  01/07/1823 Dundee), ScotlandsPeople website.
  36. Inscription on face of Andrew Benvie's gravestone in Western Cemetery, Dundee.
  37. Burial Records of the Dundee Howff, pp.31-32 of 40. Friends of Dundee City Archives.
  38. Benvie, Miss. Dundee Courier. Tuesday 11th September 1877. p.3. Newspaper Archives
  39. 1865 Benvie, Andrew (Valuation Rolls VRoo9800015-/80, Dundee Burgh) p.80. ScotlandsPeople website.
  40. Napier Place, Dundee https://scotlandsplaces.gov.uk.
  41. Millar, A.H. (January 1925). Glimpses of Old and New Dundee. M.C.MacLeod. Dundee.
  42. Dundee Courier. 8th November 1865, p.2. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies, Wellgate.

Credits

Thanks to: The staff at Local History, Dundee Central Library, Wellgate, Dundee. The staff at Dundee City Archives, 14 City Square, Dundee.

The information above about Andrew Benvie has been collated from a range of digital and hard copy sources. To the best of our knowledge it is correct but if you are relying on any information from our website for the purpose of your own research we would advise you to follow up the sources to your own satisfaction. If you are aware of an inaccuracy in our text please do not hesitate to notify us through our Contact page.