David Dick Esquire
David Dick, sometime merchant and manufacturer underwent a spectacular insolvency. Charged with breach of trust and embezzlement, he was outlawed and emigrated/fled to Canada, escaping legal process. Obituary made no mention of his "difficulties" and described him as a "gentleman!"
Subscription value in 1863:
Relative to inflation up to 2023:
Relative to income compared to 2023:
Personal details and history
Date of birth
Place of birth
Name of spouse
Agnes Rennie; Janet Millar; Elizabeth McIndoe; Hannah McIndoe; John; Euphemia; Walter Paterson;
Age at death:
Place of death:
York, Ontario, Canada
Date of death:
Mount Pleasant Cemetery, Toronto, Canada
Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers
Free Church - David Dick was an elder in St John's Free Church
Clubs / societies
Subscriber 77 – Messrs Fullerton & Davidson – James Fullerton married David Dick’s daughter, Janet Millar Dick.
Career and worklife
Place of work
Career to date:
At the time of his marriage in 1843, David Dick was described as a "merchant, Glasgow." Born in Glasgow, he subsequently appears in Dundee in the mid 1840s as a merchant at H. P. Ree & Co "...conducting the business of Mr Herman Ree, who owned Blackness Factory," and by 1851 is described as a "...merchant & manufacturer, employing 200 hands." By 1861 he was still able to describe himself as a "...merchant and linen manufacturer employing 200 workers," At the beginning of 1862, the partnership between David Dick (of Dundee), Herman P Ree (of Manchester) and Walter Paterson (of Glasgow), all trading under the firm of Herman P Ree and Co. was dissolved by mutual consent. Thereafter, David Dick became a merchant on his own account, so continuing into the 1870s. By 1871, he was describing himself as a "jute merchant."
“Sale of damaged jute etc saved from fire at Shaw, Baxter & Moon’s works. Exposer: David Dick, 10 Panmure Street.”
“Fatal accident at warehouse in Craigie Yard, Seagate belonging to David Dick. An employee of Cochrane, Dawson & Co. was weighing jute for his employers when he was crushed by a falling bale and killed. Deceased was son of Rev. Andrew Inglis of Dudhope Free Church.”
Craigie Yard Warehouse Co. “Mr David Dick has ceased to be the manager and has no power to sign any documents for the company.”.
“David Dick failed to appear at his bankruptcy hearing on 28th December 1876.”
Creditors Meeting: “Second meeting of creditors of Mr David Dick was held in Lamb’s Hotel. Unsecured liabilities were £18,420 (nominal value at 2018: Relative to income – £14,736,000) and available assets £2,030 (nominal value at 2018: Relative to income – £1,624,000),-or 2s 2d (11p) per £1.
Advert: “From the Trustee of the sequestered estate of Mr David Dick sale of a large quantity linen goods.”
Advert: “From the Trustee of the sequestered estate of Mr David Dick sale at 2 Magdalen Yard Road the whole valuable household furniture and effects including valuable oil paintings sale at 2 Magdalen Yard Road.”
“David Dick charged with breach of trust and embezzlement, and outlawed.”
“Creditors of David Dick will receive a dividend 31st May 1877.”
David Dick named as a partner in the Craigie Yard Warehouse Company and “…said to have absconded from the country.”
David Dick, recently a merchant in Dundee, was, in 1876, a customer of the Commercial Bank and, according to his request, they instructed the London & Westminster Bank to honour the drafts of Messrs Wiseman, Mitchell, Reid & Co of Calcutta for various goods – jute and castor oil, amounting to the sum of £3130 1s 6d (nominal value at 2018: Relative to income – £2,504,000). Upon arrival in Dundee, these goods were stored in the warehouses at Craigie Yard, of which David Dick was manager. In addition, further sums were advanced to David Dick for what turned out to be non-existent goods, amounting to £4273 7s 11d (nominal value at 2018: Relative to income – £3,418,400). When further payments were suspended on 30th November 1876, it transpired that David Dick had removed the original goods, worth £3130 1s 6d (nominal value at 2018: Relative to income – £2,504,000), and sold them for his own purposes.
David Dick is recorded as having emigrated to Canada this year.
Further “wreckage” ? Potential collateral damage ?
Obituary: “Death announced of Mr Herman Ree who was at one time well known in Dundee, having carried on business here for a number of years. He came to Dundee from Leith where he had been engaged in the corn trade and started business as a merchant and jute manufacturer, his works being at Blackness.
Some eight or ten years ago (i.e. 1876) his affairs became involved and he suspended payment, but he honourably paid all his trade debts and retired to London where he died. He was about 60, leaving a widow and family. He was at one time Captain of one of the volunteer corps.”
Obituary of David Dick makes no mention of his “difficulties” !
“DEATH OF DUNDEE MERCHANT CANADA. The death is announced of Mr David Dick, a gentleman who was for many years connected with Dundee staple trade. The sad event took place at Toronto, Canada, where Mr Dick passed away the ripe age of 91 years. As indicated, the deceased gentleman was widely known to a former generation engaged in the local trade. For many years he conducted the business of Mr Hermann Ree, who owned Blackness Factory. Thereafter he carried on a somewhat extensive merchant business and, for long, acted as manager of the Craigie Yard Warehouse Company. Dick was well known in the east end by his long tenancy of the old house of Carolina Port, which was demolished to permit the erection of the City Markets. He was an elder in St. John’s Free Church under Dr Roxburgh and under Rev. A. O. Laird. Fully a quarter of a century ago he left Dundee and settled in Canada. The deceased gentleman is survived by two sons and four daughters.”
- Census of Canada. Toronto. (1901). Quarter No.4. York (East). Ontario. p.12. Family No.114. Ancestry website.
- 1861 Census, Dundee, ED:33 34 p.77 line 23. Ancestry website.
- LDS, Scotland, Marriages, 1561-1910, Salt Lake City, Utah, FamilySearch, 2014. Ancestry website.
- Old Parish Registers. Rothesay. Marriages. (1843). 558/ 40 378. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1846-47. p.102. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1850. p.94. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- 1851 Census, Dundee, ED:51 p.20 line 5. Ancestry website.
-  Dundee Postal Directory, 1853-54. p.152.Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1861-62. p.132. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Carolina Port House. Article in Friends of Dundee City Archives Newsletter - February 2016.
- Photograph of Carolina Port House. Photopolis website. Ref: WC1136.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1874-75. p.130. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Evening Telegraph. Obituary. 20th April 1904. p.2 (col.5). Findmypast website.
- Archives of Ontario. Toronto. Canada. Series: MS935. Reel 114. Ancestry website.
- Find A Grave. Memorial ID 130686246. Findagrave website.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1874. p.65. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1874. p.67. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1864-65. p.114. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1867-68. p.117. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1869-70. p.120. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Evening Telegraph. 28th December 1886. p.2 (col.6). Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 6 January 1862. p.1. Findmypast website.
- 1871 Census, St Andrew, ED:35 p.37 line 15. Ancestry website.
- Dundee Courier. 13th August 1874. p.1 (col.3). Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 7th September 1875. p.5 (col.2). Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 5th December 1876. p.1 (col.4). Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 29th December 1876. p.4 (col.5). Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 12th January 1877. p.3 (col.2). Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 23rd February 1877. p.1. Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 13th March 1877. p.1. Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 30th March 1877. p.6 (col.1). Findmypast website.
- The Scotsman. 18th Apr 1877. p.10 (col.3). Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 27th June 1877. p.4 (col.2). Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 18th July 1877. p.3 (col.1). Findmypast website.
The information above about David Dick 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.