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David Halley Esquire

David, a merchant's son, was brought up by his widowed mother from a young age. He had a successful career as a merchant and then a stockbroker, before a relatively early retirement to Edinburgh and then Crieff.

Subscription value in 1863:


Relative to inflation up to 2024:


Relative to income compared to 2024:


Personal details and history

Full name

David Halley

Date of birth


Place of birth




Marital status

Single in 1863 - married 01-11-1865[3]

Name of spouse

Elizabeth Bruce Fergusson[3]


None known

Home address

William Street, Dundee, c.1841[4]
10 King Street, Dundee, 1851[2]
4 Hill Street, Broughty Ferry, c.1853-1871[5]
Earl House,[6] Camperdown Street, Broughty Ferry, c.1867-1881[7]
Vinebank, West Ferry, Dundee, c. 1884-1896[8]
15 Belgrave Place, Edinburgh, c.1900-1901[9]
Murray Park House, Connaught Terrace, Crieff, c.1901-1919[10]

Age at death:

78 years[11]

Place of death:


Date of death:




Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Married according to the forms of the Free Church of Scotland[3]

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

2nd Lieutenant, Third Forfarshire Volunteer Artillery, c.1864-1865:[12] Agent, Insurance Company of Scotland (Fire & Life), c.1867-1868:[13] Agent, Reliance Mutual Life Insurance Society, c.1874-1875:[14] Agent, Caledonian Insurance Company, c.1880-1893:[15] Trustee, Corbett Fund for the Education of the Poor, c.1886-1888:[16] Vice-president, Dundee Stock Exchange Association, c.1894-1897:[17]

Public offices

Elected member, Broughty Ferry School Board, c.1873-1876[14]

Related subscribers

Subscriber no.20 – J.J. Barrie – partner in Halley & Barrie, merchants and commission agents.

Subscriber no.205 – George B. Simpson – fellow member of Broughty Ferry School Board.

Subscriber no.257 – Robert Yeaman – became his partner in Halley & Yeaman, stockbrokers and accountants.

Career and worklife


Merchant and commission agent[18]



Place of work

Cowgate, Dundee[20]

Work address

2 Royal Exchange Place, Dundee, c.1864-65[12]
1 Royal Exchange Place, Dundee, c.1867-68[13]
13 Bain Square, Dundee, c.1869-1870[21]
10 Bain Square, Dundee, c.1871-1872[22]
2 Royal Exchange Place, Dundee, c.1874-1875[14]
3 Royal Exchange Place, Dundee, c.1876-1897[23]

Career to date:

David Halley was the son of David Halley, merchant, and his wife, Helen.[1] Unfortunately, most of his siblings did not survive into adulthood. His sister, Eliza and brother, also David, had died before he was born. His older brother, Alexander, died in 1852. These three children are buried in the Howff, Dundee, along with their father, who died in 1846.[24] After school, David Halley went to work as a clerk to a dealer in flax.[25] About the same time as subscribing to the Albert Institute, he entered into partnership with Joseph Johnstone Barrie, as merchants and commission agents. At this time none of the manufacturers imported raw materials directly and relied on agents like Halley and Barrie. This partnership lasted about five years and took an influential place in the market.[19] David married Elizabeth Bruce Fergusson at her home at 4 Clarence Street, Edinburgh in 1865. At this time he was described as a flax merchant.[3]

More information

After David Halley’s partnership with Joseph Johnstone Barrie ended, he carried on as a merchant on his own, until entering into a short-lived partnership with Robert Yeaman in a firm of stockbrokers and accountants.[14] David continued as a stockbroker at a neighbouring address in Royal Exchange Place, Dundee for the next few years,[26] before forming another stockbroker partnership with John M. Watson.[27] In 1888, he again worked independently as a stockbroker and became vice-president of the Dundee Stock Exchange Association in 1894.[17] In 1896, he sold his house in West Ferry to James Robertson of the Logie Works. He was retiring and the business was taken over by William Anderson, his assistant of the previous fourteen years.[28]

David Halley moved to Edinburgh and was “living on means” at 15 Belgrave Place with his wife and two female servants.[29] In 1901, he bought Murray Park House, Connaught Terrace, Crieff from Elizabeth Graham and, by 1902, was described as a residenter at that address.[10] Elizabeth died there in 1910, aged 68.[30] She left an estate valued initially at £1,786 4s. 11d but with the addition of an eik of £3,134 0s. 1d. in 1916.[31] David died there in 1919, aged 78,[11] leaving an estate worth £53,037 10s. 9d, plus an eik of £513 8s. 7d.[32]


  1. 1841 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED88 p.18. Ancestry website.
  2. 1851 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED57 p.12. Ancestry website.
  3. Statutory Registers. St. George, Edinburgh. Marriage. 1 November 1865. 685/1 299. ScotlandsPeople website.
  4. 1841 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED88 p.18. Ancestry website.
  5. Dundee Directories, 1853-1865. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee, 1861 Census Scotland. Monifieth. 310 ED5 p.11 and 1871 Census Scotland. Monifieth. 310 ED6 p.16. Ancestry website.
  6. Dundee Directories, 1867-1870. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  7. Dundee Directories, 1871-1881. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee and 1881 Census Scotland. Monifieth. 310 ED7 p.20. Ancestry website.
  8. Dundee Directories, 1884-1897. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee and 1891 Census Scotland. St. Andrew, Dundee. 282/4 ED48 p.24. Ancestry website.
  9. Edinburgh Directory, 1901-02. National Library of Scotland website.
  10. Abridgement of Sasines, Perthshire, 14 May 1901 (434) and Valuation Rolls, County of Perth, 1902-1918. Perth & Kinross Archives.
  11. Statutory Registers. Crieff. Death. 22 January 1919. 342/2. ScotlandsPeople website.
  12. Dundee Directory, 1864-65. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  13. Dundee Directory, 1867-68. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  14. Dundee Directory, 1874-75. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  15. Dundee Directories, 1880-1893. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  16. Dundee Directories, 1886-1888. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  17. Dundee Directories, 1894-1897. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  18. Dundee Directories, 1864-1872. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  19. Dundee Courier, 27 July 1894. Obituary of Joseph Johnstone Barrie. British Newspaper Archive website and Dundee Directories, 1864-1868. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee .
  20. Dundee Advertiser, 23 December 1863. British Newspaper Archive website.
  21. Dundee Directory, 1869-70. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  22. Dundee Directory, 1871-72. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  23. Dundee Directories, 1876-1897. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  24. Cramer, Sidney and Dunn, Michael and Mitchell, Alison and Tudor-Hart, Adam. Pre-1855 Gravestone Inscriptions in Angus Volume Four. Edinburgh: Scottish Genealogy Society.
  25. 1861 Census Scotland. Monifieth. 310 ED5 p.11. Ancestry website.
  26. Dundee Directories, 1876-1881. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  27. Dundee Directories, 1884-1888. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  28. Dundee Advertiser, 21 January, 27 March and 4 April 1896. British Newspaper Archive website.
  29. 1901 Census Scotland. St. George, Edinburgh, Midlothian. 685/1 64/A7. ScotlandsPeople website.
  30. Statutory Registers. Death. Crieff. 5 April 1910. 342/20. ScotlandsPeople website.
  31. Calendar of Confirmations, 1910 and 1916. Local and Family History, A.K. Bell Library, Perth.
  32. Calendar of Confirmations, 1919. Local and Family History, A.K. Bell Library, Perth.


Many thanks to the staff at Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee and Archives, Local and Family History, A.K. Bell Library, Perth.

The information above about David Halley 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.