David Ogilvy Dalgeish Esquire
Of a notable family, whose forebears were proprietors of the Scotscraig estate at Ferryport on Craig, David Ogilvy Dalgleish embarked on a mercantile career in the flax trade in Dundee. His ambitions were unrealised, due to his untimely death.
Subscription value in 1863:
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Personal details and history
David Ogilvy Dalgeish
Name of spouse
Age at death:
Place of death:
Date of death:
Memorial Stone in Ceres Kirkyard, Fife
Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers
Established Church - presumed
Clubs / societies
Subscriber 29 – Sir David Baxter – employer of David Ogilvy Dalgleish at Messrs Baxter Bros & Co
Subscriber 55 – Peter Carmichael – partner of Messrs Baxter Bros & Co
Subscriber 68 – W O Dalgleish – older brother of David Ogilvy Dalgleish
Additional Subscribers – James Ogilvy Dalgleish of Woodburne- father of David Ogilvy Dalgleish
Career and worklife
Place of work
Messrs Baxter Brothers & Co
Career to date:
After an education at Merchiston Castle Academy in Edinburgh, David Ogilvy Dalgleish began his working life as a clerk to a flax merchant, just as his older brother, William Ogilvy Dalgleish, before him. At the age of 23 years (1858), David Dalgleish was listed in the Dundee Directory as a clerk. By that time, his brother, William, also operating from the same working address (that of Baxter Brothers), had risen to the rank of 'merchant' and had also been assumed as a partner within the firm. At the time of pledging his subscription in 1863, David Ogilvy Dalgleish had been in continuous employment in the offices of 'Messrs Baxter Bros & Co,' located at 11 King Street, Cowgate, Dundee.
David Ogilvy Dalgleish was the 2nd son of James Ogilvy Dalgleish and his wife, Isabella Martin. He was born in 1835, while his parents resided at Auchtermairnie House in the parish of Kennoway, Fife, although, census records indicated his birth to have been at nearby Largo. His given name was David Martin Dalgleish, Martin after his mother’s family name. The name of Ogilvy belonged to his grandmother who was the daughter of Archibald Ogilvy of Inchmartine at Errol.
Auchtermairnie House was described as a ‘plain, small mansion house with gardens,’ a far cry from the ‘large, substantial mansion’ at Scotscraig, (Ferryport on Craig, now known as Tayport), the ancestral home built in 1807 by his great grandfather, the Reverend Robert Dalgleish. The estate of Scotscraig had been purchased by David’s great, great grandfather, the Reverend William Dalgleish, in 1742, the lands of which were owned by the family until 1845.
Having followed in his older brother’s footsteps, David Ogilvy Dalgleish, found himself working under and alongside his able brother. William Ogilvy Dalgleish had, for some years, been associated on the conduct of the commercial department of the large concern of Messrs Baxter Bros & Co. Having been made a partner of the firm in 1856, by 1861, he had become eligible to receive four thirty-seconds of the profits.
Perhaps David Ogilvy Dalgleish viewed his own career trajectory carving a similar path as that of his brother. Towards the close of the 1860s, he had risen from ‘clerk’ to ‘merchant’ and had moved from Newport, to take up residence at 113 Ferry Road, an imposing house abutting the Roodyards burial ground.
There seems little doubt that David Ogilvy Dalgleish, by this point, had established himself as a recognised member of the personnel at Baxter Bros. At the ‘Dens Works’ School Festival’ of 1869, he had been invited to be a member of the platform committee, the other luminaries included his brother, William, who presided, Peter and Mrs Carmichael (another partner of the firm), Rev Dr Watson and 4 managers at the works.
It was stated on that occasion that;
‘The whole of those who are taught at this school are employed at the works and receive their education gratis.’
‘Allow me to state what 752 (a staggering number) of the Dens Works’ children can do – 319 can read well; 217 can read tolerably; 206 can read a little and 10 cannot read or do not know the letters.’
The whole event as described in the report offers an altruistic outlook towards the well-being and advancement of the children’s lives. A rather more grim impression of life for mill children was offered in ‘Chapters in the Life of a Dundee Factory Boy,’ which gave an opposing impression of life and conditions – quite unlike the ‘sight of such a living gallery of faces, bright with intelligence and happiness,’ as observed by Rev Dr Watson at the School Festival.
From his mid 20s to mid 30s, David Ogilvy Dalgleish was rising in career, commercial and social prospects. All, with which he was involved, hinted at future success, pleasure and promise.
Fatefully, all possibilities were dashed the following year with the untimely death, in London, of David Ogilvy Dalgleish on 9 September 1870.
The bulk of the value of his estate was made up of a ‘sum standing at credit of deceased in the books of Baxter Bros & Co., Merchants, Dundee – £2216 15s 11d.‘
- Old Parish Registers. Kennoway. Births. (1835). 434/ 40 45. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Census Returns. Forgan. (1861). 431/ 3/ 24. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee Directory, 1858-59. p.121. Dundee Central Libray, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1861-62. p.130. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Valuation Rolls. Fife County. (1865). VR010100011-/132. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee Directory, 1869-70. p.118. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Courier. 21 April 1871. p.1. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Memorial Inscription, Ceres Kirkyard.
- Legal Records. Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. (1870). SC45/ 31/ 23. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee Courier. 19 September 1870. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Fife Herald. 14 March 1867. British newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier. 23 August 1866. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier. 29 May 1866. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier. 18 October 1865. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier. 27 January 1862. p.2. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Directory, 1861-62. p.259. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Edinburgh Evening Courant. 29 July 1851. p.1. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Census Returns. Dundee. (1851). 282/ 23 7. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee Directory, 1864-65. p.112. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Ordnance Survey Name Books. Fife & Kinross. (1853-1855). Volume 93. OS1/13/93/11. ScotlandsPlaces website.
- Ordnance Gazeteer of Scotland.Scott, Sir James. The History of Tayport. (1927). Cupar. J & G Innes Lts. pp.13 & 17.
- Ordnance Gazeteer of Scotland.[rev]Scott, Sir James. The History of Tayport. (1927). Cupar. J & G Innes Lts. pp.13 & 17.
- Gauldie, Enid (ed). The Dundee Textile Industry. (1790-1885). Scottish History Society. Fourth Series. Volume 6. pp.146 & 175.
- Dundee Courier. 15 May 1869. p3. British newspaper Archive website.
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