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George Maxwell Kidd Esquire

George Maxwell Kidd lived and worked in and around Dundee his entire life.

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Personal details and history

Full name

George Maxwell Kidd

Date of birth


Place of birth




Marital status


Name of spouse

Maria Easson in 1857.[2]


William John (1858),[3] George Easson (1860),[4] Maria Easson (1862),[5] Jessie Maxwell (1864),[6] Alexander Robert (1866)[7] and Maggie Bella (1868).[8]

Home address

7 Cowgate[9]
116 Nethergate[2]
20 Cotton Road, Dundee[10].
2 Albert Street[11]
4 South George Street[12]
Woodmuir Park, West Newport-upon-Tay[13].
2 Victoria Place, Broughty Ferry[14].
6 Magdalen Yard Road, Dundee[15]
4 Garland Place, Dundee[16]
4 South George Street[17]
9 Blackness Avenue, Dundee[18]

Age at death:


Place of death:

9 Blackness Avenue, Dundee[19]

Date of death:



Western Cemetery, Dundee, Vol. 3 Register number: 831 Compartment 5 Lair number: 62,a[20]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

St Paul's Free Church[21]

Political affiliation


Clubs / societies

Dundee Children's Free Breakfast Mission[22]; Captain of the Dundee St. Paul's Free Church Boy's Brigade (as was his son of the same name)[21]; Dundee Mutual and Marine Insurance Association[23],

Public offices

None known.

Related subscribers

William Gellatly was not related, but was a close friend, his best man and sometime employer.

Career and worklife


Agent for import and export goods for insurance companies[24], worker at linseed crushers[25], agent[26], insurance secretary at death[18].


Varied, mainly self employed.

Place of work


Work address

17 Dock Street[9]
Peep O' Day Lane[27].
4 Royal Exchange Place, Dundee[24].
33 Cowgate, Dundee[26].
31 Albert Square, Dundee[12]

Career to date:

Kidd worked in a number of types of business, associated with importing and insuring, in Dundee.

More information

Birth and marriage.

George Maxwell Kidd was the second child of five born in Dundee on the 8th of November 1826, to weaver John Kidd and his wife, Janet Maxwell and named after his maternal uncle[1]. It is perhaps telling of George Maxwell Kidd’s aspirations, that by his marriage of  1857, he calls his father a “manufacturer[2]” rather than a weaver, for which there seems no other contributing evidence. His wife was Maria Easson, a ship’s captain’s daughter, and his witness was William Gellatly[2]. It is worthy of note that both men were directors of the Reading Room and Literary Institute at 9 Nethergate as early as 1853[28].


By 1858 he is listed as an ‘Agent’ in the Post office Directory for Dundee at 20 Cotton Road, Dundee[26].

He is listed as importing and exporting under his own name, from Archangel and to Melbourne, but this would appear to be a short lived venture between 1857 and 1862[29][30][31]. He exported to Australia with the Adriatic[20] and imported from Russia with the Portia[32], both ships belonged to Alexander Gibb of Dundee[20].

” Exports Foreign. Adriatic (British ship), 302 tons. Barren, for Melbourne 15752 flooring boards, 192 41-50 loads; 7 casks’ and 50 cases whisky ; 50 cases, and 1 cask British spirits ; 64 cases red wine ; 19 cases wine, 22 cases brandy ; 1 case tobacco ; sundry British goods— G. M. Kidd[29]

Portia, British ship, Dron master, from Archangel—7 dozen tongues, hams, 10 kits manna croup*, 3 masts, 8 oars, spars —George M. Kidd.[30]” (*”a kind of semolina prepared in Russia and used for puddings, soups, etc. – called also manna groats[33].”)

Portia, British ship, Dron master, from Archangel—2o boards sawn timber, J_ fathom firewood—George M. Kidd.[31]

Kidd’s working life changed over the years. His Post Office Directory entries vary thus:

  • 1850- “clerk[9]” (first listing)
  • 1858-9 – “agent[34]
  • 1871-72- “Commission agent[35]
  • 1874-75 “Ship and insurance agent[36]
  • 1876-77 “of Wm. Gellatly and Co.[37]
  • 1891-92 “agent[38]
  • 1901-1902- “resident secretary, Scottish Alliance Insurance Company[39]

From this we can deduce that he is mainly self employed, but that possibly since he has no capital, he is working on a commission basis, whether that be on supply and demand as a ‘commission agent’ or selling insurance. By his many changes of home address, we can assume that some decades he is more prosperous and successful than others. At the period he paid his subscription to the Albert Institute, he was working as a general agent.

Kidd’s relationship with William Gellatly would appear to be a strong one, albeit a little hard to define. The Edinburgh Gazette lists G. M. Kidd as “retiring from the firm” of Wm. Gellatly and Co., Merchants, Seed Crushers and Oil Refiners, on the 15th of June 1885 due to the “effluxion of time[40]“. However, Kidd will “remain in the service of the firm”[40]. Clearly, the pair remain firm friends, since Kidd is a pall-bearer at Gellatly’s funeral in 1901[41], but whether George Maxwell Kidd invested money to become a partner, or whether his old friend gave him a job during hard times, is not possible to discover . Later in life he becomes secretary of the Scottish Alliance Insurance Company Ltd Fire and Guarantee[42] and Scottish Widow’s Fund(Life)[43].

Children’s Free Breakfast Mission.

G.M. Kidd was involved in various children’s charities in Dundee, including the Children’s Free Breakfast Mission in Dundee[44] and attended events as a benefactor. One occasion he is listed as having been a part of what seems a rather strange event, where the children were given some entertainment and their benefactors watched them being entertained.

“Yesterday afternoon Cooke’s Circus was filled with one of the interesting audiences that ever assembled within that building, the occasion being the annual treat given by the Children’s Free Breakfast Mission and the children attending the Sunday services conducted the Mission. Upwards of children were present, and the interior of the large building was completely filled. The children came from all parts of the town, and many of them, notwithstanding the bitterly cold weather, were poorly clad and barefooted. The hour of assembling was five o’clock, but long before that time the little creatures were seen wending their way in merry groups over the snow-covered streets to the circus. The monitors and other workers connected with the Mission were all in their places to receive the scholars of their respective classes, and, conducting them to their allotted seats, the hall was filled without confusion. The children occupied the area and the galleries, while the reserved seats were reserved for the visitors.”

“Tea was then served, to which the youngsters did ample justice. Mr J. W. Shepherd presided, and addressed the children in a manner.”

“Two scarfs had been sent from Lochearnhead as Christmas presents for the youngest boy and girl attending the Mission. Christmas cards for every one of the children present that evening had also been sent by Miss Ferry, and every one retiring was presented with a bag of fruit and other good things, for which they were indebted to various friends.[44]


Having aspired and succeeded for a time, George Maxwell Kidd died in debt. Having lent his son, William John Kidd, £324.93, by then of San Francisco, his will states a deficit of £370 17s 6p[45]. Unlike some of the other Albert Institute subscribers, Kidd did not die a rich man. But it would seem Kidd was not someone who wanted to be seen to do good, but someone who genuinely wanted to do good and in this he succeeded.


  1. Old Parish Records. Dundee. Birth. 282/160 68. Scotlandspeople website.
  2. Statutory Registers. Dundee First District. Marriage. 1857. 282/1 49. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. Statutory Registers. Dundee First District. Birth. 1858. 282/1 879. ScotlandsPeople website.
  4. Statutory Registers. Dundee First District. Birth. 1860. 282/1 835. ScotlandsPeople website.
  5. Statutory Registers. Dundee First District. Birth. 1862. 282/1 416. ScotlandsPeople website.
  6. Statutory Registers. Dundee First District. Birth. 1864. 282/1 549. ScotlandsPeople website.
  7. Statutory Registers. Dundee First District. Birth. 1866. 282/1 1380. ScotlandsPeople website.
  8. Statutory Registers. St. Andrew, Dundee. Birth. 1868. 282/4 825. ScotlandsPeople website.
  9. Dundee Directory, 1850, Page 117. Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library.
  10. Dundee Courier, Wednesday, 12 March 1862, Page 4. British Newspaper Archive website.
  11. Dundee Directory, 1869-70, Page 153. National Library of Scotland website.
  12. Dundee Directory, 1897-98, Page 275. National Library of Scotland website.
  13. Dundee Directory, 1871-1872, Page 398. Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library.
  14. Dundee Courier, Friday, 1 October 1880, Page 8. Advertisement. British Newspaper Archive website.
  15. Dundee Directory, 1880-81, Page 192. National Library of Scotland website.
  16. Dundee Directory, 1884-85, Page 209. Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library.
  17. Dundee Directory, 1895-96, Page 265. National Library of Scotland website.
  18. Statutory Registers. St Peter, Dundee. Death. 1908. 282/1 253. Scotlandspeople website.
  19. Dundee Courier, Monday, 29 June 1908, Page 8. Deaths. British Newspaper Archive website.
  20. 19th Century Dundee Ships (from the Directories) 1818-1898. Friends of the Dundee City Archives website.
  21. Dundee Evening Post, Friday, 17 January 1902, Page 4. The Oldest Dundee Company. British Newspaper Archive website.
  22. Dundee Advertiser, Saturday, 16 October 1897, Page 7. Dundee Children's Free breakfast Mission. British Newspaper Archive website.
  23. Dundee Directory, 1871-1872, Page p14. Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library.
  24. Dundee People's Journal, Saturday 23 October 1880, Page 1. Scottish Widows' Fund Life Assurance Society. British Newspaper Archive website.
  25. Dundee Directory, 1876-77, Page 169. Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library.
  26. Dundee Directory, 1858-59, Page 207, National Library of Scotland website.
  27. Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser, Friday, 12 January 1855, Page 2. Patriotic Fund SubscribersBritish Newspaper Archive website.
  28. Dundee Directory, 1853-54, Page 89. National Library of Scotland website.
  29. Dundee Courier, Tuesday, 23 September 1862, Page 4. Exports, Foreign. British Newspaper Archive website.
  30. Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser, Friday, 11 September 1857. Dundee Imports. British Newspaper Archive website.
  31. Dundee, Perth, and Cupar Advertiser, Tuesday, 15 September 1857, Page 2. Dundee Imports. British Newspaper Archive website.
  32. 19th Century Dundee Ships (from the Directories) 1818-1898. Friends of the Dundee City Archives website.
  33. Manna croup. (n.d.) Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary. (1913). Retrieved April 6 2018. Free Dictionary website.
  34. Dundee Directory, 1858-59, Page 146. National Library of Scotland website.
  35. Dundee Directory, 1871-72, Page 134. Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library.
  36. Dundee Directory, 1874-75, Page 170, Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library.
  37. Dundee Directory, 1876-77,  Page 169. Local History Centre, Dundee Central Library.
  38. Dundee Directory, 1891-92, Page 248. National Library of Scotland website.
  39. Dundee Directory, 1901-02, Page 298. National Library of Scotland website.
  40. The London Gazette, Publication date: 19 June 1885 Issue:25482, Page:2831. TheGazette website.
  41. Dundee Courier, Thursday, 7 March 1901, Page 4. Funeral of Mr William Gellatly. British Newspaper Archive website.
  42. Dundee Directory, 1897-98, Page 59. National Library of Scotland website.
  43. Dundee Directory, 1898-99, Page 60. National Library of Scotland website.
  44. Dundee Courier, Tuesday, 3 January 1888. Page 3. Entertainment Poor Children in Dundee. British Newspaper Archive website.
  45. Wills and Testaments. Kidd, George Maxwell. 9 September 1908, Dundee Sheriff Court. SC45/31/63. ScotlandsPeople website.


With thanks to: The Newport, Wormit & Forgan Archive for their helpful website.

The information above about George Maxwell Kidd 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.