James Farquhar White Esquire
James Farquhar White was a successful jute and linen merchant who spent his early career in New York importing Scottish and Irish goods. He continued his business in Dundee after his return to Scotland in the early 1860s.
Subscription value in 1865:
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Personal details and history
James Farquhar White
Place of birth
Name of spouse
James Martin: Margaret Helen: Eleanor: Elizabeth Wilson: Beatrice: Alice: Alexander Sidney: Florence Evelyn: Edith: Winifred:
Age at death:
Place of death:
Balruddery House, Liff
Date of death:
Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers
Free Church of Scotland (St Paul's) - described as having been a 'prominent member' of St Paul's Free Church
Clubs / societies
Appointed Commissioner of Supply (County Councillor)
Subscriber 13 – Alexander Jefferson Buist – named executor for the estate of James Farquhar White
Subscriber 213 – John Sharp, Esq., flaxspinner – James’ daughters Eleanor and Beatrice married John Sharp’s sons (John Sharp and Frederick Bower Sharp)
Subscriber 255 – Reverend William Wilson – brother in law and named executor for the estate of James Farquhar White
Career and worklife
Jute and Linen Merchant - senior partner of Jas White & Co., Merchants, Dundee and New York
Place of work
Career to date:
James Farquhar White came to Dundee to join his brother Alexander as a linen merchant. He then left Dundee to run a business importing Scottish and Irish linen and jute in New York. He returned to Dundee in the early 1860s and continued his work as a merchant.
James Farquhar White was the son of a tenant farmer and linen manufacturer. His father Alexander White and his wife Helen Farquhar lived in Drummietermont (sometimes Drumnetermont/Drummietermon), a small, straggling village in the North East corner of Dunnichen parish, of around 117 souls, mainly weavers. Most of the inhabitants also had a few acres of land. An Alexander White, (James’ father?) head of family, is described in 1835 as a ‘merchant.’ James’ grandfather, David White, was described as having been ‘sometime manufacturer there.’
From his humble beginnings in rural Forfarshire, James entered into business with his brother, Alexander, in Dundee. Shortly thereafter, he left Dundee for New York where he ran a profitable enterprise importing Scottish and Irish goods. His partner in business, Bryce Gray, was originally from Greenock. He arrived in New York in 1847, aged 21, and became cashier for White & Thurger. That company was succeeded by the firm of James F White & Co., of which Bryce Gray became a partner. James F White returned to Dundee in the early 1860s (his son James Martin White – born 1857 – being around 3 years old on arrival in Scotland) and leased Castle Huntly in Longforgan.
The census of 1861 reveals that he lived in some style, employing six indoor servants, gardeners, and a coachman. James F White remained resident at Castle Huntly until 1880 when he acquired the estate of Balruddery. He moved to Balruddery House around 1881, having had it extensively remodeled and electricity installed.
At the time of his death, James Farquhar White was described as having been well known and much respected.
- Old Parish Registers. Dunnichen. Births. (1821). 283/ 20 7. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Intimation on Gravestone. Western Cemetery. Dundee.
- London Evening Standard. 12 July 1856. p.4. Findmypast website.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1864-64. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Postal Directory, 1869-70. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Statutory Registers. Liff and Benvie. Deaths. (1884). 301/ 25. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee Evening Telegraph. 05 September 1884. p.2. Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 06 September 1884. Findmypast website.
- Aberdeen Press & Journal. 06 December 1880. p.4. Findmypast website.
- Intimation on Gravestone. Dunnichen Kirkyard. Angus.
- Ordnance Survey Name Books. Forfarshire (Angus). 1857-61. Volume 38.
- National Records of Scotland. Ref CH2/ 108/ 1. pages 294-299.
- Dundee Advertiser. 11 August 1897. p.6. Findmypast website.
- Dundee Courier. 09 July 1928. p.7. Findmypast website.
- Census Returns. Longforgan. (1861). 377/ 2/ 3. Scotland's People website
- Canmore website. Canmore ID 190697.
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