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John Stevenson Esquire

The Stevenson Family were extensive in the Dyer trade in Dundee including in most recent memory being Dyers & Dry Cleaners through to the 1960s. Sadly, John did not live to see the Albert Institute built.

Subscription value in 1865:

£10

Relative to inflation up to 2018:

£1000

Relative to income compared to 2018:

£8000

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Personal details and history

Full name

John Stevenson

Date of birth

10-09-1814[1]

Place of birth

Findo Gask, Perthshire[1]

Gender

Male

Marital status

Married

Name of spouse

Catherine Johnston[2] - Married in Dundee, 23-11-1838[3]

Children

Jean 1839;[4] Mary 1841;[5] Catherine 1842;[2] Ann 1843;[6] James 1845;[7] John 1847;[2] - all born Dundee

Home address

Constitution Street, Dundee[8]
29 Constitution Road, Dundee[9]
1 Bell Street, Dundee[10]
62 Bucklemaker Wynd, Dundee[11]
1 Forebank Road, Dundee[12]
2 Forebank Road, Dundee[13]
3 Forebank Road, Dundee[14]

Age at death:

Place of death:

Dundee[15]

Date of death:

16-11-1865[15][2]

Buried:

A gravestone for John Stevenson, his wife Catherine Johnston, together with their children Jane, John and Catherine, previously existed in the New Cemetery, Constitution Road.[2]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Congregational - he was elected president of the Ward Chapel Congregational Church in 1853.[16]

Political affiliation

Probably Liberal

Clubs / societies

Dyers representative on the Nine Trades of Dundee, 1853-1862.[17] Committee member, Monthly Tract Society, 1856-1857.[18]

Public offices

Member of the Dyer Trade along with his brother Francis who was Deacon

Related subscribers

Subscriber no.  10- John Adam, ropemaker was an executor named in John Stevenson’s will.

Subscriber no.184 – James Prain was an executor named in John Stevenson’s will.

Subscriber no.226 – Messrs Shaw, Baxter & Co. – John Stevenson was a partner in this firm

Career and worklife

Occupation

Master Dyer

Employment

Partner

Place of work

Stevenson's, Dyers,

Work address

17 Nethergate, Dundee[19]
Foot of Constitution Road, Dundee[20]
1 Forebank Road, Dundee[21]

Career to date:

Son of a James Stevenson, a Perthshire builder, and Jane Annan,[15] John Stevenson was one of 10 children. Three brothers John, Francis and George (others followed later) came to Dundee to make their fortune. Both Francis and George served an apprenticeship under their brother John.[22] John joined the Ward Chapel Congregational Church on 9 October 1834, a fortnight after his wife.[23] He went on to become president of the church in 1853.[24] The following advertisement appeared in the local directory in 1842: "SILK, WOOLLEN, COTTON, AND LINEN DYEING. JOHN STEVENSON begs to inform his Friends and the Public, that, in addition to his Premises, Constitution Road, he has OPENED that Shop No. 17 Nethergate, being the third shop east from Tally Street, where orders will be received for CLEANING, DYEING, and DRESSING all kinds of SILK, WOOLLEN, COTTON, and LINEN GOODS,—viz. Velvets, Satins, Sarsnets, Mouseline de Laines, Chalies, and Orleans Cloths, Poplins, Canton Crape, Bombazines, Indianas, Merinos, India and British Shawls, Ribbons, &c Mournings Dyed on the shortest Notice. Blacks changed to other colours; Moreen cleaned, dyed, and watered; Calico Prints cleaned, starched, and glazed; Table and Carpet Covers cleaned, re-dyed, and pressed; Carpets & Rugs cleaned. Gentlemen's Clothes and Ladies' Cloaks renovated. Linen Yarns dyed Indigo Blue, and all other colours No. 17 Nethergate, Dundee, August 4, 1842."[25] John's brother, Francis, was also a dyer and having served his apprenticeship at his older brother's works in Chapelshade he moved to gain more experience in Glasgow and Paisley.[26] He returned to Dundee from Dunfermline in 1856[27] and briefly managed the Seafield Dye Works for D. Thomson[28] before the creation of the firm of J. & F. Stevenson.[29] Francis Stevenson and his wife joined the Ward Chapel Congregational Church in 1856,[30] with Francis going on to become an influential member.[31] Another younger brother, George, also served an apprenticeship with John before going away to gain experience in Perth, Glasgow and Paisley.[32] John Stevenson was also a partner in Messrs Shaw, Baxter & Co., merchants, Cowgate.[33] His son James, also a dyer, was aged twenty when his father died and was the person who informed the registrar. John made provision for an advance being made to James should he decide to enter the firm as a partner. John left an estate worth £7212 18s. 7d.[33]

More information

After John Stevenson’s death, his brother, George, joined Francis in the firm, having previously run the Law Mill Dye Works and the Coldside Dye Works.[34] Their partnership was dissolved in 1882, George acquiring the Ancrum Carpet Works and Francis forming the business of Francis Stevenson & Sons. Francis’s sons already had the business of Stevenson Brothers at Dundee Dye Works in the Hilltown. New works were built at Lawside and the Forebank Works sold off. In 1929 Stevenson Brothers was acquired by Associated Dyers and Cleaners Ltd.[35] This brought the firm into the same group of companies as Pullars of Perth. In 1938 all these companies became part of Johnson Brothers Ltd.[36]

Subsequent Family Information[37]:

Another brother, James, 1812-1877, became a Master Builder in Fife and three other brothers became Master Masons.

The male sons of Francis all became day pupils of Dundee High School.

John’s great niece Winifred married into the Cleghorn family.

His great niece Margaret Kidd married William Philip of Wholesalers Watson & Philip – A descendant Preston Watson 1880 – 1915 (Who married Beatrice Philip) is renowned locally for his contribution to early flying. See Scottish newspaper articles and most recently a book published in 2014 with the support of the Dundee Museum of Transport: The Pioneer Flying Achievements of Preston Watson by Alistair W. Blair and Alistair Smith.

His nephew Laurence Key Stevenson became the Dean of Guild and Inspector of Buildings.

John Stevenson’s nephew Roderick Talbot Stevenson married Mary Lamb granddaughter of Thomas Lamb. Roderick was awarded the MM and died in WW1 in 1941.[37]

Sources

  1. Old Parish Record. Findo Gask, Perthshire. Baptism. 10 September 1814. 352/10 251. Scotlands People website.
  2. Scotland, Select Marriages, 1561-1910. Dundee. 23 November 1838. FHL Film Number 993404. Ancestry website.
  3. 1841 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED66 p.4. Ancestry website.
  4. Scotland, Select Births and Baptisms. 15 February 1841. FHL Film Number 0993405, 0993408, 993403, 993408. Ancestry website.
  5. 1851 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED54 p.44. Ancestry website.
  6. <1851 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED54 p.44. Ancestry website.
  7. 1841 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED66 p.4. Ancestry website.
  8. Dundee Directory, 1842-43. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  9. Dundee Directories, 1844-1850. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  10. 1851 Census Scotland. Dundee. 282 ED54 p.44. Ancestry website.
  11. Dundee Directory, 1853-54. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  12. Dundee Directory, 1856-57. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  13. Dundee Directories, 1858-1865. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  14. Statutory Registers. 1st District, Dundee. Death. 16 November 1865. 282/1 1195. Scotlands People website.
  15. Falconer, C.M. and Low, J.C. (1934) The Story of the Ward Chapel. Dundee: privately printed.
  16. Dundee Directories, 1850--1862. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  17. Dundee Directory, 1856-57.Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  18. Dundee Directories, 1842--1845. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  19. Dundee Directories, 1846--1850. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  20. Dundee Directories, 1853--1865. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  21. Dundee Courier, 28 September 1908, p.5 and Dundee Courier, 13 December 1910, p.5. British Newspaper Archive website.
  22. Roll of Members. Ward Chapel Congregational Church. CH14/4/59. Dundee City Archives.
  23. Falconer, C.M. and Low, J.C. (1934) The Story of the Ward Chapel. Dundee: privately printed.
  24. Dundee Directory, 1842-43. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  25. Dundee Courier, 28 September 1908, p.5 British Newspaper Archive website.
  26. Roll of Members. Ward Chapel Congregational Church. CH14/4/59. Dundee City Archives.
  27. Dundee Directory, 1858-59. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  28. Dundee Directory, 1861-62. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  29. Roll of Members. Ward Chapel Congregational Church. CH14/4/59. Dundee City Archives.
  30. Falconer, C.M. and Low, J.C. (1934) The Story of the Ward Chapel. Dundee: privately printed.
  31. Dundee Courier, 13 December 1910, p.5. British Newspaper Archive website.
  32. Testamentary Records. Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. 30 December 1865. SC45/31/19. Scotlands People website.
  33. Dundee Directories, 1861--1865. Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee.
  34. Dundee Courier & Advertiser, 12 June 1929, p.7. British Newspaper Archive website.
  35. Business Records. Pullars of Perth. MS51. Perth & Kinross Archives.
  36. Monumental Inscriptions. Volume 4. Angus: Dundee and Broughty Ferry. p.179. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  37. Previous research carried out on the Thomas Lamb / Stevenson genealogy by John Irvine

Credits

  Thanks also to the staff of Local Studies, Central Library, Dundee and Perth & Kinross Archives.

The information above about John Stevenson 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.