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Joseph Gibson Esquire

Joseph Gibson was an Average Adjuster and Marine Insurance Broker in Dundee, who was prominent in the shipping and whaling industries. He held a number of public and charitable positions and left an estate then valued at almost £87,000.

Subscription value in 1863:

£ 10

Relative to inflation up to 2024:


Relative to income compared to 2024:


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Personal details and history

Full name

Joseph Gibson

Date of birth


Place of birth

Dundee, Forfarshire[1][2]



Marital status


Name of spouse

Not applicable


None known

Home address

12 James Place
Broughty Ferry

Bay Cottage
Broughty Ferry

Ellieslea House
Broughty Ferry

Age at death:

84 years[6]

Place of death:

Broughty Ferry[6]

Date of death:



Dundee Eastern Cemetery, Section B, lair 541[7]

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

United Free Church[8] Elder and Session Clerk at West United Free Church, Brook Street, Broughty Ferry[8]

Political affiliation

Believed to be Conservative[8]

Clubs / societies

Union Association of Underwriters - appointed Secretary in 1856[9]: Dundee Shipowners' Society - appointed Secretary at its formation in 1869[10]: President of the Chamber of Commerce (1893):[11][8] Elder and Session Clerk, West United Free Church Broughty Ferry[8]: Captain of Panmure Golf Club[8]: Director of Dundee Royal Infirmary[8]: Vice-President of the Dundee Seamen's Friend Society[8]:

Public offices

Justice of the Peace[8]

Related subscribers


Career and worklife


Average Adjuster and Marine Insurance Brokers[12][13][14]


Self-employed [12]: latterly a Partner[15]:

Place of work

Joseph Gibson & Co., Dundee

Work address

19 Dock Street
Dundee ( 1856-70)[3][16]

33 Dock Street

20 Commercial Street

Career to date:

The Dundee Postal Directory first provided an entry for Joseph Gibson in 1856-57, working on his own account, as a 'marine insurance broker and average stater.' His business operated at that time from 19 Dock Street. Similar listings continued up to the point where he pledged his subscription for the building of the Albert Institute.

More information

Early life

Joseph Gibson was born in Dundee in 1830. He was the son of Joseph Gibson, a jute manufacturer and his wife, Margaret Boath.[1][6]

Adult Life

By profession, Joseph Gibson was an “average adjuster and marine insurance broker,” who became the senior partner in Messrs Joseph Gibson & Co. Joseph’s partner in the business happened to be his brother-in-law, Thomas Farquharson. Their partnership was dissolved, with mutual consent, in 1908 by Joseph’s retiral.

Joseph was “prominently identified with shipping circles.”[8] A Director of a number of companies owning Arctic fishing vessels and holder of substantial business interests, he was one of the ‘instigators’ of a venture which sent four of the Dundee whaling fleet to Antarctica in search of the whale. “The main purpose of the venture was unsuccessful, but large quantities of seals and penguins were brought home and much useful scientific  knowledge was obtained.”[8]

He served as a Justice of the Peace and held a number of other influential, social and charitable positions over the course of his lifetime, including being President of the Chamber of Commerce, a Director of Dundee Royal Infirmary and President of the Dundee Seamen’s Friend Society[8]. Gibson was a member of the West United Free Church, Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, where he served variously as Elder and Session Clerk.[8]

Joseph Gibson was a man of wealth and influence, involved in overseas trade and development at an important time for the British Empire. Having been a business leader, including President of the Chamber of Commerce, he was influential in the development of Dundee at a significant period in its history. Having held the position of Justice of the Peace, he was a man who also had a strong sense of civic duty. He was active in supporting charitable institutions to benefit the poor of Dundee, including the Dundee Royal Infirmary and Dundee Seamen’s Friend Society.


Joseph Gibson lived for a time with siblings, Jane, Margaret and Jessie, at 12 James Place, Broughty Ferry[2] and then at Bay Cottage, Broughty Ferry[4]. By 1878, he was living with servants at Ellieslea,[15] Broughty Ferry, a 10 room mansion.[5] Joseph Gibson died at his home, Ellieslea, Broughty Ferry aged 84, on 30 June 1915 [6]. His death was registered by his nephew William Gibson.[6]


At the time of his death[17] Joseph Gibson had holdings in a number of whaling, shipping and other companies connected with Dundee’s maritime industries. He also held interests in the jute industry, rubber estates, land development and mining companies, together with banks and insurance companies.

After a number of legacies ranging in value from £100 to £8000, he left the residue of his estate to his nephew, William Gibson, who is believed to have been living with his uncle at Ellieslea, Broughty Ferry, at the time of his death.[18]





  1. Old Parish Registers. Dundee. Births. (1830). 282/ 160 320. ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. 1861 Census. Scotland. Dundee. First District. 282/01. ED35. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. Dundee Postal Directory, 1856-57. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  4. 1871 Census. Scotland. Dundee. 282/4. ScotlandsPeople website.
  5.  1911 Census. Scotland. Dundee. 282/4. ScotlandsPeople website.
  6. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Deaths. (1915). 282/4 851. ScotlandsPeople website.
  7. Dundee City Council Burial Records. Dundee Eastern Cemetery.
  8. Dundee Courier. Thursday, July 1 1915. 'Death of Mr Joseph Gibson Dundee.' British Newspaper Archive website.
  9. Dundee, Perth & Cupar Advertiser. 5 February 1856. Findmypast website.
  10. Dundee Courier. 9 November 1869. p.2. Findmypast website.
  11. Dundee Chamber of Commerce. (1936). Centenary Souvenir. Dundee. Burns & Harris.
  12. Dundee Postal Directory, 1864-64. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  13. Dundee Directory, 1882. Friends of Dundee Archive, General Directory.
  14. Dundee Directory, 1896. Friends of Dundee Archive, General Directory.
  15. Dundee Postal Directory, 1878-79. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  16. Dundee Postal Directory, 1867-68. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
  17. Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. (1915). Reference SC45/31/77. ScotlandsPeople website.
  18. Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court. (1915). Reference SC45/31/77. ScotlandsPeople website.

The information above about Joseph Gibson 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.