Matthew Blackie Esquire
Matthew Blackie was a flax-dresser, merchant, auctioneer and commission agent in Dundee. He was for a time co-owner (and sometime owner) of Tayport Spinning Mill. He did not take part in public life except as an active Free Church member.
Subscription value in 1863:
Relative to inflation up to 2023:
Relative to income compared to 2023:
Personal details and history
Date of birth
Place of birth
Name of spouse
16 Dallfield Walk
20 Westfield Place
Ferry Port on Craig (i.e. Tayport) appears to have become his home town from 1869 onwards, moving between a number of properties as a tenant occupier. In 1875 residing at "Tay Cliff," Ferry Port on Craig, and in 1885 at a "house and garden" in Albert Street, Ferry Port on Craig. In 1894-95, he was residing in Castle Street, Ferry Port on Craig.
Age at death:
Place of death:
Castle Street, Ferry-Port-on-Craig
Date of death:
Dundee Western Cemetery
Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers
Clubs / societies
Career and worklife
Flaxdresser, Merchant, Flaxspinner, Auctioneer and Commission Agent
Place of work
Blackie & Gibb
Blackie & Gibb, Merchants
14 Panmure Street
10 Panmure Street
Ritchie and Blackie(Flax and Jute Spinners)
10 Panmure Street
Matthew Blackie, Commission Merchant and Auctioneer
Career to date:
Matthew Blackie began his working life, as his father Thomas had done, as a flaxdresser. He appeared as such in the Dundee Postal Directories from 1853 until 1857. Thereafter, from 1858 up to the time when he pledged his subscription for the building of the Albert Institute, he was listed aa a merchant. Subsequently, he entered into partnership with Alexander Gibb, trading as Messrs Blackie & Gibb.
1868 Dissolution of Blackie and Gibb Partnership:
“The copartnery business hitherto carried on by Messers M. Blackie and A. Gibb, sole partners thereof, as spinners and merchants at Dundee and Tayport, under the firm Blackie & Gibb has been dissolved by mutual consent. Matthew Blackie is authorised to uplift and discharge all debts due to the late firm, and all debts due by said firm will be paid to him.”
1876 Stoppage of Works at Tayport:
“On Thursday evening the flax, tow, and jute spinning mill at Tayport, belonging to Messrs Ritchie & Blackie, was closed, owing to the bad state of trade. About 250 hands were employed at the works, and are now going idle.”
1877 Sale of Tayport Works:
“Yesterday the spinning mill at Tayport known as “The Tayport Works,” and all the steam-engines, machinery, etc., in the works together with the vacant ground, the manager’s cottage, and the block of houses consisting of 20 two-roomed dwelling houses for millworkers, lately occupied by Messrs Ritchie & Blackie, were sold in Lamb’s Hotel to Mr D. Ritchie, one of the former proprietors, at the upset price of £15,200 (nominal value at 2018: Relative to income – £12,160,000).”
1877 Re-opening of Tayport Spinning Mill:
” The large spinning mill known by the name the Tayport Works, which has been standing idle for the last five months, commenced working operations this morning on short time, but will go on full time when trade gets brisker.”
“Mr Blackie was born in Dundee. He was in Blairgowrie for a number of years, and then returned the city. When the flax trade was flourishing, about the year 1866, he went to Tayport, and in partnership with Mr Gibb built the large mill at the east end of the town, now known as the Tayport Spinning Company’s Works. Mr Gibb shortly afterwards retired, and Mr Blackie, after continuing the business for a time, was joined by Mr Ritchie. The works were carried on by them until 1876, when Mr Blackie left the business, which was continued by Mr Ritchie until 1882, when it again changed hands. Mr Blackie set up as an auctioneer and commission agent in Dundee, in which he was engaged until his attack of paralysis. Being one of the best judges of jute, his services were in much request in that respect. Mr Blackie was a Free Churchman, and when in Dundee was precentor for some time in Hilltown Free Church. He was ordained elder in the Free Church, Tayport, in June 1875, and always took a great interest in the welfare of the congregation. Being of quiet and amiable disposition; he never took any prominent part in public affairs. He, however, sat for some time on the School Board, and was one of the ratepayers’ representatives on the Parochial Board for some years. …His wife died about 18 months ago (1893), and he leaves two sons and three daughters, all grown up. The deceased was well known and much respected, and much sympathy is expressed for the family.“
Note: the name Blackie was also corrupted to Blakie or Blaikie when recorded
- 1881 Census. Census (LDS) ref: 273587. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Old Parish Registers. Dundee. Marriages. 282/ 230 405. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Other Church Registers. Dundee Hilltown Free Church. 15th March 1853. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Census Records. Dundee. 1861. Ancestry website.
- Statutory Registers. Rattray. Deaths. 1859. 389/ 26. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee, Perth, Forfar and Fife People's Journal. 30th November 1861. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier & Argus. 25th January 1866. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Census Records. Ferryport on Craig. 1881. Ancestry.com
- Dundee Directory, 1856-59 and Valuation Rolls. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Valuation Rolls, 1858-59. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1861-62. p.100 and p.117. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1867-68. p.100. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Valuation Rolls 1875. VR010100021. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Valuation Rolls 1885. VR010100031. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1894-95. Tayport Section. p.752. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Statutory Registers. Ferryport on Craig. Deaths. 1895. 429/12. ScotlandsPeople website.
- Dundee Advertiser. 25th March 1895. p.8. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Advertiser. 26th March 1895. p.8. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier, 25 March 1895. p.3. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Directory, 1856-57. p.30. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Evening Telegraph. 12th August 1886. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Directory, 1878-79. p.533. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1867-68. p.131 and p.268. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1867-68. p.100 and p.268. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1869-70. p.101 and Dundee Directory, 1871-72. p.13. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1874-75. p.404. and Dundee Directory, 1876. p.101. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1878-79. p.108. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Dundee Directory, 1853-54. p.137. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
-  Dundee Directory, 1861-62. p.239. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies.
- Northern Warder. 22nd September 1868. p.7. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier & Argus. Saturday 30th September 1876. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Courier & Argus. Saturday 3rd February 1877. British Newspaper Archive website.
- Dundee Evening Telegraph. Friday 23rd March 1877. British Newspaper Archive website.
The information above about Matthew Blackie 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.