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William Bisset Esquire

William Bisset was born and lived all his life in Dundee. He ran his own business as a saddler for over 50 years. He appears to have played no part in public affairs but was active in the Free Church locally.

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Personal details and history

Full name

William Bisset

Date of birth


Place of birth

Dundee, Forfarshire[1]



Marital status

Married 09-12-1846 at Dundee[2]

Name of spouse

Mary (Banks)[2]


William (died 1876 aged 28); Helen (died 1852 aged 10mths); James (died 1854 aged 13mths)[3];Thomas, Jane, Alexander (died 1895[4]); Eliza; John Neish; Susan[1]

Home address

12 East Somerville Place

Age at death:

84 years[6]

Place of death:


Date of death:



Not Known

Affiliations, clubs, offices and related subscribers

Religious affiliation

Free Church of Scotland[7]

Political affiliation

Not Known

Clubs / societies

Elder of Willison Free Church in Barrack Street for 50 years and Congregational Treasurer: Member of the Nine Trades Incorporation[7]

Public offices

None known

Related subscribers

Subscriber 247 – Messrs J & H Walker – Harry Walker was the husband of William Bisset’s cousin Abigail Neish (sister of James Neish)

Subscriber 261 – James Neish of ‘The Laws’ – cousin of William Bisset (William’s father and James’ mother, Abigail Bisset were siblings

Career and worklife





Place of work

William Bisset, Saddler

Work address

53-55 Reform Street


22 High Street


57 Reform Street

Career to date:

William Bisset founded a saddlery business and was active in it for over 50 years[7]

More information

When William started his saddlery business there was only one private carriage in the city. Over 50 years he befriended the coachmen and grooms of the city, taking an active interest in their employment and welfare. In recognition of his efforts and many acts of kindness he was presented with an illuminated address by the coachmen and grooms shortly before his retirement.[7]

In 1899, he also received an illuminated address, in the form of a richly bound album, testifying to his faithful service, on behalf of Willison Church.[12]  Apart from these activities William did not take part prominently in public affairs.[7]  He died of “senile decay” and was survived by two sons and three daughters.[6] His youngest son John Neish Bisset continued the family business.[4]


  1. 1871 Census Records. 282/3 22/2. ScotlandsPeople website.
  2. Old Parish Records.Dundee. Marriages. 1846. 282/230. ScotlandsPeople website.
  3. Burial Records of the Dundee Howff. Ref Howff B04. Friends of Dundee Archives website
  4. Statutory Registers, Wills and Testaments. Dundee Sheriff Court . 1903. Ref SC 45/34/6. ScotlandsPeople website
  5. Dundee Directory, 1861-2. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies
  6. Statutory Registers. Dundee. Deaths. 1903. 282/3 277. p.93. ScotlandsPeople website
  7. Dundee Year Book, 1903-5. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies
  8. Dundee Directory, 1861-2. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies
  9. Dundee Directory, 1861-2. Dundee CentralLibrary, Local Studies
  10. Dundee Directory, 1864-5, Dundee Central Library, Local Studies
  11. Dundee Directory, 1880-81. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies
  12. Dundee Year Book, 1903-5. Dundee Central Library, Local Studies

The information above about William Bisset 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.