David Hunter


Mr. David Hunter was the maternal grandfather of David Livingstone.

He was a tailor who had a shop in the Wages Building at Blantyre Works.

Livingstone’s father, Neil was apprenticed to Hunter but was never an employee of the Blantyre Mills Company. Neil Livingstone married Hunter’s daughter, Agnes in 1810.

David Hunter was born the son of a crofter in the Parish of Shots. Janet Livingstone (David’s sister) would later after his death state that David Hunter was a tailor who earned 4d. per day plus his food. According to family tales told around the fireplace in the Shuttle Row, it was said David Hunter was the only person in the Parish of Shotts at the time who could write!

David Hunter learned his father’s trade and he married Janet Moffat. They owned a cottage and a croft in the Parish of Airdrie. He fell on hard times after his wife’s death when in Janet’s own words, “A great dearth happened within the Parish and my grandfather, who was of a gentle nature, trusted meal and corn to many who failed to pay him.”

Hunter’s 15-year old daughter Agnes, nursed her mother throughout her illness until her death.

After the failure of her father’s business, she moved with him to Blantyre Works. Hunter started a tailoring enterprise and opened a shop that was located in the Wages Building, part of which still stands today adjacent to the David Livingstone Memorial Bridge. The building is now listed. Agnes kept house for her father and assisted him by embroidering the garments that he produced. She died on 18th June 1865, just 10 days after her son David had returned to Africa, after his last visit home. David Hunter, like his father was very religious and died in 1834 and was buried in the old kirkyard at Kirkton, High Blantyre.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016

Pictured exclusively online to Blantyre Project, is the wages building in 1902 and in 1905 and the likely door entrance to David Hunter’s tailor shop. I was recently speaking to the lady who now lives in this wonderful old listed building and heard of the amazing renovation she has done in modern times, making this a uniquely beautiful family home, right beside the entrance to David Livingstone Memorial Bridge.

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