Mr James Alexander – Bootmaker

P1030247Mr. James Alexander – was a late 19th Century shoemaker in High Blantyre, according to Naismith’s Directory of 1879.

Born in 1826 in Blantyre at Auchinraith to David and Margaret, James was a middle child from a cotton worker family.

During the 1850’s, he left Blantyre whilst in his late 20’s and was absent during the 1861 and 1871 Blantyre census.

However, he returned to his hometown to the Hunthill area of Blantyre sometime between 1875 and 1879 when he was in his late 40’s or early 50’s. Perhaps attracted back by the growing population, business opportunity or simply having married to Annie Greenshileds in 1875, he initially rented a house named “Adams Cottage” from Mrs Betsy Weir, who owned Braehead, the large house next to the Calder.

In 1881 James was 55 years old and was living at Hunthill with his wife Annie, aged 49.  In 1885, he paid £3 and 10 shillings rent per annum.

In the 1891 census James  was 65 years old and still working, self-employed, but not with any employees. James and Annie (b Ayrshire) did not have any children.

By 1895 James had retired and moved home to the top of Broompark Road, renting a house from Arthur Blakely. The address suggests he lived across the road from the public house in the former tenements at the junction of Main Street. Mr Blakely had built the pub and the tenements around the same time in 1894.

James Alexander, bootmaker died in 1897, aged 71.

From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017

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