John Gray b1844 – d1928

1920s John GrayJemma Williams shared this wonderful piece of art. It is an original charcoal portrait of  Blantyre man, John Gray born 20/06/1844 – died 01/01/1928.

According to my notes, “John was a master grocer and wine merchant, born in Blantyre on 20th June 1844, the son of Robert and an abandoned orphan Mary (Blantyre) Gray. In 1877, he married Agnes Semple Murdoch and had at least one son whom he named Robert junior and daughter Jane.

In 1901 he took ownership of his parent’s legacy in Grays Buildings, the existing 2 storey tenement directly across from the Bethany Hall. He moved from his nearby cottage (Milne on Glasgow Road) into the upper floor of Grays Buildings and let his son Robert rent the cottage from him. He would continue to run the granary, slaughterhouse, hayloft and stables for the rest of his life, as well as his licensed grocers’ shop. His wife Agnes may have in the late 1890’s and early 1900’s run several shops on the lower floor of Rosendale. On 1st January 1928, just shortly after the New Year Bells, John Gray died at 253 Glasgow Road, aged 84. It was said he was the oldest resident in Blantyre at the time. He had been suffering from dementia amongst other things and his son, Robert was present.”

I think I would like to write about John Gray in more detail. It’s clear from other reports he was highly thought of, well respected and successful.  Added to my ever expanding “to do” list.

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