William Thomson, Joiner b1831 – d1898

As you’re probably aware, I like to research and record notes about former prominent men and women in Blantyre, to expand the archive and create further reference notes. Of course, it also remembers their legacy, hopefully in a poignant manner too.

Residents in Blantyre were upset to learn of the death of Mr William Thomson on Friday 4th November 1898 after a lingering illness at the age of 67. William, a joiner of High Blantyre was one of the most respected, well known inhabitants of Blantyre Parish. Though born in Hamilton in 1831, he had spent the greater part of his life in Blantyre very much belonging to the place.

He had not taken part in the affairs of the Parish for some time, but it was remembered the great opposition he came up against as a Sanitary Inspector when Blantyre was making efforts to emerge from being a rural Parish. When coal mining was being developed, William gave up the position and focused on his business as a joiner, making use of expanding construction. He also devoted time to his bees of which he had plenty.

Indeed for keeping bees, his fame was well known all over the United Kingdom and America. He was the first to introduce what is known to bee keepers as the “comb foundation”. He also imported many species of bees from abroad, introducing them to his Blantyre hives. Also in conjunction with Messrs George Neighbour and Son of London was responsible for sending some Blantyre bees all the way to Australia for the purposes of enabling colonists there to fertilise the red clover. He won many prizes in honey shows and was contributor to many journals on the subject. He was a great florist and was survived by a widow and grown up family of 10 sons and 1 daughter.

This was a big family and the chances are the name Thomson in Blantyre today has some connection to William.

Photo Illustration: by AI.

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