James Erwin & Son (Painters)

Perhaps of interest to those with surname Erwin, I’m posting today about a little known Blantyre business “James Erwin & Son“. A short lived, late Victorian business in Blantyre, put up here if only to record it existed.

In the Hamilton Sheriff Court on Tuesday 5th July 1898, James Erwin, the only known partner of the firm known as ‘James Erwin and Son‘, and doing business as a painter in Blantyre, was examined for bankruptcy before Sheriff Davidson.

There appeared at the examination, Mr William Stodart, writer on behalf of the petitioning creditors, and Mr John MacKenzie journeyman painter, one of the creditors, while Mr James. C. Pollok acted for the bankrupt.

James Erwin stated that he started business in Blantyre as a painter in April 1897, with £25 in cash and £15 in stock (a combined sum of around £6,500 in today’s money). He was the sole partner of the firm of James Erwin and Son, and came to Blantyre in connection with a large building contract, on which he dropped [lost] money. In February of 1898, he met with an accident and since then had been pushed by his creditors. His state of affairs showed liabilities amounting to £43 and assets to the extent of £25. The examination was closed, the business folded. Mr George Kemp, Messenger at Arms, Hamilton, was appointed trustee on the estate.

This business only lasted just over a year, which makes me wonder just how many other businesses I’ve yet to record or explore over the centuries in Blantyre!

Looking into the life of James Erwin a little more, I discovered James was born around 1850 had been married to and outlived wife Sarah Davis. He was aged 48 at the time of his bankruptcy. Strangely, I couldn’t see him in the Blantyre census of 1901, but he did live here. He died on 18th January 1918 at Pathfoot, Milheugh. Mary Erwin, his daughter present. Knowing he settled in Blantyre, I hope he had a good life. He clearly had a son too as the business name suggested. His profession at the time of his death, aged 68 was Journeyman Painter.

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