Old Photograph Whitelaw Fountain Coatbridge Scotland

Old photograph of the Whitelaw Fountain in Coatbridge, North Lanarkshire, Scotland. The fountain is dedicated to Alexander Whitelaw, industrialist and partner in the local firm of Gartsherrie Iron, who in 1872 organised the relocation of the railway line away from the main street to create a civic space. Alexander Whitelaw, born 1823, died 1879, was a Scottish ironmaster, philanthropist and Conservative Member of Parliament for Glasgow from 1874 until his death. He was born in 1823 in Drumpark in Monklands and was educated at Grange School, Sunderland, England, and then took some time to study mining. In 1846 he married Barbara Forbes Lockhart of Cambusnethan which established a marital connection to the Baird family. The Baird family founded the iron smelting firm of William Baird and Company, in which Whitelaw became a managing partner. The Baird family acquired the Gartsherrie coal fields in 1826 and the mansion and estate in 1834. Through his philanthropy, he left endowments to churches and schools, including helping to found the Gartsherrie Academy, and for the 1863 to 1864 session he was Vice President of the Academy. Whitelaw's interest in education led him to become Chairman of the Glasgow School Board in 1873. Whitelaw was a Conservative and represented Glasgow as an MP from 1874 until his death in 1879.

All photographs are copyright of Sandy Stevenson, Tour Scotland, and may not be used without permission.

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