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The obituary of James McCulloch junior, road contractor of Glasgow, died 1849

This article has no connection with Malvern

Map of GlasgowJames McCulloch born 11 August 1797, died 22 January 1849, Glasgow, Scotland aged 51 years was a Road Contractor  who lived on the eastern side of the city of Glasgow at 30, Parkhouse Lane, which lay between the Necropolis and Tennent's brewery and to the north of Duke Street. (source: Scotland 1841 census and copy of will held on the Scotlands' People   website). The blue cross on the image opposite marks the approximate location.

In December 1848 there was a widespread outbreak of Cholera to which James fell victim (source: The Mitchell Library, Glasgow). He died in January 1849, two years before his father, and was interred in the Glasgow Necropolis, where a large monument was erected in his memory, by sculptors Hamilton and Millar.

A picture of the memorial can now be found on the Find a Grave website

James' obituary was published in the Glasgow Herald on 26th January 1849, and it seems he was an honest, trustworthy and reliable contractor. Here is a transcript:-


It has been our painful duty during the last few weeks to record the loss of many well-known citizens; and our readers will observe from today's obituary, that Mr James McCulloch jnr, has fallen a victim to the prevailing epidemic.

Although Mr McCulloch did not occupy a prominent position in the public, we feel assured that his death will be sincerely regretted by a large number of our fellow citizens. For upwards of thirty years Mr McCulloch has been actively engaged as one of our most extensive contractors.

During that long period he has executed works of great magnitude for the various public trusts and companies within the city, and recently he has been more particularly engaged in forming the numerous new streets and improvements which have been executed in the western part of the city.

 We may mention that among his first work as a contractor, was the forming of Blythswood Square and the streets in that locality; many of these operations involved considerable interests, but not a single instance ever occurred in which the contract was not fulfilled to the satisfaction of his employers.

The distinguishing features of Mr McCulloch's character were good sense, a retiring disposition, and strict honesty. No inducement, however tempting, caused him to swerve from the straight path. These qualities, added to his practical skill, energy, and persevering industry, obtained for him the respect of all with whom he came in contact.

As an illustration of the man, we cannot help relating the following anecdote, which occurred in London a few years ago, when Parliamentary witnesses rushed to the capital by the hundred. One of these gentry, before going into the witness box, manifested considerable trepidation.

Mr McCulloch, who happened to be near him, said, 'What ails ye, man?' The party replied he was afraid of the cross-examination.

'Tuts,' said Mr McCulloch. 'What are ye feared for? When they examine ye tell the truth; and when they cross-examine ye, just tell the truth again, and let the lawyers find out the difference'.

From his long connection with the operations of the city, his loss will be much felt by the local authorities, and by a numerous body of those interested in property, all of whom looked upon him as a safe adviser and a trustworthy contactor.

James was survived by his second wife Isabella Robertson (baptized Isobel, 16 Jul 1815 Paisley, Renfrewshire, who died 7 Sep 1887 at West Linton, Peebles, Scotland) and five children.

James McCulloch's memorial, died 1849 Glasgow

James McCulloch's memorial



To find out more about Cholera the Cholera epidemic click these links:

About public health in Victorian Glasgow

Observations on the Cholera outbreak of 1848


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