Tuesday, 27 December 2011

James Calder again

All that Aitken fun has made me forget Calder. Oh no. In fact I haven't told you some of the best bits about the shovel story yet.

And what better way to tell a tale, than through newspaper snippets? If you're lazy, I mean. I'm bone idle.

First let's move back a few months before Calder and McNellan's fight:

"ALLOA. Burgh Election.- The polling for six members to serve at the Police Commission Board of the burgh of Alloa took place in the Corn Exchange there on Monday, and was presided over by Sheriff Clark. The result was a most signal defeat of the party who were in favour of the Chief-Magistrate (Mr John Ewing) and his schemes, all of the successful candidates being new members at this time, though one or two of them have held office previously. The board consists of nine members, and the unusual number of six vacancies is caused by tho retirement of four members who were elected temporarily-viz., Messrs Andrew Allice, W. Lamb, S. N. Morrison, and David Brown. Mr Cummings and Mr Thos. Frame were the other retiring members, but the latter did not stand. The following is the result of the poll :- Mr J. Thomson Paton, 454 ; Major Mitchell, 452 ; Mr James Calder, 365 ; Dr John Duncanson, 355 ; Mr John McDonald, 344 ; Mr John Melvin, 320 ; Mr Andrew Allice ; 309 ; Mr Cummings, 260 ;Mr W. Lamb, 154 ; Mr S. M. Morrison, 125 ; Mr David Brown, 104."Falkirk Herald - Thursday 24 February 1870, page 5.

See who got the third largest number of votes? Why James Calder. Making him duly elected as one of the six Police Commissioners. An office he still held when he whacked McNellan with a shovel. Not very fitting his office, eh? Given the boos from the crowd after his court appearance, I can’t imagine he was re-elected.

Still not managed to find if he was found guilty and, if so, what punishment he received. Funny thing is, although I know James Calder eventually took total control of the business, it was still trading under the name of McNellan & Co. in 1874:

McNELLAN and CO., Brewers, Alloa, require an Agent to represent them in Dublin and district ; security required. Applications to he made to Messrs M. Larkin and Co., Solicitors, 51 Dame-street, or direct to the Brewery.
Freeman's Journal - Friday 6 February 1874, page 8.
(As an aside, interesting to see that the brewery was trying to break into the Irish market in the 1870's. Like most of England, Ireland became a very difficult market for Scottish brewers towards the end of the century and most pulled out.)

Remember, the story usually told is that McNellan went bankrupt in 1862 and James Calder took the brewery over. Yet, as we've seen, James Tait McNellan was still a partner in 1870. Well it seems that one McNellan did go bankrupt:


John McNellan, lately brewer in Alloa, and residing there, now deceased-creditors meet in the Royal Oak Hotel, Alloa, 23d January, one o'clock-D. MacWatt, writer, Alloa, agent. "
Caledonian Mercury - Saturday 13 January 1866, page 2.
So John McNellan had gone bust in the 1860's, then died. Presumably James Tait McNellan was his son. Looks to me that rather than buying the brewery outright, James Calder bought a share, presumably as part of the fallout of the bankruptcy. It's frustrating still not to be able to get to the full story. Have to keep digging.

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