James Dennistoun of Golfhill

1758 - 1835


The extent of James Dennistoun of Golfhill's engagement with slavery is as yet unquantified. He had wide interests, notably in the Glasgow Bank (of which he was founder), in textile manufacturing and in the mercantile firm of J & A Dennistoun, which traded throughout the world, including cotton in New Orleans. Anthony Cooke shows him as having shares in the Glasgow West India merchant Buchanan, Steven & Co., and his estate at his death as including £9,710 (in a total of £202,856) in a mortgage 'over property in Demerara belonging to Frederick Adamson & Co.'

This man is not to be confused with James Dennistoun of Dennistoun (q.v.), the son of James Dennistoun of Colgrain. The parentage of James Dennistoun of Golfhill is not shown in Old Country houses of the old Glasgow gentry which says simply that he was born in Campsie in 1758; Memoirs and portraits of 100 Glasgow men gives his birth as 1752 in its entry for his son Alexander Dennistoun (1790-1874).


Anthony Cooke, 'An elite revisited: Glasgow West India merchants, 1783-1877', Journal of Scottish Historical Studies 32.2 2012 pp. 127-165, at p. 157. Cooke shows James Dennistoun of Golfhill's father as James Dennistoun senior of Colgrain and his mother as Mary Finlay; Old Country houses of the old Glasgow gentry, LII. Golfhill House, http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/smihou/smihou052.htm [accessed 31/03/2016]; Memoirs and portraits of 100 Glasgow men No. 26 Alexander Dennistoun, http://gdl.cdlr.strath.ac.uk/mlemen/mlemen026.htm [accessed 31/03/2016].

Further Information

(1) Mary Finlay
Alexander; William (d. young); James (d.s.p.); John; two daughters. By a second marriage 3 daughters
Wealth at death
Merchant and banker

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

Managing Partner
notes →
Predecessor firm of the Glasgow Union Banking Co. and hence of Lloyds. James Dennistoun of Golfhill was founder and managing partner of the Glasgow Bank, and held a quarter of the original £200,000...
Name partner
Buchanan, Steven
West India merchant  

Physical (1)

Country house
Golfhill House [Built] 
description →
House built by James Dennistoun of Golfhill shortly after he bought the estate in...