William McDowall II

1719 - 1784


Son of Col. William McDowall I and father of William McDowall III of Garthland, and MP for Renfrewshire 1768-1774. 'Young McDowall, an Anglican in Presbyterian Glasgow, inherited a vast commercial empire in the sugar, rum and slave trade, together with extensive property in the West Indies and Glasgow. To his Castle Semple estate he soon added the ancestral lands of Garthland and smaller estates in Lanarkshire and Ayrshire, and thus became possessed of considerable electoral interest in four counties.' He also owned an estate named Hermitage in St Patrick on St Vincent, which has not yet been traced: this was put up for sale by William McDowall of Castle Semple in 1776.

  1. Anthony Cooke shows William McDowall leaving £4667, including £1000 in British Linen Bank stock, as well as Castle Semple 'together with his plantations in Canada [sic] and St Christopher in the West Indies.'


http://www.historyofparliamentonline.org/volume/1754-1790/member/mcdowall-william-1719-84; London Gazette 11722 26 November 1776 p. 2: the Hermitage estate was described as 450 acres, of which 110 were in canes, with 'about one hundred seasoned slaves, twenty mules, a few horses and horned cattle.' If the estate was not sold before July 5th 1776, it was to be put up for sale by auction in St Vincent: 'for the greater conveniency of Purchasers, the negroes will be sold with or without the land.'

  1. Anthony Cooke, 'An elite revisited: Glasgow West India merchants, 1783-1877', Journal of Scottish Historical Studies 32.2 2012 pp. 127-165, at p. 162, Inventory CC 9/7/72/316 02/09/1783, additional inventory CC 9/7/7/2/655 28/01/1785.

Further Information

Elizabeth Graham
William; James
Wealth at death

Legacies Summary

Commercial (2)

Founding partner
Ship Bank
Alexander Houstoun & Co.
West India merchant  

Political (1)

election →
Renfrewshire Renfrewshire
1768 - 1774

Relationships (3)

Second Cousins
Father → Son
Son → Father

Addresses (1)

Castle Semple, Renfrewshire, Central Scotland, Scotland