Saturday, 29 October 2011

Watch No. 7629 - a slight diversion - second instalment

I have been doing a little research relating to the following question raised in Watch No. 7629 - a slight diversion - first instalment.

I have found an announcement in The Glasgow Herald - May 14 1852 offering to Watchmakers, Silversmiths and Others the Lease of the Shop at 32 Nethergate, Dundee, lately occupied by the deceased Mr William Henderson, together with Stock, Shop Fittings and the Goodwill of the Business.

I also found an announcement in The Edinburg Gazette - May 28 1895 relating to the Estate of James Rattray, Watchmaker and Jeweller, 32 Nethergate, Dundee, deceased.

Rattray & Co (Jewellers) Ltd 1862-1968 stock books, notebook, scrapbook are in a collection held privately but listed in the National Register of Archives. I have made an enquiry about whether these records include any papers taken over from William Henderson. Because of the date range I doubt it but I expect to get a response from the NRA in about 3 weeks.

I have also been studying Dundee Directories and Dundee Post Office Directories which are downloadable from the Internet Archive or the National Library of Scotland, having been digitised by Dundee Public Library. My research is detailed here and a brief summary follows:
  • William Henderson, watchmaker, only appears in the 1850 Directory when he appears at 32 Nethergate and also advertises.
  • William Henderson, flaxmaker, is not the same person as William Henderson, watchmaker because the flaxmaker was buried on 15th March 1847 having died from Chronic Bronchitis.
  • I assume that (but will search for burial records to verify) William Henderson, watchmaker, is not the same person as:
    • Henderson, William, shipmaster. Church Street, Wallace Feus
    • Henderson, William, tailor, Neave's Land, West Port
  • 32 Nethergate was listed in the Directories as occupied by:
    • Cameron, J., perfumer, in 1842/43.
    • Gibb, Robert, ready-made linen warehouse, hosier, &c., in 1844/45.
    • Gilruth, Alex., hardware and toy merchant in 1846/47.
    • Henderson, William, watchmaker and jeweller in 1850.
    • Wilson, James, lace and muslin warehouse in 1853/54.
    • Wilson, Mrs James, ladies' outfitter in 1856/57.
    • Wilson, Mrs Jane, ladies' outfitter in 1858/59.
    • Anderson, W. M., watchmaker and jeweller in 1861/62.
    • Rattray, James,watchmaker and jeweller in 1866/67. 
  • Wm. M. Anderson was at 33 High St. in 1858/59.
  • James Rattray moved premise several times; being at:
    • 44 High St. in 1853/54.
    • 33 High St. in 1856/57.
    • 102 Nethergate in 1858/59 and 1861/62.
    • 28 Nethergate in 1864/65.
    • 32 Nethergate in 1866/67.
    • Rattray & Company (Jewellers) Ltd was dissolved on 15th July 2005 but is still listed in some web directories at 32-36 Nethergate.
Also of some interest:

Drawings by the Dundee lithographer Charles S. Lawson (d. 1884) of Nethergate as it was before the Improvement Act of 1871.

3 drawings of St Mary's Close (which is at 30 Nethergate), listed as William Henderson's home in the 1850 Dundee Directory:

and part of an 1857-58 Ordnance Survey map showing 32 Nethergate and St Mary's Close:

I have searched for as burial record for William Henderson, watchmaker, so far without success.

This glimpse into commercial history has been quite fascinating. The Directories will, I am sure, occupy many more interesting hours; the Advertisements, alone, are a joy to read.

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