Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William Dixon (1788-1859)

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1771 William Dixon (c.1753-1822) (aged about 18) moved from Northumberland to settle in Govan

1788 His son William Dixon (1788-1859) was born.

William attended the Grammar School, then the University, before starting work in his father's business.

1822/4 Dixon senior died, leaving his property to his two sons, John and William. John sold his share in the Calder works to his younger brother William who had to bring in partners to fund the purchase.

1824 Birth of his son William Smith Dixon

c.1830 William formed the Govan Iron Works.

1835 Regained sole control of the business.

1837 blew in the first blast furnace at Govan.

1842 closed the Wilsontown ironworks, concentrating his iron interests at Govan and Calder.

His style was litigous. When he thought the Clyde Trustees would not carry his coal and iron at acceptable rates, he told them he would make a railway to Greenock. Dixon sketched out the plan which was then completed and Dixon's coals were carried to Greenock by railway. Similarly the Clydesdale Junction Railway was built, which led to the Caledonian Railway, (with Dixon as the largest shareholder). He was sole proprietor of the Polloc and Govan Railway, from Rutherglen to the harbour.

1859 William Dixon died in London in 1859. His son, by his first marriage to Elizabeth Strang, William Smith Dixon, acquired the business.

See Also


Sources of Information

  • William Dixon (1788-1859) [1]
  • Dixon family, ODNB [2]