Biography of James Ewing
James Ewing of Strathleven (1775-1853) was a University alumnus and wealthy merchant who was a Lord Provost of Glasgow. He was awarded an honorary LLD in 1826 and the Ewing Prize is named for him.
Born in Glasgow, Ewing studied at the University from the age of 12. He worked for his father, an accountant and West Indies merchant, before forming his own company, James Ewing & Co, and amassing a fortune as a plantation owner and sugar trader. He was elected Dean of Guild in 1816 and again in 1831, he was Lord Provost of Glasgow from 1832 to 1833 and for the same period he was the city's MP. He played a major role in the foundation of the Glasgow Savings Bank and in the opening of the Necropolis. In 1809 he was one of the founders of the Glasgow Bank.
In 1827 Ewing presented the University with a gift of £100 to found the Ewing Gold Medal, a prize for the best essay in Civil History.