Patrick Colquhoun

Biography of Patrick Colquhoun

Patrick Colquhoun (1745-1820) was a colonial merchant in Glasgow. Born in Dumbarton, he served an apprenticeship as a sixteen-year-old in Virginia in North America. Likely working in a tobacco store, on his return to Glasgow he became one of the city’s famous ‘Tobacco Lords’. He had multiple commercial interests and was also a co-partner in the Glasgow-West India firm, Colquhoun & Ritchie, that traded with Jamaica and Antigua. As such, his wealth was derived from transatlantic slavery and its commerce.

In 1782 he built Kelvingrove House - in what is now Kelvingrove Park - as his residence. Colquhoun was Lord Provost of Glasgow, 1782-1784 and founder and the first Chairman of Britain's oldest Chamber of Commerce in Glasgow in 1783. He was an honorary graduate of the University (1797) and the Colquhoun Lectureship in Business History is named for him. He moved to London in 1789 where he became a magistrate and published pamphlets on policing and other social issues of the day.


Patrick Colquhoun

Born 14 March 1745.
Died 25 April 1820.
University Link: Honorary Graduate
GU Degree:
Occupation categories: merchants
NNAF Reference: GB/NNAF/P129829
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Record last updated: 1st Jul 2019

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  • Honorary Graduate

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