15. William Wilkie the 3rd

The Family Tradition Continues

Tobago Street Calton, Early 1900sOn 5 April 1896, nearing the age of seventy, William Wilkie the Second wrote a Trust Disposition and Settlement in which he named the trustees of his estate after his death. They were to be his wife, Janet Walker Wilkie, Thomas Porter, an Ironmonger of Glasgow, James Hendry a Saddler of Glasgow, James Kyle of Glasgow, and his son, William Wilkie the Third. It was his intention that, on his death, the trustees would administer his estate until the youngest of his children, Alexander James Gilmour Wilkie, reached twenty one in 1903. At that time his estate was to be divided equally among the children.

Tobago Street Calton, Early 1900sHowever, William Wilkie the Second did not die until 4 December 1910 and at that time the business at 19 Tobago Street was taken over by his eldest son William the Third, then aged forty seven.

William the Third, was born on 13 July 1863 at 8 William Street, Calton . Like his father and grandfather, he took up the trade of sheetmetal worker, and added the new skill of “heating engineer” . He later moved the business to 72 Tobago Street, a site which was subsequently taken over for the factory of W.D. & H.O.Wills, cigarette manufacturers .

Little is known of William the Third's life. His wife’s name was Rachel they had three children - James, William and Isobella. James was killed in France in 1917 at the age of nineteen. William the Fourth married but apparently had no children, and went into a fishmongering business with his uncle Louis. The business was unsuccessful . Isobella remained unmarried .

During the 1920s William the Third and Rachel lived at 3 Whitehill Street, Dennistoun, a newly developed “Garden Suburb” on the hill north of Calton. He died in 1932 leaving no heir to the business.

Dividing the Family Estate

Under the original Trust Disposition written in 1896 by William the Second the estate was to have been divided equally among the children. Nothing was done about the matter until 1945 when his only surviving children, John MacKinlay Wilkie, then aged seventy, and Janet Glen Wilkie, aged seventy three, applied to the court to have the property sold and the proceeds distributed. The descendants of William the Second had to be traced.

William Wilkie the Third - 1863-1932
William Wilkie's EstateJohn McKinlay Wilkie and Janet Glen Wilkie, the only surviving children, were the petitioners for the estate in 1945.

John McKinlay Wilkie*, born on 2 August 1875, had married Elizabeth Logie on 22 June 1903. John and Elizabeth had three children. The first was John Mackinlay Wilkie junior who was born 3 May 1904, and who married Catherine Roberton on 22 June 1937. The second was William Howard born 6 August 1908. He married Mary Preston Urquhart or Scott and had no family. The third, Helen was born 12 April 1911 and married Robert Simpson on 20 August 1947 and died in 1980. She had no family.

John McKinlay Wilkie was living at 52 Rosslyn Avenue, Rutherglen, Glasgow in 1945. He died in 4 October 1960.

Janet Glen Wilkie, known to her family as Jessie, never married.

Their brother, William Wilkie the Third, had married and had three children James, who was killed during the first world war; William, who in 1945 was living at 30 Thompson Drive, Bearsden, Glasgow; and Isobella, unmarried and living at Inverdale, Cumbernauld Road, Glasgow.

Another brother, Conal Alexander Wilkie, the son of William the second, not his uncle the bookseller, had married Agnes and had three children Doctor William Wilkie, then living at Forrest Cottage, Hamilton Road, Motherwell ; Jeannie Wilkie, of 30 Southampton Drive, Kelvindale, Glasgow; and Hugh Wilkie , living at 3 Whitehill Street, Dennistoun. It is reported that Conal may have spent six months in jail during the Great War having been convicted of “profiteering” . Conal Wilkie was a tinsmith.

The sister, Mary Walker Wilkie, had never married and lived with her sister, Janet Glen Wilkie at 101 Greenhead Street for many years, taking in boarders. They eventually sold the Greenhead Street property and moved to Prestwick . Mary died at Prestwick sometime before 1932 and left a will naming her sister, Janet Glen Wilkie, as her sole beneficiary.

The youngest brother, Alexander James Gilmour Wilkie, had married Marjory Isobel McCombie but he had been killed in 1916. He had four children Elizabeth, who died as an infant; William John Wilkie, living at Old Northern Road, Castle Hill, New South Wales; Mary Isabella Wilkie, at 6 Skene Street, Hamilton, Victoria; and Alexander Ernest Wilkie, at Springvale South, Victoria.

The sale of the Tobago Street property brought in fifteen hundred pounds which was then divided among the descendants of William II's children. Most received eleven pounds. The maximum was sixty-six.

The story of William the First, William the Second and William the Third is in the tradition of many skilled tradesmen of the nineteenth century. The skills acquired by the father were passed on to the son. If this was not done directly from father to son, then the son often learned the same skills from another master and took up the same trade as his father. Where possible the father's business would also be passed on to the son. All of this happened to some degree in the generations between William I and William III.


Full documentary referencing of sources is available for this information. Contact me for details.
* Some details of John McKinlay Wilkie's family provided by his granddaughter Kay Shaw of Glasgow.

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