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Andrew Usher


1782 - 1855

Andrew Usher
©2016 Gazetteer for Scotland

Andrew Usher

Spirit merchant. Born in Darnick (Scottish Borders), Usher began his career working in a merchant's office. By the age of 21, he had his own hosiery business on Edinburgh's South Bridge. In 1813, he began as a spirit merchant and by the 1830s had secured a contract to sell the entire output of the Glenlivet Distillery. He was the first to experiment with whisky blending in the 1840s, a process developed commercially by his son younger Andrew (1826-98) working alongside another son John (1828 - 1904).

In 1826, Usher purchased the Pear Tree House on the South Side of Edinburgh as his home, but this soon became the centre of his whisky enterprise. This business became the North British Distillery Company, International Distillers and Vintners (IDV) and eventually part of Diageo Plc.

Usher set up his elder sons Thomas and James in a brewery business in the 1830s, which also grew to become highly successful.

Usher died in Edinburgh and lies buried in East Preston Street Cemetery.


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