Sir William Dick of Braid

1580 - 1655

William Dick, Lord Provost of Edinburgh
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

William Dick, Lord Provost of Edinburgh

Merchant and Provost of Edinburgh. For a time the wealthiest man in Scotland, Dick made his money as a merchant and banker. He who owned the estates of Grange and Braid in Edinburgh, and served as Lord Provost of the City between 1638 and 1640. Dick was a staunch Royalist and Covenanter. He gave large sums of money to both King James VI (1566 - 1625) and King Charles I (1600 -1649), and as a reward was knighted in 1641. In 1639 he lent a fortune, of at least £200,000, to fund the Covenanting Army under James Graham, Marquess of Montrose (1612-50). Like many Scots, he continued to support the Royalist cause during the Civil War, but when Oliver Cromwell's army reached Edinburgh, camping on Dick's land in the Braid Hills, they demanded compensation from supporters of the crown and Dick had little choice but to pay. Dick later went to London to try to recover some of his money, but he was arrested by his creditors and imprisoned at Westminster where he died a pauper.

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