Alexander Baird

1765 - 1833

Farmer and entrepreneur. Baird was born at the farm of Woodhead, by Old Monkland (North Lanarkshire). He became tenant of the nearby farms of High Cross and Kirkwood, which had been the home of the family for centuries.

Baird married Jean Moffat and had eight sons and two daughters. While one of these continued to farm two, William (1796 - 1864) and James (1802-76), made their fortune through smelting iron and several of the others were involved in this company.

Alexander Baird engaged in small-scale coal-mining, but in 1816, took the lease on a coal-field at Rochsolloch (south of Airdrie). The running of this fell to Baird's son William and the family gathered other coal mining concessions in the area. Baird was able to lease land at Gartsherrie, and it was here, in 1828, that they began to build the first of a series of blast furnaces.

In 1825, Baird acquired the estate of Lochwood (Glasgow), which he greatly improved. He died at his farm of High Cross and is buried in the kirkyard at Old Monkland.

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