James Smith

1808 - 1863

Builder and architect. Born in Alloa, the son of a builder, Smith followed his father to Glasgow to take advantage of the lucrative building contracts as the city expanded. Smith's work included the Victoria Bath (1837), the McLellan Galleries (1855) and the fine interior of Kilmardinny House (1860). He also became a successful property investor, although his investments in insurance companies proved less sound when one collapsed in 1837 temporarily bankrupting him.

Smith is perhaps best remembered as the father of poisoner Madeleine (1835 - 1928), who was tried for murder in 1857. The family had homes in the fashionable Blythswood Square and at Rhu (Argyll and Bute), but the scandal and their disgrace brought moves to Bridge of Allan (Stirling) and finally Polmont (Edinburgh) where Smith died.

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