John McIlwraith

1828 - 1902

Manufacturing plumber and ship-owner. Born in Ayr, the son of a plumber and ship-owner, McIlwraith was educated Watson's School and the Wallacetown Academy before joining his father's business. He emigrated to Australia in 1853 and began a plumbing supply business, initially with materials sent by his father. His brothers Sir Thomas (1835 - 1900) and Andrew (1844 - 1932) were later to join him. He opened a lead mill in 1863 to manufacture lead sheet and later made tin tubes for the gas industry. He also was a partner in a coastal shipping company and, between 1875-78, served as the Melbourne agent for another shipping business, McIlwraith, McEacharn and Co., partly owned by his brother Andrew.

He was elected to Melbourne City Council in 1870 and served as Mayor of the city (1873-4), but his business interests suffered in the economic down-turn of the 1890s.

Returning regularly to Ayr, he was awarded the Freedom of the Burgh in 1884 and died there in his seventy-fourth year.

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