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Thomas Corbett


1822 - 1880

Merchant and philanthropist. Born in Glasgow, the younger son of a physician living in the Gorbals, Corbett was raised in Hillhead and educated at the University of Glasgow. Intended for the law, he began trading in commodities including iron, timber and wool with his older brother in Australia. By the 1850s he was also trading in tea and coffee. With wealth came relocation from the Gorbals to Great Western Road and eventually to a fine residence in Dowanhill. He moved his business to London in 1864 but retained a substantial house (South Park) at Cove in Argyllshire.

Corbett set up canteens to provide working men in Glasgow with cheap meals. These proved so popular that they made a profit which Corbett gave to found a convalescent home in Saltcoats. He gave money to his friend William Quarrier (1829 - 1903) to provide homes for orphans. He was also a founder of the Glasgow Central Working Men's Club & Institute, the first Working Men's Club in Scotland and built several bowling greens in Glasgow in order to keep men from spending time in public houses.

He died in Surrey. His eldest son Archibald Cameron Corbett (1856 - 1933) became Lord Rowallan.


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