David Dale (1739-1806)

David Dale (1739-1806)

Industrialist and philanthropist

David Dale owned the first cotton mill in Scotland (1778) and founded the New Lanark Mills. His son-in-law, Robert Owen, later took over them over and made them famous through his social programmes. David Dale was himself a pioneer in employees' welfare and imported food for the poor, at his own expense, in times of hardship. He left the Church of Scotland and became a pastor of the Old Scotch Independents and donor to many charitable causes. He was also a founder member of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce  His house at Charlotte Street in Glasgow was designed by Robert Adam.

Birth in 1739

David Dale was baptised on 14 January 1739, the son of William Dale and Anne Blackwood. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Stewarton starts Eodem Die, that is, the same day (as the entry above on the register page which is dated 14 January).

Baptism entry for David Dale

Baptism entry for David Dale (32 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 616/1

Marriage in 1777

David Dale, merchant in Glasgow, married Ann Carollina Campbell, daughter of the late John Campbell of the Royal Bank of Scotland in Edinburgh. The entry in the OPR for Edinburgh (her parish) is dated Sabbath 7 September 1777:  .

Marriage entry for David Dale - Edinburgh

Marriage entry for David Dale in the OPR for Edinburgh (48 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 685-1/51, page 29

A second entry in the Old Parish Register for Glasgow (his parish) is dated 12 September: David Dale, merchant in Glasgow and Ann Carolin Campbell, resident of Edinburgh.

Marriage entry for David Dale - Glasgow

Marriage entry for David Dale in the OPR for Glasgow (22 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 644-1/26, page 206

Death in 1806

David Dale was buried on 21 March 1806. The entry in the Old Parish Register for Glasgow gives his age at death as 67 years and the cause of death as dropsy.

Burial entry for David Dale

Burial entry for David Dale (6 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 644-1/60, page 361

Testament of David Dale

The settlement and inventory of David Dale, merchant in Glasgow, were registered in Glasgow Sheriff Court on 4 August 1806 (SC36/48/1, pp 455-460). In it he makes provision for his daughters, ensuring that they each inherited the same amount of money as his eldest daughter, Anne Carolina, received at the time of her marriage to Robert Owen.

Detail from will of David Dale - settlement

Detail from David Dale's settlement and inventory (54 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, SC36/48/1, page 456

The testament dative was registered in Glasgow Commissary Court on 7 August 1806 (CC9/7/79, pp 364-366).

Detail from testament dative of David Dale

Detail from testament dative of David Dale (72 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, CC9/7/79, page 364