James Young (1811-1883)

James Young (1811-1883)

Chemist and philanthropist

James Young was born in Glasgow on 13 July 1811. He worked with his father, a carpenter, before moving to Lancashire in 1839. He later manufactured oil from shale in West Lothian and began the sale of paraffin in 1856. He was president of Anderson's College from 1868 and later established a chair in technical chemistry. He also took part in experiments to measure the velocity of light and, as a friend of David Livingstone, made generous donations to his African expedition appeal.

Marriage in 1838

James Young married Mary Young on 21 August 1838. The entry in the Old Parish Register (OPR) for Paisley Middle (her parish) gives the date of marriage, the name of the minister and James Young's place of residence as Barony, parish of Glasgow..

Marriage entry for James Young - Paisley Middle

Marriage entry for James Young in the OPR for Paisley Middle  (19 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 573-2/4, page 80

The marriage is also recorded in the Old Parish Register for Glasgow Barony (his parish) and gives his occupation as cabinet maker of Calton. They were married in Paisley by the Reverend William Nisbet of the United Secession Chapel, Abbey Close.

Marriage entry for James Young - Glasgow

Marriage entry for James Young in the OPR for Barony (21 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, OPR 622/17, page 572

1871 and 1881 censuses

In 1871 James Young, a widower aged 60 and a landowner and manufacturing chemist, was enumerated with his family at Kelly House, district of Inverkip. The birth-places recorded for his children show that the family had moved between Manchester and Scotland over the previous 25 or more years. The last column records 29 rooms with one or more windows. There was also one visitor, a government inspector of alkali works, and four servants.

1871 census entry for James Young

Household of James Young in the 1871 census of Inverkip (45 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1871/567-1/1, page 8

In 1881 he was living with his son and daughter at the same address. (National Records of Scotland, 1881/567-1/1, page 12)

Death in 1883

James 'Paraffin Young' died on 16 May 1883 at Kelly House, Wemyss Bay . His entry in the statutory register of deaths for Inverkip describes him as a chemist and landed proprietor, widower of Mary Young and aged 71 years. His parents are John Young and Jean Wilson (both deceased). The informant was his son, James, who was present at the death.

Death entry for James Young

Death entry for James Young in the statutory register for Inverkip  (27 KB jpeg)
National Records of Scotland, 1883/567-1/6

Testament of James Young

The will of James Young FRS LLD was registered at Paisley Sheriff Court on 9 August 1883 (National Records of Scotland, SC58/45/3, pp 1127-1139).