Robert Dunmore of Kelvinside

Robert Dunmore, merchant in Glasgow, was the only surviving son of Thomas Dunmore of Kelvinside, merchant in Glasgow who was credited with being one of the first Glasgow merchants to become involved in the Virginia tobacco trade, and Helen Wilson his wife. He was born 23rd November 1744.

Robert Dunmore was at one time a very rich man and besides possessing Kelvinside and Gilmorehill, which were made over to him by his father, he owned Bankeir, Newlands, Blairskaith, Bahvill, Ballindalloch, and other lands.

Among other involvements in slave-owership, Robert Dunmore and his partners (William Cunningham or Cuninghame, Thomas Crawford, Adam Lightbody and Patrick Dougall) were shown as in possession of the Hermon Hill estate in St Mary Jamaica 1782-1788 and as mortgagees-in-possession of Union estate in St Mary 1785-1792.

But here, Mr. Dunmore was perceived as a very public-spirited, excellent man, and Strathendrick is much indebted to him for many improvements. Through his means, public roads were made and bridges built, manufactures on a large scale set on foot, and an extensive system of planting introduced. In December 1792 the British Government, alarmed by the threatening attitude of the Revolutionary Government of France, called out the militia throughout the country and summoned Parliament. These proceedings were, unfortunately, the cause of a most severe commercial crisis in the spring of 1793, during which many of the banks and greatest mercantile houses in Scotland failed. Mr. Dunmore was involved in this widespread disaster, and the extensive estates which he held in his own right were sold. He was declared bankrupt in 1797.

In December 1792 the British Government, alarmed by the threatening attitude of the Revolutionary Government of France, called out the militia throughout the country and summoned Parliament. These proceedings were, unfortunately, the cause of a most severe commercial crisis in the spring of 1793, during which many of the banks and greatest mercantile houses in Scotland failed. Mr. Dunmore was involved in this widespread disaster, and the extensive estates which he held in his own right were sold.

He died in 1799. Janet Napier of Ballikinrain, his widow, whom he had married in 1776, died 1st May 1801 and was buried in Killearn churchyard on the 4th of the same month.

Janet Napier of Ballikinrain and her husband, Robert Dunmore, had a large family.

Balfron’s Dunmore Street is named in his memory.