Dundee has been known for a long time as a trading centre and had links with Europe and particularly the Baltic and the Low Countries. It also has a tradition of engineering. The phrase commonly associated with Dundee – jute, jam and journalism –is only part of Dundee’s history but journalism is still important today. We have also been fortunate that many of the prominent people in the City have been benefactors and evidence of this may be seen throughout Dundee..
Many of the people buried in Western cemetery illustrate these links. This area of Dundee was, and still is, a well-to-do area and there are the graves of provosts, businessmen and other prominent families in this cemetery.
One interesting practice carried out by lair owners was that, when the lair or lairs became full – 3 adults was the usual for one grave – they had the grave cleansed. That is, it was dug out to a depth of about 8 feet. The old remains were then re-interred and covered with earth so that a depth of 6 feet was again available. This practice was also used in other cemeteries.
These families very often had lairs in the strip of ground next to the walls and the gravestones were usually fixed to the wall.
Journalists - Thomsons
Some of the Thomsons of the Courtier, Dundee's local paper
Linen and Jute Weaving - Thomas Hunter Cox
Thomas Hunter Cox
Thomas Hunter Cox was a partner of Cox Brothers of Dundee and Lochee, a large linen and jute weaving firm
Benefactor -Baron George Armistead
George Armistead (Baron).
Baron George Armistead was the Deputy Lieutenant of Forfarshire and Dundee and Member of Parliament for Dundee 1866 and 1880. A benefactor of Dundee he was made a Free Burgess of the city in 1904.
Engineer & Inventor - James Bowman Lindsay
James Bowman Lindsay, (1799-1861-Dundee)
This headstone was erected by public subscription in 1901.
James Bowman Lindsay, was born in 1799, Cotton of West Hills, Parish of Carmyllie, son of John Lindsay and Elizabeth Bowman. James Bowman Lindsay came from a family of four children: Mary, b. ca 1795, Jean, b. ca. 1797, James (self), b. ca. 1799, and John, b. ca. 1804.
James possibly had a step-brother named David, b. ca 1791, in Dunbarrow, the same area of the Parish of Carmyllie as James Bowman Lindsay's' birthplace, to John Lindsay and Isobel Langlands.
James Bowman Lindsay, was an engineer and inventor, researching such ideas as electrical lighting of the jute manufacturing plants - fifty years before Thomas Edison; Carmyllie. James also studied system of wireless telegraphy through water.
For more information on James Bowman Lindsay: City of Dundee web site
Public figures - Lord Provost Sir William High JP
Lord Provost Sir William High JP. In the 19th century people in prominent public positions were usually well-to-do.
Ordinary people, although probably the more well-to-do, used this cemetery as well.
Miss Jane Roger
Miss Jane Roger died in 1866.
I know nothing about her but she was obviously well respected and well known in her circle at that time.
The following was inscribed on her gravestone (which was possibly erected by her friends and colleagues):
Sacred to the memory of Miss Jane Roger
who died on the 19th October 1866.
She was in every respect the Christian gentlewoman,
apt to teach, ready to distribute,
at once diligent in business
and fervent in spirit.
In the respect of the Christian congregation
of which she was a useful member
and in the regrets of
all who were acquainted with her
modest worth and active providence.
Merchants - The Ramsay Family
The Ramsays were merchants and wine merchants in Dundee and abroad. One married a merchant in Leipzig.
Flaxspinner - James Renny Mathers
James Renny Mathers, flaxspinner. His son became writer to the signet in Edinburgh.
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