COLONEL AITKEN, last of the 1st L.R.V., comes of a race whose members have been Volunteer officers and notable citizens of Glasgow for several generations. He preserves the commissions of his grandfather and grand-uncle, the last-named of whom had as his country house Frisky Hall at Bowling. His father also served in the corps of Glasgow Sharpshooters about the time when it was disbanded. Colonel Aitken's father, grandfather, and great-grandfather were all, like himself and his son, burgesses of the city. His grandfather, Robert Aitken, was manager of the Bank of Scotland in Glasgow when the head office was successively in Miller Street and Ingram Street, his residence in the latter building being the first in Glasgow to be lit with gas. He was also an original member of the Western Club, and was intimately acquainted with the leading city men of his day, Samuel Hunter of the Herald among them. His wife, Agnes Easton, traced her pedigree back to the days of Charles II. and on the mother's side came of the Yuills of Darleith, carrying the record back to the era of the Reformation. Colonel Aitken's father, again, was, in 1844, an original member of Glasgow Stock Exchange, and was for three years chairman of that institution. His wife was a daughter of George McNish of Ibroxhill, a property lately acquired by the city for inclusion in the Bellahouston Park.

    Born over sixty years ago, Colonel Aitken himself was educated at Glasgow Collegiate School, High School, and University, of which last he is a member of Council at the present hour. He began business life with three years in the office of Patrick Playfair of Ardmillan, East and West India merchant ; then, after considerable experience of mining and engineering in various parts of the country, he studied for twelve months in Berlin. On his return he was admitted a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and Actuaries, and of the Glasgow Stock Exchange, and became a member of the firm of Mackenzie, Aitken, & Barclay, of which, under the style of Aitken, Mackenzie, & Clapperton, he is now senior partner. He has been a member of the Stock Exchange for thirty-nine years, and has been elected chairman five times, in 1889, 1890, 1891, 1898, and 1903. He is also a director of several public companies, and a J.P. for the County of the City of Glasgow and for Dumbartonshire. He was a volunteer for twenty-eight years, two of which he passed in the Queen's Edinburgh Brigade, and the remainder in the 1st L.R.V. When he retired in 1888 he was Lieutenant Colonel, with the rank of Honorary Colonel, which he retained by permission, and he also was one of the first recipients of the Volunteer Decoration. He has found time to travel widely in the United States, Canada, and Europe. In politics he is a Liberal Unionist, and in ecclesiastical affairs, as a member of Free St. Matthew's, took a keen interest on the side of the successful litigant in the Free Church case.

Back to Index of Glasgow Men (1909)