DESCENDED from Morayshire forbears who came to Glasgow early in the nineteenth century. Mr. Duncan was born on the south-side of the city, 5th October, 1850. He passed through the old High School in John Street, and Glasgow Academy, and then entered the science and engineering classes at Glasgow University. Here he took two Walker prizes, trophies considered the blue ribbon of engineering study at Gilmorehill. He next served an apprenticeship in the engineering work of Messrs. Chaplin & Co., Finnieston, and passed thence to the drawing office of Messrs. Dubs & Co., locomotive builders. In 1875 he engaged with Messrs. A. & A. McOnie, the makers of sugar, machinery, and while in their employment benefited greatly by the advice and suggestions of Mr. John MacNeil. Then came the great venture which must at one time or another be made by the man who would take an upward step in life. Along with a friend Mr. Duncan acquired the premises and business of an old boilermaking firm in Hydepark Street, and began the making of marine engines and boilers with a staff of twelve men. At first the young firm had an uphill task, and Mr. Duncan did the entire work of the counting house and drawing office himself. Then his partner, Mr. Ross, went abroad and two years later, in 1882, the business of Ross & Duncan had so increased that it had to be removed to its present premises, at Whitefield Road, Govan. There new partners and managers were added, and the business now employs 450 men.
    Within his business and outside it Mr. Duncan has been a pioneer in more ways than one. In accordance with the theories of Thomas Carlyle the older employers of the business share directly in the profits of the firm. He was also one of the group in Glasgow which founded the Council on Colonial Relations. This was one of the earliest organisations to propagate the idea of British Imperial unity, which was triumphantly proved so valuable during the war in South Africa. With the same object in view he in 1895 founded the monthly journal Britannia, which the British Empire League proposed to make the official organ of British Imperialism.
    At the General Election in 1900 Mr. Duncan contested Govan in the Unionist interest, and on a poll of 11,324 was defeated by Mr. Hunter Craig, the Liberal, by only 164 votes. He was, however, adopted a candidate for the next struggle in the division, and was returned at the General Election of 1906. He has travelled extensively, not only on the Continent of Europe, but in Canada, the United States, and South America, and he is a member of the Institute of Civil Engineers, a Fellow of the Colonial Institute, a member of the Institution of Shipbuilders and Engineers in Scotland, and a member of the Clan Robertson Society. His characteristic recreations are yachting and golf. In June, 1893, Mr. Duncan married Mary, eldest of the family of Mr. William Jolly, H.M.I.S., and there are one son and two daughters of the union.

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