THE Sheriff-Clerk of Lanarkshire is the younger son of the late Dr. James Grieve, an esteemed medical practitioner and Chairman of the School Board in Port-Glasgow. He was born in the ancient village of Gifford, Haddingtonshire, in 1847, and received his early education at Port-Glasgow Burgh School and Greenock Academy. He began his legal training in the office of Messrs. Inglis & Anderson, Port-Glasgow, subsequently attended arts classes at the old College in High Street, Glasgow, and for a time had a place in the office of the late Mr. Turner, writer, Greenock. Thence he went to London with some idea of reading for the English Bar, but after two years as confidential clerk to Mr. H. P. Sharp, of the firm of W. & H. P. Sharp, solicitors, he returned to Scotland and completed his legal training in the offices of Mr. John B. Dill, Glasgow, and Messrs. Keegan & Welsh, S.S.C., Edinburgh, at the same time continuing his legal studies at the Universities of Glasgow and Edinburgh successively.
He began practice in Glasgow in 1874 as a partner in the firm of Grieve & Wilson. Eight years later the partnership was dissolved, and shortly afterwards, on the death of Mr. J. A. Dixon, of the firm of Dixon & Erskine, he became a partner there, the firm's name being changed to Dixon, Erskine & Grieve. In 1899 this partnership also was dissolved, and Mr. Grieve became senior member of the firm of Weir Grieve & Jeffrey.
From the first Mr. Grieve occupied a leading position at the Glasgow bar, and in chamber practice he enjoyed the confidence of a large clientele. His qualities were officially recognised in 1895, when, on the number of Sheriff-Substitutes for Lanarkshire being increased he was offered a seat on the bench by the Lord Advocate, now Lord Pearson, but he did not see his way to accept the position. Eight years later, however, on the death of Mr. John Downie in 1903, he accepted his present appointment of Sheriff-Clerk to the County of Lanark, an arrangement which gave entire satisfaction to the members of the profession in Glasgow.
He is a member of the Faculty of Procurators, and has several times served on committees of that body. He has also taken considerable part in political affairs on the Conservative side. For nine years he was Honorary Secretary and Treasurer of the Glasgow Conservative Association, and it fell to him to reorganise the party arrangements upon the division of the city into its present seven constituencies. So successful was his organisation, especially in the enrolment of lodger claims, which increased under his care from eighty to about four thousand, that on his retiring from office he was presented with a complete set of law reports, numbering over two hundred volumes.
At the first election under the new franchise his services as agent were requested by several candidates, but his general work for the Association prevented his acceptance of the duties. Subsequently he conducted the campaign of Mr. Colin Mackenzie in Bridgeton Division; and on four occasions he has acted as election agent in the Kilmarnock Burghs - when Provost Sturrock won the seat for the first time in its history for the Conservative party, when it was contested by Mr. Scott Dickson, afterwards Lord Advocate, and at the return on two occasions of the former Unionist representative, Colonel Denny.
Mr. Weir Grieve, after his retiral from the Secretaryship, was a Vice-President of Glasgow Conservative Association, and of the Central Division Conservative Association. He was an original member of the Conservative Club, and one of the founders of the Junior Conservative Club, and for many years a representative from the Central Division on the Western Divisional Council of the National Conservative Union.
Mr. Grieve is a Justice of the Peace for the County of Lanark and also for the County of the City of Glasgow.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)