SECOND son of the first Lord Inverclyde, and grandson of
Sir George Burns, Bart., the founder of the Cunard Line, James, Lord Inverclyde,
is of long and honourable Glasgow descent. One great-grandfather, Dr. Burns, was
minister of the Barony Parish for sixty-nine years, from 1770, while another,
Dr. Cleland, was a magistrate of the city, and in 1807 laid the foundation stone
of St. George's Church. His grand-uncle, James, and his grandfather, Sir George
Burns, Bart., were founders not only of the well-known service of Irish steamers
and of the West Highland service, but of the great Cunard Line. And his father,
Sir John Burns, Bart., had the public services of his house recognised with a
peerage in 1897, and became the first Lord Inverclyde. His Lordship was born at
Glasgow in 1864, and educated at Repton. He is the principal Director of the
shipping business of Messrs. G. & J. Burns, Limited, and takes a strong interest
in everything connected with shipping. He was President of the Chamber of
Shipping of the United Kingdom in 1899. Since 1900 he has been Chairman of the
Glasgow Shipowners' Association, and is an Honorary Member of the Advisory
Committee on New Lighthouse Works to the Board of Trade. He is a Director of the
Cunard Steamship Co., Ltd., and of the Clydesdale Bank. Ltd. He is a member of
the Glasgow Committee of Lloyds' Register, a representative of Glasgow on the
London General Committee of Lloyds' Register, and a Director of the Clyde
Steamship Owners' Association. He is an Associate of the Institute of Naval
Architects and of the Scottish Institute of Engineers and Shipbuilders.
He takes a part also in the religious and philanthropic life of the city, and is Chairman of the Glasgow City Mission.
In the realm of sport he is an enthusiastic yachtsman. He is Commodore of the Royal Clyde Yacht Club, Vice-Commodore of the Royal Northern Yacht Club and the Royal Highland Yacht Club, and also a member of the Royal Yacht Squadron. He is President of the Scottish Hockey Association, and took a leading part in bringing the game into vogue in Scotland. He has also distinguished himself as a cricketer and lawn-tennis player, and, as President of the Lorne Curling Club, takes a rink to Carsbreck bonspiel every winter. He owns the estate of Wemyss Bay, and has as his residence there Castle Wemyss. In addition to the ground belonging to his own house of Hartfield at Cove, he leases the shooting on Rosneath moor above from the Duke of Argyll, and. enjoys abundance of sport there of all kinds. Lord Inverclyde is Lord Lieutenant of Dunbartonshire, and a Justice of the Peace for the Counties of Lanark, Renfrew, and the County of the City of Glasgow. He married a daughter of the late Mr. Nugent Dunbar of Machermore Castle, Newton Stewart, and has two daughters and a son.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)