THE Laird of Campsie and Carstairs is the son of the late John King of Levernholm and Campsie. He was born at Glasgow, 13th July, 1830, and was educated at Glasgow High School and University. In addition to his private business he is Chairman of the Clydesdale Bank and was, until August, 1908, Chairman of the Caledonian Railway Company. He has taken an active part for many years in the public affairs of Glasgow. He was a member of the Town Council from 1874 to 1876, and Lord Provost from 1886 to 1889; and he has also held the offices of Dean of Guild, President of the Chamber of Commerce, Dean of the Faculties of Glasgow University, Chancellor's Assessor to the University, and Chairman of the Clyde Trust. During his Lord Provostship the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888 took place, and as Chairman of its Executive Council he took a very active part in organising and directing that great enterprise. He also acted as a member of the Royal Commission on the Western Highlands and Islands in 1889, and is a member of the Crofters' Colonization Board. He received the honour of knighthood in 1887, and in the following year was created a baronet. In 1908, upon completion of forty years' service on the directorate of the Clydesdale Bank - twenty-seven as Chairman - it was decided to present him with his portrait, painted by Sir George Reid.
Sir James married in 1861 Marian, daughter of William Westall, Streatham Common, Surrey, by whom he has four sons and one daughter. For a period of years he resided at Bothwell Castle, leased from the Earl of Home, but in 1899 he purchased Carstairs House, built in the twenties by the late Henry Monteith, M.P. In his own neighbourhood he is Chairman of the Parish Council and of the School Board. Among his other honours, he is LL.D. of Glasgow University, a Deputy-Lieutenant and Justice of the Peace for Lanarkshire, Stirlingshire, and the County of the City of Glasgow, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)