SECOND son of the late James MacLehose, publisher and bookseller in Glasgow, the head of the well-known publishing firm, was born in the city 9th April, 1857. He was educated at the University of Glasgow, where he took the degree of M.A. in 1878. In 1881 he was admitted as junior partner in his father's business, thereafter styled James MacLehose & Sons. In 1895 he with his elder brother and partner Robert also acquired the business of their uncle, Robert MacLehose, senior, printer to the University, which then became known as Robert MacLehose & Co. Owing to the need for extension this printing firm recently feued ground at Anniesland, on the western boundary of Glasgow, where they built extensive printing and bookbinding works, and at the same time the business was formed into a private limited company as Robert MacLehose & Co., Ltd., of which Mr. MacLehose is managing director.
The late Mr. James MacLehose, to whom both businesses owed much of their inspiration, was born in 1811 in Govan, where his father was a weaver. After an apprenticeship in Glasgow with the well-known bookseller, George Gallie, he went to London in 1832 to Messrs. Seeley, booksellers and publishers, where he had as his companions his life-long friends, Daniel and Alexander Macmillan. In 1838 he returned to Glasgow, and started the business of bookselling and publishing, which has for more than sixty years been associated with 61 St. Vincent Street. In 1849 the late Mr. Lockhart leased these premises to James MacLehose, and there the business is still carried on - the landlords being now in the third generation, and the tenants in the second generation.
For very many years in the late Mr. MacLehose's lifetime, and since, these premises have been the centre of much of the literary life of Glasgow and the West of Scotland. University text books, philosophical and scientific works, and West of Scotland books have perhaps comprised the greater portion of the books that have been issued by the firm. Among these latter are "The Old Country Houses of the Old Glasgow Gentry," and "One Hundred Glasgow Men," both edited by the late Mr. James MacLehose; "The Carved Stones of Islay," by Mr. R. C. Graham; "Scottish National Memorials," "Scottish History and Life," "The Parish of Strathblane" and "Strathendrick," by Mr.John Guthrie Smith. More recently the firm has paid special attention to the publication of historical works, including on the one hand editions of such classics as Richard Hakluyt's "The English Voyages" and "Purchas, his Pilgrimes," and on the other hand, the "Scottish Historical Review," of which Mr. MacLehose has from its beginning in 1903 been the editor. He assisted the late Colin Dunlop Donald to found the Regality Club in 1885, and has throughout been its Honorary Treasurer. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, and of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland, and a Member of Council of the Scottish Text Society. In 1896 he married Mary, youngest daughter of the late Mr. Alexander Macmillan, publisher, London.
No notice of the work of Mr. MacLehose's firms would be complete without a tribute to the work of the late Robert MacLehose, M.A. From 1881 till his death in 1907 the two brothers were associated in all their publishing and printing enterprises.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)