Our thanks goes to David H. J. Schenck for supplying us with the information on this page.
Mr. Schenck is the author of the "Directory of the Lithographic Printers of Scotland 1820-1870." 1999. Edinburgh Bibliographical Society in association with the National Library of Scotland in the UK and Oak Knoll Press in North and South America. ISBN 1 872116 29 9 (UK) ISBN 1 844718 85 X (USA)
David writes "I actually came across James Goulay's excellent article on the Hopkirk Family by accident while endeavouring to help someone with their Family History. This interested me greatly, as I had come across the name 'Thomas Hopkirk' while researching the development of lithographic printing in Scotland during the early 19th century".
The following is an extract from an e-mail message that David sent on 26th January 2000 to a friend and fellow writer who lives in Glasgow: - -
To reply to your enquiry about Thomas Hopkirk I must firstly mention two lithographic printers who were among the earliest in Scotland. Firstly, John Watson who was listed in PODs as a Lithographic Printer between 1821 and 1826, and John Cleland, who was similarly listed between 1822 and 1825.
I first learned of Thomas Hopkirk from an article titled 'The Rise and Progress of Lithography in Britain' written by Philip Butler Watt (who had moved to London having spent one year only (1854/5), as a lithographic printer in Edinburgh). This article was published in Vol. 1 Part 5 1892 of the 'British Lithographer'. Although extremely interesting, the article contains a number of serious errors, especially in the timing of events relating to the introduction of lithography both in Glasgow and Edinburgh.
The part of Philip B. Watt's article relating to Thomas Hopkirk reads as follows: -
"Some have attributed the introduction of lithography into Glasgow to Thomas Hopkirk, who was a man of means, and this may account for his connection with the art at all, which must have been first that of an amateur getting a stone and materials from London to learn with. Be that as it may, it was after Wilson's* date that he made it a profession and business, carrying it on in conjunction with one of the name of Cleland, and under the title of Hopkirk & Cleland, and latterly with one of the name of Watson under the title I. (sic) Watson & Co., who published at this time a comic illustrated paper called The Mirror. Thus early, in 1826, it may be noted that comic papers were produced in Glasgow, and lithography employed in illustrated journalism. Cleland, when he left Hopkirk, knowing that he had a good thing in hand, began business himself in Virginia-street, where he carried on the art of lithography for a number of years with success, and was succeeded by James Miller, who was originally a teacher of writing, whose ability in this line led him into lithography."
* Hugh Wilson was listed as a lithographic printer in Glasgow during the 50 year period 1822 to 1872. Philip B. Watt wrongly believed him to be the first professional lithographic printer in Scotland.
This story was then repeated and even expanded in Thomas Murdoch's book 'The Early History of Lithography in Glasgow' (1902). I have scanned an extract from the relevant pages using Textbridge OCR to convert it to a 'Word' document. This you will find in the Attachment Hopkirk2.rtf below.
Only a few weeks ago I found that Thomas Hopkirk is also mentioned in the SBTI in the following entry:-
"HOPKIRK, Thomas lithographic writer
'Mr Thos. Hopkirk, of Dalbeth, who had then [21 March 1828] become one of the first lithographic writers in the city of Glasgow'.
Peter Mackenzie. Old Reminiscences of Glasgow. Glasgow, 1890 ii, 33"
As you will see, this entry refers to Hopkirk as a 'lithographic writer' the qualifications for which require the ability to draw high quality lettering and script on stone for the printing of documents, letterheads, invoices, notices, lettering on prints and other illustrative work etc.,
The specific date of 21 March 1828 suggests that it was originally noted from a newspaper advertisement. However, checks on Glasgow PODs for the years 1828 1829, 1830 all show that Hopkirk was still listed as a 'Merchant'.
In spite of a prolonged search, I was unable to find any trace of formal partnerships such as 'Hopkirk & Cleland or 'Hopkirk & Watson'. However, I did find an undoubted connection between Thomas Hopkirk and John Watson. It seems that between 1825 and 1826 they were both involved in the production of the 'Glasgow (later Northern) Mirror'.
In the Glasgow PO Directory of 1817, Thomas Hopkirk is shown as a Merchant, at 49 Wilson Street. Apart from being a wealthy man, and a Justice of the Peace, he was also the author of two botanical books, Flora Glottiana (held by NLS) and Flora Anomoia (1817). Although the last of these is known to have been 'nature printed', it is certainly possible that his interest in artistic illustration, may have first stimulated a curiosity in lithography.
Although I was unable to find any evidence in Glasgow PODs of their names being linked in a formal business title, I did note that when, in 1821, John Watson established his business at 169 George Street, Glasgow, Thomas Hopkirk was listed as a 'Merchant' at the same address. Similarly, when Watson moved to 230 George Street (see POD 1826/7) Hopkirk was again listed separately, still as a 'Merchant', at this address.
Based on this study, I concluded that Hopkirk may have had an undisclosed financial involvement, with Watson and, in his capacity of Merchant, may have obtained lithographic stones and materials for Watson (and perhaps, also for others). He may also have had some involvement as an amateur, but it seems unlikely that he was ever a professional lithographic printer, and therefore made no reference to him in my Directory. Even so, the connection of Thomas Hopkirk with lithography still remains something of an enigma."
The following is the Attachment Hopkirk2.rtf
EXTRACT FROM pp. 6, 7 & 8 OF
'THE EARLY HISTORY OF LITHOGRAPHY IN GLASGOW'
BY THOMAS MURDOCH
PUBLISHED IN GLASGOW BY THOMAS MURDOCH & Co., 1902
"Another name identified with the introduction of Lithography to Glasgow seems to be that of Thomas Hopkirk, the younger, of Dalbeth, near Clyde Iron Works. He was a man of means and a Justice of the Peace. The accounts of his relations with Lithography differ considerably, and it is now all but impossible to get at the precise facts. According to one version Hopkirk started a man of the name of John Watson in the lithographic business, and this was the first establishment of the kind in Glasgow. This story gives the date of 1822-23 as the period of introduction. According to another authority Hopkirk started a business in company with a Mr. Cleland, son of the well known author of the "Annals of Glasgow," at a much earlier date, and that the name of the firm was Hopkirk & Cleland. This firm was dissolved, and Hopkirk then started Watson, Cleland carrying on the business in his own name. Hopkirk was fond of art, and is supposed to have practised Lithography, at least as an amateur; and as he was wealthy, it may have been with the idea of advancing the art that lie took such great interest in it. As an evidence of his desire to foster a taste for pictorial illustrations he started an illustrated journal called the "Northern Looking-Glass." It was demy folio, and each number contained four pages, three of which were covered with illustrations, the subjects being principally comic, some being caricatures of persons and events, while there were in each number a few illustrations of occurrences of the time. It is one of the many efforts indicating the promptings which have been now so fully realised in our illustrated and comic journals. The price of this paper was stated on each number, "Common Impressions," 1s.6d.; best do., 2s.; covers, 1s. 6d.; superior, do., 4s.; best do., 5s. There is week between two of the numbers, and the dates of a other two imply a fortnight, indicating that the issue was not regular. The artist who produced the illustrations was named Heath, and came from London; and judging him from his work he was not without considerable ability. He painted a panorama in Glasgow of the coronation of "George the Fourth" which was added as an extra attraction to another panorama, then exhibiting in the city. One of the copies is etched and printed from copper. The other two are Lithographed and printed from the stone.
From the "Northern Looking Glass" we get definite information as to the existence of at least one Lithographic firm in Glasgow. The first number is dated 6th August, 1825, and it, as well as succeeding numbers, contains the statements that communications are to be addressed to John Watson, Lithographic Press, 169 George Street, Glasgow. This establishment does not seem to have been successful for it went out of existence in a few years. One of our specimens has the imprint "Cleland, Lithog." It is a circular calling a meeting of Subscribers of the "Glasgow Foreign Library" and the writing and printing is quite as good as any work produced in the present day. It bears the date of 1824. Cleland's office was in Virginia Street, and it changed hands in 1825, when it was taken up by James Miller - a name which connects the early introduction of Lithography with even the present day. Miller had kept a writing school, and his ability at penmanship led him into this new line of business, in which he was very successful. He removed the office to 85 Trongate, and afterwards to 21 Argyle Street, where he remained till 1842, when he retired, and the business passed into the hands of Messrs. Campbell & Rae (Campbell being nephew to Thomas Campbell, the author of "Pleasures of Hope." Miller's death took place at Dunoon, and was the result of a fall from a swing. It was in Miller's establishment that Mr. David Allan, of Allan & Ferguson, served his apprenticeship and also the Messrs Maclure &MacDonald."
END OF EXTRACT Hopkirk2.rtf
David also writes "Having found your website, I felt that the least I could do is to pass on to you the foregoing information as it does provide a further insight into the life of Thomas Hopkirk whose name was not included in my Directory of the Lithographic Printers of Scotland 1820-1870 as I had been unable to find any evidence that he was, himself, a professional lithographic printer. Naturally, I would be delighted to hear from you if you have any information which suggests otherwise."
"Quite by chance I have just been asked by the Edinburgh Genealogical Society and the National Library of Scotland to provide any updates or additions to my original Directory published in 1999 and, because of the above references to Thomas Hopkirk I had decided to add a reference to him by making an entirely new and more comprehensive addition to my "Directory.'" (in red below)
Hopkirk, Thomas, Glasgow
Thomas Hopkirk was grandson of Thomas Hopkirk of Dalbeth, well-known as a wealthy merchant and for his invaluable contribution as founder of the Botanical Gardens, Glasgow. The younger Hopkirk was a merchant and said to be "a man of means". He was also the author of two botanical books, Flora Glottiana and Flora Anomoia (1817). Although the last of these is known to have been 'nature printed', it is certainly possible that his interest in botanical illustration, may have stimulated a curiosity in lithography for he was known to be an excellent lithographic writer. However, the precise nature of his involvement in lithography remains something of an enigma. In an article published in Vol. 1 Part 5 1892 of the British Lithographer the author, Phillip B. Watt says that "Some attribute the introduction of lithography into Glasgow to Thomas Hopkirk." Hopkirk is also mentioned by Thomas Murdoch in his book "The Early History of Lithography in Glasgow (Glagow. 1902) in which he describes him as "a man of means and Justice of the Peace" but also expresses uncertainty as to his actual involvement in the lithographic process. Both writers refer to Hopkirk as having had some early involvement with the lithographic printer, Cleland, John and later with Watson, John. While no evidence has been found of the former, a connection with John Watson is more certain. When, in 1821, John Watson established his business at 169 George Street, Glasgow, Thomas Hopkirk was separately listed as a Merchant at the same address. Similarly, when Watson moved to 230 George Street (see POD 1826/7) Hopkirk was again listed separately, still as a Merchant, at this new address. However, between 1825 and 1826 they were both involved in the production of an interesting illustrated journal 'Glasgow (later Northern) Mirror', with Hopkirk as the founder and editor and John Watson as the lithographic printer and publisher. Sadly, this fascinating project failed in 1826 and Watson ceased trading shortly after, while Hopkirk continued to be listed as a merchant in the Glasgow directories. In spite of the various references to his involvement with the process, no evidence has been found that Thomas Hopkirk was ever a professional lithographic printer."
Anyone wishing to view the directory created by David H. J. Schenck can find the full details as follows:
Directory of the Lithographic Printers of Scotland 1820-1870. 1999. Edinburgh Bibliographical Society in association with the National Library of Scotland in the UK and Oak Knoll Press in North and South America. ISBN 1 872116 29 9 (UK) ISBN 1 844718 85 X (USA)
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This page was last updated on May 5, 2005