Basic Biographical Details

Name: Alexander Simpson
Born: 1 October 1832
Died: 22 May 1922
Bio Notes: Alexander Simpson was born at Coatdyke on 1 October 1832. His early experience appears to have been as a railway engineer in south-west Scotland as he was based in Ardrossan when his elder son Robert was born in September 1859. He first came into prominence as the engineer of a railway system in San Domingo which had been financed by Glasgow investors and on his return in the early 1880s was appointed engineer to the Glasgow and City District Railway Company, a subsidiary of the North British, undertaking the tunnel from Finnieston to Bellgrove.

Later in the same decade he took Walter Stuart Wilson, some 18 years his junior (born 1850), into partnership as Simpson & Wilson. The practice was a civil engineering firm specialising in railway work and particularly tunnelling for the North British Railway and its subsidiaries. It undertook the Glasgow District Subway (1890-6) and the extension of the West Highland line from Fort William to Mallaig. An ambitious proposal for a third tier of lines at Queen Street Station, Glasgow, planned in 1898-9, was not carried out.

Simpson was for many years a director of the North British Railway. It is not yet clear when he retired, but his place was taken by his son Robert. He died on 22 May 1922 at Carbieston, Ayr, and was survived by Robert, another son and two daughters, his wife Agnes Fell having predeceased him. He was buried at Cathcart.

Wilson withdrew from the partnership in the same year (1922) and retired to Summerdell, Holme, Carnforth, Lancashire where he died on 24 October 1926.

The practice was continued by Robert Simpson who died in Glasgow on 25 June 1931 leaving the then very substantial moveable estate of 96,684 4s 3d.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6Ardrossan, Ayrshire, ScotlandBusiness1859 *  
Item 2 of 6HaitiBusinessAfter 1859Early 1880s 
Item 3 of 6175, Hope Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 1884  
Item 4 of 6Hollow, Albert Road, Pollokshields, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivatec. 1884  
Item 5 of 6Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessEarly 1880s  
Item 6 of 6Carbieston, Ayr, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate22 May 1922 * Place of death

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1Simpson & Wilson1880sBefore 1922Partner 

Buildings and Designs

This was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 81885Four tenements, Kenmure StreetPollokshields GlasgowScotlandProbably this A Simpson was responsible - given in Dean of Guild as 'A H Simpson' who cannot be traced.
Item 2 of 81888Glasgow Harbour Tunnel (Finnieston Tunnel), shaft and rotunda  GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 81895Scotland Street Power Station  GlasgowScotlandEngineers
Item 4 of 81897Borrodale Burn Railway ViaductArisaig Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 5 of 81897Glenfinnan Railway ViaductGlenfinnan Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 6 of 81897Loch nam Uamh ViaductLochaline Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 7 of 81901Caledonian Canal swing bridgeBanavie Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 8 of 81901Viaduct over Kendrum Burn on former Caledonian Railway line from Comrie to Lochearnhead StationBalquhidder StirlingshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2Johnston, Colin and Hume, J R1979Glasgow Stations Newton Abbot: David and Charles 
Item 2 of 2Johnston, W T Scottish Engineers and Shipbuilders   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Glasgow Herald29 May 1922  Obituary