Homecoming - Great Scottish minds and Innovations

Image of Alexander 10th Earl of Eglinton (1723 - 1769)

This online exhibition celebrates one of the key themes of Homecoming Scotland 2009 by examining some local people from East Renfrewshire, who, through their ingenuity, dedication and vision, made great contributions to society, both nationally and on the worldwide stage.

Use the main navigation menu to find out more about local great Scottish minds and innovators.

Alexander 10th Earl of Eglinton (1723-1769)

A hereditary member of the nobility and politician, Alexander 10th Earl of Eglinton is best remembered locally as a great agricultural improver and it was he who designed the planned village of Eaglesham.

Walter Crum (1796-1867)

An image of Walter Crum, an eminent scientist and industrialist in the textile field in Thornliebank

Walter Crum was an eminent scientist and industrialist in the textile field, whose family was responsible for the growth of Thornliebank through the calico printworks. He was described as having done "more than any other manufacturer of his time to elevate a trade, which had hitherto been practised empirically, into something of a science, based upon exact principles".

James Maxton Jr. (1885-1946)

Best known as a charismatic socialist politician and champion of the ordinary man during the inter-war years, James Maxton Jr. was born in Pollokshaws on June 22, 1885. He moved with his family in 1888 to Barrhead, where his father was headmaster of Grahamston Public School.

Thomas McCulloch (1776-1843)

Thomas McCulloch, who was a minister, a doctor and who was also considered one of the greatest educators in Canada, was born in Neilston Parish in 1776 to Michael and Elizabeth McCulloch. His father was a master printer of calico in the Fereneze Field and it is likely that the family lived in Grahamston village.

Robert Pollok (1798-1827)

Image of James Maxton Jr, socialist politician and champion of the ordinary man during the inter-war years, who lived in Barrhead

Robert Pollok gained international fame in the 19th century as the author of "The Course of Time". His epic poem had much in common with Milton's Paradise Lost, with which it is often compared, but its religious outlook was quite different: The book was published over and over, both at home and in the United States, throughout the 1800s. Unfortunately Pollok did not live to see its widespread success.

John Robertson (1782-1868)

John Robertson developed a steam engine, which was subsequently bought by Henry Bell and installed in Bell's "Comet." This wooden vessel was hailed as the first successful steamship to sail commercially in Europe and was credited with being responsible for the emergence of hordes of steam-powered vessels travelling up and down the Clyde.

John Shanks (1826-1895)

John Shanks embodies the Victorian self-made man. From small beginnings, he built up what was to become the internationally-known company of Shanks and Co. Ltd. Described as having "definite originality in application" and "big ideas", much of the firm's early success was due to the inventions and patents in sanitaryware that he developed.

Lord Weir (1877-1959)

Image of Thomas McCulloch, minister, doctor and educator

William Douglas Weir was the son of James Weir who founded G. & J. Weir & Co, the Cathcart engineering firm. In the First World War his firm produced shells for the bombs, and in July 1915 William Weir joined the Ministry of Munitions with responsibility for the West of Scotland. Weir became Secretary of State for the RAF, was knighted in 1917 and in 1918 became Lord Weir.

John Wilson (1785-1854)

John Wilson was a writer renowned for his many talents, rather than for a single literary work. A prolific man of letters, he was a critic, poet, reviewer and essayist. In addition, he was admired as a brilliant orator, and was also an accomplished sportsman from a young age. Indeed, he had a particular affinity with all things youthful, and was well-loved as a lecturer and teacher by his students.

Image of Robert Pollok
Image of John Shanks
Image of Lord Weir (1877-1959)
Image of John Wilson, writer, critic, poet, reviewer and essayist