Penelope Thomson and John Young

Continuing with my account of the Glasgow branch of the Robb family, I now turn to Penelope Thomson’s second marriage, to John Young. As I’ve already mentioned, Penelope’s first husband George Robb (brother of my 3 x great grandfather Charles) must have died some time between 1810, when his daughter Jean was born, and 1813, when Penelope married John.

The Glasgow parish register records that, on 27 June 1813, ‘John Young Receiver General in Jamaica and Penelope Thomson l(awful) d(aughter) of John Thomson saddler in Glasgow, [were] married by Mr Archibald Wilson Minister of Cardross.’

Meadow Park House

I’ve struggled to discover more about John Young, despite his elevated public position and obvious wealth. We know from later records that he was born in about 1772, which means he would have been 41 years old when he married Penelope. However, I’ve yet to find any evidence of a previous marriage. He lived at Meadow Park House which one source describes as follows:

The lands of Meadow Park lie on the north side of Eastern Duke Street, at Drygate Toll Bar, and stretch also along the west side of the road to Cumbernauld and Stirling. Anciently they formed part of ‘Easter Craigs,’ but were subsequently included under the comparatively modern name of Whitehill. One of the fields was known as ‘Meadow Park,’ and when the house […] was erected, it received this appellation.

The property was purchased in 1804 from Mr. Grahame of Whitehill, by Mr. James Carrick, merchant in Glasgow, who shortly afterwards built Meadow Park House. About eight acres of land were included in the purchase, and the whole enclosed around the mansion. There was a large walled garden behind, with gateway and lodge at the highway.

According to the same source, James Carrick resided at the property until his death in 1814 – a year after John Young’s marriage to Penelope Thomson. The sources goes on:

In May following it was sold by his three sons, James, Alexander, and Robert Carrick, merchants in Glasgow, to James Young, a retired West India merchant. He died there in 1827…

Since we know that John Young was living at Meadow Park from 1816 at the latest, and that he died there in 1827, this must either be a mistake, or else the names ‘John’ and ‘James’ were interchangeable. Certainly the occupation of West India merchant would seem to be a fitting accompaniment for John’s colonial office as Receiver-General.

I haven’t been able to confirm whether John Young was a member of the family of Glasgow manufactuers and merchants discussed in this source.

John Glassford, 18th century Glasgow merchant, and his family

Penelope Thomson already had three children from her first marriage to George Robb: George junior, who would have been 7 by this time, Elizabeth, 5, and Jean, 3. John Young and Penelope Thomson would go on to have three children of their own. Penelope Young was born in about 1815. Janet Young was born on 14 December 1816 and baptised on 23 January 1817. The witnesses were the Rev. Archibald Wilson (see above) and John Thomson, presumably Penelope’s father. A third child, John, was born on 15 December 1819. The witnesses were Penelope’s half-brother Henry and a William Meiklejohn, who may or may not have some connection with the William Meikleham who turns up later in the family’s story.

John Young is listed in Pigot’s New Commercial Directory of Scotland for 1825-6, which gives his address as Meadow Park, and places him in the ‘list of nobility, gentry and clergy’. He died aged 55 on 16 January 1827 at Meadow Park. The executors of his estate were ‘Mrs Penelope Thomson or Young his widow’ and a group of London merchants who shared the surname Mitchell. The total value of his assets was £175 2s. 11d.

I’ll say more about the children of Penelope Thomson, from both of her marriages, in future posts. We have two other records for Penelope herself. At the time of the 1841 census, when she was 64, she was living with her daughter Penelope and two of the latter’s children, as well as two female servants, at 94 Regent Terrace, Glasgow (which I assume is identical with modern Regent Street). Both Penelope and her daughter as described as being of ‘independent’ means.

Penelope Young formerly Robb, nee Thomson, died on 8 December 1849. She was 72 years old. In her will, for which her eldest son George Robb was the executor, Penelope left household furniture and cash to the value of £35 15s. 2d.

Meadow Park House was sold after John Young’s death and passed through various hands, before being absorbed into the expanding suburb of Dennistoun (named after one of the later owners of the mansion). By the late 1870s, the house, like other elegant properties in the area, had made way for rows of ‘flatted tenements’ – though Meadowpark Street still exists as a reminder of its former existence.

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2 Responses to Penelope Thomson and John Young

  1. Barbara Hodson (nee Thomson) says:

    Do you think you could be connected to John Thomson and Jean Lindsay who were married in Cambusnethan in 1796. John was a gardener at Coltness. Their first son William was Baptised at Cambusnethan Sept 25 1796. They then moved to Dalbeath where John worked as gardener to Thomas Hopkirk. Two sons were born while John was a Dalbeth. John jnr. 1798 and Thomas Hopkirk Thomson in 1800. John snr. moved to work as gardener at WHITEHILL where 4th son James was born in 1804. I think Jean Lindsay may have died sometime after the birth of James as I cannot find the family after this. Jean’s parents John Lindsay and Jean Roberts are buried in Camusnethan.
    I would be very interested in your thoughts.
    My great grandfather was Charles Thomson born 1828 in Glasgow, son of a John Thomson – land steward. No Baptism record can be found for Charles but the family are supposed to originate from Cambusnethan.
    Kind regards, Barbara Hodson (nee Thomson)

    • Martin says:

      Hello Barbara. Thank you for your comment. I honestly don’t know the answer to your question. I haven’t looked at the Scottish branch of my family tree for a long while, so I’m a bit out of touch. It doesn’t sound likely, since the families I was researching in Glasgow were all merchants of some kind. One of the Thomsons was a saddler, but even he was quite well-off, I think. So it’s unlikely there’s a link to your ancestor John. If you find a link – let me know!
      Best wishes
      Martin (Robb)

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