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Famous Scots - Sir Alexander Stone

Alexander Stone was born in 1907.  His Russian-born parents were driven out of their native land by a Cossack pogrom and arrived in Glasgow in 1903 with few possessions and little money.  They settled in the Gorbals area of Glasgow with other Jewish immigrant families.

After attending Hutchesons' Boys' Grammar School in Crown Street, Alexander Stone went into his family's furniture business as a salesman and auctioneer.  Aged 25, he decided to study law at the University of Glasgow and in 1935 he founded his own law firm, Alexander Stone and Co.  He quickly established himself as a brilliant and highly successful lawyer and developed a particular interest in corporate law.  In 1956 he embarked on a career in banking, having acquired the British Bank of Commerce, a small London merchant bank with four employees and capital of £10,000.  So successful was this enterprise that, when it went public in 1967, the bank had 125 employees and capital assets totalling £40m. 

During 1973 the public lost confidence in subsidiary banks and this resulted in the sale of the British Bank of Commerce and the loss of a personal fortune.  However, quite remarkably, in 1980, at the age of 73, Alexander Stone set up a second merchant bank, Combined Capital Ltd., in Glasgow's Renfield Street.  This was wholly owned by the Alexander Stone Foundation and most of the profits were donated to West of Scotland charities concerned with education, the arts, and relief of poverty and distress.  Among many gifts and endowments, he funded a new building for the microbiology department at Glasgow University; he endowed various scholarships to encourage people seeking careers in law; he established chairs in commercial law and in business law and practice at the universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde respectively.  His belief in the skill of oratory led to his sponsoring a lectureship in rhetoric.

Alexander Stone always valued his days at Hutchesons' Grammar School.  As a former pupil he took a continued interest in the life of the School and for many years this interest was made tangible by his donations to the School prize funds which benefited many generations of Hutchesons' pupils.

Since his death in 1998, Lady Stone has generously continued this support by giving in Sir Alexander's memory.  Two examples are the stunningly unique John K Clark windows in the Library, the Music Practice Suite in the Fotheringay Centre and the bronze memorial to Sir Alexander in the Secret Garden. 

Headstone Photograph

Further Information


Cemetery: Cathcart Cemetery

  160 Brenfield Road

Town: Cathcart

Region: Glasgow and Clyde Valley

Country: Scotland


Please Note, the marker on this map indicates the Cemetery location, not the location of a particular grave. is a privately owned website with no affiliation to any Local Councils.