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Famous Scots - Colonel James Menzies Vd Jp


COLONEL MENZIES was a native of the little Perthshire village of Weem, the headquarters of his clan, and began his business career in Leith. He came to Glasgow in 1865, and till his death carried on the business of a wine merchant and whisky exporter in partnership latterly with his son, Mr. John Menzies. He was a member of the Merchants' House and of the Trades' House, in which he was twice elected Visitor of the Maltmen Incorporation. He had been President, and was for many years a Director of the Glasgow Perthshire Charitable Society, and he had also been a Director and President of the Scottish Wine and Spirit Merchants' Benevolent Association, a Governor of St. Mungo's College, and a Director of the Marine Biological Society, etc. As a Freemason he held office for a number of years in the Ancient Lodge of St. John, 3 Bis, the oldest in the Province, and on retiring from his second term as Right Worshipful Master he was presented with a gold watch and chain. He was a Justice of the Peace for the County of Lanark.

His record as a volunteer began in 1859, when he raised the 2nd Highland Company of the Queen's Edinburgh Rifle Brigade, and was appointed Sergeant in it. After passing the necessary examination he was also appointed Sergeant-Instructor of Musketry. He was present at the great Royal Review of 7th August, 1860, and five years later, when he left for Glasgow, his services to the corps were recognised by an entertainment to supper by the members of the two Highland companies. In Glasgow he returned to the ranks as a private of the 4th L.R.V., but in 1868, having taken a leading part in the formation of the 10th Lanark, otherwise the "Glasgow Highlanders," he was offered and accepted a lieutenant's commission in that regiment.

He also filled the post of adjutant for the first eight months. In 1870, when he received his company, his friends presented him with a claymore, and six years later, on his marriage to the daughter of the late Mr. Henry, inventor of the barrel of the Martini-Henry rifle, he was presented with a silver tea and coffee service. Owing to his own disinclination he was not gazetted major till 1884, but on that occasion his brother officers gave him a pair of gold spurs. Four years later he became honorary lieutenant-colonel, and in 1895 reached the position of substantive lieutenant-colonel and second in command of the regiment. Till 1897 he never missed an inspection.

A keen shot, he attended many of the great rifle meetings, and at the Tir-Nationals at Brussels in 1866 and at Liege and Spa in 1869 he carried off five prizes. At the opening of St. Andrew's Halls in Glasgow by H.R.H. Princess Louise and the Marquis of Lorne, he commanded the guard of honour of the Glasgow Highlanders, and had the honour of being presented to Her Royal Highness, On his retiral in 1900 his services were recognised by the presentation, at a mess dinner of officers of the regiment in the Grand Hotel, of a handsome silver salver bearing an inscription and over fifty facsimile autographs.

Colonel Menzies died at Bothwell, 22nd August, 1907. His funeral at Sighthill Cemetery was attended by many officers of his own and other volunteer regiments, as well as representatives from various societies and public bodies. His coffin was carried by sergeants of "The Glasgow Highlanders," and the pipers played a lament above his grave. . 

Headstone Photograph

Further Information


Cemetery: Sighthill Cemetery

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.