The History of Leith

November 21, 2011

The White Monument.

(At Main West Entrance Porch.)
ADAM WHITE was a native of the parish of Gifted in Haddingtonshire. He is said to have been born in 1760. Coming to Leith at a very early age, he had some business training and started on his own account on a capital of £50, which was a gift from an aunt, at the extraordinary age of 15 ! His firm came to bo known as Adam White & Co. and took to do with the cooper and herring-curing business. Afterwards it carried on a successful dealing in tar, butter, and sheep-smearing materials, with farmers in the North and South of Scotland. Like so many other Leith merchants, Mr White made a fortune by importing produce from the Baltic. He was also concerned for many years with the Old Leith Banking Company, and the Commercial Bank. He was also in shipping, being a director of many of the local shipping companies. He was a contemporary of Sir John Gladstone, before the latter transferred his business to Liverpool. When the Municipal Reform Act of 1833 was passed, Leith obtained self-government. After the newly-formed Council met on 12th November 1833, Adam White was chosen as Provost by a unanimous vote. He was shrewd and wise in counsel, but had 110 gift of public speaking. His manner, as the vote at his election indicates, was marked by couciliatoriness and tact. He was an elder in South Leith Parish Church up to the Disruption of 1843, when he joined the Free Church. His portrait is among those in the Council Chamber, and was subscribed for by the general public of the town.

Source-South Leith Records

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