James Wyld was a significant Scottish businessman becoming Managing Director of the Commercial Bank of Scotland (later became the Royal Bank of Scotland) for a year, rescuing them from financial collapse.
He was also a successful wine merchant. In the Scots Australian History, Scotland Emigration to Australia 1815 - 1832, by David S MacMillan we read (cited in Electric Scotland):
"Among the five Leith or Edinburgh merchants who applied in the general rush of 1820 was Thomas Wyld, a nephew of James Wyld of Gilston, prominent wine merchant and shipowner of Leith, and a founder and director of the Commercial Bank. This Australian contact may have been instrumental in turning the attention of Wyld and his business associates to Australia, and in influencing them in favour of the project of forming an Australian company in Leith two years later."
From the Leith History website we read:
"Opposite Mr Brunton and Mr Thomsonís was Messrs James Wyld and Co very extensive wine and spirit merchants had their Office. Mr Wyld was well known as James Wyld Esq. of Gilston and he was a director of the Commercial Bank as far back as 1814. Messrs Crabbie and Cree were trained in the Office succeeded them in business."
He was also involved in the East of Fife Railway Company. From the Fife Family History Society website we read that he was in the 1845 Provisional Committee.
I have an old photocopy of a picture of a silhoutte of James Wyld - cannot remember the exact source. The portrait of him depicted below, which measures 5' x 8', is painted by Hamilton artist R.S. Tait in 1838, and is currently held by a family in Hertfordshire. There is an earlier portrait (1816) painted by George Watson of Edinburgh, and a miniature painted around 1798. I am told by a family in Connecticut that the George Watson portrait hangs in their living room.
My name is Alasdair Broun and I was born and brought up in Scotland, son of a clergyman and a freelance journalist. I took up genealogy as a hobby when I was 17 and I went on to write a PhD thesis in philosophical psychology ... more >
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