Willox Book Characters


There are many characters in the cast of Baillie Willox’s book about Parkhead.  Below we will attempt to put some meat on the bones of those whom Baillie Willox talks about.



His parents were David Willox and Isabella Dunn and they were married on 1 December 1844

In 1841 Willox’s mother Isabella Dunn, then 16, and shown as a female servant, was living with Hugh McPhee, a Spirit Dealer, and his wife Isabell and their family, Alex 8yrs, James 5yrs, Ann 3 yrs, Robert 1yr at Edinburgh Road (now Old Shettleston Road between Duke Street and Shettleston Sheddens).


It is stated David Willox Junior was born 3rd June 1845.  No confirmation of this date can be found as yet.


David Willox, an Iron Puddler aged 26 of 284 Great Eastern Road married Janet Lavery; a Cotton Yarn Winder aged 27 of 115 Main Street, Bridgeton on 29 December 1871 at 5 Armadale Street.

David’s parents were David Willox a Handloom Cotton Weaver and Isabella Dunn.

Janet’s parents were Peter Lavery a Handloom Cotton Weaver and Jane Wilson

After the death of his first wife, Janet Lavery in 1909, David Willox remarried in 1911.

David Willox, Widower, Manufacturing Chemist aged 65, of 97 Dalmarnock Street, Parkhead married Mary McCallum, Spinster, aged 49, of Bandry, Luss on 2 January 1911 at 59 Millbrae Road, Glasgow.

David’s parents were David Willox, Weaver, deceased and Mary’s parents were, Dugald McCallum, Bootman, deceased and Catherine McNicol, deceased.

Minister at the wedding was Thomas Currie of Langside Hill Church.

Witnesses at the wedding were, James Rankine and W. Kerr.

Marriage was registered on 5 January 1911 at Mount Florida.


It is known at this time that David and Janet had 5 children, one daughter and four sons, these were;

1)      Jeanie Willox was born at 0.20am on 5 October1872 at 11 Burgher Street, Parkhead to David Willox, Iron Puddler and Janet Lavery.
Jeanie Willox, Schoolteacher (retired), widow of John Brockett, died at 0.30am on 14 May 1946 at 61 Grenville Drive, Cambuslang, aged 73 years.
Informant of the death was David Willox, brother, of 50 Quarryknowe Street, Parkhead E1.

2)      David Willox Junior was born at 08.00am on 24 November 1873 at 18 Chappell Terrace, Parkhead to David Willox, Iron Puddler and Janet Lavery.
David Willox, Chemicals Manufacturer, married first to 1) Mary Sloan, and 2) Elizabeth Kean, died at 04.00am on 20 January 1954 at 50 Quarryknowe Street, Parkhead aged 80 years from Cancer and Cerebral Thrombosis.
Informant of the death was his son C.M. Willox of 579 Old Shettleston Road.

3)     James Willox was born at 10.30am on 19 July 1875 at 18 Chappell Terrace to David Williox, Iron Pudler and Janet Lavery.

James, Manufacturing Chemist, 21 years, married Margaret Clunie, aged 22 years, on 29 June 1900 at the Masonic Hall, Parkhead.  The Grooms address was given as 19 Dalmarnock Street and the Brides as 217 Westmuir Street.

James died on 21 April 1921 at 5.30pm from Softening of the Brain, Hemiplegia and Aphasia in Hartwood Asylum, Shotts.

4)      Charles Middleton Willox was born at 00.15am on 27 February 1877 at 18 Chappell Terrace, Parkhead to David Willox, Iron Puddler and Janet Lavery.
As stated at the writing Reminiscences, Charles was residing in America.

5)      Alexander Stanley Willox was born at 11.30am on 4 December 1878 at 161 Rutherglen Road to David Willox, Washing Powder Manufacturer and Janet Lavery.
Alexander Stanley Willox, the son of David Willox, Chemical Manufacturer and Janet Lavery, died at 7.30pm in the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow on 6 November 1882, aged almost 4 years, from injuries sustained after being accidently burned in his    fathers house.  The usual residence was 46 Burgher Street, Parkhead.
The informant of the death was his uncle Alexander Willox of 831 Great Eastern Road.


David Willox:

David Willox, Manufacturing Chemist, married first to Janet Lavery and second to Mary McCallum died at 4.00am on 17 December 1927 aged 82 years, usual residence, 401 Tollcross Road, Parkhead, from Cardiac valvular Disease and Arteriosclerosis.

Informant of the death was David Willox Jnr, son, of, 50 Quarryknowe Street, Parkhead.

Janet Lavery:

Janet Lavery, married to David Willox, Chemical Manufacturer, died at 11.00pm on 27 November 1909 at 29 Gibson Street, Glasgow, usual residence; 97 Dalmarnock Street aged 65 from Capillary Bronchitis after an illness of 10 days.

Janet’s parents were Patrick Lavery, Weaver and Jeanie Wilson.

Informant of the death was John McFarlane Buckett, son-in-law.

Mary McCallum:

Mary McCallum, widow of David Willox, died at 11.35pm, on 7 July 1946 at Bandry, Luss, and aged 85 years, from Arteriosclerosis, Hyperpiesis, and Cerebral Thrombosis.

Informant of the death was William McCallum, Brother.


Thomas Strachan:

Willox states that “Big Tam Strachan” owned the Smithy at Burgher Street.  He did, it was situated at 7 Burgher Street.

Thomas Strachan was born on 8 May 1809.  He was christened on 4 June 1809 in East Kilbride.

Through the years he lived at Edinburgh Road (Old Shettleston Road), then in McEwan Street (Juck Street) with his 1st wife Mary Stoddart and family which consisted of Ann c1838, Margaret c1840 who later married someone called Bassie, Mary c1842, David c1847, Jane c1849, Janet c1852 and Thomas c 1854.

Thomas remarried someone called Agnes Ferguson in a 2nd marriage.

Thomas died on 2 November 1880 at 90 Gray Street, Parkhead aged 71 years.  His father was David Strachan a Master Shoemaker and his mother was Margaret Hamilton.

Informant of his death was Margaret Bassie his daughter of 78 Gray Street, Parkhead.


Dr. William Young:

Willox stated:

“At the opposite or west corner stood a decent two storey building, occupied by Dr. Wm. Young, the only doctor we had in the place in those days. What a glorious time the old women must have had then compounding drugs and bringing hame weans. The doctor’s house and the adjoining buildings right west to Dalmarnock Street all disappeared to make room for the Savings Bank Building and the adjoining four storey tenements.”


William Young, surgeon, was born 3 November 1810 in Barony Parish to William Young, a Millwright and Agnes Bowman.

He remained single throughout his life and it looks that from the early 1850’s he stayed at 274 Great Eastern Road till his death on 16 April 1890 aged 79 years.

His death was certified by D Young MD, it is not known if this was a relative.

Informant of his death was Helen – ? A niece.


Robert Roy:

David Willox described Robert Roy as his old friend who was stone deaf and in latter years went almost completely blind.  Willox stated;

Poor old Roy, he met with a sad end.  He was knocked down by a bus or car on crossing the street, and was carried home bruised and bleeding to die.

Indeed, Robert Roy was killed in a road traffic accident;

Robert Roy, labourer, married to Agnes Savage died at 4.30pm on 31 October 1905 aged 79 years, after an illness of 6 days and from a Scalp Wound and Meningitis, the results of injuries sustained in a Tramway accident.

His usual residence was 22 East Wellington Street, Parkhead.


Agnes Hammond & Archibald Harvey:

Agnes Hammond, Handloom Weaver, aged 24 of 326 Great Eastern Road, Parkhead married Archibald Harvie, Handloom Weaver, aged 25 of 336 Great Eastern Road, Parkhead on 31 December 1866 at Tollcross Manse.

Archibald’s parents were, William Harvie, Handloom Weaver and Agnes McCorkindale who were married in July 1833.

Agnes’s parents were, James Hammond, Handloom Weaver, deceased and Janet Brown, deceased.

Minister at the wedding was the Reverend William Auld of Tollcross U.P. Church.

Witnesses at the wedding were William Hammond and Elizabeth Marshall.


George Honeyman:

George Honeyman, Spirit merchant, widower of Elizabeth Litster, died at 1.30am on 3 December 1864 aged 67 years from Hypertrophy after an illness of 3 months.

George’s parents were David Honeyman and Helen Scott.

His usual residence was 347 Great Eastern Road, Parkhead.

Informant of the death was George Litster, nephew of 136 Dalmarnock Road.

George Honeyman is buried in a family lair in Tollcross Burying Ground, Corbett Street; Tollcross.

George Honeyman was shown in the Glasgow Post Office Directories as being a spirit dealer at Great Eastern Road between 1847 and 1864.  His home address was given as 3 New Road (Duke Street).


Alexander Farmer:

Alexander Farmer, was born on 5 may 1819 in Fife to David Farmer and Ann Alexander, he was christened in Wemyss, Fife.  He died on 29 October 1879 at 19 New Road, Parkhead aged 60 years.

Alexander was married to Mary Honeyman and was the son-in-law of the above George Honeyman.  Both Alexander and his wife Mary are buried in the same lair as George Honeyman in Tollcross Burying Ground, Corbett Street; Tollcross.

The Informant of Alexander’s death was his son George H. Farmer of 3 New Road, Parkhead who went on to own The Farmers Faults which stood at the corner of the Gallowgate and New Road (Duke Street).


Gilbert Watson:

Gilbert Watson, Baker was born the son of Gilbert Watson and 1755 Mary Winning.  Gilbert was born on the 8 October 1799 and died on 25 March 1866 at 345 Great Eastern Road aged 66 years.  Informant of the death was Andrew Watson his son.

Gilbert married Jean Donaldson and had 7 children, James, Jane, Gilbert, Robert, Andrew, Mary, and Ann.

Gilbert is a 1st cousin 4 times removed of mine.

In the 1851 Census he was living at 345 Great Western Road and had a servant Janet Winning (1830) who was a 1st cousin 2 times removed to Gilbert.


Mrs. Auld:

Mrs. Auld the U.P. ministers’ wife was Mary McDonald daughter of Neil McDonald a Muslin manufacturer and Mary Dunn.  She married the Rev. William Auld.  She died on 7 September 1893 at 47 Brisbane Street; Greenock aged 84 years from Natural Decay (old age).  The Rev. William Auld died in 1885 at the Manse in Tollcross Road.  They are buried in Tollcross Burying Ground, Corbett Street; Tollcross in lair number 498 in the old churchyard.


Alexander Anderson and Mary Anderson:

Alexander Anderson was charged that on the 6th October 1853 he did wickedly and feloniously attack and assault the now deceased Mary Kerr or Anderson, then residing with him at Burnbank, Parkhead at The Burnbank Tavern, 378 Great Eastern Road   and did kick or with some instrument strike her on or near her private part or the lower part of her belly and did thereby inflict a severe wound within or near her private part to the great effusion of blood and did otherwise maltreat and abuse her and the said Mary Kerr or Anderson was mortally injured and in consequence thereof died immediately or soon thereafter and was thus murdered by you Alexander Anderson.

Alexander Anderson was aged 37 years and was a native of Stirlingshire born in 1815 in the Parish of Bothkennar to Alexander Anderson and Elizabeth Sim.

Alexander Anderson and Mary Kerr were married in June 1838 and said to have had seven children.

Alexander Anderson denied the charge of murdering his wife.

Alexander Anderson went on trial in December 1853 and the verdict was guilty in terms of his own confession to culpable homicide.  He was sentenced to 9 months imprisonment to be served in Perth Prison.


Samuel Hay Gardner (Gardiner):

Samuel Hay Gardiner took over the licensed premises that were recently known as The Bowlers Rest in about 1892.

Samuel Hay Gardner was born on 17 October 1856 to John Gardner and Mary Hay.

Samuel Hay Gardiner aged 35 and a Grocer married Elizabeth McLeod aged 18 in Dunoon in 1902.

Samuel Hay Gardiner, Wine and Spririt Merchant died on 12 January 1929 at 35 Westercraigs aged 71 years from Pneumonia.



8 thoughts on “Willox Book Characters

  1. Joyce Margaret Martin nee Willox

    Regarding comment from James Martin in 2017 I am not great great great great granddaughter of Baillie David Willox I am actually his great great granddaughter my father was David burns Willox great grandson of Baillie David Willox my grandad was Baillie Willox’s grandson Charles Middleton Willox who’s father was David Willox jnr I also noted a reference to David Willox (the boxer) my grandads brother whom I met many many years ago well after his boxing days in old shettleston rd I consider myself privileged ( he was a cheeky wee man) with words of wisdom for me…. Don’t go boxing hen or you’ll end up wie knuckles like me. Bless.

  2. james martin

    i recently found this fascinating study of parkhead re baillie david willox. in his book of characters he mentions a JAMES MARTIN, i found it a bit spooky as my name is james martin and i married baillie david willox great,great ,great ,great granddaughter joyce margaret willox and my father in law is David Willox, my son is called david willox but i fear the willox name will die out as my son now37 has no plans to have children.

  3. Helena Smith

    While browsing around ancestor’s family names from the Bothkennar area suddenly this site popped up. I couldn’t understand why at first and was quietly reading the interesting wealth of unrelated information, when suddenly two names sprang out of the page and I read the entry in total shock.

    I am descended from Alexander and Mary Anderson, characters in the book. A relative did the family tree years ago and it’s definite. We have always valued and been proud of the folk on my mother’s side who in living memory have been respectable, hard working and kind people.

    To find that we have a dreadful murderer in the mix was horrifying and took some time to accept. I am a strong character and the information has now rather curbed my ‘red mist’ temper the family joke about.

    The reason for leaving a comment is to ask if anyone has any further information on the case. For instance, why did he get such a short sentence – was she pregnant by another? I do know that at the time of her death this would have been seen as a serious sin and might shockingly have contributed to leniency.

    These days I am a little quieter on the subject of ancestry tracing but do wonder if others descended from their children have found this account.

    – Helena Smith.

    1. Bob Winning Post author


      We have sent you an email with some further details related to this murder and your family history.


      Parkhead History

  4. Helen Perkins

    I was brought up in Tollcross Road and went to Quarrybrae school and then Eastbank. It is interesting to read about the Willox family as Willox was my mothers maiden name. My uncle ‘Davy’ David Willox also lived on Tollcross Road. Probably pure coincidence but then again Willox is not such a common name.

  5. Bill Scott

    David Willox and Janet Lavery also had a son named James born 19 July 1875 who married Margaret Clunie on 26 June 1900, he is mentioned in David Will. David Willox jnr. (son of David born 1845)born 1873 married my gran’s sister Mary Sloan and they had a son also named David born 5 January 1900 who was a boxer and had 37 Pro fights between 1919-1926.

    1. Bob Winning Post author

      Thanks for the info and the correction. We have his son James noted in his diary but have not yet updated the page Willox Book Characters which contains his family. We will update it with the info you havesupplied. Once again many thanks and we hope you enjoyed visiting the site.
      Please feel free to contact us with any other info or stories you have of the area or the people who lived in Parkhead or the East End in general.

      Hi Bill,
      We’ve now updated the page. Thanks again.

    2. Rena Carter

      Hi my name is Catherine aka Rena maiden name Phelan. David Willox the boxer was my grandfather from my mother’s side. Her name was Mary Sloan Willox. Any information on my grandfathers heritage would be most welcome. Know quite a bit of my families history through my mother and grandfather but any additional info which I may not be aware of would be greatly appreciated. I have lived in South Africa most of my life but have never forgotten my routes. Incidently my younger brother carries on our family name David Willox Phelan


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