James Beveridge (1851 - ?)

First name:
Second name:
Date of birth:
Related organisation:
Related places:

James Beveridge was a much respected manager of the Champfleurie oil works of the Linlithgow Oil Co. Ltd. and supporter of the Champfleurie and Ochiltree Worker's Friendly Society

He began his working life as a coal miner, but was appointed as Underground Manager of the Linlithgow Oil Co. Ltd. in about 1884. He served as Works Manager of the Champfleurie oil works of the Linlithgow Oil Co. Ltd. from 1891 until closure of the company in 1903.

  • Census information
    • According to an article in the West Lothian Courier, dated October 1898 states "Mr and Mrs Beveridge are both natives of the county of Linlithgow, having been brought up in the neighbourhood of Harthill. Mr Beveridge has been connected with the shale industry in the county for 20 years, coming to Linlithgow Oil Works 15 years ago as underground manager, and succeeding Mr Snodgrass as works manager six years ago."

      1871 census

      • age 19, born Crossgates, Fife
      • Back St., Dunfermline
      • Coal miner
      • Wife: Margaret (20)

      1881 census

      • age 28, born Dunfermline
      • Niddry Rows
      • Boardsman in a shale mine
      • Wife: Margaret (32)

      1891 census

      • age 39, born Dunfermline
      • Woodside Cottage, Linlithgow parish
      • Mining Manager (Shale)
      • Wife: Margaret (42)

      1901 census

      • age 48, born Dunfermline
      • Woodside House, Linlithgow parish
      • General Manager of Oil Works
      • Wife: Margaret (51)
  • Newspaper references

      On Thursday night, Mr James Beveridge, manager, Linlithgow Oilworks, was presented the members of the Champfleurie and Ochiltree Workmen’s Friendly Society and the employees connected with the works, with a beautiful silver tea service and marble timepiece, as a token of esteem, and in recognition of services rendered to the society during the four years he filled the office of president. The meeting at which the presentation was made was held in the Kingscavil School-room, and was largely attended the workmen connected with the mines and the oilworks. Mr Park, vice-president of the society, presided, and was supported by Mr Beveridge aud Mr James Elder, cashier. Among the foremen and officials present were:—Messrs R Haggle, A. Murray, Dean of Guild Fleming, W. Dickson, Geo. Davie, Thomas lnglis, W. B. Wilson, F. Gardner, and others.

      Mr Beveridge, who has been connected with the works ever since their establishment, first acted as mining manager, but was subsequently asked to take the supervision of the works both above and below grounds, and during the time has filled that office he has given the utmost satisfaction alike to employers and employed. When the Workmen's Society was instituted Mr Beveridge manifested much interest in its progress, and when in unfortunate moment difficulties threatened its existence, be came to its assistance, and by commendable diplomacy was successful in piloting the society through those troubles. This earned the well-merited gratitude of the members, and hence the acknowledgement of his services on the occasion of his retiring from the presidency.

      The CHAIRMAN, in a few introductory remarks, explained the object of the meeting. He believed if it had not been for the painstaking and energetic manner in which Mr Beveridge discharged the duties of president of the society in the interests of the society, it certainly would not have been in the satisfactory position was in to day. (Applause.) Financially, he believed the society never was in a more prosperous condition since its inauguration; and he was sure much ot that success had to be attributed to the disinterested labours of Mr Beveridge. (Applause.)

      Mr ELDER, who was called upon to make the presentation, before proceeding to do so made some interesting remarks on the work of the society, and strongly commended the institution to the favourable consideration of all present. Addressing Mr Beveridge, Mr. Elder then said—On your, retiral, Mr Beveridge, from the presidency of the society it was felt that an opportunity should be given the members to show their appreciation of your services by offering you a token of their esteem, and that movement, I pleased to say, has resulted in the presents now before me. (Applause.) Perhaps, I should state that very soon after the subscription was started it was found that the list required to be extended to those outside the jurisdiction of the society, because subscriptions were being constantly tendered by those who were not members of the society, hot who were connected with the works, and eventually it was decided to open the list to those both above and below ground. (Applause) Your interest, sir, in this society is well known. Not once, but repeatedly, when the funds showed tendency to decrease consequence of the prevalence of sickness and epidemics in our midst, you have come to the rescue, and by your untiring and unselfish efforts have succeeded in placing the society on a sound financial basis. (Applause) I do not intend to trouble you with any lengthened remarks, because I think the articles on the table speak far more eloquently than I can. I might be permitted to say, however, that you, Mr. Beveridge, are esteemed not only by the workmen and officials, but many others in the locality. (Applause.) I am only sorry to say are met to-night in one respect under rather gloomy circumstances. The effects of the terrible depression in the products have now been confirmed, and while it is needless for me to say much on that doleful subject, I think the Linlithgow Oil Coy. are fortunate in having at the head of its practical department one who has shown bold front and who has done good service in the past, and I do think it is a good augury for the future that the works are in the hands of such a man as Mr Beveridge (Applause.) I sincerely hope that the present depression will be of short duration. is said there is always darkness before the dawn, and I am sure it has seldom been darker than it is at the present time. And now, Mr Beveridge, have much pleasure, in name of the subscribers, in asking your acceptance of this gift, and to express the hope that you and Mrs Beveridge may be long spared to use this beautiful service and to enjoy long life and prosperity. (Applause)

      Before resuming his seat, Mr Elder read the following letter from Rev. Donald Easson, Linlithgow: “The Presbytery, 6th October, 1892.—Dear Sir,—l am in receipt of yours of yesterday’s date. I rejoice to hear that your committee has been so successful in their very worthy work. I regret exceedingly that a church service at the same hour prevents me from being with you tonight, but perhaps you will be good enough to read this letter of apology to the meeting. You have my best wishes for most successful gathering, and I also avail myself of this opportunity of testifying my deep regard for Mr Beveridge, who is a man whom honour is due, and therefore your society reflects credit on itself by this. presentation. (Applause)

      Mr BEVERIDGE, in accepting the presentation, said— Had any one told me a week ago that I should be in a position of haying to return thanks for a testimonial such as I see before me, I should have been inclined to doubt the truth of the prediction. I understand that the movement originated in the Workmen’s Friendly Society, and was afterwards extended so to include the works, miners, and friends. (Applause.) My services to the society were given willingly gentlemen, and without thought of recompense. (Applause.) It was, in fact, a pleasure to me, and I daresay I should still have occupied the position of your president, but that I thought it right that the workmen should occupy that position in turn. (Applause.) Although not working with you as president, need not say that I shall continue to take the liveliest interest in the affairs of the Champflenrie and Ochiltree Workmen’s Friendly Society, and I hope it may long exist and be more and more prosperous every succeeding year of its life. (Applause.) I am deeply sensible of your kindness, gentlemen, which I may say I am unconscious of having done anything to deserveit. We have had a hard fight together since I took over the management of the Linlithgow Oilworks, and the credit of any little improvement which may have been effected belongs more to yon than to me. (Applause.) I take the opportunity ot saying how heartily and thoroughly my efforts to retrench expenditare and improve results have been assisted by all departments under and above ground. (Applause.) It is rather unfortunate that we meet on this occasion under the shadow of still another disaster to the Scottish oil trade, but as have survived many severe blows in the past, it is perhaps not too much to hope that all of us may be spared to renewed exertions, and be able to overcome this trouble as we have over- come others, and that a prosperous day may yet dawn for this company and for the Scottish oil trade generally. (Applause.) I am not perhaps as eloquent as I ought to be on an occasion of this kind, but we know each other pretty well by this time, and you will understand if I cannot express my feelings they are none the less deep and sincere. (Applause.) I can only say, in conclusion, that I shall prize this token of your regard so long as I live, and shall never forget your kindness. (Applause.) Allow me, then, on behalf of Mrs Beveridge and myself to return you all our heartfelt and sincere thanks. (Applause.) The silver salver, forming part of the service, bore the following inscription, as did also the timepiece Presented to Mr James Beveridge, by the Champfleurie and Ochiltree Workmen’s Friendly Society and few friends, on his resigning the presidentship. Ist October, 1892.” At the conclusion of the ceremony those present were supplied with refreshments. The Chairman thereafter proposed a vote of thanks to all who had contributed to the enjoyment of the evening, and also to Mr Elder for having made the presentation in such suitable manner. On the motion of Dean of Guild, similar compliment was paid to Mr Park for presiding, and which that gentleman acknowledged in few brief sentences. In the course of the evening really enjoyable musical programme was sustained by Messrs Jos. Burke (whose humorous songs were highly appreciated), Thomas Inglis, B. Wilson, A. Fleming, Frank Gardner, D. Anderson, and William Sneddon. humorous reading was contributed by Mr. Beveridge, and an enjoyable meeting terminated with the sinning of “Auld Lang Syne.”

      Linlithgowshire Gazette, 8th October 1892


      Presentation to Works Manager.

      ln St Michael’s Hotel on Saturday night, Mr James Beveridge, the respected manager of Linlithgow Oilworks, was met a large number of the workmen and also officials, and presented with a testimonial, on the occasion of his and Mrs Beveridge’s silver wedding. Mr William Flemington, cashier, presided, and proposed in felicitous terms the health of Mr and Mrs Beveridge, which was cordially responded to, and cheer give for “oor ain fireside.” Afterwards Mr. Kerr, the company’s chemist, in a neat speech, asked Mr Beveridge’s acceptance of on afternoon tea service in solid silver, and also beautifully designed albert and appendage, of unique pattern, mark of esteem, from those under and associated with him at the works.

      Mr Beveridge made suitable reply, and, at his request, the company were handsomely entertained. Mr Beveridge, who came to Linlithgow from Niddry near Portobello, has been connected with Linlithgow Oilworks for about fourteen years, and was engaged first as underground manager, and for the past seven years has acted as works manager. The meeting was a hearty and enjoyable one. A number of songs and recitations were given in the course of the evening by several of those present.

      Linlithgowshire Gazette, 22nd October 1898