James Thornton (1817-1885)

First name:
Second name:
Date of birth:
Date of death:
Home address(es):

Hermand House

Occupation type(s):

James Thornton was born in Whitburn parish, and appears to have farmed in the Crofthead (now Fauldhouse) area of West Lothian, before developing interests in coal mining, and subsequent involvement with oil industry. Some enterprises were conducted in partnership with his elder brother Thomas Thornton.

Following success in business, he purchased Hermand House and estate in c. 1878. He died there in 1885, shortly after the launch of the Hermand Oil Co. Ltd.

Business interests

  • Trading as the firm of James Thornton, coalmaster, with offices at 145, St. Vincent St., Glasgow (1873-76), 11, Coal Exchange buildings, West Regent St. Glasgow (1877 - 1880+). Glasgow post office directories list house address as Crofthead, Greenburn, or Fauldhouse until 1878, and Hermand House, West Calder from 1879
  • Partner in the firm of Thomas & James Thornton, coalmasters and oil manufacturers
  • Partner in the firm of Muir & Thornton, coalmasters at Harthill, Polkemmet, and Starrieshaw, the other partner being James Hunter of the Coltness Iron Co. (dissolved October 1871)
  • Partner of the Lesmahagow & Longlee Coal Co., along with David Grieve, R. Gardner and Thomas Thornton
  • Director of the Lochore & Capeldrae Cannel Coal Co. Ltd. (elected 1877)
  • Director of the Burntisland Oil Co. Ltd (formed 1881)
  • Director of the Lanark Oil Co. Ltd., (formed 1883)
  • Director of the Hermand Oil Co. Ltd., (formed 1885)

  • Census data
    • Census data records that James Thornton was born in Whitburn parish, Linlithgowshire on c.1817

      1861 census

      • of Eastfield, farmer and contractor.

      1871 census

      • of Hillend cottage, Eastfield, coalmaster with the firm of Muir & Thornton employing 94 men & 22 boys.

      1861 census

      • of Hermand House
  • References
    • DEATHS. - At Hermand House, West Calder, inst James Thornton of Hermand.

      The Glasgow Herald, 10th December 1885