Thomas Spowart (1827-1888)

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Chairman, Linlithgow Oil Co. Ltd. (1884-88)
Proprietor, Wellwood Colliery
Owner, Lassodie Colliery


Death of Mr. Thomas Spowart, Coalowner.

Many of our readers will learn with deep regret the death of Mr Thomas Spowart, coalowner, which occurred suddenly his residence. Broomhead, near Dunfermline, in the early hours yesterday morning. Mr Spowart (one of several sons) succeeded his father nearly forty years ago as lessee of Wellwood Colliery, and it was in mining circles that was best known. He was enterprising and skillful coalmaster, and in business matters showed an amount of shrewdness which rarely falls to one man.

Not long after became proprietor of Wellwood Colliery, Mr Spowart developed and extended the coalfields very considerably; and so successful a businessman did he prove, that ere many years went to an end he found himself a position to able to take a lease of Elgin Colliery. Later on. became owner of Lassodie Colliery—all of which—viz.. Elgin. Wellwood, and Lassodie collieries —were about eighteen months ago placed under the management of a Limited Liability Company. Mr Spowart was generally liked by his employees, and all with whom he came in contact ; and during his life won the respect and esteem of large circle of friends who now mourn his loss.

Although not public man in the true sense of the word, the deceased gentleman did not live an altogether retired and secluded life. He officiated as Chairman of several public Boards, and was a Justice of the for a number of years—discharging all the duties which he took in hand to fulfil in manner worthy of the highest praise. The coalowners Fife and Clackmannan, recognising his ability, appointed him President of the Association at its formation—a position which he occupied until the day of his death. In all disputes between masters and men his judgment might be said to have ruled his fellow coal-proprietors; and in all matters of difficulty Mr. Spowart's opinion was invariably held to be one worth obtaining. Mr Spowart was also Chairman of the Dunfermline Parish School Board. He was the first to occupy that position, and he held it until 1882. In this capacity he distinguished himself greatly, being always to the front any educational reformation, and doing all that in him lay to benefit the ratepayers.

At the time of his death Mr Spowart was Chairman of the Linlithgow Oil Company, while two years ago was appointed President of the Mineral Oil Association of Scotland, a position which, considering the fact that was the youngest chairman of any oil company, implied that considerable honour had been conferred upon him.

In addition to the aforementioned positions of honour and trust, the deceased gentleman was one of the Commissioners for the Burntisland Dock. Mr Spowart was sixty-one years of age. has married twice, survived by widow and three daughters and two sons- the eldest of whom clergyman the Church of England. We feel sure that many sympathise with them in their sad bereavement.

Dunfermline Saturday Press, 24th November 1888