Pollokshields Heritage History

George Stewart (1860-1933)

Lived at Ferguslie, 21 Aytoun RoadJames Weir

George Stewart, Principal of Skerry’s College, Glasgow, took up residence of Ferguslie in 1897 and renamed the property Ellaville. He was born in Angus and educated at Madras College, St Andrew’s and Edinburgh University. He was formerly employed by Her Majesty’s Civil Service and subsequently became a civil service tutor with an office at 213 Buchanan Street, Glasgow. Intent on following an educational career path he went into partnership with George Skerry, an Edinburgh Civil Servant, who in 1878 had opened a commercial training college in Edinburgh.

In the mid 1880s George Stewart opened a branch of the college in Glasgow which proved so successful that the headquarters of the college moved from Edinburgh to Glasgow. He went on to open further branches in Newcastle, Liverpool and Dundee. He played an active part in the civic life of Glasgow becoming a Burgess and a Justice of the Peace. He was also a member of the Incorporation of Bonnetmakers and Dyers.

As principal of Skerry’s College his foremost interest was education which led him to becoming a member of the Glasgow Education Authority.

In 1914 he presented a new pulpit to Pollokshields Parish Church which was dedicated to the memory of his mother, Isabella Moir Stewart. The richly decorated octagonal pulpit was designed by Peter Macgregor Chalmers (c1859-1922) and executed by Galbraith & Winton. The carving was done by J.A. Young. For a full description of the pulpit see the 14th September 1914 edition of The Scotsman. He died at his Aytoun Road home in December 1933.