and Pioneer of Steam Navigation
Born in Linlithgow. Moved later in life to work as a builder in
Helensburgh and there his wife ran the newly founded public baths
and kept an inn. He crossed over to Port Glasgow to persuade John
Wood & Co to build him a ship to be powered by his steam engine.
He called the vessel the Comet probably because astronomers at
the time were excited by one then visible and it was successfully
launched on the Clyde on 12/8/1812. It regularly sailed between
Greenock and Glasgow.