John Craig, 1775
42 Miller Street
The Tobacco Merchant’s House, at 42 Miller Street, is the oldest surviving house in the Merchant City. Miller Street was named after John Miller of Westerton, a land speculator who first laid out the street in plots in the 1750s. A variety of merchants built townhouses there. Plot 6 was acquired by Mr Robert Hastie,‘an extensive American merchant’, on 6th May 1772. After Hastie’s firm ‘Robert and William Hastie’ failed, like so many others in the 1770s, the land was sold to John Craig, a wright.
No.42 was subsequently occupied by other prominent merchants such as Robert Findlay of Easterhill (1748-1802), a tobacco importer who lived there from 1780 until 1802. The only one of its kind to survive, the house, a small scale interpretation of the mansions designed by Andrea Palladio in Italy’s Veneto region, illustrates the eighteenth century living conditions of ‘average’ merchants – sometimes called Tobacco Lairds in contrast with the grander Palladian homes of the much wealthier Tobacco Lords. The building was restored as offices by Glasgow Building Preservation Trust in 1995.