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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Mr Robert Chapman.

Wine & Spirit Merchant, Coatbridge and Glenboig.


Mr Robert Chapman 1897

Mr Robert Chapman. 1897.

The name of Robert Chapman was a household word far beyond the confines of the British Isles, and there is no member of the Trade in the West of Scotland more widely known and respected. Born at Croftfoot, near Glenboig, he received his education first at the local school, and latterly at Gartsherrie Academy.

He began life as a message boy in the Gartcosh store, where he remained for two years, but, a better opening presenting itself, he went to the same business in the Provanhall Store. After remaining for three years, steady, he had mastered all the details of the business, and was offered, and accepted, the responsible position of manager of the store at the Stand Colliery, near Airdrie.
Pushing and ambitious, though young, he determined to tempt fortune and begin business for himself, which he did at Glenboig, opening premises for the sale of groceries and provisions. This was in 1875.

Chapmans Gartcosh 2009

Chapman's Bar, Coatbridge Road, Whitehill Terrace, Gartcosh. 2009. G69 8RD.

Tele: 01236 872326.

As an instance of his energy, pluck, and perseverance, he applied no less than twelve times for a licence before obtaining it, surely a record in the Trade. Ten years later after receiving his first, he applied for the licence carried on by his brother in Gartsherrie Road, Coatbridge, which was at once granted, and he afterwards acquired another two in Coatbridge.

Mr Chapman was a gentleman, he owns a large amount of property, and his doing so has been of great advantage to his native village. A liberal landlord, and one who likes to see everything neat and as it should be, his tenants are envied by their neighbours, while the substantial and well-planned buildings add much to the amenity of the village. Mr Chapman was also largely interested in property in Coatbridge, where his generous dealing and the kindly interest he takes in his tenants ensures his buildings being always fully let and sought after.

Chapmans Bar Gartcosh1

Chapman's Bar, Gartcosh. 2009.

Robert took to farming, having purchased the farm of Palaceriggs, containing 700 acres, in the parish of Cumbernauld, and which he farms himself with marked success. Mr Chapman was a rare judge of a horse, and his hackneys and ponies are well known all over the country, he having taken prizes with them at all the principal shows. But it was as a breeder of dogs that Mr Chapman has gained his world-wide and enviable reputation. The largest breeder of high-class sporting dogs in the world, his extensive kennels were at Glenboig. Some idea of the extent of the business done by Mr Chapman may be gained from the fact that he held an average of over 200 dogs, involving a capital of thousands of pounds which was a great amount in those days. Mr Chapman was well-known amongst canine fanciers for a long period of years. His first connection with the show bench was with a mastiff named “Lord Clyde,” with which he won over a hundred prizes, and which (when he was eight years old,” he sold for £50 with his usual business acumen, Robert soon realised that sporting dogs represented more money, and at once turned his attention to them.

Chapman's Bar Gartcosh 2009

Chapman's Bar, Gartcosh. 2009.

Whatever dog shows are held, not only in Great Britain and Ireland, but in America, Australia, and the Cape, dogs which have passed through Mr Chapman’s hands are found competing. Mr Chapman had taken the prefix “Heather” as a name for his dogs, so that even a notice in canine matters can at once distinguish his animals. But although far and away the most successful breeder of all kinds of sporting dogs, Mr Chapman has perhaps been most successful with Gordon Setters, with which breed he has been simply invincible for years on the show bench. He had bred the finest collection of Black and Tan Setters to be found anywhere, Pointers and English and Irish Setters, Spaniels, curly and flat coated retrievers and collies. However Robert’s , special favourite was the little Scotch terrier, a breed which many years ago threatened to become extinct, was the fashionable dog in his kennels.

Chapman's Bar sign

The date above the pub 1901 with initials R.C. in the centre (Robert Chapman.)

Mr Chapman had his good fortune to win her heart and hand, of Miss Main, daughter of Mr William Main, grain merchant, Airdrie. Their house, as might be expected, were literally full of prizes and trophies won during the years Robert had been showing his dogs, while the walls were hung with paintings of his favourites of all the different classes. A very important and large branch of this business was in the breaking of the dogs. Every one of his sporting dogs are sent to Mr Chapman’s moors to be thoroughly broken in by his breakers, and, being ready and fit when the shooting season comes round, they were hired out to sportsmen all over the country. This was an arrangement much appreciated by sportsmen, and there are very few of the nobility and aristocracy who were not patrons of the Laird of Palaceriggs. The head kennel-man was a Mr Barclay, who job was simply astonishing as how he manages to keep and turn out good quality dogs.

Chapman's windows 2009

Chapman's Bar windows. 2009.

Mr Chapman was a very busy man. Besides the large amount of work, care, correspondence, and anxiety connected with his kennels, his properties, and large interest in the wine and spirit trade, he took his share in the work of ameliorating the condition of those around him, and the good of the neighbourhood.

He was a Parish Councillor and delegate of the County Council. A zealous Mason of St James’ Lodge, Coatbridge and a Free Gardener of Lodge St Andrew’s, Glenboig; a keen curler with the Coatbridge Curling Club, a more than ordinarily good shot, an ex-member of the defunct 7th L.R.V., and rare judge of a horse, he had shown hackneys with phenomenal success.

Also see Chapman's in Rutherglen.


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