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Alexander Morrison Nicolson

Alexander Morrison Nicolson

Alexander Morrison (1832-1865) was the fifth son of Roderick Nicolson and Jane Hay. It is not certain where the family were living at the time of his birth. His father had links to Uig and settled in Stornoway at some point.

In 1838 his father became the tacksman of Upper Coll Tack and passed the tenancy to his mother.

His mother died around 1845 and his father went on to marry Ann Mackenzie, of Stornoway. The family eventually settled at Bayhead Street, Stornoway.

He went to Stornoway Parish School and Secondary School in Glasgow before becoming an apprentice with Messrs J. & G. Thomson, shipbuilders, Glasgow.

In 1854, after Old North Tolsta was decrofted to make way for Tolsta Farm, his father obtained Tolsta Farm.

He trained as an engineer in Glasgow and, in 1862, in partnership with G. M. Boyd founded Nicolson & Boyd Co, shipyard, in Shanghai.

His father died in 1863.

Alexander Morrison's was killed in a boiler explosion on the steam barge 'Spunkie' during trials on the Shanghai River in 1865; his will included a bequest of funds to establish a school in his home town of Stornoway. The school chosen by his brothers, Angus and Roderick, was the Mackay's School. The bequest was made in 1868. Shortly after Sir James Matheson decided that the Mackay School should be placed in public trust and known as the Nicolson Institute.

More details can be found at and at the Stornoway Historical Society website.


Title: Alexander Morrison Nicolson
Record Type: People
Date of Birth: 10-06-1832
Date of Death: 16-02-1865
Occupation: Engineer
Sex: Male
Record Maintained By: CET
Subject Id: 115062