Sir James Coats


Born on 12 April 1834, Sir James Coats (1834–1913) was the eldest son of Sir Peter Coats (1808–90) and grandson of James Coats (1774–1857), founder of the great Paisley-based thread manufacturing firm J. & P. Coats. He was a director of the business. Having lived in New York during the American Civil War, he returned to the United States in 1870 on behalf of the firm, and spent the next 31 years there, overseeing the establishment of a complex of mills at Pawtucket, Rhode Island, and acting as director of the subsidiary company that owned them.

He returned to Scotland in 1901, and in his retirement lived at Auchendrane, Ayrshire. In 1902–4 he paid for a major extension to the Paisley Free Library and Museum, originally built at his father's expense. He was created a baronet in 1903. He was a Unionist in politics. Originally a member of the United Presbyterian Church, he was later more closely associated with the Church of Scotland. He died at Ayr on 20 January 1913. 1


1: The Times, 21 January 1913, p. 9.