Sir Peter Coats


Sir Peter Coats (1808–90) was born in Paisley on 18 July 1808, a son of James Coats (1774–1857), one of the founders of the town's thread manufacturing industry. He undertook an engineering apprenticeship in Glasgow, then with his brothers James and Thomas became a partner in the family business of J. & P. Coats. The business was based at the Ferguslie works in Paisley, but as it grew, factories were opened in the United States and elsewhere. Paying for the erection of the Free Library and Museum was his major benefaction to the town of his birth, in recognition of which he was knighted on 9 July 1869.

He was a Liberal in politics (and a Baptist in religion, though also associated with the United Presbyterian Church). His interest in art was reflected in his serving as president of the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts. After retiring from business c. 1888, he moved from Paisley to the estate of Auchendrane in Ayrshire. In later life he spent the winter months in Algiers, where he died on 9 March 1890. 1


1: Glasgow Herald, 11 March 1890, p. 4.