The firm of William Cadenhead Limited, Wine and Spirit Merchants, was founded in 1842 and was in the ownership of the same family until it was taken over by the well known Campbeltown firm of J & A Mitchell & Co. Ltd who own Springbank Distillery. The premises were in Netherkirkgate in Aberdeen and although the street numbers were changed from time to time the premises were the same and indeed were almost unaltered during their 130 years of trading in Aberdeen.
It was at what subsequently became number 47 that Mr. George Duncan established himself as a Vinter and as a distillery agent. There business prospered and in a little over ten years he was joined by his brother-in-law Mr William Cadenhead.
Cadenhead acquired the business in 1858 and, as was common at the time, he changed the trading name to that of his own. While not a lot is known about Duncan, there is a great deal more on the record about Mr William Cadenhead. Not because of his distinction as a vintner but because he was, throughout the Victorian era, a local poet of renown. Cadenhead, the son of a veneer sawyer, was born in 1819. He began work at an early age in a small thread factory belonging to a well-known citizen called “Jonny” Garrow. Garrow thought so highly of young Cadenhead that when he gave up the business in Aberdeen to join a firm in Liverpool he arranged for Cadenhead to join him there.
When Cadenhead later returned to Aberdeen he became an overseer in the yarn sorting department of Maberley & Co. at their Broadford works. During, approximately, the year 1853, he left there to join his brother-in-law and was a traveller for the business until 1858. Apart from his prodigious output as a poet, he became a leading citizen, taking part in all aspects of local affairs during his long and successful life. William Cadenhead Pictured here with William Carnegie (on the left).