William McEwan Scottish brewer & Liberal politician Vanity Fair antique print


William McEwan Scottish brewer & Liberal politician. Caricature from Vanity Fair by SPY (Sir Leslie Ward) entitled “McEwan & Co.” Published 1902. Paper measures approx. 15.5 x 10 inches. Foxing marks at top of print (see scan) most would disappear under a mount. Otherwise, printed area is mostly clean. Supplied with original text. Price shown is ex VAT

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William McEwan Scottish brewer & Liberal politician. Vanity Fair antique print, published 1902. William McEwan (16 July 1827 – 12 May 1913) was a Scottish politician and brewer. He founded the Fountain Brewery in 1856, served as a member of parliament (MP) from 1886 to 1900, and funded the construction of the McEwan Hall at the University of Edinburgh. McEwan was born in Alloa, Scotland in 1827, the third child of ship-owner John McEwan and his wife Anne Jeffrey. His older sister Janet married James Younger head of his local family brewing business in 1850. He was educated at Alloa Academy. From 1851 he received technical and management training from his uncles, John and David Jeffrey, proprietors of the Heriot brewery in Edinburgh. In 1856, he established the Fountain Brewery at Fountainbridge in Edinburgh with money from his mother and his uncle, Tom Jeffrey. After growing sales in Scotland, his nephew William Younger of Alloa began an apprenticeship with him and eventually became managing director. Exports were made to Australia, South Africa, New Zealand and India, with McEwan’s having 90% of sales in north-eastern England by the turn of the century. The brewery became part of Scottish & Newcastle. McEwan became a member of parliament for Edinburgh Central after the 1886 general election, representing the Liberal Party. He was returned unopposed in 1895 and continued to serve until 1900. He became a Privy Counsellor in 1907, but declined a title. Vanity Fair was a British weekly magazine published from 1868 to 1914. Subtitled “A Weekly Show of Political, Social and Literary Wares”, it was founded by Thomas Gibson Bowles, who aimed to expose the contemporary vanities of Victorian society.

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