When McColl’s the newsagents moved premises from the prime location of sitting at the corner of Quarry Street & Cadzow Street, the signage from above the door fell off revealing an old Hamilton name unseen to people for many years.

John Dick was a Hamilton worthy, tobacconist, grocer & shop keeper. He was born in Hamilton to parents William Dick & Jean Wiseman and this family were an average working class one.

He started his working life as a tailor where in 1841 he was working from Quarry Street and for the next 30 years he worked on Quarry Loan & Quarry Street. Between 1871 & 1881 he changes career and becomes a tobacconist.

He married Mary McCallum Sage on the 3rd July 1860 at Hamilton and they had at least one son who was also called John. He died of senile decay on the 27th December 1895. He died at his house at 6 Quarry Street.

John Dick Testate.
His son John was an intelligent man and by the age of 26 he was a school headmaster. John Dick Jr married Agnes Calder Hamilton and between them they had at least three sons, John, James & Kenneth.

James Hamilton Dick, the son of John & Agnes joined the army in September 1914 and enlisted with the Royal Scots fusiliers, where he was awarded the military cross.
For now, I am uncertain of what son or grandson carried on running the shop. But the shop which carried the name John Dick continued to trade for years later.

Do you have a family connection to John Dick the tobacconist? Perhaps you could fill us in on who took over the running of the shop. We will keep the story of John Dick on our ‘to do’ list and will fill in the blanks in due course.

With thanks, to David Hunter for sending us the above picture of the shop.


  1. My grandmother Catherine Sutherland nee Sage inherited the Shop froM John Dick ? Her uncle and sold up in 1966. It is so sad t see it run down now. I remember the 1950s they sold snuff in poky hats.

    Liked by 1 person

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