Andrew Allan (1822-1901)

Chairman of the Allan Line Steamship Company, Montreal

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He was born in Scotland at Saltcoats, Ayrshire. He entered the family shipping business in Glasgow and in 1839 was sent to Montreal as a clerk in his brother Hugh's firm that acted as agents, shipbuilders and merchants for the Allan Shipping Line. In 1846, he was made a partner of the firm that would become known as H. & A. Allan & Co., a key cog in the Allan family empire. He worked closely alongside his brother in all Hugh's various ventures and after he died Andrew succeeded him as the head of the Allan's family's considerable Canadian interests. He was President of the Merchant's Bank of Canada; the Montreal Rolling Mills Co.; the Montreal Telegraph Company; the Cornwall Woollen Manufacturing Co.; the Dominion Oil Cloth Co.; and the Manitoba & North Western Railway Company. He continued his brother's successes in shipping and banking, but was unsuccessful in railways. In 1897, he presided over the dissolution of the family partnership and the creation of a steamship company with limited liability becoming Chairman of the Allan Line Steamship Co., Ltd., Glasgow.

Unlike his brother Sir Hugh Allan, Andrew did involve himself with charity. He was Chairman of the Presbyterian Church of St. Andrew & St. Paul in Montreal to which he was a significant donor and President of the Montreal Sailor's Institute that promoted sobriety and morality among seamen and was almost entirely supported by him. He was also Governor of the Montreal Protestant House of Industry & Refuge to which he gave generously. Socially, he was Master of the Montreal Hunt and his passion for floriculture was immediately evident from the size of his conservatory at Iononteh. In 1865, he built a summer home "Rockcliffe" at Cacouna that he sold in 1876 to Matthew Hamilton Gault. In 1848, he married Isabella, the eldest daughter of John Smith, a dry goods merchant of Montreal. Andrew's brother, Hugh, married her sister and through the Smiths the brothers were brothers-in-law to Hartland St. Clair MacDougall. He had 8-children, but like his brother, Hugh, his only grandson to carry the Allan name died without children. 
Contributed by Mark Meredith on 07/11/2018 and last updated on 25/08/2023.