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James Finlayson (1772?–?1852) by unknown artist © reserved

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Finlayson, James (1772?–1852?), engineer and cotton manufacturer, was probably born on 29 August 1772 in the parish of Penicuik, near Edinburgh. Of his early life in Scotland nothing is known, and it is in St Petersburg in Russia at the end of the eighteenth century that he first makes his appearance, as a master machinist at the ...