Renfrewshire Lives

The Oxford DNB includes life stories of more than 57,000 men and women who have shaped British history from the Romans to the early 21st century.

Among the collection are hundreds of people who were born or lived in Renfrewshire. Below you’ll find a selection of these lives from the Oxford DNB, which is freely available online to all users of Renfrewshire libraries. Library members can also access the Oxford DNB, and other online resources, remotely (from home or any other computer) using their library card number as a log-in. More.

Abram Lyle Renee Houston William Dunlop John Campbell

Writing and performing

Retailers and manufacturers

  • William Teacher (1810/11–1876), wine and spirit merchant [you may also like our Brewers of Britain feature]
  • James Arthur (1819–1885), clothing retailer and manufacturer
  • Abram Lyle (1820–1891), shipowner and sugar refiner

Engineering, science, and medicine

Campaigners and benefactors

James Watt  William Sharp Archibald Barr Jean Mann

Read on for more Renfrewshire lives

Having read these biographies, you can also search the Oxford DNB for other historical figures with a local connection. Use the dictionary’s People Search to find individuals who were born, baptized, educated, resident, died, or buried in a particular place.

Within Renfrewshire you’ll find 15 people baptized in Paisley, more than 70 former pupils of the region’s schools; 44 one-time residents of Greenock and 4 of Kilbarchan. And across the ODNB’s 70 million words, you’ll also find more than 30 references to Johnstone, 23 to Paisley Abbey, 12 to Bridge of Weir, and 1 to St Mirren FC.

Topical history in the Oxford DNB

Topical slices of history are always available in the Oxford DNB. Try our: