Renfrewshire Lives

The Oxford DNB includes life stories of more than 60,000 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.

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 life event search to find individuals who were born, baptized, died, or buried in a particular place.

Within Renfrewshire you’ll find 84 people born in Paisley. And across the ODNB’s 70 million words, you’ll also find 27 references to Paisley Abbey, 12 to Bridge of Weir, and even 1 to St Mirren FC.

How do I search?

The Oxford DNB includes the life stories of over 60,000 men and women.You can search online for where they were born, baptized, lived, died, or were buried, by date range or location.

  • The advanced search ‘life event’ feature can be used to find people near you—be they men and women baptised in Edinburgh (189), those born in Whitby (28), or those buried in Exeter (133). Used in this way the ODNB is an excellent resource for school projects or family history.
  • Text searching across the Oxford DNB’s 68 million words, you can also make links between people and places: for example, we’ve 102 references to “Clapham Common”, 27 to the “River Trent”, and 51 to “Snowdonia”.

Topical history in the Oxford DNB

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