Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Baronet

Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Baronet (13 February 1847 – 3 November 1934),[1] was a Scottish businessman who founded the British construction firm which is now known as Sir Robert McAlpine.

Sir Robert McAlpine, 1st Baronet
Robert McAlpine

(1847-02-13)13 February 1847
Died3 November 1934(1934-11-03) (aged 87)
  • Agnes Hepburn
    (m. 1868; died 1888)
  • Florence Margaret Palmer
    (m. 1889)
Children10; 7 (first wife) + 3 (second wife)


He left school at the age of 10 to work in a coal mine, but became an apprentice bricklayer. He was involved in the building of roads, public buildings and other works, some of the tunnelling for the Glasgow Subway and the Singer Sewing Machine factory in Clydebank, West Dunbartonshire.[2] Overseas, in 1918 McAlpine was contracted to expand the harbour in Heraklion, Crete. The power station built for the purpose was later used to provide the town's electricity.[3]

Construction companyEdit

McAlpine built up the large building and civil engineering firm that bears his name. He was also a pioneer in the use of concrete and labour-saving machinery. See also Glenfinnan Viaduct.[4]


He was made a baronet in June 1918,[5][6] the first of the McAlpine baronets.


Robert McAlpine was married twice. On 12 June 1868, he married Agnes Hepburn (d. 1888). They had five sons: Robert (1868–1934), William Hepburn (1871–1950), Thomas Malcolm (1877–1967), Alfred David (1881–1944) and Granville (1882–1928) and two daughters, Agnes and Ethel. His daughter Agnes became the second wife of Louis Marie Charles Fradin de Belabre in 1905. De Belabre had a son and two daughters from his first marriage to Janetta Alexandra West, a grand daughter of Admiral Sir John West, but she had died in 1903. Agnes de Belabre and Louis had one daughter, Yolande born in 1908, but divorced in 1915.

On 21 August 1889, McAlpine married Florence Margaret Palmer and had one son: Archibald Douglas (1890–1981) and two daughters, Emma and Roberta.[7] Roberta married Richard Lloyd George and was the mother of Owen Lloyd George, 3rd Earl Lloyd-George of Dwyfor.


  1. ^ "Person Page 7365". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  2. ^ [1][dead link]
  3. ^ "Electricity | Major Public Works | Union – World War I – The Interwar Years | Historical Periods | Municipality of Heraklion – a city through the ages". Archived from the original on 2 December 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  4. ^ "Scottish Surname History". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
  5. ^ "No. 30723". The London Gazette. 3 June 1918. p. 6524.[dead link]
  6. ^ [2] Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "McAlpine". Retrieved 26 November 2013.
Baronetage of the United Kingdom
New creation Baronet
(of Knott Park)
Succeeded by