THE GREAT IRISH DISTILLING DYNASTY
It is fairly commonly known that John Jameson was Scottish, born in Alloa in 1740. Less commonly known is that he was not the founder of the famous Bow Street Distillery but started as an employee of John Stein of Kennetpans who founded the distillery in 1780.
It was not until 1805 John Jameson took full ownership and founded the now legendary brand John Jameson & Son’. So the Scots not only gave the Irish their Patron Saint but also their leading whiskey brand.
The family motto ‘ SINE ME TU’ (without fear) is believed to have been awarded to the Jameson family for their bravery in battling pirates on the high seas back in the 1500s.
JOHN JAMESON 1740 – 1824
Before moving to Dublin John was Sheriff Clerk of Clackmannan. This important roll meant he moved in influential circles where he met his future wife Margaret Haig 1752 – 1815. They had sixteen children ten of whom survived into adulthood.
John became the General Manager at John Stein’s Bow Street distillery and eventually took full ownership on 1805. His son William took over another of John Stein’s distilleries, Marrowbone Lane, in around 1800.
John Jameson soon made his mark and established the John Jameson & Son brand. He had a reputation for being willing to pay top dollar for the finest ingredients available and he kept the loyalty of his work force by offering the best wages and working conditions within the industry.
John started the tradition of giving his workers nicknames. When one of his coopers, Willie McCann, paused to admire his reflection in a window he was from then on entered into the company records as Gorgeous Gus McCann. Jameson himself ended up with the nickname Glorious John, a name given to him by his close circle of friends and family that would attend his magnificent Dublin parties.
The Jameson brand still lives on and is now the No 1 selling Irish whiskey with its main markets being the United States, Australia and Canada. In 2010 Jameson’s announced global sales in excess of 3 million cases.
It would appear we have the Irish talking.
See their forum ‘I didn’t know this about Jameson’.