Kirkwood & Son



  • Locations
    Old Assembly Close, Edinburgh. No. 17 Grafton Street, Dublin. 21 Bachelor's Walk, Dublin. Lower Ormonde Quay, Dublin. 11 Crow Street, Dublin. No. 3 Cecilia Street, Dublin. 52 Jane Street, Edinburgh.
  • Institution Date
  • Status
    The company is currently active.
  • Other Names
    James Kirkwood and Son; John Kirkwood and Son; Alex Kirkwood & Son, Limited
  • Known For
    The business is known for starting the Great Fire of Edinburgh on November 15, 1824. It is also known for making dies for Scotland's banknotes, as well as a variety of medals.


The firm was established in 1826, however it's history spans back fifty-two years earlier. In 1774, James Kirkwood's engraving were noticed by Sir William Forbes, the head of a bank in Edinburgh, who commissioned him to produce the metal plates for banknotes. James' son, Robert, became a renowned engraver and skills were passed down through generations. His other son, John, would work under him in the shop.

In 1824, James and John Kirkwood's workshop caught on fire and started the Great Fire of Edinburgh on November 15. In 1826, the business relocated to Dublin. In 1828, the business moved locations to 21 Bachelor's Walk. A year later the shop moved again to Lower Ormonde Quay. In 1830, it was relocated again to 11 Crow Street. In 1834, the business became ran solely by John Kirkwood. In 1844, the business moved again to No. 3 Cecilia Street.

The company produced the Livingstone Medal and the Great Seal of Scotland.

Today, the company is ran by David Kirkwood, the fifth generation of the business and is located at 52 Jane Street, Edinburgh.

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