John Haig

1720 - 1773

Whisky distiller. Born in Alloa (Clackmannanshire), he married Margaret Stein in 1751, whose family owned distilleries at nearby Kilbagie and Kennetpans. Their marriage gave rise to one of the most important whisky dynasties in Scotland. When Haig died suddenly in Alloa aged 52, it was the Steins who took on his five young sons as apprentices at Kilbagie, which was one of the largest distilleries in Scotland. It was here that the younger Haigs learned the art of whisky making and all five brothers went on to found their own distilleries or become partners in others. Despite being bankrupted through debts of over £250,000 in excise duty, the largest bankrupcy in Scotland of the time, their trade was such that the Stein-Haig business recovered within ten years. A daughter, Peggy Haig, married John Jameson and moved to Dublin, where they founded the distilling company that later took his name, bankrolled by her family. A grandson, another John Haig (1802-78), founded the whisky company bearing his name, while his son-in-law was John Jameson (1740 - 1823), founder of the famous Irish whiskey distillers.

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