Matthew Orr Scotland Trinidad and Tobago

Biography of Matthew Orr

Matriculating at the University of Glasgow in 1761, Matthew Orr was the second eldest son of William Orr, Barrowfield Esquire. His grandfather, John Orr, rector of the University from 1731 to 1733 and 1742 until 1743, purchased the estates of Barrowfield and Camlachie in 1730, transforming the Orr's into an important merchant family.

Matthew Orr was a coal merchant in Stobcross, Glasgow, before moving to Barbados. He finally relocated to Tobago, where he was part of a merchant community who profited from the trade in slave-grown produce (likely cotton which dominated the island’s economy before 1781). Orr was among the signatories of a farewell letter to Lieutenant Governor Ferguson on his departure from Tobago in 1781, published in volume 12 of The Remembrancer newspaper.

Orr died at King’s Bay Estate in Tobago on 1 August 1790.


Other Online Resources

Printed Materials

  • David Dobson, Barbados and Scotland Links 1627-1877, (Baltimore: Clearfield, 2005), p.10
  • The Remembrancer, Part II, Vol.12, (London: J.Almon, 1781), p.255

Archival Materials

  • W Innes Addison, A Roll of the Graduates of the University of Glasgow from 31 December 1727 to 31 December 1897 (Glasgow, 1898)


Matthew Orr
Born 1746.
Died 1 August 1790.
GU Degree: Arts, 1761-1762;
University Link: Student
Occupation categories: coalmasters; Merchant
English snippet: Arts student at the University of Glasgow in 1761
Record last updated: 1st Jul 2019

Country Associations

Scotland Scotland, No Region
Place of Birth

Trinidad and Tobago Trinidad and Tobago, Tobago
Place of Death

University Connections

University Roles

  • Student