William Whitelaw

William Whitelaw took on the Fisherrow Brewery in 1820, when his father David - an established brewer from Edinburgh - leased the property from Alexander Vernor. He expanded the business to the extent that by 1851 William was employing twelve men at the brewery.

When he died in 1868 his wife Katherine carried on the business under the same name, with the assistance of local brewer, William Clark. Katherine's son David eventually took on the business, trading as William Whitelaw & Son from at least 1876.

Location: Fisherrow

Active: 1820 - 1870s

Status: Transferred

Breweries and other buildings

The Fisherrow Brewery was situated on the east side of Fisher's Wynd and grew from a brewhouse, malt barns and stables, arranged around a cobbled yard, to a large complex that extended from the High Street to New Street. The site is now mainly occupied by a post-war housing development.


We do not currently hold any images of items related to William Whitelaw, and would welcome any information or images related to his business.

Map of 1853 showing the location of the Fisherrow Brewery
© National Library of Scotland, 2017

Other Sources of information

Books and periodicals

Lawrie, J. Honesty brewing: a history of the breweries, maltings and distilleries of Musselburgh and Fisherrow. Kennoway: Spiderwize, 2009.