Mystery of Finlayson Green

I have been haunted by a mysterious riddle for some time now. On my daily route I always see this street sign, Finlayson Green. For most of the passing by people it is just another meaningless name. For a Finn like me there is something more to it.

Finlayson is one of Finland's best known brands - or at least it used to be. I believe almost every Finnish household has some Finlayson's textiles; bed linen, sheets, towels, etc. Although Finlayson sounds quite Finnish, the origin of the name leads to Scotland. Finlayson was found by James Finlayson, a Scottish Quaker, in 1820 in Tampere.

At my Finnish background I have been wondering if the Scottish Finlaysons have something to do with the Singaporean Finlayson Green.

I found out that the name Finlayson Green has its roots in John Finlayson. I did not find any information if he was British but I assume he was as he was working in Singapore in significant administrative positions in the end of 1800's as were many Britons at that time.

Interesting question is, were these men, James and John, related? Many sources, like this, say that the name Finlayson comes from Scotland. James Finlayson is often mentioned as a famous member of the Finlayson family. Unfortunately, there have been quite many John Finlaysons and quite a little information on them.

At this point, the mystery remains. I promise I will dig further.

1 comment:

  1. There is a bit of more info for you here:


    "Finlayson Green was named after John Finlayson (1850-1907), manager of Messrs Boustead & Co for 25 years and the Chairman of Tanjong Pagar Dock Company between 1883 and 1895. He also served as the chairman of the Singapore Chamber of Commerce in 1891. John Finlayson departed Singapore in 1897 and returned to Britain for his retirement."