HISTORY buffs are urged to leave cash gifts in their wills to preserve the historical home of a slavery-linked Glasgow tobacco merchant. 

The 18th-century villa is the headquarters of the Scottish Civic Trust, who are calling on supporters to aid their efforts in creating a fund for any future repair works. 

Situated at 42 Miller Street in the city centre, the Tobacco Merchant's House was built in 1775 and purchased by the tobacco importer Robert Findlay in 1782.

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Sue Evans, chair of the Trust said: "Its purchase by Findlay earned the house its name and a place in Scotland’s history, a salutary reminder that slavery once fuelled Glasgow’s fortunes and was not viewed with the abhorrence it is today.

"The house survived vast industrial and commercial changes that swept through the city as well as a fire that destroyed neighbouring warehouses; during the 19th and 20th centuries, it became home to a succession of businesses, from gas to glass and jewellery to cotton, before falling into disuse and dereliction.

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"In 1989, facing demolition despite its A-listed status, the house was rescued and restored by the Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and purchased, in 1995, by the Scottish Civic Trust."

John Hume, an architectural historian and a fellow of the Trust called the building "truly loveable and loved".

He added: "Nowhere else in the city, not even in Provand’s Lordship can we see such a summation of what has been Glasgow’s urban experience during its transition from a compact town to a major city. 42 Miller Street is above all still a living, breathing building, not a museum."