Freedom of the Burgh of Hamilton Casket
This silver casket was presented to Sir Henry Shanks Keith (1853-1944) on the occasion of the opening of the new Town Hall in Hamilton in 1928. Caskets such as this one were presented to members of the community, often as an acknowledgement of their service to the local area.
Sir Henry was a local businessman. His family owned a grocer and wine merchant business in Hamilton, started by his father, James Keith. The building situated at the bridge on Cadzow Street was built for the Keiths in 1903 and is still known as Keith’s building today.
From the 1890s, Sir Henry was a prominent figure in local government and succeeded his father as Provost of Hamilton from 1901-1908, a post he held again after the First World War. His public service was recognised by a knighthood in 1920 and he received a further honour, a GBE, for ‘services to Scottish Local Government’ in the 1940s.