Biography of Charles Randolph
The Randolph Staircase and Randolph Hall are named for Charles Randolph (1809-1878), the marine engineer.
Randolph was born in Stirling and educated at the University and at Anderson's Institution. He became an apprentice wright at David Napier's shipyard at Camlachie before setting up a millwright's business, Randolph, Elliott & Co, in Glasgow in 1834. John Elder joined the partnership in 1852 and the firm became Randolph, Elder & Co, one of the most successful marine engineering enterprises on the Clyde. The firm developed advanced designs for highly efficient compound engines, and in 1858 opened a shipyard at Govan.
Randolph retired from Randolph, Elder & Co in 1868 but remained active in business and in the service of the Clyde Navigation Trust, of which he was a trustee. He also built for himself a steam carriage. In his will he left £60,000 to the University to complete the construction of the Bute Hall, and the hall's south staircase and antechamber were named for him. The University commissioned the artist Daniel Macnee to paint his portrait.