This street was named in memory of William Macbean Rankine, of Dudhope, who sold the Law Hill and its approaches to the Town Council in 1878, for the sum of £3,888, and thus the citizens obtained possession of one of the distinguishing features of Dundee.
The portion of the property of Dudhope which included the Law was acquired about 1770 by William Rankine, a merchant of Perth, who died near 1790, leaving a daughter and heiress, Margaret Rankine of Dudhope. In 1802 she was married to John Campbell of Kilberry, a scion of an old Argyllshire family, who died in 1838. His second grandson was William Macbean Campbell, who assumed the name of Rankine through his grandmother, whose estate he inherited. He was born in 1848 and died in 1879, when the succession fell to Walter Lorne Campbell Rankine, born in 1877.
Source: ‘Glimpses of Old and New Dundee’ – A.H. Millar, January 1925