The manufacturing and commercial metropolis of Scotland, and the third city of the united kingdom in point of population, and perhaps of wealth also, is situated in the Lower ward of the county of Lanark, on both banks of the Clyde, but chiefly on the north side of that river, in N. lat. 55° 51′, and W. long. 4° 17′.1 It is 43 miles west of Edinburgh; 23 miles east of Greenock; 34 north-north-east of Ayr; 79 miles north-north-west of Dumfries, by way of New-Cumnock and Sanquhar; and 396 north-west by north of London.
Name. – The origin of the name is doubtful. Some conjecture that it is compounded of the two Gaelic words, glass, signifying ‘grey,’ and gow, ‘a smith;’ and infer that some son of Vulcan, who had obtained repute in his profession long before the establishment of a bishopric here, had the felicity of conferring his own distinguishing appellative on the infant city. There is no historical or even traditionary evidence of the existence of this ‘Grey smith;’ yet some antiquaries hesitate not to tell us that his smithy stood on or near the spot of ground where the Bishop’s castle was afterwards erected. Others trace the etymology of the name to two ancient British words which might signify ‘a Dark glen;’ and conjecture that a deep ravine, a little to the east of the cathedral, gave name to a few cots planted in that neighbourhood, by the earliest settlers, in which this great city had its humble origin. Others again have conjectured that the name originally signified ‘the Grey hound ferry.’ Were the point even of more importance than it actually is, it would still be impossible now to settle it with any degree of certainty.
History. – The Romans had a station on the river Clyde at this spot. The wall of Antoninus, extending between the friths of Forth and Clyde, a few miles north of the city, embraced the province of Valentia in which Glasgow is situated. Though often harassed by the inroads of the Caledonians, the Romans did not abandon this station till sometime about the year 426, when they took their final leave of this island, to defend the ‘Eternal city,’ which was then assailed by the barbarous tribes which eventually overthrew the Roman empire. History tells us little more of this locality till about the year 560, when the see of Glasgow was founded by Kentigern or St. Mungo. Upon this fact all historians are at one. Spottiswood further informs us that this Kentigern was the son of Thametis, daughter of Loth, King of the Picts; but it was never certainly known who was his father; that his mother endeavouring, in 516, to fly into the country of the Britons, in order to conceal her shame, was delivered of him near CULROSS: see that article. The care of his education was intrusted to Servanus, bishop of Orkney, and he very early gave tokens of extraordinary piety. Upon the death of Servanus he passed into Wales, where, living a solitary and abstemious life, he founded a monastery between the rivers Elwide and Edway. Having sojourned there a few years, he resigned his office, and returning to Scotland, made his abode at Glasgow, where he laid the foundation of “a stately church,” in which he was buried at his death, on 13th Jan., 601. We are not informed by what prince the see of Glasgow was endowed in favour of Kentigern; all that is known is that Baldred and Conwall were his disciples, the former of whom succeeded him in his bishopric, and founded a religious house at Inchinnan. For more than 500 years after this period, there is no record of the see; and to account for the blank, it has been supposed that the church was destroyed by the Danes, who either slew or drove away the religious community who had settled in Glasgow.
About the year 1115, the see was refounded by David, Prince of Cumberland; and from this period downwards, the history of Glasgow, civil and ecclesiastical, is generally distinct and authentic. Despite of this, however, the olden historic associations connected with Glasgow give place in interest and importance to those of many towns in Scotland, whose present condition sinks into insignificance when contrasted with the commercial and manufacturing status of the capital of the west. In 1124, David succeeded his brother Alexander I. as king of Scotland, and promoted his chaplain, John Achaius, to the bishopric in 1129. The new bishop rebuilt and adorned apart of the cathedral church, which he solemnly consecrated upon the 9th of July, 1136, at which solemnity the king was present, and gave to the church the lands of Perdeyc, now Partick. This prelate divided the diocese into the two archdeaconries of Glasgow and Teviotdale, and established the offices of dean, sub-dean, chancellor, treasurer, sacrist, chantor, and successor, and settled a prebendary upon each of them out of the donatives he had received from the king. He died on the 28th of May, 1147, and was buried at Jedburgh. Joceline, the abbot of Melrose, was bishop in 1174; and rebuilt the cathedral, or rather made an addition to the church that was built by John Achaius. This prelate appears to have interested himself much in the prosperity of the small community of Glasgow; for it was by his interest that William the Lion, King of Scots, erected the town in 1190 into a royal burgh, and granted a charter “for holding a fair every year, from the 8th of the apostle Peter (29th June), and for the space of eight days complete.” This fair commenced on the second Monday of July, in each year, and continued during the week; it still continues, but, with the exception of the horse-market on Wednesday, it is more regarded as a gaudeamus or holiday-time for the humbler classes of the citizens, than a civic institution for the transaction of business. In 1272, Robert Wiseheart, archdeacon of St. Andrews in Lothian, was consecrated bishop of this see, at Aberdeen. He was appointed one of the Lords of the regency upon the death of Alexander III. in 1286, which office he discharged with great integrity. When the national contest between Bruce and Baliol broke out, and King Edward, as umpire, had ordered the competitors to meet him at Norham, the bishop of Glasgow also attended. On this occasion Edward told the assembled prelates and nobles that although he might justly claim the superiority of the kingdom of Scotland, as his by right, yet as a friend and arbiter elected by themselves, he would labour to compose the present controversy in the best manner he could; for the right, said he, although there are different pretenders, belongeth only to one, and for myself I determine to wrong no man; but to do that which is just, assuring myself you will all acquiesce, and take him for king who shall be pronounced so to be. The king having concluded his oration, Robert, Bishop of Glasgow, arose and gave him hearty thanks, in the name of the rest, for the good affection he bore to their country, and the pains he had taken to come and remove their debates; assuring him at the same time, that it was from the good opinion they entertained of his wisdom and equity, that they had submitted to him, as sole arbiter, the judgment and decision of this weighty affair; but when it had pleased him to speak of a right of superiority over the kingdom, it was sufficiently known that Scotland, from the foundation of the state, had been a free and independent kingdom, and not subject to any other power whatsoever: that their ancestors had defended themselves against the Romans, Picts, Britons, Saxons, and Danes, and all others who sought to usurp upon them; and although, said he, the occasion hath bred some distraction in men’s minds, all true-hearted Scotsmen will stand for the liberty of their country to their deaths. When the war afterwards broke out on account of Edward’s encroachments upon the independence of the kingdom, no one more vigorously withstood his tyrannic aggressions than Robert, Bishop of Glasgow: for which he was thrown into prison by the usurper, and only released after the battle of Bannockburn, when he was exchanged by the English for another person of quality. He died in 1316, after seeing Robert the Bruce firmly seated on the throne. This excellent old prelate entirely lost his sight during his captivity; he was allowed only 6d. per day for his own table; 3d. for his upper servant, one penny for his boy, and three half-pence for his chaplain, who celebrated mass for him during his confinement.
In 1300, Glasgow was the scene of a desperate conflict between the English and Scots, and this battle is the more interesting that the latter were led on by Sir William Wallace. Edward, it appears, had appointed one of his creatures, named Anthony Beck, to the see of Glasgow, during the captivity of Bishop Wiseheart. At this time Earl Percy governed in the western district, and it is probable resided generally at Glasgow. “Sir William Wallace, being in possession of the town of Ayr, left the town and fortress to the care of the townsmen; and being joined by the laird of Auchinleck, and his uncle, Adam Wallace of Richardtown, and Boyd, they borrowed English horses after it was dark, forming a squadron of 300 cavalry. They left Ayr at 10 o’clock, P.M., and arrived at Glasgow at 9 o’clock next morning, and having crossed the bridge, which was then of wood, drew up their men – where the Bridgegate is now built – in two columns, one under the command of his uncle and the laird of Auchinleck, who knew the road by St. Mungo’s lane to the north-east quarter of Drygate, to attack Lord Percy in flank; while the main body, commanded by Sir William Wallace and Boyd, marched up the High-street to meet Earl Percy and his army, which consisted of 1,000 men in armour. The scene of action seems to have been between the Bell of the Brae and where the college now stands. Adam Wallace and Auchinleck, with 140 men, who had made a running march round the east side of the town, when the battle was doubtful, came rushing in, from the road where the Drygate now stands, upon the English column, and divided it in two. At the same instant, on hearing the cheers of his friends, Sir William stepped into the front, and with one stroke of his long sword cleft Percy’s head in two. The route of the English now became general. The gallant Aymer Vallance led off Bishop Beck, and 400 of their men, by the Rottenrow port, being all that remained of the thousand men in armour brought out to oppose Wallace at the head of 300 cavalry. He, however, availed himself of his situation. In what might be then termed a street, Percy could not bring his men to act upon this small squadron. Notwithstanding of this victory, obtained by stratagem, surprise, and valour, it was not safe for Wallace and his followers to stay here, nor yet in the old Druidical groves about the Blackfriar’s church, nor in the forest beyond the Molendinar burn. They marched straight to Bothwell, where they arrived at one o’clock, P.M., having performed a march of 36 miles in 11 hours, fought a battle with three to one of the men of Northumberland, the best soldiers in England, gained a victory, and marched 10 miles to safe quarters at Bothwell, in 15 hours. It was Aymer Vallance that planned and conducted the captivity of Wallace. It was in this forest the tryst was set by Sir John Monteath, for his capture, which was brought to bear at Robroystown. The word, at the battle of Glasgow, was ‘Bear up the Bishop’s tail,’ spoken jeeringly by Sir William to his uncle, when their men were drawn up at the end of the bridge.” [History of Glasgow by Andrew Brown, 1797.] – A portion of the above narrative has been disputed by some historians, in so far as it is averred by them that Earl Percy was not present at the engagement, but was absent at the time in the east of Scotland, or in Northumberland, and, of course, could not have fallen as is here alleged. That a battle took place, however, between Wallace and the English, there can be no doubt, and the circumstances attending it long remained a most interesting subject in Glasgow oral tradition.
In 1387, when Matthew Glendinning was bishop, the spire of the cathedral was destroyed by lightning. In 1408, his successor, William Lawder, rebuilt the great tower of stone as far as the first battlement. In 1484, Robert Blackadder, the son of Sir Patrick Blackadder of Tullieallan, was translated to the see of Glasgow from that of Aberdeen. He was a liberal prelate, and expended vast sums on the church and alterages. During his incumbency the see of Glasgow was erected into an archbishopric. He was frequently employed in the public transactions with the English, particularly in the year 1505, when he, in conjunction with the Earl of Bothwell and Andrew Forman, prior of Pittenweem, negotiated the marriage between James IV. of Scotland, and Margaret, eldest daughter of Henry VII. of England, which subsequently led to the union of the two kingdoms in the person of James VI.
About the year 1392, in the time of John Stuart, Earl of Carrick, afterwards Robert III., a mint was erected in Drygate-street, at which coins were struck. On one side was represented the King’s crest crowned; but without a sceptre, with the motto, Robertus Dei Gratia Rex Scotorum; and on the other, on an inner circle, Villa de Glasgow; and on the outer circle, Dominus Protector. In 1420, there was a convent for Grey friars in the neighbourhood of Greyfriars’ wynd. They were patronized by the unfortunate Isabella, Duchess of Albany, cousin to James I. of Scotland. In 1431, she mortified the lands of Ballagan to the convent of the Grey friars at Glasgow, for “the salvation of our souls, and that of Murdoch, Duke of Albany, of worthy memory, our dear husband; and also of Duncan, Earl of Lennox, our father, and of Walter, James, and Alexander, our sons.” It is a painful feature in the history of those times that this excellent lady received from the King her cousin, as a present, the heads of her husband, her father, and two of her sons, – James having escaped by flight into Ireland.
In 1508, James Beaton, son of John Beaton of Balfour in Fife, was appointed archbishop of Glasgow. He enclosed the palace with a magnificent wall of ashler-work, and built a bastion and tower at a proper distance. This prelate was succeeded in 1522, by Gavin Dunbar, tutor to James V., and lord-chancellor. It was about this time that the doctrines of the Reformation began to be universally studied, and to take that hold on the minds of the people which eventually resulted in the complete overthrow of the Roman Catholic religion in Scotland. It is said that the progress of the Reformation in the west of Scotland was vastly aided by those very means which were intended to crush it, viz., the martyrdom of Russell and Kennedy. For the purpose of banishing those doctrines which caused the established clergy to tremble in their strong-holds, many pious persons suffered death at St. Andrews and Edinburgh but it was deemed expedient to make an example in Glasgow in order to intimidate the heretics of the West. Archbishop Dunbar, however, was regarded as a man who had such a thing as the heart of humanity about him; and John Lawder, Andrew Oliphant, and Friar Maltman were sent from Edinburgh, to assist and steel his feelings for the work. The men devoted to destruction were Jeremiah Russell, one of the Grey friars in Glasgow, a man well-learned for the age in which he lived, and John Kennedy, a youth from Ayrshire, not more than 18 years of age. Upon being brought before their accusers, Kennedy evinced symptoms of trepidation, and seemed inclined to save his life by retracting his professions of attachment to the doctrines of the Reformation; but he was reassured by the gentle chiding of Russell, and remained firm to the last. After a mock trial they were handed over – much against the will of Archbishop Dunbar – to the secular power for execution, and suffered martyrdom at a stake which had been erected at the east end of the cathedral. These were the only persons who suffered at Glasgow during the progress of the Reformation; and though their death intimidated the people for the moment it roused a spirit scarcely less ferocious than that of the persecution which evoked it, and which nothing could allay but the tearing up by the roots the whole establishment of the papacy. Dunbar, however, though gentle in spirit, appears to have been deeply tinctured by the bigotry of his order; for, upon the occasion of Lord Maxwell bringing a bill into parliament, in 1542, to provide for liberty to read the Bible in the vulgar tongue, this prelate is found protesting most vehemently against it, both for himself, and in name of all the prelates in the kingdom. The measure passed into a law notwithstanding. James Beaton, the nephew of Beaton, archbishop of St. Andrews, succeeded Dunbar in the archiepiscopal see; but he found the minds of men so much agitated upon religious topics, and his whole diocese split into factions so furious and uncompromising, that, after many efforts to maintain his position, he at length came to the conclusion, when churches and monasteries were crumbling in every direction before the fury of the reformers, to retire from the kingdom. He accordingly passed into France in 1560, escorted by a party of the troops of that kingdom, and taking with him all the relics, writings, documents, and plate which belonged to the see, and indeed everything valuable. In the eyes of a member of the mother-church these must have been highly prized, for we learn that when the bull of the Pope, which erected Glasgow into an archbishopric, in 1488, was promulgated, all the relics were exhibited in the cathedral before the Pope’s nuncio, and among others there were – “the image of our Saviour in gold, – the images of the twelve apostles in silver, – a silver cross adorned with precious stones, and a small piece of the wood of the cross of our Saviour, – a silver casket, containing some of the hairs of the blessed Virgin, – in a square silver coffer, part of the scourges of St. Kentigern, our patron, – in a crystal case, a bone of some unknown saint, and of St. Magdalene, – in a small phial of crystal, part of the milk of the blessed Virgin Mary, and part of the manger of our Lord!” Beaton was afterwards appointed the ambassador of Queen Mary at the court of France, and he was continued in the same office by her son, who, in 1588, restored to him the temporalities of the see of Glasgow. He died at Paris, in August 1603, and left all he had taken from Glasgow to the Scots college at Paris, and to the monastery of the Carthusians, on the condition that they should be returned to Glasgow so soon as its people returned to the bosom of the mother church. The greater part of the documents thus taken away in 1560 were brought back to Scotland so late as last year (1839), and are now in the Roman Catholic college of St. Mary, at Blairs, in the parish of Maryculter, Kincardineshire, near Aberdeen.
The see of Glasgow was one of the most opulent in the kingdom; and its prelates lived in a style of splendour and exercised a sway scarcely inferior to that of the most potent nobles of the land. In the time of Bishop Cameron especially, it is recorded that “the great resort of his vassals and tenants, being noblemen and barons of the highest figure in the kingdom, waiting upon this spiritual prince, in the common course of business, together with the ecclesiastics that depended upon him, made his court to be very splendid – next to majesty itself.” After Bishop Cameron had built his palace adjacent to the high church, he caused each of the thirty-two rectors to build a manse near it; and ordained them to reside there, and cause curates to officiate in their respective parishes. He created commissaries, clerks, and fiscals, and established the two commissary courts of Glasgow, Hamilton, and Campsie, to be held three times a-week in the consistorial house at the west end of the cathedral. Their jurisdiction extended over parts of the counties of Dumbarton, Renfrew, Stirling, Lanark, and Ayr. In reference to one of the thirty-two dignitaries of the cathedral, Ure mentions a circumstance which is not devoid of historical interest. He says: “The parson of Campsie, chancellor of the chapter, whose office it was to keep the seal and append it to all acts and deeds of the archbishop and his council, had his manse in the Drygate, in that place called the Limmerfield. Henry, Lord Darnley, lodged in his house when he came to meet his father, the Earl of Lennox, from Stirling.” The bishops, and latterly the archbishops, were lords of the lordships of the royalty and baronies of Glasgow; in addition to this there were 18 baronies of land which pertained to them in the sheriffdoms of Lanark, Dumbarton, Ayr, Renfrew, Peebles, Selkirk, Roxburgh, Dumfries, and the then Stewartry of Annandale, including 240 parishes. Besides, there was a large estate in Cumberland, subject to their jurisdiction, which was termed “the Spiritual Dukedom.” From this period – 1560 – till the revolution of 1688, there is a succession of the translation, death, demission, and expulsion of 14 protestant archbishops, who seem to have been mere minions of the party in power, and placed there to alienate to their patrons the princely domains of the Glasgow see; or, in other words, to act the part of “Tulchans” – a term in vogue in these days; that is, they were set up as the calves, while the great men of the state milked the benefices. In connection with the papal rule in Glasgow, there were many religious and charitable institutions which space will not allow us to notice at length.
Previous to the reign of James I. of Scotland, the town was governed by bailies nominated by the bishop, who about this time appointed a provost in the person of Sir John Stewart of Minto; and this gentleman found the charge of so much importance that he removed to Glasgow with his family. The successors of Sir John continued in office till after the Reformation, when they suddenly fell from dignity and opulence to obscurity and poverty; and the last of the family went out an adventurer to the Darien settlement, in 1699, where, from the jealousy and inhospitality of the English and Dutch, he perished with some thousands of his countrymen. Though the share was so low as one hundred pounds, he was not a partner. The tomb of this ancient family – which was the only one spared at the Reformation, – stands on the west side of the door on the south side of the choir of the cathedral.
In 1450, Bishop Turnbull obtained from the King – James II. – a charter, erecting the town and patrimonies of the bishopric into a regality. This spirited prelate also procured a bull from Pope Nicholas V., for the founding of a university, which he endowed. Before this period the town was so contemptible as not to contain more than 1,500 inhabitants; but the establishment of the university subsequently contributed more than any thing which had hitherto been done to the extension of the city and the general well-being of the inhabitants. The immunities and prerogatives granted to the university, however, had the effect of depriving the citizens temporarily of a portion of their political privileges; for the bishops, being now invested with vast political powers, assumed the distribution of those franchises which formerly belonged to the townsmen, and for the purpose of securing the obedience of their inferiors they appointed powerful noblemen as bailies of the regality. These offices remained long in the family of Lennox, but eventually they resigned them to the Crown, and, at the Revolution, the right of election was placed in the hands of the magistrates and council; on which footing it remained till transferred to the £10 electors by the recent burgh reform bill. Subsequently to the foundation of the university the population began to creep slowly down the hill upon which the cathedral stands, and having reached the position of the present cross, it branched slightly east and west, forming portions of the streets now called Gallowgate and Trongate, and as the craft of fishermen had sprung up among the people, Saltmarket-street was laid out for the means of easy access to the river. Withal, however, Glasgow as yet presented scarcely the skeleton of a city, for the royal burghs of Scotland having been taxed by order of Queen Mary, it appears that Glasgow only rated as the eleventh in point of population and importance. It is somewhat remarkable, however, to find that, even thus early, Glasgow began to possess the germs of commercial eminence, in so far as it was not destitute of shipping, for there is an order of the privy-council to the effect that vessels belonging to Glasgow should not annoy those belonging to Henry VIII., the Queen’s uncle. During the minority of Mary, James Hamilton, Earl of Arran, the then heir to the throne, and the ancestor of the ducal house of Hamilton, was appointed regent. His appointment was opposed by the Earl of Lennox and the Queen-dowager; and, finally, the hostile feeling became so potent that both parties flew to arms. The regent having gathered together a numerous army at Stirling, marched to Glasgow, and stormed the castle, which was held for Lennox with brass guns. After the siege had been maintained for ten days, the garrison agreed to surrender on condition of receiving quarter; but no sooner had they laid down their arms than the regent’s troops fell upon them, and only two escaped alive. Lennox determined to revenge this treachery and loss by striking a desperate blow, and having associated with himself the Earl of Glencairn, they intended to have marched into Clydesdale, and laid waste the lands of the Hamiltons. The regent heard of their intentions, however, and determined to counteract it by seizing Glasgow. Glencairn, on the approach of the regent, drew out his forces, amounting to 800 men, partly composed of his own vassals, and partly of the citizens of Glasgow; and, at a place called “the Butts,” near the site of the infantry barracks, and where the “weaponschaw” used to be held of old, he boldly attacked Arran. The onset of Glencairn was so furious that he beat back the first rank upon the second, and took the brass ordnance they had opposed to him; but in the heat of battle, and while victory yet wavered, Robert Boyd of the Kilmarnock family, arrived with a small party of horse, and at once dashed into the thickest of the fray. His charge decided the engagement, for the little band of Glencairn, conceiving that a new army had come against them, fled with precipitation. Considering the numbers engaged, the battle was a very sanguinary one, and 300 men were slain on both sides, including two gallant sons of Glencairn. The regent immediately entered the town, and being deeply incensed against the citizens for the part they had taken, he gave it up to plunder, which his soldiery did so effectually, that they harried every thing moveable, and even pulled down the doors and windows of the dwelling-houses; in fact, they only spared the city in so far as they did not burn it.
The circumstances connected with the murder of Lord Darnley, the marriage of the Queen with Bothwell, her discomfiture by the confederated Lords, and subsequent imprisonment in Lochleven castle, are matters of too much historical prominence to need recapitulation here, even were they not touched upon in other articles: See CARBERRY, CROOKSTON, and LOCH-LEVEN. In 1568 Mary effected her escape from Loch-Leven, and forthwith repaired to Hamilton, where she was joined by the Earls of Argyle, Eglinton, Cassilis, Rothes, and others. The Regent Murray happened at the time to be holding a court of justice at Glasgow, and, though taken by surprise, his usual fortitude and presence of mind did not forsake him. He was soon joined by the Earls of Glencairn, Montrose, Mar, and Monteith, with Lords Temple, Home, and Lindsay, and he speedily encamped on the lands of Barrowfield, in order to await the approach of the enemy. Meantime the party who had joined the Queen resolved to place her in safety in the strong fortress of Dumbarton, which was held by one of their friends, till they had time to try the merits of the quarrel with the Regent by force of arms. To avoid meeting Murray on the Gallow-muir, the royal army came down by Rutherglen, intending to cross the Clyde at Renfrew; but when he saw them from the opposite side, he caused his cavalry to ford the river, which left the bridge open to his infantry. The possession of Langside hill, about a mile-and-a-half to the south of the city, was seen to be a point of much importance to either party in the fate of a battle, and the regent obtained it, as much almost by accident as by ability. The Earl of Argyle having been suddenly seized with a fit of epilepsy, the march of the Queen’s troops was delayed for a time, which was improved to the best advantage by the Regent. The battle soon began, and was continued for nearly an hour with the most determined bravery on both sides; so eager were they, indeed, that each party threw their broken spears, daggers, and stones in the faces of their adversaries. At a critical moment the Regent’s second battalion joined the first, and this decided the fate of the day, and blasted the hopes of the unfortunate Queen, who stood upon a hill at some little distance, gazing upon the progress of the fight with an agony of anxiety. The queen immediately took horse for Dundrennan abbey, in the stewartry of Kirkcudbright, from which she fled into Cumberland, seeking succour from her crafty cousin, Elizabeth. Nineteen years afterwards the sufferings of Mary Stuart were closed by her murder on the hill of Fotheringay. In the battle of Langside, the Regent killed 300 of the Queen’s party, and took 400 prisoners. For his victory Murray was much indebted to the citizens of Glasgow, who had not forgotten the miserable sacking of their town by the Hamiltons after the ‘Battle of the Butts,’ and from their position on the Regent’s left wing they did cruel execution upon the Queen’s right. The Regent having returned to Glasgow, and offered up thanks for his victory, was sumptuously entertained by the magistrates. He expressed his deep obligations to the citizens, and especially to the heads of the corporation, for the timely aid they had afforded him, and inquired if in any way he could be serviceable to them. Matthew Fawside, the deacon of the incorporation of bakers, replied, that as the mills at Partick belonged to the Crown, and the tacksman exacted such exorbitant multures that it affected injuriously the price of bread to the community, a grant of these mills to the corporation would be regarded as a public benefit; and perhaps the bakers were not altogether undeserving of favour in another respect, as they had liberally supplied the army with bread while it remained in the neighbourhood of Glasgow. Fawside’s address had the desired effect, and the splendid flour-mills at Partick, about 2 miles below the city, on the banks of the Kelvin, are possessed by the bakers till this day. Seeing the success of this corporation, the magistrates also put in their claim, which the Regent evaded by a promise, that when the King came of age they should have all they asked for.
By the year 1579, the zeal or rather fury of the Reformers had waxed so intense that it was considered sinful to permit one stone to stand above another upon those edifices which had formerly belonged to the Catholics, however serviceable they might be as Protestant places of worship, or beautiful as architectural triumphs. The cathedral of Glasgow has, up till this period, withstood the storm of the Reformation, and had been even left untouched by the besiegers of the bishop’s castle. An act had passed encouraging this wholesale demolition, and Spottiswood thus describes its consequences:- “Thereupon ensued a pitiful vastation of churches and church-buildings, throughout all the parts of the realm; for every one made bold to put to their hands, the meaner sort imitating the example of the greater, and those who were in authority; no difference was made, but all the churches either defaced or pulled to the ground; the holy vessels, and whatsoever else men could make gain of, as timber, lead, and bells, were put to sale; the very sepulchres of the dead were not spared; the registers of the church and bibliothecs cast into the fire; in a word, all was ruined; and what had escaped in the time of the first tumult, did now undergo the common calamity; and the preachers animated the people to follow these barbarous proceedings by crying out, that the places where idols had been worshipped ought, by the law of God, to be destroyed, and that the sparing of them was the reserving of things execrable.” The execution of this act for the west was committed to the Earls of Arran, Argyle, and Glencairn;2 but they, at the intercession of the citizens, had hitherto spared the cathedral. Mr. Andrew Melville, the Principal of the college, had, however, long importuned the magistrates to allow it to be pulled down, and they at length consented. The reasons urged for its demolition – which read rather curiously at this time of day – were somewhat to the following effect:- That they might build with its materials various little churches in other parts, for the ease of the citizens, – that it was the resort of superstitious people who went there to perform their devotions, – that the church was too large, and the voice of the preacher could with difficulty be heard by the congregation, – and above all, the propriety of removing an idolatrous monument, which was the only one of all the cathedrals in the country left undestroyed, and in a condition to be repaired. A number of quarriers, masons, and other workmen were accordingly engaged by a special day to pull down this beautiful edifice; but while they were assembling, by beat of drum, the craftsmen of Glasgow, who justly regarded the cathedral as the architectural pride of their city, flew to arms, and informed Mr. Melville that if any one dared to pull down a single stone of the building, he should that instant be buried under it. So much incensed were they at the attempt to demolish this ancient building, that if the magistrates had not succeeded in appeasing them, they would have put Melville to death with all his adherents. Upon this a complaint was made by the ministers, and the leaders of the insurrection cited to appear before the king, who was not yet thirteen years of age; but his majesty took the craftsmen under his protection, approved of the opposition they had made, and prohibited the ministers from following the work of demolition farther, – saying, that “too many churches had been already destroyed, and that he would not tolerate more abuses of that kind.” And thus was saved from religious frenzy and mistaken zeal the venerable cathedral of Glasgow. It would appear that shortly after this period the university was nearly in equal danger of destruction; for amongst a list of grievances presented to the king after the ‘Raid of Ruthven,’ the magistrates are complained against for invading the college with a mob, and shedding the blood of many of the students, who prevented them from burning the university. The bailies, who acted the part of ringleaders, are even named, viz., Colin Campbell, William Heygate, and Archibald Heygate.
In 1581, the Confession of Faith was subscribed by 2,250 persons in Glasgow, women as well as men signing it, and it appears to have been carried about from house to house. Towards the close of the 16th and about the beginning of the 17th centuries, church-discipline amongst the Presbyterian burghers of Glasgow appears to have been of a somewhat stringent description. In August 1587, it was decreed that harlots should be carted through the town, ducked in Clyde, and put into the jugs at the cross on a market-day. Adultery was punished, by causing the culprit to appear six Sabbaths on the cockstool at the pillar, barefooted and barelegged, in sackcloth; and thereafter to be carted through the town, and ducked in the Clyde from a pulley fixed on the bridge. It would appear, however, that the presbyters of old could be gentle with those of gentle blood, when it suited their liking; for we find that, in March 1608, the session agreed to pass the laird of Minto, a late provost, who was accused of a breach of chastity, with a reprimand, on account of his age and the station he held in the town. Those who were released from excommunication were required to pass through the following ordeal:- “A man excommunicated for relapse in adultery, was to pass from his dwelling to ‘the Hie kirk,’ six Sundays, at six in the morning at the first bell, conveyed by two of the elders or deacons, or any other two honest men, and to stand at the kirk-door barefooted, and barelegged, in sackcloth, with a white wand in his hand, bareheaded till after the reading of the text; in the same manner, to repair to the pillar till the sermon was ended, and then to go out to the door again, and stand there till the congregation pass from the kirk, and then he is released.” The presbytery enjoined their ministers to be of sedate deportment, and not vain with long ruffles and gaudy toys in their clothes. The session ordered that the drum should go through the town, to intimate that there must be no bickerings or plays on the Sabbath; and games, golfs, bowls, &c. were prohibited on the same day. It was strictly enjoined that no person go out to Ruglen to see plays acted on the Sabbath; and in 1595 the bailies of that burgh were reprimanded by the presbytery for sanctioning and encouraging profane stage-plays on the Lord’s day. In 1588 the kirk-session of Glasgow ordered a number of ash trees in the Hie kirk-yard to be cut down to make forms for the folk to sit on in the kirk; women were not permitted to sit upon these forms, but were directed to bring stools with them. It was also intimated, that “no woman, married or unmarried, should come within the kirk-door to preachings or prayers with their plaids about their heads, neither to lie down in the kirk on their face in time of prayer; with certification that their plaids be drawn down, or they be raised by the beadle. The beadles were to have staffs for keeping quietness in the kirk, and comely order; for each marriage they were to get 4d., and 2d. for each baptism.” On their part the magistrates appear to have been equally potent in those days, and equally ready to exercise their authority. Their jurisdiction seems to have extended to both civil and criminal cases, and they acted alike in a legislative and executive capacity. One of the most remarkable illustrations of the extent of their authority, is a composition for the slaughter of one of the burgesses, which is entered on the burgh-books as having the “strenth of ane decreit of the provest and baillies.” It would appear that about the year 1575, Ninian Syare murdered Ninian McLitster; and the composition in question is a contract betwixt the widow and representatives of the murdered man, and David Syare, the son of the murderer, as taking burden for his father, by which the first party agrees, upon the performance of certain conditions, to pass from “any action, criminal or otherwise, that they may have against him for the crime.” The contract goes on to mention these conditions in manner following: “For the quhilkis premiss to be done, and done in manner foirsaid respective, the said David takand the burden on him for his father, sall cause the said Niniane, his father, to compere in the Hie kirk of Glasgow, the xi. daye of December nixt to cum, and thair mak the homage and repentance for the said slauchter, with sick circumstances and cerymoneis as sall be ordanit and devysit be Coline Campbell and Robert Stewart, burgessis of Glasgow, chosin and admittit be baitht the parties for that effect. And farther, the said David, &c, (we omit a tedious list of names,) oblist them, their airis, executoris, and assignayis, to content and paye to the said Margaret and William McLitster, for themselfis and in their name of the said umquhile Niniane, McLitster’s barnes, the sowme of three hundredth merkis money, in name of Kynbute,” (or reparation,) &c. But instances of what would now be considered an extraordinary stretch of power were by no means uncommon in these olden times; and the character of the population and state of the kingdom may be learned from the many strict orders to the citizens to provide themselves with arms, and be prepared for every contingency. In 1517, the bailies and council ordained “everilk buythhalder to have in reddines within the buytht, ane halbert, jak, and steelbonet, for eschewing of sick inconvenients that may happen.” And again, in 1577-8, we have the following, “Quhilk daye it is condescendit be the prouest, baillies, counsale, and dekynes, that the act maid anent the hagbuttis be renewit, that every ane, substantious and habill man sall have ane hagbutt, with graitht, halder, and bullet effeiring thairto, and that every wheris, nocht beand habill thairfoir, sall have ane lang speir, by (besides) jakkis, steilbonetis, sword, and bukler,” &c. In 1638, the council authorized the master of works, then in Flanders, to purchase for the town’s use fifty muskets, with “staffis and bandeleiris,” and fifty pikes. Subsequently, in the same year, they ordered “three score young men to be elected and trained to handle arms, the driller to have for his pains 40 shillings each day for his coming out of Edinburgh, aye until he be discharged, with his horse hire, hame and afield.”
The town appears in these times to have been sadly afflicted with a class of diseased unfortunates, called “lepers,” and so early as 1350, Lady Lochow, daughter of Robert, duke of Albany, and mother of Colin, 1st Earl of Argyle, erected and endowed a leprosy hospital on the south side of the bridge near the river. It is recorded that on 7th October, 1589, there were six lepers in the Lepers’ house at the Gorbals end of the bridge, viz. Andrew Lawson, merchant; Steven Gilmour, cordiner; Robert Bogle, son of Patrick Bogle; Patrick Brittal, tailor; John Thomson, tailor; and Daniel Cunningham, tinker. In 1610, the council ordained that the lepers of the hospital should go only upon the causewayside, near the gutter, and should have “clapperis” in their hands to warn the people to keep away, and a cloth upon their mouth and face, and should stand afar off while they receive alms, under the penalty of being banished from the town and hospital. In 1635, the magistrates purchased from the Earl of Glencairn the manse of the prebendary of Cambuslang – which had been gifted to him after the Reformation – which they fitted up as a house of correction for dissolute women, and the authority and vigilance of the kirk session proceeded so far as to order them to be “whipped every day during pleasure!”
Glasgow was occasionally honoured by being the seat of the ecclesiastical synods of the church; and from the character of the age for a long period subsequent to the Reformation, these were regarded as of more importance than the visits of royalty itself. The most remarkable of all these was that held in 1638, in the reign of Charles I., in which they fairly overturned the Episcopal system of the king, and asserted the perfect independence of the kirk. The magistrates looked upon this great convocation with some anxiety, and amongst others they made the very wholesome regulation that “no inhabitant expect more rent for their houses, chambers, beds, and stables, than shall be appointed by the provost, bailies, and council, and ordains the same to be intimated through the town by sound of drum, that no person may plead ignorance.” In the prospect of the great number of persons who were expected to attend this assembly, the town-council statuted and ordained, that there should be a guard of men kept through the day, and a watch at night under the orders of the provost and bailies. The treasurer was directed to purchase for the town’s use 100 muskets with “staffis and bandeleiris,” 30 pikes, 4 cwt. of powder, and 4 cwt. of match. This assembly – so much celebrated in the annals of the Church of Scotland – commenced its sittings on the 21st November, 1638, the well-known Marquis of Hamilton officiating as his majesty’s commissioner. In the course of the preceding year, Laud, Archbishop of Canterbury, had introduced a service-book to be read in the Scottish churches, which the people regarded with abhorrence as smacking of the mass. Both on this account, and for the purpose of overturning the system of episcopacy, the Presbyterian party made extraordinary exertions, and according to the narrative of Dr. Robert Bailie, afterwards Principal of the University of Glasgow, they succeeded in gathering together the most celebrated and influential nobles and gentlemen in the kingdom. On Wednesday the 28th November, during the seventh session or sederunt, when the Assembly were about to vote upon the question, whether they were the bishop’s judges, the commissioner produced the king’s instructions and warrant to dissolve the Assembly, which he accordingly did. But after “a sad, grave, and sorrowful discourse,” the Assembly resolved to proceed, notwithstanding their dissolution by the King, and the departure of his representative. The Presbyterian party, having once passed the Rubicon, carried every thing according to their own liking, and with a spirit of independence which evinced the sincerity of their attachment to a covenanted kirk. They decreed the abjuration of Episcopacy; the abolition of the service-books and the high commission; they pronounced the proceedings of the preceding six assemblies null and void; the bishops and sundry ministers were tried, and deposed for professing the doctrines of Arminianism, Popery, and Atheism, – for urging the use of the liturgy, bowing to the altar, and wearing the cope and rotchet, – for declining the assembly, – and for being guilty of simony, avarice, profanity, adultery, drunkenness, and other infamous crimes. Amongst those deposed were the Bishops of Galloway, St. Andrews, Brechin, Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Ross, Glasgow, Argyle, and Dunblane, who were at the same time excommunicated. The covenant being approved of, was ordered to be signed by all classes of the people, under pain of excommunication; and churchmen were incapacitated from holding any place in parliament. “Thus,” to use the words of the historian Hume, “Episcopacy, the high commission, the articles of Perth, the canons, and the liturgy were abolished, and declared unlawful; and the whole fabric which James and Charles, in a long course of years, had been rearing with so much care and policy, fell at once to the ground.” In these proceedings the Assembly was much countenanced and assisted by the Earl of Argyle, whose conduct in remaining amongst them, says Dr. Bailie, “went much against the stomach both of the commissioner and king,” the latter of whom never forgave him. The Assembly continued its sittings till the 26th of December inclusive, having in all 26 sessions, or 18 after the commissioner’s departure. The last day of the Assembly is stated to have been a “blythe day to all.” At the opening the venerable Mr. John Bell, minister of the Tron church of Glasgow, preached, and Mr. Alexander Henderson was elected moderator, and officiated in this capacity during the sederunt.
Shortly thereafter the civil wars of Charles I. broke out and desolated the kingdom from the one end to the other. The Marquis of Montrose, who carried the standard of the king, raised an army in the north, and proceeding south gave battle, at Kilsyth, to General Bailie, at the head of 7,000 Covenanters, on 15th August, 1645. The Covenanters were entirely routed, and nearly 6,000 of them put to the sword, while of the remaining thousand a vast proportion were suffocated in Dullater-bog. The city of Glasgow having heard of Montrose’s success, sent Sir Robert Douglas of Blackerston, and Mr. Archd. Fleming, commissary, to congratulate him upon his victory, and invite him and his army to spend some days at Glasgow. He accordingly marched next day to the city, where he was entertained with great cost and solemnity; but he only remained one night on account of the plague, which was then raging, though before he left it he made the inhabitants pay pretty smartly for his visit. Subsequently, as is well known, Montrose fell into reverses from the desertion of his army, which was little better than an undisciplined rabble, and was surprised and defeated by Lesley, at Philiphaugh, on 13th Sept., 1645. Three of the prisoners taken there, viz. Sir William Rollock, Sir Philip Nisbet, and Alexander Ogilvy of Inverquharity, were executed at Glasgow – the first on the 28th, and the others on the 29th of October. Upon occasion of these executions, the Rev. Mr. David Dickson, then Professor of Divinity in Glasgow, was heard to exclaim, “The guid work goes bonnily on!” which passed into a proverb. Lesley, the victorious general, treated the citizens with great civility, though he jeeringly borrowed from them the sum of £20,000 Scots, as the interest, according to his phrase, of the £50,000 which, it was alleged, they had lent to Montrose. Charles I., as is well known, threw himself, in the days of his adversity, upon the protection of the Scots covenanting army, by whom he was, nine months afterwards, basely sold to the English parliament. Scotland, after having given the King’s cause the first fatal blow, began to see that Presbytery would be in danger from the overthrow of the king, and the triumph of the Independent party in England; and they resolved, therefore, when too late, to arm in his defence, and invade England. Levies were ordered throughout the various districts of the kingdom, but the clergy opposed them in many instances from their dread of the restoration of monarchy; and Glasgow was found to be amongst the number of those contumacious burghs which declined to furnish its quota. The magistrates and council were in consequence summoned before parliament, imprisoned for several days, and deprived of their offices. In addition to this, some regiments of horse and foot were sent to the town with orders to quarter on no other but the magistrates, council, session, and their friends. Some of the citizens were burdened with 10, 20, and 30 soldiers, who, in addition to meat, drink, and wine, exacted their daily pay; altogether, says Principal Bailie, “our loss and danger was not so great by James Graham.” The army, however, was completed, being one of the most numerous which had ever left Scotland for the invasion of England. The division under the command of the Marquis of Hamilton was attacked by Cromwell, near Preston, in Lancashire, his forces completely routed, and himself taken prisoner. He was afterwards brought to the scaffold, and 10,000 of his soldiers were sold to the plantations at two shillings per head. On the 3d September, 1650, Cromwell defeated the Scotch army at Dunbar – a battle which was forfeited by the ill-timed exhortations of the Scotch clergymen, who induced their countrymen to leave an unassailable position, where they fell an easy prey to the troops of Cromwell: See article DUNBAR. In the course of the winter the Protector visited Glasgow, and took up his residence and held his levees in Silvercraig’s house, on the east side of the Saltmarket, nearly opposite the Bridgegate. While in this city, Cromwell acted the character of austere sanctity so well that some of the Scottish clergy, who had been honoured by him with an interview, averred that he must surely be one of the elect. Having learned that Mr. Patrick Gillespie, minister of the Outer High church, had the chief sway in ecclesiastical matters, the Protector sent for him, and after a long conference, gave him a prayer. On the following Sunday he went in state to the cathedral church. Here it so happened that the celebrated Zacharias Boyd preached in the forenoon, and railed so bitterly against Cromwell that his secretary, Thurloe, asked leave, in a whisper, “to pistol the scoundrel.” “No, no,” said the general, “we will manage him in another way!” In the evening he asked the clergy to sup with him, and concluded the entertainment with a prayer, which is said to have lasted till three o’clock in the morning. Cromwell’s stay in Scotland was in the main extremely beneficial to the country, and to Glasgow in particular. Great part of his troops consisted of tradesmen, who had been spirited away from their peaceful callings by the frenzy and enthusiasm of the times. A number of these settled in Glasgow, and contributed to foster the spirit of trade, and bring the arts to a degree of perfection to which our rude forefathers had been formerly strangers. English judges were appointed to determine causes in the Scottish courts; justice was strictly administered;3 and the whole country was brought to a degree of perfect subordination under General Monk.
In its previous history, Glasgow had been frequently severely tried in the crucible of affliction by fire and pestilence; but about this time, on 17th June, 1652, a conflagration broke out, which exceeded all former visitations of the kind in its extent and in its temporarily painful effects upon the citizens. The greatest part of Saltmarket, Trongate, and High-street, was destroyed. Contributions were made for the sufferers from all parts of the country. In the representation drawn up at the time by the magistrates, the following passages occur, descriptive of the appalling extremities to which the citizens had been reduced: “This fire, by the hand of God, was carried so from the one side of the street to the other, that it was totally consumed on both sides, and in it the faire, best, and most considerable buildings in the town, with all the shops and warehouses of the merchants which were therein. This sad dispensation from the hand of an angry God continued near 18 hours before the great violence of the fire began to abate; in this space of time many of those who were wealthy before were extremely impoverished; many merchants and others almost ruined; a considerable number of widowers, orphans, and honest families were brought to extreme misery; the dwellings of almost a thousand families were utterly consumed, and many of those who had a large patrimony, and ofttimes had been a shelter to others in their straits, had not themselves a place to cover their heads, or knew wherewith to provide bread for them and their families.” The wretched inhabitants were for many days and nights compelled to encamp in the open fields, and altogether this calamity was regarded as the severest visitation which had afflicted Glasgow since the foundation of her cathedral. The loss was computed at £100,000, – no inconsiderable sum in those days. But like London, in a similar affliction, Glasgow rose purified and beautified from her ashes. The majority of the houses had been built, or faced with wood, and these gave place to substantial stone erections, which were constructed in that open and commodious manner which is now so generally characteristic of the city. Subsequently, in 1677, another great conflagration took place in Glasgow, when 130 houses were burned. It originated at the head of the Saltmarket, near the cross; and was kindled by a smith’s apprentice, who had been beaten by his master, and who set fire to his smithy during the night in revenge. Law, in his ‘Memorials,’ says: “The heat was so great that it fyred the horoledge of the tolbooth, there being some prisoners in it at the tyme, amongst whom was the laird of Caraldone. The people brake open the tolbooth doors, and set them free.” Though this fire was painfully disastrous in its effects, yet the inhabitants were now in a position much better fitted to stand the infliction, and accordingly there was not experienced the tithe of the suffering which marked the former conflagration.
The Restoration took place in 1660; but it only brought an increase of suffering and disaster to the people of Scotland. It soon became apparent that the policy of Charles II. would be similar to that of his father in his efforts to force Episcopacy upon a reclaiming people; and as Glasgow was the head-quarters of the Covenanters of the west, where the people were resolved to “suffer unto the death for conscience’ sake,” the city shared in all the pains and persecutions of that iron time. The king having appointed Mr. James Sharp, minister of Crail, to be archbishop of St. Andrews, and Mr. Andrew Fairfoul, minister of Dunse, to be archbishop of Glasgow, they arrived in Edinburgh in April 1662, having been previously ordained in London. Despite the efforts of the new archbishops, and the regal power with which they were armed, the clergy and laity of Glasgow, with trifling exceptions, refused to conform to the new order of things; and the Earl of Middleton, with a committee of the Privy council, came to Glasgow on 26th September, 1662, to enforce compliance with the new order of things. The council met in the forehall of the college, and it was long afterwards remembered as “the drunken meeting of Glasgow;” for with the exception of Sir James Lockhart of Lee, one of the senators of the college of justice, it was affirmed that every person present was flustered with liquor.4 Lord Middleton informed the committee that the Archbishop requested the royal mandate for uniformity to be enforced, which was acquiesced in by all, save Lord Lee, who assured them that it would not only desolate the country, but increase the popular dislike to the bishops. It was enforced notwithstanding, and consequent upon these proceedings, 400 ministers were ejected from their parishes, and took leave of their flocks in a single day. Wodrow says – “It was a day not only of weeping, but howling, like the weeping of Jazer, as when a besieged city is sacked.” Amongst those who were ejected, we find Principal Gillespie, Messrs. Robert McHard, John Carstairs, and Ralph Rogers of Glasgow, and Donald Cargill of the Barony parish, besides nine others, all in the presbytery of Glasgow. Then commenced the wild work of persecution, and the resistance of the covenanters, which has made their deeds and cause famous in all that is associated with heroic human endurance. Early in 1678, the committee of council returned to Glasgow, and had a sederunt of ten days. They sat on Sunday, during divine service, for the purpose of administering a bond which should prevent all intercourse with the exiled ministers; and such was the terror which their proceedings had inspired, that the provost, bailies, and others of the citizens, to the number of 153 persons, signed the bond, although their consciences shuddered at its contents. The better to aid their proceedings, the council brought down upon the Lowlands, in the time of peace, an army of nearly 10,000 Highlanders, who seared the face of the country like a cloud of locusts, and after a stay departed from Glasgow, loaded with plunder. This body was known afterwards by the name of ‘the Highland host.’ They marched into Ayrshire, plundering in all directions, and the loss sustained by the inhabitants from this new inroad of the Huns, was computed at the time to amount in that county alone to £137,499 6s. Scots. Upon their return, loaded with baggage, they continued to take free quarters; but the students at the college of Glasgow, and other youths in the town, stopped the bridge, the river being high, against 2,000 of them. They permitted the Celts to pass only in numbers of forty at a time, and so soon as they had eased them of their plunder, they showed these rapacious mountaineers the way to the Highlands by the West-port, without allowing any of them to enter the city. – After the victory of the Covenanters at Drumclog, a party of them marched to Glasgow, and attempted to take it from the king’s troops; but though they fought with determined bravery on the streets, they were repulsed, and their dead bodies left exposed for many days to be devoured by the butchers’ dogs. The battle of Bothwell brig followed, in which 400 of the Covenanters were killed, and 1,200 taken prisoners, and this was also followed by the most fearful pains and penalties – torturing of the person, and alienation of the property of those who either did favour or were suspected to favour, doctrines in opposition to those of ‘Black Prelacy.’ But it is not intended here to follow out this subject, deeply and painfully interesting though it may be, into minute details. Suffice it to say that many of the devoted ‘Hill folk’ were hanged at Glasgow, their heads stuck on pikes on the east side of the jail, and their bodies buried on the north side of the cathedral church.5 The death of Charles II. brought little or no mitigation of the sufferings of the Scottish people; or if it did, it was only the prospect of persecution for Popery being substituted for persecution for Episcopacy. Vast numbers of the people had emigrated to Holland, and amongst all classes, a liberal change of government was “a consummation most devoutly to be wished for.”6 It is true that during his vice-royalty in Scotland, James VII. when Duke of York, had occasionally visited Glasgow, with all the accompaniments of outward splendour, and resided in the house of Provost Bell; but the measures of persecution of which he had been long the active agent, and the horror entertained by the people generally against the institution of ‘Black Prelacy’ and Popery, caused the landing of the Prince of Orange in Torbay, on November 5th, to be regarded as a national blessing, and by no class in the kingdom was this great political event hailed with more heartfelt joy and sincerity than by the citizens of Glasgow. As a proof of it, the city levied and armed, in the following year (1689), a battalion of men, who were placed under the command of the Earl of Argyle and Lord Newbottle. These were immediately marched to Edinburgh, to assist in guarding the convention of estates, then deliberating upon the settlement of the Crown in favour of William and Mary. It is still matter of traditionary fact in Glasgow that this regiment was raised in a single day.
The blessings of peace, which had been so long denied to the kingdom, now gave the Scots an opportunity of developing their taste for industry and enterprise; and the scheme of the colonization of Darien was entered into by them with enthusiasm. Glasgow contributed its full share of men and means to that unfortunate expedition; and it is recorded that the last reinforcement to that devoted colony sailed from Rothesay, on September 14th, 1699, consisting of four ships, with 1,200 emigrants, and amongst them – as has been already stated – the last of the Stewarts of Minto. The fate of this most unfortunate enterprise is well-known; the jealousy of the Dutch East India company, as well as of the English, prevailed on the government of William to interpose such obstacles, that after waiting several months for supplies, the wretched colonists either died from starvation or escaped beggared from the shores of Darien. The money and credit of Scotland were both embarked in this scheme; and suffered so much, that years elapsed before the shock was recovered; amongst others, the inhabitants of Glasgow had hazarded such a deep stake, that we find them without shipping of their own from this period till the year 1716. This treatment of the first attempt of the Scots to plant a colony, coupled with the massacre of Glencoe, were doubtless circumstances which for long afterwards gave the inhabitants of the northern portion of the kingdom, reason to look upon the government of the Prince of Orange with feelings of abhorrence, scarcely less intense than those with which they had previously regarded the rulers who planned, and the soldiery who conducted, the persecution.
The act of union of 1707, which at that time was generally regarded as the death-blow of Scotland’s independence, was most bitterly opposed by the citizens of Glasgow, and the magistrates found it necessary to order, that not more than three persons should assemble together on the streets after sunset. Being distant from the seat of government, however, the opposition expended itself in murmur and threatened tumult; and a very short period elapsed before the citizens saw the advantages which had been conferred upon them by the opening of the American trade, which they embraced with a degree of ardour which justifies us in regarding this as the epoch from which must be dated the rise of Glasgow, as the great seat of commerce and manufactures in Scotland. In the year 1715, when the Rebellion broke out under the Earl of Marr, the city at once evinced the sincerity of its attachment to the principles of the Revolution of 1688, by raising a regiment of 600 men, at its own expense, which marched to Stirling, under the command of Mr. Aird, the late provost, and joined the royal army under the Duke of Argyle. Meanwhile, the citizens prepared for their defence at home, by fortifying the town and drawing a trench round it twelve feet in width by six in depth. These were subsequently inspected and approved of by the Duke, who, during his brief stay in the city, lodged in the house of Mr. Campbell of Shawfield. On this occasion Glasgow fortunately escaped the horrors of civil war by the subsequent defeat of the rebel host at Preston, in Lancashire.
Within a few years after the Rebellion, however, viz. 1725, a riot broke out in the city, which was so painful and fatal in its consequences, that long afterwards it was regarded as one of the plague-spots in the local annals. Daniel Campbell, Esq. of Shawfield, who was at that period the member for the city, had rendered himself extremely obnoxious to the lower orders of the citizens at least, by his having voted for the extension of the malt-tax to Scotland. On the 23d of June, the day on which the tax should have been gathered, the mob rose, obstructed the excisemen, and assumed such a threatening attitude, that next day, Captain Bushell was brought into the town with two companies of Lord Delorain’s regiment of foot. This did not prevent the crowd, however, from assailing the house of Mr. Campbell, which they completely gutted. The magistrates, not dreading that the mob would proceed to such acts of violence, had retired to a tavern to spend the evening; and about 11 o’clock, P.M., news was brought to them of the demolition which was in progress. Bushell despatched a sergeant to inquire if he would beat to arms, but the provost – who appears to have been a man averse to proceeding to extremities – declined the offer. Next day, the mob was still in an excited state, and having irritated the soldiers by throwing stones at them, Bushell, without any authority from the civil power, ordered his men to fire, when two persons were killed. The inhabitants, now thirsting for revenge and vengeance, assailed the town-house magazine, carried forth the arms, and rang the fire-bell to rouse the city: The provost being alarmed at the probable results of a collision between the military and the people, craved the former to depart, which they accordingly did in the direction of Dumbarton castle. The citizens came up with them in great force during their retreat, and commencing to act on the offensive, the Captain again ordered his men to fire, when several persons fell; and in all there were 9 killed and 17 wounded in this most unfortunate affair. The military reached the castle in safety. This matter being represented at head-quarters, General Wade took possession of the city with a large body of troops, consisting of horse and foot, with artillery and ammunition. He was accompanied by the Lord-advocate, Duncan Forbes, who immediately proceeded to make an investigation into the case, the result of which was, that 19 persons were apprehended, and were delivered over bound to Captain Bushell – who had come up from Dumbarton castle – to be conducted by him to Edinburgh. The magistrates were imprisoned at first in their own tolbooth, but subsequently they were committed to the castle, and then to the jail of Edinburgh. After the detention of a few days, the magistrates were liberated on bail, and on their return to Glasgow, were met six miles from the city by a large body of their townsmen, who conducted them home with every demonstration of attachment, the ringing of bells, &c. The magistrates were afterwards freely absolved; but it fared worse with the 19 inferior persons sent to Edinburgh, some of whom were whipped through the streets of Glasgow, some banished, and others liberated. Captain Bushell was tried for the murder of nine of the inhabitants, convicted and condemned to death; but instead of suffering the penalty of the law, he was not only pardoned, but promoted in the service. To aggravate this sufficiently distressing case, Mr. Campbell, upon his application to parliament, was allowed indemnity for his loss, and the community were taxed by it to the amount of £9,000 sterling.7 The house, the demolition of which by the Shawfield mob led to those unfortunate results, stood in the neighbourhood of Glassford-street.
The Shawfield slaughter, the imprisonment of the magistrates, and the exactions from the city, were long spoken of with peculiar bitterness by the people; but the recollection of it did not prevent them from coming forward with alacrity in defence of the reigning family in the rebellion of 1745. On this occasion they raised two battalions of 600 men each, for the service of government, and one of them was in action and behaved gallantly at the battle of Falkirk. It is recorded that the ardent loyalty of the inhabitants so much exasperated the rebels, that but for the friendly interposition of the devoted Cameron of Lochiel, the city would have been razed to the ground. Charles Edward wrote to the magistrates, demanding from them, as the representatives of the corporation, the sum of £15,000 sterling in money, all the arms in the city, and the arrears of taxes which might be due to the government. The magistrates having hopes of relief from the troops of Sir John Cope, did not comply; and the demand of the prince was then enforced by a party of horse, under Mr. John Hay, who had been a writer to the signet in Edinburgh, and who was accompanied by Glengyle, the chief of the McGregors. The magistrates now saw the necessity of exerting themselves, and compromised the demand by the advance of £5,000 in money, and £500 in goods. Upon the return of the rebel troops, from their romantic but ill-fated expedition into England, Mr. Hay again made his appearance in Glasgow with a body of troops; and as on this occasion their fortunes were desperate, and their necessities more urgent, the corporation was glad to secure their absence, by furnishing them with 12,000 linen shirts, 6,000 cloth coats, 6,000 pairs of shoes, 6,000 pairs of hose, and 6,000 bonnets. The levies of the Highlanders in money and goods, and the expenses of the two regiments, cost the town £15,000 sterling, for which the magistrates, in 1749, were voted £10,000 as a partial indemnification.
The next important public affair in which we find the citizens of Glasgow engaged, is the cordial assistance which they granted to the Government at the outbreak of the American war of independence, or the “revolt of the colonists,” as it was then termed. At the present time, however, these exertions are rather to be attributed to a feeling of self-interest than pure patriotism; for Glasgow had long enjoyed a lion’s share in the tobacco-trade, by which her citizens were enriched, and the very existence of this lucrative traffic was threatened by the war which then broke out. Upon the news of the defeat of the British by the Americans at Lexington, in 1775, reaching Glasgow, the magistrates convened a meeting of the inhabitants, when it was cordially resolved to support Government in her efforts to break the spirit of the colonists. Accordingly a body of 1,000 men was raised at an expense of more than £10,000, and placed at the disposal of his majesty. It is curious to know that the determination to smite the Americans took so strong a hold of the Glasgow citizens, that many of the principal people formed themselves into a recruiting corps for the purpose of completing the numbers of the Glasgow regiment. Mr. James Finlay, father of Mr. K. Finlay of Castle-Toward, played the Irish bagpipe in the service; Mr. John Wardrop, a Virginia merchant, beat a drum; and other wealthy and reputable citizens officiated as fifers, standard-bearers, and broadsword-men. Mr. Spiers of Elderslie, Mr. Cunningham of Lainshaw, and other merchants, hired their ships as transports; but Mr. Glassford of Dugaldston, who did not approve of the coercive measures that were in progress, laid up his vessels in the harbour of Port-Glasgow.
In the year 1779-80, while the removal of the Catholic disabilities was under discussion in parliament, the citizens of Glasgow resolved to give the bill the most determined opposition. Eighty-five societies, embracing 12,000 persons, were leagued together for this object, and kept up a close correspondence with Lord George Gordon in London. At length their enthusiasm broke into open fury, and upon a day set apart as a royal fast in February, 1780, a large mob of the citizens assailed, and demolished the shop of a Mr. Bagnall, a potter in King-street, for no other reason than that he belonged to the Roman Catholic persuasion. Subsequently, they destroyed his manufactory in Tureen-street; and for a time the city, despite the exertions of the authorities, remained in a state of perfect anarchy and confusion. Upon the termination of this effervescence, Bagnall of course instituted an action, and obtained indemnification from the community for the amount of damage he had suffered. – In 1787, the manufacturers of the city proposed a reduced scale of wages to their weavers, upon which they struck work. The workmen proceeded to acts of annoyance and violence against those who like themselves had not “turned out” – cut their webs from their looms, and burned them on the streets of the suburbs. At length the rioters proceeded to such extreme acts of lawlessness, that on the 3d September, the magistrates called in the aid of the 39th regiment of foot under Col. Kellit. The military were assailed by the mob in the Drygate with stones, brickbats, and other missiles, and after the riot act had been read, they fired, and three persons were killed, and a number severely wounded. This measure, however painful, had the effect of quelling the riot, though no less than 6,000 persons assembled at the interment of the three men in the Calton burying-grounds. Subsequent to this unfortunate occasion, a number of the weavers left Glasgow, and several of them enlisted into the very regiment which had fired amongst them.
In the course of the long war which broke out during the French Revolution, and was terminated by the overthrow of Napoleon in 1815, Glasgow evinced almost an exuberant degree of loyalty, in the number of its corps of royal volunteers, which were clothed and equipped at the expense of the members, who served without pay. Fortunately the tide of invasion rolled not to our shores; and as the efforts of these worthy men are only remembered by their holiday-parades and patriotic intentions, it is unnecessary that we should here enlarge upon the subject.
In the Radical time of 1819-20, the peace of the city was much endangered from the feeling of discontent which pervaded the minds of large masses of the working classes, who in many cases had arrayed and armed themselves with the intention of openly resisting the Government. Opinion is still divided regarding the proceedings of this unhappy period, – the causes which led to it, – and the means which were taken for its suppression; and it is not the object of this work to reconcile sentiments which differ so widely. The execution of James Wilson – a poor thoughtless creature – was certainly an act of unnecessary severity.8 Since then the history of the city is happily unmarked by either tumult, warlike preparations, or disaster, if we except the visitation of cholera in 1832, which severely afflicted this locality, in common with many others of the kingdom, and between February and November of that year cut off 3,005 persons. Its annals, however, are not the less interesting that they belong to the piping times of peace; for they mark the almost railroad speed with which the capital of the West has progressed in population, in intelligence, and in commercial and manufacturing wealth.
Commerce, Manufactures, &c.
So early as 1420, a William Elphinston is made mention of as a promoter of trade in Glasgow – the traffic which he managed being, in all likelihood, the curing and exporting of salmon. But the first authentic document respecting Glasgow as a place of trade, is to be referred to the year 1546. Complaints having been made to Henry VIII., that several English ships had “been taken and plundered by vessels belonging to Scotland, there is an order of the Privy-council of Scotland in that year, discharging such captures for the future, and, among other places made mention of in that order, is Glasgow. The commerce which at this time it carried on could not be great. It probably consisted of little more than a few small vessels with pickled salmon for the French market: as this fishery was at that time carried on to a considerable extent by Glasgow, Renfrew, and Dumbarton. Between the years 1630 and 1660, a great degree of attention seems to have been paid to inland traffic by the inhabitants of Glasgow. Principal Bailie informs us that the increase of the town, arising from this source of employment, was great. The exportation of salmon and of herrings also increased. In 1651, Commissioner Tucker having been directed by the Government to report on the revenue of the excise and customs of Scotland, speaks of Glasgow as follows:- “With the exception,” says he, “of the colliginors, all the inhabitants are traders: some to Ireland with small smiddy-coals, in open boats, from 4 to 10 tons, from whence they bring hoops, rungs, barrel-staves, meal, oats, and butter; some to France, with plaiding, coals, and herrings, from which the return is salt, pepper, raisins, and prunes; some to Norway for timber. There hath likewise been some who ventured as far as Barbadoes: but the loss which they sustained by being obliged to come home late in the year, has made them discontinue going thither any more. The mercantile genius of the people is strong, if they were not checked and kept under by the shallowness of their river, every day more and more increasing and filling up, so that no vessel of any burden can come up nearer the town than 14 miles, where they must unlade and send up their timber on rafts, and all other commodities by 3 or 4 tons of goods at a time, in small cobbles or boats, of 3, 4, or 5, and none above 6 tons a-boat. There is in this place a collector, a cheque, and 4 writers. There are 12 vessels belonging to the merchants of this port: viz., 3 of 150 tons each; 1 of 140; 2 of 100; 1 of 50; 3 of 30; 1 of 15; and 1 of 12; none of which come up to the town. – Total, 957 tons.” In the war between Britain and Holland, during the reign of Charles II. a privateer was fitted out in the Clyde to cruize against the Dutch, She was called the Lion of Glasgow, Robert McAllan, commander; was declared to be 60 tons burden or thereby, and to have on board 5 pieces of ordnance, 32 muskets, 12 half-pikes, 18 poleaxes, 30 swords, and 3 barrels of gunpowder; with provisions for 6 months, and 60 hands. In 1699, the merchants of Glasgow owned 15 vessels of an aggregate burden of 1,180 tons. The foreign trade at that period was valued at £20,500 Scots, but was considered to have partially decayed. The citizens who seem to have most distinguished themselves during this period, in the pursuit of a foreign commercial trade, were Walter Gibson and John Anderson, Gibson cured and packed in one year, 300 lasts of herrings, which he sent to St, Martin’s in France, on board of a Dutch vessel called the St. Agathe, of 450 tons burden; his returns being brandy and salt. He was the first who imported iron into the Clyde. Anderson is said to have been the first who imported white wines. Whatever the trade of Glasgow was at this time, it could not have been very considerable: for the ports with which its citizens traded lay all to the eastward, and the circumnavigation of the island would prove an almost insurmountable barrier to the commerce of Glasgow. The people of the east coast, from their situation, must have been in possession of nearly the whole commerce of Scotland.
The union with England, although opposed at the time with all the effort of blind prejudice and the remembrance of national hate, opened a field for which the situation of Glasgow was highly advantageous; and while the commerce of the east coast, after that period, rapidly declined, that of the west increased to an amazing degree. Notwithstanding the opposition which they had offered to this most wise and judicious of all national measures, the advantages which had been conferred on them by the Union were soon apparent to the citizens of Glasgow, who began immediately to prosecute the trade to Virginia and Maryland. For this purpose they chartered fitting vessels from Whitehaven; and sent out cargoes of goods, and brought back tobacco in return. The method in which they managed this trade was certainly a prudent one, and well-fitted for the time. A supercargo went out with every vessel, and bartered his goods for tobacco, until such time as he had either sold all, or procured as much of the “Virginian leaf” as was sufficient to load his vessel. He then returned immediately, and if any of his goods remained unsold, they were brought home with him. The trade, as has been stated, was at first conducted in vessels chartered from English port; but commerce having prospered with them, the merchants of Glasgow began to build ships for themselves, and, in 1718, the first vessel, the property of Glasgow owners, crossed the Atlantic. She was launched at Crawfurd’s-dyke, a suburb of Greenock, and only registered 60 tons. The imports of tobacco were now considerable, and the merchants of Glasgow began to undersell the English even in their own ports. In 1717, the merchants of Bristol presented remonstrances to the commissioners of customs in London against the fairness of the Glasgow trade. To the allegations contained in these remonstrance’s, the merchants of Glasgow sent such answers as convinced the commissioners that the complaints of the Bristol merchants had been dictated by mere jealousy. They still, however, continued to undersell the English traders, and, in 1721, a formidable conspiracy was entered into by almost all the tobacco merchants in South Britain, against the traffic of Glasgow. They were accused of practising frauds upon the revenue in conducting their business; bills of equity were exhibited against them in the court of exchequer, for no less than 33 ships’ cargoes, by which they were commanded to declare upon oath, whether or not they had imported in these ships any, and how much more tobacco than had been exported, or had paid the King’s duty; vexatious lawsuits of every kind were stirred up against them, and every species of persecution, which jealousy aided by wealth could invent, to destroy the trade of Glasgow, was put in practice. The matter underwent an examination before the lords of the treasury during the same year, and after they had duly considered the case, it was dismissed in the following terms:- “That the complaints of the merchants of London, Bristol, Liverpool, Whitehaven, &c., are groundless, and proceed from a spirit of envy, and not from a regard to the interests of trade, or to the King’s revenue.” But the Southern persecutors of the trade of Glasgow were not thus to be baulked; for they speedily thereafter made a complaint to parliament, and, in 1722, commissioners were sent to Glasgow, who imposed such a number of stringent and vexatious regulations on the trade, that its operations were severely cramped, and for some years it almost struggled for existence. In fact, it was not till 1735 that it began to get up its head, and evince symptoms of vigorous life. In that year, however, it began to be itself again, and the number of ships, brigantines, and sloops belonging to the port now amounted to 67. These vessels traded with Virginia, Jamaica, Antigua, St. Kitts, Barbadoes, Gibraltar, Holland, Stockholm, and Ireland, besides maintaining a considerable coasting-trade. From 1735 to 1750, the commerce of Glasgow advanced slowly; but soon after 1740, a new mode of trading was adopted in the place of the old method of barter; factors were now established in the country, who received the goods, and remitted tobacco; and for these goods they gave credit to the planters, on condition that they should receive their crops of tobacco, when ready for the market. For several years this method succeeded extremely well, and the payments were generally made in a reasonable time; but the trade after 1750 having vastly increased, and factors being established in every corner of the country, a spirit of keen rivalry began to develop itself; they lent to the planters large sums of money, in order to secure their trade, and gave them unlimited credits – thus rendering the commerce with America rather a speculative than a solid branch of business. The trade had now become one of vast magnitude, and almost the whole capital of the city was embarked in it, creating something like a monopoly in favour of the Glasgow merchants. Denholm, in his History of Glasgow, mentions as a fact, that, “in the year 1772, out of 90,000 hhds. of tobacco imported into Britain, Glasgow alone imported 49,000 of these.” And it is also stated that, in the French war, which immediately preceded the contest with America, one merchant in the city, viz. John Glassford, Esq., possessed at one time 25 ships with their cargoes, and is said to have traded to the amount of more than half-a-million sterling yearly. The year immediately before the American war of independence, the imports into the Clyde were 57,143 hhds., the property of 42 merchants; and of this only a very small portion – not more than 1,600 hhds. – was retained for local consumption. The importance of this traffic, therefore, to the commercial capital of the West, will explain more readily than any thing else, the alacrity and seeming loyalty displayed by the Glasgowegians in raising troops to smite the rebellious colonists of North America.
The temporary disruption of the American trade proved a “heavy blow, and great discouragement” to the citizens of Glasgow, to whom it had long been the source of profit and wealth. But, after recovering from the crash which it occasioned, the circumstance only served to call forth their enterprise by seeking out new channels for their trade. And they were not unsuccessful. Soon after the Union, some attempts had been made to open a trade with the West India islands; but for many years it was perfectly trifling in amount, and consisted of only sending out an occasional ship with herrings – for the use of the Negroes – and a few bale goods, and in bringing back rum and sugar in return. The merchants of Glasgow, however, ultimately directed their energies to this branch of commerce with untiring assiduity, and with such success that the loss sustained by the breaking up of the tobacco-traffic was soon unfelt. They have now, it may be said, extended their commerce to the “uttermost parts of the sea;” but, however interesting a detail of the gradual rise and progress of the commerce of Glasgow might be, it would be much too lengthy for the limits of the present work. Some idea may be formed of the rapid strides which it has made during the last 30 years, and of its present magnitude, from the annexed table of the receipts at the custom-house of Glasgow down to the end of 1840:-
Amount of Custom-duties collected at Glasgow.
|1812,||£3,124 2 4½||1827,||£71,922 8 0¼|
|1813,||7,511 6 5½||1828,||74,255 0 1¼|
|1814,||7,419 12 8||1829,||70,964 8 4|
|1815,||8,300 4 3||1830,||59,013 17 3|
|1816,||8,424 9 2||1831,||72,053 17 4|
|1817,||8,290 18 1||1832,||68,741 5 9|
|1818,||8,402 1 3||1833,||97,041 11 11|
|1819,||8,384 3 4||1834,||166,913 3 3|
|1820,||11,000 6 9||1835,||270,667 8 9|
|1821,||11.428 19 0||1836,||314,701 10 8|
|1822,||16,147 17 7||1837,||389,702 2 10|
|1823,||22,728 17 2½||1838,||394,144 11 8|
|1824,||29,926 15 0||1839,||468,974 12 2|
|1825,||41,154 6 9||1840,||472,563 19 9|
|1826,||78,958 13 8½||1841,||526,100 0 11|
The bonding-system in Glasgow commenced in 1817, but was not in full operation till 1820. The bonding of tobacco took place in 1833, and tea in 1834; but they also required some time before the duties were greatly increased. – Perhaps there is no port in the kingdom which can exhibit such a rapid advancement within the same number of years; but, to prevent misconception, it is necessary to state that, independently of the bona fide increase of trade, much of the above rise must be attributed to the great improvements in the river, which of late years has enabled ships of large burden to come up to the Broomielaw, and pay those dues into the Glasgow custom-house, which formerly were received at Greenock.
In 1816, Messrs. James Finlay and Co. despatched a ship of 600 tons burden to Calcutta, being the first merchants in Scotland who cleared out a vessel direct for India. Other merchants followed the example which had been so well set them, and the trade has now become a most extensive one. It is rarely that one or more ships are not lying on the berth at the Broomielaw. for Calcutta, Bombay, Madras, Singapore, Manilla, or other ports in the East. Glasgow, in conjunction with Greenock, too, has of late entered extensively into the emigration-trade; and during the last five years, a large number of emigrant-ships have been despatched to Sydney, New South Wales, and Adelaide in South Australia; and it is also a creditable fact that the Clyde is the only river in Scotland from which emigrant-ships have been despatched for the rising colony of New Zealand – the Bengal Merchant having sailed in November, 1839, and the Blenheim in September, 1840, with well-equipped bodies of emigrants for that infant-settlement. The timber trade is one of great magnitude, and well worthy of notice were it only to state the extensive operations of a single house in Glasgow, viz., Pollock, Gilmour, and Company, who are “chiefly engaged in the North American timber trade, and have eight different establishments that ship annually upwards of 6,000,000 cubic feet of timber; to cut and to collect which, and to prepare it for shipment, requires upwards of 15,000 men, and 600 horses and oxen in constant employment. For the accommodation of their trade, they are owners of 21 large ships, the register tonnage of which is 12,005 tons, navigated by 502 seamen, carrying each trip upwards of 20,000 tons of timber, at 40 cubic feet per ton. All of which ships make two, and several of them three, trips annually.” The number and tonnage of sailing-vessels registered at Glasgow, on December 31st, 1841, was as follows: Under 50 tons, 58 vessels; total tonnage, 1,994 tons. Above 50 tons, 307 vessels; total tonnage, 81,999 tons. At the same date the steam-vessels belonging to the post were as follows: Under 50 tons, 12 vessels; total tonnage, 518 tons. Above 50 tons, 51 vessels; total tonnage, 9,780 tons.
Whether or not Glasgow possessed any manufactures in the olden time, is a question which it would now be difficult to determine; that the inhabitants, by means of the spinning-wheel and loom, made linens and woollens for their own use is certain, but up till a period subsequent to the Union, there is little reason to believe that their manufactures extended further. Glasgow plaids – which were sold into Edinburgh about the close of the 17th century – were in high repute, but it does not appear that the trade had ever been any thing but an inconsiderable one. There is little doubt, however, that the commerce with America first suggested the introduction of manufactures into the city; and that they were established on a small scale about 1725, is not matter of doubt. Their progress at the outset was slow indeed, and it was not until the Legislature had granted great encouragement to the manufacturing of linen in Scotland, that the manufactures of Glasgow began to assume some degree of importance. The act of parliament, in 1748, prohibiting the importing or wearing of French cambrics, under severe penalties; and the act of 1751, allowing weavers in flax or hemp to settle and exercise their trades in any part of Scotland, free from all corporation-dues, conjoined with the bounty of 1½d. per yard on all linens exported at and under 18d. per yard, were doubtless the principal causes of the success of the linen-manufacture. Success in one branch encourages a trial in others, and accordingly we find, that between 1725 and 1750, manufactures of various kinds obtained a firm footing in the city: since which time, up till the present moment, they have, with occasional periods of depression, continued to extend and prosper. – Glasgow was the first place in Great Britain in which inkle-wares were manufactured. Previous to 1732, the engine-looms had been in use, but these were so clumsy, inconvenient, and altogether produced so little work in proportion to the labour expended, that the trade may be said to have been entirely monopolized by the Dutch, who were in possession of the large inkle looms. Mr. Alexander Harvey, who commenced this branch in Glasgow, was so sensible of the disadvantages under which it laboured, that he proceeded to Holland, and despite the care and jealousy which the Dutch evinced to keep the secret of the manufactory to themselves, he contrived to bring over with him from Haarlem, two of their looms and one of their workmen, and thus firmly established the trade in the city under the most favourable circumstances. The Dutchman remained some years in Glasgow; but considering himself slighted from some cause, he removed to Manchester, and soon made the manufacturers there as skilful as their brethren benorth the Sark.
The vast improvements which had been made in the production of cotton yarn by spinning it with machinery soon found their way to Glasgow; and the successive inventions of Wyatt of Birmingham, Hargrave of Lancashire, with the Magnum opus of Sir Richard Arkwright, were soon called into operation in North Britain by the capital and enterprise of the Glasgow manufacturers. In the infancy of the cotton-trade, the spinning-works were erected at a distance from the city, and on the most convenient spots for procuring falls of water sufficiently powerful to propel the machinery. Amongst those so erected were the Ballindalloch and Doune mills in Stirlingshire; the Catrine mills in Ayrshire; the Lanark mills, and the Rothesay mills in Bute – all of them distant from Glasgow certainly, but all of them called into existence by its money-power. Something, however, was still wanting to place the trade on that footing of pre-eminence in Glasgow which it has now long enjoyed, and to bring its exhaustless coal-fields into profitable operation. And this was supplied by the genius of James Watt; who, instead of sending the workmen to the motive power, devised the admirable mode of raising up the motive power among the workmen. In 1792, the first steam-engine for spinning cotton was put up in Glasgow, for Messrs. Scott, Stevenson, and Company, opposite that locality now known as the Steam-boat quay.
A few sentences regarding this most mighty of all mighty inventions may not be out of place here, especially as Glasgow is so proudly connected with the early gropings of the mind of Watt towards that mechanical perfection which the world has long conceded as his due. The life of Watt is, of course, inseparable from a vidimus of the earliest indications of steam-power, when in the 9th century Silvester II. made the organ of Rheim’s cathedral resound by the application of vapour, down to his own great work, the steam-engine, which, without tiring or abatement, “can engrave a seal, and cut masses of obdurate metal like wax before it, – draw out, without breaking, a thread as fine as gossamer, – and lift a ship of war like a bauble in the air, – which can embroider muslin and forge anchors, – cut steel into ribands, and impel loaded vessels against the fury of the winds and waves.” It is well-known that the Greeks and Romans were perfectly well-acquainted with the fact that steam was capable of attaining a prodigious mechanical power; and it is related that Athemius, the architect of Justinian, who owed a grudge to Zeno the orator, and lived contiguous to him, annoyed his enemy by placing great caldrons in the ground-floor of his own house, from which he conducted flexible tubes to the ceiling of Zeno’s mansion, and that these ceilings shook, as if from the effects of an earthquake, when the caldrons were filled with water, and a fire lit under them. But to come to the fabrication of the modern steam-engine, it is necessary to pass over many names connected with the invention of steam-power, including that of the Marquis of Worcester – who was no doubt an ingenious man, and, as his “Century of Inventions” proves, wrote much and experimented little – and come down to about the beginning of the last century, when many important steps were gained by Papin, a Frenchman; but his experiments, though of great value in the infancy of the engine, were entirely confined to models. In 1705 Newcomen and Cawley – the former an ironmonger and the latter a glazier in Dartmouth – still further improved the engine, in discovering a method of cooling the steam by the introduction, at the proper time, of a shower of cold water, instead of the former mode of external refrigeration. This machine was meant to raise water from mines and great depths, but the expense of working, and the clumsiness and imperfection of its motions, would for ever have prevented its application to machines; and it might at this moment have been shown in the museums as a curiosity – like many which had preceded it – but for the genius of Watt, who conferred upon it a perfection which was destined to enrich the world. Watt, who had settled in Glasgow, and was patronized by the University as its mathematical instrument-maker, was required by Dr. Anderson, the professor of natural philosophy, to repair a small model of Newcomen’s steam-engine,9 which could not be made to work satisfactorily, and this circumstance, in all probability, turned his attention to a department of mechanical science which was destined to render his name immortal. To be brief, Watt’s first great invention was the condenser, which not only accelerated the speed but reduced the expense of working to a tithe of its former amount; and by intense study he finally varied and economized the power of this mighty agent to an extent of which its former most sanguine improvers had never dreamed. For years, however, Watt’s invention was sneered at, and remained inoperative, till his connection with Mr. Boulton of Soho, near Birmingham, in 1774, gave a renewed stimulus to exertion, and finally the new engines spread over all the mining-districts, entirely superseding those of Newcomen. Boulton and Watt received, as their remuneration, the third part of the value of the coal which was saved by the use of their machines; “and we may judge of the commercial importance of the invention by the fact, that in the single mine of Chasewater, where three pumps were employed, the proprietors thought it worth their while to purchase the rights of the inventors at the price of £2,500 per annum for each engine. Thus, in a single establishment, the substitution of the condenser effected, in fuel alone, a reduction in expense of more than £7,500 per annum.” [Arago’s Life of Watt, 1839.] Watt’s machines, like Newcomen’s, were at first nothing but mere pumps, or instruments for raising water; but by degrees, as has been hinted, he brought the engine to that perfection which rendered it capable of the most exact operations in mechanical science, and of indefinite power. This great man died in 1819, at the age of 83.
To return to the cotton-trade. The power-loom was introduced to Glasgow, in 1773, by Mr. James Louis Robertson of Dunblane. These machines had been, for some time, put up in the hulks for the use of the convicts; and this gentleman succeeded in obtaining two of them, which he set up in Argyle-street, where, having removed the driving-bar, he set the looms in motion by means of a large Newfoundland dog walking in a drum or cylinder. The fame of the new loom, however, soon got wind, and in a very short period hundreds of them were at work in the city and its neighbourhood. Since then the increase in the trade has been so rapid and extensive as almost to defy belief. Several of the most important secondary improvements in weaving have originated in Glasgow, and in no city have the manufacturers held out greater encouragement for originality and invention, come from what quarter it may. Lawns were the principal manufacture till they were superseded by muslins. The first muslin web in Scotland was warped by Mr. James Monteith, father of Mr. Henry Monteith of Carstairs; and although, as has been stated, there were no steam spinning mills in Scotland till 1792, this gentleman had, long previous to this period, purchased bird-nest India yarn, and for the weaving of a 6-4th 1200 book, with a hand-shuttle, he paid 1s. 9d. per ell. The same kind of web is now woven for 25/8d. per ell. When the first web was finished – a task both of labour and triumph in those days – Mr. Monteith caused a dress of it to be embroidered with gold, and presented to her majesty, Queen Charlotte. – It is almost impossible to attain, with any degree of accuracy, the money value of the cotton or muslin trade of Glasgow; but those acquainted with these matters will be enabled to form an opinion on the subject from the following statement, presented to parliament, in 1834, by Mr. Leonard Horner, one of the factory-commissioners, premising that it has, in all likelihood, increased one-fourth or fifth since that date. The commission reports, “That in Scotland there are 134 cotton-mills, – that with the exception of some large establishments at Aberdeen, and one at Stanley near Perth, the cotton-manufacture is almost confined to Glasgow, and country adjoining, to a distance of about 25 miles radius; and all these cotton-mills, even including the great house at Stanley, are connected with Glasgow houses, or in the Glasgow trade. In Lanarkshire, in which Glasgow is situated, there are 74 cotton-factories; in Renfrewshire 41; Dumbartonshire 4; Buteshire 2; Argyleshire 1; Perthshire 1. In these six counties there are 123 cotton-mills, nearly 100 of which belong to Glasgow.” In another view of the case the factory-commissioners state: “In Lanarkshire there are 74 cotton-mills, 2 woollen, and 2 silk-factories; 78 steam engines and 5 water-wheels, total horse-power 2,914; of which, steam, 2,394; water, 520. Total persons employed in factories, 17,969.” As has been stated, it is scarcely possible to ascertain from official data the value of the cotton-trade of Glasgow. A gentleman connected with it, however, who has inquired minutely into its statistics, gives it as his opinion that 40,000 hand-loom weavers are employed by the manufacturers of Glasgow, the produce of whose labour, before it can be brought to market, has been estimated at three millions sterling. Assuming 6d. per yard as the average value of the material produced by the power-looms, this branch of the cotton manufacture cannot be less than two and a-half millions. There are more than 17,000 looms set in motion by Glasgow capital. The produce of the spinning of cotton-yarn has been estimated at nearly four millions.
Commensurate with the growth of the cotton-trade has been that of every kind of manufacture connected with the production of soft goods, with the exception perhaps of broad-cloth and hosiery, for neither of which is Glasgow yet distinguished. An establishment for the manufactory of Bandana handkerchiefs was commenced in 1802, by the firm now known as Henry Monteith & Co., who at the same time carry on the business of cotton-spinning and calico-printing. Their establishment at Blantyre is an extensive one, while that at Barrowfield, in the immediate vicinity of the city, is probably unrivalled in the kingdom. Government having offered a premium of £300 per annum to the first person who should form an establishment for the spinning of Cashmere wool in this country, upon the French principle, Captain Stuart Cochrane, R.N., succeeded, while in Paris, in discovering the peculiar secret, and took out a patent for the three kingdoms. In 1831 these patents were purchased by Messrs. Houldsworth of Glasgow, and, after much exertion and difficulty; they have succeeded in making better yarn than the French, and accordingly they have received the premium so justly due to their enterprise. This trade, however, has not yet extended to any great magnitude.
Mr. Charles Macintosh has been long celebrated, in connection with Glasgow, for his successful discoveries in the chemical science as applicable to manufactures. In 1786 he introduced, from Holland, the manufacture of sugar-of-lead. This article had been previously imported from that country; but in a very short period the tables were turned, by Mr. Macintosh exporting considerable quantities of the article to Rotterdam, the place from which the knowledge of the art was first obtained. By chemical improvements in that portion of the article which is used for calico-printing, the price was reduced by the exertions of this gentleman from 3s. per gallon to 6d. In 1799 this gentleman made the first preparation of chloride-of-lime in the dry state, which has since been so extensively used and prized as bleaching-powder. But perhaps Mr. Macintosh is better known to the world by his process which renders almost every kind of fabric impervious to water. His manufactory of ‘waterproofs’ was for some time carried on in Glasgow, but some years ago the business was removed to Manchester. The chemical works of Messrs. Tennant & Co., at St. Rollox – of which Mr. Macintosh was one of the original partners – are perhaps the most extensive in the world, and may be said to comprise a little town of themselves. This immense establishment, situated at the north-eastern division of the city, manufactures sulphuric acid, chloride-of-lime, soda, soap, &c. It covers ten acres of ground, and within the walls there are buildings which extend over 27,340 square yards of ground. There are upwards of 100 furnaces, retorts, or fire-places in the establishment; and in one apartment there are platina vessels to the value of £7,000. The main chimney is 436 feet high.
The soft goods trade is carried to an immense extent in Glasgow; where the merchant often joins the retail to the wholesale trade, imports goods largely from England and foreign parts, and in turn sends them out wholesale to smaller traders situated in almost every town and village in Scotland; and notwithstanding the magnitude of such establishments, the poorest customer may be supplied as readily and courteously with a yard of tape as the richest with an order of £100 in amount. The most extensive of these establishments – and there are several of them – is that of Messrs. James and William Campbell, situated in Candleriggs-street. Their warerooms and sale-rooms extend over an imperial acre of flooring, and the business is conducted by about 140 persons. In addition to these about 2,500 females are employed by the house in sewing, chiefly in the country. It will afford an instructive vidimus of the rise and progress of Glasgow, as well as of the advancement of the firm, to take the sales of a few progressive years, from the commencement till the present time. The sales were,
|£ s. d.|
|In 1818,||41,022 6 4|
|– 1827,||183,385 6 10|
|– 1832,||312,207 5 8|
|– 1837,||500,515 6 1|
|– 1838,||559,245 17 10|
|– 1839,||626,982 3 4|
This immense sum for the transactions of a single establishment, during one year, contrasts strangely with the fact, that the total value of the articles manufactured in Glasgow, as ascertained by correct data, amounted, in the year 1771, to £452,557.
Originally the manufacture of linen, and then of cotton goods, have been the staple productions of Glasgow; but her merchants have not by any means confined their energies to these. So early as 1674 a firm was established for carrying on the whale-fishery, and the manufacture of soap. The soapery was situated at the head of Candleriggs, and in addition to their business here, the partners had large premises in Greenock for boiling blubber. The locality in which it was situated was called the Royal cross, on account of Charles II. having granted certain privileges to the company. It is now a considerable time since the Glasgow merchants ceased to send ships in pursuit of the giant of the deep, for, as is well-known, the trade of late years has been both precarious and losing, but the other departments of business followed by this early company are yet pursued with renewed vigour and extension. In 1696 a company was formed for the manufacture of cordage and ropes, in which many influential gentlemen were partners; but though the original firm has long passed away, the manufacture has grown to be a most extensive one; and this is the less surprising, as Glasgow, at the same time, has grown to be a sea-port of no second-rate importance. In 1715 the first Glasgow tan-work was begun; and in 1748 the first delph-work was erected at the Broomielaw. Earthenware is now manufactured in Glasgow equal to any from Staffordshire; and the house of R. A. Kidston, in Anderston, which has for many years conducted the leading pottery business, has recently added the china or porcelain department to its business. Specimens of their manufacture were shown in the model-rooms of the British association, and pronounced, by those competent to judge, as not inferior to any of the same kind in South Britain, where the trade has been in existence for a lifetime. Bottle-making is an old trade in Glasgow, and at present there are several establishments of that kind in the city or its suburbs, – the oldest established – that of Stevenson, Price, & Co., (late Geddes,) situated in Anderston, turns out an immense aggregate, which are not only disposed of for home-use, but exported in mats to every part of the world. The manufacture of glass and crystal is also conducted on a most extensive scale, both for home-use and exportation, and the growing demand proves that the quality of the article is not inferior to any manufactured in the empire.
The Iron trade.
Situated as Glasgow is, in the very heart of an exhaustless coal and ironstone district, it is not surprising that the possession of these minerals may lie taken as the main-spoke in the wheel of its prosperity. The cotton-trade, doubtless, is the more extensive, in so far as it is the staple of the city; but still the manufacture of iron has of late years been prosecuted to an amazing extent; and, from the progress of improvement over the whole country, with the never-ceasing demand for this mineral for railway and other purposes, it is reasonable to suppose that this trade is yet very far from its zenith. As a proof of the importance of the Glasgow iron-trade, it may be mentioned that the iron masters of Clydesdale, independent of the vast quantities retained for local use, exported last year more than 50,000 tons. The mineral field is in every instance easily accessible by railroad or canal, and this is one of the growing resources of Glasgow which will soon enable her to rival if not outstrip the most highly favoured iron-districts in England. It may be interesting to state that the proprietors of the Monkland, Calder, Gartsherrie, Dundyvan, and Sumerlie iron-works have recently contracted with Sir William Alexander, the owner of the Airdrie estate, for a 21 years’ lease of the ironstone which may be found on about 300 acres of his land, at an annual rent which can never be less than £12,050, though it may be considerably more. The ironstone is of the kind called black-band, 2 feet thick; and should it extend over the 300 acres, the proprietor may receive for his ironstone alone about £200,000. The quality of the stone is so superior, that 200 tons, after being calcined, will produce 120 tons of pig-iron; and it is so well combined with parrot-coal, that it can be calcined without the addition of any other fuel. For agricultural purposes the value of the soil which covers this mine of wealth is not more than from £600 to £700 per annum. The introduction of the hot air blast – the merits of which belong to Mr. James B. Neilson, a citizen of Glasgow – has proved such a saving both in fuel and time, that it may be stated to have produced quite a new era in the iron-trade.10 It is perhaps impossible to give a correct account of the value of the iron-trade of Glasgow, but a pretty accurate notion of it may be formed from the following table of the iron-works in Scotland, and the statements which accompany. So far as our data go, there are in North Britain 55 furnaces in blast, 5 out, 7 building, and 24 contemplated. They are exhibited as follows:
|Erected in or about||Name of Works.||Owners.||In Blast.||Out of Blast.||Building.||Contemplated.|
|1790||Muirkirk,||Muirkirk Iron Co.,||4||0||0||0|
|1790||Devon,||Devon Iron Co.,||2||1||0||0|
|1805||Calder,||W.Dixon & Co.,||6||0||0||0|
|1805||Shotts,||Shotts Iron Co.,||2||0||1||0|
|1825||Monkland,||Monkland Iron Co.,||5||0||0||0|
|1828||Gartsherrie,||William Baird & Co.,||7||0||1||6|
|1836||Sumerlee,||Wilsons & Co.,||4||0||0||2|
|With the||Bona,||Bona Iron Co.,||1||0||0||0|
|of Bona,||Coltness,||Henry Houldsworth,||2||0||0||0|
|the other||Carnbroe,||Alison & Co.,||2||0||2||2|
|furnaces||Galston,||McCallum & Co.,||0||1||0||0|
|in blast are||Blair,||J. McDonald,||0||0||2||0|
|of recent||Housel,||– Galloway,||0||1||0||2|
|date.||Castlehill,||Shotts Iron Co.,||2||0||0||0|
On the supposition that all these furnaces will be in operation at the beginning of 1843, producing weekly 100 tons to each furnace, Scotland will thus produce 468,000 tons of foundry cast-iron per annum, an amount equal to that made in the United Kingdom twenty years ago.11 Sixty out of the ninety furnaces mentioned are situated within from 7 to 10 miles of the city; and one of them – that of Govan – even within its very precincts. Some of the most extensive iron-masters in Scotland are directing their attention to the manufacture of bar-iron; and the Monkland company are erecting mills and forges capable of making 230 tons of malleable-iron per week. Mr. Wilson of Dundyvan is also making the necessary preparations for enabling him, when his works are in full operation, to make 300 tons of bars weekly, and they are now partially in operation. Mr. Dixon of Govan iron-works will also speedily be enabled to manufacture 200 tons of the same metal per week. The Muirkirk iron company some time since commenced operations. Speaking of this subject, in the 8th part of his Statistical Dictionary, Mr. McCulloch says: “Glasgow is also becoming, or, rather, has already become, the centre of a most extensive iron trade. In fact, the production of iron in the neighbourhood of this city already exceeds that of either Monmouthshire or Glamorganshire, and promises very speedily to be equal or superior to that of the whole of South Wales. It has increased with unparalleled rapidity. In 1806 the produce of iron in this county did not exceed 9,000 tons; in 1834 it was estimated at about 48,000 tons; and we have ascertained, from returns drawn up with the greatest care, that in June, 1840, there were at work in Lanarkshire fifty furnaces, producing at the rate of about 210,000 tons a-year! And several additional furnaces were then also in the course of being constructed.”
In connection with this subject it may be proper here to allude to the engineering trade of Glasgow, which has of late years become one of considerable extent and importance. There are various foundries situated in Glasgow, all of them extensive; but that which is best known is the Vulcan foundry, belonging to Mr. Robert Napier, situated on the Broomielaw, near the bottom of the steam-boat quay. This gentleman has long been known as one of the most celebrated and successful marine engine-makers in Europe. He supplied the engines of the British Queen, and in the course of one year, ending in October 1840, he supplied six first-rate steam-ships with their engines, viz. two frigates, and four Transatlantic liners. The first two were the Vesuvius and Stromboli, which took up a worthy position at the siege and capture of St. Jean d’Acre, on 4th Nov., 1840; and the latter four were the Britannia, Acadia, Caledonia, and Columbia, now employed in carrying the mails between Liverpool, and Halifax and Boston, North America. These liners were all built in the Clyde, are each of 1,200 tons burthen, and propelled by engines of 440 horses’ power. It is satisfactory to state that one of them, the Britannia, has made the passage between the two continents in ten days, the shortest period in which it has yet been accomplished. In the beginning of 1840, Messrs. Todd & Macgregor, engineers, built an iron ship of beautiful mould, of about 400 tons. She was named ‘the Iron Duke,’ and is now engaged in the East India trade. In the autumn of the same year, an iron steamer was built by Mr. Craig (late Claud Girdwood & Co.), which has been despatched to the West for the conveyance of goods and passengers on the rivers of Demerara. But the above are only specimens of what is daily being accomplished by the capital and enterprise of the Glasgow practical engineers.
The amount of coal brought into Glasgow from the adjacent pits, has been computed on pretty correct data at about 750,000 tons per ann., of which probably 150,000 tons are exported, and the remaining and larger portion consumed by the inhabitants, the public works, and the steam-vessels. The average price is about 8s. 6d. per ton; but from the expenses of cartage the price is somewhat higher, and when sold in retail by sack-loads to the humbler orders the price is enhanced very considerably. It is presumed that by the increased facilities of transit which the railways will speedily offer, coal may be laid down to the public works at from 3s. 6d. to 4s. per ton.
In 1638 the art of Letter-press printing was introduced into Glasgow by George Anderson, who had been invited from Edinburgh by the magistrates; and it appears from the council-records that he was to be allowed £100 for the liquidation of his expenses, “in transporting of his gear to this burgh,” and in full of his bygone salaries from Whitsunday 1638 till Martinmas 1639. He was succeeded by his son Andrew, who afterwards removed to Edinburgh, and was made King’s printer for Scotland in 1671. For many years after this period, the art of printing remained in the very lowest state in Scotland, probably owing to the exclusive nature of the royal grant to Anderson. The University seems to have been fully aware of this, and in 1713 a paper was presented to the Faculty, containing “proposals for erecting a bookseller’s shop and printing press within the University of Glasgow;” and one of the reasons assigned for these proposals was, “that they were obliged to go to Edinburgh in order to get one sheet right printed.” Thomas Harvie, a student in divinity, who engaged to furnish printing materials, was accordingly appointed printer and bookseller to the University, and various privileges were secured to him. He was succeeded by others; but it does not appear that the Glasgow press obtained any celebrity till about 1741, when the business was begun by Robert Foulis, who was afterwards joined by his brother Andrew. Robert had been in early life a barber, but the thirst of letters prevailed over his attachment to his tonsorial duties, and accompanied by his brother Andrew – who had received a more regular education – he proceeded to the Continent, and by every possible means the brethren stored their minds with literary lore. They are spoken of as being men of refined intellect and perfect erudition. The books printed by them, both for correctness and beauty of typography, formed a new era in the art of printing in Scotland, and from their exertions may be dated the commencement of those improvements which now distinguish this most useful profession. Foulis’ celebrated edition of Horace, the proof-sheets of which were hung up in the walls of the college, and a reward offered to him who should discover an error, appeared in 1744. Notwithstanding all the vigilance with which the work must have been prepared, however, subsequent correctors of the press have discovered that this edition, which had been termed “the immaculate,” contains at least six typographical errors. Many splendid editions of the classics, both in Greek and Latin, issued from the Foulis’ press, and they do not sink into the shade even when compared with the beautiful typography of our own day. Encouraged by their success in the printing line, the elder brother, in 1753, instituted an academy for painting, engraving, moulding, modelling, and drawing in the city; and for this purpose brought a painter, an engraver, and a copperplate printer from the Continent. Although some of the more influential of the citizens became partners in this undertaking, it did not succeed, and heavy loss was sustained by all connected with it. Glasgow, at this period, did not present a favourable soil for the growth of the fine arts; and indeed its citizens have not attained any celebrity for their attachment to them yet. Speaking of the undertaking Foulis says, “There seemed to be a pretty general emulation who should run it most down.” Since the days of the Foulis the progress of printing, in all its branches, including stereotyping and type-founding, has fully kept pace with the advancement of the city.12 There are various large printing establishments, and within the last 25 years the business of publishing has been carried on to a large extent; and the most critical in these matters have admitted that whether for beauty of typography, or pictorial embellishment, the work of Glasgow is not inferior to that produced in the English metropolis. Including bookbinders, engravers, lithographers, sewers, and newspaper printers, there cannot be fewer than 1,500 persons connected with the typographic art in the city.13
Although magazine-literature has never thriven in Glasgow, notwithstanding the many vigorous and able efforts made to establish it, the case is otherwise with newspapers, which in this city are not only numerous, but almost all of them boast of highly respectable circulations. Before the year 1715, there was no paper printed in the West of Scotland. On the 14th November of that year the Glasgow Courant made its appearance.14 The Glasgow Journal – which is still in existence – was first published in 1729, by Andrew Stalker.15 Several other papers were afterwards started, but they were speedily numbered with the things that were. In 1783, John Mennons published the first number of the Advertiser, which contained the preliminaries of peace between Great Britain and America. In 1801 an alteration in its management took place, when the title was changed to the Advertiser and Herald; and in 1804 – when it fell into the hands of the late well-known Samuel Hunter – the name was again changed to the simple Herald, under which title the paper enjoys a lusty and flourishing existence. In 1791, the Courier was first published by William Reid & Co., and it still exists as a most respectable journal. During the last thirty years, however, newspapers have been got up and knocked down like nine pins; and amongst the defunct we find the names of the Courant, Mercury, Clyde Commercial Advertiser, Caledonia, Sentinel, Scotchman, Western Star, Packet, Free Press, Liberator, &c. Several of these have departed more than once by the same name. The journals at present in existence are the Courier and Chronicle, three times a-week; the Herald, Argus, Constitutional, and Scottish Guardian, twice a-week; and the Scots Reformers’ Gazette, Evening Post, Mail, Journal, Scots Times, and Patriot, once a-week. The circulation of these papers varies from 400 to 3,000; only two or three are so low as the first figure, and only one so high as the last, viz. the Herald, the circulation of which averages 3,200, and the advertisements in each number nearly 200; occasionally they are so high as 260. With one exception all these newspapers are printed by hand-machines, which are capable of throwing off an impression of more than 1,000 per hour.
The Clyde commercially considered.
Perhaps there is no instance of a similar kind, in which art has done so much to improve natural deficiencies, as has been exemplified by the operations on the river Clyde during the last 30 or 40 years. In a state of nature the river below Glasgow was so much impeded by fords, shoals, and banks, as to be scarcely navigable for any craft above the burden of an open boat; and being sensible of these disadvantages, we find that in 1556 the inhabitants of Glasgow, Renfrew, and Dumbarton agreed to labour on the river six weeks alternately with the view of opening up a communication between these places for small craft. In 1653 the merchants of Glasgow had their shipping-port at Cunningham in Ayrshire; but the harbour being distant, and land-carriage alike inconvenient and expensive, they entered into a negotiation with the magistrates of Dumbarton for the purchase of a section of ground on which to construct a harbour and docks. The overture was rejected, however, on the plea, on the part of the Dumbarton burgesses, that the influx of seamen would raise the price of provisions to the inhabitants! Foiled at Dumbarton, the merchants of Glasgow turned their eyes to the harbour of Troon in Ayrshire, but here they were repulsed for reasons somewhat similar to those urged in the case of Dumbarton, viz. that it would occasion a rise in the price of butter and eggs! Having failed at both these places, the magistrates purchased 13 acres of ground from Sir Robert Maxwell of Newark, in 1662, on which they founded the town of Port-Glasgow with its harbour, and constructed the first dry or graving-dock in Scotland. At the same time they made such improvements on the river as the funds of the corporation would admit of. Previous to 1688 there had only been a landing-shore in Glasgow; but in that year a small quay was constructed at the Broomielaw at an expense of £1,666 13s. 4d. sterling. Between 1755 and 1758, the river was surveyed by Mr. Smeaton, the engineer; and, in consequence of the reports given in by him, an act of parliament was obtained for rendering the river navigable by means of locks. This plan, however, was ridiculed by many of the citizens, and the river having been surveyed, by Mr. John Golbourn of Chester, he recommended its improvement by the erection of jetties or dykes. Having obtained an act of parliament in 1770, by which the members of the corporation were appointed trustees, and authorized to levy dues, they appointed Mr. Golbourn to deepen the river, so that vessels drawing 6 feet water ought come up to the Broomielaw. By 1775, he had erected 117 jetties, by means of which the river was confined, and the rapidity of the tidal flow and stream scoured the bottom, and secured the requisite depth.16 In 1792 an addition of 360 feet was made to the harbour, and in 1811 it was further increased by an addition of 900 feet. In 1825 the trustees or corporation obtained another act of parliament, granting them increased powers, and authorizing an addition to some of the dues; and at the same time it was provided that five merchants, not members of the corporation, should be added to the trust.
About forty-five years ago only gabberts, or small craft of from 35 to 45 tons, could approach the Broomielaw; and there are hundreds now living, or at least very recently deceased, who recollect that weeks elapsed without a single keel being seen at the Broomielaw. By 1821, however, the harbour had been so much improved that vessels drawing 13 feet 6 inches of water could come up to the Broomielaw; and at the present date (1841); ships of 600 tons burthen, and from every part of the world, crowd the harbour even to a degree of inconvenience from overcrowding perhaps nowhere else experienced. This is a state of things, however, which the trustees have now ample power to remedy, and they are already setting about the work in earnest. From various additions the harbour now extends 3,340 feet on the north side, and 1,200 feet on the south. A talented civil engineer is constantly employed on the river at a salary of £500 per annum, with necessary assistants; and it may be truly said that here the hand of improvement is never idle. There are four powerful dredging-machines, two diving-bells, a steam-tug, and a host of labourers constantly at work; and it is probable that ere the lapse of many years ships of the largest burthen may be enabled to come up abreast of the city. For a long period the trustees have conceived that the bill of 1825 was insufficient for the proper improvement of the river, and various attempts were made to carry an official bill through parliament; but from the vast private and conflicting interest which was arrayed against it – both from the proposed constitution of the new trust, and the rights of private property – the bill was defeated after a vast expenditure of money. Eventually, however, it was earned into law in the session 1839-40, after perhaps a more determined opposition than any private bill had ever met with, and at an expenditure to the trust of nearly £13,000, exclusive of the sums which had been disbursed in former fruitless attempts. According to the old constitution, the trust was composed of the 32 members of council, in addition to 5 merchants chosen by the council. The new bill of 1840 has made up the constitution as follows:- The provost and live bailies of Glasgow; fifteen members from the council, or, in other words, three from each of the five wards; the dean-of-guild, the deacon-convener, three members from the merchants’ house, two from the trades’ house, one from the chamber of commerce, two from the magistrates and birleymen of the suburb of Gorbals, one from Calton, and one from Anderston. Various important powers have been conferred by the bill; such as that of extending the limits of the harbour, both above and below, – widening the river at various parts, – constructing a spacious wet-dock on the lands of Wind-millcroft, which have been already acquired, – and deepening the river to the extent of 17 feet throughout, &c. It is estimated that these works will not be completed at less than £800,000, and by a series of operations extended over a period of 15 years. The trust has already £150,000 in loan, but the bill authorizes them to borrow an additional sum of £300,000. Looking, however, to the vast progressive increase in the dues of the river and harbour, the trustees have no apprehension as to the expenditure and ultimate liquidation of this vast sum; for it is conceived that the increased accommodation of the harbour, and the general advancement of the trade of Glasgow, will, in the course of a few years, increase the funds to such an amount as to place the trust out of all pecuniary difficulty. The following statement of the progressive improvement of the river-dues, from their first imposition in 1770 till the present time, will be alike interesting and instructive, – evincing, during the last few years in particular, a start which is unprecedented in the annals of commerce:
The Tonnage and Harbour Duties for the Year.
|1771||were||£1,071 0 0|
|1791||2,145 0 0|
|1804||4,760 0 0|
|1815||5,960 0 0|
|1825||8,480 0 0|
|1826||(when 33 per cent. were added to the rates)||16,200 0 0|
|1828||17,669 0 0|
|1830||20,296 0 0|
|1832||22,496 0 0|
|1834||22,859 0 0|
|1835||31,900 0 0|
|1836||35,612 0 0|
|1837||35,595 0 0|
|1838||37,028 0 0|
|1839||45,826 0 0|
|1840||46,416 1 9|
This sum is made up as follows (exclusive of the expense of collection):
|Tonnage, Quay, Crane, and Weighing dues, on Goods and Vessels arriving at the Harbour from 8th July, 1839, till 8th July, 1840,||£42,453—2—10|
|Shed-dues, Do.||2,793 15 5|
|Ferry-dues at Broomielaw, Do.||1,199 3 6|
These funds are entirely laid out in the improvement of the river, in defraying expenses connected with it, and in paying interest of loans. The following is a statement of the arrivals, coastwise and foreign, at Glasgow, with the amount of tonnage, and departures, foreign, for the year 1840:-
|Number of Vessels arrived Coastwise,||5,869||305,785|
|Do. do. Foreign.||263||49,028|
|Number of Vessels sailed, foreign, during the same period,||408||76,565|
To Glasgow truly belongs the merit of being designated the cradle of British steam-navigation. It is not the province of this work to inquire into the claims urged in favour of Mr. Miller of Dalswinton, Mr. Symington of Falkirk, or Lord Stanhope. Suffice it to say, that Mr. Henry Bell was the first person who successfully applied steam to the propelling of vessels against wind or tide. In 1811, the Comet was built by Messrs. John Wood and Company, Port-Glasgow – the same gentlemen who recently built the Transatlantic steam-ship the Acadia – according to the directions of Mr. Bell; and on the 18th January, 1812, the vessel which had been named the Comet, plied from Glasgow to Greenock, making 5 miles an hour against a head-wind.17 The engine was only of three horse power; yet the experiment was sufficient to prove the vast results which might be obtained by it, and as Mr. Bell either had not the means, or was too simple-minded, to take out a patent, the invention was speedily copied on a most extensive scale, and others reaped the golden harvest – blamelessly we admit – which Mr. Bell had sown. In fact, it will be remembered to the lasting-shame of our country and the age, that while Fulton in America was loaded with wealth and honours, Bell was compelled to drag out a life of penury, upon a pittance of £50 per annum, granted by the generosity of the river-trustees.* At first it was supposed that steam-vessels were only capable of navigating the smooth waters of lakes or rivers, and for two or three years the trade of carrying passengers was confined to the Clyde. The matter was put to the test, however, by Mr. David Napier, now of London, who. was the first to employ his vessel, the Rob Roy, in carrying goods and passengers on the open sea; and the trial was so successful, that its result may be found not only in every creek and arm of the sea on our coasts, but in the waters of the Mediterranean, and the Indian and Atlantic oceans. The steam-boat-quay at Glasgow, especially during the summer months, presents one of the most animated scenes which it is possible to conceive. River-boats of beautiful construction leave the Broomielaw every hour from morning till night, and some of them possess such power of steam that they career along the Clyde at the rate of from 12 to 14 miles an hour. The larger boats – especially those plying between Liverpool and Glasgow – are in reality floating-palaces, having cabins fitted up at vast expense, and with every regard to grace and architectural beauty. All of them are powerful boats, some having 400 horses’ power; and notwithstanding that they ply alike in the gentle breeze of summer and in the storm-blast of winter, the slightest accident has never yet befallen any of them. – The number of steam-vessels registered at the port of Glasgow on 31st Dec. 1843, was 15 under 50 tons, total tonnage 677 tons; and 46 above 50 tons, total tonnage 9,665 tons; being a full half of the steam tonnage of all Scotland.
Glasgow was first erected into a burgh-of-regality by charter from William the Lion, of date 1180; but many alterations and extensions of the set have taken place since that remote period. It was not till 1611 that it was made a royal burgh. In 1691, William and Mary by charter, conferred the power on the magistrates and council of electing their provost, and all other officers, “as fully and freely as the city of Edinburgh, or any other royal burgh.” The form and manner of this election have varied at various dates, according to the different constitutions adopted at later periods. Up till 1604, severe contentions existed amongst the merchants’ and trades’ ranks for precedency in the city – the former being accused of looking down upon and being disposed to trample on the rights of the latter. Eventually the matter was submitted by both parties to the arbitration of Sir George Elphinstone of Blythswood, knight, provost, who pronounced a decreet-arbitral, commonly called the Letter of Guildry. By this decreet, he denied the right of precedence to either party, and gave to both a share in the magistracy. This letter of guildry was afterwards confirmed by act of parliament. Up till 1801, the executive in the city consisted of the lord-provost – the title of lord, or honourable, having been long assigned to the chief magistrate by courtesy – three bailies, the dean-of guild, deacon-convener, and treasurer; but at this period two additional bailies, one from the merchants’ and the other from the trades’ ranks were added – making five bailies, and these numbers have remained unchanged up till the present date. The magistrates and council enjoy a considerable extent of patronage, having, of course, the appointment of their own officers, – and, in addition, the nomination to nine out of the ten city churches; they are also the patrons of various bursaries in the University, and appoint the teachers of the high or public grammar-school of Glasgow. By a charter from King James, in 1450, the bishop of Glasgow and his successors held the city as a burgh-of-regality, by paying yearly upon St. John’s day a red rose, if it should be asked. Subsequent to the Revolution, and the long burghal sway of the Stewarts of Minto, the elections were conducted with a considerable regard to fairness and the principle of rotation. Up till the passing of the municipal reform bill, the council was filled respectively by the merchants’ and trades’ classes, according to the old close mode of self-election; but, since that period the councillors have been elected by the parliamentary constituency divided into five wards. The council is composed of 32 members, but two of them sit, ex officio, viz., the dean-of-guild, elected by the merchants’ house, and the deacon-convener, elected by the trades’ house. According to the custom of all other burghs, the council elect their own magistrates, the duration of office being three years. Glasgow was considered a place of such insignificance at the period of the Union, in 1707, that it was only assigned the fourth share of a member of parliament, – the representative of this district of burghs being returned jointly by Renfrew, Rutherglen, Dumbarton and Glasgow. In 1832, the reform bill granted two members to the city and suburbs, which were then included in the parliamentary bounds. The merchants’ house, which returns a member to the council, has long been a most influential body in the city of Glasgow, and is entirely an open corporation; any person paying £10 of entry-money, which gives a right to participate in the property and privileges of the house, being admissible. The present number of the members is about 1,200, and their funds, which are extensive, and chiefly expended in charity, are managed by a large board of directors. The trades’ house, which also returns a member to the council, is, if possible, a still more important corporation, being composed of 3,500 of the tradesmen, manufacturers, and artisans of the city. The entrance-fees to the 14 incorporated trades, which constitute the house, are various; the funds very considerable, and chiefly devoted to charity.
The property of the corporation of Glasgow is now very extensive, and even in the worst of the close or self-election times, it was the boast of the city that economy ruled all its transactions, and that the expenditure rarely exceeded the income. As a proof of their economizing spirit, it may be mentioned, that while the lord-provost of Edinburgh received £800 per annum to support his dignity, the chief magistrate of Glasgow was content to accept of £40; and where upwards of £20,000 would be expended in the eastern capital to build and decorate a church, the council of the western expended only £7,000 on an edifice which answered the purpose equally well. These habits of economy may have been forced upon the city from the stringent nature of its pecuniary circumstances in the olden time; for we learn that at a meeting held on 9th April, 1609, ” the provost informed the council that the magistrates had been charged the sum of 100 punds by the clerk-register, for the book called the Regium Magistatem – that they were in danger of horning for the same, and that, as the town was not stented, and as the council could not advance the money – £8 6s. 8d. sterling – he had borrowed it from William Burn, merchant-burgess!” As the town advanced in wealth and population, the funds of the corporation improved also. An official, called the treasurer, is periodically elected from the council, and forms one of the magistracy, but he has little or nothing to do with the burgh-monies, the whole being managed by the chamberlain, who is paid a fixed salary, and is not now a member of council. At the last winding up of the burgh-funds on 30th September, 1840, the revenue was stated at £14,613 9s. 8d., and the expenditure at £16,405 1s. 11d. The revenue for that year was made up as follows:-
|Feu-duties and ground-annuals,||£5,610 18 11|
|Feudal casualties,||313 19 9|
|Rents of seats in the Established churches||3,978 8 7|
|– of lands,||333 14 0|
|– of houses, shops, and warehouses,||498 19 8|
|– of mills and lands annexed,||609 12 0|
|– of quarries and minerals in Easter and Wester common,||187 10 0|
|– of salmon-fishing,||4 0 0|
|– and dues of market and slaughter-house,||509 3 4|
|– of washing-house,||87 0 0|
|Dues for pasturage in the Green, &c., £268 12s. 6d.|
– Show stations at the fair, &c., £246,
514 12 6
|– for shore at Port-Glasgow, commuted at||20 0 0|
|– of ladles and multures, collection suspended,||0 0 0|
|Bazaar rents and dues,||1,382 1 11|
|Proportion of burgess entries,||181 18 0|
|Dividends on stock in the Forth and Clyde navigation, ten shares,||300 0 0|
|Dividends on stock in the Glasgow water company, twenty-eight shares,||78 8 0|
|Dividends on stock in the Carlisle road,||3 4 0|
|Total revenue,||£14,613 9 8|
The revenue for the preceding year had been £15,457 12s. 10d.; and it is only fair to state in reference to 1840, that the income was depressed and the expenditure increased from causes purely accidental, and which cannot occur again. The impost on ale and beer which latterly had been farmed out at a rent of £1,262, and which had been enjoyed by the council for more than 100 years, ceased this year from the expiry of the act, and to make the account still worse, upwards of £1,600 were expended upon matters purely incidental. The average revenue, therefore, cannot be taken at less than £15,500, and present appearances would lead to the belief that it will soon be much greater. The total stock of the city amounts to £263,802 10s. 9d.; and the debts to £149,661 8s. 7d. The expenditure of the city for the last year consisted of £4,669 5s. 9d. for the ecclesiastical department – that is, the payment of ministers’ stipend, &c.; £5,905 0s. 6d. for the civil department; £659 19s. 1d. for public education; £35 for military department; £2,604 11s. 0d. for criminal department; and £2,531 5s. 7d. for the finance department.
There are three suburbs connected with Glasgow, of vast extent, and which, at the present date – 1840 – are computed to contain a population of 97,000. For all the purposes of commerce and manufacture, and so far as community of interest is concerned, they and the city of Glasgow are one and indivisible. Gorbals, which is the most extensive, lies on the south bank, and is separated from the city proper by the Clyde; but Calton and Anderston, the former on the east, and the latter on the west, are so intermingled with the city that few beyond the local tax-gatherer, either know, or trouble themselves about the exact boundaries. All of them, however, have a distinct magistracy, and separate and independent police jurisdiction.
The Gorbals.] – The suburb of Gorbals – which has not unaptly been designated the Southvvark of Glasgow, and the population of which has been estimated at 65,000 – was formerly a village to which those afflicted with leprosy were sent in ancient times, and was probably in existence before the building of the first bridge in 1345. The superiority or right of barony and regality, was, in 1607, disposed by the Arch-bishop of Glasgow to Sir George Elphinstone. A charter of confirmation was granted by King James VI. in 1611; and in 1647 the disponee of Sir George Elphinstone conveyed the superiority to the magistrates and town-council of Glasgow, who, since then, have enjoyed and exercised the whole rights, privileges, jurisdictions, and powers of baron and superior. In this capacity the magistrates and town-council of Glasgow appoint the bailies of the barony, the clerks, procurator-fiscal, and officers of court. By the police act, passed in 1823, it is enacted that, in addition to the chief magistrate, there shall be “four resident bailies in the said barony, appointed annually in the month of October, by the lord-provost, magistrates, and town-council of Glasgow, as baron and superior thereof.” The council of Glasgow exercised this right until the passing of the municipal reform bill, and generally appointed one of their own number to the office of chief magistrate, who may be non-resident. Subsequent to the passing of that measure, however, the £10 householders on the parliamentary roll, were permitted to elect their own magistrates, in the same manner as done in Glasgow, and those who had the highest number of votes were afterwards officially appointed by the Glasgow town-council – the people of Gorbals thus possessing the reality without the name. Notice however, has been given of a new police bill for Glasgow, intended to be introduced into the session of parliament 1841-42, by a clause in which it is provided that Gorbals shall be independent of Glasgow in this respect. At the same election four birleymen are appointed, who constitute the dean-of-guild court for the burgh. The territory of the burgh includes the parish of Old Gorbals, and part of the parish of Govan; and by the police statute the territory of the barony has been divided into five districts, viz., Hutchesontown, the parish of Gorbals Proper, Laurieston, Tradeston, and Kingston. The burgh possesses no corporate rights or exclusive privileges, and there are no burgesses. It has no real property, and never appears to have had any. The only public property is the police-buildings, which include a spacious court-house, court-hall, superintendent’s house, &c, but these are vested in the commissioners appointed under the police statute, of whom the magistrates form only a part. The only revenue of the burgh arises from fines and penalties imposed in the police court. There are two separate assessments for the poor in the parish. The part of the barony situated in the parish of Govan, is assessed along with the remainder of that parish; and the other part of the barony, being Gorbals Proper, and comprising the centre and ancient part of the town, is assessed by itself. There are some spacious streets in the barony of recent erection, particularly Portland-street, and Abbotsford-place, chiefly occupied by gentlemen whose places of business are situated in Glasgow, and these erections impart to this portion of the suburbs an air of gentility and affluence which is surpassed by very few localities on the other side of the river. The erection of the Govanhill iron-works immediately upon the south-eastern boundary of the barony is understood to have sadly marred its extension on that quarter, from the broad glare which they emit night and day. From the upper portions of the city of Glasgow, the flames of these huge furnaces may be seen reflected against the sky like the fitful flittings of the aurora borealis, and however pleasing they may be at a distance, their close proximity to the burgh is found to be alike inconvenient and disagreeable.
Calton.] – The villages of Old and New Calton were formerly parts of the barony of Barrowfield, but were erected into a burgh-of-barony by crown-charter, 30th August, 1817. At the commencement of the last century, this locality went by the name of Blackfauld, from the ground on the east of Glasgow, upon which it was built, having been formerly occupied as a fold for black cattle. This property was purchased in 1705, from the community of Glasgow by Walkinshaw of Barrowfield, who first projected the village. It was chiefly completed, however, by Mr. Orr, who acquired the Barrowfield estate. It contains several respectable streets, but its general aspect is undignified, forming almost exclusively the residence of the working-orders. It forms the eastern suburb of Glasgow, and is built so closely into it, that there is no visible line of demarcation. The town-council consists of a provost, three bailies, a treasurer, and eleven councillors. The councillors act as birleymen within the burgh. The dean-of-guild is recognised as one of the magistrates by the police statute. The council is elected by the burgesses, whose fees of admission are £2 2s., and they are entitled to vote whether resident or not. The burgh has neither property, debt, nor revenue. The police is managed by a separate board, of which the magistrates are members, ex officiis. The large village or suburb of Bridgeton extends fully half-a-mile in length, between Calton and the Clyde. It has been so named from its vicinity to the bridge thrown over the river in 1777, leading to the ancient burgh of Rutherglen. The inhabitants are almost entirely operatives, and the want of a regular magistracy and police has been severely felt of late years. Camlachie, another large suburb of Glasgow, extends to the east of the city on the Edinburgh and Hamilton road, and is chiefly inhabited by weavers. – The population of Calton is estimated to be 28,000.
Anderston.] – This suburb commences about a mile west from the cross of Glasgow, and adjoins the city as closely as Calton. It lies along the banks of Clyde. The locality derives its name from Anderston of Stobcross, who, so early as 1725, formed the design of erecting a village here. This village was erected into a burgh-of-barony, by crown-charter, sealed November 1824; and the town-council consists of a provost, three bailies, a treasurer, and eleven councillors, who are elected by the burgesses. They also manage the police business by a separate statute. By the act obtained in 1826 for regulating the police of the burgh, and of the lands of Lancefield and others adjoining, it is enacted that no burgess shall be entitled to vote unless he be proprietor or life-renter of heritable subjects within the police bounds, or tenant or occupier of heritable property of the fixed yearly rent of £20 at least. The burgh has neither property nor debts. Immediately adjoining is the large village of Finnieston, which was laid out by the proprietor of Stobcross in 1770, and christened in honour of his chaplain, whose name was Finnie. The locality of Anderston is one alike bustling and business-like. Here are situated some of the largest cotton-mills connected with the city, including those of Messrs. Houldsworth, and Alexander Graham & Company – the large bottle-work of Stevenson and Price (late Geddes) – the pottery and china-works of Mr. R. A. Kidston – and the immense engineering works of Mr. David Napier, with those of Todd and Macgregor, Mitchell, and Neilson, &c. These three suburbs are included within the parliamentary bounds of the city of Glasgow.
Port-Dundas.] – This may be considered one of the Glasgow suburban villages. It is situated nearly due north from the centre of the city, and is reached by a very considerable ascent. There are, however, very few dwelling-houses in it, the erections being generally warehouses, or such as are devoted to the purposes of trade. It gains its importance from being the principal basin of the Forth and Clyde canal, and is altogether a place of much commercial bustle and activity. It is situated literally on the top of a hill, and the appearance of ships and ships’ masts rising far above the tops of the houses in the city has often been the subject of wonder and surprise to strangers. See FORTH and CLYDE CANAL.
Appearance and Social condition.
Unlike Edinburgh, and many other towns in the kingdom, Glasgow appears very disadvantageously from a distance. In the majority of its approaches, the first intimation which a stranger has of his vicinity to a great city, is the innumerable cluster of tall brick chimney-stalks, vomiting volume on volume of dark smoke, and imparting to the suburbs an air of dinginess. Anon, as he enters the outskirts, his ear is dinned by the whirring of spindles, the noisy motion of power-loom machinery, or the brattling of hammers; and everything assures him that he is approaching one of the busiest haunts of mankind, and in a locality of which it may be truly said:
“Here Industry and Gain their vigils keep,
Command the winds and tame the unwilling deep.”
The ground on which Glasgow and the suburbs are built consists, generally, of a long level tract on both banks of the Clyde, rising to the north, however, to a considerable altitude. On this ridge is situated the Cathedral, which may be considered the nucleus of the city, and from it the streets have branched southwards towards the river. The houses in this part of the city are generally of an indifferent description in point of appearance, and a glance suffices to tell that many of them belong to a period far anterior to the present day, and that in fact they have completely outlived their former respectability or splendour. The High-street leads from the Cathedral, and terminates at the Cross, where the Trongate extends to the west, and the Gallowgate to the east. The Trongate – which a little farther west takes the name of Argyle-street – is one of the most spacious streets in Europe; it is in general fully 60 feet in width; the houses are high, substantially built, and stately, and many of them boast of considerable antiquity; while the torrent of population which is ever hurrying along the pavements morning, noon, and night, with the coaches, cabs, waggons, and carts which stream along its centre, present an air of business-activity which bears a very close resemblance to what is daily seen on the long line of street leading from Ludgate-hill, along Fleet-street and the Strand, to Charing-cross in London. Gallowgate, Trongate, and Argyle-street, extend more than 2 miles, in an almost uninterrupted line, and on every side are lined with spacious shops, extensive warerooms, and dwelling-houses above. From the centre portion of this long line some of the finest business-streets in the city extend to the northward, including the offices of the majority of the banking-companies, the counting-houses of the foreign merchants, the warerooms of the manufacturers, and the offices of the gentlemen connected with the law. Amongst these may be named Miller-street, Virginia-street, (containing the stately domiciles of the old Virginia traders, which are now universally transformed into places of business,) Queen-street, and Buchanan-street. These two last-named streets comprise part of the recent additions to the city; and though they now contain some of the finest shops in the kingdom, and are redolent of business-activity, there are persons still alive who remember when they were entirely in the outskirts of the city, and when Queen-street went by the name of the Cow-loan, from this being the route by which the town’s-herd conducted the cows of the citizens home from their pastures in the Cowcaddens, now a thriving and populous suburb. Parallel with Argyle-street, and extending to the westward, are some spacious streets, chiefly occupied with the dwelling-houses of the more respectable classes of the citizens. Of these George-street, Regent-street, and Bath-street may be named. They lead to the patrician locality of the Blythswood-grounds, where are situated Blythswood-square, Elmbank-crescent, “Woodside-crescent, &c, which are built and laid out with a degree of magnificence worthy of the merchant-princes of the West. This is called the new part of the town; and with the exception of Moray-place in Edinburgh, and, some of the squares in London, the crescents and square we have named are unequalled in architectural beauty and unity by the buildings in any part of the kingdom. The houses are built of a durable white free-stone, and so substantially constructed withal, that, unlike the brick tenements of the great metropolis with their facings of Roman cement, they are destined to endure for ages. Here is congregated all that is most refined, elevated, and opulent, in a mercantile and manufacturing aristocracy; and the contrast between the streets and buildings in the western portion of Glasgow with those in the eastern, not excluding the character of their occupants, is wide as the poles asunder.
Returning to the Cross, at the eastern extremity of the Trongate, the street immediately opposite the foot of High-street is called the Saltmarket, and it leads to the Green on the north bank of the river, and to the uppermost bridge which crosses the Clyde, named Hutcheson’s bridge. This street, although the residence of the best in the city in the olden times, is now principally occupied by brokers, old clothes’ dealers, and those who minister to the wants of the humbler classes of the population. The Bridgegate is approached from the Saltmarket at the eastern end, and is terminated by Stockwell-street on the west. This is a fine old street, and in several parts of it of great width. Seventy years ago it was quite a patrician portion of the city, and contained the merchants’-hall, and the assembly-rooms in which the Duchess of Douglas used to lead off the Glasgow civic balls, about the commencement of the last century. But alas, for the fickleness of all things mundane, its glory has completely departed. The merchant’s-house has long been removed, though the handsome old spire remains; and the houses and shops of the merchants of the former age are now occupied by spirit-dealers, tripe-sellers, and provision-dealers, whose business it is to supply the wants of the very canaille, of the city who are thickly congregated in the numerous lanes and wynds which lead into this locality. King-street is parallel with Saltmarket to the west, and contains the flesh, fish, and green markets, – buildings which must have been regarded as alike handsome and spacious at the time of their erection; but as the wealth of the city has migrated westward, these markets are now much neglected, and entirely divested of their former public importance. No new markets have been erected in their stead, but the fleshers, fish-merchants, and fruiterers have followed their customers by taking shops in the western locality, where the demand is briskest and the payment surest. Westward from King-street is Stockwell-street, a place of considerable business, which forms the approach to Stockwell-bridge. Maxwell-street forms the principal, though not the lineally direct pathway to the Wooden or Accommodation-bridge; and Jamaica-street, still farther west, constitutes the approach to the lowest bridge on the Clyde, that of most recent erection, and which is designated par excellence, “the Glasgow bridge.” Jamaica-street forms the vena cava of two-thirds of the traffic from the Broomielaw, and is constantly crowded by carts, waggons, noddies, and omnibuses, which take this route on their way from the harbour to their different destinations in the city and suburbs, or vice versa. The Broomielaw or harbour extends to the west from the foot of Jamaica-street, and ships of large tonnage are brought up to within a few yards of the Glasgow bridge. The peep down the river from the centre of this noble bridge is one of the most animating which can possibly be conceived. A forest of masts spreads before the gaze of the spectator as far as the eye can reach, – the wharfs are covered with men of all nations, and the produce of every clime, – a stream of passengers hastening to and from the steam-boats and the city rolls unintermittingly along the line of quays, – while the air thickens with the dense volumes of smoke from the steam-boat quay, situated at the lower portion of the harbour, – and a thousand ever-shifting sights and sounds complete the picture of never-ceasing bustle and activity here presented. Glasgow possesses one very pleasing feature, which has been often and much admired by strangers. Instead of the warehouses, &c. being built right on the banks of the river, as is the case with the Thames, it has been so arranged that all the streets and lanes terminate at a considerable distance from the Clyde, thus affording a most ample pathway between the streets and the river. From the Glasgow bridge, upwards to Stockwell, the banks of the river on each side are laid out in green sward, on which, “when summer days are prime,” the adjacent lieges bleach their linen, and sheep are allowed to browse, – a novel feature, imparting altogether an air of rural lightsomeness to the very heart of a crowded city. From all the streets which have been named tributaries branch-off in every direction; but it is unnecessary to enter into this part of the subject minutely, as the reader will learn more from consulting the plan of the city inserted in the present work than from any description on our part. It is enough to say, that however the stranger may have been prepossessed against the amenity of Glasgow from its suburban appearance, he is no sooner within the spacious and splendid amplitude of its business-streets, than he finds that he is in the very centre of one of the busiest and most intelligent of the many commercial and manufacturing hives which minister to the national greatness; and its numerous lofty spires, churches, and educational institutions, tell him that Christian and secular instruction are not forgotten in the midst of other active pursuits.
Having spoken thus briefly of the external appearance of the city, it may not be amiss to touch on the state of society, both in the present and former times. Up till the period of the Reformation, and indeed for long after it, the major part of the inhabitants may be said to have existed in a state of ignorance, poverty, and barbarism; intestine feuds were frequent; the people went constantly armed; and it was no unusual thing for the ministers of religion to ascend the pulpit with dagger, sword, or pistol on their persons! Crimes which are now thought of with horror were of frequent occurrence, and such was the state of society that private revenge as frequently inflicted the punishment of aggression as the arm of the law. The Reformation undoubtedly laid the foundation of improvement, but the civil troubles and contests by which it was followed sadly marred the civilizing effects which might otherwise have flowed from it. It would appear that even the better class of citizens were not free from the ignorance and superstition which oppressed their humbler fellow-citizens: for we find that, so late as 1698, “the magistrates of Glasgow granted an allowance to the jailer for keeping warlocks and witches imprisoned in the tolbooth, by order of the Lords commissioners of justiciary.” Neither does the civic economy of the city appear to have been of a higher standard: for we find an order issued by the town-council, in 1610, to the effect, “that in future there should be no dung-hills on the principal streets, nor in the flesh-market, meal or other market, under a penalty of 13s. 4d.; and that no timber or peat-stacks lie on the High-street, above a year and a day; nor lint be dried on the High-street.” In its ignorance, barbarity, poverty, and filth, it is not to be presumed that Glasgow was in a worse position than any other town of Scotland, with the exception of the capital, which, from being the seat of the legislature and the residence of the aristocracy, had pretensions to refinement which were awanting elsewhere. The Union, in 1707, which opened up the English colonies to the Scots, was the first event which materially contributed to an alteration for the better in the character and disposition of the inhabitants of Glasgow; and we find that shortly after this period they adopted manners only equalled in the intensity of their austerity by the latitude of their former dissoluteness. Regarding the state of society at this early period, some very interesting statements have found their way into the Scrap-book of the venerated Mr. Dugald Bannatyne, a few of which, evincing that frugality and industry were, in these infant days of Glasgow commerce, the guiding stars of her merchants, we may here quote: “At the commencement of the 18th century, and during the greater part of the first half of it, the habits and style of living of the citizens of Glasgow were of a moderate and frugal cast. The dwelling-houses of the highest class of citizens, in general, contained only one public room, a dining-room; and even that was used only when they had company, – the family at other times usually eating in a bed-room. The great-grandfathers and great-grandmothers of many of the present luxurious aristocracy of Glasgow – and who were themselves descendants of a preceding line of burgher-patricians – lived in this simple manner. They had occasionally their relations dining with them, and gave them a few plain dishes, all put on the table at once: holding in derision the attention which they said their neighbours the English bestowed on what they ate. After dinner, the husband went to his place of business, and, in the evening, to a club in a public-house, where, with little expense, he enjoyed himself till nine o’clock, at which hour the party uniformly broke up, and the husbands went home to their families. The wife gave tea at home in her own bed-room, receiving there the visits of her ‘cummers,’ and a great deal of intercourse of this kind was kept up, – the gentlemen seldom making their appearance at these parties. This meal was termed ‘the four-hours.’ Families occasionally supped with one another, and the form of the invitation, and which was used to a late period, will give some idea of the unpretending nature of these repasts. The party asked was invited to eat an egg with the entertainer; and when it was wished to say that such a one was not of their society, the expression used was, that he had never cracked a hen’s egg in their house.
“The wealth introduced into the community after the Union, opening the British colonies to the Scots, gradually led to a change of the habits and style of living of the citizens. About the year 1735 several individuals built houses, to be occupied solely by themselves, in place of dwelling on a floor entering from a common stair, as they hitherto had done. This change, however, proceeded very slowly, and up to the year 1755 to 1760, very few of these single houses had been built, – the greater part of the most wealthy inhabitants continuing, to a much later period, to occupy floors in very many cases containing only one public room. After the year 1740 the intercourse of society was, by evening-parties, never exceeding twelve or fourteen persons, invited to tea and supper. They met at four, and after tea played cards till nine, when they supped. Their games were whist and quadrille. The gentlemen attended these parties, and did not go away with the ladies after supper, but continued to sit with the landlord, drinking punch, to a very late hour. The gentlemen frequently had dinner-parties in their own houses, but it was not till a much later period that the great business of visiting was attempted to be carried on by dinner-parties. The guests at these earlier dinner-parties were generally asked by the entertainer, upon ‘Change, from which they accompanied him, at the same time sending a message to their own houses that they were not to dine at home. The late Mr. Cuninghame of Lainshaw meeting the Earl of Glencairn at the Cross in this way, asked him to take pot-luck with him, and having sent immediate notice to his wife of the guest invited, entertained him with a most ample dinner. Some conversation taking place about the difference between dinners in Glasgow and Edinburgh, Lord Glencairn observed, that the only difference he knew of was, that in Glasgow the dinner was at sight while in Edinburgh it was at fourteen days’ date. These dinner-parties usually terminated with hard drinking, and gentlemen in a state of intoxication were, in consequence, to be met with at most evening-parties, and in all public places. The dinner-hour, about the year 1770, was ten o’clock; immediately after that, it came to three o’clock; and gradually became later and later, till about 1818 it reached six o’clock. The first instance of a dinner of two courses in the neighbourhood of Glasgow was about the year 1786. Mrs. Andrew Stirling of Drumpellier, who made this change in the economy of the table, justified herself against the charge of introducing a more extravagant style of living, by saying, that she had put no more dishes on her table than before, but had merely divided her dinner, in place of introducing her additional dishes in removes.
“Influenced by a regard for the Sabbath, the magistrates employed persons termed ‘compurgators’ to perambulate the city on the Saturday nights; and when at the approach of twelve o’clock, these inquisitors happened to hear any noisy conviviality going on, even in a private dwelling-house, they entered it and dismissed the company. Another office of these compurgators was to perambulate the streets and public walks during the time of divine service on Sunday, and to order every person they met abroad, not on necessary duty, to go home, and if they refused to obey, to take them into custody. The employment of these compurgators was continued till about the middle of the century, when, taking Mr. Peter Blackburn – father of Mr. Blackburn of Killearn – into custody for walking on Sunday in the Green, he prosecuted the magistrates for an unwarranted exercise of authority, and prevailing in his suit in the Court of Session, the attempt to compel this observance was abandoned.”
Up till 1750, the severity of the ancient manners prevailed in full vigour; people, as has been stated, were prevented from walking on the Lord’s day; no lamps were lighted on that evening, because it was presumed that no man had any business to be out of his own house after sunset; the indulgences or innocent amusements of life were either unknown or little practised. But by this time commerce and manufactures had produced wealth; and the establishment of banks had increased the supply of money, and enlarged the ideas of the people both as regarded their manner of living and their schemes of improvement. A new and expensive style was now introduced into building, living, dress, and furniture, – the conveniences and elegances of life began to be studied, – wheel-carriages were set up, – places of entertainment were frequented, – and at once to get rid of the austerity and stern restrictions of former times, a theatre and assembly-room were built by subscription. Not only Glasgow, but the west of Scotland generally, had been enriched by the colonial trade; and as a consequence of it, new streets were laid out in the city, the old wooden tenements with thatched roofs were displaced for commodious stone mansions, and the progress of refinement, and it may be said, of luxury, has advanced to the present time. It is curious to note, however, the state of thraldom in which the majority of the citizens were held by the Virginian merchants, previous to the breaking out of the American war. These gentlemen were regarded as the civic aristocracy, and were accustomed to promenade the Trongate in the vicinity of the cross, in long scarlet cloaks and bushy wigs, and if any decent tradesman wished to have a word with them, he was required to take up his station on the opposite side, and wait patiently till he could be fortunate enough to catch the eye of the tobacco-lord, for it would have been resented as a most un- warrantable liberty had the craftsman dared to accost him off-hand. Amongst those who thus stood upon their dignity, were the Cuninghames, the Spiers, the Glassfords, the Dunmores, the Stirlings, Spreulls, and others; but the increasing intercourse of the citizens with the world, and above all, the establishment of the public coffee-room in 1781, did much to number this servile reverence for mere wealth among the things that were, and now-a days, there is no place in her Majesty’s dominions, where merit, good conduct, and ability, even unaccompanied by wealth, more readily form the passport to public favour, respect, and confidence. In all the elements of good living and refinement, the better class of the citizens of Glasgow have improved mightily since the beginning of the present century, and it may be truly stated that the wealthy population of the localities which have been named in the west end, lead a life in which “ne’er a want may be ungratified,” and are in possession of luxuries which were unknown to the majority of the Scottish nobles even fifty years ago. The introduction of steam-navigation has brought the fairy nooks, bays, and crooks of the western coast within a few hours’ sail of the city, and there are few of the merchants, manufacturers, or professional gentlemen who have not a summer cottage ornée, perched upon the water’s edge at Gourock, Dunoon, Kilmun, the Gareloch, Rothesay, or Largs. These are laid out with every regard to taste, with blooming parterres without and elegance within, and it is scarcely possible for a humble citizen to pass them either on foot or in steamers without aspirating,
“Oh that for me some home like this would smile!”
While thus much has been stated of the sunny portion of Glasgow society, it is only fair to present the dark side of the picture. This city, like Dublin, embraces to a remarkable extent the very extremes of wealth and misery; and the most painful feature in the case is, that in proportion as the one class appears to be advancing in opulence, the other appears to be receding towards a state of abject and helpless wretchedness. The closses leading from the High-street, and the wynds are known to contain an aggregate of misery, disease, and vice, which is perhaps unequalled, certainly not exceeded, by that of any other city of the empire. The district in which the wynds are situated lies in the very heart of the city, and here fever is ever present, – at times breaking out with frightful virulence and permeating all classes of society. The population of these places is not usually Glasgow-born, but the locality affords a shelter and nestling-place for all that is low and squalid, come from what quarter it may. The great majority of the tenants of these dens are Irish, who, from the facilities now afforded by steam-navigation, are induced to fly from wretchedness in their own country to a state of things little better in the land of the stranger. The locality of the wynds is bounded by the wealthy street of Trongate on the north, Bridgegate on the south, King-street on the east, and Stockwell-street on the west. A short time since it was visited officially by Mr. Jellinger C. Symons, one of the assistant-commissioners for inquiring into the condition of the hand-loom weavers in the United Kingdom, and his report is of the most painful and startling description. Though perhaps slightly coloured, it will generally be admitted that his statements are based on a foundation of truth. Mr. Symons says – “The wynds of Glasgow comprise a fluctuating population of from 15,000 to 20,000 persons. This quarter consists of a labyrinth of lanes, out of which numberless entrances lead into small courts, each with a dunghill reeking in the centre. Revolting as was the outside of these places, I was little prepared for the filth and destitution within. In some of these lodging-rooms (visited at night), we found a whole lair of human beings littered along the floor, – sometimes fifteen and twenty, – some clothed, and some naked, – men, women, and children huddled promiscuously together. Their bed consisted of a lair of musty straw intermixed with rags. There was generally no furniture in these places. The sole article of comfort was a fire. Thieving and prostitution constituted the main source of the revenue of this population. No pains seems to be taken to purge this Augean pandemonium, – this nucleus of crime, filth, and pestilence, – existing in the centre of the second city of the empire. These wynds constitute the St. Giles of Glasgow, but I owe an apology to the Metropolitan pandemonium for the comparison. A very extensive inspection of the lowest districts of other places, both here and on the continent, never presented any thing half so bad, either in intensity of pestilence, physical and moral, or in extent proportioned to the population.”
For the amelioration of this frightful moral incubus, various plans have been proposed, but it would appear that all of them are beyond the reach of private benevolence or private effort. It is hoped that the extension of the poor-law to Ireland may have its beneficial effects; but hitherto these have not been apparent. A poor-law for Scotland on a more liberal scale than the present, – education which will elevate the moral status of the more debased of the population, – and an extensive system of emigration, – have in their turn been proposed; but it is presumed that whatever measure cures this disease must be a national one, and at all events it is the opinion of the best-informed gentlemen in Glasgow on these subjects, both medical, magisterial, and clerical, that the subject will ere long force itself upon the community in a manner not to be trifled with.
The advance of population and property in Glasgow is unparalleled in any city in the kingdom, and perhaps in the world, if some of the cities in the United States are excepted, which appear to rise up in the heart of the forest with railroad speed. It is recorded by one of the historians of New South Wales, that part of the ground upon which Sydney now stands, was disposed of by the original holders for a keg of rum or a roll of tobacco, which, within 15 years thereafter, brought £20,000; and the same kind of rapid increase and value appears to hold true with regard to Glasgow. The city has steadily advanced to the west until it has almost covered the lands of Blythswood. This property, about 40 years ago, brought the proprietor £223 1s. 3d., while, at the present moment, it is understood that the unredeemable feus, secured on substantial buildings, amount to more than £13,000 per annum; and there is still a portion to feu. Previous to 1610, there was no census of the population of Glasgow upon which dependence can be placed; but it is believed that, about the period of the Reformation, in 1560, the numbers of the citizens did not amount to more than 4,560. When the Confession of Faith was signed, in 1581, the numbers above 12 years of age were 2,250; and, when the population was taken in 1610, by order of Archbishop Spottiswood, it was found to amount to 7,644. In 1660, it had increased to 14,678; but consequent upon the civil wars it fell off, amounting only to 11,948 in 1688, and indeed it did not recover itself for half a century afterwards. The following table of the numbers taken at different periods subsequent to this date, either by individuals of trust and veracity, the magistrates, or by Government authority, will show the progressive rise of the city:-
|In 1560,||4,500||In 1785,||45,889|
|– 1708,||12,766||– 1791,||66,587|
|– 1712,||13,832||– 1801,||83,769|
|– 1740,||17,034||– 1811,||100,749|
|– 1755,||23,546||– 1821,||147,043|
|– 1766,||28,300||– 1831,||202,426|
|– 1780,||42,832||– 1841,||280,676|
In the census of 1831, the males were ascertained to be 93,724; the females, 108,702; in that of 1841, the males were 133,306; the females, 147,370. In 1831, there were 19,200 inhabited houses; in 1841, 22,751; had the houses increased in the same ratio as the population, the number in 1841 would have been 25,463. This striking fact indicates a sensible falling-off in the domestic comfort of the great mass of the population. The population of the suburbs was first added to the enumeration in 1780. Up till 1776, there were no foot-pavements; but, at the present time, they extend considerably more than 120 miles in length, and they must have been constructed at an expense of nearly £200,000. In 1790, the first common-sewer was constructed in Glasgow, and it is calculated that they now extend fully nine miles. It affords a curious and rather flattering insight into the state of Glasgow in the end of last century to state, that at the autumn-circuits of 1779, 1782, and 1796, there was no criminal business before the court. But of late years crime has so much increased with the population, that it has become necessary to hold three criminal diets in the city, instead of two as formerly, when generally from 100 to 140 persons are arraigned at each, and the court occasionally sits from seven to eight days. This, of course, is quite irrespective of the vast number of minor offences, tried by the sheriff, the justices, and the magistrates of the city.
The Clyde at Glasgow is spanned by four bridges, communicating with the suburban district of Gorbals. The first, or uppermost, is termed Hutchesons’ bridge; the second, Stockwell bridge; the third, the Wooden, or Accommodation bridge; and the fourth, the Glasgow, or Jamaica-street bridge. – Stockwell-street bridge was built by Bishop Rae, about the year 1345, the pious Lady Lochore, who had property on both sides of the river, defraying the expense of the centre arch. It was originally 12 feet wide, and had eight arches. On the week of the Glasgow fair, in 1671, the south arch came down; and it is a circumstance not only providential, but remarkable, that no one suffered any fatal injury. In 1777, an addition of 10 feet was made to the breadth of this bridge, and two of the arches built up, for the purpose of confining the river within narrower space. In 1821, it was further improved by the introduction of ornamental iron footpaths, suspended by substantial framings. These were executed after plans by the celebrated Thomas Telford, the engineer of the Menai bridge. The Stockwell bridge was the principal channel of intercourse between Glasgow and the south-west parts of Scotland for 400 years. It is 415 feet long, and 34 feet in width within the parapets. – The foundation-stone of the original Jamaica-street bridge was laid in September, 1768, by Mr. George Murdoch, then lord-provost of the city, who had procured a splendid chain and seals of office for the occasion, and was the first magistrate of Glasgow who wore such a badge of distinction. Although this bridge was quite spacious enough for the time in which it was built, it contained a very inconvenient ascent, and was found to be quite unsuited to the accommodation of the growing trade of Glasgow and the suburbs. It was resolved accordingly to take it down, and on 3d September, 1833, the foundation-stone of the present magnificent structure was laid by James Ewing, Esq. of Levenside, then lord-provost, and one of the members for the city in parliament. The masonic procession on the occasion was one of the most splendid ever seen in Glasgow. Independently of the grand lodge of Scotland, there were present 33 other lodges, all the civic officials of the city, and the magistrates of 12 burghs, from the shire of Lanark, Renfrew, and Ayr. The procession numbered 4,000 persons, and the ceremony was witnessed by an assemblage amounting to 150,000 individuals. This noble bridge is 560 feet in length; and 60 feet in width over the parapets, viz., roadway, 34 feet in width; and 2 side pathways, each 12 feet wide. The bridge is faced with Aberdeen granite, and while it is the widest, it is at the same time one of the most beautiful erections of the kind in the country. It is now the great line of communication between the north and south sides of the river, connecting the city with the suburbs. The design is by Telford. – The foundation-stone of the original Hutchesons’ bridge was laid in 1794, by Mr. Gilbert Hamilton, lord-provost. It was, however, swept away on 18th November, 1795, by a furious flood in the Clyde, just when the erection had been all but completed. It was succeeded, in 1803, by a handsome timber bridge for the accommodation of foot passengers. It stood for many years, but was removed when the present Hutchesons’ bridge was built. The foundation-stone of this structure was laid on 18th August, 1829, by Mr. Robert Dalglish, preceptor of Hutchesons’ hospital, and was executed from designs by Mr. Robert Stevenson, civil engineer. It has 5 arches, is 406 feet in length, and 36 feet in width within the parapets. This bridge connects the eastern part of the city with the suburb of Gorbals, called Hutchesontown Before the removal of the old Jamaica-street bridge, a handsome timber bridge was built, a little above it, and on a line with Portland-street, Gorbals, to accommodate the public until the completion of the larger structure. When the Glasgow bridge was finished, the inhabitants residing in the neighbourhood had found the Accommodation bridge so convenient, that they earnestly petitioned it might be allowed to remain, which request was acquiesced in. It is now, however, only used for foot-passengers. A very handsome revenue is exacted from the traffic along the Glasgow bridges, the funds of which are managed by one trust.
Supply of Water.
Until the formation of water-companies in Glasgow in the commencement of the present century, the inhabitants were very poorly supplied with this first necessary from 29 public and a few private wells. So far back as 70 years ago, the magistrates procured plans for conveying water to the city in pipes from Whitehill, but the attempt proved abortive. Again, in 1794, an effort was made by the inhabitants to procure a more copious supply of water, and a civil engineer was employed to prepare the plans, but these being both expensive and unsatisfactory, the scheme was again abandoned. The first incentive to follow out a proper plan was at length given by a private individual. In 1804, Mr. William Harley, who had feued the lauds of Willowbank, constructed a reservoir in Upper Nile-street, which he supplied with spring-water by pipes from the lands he had feued, and dispensed it to the inhabitants by means of huge cisterns placed on carriages, and which were moved from street to street. The enterprise of a single individual induced a number of the inhabitants to form themselves into a company for supplying the city with filtered water from the Clyde. In 1806, they procured an act of parliament, erecting them into an incorporation by the name of the ‘Glasgow Water company,’ and shortly thereafter their works were erected at Dalmarnock, upon the Clyde, two miles above the city, and Glasgow was, for the first time, supplied with water by these means. In 1808, another company was formed under the name of the ‘Cranstonhill Water company,’ and similar parliamentary powers were also granted to them. For a number of years these companies went on independently; but they have recently been joined by act of parliament, – though it is not understood that the citizens have gained by the junction either in the abundance of the supply, or the purity of the stream. Up till Whitsunday 1836, these companies had expended £350,000 in conveying water to the city and suburbs, and by this time the sum must have been vastly increased. The revenue was then upwards of £25,000 per annum, and the number of water-renters about 45,000. These must also have been greatly augmented. In fact, the company’s pipes are now laid into every household, with the exception of the very poorest. The quantity furnished per diem is upwards of 8,000,000 imperial gallons.
The Gas company was incorporated in 1817; and on 5th September, 1818, the street-lamps were lighted with it for the first time. The works are situated on the high grounds in the north-eastern part of the city, and occupy an area of 14,831 square yards. In the works there are upwards of 150 retorts employed, each capable of producing 5,000 cubic feet of gas in 24 hours. The pipes are generally laid under the foot pavements, and extend to more than 120 miles in length; and the new light is used extensively not only in dwelling-houses, but even in the meanest shop and cabaret of the city and suburbs. About 10,000 tons of cannel coal are annually consumed in producing a supply adequate to the demand; and the company are at every little interval called upon to make additions to their already very extensive works. Glasgow is not celebrated either for the purity or plentifulness of its gas; and it has been generally considered, that if the lighting of this immense city had been intrusted to two or three companies instead of one, there would have been sufficient work for all, and the inhabitants would not be the worse served from the competition which would ensue. The present charge, when used by metre, is 9s. per 1,000 cubic feet, subject to a discount varying from 5 to 30 per cent., according to the amount consumed. Several of the more extensive public works, such as spinning-mills, &c., manufacture their own gas.
Means of Communication.
It would be difficult to point out any city in her Majesty’s dominion which possesses better means of communicating with the world around her than Glasgow. By means of powerful steam-vessels, the distance between the capital of the West, and the great commercial and manufacturing county of Lancashire, including Liverpool and Manchester, is reduced to an average of less than twenty hours’ sailing; Dublin and Belfast are still nearer at hand; and the whole of the Western Isles, and western portions of the Highlands, are constantly visited by the steamers of the Clyde, carrying passengers and manufactures, and returning with stock and agricultural produce. The communication between Glasgow and England and Ireland is, in the summer-season at least, almost daily; and spacious as may be the accommodation of these floating palaces, they are often in the travelling season crowded to inconvenience by tourists and men of business. With Edinburgh and the eastern portion of the island, the communication is also of a first-rate description, – by the mails, and numerous stage-coaches for passengers, and the Edinburgh and Glasgow canal for heavy goods and passengers. But by the month of August in the present year (1841), these conveyances, superior as they may be, will be thrown into the shade by the opening of the Edinburgh and Glasgow railway, which is now in an advanced state of forwardness. The railway from Glasgow to Paisley was opened on 13th July, 1840, and the whole line to Ayr was opened 11th August in the same year. The Greenock railway, which, with the Glasgow and Ayr company, shares the joint line to Paisley, is now in such a state of forwardness that it will in all likelihood be opened by the time this sheet meets the public eye, and Glasgow will thus possess another and speedier means of communication with Greenock, independent of the splendid pathway afforded by the waters of the Clyde. [See separate articles on these different railways.] Glasgow, in fact, is now considered the starting-point from which almost the entire population of the west of Scotland, and not a few in the east, commence their journeys to distant parts of the kingdom, or beyond it.
It may be amusing to compare the means of communication in a former age, with the vast facilities afforded in our own day. The first stage-coach between Edinburgh and Glasgow was established in 1678, when Provost Campbell, and the other magistrates of Glasgow, entered into an agreement with William Hume, a merchant in the former city, to run a coach between Edinburgh and Glasgow, under certain conditions. The indenture between the parties, which is rather unique of its kind, runs as follows:- “At Glasgow, the saxt day of August, 1678; the foresaid parties finally agree that the said William Hume, a merchant in Edinbro, with all diligence, have in readiness ane sufficient strong coach to run betwixt Edinbro and Glasgow, to be drawn by sax able horses, to leave Edinbro ilk Monday morning, and return again (God willing) ilk Saturday night; the passengers to have the liberty of taking a cloak-bag, for receiving their clothes, linens, and sic like, the burgesses of Glasgow always to have a preference to the coach; the fare from the first of March till the first of September, which is considered simmer weather, is to be £4 16s. Scots (8s. sterling); during the other months, considered winter months, the fare is to be £5 8s. Scots (9s. sterling). As the undertaking is arduous, and cannot be accomplished without assistance, the said magistrates agree to give the said William Hume two hundred merks a-year for 5 years, the latter agreeing to run the coach for that period, whether passengers apply or not, in consideration of his having actually received two years’ premium in advance (£22 4s. 5d. sterling).” There is no data to inform us how long Hume kept the road; but that his “sufficient strong coach” was ultimately abandoned is certain, for in 1713 there was only one stage in Scotland – with the exception of two between Edinburgh and Leith – which set out once a-month from Edinburgh to London, and was from 12 to 16 days on the road. Some time after this period, one or more stage-coaches were placed on the road between Edinburgh and Glasgow. These vehicles were drawn by 4 horses in summer when the roads were light, and 6 in winter when they were heavy. The drivers of those days had no idea of keeping time, and the journey was generally performed in from 10 to 13 hours according to circumstances. The passengers were compelled to dismount and walk up all the ascents, and during the journey they dined and took tea at their ease. In 1790 these clumsy conveyances were superseded by two-horse chaises, which frequently changed horses, and performed the journey in 7 hours; and those again were beaten by a new class of four-horse coaches, which reduced the journey to 6 hours. Since that period vast improvements have been made, both in the roads and the vehicles which use them, and for many years the journey has been performed on an average of from 4 to 4½ hours. From 12 to 14 coaches daily are usually upon the road between Edinburgh and Glasgow; and by taking the earliest conveyance, it has long been perfectly practicable to go and return the same day. It is more than probable that the present mode of travelling between the two capitals, with the opening of the railway, will cease to be. Two or three years ago, there were upwards of 60 stage-coaches which left and returned to Glasgow every day, – a vast number of them being employed in conveying passengers to and from the populous villages within a radius of a dozen miles of the city; but the progress of railways has considerably thinned their numbers, and it is likely to be still further reduced. Within the last year, the numerous coaches to Paisley, and those towns and villages adjacent to or connected with the Glasgow and Ayr railway, have all been laid aside. In connection with this subject it may be stated, by way of hint to those interested in supplying such wants, that Glasgow is supplied with hackney article for a period of three years under certain conditions.
In 1806, when the respected Mr. Dugald Bannatyne assumed the office of postmaster, the establishment, besides himself, consisted of 3 clerks, a stamper, and 6 letter-carriers, there were also a few penny-post offices for the receipt and transmission of letters addressed to persons in the neighbourhood. The establishment now consists of a postmaster, 17 clerks, 2 newspaper-sorters, 3 stampers; 36 letter-carriers, and 1 superintendent; 4 bag-carriers; 2 steam-boat and railroad messengers; 4 out-runners, and 17 receiving-houses. There is now a morning and evening English mail, and four deliveries are made in the course of the day. On 7th July, 1788, the first mail-coach from London reached the Saracen’s Head inn, in the Gallowgate; and so vast was the interest excited by the novelty that a number of horsemen went a few miles along the road to meet the new vehicle and escort her in triumph into the city. At that period the mail was considered to perform the journey expeditiously in 63 hours. It is now performed in less than 30 hours, and it is expected that the time will be still farther reduced. Before the introduction of mail-coaches, the course of post from London to Glasgow was five days: the Glasgow letters being brought round to Edinburgh, and detained there 12 hours till the usual transmission of the post-bags from Edinburgh to Glasgow in the evening. Previous to the last removal of the post-office at Whitsunday, 1840, it was situated in a dingy huckster’s shop in Nelson-street, and was for many years a disgrace to the city. It has now been removed to a more respectable building in Glassford-street, which has been fitted up, though not built, for the purpose. But it is somewhat remarkable that the Glasgow establishment, notwithstanding the vast amount of its revenue and the magnitude of the city, is only regarded at headquarters as a provincial office, and treated as such. There is not even a porter or a clock allowed in the lobby for the convenience of the public, and the treatment of this establishment by the Government has all along been of a very scurvy description. The following table “will show the progressive rise of the revenue:
REVENUE FROM 1781 TILL 1841.
|1781||£4,341 4 9||1833||£36,481 0 0½|
|1810||27,598 6 0||1834||37,483 3 4|
|1815||34,784 16 0||1835||39,954 4 6|
|1820||31,533 2 3||1836||42,370 0 11½|
|1825||34,190 1 7||1837||43,029 6 8½|
|1830||34,978 9 0½||1838||44,393 0 4½|
|1831||35,042 19 5||1839||47,527 7 7|
|1832||36,053 0 0||1840|
The postage act, passed in 1839, establishing a uniform scale of charge of one penny for letters not exceeding half-an-ounce in weight has occasioned a considerable falling off in the last year’s revenue, which it is to be hoped is only temporary. On 5th Dec, 1839, the postage was reduced to an uniform charge of 4d., and on 10th Jan., 1840, to one penny.
With the exception of “the Parks” of London, which have been aptly designated the lungs of the mighty Babel, there are few cities in the empire which can boast of such a fine arena for pleasure, health, and recreation, as the Green of Glasgow: It embraces 140 imperial acres of fine grass land, extending along the north bank of the Clyde, and situated in the south-eastern portion of the city. So early as 1450, the Laigh Green was included in the grant which James II. of Scotland made in favour of Bishop Turnbull, for the benefit of the community; at that time, it was of limited extent, but by various purchases made by the corporation from time to time, it has been increased to its present extent. However willing the authorities may have been to purchase additions to the Green at one time, they have been no less anxious to sell at another, particularly in 1744; but propositions of the latter kind were so violently opposed by the almost unanimous voice of the inhabitants, that they have always been abandoned, and are not likely to be resumed in these our days. About twenty years ago the Green was levelled and improved at a very considerable expense, under the auspices of the late Dr. Cleland, and a gravel-walk or carriage-drive formed to the extent of 2½ miles. It is a beautiful spot – level in the lower part as a bowling-green, – dotted in the upper by fine clumps of old timber, – and containing several springs of delicious water. From the migration of the wealthier classes to the west end, the Green is not now the resort of the gay, the opulent, and the lovely, as it used to be in times that have passed away; but it is still a centre of great attraction, especially in the heyday of summer; and here may yet be seen many blithesome groups, and many which are serious – the convalescent wooing the healthy zephyr, – the idle dissipating time which returns no more, – the contemplative courting wisdom, – the gay alike amused and amusing their compeers, – and childhood and youth participating in the pleasures of happiness and joy. It is the field of the reviews of the military; and in those stirring times when every man was a volunteer, or enrolled in the local militia, the Green used to be the scene of all their grand operations. The public washing-house for the city was here situated, and “lasses lilting o’er the pail” might be seen and heard by the hundred; but the introduction of water into the city by means of pipes, has banished in a great measure these fair operatives of the tub from this locality, and the washing-house, which used to be rated at £600 per annum, soon fell to a pitiful trifle. The scene, previous to the change which has been noted must, however, have been a very lightsome one; for it is noticed, in tolerable verse, by one of the Glasgow poets, who has erst sung of the beauties of the Clyde:
“Here barefoot beauties lightly trip along;
Their snowy labours all the verdure throng;
The linen some, with rosy fingers, rub,
And the white foam o’erflows the smoking tub.
Their bright approach impurity refines:
At every touch the linen brighter shines,
Whether they bathe it in the crystal wave,
Or on the stream the whitening surges lave,
Or from the painted can the fountain pour,
Softly descending in a shining shower;
Till, as its lies, its fair transparent hue
Shows like a lily dipt in morning dew.”
It has been ascertained that a valuable seam of coal exists on the Green, but it would be a pity to cut up this beautiful promenade for the operations of a coal-pit, even though the gain might be great. It is to be hoped the corporation-funds may never need assistance from such a quarter.
Burying-grounds, the Necropolis, &c.
There are twenty burying-grounds situated in Glasgow and the suburbs, – some of them set down in the very heart of the city, and in localities so crowded, that were it not for that Scottish feeling which repels any attempt to disturb the bones of the departed, their removal would be an act alike consonant to public taste and beneficial to public health. The oldest cemetery is that attached to the Cathedral or High church, and is no doubt coeval with the institution of the see itself. In the olden part repose the ashes of many generations of the rude forefathers of the city; but new grounds have been taken in adjacent to the old, and laid out with every regard to modern taste. These grounds are most extensively used; many of the citizens possessing lairs here in which their kindred repose for several generations. One of the most pleasing institutions connected with Glasgow, however, is the Necropolis, – a burying-ground of recent institution, and laid out according to the plan of the celebrated Père la Chaise in Paris. Previous to the opening of this cemetery in May 1833, it was known as the Fir park, – a property belonging to the Merchants’ house, – and though almost valueless for any other purpose, it is scarcely possible to conceive a locality better fitted for the solemn and sacred purpose to which it is now devoted. It rises to a height of 300 feet above the adjacent level; and is only separated from the Cathedral and its olden cemetery by the Molendinar-burn. The view from the summit is picturesque, interesting, and beautiful. To the south-west the city extends in all its mighty proportions, with its many spires rising far above the roots of the dwellings; while to the east the eye is refreshed by a long vista of hill and dale, with agricultural and woodland scenery. Mr. John Strang, the present city-chamberlain, in urging upon the citizens in 1831 the adoption of the Fir park as a place of sepulture for the city, says: “In point of situation the ground belonging to the Merchants’ house of Glasgow, bears, in fact, no small resemblance to that of Mount Louis (Père la Chaise). Its surface like it is broken and varied, its form is picturesque and romantic, and its position appropriate and commanding. It is already beautified with venerable trees and young shrubbery, it is possessed of several winding walks, and affords from almost every point the most splendid views of the city and neighbourhood. The singular diversity, too, of its soil and substrata, proclaims it to be of all other spots the most eligible for a cemetery; calculated, as that should be, for every species of sepulture, and suitable as it is for every sort of sepulchral ornament. The individual, for example, who might wish for the burial of patriarchal times, could there obtain a last resting-place in the hollow of the rock, or could sleep in the security of a sandstone sepulchre, while he who is anxious to mix immediately with his kindred clay could have his grave either in a grassy glade, or his tomb beneath the shadow of some flowering shrub. The crypt and catacomb too, might be there judiciously constructed on the steep face of the hill, while the heights might be appropriately set apart for the cenotaphs and monuments of those who gain a public testimonial of respect or admiration from their grateful countrymen.” It is enough to say that the anticipations of Mr. Strang have been realized to the letter; and places of sepulture of every kind and construction have been adopted within the ample range of the Necropolis. Here too the rank grass is completely eschewed, and the visiter moves through a long line of walks cut on the hill side and summit, surrounded on every side by shrubbery and flower-beds, – memorials of affection which are sweet, comely, and abiding, and which call back with a chastened glow of pleasing sadness, the friends whom we have loved and lost. The greater portion of the graves are enclosed either by a low stone erection, or a delicate iron-railing, and each is a little flower-garden of itself, while the grounds are sprinkled over with monuments of every style of architecture, all of them graceful, and many of them gorgeous. The most prominent public monuments are those of John Knox, and of William M’Gavin, the author of the well-known work entitled ‘The Protestant.’ Both are situated on the summit of the hill. The statue of “the Reformer,” 12 feet in height, and placed on the summit of a massive column, is seen from many miles to the eastward of the city. He is represented in a Geneva gown, with a Bible in his right hand, and looks terrible even in stone. A small portion of the Necropolis, at its northern extremity, immediately above the waters of the Molendinar, has been purchased and used by the Jews as a place of sepulture. It is enclosed, having a beautiful facade; and on the left is an ornamented column, after Absalom’s tomb in the King’s dale at Jerusalem. On the shaft of the column are some appropriate quotations from Scripture; and the following beautiful lines from the Hebrew Melodies of Byron:
“Oh weep for those who wept by Babel’s stream,
Whose shrines are desolate, whose land a dream!
Weep for the harp of Judah’s broken shell –
Mourn, where their God hath dwelt the godless dwell.
Oh where shall Israel lave her bleeding feet,
And where shall Judah’s songs again seem sweet,
And Judah’s melody once more rejoice
The hearts that leapt before its heavenly voice?
Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast!
When shall ye flee away and be at rest?
The wild dove hath her nest, the fox her cave –
Mankind their country – Israel but the grave.”
The Necropolis is approached by a noble bridge of a single arch, which spans the Molendinar burn, and from its proximity to the Cathedral burying-grounds, may be said to connect the dead of many bygone generations with the resting-places prepared for generations yet unborn. Altogether, in the words of an eloquent writer on the subject, the Necropolis is a locality “where each grave is a flower-garden, and each tomb a shrine; and where leaning on a monument, amid the beauty of nature and the refinement of art, Memory may echo back the long-lost accents of departed worth, – Imagination may paint with the tints of vitality the buried form of early affection, – Reason may preach her consolatory lesson of immortality, and Religion may point to the mercy-seat on high!” – Another new and extensive cemetery has recently been formed in the neighbourhood of Glasgow, and a joint-stock-company formed under the designation of the “City Burial-ground Institution, and Père la Chaise of Sighthill.” Sighthill is about 1¼ mile from the Cross, on the road leading to Kirkintilloch; and every facility has been granted here to the humbler classes for the purchase of separate lairs. – The Gorbals cemetery has also been instituted within the year, on similar principles, of moderate charge, which is taken in small instalments. It is situated on the lands of Little Govan, at a short distance from the banks of Clyde.18 From this extensive formation of burying-grounds beyond the bounds of the city, it is extremely probable that those unsightly mounds of mortality which are situated in the centre of a crowded population will soon cease to be used.
State of Crime.
In a large manufacturing and commercial community such as Glasgow, the state of crime must at all times be a subject of vast importance; and it is fortunate that our report in this case will be a favourable one as contrasted with many of the large towns in the empire. At the meeting of the British Association, held in Glasgow in September, 1840, elaborate statistical papers on this subject were read by the superintendent of the Glasgow police, the superintendent of Gorbals, one of the magistrates of Calton, and the superintendent of Anderston. These go to prove that, though the population is rapidly on the increase, crime has decreased, – and that thefts, when committed, are generally in articles of the most trumpery value; while robbery, thefts by housebreaking, and other offences of a grave nature, are now of rare occurrence. This satisfactory result can only be traced to the admirable organization and superintendence of the police, in which respect Glasgow contrasts favourably with every other city in the kingdom. The following table and extracts regarding the royalty of Glasgow will be interesting:-
TABLE showing the number of cases brought before the Police court, Glasgow,
and the amount of fines recovered each year, from 1826 to 1839, both inclusive:-
|YEAR.||Number of Cases.||Amount of Fines.|
£ s. d.
|1826||6,971||828 4 9|
|1827||6,495||1,417 5 1|
|1828||7,123||1,544 13 10|
|1829||7,587||1,606 2 9|
|1830||7,376||1,376 1 8|
|1831||7,591||1,108 10 4|
|1832||7,631||1,037 4 11|
|1833||6,118||813 12 8|
|1834||5,126||851 14 4|
|1835||4,627||804 0 10|
|1836||4,247||576 4 11|
|1837||3,689||367 18 7|
|1838||5,010||559 19 10|
|1839||5,047||762 0 3|
The number of persons sent to the Glasgow bridewell from the Justice-of-peace court, for offences of every kind, in the year 1836, was 224; in 1837, 412; in 1838, 401; in 1839, 498; and for the period ending on 18th August, 1840, 535. Of these offenders, during the two years ending 18th August, 1840, 137 were sent to bridewell for periods of from 5 to 60 days, for the non-payment of fines varying from 5s. to £5. The number of persons sentenced to be executed in Glasgow from the year 1820 to 1840, both inclusive, was 66; of whom 45 were hanged, and 21 had their sentences commuted to transportation for life. Of the persons executed, 3 were females. There have been only four executions in Glasgow since 1833: viz. three for murder, and one for throwing vitriol with intent to murder. The estimated value of property stolen within the police-bounds, and reported at the office during the year 1839, including watches and money taken from the persons of individuals in a state of intoxication, was £7,653 10s.; the estimated value of property recovered, £1,260 10s.; the number of attempts at housebreaking discovered by the police, 84; the average number of disorderly women found on the streets at night, and brought to the office, 50; the number of criminal informations lodged in the course of the year, 3,725; and the number of cases actually brought into court, 5,047.
The existence of crime in Glasgow may be traced in a great measure to intemperance, and the encouragement to it presented by no fewer than 2,300 licensed public-houses, or other places for the sale of exciseable liquors, which exist in the city and suburbs. A vast number of these are tippling-dens of the lowest description; and it is presumed that they might be greatly thinned with infinite advantage to the community There are within the city 33 licensed pawnbrokers, and 400 small unlicensed brokers, in addition to nearly 300 of the latter class in the suburbs. These ‘wee pawns,’ as they are termed, carry on business on a most ruinous system; they exact an exorbitant rate of interest, and in very many instances they become the owners of the goods unpledged, if the trifle advanced upon them is not punctually paid. Occasionally, too, they act in the still more discreditable capacity of resetters. A remedy, to a certain extent, has been applied to this system of plundering the poor in Calton, by the introduction of a wholesome police-regulation, rendering it imperative upon brokers, before commencing business, to register in the office of police, and procure a certificate from a magistrate, as well as keep a book in which they must enter the name and address of the party selling, the price paid, and description of every article purchased by them in their business. These small brokers are also registered in Gorbals. The amalgamation of all the police-establishments in Glasgow and the suburbs under one separate head or board has frequently engaged public attention, – that is, of Glasgow proper with a supposed population of 175,000, and the three suburbs with a presumed population of 97,000; but it is not the province of this work to give an opinion on the subject. At all events, the sufficiency of the city-establishment has long been amply acknowledged, particularly by the Lords-of-justiciary, and it is not hinted that the suburban management is less so. Notice has, however, been given of a new police bill for Glasgow, to be introduced in session 1842, by which the criminal department of the city and suburbs is proposed to be placed under the management of a board separate and independent of the present commissioners. The police-system of Glasgow, under its present management, contrasts most favourably with the amount of force requisite for the protection of other large cities of the kingdom. In London the police-force is supposed to be 4,500, being as one man to 355 of the inhabitants; in Liverpool the police-force is 600, being as 1 to 442 of the inhabitants; in Dublin it is 1,170, being as 1 to 256 of the inhabitants; and in Glasgow the city police- force is 223, being as 1 to 784 of the inhabitants.
The following very minute and circumstantial table – which is novel of the kind – with the accompanying remarks, has been kindly prepared for this work, by the superintendent of the Glasgow police:
From the foregoing table it will be seen that the total number of persons brought before the magistrates of the city, charged with the offences specified in the first column, during the eleven months from January to November, is 2,952, – the males being 1,801, and the females 1,151, and giving an average of 268 a-month. Fifty-three of the offenders were under 10 years of age, 280 from 10 to 15, 888 from 15 to 20, 1,066 from 20 to 30, 398 from 30 to 40, 183 from 40 to 50, and 84 from 50 upwards. Thirteen of the offenders belonged to foreign countries, 74 to England, 711 to Ireland, and 2,154 to Scotland, of whom 1,080 belonged to Glasgow. Of the persons charged with offences 1,301 were admonished and discharged, 684 were fined, 489 were sent to bridewell, 114 were sent to jail, and 364 were transmitted to other courts for prosecution and punishment. Of the 1,301 persons discharged, many were charged with being drunk and abusing their families, but were released at the pressing solicitation of their wives or friends; others of them were charged with petty thefts and minor offences, with regard to which the confinement undergone in the office was deemed a sufficient punishment; and some were dismissed for want of evidence.
No materials exist for forming an accurate comparison between the period embraced in the above table and former years: though it has been ascertained that the number of cases per month, including those for contravention of the police-act during the years from 1825 to 1830, averaged from 650 to 700, while in late years the number has averaged only from 350 to 400 a-month, and the cases generally are now of a much less serious nature than formerly. The decrease will be farther apparent when it is mentioned that, till within a few years back, the extensive lands of Blythswood were not included in the Glasgow police-jurisdiction.
Many causes have no doubt operated to produce the decrease in the amount of crime and disorderly conduct in Glasgow. The institution of a House of refuge for persons, especially young persons, who are not in a state of punishment, but who either from having recently quitted prison, or from the death or neglect of their parents, or from any other circumstances, are in a position in which, for a time at least, it is beyond their power to procure a situation in which they can earn an honest livelihood, and who show their sincere desire to keep out of crime, and to establish a good character, by their willingness to enter an institution, the rules of which require that they should work hard, live on coarse food, and submit to various restrictions necessary for their moral welfare, has produced a marked effect in the decrease of juvenile offenders in Glasgow, while a most salutary influence has been exercised upon the labouring part of the people by Temperance and Total Abstinence societies. There are nearly 36,000 persons in Glasgow and the suburbs connected with such societies, 10,000 of whom are Catholics; and there can be no doubt that they have done and are calculated to do immense good to the community. Intemperance is notoriously the fruitful source of crime and other irregular conduct, as well as of disease and pauperism; and the well-disposed and influential part of the community cannot do a better service to their fellow-men and to society than by promoting the cause of temperance by every means in their power.
It may here be noticed, that from the conflicting nature of the several police-jurisdictions connected with Glasgow, many delinquents, it is believed, are allowed to escape, in consequence of the difficulty of identifying and detecting them. Were a description-book kept – as in the city – in the whole of the suburban establishments, showing the nature of each offence, with the age, nativity, character, and personal appearance of each offender; and were sheets made up from these books and interchanged at short intervals among the different establishments, much good would be done. But it is doubted how far any measure will be effectual to place the criminal and disorderly part of the population under police-surveillance, until the city and suburbs are formed into one united police-jurisdiction.
Public Buildings, Institutions, Charities, &c.
The Cathedral, or High church.] – This erection is perhaps the most complete specimen of our olden ecclesiastical architecture that is to be found in Scotland; and it is interesting not only in itself, but from the fact that Glasgow owes to it its origin; and from it derived all its importance for several hundred years. According to Ure, it was erected by John Achaius, bishop of Glasgow, in 1136, in the reign of the pious David I., and was dedicated to St. Mungo, or St. Kentigern. This venerable pile is placed on the west bank of the Molendinar-burn, on an elevated position in the north-west section of the city, and may be seen from a very considerable distance, the floor of the choir being more than 100 feet above the level of the river at low water-mark. It is not known with certainty who was the architect of this beautiful erection, but the honour is generally ascribed to John Murdo. The first streets of Glasgow, and the residences of all the western aristocracy, were – as has been already noticed – clustered round this edifice; and even yet some of the antique domiciles in the vicinity are pointed out as those which belonged to the prebendaries and other ecclesiastics connected with the Cathedral. The greatest internal length of the pile, from east to west, is 319 feet; the breadth, 63 feet; the height of the choir, 90 feet; and of the nave, 85 feet. It is 1,090 feet in circumference, round the walls and abutments; is supported by 147 pillars, and is lighted by 157 windows, of various dimensions, several of them being of exquisite workmanship, and some 40 feet high by 20 feet in breadth. It is supposed that the building was intended to assume the form of a cross, from the south transept having been founded; but for causes which it would now be vain to inquire into, this portion of the Cathedral has never been completed. A beautiful tower and spire rise from the centre of the roof, to the altitude of 225 feet above the floor of the choir, the whole terminating in a ball and weathercock. Another square detached tower rises at the west end of the Cathedral to a level with the first battlement of the eastern tower, and contains the bell and clock. This, however, is not at all in keeping with the harmony of the rest of the building; and as it is known that alterations and additions were made in the erection up till the period of the Reformation, it is extremely probable that this tower has been subsequently erected without any reference to the original design.** The roof of the church was covered with lead by Archbishop Spottiswood, who held the see previous to his removal to St. Andrews, in 1615; and it is no doubt much owing to this circumstance, coupled with the affection which the citizens bear to this beautiful pile, that it has so long resisted the destroying hand of Time, and now appears in such excellent preservation. The parts left unfinished – as has been stated – were the transepts or side-projections. One of these has been long used as a place of sepulture, and bears the singularly picturesque name of the Dripping aisle, from the constant oozing of water from the roof without any apparent cause. Subsequent to the Reformation, the choir, or eastern division, was used as a place of Protestant worship; but to meet the increase of religious culture, the western division was also fitted up as a church, under the name of the Outer High church, to distinguish it from the eastern division, or Inner High church; and this portion of the Cathedral was used up till a comparatively recent period, when the congregation was accommodated by the erection of St. Paul’s in another quarter of the city.
About 1560, the landward district was disjoined from Glasgow, and erected into a separate parish, under the name of the Barony parish, and the crypt under the chancel, or Inner church, was fitted up as a place of worship for the parishioners, and retained by the heritors till 1801. This is really a remarkable feature in the Cathedral. The crypt consists of a dense colonnade of short pillars which support low arches; and it is scarcely possible to conceive how the voice of the preacher, however stentorian it might be, could be heard throughout this curious place of meeting.19 It appears to have been one of the most unique places in which a band of worshippers ever assembled. Pennant says that, in his opinion, the church was only fit for the singing of the “De Profundis clamavi.” – Ure, the olden historian of Glasgow, speaks of it as follows: “The Barony kirk – which is exactly under the inner kirk – in the time of Popery was only a burial-place in which it is said St. Mungo the founder is buried. It is of length 108 feet, and 72 feet wide; it is supported by 65 pillars, some of which are 18 feet in circumference, the height of which 18 feet; it is illuminated with 41 windows.” Since the erection sf the present Barony church, the crypt has been again transformed into a burying-ground, – a circumstance much to be regretted. Sir. Strang, in deploring this mutation of a church into a graveyard, most justly says – “We cannot sufficiently deprecate the taste of the individuals who re-converted the lower portion of the Cathedral into a burial-place. The splendid architecture, for which this part of the venerable pile was so remarkable, has, under the Vandal hands of these mutators, been entirely spoiled. The lower shafts of the columns have been buried 5 or 6 feet in earth, while the walls have been daubed over with the most disgusting emblems of grief. We should like to know by what authority the Barony heritors have taken possession of a Government cathedral.” There is now, of course, only one place of worship in the Cathedral, in place of three as formerly. The outer or western portion is now perfectly open. Its walls are decorated with monuments to the memory of illustrious citizens. This portion of the noble building is, however, sadly out of repair and order; but it is satisfactory to know that the whole fabric, interior and exterior, is about to be renovated in a manner becoming its ancient splendour. Government, it is understood, are willing to contribute £10,000 for this purpose, so soon as a like sum has been contributed by the citizens. The corporation, and various of the public bodies, have already subscribed liberally; but for some time the subscription has stood still, though it is expected it will be immediately prosecuted with vigour. – A castle for the residence of the bishop was attached to the Cathedral, and was several times taken and retaken during the troubles in Scotland. Its remains were finally taken down at the close of last century to make way for the present infirmary. For other matters connected with the Cathedral we refer to the historical chapter at the beginning of this article. We subjoin an outline of Mr. Kemp’s proposed restoration of the western front of the Cathedral.
The University.] – The University of Glasgow is a corporate body, consisting of a chancellor, rector, dean, principal, professors, and students. It was established in 1450, by William Turnbull, bishop of the diocese, who, at the request of James II., obtained from Pope Nicholas V. – a man distinguished in that age for his talents and erudition – a bull, erecting in Glasgow a Studium generale in theology, canon and civil law, the liberal arts, and every other lawful faculty, with the power of granting degrees, which should be valid throughout Christendom. The situation of the city is described in the bull as being, by the salubrity of the climate, and abundance of the necessaries of life, peculiarly adapted for such an institution. Consequent upon this a body of statutes was prepared, and the University opened in 1451. The establishment at this period was a very limited one. The constitution of Bologne was imitated in it as far as possible; and by royal charter, the members were exempted from all taxes, watchings, wardings, &c. The only property possessed by the institution at this period, was the “University purse,” which consisted of some small perquisites payable on conferring degrees, and the patronage of a few chaplainries. At first there were no buildings connected with the University, but, as it advanced in importance, the bishop and chapter granted the use of a building near the Cathedral. James, Lord Hamilton – an ancestor of the present noble house of that name – appears to have been the first liberal patron of the University; for, in 1459-60, he conveyed to the principal, and other regents or teachers of the faculty of arts, a tenement with its pertinents, in the High-street of Glasgow to the north of the Blackfriars, in addition to four acres of land in the Dowhill, adjoining the Molendinar-burn, which long afterwards bore the designation of the land of Pedagogy. In the body of the conveyance, the noble donor exacted certain oaths and obligations to be taken by the principal and regents, on their first admission to the regency of Lord Hamilton’s college, and ordained that he himself, and Lady Euphemia, his spouse, should be commemorated as the founders of the college. The buildings were situated on the site of the present University, and this gift soon received many additions. The faculties of theology and civil and canon law were not in possession of property, like the faculty of arts; but this was compensated by the rich livings held by the regents in every part of the kingdom.
From the members of the University being of the Catholic persuasion, and the institution receiving its chief support from the church, it met with an almost fatal blow by the Reformation. The chancellor, James Beaton, fled to the continent, and carried with him the plate of the Cathedral, with the bulls, charter, and deeds both of the see and the University. It is true that the college of arts survived the shock, but in such a shattered state that, in a charter of Queen Mary, it is stated that “it appearit rather to be the decay of ane university, nor ony ways to be reckonit ane established foundation.” By this charter, dated 13th July, 1560, 5 bursaries were founded for poor youths, and the manse and church of the friars predicators, 13 acres of land adjoining, and several rents and annuities which had belonged to the friars, were granted to the masters of the University for their sustentation. The institution, however, rather languished than lived for many subsequent years, till in 1577 James VI., when in his minority, by advice of the regent, Morton, framed a new constitution, and made a very considerable grant to the revenues, consisting of the rectory and vicarage of the parish of Govan. The charter granted at this period has been generally designated the nova erectio, and its fundamental articles constitute the basis of the present constitution. Private individuals also increased the emoluments of the University, and it continued to prosper till the period of the Restoration, at which time it had, besides a principal, eight professors, a librarian, a good library, many bursaries, and the number of students of all ranks was vastly increased. The buildings, which had become ruinous, were in progress of being rebuilt, when the University received a second severe shock by the forcible establishment of Episcopacy subsequent to the restoration of Charles II., which at once deprived it of the fairest portion of its revenue – the bishopric of Galloway. From this reverse a large debt was contracted, and it was found necessary to reduce three out of the eight professorships, and considerably abridge the emoluments of those who remained. The University continued to receive considerable benefactions during this period, but these were principally confined to the foundation of new bursaries, or grants for carrying on the buildings; and it was not till 1693, when all the Scottish universities received a grant of £300 per annum out of the Bishops’ rents, that it began to revive from the depression in which it had so long remained. In 1702 the students in theology, Greek, and philosophy, had increased to 402; and from that period till the present day the University has not sustained a single reverse. Many liberal donations have been received, and are periodically being received from the Crown and private individuals; various new professorships have been founded; and the University has now reached a degree of educational excellence which is not surpassed by any similar institution in the kingdom, or in Europe. Various new regulations have from time to time been introduced by royal commissions or visitations, and it is understood that all of them have been ultimately beneficial.
Properly speaking, the institution consists of the University and the College. The first is an incorporation vested with the power of granting degrees in the four great branches into which all human learning was divided by the see of Rome; the second is an incorporation within the University, endowed for educating young men; and each have courts with independent rights. The academic body of the University consists of a lord-chancellor, a lord-rector, a dean, a principal, the professors, and lecturers. The lord-chancellor is the officer of highest dignity in the university, and is elected by the Senatus academicus for life; at least this has been the practice since 1692. He has the sole privilege, either by himself or the vice-chancellor – who is generally the principal – of conferring degrees upon persons found qualified by the senate; but otherwise he has no connection with the affairs of the college, excepting that of presiding at the election of principal. The office, which is therefore almost entirely an honorary one, is now, and has been long, held by the head of the ducal house of Montrose. – The next officer is the lord-rector, who is invested with very considerable powers, and is the guardian of the statutes, privileges, and discipline of the University. The lord-rector is annually elected in the common hall of the University on the 15th December in each year, by the dean, principal professors, and matriculated students. The students are divided into four nations, viz., Natio Glottiana sive Clydesdaliæ, which comprehends the natives of Lanarkshire, Renfrew, and Dumbarton; from Errickstane, the source of the Clyde, to Dumbarton; – Natio Albaniæ; sive Transforthana, containing all the country north of the Forth, and all foreigners; – Natio Loudoniana, sive Thevidaliæ, including the Lothians, Stirling, the towns east of the water of Urr, and the members from England and the British colonies; and Natio Rothseiana, including Ayrshire, Galloway, Argyle, the Western Isles, Lennox, and Ireland. The majority of the members of each nation constitutes one vote; and, in case of equality, the former rector has the casting vote. He may be considered indeed the chief magistrate of the University. Though the rectorial court is still possessed of great powers, it, at one period, was possessed of more ample jurisdiction, and there is even an instance of a capital trial before the rector’s court so late as 1670. In that year Robert Bartoune, a student, was indicted for murder before the rector’s court, but was acquitted by a jury. The election of this officer produces much excitement in the University, and is generally a trial of political strength between the respective parties. It is usual to re-elect the rector for the second year. This office has of late been filled by some of the most distinguished men of the kingdom, and, since 1820, the following have filled the chair:- Francis (now Lord) Jeffrey, Sir James Macintosh, Henry (now Lord) Brougham, Thomas Campbell, Lord Lansdowne, Henry (now Lord) Cockburn, Lord Stanley, Sir Robert Peel, Sir James Graham; and, in November, 1840, the Marquis of Breadalbane was elected. – The dean-of-faculties is elected by the senate on the 1st May. His duties, as originally constituted, were to give directions as to the course of study, and to judge with the other principal officers of the University, of the qualifications of applicants for degrees. – The office of principal is almost coeval with that of the University, and the appointment is vested in the Crown. He must be a minister of the church of Scotland, and is required to superintend the deportment of all the members of the University. He is also primarius professor of divinity; but none of the principals have taught divinity since the beginning of the 18th century, excepting when the ordinary professor may have been temporarily incapacitated. – The professors are classed according to the respective departments of knowledge over which they preside, into four faculties, viz., – arts, theology, law, and medicine. They are further divided into college professors and regius professors – the chairs of the former having been endowed at or subsequent to the nova erectio, and which constitutes them members of the faculty; the chairs of the latter have been recently founded and endowed by the Crown, and they are members of senate only. – The principal presides in the meeting of faculty, and has a casting, but not a deliberative vote; and the members have the administration of the entire property of the college, with the exception of some bequests in which the rector and other officers of the University are concerned. They present to the parish of Govan, elect eight of the college professors, and have the gift of several of the bursaries. In the election of professors, however, the rector and dean-of-faculty have a vote. – The senate consists of the rector, dean, and all the professors; and the business of this court is to manage every kind of business connected with the University, which does not peculiarly belong to the faculty. – The general congregation of the university is called the Comitia, and consists of the rector, dean, the principal, the professors, and the matriculated students. In this court the rector is elected and admitted to his office; the laws of the University promulgated, prizes for merit distributed annually, inaugural discourses delivered, &c.
The salaries of the principal and professors are thus stated in the Report of the Royal commissioners for visiting the Scottish universities, printed in 1837:-
|Chair established.||Salary.||Chair established.||Salary.|
|1451 – Principal,||£450||1709 – Oriental Languages,||£300|
|1577 – Logic and Thetoric,||289||1713 – Physic,||270|
|1577 – Moral Philosophy,||286||1713 – Civil Law and Law of Scotland,||310|
|1577 – Natural Philosophy,||291||1718 – Anatomy,||250|
|1581 – Greek,||289||1720 – Ecclesiastical History,||322|
|1630 – Divinity||425||1760 –||270|
|1637 – Humanity,||289|
|1691 – Mathematics,||291|
The above are the college professors. The following are those recently endowed, and termed regius professors:-
|Chair established.||Salary.||Chair established.||Salary.|
|1807 – Natural History,||£100||1831 – Materia Mediea,||£100|
|1815 – Surgery,||50||1839 – Institutes of Medicine,||75|
|1815 – Midwifery,||50||1839 – Forensic Medicine,||75|
|1817 – Chemistry,||50||1840 – Civil Engineer,||275|
|1818 – Botany,||50|
The above, however, is far from comprising the total emoluments of the professors. Here, as everywhere else, fees are exacted from the students, varying from £2 2s. to £5 5s. for attendance on each class; and in proportion to the number of students the professorship is a valuable one or the reverse. The system of partly defraying the emoluments of the professors from fees is one which is understood to have greatly enhanced their zeal, and promoted the best interests of the University. – The students are divided into togati and non-togati; the former wear a scarlet gown, and belong to the Latin, Greek, Logic, Ethics, and Natural Philosophy classes. All of these must attend the college chapel on Sundays, unless leave of absence be specially granted. The remainder of the students, or the non-togati, are restricted neither in their attendance on worship, nor in their dress. Glasgow college, as is well known, can boast of having numbered amongst its professors some of the most illustrious men of their respective ages. Amongst these may be mentioned Melville, Bailie, Leechman, Burnet, Simpson, Hutchison, Black, Cullen, Adam Smith, Reid, Miller, Richardson, Young, and Sir Daniel Sandford. A few years ago, the number of students amounted to more than 1,300; but of late years these have considerably declined, more from the growing taste for a commercial in preference to an academic education, than to any lack of ability or zeal on the part of the professors. The number, however, is seldom less than 950.
There are 29 foundation-bursaries connected with the University, held by 65 students from four to six years. One of them amounts to £50 per annum; but the emoluments generally vary from £5 10s. to £41. In addition to these there are some valuable exhibitions. In 1688, Mr. John Snell, with a view to support Episcopacy in Scotland, devised to trustees the estate of Uffton, near Leamington in Warwickshire, for educating Scots students, from the University of Glasgow, at Baliol college, Oxford. This fund now affords £132 per annum to each of ten exhibitions. Another foundation, by Warner, bishop of Rochester, of £15 annually to each of four students from the same college, is generally given to the Snell exhibitioners, so that four of them have nearly £150 per annum each. Both of the exhibitions are held for ten years; but are vacated by marriage, or upon receiving a certain degree of preferment. The principal and professors of the college are the patrons of Snell’s exhibition, and the archbishop of Canterbury, and the bishop of Rochester, of Warner’s. – In addition to these bursaries and exhibitions there are various valuable prizes granted annually or biennially from funds which have been mortified for the purpose.
The University library was founded in the 15th century. It now contains upwards of 60,000 volumes, and is constantly on the increase. It contains many beautiful old editions of the classics, and some valuable literary curiosities. Among the latter is the manuscript paraphrase of the Bible by the celebrated Mr. Zachary Boyd, who was a great benefactor of the university, and whose bust adorns one of the gateways in the inner court of the college. The fee for the library is 7s. for the winter-session, and 3s. 6d. for the summer. – A small botanical garden, for the use of the lecturer in botany, was prepared in 1753; but having become inadequate, a more extensive garden was formed in the north-western suburbs in 1818. It consists of eight acres, and as the University subscribed £2,000 towards the institution, the privilege has been accorded to the professor of botany to lecture in the garden and hall. £2,000 were also subscribed by Government. This garden is now being removed still further to the north-west. – The Hunterian museum was founded by the well-known Dr. William Hunter, a native of East Kilbride, in the neighbourhood of Glasgow. By his will of 1781, he bequeathed to the college his splendid collection of books, coins, paintings, anatomical preparations, &c, in addition to £8,000 for the purpose of building an erection for their reception. The collection was then valued at £65,000, and the whole is now supposed to be worth £130,000. The building is a handsome modern one, situated immediately behind the University, and the public are admitted to the collection on the payment of one shilling. – A fine park, interspersed with trees, stretches away behind the college towards the Gallowgate, and is admirably fitted for the recreation of the students. In summer it forms a most delightful promenade. An observatory is situated in the park, but as this has been found insufficient for astronomical purposes, a fine new erection has been built on an eminence in the western suburbs of the city, and will be stocked with the college instruments. The situation is one of the finest near Glasgow. With a perfectly uninterrupted horizon towards the south, it commands Arran and all the Cowal hills on the west, and its view towards the north reaches to the Trosachs. The building now erected, and nearly finished, is very interesting. It is divided into two parts – the dwelling-house for the professor lying on the right of the entrance gate, and the observatory on the left. The observatory consists of the following apartments:- First, a large room destined for the custody of all the minor instruments when not in use, and the conducting of computations, and which is also fitted to serve the purposes of a class or lecture-room. From this room we enter the great transit room, where a very fine instrument from Munich is about to be placed on the two pillars now erected in its centre. Ascending by a side stair, we reach the top of the circular tower, on which a dome will soon be placed, and which is set apart for a large equatorial. If a commanding view of the heavens can at all be got near Glasgow, it must be from this room. The large reflectors will be placed outside in the grounds; and the magnetic observatory, for which the preparations are completed, will be towards the extreme west of the space within which the other erections are placed.
The University buildings are situated on the east side of the High-street, on the site of the house and lands bequeathed to the faculty of arts by James, Lord Hamilton. They are very extensive, and cover a large space of ground. They consist of five quadrangles or courts, – two where the hall and class-rooms are situated, – one in which are the museum and library, – and two in which are the houses of the principal and college professors, amounting in all to 13, which are kept up for the friends of the college. The front towards the street is of great length, and has an appearance of sombre grandeur. The great entrance is surmounted by the royal arms of the time of Charles II.; but the entire range has been erected at various periods antecedent and subsequent, and a great part of the cost was defrayed from the funds of private individuals. In the outer court is situated the college steeple of 148½ feet in height. It is rather wanting in architectural beauty, but derives some interest from its thunder-rod, which was erected in 1792 tinder the auspices of the celebrated Dr. Franklin.
Andersons Institution, or the Andersonian University.] – This institution was founded by the will of Mr. John Anderson, professor of natural philosophy in the University of Glasgow, dated 7th May, 1795. Professor Anderson was the eldest son of the Rev. James Anderson, minister of the parish of Roseneath in Dumbartonshire, and was born in 1726. After receiving a liberal academical education, he was appointed professor of Oriental languages in the University of Glasgow in 1756, and was transferred to the chair of physics or natural philosophy in 1760. He died 12th January, 1796. The institution was endowed by this benevolent man, with a valuable philosophical apparatus, museum, and library; and it was incorporated by seal of cause from the magistrates and council of Glasgow on 9th June, 1796. By the will of the testator, the university is placed under the inspection of the Lord-provost and other officials, as ordinary visiters, but it is more immediately super-intended by eighty-one trustees, who are elected by ballot, and remain in office for life, unless disqualified by non-attendance. The trustees are taken from nine classes of citizens, viz. tradesmen, agriculturists, artists, manufacturers, physicians and surgeons, lawyers, divines, philosophers, and kinsmen or name-sakes. Nine of their number are annually elected by the trustees as managers of the establishment for the year; and they in turn elect from their number, by ballot, the president, secretary, and treasurer. The plans of the benevolent testator embraced at the outset a full course of liberal or popular education; but the managers wisely made small beginnings, from which the institution has gradually grown in influence and importance till it has now entirely gained the confidence of the public.
The first teacher was Dr. Thomas Garnet, professor of natural philosophy, who commenced on 21st September, 1796, by reading in the Trades’ hall, popular and scientific lectures on natural philosophy and chemistry, illustrated by experiments. These were addressed to persons of both sexes. Gratified by the success of Dr. Garnet’s lectures in attracting students, the friends of the institution resolved that it should be permanently established; and with this view the trustees purchased, in 1798, extensive buildings in John-street. After a successful period of tuition of four years, Dr. Garnet was appointed in October, 1800, the first professor of the Royal institution of Great Britain, in London. He was succeeded by the celebrated Dr. George Birkbeck, who, in addition to what had formerly been taught, introduced a familiar system of instruction, which he conducted gratis, chiefly for the benefit of operatives. One of the great benefits of this institution from the commencement, indeed, has been that instruction is communicated to students of all classes, divested of those, technicalities by which it is frequently overlaid and obscured by educational institutions of greater name and fame. Dr. Birkbeck resigned in August, 1804, and was succeeded in the following month by Dr. Andrew Ure, now the well-known chemist. Dr. Ure continued to discharge the duties of his office with great success for the long period of twenty-five years, when he removed to London.
In the meantime, the institution had grown vastly in public estimation, and several other professors had been appointed. The original buildings too had become insufficient, and the trustees finally purchased from the city the Grammar-school buildings, situated in George-street, which, with extensive additions and alterations, were rendered fit for a complete college establishment, containing halls for the professors, the museum, library, &c. The new buildings were opened in November, 1828, and continue to be used with marked success. The library and museum have considerably increased; and the winter soirées of the Andersonian are frequently attended by from 300 to 500 persons. The subjects taught at the present time are natural philosophy, chemistry, natural history, logic and ethics, mathematics and geography, Oriental languages, drawing and painting, anatomy, theory and practice of medicine, surgery, materia medica, medical jurisprudence, veterinary medicine, and German and modern literature. The professors are all men of ability, and the popular system of their prelections, with the moderate nature of the fees, attracts a numerous band of students.
The High-school. – The High-school, or Grammar-school as it used formerly to be termed, is one of the most ancient educational institutions in the city, dating its foundation anterior, it is believed, to the institution of the University. The course of tuition now embraces Latin, Greek, English grammar, composition, elocution, French, Italian, German, writing, arithmetic, geography, &c. The school is under the management of a committee of the town-council, aided by the advice of the clergy for the city and the professors of the University. About sixty years ago, the classes were taught in a dingy alley called Greyfriars wynd; from which it was removed to the north side of George’s-street, and latterly to a commodious new erection, with play-ground, situated in Montrose-street. The institution still supports its high character, and the class-rooms are generally crowded; but even the numerous body of children taught here bear but a small proportion to those who are taught in private schools, situated in every quarter of the city, and many of them conducted by men of great ability and industry. In all, it has been computed that there are more than 300 schools in the city and suburbs.
Mechanics’ institute. – This “working man’s college” was founded in 1823, by the mechanics of Glasgow, for the purpose of disseminating knowledge on scientific and other subjects. Lectures have been given on natural philosophy, chemistry, popular anatomy, physiology, phrenology, &c the terms for the course seldom exceeding 10s. The institution has been productive of a vast amount of good; but considering the thousands on thousands of operatives congregated in Glasgow and its suburbs, the institution has not been supported as it deserved to be; and the students have seldom averaged 500 yearly. In 1831, commodious premises were built for the institution in Hanover-street, to be paid by a subscription of one shilling from each student in successive years, and it is known that the debt is far from being liquidated. A colossal statue of James Watt is placed on the pediment of the building; and the institution contains ample accommodation for the students, models, and apparatus, and the library, which consists of a large collection of works on science and general literature.
Normal seminary. – This institution was erected in 1837, by the Glasgow Educational society for preparing teachers to practise the system of moral, intellectual, and physical training pursued by the society. The seminary is situated at Dundas vale, and forms a prominent and graceful object in the north-west approach to the city. The plans were prepared by the Messrs. Hamilton. Attached to the buildings are spacious play-grounds; and the interior of the seminary is divided into a series of large and commodious class-rooms, for carrying on the various departments of the educational system followed in the institution. The model-schools are accessible to the children of all religious denominations, at a very moderate fee; and the Normal seminary is equally open to students of every religious sect. The institution has received the countenance and support of the Government, who not only granted a considerable sum to aid in the erection of the edifice, but have had the system of education which it exhibits introduced into the English Poor-law unions, by male and female teachers trained in the seminary. The teachers sent out to the West India islands, by Government, on the Mico charity, have also been trained in this seminary. The celebrated Norwood schools in London, established as models of the educational committee of the Privy-council, are conducted on the training system, the head-master having been trained in the Glasgow institution. The projector of the system, David Stow, Esq., with an enlightened benevolence which does him great credit, has laboured assiduously, and almost exclusively, during the last twenty years, in working it out, and consolidating it upon a permanent basis. The institution is much frequented by strangers.
The Royal infirmary. – This noble charity was projected in 1790, principally by the exertions of the late Professor Jardine, and a few of his friends. After a sufficient sum had been raised by private subscription, the foundation-stone was laid in 1792, and the institution was opened for the reception of patients on 8th December, 1794. It is situated immediately adjoining the Cathedral, on part of the site of the old Archbishop’s palace, and is not more than ten minutes’ walk from the University. The designs of this beautiful structure were by the Messrs. Adam; and although it is situated in the vicinity of a poor neighbourhood, itis justly considered one of the fairest ornaments of the ancient part of the city. It is wholly supported by voluntary contribution. It is regularly attended by a great number of the medical students of the University, and the internal arrangements are admirable. It contains 12 wards, six medical and six surgical, with 19 beds in each, or accommodation in all for 228 patients. There are two physicians, and two surgeons with a clerk each. Ten dressers are appointed from the students every quarter to assist the surgeons. Attached to the original erection is the fever-hospital, which was commenced in 1825, and finished in 1832. It contains eight wards, or accommodation for 220 patients. There are one physician and two clerks for this hospital. Since the institution of the charity in 1794, 84,477 patients have been treated in the Infirmary; and at the period of the last published statement (1st Jan., 1840), there remained in the house 348 patients. During that year – which may be taken as near an average, excepting in times of severe pestilence – 4,168 patients were treated in the Infirmary, viz. 2,639 in the medical and surgical wards, and 1,529 in the fever wards. The total deaths were 496, viz. 243 medical and surgical, and 253 fever. During the same year the total income was £5,781 11s., and the expenditure £8,166 1s. 3d. This painful state of matters was mainly to be attributed to the unexpected, and it is believed temporary, diminution in the extraordinary receipts to the amount of £4,165 0s. 11d. The funded property of the institution yields only £700 per annum. The cost of the maintenance and treatment of each patient, taking the annual average during the term of four decades and a half, is – 1795-1804, £2 13s. 5.4d.; 1805-1814, £3 1s. 5.4d.; 1815-1824, £2 9s. 10.0d.; 1825-1834, £1 18s. 4.5d.; 1835-1839, £1 8s. 8.0d.
In addition to the Infirmary, there are several other institutions in the city of a similarly charitable nature, such as the Sick hospital, which was established in 1805, for the treatment of unfortunate females; the Magdalene asylum, the Asylum for the Deaf and Dumb, the Infirmary for diseases of the Eye, the Lying-in-hospital, &c., all of which are supported, with trifling exceptions, by voluntary contributions.
Town’s hospital. – The head-quarters of the Glasgow poor is in the Town’s hospital, a sombre-looking building, situated in Clyde-street on the banks of the river. It was built by subscription, and opened on 15th November, 1733, under the designation of “the Charity workhouse,” but in the following year, the designation was changed to “the Town’s hospital.” The cost was £1,335, exclusive of the ground, which was given by the council. One of the chief promoters of the institution was the well-known John Gordon, M.D., of whom Smollett says in his Humphrey Clinker, that “he deserves a statue erected to his memory.” Originally it was used as an asylum both for the aged and infirm, and for children who had been left destitute on the parish; and at the time of its institution was considered to be extremely well-adapted for the purpose. The magistrates and council, in setting forth the merits of the institution in 1742, state, that “there are six vaulted cells for mad people, the first of that kind built in North Britain.” It is long, however, since the institution was disused as an asylum for orphan children, – it being now entirely appropriated to the aged and infirm of both sexes, who are well and carefully attended by the overseer, called a Peceptor, and those under him. The children are nursed, educated, and put out to trades in healthy situations in the country. The assessment for the year ending 31st August, 1840, was £11,830, including £450 granted by the Town-council, Merchants’ house, and Trades’ house. Of this only £3,113 was devoted to the indoor expenditure; and the remaining and by far the larger sum, was expended in occasional relief to the out-door poor, and in the maintenance of orphans. It is proper to mention that no one is taken into the hospital unless they have a valid claim upon the parish. From its commencement the assessment was levied on what is called “means and substance,” that is, upon the stock in trade, or capital employed in business, when it amounted to £300 or upwards; but this system was considered injurious and inquisitorial, by driving the wealthiest of the merchants from Glasgow proper to the Barony parish, where a different system prevailed. Accordingly, in session 1839-40, a bill was carried through parliament abolishing the former mode of assessment, and in future levying it upon the rental – one-half to be paid by the tenant and the other by the landlord. When the hospital was instituted in 1733, the sum assessed upon the inhabitants was only £250; in 1763, £400; in 1773, £336; in 1793, £1,610; in 1803, £3,940; and it has gone on gradually to increase, varying, however, in amount, according to the exigencies of the times. The present building being regarded as quite inadequate to the purpose, the Directors resolved in November, 1840, to purchase the building and part of the grounds of the Lunatic asylum, situated on the high ground north of the city. This was afterwards confirmed by the council, and the purchase made for £15,000, – the buildings of the asylum, although as good as new, being valued as old material. Entry to be had at Whitsunday, 1843. – The total sum raised by assessment for the poor in the Barony parish in the year ending 4th August, 1840, was £8,615. The total sum raised in the year ending 4th August, 1840, for Govan parish, (which includes the greater portion of Gorbals,) was £2,573, and the sum for old Gorbals £800.
Hutchesons’ hospital, &c.
The most magnificent charity established by private benevolence in Glasgow, and similar to Heriot’s hospital in Edinburgh, is that founded by two brothers, George and Thomas Hutcheson, in 1639, 1640, and 1641. The original sum bequeathed was a tenement of land, barn, and yard, and ground whereon to build an hospital, with 68,700 merks, or £3,816 13s. 4d. sterling. The sum mortified was originally intended only for the support of 12 old men and 12 boys; but by judicious purchase of land, which has vastly increased in value, and the addition of other mortifications, such as Blair’s, Baxter’s, &c, the sum to be annually dispensed by the patrons amounts now to nearly £3,000 per annum, which is appropriated towards the support of a number of old men and women, and to the clothing and educating of the sons of decayed citizens. The hospital is a fine hall or building in Ingram-street, erected in 1803, with an elegant spire, and a school adjoining. No person is boarded within the house, which is generally used for meetings of the patrons or other public bodies. George Hutcheson, the elder of these venerable brothers, was a public notary and writer in Glasgow; and it is recorded that he was so moderate in his charges as to refuse more than sixteen pennies Scots, for writing an ordinary bond, be the sum ever so large. Thomas, his brother, was also a writer, and keeper of and clerk to the Register of sasines in the regality of Glasgow and its district. Well-executed busts of the brethren are placed in niches in the front of the hospital. – The Highland society of Glasgow was established in 1727, by a few Highland gentlemen, for the purpose of clothing, educating, and putting to trades, a certain number of boys, whose parents belonged to the Highlands, and are in indigent circumstances. This institution dispensed a few years ago £800 per annum, and the sum is now understood to be vastly increased. – Besides these, there are a number of other mortifications, which dispense from £50 to £500 per annum, of which may be named Buchanan’s society, Mitchell’s mortification, Tennant’s mortification, Wilson’s charity, Coulter’s mortification, Miller’s charity, Watson’s society, &c. – A great number of the Scottish counties have now charitable societies in the city, composed of gentlemen from these respective districts or connected with them, and intended for the relief of countrymen who may be in Glasgow in indigent circumstances. These dispense from £50 to £150 each. – To enumerate all the charities of Glasgow, however, would be exceedingly tedious. It may be enough to say, that many years ago it was calculated by Dr. Cleland, upon minute data, that £104,360 were dispensed in public and private charities throughout the city, independently of the suburbs; and recent inquiries would lead to the belief that this sum may be nearly doubled; but generous and extensive though it may be, all is too little for the mass of indigence and misery which oppresses such a vast population.
The Lunatic asylum is situated on a commanding position to the north of the city; the foundation-stone was laid in 1810, and the building carried up at an expense of nearly £20,000 exclusive of the surrounding grounds. It consists of an octagonal centre, from which diverge four wings of three stories each, and from the centre rises a majestic dome. It is fitted up and managed according to the modern and humane system adopted for the cure of mental disease, and in its operations has been singularly successful. There is accommodation for 136 patients. It is altogether a most prominent feature in the landscape, and is seen from a distance of many miles in the northern direction of the city. The approach of the city, with all its hum and bustle, towards the asylum has somewhat marred that quiet and privacy which is necessary for the cure of the insane. The directors, accordingly, in December, 1840, disposed of the buildings and part of the grounds to the directors of the Town’s hospital, for the accommodation of the inmates of that institution; and they have purchased for the site of a new asylum between 60 and 70 acres of ground, forming part of the property of Gartnaud, about 3 miles to the west of Glasgow, to which access will be procured by the Great western road. The price is understood to be £150 per acre; and it is expected that the new buildings will be ready in 1843, when the asylum will be handed over to the uses of the hospital.
Asylum for the Blind. – This is an institution pre-eminently deserving of notice. It was founded by John Leitch, Esq., a citizen of Glasgow, who had suffered under a partial infirmity of sight, and upon his death bequeathed the sum of £5,000 towards opening and maintaining the institution. The buildings were, however, erected by voluntary subscription in 1827, and opened in 1828. They are situated to the north of, but immediately adjoining, the Royal infirmary, are built of brick, have a modest but graceful appearance, and constitute a seminary for the young and a workshop for the old. The benevolent John Alston, Esq. of Rosemount, has watched over the asylum since its institution with almost more than a father’s care, and was the first person who succeeded in printing for the blind with the usual Roman capital letters, by which the learners are taught to read with a facility little if any thing inferior to those who possess the blessing of sight. By the same ingenious means of receiving knowledge by the touch, the children are taught arithmetic, geography, astronomy, geometry, &c. In fact, the attainments of the inmates of this institution will bear comparison with those of any class of similar age and of similar period in tuition. After immense labour and perseverance, Mr. Alston was enabled, at the annual examination of the inmates of the asylum on 25th Oct., 1836, to present to a numerous assembly the first specimens of printing from the Roman alphabet for the use of the blind. Since then he has produced the whole of the New Testament, and various other works of an educational nature, amounting in all to 11,000 volumes. But the greatest triumph of this benevolent man was reserved for Tuesday, the 22d December, 1840, when he was enabled to produce before an admiring audience the whole of the Bible, printed in 15 volumes, and which may be truly said to form a new era in the history of the blind. [See details respecting this curious work in a previous section of this article.] In September, 1839, Mr. Alston received £400 from her Majesty to forward this great work, and various benevolent societies have also assisted in the labour of love. This institution differs from all others, in being a self-supporting one. It solicits no annual subscriptions, but depends for its maintenance entirely upon its own exertions, and the contributions and legacies of the benevolent. The blind are taught various branches of industry at one time, so that when business is dull in one department they may turn their hand to another. Since the opening of the institution in 1828, up till the close of 1839, manufactures had been sold from the institution to the amount of £18,998 11s. 7d. From this there were wages paid to blind people amounting to £6,459 17s. 4d. Premiums for industry, £270 15s. 3d. The nature of the products of the institution, however, will be best understood by the following table of the
SALES FOR THE YEAR 1839.
|Twine,||£610 10 9|
|Baskets,||619 2 6|
|Mattresses,||115 2 2|
|Baked hair,||85 12 10|
|Door mats,||155 8 5|
|Rugs,||12 7 0|
|Knitting,||163 4 7|
|Sacks,||1,412 5 4|
|Friction mitts,||20 11 0|
|Nets,||13 3 3|
|£3,207 7 10|
At the present time there are 70 blind people in the manufactory, and 12 not blind who are chargeable with the different departments of the work. The males are on piece-work, and employed 10 hours per day. The females work 7 hours in summer, and 6 in winter. There have been 130 persons admitted into the asylum since its commencement.
The Jail, Justiciary court-house, Council-chamber, and Town clerk’s offices, are comprised in one large square building, situated at the west end of the Green, immediately at the bottom of the Saltmarket, containing a small open space in the centre. It was built in 1810, at an expense of £35,000, and is in the Grecian style. The facade and portico are an exact copy of the Pantheon at Athens, and admitted to be beautiful specimens of architecture; but unfortunately within every thing is inconvenient and inadequate: The Court-house is much too small; there is not sufficient accommodation for witnesses; and the jail is not constructed according to the improved plans of prison-discipline. Accordingly, an act was passed some years since for building new public offices; but it was not acted upon till 1840, when commissioners were appointed by the city and county, for raising, by assessment to be distributed over a series of years, the sum of £40,000. It is intended by this measure to remove the Council-chamber and Town-clerk’s, and chamberlain’s offices to a more central part of the city, and throw the whole of the front of the present building into an extended Court-house, with ample accommodation for witnesses. The sheriff, sheriff-substitute, and their officers will also be accommodated in the new public establishment, which is forthwith to be built. Glasgow jail is not only a prison for criminals, but for debtors; but the commissioners under the new Scots prisons act have resolved to disuse it for the former purpose as much as possible: at all events it will not be used in the case of culprits who have been sentenced to imprisonment for long periods, as it is impossible by any alteration to impart to it all the attributes of a reforming penitentiary.
Bridewell. – Previous to 1798, the only place in Glasgow for the confinement of delinquents sentenced to short imprisonments, was an old building in the south side of the Drygate, which had formerly been the manse of the prebend of Cumbuslang. Afterwards a temporary bridewell was fitted up in College-street, by way of experiment. The increasing population, however, induced the magistrates to erect more suitable premises, and accordingly, the oldest or original portion of the present range of buildings situated in Duke-street – now used solely for females – was finished and taken possession of in 1798. It consists of six stories, containing 115 cells. It was built by the corporation, and solely supported by them for upwards of 26 years. In 1822-23-24, acts of parliament were obtained for building and maintaining a county and city bridewell, and arrangements having been entered into for enlarging the existing bridewell, it was given up by the council on condition of having the right to use 50 of the cells for the confinement of jail prisoners. The foundation-stone of the additional building was laid in April, 1824; it was partially opened in December following, and completely finished in 1826. The original plan was a rotunda and four radiating wings, (exclusive of the old bridewell,) but only two of the wings were completed at that time. The rotunda contains governer’s dwelling-house, offices, chapel, &c.; and two radiating wings of four stories high, containing 160 cells, with water-closets, baths, &c. Subsequently a mill-house was taken in, giving 14 work-rooms, and 29 sleeping apartments; and though there were now 304 available cells, it was still found insufficient. The commissioners, therefore, in 1836, obtained an act to raise £6,500 for additional accommodation. An additional wing, in conformity with the original plan, was commenced on 5th July, 1839, and was finished and partially occupied in December, 1840. It contains 111 cells. The new wing is from a plan by Mr. Brebner. It is open in the interior from the roof to the ground-floor, as well as at both extremities, and contains a succession of galleries, along which are placed the cells. By this means a constant current of air passes through the building, and greatly improves its healthfulness. The total sum expended on the buildings up till this date, has been £41,000.
Under the management of Mr. Brebner, Glasgow bridewell has confessedly become the model institution of the kind in the kingdom. The great principles at work here are separation and industry; and the aspect of the institution altogether, instead of being sickening and repulsive, is lightsome and cheering. The rattling of the shuttle, the creaking of the stocking-loom, the hammer of the nail-maker, the planing of the carpenter, and the birring of the winder’s wheel, are heard in constant motion; and in addition to these trades, there are tailoring, shoemaking, cabinet-making, teasing oakum, &c.; and many who go in absolutely ignorant of any handicraft, come out sufficiently instructed to earn their bread. Each person on entering the precincts is weighed, put into the bath, provided with a prison-dress, and immediately put to work if in health. The food is abundant, but homely; and it is a curious fact that many who have been in indifferent health before, come out of bridewell hale and vigorous, and 99 out of every 100 are heavier at the termination of their sentence than at its commencement. In case of refractory prisoners, they are deprived of some portion of their food, or the materials of their work are taken out of their cell, and they are left morning, noon, and night in absolute solitude. Punishment of this kind avails much more than stripes and fetters, and in the course of a day or two the most hardened criminal becomes meek as a child, and implores that some work may be furnished him to while away the dreadful loneliness. Moral and religious instruction is duly attended to. A chaplain is attached to the institution, as well as several male and female teachers, who ply their vocation from morning till night, giving lessons in one cell after another. There is every encouragement, compatible with the rules, afforded to those who are penitent and industrious; and where a boy is inclined for the fine arts, the rude elements of drawing are supplied to him to fill up his allotted period of leisure, and some specimens have been produced by them which would do no discredit to the advanced pupils of a practised drawing-master. The annual expense of each prisoner is about £5 per annum; but in years of plenty and cheapness, it has been so low as £2. When the earnings of a prisoner exceed his maintenance, he may receive the surplus on his dismissal, provided his conduct has been orderly and discreet. The principal charge to the public, therefore, is for the maintenance and extension of the building, the cost of management, &c. The latest table before us is for 1839, when the average number of prisoners for the year amounted to 344, viz. 203 males, and 141 females. The greatest number was 402, viz. 237 males, and 165 females. – The cost during the same year was £4,526 16s. 8d. of which £981 15s. were for repairs or extension in the buildings, or for apparatus which does not form a permanent charge; and the year moreover was a dear one. Of this charge £2,169 17s. 8d. was defrayed from prisoners’ work, or board of prisoners not chargeable against the institution; and the sum charged upon the public was £2,416 19s. which sum includes salaries, bed and body clothes, furniture, working utensils, &c. Including the governor, teachers and those under them, there are in all 24 persons connected with the management. Prisoners are sent to bridewell from all the criminal courts in Glasgow and the suburbs, and from the county of Lanark. It has recently been resolved to permit the other counties in the Glasgow circuit – namely Renfrew and Dumbarton – to send prisoners to bridewell on payment of £10 for each cell used. Bridewell is now under the charge of the prisons’-board, and is likely to be much more used and extended than it has been as a reformatory prison. – The whole building is lighted with gas.
Police-establishment. – Up till 1800 the inhabitants of Glasgow were protected by the “watch and ward” system, or, in other words, the citizens took upon themselves in turn the office of watchmen by duly patrolling the streets at night. It was called the civic guard, and the force consisted of 30 house-holders or upwards. Various efforts had previously been made to establish a regular police, but these were defeated by the inhabitants, who objected to the provisions of the act brought into parliament for the purpose of assessing them. In the year named, however, the first bill was obtained, and a force organized, which, by various improvements, is now superior to many, and second to none, in the united kingdom. Glasgow now boasts of the finest police-buildings north of London. These were built at an expense of £14,000, and finished in January 1826. The erection contains a fine square in the centre; one side is occupied as a court-hall; another as the hall of the commissioners; and the remainder is taken up with prisoners’ rooms, cells, and the other apartments necessary for the officers of the establishment. The cells are only meant as temporary places of confinement, varying from 24 to 48 hours in duration; but since the passing of the Scots prisons act, it is intended to fit up a number of the cells to subserve the purpose of places of confinement for prisoners sentenced to limited periods for trifling offences. The affairs are managed by a board, elected from each of 35 wards into which the city is divided, and of which the magistrates are members ex officiis. Up till last year the assessment was at the rate of 1s. 3d. per pound, and the total sum raised was £20,000. The statute-labour department, or cleaning and paving of the streets, is also managed by this board, and the assessment amounts to £4,000 per annum. The executive is performed by a superintendent at £430 per annum – including £30 as city-marshal; a commissioner’s clerk at £230; a superintendent of the fire department at £130 and house; 3 police-lieutenants at £100; a superintendent’s clerk at £100; a superintendent of streets at £120; 6 criminal officers, 70 day-officers; 145 night-watchmen; besides a large number of firemen, lamplighters, coal-weighers, scavengers, &c.
The House of Refuge. – This is a valuable institution, and almost a novelty of its kind in the kingdom. It is open for the reception of juvenile thieves, who may be willing to abandon their course of life, and accept of the blessings of an honest education. The design originated in a conviction – by no means confined to Glasgow – that by sending young rogues to jail, the most infallible mode is taken to make old rogues of them. The object having been made known, the citizens of Glasgow evinced their high appreciation of it by subscribing the handsome sum of £10,000 for carrying it into effect. With this sum the directors proceeded to work, and having purchased a piece of ground about a mile from town, on a line with the street in which Bridewell is built, they constructed an edifice whose only fault is that its exterior is too gaudy for the purpose for which it is intended. It is, however, situated on an elevated and healthy spot, and was first opened for the reception of inmates in February 1838; and, from that period up till December 1840, about 250 boys have been received, several of whom are now supporting themselves out of the house by the trades they have acquired, and exhibiting by their good behaviour the benefits of the institution. On entering the house, a boy generally becomes bound an apprentice for three years to one of four trades taught within the walls, viz., weaving and winding, tailoring, shoemaking, and nail-making; and the day is divided between education and labour. There is ample scope within the grounds for recreation; and the inmates are not on any account permitted to have the most distant intercourse with their old associates. The number of boys at present in the house is about 175. Of this number about one-half had been in Bridewell, and nearly the whole frequently in the police-office; and it is the opinion of Mr. Brebner, the governor of Bridewell, that if these boys had not been reclaimed by the House of refuge, there would have been constantly in Bridewell, at least 50 of their number, and that about 40 would have been annually transported. Deducting the produce of the labour of the inmates, more than £13,000 has been spent upon the institution by voluntary subscription; but the funds are now in such a low state, that it has been resolved to apply to parliament for an assessment for its support, and to secure its existence. – A House of refuge for girls has recently been opened, but it is yet too early to speak of its operations.
Monuments and Statues. – There are several imposing monuments and statues in the city; but none of them exhibit any great degree of sculptural excellence. The most conspicuous is that of William III. It is equestrian, formed of metal, and placed on a pedestal in front of the Tontine buildings, near the Cross. It was presented to the town in 1735 by James Macrae, a citizen of Glasgow, and late Governor of the Presidency of Madras. – In 1806, an obelisk of freestone was erected on the Green to the memory of Lord Nelson. It is 144 feet in height, and was erected by subscription at an expense of £2,075. On 5th August, 1810, the upper part of the structure was completely shattered during a storm of thunder and lightning; but the damage was soon repaired. – In 1812, a marble statue of Pitt, by Flaxman, was erected in the town-hall. – In 1819, a bronze statue of Sir John Moore was erected by subscription at an expense of £4,000. It is situated in George’s-square. Sir John was born in a house called Donald’s Land, in the Trongate, a little east from Candleriggs. – In 1832, a bronze statue, in a sitting attitude, by Chantry, was erected in George’s-square, to the memory of the great James Watt. – In 1837, a Doric column, surmounted by a colossal statue, was erected in the same square to the memory of Sir Walter Scott. The plaid which the minstrel is represented to have worn is unfortunately placed on the wrong shoulder of the statue. In the beginning of 1840, a public meeting was held for the purpose of organizing a subscription for an equestrian statue to the Duke of Wellington, and the sum of £10,000 collected in three months. It has not yet been resolved upon who shall be the artist, nor has the site been pointed out.
Banks. – The Bank of Scotland was established by royal charter in 1695, and in 1696, a branch was established in Glasgow; but the trade of the city was so insignificant that it was recalled for want of support in 1697. It again made a trial in 1731, but was recalled from the same cause. – The Ship bank, the first which originated in the city, was established in 1749. Since that period numerous banks and branches have sprung up, or been established; and in the large commercial and manufacturing community in which they are situated, it is not surprising that they should thrive. The banks or branches now in Glasgow are as follows:- Bank of Scotland, British Linen company, City of Glasgow, Commercial Bank of Scotland, Royal Bank, Clydesdale Banking company, Glasgow and Ship Bank, Glasgow Union Bank, Western Bank, Greenock Bank, National Bank of Scotland, Renfrewshire Bank. – A Provident or Savings’ bank was opened in Glasgow on 3d July, 1815, in which deposits of 1s. and upwards are received. In June, 1840, the number of depositors amounted to 3,454, and the amount of deposits to £53,906 19s. 3d. The institution has been admirably managed since its commencement, and the funds are secured by loan to the Trustees of the River Clyde, the Water Company, or in the Royal Bank. – The National Security Savings’ bank of Glasgow commenced its operations on the 31st of July, 1836. At its last annual balance, up to 20th November, 1840, the sum at the credit of depositors amounted to £154,690 5s. 6d., due to between thirteen and fourteen thousand individuals, almost all of the very class for whom the institution was intended. The accounts opened since the bank’s commencement had been upwards of twenty thousand. Its momentum of progress may be partly understood from the following simple statistics:-
|In the year ending 20th Nov. 1837,||there were 18,893 transactions.|
|– – – – – – – – – – – – 1838,||– – – – 28,358 ditto.|
|– – – – – – – – – – – – 1839,||– – – – 38,330 ditto.|
|– – – – – – – – – – – – 1840,||– – – – 45,574 ditto.|
This institution is managed by a committee of merchants. The buildings in which the business of some of the ordinary banks is carried on, are built in a style of great magnificence; and it may only be mentioned that the cost of the British Linen Company’s bank, now in the course of erection, has been estimated at £38,000, including the ground charge.
Chamber of Commerce. – The Chamber of Commerce was first projected by Patrick Colquhoun, Esq., then Lord-provost of the city, and subsequently well known for his writings on the Political Economy of the Capital, and of the River Thames. The principal objects of the institution are the protection and encouragement of trade, and to keep a watchful eye on whatever may be supposed to affect the commercial interests of Glasgow and its neighbourhood. It is incorporated by royal charter, and the business is managed by a board of directors 30 in number. Members are admitted on payment of an admission fee; and the institution is one of considerable weight in Glasgow. There are also East and West India associations in Glasgow for the encouragement and protection of these trades.
Theatre. – The first theatre in Glasgow was a temporary booth, fitted up in 1752, in the vicinity of the wall of the archbishop’s palace, in which Digges, Love, Stampier, and Mrs. Ward performed. A regular theatre was built in the Grahamston suburb in 1764, by Mrs. Bellamy and others, but, on the first night of the performance, the machinery and dresses and scenery were set on fire. It was again fitted up, and kept open with very indifferent success till April, 1782, when it was burnt to the ground. The Dunlop-street theatre was built in 1785 by Mr. Jackson, and opened by Mrs. Siddons, Mrs. Jordan, and other distinguished performers. The taste for theatricals increased, and a subscription having been set on foot, the most magnificent provincial theatre in the empire was opened in Queen-street at an expense of £18,500. It was, however, much too large for the wants of the play-going community, and was, from first to last, a most luckless speculation. It was burnt to the ground on 10th January, 1829 – a gas-light having come in contact with the ceiling of one of the lobbies leading to the upper gallery. The old theatre in Dunlop-street was in consequence enlarged, and constantly employed as a place of amusement till 1839, when it was pulled down, and a more commodious and handsome structure erected in its stead, which was opened in February, 1840. The patent for a new theatre has, however, been obtained for 21 years from 1840. It is granted in favour of the Duke of Hamilton, the lord-lieutenant of the county; the member for the county; the lord-provost of the city; and the two city members, or any two of their number. The Duke of Hamilton and the two members for the city have agreed to act; but no progress has yet been made with the building.
Barracks for infantry were erected by Government in 1795, at the east end of the Gallowgate, and though the building may be a commodious one, it is far from being ornamental. Horse-barracks were erected at a later period, on the south-west extremity of Gorbals.
Reading-Rooms, Clubs, &c.] – About 1770, a coffee-room was opened in Glasgow for the perusal of the newspapers and other periodicals; but its benefits were only confined to a few. In 1781, however, a subscription by the Tontine plan was entered into, for building a coffee-room and hotel, in 107 shares of £50 each. This building was opened shortly thereafter, near the Cross, the front of the hotel being supported by piazzas; and for half-a-century it formed the great resort of the merchants and citizens of Glasgow. The city having, however, rapidly grown in wealth, and business being on the move westward, the Royal Exchange, in Queen-street, was erected and opened on 3d September, 1829. It was built by subscription at an expense of £60,000, and is not only a lasting monument of the wealth of the Glasgow merchants, but is at the same time, the noblest institution of the kind in the kingdom. This splendid structure is built in the Grecian style of architecture, from designs by Mr. David Hamilton. The Exchange is entered by a majestic portico, surmounted by a beautiful lantern tower. The great room is 130 feet in length, and 60 in breadth; the roof, which is supported by Corinthian pillars, is 30 feet in height. Newspapers and periodicals are received here from every part of the kingdom, the Continent, and America, and the hall is constantly crowded by the merchants and others. There are two clubs in the London style: viz., the Western and Union clubs. The former has nearly completed a new building, which will be one of the finest in the city. In addition to these there are various reading-rooms throughout Glasgow of minor note, and there is not a tavern without its assortment of local and frequently London papers. The following table will give the statistical details of the four principal establishments above-named:-
|Public Coffee-Rooms and Clubs.||Opened.||Number of Subscribers on 31st Dec., 1839.||Entry Money.||Animal Subscription.||Amount of Subscriptions.|
|1. Tontine Coffee-Room at the Cross,||1781||798||£. s. d.||£. s. d. |
1 5 0
|£. s. d. |
997 10 0
|2. Royal Exchange Coffee-Room,||1829||1,455||2 2 0||3,055 10 0|
|3 Western Club,||1825||414||31 10 0||5 5 0||2,173 10 0|
|4. Union Club,||1838||263||20 0 0||5 0 0||1,315 0 0|
|2,930||7,541 10 0|
The mortality bills for Glasgow have long been considered of peculiar importance, from the interesting information they contain, and the accurate manner in which they have been drawn up. They were first put upon a correct footing by Dr. Cleland, who was succeeded by Mr. Henry Paul, and now they are in the able hands of Mr. Watt. The limits of this paper do not admit of entering into the subject at length; but the following three tables will convey much information on the subject, and instruct clearly as to the fact that years of depression, such as 1837, were those in which marriages were fewest and deaths most numerous. In 1825, which was a prosperous year, the reverse was the case. It is proper to state that in the following tables the register of still-born children is necessarily very imperfect, and many are known to have been omitted.
Table of the Proclamations of Marriages in Glasgow, and their annual ratio to the Population,
during eighteen years, from 1822 to 1839.
Table of the Registered Baptisms and of the Still-born, distinguishing the sexes,
in each year from 1822 to 1839.
The following table, exhibiting the amount of the estimated population and the rate of the mortality in Glasgow during the last eighteen years, is extracted from the mortality bills. It will be observed that the rate of mortality is calculated from the deaths, and not from the burials. The burials of still-born, which are excluded, amounted, during the eighteen years, to 8,763.
“In this table the population from 1822 to 1830, and from 1832 to 1834, both inclusive, was obtained by interpolating a series based on the government enumerations of 1801, 1811, 1821, and 1831; that for 1835, 1836, and 1837, has been rated a little higher than the series warranted, as being in all likelihood near the truth.”
Ecclesiastical affairs, and Statistics.
Glasgow is the seat of a numerous presbytery, and is a constituent of the synod of Glasgow and Ayr. Until about the year 1600 the district now comprehending the ten parishes of the royalty of Glasgow and the Barony, formed only one parish. Previously to this (in 1595) a minister had been appointed to the landward or Barony parish; but the district connected with it was not then formally erected into a parish. The presbytery, in 1599, applied to the town-council to disjoin the parish, which had then become unwieldy; and after due consideration had been given to the application by the corporate body, the following answer was returned:- “They thocht gud that the township should be divided into twa parishes, provyding that the town be not burdenit with seatin or bigging of kirks, nor furnishing nae mae ministers nor they hae already.” This act was approved of by the incorporated trades, and the township was formally divided into two parishes in 1602. “The portion of the original parish which remained under the charge of the minister of Glasgow, and is still sometimes called the parish of Glasgow, as it embraced the royalty of the city, fell under the management of its magistrates and town-council, and was by them divided, at successive intervals, as its population increased, into ten districts, which were erected into separate parishes, with the consent of the presbytery, and by authority of the court of teinds. The parish of Barony, on the other hand, remained a single parish under the superintendence of one minister, till the year 1834, when the act of the General Assembly having been passed, authorized the erection of parishes quoad sacra or spiritualia, its limits, quoad sacra, were abridged by the annexation of certain of its districts as ecclesiastical parishes to various chapels-of-ease connected with the Establishment, which had been erected within its bounds, and whose ministers then obtained the ecclesiastical status of ministers of parochial churches. As similar chapels had been built within the royalty of Glasgow, the operation of the same act altered the boundaries, and increased the number of the city parishes quoad sacra. At the date of examination the parishes within the royalty and the Barony had come to be 24 in number, of which 11 were parishes both quoad sacra and quoad civilia, 10 were parishes only quoad sacra, having a distinct territory, and 3, viz., St. Columba, Duke-street Gaelic, and the West Gaelic, were parishes quoad sacra, having no territorial limits, but comprehending the Highland population residing within the royalty and suburbs of Glasgow. The parish of Gorbals consisted, at first, of a small district disjoined from the neighbouring parish of Govan, and erected into a separate parish by the court of teinds in 1771. To this district a much larger portion of Govan, comprehending what is now the most populous portion of Gorbals, was at a subsequent period erected quoad sacra, by the presbytery of Glasgow.” [Report by the Commissioners of Religious Instruction, 1836.]
The date of the disjunction of the endowed city churches from the original parish was, as has been stated, gradual. In 1622 three parishes were formed by the erection of the Blackfriars’ church; in 1648 four parishes were formed by the appointment of a minister to the Outer High church; at the revolution of 1688 the Wynd church, (now St. George’s,) which had previously existed, was erected into a parish-church, and a fifth territorial allocation made. In 1720 an additional parish was formed by the erection of the Ramshorn, now St. David’s. The number was increased to seven in 1765, shortly after St. Andrew’s was built. It was increased to eight in 1782, when St. Enoch’s was built, – to nine upon the budding of St. John’s, – and to ten, its present number quoad civilia, when St. James’s was added. During the last twenty years, but the last ten in particular, a large number of churches – which will be enumerated afterwards – have been built in connection with the Establishment on the voluntary principle, endowed by or supported from the seat-rents, and the minister chosen on the popular principle, that is, either by the Church-building society, the subscribers, or the communicants or sitters. By far the greater portion of these are situated in the Barony parish, which overlaps Glasgow proper on every side saving the river, and is by far the most populous parish quoad civilia in the kingdom.
The place of worship of the Inner High church is the Cathedral, which is Crown property, and of which the Crown is patron. The Crown is also patron of the Barony parish, and both ministers are endowed from the teinds of the original parish of Glasgow, the amount of which is known to be not less than £500 per annum. The minister of Gorbals receives, along with a grant of £100 per annum from the Exchequer, a stipend from the heritors, which they pay, not out of their teinds, (these being all liable to the minister of Govan, to which Gorbals originally belonged,) but out of seat-rents and other public funds. The total amount of stipend is set down in the report of the religious commissioners at £300 per annum. The parish-churches, comprehending the whole proper city churches, exclusive of the Inner High church, and being nine in number, were built and are kept in repair by the corporation-funds of the city. Their ministers are endowed, in so far as each acquires by induction a right to stipend from the patrons, the magistrates, and the town-council; and it is understood that the main source from which the patrons derive the sums necessary for these stipends, and the other expenses of public worship, is the revenue arising from the seat-rents, which they levy in all the churches, including the Inner High church. The stipend to the ministers of these nine parishes has been increased from time to time, and is now fixed at £425 per annum, exclusive of manse. The following are the periods and rates at which the stipends of the city ministers have been progressively advanced. They are given in sterling money, but used to be calculated in Scots money till 1778:-
|1588, 2d charge,||£16 13 4||1778,||£165 0 0|
|1538, 1st charge,||27 15 6||1796,||200 0 0|
|1628,||58 16 11½||1801,||250 0 0|
|1642,||66 13 4||1808,||300 0 0|
|1643,||78 16 8||1814,||400 0 0|
|1723,||111 2 2½||1830,||425 0 0|
|1762,||138 17 8|
The stipend, as has been stated, is understood to be paid from the seat-rents, which are fixed, set, and uplifted by the corporation. From the falling-off in the number of seats let, however, the corporation has of late been a loser instead of a gainer. In 1836 the amount thus received was £5,038 19s. 10d.; and in 1840 it was only £3,978 8s. 7d., thus showing a falling-off in five years to the extent of £1,060 11s. 3d. The expenditure on the city-churches, in 1840, was £4,669 5s. 9d., leaving the corporation-funds minus £690 17s. 2d. This falling-off in the attendance on the city places of worship is not attributed, by any one, either to inefficiency or lack of zeal on the part of their pastors, but rather to the new churches which, within a few years, have sprung up to more than outnumber the old, and which being planted in districts formerly unprovided, have drained off a considerable part of their congregations, and with them their seat-rents.
In the unendowed established churches, the great majority of which have been erected since 1834, the stipend is, with one or two trifling exceptions, entirely paid from the seat-rents. The General Assembly, by a recent enactment, admits of ordination upon a bond of £80 per annum being granted; and the stipends accordingly vary from this sum, in the lowest instance, to £310 in the highest. Few of the ministers, however, receive less than £150, and a great many of them considerably above it.
Zealous as the members of the Established church may be in the work of propagating the gospel throughout the bounds of Glasgow, the Dissenters have kept pace with them in this laudable work; and there is no town in the kingdom where the general body is more respectable or influential. Indeed, for many years previous to 1830, the principal part of the work of church-extension was in the hands of Dissenters. One hundred years ago dissent was unknown in Glasgow, if we except the Society of Friends, who had a meeting-house in Glasgow in 1716, and their numbers have not much increased even to the present day. The first meeting-house of the Associate Burghers – who were the first to secede from the Church of Scotland – was built in Shuttle-street in 1740; the Associate Antiburghers built their first house in Havannah-street in 1752; the Reformed Presbyterians founded a church in Calton in 1756; the Relief body began in the Anderston meeting-house in 1770; the Methodists rented a hall in Stockwell-street in 1779, where the celebrated John Wesley frequently preached; the Circus, in Jamaica-street, was opened in 1779 by the well-known Rowland Hill of London; and from these periods the progress of Protestant dissent has waxed great, and the members of the different communions have been of incalculable benefit in arresting the onward march of demoralization in the rapidly-growing masses of Glasgow. The English Episcopal chapel was founded in 1750; and though, from the illiberality of the times, the Roman Catholic body were compelled to meet in a clandestine manner in the room of a dwelling-house behind Blackstock’s land in the Saltmarket, they were enabled eventually in 1797, to build openly a chapel near the barracks, which has now been long disused as a place of worship, and the present splendid edifice in Great Clyde-street was erected in its stead. From the extensive immigration of the Irish population to the west within the last thirty years, no sect has increased of late in the same proportion as the Roman Catholics.
In 1840 there were 85 places of worship in Glasgow and suburbs, made up as follows:- viz., Established church, 40; United Secession, 11; Original Burghers, 1; Relief, 9; Reformed Presbyterians, 2; Original Seceders, 1; Independents, 4; Old Independents, 1; Baptists, 6; Episcopalians, 4; Wesleyan Methodists, 2; United Methodists, 1; Roman Catholics, 2; Unitarian, 1. In addition to these there is a small Jewish synagogue, and small congregations of Bereans and Glassites. The stipends of the Dissenting ministers are entirely made up from the seat-rents and the voluntary contributions of the members. In the United Secession, according to the report of the Religious Instruction Commissioners, one minister has £480 per annum; two £400; one £350; one £335; one £300; one £225; one £220; and one £200. The Episcopalians are rated from £226 to £280; the Relief, from £140, in only one instance, to £300, the majority being above £200; the Independents, respectively £165, £300, and £400; the Baptist stipend is not explicitly given; the Methodists from £70 to £120; the Original Burghers £210 and £250; Christian Unitarian £230; Reformed Presbyterians £150; Roman Catholic priests £100 each; and the other sects, small sums from £30 to £53. This return, it will be remembered, applies to 1836, the only recent authentic data to be obtained, since which there have been many additions and many changes. It is scarcely necessary to add that in all the dissenting congregations the patronage is in the hands of the members.
The seat-rents exigible vary according to circumstances in every church both in the established and the dissenting bodies; the lowest sum being 2s., and the highest 27s. per sitting. The average for all will be from 5s. 6d. to 7s. 6d.
The churches of the establishment are in general tasteful and ornamental, without being costly, and the spires of several of them are not surpassed in grace and beauty by those of any other city where the same moderate sum has been expended upon their construction. This particularly applies to St. Andrews, St. Enoch’s, St. George’s, and the Gorbals church. The dissenting churches, though unspired, are nevertheless, in many instances, splendid fabrics. The churches of the United Secession have cost from £2,100 to £9,000; and upon the majority of them upwards of £4,000 have been expended. One of the Independent churches cost £10,700. The most splendid specimen of architecture and at the same time the most costly, is the Roman Catholic chapel in Great Clyde-street, which was erected in 1816 at an expense of nearly £14,000, and is capable of accommodating 2,200 sitters.
The following table drawn up by Mr. Collins, and showing the number of sittings in all the churches of Glasgow, whether established or dissenting, cannot fail to be interesting; and as it is understood that the data upon which it is prepared is not objected to by any party, but was furnished alike by churchmen and dissenters, it may be assumed as presenting the exact truth, as exhibited at the close of 1839. The document accompanies the report of the society for erecting additional parochial churches in Glasgow and suburbs, read at a meeting of members on 15th July, 1840:-
STATE OF CHURCH ACCOMMODATION IN 1839.
CHURCHES OF THE ESTABLISHMENT.
|Inner High,||1148||Brought forward,||26,562|
|St. Paul’s,||1366||– St. Columba, Gaelic,||1560|
|College,||1307||– Duke-street, do.||1277|
|Tron,||1366||– Hope-street, do.||1435|
|St. David’s,||1148||St. Stephen’s,||1100|
|St. Enoch’s,||1224||St. Mark’s,||993|
|St. Andrew’s,||1210||St. Peter’s,||1010|
|St. John’s,||1636||St. Luke’s,||1046|
|– St. Thomas’s,||1398||Brownfield,||1000|
|– St. George’s in the Fields,||1226||St. Matthew’s,||998|
|– St. Ann’s,20||760||Renfield,21||1320|
|Carry forward,||26,562||Carry forward,||47,318|
Those churches the names of which are simply indented were the old chapels; those put in Italic type are the new church-extension churches.
CHURCHES THAT HOLD THE PRINCIPLES OF AN ESTABLISHMENT.
|Associate Synod, Mr. Currie,||1480|
|Original Seceders, Mr. Murray,||500|
|Reformed Presbyterians, Dr. Symington,||1066|
|Do. Do. Dr. Bates,||716||1782|
|Episcopalians, Mr. Routledge,||630|
|Do. Mr. Almond,||930|
|Do. Mr. Aitchison,||750|
|Do. Mr. Montgomery,||1430||3740|
|Mr. Campbell, Regent-street,||700||9702|
|United Secession, Mr. King, – Greyfriars,||1522|
|Do. Do. Dr. Mitchell, Wellington-st.||1492|
|Do. Do. Dr. Muter, Duke-street,||1224|
|Do. Do. Dr. Kidston, Campbell-st.||1361|
|Do. Do. Dr. Heugh, Regent-place,||1446|
|Do. Do. Dr. Beattie, Gordon-street,||1576|
|Do. Do. Mr. Smith, Laurieston,||910|
|Do. Do. Mr. Johnston, Eglinton-st.||1218|
|Do. Do. Mr. Eadie, Cambridge-st.||1016|
|Do. Do. Mr. Peden, E. Regent-place,||1370|
|Do. Do. Mr. Jeffrey, London-road,||1094||14,229|
|Relief, Mr Brodie, Campbell-street,||1372|
|Do. Mr. Lindsay, Dovehill,||1400|
|Do. Mr. Anderson, John-street,||1522|
|Do. Mr. Thomson, Hutchesontown,||1609|
|Do. Mr. Struthers, Anderston,||1260|
|Do. Mr. Edwards, Bridgeton,||1293|
|Do. Mr. Harvey, Calton,||1394|
|Do. Mr. Auld, Tollcross,||1249|
|Do. Mr. Graham, Regent-place,||800||11,899|
|Independents, Dr. Wardlaw,||1404|
|Do. Mr. Ewing,||1556|
|Do. Mr. Pullar.||829|
|Baptists, Mr. Paterson,||800|
|Baptists, Mr. Paterson,||335|
|Do. Mr. D. McLaren,||350||1485|
|Church Presbyterians, Mr. Denovan,||840|
|Old Independents, Oswald-street,||650|
|Mr. Duncan, Parliamentary-road,||1090|
ROMAN CATHOLIC AND UNITARIAN CHURCHES.
|Roman Catholics, Clyde-street,||2220|
|Do. Do. Gorbals,||500||2720|
|Unitarians, Mr. Harris,||95,357||785|
|Sittings in churches of all denominations,||95,357|
It must be remembered, however, that out of this total of 95,357 sittings, a vast number are unlet, amounting, it is understood, to one-third.
1 Mr. Cross determined the position of the Observatory in the College green to be N. lat. 55° 52′ 10″; and W. long. 4° 15′ 51′. Dr. Wilson’s observations fixed the same spot in N. lat. 55° 51′ 32″, and W. long. 4° 17′ 54″.
2 The following is the copy of the original order issued to all magistrates and people in power at the Reformation, for the first dismantling of the Catholic churches:-
“To our traist friendis:
“Traist friendis, after maist harty commendacion, we pray you fail not to pass incontinent to the Kirk, (of Glasgow,) and tak down the hail images thereof, and bring forth to the Kirkzyard, and burn thaym openly. And sicklyk cast down the altaris, and purge the Kirk of all kynd of monuments of idolatrye. And this ze fail not to do, as ze will do us singular emplesur; and so committis you to the protection of God.
“From Edinburgh the xii. of August, 1560.
(Signed) “A.R. ARGYLL.
“Fail not, bot ze tak guid heyd that neither the dasks, windocks, nor durris, be ony ways hurt or broken, either glassin wark or iron wark.”
3 It is matter of traditionary fact that the decisions of the English judges were more agreeable to the spirit and principles of the law of Scotland, than the previous decisions of the judges of the country. A young lawyer having made an observation to this effect to a Scots judge, who died in the early part of the 18th century. – “Deil mean (hinder) them!” replied the judge, “they had neither kith nor kin in this country. Take that out of the way, and I think I could make a good judge myself.”
4 This commission was an ambulatory one, and having disposed of Glasgow, visited many of the other towns of Scotland, with the view of curbing the spirit of the non-conformists. Its members appeared to have been disgraced by the grossest debauchery; for it is affirmed by the historians of the time that those who entertained the commissioners best, had besides their dining-room, drinking-room, and vomiting-room, sleeping-rooms for the company who had lost their senses. In one of their debauches at Ayr, the devil’s health was drunk at the cross about midnight!
5 In more peaceful time, a stone was erected to the memory of the martyrs, the inscription on which concludes as follows:-
“These nine, with others in this yard
Whose heads and bodies were not spared,
Their testimonies foes to bury,
Caus’d beat the drums then in great fury,
They’ll know at resurrection day,
To murder saints was no sweet play.”
6 With the view of instructing as to the form of procedure, it may not be amiss to give a summary of the sufferings and captivity of a citizen of Glasgow, who endured for conscience’ sake. – We select the case of Mr. John Spreull, apothecary. His father, who had been a merchant in Paisley, was fined by Middleton, and obliged to flee; and the son was apprehended because he would not discover where his father was. After many trials he was released, and left the country, though he returned about the time of the battle of Bothwell brig, on account of which he had again to go forth the kingdom. During his absence his wife and family were turned out of house and shop, and all his moveables secured. He returned to this country about the end of the year 1680, intending to carry his wife and family to Rotterdam. He was apprehended at Edinburgh, November 12th, and next day carried before the Duke and Council, when the usual insnaring questions were put to him, – “Was the killing of Archbishop Sharp murder? Were the risings at Drumclog and Bothwell rebellious?” Having denied all connection with the affairs of Drumclog and Bothwell, and declined to pronounce them rebellious, or give any opinion with regard to the killing of the archbishop, his foot was put into the instrument called the boot. The following queries were proposed to him, and at every query the hangman gave five strokes upon the wedges, “Whether he knew any thing of a plot to blow up the abbey and the Duke of York? Who was in the plot? Where Mr. Cargjll was? And whether he would subscribe his confession?” Having answered these queries in a manner unsatisfactory to the council, they ordered the old boot to be brought, alleging that the new one which had been used was not so good. Mr. Spreull, accordingly, underwent the torture a second time, and was then carried to prison upon a soldier’s back, and refused the benefit of a surgeon to attend to his mangled limbs. After being several times before the council he was found guilty, though without the slightest particle of genuine proof. Indeed he had previously been found not guilty by a jury. Mr. Spreull was fined in the sum of £500 sterling, and sent to imprisonment on the Bass rock. Here he remained for nearly six years, and the length of his confinement afterwards acquired for him amongst his citizens, the name of Bass John.
7 A historian of Glasgow – Mr. Andrew Brown – in detailing the unfortunate Shawfield affair, says:- “This gentleman [Mr. Campbell] had formerly farmed the customs of the whole frith of Clyde, by which he acquired a large fortune, and now chimed in with the Newcastle administration, who once thought of exterminating the Highlanders, and planting their mountains with cabbages.”
8 Even when on the gibbet, his mind was so little affected by the awful position in which he stood, that he coolly remarked to the town’s hangman, “Tam, did ye ever see sic a crowd?” He was hanged on 20th August, 1820, and afterwards beheaded – the last occasion, it is to be hoped, in which the axe and block are destined to be noticed in the annals of Glasgow.
9 At the meeting of the British Association, held in Glasgow in September, 1840, the original model of the steam–engine, belonging to the University of Glasgow, upon which Watt experimented, was exhibited in the model-rooms, and attracted the deepest attention. It is a little, clumsy looking thing, with a boiler not much larger than a tea-kettle; but still it is a relic of vast interest, when it is known that it first gave Watt’s mind the bent to this peculiar study; and though in appearance it is wide as the poles asunder from the machinery winch directs the motions of the Great Western, Acadia, and other Transatlantic steamers, it was nevertheless impossible to gaze on it without acknowledging that it was their progenitor.
10 By means of this invention, in which raw coal is used instead of coke, the iron-master, with three-sevenths of the fuel which he formerly employed in the cold air process of blasting, is now enabled to make one-third more iron, of a superior quality. Nor are the advantages of this invention solely confined to iron-masters. By its use the founder can cast into goods an equal quantity of iron, in greatly less time, and with a saving of nearly half the fuel employed in the cold air process; and the blacksmith can produce in the same time one-third more work with much less fuel than he formerly required. In all the processes of metallurgical science, it will be found of the utmost importance in reducing the ores to a metallic state. The charge for leave to use the hot blast is at the rate of one shilling for every ton of iron made from it. Mr. Neilson has taken out patents which apply both to Great Britain and France.
11 In 1828, from returns laid before the House of Commons, it appears that the total manufacture of iron throughout the kingdom was 690,000 tons, of which only 36,500 tons were made in Scotland. Mr. Johnson of Liverpool estimated the total manufacture of iron throughout the kingdom, in 1839, at 1,008,280 tons; Mr. Hyde Clark at 1,512,000 tons; and Mr. Mushet at 1,248,781 tons.
12 The late Mr. Andrew Duncan raised the Glasgow University press to high and deserved eminence. Besides numerous neat and accurate school-editions of the Classics, he brought out a beautiful edition of Bentley’s Lucretius, with various readings, in 4 vols. 8vo.; Bos on the Greek Ellipses; the works of Xenophon; a superb edition of the plays of Euripides, in 9 vols. 8vo., with scholia and notes, by a host of learned commentators, collated in the establishment; Bythner’s Lyra Prophetica; a splendid edition of Newton’s Principia, with a commentary on that work, in 4 vols. 8vo.; a beautiful edition of Homer, with Latin translation and notes, in 5 vols. 8vo.; Scapula’s Lexicon; and Daii’s Greek and Latin Lexicon, in 4to. and 8vo. The latter work was edited by his son, Mr. John M. Duncan, a gentleman known alike for his talents, learning, and piety. Mr. D. continued bringing out Classic and English works, till the fatal year 1825, when, having suffered the loss of several thousand pounds by the failure of a London publisher, and losing also by Mr. Constable, he resigned business as a printer, and retired into private life. Mr. Duncan presided over the Baptist church in George-street for nearly half-a-century, with great consistency of conduct, and zeal for the cause he had espoused.
13 One of the noblest triumphs of the noble art of printing has recently been achieved in Glasgow, in the completion of a full version of the Scriptures for the use of the blind. The Old Testament is in 15 volumes, super-royal quarto, double pica. The New Testament is complete in 4 volumes, super-royal quarto, in great primer. The total edition of the Old Testament consisted of 9 volumes of 200 copies each, and volumes of 250 copies each; in all, 3,300 volumes. There are in the Old Testament 2.470 pages, each page containing 37 lines in the work; and the quantity of paper consumed for the edition was 1,160 teams of paper, weighing 8½ lbs. each ream, or 9,860 lbs. In the New Testament there are 623 pages, 42 lines in each page; and the quantity of paper consumed for 250 copies was 450 reams, weighing 3,825 lbs. The paper was made on purpose, and strongly sized to retain the impression. In order to account for the great hulk of the work, it must be borne in mind that it can only be printed on one side of the paper, and that the letters require to be of a considerable size in order to suit the touch. The printing is effected by a copper plate printing-press. The types – which are of the common form – being strongly relieved and liable to give way under the heavy pressure required, it has been necessary to have them recast no less than four times during the progress of the work. There are in the operative-department one man and one boy as compositors, who were taught in the Blind asylum, and one press-man; the ordinary teacher acts as corrector of the press. There have been published altogether by the Glasgow asylum press, under the direction of its indefatigable Treasurer, Mr. John Alston, 10,850 volumes, printed for the use of the blind.
14 It was printed on a small quarto size, and consisted of 12 columns. The following are portions of the title and prospectus:- “The Glasgow Courant, containing the Occurrences both at home and abroad, from Friday 11th Novr. to Monday 14th Novr. 1715. – Glasgow, Printed for R T. and are to be sold at the Printing House and at the Post Office, 1715. Price three halfpence. N.B. – Regular Customers to be charged only one penny. PROPECTUS. This Paper is to be printed three times every week, for the use of the country round; any Gentleman or Minister, or any other who wants them, may have them at the University’s Printing House, or at the Post Office. It is hoped that this Paper will give satisfaction to the readers, and that they will encourage it, by sending subscriptions for one year, half-year, or quarterly, to the after-mentioned places, where they shall be served at a most easy rate. Advertisements are to be taken in at either the Printing House in the College or Post Office.” The second number of the Courant contains a letter from Mr. Aird, the late provost, and colonel of the Glasgow volunteers, dated “Stirling Bridge, 13th Nov., at 9 at night, 1715,” addressed to the Lord-provost of Glasgow. It details the movements of the rebels in that quarter, and states that they “expect another hit at them if they stand.” Soon afterwards the title of the Courant was changed to ‘The West Country Intelligence,’ but it did not long exist.
15 It may be amusing to give one or two of the marriage-notifications from the early numbers of this antique print. “March 24th, 1746, – On Monday, James Dennistoun, jun., of Coly Vine, Esq.. was married to Miss Jenny Baird, a beautiful young lady” May 4th, 1747, – “On Monday last, Dr. Robert Hamilton, Professor of Anatomy and Botany, in the University of Glasgow, was married to Miss Mally Baird, a beautiful young lady with a handsome fortune.” August 3d, 1747, – “On Monday last, Mr. James Johnstone, merchant in this place, was married to Miss Peggy Newell, an agreeable young lady, with £4,000.”
16 See Note to our article CLYDE, p. 233.
17 The Comet was lost on the Doors of Dorrismore, and her engine was fished up, and placed as a most interesting relic in the establishment of Claud Girdwood and Company – now Mr. Craig – where it still remains. This prototype of those engineering triumphs which we now see in every harbour, was placed ill the model-room during the sitting of the British Association, adjacent to the tiny engine upon which Watt experimented, and attracted the greatest attention. It will be looked upon with reverence in future ages.
18 When the purchase of the original seven acres for the Gorbals or Southern Necropolis was being made, it was mentioned to Mr. Gilmour, the proprietor, that three additional acres would likely be required; upon which that gentleman said, he had long been thinking of building a school, and, therefore, should ten acres in all be taken – that is, three in addition to the seven already purchased – he would at once make over to the committee £2,000 in money, and £500 in ground, in all £2,500, for the purpose of building a school and sinking a fund for the payment of the teacher’s salary. The school to be for the free education of the orphan children of the subscribers, and to be, in like manner with the Necropolis, under their management. Mr. Gilmour’s liberal offer has been accepted.
19 The Barony church, it will be recollected, is alluded to by Sir Walter Scott, in Rob Roy, as follows:- “Conceive an extensive range of low-browed, dark, and twilight vaults, such as are used for sepulchres in other countries, and had long been dedicated to the same purpose in this, a portion of which was seated with pews, and used as a church. The part of the vaults thus occupied, though capable of containing a congregation of many hundreds, bore a small proportion to the darker and more extensive caverns which yawned around what may be termed the inhabited space. In those waste regions of oblivion, dusty banners and tattered escutcheons indicated the graves of those who were once, doubtless, ‘Princes in Israel.’ Inscriptions which could only be read by the painful antiquary, in language as obsolete as the act of devotional charity which they implored, invited the passengers to pray for the souls of those whose bodies rested beneath.”
20 St. Ann’s is now disused as an Established church. It is now occupied as a Sabbath place of meeting by the Chartists.
21 Renfield-street church and congregation formerly belonged to the Old Light Burghers.
“Mr. Bell resides here, and must so long as he lives be an object of interest with every intelligent stranger. Notwithstanding the attempts made to contradict it, we believe it is now very generally admitted that Mr. Bell gave not only the first hint, but also drawings and plans for the machinery to Mr. Robert Fulton who introduced steam navigation into America. But however this may be, it is certain that Mr. Bell first successfully applied steam to this important purpose in Europe. He had the Comet built at Port-Glasgow, and afterwards fitted up with a steam engine, which after various experiments, at length began to ply on the Clyde between Glasgow and Greenock in the year 1812. Like many other projectors, however, Mr. Bell did not reap the fruits of his ingenuity. Wealthier speculators followed in his footsteps, and the waters of the Clyde soon bore numerous larger and more commodious steam vessels than his. Application has been made to government for a national reward to this enterprising man; but without effect. The magistrates of Glasgow, however, with praiseworthy liberality, have settled an annuity of L50 yearly upon him; and the river trustees have since followed their example by a similar annuity. The public sensible of the benefit he has conferred on his country, have also shown their gratitude by a liberal subscription at present going on, and from which we trust Mr. Bell’s talents will be rewarded.”
** This square tower was later removed nut can still be seen in Thomas Fairbairn’s Lithograph of the Cathedral from Castle Street.