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Full text of "The book of Glasgow anecdote"




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From the Library 
of 

PADRAIG 6 BROIN 



/o. 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 



Digitized by tine Internet Arciiive 

in 2010 witin funding from 

University of Toronto 



littp://www.arcliive.org/details/bookofglasgowaneOOmall 




AMES WATT 



THE BOO K OF 

GLASGOW 
ANECDOTE 

BY D. MACLEOD MALLOCH 



T. N. FOULIS 
LONDON ^ EDINBURGH 

19 I 2 




flu 

^Published November igi2 



Hnnttd by Murrison & Gibb Limited, Edinburgh 



O, Glasgow ! fam'd for ilka thing 
That heart can wish or siller bring ! 
May nowther care nor sorrow ding 

Thy children dear, 
But Peace and Plenty gar them sing, 

Frae year to year ! 

John Mayne. 



THE LIST OF CONTENTS 

I. Introductory page 3 

II. Concerning some Glasgow Men and 

Women 35 

III. The Amusements of the People • • . • 75 

IV. Alarms and Excursions 107 

V. Humour 131 

VI. Municipal 149 

VII. The Commerce of Glasgow 175 

VIII. Concerning Banking 207 

IX. The University 245 

X. Law in Glasgow 271 

XI. The Medical Profession 307 

XII. The Church 335 



THE LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

James Watt frontispiece 

By kind permission of J. M. Macphail, Esq., Glasgow. 

Plan OF Glasgow^ 1783 page xii 

Professor Robert Simson 8 

David Dale 16 

View of Glasgow, 1797 24 

Sir John Moore 32 

Thomas Campbell 40 

Sir Colin Campbell 48 

KiRKMAN FiNLAY 56 

Clementina Walkinshaw 64 

Prince Charlie 80 

J. H. Alexander, Theatre Proprietor ... 96 

Sir Archibald Alison 120 

"Hawkie" 136 

Andrew Cochrane 152 

James Lumsden 160 

Alexander Spiers of Elderslie 184 

James Baird of Cambusdoon, Founder of 

THE Baird Trust 192 

James Merry, Ironmaster 200 

Robert Carrick, Manager of the Ship 

Bank 216 

ix 



THE LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 

Robert GouRLAY, Esq., LL.D 232 

Principal Sir D. Macalister 244 

George Buchanan 248 

Principal John Cairo 256 

Professor Edward Cairo 264 

Professor R. C. Jebb 272 

Lord Kelvin 280 

Sir David Rae, Bt., Lord Eskgrove .... 296 

James Mackenzie, Esq., LL.D., Dean of 

Faculty 304 

Dr. Peter Lowe, Founder of the Glasgow 

Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons . . .312 

Dr. James Adams 328 

Zachary Boyd 336 

Rev. p. McAdam Muir, D.D 352 

Edward Irving 360 

Dr. Chalmers 368 

Dr. Norman Macleod 376 



PREFATORY NOTE 

THE WRITER OF THIS BOOK DESIRES TO 

acknowledge, with gratitude, permission given to 
him to quote from the undernoted copyright books — 

Glasgow Past and Present, " Senex," " AHquis," 
and others; Glimpses of Old Glasgow, Andrew Aird ; 
Reminiscences of Eighty Years, John Urie ; Quaint 
Old Glasgow, A Burgess of Glasgow ; Backward 
Glances, Jas. Hedderwick, LL.D. ; Rambling Recol- 
lections of Old Glasgow, " Nestor " ; Glasgow in igoi, 
A. H. Charteris, LL.B., and others ; Thistledoivn, R. 
Ford ; History of the Incorporation of Cordiners in 
Glasgow, W. Campbell ; The Topographical Picture 
of Glasgoiv, Robt. Chapman ; Curiosities of Glasgow 
Citi2enship,GQorge Stewart; The Anecdotage of Glas- 
gow, R. Alison ; Old Glasgoiv Essays, J. O. Mitchell ; 
Clydeside Cameos, from "Fairplay"; Popular Ti'a- 
diiions of Glasgoiv, And. Wallace ; Social Life of 
Scotland in the Eighteenth Century, H. G. Graham ; 
Autobiography of Alex. Carlyle of Inveresk ; Meino- 
rials of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of 
Glasgow, Alex. Duncan, LL.D. ; Historical Sketch of 
the Glasgow Southo-n Medical Society, John Dougall ; 
Memoirs and Portraits of One Hundred Glasgow Men, 
per Messrs. Jas. Maclehose & Sons ; George Square, 
Glasgow, Rev. Dr. Thomas Somerville. 

The writer desires to acknowledge specially his in- 
debtedness to Glasgoiv Pasta?id Present,hy" S&neyi," 
" Aliquis," and others ; and to Glasgow and its Clubs, 
by John Strang, LL.D., both of which works are in- 
valuable to any student of Glasgow life and history. 

Further, he has made use of the Laird of Logan, 
McUre's History of Glasgow, a.nd Denholm's History 
xi 



PREFATORY NOTE 

of Glasgoiv, from which books much interesting in- 
formation can be extracted. 

The author has further to acknowledge permis- 
sion, courteously granted by the editor of the Glasgow 
Herald^ to make use of articles which have appeared 
in that paper ; and he is also very much indebted to 
Mr. Alex. Welsh and Dr. A. Leitch for permission 
to reproduce sketches contributed by them to the 
Glasgow Herald. 

Many books, other than those above mentioned, 
have been consulted in connection with this work ; 
but as most of these have been historical, they have 
not afforded much material for a book which deals 
with anecdotes as distinguished from history. 

A special meed of thanks is due to Mr. Robert 
Adams, Assistant City Librarian, The Mitchell Li- 
brary, Glasgow, for valuable assistance most kindly 
given in connection with books of reference, and also 
in connection with portraits. 

The writer is sensible of the many imperfections 
of this Book of Anecdote ; but much will be found 
in it that is interesting and amusing, and he there- 
fore hopes that the book will prove acceptable to 
all who are interested in the welfare of the City of 
Glasgow. 

Raguel, 
Paisley, October 191 2. 



CHAPTER ONE 
INTRODUCTORY 



i 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTORY 

IT IS PERHAPS WELL TO STATE AT THE 
outset that this book does not pretend to be in any 
sense a history of Glasgow. It is neither more nor less 
than its title sets forth, namely, A Book of Anecdote. 
But so far as possible the incidents narrated in the 
various sections have been arranged chronologically, 
in order to convey to the reader a certain idea of the 
changing manners and customs of the people of Glas- 
gow ; and, particularly in this chapter, a certain a- 
mount of descriptive matter has been introduced to 
bring before the mind of the reader the town of Glas- 
gow in olden times. It is hoped that any who read 
this book will find in it much information about Glas- 
gow which is interesting, and many stories of Glas- 
gow citizens which are amusing. No doubt Glasgow 
men who are well acquainted with the history of their 
city will find that much important matter has been 
omitted. But these readers may take it for granted 
that the omissions are largely intentional, and are 
made for two reasons. The first is that a distinction 
has had to be made between historical and anecdotal 
matter, to the exclusion of the former. The second 
is that the limits of the book were to a certain ex- 
tent prescribed to the writer, which entailed a ruth- 
less cutting down of the available material. 

In nearly every case where the origin of a story is 
known to the writer a reference is given to the book 
from which it has been taken. These references will 
no doubt be of service to those readers who desire to 
3 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

obtain further knowledge of Glasgow, and may to 
some extent atone for omissions from this volume. 

Glasgowdatesfrom56o A.D.,oreven earlier; butits 
historical existence can hardly be said to begin at that 
date, as there is a blank of some five hundred years or 
more before the story of the village (as it then was) 
becomes authentic. But until the Union in 1707 it 
cannot be maintained that Glasgow was a place of 
any importance. TheUnion, strongly opposed though 
it was, really made Glasgow. At the beginning of the 
eighteenth century Scotland was in dire poverty — a 
famishing people, a stagnant trade, rude manufac- 
tures, and profitless industries. Glasgow was a small 
city of 1 2,500 inhabitants, which had a slender trade 
in exporting salt fish, coarse woollen stuff, and tarred 
rope, and a crude industry in making rough plaiding. 
Paisley was a long row of thatched dwellings, whose 
2600 inhabitants depended on spinning yarn on rock 
and reel, which was woven at hand-looms by eighty- 
seven weavers, who sold their stuff at the cross in the 
markets to English pedlars.* 

This was the state of matters at the Union. Twen- 
ty years later, in Defoe s Tour in 172^^ Glasgow is 
spoken of as follows : — 

"Glasgow is the emporium of the West of Scotland, 
being for its commerce and riches the second in the 
Northern part of Great Britain. It is a large, stately 
and well-built city, standing on a plain in a manner 
four-square, and the five principal streets are the fair- 
est for breadth, and the finest built that I have ever 

* Social Life oj Scotland in the Eighteenth Century^ H. G. 
Graham, p. 508. 

4 



INTRODUCTORY 

seen in one city together. The houses are all of stone, 
and generally uniform in height as well as in front. 
The lower stories, for the most part, stand on vast 
square Doric columns with arches, which open into 
the shops, adding to the strength as well as beauty 
of the building. In a word, 'tis one of the cleanliest, 
most beautiful, and best built cities in Great Britain. 
Where the four principal streets meet, the crossing 
makes a very spacious market place as may be easily 
imagined, since the streets are so large. As we come 
down the hill from the North-gate to this place, the 
Tolbooth and Guild-hall make the north-west angle 
or right-hand corner of the street which was built in 
a very magnificent manner. Here theTown Council 
sit ; and the Magistrates try such causes as come 
within their cognizance, and do all their other public 
business, so that, it will be easily conceived, The Tol- 
booth stands in the very centre of the City. It is a 
noble structure of hewn stone, with a very lofty tow- 
er and melodious hourly chimes." 

So much for the City at this period. Of its inhabit- 
ants one may glean some knowledge from that most 
interesting writer Dr. John Strang, who gives the fol- 
lowing account of the social customs of the citizens 
in the first half of the eighteenth century: — 

" The late Mr. D. Bannatynestates that, during the 
greater part of the first half of the last century, 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 in general contained only 
one public room — a dining-room, and even that was 
used only when they had company ; the family at 
5 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

other times usually eating in a bedroom. The great- 
grandfathers and great-grandmothers of many of the 
present luxurious aristocracy of Glasgow lived in this 
manner. Theyhad occasionally their relatives 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, bestow- 
ed on what they ate. After dinner the husband went 
to his place of business, and in theeveningto a club in 
a public-house, where, with little expense, he enjoyed 
himself till nine o'clock, at which hour the party uni- 
formly brokeup, and thehusbands went home to their 
families. Up to the years 1750 and 1760 very few single 
houses had been built — the greater part of the more 
wealthy inhabitants continuing to a m uch later period 
to occupy floors, in very many cases containing only 
one public room. Perhaps nothingcan mark the mode 
of living more clearly than the fact that the city clergy 
were paid, in 1750, only ^^"111 : 2s : 2d. for stipend 
and communion elements." * 

The period just described was memorable for the 
rebellions of the'15 and the '45; and, says Dr. Strang, 
" It is a remarkable fact that during the wholecivil and 
foreign wars with which we have been afflicted since 
the Revolution, no city in Scotland exhibited strong- 
er proofs of loyalty, and more devotion to the Protes- 
tant cause, or contributed more heartily to our national 
defences against aggression, than Glasgow. In 17 15, 
when the Stuarts' claim to the throne was attempted 
to be established by the sword, Glasgow at once took 
her side with the House of Hanover, and raised a bat- 
* Glasgow and lis Clubs, John Strang, LL-D., p. 16. 

6 



INTRODUCTORY 

talion of six hundred men to aid the Duke of Argyll in 
quelling the insurrection. In 1745, when Charles Ed- 
ward Stuart again attempted to win the crown which 
his predecessor had forfeited, Glasgow was once more 
on the side of religious liberty, and on that occasion 
raised, for the service of the Government, two bat- 
talions, of four hundred and fifty men each, which, it 
is well known, suffered severely at the fight of Falkirk. 
On theoutbreakofthe American War in 1775, Provost 
Donald hastened to London and offered to raise a 
regiment of a thousand men at the expense of the City. 
His offer was accepted, and the battalion was after- 
wards designated the Glasgow Regiment. Again, 
when the conflict consequent on the French Revolu- 
tion commenced, the military spirit of the City was 
roused in support of the British Constitution and in 
defence of home. In April I794,anumber of the most 
patriotic citizens began to enrol themselves as volun- 
teers, and by the following April the corps were ready 
for active service, under the command of Colonel Cor- 
bet, and then received the colours, under which they 
doubtless inwardly swore to fight to the death. In 
1797, this battalion was increased to ten companies, 
amounting in all to seven hundred. A second battal- 
ion was also raised, and maintained at the cost of the 
citizens, consisting of five hundred men. A body of 
older citizens, known by the appellation of ' The An- 
cients,' was likewise embodied; and, to complete the 
armament, a troop of volunteer cavalry was soon seen 
in full charge practice on the public Green, to the 
terror of the cows, and the dismay of the town herd."* 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 234. 
7 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

In 1/49 the city was garrisoned by a regiment com- 
manded by General (then Colonel) Wolfe. At that 
time the city was sorely church-ridden, Thateminent 
authority on Scottish social life, the Rev. Henry Gray 
Graham, thus describes the conditions then exist- 
ing:— 

" Most of the City ministers were of the fanatical 
high-flying party in the Church ; certainly they did 
not favourably impress young Wolfe, then stationed 
in Glasgow with his detachment of soldiers. A well- 
disposed man, this young officer frequented the kirk ; 
but he writes in 1749 to his mother describing them 
(the ministers) as ' excessive blockheads, so truly and 
obstinately dull that they shut out knowledge at 
every entrance.' It was such a community that, even 
so late as 1764, Professor Reid, fresh from Aberdeen 
University, condemned as ' Bceotian in their under- 
standing, fanatical in their religion, and clownish in 
theirdress and manners.' Science might have suffered 
severely if the petty piety of the day had always 
caught its transgressors. It was lucky or providential 
that the ' seizers ' did not catch James Watt, when 
one eventful Sunday afternoon in the spring of 1765 
he walked on the forbidden Green thinking over his 
unborn engine, and 'just as he got to the herd's 
house ' the idea of a steam condenser flashed upon 
his mind. One hesitates to think what disastrous 
effect the interruption of a ' bum-baillie ' might have 
had on the invention of steam-engines, and on the 
industry and science of the future. 

" Whether from natural sedateness or from the 
wholesome influence of piety, the people were a well- 

8 




l^ROFKSS'OR ROBERT SIMSON 



INTRODUCTORY 

ordered folk, and crime was almost unknown. So- 
briety was then the characteristic of the race. In 
1764 Professor Reid could still picture the morals of 
the City in favourable terms : 'Though their religion 
is of a gloomy and enthusiastic cast, it makes them 
tame and sober. I have not heard either of a house 
or a head broken, of a pocket picked, or any flagrant 
crime,since I came here. I have not heard any swear- 
ing in the streets, nor even seen a man drunk (ex- 
cepting, infernos, one professor) since I came.' This 
remarkable quietude and propriety, to whatevercause 
it might be due, could not be attributed to the vigil- 
ance and efficiency of the police at any rate. The 
whole town's safety and order was intrusted to the 
unpaid and reluctant burghers who were called on to 
act as city guard, and possessed all the irregularity 
and effeteness of amateur performers. Every citizen 
who was between the years of eighteen and sixty,and 
paid a yearly rent amounting to £1 annually (a rule 
in those days which made the guard rather exclusive), 
was required to take his turn at the duty. On tuck of 
drum the gentleman was at his post at ten o'clock at 
night, and strolled with weary tread and yawning 
gait along the Trongate and High Street, and up the 
pitch-dark lanes of winter nights, where not a lamp 
was burning, till three or four o'clock in the morning. 
After that hour,in the obscureand unprotected morn- 
ings, the city was without a police, and the tired and 
hungry guardians of the peace were snug and snoring 
in their box-beds. The better to secure order in the 
burgh, all young men and women and servants were 
strictly forbidden to be in the streets ' under cloud 
9 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

of nights ' in companies ; and all strangers staying 
either in private or in public houses were obliged to 
give in their names by ten o'clock at night to the cap- 
tain of the city guard. 

"In this way were affairs conducted in perfect sim- 
plicity in those guileless days. Up to 1750 the City 
may be said to have been unlighted, for the few smoky 
tallow-candle lamps which flickered here and there 
at long intervals only served to intensify the gloom 
rather than to relieve it, and cautious citizens required, 
till 1780, to light themselves in the darkness by'carry- 
ing 'bowats' or lanthorns in their hands ; while ladies 
in their pattens were accompanied, like the timorous 
Bailie NicolJarvie,alongtheSaltmarket by their maid 
bearing the flickering lamp. There were no hackney 
coaches then, and only a few sedan-chairs, to convey 
old ladies to the kirk or young ladies with spacious 
hoops to the dance. Unpaved, uncausewayed, the 
streets even till late in the century must have been 
rugged and filthy,fullof ruts indry weather and ofmire 
in wet; for the City, growing with its population in 
wealth, was satisfied to leave the maintenance and 
cleansing of 'streets, causeways, vennels, and lanes, 
the highways and roads, within and about the city and 
territories thereof,' to the labour of only two men." * 

The above vivid description of Glasgowearlyin the 
eighteenth century, by Mr. Graham, may be supple- 
mented profitably by that given by the well-known 
Dr. Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk, who was a stu- 
dent in Glasgow, and made many friends there. He 
writes as follows : — 

* Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century^ p. 186. 



INTRODUCTORY 

" The City of Glasgow at this time (about 1742), tho- 
ugh very industrious, wealthy and commercial, was 
far inferior to what it afterwards became, both be- 
fore and after the failure of the Virginia trade. The 
modes of life, too, and manners were different from 
what they are at present. Their chief branches were 
the tobacco trade with the American colonies ; and 
sugar and rum with the West India. There were not 
manufacturers sufficient, either there or in Paisley, to 
supply an outward-bound cargo for Virginia. For 
this purpose they were obliged to have recourse to 
Manchester. Manufactures were in their infancy. 
About this time the inkle manufactory was first be- 
gun by Ingram and Glassford, and was shown to 
strangers as a great curiosity. But the merchants had 
industry and stock, and the habits of business, and 
were ready to seize with eagerness, and prosecute 
with vigour, every new object in commerce or manu- 
factures that promised success. 

*' Few of them could be called learned merchants ; 
yet there was a weekly club, of which a Provost 
Cochrane was the founder and a leading member, in 
which their express design was to inquire into the 
nature and principles of trade in all its branches, and 
to communicate their knowledge and views on that 
subject to each other. I was not acquainted with 
Provost Cochrane at this time, but I observed that 
the members of this society had the highest admir- 
ation of his knowledge and talents. I became well 
acquainted with him twenty years afterwards, when 
Drs. Smith and Wight were members of the Club, 
and was made sensible that too much could not be 

XI 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

said of his accurate and extensive knowledge, of his 
agreeable manners, and colloquial eloquence. Dr. 
Smith acknowledged his obligations to this gentle- 
man's information, when he was collecting materials 
for his Wealth of Nations ; and the junior merchants 
who have flourished since his time, and extended their 
commerce far beyond what was then dreamt of, con- 
fess, with respectful remembrance,that it was Andrew 
Cochrane who first opened and enlarged their views. 
" It was not long before I was well established in 
close intimacy with many of my fellow-students, and 
soon felt the superiority of an education in the Col- 
lege of Edinburgh ; not in point of knowledge, or ac- 
quirements in the languages or sciences, but in know- 
ledge of the world, and a certain manner of address 
that can only be attained in the capital. It must be 
confessed that at this time they were far behind in 
Glasgow, not only in their manner of living, but in 
those accomplishments and that taste that belong to 
people of opulence, much more to persons of edu- 
cation. There were only a few families of ancient 
citizens who pretended to be gentlemen ; and a few 
others, who were recent settlers there, who had ob- 
tained wealth and consideration in trade. The rest 
were shopkeepers and mechanics, or successful ped- 
lars, who occupied large ware-rooms full of manufac- 
tures of all sorts, to furnish a cargo to Virginia. It 
was useful for the sons of merchants to attend the 
College for one or two years, and a few of them com- 
pleted their academical education. In this respect 
the females were still worse off, for at that period 
there was neither a teacher of French nor of music 

12 



INTRODUCTORY 

in the town. The consequence of this was two-fold. 
First, the young ladies were entirely without accom- 
plishments, and in general had nothing to recom- 
mend them but good looks and fine clothes ; for their 
manners were ungainly. Secondly, the few who were 
distinguished drew all the young men of sense and 
taste about them ; for, being void of frivolous accom- 
plishments, which in some respects make all women 
equal, they trusted only to superior understanding 
and wit, to natural elegance and unaffected manners. 

" There never was but one concert during the two 
winters I was at Glasgow, and that was given by 
Walter Scott Esq., of Harden, who was himself an 
eminent performer on the violin ; and his band of as- 
sistants consisted of two dancing-school fiddlers and 
the town waits. 

" The manner of living, too, at this time, was but 
coarse and vulgar. Very few of the wealthiest gave 
dinners to anybody but English riders, or their own 
relations at Christmas holidays. There were not half- 
a-dozen families in town who had men-servants ; some 
of those were kept by the professors who had boarders. 
There were neither post-chaises nor hackney-coaches 
in the town, and only three or four sedan-chairs for 
carrying mid-wives about in the night, and old ladies 
to church, or to the dancing assemblies once a fort- 
night. 

" The principal merchants, fatigued with the morn- 
ing's business, took an early dinner with their families 
at home, and then resorted to the coffee-house or tav- 
ern to read the newspapers ; which theygenerally did 
in companies of four or five in separate rooms, over a 
13 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

bottle of claret or a bowl of punch. But they never 
stayed supper, but always went home by nine o'clock, 
without company or further amusement. At last an 
arch fellow from Dublin, a Mr. Cockaine, came to be 
master of the chief coffee-house, who seduced them 
gradually to stay supper by placing a few nice cold 
things at first on the table, as relishers to the wine, 
till he gradually led them on to bespeak fine hot sup- 
pers, and to remain till midnight. 

" I was admitted a member of two clubs,oneentirely 
literary, which was held in the porter's lodge at the 
College, and where we criticised books and wrote a- 
bridgements of them, with critical essays; and to this 
society we submitted the discourses which we were to 
deliver in the Divinity Hall in our turns, when we 
were appointed by the professor. The other club met 
in Mr. Dugald's tavern near the Cross, weekly, and 
admitted a mixture of younggentlemen whowere not 
intended for the study of theology. Here we drank a 
little punch after our beefsteaks and pancakes, and 
the expense never exceeded is. 6d., seldom is. 

"Towards the end of the session, however, I was in- 
troduced to a club which gave me much more satis- 
faction — I mean that of Mr. Robert Simson, the cele- 
brated Professor of Mathematics. Mr. Robert Dick, 
Professor of Natural Philosophy, an old friend of my 
father's, once after I had dined with him, said he was 
going to Mr. Robert's Club, and if I had a mind, he 
would take me there and introduce me. I readily ac- 
cepted the honour. I had been introduced to Mr. 
Robert before, in the College court, for he was ex- 
tremely courteous, and showed civility to every stu- 

14 



INTRODUCTORY 

dent who fell in his way. Though I was not attending 
any of his classes.having attended M'Laurin in Edin- 
burgh for three sessions, he received me with great 
kindness ; and I had the good fortune to please him 
so much, that he asked me to be a member of his 
Friday's Club, which I readily agreed to. Mr. Sim- 
son, though a great humorist, who had a very parti- 
cular way of living, was well-bred and complaisant, 
was a comely man, of a good size, and had a very 
prepossessing countenance. He lived entirely at the 
small tavern opposite the College gate, kept by Mrs. 
Millar. He breakfasted, dined, and supped there, and 
almost never accepted of any invitations to dinner, 
and paid no visit3,but to illustrious or learned strang- 
ers, who wished to see the University ; on such oc- 
casions he was always cicerone. He showed the 
curiosities of the College, which consisted of a few 
manuscripts and a large collection of Roman anti- 
quities, from Severus' Wall or Graham's Dyke, in 
the neighbourhood, with a display of much knowledge 
and taste. He was particularly averse to the company 
of ladies, and, except one day in the year, when he 
drank teaat Principal Campbell's, and conversed with 
gaiety and ease with his daughter Mally, who was al- 
ways his first toast, he was never in company with 
them. It was said to have been otherwise with him in 
his youth, and that he had been much attached to one 
lady , to whom he had made proposals, but on her refus- 
ing him he became disgusted with the sex. The lady 
was dead before I became acquainted with the family, 
but her husband I knew, and must confess that in her 
choice the lady had preferred a satyr to Hyperion. 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

" Mr. Simson almost never left the bounds of the Col- 
lege, having a large garden to walk in, unless it was 
on Saturday, when, with two chosen companions, he 
always walked in the country, but no farther than 
the village of Anderston,one mile off, where he had 
a dinner bespoke, and where he always treated the 
company not only when he had no other than his 
two humble attendants, but when he casually added 
one or two more, which happened twice to myself. 
If any of the Club met him on Saturday night at his 
hotel, he took it very kind, for he was in good spirits, 
though fatigued with the company of his satellites, 
and revived on the sight of a fresh companion or two 
for the evening. He was of a mild temper and an 
engaging demeanour, and was master of all know- 
ledge, even of theology, which he told us he had 
learned by being one year amanuensis to his uncle, 
the Professor of Divinity. His knowledge he deliv- 
ered in an easy colloquial style, with the simplicity of 
a child, and without the least symptom of self-suffi- 
ciency or arrogance." * 

Such a community as described in the two forego- 
ing extracts was very self-contained. Travel at this 
period was difficult and in some degree dangerous, 
and the citizens of Glasgow were somewhat stay-at- 
home. It alsoappears that they were not much given 
to correspondence. The London mail-bag, says Mr. 
Graham, in describing thepostal facilities of the time, 
in the early part of the century was sometimes found 
to contain only one letter, and this even occurred 
once so late as 1746. Six days were spent by post- 
* Autobiography of Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk^ p. 80. 

16 




DAVID DALE 



INTRODUCTORY 

boys on the road to London, when they carried their 
small consignment in a portmanteau behind them, 
and it sometimes occurred that in crossing a river 
the post-boy, horse, and bags disappeared and were ■ 
never seen again.* 

About the middle of the eighteenth century a 
change set in as regards the social habits of the 
people, and in 1753 Wolfe writes home: "We have 
plays, concerts, and balls, public and private, with 
dinners and suppers of the most execrable food on 
earth, and wine that approaches to poison. The men 
drink till they are excessively drunk." Dancing as- 
semblies attracted the whole rank and fashion from 
the West; daughters and sons of ancient county fami- 
lies cameby coach or on horseback from theircountry 
mansions to balls that began at five o'clock and lasted 
till eleven, mingling with a touch of condescension 
with the new families of prosperous merchants, who 
were in time to buy their ancestral acres from their 
impecunious fathers. Social customswerenotalways 
perfectly refined; but even in later days, when assem- 
blies beganateight o'clock, theregulations requested 
that " gentlemen do not appear in their boots," and 
that they " leave their sticks at the bar." f 

" Other social changes," says Mr. Graham, " came 
as the town developed, till in 1790 town and suburbs 
had gained a population of sixty-two thousand. As 
new lines of handsome streets spread over the green 
fields, as rich families moved from the small flats of 
their youth to 'self-contained' houses, and closer and 

* Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century, p. 46. 
■\Ibid. p. 142. 
17 B 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

more frequent communication brought them in con- 
tact with the outside world, shops arose to suit every 
taste and supply every want. Sedan-chairs began to 
give place to hackney coaches ; no longer when rain 
fell with local fluency did everyone rush for shelter 
in the stair ' closes,' but from the year 1783, when a 
Glasgow doctor displayed, for the first time, a yellow 
umbrella which he brought from Paris, there were 
seen everywhere the bulky rain-proof implements of 
yellow and green glazed linen. There was more air 
of luxury, though the dinners were still of one course. 
The hour for repast had advanced to two, and after 
1770 in some high circles to three o'clock. It was 
not, however, till 1786 that a lady of light and lead- 
ing, imitating the ways of Edinburgh, gave her guests 
dinner in two courses — an innovation which was re- 
garded as gross extravagance, although it was meekly 
explained by the offender that she only divided the 
meal into two, and presented no more dishes in two 
courses than others put down in one. Society had 
its tea-parties, where the companymet at five o'clock, 
played cards till nine, when they supped; and then, as 
the ladies withdrew to bed or to the drawing-room, 
the host and his friends drank their punch, or claret ; 
and bowl followed bowl, and toast followed toast till 
the small hours of the morning. About this period, 
when the century was far advanced, moral and religi- 
ous changes for the worse had come into vogue. Se- 
date men deplored, after 1770, that men swore terribly 
who aimed at fa'shion — uttering oaths that had come 
from London via Edinburgh, though spoken with the 
stronger accent of the West ; there also came a habit 

18 



INTRODUCTORY 

of drinking, even less restrainedly than of old, among- 
st all classes ; and men of society were often mighty 
drinkers under too hospitable roofs, where servants 
were in waiting to loosen the cravats of recumbent 
and unconscious guests. With these symptoms of 
moral disruption there was ominous laxity in church 
observance. Of old every pew had been full, and col- 
lections for the poor large ; now the seats were often 
sadly empty, and the 'plate 'at the kirk door was slend- 
erly filled. It is true that these lamented defections 
of piety were temporary phases of society in Scotland, 
and that when the next century came, the City re- 
sumed much of its former sobriety, and settled down 
to quiet ways again. But it was no longer the small, 
homely, provincial, old town — Glasgow of 1707, with 
its population of 12,500, had changed beyond all re- 
cognition in 1 800 into a city of nearly 80,000 people, 
with its streets, containing handsome mansions, cov- 
ering vast spaces that a few years before were corn- 
fields and orchards ; and changing the fashionable re- 
sidences of the olden time into dingy warehouses of 
the new and prosperous age." * 

That quaint historian Denholm gives the follow- 
ing account of the gaieties which marked the close of 
the eighteenth century : — 

"Assemblies have been longheld weekly in the win- 
ter season in Glasgow. For a considerable period, they 
were kept in the old assembly room in the Tontine 
building; since the building of the hall for the pur- 
pose, they have, however, been removed thither. The 
management of the funds, and regulation of the whole, 

* Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Cetitury, p. 144, 
19 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

IS vested in a number of directors, and a secretary or 
clerk; but the economy of dancing, and other busi- 
ness of the night, is superintended by a woman of 
fashion, appointed by the directors. 

" The assemblies,during thewinter season, are held 
weekly ; the first, however, which is well attended, is 
generally that kept in honour of Her Majesty's birth- 
day,onthe i8th of January; upon that night the tick- 
ets sell at 5s., and on every other at 4s. 

" The present assembly room was first opened on 
the Queen's birthday, 1798, Mrs. Kennedy, directress. 
The company, which was uncommonly brilliant, con- 
sisted of 350 ladies and gentlemen. The numbers on 
the same occasion have since fluctuated, as may have 
been expected. The greatest number since, it is be- 
lieved, attended the assembly of 1799, when there 
were 460, including 180 ladies. 

The Card Assembly 

" Last winter, an assembly of genteel people was 
held, in rotation with the dancing assembly, once a 
fortnight ; for this season, however, it is given up. 

" The following is a copy of the regulations or rules 
to be observed at the Glasgow assemblies, which may, 
at least, be hiteresting to some of our readers : — 

" I. The company to meet at eight o'clock, and the 
Tickets to be drawn precisely at half-past eight. 

" 2. Each Set to consist of twelve Couple, and the 
Ladies to draw tickets for their places. 

" 3. No ladies to stand up in the Country Dances, 
except in the place to which their Ticket entitles them, 
and are requested to keep their Ticket for the evening. 



INTRODUCTORY 

" 4. Only two Set to be allowed to dance Country 
Dances at a time. 

" 5. No Ladies to leave their places till the dance is 
finished. 

" 6. No reels to be allowed but with permission of 
the Directress or Director. 

" 7. No Gentleman to stand before the Ladies, so 
as to intercept their view. 

" 8. When a Lady has called one dance, her place 
in the next is at the bottom of it. 

"9. No Gentleman tobe admitted in Boots or Half- 
boots (Officers on duty excepted), and those who have 
sticks are desired to leave them at the Bar. 

" 10. No servant to be admitted upstairs. 

" The same regulations to be observed at the Card 
Assemblies, only that the Company are to meet at 
8 o'clock, and the tickets to be drawn at half-past 
eight ; and no Country Dance or Rubber at Cards 
to be begun after twelve o'clock." * 

Having observed the general social conditions of 
Glasgow in the eighteenth century, it may be of in- 
terest to relate one or two events connected with the 
river Clyde, that source of much of Glasgow's great- 
ness. In the eighteenth century, the river was not con- 
trolled by quays and walls as it now is. The result 
was that in time of flood much damage was caused 
in the lower parts of the city. 

" The Bridgegate," says * Senex,' " from its low-lying 
position, used to suffer dreadfully from the flooding 
of the Clyde in those days before the dredging ma- 
chine had cut out such an ample scour for the waters ; 

* Denholra's History of Glasgow^ p. 348. 
21 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

and also before the protecting parapets were built on 
the north side of the river. The most memorable flood 
is that of Tuesday, 12th March 1782. 

"After long and heavy rains, the Clyde rose on the 
afternoon of Monday to an alarming extent. It cov- 
ered all the lower parts of the Green, stopped the 
communication with the country to the south by the 
bridges, and laid the Bridgegate under the water to 
the depth of seven feet. As the inhabitants were ac- 
customed to floods, many of them went to bed in the 
hope that the waters would have subsided by the 
morning, but the river continued to rise during the 
night until the fires on the ground floors were ex- 
tinguished, and then the flood entered the beds, from 
which the inhabitants hastily retreated to the upper 
storeys. The night was a wild, dark, and dismal one ; 
there were heard throughout the whole street cries of 
distress and despair ; and at the distance of more 
than half a century many of the Bridgegate denizens 
still spoke of it as the most gloomy night they had 
ever spent in their lives. By early daylight the in- 
habitants were relieved by means of boats, which sail- 
ed up and down the streets supplying the families 
with cordials and provisions, and removing such of 
them as desired to escape from their dwellings. The 
lower parts of Saltmarket, Stockwell, and Jamaica 
Streets were in the same condition ; and the then 
village of Gorbals was so completely surrounded that 
it seemed like an island rising up in the midst of an 
estuary. A young woman was drowned there, which 
was the only loss of human life occasioned by the 
flood ; but a great many horses and cows were drown- 

22 



INTRODUCTORY 

ed in their stables, and the merchants suffered much 
from vast quantities of tobacco, sugar, and other mer- 
chandise having been carried away or damaged. The 
floodsubsided in the courseof Tuesday; and on Wed- 
nesday the Clyde returned to its wonted chan nel, after 
having at one time risen no less than twenty feet above 
its ordinary level. 

"On the 1 8th November 1 795 the Clyde again 'wide 
o'er the brim with many a torrent swelled'; and as 
before, the lower parts of the city were completely 
submerged. About midday two of the arches of the 
bridge, then recently erected at the foot of Saltmar- 
ket, fell down with a crash, and the displacement of 
water was so tremendous that the doors of the pub- 
lic washing-houses, though situated at a great dis- 
tance, were burst open, and a portion of the clothes 
and utensils floated away. The remaining arches 
fell in the course of the afternoon, and thus the edi- 
fice was entirely destroyed. During this flood a boy 
was drowned in attempting to reach his home at the 
foot of the New Wynd." * 

" Amidst all these distressing occurrences there 
happened one so comic that its recital by the tittle- 
tattlersofthedaymadepeoplealmostforgetthegener- 
alcalamitycausedbythe flood. It seemed that David 
Dale, Esq., whose house was situated at the foot of 
Charlotte Street, had invited a large party to dinner 
on the said i8th day of November 1795, and expect- 
ed William Simpson, cashier of the Royal Bank; the 
great millionaire, Gilbert Innes of Stowe; and the 
whole posse of the Royal Bank directory, to come 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. i. p. 109. 
23 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

from Edinburgh to meet Scott Moncrieff, George 
M'Intosh, and a few other Glasgow magnates at din- 
ner on the said day. On the memorable morning of 
the said iSth all was bustle and hurry-burry in Mr. 
Dale's house, preparing a sumptuous feast for this 
distinguished party. The kitchen fires were in full 
blaze, prompt to roast the jolly joints of meat already 
skewered on the spits, to boil the well-stuffed turkeys, 
and to stew the other tit-bits of the table ; while the 
puddings and custards stood ready on the dresser for 
immediate application to the bars of the grate; when, 
lo and behold ! the waters of the Clyde began gently 
to ooze through the chinks of the kitchen floor, and 
by-and-by gradually to increase, so that in a short 
timetheservantscame tobe going through theirwork 
with the water above their ankles. At this critical 
moment the Monkland Canal burst its banks, and, 
like an avalanche, the water came thundering down 
the Molendinar Burn, carrying all before it,and filling 
the low houses of the Gallowgate, Saltmarket, Bridge- 
gate, and under portions of St. Andrew's Square with 
amuddystream,and the wrecks of many a poorman's 
d welH ng. I n consequence of the regorgement of water 
caused by this said mishap, and the continued in- 
crease of the flood, the Camlachie Burn, which ran 
close by Mr. Dale's house, was raised to an unusual 
height, and at once with a crash, broke into Mr. Dale's 
kitchen, putting out all the fires there, and making 
the servants run for their Ijves, they having scarce- 
ly had time to save the half-dressed dinner. Then 
came the great question, what was now to be done ? 
The dinner hour was fast approaching, and the great 

24 




VIEW OF GLASGOW, 1797 



INTRODUCTORY 

Edinburgh visitors were already whirling rapidly to- 
wards Glasgow in their carriages ; while the fires of 
the kitchen being completely extinguished, the kit- 
chen itself was thereby rendered totally useless. In 
this calamitous dilemma, Mr. Dale applied to his 
opposite neighbour in Charlotte Street, Mr. William 
Wardlaw, for the loan of his kitchen; and also to an- 
other of his neighbours, Mr. Archibald Paterson, for 
a like accommodation; both of whom not only read- 
ily granted the use of their kitchens but also the aid 
of their servants to cook Mr. Dale's dinner. But still 
the question remained, how were the wines, spirits, 
and ales to be gotten from the cellar which now stood 
four feet deep in water? After much cogitation, a 
porter was hired, who, being suitably dressed for the 
occasion, was to descend to the abyss and bring up 
the said articles. It, however, occurred to Mr. Dale 
that the porter would not be able to distinguish the 
binns that contained the port, sherry, and Madeira 
(Mr. Dale did not sport French wines) from those of 
the rum, brandy, porter and ale. In this emergency, 
Miss Dale, then sixteen years of age, was mounted on 
the porter's back, and both having descended to the 
cellar. Miss Dale,amidstthe waters of the deep, point- 
ed out to her chevalier where he was to find the dif- 
ferent articles required for the table. After having 
received 'instructions the porter brought up his fair 
charge to the lobby of the house, where Miss Dale 
dismounted from the shoulders of her bearer in safety ; 
and the porter having again descended to the cellar, 
readily found the wines and ales that were wanted, 
which he delivered to Mr. Dale in good order. All 
25 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

things now went on in a satisfactory manner. The 
Edinburgh visitors and Glasgow magnates arrived 
in due time, the dinner was cooked and placed on 
the table in the best of style, and the whole party 
passed the evening in mirth and jocularity at the odd 
circumstances which had attended this merry meet- 
mg. * 

On 1 8th August 1808 the Bridgegate and lower 
parts of the town were again visited by a tremendous 
flood. The loss of grain and cattle along the banks 
was very great, and "flocks, herds, and harvest" floa- 
ted past the city for several hours. A young man, 
who sailed in a boat in the Green, lost his life while 
attempting to secure some of the floating grain. In 
1 8 16 the Clyde rose seventeen feet, and there have 
been various floods since ; but from the changes al- 
ready noticed they have become gradually less and 
less destructive, and now their coming is not looked 
to with apprehension. 

Inourpresentdaysof EducationDepartmentsand 
School Boards the following glimpse of school dis- 
cipline in Glasgow at the beginning of the nineteenth 
century is of interest. 

The tawse were used exclusively on the j uniors, and 
were carried by the master in his pocket when going 
his rounds between the classes; but when he was at 
his desk, and saw any act or movement contrary to 
rule, it was his custom to throw the tawse, rolled up, 
at the offender; and practice enabled him to hit the 
boy with unerring dexterity. The culprit, on recep- 
tion of the black messenger, had, nolens volens, to 
* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. iii. p. 1 19. 

26 



INTRODUCTORY 

carry it instanter to the master, viewing it as the sig- 
nal of punishment without trial, prompt and certain ; 
as when in past ages a bull's head, when presented to 
a Scottish grandee, gave him warning that he was to 
be made a head shorter, without the interference of 
either judge or jury. 

Whenpunishmentwas inflicted, the tawsewerenot 
used in every case; for in some cases a degree of igno- 
miny was attached to the infliction, which was viewed 
with greater horror than the tawse or ratan. In such 
cases as truants, or those connected with fibbing, etc., 
they were placed on the floor, holding out a long pole; 
and in more aggravated cases the culprit was adorned 
with a very large wig. 

These had been used during a long period ; but 
early in the century some of those juvenile offenders 
who incurred the punishment of standing with the wig 
and pole, had occasionally to submit to the additional 
ignominy of having their lower jaws decorated with 
a long black beard, taken from an aged black goat, 
which was publicly bestowed as a gift to the master 
by a senior pupil, for the benefit of his junior fellow- 
students, who did not thank him for it, but wished 
that he had retained it for his own use. The odium 
of appearing with the wig, pole, and goat-skin, which 
seldom happened, was more dreaded by the boys 
than mere corporal punishment.* 

To turn from scholastic to municipal authority, 
Glasgow was without any regular police force until 
1 800. But while the establishment of that force was 
an excellent thing for the city proper, its effect upon 

* Glasgow Past and Present., vol. i. p. 270. 
27 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

the suburbs was the reverse of happy. To these sub- 
urbs all the desperadoes of the city flocked, and the 
decent inhabitants of the outskirts had to endure for 
years the most hideous scenes of immorality and dis- 
order. A civil force became necessary in these dis- 
tricts also ; and accordingly, the Gorbals Police was 
constituted byAct of Parliament in 1808; the Calton 
Policein 1819; and the Anderston Police in 1824. The 
Calton was for m any years an exceedingly lawless and 
unruly place; so much so, that for a long period the 
officers perambulated the streets two and two armed 
with cutlasses. They used them too; for on one oc- 
casion a rencontre took place with a gang of des- 
perate resurrectionists, who were robbing the Clyde 
Street burial-ground; and, as one of the body-lifters 
got his arm nearly cut off, this wholesome blood-let- 
ting cleared the district ever after of these wretches. 
In more peaceful times the cutlasses were displaced 
by staves or cudgels.* 

The City of Glasgow has always been somewhat of 
astrongholdof Radicalism; and, trueto its principles, 
it worked itse'f into a ferment over the Reform Bill 
of 1 832. In that year a great and memorable demon- 
stration of the Liberals of Glasgow and the West of 
Scotland was held on Glasgow Green, at which meet- 
ing Mr. James Oswald, from his loyaltyto the Liberal 
cause, his disinterested zeal and commanding influ- 
ence, was called upon to preside. The assembled 
multitude numbered seventy thousand, and nearly a 
dozen other leading citizens and country notables 
spoke, including Sir John Maxwell of Pollock, James 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. i. p. 219. 

28 



INTRODUCTORY 

Ewing of Strathleven, who shortly afterwards had, 
with James Oswald, the distinguished honour of re- 
presenting Glasgow in the first Reform Parliament, 
Mr. Robert Dalglish, Mr. Walter Buchanan, and 
others. Resolutions as to reform were moved and 
carried by acclamation, and at once transmitted to 
the House of Commons. It redounds alike to the 
credit of James Oswald and the other leaders in this 
popular movement that, duringall the feverish excite- 
ment of the time, there was never the slightest mani- 
festation either of lawlessness or violence. The people 
never showed the slightest bitterness or differing a- 
mongst themselves as to the merits of the Bill, but 
uniformly hailed it with the liveliest satisfaction, as 
sunshine after long storm. 

On the 1 6th March the Reform Bill was introduced 
by Lord John Russell. The debate lasted all night, 
and the House revealed a scene of excitement which 
had not been equalled for many years, a scene per- 
vaded by that intense interest which compasses a 
mortal struggle. Both Tory and Whig fought long 
and stubbornly to the death, and when, after the di- 
vision, the result was announced as being a majority 
of 1 16 in favour of the Bill, the enthusiasm of the Lib- 
erals knew no bounds. An idea of the excitement 
in Glasgow, on the arrival of the news, is given in the 
Glasgozu Chronicle for 30th March 1832, which says: 
" At the hour of the London mail's arrival yesterday 
afternoon, both the Exchanges — the Royal Ex- 
change in Queen Street, and the Tontine at the Cross 
— were thronged with people anxiously waiting for 
the intelligence. In the Royal Exchange, Mr. David 
29 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Bell, the secretary, mounted a table specially located 
for the purpose, and read the principal parts of Lord 
Russell's speech from the London Su7i, surrounded 
by a crowd of gentlemen who repeatedly cheered the 
announcements made in his speech, particularly the 
parts referring to Scotland, and especially the por- 
tion relating to the extension of the representation of 
Glasgow, Mr. Alison, the keeper of the Exchange, 
who counted the assembled throng, found that over 
nine hundred were present." 

On receipt of the news of this great Liberal victory, 
the enthusiasm of all, both leaders and inhabitants, 
knew no bounds. Meetings of rejoicing were held 
everywhere throughout the city, addressed by James 
Oswald, Sir Daniel Sandford, the gifted Professor of 
Greek in Glasgow University, Robert Dalglish, who 
afterwards was one of the members of Parliament for 
the City, and other prominent leaders in the move- 
ment. Provost Dalglish, the father of the futuremem- 
ber, was asked to permit a general illumination. The 
City bells were rung, flags were flying from every 
house, and at night candles were as prominent and 
plentiful in the windows of the houses as they were in 
London on the acquittal of the seven bishops ! Pro- 
vost Dalglish's town house in West George Street 
was lighted with 3000 jets, the centre-piece being 
" Let Glasgow Flourish," surrounded by splendid 
representations of Trade, Commerce, and Manufac- 
tures saluting a figure of Reform. Next in splendour 
were transparencies at Sir James Lumsden's house in 
Queen Street, and Mr. (afterwards Sir Charles) Ten- 
nant's in West George Street. Argyle Street was all 

30 



INTRODUCTORY 

ablaze, and variegated lamps were hung from the 
masts and yards of the ships in the harbour, the effect 
as seen from the Broomielaw and Stockwell bridges 
being such as could not be forgotten.* 

About 1832 the mail to Glasgow took on an aver- 
age forty-four hours to the journey; and 180 horses 
were used in all, four-in-hand. 

The following incident of unprecedented expedi- 
tion in bringing to Glasgow the news of the second 
reading in the House of Peers of the Reform Bill is 
worthy of record. Their lordships divided at twenty- 
five minutes to seven o'clock on the morning of Satur- 
day the 14th of April 1832, when it appeared there 
were — contents, 184; non-contents, 175 ; majority for 
the Bill, 9. Mr. Young, the editor of the Sun news- 
paper (old Smi), left the Strand (London) at twenty 
minutes to eight o'clock, and arrived in Miller Street, 
Glasgow, on Sunday evening at half-past seven o'clock 
at the house of his agent, Mr. Thomas Atkinson, of 
84 Trongate, who was succeeded in business there by 
Mr. Andrew Rutherglen, subsequently in Buchanan 
Street. 

Mr. Young travelled in a post-chaise and four, with 
copies of his paper containing no less than twenty- 
two and a half columns of the debate,little more than 
an hour being occupied in setting up the types and 
in correcting and printing the paper. The journey, 
including all stoppages, was accomplished in thirty- 
five hours and fifty minutes. When it is considered 
that the usual time taken for the mail was then forty- 
four hours, although horses were always in readiness 

* George Square, Glasgow, Rev. T. Someiville, p. 207. 
31 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

for it, while with expresses delays were inevitable, and 

that in this instance newspapers were given out at 

every town on the way, the feat is all the 

more remarkable.* 

* The Anccdotage of Glasgow, p. 275. 



-V 



(g 



\ 




STR JOHN MOORE 



CHAPTER TWO 

CONCERNING SOME GLASGOW 

MEN & WOMEN 



CHAPTER TWO CONCERNING 
SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

ANCESTOR-WORSHIP IS NOT MUCH IN 
voguein Glasgow. In fact, ancestors arealittle scarce ; 
and a pedigree extending to three generations is con- 
sidered highly respectable in commercial circles. Of 
course, it is not to be expected that the old landed 
aristocracy of Scotland would consider this kind of 
genealogy satisfactory ; but money talks — in Glas- 
gow as in America. In consequence, those sons and 
daughters of commerce who are liberally endowed 
need not despair of marrying into aristocratic circles. 
As a matter of fact, some of them do so marry ; and 
in doing so scale such giddy social heights that the 
event is not spoken of as a mere marriage. No. A 
breathlessly expectant world is informed that an alli- 
ance is about to be contracted between His Grace the 
Marquis of Owealot and Miss Janet Bigge-Pile, only 
daughter of John Bigge-Pile, Esq., J. P., of Goosedubs 
Hall, and another address in Candleriggs which is 
carefully suppressed. Upon such an announcement 
thegreatheartofthe people is deeply stirred. Kelvin- 
side trembles with suppressed excitement. Pollok- 
shields gasps in envy. Bellahouston is openlyjealous. 
In full knowledgeofthisblissfulstateof matters, John 
Bigge-Pile, Esq., J. P., feels that he has not laboured 
in vain. 

The brevity of the average Glasgow pedigree is hit 
off in the following story : — 

An old Scottish landed proprietor, or Laird, who 
piqued himself much upon his pedigree, and had a 
sovereign contempt for men who had come to fortune 
35 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

through successful industry, was one night in a com- 
pany where a young lady from Glasgow happened to 
descant upon what her father, her grandfathers, and 
her great-grandfathers had done as civil rulers in the 
City. 

After enduring this for a little, the laird at last 
tapped the fair speaker gently on the shoulder, and 
said to her in an emphatic but good-humoured tone — 

" Wheesht, my woman; nae Glasgow folk ever had 
grandfathers."* 

This is doubtless a fairly strong statement, but it 
holds at least a germ of truth. Still, if Glasgow con- 
tains few long pedigrees, it has numbered among its 
citizens not a few famous men. Most of these men, 
so far as this book is concerned, are dealt with under 
the University and Church sections ; but a few of 
them figure in anecdotes such as belong to this chap- 
ter. Of these the first is Tobias Smollet, who served 
his apprenticeship in the little shop of Mr. Gordon, 
apothecary in High Street ; and it is somewhat char- 
acteristic of the relations that existed between the 
pair that when the apothecary was taunted with re- 
gard to the mischievous proclivities of his erratic ap- 
prentice,as compared with certain other lads of more 
staid demeanour, Mr. Gordon always expressed his 
sympathy with his own "Bubbly laddie that aye car- 
ried a stane in his pouch ! "f 

As Smollet figures in the University section of this 
book, it is unnecessary to refer further to him at the 
moment. Of greater immediate interest is that well- 

* The Anecdotage of Glasgow, R. Alison, p. 523. 

^ Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship, G. Stewart, p. 121. 

36 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

known philanthropist David Dale, who was born in 
Stewarton on 6th January 1739, and passed a long 
and honoured life in the City. Hisshortand corpulent 
figure, says Dr. Strang,* was conspicuous in his day in 
the Trongate. 

Duringthe last years of the century.it may be truly 
affirmed of this able and worthy gentleman that he 
was always found ready to forward every scheme cal- 
culated to benefit his fellow-men, and particularly his 
fellow-citizens ; whether that scheme might be to ad- 
vance their mercantile and manufacturinginterests, to 
ameliorate the condition of the outcast or orphan, or 
to reclaim the vicious and thecriminal. Althoughana- 
tive of Stewarton, Mr. Dale, from his long residence in 
Glasgow (having come to it when in his twenty-fourth 
year,andspent therein fifty-seven years), may well be 
lookeduponasoneofher own sons. Hefirstcommen- 
ced business in the High Street, in a shop five doors 
north ofthe Cross, for which he paid five pounds of rent; 
but thinking even this too much for him, he sub-letthe 
one half to a watchmaker for fifty shillings ! In these 
small premises, however, he contrived to carry on a 
pretty extensive business in French yarns, which he 
imported from Flanders, till,being appointed in 1783 
agentfor the Royal Bank,the watchmaker's shop was 
converted into the bank-office, and there that estab- 
lishment remained till its removal in 1798 to St. And- 
rew's Square. Impressed with the value of Arkwright's 
inventions, he set about erecting the cotton mills at 
Lanark, which he soon accomplished, and prosecuted 
cotton-spinning with singular success. He was also 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 364. 
37 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

instrumental in erecting the mills at Catrine, and at 
Spinningdale in Sutherlandshire. Mr. Dale wasnot, 
however, content with the spinning of cotton; he 
joined other parties in the manufacture of cotton cloth, 
in the dyeing of turkey red, and in an inkle-factory, 
while he himself continued the import of Flanders 
yarn. Although one or other of those businesses, and 
particularly that of the bank, might be supposed to 
have been sufficient for the attention of one man, it 
was not so with Mr. Dale ; for while he conducted suc- 
cessfully all the important en terprises in which he em- 
barked, we find him devoting both time and money to 
various benevolent schemes, and also discharging the 
onerous duties of a city bailie, first in 1791, and again 
in 1794. Mr. Dale, though at first a member of the 
Established Church, and sitting under the ministry of 
Dr. Gillies of the College Church, ere long seceded 
from it, and joined Mr, Archibald Paterson, Mr. Mat- 
thew Alexander, and others in forming a Congrega- 
tional Church, which first met in a private house, and 
thereafter in a meeting-house in Greyfriars Wynd, 
whichwaserectedbyMr. Paterson athis own expense, 
and which, from the circumstance of that gentleman 
beingacandlemaker, was long known by the appella- 
tion of the " Candle Kirk." Within the walls of this 
unpretending church Mr. Dale for many years acted 
astheChristianpastor,and fairly outlived thepopular 
dislike and clamour which was raised against those 
who dared to preach without having passed through 
the portals of a University divinity-hall. But though 
adecidedsectarian,hewasaltogetherdestituteof that 
bigotry which too often belon gs to such bodies,offering 

38 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

at all times his purse and his support to every Chris- 
tian scheme, by whatsoever clerical party it might 
have been originated. He was, in short, respected by 
the wealthy and beloved by the poor, and when he 
bade a last adieu to a city which his talents and in- 
dustry had certainly advanced, and which his philan- 
thropy and religious example had improved, he was 
universally lamented as one of its ablest merchants, 
best magistrates, and most benevolent sons. 

Another son of whom Glasgow is proud is Sir 
John Moore, who was born in Donald's Land on the 
13th November 1761. As a soldier he distinguished 
himself in the Mediterranean, the West Indies, Ire- 
land, and Egypt. Having attained the rank of Lieu- 
tenant-General, and obtained the Colonelcy of the 
52nd, he was dispatched, in 1806, under General 
Fox, to the Mediterranean, whence he returned early 
in 1808. In that year he was sent to the Baltic with 
an armament of 10,000 men, to assist the King of 
Sweden, whence he almost immediately returned to 
England. After spending a few days there, he was 
sent with a body of troops to Portugal, to act under 
Generals Dalrymple and Burrard. He reached the 
headquarters of the British Army soon after the 
important Convention of Cintra. The superiors in 
command having been successively recalled, Moore 
at length assumed the chief command, to which he 
ought to have been at first nominated. Amid many 
difficulties — caused by the ignorance of the Govern- 
ment at home, and of their agents at Madrid, as 
well as by the imbecility of the Spanish Junta and 
the treachery of the Spanish nobles — Moore com- 
39 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

menced his advance to Sahagun, and thereafter his 
retreat to Corunna. It is unnecessary here to enter 
upon the able manner in which that gallant soldier 
conducted a difficult march, in the face of a very su- 
perior French force flushed with unbroken victories 
over every Spanish army. Under his guidance the 
British army reached the portof embarkation in suffi- 
cient time to have g-ot on board without trouble. But 
the transports had not arrived, and before the em- 
barkation could be safely accomplished, the French, 
on the 1 6th January 18C9, attacked the British posi- 
tion ; yet in spite of all their efforts they were de- 
feated, and the British troops remained masters of 
the field. It was when in the act of ordering up the 
Guards to support the Highlanders that Sir John 
Moore received his death-wound. He was buried in 
his uniform, upon the ramparts of Corunna. A mon- 
ument to his memory has since been raised by the 
Marquis Romana, at the village of Elvina, where he 
fell. The following inscription is placed on the mon- 
ument : — 

"A LA Gloria 

Del General Ingles Moore 

y sus valientes compatriotas, 

La Espana agradecida." * 

Glasgow has not bred many poets of the first rank, 
although she can boast of many able versifiers. She is 
therefore the more proud of Thomas Campbell, who 
was born in Glasgow on 27th July 1777, his father 
being a respectable shopkeeper. He was the tenth 
and youngest child of his parents,and was born in his 
father's sixty-seventh year — an age, it is somewhat 

* Glasgow and its Clubs^ p. 56. 

40 




THOMAS CAMPRELL 



SOME GLASGOW MEN (Sf WOMEN 

remarkable, at which he himself died. While at the 
University he commenced writing poetry, being then 
only thirteen years of age ; and having got one of his 
juvenile poems printed, in order to defray its cost he 
sold copies of it to the students at a penny each. On 
leaving the College, he soon after became a tutor in 
a private family residing in Mull, where, amid the 
magnificent scenery of that island, he planned and 
wrote a considerable portion of the Pleasures of Hope. 
Thence he removed to Edinburgh, wherehe published 
his celebrated poem in 1799, being then only twenty- 
two years of age. On the profits of this successful 
work, which went through four editions in one year, 
he travelled to Hamburg, and made a tour through 
Germany ; and when there, witnessed the battle of 
Hohenlinden, which at once raised his lyre to the well- 
known spirit-stirring picture of that deadly struggle. 
On his return from the Continent he proceeded to 
London, where he was admitted into the best literary 
society, and was introduced by Sir James M'Intosh 
to the convivial parties of the King of Clubs — a place 
dedicated to the meetings of the reigning wits of the 
metropolis. He soon,however, returned to Edinburgh, 
where he wrote several of his minor poems and bal- 
lads. In 1803 he determined to remove to London, 
as the best field of literary exertion ; and in the aut- 
umn of the same year he married his cousin, Miss 
Matilda Sinclair of Greenock, and made choice of the 
village of Sydenham as his residence, where he re- 
mained for eighteen years. Here he published, anony- 
mously, Annals of Great Britain, from the Accession 
of George in. till the Peace of Amiens. Through the 
41 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

interest of Mr. Fox, he received shortly after that 
statesman's death a pension of ^^300. After this per- 
iod, Campbell became a working drudge to the book- 
sellers ; and his opinion of bibliopoles in generaldoes 
not seem to have risen from his connection with them,. 
as it is related of him that, on being invited to a book- 
sellers' dinner soon after Pam, one of the trade, had 
been executed by order of Napoleon, and being asked 
for a toast, he with great gravity proposed to drink 
the health of Bonaparte ! The company were amaz- 
ed at such a toast, and asked for an explanation of it. 
"Gentlemen," said Campbell, " I give you Napoleon. 
He was a fine fellow — he shot a book-seller!"* 

Another distinguished soldier who hailed Glasgow 
as the place of his birth was Sir Colin Campbell, after- 
wards Lord Clyde. Among other honours shower- 
ed upon him by his fellow-citizens when he returned 
from his victorious exploits in India, he was prevail- 
ed upon to allow his features to be perpetuated in 
marble. 

Mr. G. E. Ewing was selected as the sculptor, and 
he had a reluctant sitter. When the work began at 
Lord Clyde's own residence in London, he busied 
himself with his papers, and seemed worried at what 
he had agreed to. Under the circumstances, Mr. Ew- 
ing wrought with all his might, and, after making some 
progress with the model, ventured to ask his lordship 
if he thought it like. He was too busy to look at it; 
but on the request being modestly repeated, the hero 
of Lucknow turned sharply round, exclaiming, " I 
tell you I don't care a damn whether it's like or not. 
* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 371. 

42 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

Your friends in Glasgow wished to give you a job, 
and I am made the victim." * 

Dr. John Strang has written learnedly and in most 
interesting fashion upon Glasgow and its Clubs. His 
book is full of pen-portraits of Glasgow men of by- 
gone days, and one of the most curious characters is 
thus described : — 

"Perhaps among the most remarkable oddities dai- 
ly to be met with in Stockwell Street, about the close 
of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth 
century, was the tall, thin, gaunt figure of Mr. Robert 
Dreghorn of Ruchill, better known throughoutthecity 
by the appellation of Bod Dragon. As he paced up 
Stockwell Street, in his single-breasted greycoat and 
large buttons, with stick under his arm, and whistling 
as he went. Bob was no sooner espied than he became 
* the observed of all observers,' especially of the fe- 
male drudges who might be resting near their water 
stoups, or carrying a basket in the wake of their mis- 
tresses going to market ; while his proximity to the 
objects of his inarked 2X\.Qn\\.on never failed to excite 
either a titter or a tremor. Bob was likewise the pe- 
culiar bugbearof all boysinthe street,having a strong 
propensity to lay his cane across the shoulders of any 
one who might be busy playing butts, or who might 
cross his path with a sarcastic smile. His name, too, 
was frequently made use of by mothers to frighten 
their peevish and noisy children into quietude, which 
they must have done more as deeming him the embo- 
diment of ugliness than as thinking him the represen- 
tative of any wicked peculiarity. The fact is, he was a 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 234. 
43 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

personof ratherakindly disposition, although hisout- 
wardman certainly bespoke a different nature. It was 
about the yean 806 that this daily perambulator from 
the Waterport to the Cross was missed one morning 
from thepave. The rumour soon rose that he had died 
by his own hand, and so it turned out to be." * 

An interesting anecdote of Mr. Dreghorn is as fol- 
lows : — 

One day Mr. Dreghorn had invited a party of gen- 
tlemen to dinner, and on this occasion he was anxious 
to get a turkey for his head dish — turkeys beingrather 
rare birds in Glasgow in these days. It so happened, 
however, that the Rev. Robert Lothian, teacher of ma- 
thematics, had also for the same day invited a dinner- 
party to his house ; and he came first to the poultry 
shop in Gibson's Wynd, where there was just one tur- 
key, which bird Mr. Lothian forthwith purchased. 
Mr. Lothian had scarcely taken his departure when 
Mr. Dreghorn made his appearance among the poul- 
tryshops, and was sadly disappointed at learningthat 
thesolitary turkey had just been sold to Mr. Lothian; 
and that he had lost his chance onlybya fewminutes. 
Mr. Dreghorn now finding that there was no other 
turkey at that time for sale in Glasgow, as apis a//er, 
was obliged to buy a goose, which, however, did not 
please him at all for a substitute. On leaving the 
poultry shops in Gibson's Wynd, he came into the 
Trongate by way of King Street ; and who did he see 
standing at the foot of Candleriggs, in conversation 
with Mr. David Allison, the grammar school teacher, 
but Mr. Lothian himself. Away then, and up to them, 
* Glasgow and its Clubs ^ p. 283. 

44 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

instan tly went Mr. Dreghorn,andabruptly addressing 
Mr. Lothian, said, " Mr. Lothian, you have been buy- 
inga turkey?" "Yes, Mr. Dreghorn," said Mr. Lothi- 
an. "Well, then," replied Bob, " I have been buying a 
goose : will you give me your turkey for my goose ? " 
" Ah," said Mr. Lothian, " that's a serious affair, and 
must be taken to avts-andum" (avis is the Latin for a 
bird). "No, no, Mr. Lothian," interruptingly exclaim- 
ed Mr. Allison, " I think that Mr. Dreghorn's proposal 
isworthy of apresent anszver" (anser is the'La.t'm for a 
goose). "Be it so," replied Mr. Lothian. "Then, Mr. 
Dreghorn, what willyougive me toboot,if I make the 
exchange ? " " Give you to boot ! " hastily retorted 
Bob. "I will give you nothing to boot; for my goose is 
heavier than your turkey; and you should rather give 
me something to boot." " Ah, ah," said Mr. Lothian, 
" but even supposing that to be thecase, Mr. Dreghorn, 
your answer (anser) is not of sufficient weight to in- 
duce me to make the exchange." Upon which refus- 
al, Bob, with his usual whistle, turned about upon his 
heel and unceremoniously marched off without under- 
standing a word of the scholastic gentlemen's learned 
puns.* 

Anotherprominent Club man in Glasgow in the pe- 
riod of which Dr. Strang writes was Mr. John Taylor 
of the Accidental Club. This gentleman was very 
tall; and, in common West-country parlance, " came 
out of the Water of Endrick." It is said that he used 
to amuse himself by writing amatory ditties for some 
of his pupils, addressed to their mistresses, and never 
failed to mingle with them a little touch of the sarcas- 

* Glasgow Pdst and Present^ vol. ii. p. 338. 
45 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

tic, in which vein he was rather an adept. Old littera- 
teurs used to talk of the famous poetical contest be- 
twixt him and the Rev. Dr. Gillies of the College 
Church, a man much esteemed in his day and gener- 
ation. The subject chosen was a poem addressed to 
"Nonsense," in which the indispensable condition 
was, that no line should contain an intelligible idea. 
A leaden crown was the prize proposed to the victor, 
and to be decided by Dr. Robert Hamilton, Professor 
of Anatomy. On giving judgment on the efforts of 
the two who had striven for the prize, the learned Pro- 
fessor said that " It would have been difficult for him 
to determine the case, were it a mere question of abil- 
ity; but on comparing the poems, it seemed to him 
that there was something like an idea in one of Dr. 
Gillies's lines, but that Mr.Taylor's verses were totally 
free of any such imputation." Mr. Taylor of course 
gained the crown.* 

As a fair specimen of the unambitious humour of 
Mr.Taylor,and the pleasantry of the x^ccidental Club, 
there is here subjoined the following poetical bill, 
which was given to the landlord one evening by three 
of its members, when he by some accident was unable 
to change them a pound-note. There is added also 
the discharge demanded in consequence of the liqui- 
dation of the debt : — 

" Severally, or else conjunct, 

You, or your heirs if you're defunct, 

Precisely after date a day, 

To me or to my order pay — 

Sixteenpence sterling, which must be 

Sustain'd as value got from me ; 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 223. 

46 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

To Messrs. Kirkpatrick, Taylor, and Scott, 
Contracted for want of the change of a note. 

All mankind by these presents know, 

That in my house five days ago, 

When James Kirkpatrick and James Scott, 

And lang John Taylor, drank a pot 

Of porter and a triple gill. 

For which they gave a conjunct bill ; 

Which bill I've lost — and therefore they 

The sixteenpence refuse to pay, 

Unless they get a full discharge, 

Which here to them, I give at large ; — 

Again, I say, know every man. 

From John o' Groat's house to Japan, 

That the said bill is paid to me ; 

And, therefore, I discharge and free 

Them and their heirs for evermore, 

Of that and each preceding score. 

Moreover to prevent deceit, 

I here subscribe my name — 

John Tait."* 

The following extract from Glasgow audits Clubs 
gives a good impression of the Club habits of the 
eighteenth century : — 

" As a sample of the worthies who composed the 
brotherhood meeting under the title of the Morning 
AND Evening Club, and who for many long years 
darkened with their forms one of the eastern closes 
of the High Street, we may mention Mr. Archibald 
Govane, writer, whose original character and conviv- 
ial habits were ever sure to attract around him a knot 
of congenial spirits ; and whose love for his Club was 
such that he rarely was known to be absent from a 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 225. 
47 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

sitting. It was here, especially, that this celebrated 
clubbist, who may be said to have been an excellent 
representative of the drinking character of the age, 
most unreservedly indulged in his peculiar and fav- 
ourite species of tipple, but in which, considering the 
cost of the material whereof it was manufactured, and 
the quantity which he generally contrived to swallow, 
he had few followers among the brotherhood. The 
beverage was no \qss, for a beginnmg; than a bottle of 
good port-wine mulled, flavoured with large slices of 
lemon, and poured into a quart mug. This rather odd 
Club drink was nicknamed ' Ma Aog-anj',' and ere long, 
the sobriquet was conferred on himself. With his 
legs below the tavern mahogany, and with his own 
tankard of ma/iog'anj'hefore. him, thisworthy worship- 
per of wine and waggery gossiped on till near mid- 
night, and not unfrequently did not quit his chair till 
he had impounded the mystical number of //z;r^ bot- 
tles in his stomach. At this period of Glasgow's his- 
tory, tippling at all times of the day and drinking in 
the afternoons to excess were practised both by 'gen- 
tle and semple.' Among the shopkeepers and manu- 
facturers a meridian glass was an almost universal 
habit, while forenoon gilling prevailed through the 
whole range of the different craftsmen. To transact 
businessof any kind without the bargain being sealed 
with the stamp of the stoup, would have been looked 
upon as shabby, as it would have been unsafe ; and so 
far was the practice carried, that even the most sacred 
matters were settled in a manner befitting 'thirsty 
souls' — that is to say, the clergj' and their flocks were 
in the habit of discussing the weighty matters of the 

48 




SIR COLIN CAMPI'.ELL 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

Church over a tankardof twopenny or a glass of Glen- 
Hvet ! About this period, too, when a dinner-party- 
was given — which was, however, a rare occurrence 
compared with the practice of the present day — the 
guests, after the somewhat heavy repast, invariably 
set in for serious drinking. The host immediately 
began to ply his bottles and his bowl ; and, in order to 
prevent anyone skulking away before he had drunk 
more than he could well carry, the dining-room door 
was locked, and the key snugly consigned tothe host's 
pocket. A host, in fact, was looked upon as miserable 
and mean who did not testify his kindness bysending 
his guests reeling home, without any recollection of 
whathad occurred during the closing part of the even- 
ing. Mention may here be made of one of the irregu- 
lar members of the brotherhood, Mr. Matthew Gil- 
mour, writer, who, to a strong love of the ludicrous 
united a propensity to play tricks on his neighbours. 
On his way one morning to the Club, when few were 
on the street, he discovered a ladder and ascended the 
statue of King William, at the Cross, where he seated 
himself on the horse, immediately behind the hero of 
the Boyne. The singular position of the member, 
however, soon attracted the attentionof acuriouspas- 
senger, who at once cried out, ' What are you doing 
there?' 'Oh!' exclaimed Mr. Gilmour, 'I am look- 
ing at the most wonderful sight, such as I never saw in 
all my life before, and if you will only come up you 
may see it too ! ' The stranger, without thought, took 
advantage of the ladder, and mounted to the top of 
the pedestal. 'Stop there till I come down, and you 
will get up'; and so saying the member slipped down, 
49 D 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

and the stranger ascended to the vacated seat. Mr. 
Gilmour then counselled him to look steadfastly down 
the Gallowgate, and while he was thus employed, the 
ladder was removed and Mr. Gilmour with it, leaving 
the poor man on an elevation from which there was 
no practicable and safe descent 1 "* 

The following interesting story is told of a minister 
whom one may almost suspect of trying to serve both 
God and Mammon. He suffered accordingly. 

The Rev. Dr. John Hamilton and one of his parish- 
ioners,having both something important to talk over 
in the forenoon, retired as customary at that period 
to a public-house, and called for a gill of spirits and a 
piece of oatcake. Both were brought in and laid on 
the table; but before attempting to partake of either, 
Dr. Hamilton askedablessing, which, closinghiseyes, 
he lengthened out with such a copious infusion of 
Presbyterian doctrine that long before its conclusion 
his friend became tired, and, sip by sip, drank off the 
spiritsplacedbeforehim. Onarrivingat"Amen,"the 
minister stretched out his hand to take hold of the 
gill-stoup,but,lo! on raising the lid he found the vessel 
empty. " Ring the bell ! " cried he, evidently annoyed 
either at the supposed neglect or indignity offered to 
them, adding, " This is really too bad." " Hooly, 
hooly ! " said the parishioner, " it is all right enough. 
I am to blame for that. If you had been less lengthy 
in your prayer it would not have happened. But let 
me give you a hint for the future that the Scriptures 
tell us 'to watch as well as to pray !"'f 

* Glasgow audits Clubs ^ p. 122. 
\ Ibid. p. 123. 

SO 



SOME GLASGOW MEN .Sff WOMEN 

Lieutenant-Colonel James Wolfe, afterwards so cele- 
brated as the conqueror of Quebec, arrived in Glas- 
gow in thespringof I749,and among other introduc- 
tions brought one to Mr. William Orr. There were no 
barracks in Glasgow in these days; the officers and 
soldiers were quartered on the inhabitants. Colonel 
Wolfe fell to the lot of Mr, Orr, who assigned to him 
as a residence the mansion in Camlachie built by Mr. 
Walkinshaw twenty-nine years previously. 

In 1783, the country having become tired of the 
American War of Independence, and the House of 
Commons havingexpressed a strong opinion against 
its continuance, Government employed Mr. Richard 
Oswald, jun., privately to negotiate for a peace, for it 
was not the wish of the Ministry to appear on the 
stage at the outset of these negotiations. The pre- 
liminaries of the peace of 1783, therefore, came to 
be arranged principally through the agency of Mr. 
Richard Oswald, jun. About the time when these 
matters were going on, a great disaster had taken 
place in Scotch mercantile affairs by the bankrupt- 
cy of the Ayr Bank, in which a large number of land- 
ed proprietors in Ayrshire held shares. The result 
of this failure brought a great many estates in that 
county into the market, and Mr. Oswald, taking ad- 
vantage of the opportunity, made large purchases of 
lands in various parts of Ayrshire, amongst which was 
the estate of Auchincruive, It was reported that he 
had laid out half a million sterling in land before his 
death, which brought him in a rental of ^20,000 per 
annum.* 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. iii, p. 29. 
51 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

A very prominent Glasgow citizen, Mr. Kirkman 
Finlay.was born in Glasgow about the year 1772, and 
for half a century was known throughout the com- 
mercial world as one of the most enterprising and ac- 
tive of British merchants. Endowed with peculiar 
activity and a well-cultivated and well-balanced mind, 
he,on the breaking upof the old tobacco trade, at once 
extended the name and commerce of Glasgow to the 
farthest corners of the civilised globe. No individual 
certainly did more to destroy the monopoly of the 
East India Company; and no sooner was the trade 
with the East opened up to free competition than he 
dispatched a vessel of 600 tons to Calcutta, being the 
first ship ever sent direct from Scotland to India. Mr. 
Finlay's opinions on matters of trade were entitled to 
thehighestconsideration.and were frequently quoted 
by his friend Mr. Huskisson in the House of Com- 
mons. In 181 2 he was elected Lord Provost of the 
City, and in a few days thereafter was chosen Member 
of Parliament for the Clyde district of burghs. His 
return was a verypopular one, and,amid many enthu- 
siastic rejoicings at his success, he was drawn by his 
fellow-citizens in an open carriage from the Town 
Hall to his house in Queen Street. In a subsequent 
Parliament he sat for the burgh of Malmesbury, and 
in iSiphe was elected Lord Rector of Glasgow Uni- 
versity. With almost every one of the charitable and 
public institutions of Glasgow Mr. Finlay was con- 
nected, and it may be truly affirmed that for a long 
series of years he lent his helping hand actively and 
personally to every well-digested scheme for the im- 
provement of the City. After thus pursuing a most 

52 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

energetici and useful life, he died on the 6th March 
1842, at Castle Toward, which he had built on the 
estate purchased with the fruits of his industry.* 

The following note regarding Mr. Finlay is taken 
from a recent number of the Glasgow Herald. " The 
zealousness with which Kirkman Finlay looked after 
the interests of the city he represented in Parliament 
is exemplified in a passage in Professor Smart's £"rt?- 
nomic Annals. Among the petitions to Government 
regarding the much-debated Property Tax was one 
in which the merchants and manufacturers of the City 
of Glasgow rather honourably distinguished them- 
selves by saying that they ' had no objection to the 
continuance of the tax in order to wind up the war ex- 
penditure, and that if so large a sum as six millions 
needed to be raised, the Property Tax was the least 
objectionable mode.' The retort was made that Scot- 
land, owing to the laxity of collection, did not pay her 
full share of the tax; to which Mr, Finlay replied 'that 
the proportion of the tax paid by persons engaged in 
trade and manufactures, etc., in Glasgow amounted 
to double the sum from the same class in Manchester, 
although the trade of Manchester was double that of 
Glasgow.' It would have been well had the interests 
of Scotland been always as ably championed in Par- 
liament as they were by Kirkman Finlay." 

Glasgowhumourisat times a trifle heavy and want- 
ing in refinement. This is illustrated in a story told of 
amerchantof the nameof James Wardrop,commonly 
called "Jemmy Wardrop." He was a man of wit, en- 
gaging manners, a jovial companion, and possessed 

* Glasgow and lis Clubs, p. 142. 
53 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

of much humour ; with these qualities it is unneces- 
sary to say that he was often invited to the tables of 
the first families in Glasgow; and he, of course, had to 
make returns. On one of these occasions, when he 
was giving a dinner, he took a whim that every one of 
hiscompanyshould be hunchbacked ; and according- 
ly, without any distinction of rank, he invited every 
hunchback in Glasgow that he could find out. The 
first and most important was Walter Stirling, Esq., 
the founder of Stirling's Library, whose dwelling- 
house was in Miller Street, and who associated princi- 
pally with the more aristocratic merchants. At this 
dinner there were seven or eight guests present — Mr. 
Stirling was the last to arrive. Immediately upon his 
coming into the drawing-room, and looking around 
him, he saw at once the object which Mr. VVardrop 
had in view in inviting him, and he turned sharply 
round to Mr. Wardrop, and thus addressed him : 
"Sir, happily for yourself, you are exempted from the 
misfortune which has overtaken your guests, and fou 
may think that this is a proper occasion to pass your 
jokes upon them, and to hold up their infirmities to 
ridicule ; but, sir, I consider your conduct as a gross 
insult, and that I would demean myself to sit down at 
the table of a man so destitute of proper feelings and 
of common good manners." So saying, Mr. Stirling 
directly left the room and walked away. Mr. Ward- 
rop saw the impropriety of what he had done, and 
made every sort of apology to his remaining guests, 
declaring that he never meant to insult them, or to 
treat their misfortunes with ridicule. Being a man of 
very insinuating manners, he contrived to detain his 

54 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

other guests to dinner, and having exerted himself to 
entertain them, they all left his table at a late hour, 
and in good humour. But the public of Glasgow took 
up Mr. Stirling's view of the matter, and blamed Mr. 
VVardrop most severely for his unfeeling conduct, so 
that he never again recovered his popularity in the 
City. Some years afterwards Mr. Wardrop took a 
religious turn of mind, and endeavoured to form a 
congregation of his own by hiring a room at the head 
of New Wynd and becoming a preacher ; but his 
doctrines were so ouire that nobody could understand 
them, and after people's first curiosity was satisfied 
by going to hear "Jemmy Wardrop preach," his con- 
gregation dwindled away, and at last he died, almost 
forgotten by the public of Glasgow.* 

Glasgow beinglongago the centreof so many Clubs, 
was naturally interested in the subject of punch and 
its ingredients. There was, in fact, an old custom in 
Glasgow of punch-drinkers contracting by the year 
for a supply of lemons ; and it will be seen from the 
following advertisement that in the year 1756 (al- 
though the City was then but a small place) upwards 
of a hundred families in it had contracted by the year 
with a single fruiterer to be regularly furnished with 
lemons — that indispensable requisite of genuine 
Glasgow rum-punch: — 

"/usi imported from Lisbon, by George Wardrop, 
and to be sold at his shop a little above Bell's Wynd, 
likewise at his warehouse at the head of the Sal tmarcat, 
Glasgow, 2i parcel of fine juicy lemons, sweet and bit- 
ter oranges, wines and fruits of all different kinds. Any 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. i. p. 297. 
55 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

person thatpleases to make a bargain through theyear 
shall have good, sound fruit, both lemons and oranges, 
sweet and bitter, at I2d. per dozen — only they must 
take a book for fear of being imposed upon, and there 
to have is a pound discompt on all goods you buy, if 
cleared once a month. It is hoped this method will 
prevent the gentlemen's drinking punch with cremi- 
tartar in placeoflemons,which several hasowned their 
being the worse of it. As there were several persons 
had agreed to pay i8d. for the dozen, before we got 
thisnewfruit in,they are to be served at 1 2d. per dozen, 
till this time twelvemonth : and having now agreed 
with upwards of lOO persons for our lemons and or- 
anges, and if we should happen to be out, as I hope 
will not be the case, they shall have French lemon j uice, 
at 2s. per Scots pint " {Glasgow Journal, 1 2th January 
1756). 

These old drinking habits had sometimes humor- 
ous consequences. 

A party of Glasgow gentlemen once dined with a 
person who had a bleaching-green a few miles from 
the City. The night was wet both within and without 
doors; and abouttwoin the morning, when aproposal 
was made to break up, the host got a large covered 
cart, usually employed in carrying cloth to and from 
Glasgow, into which the guests gladly consented to go, 
for want of anything better, in order to be conveyed 
to their quarters. On driving up to the Cross with 
this strange load,the servant, a very whimsical fellow, 
stopped, and coming round to the door which was be- 
hind, inquired to what point he was now to proceed. 
The few who could speak bawled out their respective 

56 




KIRKMAN FIN LAY 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

lodgings, somein one part of the City, some in another, 
while others could only utter such sounds as showed 
how unable they were to take care of themselves. 
Quite perplexed by the contradictory orders he re- 
ceived, and altogether hopeless of being able to see the 
whole safely housedjthe man, to use a popular saying, 
resolved to let the tow go with the bucket, and going 
to theotherendofthecart.deliberatelyupsetthe whole 
partyintothe street, as if they had been nothingbetter 
than aparcelofold sacks, remarking," My braw sparks, 
gin your tongues hing sae loosely in your heads, as 
no' to be able to say whaur yourhames are — though 
it'smaybe mairfrae punch than pride — ^justtryif your 
feet will find them," 

Coming down to more modern times, Dr. Hedder- 
wick, in Backtvai'd Glances* gives some interesting 
glimpses of social life in Glasgow in the middle of the 
nineteenth century. He writes as follows : — 

" Many Glasgow people will remember the firm of 
Robertson 8: Atkinson, booksellers, opposite the Tron 
Steeple, Atkinson was a local luminary in his day. 
His ambition and belief in himself was unbounded. 
I happened to meet him in 1827, when the news had 
just come to town of the decease of George Canning, 
who had succeeded Lord Liverpool as Prime Minister, 
and he declared that for the fame of that great states- 
manhe would willinglyhavediedhisdeath, Hewrote 
much, had a considerable gift of speech, and tried un- 
successfully to enter Parliament as the representa- 
tive of the Stirling burghs in opposition to Lord Dal- 
meny. His life altogether was an aspiration and a 

* P. 26. 
57 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

defeat. Leaving his native city for Barbadoes in a des- 
perate search for health, he died on the voyage out at 
the early age of thirty- two. Thus was the keen aspir- 
ant for position and fame 

' cut off from glory's course, 
Which never mortal was so fond to run.' 

But his partner David Robertson, from whom he had 
previously separated, aimed at no such lofty career. 
The latter was content to pursue the even tenor of his 
way, and as the projector and publisher of Whistle 
Binkie,' ' Songs of the Nursery,' and the •' Laird of 
Logan ' his shop near the foot of Glassford Street be- 
came a noted ' Howf ' for poets, editors, clergymen, 
and literati generally. He had a private apartment 
or snuggery furnished with newspapers and periodi- 
cals, where under fitting circumstances he could turn 
out a comfortable glass of port ; and the kind of per- 
sons that gathered round him, almost daily, gave the 
assurance of much interesting and vivacious chat. 

" There might be seen William Motherwell, whose 
ballad of ' Jeanie Morison ' makes 

' The heart grow grit 
\Vi' dreamings o' langsyne ' ; 

but being in advance of me in years, my acquaintance 
with him was necessarily slight. His great friend Wil- 
liam Kennedy, author oi Fitful Faticies, I knew better. 
Thisgentleman, reddish-haired and bald, with afinely 
shaped head, had suffered it was alleged from partial 
sun-stroke, incurred in Texas, where he had held a 
British consulship. It was on his return home that 
I acquired his friendship, and it was then he wrote 
the admired monody on Motherwell, the concluding 

58 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

stanza of which is inscribed on his monument in the 
Necropolis : 

' Not as a record he lacketh a stone ! 
'Tis a light debt to the singer we've known ; 
Proof that our love for his name hath not flown ; 

With the fame perishing — 

That we are cherishing 
Feelings akin to the lost poet's own.' 

"Another of the coterie whom I recall was Alex- 
ander Rodger, whose pronounced Radicalism had at 
one time brought him into trouble, but whose racy- 
song of ' Behave yoursel' before Folk ' had attracted 
notice in the * Noctes Ambrosianse ' of Blackwood, and 
who had the further distinction of being entertained 
in 1836 at a public dinner in the Trades Hall, with 
no less a personage than Professor Wilson of Edin- 
burgh in the chair. 

"This was thofirsttime I had met the Professor, who 
showed, I thought,admirabletact in praising the guest 
oftheeveningwith apparent effusion, yet with a certain 
parenthetic reserve which left no sentence or passage 
which could afterwards be quoted as extravagant. 

*' Most of the other noted Whistle -binkians were 
regular frequenters of Mr. Robertson's lounge — J. D. 
Carrick, author of A Life of Wallace ; Edward Pink- 
erton, poet and Greek scholar ; William Miller, whose 
*Wee Willie Winkie' won for him a name as 'laureate 
of the nursery,' and other well-known Glaswegians. 
These were occasionally supplemented by visitors 
from Edinburgh, including Robert Gilfillan, author 
of 'Why left I my Hame?' James Ballantine, of 
Gaberlunzie Walle I cQlobrity ; and Captain Charles 
59 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Gray,whosesong, 'When Autumn has laid her Sickle 
by,' I have more than once heard him sing with viva- 
city and vigour. The captain was a retired officer of 
the Royal Marines, and an enthusiast in the lyrical 
lore of Scotland. 

" Often too, among the group might be noted the 
prominent and inquiring eyes of Dr. Strang, author 
of Glasgow a7idits Clubs; and the keen sparkling fea- 
tures of Thomas Davidson, whose letters to the press, 
underthe signature of Lucius Verus,' had made some 
noise. Then there were certain humorists, who rais- 
ed from time to time the loud ' guffaw,' chief among 
whom were Dr. Graeme, a loyal Scotchman who made 
and sang the most comical of Irish ditties ; and An- 
drew Henderson, the compiler of the Scottish Pro- 
verbs, a large, soft, fair-haired, unbearded man, with 
a high falsetto voice, and with an overflowing fund of 
caustic banter which enlivened many a memorable 
symposium. David Robertson himself, with his pro- 
found love of Scottish song, and his immense appre- 
ciation of all kinds of wit and drollery, was the centre 
figure around which the host of worthies were wont to 
cluster. He could warble forth a plaintive Lowland 
ballad with a great deal of expression and tenderness, 
or give out with characteristic accent an amusing 
rhyme of Gaelic blundering and oddity of speech. 
His ' Bonny Mary Hay ' was, for example, always 
popular; while his 'Twal' o' August,' with its divert- 
ing narrative of unsuccessful sport, was a still greater 
favourite. But while his own agreeable personality 
was an unfailing bond of union, his manner was sing- 
ularly modest and retiring, and it was wuth no little 

60 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

surprise that I learned on one occasion of his having 
consented to take the chair at the annual dinner of 
the Perthshire Benevolent Society. 

" He would fain have shirked this obligation, for un- 
like his late partner, he was diffident of his capacity 
for speech-making. Nevertheless, he braced himself 
manfully to the task ; and when the eventful evening 
came, he appeared fully armed with all his little ora- 
tions carefully written out and enclosed in a small 
black-leather case, such as is used by clergymen for 
their sermons. These he read with difficulty. Was 
his writing not quite legible, even to himself? Or 
was his double eyeglass at fault ? Every time he 
rose he seemed embarrassed and uncomfortable. 
This, however,was only when grappling with his for- 
mal toasts. The moment he had struggled through 
these, and his manuscript had disappeared in his 
pocket, it was obvious to all present that a weight had 
been lifted from his mind. He became all at once easy, 
self-possessed, and jocular. 

" Later on it fell to the lot of Mr. William Campbell 
of Tullichewan to propose Mr. Robertson's health. 
This he did in a few cordial and laudatory remarks ; 
but when he cameto descant on the excellent manner 
in which he had discharged the duties of the chair, he 
paused, looked him straight in the face, and after a 
suitable compliment, wound up by observing confi- 
dentially, and in a tone of homely vernacular, ' But 
O Dauvit, nae mair o' that Black Book!' This sally 
set the table in a roar." 

Dr. Hedderwick further writes : * " The comple- 

* Backward Glances, ] . Hedderwick, LL.D., p. 126. 
61 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

tion of the railway between Glasgow and Edinburgh 
was a great event for me. It diminished the distance 
between thetwocities by considerably more than one 
half, and to that extent I was brought nearer my Glas- 
gow home. 

" I was present with the directors at their inaugural 
tripon the line.and at the greatdinnerinthe Glasgow 
Station fitted up as a banqueting-hall, and presided 
overbyMr.JohnLeadbetter,the first chairmanof the 
company. Those werethe days of the horrible 'stand- 
ups'; and I recollect a friend who had been in one of 
those unseated tubs, on the occasion to which I refer, 
alightingatan earlystation,and soliciting, with 'most 
petitionary vehemence,' to be admitted to an inside 
seat. It was a cold season of the year, and the argu- 
ment of necessity in support of his appeal was visible 
on his face, which was pinched and blue, while the tre- 
molo in his voice made me feelingly participate in his 
shiver. 

" The' stand-ups,' however, gave rise to jocularity as 
well as to terror and objurgation. I think it was Dr. 
John Ritchie,of'Voluntary' fame, who, on beingasked 
how he had travelled from Glasgow, replied,' I came 
in the congregation of the upright ! ' 

" Towards the close of 1 843 an artistic dinner took 
place in the Assembly Rooms, Glasgow. 

"Amongthetoastsin the programme was the 'Me- 
mory of Sir David Wilkie," given by a venerable bar- 
onet long since gone to his rest. He was not the first 
after-dinner speaker whom I have seen err on the 
score of too great length. Sir David, whosegeniushad 
attracted him to Abbotsford, where he painted Scott 

62 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

and his family, and for whose ' Chelsea Pensioners ' 
the Duke of Wellington had paid him twelve hun- 
dred guineas, was a good subject for any reasonable 
rhetorician. As a delineator of life and character 
in such pictures as ' Rent Day,' the ' Card Players,' 
'Blind Man's Buff,' the 'Penny Wedding,' and others 
of that class, he might be likened to Scott himself. 
Then the ambition which took him to the East, his 
death on the voyage home, and his burial in the wa- 
ters of the Mediterranean, so splendidly commemor- 
ated by Turner, might all have been touched upon in 
sympathetic and eloquent terms. 

" I make no question of the speaker's fitness as re- 
gards a knowledge of the subject for the task he had 
undertaken. But he was undoubtedly too forgetful 
that there were many others to follow, and after a time 
the application of the c/otu7'e through the jingling of 
glasses became painful. To so small a matter I would 
not have alluded but for an anecdote which followed, 
and which I suppose had veritable foundation. The 
self-satisfied old gentleman sat down, it was alleged, 
remarking to those near him, ' I had no idea that Sir 
David Wilkie was so unpopular.'" 

If space permitted, many more interesting things 
might be set down about Glasgow men; but, the limits 
of this book being fixed, one must now leave the men 
and devote a little space to the ladies. While Glas- 
gow has in its day and generation brought forth many 
daughters possessed of all family and domestic vir- 
tues, romance, it must regretfully be admitted, seems 
to find St. Mungo's City a somewhat cold and uncon- 
genial dwelling-place. Nevertheless, there have no 
63 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

doubt been many women in the city who have sacri- 
ficed all for love ; and perhaps the most conspicuous 
was Miss Clementina Walkinshaw, who succumbed 
to the fascinations of Bonnie Prince Charlie. That 
unhappy young man received such a cold welcome 
from Glasgow in its civic capacity that he must have 
rejoiced to find at least one inhabitant of the then 
dour, drab town who regarded him with feelings of 
warmth. 

Clementina Walkinshaw was the third daughter 
of John Walkinshaw of Barrowfield. Her beauty at- 
tracted the notice of the Prince. Whether the liaison 
which at a later period existed between Charles arid 
Miss Walkinshaw commenced in Scotland is not per- 
fectly known, but it is certain that from 175 1 she lived 
with him, sometimes in Switzerland and sometimes 
in Flanders, as his mistress. Byher he had a daughter, 
legitimatised in 1787, whom he created Duchess of 
Albany. She died the following year. 

General Wolfe has recorded his opinion of Glas- 
gow people in general, and of Glasgow ladies. Here 
it is: — 

He says in one letter: "The men here are civil, de- 
signing, and treacherous, with their immediate inter- 
ests always in view. They pursue tradewith warmth, 
and a necessary mercantile spirit, arising from the 
baseness of their other qualifications." But hear what 
he says about the ladies: "The women are coarse, 
cold, and cunning; for ever inquiring after men's cir- 
cumstances ; they make that the standard of their 
good-breeding. You may imagine it would not be dif- 
ficult for me to be pretty well received here, if I took 

64 



^•^.•i^&^: 




CLEMENTINA WALKINSHAW 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

pains,having some of the advantages necessary to re- 
commend me to their favour ; but " 

After this Glasgow people maybe inclined to read- 
just their ideas as to General Wolfe, He may be for- 
given for his criticism of the men — it was probably 
true. But as to the ladies — well, the least that can be 
said is that the General had no small notion of his 
own fascinations. 

In these modern days of hobble skirts, trouserines, 
pannier skirts, and other baffling evidences of female 
capriciousness, the following story should be read with 
interest. It is given in Glasgow Past and Present'.* — 

" I remember Colonel John Campbell very well be- 
fore his marriage. He was a remarkably good-looking 
person, upwards of six feet high, and possessed a fine 
figure, with the commanding military carriage of a 
soldier. At the time of his marriage, he was only cap- 
tain in the army ; but was well known in London, in the 
circle of its bucks, by the name of ' Handsome Jack of 
the Guards.' Intheyear 1796 he married the celebrat- 
ed Lady Charlotte Campbell, daughter of John Duke 
of Argyll, and uterine sister of Douglas, Duke of Ham- 
ilton. Their eldest son, Walter of Shawfield (late of 
Islay), was born in the year 1800, and succeeded his 
grandfather in 18 16. 

"A ludicrous scene was witnessed upon our streets 
shortly after Lady Charlotte Campbell had married 
' Handsome Jackof the Guards.' Her ladyship at this 
time was about twenty-one years of age, in the full 
bloom of youth and beauty, and replete with life and 
sprightliness. She was said to possess the handsomest 

* Vol. ii. p. 247. 
65 E 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

legs of any lady at Court, and she was not sparing of 
exhibitingthem,boththereandelsewhere,tothegreat- 
est advantage. It was reported that Queen Charlotte 
desired one of her ladies-in-waiting totell Lady Char- 
lotte Campbell to take a tuck out of her petticoat the 
next time she appeared at Court. 

" One day I was passing the footof theCandleriggs, 
when my attention was arrested by seeing crowds of 
people surrounding two ladies, and a young gentle- 
man apparently about seventeen years of age, who 
were walking eastwards towards the Cross along the 
Trongate, 

"Like others, I ran forward to see what was going 
on, and then I beheld Lady Charlotte, dressed in the 
height of the then Parisian fashion, with petticoats al- 
most as short as a Highlandman's philabeg, which 
dress exhibited the pretty little ankle and the beauti- 
ful contour of the calf of the leg to admiration. In an 
instant the word passed from mouth to mouth of the 
crowd.'It's Lady Charlotte Campbell! It's Lady Char- 
lotte Campbell ! ' and then might have been seen a 
scampering of all classes from the four streets of the 
Trongate, King Street, Candleriggs, and Gallowgate, 
to get a sight of the celebrated beauty. The crowd now 
became so dense that her ladyship and party could no 
longer proceed along the Trongate, every one of the 
mob eagerly pressing in upon them to have a sight of 
Lady Charlotte.who then became greatly alarmed lest 
she should be attacked by the mob, which was con- 
stantly increasing in numbers. Her ladyship and 
party having in vain attempted to proceed along the 
Trongate, at last, in a state of great alarm and terror, 

66 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

rushed into a shop nearly opposite the Tron Church, 
andbeggedthe shopman instantly toshut his doortill 
the mob dispersed, which he not only did, but also put 
up the shutters of his shop window. The mob,however, 
so far from dispersing, became greater and greater, for 
the word had passed on all sides amongst the crowd 
that Lady Charlotte Campbell, dressed nearly half- 
naked, had taken refuge in the shop, and so everyone 
remained on the spot, expecting to get a peep of the 
half-naked beauty on her exit from the said shop. The 
shopman now became alarmed for the safety of his 
goods, as well as for the safety of his guests, and there- 
fore jumping out by the window of his back shop, 
he ran at full speed to the guard-house (then situ- 
ated in the Candleriggs, opposite to Campbell & Com- 
pany's warehouse), and procured the attendance of a 
sergeant and a party of soldiers, who took their station 
at the shop door, which was still kept closely shut. In 
the meantime, Lady Charlotte being at her wits' end 
how she was to escape the attack of the rabble, who 
were not disposed to disperse, resolved to follow the 
example of theshopman, and accordingly jumpedout 
ofthe back-window ofthe shop, which brought her into 
a throughgoingcloseleadinginto the Candleriggs, and 
(without the crowd having observed her escape) she 
entered an adjoining house, where, upon explaining 
her situation, a carriage was sent for which safely con- 
veyed her ladyship to the Black Bull Inn. As soon as 
the shopman had seen Lady Charlotte fairly out of 
danger,he communicated the fact to the military who 
wereguardingthe shop door,and then, under the pro- 
tection ofthe soldierSjhe threw open his door to allow 
67 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

the remaining lady and gentleman to pass on their 
way. The crowd were sadly disappointed at seeing 
only the lady and young gentleman coming forth, as 
the lady was dressed in the usual fashion of the day 
like others, and not at all remarkable. I must, how- 
ever, say that the mob behaved to them with great 
politeness, for the instant that they made their appear- 
ance from the shop the crowd voluntarily separated, 
and left a clear lane upon the pavement so as to allow 
the lady and young gentleman to walk westward with- 
out molestation, the mob neither hooting, hissing, nor 
behaving in any respect rudely to them, so that the 
military had no occasion to escort or protect them ; in 
fact, the mob was not a riotous assembly,but merely a 
gathering of people from curiosity to behold so cele- 
brated a personage as Lady Charlotte Campbell ap- 
pearinguponour streets in what they thought a stage 
dress, fit only for an opera girl." 

The umbrella made but slow headway in Glasgow, 
as is evidenced by the following incident narrated by 
" Senex": " Abouttheyear 1799 I recoUectof getting 
a jaunt to Bridgeton along by the Serpentine Walk in 
the Green. It was then very beautiful, there being a 
high hedge luxuriantly covered with blossoms run- 
ning across the Green at King's Park, and the Serpen- 
tine Walk was cool and delightful. Umbrellas could 
not have been very com mon at this time, as I remember 
a lady walking through Bridgeton that day with an 
umbrella up, and a crowd of urchins after her, bawling 
out, 'Gentle Jean, haud up your coats and let the rain 
rm by ye. 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. i. p. 561. 

68 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

The worthy Dr. Strang appears to have been suscep- 
tible to feminine charms, and one is indebted to him 
for a brief glimpse of the beauties of Glasgow in the 
early part of the nineteenth century. He writes as 
follows : — 

"Among the hundred annual lists of toasts regu- 
larly entered in the Minute Book of the Hodge Podge 
Club, that of 1 809 contains a perfect galaxy of beauty, 
all of whom we remember to have seen in our boy- 
hood. It was of one of those lovely young ladies belong- 
ing to that period the folio wing anecdote was told : Be- 
ingone day talking with a stranger gentleman from a 
distance about Glasgow and its gaieties, the conver- 
sation turned upon balls, and those who attended 
them ; when the stranger laughingly asked this fair 
toast of the Hodge Podge, * Have you many beauties 
in Glasgow ? ' On which the young belle naively re- 
plied, 'There are five of us ! ' " * 

Such accounts of the loveliness of the ladies of a 
century ago are very moving. But here is another 
witness," Nestor," who speaks glowingly of the ladies 
of a slightly later period. He says : "About the year 
1 820 Glasgow boasted of a galaxy of female beauties. 
One lady, not merely for her beauty, but for her dim- 
inutive stature, was known as the ' Pocket Venus.' 
Three sisters were termed the ' Three Graces.' One 
Miss enthralled the heir-apparent of a dukedom, who 
purchased his freedom by a handsome sum of money. 
Another lady, a native of the Highlands, when she 
visited her friends in Glasgow, and went shopping in 
Trongate, required the guardianship of the police to 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 62. 
69 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

save her from the vulgar stare of the populace in wend- 
ing her way homewards to Queen Street." * 

These tales of feminine fascination are corroborated 
in a measure by the following romantic tale, culled 
from Glasgow Past and Present : f — 

" To the best of my recollection, the last Duchess of 
Douglas belonged to the Mains branch of the Camp- 
bells of Blythswood. She was a Miss Douglas of Mains, 
and lived in the family mansion in the Bridgegate. 
The following story is told of the manner of her first 
introduction to the Duke of Douglas: A Glasgow 
party had been made up to take an excursion to see 
Bothwell Castle and its pleasure grounds, and among 
this party was Miss Douglas of Mains, a very lively, 
rattling girl. The Duke of Douglas was a man of very 
retired habits ,and saw little company, living generally 
at Bothwell Castle. Upon the Glasgow party reaching 
the Castle and finding that the Duke was there, they 
sent a message requesting liberty to take a view of the 
Castle and pleasure grounds, which was readily grant- 
ed. Onthisoccasion Miss Douglas rattled away with 
his Grace, and chatted with him in so easy and lively 
a manner that the Duke was quite taken with her. The 
Glasgow party, after having viewed the house and 
pleasure grounds, were about to depart, when Miss 
Douglas said to the Duke, ' Please, your Grace, every- 
thing here is most beautiful, and very fine indeed, but 
I think this place might be wonderfully improved.' 
' How so ? ' said the Duke quickly. ' Why,' answered 
Miss Douglas,' just by your Grace taking a wife.' Of 

* Ratnbling Recollections of Old Glasgow, " Nestor," p. 131. 
tVol. i. p. 318. 

70 



SOME GLASGOW MEN & WOMEN 

course, this passed off with a laugh. However, the 
Duke returned the call, and ultimately married the 
lively young lady." 

From the foregoing story, and the immediately pre- 
ceding evidence of the beauty of Glasgow ladies of 
last century, the fair citizens of the present day may 
take heart. They may fittingly reflect upon the pro- 
verb to the effect that there are as good fish in the sea 
as ever came out of it. And although the City has in- 
creased tenfold in population since the days above 
written of, yet it is obvious to every Glasgow man that 
thestandard of beauty among the fair ones of St. Mun- 
go has been abundantly maintained. Thus, if at the 
present time any temerarious stranger were to ask a 
Glasgow belle the question quoted above, " Have you 
many beauties in Glasgow ? " the answer would un- 
doubtedly be, not " There are five of us," but, 
" Our name is Legion." 



CHAPTER THREE 
THE AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 



CHAPTER THREE THE 

AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

THE AMUSEMENTS OF THE AVERAGE 
Glasgowman are nowof asimplecharacter. For eight 
months of the year he follows foot ball — as a spectator. 
This occupies his Saturday afternoons. In summer he 
may participate actively in bowling, or by proxy in 
cricket. His evenings all the year round are devoted 
to music halls, and occasionally to the theatre. By 
these simple methods he gets rid of hissurpluscash — 
and of some which is not surplus. If anything, he is 
more sober than he used to be ; and upholders of the 
music halls state that this is because he spends his 
money on rational amusement, and not on drink. But 
in the eighteenth century he had no music halls to 
which he might resort, and football was practically 
unknown. Therefore the Glasgow man of those days 
sought other, and less peaceful,excitements. Amongst 
these perhaps the most reprehensible was the practice 
of shooting cocks at Govan on New Year's Day. On 
the morning of that day the road to Govan, then a 
village, might have been seen crowded with idle boys 
and half-tipsy operatives hurrying along, armed with 
fowling-pieces and guns of various forms and calibres, 
in expectation of being able to bring home a cock to 
their dinner. The poor cock was tied to a stake, and 
had no chance of escape. The price of a shot was one 
penny ; and whoever killed the bird received its car- 
cass as the reward of his dexterity. On every New 
Year's Day Govan wastheresortof a blackguard half- 
drunken mob, who,in addition tocock-shooting, pass- 
ed the day at throwing the cudgel for gingerbread 
75 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

cakes, and the like sports; while there was free scope 
forall manner of thimble-rigging, Itappearssingular 
now howthesherifforjusticesof thepeaceshould have 
permitted such disgraceful scenes to be acted in the 
neighbourhood of the City ; but the practice of cock- 
shooting at Govanon New Year's Day was an amuse- 
ment oflongstanding.and, like other ancient bad prac- 
tices, use and wont formed its apology.* 

Another little amusement of the people was stone- 
fighting. In the latter half of the eighteenth century 
there was an island in the channel of the Clyde betwixt 
the oldandnewbridges,and this particular spotwas the 
regular field for stone battles between the Glasgow- 
ensiansand the Gorbalonians — the combatants being 
not merely a parcel of boys, but many of them grown- 
up young men. The Gorbalonians claimed morethan 
a forty years' prescriptive right to this island, and de- 
fended it with the utmost pertinacity. If at any time 
they were likely to be worsted in battle, a messenger 
was immediately sent to the Gorbals weaver lads, who, 
without fail, left their looms, and brought aid to their 
discomfited friends. A great deal of strategy was re- 
quired in these battles; for besides the weavers' corps 
dereserve there were on eachside regular advance and 
ambush detachments. Some of these parties in a hid- 
den manner would contrive, by creeping on all fours, 
to cross the new bridge unobserved, and to make an 
attack on the enemy's rear ; while perhaps a detach- 
ment from the attacked party had pursued the same 
manoeuvre, by crossing the old bridge, or the river, at 
theslaughter-house. In such acase therewould come 
* Glasgow Past and Present, p. 97. 

76 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

to be a complete melee, when all the parties got upon 
theisland,andfoughtalmosthandtohand. "I remem- 
ber," says " Senex," "that the Gorbalonians had a big 
bold fellow for a champion, whom they regarded with 
as much pride as the Philistines did their Goliath. This 
chap was their leader, and whenever he appeared, the 
Glasgowensians were sure to give way before him, and 
to betake themselves to flight or to manoeuvringin his 
rear; for he was a downright, straightforward fighter, 
and despised all strategy ; so that he and his party were 
sometimes taken so suddenly in the rear that hisyoung 
adherents were put to the rout, while he alone braved 
all his enemies. These battles took place regularly on 
the Saturday evenings, and it then became dangerous 
for any person to cross the old bridge, or to walk the 
streets adjacent to it. It is singular that the Magis- 
trates of Glasgow should have allowed such a state of 
matters to continue ; but they seem to have considered 
it as a sort of idle sport, nearly as innocent as a game 
at football. An accident, however, at last happened, 
a boy beingkilledinoneofthese battles; and although 
it could never be ascertained who had thrown the fatal 
stone, nevertheless a proclamation was issued by the 
Magistrates strictly prohibiting all stone battles in fu- 
ture; and as the red-coat officers were directed to take 
up, and bring to the Chamber, all offenders, these stone 
battles upon the river entirely ceased." * 

The Bridgegate was also the scene,at certain periods 
of the year, of considerable upheavals, resulting seem- 
ingly from an inborn love of mischief in the lower clas- 
ses in the early years of the nineteenth century. Dr. 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. i. p. 285. 
77 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Strang gives the following account of the troubles in 
that district: — 

" While the Bridgegate was characterised during 
the greater part of the year by quietness and respect- 
ability,it cannot be denied that,on Whitsun-Monday 
in particular, it was occasionally the scene of tumult 
and riot. On thatevening all the loose boys and elder 
blackguards of the town were attracted thither, to play 
tricks on what were designated the country ' J ocks and 
Jennies ' who had assembled during the day for coun- 
try hire. Frequently on such occasions have we our- 
selves seen the mob take possession of the street, and 
particularly of the avenue leading to the bridge, and 
thereafter put to the rout both Magistracy and Police ; 
while every man with a decent coat or a good hat was 
certain of being assailed with a dead cat or some equal- 
ly filthy missile. We shall never forget the scene in 
which the honest, good-hearted Bailie Waddell, ac- 
companied by the then gigantic Master of Police, Mr. 
Mitchell, vainly attempted, by 'softsawdor' speeches, 
to check the increasing disturbingelements of a most 
uproarious multitude, and who only received for their 
kind counsels a shower of stones and mud; and al- 
though aided by all the police force which they had 
at their command — which. Heaven knows! wassmall 
enough — w^ere thankful to sound a retreat and take 
refuge in a shop, where they might remain in safety 
till relieved by a party of soldiers ordered from the 
guard-house." * 

About this time (1790) golf had some vogue in 
Glasgow ; and in view of the present popularity of 
* Glasgow and Us Clubs, p. 281. 

78 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

the game, the following note by Dr. Strang may be 
of interest : — 

" The game of golf is one of the oldest amusements 
in Scotland, and is still in great favour in Edinburgh 
and St. Andrews. In Glasgow it was long a favour- 
ite pastime, and continued to be so till the improve- 
ments on the Public Green took away all the hazards, 
without which there is no play. At the period when 
the Grog Club was meeting, the Golf Club was in its 
heyday; and someof our first-class citizens were fre- 
quently seen with club in hand following the balls 
that flew on every side over the then undulating park. 
Among the best players were Messrs. James Spreull, 
Cuningham Corbet, John Craig, Laurence Craigie, 
David and James Connell, and the then editor of the 
Courier^ James M'Nair, LL.D., who erected a villa 
on thesummit of Woodlands, which, for its odd archi- 
tecture, was best known by the title of M'Nair's Folly, 
and stood on the apex of the hill on which the square 
is to be built connected with the West-End Park. 

" The sporting instincts of the people also began 
to assert themselves about this time, and a very gen- 
eral interest was taken in horse-racing, which was 
greatly encouraged by the patronage bestowed on it 
by the Duke of Hamilton, and by the annual races 
which took place in that nobleman's park. At that 
time the Duke and Mr. Baird of Newbyth were lead- 
ing men on the turf; and in 1791 the famous match 
betwixt these two celebrated individuals was run over 
thecourseat Hamilton. Cock-fighting,also,wasmuch 
encouraged by many of the leading citizens, and num- 
erous mains were fought under most aristocratic pat- 
79 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

ronage. And as to ' the noble science of self-defence,' 
as pugilism was denominated, it is certain, from the 
many advertisements which appearinthe newspapers 
of the period, that this spoi-t was looked upon with 
considerable favour. Fawtrell and Partner frequently 
sparred with great encouragement in Hamming's 
great hall in 179 1. In the same year Big Sam twice 
exhibited his power in the same hotel ; and Daniel 
Mendoza also wielded the gloves against Fawtrell, 
while in training for his famous contest with Ward."* 

From boxing one may turn to a more peaceful form 
of amusement — namely, conjuring ; and in that con- 
nection the following incident is amusing. 

Among the Glasgow characters of olden time was 
Sandy Park the writer. Sandy was a portly, jolly 
fellow, and the prince of bo7i vivants. He sang a good 
song, told funny stories, was a great humorist, and 
the cock of Glasgow clubs and masonic lodges. No 
oneever enjoyed the hilarities of the punch-bowl more 
than Sandy Park ; and Walter Graham himself was 
scarcely his superior at brewing the noble beverage 
of Glasgow rum-punch. As for humour, Sandy beat 
Walter quite hollow. 

One night when Herman Boaz, the celebrated con- 
jurer and legerdemain performer, was to exhibit some 
of his marvellous hocus-pocus tricks in Glasgow, San- 
dy was resolved to go and see the performance, and, 
if possible, to find out the secret of some of Herman's 
tricks. While Sandy was at the door of the exhibi- 
tion room, paying for his ticket of admission, he hap- 
pened to put his hand in his coat pocket, and, to his 
* Glasgow and its Clubs, pp. 236, 238. 

89 




PRIN'CE CHARLIE 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

surprise, he found a shilling in it which he knew did 
not belong to him " Ha, ha," thought Sandy to him- 
self, "here is one of the conjurer's sleight-of-hand 
tricks ! I think I will try to show him one too." So 
he slyly slipped the shilling into the coat pocket of a 
tall, thin gentleman who was standing nextto him at 
the door, and who was also paying for his admission 
ticket. 

On entering the exhibition room, Sandy took his 
place in the front row; but the tall gentleman went 
into a back seat In the course of the entertainment 
Herman Boaz requested a gentleman, one of the com- 
pany present, to place a shilling under a cup, and to 
hold the cup fast down over it, so as to be sure that 
he had the shilling effectually secured, while he (Boaz) 
stood at a distance. This beingdone, Boaz asked the 
gentleman if he was quitecertain that theshilling was 
below the cup? Being answered in the affirmative, 
Boaz took up his magic wand, and with it overturned 
the cup, when lo! the shilling was gone. Boaz then 
pointing to Sandy Park said, " The stout gentleman 
in the front seat there will find the shilling in his right 
coat pocket." Upon this, Sandy, putting his hand in 
his coat pocket, and acting as if he had found the shil- 
ling, pretended to examine it, but concealed the fact 
that his hand was empty. He then with upcast eyes 
and affected surprise called out to the audience, " Most 
wonderful! it'sperfectlymiraculous!" Then, carrying 
his closed fist to his mouth, apparently holding the 
shilling, he gave a tremendous pufif,and,extendinghis 
empty palms to the company, called out, "The tall 
gentleman in the back seat there will find the shilling 
8i F 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

in his left coat pocket!" The said gentleman accord- 
ingly having searched his pocket, found the shilling in 
it, to the utter amazement of Herman Boaz, who ex- 
claimed, "O ho! I find that there are more conjurers 
present here than one!"* 

In these modern days, when every street in the 
centre of Glasgow holds numerous tea-rooms, the fre- 
quenters of these establishments will possibly be sur- 
prised to learn that the people of Glasgow were ad- 
dicted topublictea-drinkinglongbefore the tea-room 
as now known came into existence. In Glimpses of 
Old Glasgow one reads : "In the suburbs were to be 
found the much-frequented, but now extinct and scar- 
cely to be remembered, 'tea '-gardens. These places 
of resort were situated in Bridgeton, on the ground 
where Robertson's mill now stands ; at Rosehall 
Gardens, New City Road; and Roseneath Cottage, 
Paisley Road. Although called ' tea '-gardens, that 
comparatively harmless beverage was not the only 
one to be had. Whisky and ale could also be got. In 
the summer-time curds and cream were dispensed to 
the younger visitors. These places were beautifully 
decorated with plants and flowers, and in them were 
found both birds and beasts — a menagerie on a small 
scale : one garden boasting a bear, while that in the 
east end possessed an eagle, caught, when young, on 
the Cathkin Braes." f 

But however popular these tea-gardens may have 
been with one section of the community; there was an- 
other section to whom they appealed in vain ; for an- 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. ii. p. 301. 

t Glimpses of Old Glasgow^ Andrew Aird, p. 15. 

82 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

otherchronicler tells that manyof the smaller taverns 
in the City at that time had cock-pits and rat-pits in 
the back courts. Dog-fights and cock-fights were fre- 
quently held, and ratting with terriers was a favourite 
sport. J ohn Gouldie's tavern was the favourite resort 
of the lead ing patrons of sport in the West of Scotland. 

Here mighthavebeen seen the Duke of Hamilton, a 
tall, dark, thin man ; James Merry,the ironmaster, one 
ofthe founders ofthe firm ofMerry&Cuninghame, and 
always attended by his satellite, Norman Buchanan ; 
Lord Kelburne, with his strange protege, Rab Ha', 
the notorious glutton ; Ramsay of Barnton, a famous 
whip, whose love for the ribbons led him to drive the 
four-in-hand coach between Glasgow and Stirling; 
and Rab Steel, the marrying Provost of Rutherglen.* 

The Glasgow business man of to-day, hurrying a- 
long Queen Street, must find a difficulty in realising 
that less than a hundred years ago the boys of the 
town played cricket where now there is a constant roar 
of traffic, and that the present site of many city ware- 
houses was the scene of combats between rival fac- 
tions of youthful warriors. " Senex " moralises on the 
scene thus : — 

"Many a game of cricket I have played on the then 
retiredOueen Street,withMr. Hamilton's sons — one of 
whom is now lieutenant-colonel,and the other major of 
a very distinguished regiment in the service — our red 
gowns being thrown on the railings in front of their 
father's house. I well remember 'a battle' which the 
colonel had with a strange lad from anotherstreet, who 
intruded, as we thought, into our beat. I ' held the bon- 

* Reminiscences of Eighty Years, John Urie, p. 96. 
83 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

net' with a son of the only EpiscopaHan clerg^'man 
then in Glasgow; accessions of strength came to both 
sides; the bonnet was thrown aside, and a regular set- 
to took place in pairs, where 'bloody noses' were dealt 
and received with amazing impartiality,till the whole 
street was in a ferment. This ' sanguinary engage- 
ment' took place exactly opposite the present Ex- 
change, and was put a stop to by the sudden appear- 
ance of the policeman, with his red collar, who only 
occasionallycame intoQueen Street, but was a second 
Asahel in running, and bore the euphonious sobriquet 
of* Rowley-powley ' from the obliging habit he had of 
throwinghiscudgelat our heads during the chase. So 
little traffic was on this now important street that I re- 
collect the grass growing on it in many places along 
the sides." * 

The Bridgegate, we have already seen, was not al- 
ways the abode of perfect peace. Neither was Queen 
Street, or in fact any other Glasgow street down to the 
middle of the nineteenth century. On this, as on so 
many other Glasgow subj ects," Senex " has something 
to say. He writes as follows : — 

"The Bridgegate may still be called our local Don- 
nybrook. Arowcanbe got up here in almost no time, 
especiallyonaSaturdaynight,and accordingly police- 
men are then stationed in it as thick as blackberries. 
An Irishman who feels himself ' Blue-moulded' for 
want of a beating has nothing to do but trail his coat 
along the street, and dare any man to tread on it, and 
he is soon thrashed to his heart's content. At times 
the district is so excitable that the appearance of an 
* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 424. 

84 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

orange floweror ribbon is enough tocause something 
like an insurrection, which is productive of sundry- 
black eyes and bloody noses. A few years ago (this is 
written in 1 884) a powerful individual — still living, we 
believe — was distinguished by a mortal hatred of the 
Pope and the Papists, which, whenever he got a few 
glasses of whisky, he could not help showing, even at 
the expense of a beating. Accordingly, when he had 
drunk enough fairly to raise his 'dander,' he deliber- 
ately stuck an orange ribbon in his button-hole, and 
marched down to the Bridgegate, whistling 'Boyne 
Water,' or ' Croppies lie down,' varied with an occa- 
sional scream of ' To the Devil with the Pope.' Of 
course,he was set upon immediately; andalthoughhe 
might have the satisfaction of knocking down some 
half-a-dozen Papists in the struggle, numbers fairly 
floored him at last, and the matter ended by the enthu- 
siastic Protestant being carried to the Police Office 
with his face so effectually battered that his mother 
would not have known him. 

" In most cases during these street brawls, the civic 
power seemed to be asleep, as nothingwas done in the 
way of prevention ; for only when something extra- 
ordinary had happened did the town's officers appear ; 
and in most cases Justin time to be too late for the pre- 
vention of mischief. When the officers did turn out, 
and especially if supported by a Magistrate and his 
cocked hat, that generally was effectual in scattering 
the forces. One evening the army of the South, as it 
was called (those who resided south from the Univer- 
sity), were so hard pushed by their opponents as to be 
compelled to take refuge at headquarters, z>. by climb- 
85 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

ing over the walls which enclosed the burying-ground 
attached to the Blackfriars' Church. The attacking 
party rushed into the avenue to scale the walls of the 
churchyard, and one of them, more daring than his 
fellows, had mounted the parapet, but was felled to the 
ground by one of the besieged, who, with a piece of de- 
cayed coffin, which had a nail projecting from it, so 
struck his opponent that the nail penetrated thecran- 
ium. The nailed champion was carried off the field; 
and he who inflicted the injury fled from the city, nor 
was it known that he ever returned. That night there 
was a great display of officers, with Magistrates and 
cocked hats,ithavingbeen reported (erroneously) that 
a man had been killed. 

"The only other of these affairs to be noted here oc- 
curred about the beginning of the 19th century, be- 
tween a party of young gentlemen who lived in and 
about Queen Street and others from George Street, 
etc., the latter being led on by a youth who became an 
officer of rank in India, and died there. The contest 
was in Ingram and Queen Streets, or the Cow Loan, as 
both of them were then called. One of the two parties 
had its rallying-pointat the front of thesplendid man- 
sion in Queen Street, which was built by Mr. Cunning- 
ham. It now forms the anterior portion of the Royal 
Exchange. The other post was on the east side of the 
chapel, which was at that time on the north side of 
Ingram Street. Both of these places were laid with 
gravel and plenty ofpebbles, which afforded am muni- 
tion, a thing in those street-fights which was often a 
desideratum."* 

* Glasgow Past and Present, \o\. i. pp. loS, 262. 

86 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

The Glasgow man of to-day who finds difficulty in 
making a choice among the many theatres in the City 
little thinks of the hard struggle which the theatre 
had to obtain a footing in Glasgowat all. Indeed, the 
City absolutely refused at first to permit anything so 
profane as a theatre to desecrate its bounds. 

The first regular theatre in Scotland, excepting one 
established in Edinburgh about eighteen years earlier, 
was built in the village of Grahamston in 1764. It 
stood fronting the street, and along the lane behind 
thetenement in which Mr. Marshall had his residence. 

The circumstances which led to its being erected in 
this place were these. After the Reformation, plays 
and theatrical representationsof all kinds were strictly 
prohibited, and denounced by the ministers of the gos- 
pel throughout the country from their respective pul- 
pits. The feeling against theatres continued strong in 
the minds of the ministers and people throughout Scot- 
land, and especially in the city of Glasgow, down to 
this time, so that when acompany from London came 
down for the purpose of establishing a theatre in the 
City,theygot no encouragement from the authorities, 
and no onecould be found daringenough to sell apiece 
of ground for that purpose. Grahamston, being the 
nearest village, to the West, out of the bounds of the 
City — the boundary pillar stood on the west side of 
Union Place — was next applied to, where a proprietor 
sought the then very high price of five shillings per 
square yard for his ground, possibly thinking that such 
a price would deter the prospective purchasers. They, 
however, agreed to take itat that price,and the build- 
ing of the theatre was at once gone on with. 
87 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

The erection of the building caused a great sensation 
among the people in the City and the village, which 
increased during its progress to completion to such 
an extent that it was determined not to allow a thea- 
tre; and a short time previous to the day fixed for 
opening it was set on fire,and a great amountof dam- 
age done; the stage scenery, actors' wardrobes, etc., 
beingall destroyed. The buildingnot having suffered 
much, the damage was repaired, and the theatre at 
length opened by Mrs. Bellamy, then a popular actress 
of London. This attempt to destroy the building was, 
it is said, instigated by a preacher in the street, who, 
vvhiledenouncing the erectionofthebuilding, told his 
auditors that he dreamed the preceding night that he 
was in the infernal regions and saw a grand enter- 
tainment, at which Lucifer gave a toast in honour of 

Mr. , who had sold his ground to build him a house 

upon. 

From this time the theatre was carried on by various 
companies from London and Edinburgh till April 
1782, when it was burned down and nothing but the 
walls left standing,under circumstanceswhich left no 
doubt that the people of Glasgow were determined to 
have no theatre in their neighbourhood. Dr. Cleland, 
City architect, and author oi Annals of Glasgow, etc., 
records having been present during the course of the 
fire, and of hearing the shouts of theexcited mob, and 
the cries of " Save the ither folks' houses an' let the 
deil's hoose burn." 

The walls of the building fronting the street being 
in good condition, were some time after roofed over, 
and divided and fitted up for stables and other ofiices ; 

88 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

and the remains of the first theatre in the City were 
still standing up till the time when the whole village 
was swept away.* 

In these circumstances, what must have been the 
amazement of the good folks in Dunlop Street when 
they learned that in place of the Grahamston theatre 
a " playhouse " was forthwith to be built at their own 
doors! A mostgraphic account of theirconsternation 
and proceedings is given in the History of the Scottish 
Stage. There was not the same difficulty in getting 
ground for such a purpose in the New Dunlop Street 
as had occurred elsewhere. Mr. Dunlop had sold a 
large piece of ground on the east side of that street to 
Mr. Robert Barclay of Capelrig, writer in Glasgow, 
who, being superior to the popular prejudice, had no 
difficulty in redisposing of it to Mr. John Jackson, 
manager of the Theatre Royal, Edinburgh. This was 
in 1781 ; and Mr. Jackson immediately proceeded to 
lay off the ground thus purchased for a theatre, suit- 
able to what he conceived Glasgow ought to have. Mr. 
Jackson was the son of an English clergyman, and had 
himself at one time been in Holy orders. He was of 
gentlemanly manners, but firm and decided. On the 
morning of the day when the foundation-stone of the 
Dunlop Street theatre was to be laid, he received the 
following letter from his two reverend neighbours : — 

" Dr. Gillies and Mr. Porteous offer their compli- 
ments to Mr. Jackson, and think it their duty candidly 
to inform him, before he proceed further in the work, 
that they intend to join with other proprietors in Dun- 
lop Street, to apply to the Magistrates to prevent the 

* Quiet Old Glasgow, by a Burgess of Glasgow, p. 17. 
89 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

building of a playhouse (or concert hall for acting 
plays) in this street, as being an injury to their pro- 
perty, and inconsistent with the dispositions granted 
byMr, Dunloptothefeuars. We are to meet with them 
on Tuesday forenoon ; and although we might have 
delayed giving any intimation till the building was 
begun, we thought it fair, and becoming our station, 
to give it thus early. — Saturday, 17th February 1 78 1 ," 

Mr. Jackson was not the least daunted by this com- 
bination. He proceeded to lay the foundation-stone, 
ordered the workmen to push on with the building, and 
then resolving to seek protection of the law, went to 
Edinburgh and consulted the celebrated Henry Er- 
skine,atthat time practising at the Scotch Bar. Jack- 
son returned to Glasgow with an order from the philo- 
sophical Lord Monboddo, one of the judges of the 
Court of Session, to the following effect : "Prohibits 
and discharges the before-mentioned Dr. Gillies and 
Mr. Porteous, and all others, from troubling, and mo- 
lesting the complainer in the free exercise of his pro- 
perty." 

Mr. Jackson at the same time wrote a long letter to 
the two ministers, in a firm yet courteous spirit, ex- 
plaining his position and intentions, and assuring them 
that, while he had the power, he had not the disposition 
to molest them in the exercise of his rights. I n one part 
he writes thus : — 

" Let me persuade you, gentlemen, to take the advice 
of one who has seen enough of the world to point out 
yourprudentconductonthisoccasion. Wouldyoulive 
in neighbourly comfort with one who has pitched his 
tent so near you, molest him not in the pursuit of his 

90 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

profession ; for, believe it, he means to deport himself 
with the greatest deference to yours. The son of a 
clergyman, and brought up for holy orders himself, he 
shall ever pay honour to the sacred character of that 
order. Let it beyour study to preach sanctity without 
austerity; for, be assured, whenever compulsion or re- 
straint accompanies admonition or advice, the senses 
take the alarm, and nature and reason, ever rebellious 
under restraint, begin to weigh and to confute the un- 
reasonable dictates of authority. ... I am ready, how- 
ever, on all occasions to meet you in the lists of argu- 
ment, as I am in the Parliament House, before the 
Lords in Edinburgh, to whom I have already appeal- 
ed. I have been reminded thatoneofyou(Dr. Gillies) 
was last summer a fellow-traveller with me. We were 
not then disagreeable to each other ; the conversation 
at Auchterarder will attest that circumstance. As we 
were fellow-travellers in a short journey, let us be so 
in a long one, — in a journey of the world ; and let us 
show to each individual of that world that brotherly 
love and charity are the characteristics of good Chris- 
tians. Thatit maybe so with me shall be the constant 
care of, gentlemen, your humble servant, J. JACKSON." 

All this had the proper effect ; there was no further 
contention, the building was soon finished, and in full 
operation.* 

Mr. Jackson, although an accomplished gentleman, 
and of considerable histrionic talent, seems in spite of 
every effort and aid from many friends, to have been 
very unfortunate in all his speculations ; and at last, 
broken down with anxieties, died in 1806 The Dun- 

* Glasgoiu Past a7id Present^ vol. ii. p. 438. 
91 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

lop Street theatre passed into the hands of Mr. Alex- 
ander, and his task was no light one ; but the energy, 
prudence, business habits, and indomitable persever- 
ance, added to his versatility on thestage, which made 
him successful in England, Dumfries, and Edinburgh, 
carried him on triumphantly in Glasgow, in the face of 
difficulties which might have appalled one possessed 
of less talent and determination. Mr. Alexander, on 
beginning his Glasgow managerial career, found that 
even the magnificent new Theatre Royal in Queen 
Street had had its succession of managers, all men of 
eminence in their profession, who failed to make the- 
atricals pay, and the last lessee, Mr. F. Seymour, al- 
though supported by troops of friends, was steeped 
indifificulties and impecuniosity, and when the theatre 
was destroyed by fire in 1829, struggled for a short 
time in Glasgow, and afterwards removed to Ireland, 
where he died. It must be remembered, then, that Mr. 
Alexander rescued Glasgow theatricals from bank- 
ruptcy, and his own successful career was owing to no 
favouritism of fortune, but simplydueto his histrionic 
talents — which, as is well known, were great — in con- 
junction with general business habits, industry, and 
accomplishments, which, if they had been carried into 
any other line of life he might have chosen to pursue, 
would have made him equally successful. Itmustever 
be remembered to his honour that he tolerated no im- 
morality among his company ; and that, as there are 
few men, perhaps, who have so completely avoided the 
vices of the stage in their own practice, sohe made stre- 
nuous efforts to purge it from those vices in others. He 
died in December 185 1, aged fifty-five years, leaving 

92 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

behind him an ample provision for his family; and at 
the same time a name which, notwithstandingstrong 
peculiarities of character, even his enemies respected. 
He was rigidly honest in his dealings; and if he was 
sometimes blamed for his frugality, those who were 
the readiest to censurehim on that account would have 
been the first to despise him if, by neglecting his own 
interest, he had not succeeded in the world.* 

An anecdote of Mr. Alexander may here be told. 
On one occasion a boy had got into the theatre in the 
usual way by paying his sixpence. When the interval 
came he wanted to go out and parade before some of 
his less fortunate companions who were hanging about 
the door. The checktaker, however, was in a difficulty, 
as his supply of pass-out checks had become ex- 
hausted. 

" I'll tell you what," he said ; " I'll put a chalk mark 
on your back, and that will admit you." 

The mark was accordingly made on the lad's back. 
When the time for the curtain rising came, and the 
house began to fill up again, the bewildered checktaker 
noticed about a score of boys with chalk marks on their 
backs marching in. He smelt a rat, and the next lad 
who tried to pass in on the strength of a chalk mark 
was unceremoniously kicked downstairs. It happen- 
ed, however, that this was the only lad who had a claim 
to be admitted ; and accordingly his father in wrath 
called on Mr. Alexander to complain. Theactor-man- 
ager pacified the man, and afterwards gave a word 
of caution to the checktaker.f 

* Glasgow Past aiid Present, vol. ii. p. 442. 
\ Reminiscences of Eighty Years, p. 90. 

93 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

A very interesting theatrical event is described by 
Dr. Heddervvick in Backward Glances. He writes as 
fpllovvs : — 

" But my second visit to the ' Royal ' was more mem- 
orable, Edmund Kean,the most meteoric and phe- 
nomenal tragedian of the century, had forbidden his 
son to follow his own profession,whether from a know- 
ledge of its hardships, or from a fear that genius was 
not likely to prove in hiscase hereditary,is uncertain ; 
but it soon became current that young Charles's ap- 
pearance on the London boards, in defiance of his fa- 
ther's repeated injunctions,had given him dire offence. 
There was, in fact, a serious quarrel between them ; and 
it occurred to the Glasgow manager, Mr. Seymour, 
a good-hearted Irishman like the great Edmund him- 
self, that it would be a mighty thing if he could suc- 
ceed in bringing about a reconciliation. 

" Edmund was at that time residing in Bute, where 
he owned a cottage on the banks of Loch Fad, to which 
he occasionally resorted. Havingengaged Charles for 
the ' Royal,' the opportunity seemed to be a highly 
favourable one, and off accordingly went Seymour to 
Rothesay on his delicate but laudable mission. 

" The result exceeded his expectations : he returned 
in triumph ; and Kean the elder was forthwith an- 
nounced to appear on a certain night for his son's bene- 
fit. 

" ' Brutus, or the Fall of Tarquin,' was the piece se- 
lected forthe occasion. This tragedy is by an Ameri- 
can dramatist, John Howard Payne, better known per- 
haps as the author of the tender ditty, ' Home, Sweet 
Home.' Lucius Junius Brutus, the Roman Consul af- 

94 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

ter the overthrow of Tarquin, sacrifices his son Titus, 
whohas been detected in a conspiracy against the Re- 
pubHc. Hence the tragic situation ; and the idea of 
such a father and such a son, with a veritable father 
and son for their representatives, was enough to cause 
a sensation among playgoers. 

" The theatre was packed to the ceiling. Edmund 
was thenatthe zenith of his popularity, and the strug- 
gle between the tenderness of the parent towards the 
child and the duty of the patriot towards his coun- 
try, was at times painfully realistic. 

"In reality, however, the exhibition in question was 
not a novelty. It reminded Macnee the artist of the 
soft-hearted rustic who, bent on an evening's amuse- 
ment, went to see Mrs, Siddons. Unfortunately the 
tragic queen was in one of her most touching parts ; 
and with tears streaming down his face, the poor fel- 
low at length blubbered out, ' You long-nosed thafe ! 
do you call that divarsion ? '" * 

On 17th February 1849 some indiscreet person in 
the upper gallery of the Theatre Royal, Dunlop Street, 
lit his pipe and dropped a burning paper at his feet. 
Itignitedasmallleakageofgas,and atiny flame burst 
forth. This was immediately put out, but not before 
an alarm of fire had been raised. Those sitting near 
sawthatnodangerexisted ; butitwasSaturdaynight, 
the gallery was crowded, and all became uproar and 
confusion. From boththe stage andboxesthescram- 
bling and yelling people aloft were appealingly ex- 
horted to keep their seats, while the orchestra con- 
tinued to play cheerful tunes with affected unconcern. 

* Backward Glances, pp. 35, 38. 
95 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

But in the gallery itself an unreasoning panic had set 
in, and there was a wild rush for the stair. An over- 
mastering terror of death made everyone fly to it. 
The fugitives from a position of safety into the jaws 
of destruction were mostly apprentice lads in their 
teens ; and their very physical strength, activity, and 

dashhastened and consummated a catastrophe which 
could not be otherwise than fearful. 

Mr. J. H. Alexander, the proprietor and manager 
of the theatre, hastened by a private passage to the 
gallery. He was a tall, strong man, and wrought fran- 
tically in arresting the stampede and savinglife. But 
while he roared himself hoarse toquell the alarm,the 
work of murder was in progress. Deep in the stair- 
case the first fliers had been thrown prostrate ; others 
were piled above them, driven down by the superin- 
cumbent weight, and in a few minutes or seconds the 
place became a huge Black Hole of Calcutta, a con- 
fined and seething mass of groaning, suffering, and 
dyinghumanity. No fewer than sixty-five persons, a 
few minutes before in the bloom of youth, health, and 
happiness, perished in that hideous struggle.* 

It has already been mentioned that Glasgow men 
take an interest in bowling, and matches between 
Glasgow and Ayrshire bowlers have been played for 
very many years. Of one of these Dr. Hedderwick 
writes : — 

" I found the Earl of Eglinton and his Ayrshire 

friendsinamicableconflictwiththeKingstonBowlers, 

comprisingdecentshopkeepersfromTradeston,some 

ofthem with cutty-pipes in their mouths. The bearing 

* Backward Glances, p. 148. 

96 




}■''■ 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

of the handsome nobleman was, no doubt, in marked 
contrast to that of several ofhiscompetitors; butvvhat 
of that ? They were all, I take it, respectable in their 
sphere ; and nothing could exceed the unaffected cour- 
tesy of his manner to the humblest, as if in recogni- 
tion of the fact that on the bowling-green the highest 
and the lowest were for the moment on perfectly lev- 
el ground. 

"On Lord Eglinton's side was a well-known Ayr- 
shire worthy — Mr. Hugh Conn, belonging, I under- 
stood,to Kilwinning. Hugh was also a respected mem- 
ber of the Eglinton curling rink, and was a favourite 
with the noble and popular Earl. 

" At a critical point in the game his lordship, under 
Mr. Conn's directions, was playing a decisive shot. 
Hugh was in high excitement,and exclaimed,' First- 
rate! capital! Man, I like ye! I like ye!'" 

"At that instant the ball took a wrong bias, played 
the deuce with the game, and caused the Kilwinning 
enthusiast to pirouette in his despair, and shout in a 
loud, angry voice, ' Oh, damn it, Eglinton, you've spoil- 
ed it a' thegither ! '" * 

Glasgow Fair causes a general flocking to the city 
of all the showmen within travelling distance ; and 
some adventurous and curious members of the upper 
classes still get up parties to visit the shows and see 
what is to be seen. This custom is of old standing, 
and in the early part of the nineteenth century one 
reads of such parties being made up. 

Gentlemen (who were then nicknamed " dandies " 
and ladies termed " dandyzets ") were seen flocking 

* Backward Glances^ p. 204. 
97 G 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

night after night to the shows at the Stockwell. On 
one occasion a practical but lucrativ^e trick was per- 
petrated. An Irishman obtained the use of a cellar 
at the foot and on the west side of the Stockwell. A 
dirty canvas was exhibited, with the strange an- 
nouncement: " A Worsar tobeseen here, id." Such 
an animal being unknown in Natural History, large 
crowds were attracted. After the audience were seat- 
ed on the planks placed on herring barrels, Paddy, 
raising an old sack, which served the purpose of a 
curtain, straightway introduced into the small space 
a large, well-fed sow. He discoursed on its parentage, 
age, feeding, and history. He exhibited the vari- 
ous points of its excellence, and in answer to his re- 
quest, and anxious to get their curiosity satisfied by 
a view of the real monster, all agreed that the animal 
was good, excellent, and not to be surpassed. Grum- 
phy was then withdrawn behind the curtain, and an- 
other of the tribe was introduced. The showman 
again discoursed largely and learnedly on the history 
of the second specimen, but all were compelled to 
admit that No. 2 in the programme was not so good 
as its precursor, but worse. Having got this unanim- 
ous verdict from his audience, who by this time had 
become somewhat restless, the second was removed, 
and the plot was wound up by the introduction of a 
third in every way answering to the lean kine seen 
in the dream of the Egyptian Monarch. It was a 
perfect skeleton-pig, scarcely able to stand on its legs. 
" Now," exclaimed the son of Erin, " you have seen 
a good sow, and a worse sow ; but all must now ad- 
mit that this is a worsar." Some grinned, and others 

98 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

used angry words ; yet in the end they agreed they 
had been " had." But the fraud was only to the ex- 
tent of one penny ; so, instead of proclaiming their 
folly, they sought rather to extend the field of im- 
posture. Thus they violated the strict principles of 
truth, and successive swarms of spectators added to 
the exchequer of the Irishman in his attempts at or- 
thography, grammar, and biology, until at last his 
lectures on swine culture were arrested by the police.* 

One showman, Bill Adams, a man of many parts, 
had a panorama painted of George Cruikshank's pic- 
ture of " The Bottle," but was interdicted from exhi- 
biting it. Next week was the Fair. His booth was 
up. What was he to do for an attraction ? He hit on 
an idea, and going to Wombwell's Show he borrowed 
a fox, a monkey, and some other beasts and birds. 

Two gentlemen were visiting the shows, and see- 
ing an intimation painted up inviting the public to 
come and see " the happy family," paid their pennies 
and entered. Walking round a big cage was Bill 
Adams calling out, " Ladies and gentlemen, here are 
these wild animals, which are natural foes, living to- 
gether here in harmony for weeks, ay, months." 

Suddenly there was a flutter and a quack. The fox 
had the duck by the neck, and Bill was laying on to 
the fox with a stick, shouting, " You brute, this is the 
third duck you have killed this week." f 

The Magistrates were petitioned time after time to 
put a stop to the letting of stands in Jail Square for 
Fair Shows, on the ground that some of them were 

* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow, " Nestor," p. 139. 
\ Reminiscences of Eighty Years, p. 61. 

99 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

immoral in their tendency, and the whole a disgrace 
to the city ; and an attempt was made to bring some 
of the more objectionable features into discredit and 
disuse. Mr.Jamcs Smith tried, by opening a temper- 
ance coffee-house in Jail Square, to minimise some of 
the drinking habits. Below is given a copy of its an- 
nouncement written by " Sandy M' Alpine " (the late 
William Walker) :— 

A Wonder, a Wonder, a Wonder for to See ! 

A Braw Coffee-Hoose whaur a Dram-Shop used 

to Be ! 

Freens 

An' Fellow-Ceetizens 

In General ! 

An' you Foke aboot the Fut o' the Sautmarket in 

Partik'lar 

Will ye Speak a Word wi' Me ? 

I'm an auld Whisky-Shop ; I'm an interestin' relick o' 
anshient times, and mainners. Maybe sum o' ye dinna ken 
what a Whisky-shop is. I'll tell ye. 

In anshient times — lang before puir Workin' Foke were sac 
wise or weel daein' as they are noo-a-days — the Gleska Foke, 
an' partik'larly the Foke aboot the fut o' the Sautmarket, 
were awfu' fond o' Whisky. This Whisky was a sort o' 
Deevil's Drink, made out o' God's gude Barley. 

It robbit men o' their judgment ; but they drank it. 

It robbit them o' their nait'ral affeckshun ; but they drank it. 

It robbit them o' independence an' self respeck ; but they 

drank it. 
It made them mean, unmanly, disgustin' wretches ; but they 

drank it. 
It made them savage an' quarrelsome ; but they drank it. 
It cled them wi' rags ; but they drank it. 
It made them live in low, filthy dens o' hooses ; but they 

drank it. 

ZOO 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

It sent them in scores to the Poleece Office ; but they drank it. 
It sent them to Jail, the Hulks, an' the Gallows ; but they 

drank it. 
Bailies an' Sherrifs, Judges an' Justices, deplored its effecks ; 

but they drank it themsel's ! 
Ministers preached aboot it ; but they drank it themsel's ! 
It blottit oot God's glorious image frae men's faces an' hearts ; 

but they drank it. 
It made them beggars ; but they drank it. 
It made them paupers ; but they drank it. 
It made them idiots ; but they drank it. 

This Whisky, then, vvuz selt in Shops, an' I wuz ane o' 
them, — That'll let ye ken what a Whisky- Shop wuz in anshient 
times. Times are changed noo. Every body's a member 
o' the Scottish Temperance League ; naebody drinks onything 
but Coffee ; so I've ta'en up the Coffee-House line mysel' ! 

Come and see me ! Ye'Il get Rowsin' Cups o' Coffee ! 
Thumpin' Cups o' Tea ! Thund'rin' Dunts o' Bread ! Whangs 
o' Cheese ! Lots o' Ham an' Eggs, Staiks, Chops, an a' ither 
kinds o' Substanshials ! 

Freens an' Fellow-Ceetizens. — I'm no' the Shop I ance 

wuz. I've a blythe heart an' a cheery face noo. Come an' see 

me ' 

The Reformed 

Dram Shop, 

20 Jail Square. 

Observe. — Nae Connexion wi' the Jail owre the way.* 

The Fair, now, is essentially for the benefit of the 
working classes, and is keenlyenjoyed by them. It is 
something outside the daily round of possibleamuse- 
ments. Unfortunately the public-house enters very 
largely into the life of the Glasgow labouring classes, 
and seemingly a considerable pleasure is derived from 
actual drunkenness. At least that is the conclusion 
one must draw from the fact that the patrons of the 
* Glimpses of Old Glasgow^ Andrew Aird, p. 52. 

lOI 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

public-houses deliberately order whatever compound 
(suchasbeerand whisky) theyknowwillspeedilypro- 
duce intoxication. Others with equal deliberation set 
out for a prolonged bout of drunkenness. While this 
sort of thing is a blot on the fair fame of the City,it oc- 
casionallyhas an amusingside. As an exampleof the 
"spree deliberate/'one may cite the case of John Smith, 
a quay labourer, but a man of family and some time a 
man of substance in Wales. To him fell a legacy of a 
thousand pounds one day; and his way of spending it 
could only have found proper sympathy at the quay. 
It was most simple. He placed his wife and three chil- 
dren inside one of the old quayside growlers, and the 
legatee sat himself on the box beside the driver. At 
every tavern they stopped, and the driver brought out 
drinks. Smith drank on the box, his wife in the cab, 
and the driver on the street. And so to the next one. 
Then home in the evening, hallooing along the quay- 
side, to the delight of the neighbourhood. He did not 
forget past days,but lent money lavishly, and filled the 
lumpers so " fou " that a boat missed the tide, and the 
whole shed was demoralised for weeks. A short life, 
but a merry one, my masters. First,the old horse, sick- 
ened with perplexity as to when the fare would end, 
dropped off after ten weeks of it. Then, and just be- 
fore the old driver was about to follow, — reluctant as 
he was now that life had at last blossomed to him, — 
the thousand pounds ran out ; the last twenty going 
to pay for a chemist's shop which Mr. Smith wrecked 
to express disapproval of the doctor's not wearing his 
tall hat while he called on his wife. 

A week later John Smith, Esquire, became "Jake" 



AMUSEMENTS OF THE PEOPLE 

once more, bending his broad back in the trucks with- 
out a single show of regret. And his wife, although she 
missed her outings, seems not unreconciled to her lot 
as long as her husbandcansportof a Sunday his New- 
market coat and blue waistcoat as outward and vis- 
ible signs that they were carriage folk in their day * 
* Glasgow in igoi, p. 208. 



/ 



CHAPTER FOUR 

ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 



CHAPTER FOUR 

SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

ALTHOUGH GLASGOW IS IN GENERAL A 
law-abiding community, there has always been in the 
City a turbulent element ready to take advantage of 
any opportunity for riot and plunder. Fortunately, 
such opportunities have been few. The City has on the 
whole been governed with wisdom and firmness. Still 
there have been occasional outbreaks ; and one or 
two of them may here be mentioned. 

In 1725 thepopulartumultknownastheShawfield 
Riot took place. In thatyear the Government impos- 
ed a tax on malt; and ashome-brewedaleatthetime 
was an indispensable article of common food — the 
poor man's wine — the tax was highlyunpopular. Mr. 
Daniel Campbell of Shawfield was Member of Parlia- 
ment for the City, and it had become known that he 
had used his influence in favour of the obnoxious tax. 
He therefore became an object of popular hatred. 
When the time came that the impost took effect, there 
was no small commotion in the town. Crowds of tur- 
bulent idlers, chiefly boys and women, collected, who 
violently hustled the officers charged with carrying 
out the duty of exacting the tax. Of course the dig- 
nity of the law required to be upheld, but unfortunate- 
ly there was no military in the town, and the mob had 
the best of it. As there was little prospect of a peace- 
ful settlement, two companies of LordDeloraine's re- 
giment of foot were sent for in hot haste. When the 
soldiers arrived, Provost Miller ordered the guard- 
house to be cleared for their reception ; but the doors 
were locked, and the keys had been carried off, so the 
107 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

soldiers were billeted in the usual way on the house- 
holders. Then the Provost and his friends, under the 
impression that all was over for the time, spent their 
evening in their tavern or club. 

Fourteen years before this time Mr. Campbell of 
Shawfield had built a spacious mansion-house, which, 
with its great garden, stood upon the site of what is 
now Glassford Street, then entirely out of the town. As 
its owner wisely kept out of the way, the mob, having 
provided themselves with axes, and hammers, pro- 
ceeded without challenge to demolish the house, the 
furniture of which they knocked to pieces, with loud 
shouts of" Down with Shawfield's house ! " " No malt 
tax!" Doubtless they would have carried out their 
threat to pull down the house had not the Provost and 
Magistrates interfered, and persuaded them to desist. 
Next day the soldiers obtained possession of the 
guard-house, which stood on the south-west corner of 
Candleriggs; but the mob collecting in still greater 
numbers began to pelt the sentinels with stones. The 
soldiers were thereupon formed in a hollow square, 
and were ordered by Captain Bushell.their command- 
er, to fire, which they did, killing two persons. Imme- 
diately the rioters broke open the town magazine, 
took possession of the arms, rang the fire bell, and 
alarmed the whole town. On the persuasion of the 
Magistrates, Captain Bushel 1 and his company left 
the town for Dumbarton Castle ; not without a vigor- 
ous attack from the enraged citizens. I n this riot from 
first to last nine were killed, and seventeen more or 
less severely wounded.* 

* Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship, p. 121. 

108 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

The peace of the City was disturbed in 1787 by a riot 
in which the journeyman weavers were principally 
engaged. Their object was to forcetheiremployersto 
raise their wages. To accomplish this, they not only 
refused to work themselves, but, assembling in a mob, 
they proceeded to molest their more peaceable breth- 
ren by every act of outrage. The Magistrates and other 
peace-officers,supported by a party of the 39th Regi- 
ment, under the command of Lieutenant-Colonel Kel- 
let, endeavoured to dissuade them from their violent 
purposes. Such lenity, however, only provoked the in- 
solence of the rioters, who were not finally suppressed 
till by the fire of the military, after the Riot Act had 
been read, three persons were killed, three mortally 
wounded, and threeslightly wounded. After this the 
rioters immediately dispersed ; and although they sev- 
eral times assembed afterwards, yet the approach of 
soldiers always made them retire.* 

Again in 1789 there was trouble with the weavers. 
The manufacturers proposed a reduced scale of wages 
to their workmen, in consequence ofwhich the weavers 
struck work, and many acts of violence followed. A 
strong body of weavers got hold of the late Henry 
Monteith, Esq. of Carstairs, and handled him in the 
roughest manner, on account of his having reduced the 
price of weaving in his establishment. Besides grossly 
maltreatinghim,theycutoffhiscueorpigtail, it being 
then the fashion for gentlemen to wear their hair pow- 
dered and tied with a black ribbon in the form of a 
pig's tail. The late William Aitken, Esq. of Frisky 

'''Topographical Picture of Glasgow, Robert Chapman, 
p. 40. 
109 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Hall, was struck by a brickbat and severely wounded 
in the head by the mob.* 

An important strike occurred in Glasgow in 1812. 
It has been well described in a recent number of the 
Glasgow Herald, from which the following account is 
taken by permission. 

Exactly one hundred years ago, in 181 2, Glasgow 
was the centre of a strike among the cotton spinners 
which has an important place in the history of labour. 
The Western cotton industry had been started at New 
Lanark by David Dale in 1785. The linen manufac- 
turers of Glasgow and the neighbourhood turned their 
attention to the new industry, which soon became the 
chief feature of the Clyde district. The wages of the 
cotton spinners being much higher than those to be 
earned in agriculture,there was no lack of labour. This 
led eventually to a redundancy of labour, and a re- 
duction of wages. 

In 1 809 the Scottish weavers applied to Parliament 
to fix the number of apprentices; but the House, after 
investigating the matter, declined to interfere. An- 
other attempt made in 1 8 1 1 also failed. Duringthese 
proceedings the attention of the cotton spinners had 
been directed to certain old ActsofParliamentpassed 
in the reign of Elizabeth, authorising Justices of the 
Peace to fix the wages of labour. Afterendeavouring 
to come to an extra-judicial settlement with the mas- 
ters, the "operatives," as they were then called, decided 
to present a petition to the Provost and Magistrates 
of Glasgow, praying them "to fix by their official au- 
thority reasonable prices for weavingdifferent fabrics 
* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. i. p. 315. 

1 10 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

of cotton cloth, agreeably to the spirit and letter of 
the Acts of Parliament stated in their petition." The 
Magistrates (according to a letter of Mr. J. J. Dillon 
to Lord Sidmouth, which is now in the Public Record 
Office, London) dissuaded the workers from present- 
ing their petition in a body, but recommended them 
to appoint a committee to confer with a committee 
of the manufacturers. This was done, but the Magis- 
trates, uncertain as to the law, consulted counsel, who 
gave it as their opinion that Justices of the Peace had 
no power to regulate wages. Nevertheless, the spin- 
ners, acting on the advice of Francis Jeffrey and other 
Whig advocates, asked the Justices to fix a list of 
prices. The Justices agreed ; but against their deci- 
sion the manufacturers appealed. The case came be- 
fore the Court of Session, which upheld the action of 
the Justices,and remitted to them the task of drawing 
up the rates of wages. In this process before the Jus- 
tices 130 witnesses were examined on behalf of the 
spinners, the masters refusingto appear. At this time 
the wages ranged from los. to 1 2s. a week, the work- 
ing day being from 14 to 16 hours. The cotton spin- 
ners, taking a ten-hours' day as a basis, demanded 
15s. yhd. a week for fancy fabrics, and lis. i i^d. for 
plain fabrics. This gave a general average of 1 3s. pd., 
with a maximum wageofiJ^i,os. gd., and a minimum 
of 8s. for all "full-bred workmen " — women and boys 
being excluded. From other investigations made at 
the same time for comparative purposes it was as- 
certained that the average wage of artisans in other 
trades was i8s. 4^d. a week, with a maximum of 25s. 
6d., and a minimum of 12s. Finally, the Justices de- 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

clared the rates so fixed to be " moderate" and " reason- 
able." Another attempt to settle with the masters 
failed ; and, as the spinners were led to understand 
that the Court of Session would not enforce the rates, 
they determined "to try the effect of a moral effort." 
In November 40,000 looms stood idle, the strike ex- 
tending from Aberdeen to Carlisle. 

Nothing was more foolish than the action of the 
manufacturers. As Dillon explained to Sidmouth, 
they took no steps to discuss the matter in court ; they 
refused to enter a proof " They did not deny that the 
prices demanded were fair, nor did they attempt to 
show their inability to afford what was demanded, and 
they did not attend by their counsel even the hearing 
of the Court." According to the same authorit)', this 
obstinacy of the employers was due to the facility with 
which, upon their unfounded representations of riot- 
ous disturbances likely to occur, they had obtained the 
presence of almost an army of soldiers in Glasgow and 
the neighbourhood. Yet the strikers were wary, and 
no tumults broke out. " They prided themselves on 
their patient endurance, and upon the contrast they 
afforded to their Southern neighbours." The com- 
munity testified its approval of the cotton spinners by 
supporting them with credit, and by subscriptions. 
The landed proprietors took their part, and gave them 
employment on their estates. 

Justice now demanded that the employers should 
be forced to obey the law. Unfortunately,the Govern- 
ment lent too ready an ear to rumours of political 
plots and conspiracies, artfully circulated by the em- 
ployers. InJuly.Lord Advocate Colquhoun, writing 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

to Sidmouth,had reported the existence of an associ- 
ation of weavers who maintained a correspondence 
with similar organisations in England. Though no 
acts of violence had been committed, yet the societies 
" might easily be made instrumental for accomplish- 
ing seditious or treasonable designs." During the 
strike it was discovered that Maurice Margarot, the 
only " political martyr" of the sedition trials in 1793, 
who had returned from Botany Bay, had paid a visit 
to Glasgow, had been in touch with some of his former 
" revolutionary " associates, and had been seen in the 
company of some of the strikers. His visit was con- 
nected in the minds of the authorities with the propa- 
ganda of the Hampden Club, founded by Major Cart- 
wright, a leading democrat of the time, to agitate for 
drastic measures of Parliamentary reform. Under 
these circumstances, the Lord Advocate determined 
to crush the whole movement. The houses of the men's 
delegates were illegally entered, and searches were 
made forincriminatingdocuments. Finally, the lead- 
ers of what Lord Cockburn calls " the most extensive 
and peaceable combination that had ever appeared in 
this part of the kingdom " were charged with contra- 
vening the Combination Acts of 1799 and 1800, and 
sentenced to eighteen months' imprisonment — a pun- 
ishment which could not be reconciled with the recog- 
nition of the Spinners' Association both by the Justices 
and the Court of Session. But, as Dr. Cunningham 
says,"Incaseof any dispute between masters and men, 
or of a strike, the employers were able to have recourse 
to this Act at any moment and summarily crush all op- 
position." Once the manufacturers saw that the Gov- 
113 H 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

ernment was on their side,they dropped the overtures 
they had begun with the operatives, and the strike con- 
cluded with the men returning to work at the old rates. 

Two important consequences resulted from this in- 
dustrial upheaval. The clausesof the Statute of Arti- 
ficers authorising the Magistrates to fix the wages of 
labour were repealed in 1 8 1 5 — a significant action in 
view of recent demands for a statutory minimum wage. 
Further, the resentment caused by the partisan ad- 
ministration of the law led to a revival in Glasgow and 
other industrial centres in the West of those extreme 
doctrines of Parliamentary Reform derived from the 
French Revolution which had been popular in 1793. 
It was among the weavers and spinners that Scottish 
Radicalism had its birth ; and Glasgow was the scene 
of that abortive attempt to initiate a revolution which 
is known in Scottish history as the Radical Rising. 

On the afternoon of Sunday, 17th February 1822, 
a most extraordinary riot took place in the City. 

It was directed against Mr. George Provand, oil and 
colour merchant, who then occupied the handsome 
house in Clyde Street, not far from the jail, which had 
been the residence of the well-known City magnate, 
Robert Dreghorn,Esq,,Laird of Ruchill,near to Mary- 
hill and Possil, an estate recently purchased by the 
Corporation of Glasgow for a public park. 

The house referred to had the reputation of being 
hau7ited\ and, in addition thereto, the mob had become 
possessed with the idea that its then occupant, Mr. 
Provand, a bold, tall, and vigorous man, was that ob- 
noxious character, a resurrectionist ; and it might be 
even worse, a barker ! 

114 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

As set forth in the proclamation issued by the Lord 
Provost and Magistrates, the house was broken into 
and entered by a riotous and tumultuous assemblage 
of persons, who, besides breaking the windows and de- 
stroying many articles of furniture in the house, were 
guilty ofstealingand carryingawaytherefrom a num- 
ber of gold, silver, and copper coins, silver plate, etc. 
Others of them, who had not an eye to plunder, indul- 
ged their propensity for devastation and destruction, 
furniture being smashed, burned, or carried out and 
thrown into the river, which flowed past quite handy 
for the purpose. Thepolice of theCity were overpow- 
ered, pelted with stones, and forced to run for their 
lives ; while about four o'clock, when the worshippers 
in the churches were coming out, the whole City was in 
a ferment. The Magistrates, and Mr. James Hardie, 
masterofpolice,and some well-known citizens, in vain 
sought to throw oil onthe troubled waters. Theywere 
hooted, pelted, and driven away ; Mr. Lawrence Crai- 
gie, acting chief Magistrate, having a most narrow 
escape for his life. In these circumstances he rushed 
over tothe cavalry barracks, then in Laurieston; while 
one or other of his colleagues ran to the infantry bar- 
racks, then in the Gallowgate, for military aid. 

Mr. Craigie, mounted on a dragoon horse, soon ap- 
peared at full gallop over the old Jamaica Bridge,head- 
ing the cavalry, while the infantry also came forward 
in double quick order. The Riot Act was read ; the 
dragoons charged with drawn sabres, and the infan- 
try advanced with fixed bayonets; on which the mob, 
innocent and guilty, took to their heels and fled. Next 
morning the Lord Provost and Magistrates offered 
"5 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

" A reward of two hundred guineas " 
to any persons who, within one month, should give 
such information as would lead to the apprehension 
and conviction of the offenders. 

In consequence of said proclamation and reward, 
various persons were apprehended, five of whom were 
brought to trial before the Circuit Court of Justiciary 
in April following. They were convicted ; and one, 
Richard Campbell, weaver, who had beenapolice offi- 
cer, in addition to the sentence of transportation be- 
yond the seas, which all received, was further ad j udged 
to be scourged through the City by the hangman on 
the 8th of May following. 

Accordingly, on the day specified, at twelve o'clock, 
a strong detachment of the 4th Dragoon Guards par- 
aded in front of the jail, while at the same time a large 
force of police and civil officers attended. The culprit 
wasbroughtout of the jail, and boundto the cart; par- 
ties of the dragoons were placed in front and rear to 
keep off the crowd; and when all was ready the caval- 
cade moved on to the respective places of punishment. 
The first halt was made on the south side of the jail, 
where the culprit's back was laid bare by the hangman, 
who then gave him his first twenty lashes with a for- 
midable " cat o' nine tails." 

The second act was performed at the foot of Stock- 
well Street ; the third aX the head of the same street; 
and the fourth, and last, making eighty lashes in 
all, at the Cross — the prisoner groaning and lament- 
ing his hard fate. The executioner was old Thomas 
Young, the last permanent finisher of the law main- 
tained by the Magistrates of Glasgow, his house be- 

116 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

ing within the jail, from which he but seldom issued 
forth* 

Strikes accompanied by riot and bloodshed took 
place in 1837. 

During the commercial crisis and panic which in 
that year swept over the country, Glasgow, as a great 
mercantile industrial centre, suffered severely. Prices 
of all kinds of manufactured goods sank to nearly one- 
half ; many workers were thrown idle, and the wages 
of those still employed were reduced, which reduction 
again led to general and foolish strikes, at the instance 
of their trades unions, first of theoperative cotton spin- 
ners in and around Glasgow, and soon after of the 
whole colliers and iron-miners in Lanarkshire. The ef- 
fect of these two strikes was to let loose upon an al- 
ready over-distressed community above 80,000 per- 
sons, all in a state of utter destitution, and yielding im - 
plicit obedience to their trade leaders. To cope with 
this formidable and well-organised body there was, in 
and around Glasgow, a police force of only 280 men. 
Bands of 800 to 1000 men traversed the streets, with 
banners flying and drums beating ; and the colliers 
assembled in such numbers as to render any attempt 
to disperse them, except by military force, out of the 
question. Many violent assaults were made on the 
" nobs," or new hands, who took the place of the men 
out on strike ; and at length, on the 22nd July of that 
year, a new hand was shot dead in one of the streets 
of Glasgow. 

The masters met and offered a reward of ;^500 for 
the discovery of the persons implicated in the murder; 

* The Anecdolage of Glasgow^ R, Alison, p. 224. 
117 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

and three days afterwards two informers met Sheriff 
Alison by appointment in a vault under the old Col- 
lege, to which the informers were admitted by a back 
door through the College Green. They disclosed to 
the Sheriff a plot " to assassinate the new hands and the 
master-manufacturers in Glasgow, one after another, 
till thedemands of the combined workmen were com- 
plied with " ; that the man shot three days before had 
been selected as a victim ; and that Mr. Arthur, master- 
manufacturer, was to be the next victim. The inform- 
ants told the Sheriff that the next meeting of the com- 
mittee would be held on the evening of Saturday, 29th 
July, in the Black Boy Tavern, Gallowgate, Glasgow. 
At nine o'clock at night the Sheriff left his office, with 
no arms but his walking-stick, accompanied by Mr. 
Salmond, the procurator-fiscal, and Mr, Nish, the 
principal sheriff-officer. They met Captain Miller of 
the police force, with twenty constables, at the mouth 
of the Black Boy Close, a vile den in the Gallowgate, 
near the Cross. Four constables were stationed at the 
entrance to the close, with instructions to let no one 
out or in ; twelve of the others were stationed round 
the tavern front, and four at the back, with orders to 
seize anyone attempting to escape. 

Sheriff Alison, Mr. Salmond, Captain Miller, and 
Mr. Nish then entered the tavern. They at once passed 
by a trap-door in the chief room, and to which they 
ascended by a movable wooden stair or ladder, into 
the room above ; Captain Miller first, the Sheriff sec- 
ond, Mr. Salmond and Mr. Nish following in rotation. 
They found the whole committee, sixteen in number, 
seatedrounda tablein consultation, with a lotof mon- 

118 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

ey spread out before them, and only one light, from 
a gas pendant descending from the roof, lighting the 
apartment. The Sheriff brought up eight of the police, 
whom he had stationed in the room below, re-entered 
the upper room, and took up his position under the 
gas-light, to prevent it from being put out. He then 
looked round and saw that the committee were so 
panic-stricken that no resistance would be offered, 
though they were in the room four to one. Captain 
Miller then called out the name of each member of the 
committee, and as each was named beckoned him to 
go out, and they were thus one by one secured by the 
police in the room below. Not a blow was struck, so 
coolly, quietly, and firmly did the Sheriff and other 
officials go about their work. 

On Monday following (31st July) the cotton spin- 
ners met on Glasgow Green, and by a great majority 
resolved to resume their work on the masters' terms; 
and onTuesday the courageous Sheriffhad the delight 
of seeing the whole of the tall chimneys in Calton and 
Bridgeton sending forth their wonted smoke, after a 
stoppage of three months. The trial of the cotton spin- 
ners came on at Edinburgh on the 8th January 1838, 
and resulted in thewholeof the would-be assassins re- 
ceiving sentence of transportation for seven years.* 

Another dangerous service performed by Sheriff 
Alison was the attending the execution at Bishop- 
briggsof two railway labourers from Ireland who had 
murdered their overseer. So great was the fear of riot 
that a body of 1 800 troops with two field-guns was m as- 
sedatBishopbriggson the night before theexecution. 

* T/ie Anecdotage of Glasgow, p. 309. 
119 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Alison's duty was to lead the procession from Gl asgow 
to Bishopbriggs with the culprits, and back again with 
their dead bodies. The road was lined by a surging 
crowd, whose roar drowned the Sheriff's voice; but by 
tact, and the exhibition of a bold front,actual riot was 
avoided. The Glasgow Magistrates prudently remain- 
ed within the friendlyshelterof the courtyard of Glas- 
gow Jail whilst the execution was goingon miles away, 
and Alison narrowly escaped having to pay some ;!^ 1 30 
towards the expenses of the military escort.* 

The following descriptionof incidentsof theChart- 
ist riots of 1848 is full of interest for present-day Glas- 
gow men : — 

"In the year 1 848," states Mr. Daniel Frazer, "I wit- 
nessed from the doorway of No. I i3(BuchananStreet) 
a processionof alargebodyof ill-fed, ill-clad, andhalf- 
armed Chartists, men, women, and boys, enter Buch- 
anan Street, by Royal Bank Place. After marching 
from the Green and Gallowgate, by East George Street 
and Queen Street, without much interruption, thepro- 
cession turned sharp down the street, and when pass- 
ing Gordon Street fired two shots in the air. At this 
moment I saw a Glasgow gentleman, a medical man, 
if my memory serves me right, rush into the procession 
and disarm one or two of the men who had fired the 
shots, and who were thus trying to overawe our civic 
authorities, 

" Happily for law and order, nothing tended more 

to restore both than the speedy enrolment of a large 

force of special constables, largely recruited from the 

better-class citizens. These gentlemen were all pro- 

* One Hundred Glasgow Men, vol. i. p. 3. 

120 




SIR ARCHIBALD ALISON, BART. 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

vided with substantial batons, and were for a time sub- 
jected to daily drill. They were stationed in the Royal 
Exchange and elsewhere during the night." 

An old Glasgow merchant and Sabbath-school tea- 
cher, who himself acted as a special constable, and 
underwent daily drill as such, communicated to Mr. D. 
Frazer the following particulars : — 

" This outbreak soon assumed an alarming aspect. 
The mob had rapidly increased while passing towards 
the west of the City; the streets got blocked, and shops 
were entered and robbed by the hungry people. A- 
mong others the premises of a gunsmithin Exchange 
Square were entered, and guns and ammunition car- 
ried off. The shots fired in Buchanan Street greatly 
alarmed the inhabitants, who hurriedly shut the doors 
of their shops. Many windows were broken, and their 
contents carried off." 

Mr. R. Alison, author of TheAnecdotage of Glasgow, 
who was then a lad, had a vivid recollection of much 
that is above related and more, as, in com pany with the 
late Mr.RobertS.Shearer,bookseller,Stirling,who was 
then a lad with Mr. David Bryce, bookseller, Buchanan 
Street, he walked down the street named, and along 
Argyle Street, where they fell in with the infantry, 
police, and special constables — Bailie, afterwards Sir 
Andrew Orr, whom they well knew, being at the head 
of the military. Nothing occurred to obstruct the on- 
ward march until the head of the Saltmarket had been 
reached, and there it was found that abarricadeof fur- 
niture, etc., had been erected. This was coolly, quietly, 
and deliberately cleared away ; but ere this had been 
done, the rioters who had been there had vanished 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

with their stolen guns. The conflict between the East- 
End rioters and the pensioners occurred on the second 
day. A special police assessment was levied to make 
good the damage and loss.* 

Nowadays the shipbuilding industry is more vexed 
by strikes than any other local trade. The reason is, 
no doubt,thatthemenof thevarious trades which are 
required in shipbuilding are better organised than in 
other trades. Also they enjoy better remuneration, 
and therefore in time of peace can afford to lay by for 
the strike or lockout which will indubitably crop up 
ere long. The attitude of the men on the subject of 
strikes is at times a little incomprehensible to the on- 
looker. Occasionally there is sound sense behind it. 
More often, unfortunately, the reason for striking ap- 
pears, to an outsider, altogether insufficient. In the 
subjoined sketch, entitled " The Strike," the present 
writer endeavours to show one aspect of the Strike 
Question. This sketch originally appeared in the 
Glasgow Herald, znd is here reproduced by permis- 
sion of the editor : — 

The Strike 

" The fac' o' the matter is," said Sandy Dougall, 
" the profession o' rivetin' is no' whit it was. I mind 
the times when we chaps liftit twelve pounds the fort- 
nicht. Then it wis fitba' an' cigars on the Setterdays, 
and nae hurry to stert on the Mondays. Noo it's dif- 
ferent. It's either hunger or a burst. 

" As I wis sayin', things is rotten in the rivetin' 
nowadays. Ye a' ken there's been a strike wi' us boys 
*The Atucdotage of Glasgow^ p. 321. 

122 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

for the last two months. It's by noo, an' I'nfi goin' 
tae pit in a guid winter's work an' get doon tae the 
Lairgs for a couple o' months next summer. There'll 
be steady work now a' winter. It's fine at the Lairgs 
in summer." 

" Whit wis yer strike aboot ? " asked the listener. 

" Whit wis it aboot ? " said Dougall in astonish- 
ment. " Whit wis it aboot ? Man, it's easy seen ye're 
no' a riveter. Whit wis it aboot ? It wis aboot me, 
Sandy Dougall, an' nae ither man. Says the gaffer 
tae me one day — 

" ' Ye're no' makin' much o' a job o' they rivets.' 

" ' There speaks ignorance,' says I. 

" ' Whit's that ? ' says he. 

" * There's some folks would teach wisdom tae Sol- 
omon,' says I. 

"'He didna ken muckle aboot iron ships,' says he. 

" ' There are ithers,' says I, dry-like. 

" * That's impudence,' says he. 

"'Ye're a judge o't,' says I. 

" ' Ye can lift yer pey,' says he. 

"' I'll dae mair than that,' says I. ' I'll lift every 
bloomin' riveter in the yard.' An' I did it tae. We've 
been out twa months, an' we're jist gettin' a start the 
day. Gaffers must be taught their place. When I want 
tae strike, I strike. Noo I want steady work for the 
next six months." 

Just then another man joined the group. 

" Mornin', Dougall," he said. " I hear there's trouble 
wi' the rivet boys on the South Side, an' your son is 
leadin' them. The masters are fair wild about it ; an' 
there's talk about a general lockout." 
123 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

"By gum ! " said Dougall, " I canna hae that. I'm no' 
vvantin' a lockout the noo. Wsdt till I see the laddie. 
Jist you wait." 

The yard gate opened slowly, and the gate-keeper 
emerged bearing a notice which he affixed to the gate. 
The men advanced and read : " Owing to a strike of 
rivet-boys on the South Side, the services of all rivet- 
ers will be dispensed with until further notice." 

" Crivens ! " said Dougall, in the middle of the group. 
"Let me by, boys. I'll settle this strike." 

A bystander laughed scornfully. 

"It took ye twa months tae settle your own strike," 
he remarked pleasantly. 

Dougall scowled ferociously. 

" If I meet the leader o' this yin, I'll settle it an' him 
in twa minutes." Then he headed for the ferry. 

Socialism and Trade Unionism are pretty closely 
allied in these days, and therefore the attitude of a pro- 
fessed Socialist on the StrikeQuestion,and the gener- 
al relations of Capital and Labour, will be of interest. 
The present writer recently contributed to the G/as- 
gozv Herald?i sketch on this subject, which embodied 
an actual conversation which he had with a labour 
man of advanced views. In the hope that it will be of 
interest to employers as showing the attitudeof a Soc- 
ialist on present-day labour questions, it is here repro- 
duced by permission of the Editor : — 

The Victim 
We met on the Stewarton Road. Conversation be- 
ganovertheborrowingofamatch. Presently it touch- 
ed on trade prospects. 

124 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

" I suppose you're having a holiday to-day ? " I said. 

" No' exactly," he answered somewhat gruffly. " I'm 
havin' whit ye micht ca' a vacation," 

"A vacation ! " I gasped. " I suppose I'vemadeamis- 
take, but I took you for an engineer." 

" An' ye're no' faur wrang. But I'm an engineer wi' 
nae work." 

" How's that ? " I asked. 

"Man, it's like this. I'myin o'thaemen whit thinks 
that a' the means o' production should belang tae the 
State for the benefit o' the workin' man. Weel, I wis 
employed wi' Rivet & Screw (Limited), whit has the 
big engineerin' works in Govan. Sae I thocht I wid dae 
a bit propaganda work among the hands. Some o' the 
men came tae my way o' thinkin', an' then we organ- 
ised a strike for mair pey. I wis the leader, so tae 
speak." 

" Naturally," I agreed. 

"We were oot six weeks, an' then we went back at 
a shillin' o' an advance. Some o' the chaps that had 
thirty-eight bob a week when we went oot werena 
pleased. They saidit would take them twahunnerand 
twenty-eight weeks tae mak' up whit they had lost." 

" And what could you say to that? " 

" Man,that wis easy answered. Says I tae them,says 
I, 'It's principles an' no' money we're contendin' for 
the noo. Bide a wee.' Sae they bided." 

" And what happened then ? " 

" We maist o' us jined the Union ; an' it wis decidit 
that I should explain the situation tae the bosses. Says 
I tae them, ' Maist o' yer haunds are Union men. The 
ithers maun join, or we'll shut the shop.' Man, they 
125 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

were fair angered. But they had tae give in. They had 
contracts runnin', an' they couldna afford a strike." 

" What next ? " I asked. 

" Whit next ? Man, they sacked me. Ay. They 
sacked me. Sae of course I ca'ed the men oot, an' the 
works were shut doon for twa months. Then the bosses 
had tae climb doon, an' I wis taken on again. But I 
could see fine they were chawed aboot it. Still, they 
didna meddle wi'me; an' things went a'richt for a bit- 
tie, till yin o' the foremen gied me some cheek ae day. 
Of course I wisna gaun tae staun' that. So says I tae 
the bosses, says I, 'Pit oot that foreman, or I'll shut the 
shop.' An',bovvin'taetheinevitable,theypithimoot." 

" Very wise of them," I said. " What happened 
next ? " 

" Weel, for a while there was a kin' o' a lull. But, ye 
see, a man whit means tae be a leader o' men has aye 
tae be doin' somethin' tae justify his leadership. Sae 
efter a while we had a bit tirravee aboot speedin'-up ; 
an' then anither aboot the premium bonus system." 

" And how did you lose your job ? " I asked. 

" Man, it was like this. Ye sec, me bein' a leader o' 
the men ina'thaequestions,! wisna verra weel likit by 
the bosses. Besides, the same kin' o' thing had been 
goin' on in ither shops. So a' the bosses pit their heids 
thegither and formed a bit Union o' their own. A 
federation they ca'd it. An' then Rivet & Screw (Lim- 
ited) sticks up a notice that, owin' tae trade depres- 
sion, there was nae mair orders to execute. So the 
works were shut, an' the men a' turned aff, Man, it wis 
a' a do. They got their orders done in some o' the ither 
employers' shops ; an'efterabittie they opened again 

126 



SOME ALARMS & EXCURSIONS 

— beginnin' in a sma' way — an' jist takin' on the men 
they likit. I wis tell't there wis nae job for me. An' 
when I tried ither works in Govan, they would nane 
o' them have me. An' it wisna langtill I foun' oot I 
wis blackUsted in a' the shops on Clydeside an' the 
country round — me that wis a fine engineer." 

He paused, I coughed sympathetically. 

" And what are you now? " I asked. 

" Me ? Whit am I noo ? I'm a victim o' tyranny." 



CHAPTER FIVE 
HUMOUR 



CHAPTER FIVE HUMOUR 

THE CITIZEN OF GLASGOW IS NOT, GEN- 

erally speaking, a very witty person, but he possesses 
in some degree that dry humour which is to be found 
in most Scotsmen. Everyone is aware that all Eng- 
lishmen believe, or at least say, that Scotsmen are de- 
void of humour and are unable to see a joke; but re- 
cently one writer at least has been found courageous 
enough to assert that all the inhabitants of Scotland 
are humorous. This seems a fairly strong claim ; but 
it is not very wide of the mark so far as dry and caustic 
humour is concerned. The shallow wit which appeals 
to the average Londoner is conspicuously absent in 
Glasgow. But despite an unfavourable climate and a 
smoke-laden atmosphere,the Glasgow Scot occasion- 
ally manages to make a joke, even if it is made" wi'dee- 
ficulty." In the following anecdotes the idea has been 
to illustrate the types of humour which are perhaps 
most frequently to be found in Glasgow,and, generally 
speaking,thedryand caustic isprincipally in evidence. 

The following story exhibits both traditional Scot- 
tish canniness and dry sarcasm: — 

A somewhat parsimonious couple invited a friend 
to dine with them on a Monday, and when the joint 
was laid on the table it proved to be the remains of 
Sunday's roast heated up. Whereupon the guest re- 
marked that this appeared to be "an auld frien' with a 
new face." This, however, did not prevent his doing 
justice to the fare provided; and upon departing he 
said, " Well, good-night. I've had an enjoyable even- 
ing ; and you have always the consolation that it has- 
na cost you much," 
131 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

There is a certain type of man with whom many peo- 
ple are familiar, who when in company has always 
either forgotten his tobacco pouch or mislaid his cigar- 
case. Quite a variety of anecdotes hinge upon this 
characteristic, and of these perhaps the following is as 
good as any: — 

A certain workman, notorious for his sponging 
proclivities, met a friend one morning, and opened 
the conversation by saying — 

"Can ye len' us a match, John?" 

John having supplied him with the match, the first 
speaker began to feel his pockets ostentatiously, and 
then remarked dolefully : " Man, I seem to have left 
my tobacco pouch at hame." 

John, however, was equal to the occasion, and hold- 
ing out his hand remarked — 

" Aweel, ye'll no' be needin' that match, then." 

Many of the most amusing stories are those in which 
the humour is entirely unconscious, and of this class 
of anecdote the following is a good specimen : — 

Two Glasgow women, meetingoneday,fellintocon- 
versation, and the one said to the other — 

" Ay, Mrs. McTavish, an' so Jeanie's got mairret ! " 

"She has that, Mrs. Mc Alpine." 

" An' how's she gettin' on ? " 

"Oh, no' sae bad at a'. There's only one thing the 
matter. She canna bide her man ! But then, there's 
aye a something!" 

An elderly Glasgow man lost his wife, and his ne- 
phew was taking the old man back to the now empty 
and desolate house. 

" Well," said the bereaved husband after a long sil- 

132 



OF SOME GLASGOW HUMOUR 

ence, " forty-six years ! I suppose she was a good wife 
to me. She was a fine cook and a good housekeeper; 
and she kept me well. But, do you know," he added, 
"I never liked her." 

Here is another story which is also agood specimen 
of unconscious humour, 

A serving-woman who was sent to bring water from 
the Clyde for some domestic purposes was rather a 
long time on her errand, and at length returned. On 
making her way to the kitchen, her mistress demand- 
ed what had kept her so long. " Keepit me saelang!" 
said the dripping maid, with a look of surprise ; " deed 
ye may be glad to see me again. The river was rinnin' 
frae bank to brae. I missed a fit and fell in ; and if it 
hadna been for Providence and anither woman, I wad 
hae been drowned." 

As an example of the soft answer which turneth 
away wrath, the following may be submitted : — 

A person of weak intellect, who went by the name 
of Jock, was a hanger-on in the household of the late 
Sir John Maxwell of Pollok, where he performed occa- 
sional small menial tasks suchas turning the spit. On 
one occasion a dispute had arisen between the cook 
and Jock, and the former struck her assistant with a 
shovel that she happened to have in her hand. The en- 
raged Jock seized hold of a large three-pronged fork, 
and the cook fled with the infuriated wielder of the 
fork at her heels. Round and round the park in front 
of the mansion-house did the pursuer follow the cook, 
till she was fairly out of breath, when suddenly she 
turned round, and puttingher handsonher hips, smil- 
ingly said, " Man, Jock, that's been a race." Jock im- 
U3 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

mediately forgot the castis belli, and grounding his 
arms replied, " Hech ! ye may say't." 

All the world knows that football has a very pro- 
minent part in Glasgow life, and that the youth of 
Glasgow devote more time, energy, and intellect to the 
playing of the game and to following it than they do 
to anything else. It is therefore natural that there 
should be a good many stories dealing with the sub- 
ject ; but considerations of space prevent the quota- 
tion of more than three. 

A visitor was being shown round the Royal Infir- 
mary. As he passed through the accident ward he ex- 
changed wordsofsympathy with someofthe patients. 
" My word," he said to one man, whose head was 
swathed in bandages and whose face was badly scar- 
red, "you are knocked about ! But you must cheer 
up if you want to get better," " I've finished with 
cheering," said the patient. " Nonsense," replied the 
visitor. " There's nae nonsense aboot it," answered 
the patient. " It was through cheering that I'm here. 
I wis oot at Parkheid watchin' the Celtic playin' the 
Rangers, an' I cheered the Rangers." When it is men- 
tioned that Parkhead is the ground of the Celtic, the 
moral of this story is obvious to any footballer. 

The Butterbiggins Rovers were playingthe Goose- 
dubs Swifts on forbidden ground, when a policeman 
suddenly appeared on the scene. 

There was a rush, a general scramble, and the con- 
stable had captured a small boy, who locked as if he 
had been in the wars already. 

" Now," said the policeman, who wasn't a bad sort 
after all, " I've warned you before about this playing 

134 



OF SOME GLASGOW HUMOUR 

football in the street. Which shall it be — a hiding or 
a summons? " 

" I'll hae the lickin'," came the tearful response. 
" Yin mair canna mak' muckle difference. I wis the 
referee ! " 

An Englishman and a Scotsman chanced to meet 
at a football match, and, contrary to tradition, the En- 
glishman had a bottle while the Scotsman had none. 
A few minutes after the game had started a good run 
was madeby one of the visiting forwards. " Good run," 
said the Scotsman. " Fine," said the Englishman, 
and applied his lips to the bottle, ignoring Sandy's 
thirsty glances. Later on a goal was scored. " Fine 
goal," said Sandy. " Grand," said the Englishman, 
taking another draught, but still not offering it to his 
neighbour. " I presume you're a bit o' a fitba' player 
yoursel' ? " said Sandy. " I am," was the proud reply. 
"I thocht sae," said Sandy. "You're a grand dribbler, 
but you're no good at passing." 

The world contains a good many people who are 
tired of existence and have an inclination to discover 
what the next world holds for them. The subject of 
suicide is not a pleasant one, but the following anec- 
dote shows that it may have its humorous side: — 

A gentleman in Glasgow had in his employ a groom 
who always wore an air of sadness and dejection. On 
going to his stables one morning the gentleman was 
surprised to find his groom dangling in mid-air at the 
end of a trace, one end of which was tied to a beam in 
the roof, and the other end buckled around the man's 
waist. "What on earth are you up to now?" queried 
the master. " I'm try in' to hang mysel', sir," said the 
135 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

groom, in a tired-of-life tone. " Then why didn't you 
tie the trace round your neck? " said the employer, 
who was thoroughly tired of the man's foolishness. " I 
did try that way once, sir," came the reply in all solem- 
nity, " but I couldna breathe." 

Glasgow has of course a world-wide reputation as a 
shipbuilding and engineering centre. Unfortunately, 
these trades are not without their risks, and seldom a 
day passes without some fatal accident in one of the 
public works. This is nearly as solemn a subject as 
suicide ; but,despiteits solemnity, it produces at least 
one good story. 

Two Scots met the other day after many years. 
First Scot : "Ah weel,noo,Sandy, an'hoo haeye been 
gettin' alang this lang time ? " Second Scot : " Fine, 
man, fine; an' hooarea' theauld folk?" First Scot: 
"Weel, man, weel; but ye mind Jock M'Kay? Weal, 
the big steam hammer at the foundry cam' doon on 
hischest an' killed him." Second Scot: "Eh,puirauld 
Jock ; but ye ken Jock aye had a weak chest ! " 

While on the subject of shipbuilding one may also 
quote a good story which is told of a ship-yard lab- 
ourer : — 

The foreman in a Clyde shipbuilding yard once 
engaged a new hand as a labourer, and promptly set 
him to transfer some large pieces of timber from one 
partof the yard to another. The man took offhis coat 
and started the job ; but after a little he waylaid the 
foreman and said, "A say, mister, did ye catch ma 
name, when yetook me on?" "Ay,"said the foreman, 
" ye said Tamson." " A did," said the man ; " but A 
thocht maybe ye took it up for ' Samson.' " 

136 




" HAWKIE " 



OF SOME GLASGOW HUMOUR 

One or two specimens of unconscious humour have 
already been given, but these were connected with 
grown-ups. Such humour is perhaps more frequently 
to be met with am ong the youthful generation. Many 
people have encountered in train an d tram-car the boy 
who is thirsting for knowledge, and who pesters his 
long-suffering parents or guardians on all conceiv- 
able and inconvenient topics. The following story is 
an excellent specimen of its kind : — 

Sandy asked so many questions one day that he 
finally wore out his mother's patience. " Sandy," she 
cried, "if you ask me another question I shall put you 
to bed withoutyour supper." Sandy promptly asked 
another, and was packed off to bed. Later his mo- 
ther repented. After all, asking questions was the 
only way the boy could acquire knowledge ; so she 
tiptoed upstairs, knelt beside his bed, and told him 
she was sorry. " Now, dear," she said, " if you want 
to ask one more question before you go to sleep, ask 
it now, and I will try to answer." Sandy thought for a 
moment, then said, " Mother, how far can a cat spit? " 

Another awkward customer is the small boy who 
has overheard his elders talking, but has not quite 
understood the exact drift of their remarks. In such 
cases a little knowledge is a very dangerous thing, as 
was probably realised by the boy in the next story. 
"Grandfather," said little Dugald, "will you please 
make a noise like a frog?" "Why, boy?" "Because fa- 
ther says that when you croak we'll get five thousand 
pounds." 

School life is not without its humours, and this 
would no doubt be apparent to the teacher in the fol- 
137 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

lowing anecdote. Schoolmaster : " Now, boys, sup- 
pose in a family there are fivechildren, and mother has 
only four potatoes to divide between them. Now she 
wants to give to every child an equal share. What is 
she going to do?" Silence reigned in the room. Every- 
body calculated very hard, until one little boy put up 
his hand. " Well, Sandy, what would she do ? " said 
the master. " Mash the potatoes, sir." 

The next story is also a good example of the 
unexpected answer: "And why," a teacher asked, 
"should we hold the aged in respect?" "'Cause it's 
mostly the old men that has all the money," Tommy 
answered. 

The parents of the present generation did not bene- 
fit so much from education as their children do now- 
adays, and occasionally they may be at a loss to un- 
derstand any long words which the teacher may hap- 
pen to use. The next story exemplifies a parental lack 
of knowledge which seemingly had painful results for 
the unhappy pupil. A Bridgeton schoolteacher, after 
having her pupils medically examined in her room, 
wrote the following note to the parents of a certain 
little boy: " Your little boy. Tommy, shows signs of 
astigmatism. Will you please investigate, and take 
steps to correct it?" To which she received a note in 
reply saying: "I dinna richtly ken what Tommy has 
been daein ' ; but A've leathered him the nicht, an' you 
leather him the morn, an' that ought tae be some 
help." 

Nowadays we live in an age of strikes and lock- 
outs; and while, generally speaking, organisedlabour 
obeys its leaders, the obedience is not always yielded 

138 



OF SOME GLASGOW HUMOUR 

without some heart-searching. For example, the Irish 
dock-labourer in the next story evidently found him- 
self in somewhat of a quandary. But history does not 
relate how he escaped from it. Casey : " Now phwat 
wu'd ye do in a case loike thot ? " Clancy : " Loike 
phwat ? " Casey : " The Union tills me to stroike, an' 
me ould woman orders me to kape on wurkin'." 

There is muchhumour tobefound among the Irish 
labourers who work in their thousands in and around 
Glasgow. The foregoing story is a fair specimen of one 
species of it. Here is another. 

One afternoon on a hot summer day an Irish fore- 
man platelayer was walking along the Caledonian 
line in the neighbourhood of Glasgow when he found 
oneofhis men placidlysleeping ontheshadysideofan 
embankment. The foreman looked reproachfully at 
the delinquent for a full minute, and then remarked — 

" Slape on, ye lazy spalpeen, slape on. Fur as long 
as ye slape ye've got a job, but when ye wake up ye 
won't have none." 

Glasgow prides itself upon its tramway system, and 
at times the citizens discuss in the press, through the 
medium of letters to the editor, the manners of Glas- 
gow car-conductors. Generally speaking, these man- 
ners are all that can be desired ; and the undernoted 
tale shows that a car-conductor may not only enforce 
the regulations, but may do so wittily: "I suppose," 
said a lady, "if I pay a penny for my dog, he will have 
the same privileges as other passengers — that is, he 
may have a seat?" " Certainly, madam," replied the 
conductor; "on thesametermsas other passengers — 
he will net be allowed to put his feet on the seat." 
139 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

In these days of talk about conscription, we have the 
territorialarmymuchin evidence before us,and some 
of the dashing officers are no doubt subjects of admira- 
tion not only to the ladies but also to small boys. 
This, however, may possibly have awkward conse- 
quences, as is shown in the next story: — 

"You ought to haveseen Mr. Marshall when he call- 
ed upon Dolly the other night," remarked Johnny to 
his sister's young man, who was taking tea with the 
family. " I tell you he looked fine sitting there along- 
side of her with his arm " " Johnny ! " gasped his 

sister, her face the colour of a boiled lobster. "Well, 

so he did," persisted Johnny. " He had his arm " 

"John!" screamed the mother frantically. " Why," 

whined the boy, " I was " "John," said his father 

sternly, "leave the room!" And Johnny left, crying 
as he went, " I was only going to say that he had his 
army clothes on." 

From time immemorial down to the present day 
Glasgow has always possessed one or more street char- 
acters of a curious description. These men were usual- 
ly not quite compos mentis, but frequently possessed a 
species of coarse wit which seems to have appealed to 
Glasgowcitizensof abygone day,and would no doubt 
still appeal to the people in some of the lower quarters 
of the town. The characters in question were in some 
degree licensed jesters. Many stories are told ofthem, 
and numerous specimens of their alleged wit are to be 
found in print. A careful study of these, however, leads 
one to the conclusion that the humour of the past cen- 
tury or two contained much vulgarity and very little 
genuine wit. Perhaps the most famous of all these 

140 



OF SOME GLASGOW HUMOUR 

street humorists was Hawkie. But beyond recording 
the fact that these street jesters existed, it is hardly 
worth while to take further notice of the majority of 
them here. Their humour was not such as would ap- 
peal to present-day audiences, and the following speci- 
mens of Hawkie's wit are perhaps sufficient to enable 
one to gain some idea of the smartest of Glasgow street 
humour. 

Hawkie was ever ready to enter into a religious dis- 
cussion, and frequentlyshowed greatskill in the man- 
agement of an argument. One day he fell into a dis- 
cussion onthedoctrineof Baptism with a spirit-dealer 
in the City, who maintained that the mere observance 
of the external ceremony was all that was required. 
" Do you," said the gangrel, " insist that sprinkling wi' 
water constitutes baptism?" 

"Yes, I do," replied the bar-master. 

"Weel, then, gin that be a' that's necessary, your 
whisky casks may dispute Christianity wi' ony Pro- 
testant bishop in the hale country." 

" Hae, Hawkie," said one of his almoners, "there's 
a penny to you, and gae awa', man, and getyour beard 
ta'en aff ; ye micht draw lint through't for a heckle. 
I'm perfectly ashamed to see you gaun about like a 
Jew." 

" Oh," replied Hawkie, "but you forget, freen, that 
it disna suit a beggar to be bare-faced." 

"I shall endeavour to provoke Hawkie into retort," 
said a gentleman who was well known to the wit, to 
a friend. And passing the beggar, with head turned 
away to avoid recognition, he remarked, in a voice 
sufficiently audible, " He's a perfect blackguard and 
141 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

impostor that Hawkie. He should be sent to Bride- 
well!" 

" Hech, man," retorted Hawkie, " you're the only 
neebour-like person I hae seen the day," 

Some forty years ago, when the Very Rev. Bishop 
Murdoch was Bishop in Glasgow, Hawkie in his ram- 
bles often made his way to the Bishop's residence in 
Great Clyde Street, and as the Bishop was well ac- 
quainted with Hawkie and his pawky sayings, he often 
rewarded him with a plate of soup or a glass of spirits, 
whichever he appeared to be most in need of On one 
occasion a clergyman from the Highlands was paying 
a visit to the Bishop, and as they both chanced to be 
standing at the window conversing, they saw Hawkie 
slowlymakinghiswayin their direction. The Bishop, 
turning to the clergyman, told him that that was one 
of Glasgow's characters, famous for his witty sayings, 
etc., and that he would call him in, when he would 
probably hear for himself. Accordingly, Hawkie was 
brought in, and shown into the room beside the rev- 
erend gentleman. The Bishop spoke a few words to 
him, and then, as he saw Hawkie looking at the pic- 
tures on the walls, he asked him if he knewany of them, 

"Maybe," was the answer. 

The Bishop, pointing to a likeness of himself which 
was hanging on the wall, asked him if he knew it, and 
if it was a good likeness. 

" Ou, ay," said Hawkie, " it's no' bad." 

He was then shown an engraving of the Pope, and, 
being told who it was, he said, " I dinna ken, I never 
saw him." 

" Well," said the Bishop, pointing to a picture of 

142 



OF SOME GLASGOW HUMOUR 

the Crucifixion, which was hanging between the two 
likenesses, " you surely know that ? " 

Hawkie gazed intently at it for a minute, and then 
said, " I aye heard that Christ was crucified be- 
tween two thieves, but I ne'er kent wha they were 
afore." * 

It is regrettably true that whisky figures very large- 
ly in Glasgow life, and not a few stories are told re- 
garding its virtues or its effects. Generally speaking, 
public orators can manage to get a laugh out of an 
allusion to whisky, but the gentleman mentioned in 
the following story amused his audience quite un- 
consciously. 

A North of Ireland orator in a Glasgow constitu- 
ency sought to ingratiate himself with his audience 
at the outset thus : " Gentlemen, I am an Irishman. 
I am proud to be an Irishman, but I am not ashamed 
to admit that I have a drop of Scotch in me." And 
for fully a minute he could not understand what the 
laughter was about. 

Asaninstanceofthe'rulingpassionstrongin death' 
the following is an excellent example. A slater who 
was engaged upon the roof of a house fell from the 
ladder and lay in an unconscious state upon the pave- 
ment. One of the pedestrians who rushed to the aid 
of the man chanced to have a flask of spirits in his 
pocket, and to revive him began to pour a little down 
his throat. " Canny, man, canny," said another man, 
looking on, " or you'll choke him." The unconscious 

*The foregoing stories of Hawkie are taken by permission 
of Alexander Gardner, Esq., Publisher, Paisley, from Thistle- 
down, by R. Ford. 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

slater slowly opened his eyes and said quietly, " Pour 
awa', man, pour avva'; ye're doin' fine." 

Convivial citizens occasionally find themselves in 
trouble when they have been spending the evening 
abroad instead of at their own firesides. I n such cases 
the welcome home is often warm in more senses than 
one, and the next two stories illustrate this unhappy 
state of affairs. 

Sandy returned home at a very questionable hour, 
and among other souvenirs of a special evening he 
carried a considerable gash on his forehead. His wife 
demanded an explanation of the wound. " Nothin' 
be'larmed'bout m'dear. Jes'bit m'self " "Alexander 
McKay! How could you bite yourself on the fore- 
head ? " exclaimed his irritated helpmate. This had 
presented no difficulties to the versatile Sandy, if it 
had taxed the credulity of his spouse. " Shtood on a 
chair, y'know," he explained glibly. 

I n the East End of Glasgow there once lived a good- 
humoured carpenter remarkable for his shrewd sense 
and ready wit. He was an excellent workman when 
sober, but like many good tradesmen he sometimes 
frequented the public-house and indulged to excess — 
a sin which his wife did not relish, but resisted with 
might and main, by opening upon him a well-directed 
battery of tongue and fisticuffs as often as he trans- 
gressed. Knowing what was to be expected at home, 
he,like a prudent man, often remained longer abroad 
than he would otherwise have done. On one occa- 
sion he got drunk as usual; and when twelve o'clock 
at night came round he found it necessary that he 
should proceed homewards. A friend was kind enough 

144 



OF SOME GLASGOW HUMOUR 

to assist him ; and when he had arrived at his own 
door, and had put his hand upon the latch, he turned 
round and addressed his faithful conductor. " Tarn, 
I wad advise ye no' to gang ony far'er ; it's needless 
for twa tae enter a place o' torment at ance." 

To bring this section to a close one may relate the 
story of the West Highlander who had dwelt long in 
Glasgow, but was finally summoned from it to the bed- 
side of hisdyingfather. When he arrived the old man 
was fast nearing his end. For a while he remained 
unconscious of his son's presence. Then at last the 
old man's eyes opened, and he began to murmur. 
The son bent eagerly to listen. 

"Dugald," whispered the parent, "Luckie Simpson 
owes me five shullins." 

"Ay, man, ay," said the son eagerly. 

"An' Dougal More owes me seven shullins." 

" Ay," assented the son. 

" An' Hamish M'Craw owes me ten shullins." 

"Sensible tae the last," muttered the delighted heir. 
" Sensible tae the last." 

Once more the voice from the bed took up the tale. 

" An', Dugald, I owe Calum Beg twa pounds." 

Dugald shook his head sadly. 

"Wanderin' again, wanderin' again," he sighed. 
" It's a peety." 



CHAPTER SIX 
MUNICIPAL 



CHAPTER SIX MUNICIPAL 

BROADLY SPEAKING, GLASGOW HAS 
been fortunatein its civic rulers. The breath ofscandal 
seldom has attached even to a Councillor — let alone a 
Lord Provost or a Bailie. The wholesale graft which 
is apparent in American Municipal Politics has no 
place in this happy City ; or if it has a place it is an ob- 
scure one. True, one has heard from time to time rum- 
ours of corruption upon the licensing bench, and stor- 
ies have been circulated regarding the profits to be 
made evenbya common Councillor. But these things 
haveseldom, if ever, been authenticated. Even if they 
have been done in secret they have certainly not been 
proclaimed upon the housetops. Therefore the Glas- 
gow citizen pays his rates with resignation, and com- 
parativepunctuality; satisfied thatheis getting better 
value than is vouchsafed to ratepayers in less favoured 
communities. He may begrudge the Edinburgh man 
his Princes Street, and the general beauty of his city. 
But a consideration of the Edinburgh tramway sys- 
tem speedily restores the Glasgow man's equanimity. 
Or having imbibed Talla water in Fair Edina,he can 
turn to "pure Loch Katrine," satisfied that he has 
also in this respect the better of his Eastern brother. 
Indeed, generally speaking, Glasgow has been and is 
a well-governed city, and its list of Lord Provosts is a 
roll of which the City may justly be proud. 

The armorial insignia of Glasgow are richly storied , 
the different emblems referring to several legends in 
the life of St. Kentigern, who was the first Bishop of 
Glasgow, and died about 602 a.d. The tree represents 
the bough which, according to an old story, St. Kenti- 
149 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

gern kindled by his word into a blaze in order to re- 
light the church lights, which some of hisenemies had 
put out. The bird perched upon the tree is a robin, the 
pet of St. Serf, which St. Kentigern restored to life, as 
the tradition goes. The bell which hangs upon th e tree 
signifies the Church and See of Glasgow founded by 
St. Kentigern. But the most romantic legend of all is 
associated with the salmon, which bears a ring in its 
mouth. Tradition relates that the Queen of Cadzow 
had given away to a certain knight a ring which she 
had received as a present from the king her husband. 
The king, suspecting this, and being very wroth at 
such faithless conduct, considered how he might best 
discover her guilt and punish it. 

One day when thekingand his Court wereouthunt- 
ing along the banks of the Clyde, the knight to whom 
the queen had given the ring, overcome with fatigue, 
fell asleep under the shelterof atree. The king seized 
theopportunity to look into the knight's pouch, and 
there, as he had expected, he found thering. Incensed 
beyond measure that the queen should have thus 
lightly treated the ring he gave her, he flung it into 
the river. 

Returning home, he demanded the ring from the 
queen; at the same time telling her that she should be 
put to deathif it was not produced. She immediately 
sent hermaidtotheknighttoask for it; but, of course, 
he could not find it. The queen knew not which way 
to turn. At last, in her despair, she bethought herself 
of the good Bishop Kentigern. She avowed her fault 
to him, and expressed her sorrow, and besought his 
advice and help. The good man believed in her sin- 

150 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

cerity and took compassion upon her. He immediate- 
ly sent one of his people to fish in the river, with in- 
structions to bring him the first fish he caught. The 
angler soon returned and laid a huge salmon at the 
feet of the Bishop, who took from its mouth the very 
ring which the king had flung into the Clyde. The 
queen, receiving the ring from the Bishop, together 
with his blessing, hastened to take it home to her hus- 
band, and thus her life was saved by the good Bishop 
Kentigern.* 

In municipal matters the Council are guided by the 
Town Clerk, and that office has been filled by a long 
succession of able men. Its duties are onerous; but 
seldom, even in these days of fervent municipal poli- 
ticians, does the Town Clerk run any bodily risk in 
consequence of the fearless discharge of his duties. 
But there is on record one instance in which the Town 
Clerk was the victim of outrage. 

In 1694 a dispute between a citizen and a soldier 
was submitted to the sitting Magistrate. Robert Park, 
the Town Clerk, supported the cause of the citizen, 
and Major James Menzies that of the soldier. High 
words ensued, when, in the heat of passion, the Major 
stabbed Mr. Park, and immediately fled. He was 
pursued, and, in consequence of resistance, shot in 
Renfield garden.f 

One of the most famous of the earlier Provosts of 
Glasgow was Andrew Cochrane, who, according to 
the prefatory notice to the Cochrane Correspondence, 

* History of the Incorporation ofCordiners in Glasgow, W. 
Campbell, p. 17. 

t The Topographical Picture of Glasgow, p. 23. 

151 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

published by the Maitland Club, "was born in 1693, 
and was bred to mercantile life. He was first chosen 
Provost (after having been Bailie for several years) in 
1741, and was re-elected to that dignity in 1744-45, 
at a crisis when unflinching integrity of purpose and 
great firmness of conduct were required. Under his 
official guidance, Glasgow fully maintained the re- 
putation of a staunch adherence to the Protestant 
Constitution; and to his skilful management was ow- 
ing the recovery of compensation for the losses sus- 
tained from the rebels by its loyal inhabitants." The 
Cochrane Correspondence displays in the strongest 
manner the public spirit of the Provost, and the an- 
xiety and labour which the Rebellion and its conse- 
quences imposed upon him. He had, however, for 
reward the gratitude of his townsmen, and that con- 
scious rectitude which dictated his famous ejaculation, 
" I thank God my magistracy has ended without re- 
proach !" Mr. Cochrane was elected for the last time 
Provost in 1 760 ; and till the close of his life his exer- 
tions were bestowed on the support of Hutcheson's 
Hospital, of which he died Preceptor in 1777. A hand- 
some monument was erected to his memory in the 
Cathedral, and now ornaments the renovated nave. 
The raising of the Glasgow Regiment, already re- 
ferred to in Chapter I., occasioned a great stir in the 
City, and so enthusiastic were the leading classes in 
getting the ranks filled up, that many gentlemen 
paraded with drums and fifes, offering large bounties 
for recruits. The first public movement to raise the 
Glasgow Regiment was made by Mr. Gray of Carn- 
tyne,Mr.JamesFindlay,and ex-Provost Ingram, who 

152 




ANDREW COCHRANE 



i 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

met somewhere in the Gallowgate, whence they pro- 
ceeded as a recruiting party towards the Cross ; Mr. 
Gray, who was a tall, handsome man, wielding asword 
as the sergeant in front — followed by Mr. Findlay 
playing the pipes — and Mr. Ingram bringing up the 
rear. 

On arrival in front of Peter McKinlay's, a famous 
tavern near the Exchange, this trio followed the ex- 
ample of other recruiting parties, by halting and pro- 
ceeding upstairs, w^here they were instantly joined 
by a number of their friends from the reading-room, 
anxious to know the success they had met with. Up- 
on which Mr. Ingram said, "There's a sergeant and a 
piper, but I am the regiment!" It was not many days, 
however, before a thousand men were obtained. Mr. 
Ingram was one of the three public-spirited individu- 
als who supported the brothers Robert and Andrew 
Foulis, in their endeavour to establish a Fine Art 
Academy in Glasgow ; and from him the now busy 
thoroughfare leading to the present Royal Exchange 
takes its name. He afterwards became Provost ; and 
it is said that he began in the world by selling a peck 
of "haws."* 

Nowadays one hears much of the civic hospitality 
of Glasgow, and certain Councillors think that too 
much is lavished on this department of municipal ac- 
tivity. But, generally speaking, Scottish municipali- 
ties in the eighteenth century took small interest in 
matters gastronomic. London led in that respect. 
Other towns were content to admire, without striving 
to emulate. It is therefore with interest that one reads 

* Glasgow a7id its Clubs, p. 68. 
153 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

that although previous to 1750 the general charac- 
teristic of the inhabitants of Glasgow had been an at- 
tentive industry, combined with a frugality bordering 
upon parsimony, it appears that they, notwithstand- 
ing, paid some little attention to cookery, which taste 
may perhaps be traced in some degree to their origi- 
nal connection with France. The following singu- 
lar entry, in the Council Minutes of 8th May 1740, 
shows that the Corporation of Glasgow were not in- 
sensible to the benefits to be derived from a know- 
ledge of the culinary art : " Which day, anent the 
petition given in by J ames Lochead, Teacher of Cook- 
ery, mentioning that he being regularly educated by 
His Majesty's cooks, under whom he served, in the art 
of cookery, pastry, confectioning, candying, preserv- 
ing and pickling, and of making milks, creams, sylla- 
bubs, gellies, soups and broths, of all sorts ; and also 
taught to dress and order a table, and to make bills 
of fare for entertainments of all kinds ; and that of 
late he had successfully taught severall young ladies, 
to their own and to their parents' satisfaction ; and 
that for instruction of his scholars he is obliged to pro- 
vide, on his own charge, flesh, fowls, fish, spiceries, 
and severall other ingredients, but when dresst, lye 
on his hand for want of sale, by which he is a loser, 
and will be obliged to lay aside his teaching unless he 
be assisted in carrying it on ; and, therefore, craving 
a yearly allowance, etc., remit to the Magistrates to 
agree with him as to teaching, and allow him ;!^io 
sterling yearly during their pleasure." 

The following advertisement is taken from the 
Glasgow Courant of 1749, relative to the foregoing 

154 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

individual : " That James Lochead, at his house oppo- 
site to Bell's wynd in Glasgow, begins, upon the loth 
inst., to teach, as formerly, in a plain and easy man- 
ner, how to dress, with very small expense,all sorts of 
Flesh, Fowl, and Fish ; also Pastry and pickling, pre- 
serving any kind of meat in summer, from spoiling : 
dressing Roots and Herbs ; likewise he teaches many 
useful things fit for families of all ranks, too tedious 
to mention. Any person who designs to be taught to 
dress meat, etc., as above, will be attended upon in his 
school, at any hour of the day, and will agree with them 
by the month, at a very easy rate. He hopes great 
satisfaction will be given to the ladies who are desir- 
ous of learning the art of Cookery, etc., by which, in 
a short time, they will be able to direct their servants 
to dress any dish of meat to their own mind. And if 
any persons have occasion to make publick Enter- 
tainments, he is ready to attend them, to their satis- 
faction, as he has had the opportunity to be frequent- 
ly employed on such occasions, both in Scotland and 
England." * 

It is hoped that the worthy and enterprising James 
Lochead reaped an adequate reward. The City's con- 
tribution does not seem to have erred on the side of 
generosity. 

In thispresentyear of grace, when the City Sanitary 
Department has assumed great dimensions,and when 
the name of its employees is legion, it is instructive to 
look back to the small beginnings of that Department. 
FromaMinuteoftheCouncilofi4thOctoberi777,an 
insight may be gained into the modest requirements of 

* Glasgow and its Clubs , p. 19. 
155 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

the citizens of those days in regard to a Cleansing De- 
partment. This,ofcourse,was inpre-microbulardays. 
The Minute runs as follows : " 14th October 1777. — 
The said day the Magistrates and Council, considering 
that there are only two men employed in cleaningthe 
streets of the City, and which have not been proper- 
ly cleaned ; they therefore agree that a third person 
should be employed, along with the said two men, in 
cleaning the streets in time coming. And in the winter 
season, the said three men, if they clean the streets 
properly, shall be paid one pound sterling weekly, 
and ten shillings weekly in the summer."* 

It is open to question if the above scale of pay for 
summer work would now be regarded as satisfactory. 
But no record of a scavengers' strike in those days is 
to be found. 

It is a truism that Magistrates should be the dread 
of the evilly disposed, and our civic forefathers knew 
how to maintain their authority, and the dignity of 
their office. Nothing was more vigorously resented 
than any defiance of constituted authority, and Magis- 
trates insisted upon due honour being shown to their 
dignity on all occasions. Expressed contempt of the 
Magistrates was sometimes visited with both fine and 
imprisonment; and even the failure to lift the bonnet 
to a passing Bailie was considered worthy of punish- 
ment, thedelinquent requiring to go bare-headed and 
bare-footed to the Cross to ask pardon of God and the 
Bailie for his contumely. Open contempt of religion 
and profanity were punished in the same way.f 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 78. 

t Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenships G. Stewart, p. xiv. 

156 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

Such was the dignity of the Corporation that only 
one joke was permitted regarding the word *' Magis- 
trate." That delicious fish, the Loch Fyne herring, be- 
came known as a " Glasgow Magistrate." The name 
arose from the practice of all persons bringing up this 
delicious and cheap fish to the Broomielaw being ob- 
liged tosenda specimen of their boat-loads to the Bai- 
lie of the River for his approval. The consequence of 
this was, that the samples presented to the Skate Bailie, 
as he was sometimes called, were always the largest 
that could be selected. This ultimately ended in giving 
to all picked herrings the designation of " Glasgow 
Magistrates."* 

The prosperity of Glasgow is bound up with the 
Clyde, and the Town Council and the Clyde Trustees 
are generally at one in supporting any project for the 
good of the river. At one time it was hoped that a large 
dock would be constructed in the neighbourhood of 
Washington Street, and the Clyde Trustees were 
anxious to acquire an extensive plot of ground in 
that vicinity. The history of the negotiations, and their 
failure, is as follows : — 

About the year 1814, when Henry Monteith was 
Lord Provost of Glasgow, the River Trustees, having 
thought of excavating docks at the Broomielaw, to 
accommodate the increasing shipping of the harbour, 
authorised Mr. Monteith to treat with Mr. Grahame, 
agent of the proprietrix, for the purchase of the said 
lands of Washington Street, then vacant ground. Mr. 
Monteith accordingly waited on Mr. Grahame, to 
know theprice which the proprietrix, M iss Reid,would 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 286. 
157 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

take forthesaid lands, fully expecting to acquire them 
at a very moderate price, seeing that they were waste 
grounds bringing in no return. In reply to Mr. Mon- 
teith's inquiry as to the price which Miss Reid would 
take for the said property, Mr. Grahame at once said 
that the very lowest price would be ;£" 10,000. Mr. 
Monteith, who, in his younger days, had remembered 
thetrifling value of ground ifl the immediate neigh- 
bourhood of Anderston, at the mention of i^iopoo 
held up his hands in amazement, at what he con- 
sidered its absolute absurdity, exclaiming that the 
price demanded was so utterly extravagant and ri- 
diculous that it was quite unnecessary to say a word 
more on the subject, and so forthwith left Mr. Gra- 
hame's office. Provost Monteith reported so strong- 
ly against the whole project that the River Trustees 
hesitated about making any furtherattempt to acquire 
Miss Reid's lands ; but about a year afterwards, the 
said Trustees having again taken the matter into their 
consideration, came to be of opinion that the lands 
in question, being so favourably situated for a dock, 
should be purchased by the Trust, notwithstanding of 
the price being likely to be rather extravagant ; they 
therefore again requested Mr. Monteith to wait on Mr. 
Grahame with an offer of ;i^8ooo for the said lands. 
When Mr. Monteith again waited on Mr. Grahame he 
commenced his address to him by saying that the 
River Trustees, contrary to his opinion, had now a- 
greed to make Miss Reid an offer of ;^8ooo for the 
Washington Street lands, and he added that he was 
confident that no such offer would ever again be made 
for these vacant grounds. But Mr. Grahame, in reply 

158 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

to this offer, repeated that he had before said that the 
very lowest price would be iJ^io,ooo. Inconsequence 
of this answer the treaty for the purchase of the lands 
in question was finally broken off, and thus the River 
Trustees lost a most convenient site for a dock, in the 
very heart of the harbour and of the City. Mr. Grah- 
ame shortly afterwards laid off Washington Street 
for feuing, and ultimately the feus realised a price 
equal to ;!{^3 0,000. 

Miss Reid, in accordance with her political princi- 
ples, named the new street " Washington Street," in 
honour of the founder of American Independence. 

Bylooking at Fleming's large map of Glasgow,pub- 
lished in 181 5, it will be seen that the lands now of 
Washington Street then consisted of a large oblong 
piece of ground, stated to be the property of Matthew 
Reid. On the west it formed the western boundary of 
the City, lying between Clyde Street and McAlpine 
Street. It stood north and south from Anderston 
Walk to the margin of the river Clyde — a glorious 
situation for a dock, which the City authorities unfor- 
tunately allowed to slip through their hands.* 

The story of the municipalprogressofGlasgow be- 
longs to the region of H istory, and therefore is outwith 
the purview of this book; but there are numerous an- 
ecdotes about Glasgow Magistrates and Councillors 
which will bear repetition. 

A short time prior to the French Revolution of 1 848, 
and while Louis-Philippe, the citizen King, was still on 
the throne of France, Glasgow was honoured with a 
Lord Provost, Mr. James Lumsden, who, though any- 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. iii. p. 50. 
159 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

thing but literary himself, carried on an extensive and 
prosperous business in publishing. This wise digni- 
tary was, in his day,a benefactor of oneormoreof our 
public charities, and as such has been honoured with a 
monument ; ashisson,who succeeded him in business 
and also became Lord Provost, was with the honourof 
knighthood. 

The worthy senior went as one of a deputation from 
Glasgow to Paris for the purpose of presenting an ad- 
dress to Louis-Philippe; and after the ceremony was 
concluded, he was taken by the King (who had prob- 
ably heard of his connection with literature) into the 
royal library, where His Majesty pointed to a splendid 
copy of the works of Edmund Burke, whom he pro- 
nounced to be one of his favourite authors. 

"Indeed, your Majesty!" quoth the worthy Glas- 
gow civic head, " I mind fine o' his being tried wi' 
Hare at Edinburgh for horrid murders, and o' his 
being hanged ; but I didna ken he had written ony 
books ! " * 

Dr. Hedderwick, in his interesting book, Backward 
Glances, gives the following entertaining account of 
Mr. Lumsden's Paris experiences : — 

" That first lighthouse trip of mine was when the 
Provost (Mr. James Lumsden)hadjust returned from 
Paris, where he had dined with Louis- Philippe. His 
invitation to the Tuileries was consequent on his pre- 
sentation to His Majesty of an address from the Glas- 
gow Town Council congratulatinghim on a recent es- 
cape from assassination — a piece of happy fortune at 
which all Europe had rejoiced. An evening spent in 
* The Anecdotagc of Glasgow, p. 319. 

160 




JAMES LUMSDEX 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

such high company was an event in Mr. Lumsden's 
career, and his fellow-excursionists on the Clyde were 
both interested and amused by his homely and graph- 
ic account of his experiences in the French palace. He 
wore a Court costume stitched together hastily by Pa- 
risian tailors ; and after ascending the broad staircase 
in his scarcely finished garments, was shown with due 
ceremony into the reception -room, where a large party 
was assembled. Thereupon the King advanced, held 
out his hand and said,' My Lord Provost of Glasgow, 
welcome to France ! ' 

" Introductions to sundry of the royal dukes, to the 
statesman Guizot, and to other eminent people fol- 
lowed, together with much interchange of bowing. 
On dinner being announced, our lively Provost was a 
little puzzled as to how he should proceed ; but his em- 
barrassment was quickly relieved by the King's sister, 
Madame Adelaide, slipping her arm gently into his, 
with the remark, ' My Lord Provost, you and me.' 
This his Lordship told with much naivete, and added, 
* A nice body ; I was at hame wi' her in five minutes.' 

" Another incident Mr. Lumsden related as curious. 
When dinner was practically over, all the carving hav- 
ing been done at side tables, a piece of ham beautifully 
decorated was placed before the King, who cut two 
wafer-thin slices. These were put before the Provost, 
who was in the act of declining the compliment, when 
he was stopped by his fair partner, who whispered in 
his ear, ' Oh, dat is from de King, special for you.' 

" ' May I ask,' cried a causticTownCouncillor,' whe- 
ther you spoke French or English at the Tuileries ? ' 

" But Mr. Lumsden was equal to the occasion. In 

l6l L 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

the midst of an outburst of laughter he retorted, ' I 
spoke gude braid Scotch.' " * 

In these modern days, when our Town Council is 
filled with ardent reformers advocating Taxation of 
Land Values,Single Tax, and numerous other politi- 
cal nostrums, the following account of an earlier re- 
former will be of interest. It also is taken from Dr. 
Hedderwick's valuable book. 

"Bailie McLellan was an accomplished musician, 
but it was chiefly as a debater that he became a pow- 
er in the municipality. His temperament was irascible 
and impulsive, and to this source may have been due 
much of that bold rhetoric which at times thrilled and 
charmed his fellow-councillors and associates. Al- 
though a high Tory in politics, he was a man of large 
sympathies, and among his personal friends he num- 
bered Sir Francis Chantrey ; Sir David Wilkie, occu- 
pying a foremost place in Scottish Art; R. A. Smith, 
the eminent composer; Motherwell, the chief of our 
local poets; and other artists, musicians, and literary 
men without number. 

" As chairman of the City Parochial Board the 
Bailie tried hard to get the poor-rates levied on means 
and substance instead of rental. These rates, he held, 
pressed unduly on highly rented shopkeepers; while 
great merchants, grubbing perhaps in small and ob- 
scure counting-houses, enjoyed comparative immun- 
ity from the tax. 

" It was while the controversy on this subject Weis at 
its height that I met Mr. McLellan at the hospitable 
table of Lord Provost Stewart of Omoa. Among the 
* Backward Glances^ p. 164. 

162 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

guests was Mr. W. S. Lindsay, M.P., who, on allusion 
to the Bailie's reputation as a speaker, expressed tome 
a desire to draw him into discussion. In the conver- 
sation which followed, his favourite theme was intro- 
duced, and I noticed the nervous facial excitement and 
flashing grey eyes of the eloquent advocate of means- 
and-substance rating. But at one point Mr, Lindsay 
struck in with a pertinent remark. He did not pretend, 
he said, to have studied the question. It merely oc- 
curred to him that any wealthy merchant who object- 
ed to a local income-tax might easily move outside 
the City parish and escape it altogether. 

"'Well suggested,' observed Mr. William McLean 
of Plantation, who was present. ' I know for a fact 
that a certain very wealthy firm,' which he named, 
' intends to remove to the south side of the river if 
the means-and-substance proposal is carried.' 

" This was like a bit of red rag to a bull, and gave 
rise to a scene, which was exactly what Mr. Lindsay 
wanted. 

" Up started Bailie McLellan to his feet, with the 
exclamation, ' And the curse of the poor go with 
them ! ' 

" The effect was startling. H is eyes were in a flame ; 
and he proceeded, with menacinggesture, to expatiate 
on ' the despicable meanness of men, whom Provi- 
dence had so largely favoured, plotting for the sake of 
a few dirty coppers, to escape their just obligations 
to the poorly born and unfortunate, forgetful of their 
duty to the City, to the country, and to the spirit of 
that Christianity which they professed to reverence.' 
After this burst of oratory the company became ex- 
163 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

cited, and it seemed all at once to flash upon him that 
the exhibition was out of place at a private entertain- 
ment. So, glancing significantly at the head of the 
table, he put his thumb to his nose, spread out his fin- 
gers, twirled them with comic effect, and resumed his 
seat with the triumphant climax, ' Pass the bottles, 
Provost' 

"An explosion of laughter followed; this 'one 
touch of nature 'on the part of a City dignitary distin- 
guished for his gentlemanly bearing, had the effect of 
cooling down the heat in a moment; and the genial 
good-humour which had previously prevailed was at 
once cleverly restored." * 

Bailies as a class are no doubt eminently worthy 
men, but for some reason a good deal of fun is centred 
round these holders of magisterial office. It may be 
because the Bailies have a considerable sense of their 
own importance, and their learning is not always equal 
to sustaining their dignity. Frequently the magistracy 
is recruited from men who have had a sore struggle in 
early life, and have had no subsequent opportunity of 
improving their defective education. Latin is often a 
stumbling-block to these worthy men. For example: 
A Glasgow Bailie consigned goods to a house in New 
York, which goods lay a long time in the hands of the 
American firm, undisposed of. At length he received 
a letter from the consigneesintimating that thegoods 
were m statu quo. Mistaking this for the name of a 
place, he joyfully informed a neighbour that thegoods 
were now in Statu Quo, where he hoped they would 
speedily find a purchaser. "But I never heard of the 
* Backward Glances, p. 193. 

164 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

place," said the neighbour. " Nor I either," replied the 
Bailie. "I looked at the map, but couldna find it; an' 
I just conclude it's a sma' toun up the kintra." 

Here is another specimen of magisterial ignorance : 

"This is a most tragical event which has happened," 
said a friend to Bailie Blank. 

"Bless me! What is it?" 

" Why, your neighbour, A B , has com- 
mitted suicide." 

" Wha on ? " anxiously inquired the Bailie. 

In the next tale the newly-elected magistrate ob- 
liges with an excellent example of unconscious hu- 
mour. He had been promoted to the coveted position 
of Bailie, and gave a grand supper in honour of the 
event to his friends and supporters. Of course his 
health was duly proposed in connection with his new 
dignity, and in the course of his reply he said — 

" I canna but say, ma friends, but that I'm proud o' 
the honour o' being made a Bailie o' this great city ; 
an' I am even, I think, entitled to the honour, for I've 
gone through a' the various stages o' degradation that 
a Bailie has tae dae tae reach it." * 

Civic dignitaries are notalways of the Verede Vere 
caste. Often they, unfortunately, have had no oppor- 
tunities for acquiring social polish, and they are a little 
apt to betray their humble origin on important civic 
occasions. Thus it is related that at a public banquet 
a prominent Councillor was approached by a waiter, 
when the following dialogue ensued : — 

"Pheasant or grouse, sir?" 

"Whit's that?" 

* Laird & Logan, p. 344. 
i6S 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

" Pheasant or grouse, sir? " 

*' A'll hae nayther. A hae nae teeth, an' A canna 
chow." 

From this tale one would judge that the subject of 
it was a man free from all affectation. This was not 
the view of his good lady. She confided to a friend — 

"Oor Jeems is gettin' that prood, noo he's in the 
Toon Cooncil. D'ye ken, he wouldna tak' the soup 
the ither day, an' jist because the dish-clout had been 
biled in't." 

But a Bailie is only seen in his full glory when he is 
administering justice, and a few samples of his meth- 
ods will be appropriate. These, however, are not to 
be taken as il lustrative of all magisterial j ustice. They 
are merely cases of judicial lapse which lend a little 
humour to the usually dreary proceedings in the police 
courts. 

A culprit was brought to the bar charged with a 
serious assault on the person of a gentleman on the 
Paisley road. After the charge was read by the Pub- 
lic Prosecutor — 

"Weeljsir," quoth the Bailie, "for this wicked and 
malicious crime which you have committed we will 
fine you in half a guinea." 

" But the crime has not yet been proved," interposed 
the Assessor. 

"Verraweel,then/' answered the Bailie. "Jist mak' 
it five shillings." * 

A learned weaver, in stating his case before a magi- 
strate, having occasion to speak of a party who was 
dead repeatedly described him as "the defunct." Irri- 
* Laird o' Logan, p. io2. 

1 66 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

tated by the repetition of a word which he did not 
understand, the Bailie exclaimed — 

"What's the use o' talking sae muckle abootthis 
chield ye ca' the defunct? Can ye no' bring the man 
here an' let him speak for himsel'?" 

"The defunct's dead, your honour," said the weaver. 

" Oh ! that alters the case," gravely observed the 
sapient judge. 

Another Bailie had a case brought before him in 
which the owner of a squirrel claimed damages against 
a person to whom he had confided the care of the ani- 
mal. Unfortunately, the squirrel had escaped. 

There were certain features of the case which some- 
what perplexed the worthy magistrate, and caused 
him much thought. At last he said to the custodian 
of the squirrel — 

" Hoo did it manage to get awa'? " 

"The door o'the cage was open, an' it gaed through 
it, an' then oot o' the window," was the reply. 

"Whit wey did ye no' clip its wings? " 

" It's a quadruped, your honour," answered the de- 
fendant. 

" Quadruped here, quadruped there," replied the 
Bailie, "if ye had clippit the brute's wings it couldna 
hae flown awa'. I maun decide against ye."* 

A poor man made his appearance at the bar of the 
Gorbals police court, Glasgow, charged with being 
drunk and disorderly on the streets, when, after a pa- 
tient hearing, the presiding Bailie, who seems to have 
possessed little of the firmness and dignity required 
for the magisterial office, ordered him to pay a fine of 

* Thistledown, p. 267. 
167 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

fifteen shillings. Thereupon the following dramatic 
colloquy took place : — 

" Fifteen shillings ! " vociferated the man. " Fifteen 
shillings ! Bailie, ye're surely no' in earnest. Bless ye, 
when will I win fifteen shillings tae gie ye ?" 

" Well," said the Bailie, yielding, " I'll mak' it half a 
guinea, and not a farthing less." 

" Half a guinea, Bailie! If ye fine me in half a 
guinea what's tae come o' my puir wife an' weans for 
a month tae come? We must jist starve. There's nae 
ither way for't," said the offender in most lugubrious 
tones. " We must starve or beg." 

" Well," said the relenting Bailie, " I'll mak' it seven- 
and-sixpence, and not a farthing less 1 " 

" Seven-and-sixpence 1" said thestill unsatisfied of- 
fender. " That's jist the half o' my week's wages, an' 
there's no' a grain o'meal in the house, nor a bit o' coal 
to mak' it ready wi', even though there were. Oh ! 
Bailie, think what a sum seven-and-sixpence is to a 
working man." 

"Well, well," said the good-natured magistrate, 
" I'll mak' it five shillings, and not a farthing less ; 
though ye were the King on the throne, I'll not mak' 
it less." 

" Weel, weel, Bailie, Mary an' me an' the weans maun 
jist submit,"said the knavish culprit, afifectingto weep; 
at the same time saying, as if to himself, yet so loud 
that the Bailie could hear him, " Blessed is he that 
wisely doth the poor man's case consider." 

The Bailie could not stand the silent appeal of tears, 
nor the apt quotation which had been made. " Well, 
well," he said again, " I'll mak' it half a crown, an' 

i68 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

though ye were my ain brother I couldna mak' it 
less." * 

A boy was brought before a Glasgow magistrate 
charged with stealing a handkerchief from a gentle- 
man's pocket. The indictment having been read, the 
Bailie, addressing the boy, said — 

" I hae nae doot ye did the deed, for I had a hand- 
kerchief ta'en out o' my ain pouch this vera week ; sae 
ye maun gang to the jail for sixty days." 

The Assessor here interposed, stating that the case 
had not yet been proved against the boy. 

" Oh, then, in that case," said the worthy Bailie, "I'll 
just gie ye thirty days." 

But on being again informed that even this sentence 
was contrary to law, he finally disposed of the case by 
saying — 

" Weel, my lad, the evidence seems a wee bit jimp 
this time, so I'll let ye aff; butseeandno'doitagain."f 

Upon another occasion reference was made to a 
verbal agreement upon which the case turned. De- 
termined to probe the matter to the bottom, the Bai- 
lie leaned forward with outstretched hand, and re- 
marked — 

" Here, let's see yer verbal agreement. Hand it up." 

Of the same magistrate it is told that in acasewhich 
turned upon the interpretation of a written agreement 
he considered the deed for a while, and then said — 

" I canna mak' heid nor tail o' this ducument. It's 
jistlike Alphy and Omegy ; it's got neither beginning 
nor end." 

* The Anecdotage of Glasgow, i^. 318. 
t/<5/^. p. 285. 
169 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

By way of variety there is next submitted an exam- 
ple of magisterial shrewdness. 

At the River Bailie Court in Glasgow, an individ- 
ual was brought to the bar for a breach of the harbour 
andriverpoliceregulations.Thepresidingjudgefined 
the offender in half a guinea. The culprit, as usual, 
pled in mitigation of the penalty. " Na, na," said the 
implacable magistrate, "if ye think it owre dear din- 
na come back again." 

City magistrates have to take their turn in dispens- 
ing justice in the local police courts, and their indi- 
vidual idiosyncrasies soon become known to the re- 
gular frequenters of these somewhat dismal places. 
Thus the late Bailie James Martin was famous for 
his severity in cases of assault upon the police; while 
Sir John Ure Primrose established a reputation which 
was a terror to wife-beaters. 

Upon one occasion it was Sir John's turn to pre- 
side at the Monday Court. Among the prisoners was a 
man whohad assaulted his wife severely on the Satur- 
day night, and had been given into custody by her. 
At the time of the assault she had been righteously 
indignant ; but now, on the Monday, the matter did 
not seem so grave. Moreover, if her " man " were to 
be locked upfor a long time she would miss his wages. 
Accordingly she attended the Court to do her best to 
minimise the offence, but as she approached the door 
from one direction she saw Sir John coming from an- 
other. Whereupon, recognising the Dispenser of Jus- 
tice, she gave way to her feelings in the despairing 
cry, " The Lord pity puir Jimmy ! It's the wee bald- 
heidit yin." 

170 



CONCERNING MUNICIPAL LIFE 

Nothing is more pleasing to the average Town Coun- 
cillor than a trip to London to give evidence in re- 
gard to some contentious Bill promoted by the Cor- 
poration. The excursion is always a blend of business 
and pleasure, and it is hard to say which predominates. 
But be that as it may, a Glasgow Councillor, and more 
particularly a Glasgow Bailie, is glad to impress upon 
the Committee, whether it be of Lords or Commons, 
the fact that he is a man of importance. This little 
frailty is well known to parliamentary counsel. 

Upon one occasion a Bailie was in the witness-box, 
and counsel put a few questions to him to show his 
standing in the community. The Bailie was origin- 
ally a corkcutter, but by industry, thrift, and hard- 
headedness had made money, and now possessed in- 
vestments outside of his original business. Counsel's 
questions elicited the fact that he was a Bailie, that he 
was interested in several publiccompanies, that he was 
a shipowner, and generally speaking magnified the 
worthy man into a very important personage. 

Then the opposing counsel came upon the scene. 

" Is it not the case, sir," he asked, " that you are a 
corkcutter ? " 

"Ay," admitted the Bailie grudgingly, "but in a 
big wey." 

" Ah ! " observed the counsel gently. " Bungs, I 
suppose." 



CHAPTER SEVEN 
THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 



CHAPTER SEVEN 

THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

GLASGOW IS, BEFORE ALL THINGS, A 
great centre of commerce. It has been the native place 
ofmany great industries. Itnumbers amongits busi- 
ness men the representatives of multitudinous large 
manufacturing firms in other parts of the kingdom 
and in the world at large. For Glasgow is not only 
a manufacturing centre : it is also the home of many 
large meirchant houses which buy and sell and get 
gain in the uttermost parts of the earth. Hence it 
comes about that great competition exists in the City 
in every branch of trade, and prices for all commodi- 
ties are of the keenest. The advantage lies with the 
man of deep purse. For still the ancient truth holds, 
" To him that hath shall be given." 

In Glasgow the commercial community presents 
pretty much the same features as in any other city. 
Time was when all Glasgow merchants dwelt in the 
odour of sanctity, and in the midst of that all-per- 
vading aroma did their best to get the better of one 
another. In this respect things have somewhat chan- 
ged. Ostentatious piety is now looked at askance. 
The man who clinches his bargain with a text is care- 
fully watched. For there have in modern times been 
notorious instances of bad faith kept by men who 
made a show of religion. Judged by the standard of 
religious life in Glasgow a hundred years ago good 
men are now scarce. Bad men are fairly plentiful. 
Generally speaking, these reap a fitting reward. 

In the West of Scotland the commercial instinct 
is strong. Business is pursued with avidity. The 
175 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

powers of Nature are turned to practical use, regard- 
less of interference with rural beauty. David Dale es- 
tablished cotton mills on the Clyde near Lanark. 
The Vale of Leven is the home of the turkey red 
trade. Strathblane is dotted with bleach-works. These 
are but specimens of the utilitarian spirit of the Glas- 
gow business man. His attitude on such matters is 
that of the commercial traveller from a great dyeing 
house in Glasgow who wrote from Germany to his 
employers, " Elberfeld is a most beautiful valley, and 
has evidently been intended by Providence for tur- 
key red dyeing establishments." 

The Glasgow business man is a hard-headed indi- 
vidual. An American writer once remarked that " the 
well-to-do man is generally hard-to-do." In framing 
this statement, he might have had the business man 
of St. Mungo in his eye. The men of the east coast 
have a reputation for business shrewdness. The Aber- 
donian is notoriously a keen hand at a bargain. But 
the fact remains that thegreatestfortunes of Scotland 
have been made in and around Glasgow. The con- 
clusion is therefore inevitable that themen of Glasgow 
must be at least as shrewd and far-seeing as their 
neighbours. 

Sir John Dairy mple, in the Appendix to his i1/^;«- 
oirs of Great Britain and Ireland,-^\ih\\s\ied in 1788, 
says : " I once asked the late Provost Cochrane of 
Glasgow, who was eminently wise, and who had been 
a merchant there for seventy years, to what cause he 
imputed the sudden rise of Glasgow. He said it was 
all owing to four young men of talent and spirit who 
started atone time in business, and whose success gave 

176 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

example to the rest. The four had not ten thousand 
pounds amongst them when they began." The follow- 
ing were the four young men alluded to by Provost 
Cochrane : Mr. Cunninghame, afterwards of Lain- 
shaw; Mr. Spiers, afterwards of Elderslie; Mr. Glass- 
ford, afterwards of Dougaldston ; Mr. Ritchie, after- 
wards of Busby. 

The large and elegant mansion built by Mr. Cun- 
ninghame in Queen Street was offered for sale in Au- 
gust 1789 ; it was afterwards re-exposed, and pur- 
chased by Mr. Stirling ; it next became the property 
of the Royal Bank ; and finally was converted into 
the present Royal Exchange. 

Glasgow first became conspicuously prosperous 
after the Union, in consequence of the opening of 
the Colonies in America and elsewhere to its mer- 
chants. The business men of Glasgow were not slow to 
seize upon the new opportunities for amassing wealth, 
and a trade sprang up with Virginia which laid the 
foundations of many Glasgow fortunes. It is said that 
the first adventure which went from Glasgow to Vir- 
ginia after the trade had been opened to the Scots by 
the Union was sent out under the care of the captain 
of the vessel acting also as supercargo. This person, 
although a shrewd man, knew nothing of accounts ; 
and when he was asked by his employers, on his return, 
for a statement of how the adventure had turned out, 
told them he could give them none, but there were the 
proceeds, and threw down upon the table a " hoggar " 
stuffed with coin. The adventure had been aprofitable 
one; and the Company conceived that if an unedu- 
cated, untrained person had been so successful, their 
177 M 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

gains would have been s till greater had a person versed 
in accounts been sent out with it. They immediately 
dispatched a second adventure with a supercargo 
highly recommended for a knowledge of accounts, who 
produced to them, on his return, a beautifully made 
out statement of his transactions, but no"hoggar "!* 

As the trade with Virginia grew and prospered the 
wealth of the merchants engaged in the business was 
multiplied rapidly. In consequence,the Virginia mer- 
chants appear to have suffered from a sense of their 
own great importance. They adopted a special style 
ofdress; andagold-headedcanewas an essential part 
of the equipment of any self-respecting tobacco mer- 
chant. The humbler section of the community desig- 
nated them " Tobacco Lords." For their convenience, 
the "plainstanes" at the Cross were barred to the vul- 
gar while these magnates might deign to appear a- 
mong their fellow-men. Money has always been the 
subject of adoration in Scotland; and these possessors 
of wealth suffered from no lack of sycophantish follow- 
ers. It was an offence to speak tooneof these Tobacco 
Lords on theplainstanesunlesshehadfirst addressed 
the speaker. In fact, generally speaking, they appear 
to have occupied aneminenceonlyslightly lower than 
that of the angels. 

The following anecdote of one of these dons, who, 
among their other peculiarities, appear to have made 
use of the foreign mode of salutation, is taken from a 
paper in Chambers' Journal of 185 1. It is there told 
that " a certain Tobacco Lord, who was familiarly 
known under the appellation of Provost Cheeks^ be- 
* Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship.^^. ^. 

178 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

sides having the peculiarity of visage which had gain- 
ed him this sobriquet, was gifted with an uncommon 
capacity of mouth, extending from ear to ear. He was 
complaining one day of some d — d fellow (swearing 
was then in greater repute than it is now) who had 
come up to him on the Plainstanes, and, will he nil he, 
bussed him on both sides of the face, slavering him 
with his filthy saliva. ' I f I had been you,' said his friend, 
looking significantly at his mouth, ' I would have 
bitteti off his head ! ' " 

These Tobacco Lords continued to flourish until the 
Warof Independence. Then ruin fell upon them, and 
upon Glasgow. But doubtless to that very ruin the 
present prosperity of the city is due. For the loss of 
the Virginian trade compelled the business men of the 
city to seek other outlets for their energies; and in the 
fulness of time the magnificent colonial trade which 
Glasgow now enjoys, and the development of the sur- 
rounding mineral wealth of the West of Scotland, fol- 
lowed. Thefollowing extract from Glasgow Past and 
Present gives a slight glimpse into the Virginia trade, 
and exhibits the dignity of one of the merchants in a 
curious light : — 

"At this period (about 1746), and for many years 
afterwards, the mode of transacting business by our 
great Glasgow merchants was very different from what 
it is at present. In making purchases for shipments to 
the colonies by the Virginia merchants, no fixed term 
ofpayment was agreed upon; but there was a tacit un- 
derstanding between the buyer and the seller that the 
vessel on board of which the goods were shipped should 
return, and the return cargo be disposed of, before the 
179 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

sellers were to receive payment ofthe goods furnished; 
and if any seller should dare to demand payment of 
his account before he received a circular letter from th e 
great merchant that the latter was prepared to pay for 
the goods shipped, the poor seller could never expect 
to be afterwards favoured with the merchant's custom. 
In my younger days," says " Senex," " the following 
narrative was given to me by a relation who died in 
17S8, and who was present at one ofthe scenes which 
took place upon the arrival of a Virginia ship. This 
gentleman had sold Provost French (Lord Provost in 
1778) sometrifling article for shipment, amounting to 
about £2)7^ and upon the arrival of the ship in the 
Clyde, and after the return cargo had been sold, my 
relation received a circular from the Provost requesting 
his attendance at the Provost's counting-house on a 
certain day, and at a fixed hour, when payment would 
be made to him of his account. My relation, accord- 
ingly, was punctual at the appointed place and hour, 
when he was astonished to see about thirty persons in 
waiting, all sittingon forms in theroom where thePro- 
vost's clerks were writing. The Provost himself was in 
an adjoining room, the door of which was ajar, and my 
relation said that ever and anon he beheld the Provost 
keeking through the opening, to see if the whole par- 
ties summoned had arrived. At last, after a consider- 
able delay, the Provost (who was an excessively pom- 
pous and consequential man) threw open the door of 
his private room, and after taking a glance of the par- 
ties waitingfor payment of their accounts (but without 
deigning to speak to any of them), called out to his 
clerk with a loud voice, 'John, draw for;^3000,and pay 

180 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

the accounts.' Hislordshipthen, with a most dignified 
strut, re-entered his own apartment. This farce was 
concocted in order to astonish the natives at the mag- 
nitude of the sum drawn from the bank; but,most un- 
fortunately for the Provost, it had quite the contrary 
effect, for it afterwards became a standing joke among 
these very sellers, when anyonewas calling upon them 
for payment of a small account, to bawl out to their 
youngsters, ' John, draw for ^3000, and pay this ac- 
count.' " * 

The Glasgow shopkeeper of the eighteenth century 
was often a man of character, and much might be 
written in proof of this statement. Considerations of 
space, however, prevent reference to more than one of 
these founders of the City's greatness, and, for present 
purposes, Robert McNair,agrocerandgeneral dealer, 
will serve as an example. He commenced the world 
with a basket of half-spoilt oranges; but by laudable 
industrybecame a wealthy grocer, and the largest pro- 
prietor of houses in Glasgow. He took into partner- 
ship his wife, and the firm was long known as " Robert 
McNair and Jean Holmes, in Company." As such 
they figure in the " list of shop-keepers " in M'Ure's 
book, published in 1736. This thrifty pair had their 
shop at the head of King Street, facing Trongate. It 
had two bow-windows, and the outside was gaily 
painted bright green. Both partners wore toupees 
and powder; and Jean, whose province it was to keep 
the cash, fluttered with ribbons, and rustled through 
the premises in a dashing silk gown. They might 
have passed for an antique French couple. It was an 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol, i. p. 407. 
181 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

unsettled point among the seniors of the eighteenth 
century whether the male or the female partner made 
the keenest bargain, though the preponderance was 
in favour of Jean. The Glasgow newspaper a hundred 
and fifty years ago teems with the advertisements of 
this funny old grocer. 

Here is a specimen of his queer prose advertise- 
ments in the old Glasgow Courant: — 

" There is come in the Batchelor of Irvine, James 
McNair, supercargo, a parcel of lemons and bitter 
oranges ; they are reckoned to be the best cargo that 
came here this seven years from Spain ; and as the 
said Jas. McNair caused them to be pulled, and not 
shaken off thetrees, and all wailed (picked) when pull- 
ing, makes them much more superior both in good- 
ness, and for keeping ; the bitter oranges are of a very 
high colour, and very heavy and large, and very 
fit for making marmalade, and are sold at Robert 
McNair's shop, opposite the Guard, Glasgow, or his 
warehouses in the Weigh House, where attendance 
will be given from 8 o'clock in the morning till 5 at 
night ; and as the oranges are so heavy, he sells them 
and lump sugar at 6d. per pound, if 7 pounds is taken 
at once. He has also a parcel of potatoes at 5d. per 
stone, 16 English pounds in the stone; the potatoes 
are all white roughts, a kind never brought here before. 
He also sells Gloucester cheese at 3|d. per lb. and 
Liverpool cheese at 5^d. per lb. He also sells best 
English oatmeal at i id. per peck, and Irish meal at 
lod. He has a parcel of best grey and white English 
peas at id. per lb. with sundry kinds of grocery goods, 
all to be sold at the above places by Robert McNair. 

182 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

"P.S. — As some designing folks have been pleased 
to raise a malicious report, in order to hurt my busi- 
ness, this is to acquaint the public that the same is 
entirely without foundation, and hopes they will lose 
their design, who were most busy in promoting it. 

"Robert McNair. 

^'February 1753."* 

There happened one season to be rather a scarcity 
of oranges in Glasgow, and, unfortunately for Mr. 
McNair, his stock of them was very small, while a 
neighbouring grocer held nearly the whole stock of 
oranges in the City. Mr. McNair, however, told all his 
customers that he had a large cargo of oranges which 
he expected to arrive every hour. In the meantime, he 
made up apparently a barrow-load of oranges with his 
small stock, and employed a porter to wheel them past 
his neighbour grocer's shop, and to deliver them to his 
own shop (asif he was getting delivery of a cargo), but 
immediately afterwards he privately sent away the 
porter, with his load well covered, by a back door and 
through cross streets, and made him again wheel the 
same barrow of oranges (openly exposed) past his 
opponent's shop; and so the porter continued em- 
ployed for many hours. Having thus apparently laid 
in a large stock of oranges, he engaged a person to 
call upon his neighbour grocer, and to buy his whole 
stock, which his friend did on very moderate terms, 
the grocer believing that Mr. McNair had received a 
large supply, and that certainly oranges would fall in 
value.f 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. ii. p. 532. 
i Ibid. vol. i. p. 293. 

183 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Although Scotsmen generally are supposed by our 
Southron friends to be incarnations of meanness, yet 
itisundoubtedlythe case that nodeservingcause ever 
appeals in vain to the citizens of Glasgow. While this 
is true of the present generation, it was also true in by- 
gone days. The following anecdote of a deputation 
soliciting a subscription from a well-known citizen is 
an interesting example of maladroitness on the part 
of the solicitors. 

The late William Dunn, Esq. of Duntocher, had 
many good qualities, and in subscriptions for charit- 
able purposes he was rarely behind any of his neigh- 
bours. If the genial fit was upon him, he would give 
more liberally perhaps than any other man within call ; 
but if any stubborn or ill-natured fit was upon him, it 
was quite needless to say a word to him. One day he 
was waited upon by a douce deputation, who, after 
making their profound bow, handed him the subscrip- 
tion paper. He signed his name for two guineas. 

"Two guineas, Mr. Dunn! only twoguineas for such 
a noble,philanthropic purpose! "exclaimed a member 
of the deputation in astonishment. 

Another said : "Mr. Dunn, you ought to sign for at 
least fifty guineas." 

Others more modestly besought him to treble or 
even to double it, but his decided reply was — 

"Not another penny, gentlemen, not another 
penny." 

Oneofthem,annoyed, and probably more rude than 
he should have been, quoted the text — 

" It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a 
needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of 

184 




ALEXANDER SPIERS OF El.IM.RSLIE 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

heaven." And he expounded it pretty strongly by 
telling Mr. Dunn that he ought to give of his means 
liberally while he was yet spared upon the earth, as 
he could take none of his money with him to the other 
world. 

"I knowthatperfectlywell," replied Mr. Dunn. "It 
is the only thing I am vexed about." 

Saying this, he bowed them out* 

All men now know Skibo, famous as the residence 
of Mr. Andrew Carnegie; but few are aware that it 
was once the scene of a com mercial enterprise by Glas- 
gow capitalists. The following facts will therefore 
likely prove of interest. 

In 1786 Mr. George Dempster of Dunnichen pur- 
chased the estate of Skibo, on the Dornoch Firth. Mr. 
Dempster, who for twenty-eight years represented the 
Dundee and St. Andrews district of burghs in Parlia- 
ment, when he came to the estate was most assiduous 
in devising measures for improving the condition of 
his neighbours and tenants. He was a man of great 
benevolence, and till his death, in 1 8 1 8, enj oyed the re- 
spect and esteem of all classes of the community. This 
gentleman was the prime agent in the manufacturing 
speculation which has been mentioned. The estates 
owned by himself and his brother were about 18,000 
acres in extent, but excluding three farms, upon one 
of which the mansion-house was situated,yielded little 
more than iJ^500 of yearly rental. There was, however, 
an abundant and healthy population in such strait- 
ened circumstances that it was supposed that the offer 
of fair wages for light work must appear to the poor 

*The Anecdotage of Glasgow, p. 270. 
i8s 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Highlander a welcome prospect to be gratefully re- 
ceived. 

The situation, too, was admirable. An arm of the 
Firth running up some miles formed a beautiful har- 
bour, where vessels of large burden could find shelter 
in the stormiest weather, and the water privileges for 
driving machinery were of the very best. In short, 
everything promised that the speculation would turn 
out a great success. A copartnery was soon formed. 
Several Glasgow gentlemen took shares in the con- 
cern — namely, Messrs. Macintosh, Dale, William, 
James.and AndrewRobertson, Robert Dunsmore.and 
William Gillespie of Woodside. The other partners 
were mostly local gentlemen. The work was begun 
with great energy and high hope. A large spinning 
factory and weaving village were built. Instructors 
in the various departments were sent from Glasgow, 
and a second village was got up in haste near the prin- 
cipal harbour; and,thatthe villagers might have noth- 
ing to distract their attention from their duties, the 
various services which they were in the habit of ren- 
dering to their superiors were commuted by a money 
payment. Secure tenures of dwelling-houses, gardens, 
and other requisites were granted, and Spinningdale, 
as it was called, promised to be a great mutual benefit. 

But the habits and conditions of the Highlanders 
were found to be positively fatal to the success of the 
new enterprise. Why (they asked) should an active 
man be doomed to finger among paltry cotton threads, 
in the midst of noisy and evil-smelling machiner)'-, 
from week's end to week's end, especially when the 
partridge and muir hen were on the wing, the trout 

i86 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

and salmon leaping in loch and river, and the broom 
bushes blooming like the beaten gold? And besides 
all that — here were these inflexible and intolerant 
Sassenachs, too, with their unreasonable restrictions 
regarding the use of tobacco and the dram ; and their 
forgetfulness of the fact that Donald Ruach and 
Shamus Gordon, renowned progenitors of the local 
clans, fought side by side with King Robert Bruce at 
the battle of Bannockburn ! 

There was no help for it ; with deep disappointment, 
Mr. Macintosh and his friends saw all their magnifi- 
cent schemes for the improvement of the Highlands 
doomed to failure, without a particle of sympathy from 
those for whose benefit all that toil and expense had 
been wasted . Moreover, all the partners in the specu- 
lation, except Mr. Macintosh and Mr. Dale, and an- 
other gentleman who held a small share in the busi- 
ness, cautiously withdrew from theconcern, Itwasin 
vain that the partners appealed to Government for 
help. They were informed that the funds set aside for 
improvements in Scotland were to be applied only 
"for specific purposes of a general nature," whatever 
that might mean. In 1 804, the works were sold for a 
mere trifle to an individual who took the precaution 
to insure them, and immediately afterwards they were 
wholly consumed by fire ; and thus ended Mr. Macin- 
tosh's grand plan of help for " poor Sutherland " 1 * 

In the person of Mrs. McNair one has already seen 
that the Glasgow woman of the eighteenth century 
was not devoid of business ability. The following is 
another example of feminine commercial capacity. 

* Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship, p. 79. 
187 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

In Jones' Directory of 1789, the following address is 
inserted : " Mrs. Brown, dealer in cotton and cotton 
yarn, first flat, Lang's Land, Princes Street." Mrs. 
Brown was a widow, whose history is curious. Her 
husband was a shoemaker, who, when he died, left a 
large stock of leather and ready-made boots and shoes. 
As the widow had but little experience in the business, 
she applied to Mr. Dale for his advice as to how the 
stock should be disposed of. He suggested that the 
leather should be speedily wrought up into shoes and 
consigned to a well-known American merchant, with 
instructions to return the value in rawcotton,for which, 
he assured her, she should find a ready sale and agood 
profit; and as the cautious widow expressed her fears 
respectingthe risksheranof losingher precious stock, 
Mr. Dale promised to take a share in the adventure. 
When the cotton arrived, Mrs. Brown again waited on 
Mr. Dale for further guidance. He advised that it 
should be placed in the hands of a careful agent and 
sold. "Na,na,"saidshe; "riljuistsellita'myser,and 
that'll save commission, ye ken." So, providing herself 
with a stout leather pouch, which she filled with cotton 
samples, she sold her stock so advantageously that 
she was induced to enter into the cotton trade on an 
extensive scale, and soon became the first in that busi- 
ness. Dr. John Buchanan says : " She passed more 
value through her hands than any woman in Scot- 
land." In the disastrous year 1794 Mrs. Brown was 
sequestrated ; but she seems to have recovered, in a 
short time, the credit of her house, and, abjuring the 
conversation and sympathies of her own sex, she to 
the last carried round her samples, and made her sales 

188 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

in her own way — a queerspecimenof the cautious and 
thrifty merchant of the period.* 

Marine Insurance is a subject which possesses an 
abiding interest for many Glasgow shipowners and 
merchants. The following two cases of a hundred 
years ago will therefore appeal to the present-day 
commercial community. They relate to two express 
dispatches which were sent off from Glasgow during 
the Napoleonic wars, which excited great interest in 
Glasgow at the time. 

DuringtheFrench War the premiums of insurance 
uponrunningships(namely,shipssailingwithoutcon- 
voy) were very high, in consequence of which several 
of our Glasgow shipowners, who possessed quick-sail- 
ing vessels, were in the practice of allowing the ex- 
pected timeof arrival of their ships closely to approach 
before theyeffected insurance upon them, thus taking 
the chance of a quick passage being made; and if the 
ships arrived safely, the insurance was saved. 

Mr. Archibald Campbell, about this time an exten- 
sive Glasgow merchant, had allowed one of his ships 
to remain uninsured till within a very short period of 
her expected arrival ; at last, getting alarmed, he at- 
tempted to effect insurance in Glasgow, but found 
the premiums demanded so high that he resolved to 
get ship and cargo insured in London. Accordingly, 
he wrote a letter to his broker in London, instructing 
him to get the requisite insurance made on the best 
terms possible, but at all events to get the said insur- 
ance effected. This letter was dispatched through the 
post office in the ordinary manner — the mail at that 

* Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenships P- 55- 
189 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

time leaving Glasgow at two o'clock p.m. At seven 
o'clock the same night Mr. Campbell received an ex- 
press from Greenock announcing the safe arrival of 
his ship. Mr. Campbell, on receiving this intelligence, 
instantly dispatched his head clerk in pursuit of the 
mail, directing him to proceed post-chaises and four 
with the utmostspeed until he overtook it, and then to 
get into it ; or if he could not overtake it, he was direct- 
ed to proceed to London, and to deliver a letter to the 
broker, countermanding the instructions about insur- 
ance. The clerk, notwithstanding of extra payment 
to postilions, and every exertion to accelerate his jour- 
ney, was unable to overtake the mail ; but he arrived 
in London on the third morning, shortly after the mail, 
and immediately proceeded to the residence of the 
broker, whom he found preparing to take his break- 
fast, and before delivery of the London letters. The 
order for insurance written for was then countermand- 
ed, and the clerk had the pleasureof takingacomfort- 
able breakfast with the broker. The expenses of this 
express amounted to i^ioo ; but it was said that the 
premium of insurance, if it had been effected, would 
have amounted to ;^i 500 ; so that Mr. Campbell was 
reported to have saved ii'1400 by his promptitude. 

The other case alluded to happened in this manner. 
At the period in question, a rise had taken place in the 
cotton market, and there was a general expectancy 
among the cotton dealers that there would be a con- 
tinual and steady advance of prices in every descrip- 
tion of cotton. Acting upon this belief, Messrs. Jas. 
Finlay & Co. had sent out orders by post to their a- 
gent in India to make extensive purchases of cotton, 

190 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

on their account, to be shipped by the first vessel for 
England. It so happened, however, shortly after these 
orders had been dispatched, that cotton fell in price, 
and a still greater fall was expected to take place; un- 
der those circumstances, the firm dispatched an over- 
land express to India,countermandingtheirordersto 
purchase cotton. This was the first overland express 
dispatched from Glasgow to India bya private party 
on commercial business.* 

Brewing is one of the great industries of this country, 
and in very recent years Manchester was greatly ex- 
cited over cases of poisoning resultingfromthedrink- 
ing of beer into which, by some chance, arsenic had 
found a way. As Glasgow possesses a large brewing 
industry it may be of interest to recall a poisoning 
scare of the early part of last century. At that time 
there was in Glasgow an analytical chemist of very 
high repute named Thomas Graham. His services in 
his profession were in great demand. But he found 
this work interfered with the work of original research, 
and gave it up as far as he could. " The very last occa- 
sion on which he did yield to solicitations of this kind 
was one in which his feelings of justice and fair play 
were strongly appealed to. A panic, arising from an 
ill-natured assertion often repeated,pervaded the pub- 
lic mind in regard to the bitter beer of a great brewing 
house. It was asserted that the bitter principle was 
strychnine. Conscious of innocence, the head of the 
firm applied to Mr. Graham to make analysis. Mr. 
Graham pleaded want of time, referred him to other 
competent chemists, and stated that, not caring for 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. i. p. 389. 
191 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

such work , to prevent its coming to him he was obliged 
to charge a fee of ;^ioo. By return of post he got a 
cheque for ;^200, accompanied by an earnest appeal to 
do an act of justice and allay a groundless panic. This 
appeal was irresistible. Dr. Hoffman of the College 
of Chemistry was called in, and received half the fee. 
The analysis made on their joint authority was pub- 
lished far and wide, and the panic was allayed. Inde- 
pendently altogether of the analysis, it was shown how 
senseless and absurd was the panic. Every part of the 
process was carried on in the most open manner, ren- 
dering fraud and concealment impossible. The yearly 
' output ' would require 16,448 ounces of strychnine 
to give the bitter flavour, the cost of which would be 
;^I3,I58, while at that time not more than 1000 ounc- 
es were made all the world over." * 

The firm of William Baird & Co., Iron and Coal 
Masters, bulks largely in the life of Glasgow at the 
present d ay, and has for many years contributed great- 
ly to the growth and prosperity of the City. The fol- 
lowing account of the origin of the Baird family is 
taken from an article which appeared a good many 
years ago in the columns of the now defunct Scottish 
News : — 

" They came of a sturdy stock that, for more than 
two hundred years, had been tenants ofthe same lands 
in the cold upland parish of Old Monkland. 

"In the class to which their ancestors belonged are 

found, in the fullest perfection, all the special virtues 

of the Scotch character — perseverance, self-respect, 

integrity, foresight, prudence, resolution, thrift, with 

* George Square , Glasgow^ p. 193. 

192 




JAMES BAIRD OF CAMBUSDOON 

Founder of the Baird Trust 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

a dour determination to have their rights, that makes 
any attempt to wrong or browbeat them a perilous 
business. Like manyothers, they owed much to their 
mother's training. 

" By all accounts she was a typical Scotch housewife 
of high principles, shrewd, humorous, thrifty, of untir- 
ing spirit, industry, and resource, a strict but devoted 
mother. She might have sat to Solomon for his por- 
trayal of the excellent woman. She looked well to 
the ways of her household, and neither ate the bread 
of idleness nor would let others eat it, and her children 
rose up to call her blessed. She lived to see them rich 
and powerful, but she had her reward not so much in 
this as in the tender and loyal love and duty they 
yielded her to the last. 

" The respective members of the family were : — 
Alexander Baird of Ury, born in 1799, and dying in 
1862, who had been a member of the Town Council 
of Glasgow and River Bailie; Robert Baird of Auch- 
medden,born in 1 8o6,and dyingin 1 856, whohad been 
Lord Dean of Guild in Glasgow in 1855-6 ; Douglas 
Baird of Closeburn,born 1 80S, and died 1854; William 
Baird of Elie.born I796,and died 1864 ; James Baird 
of Cambusdoon, born in 1803, who was member of 
Parliament for the Falkirk district of burghs from 
1 85 1 to 1857. His great interest in the Church of Scot- 
land was shown by his having, in July 1873, instituted 
the Baird Trust and devoted the sum of ;^500.ooo to 
the promotion of the spread of the Gospel in connec- 
tion with the Church. His death took place at Cam- 
busdoon, near Ayr, on the 20th June 1 876. 

" An amusing anecdote relating to his munificent 
193 N 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

gift was current at this time, and even recently found 
its way into the columns of a London evening paper, 
but for its accuracy we are not prepared to vouch. The 
story is that the worthy donor and ex-M.P. was met 
soon after by another eminent ironmaster, who also 
sat in Parliament for the same district of burghs, and 
was specially noted for his sporting proclivities. Ad- 
dressing Mr. Baird, he said — 

'" Man, for all the money you have given to the Kirk, 
I take ye a bet of five pounds that you cannot repeat 
the Lord's Prayer.' 

" The bet was at once accepted, and Mr. Baird, after 
some little consideration and scratching of his head, 
began to repeat — 

" ' The Lord's my Shepherd, I'll not want. 
He makes me down to lie 
In pastures green : He leadeth me 
The quiet waters by.' 

" Upon which the challenger, utterly ignorant of the 
fact that this was the first verse of the Scottish version 
of the twenty-third psalm, pulled a five-pound note 
out of his pocket-book and handed it over to Mr. 
Baird with the remark — 

"'Man, Ididnotthinkyoucould havesaid it. Well, 
you certainly have paid by far the largest premium of 
insurance against fire that I have ever heard of.' " * 

The pioneers of the Iron and Steel industries in the 
West of Scotland were men of brains, but their oppor- 
tunities for self-culture had been limited. Thus one 
reads of an ironmaster who began as a labourer and 
died as one of the richest men in the world. He had 
♦ The Anecdotage of Glasgow^ p. 364. 

194 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

factories, lands, houses, horses, and carriages ad nau- 
seam. Then someone told him that his house was in- 
complete without a library. The idea was novel to him, 
but he went to a bookseller and ordered so many thou- 
sand volumes of assorted sizes to fill the shelves which 
he had caused to be constructed. The bookseller was 
to be particular about the sizes, and to spare no cost in 
the matter of binding and gilt ; but as to the litera- 
ture ? * 

These strongmen of commerce knew more of sport 
thanoflearning,and were interested in anythingfrom 
a horse-race to a cock-fight. 

Many years ago a Glasgow ironmaster of sporting 
proclivities owned a bulldog, famous for its victories 
in dog-fights. Another sportsman down Kilwinning 
way also owned a warlike bulldog; and it was arrang- 
ed that the dogs should fight, for a considerable sum, 
at the Ayrshire man's place. 

All details were perfected, and the Glasgow man 
and some friends started to drive to the scene of com- 
bat. The bulldog was accommodated in a basket in 
the conveyance ; but, upon a halt being made for re- 
freshments en route, it was discovered that by some 
mischance the bulldog had been smothered. Great 
was the wrath and lamentation. At first it was decided 
to return home. To proceed farther seemed a waste 
of time. Butfinally the " never say die" principle pre- 
vailed, and the company proceeded to theplaceof com- 
bat. There they were met by a lugubrious-looking 
individual, who proved to be the owner of the other 
dog. As the visitors alighted he said — 
* Clydeside Cameos^ p. 1 76. 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

" There will be no fight the day. Ma dug's sick." 

The Glasgow man rose to the occasion. 

" Ye maun fight or pay the forfeit," he said grimly. 

" Weel, if I maun pey, I'll pey," said the other ; " but 
I'll no' risk a sick dug against a weel yin." 

Thereupon he paid over the stake to the owner of 
the dead dog, who promptly left for home. 

Mr. Robert Henderson, a Scotsman, carrying on 
business in Leghorn, Italy, and afterwards in Glas- 
gow, had many admirable qualities, and had attained 
a great fluency in modern languages. On one occa- 
sion when an Englishman of considerable eminence 
was having some money transactions with his brother 
Thomas, Robert was engaged with various parties 
transacting business — first with a Frenchman, then 
an Italian, and then a Spaniard — to each of whom he 
spoke in his own language; and afterwards noticing 
that his brother had completed his business with the 
Englishman,he addressed the former in homely Doric, 
" I say, Tammy, maman, I thinkit'stimeweweregaun 
hame for oor kail." The gentleman turned round to 
Thomas and said, " Your brother is a remarkable man. 
I have heard him speak in French, Spanish, and Ital- 
ian with fluency. All of these I know a little about, but 
now he speaks a language of which I know nothing." * 

Shipping occupies a prominentplace in the history 
of Glasgow, and navigation owes much to Henry Bell, 
James Watt, David Napier, and other inventors and 
p^rfectors of marine engines and steamships. From 
the Comet to the Aquitania is a wide gap, bridged over 
by the labour and ingenuity of a legion of hard-headed, 
*One Hundred Glasgow Men, vol. i. p. 142. 

196 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

strenuous, and capable men. But if the shipbuilders 
have reason to be proud of their achievements, so al- 
so have the shipowners, for their commercial acumen 
has caused the expansion of trade which has created 
the demand for improved ships, and the incentive to 
build them. Some shipowners bear their greatness 
modestly. Others do not. Of the latter class was a 
certain Glasgow shipowner more famous for his self- 
importance than his politeness, who was interested in 
a transatlantic line which prided itself upon possess- 
ing finer and faster ships than any of its rivals. At 
length an opposition line had a steamer built which 
surpassed anything afloat in speed and also in general 
comfort. This could not be brooked. The shipping 
magnate approached the builder of this new vessel 
with a request, couched rather in the words of a com- 
mand, for a tender for a vessel to eclipse the rival ship. 
The ten der was duly submitted, but with a time limit of 
one week for its acceptance. The magnate refused to 
be hurried, and took his own time. At the end of the 
week the offer was withdrawn. Thereupon the great 
man hadtogo to the builder and offerthe order, which 
the latter refused to take unless upon an advance of 
;^2 5,000.* 

Once a daringcompetitor ventured to attempt com- 
petition on one of this shipowner's special trading 
routes. Promptly the shipowner ran down the rates 
to a shilling a ton, and gave passengers a meal be- 
sides a free passage. The intruders prudently retired. 
Again an agitation was got up for a rival Irish service, 
and a low tender was submitted for the mail contract. 

* Clyde side Catneos, p. 6. 
197 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

The contract was not worth much financially, but if 
transferred it would give a standing and a prestige to 
the new line. Immediately the holder of the existing 
contract offered to the Post Office to carry the mails 
for nothing iox a long term of years, which offer was 
accepted, to the discomfiture of the rival scheme.* 

Sometimes, however, it is more prudent to buy off 
than to bully off. Once upon a time a difference oc- 
curred between the Glasgow and Liverpool divisions 
of a certain shipping combination. Needless to say, 
Glasgow overcame, and Liverpool retired. But Liver- 
pool had its little scheme, and quietly began an opposi- 
tion line of coasters. This looked too serious acase for 
bullying. The Glasgow managing director pounced 
down upon the Liverpool man, bought up his steam- 
ers,gavehimalumpsum down in return for his written 
undertaking never to repeat the experiment, and was 
back in Glasgow before the Liverpool man could re- 
cover his breath. Then rates were put up all round .f 
In these cases the public pays. 

The shipowner mentioned above was a man of ac- 
tion. But vigour and decision in Glasgow are not con- 
fined to the shipping trade. There is in Glasgow a 
huge soft-goods house which for present purposes 
shall be christened Jones & Co. 

Naturally such a huge concern could nothavegone 
on without any vicissitudes or checks, and in time of 
commercial panic and financial scare the strain must 
often have been severe. The concern has outlived a 
sequence of such times, and has more than once stood 
the assaults of many-tongued lying rumour. 

* Clydeside Catncos, p. 7. t Ibid. p. 8. 

198 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

Once these tongues were excessively busy, and the 
tale spread fast and far that Jones was in straits. Ev- 
erybody was more or less in straits at that time, and 
the rumour did not create surprise, although it roused 
fear. So one finemorning all the creditors of the firm 
— who were many and widespread, for Jones' purchas- 
es were necessarily enormous and diversified — were 
cast into doleful dumps by the receipt of a circular 
requesting their attendance at a meeting in Jones' 
office. There could be, they thought, but one meaning 
in such a request, and gloomy faces gathered from all 
parts of the realm, depressed by visions of deferred 
and diminutive compositions. 

When all were gathered at the appointed hour Jones 
entered, and briefly said that he had called them to- 
gether in consequence ofrumours which had been cir- 
culated regarding his solvency. He wished to present 
to them a duly audited and certificated statement of 
his affairs, which they could consult at their leisure, 
and in the meantime his cashier would receive their 
acknowledgments for cheques in full of each and all 
of their accounts.* 

There are still some in Glasgow who may remember 
John Anderson, thefounderofone of the biggestcom- 
mercial houses in the city. At first he had a small 
drapery establishment in the Gorbals. Then he cross- 
ed the water and started business on the west side of 
Jamaica Street, between Ann Street and the Broomie- 
law. There were then scarcely any houses west of 
Jamaica Street until you came out to the village of 
Anderston, about half a mile distant. 
* Clydeside Cameos, p. 66. 
199 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

The railway had not crossed the Clyde ; and what is 
now the busiest thoroughfare in Scotland — perhaps 
in any town out of London — was then a quiet place. 
John Anderson was a man of culture as well as of 
business enterprise. He started a waxwork and mus- 
eum in a building in JamaicaStreetthathadformerly 
been occupied by a circus. 

In this waxwork there weresingingentertainments 
and scientific lectures. Mr. Anderson, bringing some 
of the ablest scientists of the day to Glasgow to de- 
liver lectures, called his hall of science the Polytech- 
nic. It was carried on for a few years, and then he re- 
moved to Argyle Street, and went into the drapery 
business exclusively, retaining the name Polytechnic 
for his business concern.* 

The alread}' mentioned story of Jones & Co. is a 
proof of financial strength in the great houses of the 
City. It istold of anothercommercial magnate that on 
one occasion a big firm whose shipments he financed 
suddenly suspended payment, and rumour became 
busy with his name. Immediately he intimated to all 
the banks who held his acceptances to the suspended 
firm that he would take them up at once. To do this 
he had to pay " on the nail " the sum of ;i^300,ooo. 
Theresult was to establish his credit upon an impreg- 
nable basis. But even in Glasgow few men could have 
done what hedii-l.f 

Another story is told of one of the big men of Glas- 
gow. He was interested in a line of steamers which 
had been started with a view to cutting into the trade 

* Reminiscences of Eighty Years, p. 102. 
t Clyde side Cameos, p. 38. 

300 




JAMES MERRY 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

of an old-established line. But the cutting process 
proved expensive to the new line, and did not bring 
about the dissolution of the old one. Getting tired of 
this unremunerative game, one of the leading share- 
holders inthenewlinecalled upon the managing own- 
er of the old line, and spoke somewhat as follows : — 

" It seems a pity, Mr. ,that this cutting of rates 

should go on. I think we should come to some arrange- 
ment about it. You know that if it comes to a ques- 
tion of money we can beatyou. I am worth a million. 
So is B. C. is worth two ; and we have other wealthy 
shareholders besides." 

The managing owner smiled. 

" Indeed, Mr. A. I'm surprised to hear that you are 
worth so little among you. Good morning." * 

Glasgow is fully up to the average of commercial 
cities in the matterof business honesty, but it also has 
its black sheep. There have been cases of companies 
being floated which, after starting with the fairest pro- 
spects, presented a dreary succession of adverse bal- 
ance-sheets. The effect, of course,has been to depress 
the price of the shares. Then when shareholders got 
tired of waiting for dividends which never came, and 
threw their shares on the market, these shares have 
been quietly absorbed by the directorate. When suf- 
ficient shares have been so acquired an era of prosper- 
ity suddenly dawns upon the company. Of course 
this state ofmatters annoys the shareholders who have 
sold out. Mais, quevoulez-vousf Everything has been 
done within the compass of the law. 

Apropos of shipping lines, a certain merchant prince 
* Clydeside Cameos, p. 38. 
201 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

in Glasgow supported a line of steamers very strong- 
ly, but found his investment anything but remunera- 
tive. It was part of the bargain that steamers were 
only to be run to ports where he had an agent ; but 
to his wrath he discovered one day that the steamers 
were calling at a port where he was unrepresented. In 
a furious rage he sought the manager, who, by reason 
of a carelessly worded agreement, held the whip hand 
over the shareholders. 

" What do you mean, sir, by running steamers to 
Ling-ting-pu when you know I have no agent there?" 

" What do I mean ? " was the reply. " I mean that 
I don't care a continental whether you have an agent 
there or not. I'll run the steamers where I choose. 
And I'd start a line to H-11 if I wasn't certain you had 
a representative there already." * 

Of another Glasgow magnate it was said that in the 
top story of his magnificent house in the West End he 
had a little room in which was carefully placed all the 
furniture he possessed when he commenced house- 
keeping — a deal table, a couple of chairs, and a chest 
of drawers. If he was giving a dinner party,he would, 
after coffee, carefully conduct his guests up the long 
flight of stairs to this sanctum, and, ostentatiously 
throwing open the door, would say — 

" There, gentlemen, that is how I began the world. 
You see downstairs what I have risen to. All is due 
to industry, perseverance, temperance, and economy. 
Go ye and do likewise." 

He had, from time to time, various partners. The 
story goes that once upon a time a certain distin- 
*Clydeside Cameos, p. 38. 

202 



THE COMMERCE OF GLASGOW 

guished visitor was brought to see the firm's famous 
works. He was taken all through the departments, 
and all the stages of manufacture illustrated and ex- 
plained. Then he was brought back to the counting- 
house for a glass of sherry. In the seclusion of the 
partners' sanctum he overflowed with the usual ex- 
pressions of admiration at the extent and importance 
of the works, and of wonder at the enormous amount 
of brains required to organise and manage them. 

"Sir," said the magnate, placing his hat upon his 
own head, " this hat covers all the brains in the con- 
cern." 

His two partners preserved a respectful silence.* 

Commercial enmity will go a long way upon occa- 
sion, but the following authentic instance of rancour 
is surely somewhat exceptional. True, it happened a 
good many years ago. The present generation, one 
would hope, is hardly capable of such conduct. The 
facts are that a prominent Glasgow iron merchant 
upon leaving the Exchange one day was greeted by 
another, equally prominent. We shall call them A. 
andB. 

" Good afternoon. A.," said B. " How's the market 
to-day ? " 

"Dull, verydull. But have you not been on 'Change 
to-day?" 

*' No. The fact is, ye mind Jimmy C. ? Well, him 
an' me cast oot ; an' I tell't him I would live to spit on 
his grave. Weel, I've jist been up doing it." 
* Clydeside Cameos, p. 222. 



CHAPTER EIGHT 
CONCERNING BANKING 



CHAPTER EIGHT 

CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

MONEY IS THE LIFE-BLOOD OF COM- 
merce, and Glasgow is a commercial city. It there- 
fore follows that banks and bankers occupy an im- 
portant place in the community. Glasgow is now well 
supplied with banks — too well supplied,some bankers 
may think. But the business of banking in the City 
is not yet hoary with antiquity. Prior to 1750 there 
were no banks in Glasgow, and the business men of 
the town seem to have managed to get along without 
them fairly well. But the increasing prosperity of the 
local merchants and the growth of intercourse with 
England and the Colonies at length made greater 
financial facilities indispensable, and also rendered it 
necessary that these facilities should be granted by 
financial institutions whose standing would be re- 
cognised not only by the whole local business com- 
munity, but also by bankers and merchants in other 
places and countries where Glasgow merchants did 
business. Thus was brought about the establishment 
of the first bank in Glasgow, the famous Ship Bank, 
now absorbed in the Union Bank. 

But prior to the establishment of the Ship Bank 
attempts had been made from Edinburgh to set up 
banking facilities in Glasgow. In 1696, and again in 
1 73 1, the Bank of Scotland had opened an office in 
Glasgow. But mindful of the text, " Can any good 
thing come out of Nazareth?" the Glasgow merchants 
held coldly aloof, and the Bank for the time being a- 
bandoned Glasgow. But in 1750 the Ship, and later 
207 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

in the same year the Glasgow Arms Bank, began busi- 
ness, each with a strong local backing; the Thistle 
Bank began in 1761 ; and the Merchants' Bank was 
established in 1769, chiefly for the accommodation 
of the increasing class of smaller traders. Both the 
Ship and Thistle are now merged in the Union, The 
Glasgow Arms and the Merchants' Bank failed in 
1793, but paid their creditors in full.* 

When the Ship Bank was established in 1750, An- 
drew Buchanan, who was one of the original partners, 
got his old tutor'sson.then a smart lad about fourteen 
years of age, a situation as message boy and general 
assistant in the quaint old Briggate establishment. 
This boy was the renowned Robert Carrick,one of the 
most heartily, and most unjustly, maligned bank offi- 
cials Glasgow has produced. It cannot be denied that 
Robin, as a member of the community, was cold, un- 
sympathetic, grasping, and inflexible; but in his offi- 
cial capacity, as the guardian and distributor of the 
public wealth, he displayed an accurate perception of 
those sound monetary principles which were subse- 
quently more fully developed by Dr. Adam Smith, and 
in the application of which Robin evinced an amount 
of assiduous attention and shrewd sagacity that con- 
trasted favourably with the recklessness or stupidity 
of so many official brethren in his own and in more 
recent times. At any rate, he for many years piloted 
the good old " Ship " past many a dangerous reef and 
through many a troublous passage ; till after eighty- 
six years' buffeting it found a harbour, sound in tim- 
bers and cordage, in the Union Bank. 
* Old Glasgow Essays, p. 376. 

208 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

In accordance with the advice of his contemporary 
and namesake, Burns, Robin 

" Gathered gear by every wile 
That's justified by honour." 

He yearly added house to house and field to field. 
No speculation was either too high or too low for him, 
provided it held out a prospect that it could " pay " ; 
and before his death he was reputed to be the richest 
man in Glasgow. Of course speculation was rife as to 
howor where all this wealth would find an owner when 
he died. His old housekeeper, who was reputed to be 
a more inveterate " skinflint " than himself, was almost 
his only relative. As for churches and schools, and in- 
firmaries and similar institutions, they might be sup- 
ported, he said, by those who could afford to do so, or 
who needed their help. At length Robin died friend- 
lessly in the upper room of the old Ship which he 
had served so faithfully, and it was found that the 
greater part of his large fortune was left to David, the 
grandson of Andrew Buchanan, his old patron. 

Although the motives of Mr. Carrick in thus dis- 
posing of his wealth were unquestioned and unques- 
tionable, nevertheless the matter formed a nine days' 
wonder and a great source of gossip at the time, es- 
pecially when it became known that not one of those 
benevolent and useful institutions which were the 
pride and glory of the town benefited to the value of 
a copper coin by the old man's bounty ; and that even 
his faithful servant John, — his bank porter, body ser- 
vant, groom, coachman, gardener, and general facto- 
tum,' — who carefully collected the bank candle-ends 
to grease the axle of the rickety vehicle in v/hich 
209 o 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Robin was conveyed from his country house each 
summer morning, in company with a supplementary 
load of syboes, cabbages, and turnips, which John duly 
carried to the green market, and fought the kail-wives 
over in many a wordy encounter — even poor faithful 
John, who had grown grey in the service of a thankless 
master, was entirely neglected, and died an inmate, 
and a highly respected one,of the old Clydeside Poor- 
house. 

Had the eccentric banker lived but a short time 
longer, there is no saying where his great fortune 
might have been bestowed. One of David Buchanan's 
Virginia partners, a cute American, raised a serious 
lawsuit against the firm, which assumed such propor- 
tions that, whatever way it might have terminated, 
would have damaged, if it did not ruin, the estate. As 
it was, however, the windfall enabled Mr, Buchanan 
to come off unscathed ; yet everybody said that shar- 
ing his painfully gathered gear among the lawyers 
was the last thing Robin would have submitted to, 
could he have foreseen such a catastrophe.* 

The office of the Ship Bank stood on the west side 
of the foot of Glassford Street, entering from Argyle 
Street. It had been the city mansion of some aristo- 
cratic family, and certainly was not built for a bank, 
beingdestituteof all those artistic and expensive de- 
corations which in modern times appear essential to 
the success and stability of a banking company. The 
cashier's room was in the front, and the public office 
in a small, dismally dark room behind. The town 
house of Mr. Robert Carrick was on the upper floors; 
* Curiosities of Glasgow Citizenship, P- 25. 

210 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

and the house of the porter, John Crosbie,was behind 
on the ground floor. The bank opened at lo, but was 
shut from 12 to i o'clock, so that the officials might 
bring up their books, and it was reopened between 
2 and 3 o'clock. Bills were handed in to Mr. Carrick, 
and when they received a favourable verdict he tore a 
small piece from the bottom of the paper, which was 
the mark of approval and the order on the teller to 
honour and pay. The sweating chamber was the large 
outer lobby, where the customers were kept standing 
in suspense. When the bill was not approved, it was 
politely returned to the supplicant by a raw Highland 
lad, without other response than it was " not conven- 
ient to-day." In the public room sat the teller, Mr. 
Michael Rowan, a most worthy gentleman, who had 
his country house (Linthouse) near Govan. The pub- 
lic were kept within a pen, enclosed by a partition of 
some four feet in height. There was no apology for a 
counter. The cheques were handed over the pen, and 
if found correct Mr. Rowan rose from his three-legged 
stool to a large wooden desk in which he kept the 
bank-notes. He placed the lid of this money chest on 
his head, and slowly counted out the required sum, 
which he handed over the barricade. The receiver 
had then to check the notes either in the dark, in the 
room ; or, when he desired some more space and light, 
in the lobby of access.* 

Mr. Carrick, with his wrinkled face and keen, pierc- 
ing eyes, was usually attired in a brown coloured coat, 
queerly made, with deep flaps on the outside pockets, 
the broad skirts reaching down nearly to his heels, 

* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow, " Nestor," p. 5. 
211 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

and adorned with large brass buttons; drab knee- 
breeches ; a striped woollen waistcoat, of hotch-potch 
tinge, allowed a very moderate display of " ruffles " at 
the breast; white neckcloth with longish ends; ribbed 
white worsted stockings,andbuckles in his shoes; while 
a small brown wig covered the pate of this singular- 
looking but able old financier. Mr. Carrick was fond of 
music, and accustomed in the evenings, as a relaxa- 
tion, to play the violin, often with an old friend who 
performed well on that instrument, in the queer and 
very plainly furnished house above the bank. This old 
musical friend laid Mr. Carrick'shead in the coffin, by 
special request of the ancient virgin who long super- 
intended the old banker's household,* 

As hasalready been mentioned, the Glasgow Arms 
Bank was started in the same year as the Ship Bank, 
and the success of these banks soon roused the ire of 
their Edinburgh rivals, the Royal Bank and the Bank 
of Scotland. In fact, the Ship and the Glasgow Arms 
banks had scarcely been established when they were 
fiercelyattacked by the Edinburgh banks. Theselast 
had long had a bitter feud between themselves, and 
tried to drive each other off the field in Edinburgh. The 
particulars of this contest may be seen in the pamph- 
lets printed by their respective partisans, and in other 
publications of the day. But now that Glasgow had 
presumed to act herself, in a field peculiarly her own, 
the Edinburgh banks, full of jealousy of the Glasgow 
banks, quashed their own disputes, and resolved if 
possible to crush the two new competitors. With great 
arrogance,therefore,the Edinburgh banks insisted on 
* Glasgow Past a?id Present, vol. i. p. 481. 

212 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

Provost Dunlop and Provost Cochrane, and the other 
gentlemen associated with them, immediately discon- 
tinuing the business of banking, under threat of their 
notes being protested. This unwarrantable request 
was firmly refused ; whereupon the two Edinburgh 
stranger banks employed an agent, named Archibald 
Trotter, to collect as many notes of the Ship and Glas- 
gow Arms as possible, and suddenly present these at 
the banks for payment. This was the plan the Edin- 
burgh banks had adopted during their own feud a- 
gainsteach other; and now as friends they resolved to 
try it on the two young Glasgow banks. Trotter ac- 
cordingly came west on his despicable mission, and 
took up his abode in Glasgow. But he completely 
failed in his object. The Glasgow banks stood their 
ground manfully, backed by the voice of public opin- 
ion, against the tyranny attempted towards them, 
and met all demands. As a specimen of Trotter's tac- 
tics, he insisted that the Ship and Arms banks had no 
right to fix their hours of doing business, but were 
bound to pay their notes at any time these were pre- 
sented — from seven o'clock in the morning till ten 
o'clock at night; and he therefore made his demands 
often at the most untimeous hours. In order, however, 
to punish Trotter, some of the payments were made 
to him in sixpences, to his no small vexation, from the 
time it took to count. But this was just what the Edin- 
burgh banks had done themselves during their feud 
with each other; and, moreover, silver was then a legal 
tender. This opposition lasted some years, and ended 
in a lawsuit before the Court of Session, at Trotter's 
instance against Cochrane, Murdoch, & Co., the plead- 
213 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

ings in which revealed the whole conspiracy. Latterly 
Trotter wasglad to compromise thecase,afterhaving 
spent about iJ^6oo in lawexpenses. The Glasgow banks 
continued to prosper, and none of the Edinburgh 
banks ventured to place a branch here for upwards of 
twenty years after their repulse.* 

The Royal was the firststranger bank which seated 
itself in Glasgow. This was in 1783. It did so in a 
very humble manner. Its first office was on the one 
side of a small shop in " Hopkirk's Land," east side 
of High Street, five doors north from the corner at 
the Cross. The agent carried on his ordinary busi- 
ness of a linen-draper on the other side of the shop. 
The rent paid by the bank was £2, los. annually. The 
agent had been originally a herd boy, afterwards a wea- 
ver in Paisley, Hamilton, and Cambuslang; thereaf- 
teraclerktoasilk-mercerin Glasgow; andatthetime 
the bank employed him he was, as already said, a linen- 
draper on his own account. The Bank of Scotland did 
not repeat their experiment of a branch here for many 
years after the Royal. They had only a bill-collector, 
Mr. Herbert Hamilton, agent for the Carron Com- 
pany, west side of Queen Street, and had a room in 
his place of business. Their first regular office was in 
Miller Street, the agent being Mr, Archibald Hamil- 
ton, jun. Afterwards they bought the old Star Inn, In- 
gram Street, and built their office on the site in 1 826. 

Further interesting particulars of this financial 
battle are given in the following extracts : — 

Scots M ago ziyte.V^^y 1756 (p. 249). — "I'wo gentle- 
men from Edinburgh, with an agent, etc., made con- 
* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. i. p. 475. 

214 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

siderable demands on the two banks at Glasgow(Ship 
and Glasgow Arms) May 31st and June ist, 2nd, and 
3rd. A protest was taken against the old bank (Ship), 
that ofMessrs.Dunlop,Houston,& Company, for non- 
payment of £976 and ;£^7000. Payment was offered of 
the £976, in notes of the two banks of Edinburgh, but 
refused and specie insisted for. The gentlemen who 
demanded the £7000 were told by the cashier that 
the Company's notes were always paid at ordinary 
hours; but that so large a demand, after the ordinary 
timeofdoingbusinessfortheforenoonwasover — z>.after 
twelveo'clock — he did not think proper,withi ut previ- 
ously advertising the Company, to paytillfouro'clock 
afternoon; and they were desired tocome back at that 
hour, when all the notes would be paid. Attendance 
was given at the banking office from threeo'clock after- 
noon till near five ; and as the Edinburgh gentlemen 
did not call as desired, an attorney was sent to their 
lodgings. The principal person was goneoutof town; 
but the other, who was his agent or doer, was foundon 
the street, and required to repair to the bankingoffice, 
to receive payment of the sum demanded, the Com- 
pany being always ready to pay their notes at proper 
hours, in gold and silver, and Edinburgh bank-notes. 
N.B. — The Edinburgh notes offered were those of the 
Royal Bank, which were refused." 

Glasgow Journal, 7th June 1756. — "There having 
been a run last week on the two banking companies 
here for gold and silver in exchange of the Glasgow 
notes, and the notes of the banks at Edinburgh having 
been refused to be taken in payment, the inhabitants 
with great readiness and alacrity paid in largesumsof 
215 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

specie to the two cashiers; and we are well assured that 
the noblemen and gentlemen of this country have en- 
tered into a resolution to continue their countenance 
and support of these two companies." 

Scots Magazine, July 1756 (p. 365). — "Since the 
run upon them, the Glasgow banks have altered the 
tenor of their notes. By the new notes the cashier pro- 
mises to pay the sum in thenoteon demand, or, in the 
option of the bank, the sum, and an additional sum 
(which is precisely half-a-year's interest at five per cent 
per annum of the other sum) at the end of six months 
— the demand and the option of the bank to be ascer- 
tained by the cashier's marking and signing on the 
back of the note the day on which it was presented." 

This matter is also dealt with by " Senex " in Glas- 
gow Past a7id Present * as follows : — 

" I have already mentioned that, in consequence of 
the scarcity of silver, our banks commenced issuing 
notes of the value of five shillings. Although nobank 
in Glasgow had hitherto issued notes of such trifling 
amount, neverthelesSjintheyear 1 76 1, our banks made 
an issue ofnotesofthevalueof I os.,payable to the bear- 
er on demand. But as for the £\ and ^^5 bank-notes, 
they were made payable either on demand or, in the 
option of the bank, six months after being presented, 
with six months' interest. The reason for our banks 
reserving this option was peculiar, and not very cred- 
itable to the great banks in Edinburgh, as the follow- 
ing narrative will show : — 

"December 20, 1761. — Arch. Trotter brought an 
action against Cochrane and Murdoch, and other pro- 
*Vol. ii. p. 227. 

216 




ROBERT CARRICK 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

prietorsof oneofthe Glasgow banks (Glasgow Arms), 
setting forth — 'That he had applied to the bank for 
payment of about ^^3000 of their notes, and they had 
offered him payment in sixpences; but in making 
payment their servants had proceeded in a way design- 
edly evasive and slow; that they had miscounted the 
money on purpose to have a pretence of counting it 
over again ; had quitted him in order to pay other peo- 
ple, and by many other arts had protracted his pay- 
ments; on which account he had taken a protest against 
them, and he concluded for payment of the sum with 
interest from the date of the protest, cost of suit and 
damages.' " 

The defence pleaded from the banking company 
was : — " That Trotter was sent to and settled at Glas- 
gow by the directors of the two public banks at Edin- 
burgh, as their agent, in order to pick up the defender's 
notes, and then to make a sudden run upon them in 
order to ruin their credit. That in such a case it was 
their right to defend themselves by every legal method 
against so invidious an attack. That payment in six- 
pences was a legal tender. That they were not obliged 
to keep all their servants employed in making pay- 
ment to him only, and that therefore they could not be 
liable for anything further than payment of the notes. 
Secondly, supposing there had been an absolute re- 
fusal to pay, they could not be liable for damages; be- 
cause, beingonly a private banking company,though 
thirty in number, they were in the case of anyprivate 
debtor by bill or note, who, if he refuses payment, can 
only be sued for the debt, interest, and expenses, but 
not for damages." 
217 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

The Lords found the action relevant for payment of 
the principal sunn, interest, and expenses of process. 
N.B. — As the defenders did not reclaim against the 
interlocutor, it became final quoad the pursuer's de- 
mand for interest and costofsuit. But the pursuer hav- 
ing reclaimed and insisted for damages, the Lordsor- 
dered his petition to be answered. This point, however, 
never came to a discussion, as the suit was carried out 
of court by a submission. 

It may be remarked that in tendering payment of 
silver for the ;^30OO the teller of the Glasgow Arms 
Bank twice kept back a sixpence on purpose, to force 
Trotter to count the amount a third timie. 

Even in modern commercial communities there is 
sometimes inconvenience created by a scarcity of spe- 
cie, and in recent times great financial trouble has 
resulted in New York from this cause. It is therefore 
not surprising that Glasgow in its commercial infancy 
had to take steps to conserve the supply of hard cash. 
Of this matter " Senex " speaks as follows : — 

" When I was a boy there was a great scarcity of 
silver coinage in Glasgow ; and it was considered 
quite a favour on the part of a shop-keeper to give 
change for a bank-note even to his own customers. 
On the Saturday, bakers, butchers, and grocers hoard- 
ed up the smaller drawings for that day in order to 
oblige their customers the ensuing week by granting 
them silver in exchange for notes. As for the banks, 
one and all of them set their faces against giving sil- 
ver for their own notes, if they possibly could avoid 
doing so ; and they held out (at least so the public 
then said) threats of keeping in remembrance any at- 

218 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

tempt of a mercantile house presuming to drain them 
of their silver by seeking change. In order to save 
giving silver in change, the Ship Bank at this time 
issued both guinea notes and twenty-shilling notes. 
Supposing, therefore, that a person was to have re- 
ceived ^20, 1 8s., he received 18 guinea notes and 
two notes of twenty shillings each, but not a six- 
pence of silver. I remember, when a little boy, of 
beingsent out by my mother to getchange of a pound 
note, and having in vain tried to obtain it from our 
own baker and grocer, and also having made the like 
attempt at variousshops without success, 1 found my- 
self at the head of the Stockwell, opposite the Ship 
Bank, and it then occurred to me that I would try 
the bank, the note being a Ship Bank note. Accord- 
ingly in I stepped, and, presenting my note on the 
counter, asked for change. Upon doing so I was in- 
terrogated as follows: ' What's your name, sir?' I 
answered, ' My name is Senex.' ' Who is your mas- 
ter? ' I replied, ' I have no master.' ' Who told you 
to come here, then ? ' I said, ' Nobody told me to come 
here ; I just came of myself ' But who gave you 
the note to change ? ' I told them my mother gave 
it to me. The teller then, with a humph, gave me the 
properchange. Atthis time,whensilverwas demand- 
ed for a guinea note from any of our banks, it was 
often refused to be given and a gold guinea tendered 
instead thereof — the banks well knowing that gold 
was not wanted. In fact, our banks tried all shifts to 
stave off giving silver for their notes. The Royal 
Bank in Glasgow peremptorily refused to give silver 
for their notes, except by way of special favour to 
219 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

customers of their own. A stranger then seeking 
change of a Royal Bank note at the branch in Glas- 
gow was told in the most cavalier manner to go to 
Edinburgh, where the notes were made payable." * 

Many memories linger round the Ship Bank, which 
is dear to Glasgow business men as the earliest finan- 
cialprop of thecommerceof the City. Naturally, most 
of these stories centre upon Mr. Carrick, who was 
conspicuous not only as the first bank manager in 
Glasgow, but also from his peculiarities of character. 
While he was eminently fitted for his post by reason 
of his shrewdness arid caution, yet he appears to have 
been of a miserly disposition, and to have possessed 
few, if any, lovable traits of character. But his pro- 
minence as a banker in Glasgow justifies the inclu- 
sion of any available anecdotes regarding him. 

One day when he was sitting in his private room 
at the bank a gentleman (said to have been Thomas 
Stewart of the Field), who was upon intimate terms 
with him, called to transact some trifling bank busi- 
ness. The matter being arranged, these gentlemen 
sat down to a sober two-handed crack, which Mr. 
Carrick enjoyed very much when he met an old ac- 
quaintance. All of a sudden Mr. Carrick rose up and 
proceeded to his iron safe, from which he extracted 
a piece of paper, carefully folded up, which, having 
spread out, he laid it before his visitor, saying, " Here 
is a bill made payable at the bank ; will you be so 
good as to give me your opinion of it ? " The gentle- 
man, having examined the bill, returned it to Mr. 
Carrick, saying, " I am greatly surprised, Mr. Car- 
* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. ii. p. 220. 

220 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

rick, at your having discounted that bill." " How 
so ? " said Mr. Carrick. " Because," said the gentle- 
man, with an emphasis, " it is a forgery ! " At this 
Mr. Carrick merelygave a gentle smile, calmly folded 
up the bill, and on rising to restore it to his iron safe 
simply remarked with a nod, " It is a very good bill." 
In fact, Mr. Carrick had a shrewd guess that the bill 
was a forgery when he discounted it, but he also knew 
that it was sure to be regularly paid when due : he, 
however, was desirous of ascertaining from another 
person if his suspicions were well-founded.* 

Upon one occasion Mr. Carrick was eyeing with 
suspicious vision a bill presented to him for discount. 
"You need not fear," said the palpitating customer. 
" One of the parties keeps his carriage." " Ay," re- 
joined the banker. " I shall be glad if he keeps his feet." 

A countryman having applied in December to Mr. 
Carrick to discount a bil 1 which had three months and 
seventeen days to run, the banker, after carefully look- 
ing at both sides of it, as was his invariable custom, 
said that "it was not usual to take bills of a longer 
date than three months"; upon which the applicant, 
scratching his head and looking slyly at Robin, said, 
" That may be the usual way, sir, but ye ken the days 
are unco short at this time o' the year ! " The bill was 
discounted.f 

The following anecdote of Mr. Carrick was told by 
a gentleman (now deceased) who himself transacted 
the business in question with Mr. Carrick. This gentle- 
man for many years, when money was scarce, had kept 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. ii. p. 229. 
t Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 252. 
221 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

a large sum of cash in the Ship Bank; and when mon- 
ey became so plentiful that Mr. Carrick found dif- 
ficultyin employing it to advantage, he sent a letterto 
this customer, saying that the bank was going to pay 
him up his deposit money. The customer, in conse- 
quence of this communication, waited on Mr. Carrick 
and represented to him the hardshipof thus suddenly 
bemg paid up his money, when it was so difficult to find 
a profitable investment for it; and he told Mr. Carrick 
that as he (Mr. C.) had had the benefit of the money 
for so long a period when money was scarce, that he 
ought now to keep the remembrance of former bene- 
fits. But Mr. Carrick was deaf to this argument, and 
answered that the partners of the bank could not find 
employment even for their own capital. The gentle- 
man, seeing xMr. Carrick to be quite determined, then 
asked him, in what manner he (Mr. C.) proposed to 
pay him; to which Mr. Carrick replied that the a- 
mount would be paid in the ordinary way, with bank- 
notes ; to which the gentleman answered, " Na,na, Mr. 
Carrick ; if you won't accept of my money, I will' not 
accept of yours. You must therefore pay me in gold." 
Mr. Carrick was quite taken aback by this demand, 
and after a few smooth speeches (for Mr. Carrick pos- 
sessed very bland manners) he concluded by saying 
that it would be a pity if they should have any words 
about a settlement after having so long done busi- 
ness together, and therefore, however inconvenient it 
might be to thebank.thatin themeantime the matter 
might lie over. After this the gentleman heard noth- 
ing more on the subject.* 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 30S. 



222 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

" It was," says " Senex," " the practice of Mr. John 
Marshall, the head book-keeper of the bank, to spend 
the hour between twelve and one in strolling round the 
Green of Glasgow ; and if he happened to be fatigued 
with his walk, he sometimes indulged himself by tak- 
ing a 'meridian,' Now it occurred one day, when 
John had been spending the said hour in his usual 
walk, that Mr. Carrick in his absence had taken a 
fancy to look into the bankbooks; and when John re- 
turned at two o'clock to his duty, Mr. Carrick was sit- 
ting at the desk upon John's stool quite intent upon 
examination of Mr. Marshall's ledger. Mr. Marshall, 
upon arrival, saw someone sitting at his desk, occupy- 
ing his very stool, and busily engaged examining his 
entries in the bank ledger, but did not perceive that it 
was Mr. Carrick, and so in a playful mood he went 
quickly forward, and, giving the old gentleman a 
sound slap on the back, exclaimed, ' All right, all 
right, my cockie ! ' Mr. Carrick, in amazement, push- 
ed up his spectacles to his brow, turned round and 
stared John in the face, who was in greater amazement 
than Robin himself. Mr. Marshall then made a thou- 
sand apologies to Mr. Carrick for the liberty he had 
used, sayingthat he had mistaken him for ArchyCal- 
der. Mr. Carrick never said a word in reply, but merely 
replacinghis spectacles as before, proceeded with the 
examination of John's ledger, which he found quite 
satisfactory." * 

Mr. Macalpine of the Ship Bank was better known 
amongst his acquaintances by the familiar name of 
" Sandy Macalpine." He was a shrewd, clever man, 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 234. 
223 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

and sharp as a needle. One day, in the course of pay- 
ing a farmer a small account, there happened to be a 
half-guinea among the change. The farmer did not 
like to receive gold in payment in case of its being of 
light weight, and therefore, carefully inspecting the 
half-guinea, he asked Mr. Macalpine if he was quite 
sure of its being good weight. Mr. Macalpine.taking 
the coin back from the farmer, placed it on the tip of 
his elbow, and then poised it as if he had been weigh- 
ing it, after which he returned the piece to the farmer, 
saying, " Yes, yes, I'll warrant it to be good weight !" 
Thefarmer,hovvever,wasnotsatisfied with Mr. Macal- 
pine'smodeof weighing gold, and after again carefully 
examining the half-guineaon both sides.said," I dinna 
ken,sir,but I think it looks unco bare!" "Bare.bare!" 
exclaimed Sandy. "Od'smylife,man,wouldyou have 
hair upon it?" The poor farmer was quite dumbfoun- 
dered at this sally, and so pocketed the half-guinea 
without uttering another word.* 

Usually bankers are men of pacific demeanour, but 
there are exceptions to every rule, as the following 
story shows. 

Towards the end of the eighteenth and early in the 
nineteenth century the Cross was the great business 
centre of the city. There the Exchange was situated, 
where the newspapers were read and the war news 
discussed by the Virginia Dons who strutted about in 
wigs and scarlet cloaks. Not far from the Cross, in 
Gibson's Wynd (now Princes Street, City), some 1 50 
years ago, the Glasgow Post Office was situated. It 
consisted of three apartments : the front one measured 
* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. ii. p. 236. 

224 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

twelve feet square, the other two were mere pigeon- 
holes, each ten feet by six, or thereby. The rent of the 
premises was £6 or ;^8 a year. The delivery hole or 
wicket was a hole broken through the wall of the close. 

At this time the West Indian mail arrived only once 
a month, and upon the arrival of the mail the pressure 
that took place at the delivery of letters was quite o ver- 
powering. So anxious were merchants to get their 
letters that they attended personally, and were wont 
to push and scramble at the little wicket window in 
the close for first delivery of their expected remit- 
tances. 

Upon one of these occasions a fracas took place 
between Henry Monteith, afterwards Lord Provost, 
and Robert Watson, banker. From high words they 
proceeded to downright fisticuffs, and had a regular 
set-to in Princes Street. So long as the contest was 
confined to words, the future Lord Provost and M.P. 
had the best of it ; but when it came to blows, the 
banker showed himself the better man. Their friends, 
however, interfered and separated them, and they are 
said to have been afterwards fast friends.* 

Naturally, the success of the Ship and the Glasgow 
Arms Bank tempted other institutions to endeavour 
to obtain a share in the growing commercial pros- 
perity of the City. 

The first which sent a branch to Glasgow was the 
Paisley Bank, or, as it was familiarly called, the " Old 
Paisley." This took place in 1784. At that period the 
population of Glasgow was about 47,000 and of Pais- 
ley about 2 1 ,000. The bank itself had been established 

* Anecdotage of Glasgow^ p. 204. 
225 p 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

at Paisley only the year previous, having commenced 
there on ist October 1783. Up till that time all the 
banking business of Paisley was transacted in Glas- 
gow.* 

The next private bank which placed a branch in 
Glasgow was Messrs. Dunlop, Houston, Gammell, & 
Co., bankers in Greenock, better known as the " Gree- 
nock Bank." They did so on Thursday, 2Sth July 
1785. The bank commenced in Greenock on the pre- 
vious Monday. 

The Greenock Bank transacted a large business. 
Besides Glasgow, they had branches at Rothesay, 
Lochgilphead, etc., and an extensive and influential 
connection with the West Highlands. They had also 
a large circulation in Cumberland, Westmorland, and 
the Isle of Man, and for many years were the Govern- 
ment bank in Greenock, for receiving and remitting 
to London the customs and other branches of the 
public revenue. 

On Sunday, 9th March 1828, the bank was robbed 
of ;£'28,350 by English thieves. One of them, named 
Henry Sanders, was tried, but acquitted in September 
following. Most of the money stolen was, however, 
recovered afterwards. 

The bank existed fifty-eight years — namely, from 
1785 till 1843. At this latter date the partners were 
Messrs. John Scott, shipbuilder, Greenock ; Charles C. 
Scott of Haw^khill, near Largs ; Jas. Hunter of Hafton, 
Dunoon ; Wm. Smith of Fullwood, merchant, Liver- 
pool; Alexander Thomson and John Thomson, bank- 
ers, Greenock. In November 1 843 these partners dis- 
■* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 486. 

92$ 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

posed of their whole interest in the bank to the Western 
Bank, for a large consideration. The Glasgow Branch 
was then closed, and the Greenock Bank ceased to 
exist as an independent establishment, although the 
old name was retained by the purchasers fourteen 
years longer as a branch of their own in Greenock. 
This was the last private bank in Scotland.* 

The third bank which sent a branch to Glasgow 
was the Paisley Union. This bank was established at 
Paisley in May 1788. 

In 1789 a branch was opened in Glasgow. The first 
office was in a flat up two stairs at No. 17 High Street. 
The first agent was Mr. James Elliot Henderson of 
Enoch Bank, one of the partners. 

In 1 802 Mr. Andrew Templeton became the agent, 
and continued so twenty-seven years. When Mr. 
Templeton joined the Paisley Union, the bank office 
was at 17 Glassford Street; but in 1805 it was removed 
to the low floor of the tenement at the north-east cor- 
ner of Hutcheson and Ingram Streets, entering from 
the latter. There it remained till the last. 

During Mr.Templeton's agency of the Paisley Un- 
ion the office in Ingram Street was robbed by three 
noted London thieves. It made a great noise at the 
time. The robbery took place early in the morning of 
Sunday, 14th July 181 1, and the amount stolen was 
£ 20,000. With this large sum the thieves got clear off 
to London in a post-chaise and four. The Bow Street 
officers recovered i^ 12,000 shortly after through the 
medium of a London boxer, who acted as middle- 
man between them and the robbers, but only aportion 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. i. p 489. 
227 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

of the remaining ;^8ooo was ever recovered, and that 
under circumstances so singular as to be almost like a 
romance. It will be hardly credited that the principal 
robber, James IMackcoul, had the audacity to prose- 
cute the Bank for arresting him a number of years after 
in Edinburgh, where he had been purchasing, from 
several of the banks, drafts on London, in name of a 
fictitious party, with the very notes he had stolen. 
The Paisley Union Bank was very nearly cast in that 
action,andonly escaped through theremarkablesag- 
acity and exertions of Mr. Donovan, originally of the 
Bow Street office, and afterwards Master of Police in 
Glasgow,who succeeded in identifying Mackcoul with 
the robbery, and turned the tables so completely a- 
gainst him that he was tried and sentenced to death, 
but died in prison in December 1 820. Thecounsel for 
the Bank were Mr. Francis Jeffrey and Mr. Henry 
Cockburn. 

On 30th June 1838 the Paisley Union, after having 
existed half a century, merged into the Glasgow Un- 
ion Bank, now the Union Bank of Scotland.* 

The fourth and last private bank branch opened in 
Glasgow was that of the Renfrewshire Bank. The 
social firm was William Napier & Co. I ts head office 
was in Greenock, where it commenced business in 
1802. 

A branch was planted at Glasgow in 1803, under 
the agency of Messrs. Logan & Kennedy, wine mer- 
chants. The office was in Buchanan Street. 

The bank had branches also at Rothesay, Inver- 
aray, and Campbeltown. 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. i. p. 493. 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

The Renfrewshire Bank had at one time a pretty 
extensive business, but it gradually dwindled away. 
On 1st April 1842 the Bank was sequestrated. The 
Trustee was Mr. John Kerr, merchant, Greenock. 
The liabilities amounted to upwards of ;!^3 24,000, 
and the dividend to the general creditors was small. 
Some of the note-holders and depositors, however, 
were paid in full by certain of the retired partners, 
where obligations were dated prior to 1840.* 

One of the smaller Glasgow banks, Messrs. Thom- 
sons', which was opened on 4th October 1785, was the 
sufferer by a remarkable robbery of notes which took 
place on Friday night, 29th October 1 79 1 . A mahog- 
any box containing ;^i6oo in guinea and twenty- 
shilling notes,of Messrs. Thomsons' issue, and twelve 
bills, which had been put in a small sack and sent on 
a carrier's cart by Mr. Gavin Stewart of Cumnock, 
addressed to the bank, was stolen off the cart in going 
along the streets. A reward of ;^200 was advertised, 
and "no questions asked." On the 17th November 
following the box was found by a country lad while 
clearing out a dunghill in Saltmarket, where it had 
been hid and never opened. The reward was prompt- 
ly paid to the lucky finder. 

The Ship Bank used to be closed from one till two 
o'clock daily; and itwaspartof thedutyof theyoung- 
est apprentice to protect its treasure during the night, 
for which purpose he was armed with a gun, powder- 
horn, and a few charges of slugs, and locked in till 
morning, a "box-bed" being fitted up in the telling- 
room for his convenience. A bugle lay beside him to 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. i. p. 496. 
229 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

sound an alarm. For this dangerous service he receiv- 
ed a present at the annual balance of i^i, los. 6d. 

The year 1793 was one of extraordinary commer- 
cial depression in this country, and particularly in 
Glasgow, which suffered at the time from the loss of its 
colonial trade. Dr. Strang writes thus of this calami- 
tous period : — 

"In July 1793 a vast number of the private banks 
throughout England stopped payment, tending al- 
most to a universal bankruptcy. In Glasgow the 
Arms Bank and Thomsons' Bank stopped, although 
ultimately both paid everyone. The Royal Bank even 
was in sad trepidation — so much so that Gilbert In- 
nesand William Simpson were accustomed to meet 
with David Dale and Scott Moncrieffatthe Half-way 
House to Edinburgh, to discuss the position of bank 
matters; and so terrified were they about the result 
that they shortly afterwards increased their capital by 
half a million. The misery, however, which was creat- 
ed during that year among all classes was widespread 
and severe, and may be easily conceived when it is 
mentioned that almost all kinds of goods fell nearly 
fifty per cent." * 

This crisis was so momentous as to deserve further 
notice. Accordingly, the description by "Senex" is 
here inserted : — 

"In the disastrous year 1793, three of our Glasgow 
banks failed, and the Royal Bank itself trembled at 
the pressure of the times. William Simpson and Gil- 
bert Innes from Edinburgh, and David Dale and 
Scott Moncriefffrom Glasgow, were then accustomed 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 203. 

230 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

to meet weekly at half-way between the respective 
cities, and there to discuss the position of bank mat- 
ters ; indeed, those times gave the Royal Bank such 
a fright that it shortly afterwards increased its capital 
by adding to it half amillion sterling, thereby making 
surety sure, as the saying goes. 

" Amidst the general panic which took place in the 
above-mentioned year, the Ship Bank stood as firm 
as a granite rock. Mr. Carrick regarded not the effects 
of the storm upon themercantileinterest, except inso 
far as his pouch was concerned ; and upon this pouch 
he now placed an additional button and guarded its 
contents. He was muchblamedforwantof liberality, 
and for narrowing his discounts almost to a point. 
But he secured the bank from alldanger; and if it was 
true (as then reported) that there was nearly i^6oo,ooo 
sterling of deposits in the said bank in 1792, perhaps 
his caution was absolutely necessary,"even for the sake 
of the public itself As an instance of the state of mer- 
cantile matters at this critical period, I may mention 
that it was in the year 1793 that I commenced busi- 
ness, and the fall upon goods was then so great that I 
got 45 per cent discount forcash upon my first trans- 
action. The gentleman from whom I purchased the 
above-mentioned goods is still alive (i854),and walks 
the boards of our Royal Exchange."* 

Human nature being what it is,one need not be sur- 
prised that attempts were made to forge the notes of 
the various banks. From Glasgow Past and Present f 
one learns that on 5th June 1 805 David Scott, engrav- 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 232. 
\ Ibid. vol. ii. p. 229. 
231 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

er, from Edinburgh, and Hugh Adamson, potter in 
Glasgow, were executed at the Cross for making and 
uttering notes in imitation of those of the Ship Bank- 
ing Company. These young men were respectably 
connected, and their fate much lamented. 

When the above-mentioned individuals were taken 
up and imprisoned, the partners of the Ship Bank 
were impressed with the idea that the said prisoners 
formedmerelypartof a gang of forgers, and that some 
person of a higher station in life was concerned along 
with them in the manufacture of Ship Bank notes. 
In order to discover if possible whether this was the 
case or not, Mr. Carrick visited the accused men in 
prison ; and as no person knew the effect of the sua- 
viter in modo better than the Ship Bank cashier, he 
spoke to the poor men with such affability and kind- 
ness, and seemed to take so deep an interest in their fa v- 
our, that they unbosomed themselves to him without 
reservation, and told him everything regarding the 
forgery,and the modeof theiraccomplishing it — con- 
ceiving that they were speaking to a friend anxious 
to save them. Mr. Carrick, however, having now learn- 
ed that the prisoners had no associates in the forgery 
of the Ship Bank notes, rested satisfied with his infor- 
mation, and used little or no exertion to save the lives 
of the unhappy culprits, but left them to their fate. 

The following anecdote was communicated to"Se- 
nex" by James Brown, Esq. (the father of William 
Brown, Esq., lateof Kilmardinny) : Mr. Brown and his 
brother John happened one forenoon to be standing 
at the foot of Glassford Street, near their business 
premises, when they were surprised at observing a 

232 




ROBERT GOURLAY, ESQ., LL.D. 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

number of ragged pieces of paper floating in the air 
above their heads, and being carried along the Tron- 
gate by the wind. One of these torn and dirty papers 
happened to fall on the pavement at their feet, when 
Mr. James Brown said to his brother, "John, look what 
that is!" Accordingly, John stooped down and took 
up a nasty rag of paper; but no sooner had he beheld 
on it the well-known figure of the Ship, and the great 
R. of Robert Carrick, than he hastily exclaimed, "By 
jingo, it is a shower of Robin's notes — let's after 
them!" Accordingly, the two gentlemen instantly 
scampered along the Trongate at their full speed in 
pursuit of the dirty pieces of paper, to the no small a- 
musement of the passers-by, who could not under- 
stand what they wanted with these little ragged scraps. 
After having picked up about half a dozen of them, 
and seeing no appearanceof any more floating about, 
they resolved to carry their prize into the Ship Bank 
foranexplanation. Accordingly,on arrival there, they 
learned that Mr. Carrick was engaged in an adjoining 
room; but on their expressing a wish to see him, he 
made his appearance. The gentlemen then exhibited 
the dirty, ragged Ship notes, and stated the odd way 
of their finding them ; upon which Mr. Carrick thank- 
ed them in the politest manner, and explained the 
mystery by saying that the bank clerks had been 
burning the worn-outnotesof the firm; butthatapuff 
of wind must have rushed in during the operation, 
when the room door happened to be opened, and by 
its sudden passage up the vent must have carried some 
of the notes fairly out of the chimney-top to the open 
air. Mr. Carrick, however, after again thanking them, 
233 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

addedthat hewouldnowstop the burningof the worn- 
out notes until he had got a safety wire screen placed 
on the vent of the room where theprocess was carried 
on. 

The Ship Bank notes, from their extreme simplicity, 
were especial favourites with forgers. On one occa- 
sion theagent for the Bank at Kilmarnock had refused 
a note as being a forgery. The note was sent to Glas- 
gow, when the two persons whose subscriptions were 
attached to the note declared that these were truly 
their signatures. Theagent was censured, and threat- 
ened to bedismissed for bringingdiscredit on the Bank 
notes. He went to Glasgow, and with some difficulty 
convinced the two parties thattheir names were really 
forged. The perpetrator was a notorious forger, and 
was tried and suffered death at the old jail at the foot 
of High Street* 

A sanctimonious hypocrite was John Henry Great- 
rex, photographer and forger, who applied his talents 
to the making of spurious bank-notes, and then led the 
detectives a dance across the Atlantic. 

Hewasatall, good-looking man, and an impressive 
preacher, taking up his stand on the Green regularly. 

In order to impress his customers with his piety, 
Greatrex had his studio hung round with Scripture 
texts. He found photographing faces much too slow 
a way of making money, and took to photographing 
bank-notes instead, and this brought about his ruin.f 

The following extract gives a glimpse of Sauchie- 
hall Street in the old days (about 1820) and a refer- 

* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow^ p. 10. 
^ Reminiscences of Eighty Vears,p. 128. 

234 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

ence to the advent of the Commercial Bank in Glas- 
gow: — 

" This was then a quiet, pleasant road, far removed 
from the noise and bustle of the City, having here and 
there a few rustic cottages placed by the roadside, 
where refreshments could be got. These houses were 
very much frequented at holiday and other times by 
families and youths from the City, who travelled out to 
enjoy the ' Curds an d cream and fruits in their seasons,' 
which were to be had there. There was one of these 
cottages which had fallen into bad repute. It had at 
one time,like the others, its nicegarden and very cosy 
bowers ; it was situated at the east end, in the vicin ity of 
where a numerous body of tradesmen were employed 
in the formation and building of streets. It was called 
the 'Fish,' from havingalongspirewith a large fish on 
the top. It had been degraded into a common public- 
house, frequented chiefly by those of the workmen who 
chose to misspend their money in that way. 

" Some years previous to this time (1820) it was the 
usual custom for genteel families residing in and a- 
round Stock well Street to have their summer quarters 
out in this direction, in farm and other houses, about 
the termination of this road, and a little farther to the 
north, about the end of Bobbie's Loan ; and here, a- 
mong others who came to spend a day with their 
friends in their summer residences, were the family of 
Mr. VVyld, a merchant who had a self-contained house 
and garden in Stockwell Street, nearly opposite the 
Goosedubs. He was the first to establish a branch of 
the Commercial Bank of Scotland in the City; the 
bank offices were in his own place of business, and for 
^35 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

a time he used to carry the cash and books of the 
bank home with him to his own dwelling, bringing 
them out in the mornings." * 

Theyear i820was a period of great political unrest; 
and rioting took place in Glasgow which necessitated 
the provision of protection for the Royal Bank, which 
then occupied the building afterwards converted into 
the Royal Exchange. Fears were entertained that 
the bank would be plundered by the mob, and a cap- 
tain's guard of the Glasgow Sharpshooters was for 
more than a week quartered in the wings of the bank 
buildings, with triple sentries at the gates, while vid- 
ettes moved briskly along Queen and Ingram Streets. 
A company of that regiment was on duty at the bank 
on the night the news came to Glasgow of the skirmish 
at Bonnymuir between the hussars and yeomanry 
and the misguided Radicals ; and there was great ex- 
citementin the town lest the mills might be set on fire. 
Another company lay in St. George's Church ; athird 
in the Trades Hall, Glassford Street; and a fourth in 
the Laigh Kirk session-house, all on the alert. The rest 
of the regiment was posted with the Colonel (Hun- 
ter) and Major (Alston) elsewhere.f 

Mention of the Royal Bank and theRoyalExchange 
leads to the inclusion of the following anecdotes: — 

There was a custom, although not quite general, 
of giving tradesmen an allowance for drinking at the 
erection of a dwelling-house or other premises. This 
was carried out to its fullest extent — and fa; beyond 
it — atthebuildingoftheRoyalExchangeabouti829- 

* Quiet Old Glasgow, by a Burgess of Glasgow, p. 6. 
t Glasgow Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 427. 

236 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

30. The tradesmen had already received small sums 
duringtheprogress of thework; and, when the interior 
of the building was getting near to completion, all the 
floors being laid down, a general invitation was sent 
to all the men who were still employed at the build- 
ing to the effect that a dinner was to be given them on 
such a day, at two o'clock, and to come in their work- 
ing clothes. The large new room had been fitted up 
with seats and tables formed of clean planks. The 
men came punctual to the hour — ready for dinner ; 
and as every man took his seat he was supplied with 
a glass of spirits, and then a tumbler of porter. A most 
substantial dinner was set before them,and while par- 
taking of it waiters were busy supplying them with 
spirits and porter, which the men took without think- 
ing of the consequences. Immediately after dinner 
most of the building committee and some of the con- 
tractors, who were seated on a raised platform, began 
to give toasts, while busy waiters filled the men's glass- 
es and tumblers to enable them to respond. The re- 
sult was that by about four o'clock the whole of the 
men had risen from the tables, and were " stotterin' " 
about in a state of hilarious excitement, more or less, 
accordingto temperament. The whole affair had been 
aplottobringthisabout, takingadvantageofthemen 
being invited to dinner. Some of the men felt indig- 
nant, others were ashamed ; the majority were well 
satisfied, and collected next day round a barrel of port- 
er to finish a quantity of liquor that still remained of 
the abundant supply provided for the occasion. 

During the progress of the building a very peculiar 
case of theft took place, which might have been a very 
237 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

serious matter for those concerned, at a time when 
punishment for crime was very severe. The front por- 
tion of the Exchange was built upon the foundations 
of the Royal Bank. Fromthesouth end on till beyond 
the main entrance the walls were not taken down, and 
it was while taking down the mason work of a safe, 
which stood in the way of the plans being carried out, 
that two of the men employed, while turning over a 
quantity of waste-paper in a corner of the safe, found 
a large parcel of one-pound bank-notes of the Royal 
Bank. The men had hitherto been considered respect- 
able and honest, but here was a great temptation. 
They yielded to it, and took possession of the notes. 
They did not return to their work next day, and for two 
or three days after were going about, flush of money, 
drinking and treating their comrades, who were sur- 
prised to find them having so much silver money in 
hand. Suspicion arose, inquiries weremade,and,from 
some hints the men gave during their drinking, the 
police got notice, and they were apprehended. 

The two tradesmen were brought before the magis- 
trates, to be examined on a charge of stealing a parcel 
of bank-notes of the Royal Bank from a safe in the 
bank. The whole charge against them somehow or 
other fell to the ground. The notes were not stolen 
from a safe in the Royal Bank, as it was then the Royal 
Exchange. The notes were not bank-notes, but only 
a parcel of forged ones, which had been thrown into a 
corner of the safe to be burned along with the waste- 
paper. The men were discharged, but with a very 
much blemished character ; and the only parties who 
suffered loss were the publicans who so very kindly 

238 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

provided the silver money, and for whom very little 
sympathy was felt.* 

A very ingenious fraud and daringrobbery was per- 
petrated on the Royal Bank a few years previous to its 
removal. About mid-day a splendid equipage came 
leisurely driving up the then quiet Queen Street, and 
halted at one of the gates of the bank, which had a 
parapet wall, with ornamental railings above, on the 
line of Queen Street, with a gate at each end. A circu- 
lar stair from each of these gates led to a large land- 
ing-place,on which were theprincipalentrancestothe 
bank. The equipage consisted of an open carriage, 
with postilion, in which was seated an aristocratic- 
looking personage, with one or two footmen in livery 
seated behind. The whole was distinctly seen from 
the windows of the bank, so that when the occupant of 
the carriage came into the bank with all the necessary 
credentials, and presented a draft or order for a very 
large amount from a bank either in Edinburgh or 
London — it is not known which — it was at once paid 
without the least suspicion. There was no telegraph 
or telephone then, postal communication was slow, 
and before either bank could be advised with, the rob- 
bers had got clear off with their booty .f 

There have been fairly numerous failures of banks 
in Glasgow, but none of them even approached in mag- 
nitude and disastrous consequences the failure of the 
City of Glasgow Bank. 

In October 1878 the Second City of the Empire 
was horrified, and the whole commercial world was 

* Quaint Old Glasgow^ p. 23. 
Mbid, 
239 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

startled, by the intelligence that the City of Glasgow 
Bank had stopped. But the first shock was nothingto 
that which was sustained some days later, when late 
editions of the evening papers, distributed to the wait- 
ing crowds, conveyed the full import of the disaster. 
The whole country was prostrated. To repair the de- 
struction of a handfulof recklessgamesters,hundreds 
of men in easy, honourable circumstances saw them- 
selves reduced to poverty, and hundreds of dependent 
families saw nothing but starvation before them. No 
time was lost in excavating and arranging the mass 
of ruin, and in probing to the quick the mass of woe. 
The direction of the work, of course, lay with outsid- 
ers, but from the midst of those overwhelmed by the 
wreck seven men were put forward to aid in the task. 
The seven remained for a time the directing " Com- 
mitteeof Solvent Shareholders," but as theexigencies 
of the situation demanded larger and larger applica- 
tions of phlebotomy one by one dropped off, drained 
and exhausted. Not many months after the catas- 
trophe only two of the famous seven had withstood 
the financial strain, and the loss of one of these two 
was something like ;^5 5,000.* 

Banks areat times dictatorial in theirmethods,and 
inclined to say to their customers, "Thou shalt not," 
This course of action is no doubt sometimes judicious 
— butnot always. In these days of banking competi- 
tion a man of any means can always find a rival bank 
ready to lend a helping hand. One conspicuous in- 
stance of this occurred in which a leading shipbuilder 
was the prominent figure. 

* Clydeside Cameos, p. 69. 

240 



CONCERNING BANKING FIRMS 

He was a capital financier, inasmuch as he was a 
man with that kind of imperiousness which makes a 
banker a servant instead of a master, as he is often al- 
lowed to be. It was said that once a newly appointed 
director in the bank where this shipbuilder dealt — a 
man of a peculiarly inquisitive turn of mind — insisted 
upon turning upside down the shipbuilder's account. 
It was said that this director had his own ends to serve 
in so doing, and was, in fact, on the hunt for informa- 
tion which might be useful in his own business. What- 
ever thereal reason, the ostensible one was theamount 
of discounts, which now and again ran tolerably high, 
even with the class of owners this customer built for. 
Hearing of the director's action, the customer sent 
down for a statement, lifted the bills on the circle, 
closed his account, and took it over to another bank, 
who received it with joy. If the tale be true, there was 
weeping and wailing at the board of the bank he left, 
for the profit on the account formed a considerable 
fraction in the dividend.* 

In concluding this chapter of anecdotes relating to 
banking in Glasgow it is fitting to present with it the 
portrait of Mr. Robert Gourlay, LL.D., a gentleman 
who has been as well known in modern banking in 
Glasgow as Robin Carrick was in the early banking 
circles of the City. But while these two gentlemen were 
alike prominent in their profession they took widely 
different views of their duties towards the general well- 
beingof thecommunity. Mr.Carrick.as onehasseen, 
stated that charities should be supported by those who 
needed them ; which statement, while saving to his 

* Clydeside Cameos^ ?• 3i- 
241 Q 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

pocket, was somewhat of the nature of an Irish bull. 
Mr. Gourlay, on the other hand, has been prominent 
in connection with many of thecharitable institutions 
of the City, and has been a liberal supporter of the 
U.P., and latterly of the U.F. Church. 

His banking career has been in connection with the 
Bank of Scotland — an institution which originally 
had an unfavourable reception in Glasgow, but now 
holds an honourable place in the City. Mr. Gourlay's 
father, Bailie James Gourlay, was highly respected in 
commercial circles in Glasgow, and retired from busi- 
ness in 1853. Two years later he was offered, and ac- 
cepted, the agency of the Bank of Scotland in Laur- 
ieston ; and under his care the business developed in 
a manner which surprised the Directorate. He was 
succeeded by his son, who in 1879 was promoted to be 
Manager of the Head Office of the Bank in Glasgow; 
a position which he filled to universal satisfaction 
until his retirement in 1904. 

Mr. Robert Gourlay was honoured by the Munici- 
pality in i900,inwhichyearhewaschosen Lord Dean 
of Guild. He was also honoured by the University in 
1 90 1, when thedegreeof Doctor of Laws was confer- 
red upon him. These distinctions are proofs of the re- 
spect and esteem in which he is held in his native city, 
in which he has done much good of which his fellow- 
citizens in general are aware, and possibly more of 
which they are not. 



CHAPTER NINE 
THE UNIVERSITY 




SIR DONALD MACALISTER, K.C.B., M.D., M.A., B.Sc, 

F.R.C.P., F.R.G.S., J.P., D.C.L., LL.D. 

Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the Univeraity of Glasgow since 1907 



CHAPTER NINE 

THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

THAT GREATEST OF ENGLISH PHILOSO- 
phers, Francis Bacon, declared in one of his essays 
that " Reading maketh a full man ; conference a ready 
man ; and writing an exact man." One might almost 
suppose that this sage precept was the basis of the 
system of education pursued at the University of Glas- 
gow. For thestudent must perforce studybyreading 
at home. In class he confers with his Professor, some- 
times sorely against his will. While his knowledge 
is tested, or his abysmal ignorance sounded, in writ- 
ing, />. by written examination. Few Universities pre- 
sent more varied types of studenthumanity than that 
of Glasgow. There one may behold the sons of the 
wealthy merchants of Glasgow, and likewise the sons 
of thepeople. Raw Highlanders from Mull and Skye 
rub shoulders with medical students from London. 
The Jap, intent upon the acquirement of knowledge 
of shipbuilding and the various arts of destruction, 
maybe seen in company with the West Indian man 
of colour, whose projects are usually peaceful. From 
the North and the South, from the East and the West, 
yea, from the uttermost parts of the earth, do men ga- 
ther together at Gilmorehill. Thence in a few years 
they depart to spread the influence of their University 
throughout all the world. 

It is no part of the object of this book to recount the 
actual history of Glasgow, or of its University, and 
therefore all matters relating to the foundation of the 
University, to its early struggles, its life in the Old 
College, and its ultimate transference to Gilmorehill, 
245 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

are left to the legitimate historians of Glasgow. The 
present writer has only been concerned with the col- 
lection of interesting anecdotes regardingthe person- 
ages, illustrious and otherwise, who have from time to 
time been connected with the University, either in a 
professorial capacity or as students. 

The celebrated George Buchanan received a part 
of his early education in Glasgow University. He 
was one of the most distinguished reformers, political 
and religious, of the sixteenth century, and perhaps 
the bestLatin poet of his time in Europe. He was born 
in the parish of Killearn, Stirlingshire, in February 
1 506, " of a family," to use his own words, " more an- 
cient than wealthy," His father inherited the farm of 
Moss, on the western bank of the water of Blane, 
where the house, though it has been several times re- 
built, still preserves its original shape and dimensions, 
with a considerable portion of the original materials. 
At the age of fifteen Buchanan was sent by his mater- 
nal uncle, James Heriot, to complete his education 
in Paris. Here he studied with great diligence for a 
period of two years, when, in consequence of his un- 
cle's death, he was cast upon his own resources, and 
exposed to all the miseries of poverty and bodily af- 
fliction. Returning to Scotland, he served as a pri- 
vate soldier in one campaign against the English. 
Shortly afterwards he studied logic in St. Andrews 
Un i versity, and in 1 5 24 returned to Paris, where he be- 
came a student in the Scots' College, and ittained the 
degree of M. A. in 1528. He imbibed the doctrines of 
the Reformation, and on account of his great learning 
was made tutor to the youthful King James VI., who, 

246 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

it is said, owed to his tutor all the erudition ofwhich in 
later life he was so vain. 

As has been mentioned, Buchanan's connection 
with theUniversitywasduring the sixteenth century, 
but in the early part of it. Seemingly the reputation 
of the College then stood high, and towards the end of 
that century it stood even higher. For we find one 
author writing as follows : " I daresay there was na 
place in Europe comparable to Glasgow for guid let- 
ters during those yeirs for a plentifull and guid chape 
mercatof all kynd of languages, artes, and sciences." 
Thosewords of olden timesare trueof the University 
at the present day. But apparently in the early days 
of the College some difficulty was experienced in 
staffing the Faculty of Divinity, 

A quaint tradition of Glasgow College still lingers 
of a gentleman having been appointed to the feeless, 
studentless chair of Hebrew, and having been sent to 
Holland to learn the language that he might be able 
to teach it. Tradition (or legend) further tells that 
for long after, whenever a youth appeared at Leyden 
desiring to learn Hebrew, Chaldaic, or Syriac, he was 
asked, with Batavian humour, if he was a Scots Pro- 
fessor.* 

Anotherburningandshining light of Glasgow Col- 
lege was the famous Adam Smith. He was born at 
Kirkcaldy on the 5th June 1723, and entered the Uni- 
versity of Glasgow in 1737, in which University he 
afterwards became in 175 1 Professor of Logic. In the 
following year he was removed to the chair of Moral 
Philosophy. In this situation heremained forthirteen 
* Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century^ p. 468. 
247 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

years, which he used to consider the happiest in his 
Hfe. In 1759 he published his Theory of Moral Senti- 
menis, Siwork which greatly contributed to extend his 
fame and reputation as an author. Towards the end 
of 1763 he was induced to leave the University chair 
of Glasgow, to accompany the young Duke of Buc- 
cleuch during his tour of the Continent. In i y66, Dr. 
Smith returned with his pupil to London, and soon 
after took up his residence with his mother at Kirk- 
caldy, where, with the exception of a few occasional 
visits to Edinburgh and London, he resided constant- 
ly during the next ten years, engaged habitually in 
intense study. In 1776 he published his hiquiry into 
Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations ; after 
which he resided for two years in London, where his 
society wascourted bythe most distinguished persons 
in the Metropolis. He was thereafter appointed, un- 
solicited, to a Commissionership of Customs in Scot- 
land, and removed to Edinburgh, where he spent the 
remainder of his days. In 1787 he was elected Lord 
Rector of the University of Glasgow. He died in 
1790.* 

On the occasion of Dr. Johnson's visit to Glasgow, 
Boswell says that, on their arrival at the Saracen's 
Head Inn, Dr. Johnson " put his leg upon each side of 
the grate, and said, with a mock solemnity, by way of 
soliloquy, but loud enough for me to hear it, 'Here 
am I, an Englishman, sitting by acoalhrel' " On the 
followingday,someof the College Professors.consist- 
ing of Drs. Thomson, Reid, and Mr. Anderson, break- 
fasted with the great lexicographer; and although 
* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 32. 

248 




GEORGE BUCHANAN 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

Boswell omits to tell that Johnson and Adam Smith 
met in Glasgow, it appears that they really did so, and 
in a manner not very creditable to either. Sir Walter 
Scott, on the authority of Professor John Millar, states 
that "Smith, leaving the party in which he had met 
Johnson, happened to come to another company 
where Millar was. Knowing that Smith had been in 
Johnson's society, they were anxious to know what 
had passed, and the more so as Dr. Smith's temper 
seemed much ruffled. At first. Smith would only ans- 
wer, ' He's a brute — he's a brute!' but, on closer ex- 
amination, it appeared that Johnson no sooner saw 
Smith than he attacked him for some point in his fam- 
ous letter on the death of Hume. Smith vindicated 
the truth of his statement. 'What did Johnson say?' 
was the universal inquiry. 'Why, he said,' replied 
Smith, with the deepest expression of resentment,' he 
said," Vou /ze! "' 'And what did you reply?' 'I said, 

" You are the son of a ! " ' On such terms did these 

two great moralists meet and part, and such was the 
classical dialogue between two great teachers of phil- 
osophy !"* 

One or two interesting glimpses of thelifeof a Glas- 
gow student in the early part of the eighteenth cen- 
tury are obtainable from the Autobiography of the 
late Dr. Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk. He speaks 
as follows, of his lodgings : " I had my lodging this 
session in a college-room which I had furnished for the 
session at a moderate rent. I had never been without 
a cough in the former winter, when I lodged in a warm 
house in King Street, opposite to what was the butch- 

* Glasgow and its Clubs ^ p. 1 6 1 . 
249 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

ers' market in those days ; but such was the difference 
between the air of the College and the lower streets 
of Glasgow, that in my new apartment, though only 
bare walls, and twenty feet by seventeen, I never had 
cold or cough all the winter. John Donaldson, a col- 
lege servant, lighted my fire and made my bed ; and a 
maid from the landlady who furnished the room came 
once a fortnight with clean linens. There were two 
English students of theology who lived on the floor 
below, and nobody above me. I again attended the 
lectures of Professor Leechman and Hutcheson,with 
much satisfaction and improvement." * 

The following extract shows something of Univer- 
sity society in those days : — 

" About the end of A pril, my sister, and my wife, and 
I paid a visit toour friends in Glasgow, where we were 
most cordially received by my old friends, Mr. Dreg- 
horn and sundryothermerchants,whowereconnected 
with Mr. Bell in Airdrie, particularly Robin Bogle and 
theDunlops. Dr. Adam Smith and Dr. Black, as well 
as Dr. Wight, were now here, though the last had not 
yetgotinto his house. We had many agreeable meet- 
ings with them, as well as with our mercantile friends. 
It was there that I saw N0.45, when just published by 
Wilkes, ofwhich Smith said.onhearingit read, 'Bravo! 
this fellow will either be hanged in six months, or he 
will get Lord Bute impeached.' Supping with him 
in a company of twenty-two, when a certain young 
peer was present, after a little while I whispered him 
that I wondered they had set up this man so high, as I 
thought him mighty foolish. 'We know that perfectly,' 
'^Autobiography of Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk, p. 108. 

250 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

said he; ' but he is the only lord at our College.' To 
this day ( 1 763) there were not above two or three gen- 
tlemen's chaises in Glasgow, nor hackney-coaches, 
nor men-servants to attend at table ; but they were not 
the worse served.* 

About this time another famous man was a student 
in Glasgow. This was Tobias Smollett the novelist, 
author of Roderick Random, Peregrine Pickle, and 
otherworksofsimilarkind.and who also continued the 
History of England begun by David Hume. Born in 
the old family house of Dalquhurn, near the modern 
villageofRenton, in Dumbartonshire, in 172 1, Tobias 
was sent at an early age to study at Glasgow College, 
with a view to some learned profession. There he was 
led through his intimacy with some medical students 
to embrace the profession of physic, which he studied 
along with anatomy, at the same time serving an 
apprenticeship in town to a surgeon named Gordon, 
whom he is supposed to have afterwards caricatured 
in Roderick Random under the title of" Potion." He 
was rather a wild youth.addicted tosatire and practi- 
cal joking. One winter evening, when the streets were 
covered with snow, he was engaged in a snowball fight 
with some boys of his own age, among whom was the 
apprentice of a surgeon, whom he is supposed to have 
delineated under the name of "Crab" in his famous 
novel. The master of this apprentice having entered 
the shop while the youth was in the heat of the engage- 
ment, rebuked him very severely for having quitted 
the shop. The boy excused himself by saying that, 
while engaged in making up a prescription, a fellow 
* Autobiography of Alexander Carlyle of Inveresk, p. 451. 
251 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

had hit him with a snowball, and he had gone in pursuit 
of the delinquent. "A mighty probable story, truly," 
said the master in an ironical tone; "I wonder how 
long I should stand here before it would enter into any 
mortal's head to throw a snowball at me ? " Just as he 
pronounced these words, Smollett, who had heard 
them at the door, gave him a most unexpected answer 
by throwing a snowball, which hit him a severe blow 
on the face, and extricated his companion.* 

The eighteenth century was indeed a period of bril- 
liance for Glasgow University, and it is to the credit 
of the Senate that during it they aided James Watt in 
his researches at a time when people were doing their 
best to throw obstacles in his path. 

" James Watt, on attempting to set up as an instru- 
ment-maker in Glasgow, was prevented doing so by 
the then privileged Incorporation of Hammermen, as 
not being free of the craft. Attempts were next made 
to obtain their leave for a very small work wherein 
to make his experiments, but this was peremptorily 
refused. The University, however, in his difficulty 
came tohis rescue, and granted him a room within the 
precinctsof the College, which was freeof the incubus 
of all guilds — and there he completed the model of his 
steam-engine, which model is still in the possession of 
the University, and looked upon as one of its greatest 
treasures. It was in 1764 that Watt was employed to 
repair a model of Newcomen's steam-engine, and it 
was when so engaged that the idea of a separate 
condenser occurred to him; and in 1766 it appears, 
from the College accounts, that he was paid £^, i is. 
* Popular Traditions of Glasgow, p. 74. 

252 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

for repairing the said steam-engine. Mr. Muirhead 
mentions in his Life of Watt that "the interesting 
model as altered by the hand of Watt, and preserved 
in all safety and honour within the precincts of its 
ancient birthplace, has been appropriately placed be- 
side the noble statue of the engineer in the Hun- 
terian Museum — a sacred relic worthy of such a 
shrine — and there visited by many a worshipping 
pilgrim." * 

Among the most distinguished holders of the chair 
of Mathematics in Glasgow Dr. Simson (see also 
Chapter I.) holds a high place. He devoted his life to 
scientific pursuits, and he carried into private life that 
exactitude which characterised his mathematical cal- 
culations. His hours of study, of exercise and amuse- 
ment, were all regulated with the most unerring pre- 
cision. The very walks in the squares or gardens of 
the College were all measured by his steps, and he took 
hisexercisesby the hundred of paces according to his 
time or inclination. His disposition was by no means 
gloomy ; when in company of friends his conversation 
was animated, enriched with much anecdote, and by 
a degree of natural humour. "Every Saturday for 
years he sallied forth from his comfortable bachelor- 
menage" (says a writer in the North British Daily 
Mail, November 1870) "in the University as the Col- 
lege clock struck one, and turned his face in the direc- 
tion of Anderston. . . . One Saturday, while proceed- 
ing towards Anderston, counting his steps as he was 
wont, the Professor was accosted by a person who, 
we may suppose, was acquainted with his singular 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 67. 
253 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

peculiarity. At this moment the worthy geometrician 
knew that he was just 573 paces from the College, to- 
wards the snug parlour, which was anon to prove the 
rallying-pointofthe Hen-Broth Amateurs; and when 
arrested in his career he kept repeating the mystic 
number at stated intervals, as the only species of mne- 
monics then known. ' I beg your pardon,' said the 
personage accosting theProfessor, ' one word with you, 
if you please.' ' Most happy — 573,' was the response. 
* Nay,' rejoined the gentleman, 'merely ^;Z(? question!' 
'Well?' added the Professor — '573.' 'You are really 
too polite,' interrupted the stranger, 'but from your 
acquaintance with the late Dr. B ,and for the pur- 
pose of deciding a bet, I have taken the liberty of in- 
quiring whether I am right in saying that that indi- 
vidual left ^500 to each of his nieces?' 'Precisely,' re- 
plied the Professor — '573.' 'And there were only four 
nieces, were there not?' rejoined the querist. ' Exact- 
ly,' said the Mathematician — ' 573.' The stranger, at 
the last repetition of the mystic sound, stared at the 
Professor as if he were mad, and muttering sarcastic- 
ally '573,' made a hasty obeisance and passed on. 
The Professor, seeing the stranger's mistake, hastily 
advanced another step, and cried after him, 'No, sir; 
four to be sure — 574!' The gentleman was still fur- 
ther convinced of the Mathematician's madness, and 
hurried forward, while the Professor paced on leisure- 
ly towards the west, and at length, happy in not being 
balked in his calculation, sat down delighted amid 
the circle of the Anderston Club." 

Innumerable tales are told of the Professors of the 
University, and of their relations with their students. 

254 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

The two stories which follow here show that some of 
the Professors had a pretty wit. 

On a day when, either from the door being stiffen 
its hinges, or the weather being windy, or the students 
being late and in a hurry, the door of the Latin class- 
room was ever and anon left open, a raw Irishman 
who for the week filled the office of Censor, proud of 
his position, shouted " Claudeostium " (Shut the door) 
every time the door was left ajar. The Professor, an- 
noyed at the interruption to his prelections by this 
frequent shout, at last chid the impetuosity of the offi- 
cial by saying to him, "Claude os tuum" (Shut thy 
mouth).* 

Professor Jardine, who at one time held the chair of 
Logic, was looked up to as much as a father as a pre- 
ceptor. The following story is illustrative of his com- 
plete command of temper and also of his wit. A 
student thoughtlessly persisted, by means of a small 
piece of glass, in castingtheraysofthesun on the face 
of the respected Professor. For a time the good man 
calmly endured the annoyance; but at last, catching 
the culprit in the very act, he crushed him with the 
brief reproof, " Young man, the refiection is on you." 

But the Glasgow student, especially in his first and 
second years, is a somewhat turbulent individual, and 
not slow to take advantage of any display of weak- 
ness on the part of his instructors. 

At one time Professor Millar filled the chair of Ma- 
thematics. Well versed in exact science, like many 
others in that walk he was subject to mental abstrac- 
tion, and had little command over his students. The 

* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow^ p. 36. 
255 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

worthy Professor had a strange fashion when describ- 
ing geometrical symbols on the blackboard of also 
portraying them by contortions of the face, which, it 
is needless to say,excited no little amusement among 
his pupils. When he turned his back to place demon- 
strations on the blackboard, a volley of peas was 
spouted from tin tubes, and rudely rattled on the 
wooden erection. On such occasions, when the pellets 
chanced to hit his head, he used mildly to remonstrate 
withtheremark," I like fun as well as any of you, lads, 
but this is somewhat sair." * 

Among the students of twenty-five years ago the 
names of John and Edward Caird were held in rever- 
ence. The former, who was the Very Reverend Prin- 
cipal of the University, had no equal in Broad Scot- 
land as a pulpit orator. The latter established a world- 
wide reputation as a teacher of Moral Philosophy. 
Both were serious men, and few stories are connected 
with their names. But one or two are on record about 
each. 

Principal Caird's sermons were usually adorned 
with magnificent flights of oratory. One dark winter 
afternoon he was preaching in the University Chapel. 
As he proceeded, he became more and more under the 
influenceof his text. Finally he burst out into a mag- 
nificent peroration ending with a wild crescendo 
shout of "Light, light, give us more light!" Where- 
upon the hedellus promptly turned up the gas. 

Caird was minister of Errol before he was appoint- 
ed Professor of Divinity in Glasgow. While there he 
discovered the acoustic properties of the church to be 

* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow^ P- 4i' 

256 




PRINCIPAL JOHN CAIRD 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

by no means of the best ; and his congregation being 
scanty, he suggested to the beadle that an improve- 
ment might be effected by boarding up one of the side 
aisles. " That may do very weel for you," replied the 
shrewd old Scotchman," but what will we do for room 
if we should get a popular preacher to follow you?"* 
Of Edward Caird the following tale is told : — 
The Church of Scotland receives many recruits 
from the Highlands. Notallofthese are suited to the 
sacred calling which they have chosen, and Edward 
Caird had once a student of this description to deal 
with. The man in question was absolutely hopeless 
from an intellectual point of view, and had in all pro- 
bability been sent to college by his parents quite re- 
gardless of his qualifications, and solely with a view 
to getting on in the world. For a long time the Pro- 
fessordid his bestto instil theprinciplesof moral phil- 
osophy into the youth's mind ; but it became obvious 
that the would-be minister's intelligence was of the 
most rudimentary nature, and that he was simply in- 
capable of grasping the subject. Being satisfied as to 
this, the Professor requested the student to meet him 
in his private room, when the following colloquy took 

place : " Now, Mr. , I have asked you to meet me 

as I am inclined to think that you are really wasting 
your time in my class. The subject does not seem to 
appeal to you, and I think that your time could be 
moreprofitably employed elsewhere. May I ask what 
you intend to be? " " I am going in for the Church, 
sir," was the answer. "Oh!" said the Professor. "And 
may I inquire what led you to adopt the Church as a 

* Thistledown^ p. 120. 
257 R 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

profession ? " " Well, sir," answered the student, " it 
was a desire to do something to the glory of God." 
" What is your father's business ? " asked the Profes- 
sor. " He makes brooms." "Well, Mr. ," was the 

Professor's reply, " while I do not wish to be unduly 
discouraging, I honestly think that it would be much 
more to the glory of God if you went home and made 
brooms with your father." 

An old student tells, in the Glasgow Herald, the 
following story of his own experience of the Professor 
as a conversationalist : " He kindly took me a three 
hours' walk one Saturday from the old College round 
by the new University, then building on Gilmorehill. 
Anything slower (always excepting the battingof the 
late Scotton, of Notts) I have never seen. In my des- 
peration I opened my mouth three times. My first re- 
mark, which was a distinctly good one, and my second, 
which was not quite up to my previous standard, pro- 
duced twelve words in reply. My third was this: 
' The next time the College has to remove, where will 
the new site be ? ' His answer was, ' Dumbarton 
Rock I ' '■ 

When Principal Caird was called to his fathers, 
he was succeeded by Dr. Story of Roseneath, who 
was a man of different type. For various reasons he 
did not possess the same appeal to the students that 
Caird had exercised, and, generally speaking, he was 
not popular. He was a man of fine personal appear- 
ance and considerable dignity. It is told of him that 
while he was minister of Roseneath he went once to 
call upon a lady parishioner whose daughter was in 
delicate health and beingattendedby a medical man. 

258 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

The mother entertained Dr. Story with a full account 
of her woes, and finally wound up by saying : " And 
to crown a', the doctor's ordered Maggie a bath, an' 
there's no' a dish in the hoose big enough tae haud a 
wumman." 

The number of stories in circulation about a Pro- 
fessor are some indication of his popularity, or at least 
of the interest which his students feel in him. Many 
are told about Professor Ramsay, who held the chair 
of Humanity for a lengthy period. He had been in his 
youth a great athlete, and upon one occasion when 
delivering prizes in the University gymnasium he took 
occasion to refer scathingly to the softness of the 
present generation. Being Professor of Humanity, 
he illustrated his remarks from ancient Roman 
times. 

"Gentlemen," he cried, "you should do as the an- 
cient Romans. The youths of Rome used to gather 
on the banks of the Tiber every morning and swim 
three times across the river." 

Voice from a back bench : " Whit did they dae about 
their claes?" 

Another story is told about the same Professor. 
Upon one occasion in his Humanity class he called 
upon a student to construe a portion of Virgil. The 
student in question was anything but a brilliantscho- 
lar, and made a sad mess of the passage. The Profes- 
sor glanced at him scornfully for a while and then 
remarked — 

"I fear, Mr. McGregor, that there is something far 
wrong here," tapping his forehead. The student gazed 
at the Professor with an air of deep regret. Then he 
259 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

replied: "That maybe so, sir; but" — tapping his own 
forehead — "there's nothing at all wrong here." 

Ramsay on one occasion called upon a great stal- 
wart Highlandman to construe. The man knew more 
about ewes and wethers, stirks and Gaelic, than Hor- 
ace. He had evidently, hovv^ever, tried to prepare his 
task, and in the broadest west-country brogue read 
out the first lines of Ode XXX. bk. iii. So far, with the 
exception of pronouncing " impotens " " impotens," 
and " diruere " " diruere" (Professor Ramsay detested 
nothing so much as a false quantity), Donald got on 
indifferently well. The translation was another mat- 
ter. The first line runs, Exegi Monumentum aere per- 
ennius (" I have erected a monument more enduring 
than brass"), which the unfortunate student, led astray 
by confounding " exegi " with " edi," translated, " I 
have^rt'/^;^ a monument more harder '(S\'a^\hxz.'~,s,y This 
was too much for Ramsay, who in his indignation 
rasped out, " Then, sir, you may sit down and digest 
it." ♦ 

The late Professor Richard C. Jebb added lustre to 
theUniversityduringhis tenure of the chair of Greek. 
His highly cultured English accent contrasted some- 
what remarkably with the broad Scotch of some of his 
students. Upon one occasion, shortly after his ap- 
pointmentjhe called upon a student to construe. "Mr. 
Jones," said Jebb, "will you kindly construe this pas- 
sage?" Mr. Jones looked blankly at the Professor and 
remarked, " A'm no' fut " (fit). " I beg your pardon," 
said the Professor. "A'm no' fut." " Really, I hardly 
understand you," said the Professor. " I canna dae't ; 
* Popular Traditions of Glasgow ■, p. 64. 

260 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

A'm no' fut." "Sit down, sir," said the Professor in de- 
spair, Glasgow Scotch not being among his accom- 
plishments. 

Another student being called upon to construe a 
passage was similarly unprepared, but did not desire 
to admit it. First he read the passage in Greek. "Now, 
sir," said the Professor, " kindly construe." The un- 
happy youth began. " The dawn," he remarked, " the 

dawn, the dawn " " Yes, yes, go on," said Jebb. 

" The dawn was beginning to break. The dawn, the 
dawn was beginning to break." "Yes, sir," said Jebb; 
" go on." But the student knew no more, and he began 

again: "The dawn was beginning to break " 

" Sir," remarked the Professor, " sit down until you see 
daylight." 

It was a capital crime in Jebb's eyes for a student to 
come to the class unprepared for the day's work. If 
forany reason he was unable to study the task allotted 
for the day, it was his duty to hand in, at the beginning 
of the hour, a card giving the reason for his unpre- 
paredness. Upon one occasion Jebb called up an un- 
happy wight who was unprepared and had not sent in 
an excuse. Disaster soon ensued, and Jebb regarded 
the culprit with the eye of wrath. Then he said, in his 
most refined Oxford accent — 

" Ah, Mr. MacGregor, may I ask if it is your in- 
tention to present yourself for examination in April 
next ? " 

" Whit ? " said the unhappy MacGregor. 

" The purport of my question was this, sir : Do you 
intend to sit at the diet of examination to be held in 
the month of April next ? " 
261 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

"A dinna understand ye." 

Jebb almost lost his temper, but tried once more. 

" Kindly attend, Mr. MacGregor. My question was 
framed with a view to elicit whether you intended to 
take part in the Degree examination which will take 
place next April. Do you so intend ? " 

" Naw." 

Immediately above Jebb's classroom was that of 
Professor Veitch, who held the chair of Logic. Upon 
oneoccasion while Jebb wasconductinghisclass there 
was a sound of applause and a stamping of feet over- 
head, and a small piece of plaster fell from the ceiling 
on to Jebb's desk in full view of all the class. For an 
instant Jebb regarded it thoughtfully. Then, looking 
up, he remarked — 

"Gentlemen, it would seem that Professor Veitch's 
conclusions do not agree with my premises." 

As a piece of pure wit this is difficult to surpass. 

At one time Jebb had an assistant who usually pre- 
sided over the Junior Greek Class. It was understood 
that he was a "stickit-minister"; and if his commen- 
taries upon the Gospel were not better inspired and 
more illuminating than those which he made upon 
Xenophon,it is easy to understand his want of success 
as a minister. 

Upon one occasion the class were translating the 
Anabasis^ and particularly a portion dealing with a 
Greek victory. After the victory the Greeks offered 
up a sacrifice of two wolves. The teacher, by way 
of illuminating the incident, remarked, " Gentlemen, 
please observe here the nature of the sacrifice. The 
animals offered up were wolves ; and it is difficult to 

262 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

understand how such animals could be obtained at a 
moment's notice." 

A certain rivalry used to exist in Glasgow Univer- 
sity between Professor Nichol, who held the chair of 
English Literature, and Professor Veitch, who gave in- 
struction in Logic. Rumour said that Nichol consid- 
ered that he should have been appointed to the chair 
of Logic at the time when Veitch was installed. A story 
used to be current in the University that Professor 
Veitch had written a book dealing with rivers of the 
Scottish Borders, and that Professor Nichol, when 
asked his opinion in regard to the work in question, 
remarked that the author should be prosecuted for 
pollution of rivers. 

The late Professor Young, by way of encouraging 
his students in the study of Geology, one day an- 
nounced that he would be prepared to classify any in- 
teresting specimens of stones or minerals which the 
students might choose to lay on his desk upon an 
appointed morning. Accordingly, the more zealous 
sought diligently for specimens, and placed them on 
the desk as desired. But among the specimens ap- 
peared a piece of brick, cunningly painted to deceive 
the professorial eye. When the Professor entered the 
classroom, he at once proceeded to deal with the speci- 
mens, and taking them up in order, classified them 
somewhat as follows : — 

" This, gentlemen, is a specimen of gold-bearing 
quartz. Hereagain wehave averysatisfactorysample 
of porphyry. Then here we have a sample of conglom- 
erate such as is found in the Greater Cumbrae. And 
here," taking up the brick, and scrutinising it keenly, 
263 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

"here we have a specimen of what damned fools come 
to my class." 

A further story is told about the same Professor, 
who was one day examining his class orally in Zool- 
ogy. The students Were assembled outside the class- 
room, and were admitted one at a time. When the 
first student entered the Professor pointed to a small 
animal lying on the desk and said," What's that, mis- 
ter?" " A newt." " Quite right." And after a few more 
questions the student was allowed to go. The next 
student came in, and the same questions were put, 
with the sameresult. Meanwhile the information had 
leaked out to the students outside, and the next two 
or three who entered the classroom answered the ques- 
tions with unfailing correctness. At length another 
student was called in. The Professor looked at him 
questioningly. " What's that, mister? " he said, point- 
ing to the animal on the desk. With great promptness 
the student answered, " That's a newt, sir." Where- 
upon the Professor snapped out, " No, it's not, mister; 
it's a lizard. The newt's away now." 

Yet one more story about Professor Young. Up- 
on another occasion he was about to conduct an oral 
examination on Ornithology, and the first student en- 
tering the room was confronted by the skeleton of a 
large bird. " What's that,mister?"said the Professor. 
The student "hummed and hawed "and walked round 
the specimen. Suddenly his face brightened, and he 
said, " This is the skeleton of an emu, sir." " Quite 
right, quite right," said the Professor, and proceeded 
to ask a few general questions as to the structural na- 
ture of the emu. These questions the student answer- 

264 




PROFESSOR EDWARD CAIRD 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

ed to the Professor's satisfaction. " Very good, mis- 
ter," said the latter, " very good. Your answers have 
been most satisfactory. I have just one more question 
before you go. How did you know that this was the 
skeleton of an emu ? " At this the student got rather 
red in the face and exhibited some confusion, but fin- 
allysaid, with a burst of candour, "Well, sir, the label's 
on the back of it ! " 

The late Lord Kelvin was.duringhis Professorship, 
one of the most popular men in the University. Ori- 
ginally plain William Thomson, he became ere long 
Sir William Thomson, and was familiarly known to 
his students as " Sir Billy." But though the students 
had a profound admiration for his genius, they found 
that same genius rather trying, for its possessor used 
to get into a state of mathematical exaltation and soar 
to heights of pure mathematics where no ordinary 
mind could follow. I n consequence,the class welcomed 
the teachings of the assistant, who bore the name of 
Day. When the Professor was summoned to London 
to receive the honour of knighthood, theassistanttook 
the class, and the students profited accordingly. In 
consequence, on the day before Sir William's return 
the following inscription on the blackboard greeted 
the class when they entered the Natural Philosophy 
room : " Work ye while it is Day. For the Knight 
Cometh when no man can work." W^ho was the au- 
thor of this superscription is not known. 

In the Natural Philosophy classroom there was a 
species of sink or water-trough used by the Professor 
for his experiments, and the students had developed 
a habit of laying their trenchers on the edge of this 
265 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

trough. As these sometimes impeded the Professor, 
he issued a decree that no hats were to be placed on 
the edge; but as this decree was not obeyed, he stated 
that he would destroy the next hat which was deposit- 
ed on the forbidden spot. Nextday there were no hats. 
But on the following day one solitary trencher reposed 
beside the trough, and caught Sir William's eye as he 
came in. Instantly hemarchedacrosstheroom,seized 
the trencher, and took out his penknife. 

" Gentlemen, "he said, turning to theclass," I warn- 
ed you what would happen. I shall now destroy this 
trencher." 

Thereupon he solemnly cut the hat to pieces, while 
the class looked on with intense interest. When the 
destruction was complete, there was tremendous ap- 
plause, blended with shrieks of laughter, for the ruined 
trencher was the Professor's own, which some wag- 
gish student had smuggled from the private room and 
placed upon the sacrificial altar. 

After the departure of Air. Day, the assistant above 
mentioned, Sir William had a much less capable and 
popular man as colleague. This gentleman never had 
any control over the class, and upon one occasion 
when disorder was rife he made the following beauti- 
ful anticlimax : — 

" Gentlemen, this noise must cease. It is most un- 
gentlemanly. It is most unchristian. In fact, it's not 
nice." 

The following story appeared in the Glasgow Even- 
ing News : — 

Sir William Ramsay, speaking at the dinner of the 
Glasgowand Lanarkshire Association of London on 

266 



THE UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW 

Saturday evening, told a story of two astronomers — 
one of whom he suspected was Professor Grant of 
Glasgow — who were walking home arm inarm on the 
night of the famous meteoric shower in iS68. They 
had certainly dined, perhaps not too wisely, and cer- 
tainly well; and on their way home neither spoke a 
word — each was afraid to mention that meteoric 
shower to the other. 

Space does not permit of much further elaboration 
of tales of the University. Enough have been given 
to prove that the life of a student at Glasgow Univer- 
sity is not devoid of humorous incidents. With one 
more from the Logic classroom this chapter may be 
appropriately wound up. 

The Professor was explaining to his class how the 
identity of a thing might remain even with the loss of 
its parts. "Here,"hesaid,"is thispenknife. Now,sup- 
pose I lose this blade and replace it with a new one — 
you see it has two blades — is it still the same knife?" 

" Yes, yes," cried the class. 

"And suppose," he said, "I lose the second blade, and 
replace it with a new one — is it still the same knife? " 

" Oh yes," said the class. 

"Now," said the Professor triumphantly, " suppose 
I lose the handle and have a new one made — is it still 
the same knife ? " 

" Certainly," roared the class. 

But here a youth arose — one of the clear-headed 
kind. " Professor," said he, " suppose I should find 
those two blades and that handle, and put them to- 
gether again — what knife would that be ? " 

The Professor's answer is not recorded. 
267 



CHAPTER TEN 
LAW IN GLASGOW 



CHAPTER ten: LAW IN GLASGOW 

A NUMBEROFYEARS AGOTHEGLASGOW 
Juridical Society entertained the Hon. E. J. Phelps, 
United States Ambassador to Great Britain, and in 
return they were treated to an address which, among 
other items of information, contained the statement 
that " The American lawyer worked hard, lived well, 
and died poor." The Glasgow lawyer resembles his 
American brother inasmuch as he works hard — when 
he has any clients. Likewise he usually dies poor. But 
as to living well — that is another story. I n these days of 
the overcrowding of the professions the legal profes- 
sion has not escaped. Many are called to it, but few at- 
tain to wealth by it. Probably in none of the learned 
professions as carried on in Glasgow is there a greater 
struggle on the part of the majority of its members to 
maintain that show of prosperity which is necessary in 
a business where shabbiness carries with it a sugges- 
tion of the disreputable. Of late years the profession 
has produced a number of black sheep who, after brow- 
sing for years on the financial grass of their clients,have 
ultimately been obliged toaccept a less nutritious diet 
at the country's expense ! The reason has, in most 
cases, been that professional earnings have not been 
equal to supposedly needful expenditure. This is an 
aspect of the profession upon which it is painful to 
dwell. Therefore it is perhaps as well when looking for 
matters of interest connected with law in Glasgow to 
go back to the distant past and consider the Majesty 
of the Law as it was vindicated in thedays of our fore- 
fathers. 

In a work of this kind, which is intended for the 
271 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

readingof the general public, it is of little use to repro- 
duce ancient legal forms or charters, or to dwell upon 
old methods of procedure, however interesting these 
matters might prove to the man of technical training. 
Undoubtedlyitis matter connected with the adminis- 
tration of criminal lawwhichisof most interest to the 
general reader,and therefore this chapter will in large 
measure be made up of instances of the administration 
of justice in Glasgow from the middle of the eighteen- 
th century down to fairly recent times. 

Our forefathers were men of a stern type, and pun- 
ished crime with a severity which nowadays would be 
regarded as altogether excessive. Public whippings 
were common. Men were hanged for offences which 
would now meet with only a short term of imprison- 
ment. 

Executions in Glasgow formerly took place at the 
Butts, which stretched to a considerable distance to- 
wards the east and north, and formed an extensive 
common on which the inhabitants of Glasgow pastur- 
ed their cattle, driving them out in the morning, and 
bringing them home in the evening, Atthisperiod the 
Drygate was the leading street of Glasgow towards 
theeast. After I764theplace ofexecution was chang- 
ed to Howgatehead, near the Monkland Canal Basin. 
The first criminal who was executed at the Howgate- 
head was Hugh Bilsland, a Glasgow carter, who suf- 
fered for street robbery. His execution took place on 
the loth of July 1765, At this time, and down to the 
period of the execution of Walter M'Intosh,whowas 
hanged at the Cross of Glasgow on the 22nd of October 
1788, it was the practice on the day of execution for 

272 




PROFESSOR R. C. JEBB 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

the criminal to be attired in the prison dress, consist- 
ingofwhiteor unbleached linen, and then brought into 
the town hall or court-house, where prayers were said, 
and a glass of wine offered to him ; afterwards he was 
led out and placed upon an open cart along with the 
hangman. A carter took charge of the horse and cart, 
and received a fee of one guinea for his services. The 
procession proceeded slowly up the High Street to the 
place of execution, attended by the Magistrates and 
town officers, bearing their halberts. Having arrived 
there, the hangman performed hisusual dutyof fixing 
the rope round the criminal's neck and of drawing a 
cap over his face, when, upon the signal beinggiven by 
the criminal, the carter gave his horse a sudden lash 
with his whip, and the cart slipped away from under 
the feet of the unhappy sufferer, thus leaving him sus- 
pended by the neck. This,in fact, was a death by stran- 
gulation, and the criminal sometimes appeared to suf- 
fer much. 

In the Glasgow Herald oiihQ ist of February 1850 
there was an interesting article regarding the public 
executions which had taken place in Glasgow since 
the year 1765, and particular mention was made of 
the execution of Andrew Marshall, who was hanged 
for murder at the Howgatehead on the 2 5 th of October 
1 769. A most revolting scene took place at this man's 
execution. 

On the 15th September 1769, the Circuit Court at 
Glasgow was opened by Lords Auchinleck and Pit- 
four, when Andrew Marshall, late in Blacklock, parish 
of Slamannan, a soldier in the 38th Regiment, was tri- 
ed for the murder and robbery of Allan Robert, of the 
273 s 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

before-mentioned parish, on the 3 1 st of July 1 769, near 
the house of Drumpeller. Thejury unanimously found 
him guilty of both crimes, and the Court sentenced him 
to be fed on bread and water till the 25th of October, 
and on that day to be hanged, and his body hung in 
chains. Until the execution of Andrew Marshall, the 
Glasgow Magistrates were never troubled with over- 
seeing the execution of any criminal sentence what- 
ever; that duty, when the convictions were before the 
Circuit Court, being imposed on the sheriff of the 
county. Marshall's execution was the first occasion 
of the Magistrates of Glasgow having so disagreeable 
a charge forced upon them. Whether it arose from a 
feeling of humanity towards the criminal, or from in- 
experience in such matters on the part of the Magis- 
trates, it so happened that the arms of Andrew Mar- 
shall had not been sufficiently pinioned on the day of 
execution, in consequence of which he had the free use 
of them. When the procession had arrived at the How- 
gatehead the hangman proceeded as usual to adjust 
the rope about the criminal's neck, and drew the cap 
over his face. The carter, waiting for the signal, had 
already raised his whip to give the fatal lash to the 
horse, when Andrew Marshall made a sudden spring 
upwards, and seized the projecting beam of the gal- 
lows with thegraspof death. The hangman laid hold 
of his legs and endeavoured to pull him down ; but it 
wasin vain. After fruitlessattemptstomake him quit 
his hold the hangman was obliged to procure a stick, 
with which he struck and belaboured the poor man's 
arms and hands until they became disabled, and no 
longer capable of supporting him, when he dropped 

274 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

from the beam, and in this manner was executed. There 
was nowonder,therefore, that the MagistratesofGlas- 
gow, after witnessing such an appalling exhibition, 
petitioned to be relieved in future from the irksome 
duty of overseeing theexecution of criminal sentences. 
In terms of his sentence the body of Andrew Marsh- 
all was hung in chains at the Howgatehead. This is 
the only instance on record of a criminal executed in 
Glasgow being hung in chains, but so offensive was 
the sight to the inhabitants of the north quarter that 
the body was clandestinely removed. 

In the year 1765 two rather remarkable trials took 
place in Glasgow. OntheiQthSeptember 1765, Alex- 
ander Provan, in Paisley, was found guilty of murder- 
inghis wife in a most cruel manner, and was sentenced 
to lie in Glasgow prison till the ist November, that 
day to be carried thence to Paisley, and on the 7th to 
be carried to the place of execution, there to have his 
right hand struck off, then to be hanged till dead, and 
his body given to the surgeons for dissection. This 
sentence is notable as being the only instance met 
with in Glasgow annals of a criminal being sentenced 
to lose his right hand previous to being executed.* 

In the good old days His Majesty's Customs were 
seemingly no more popular than they are now, but 
attempts to evade them were possibly more general. 
A trial in a case of this kind took place on the 19th 
of March 1765, on which day Humphrey Ewing and 
Matthew Jack were tried before the High Court of 
Justiciary for abstracting the King's weights in the 
scale of weighing tobaccos for exportation, thereby 

* Glasgow Past and Preseftt, vol. i. p. 334. 
275 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

defrauding the revenue in the debenture to be grant- 
ed on exportation. A unanimous verdict was returned 
finding them guilty, and they were adjudged to stand, 
attended by the town-drummer and the hangman, at 
the Market Cross of Glasgow,forhalf an hour atmid- 
day, with their hands tied behind their backs, and a 
label on their breasts with these words : " Convict of 
withdrawing his Majesties' lueights and substituting 
false weights in place thereof ; and to receive fifteen 
stripes from thehangmanontheirnaked backs, there- 
after to be carried to Greenock, and on a market-day, 
at the place where tobaccos are commonly weighed 
for exportation and importation, to receive the same 
punishment, and then set at liberty.* 

A very remarkable trial and execution took place 
in Glasgow in May 1784. The trial was that of Archi- 
bald Jarvies and James Jack, stocking-weaver, lately 
recruits with the ist Regiment of Foot, who were ac- 
cused of robbing William Barclay, schoolmaster, at 
Calderkirk. Jarvies was fugitated for non-compear- 
ance. The jury upon Jack returned a verdict unani- 
mously findinghim guilty, art and part, of the robbery 
libelled; but on account of his ingenuous confession 
before the Magistrates they ««^«2>w«^6'''ecommend- 
ed him as a proper object of mercy. Upon returning 
the verdict the counsel for the panel moved an arrest 
of judgment, on the ground that there was a person of 
the name of Roberton who made one of the jury en- 
closed upon the trial, his name in the list of jurors 
served upon him being Robertson. The Court repel- 
led the objection, and sentenced the panel to be hang- 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. i. p. 336. 

276 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

ed at Glasgow in July following. Accordingly on Wed- 
nesday, the 7th of July 1784, James Jack, aged 24 
years, condemned in May previous, was hanged in the 
castle-yard, the place of execution in former times, 
now the termination of Monkland Canal. The morn- 
ingofthedayofhis execution he attempted todestroy 
himself with a knife, but was prevented, though not 
till hehad wounded himself in various places. He was 
put in a cart with fetters on, and in that condition was 
carried to the place of execution, and after the usual 
time spent in prayer by the Rev. Mr. Lothian, to which 
the poor man paid little attention, he was hoisted up 
by a pulley from the cart and hung the usual time. 

Another interesting trial took place at this period. 
On Wednesday, 19th May 1784, John M'lvor and 
Archibald M'Callum, merchants in Greenock, were 
tried in Edinburgh,theybeingaccused of wilfully and 
feloniously sinking of ships, or advisingand directing 
others to do so, in order to defraud the underwriters. 
The trial proceeded, and the next day the jury return- 
ed their verdict, all in one voice, finding the panels 
guilty as far as regards the brigantine Endeavour. 
The judge then pronounced their sentence, which was 
that they should stand in the pillory at Glasgow on 
the 28th of July 1784 for the space of one hour, with 
the rope about each of their necks, and barehead- 
ed, with the following label affixed to their breasts : 
' Here stand John M'lvor and Archibald M'Callum, 
infamous persons, who did wickedly procure holes to 
be bored in the ship Endeavour in order to sink the 
same, and thereby to defraud the underwriters." They 
were also banished Scotland for life. When pillor- 
277 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

ied, the culprits were placed on the top of the great 
stair at Glasgow Cross, which then led into the town 
hall, with their heads leaning towards the Saltmar- 
ket, A board with the above inscription was hung 
from their necks, and lay loose, dangling about the 
iron railings of the stair. Neither M'lvor nor M'Cal- 
lum looked up during the whole time that they stood 
in the pillory, but kept their faces continually bent 
downwards towards the ground. Their hands were 
placed in holes in the board of the pillory, upon the 
same level with the holes through which their heads 
wereplaced. It wasahumiliating anddegradingpun- 
ishment. The mob pelted them most unmercifully 
with rotten eggs, turnips, potatoes, and even stones. 
Whenever a rotten egg hit them,and bespattered their 
heads with its yellow yoke, there was a loud huzza 
from the crowd and a shout of laughter ; but when a 
stone was thrown there was a universal expression of 
indignation given, as not being fair play. Although 
the sentence was that they should stand in the pillory 
bareheaded, nevertheless it was understood that they 
wore wigs lined with copper to defend their heads 
from stones. The pillory was certainly an improper 
punishment, for it left to the caprice of a mob the 
extent of punishment which a culprit might suffer, 
in place of having the exact amount of punishment 
legally defined.* 

About 1810 three men were placed for an hour in 
the pillory at the Cross. Each quarter of an hour the 
machine was moved round, so as to face the four quar- 
ters of the compass and the four streets. Rotten eggs 
* Glasgoiv Past and Present, vol. i. p. 303. 

278 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

and all sorts of missiles were thrown at the men, whose 
names and crimes were set forth on large placards 
under their heads. One of the three, who seemed to 
receive the greatest share of vulgar attention, when 
facing the High Street drew himself out of the wooden 
frame and vehemently addressed the mob, but with- 
out effect, and had to restore himself to his state of 
bondage. The last victim of the pillory in Glasgow 
not only received the oblations of thecrowd, but when 
relieved from the crib was violently assailed, tossed 
and torn about, and at length was cast headlong into 
the police manure waggon.* 

A case which excited great attention in the year 
1796 was that of James M'Kean, who murdered the 
Lanark carrier. A Life of this miscreant was written, 
which ran through numerous editions. It was pub- 
lished by a bookseller named Reid, who took a great 
interest in the crime and the criminal. 

Mr. Reid always spoke with horror of the manner, 
as given by M'Kean, in which the murder was perpe- 
trated. His friends alleged that MKean, in answer to 
Reid's inquiries as to the mode in which he murdered 
Buchanan, seized the head of Reid, and after drawing 
it back with one hand quickly drew the other hand 
across his throat, and that Reid fainted ! " I almost," 
says one writer, " believe the story, for Reid always 
looked so sad when hereferred to the murderer's state- 
ments, that I durst not inquire into the truth of his 
friend's story, even in joke. Reid told me thathevisit- 
ed M'Kean daily betwixt his conviction and execu- 
tion ; that he read portions of his Life to him as he 

* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow^ p. 97. 
279 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

wrote them; that M'Kean altered many statements, 
qualifying some and expunging portions of others ; 
and that, on the whole, the wretched murderer seemed 
to be most at his ease when confessing his sins and 
expressing strong hopes of forgiveness." In a memo- 
randum written by the late Mr. Robert Chapman, 
printer, the author, speaking of Lockhart's Zz/k(?/5z> 
Walter Scott, says: "A long paragraph is inserted re- 
specting a wretched cobbler, Jas. M'Kean, who mur- 
dered Buchanan, theLanark carrier, in 1796. M'Kean 
then lived in Castlepen's Land, High Street. This 
M'Kean I saw two or three times in the Tolbooth after 
his condemnation, in company with the late Mr. Wm. 
Reid, who was on terms with M'Kean for the history 
of his life, which he ultimately procured, and I think 
printed three or four editions of it, the sale being so 
great. It turned out a good i;^^^ at that time. The de- 
scription of M'Kean by Sir Walter Scott is, so far as 
I can recollect, perfectly correct. I saw the miserable 
man executed. The crowd was immense. As I am of 
small stature, being five feet two inches, I remember a 
tall acquaintance holding me up in his arms, so that I 
might get a good view of him, knowing that it would 
probably be the last sight I should ever have of the re- 
ligious hypocritical villain who disgraced humanity."* 
The office of hangman in Glasgow was at one time 
held by a man of the name of Sutherland, commonly 
called Jock Sutherland, a poor, silly creature, pitted 
witlithe smallpox, and withacountenanceofthemost 
cadaverous cast, but, what was worse of all, timid and 
nervous to the last degree. At an execution he trem- 
* Glasgow and its Chibs, p. 490. 

280 




LORD KELVIN 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

bledfrom head to foot, and was in such a state of agita- 
tion that he could scarcely perform his duty. A very 
singularinstance of this kind took place in 1798, when 
a man of the name of M'Millan was hanged at the 
Cross. Attheexecutionthe Magistrates and members 
of the Town Council were congregated on the stair- 
head of the town-house, and the scaffold was erected 
immediately adjacent to it towards the east, both 
being upon thesame level. Sutherland vvithdifficulty 
had adjusted the rope about the criminal's neck and 
had d ra wn the cap over his face, when, having desce nd- 
ed from the platform on which the criminal stood in 
order to wait the signal for withdrawing the bolt, the 
fatal signal was given and the handkerchief dropped 
sooner than expected. Here the hangman's nerves 
failed him ; in a state of great agitation he continued 
fumbling at the bolt and attempting in vain to draw 
it, while the poor criminal was kept standing in a 
dreadful state of suspense, waiting the result of the 
fatal signal. The crowd now began to murmur, on ob- 
serving which, ex-Lord Provost John Dunlop sudden- 
ly rushed out from among the magistracy,and,pushing 
Sutherland aside, in a moment withdrew the bolt and 
the unhappy man was no more. Mr. Dunlop received 
great credit for his active humanity on this occasion. 
The duty of a Glasgow hangman in former times 
was greater than at present, for, besides officiating in 
capital cases, he was obliged to flog lesser criminals 
publicly through thestreets when they were sentenced 
to undergo that punishment. In suffering such minor 
infliction the criminal walked behind a cart, naked to 
the middle, having his hands tied in front and his 
281 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

person attached to the cart by a loose rope. The flog- 
gings took placegenerallyattheintersectionsofsome 
of the most public streets, such as the Cross, Candle- 
riggs, Stockwell, Jamaica Street, and so on. People 
used to allege that Sutherland was such a poor, silly 
body that he was not able to inflict a sore flogging. But 
doubtless the floggings were severe enough, though 
there can be no question but that the severity or len- 
iency of this punishment depended upon the hang- 
man, and possibly he could be bribed to stay his hand. 

The punishment of flogging was never publicly in- 
flicted on boys, but it was sometimes very improper- 
ly inflicted on women. When females were flogged 
through our streets their bosoms were not exposed, 
but only their backs, and the latter only at the time 
of receiving the lashes. On the 25th of September 
1793, Mary Douglas, found guilty of breaking into 
the house of Alexander M'Pherson, Bridgeton, and 
stealing several articles from it, was whipped through 
the streets of Glasgow and banished Scotland for life. 
This was the last instance of a woman being publicly 
whipped through the streets. The Magistrates did 
not attend on occasions of public whippings, but left 
the overseeing of them to the town's officers.* 

The Magistrates of Glasgow of those days seem to 
have been ill-satisfied with Jock Sutherland, as may 
be inferred from the following advertisement from 
the number of the Glasgow Courier dated i6th April 
1 803 : — " Executioner 

" Wanted for the City of Glasgow, an Executioner. The bad 
character of the person who last held the office having brought 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. i. pp. 337-9. 

282 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

upon it a degree of discredit, which it by no means deserves, 
the Magistrates are determined to accept of none but a sober, 
well-behaved man. The emoluments are considerable. 

" Applications will be received by the Lord Provost or either 
of the Town Clerks. 

" Council Chambers, 

Glasgow, \-^th April 1803." 

If the ideas of Glasgow be changed, as they cer- 
tainly have long been changed, with respect to politi- 
cal amelioration, they have also been most happily 
altered respecting the punishment of crime since the 
period when Lord Braxfield wore the scarlet toga of 
the Justiciary Court. In those days there was scarce- 
ly a Glasgow Ayre which closed its sittings without 
two or three unhappy persons being left for public 
execution, and frequently for crimes which nowadays 
would be visited with a few months' imprisonment; 
while the bailies of the day, under the advice of their 
learned assessor, Mr. John Orr of Barrowfield, were 
ordering many to be drummed out of the city, sen- 
tencing others to the pillory, and, what was worse, 
condemning not a few to the torture and degradation 
of a public whipping through the town, and for mis- 
demeanours, too, almost as trivial as those which our 
police functionaries of the present day are punishing 
by a fine or a few days' confinement in Barlinnie. 
As to the justice of such punishments, however, it is 
only fair to state that there were very few indeed of 
the whole community who did not think them fitting 
and necessary. The fact is, it was the punishment, 
not the cure, of the criminal which was then dream- 
ed of. Of the general cruelty of the law the people 
had no great horror ; the age, in short, was far more 
283 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

sanguinary than it now is. The executioner of the 
law, Jock Sutherland, though a poor, silly creature, 
did not in those bloody days hold a sinecure office ; 
for, whether from his frequent attendance at the 
public pillory, the wielding of the cat-o'-nine-tails 
through the streets, or the more fearful duties con- 
nected with the scaffold — which, for the execution of 
criminals, was then erected at the Cross, whither the 
unhappy victims were brought from the adjoining 
Tolbooth, or prison, arrayed in a garb of white, to be 
launched into eternity between the hours of two and 
four o'clock, amid the gaze of gaping thousands that 
came far and near to witness the revolting and de- 
basing spectacle — the cadaverous and pock-pitted 
functionary had enough to employ him. In those 
days all carts for hire stood in the Trongate, at the 
south end of Candleriggs ; and it was generally at the 
tail of one of these waiters for a job that the poor 
culprit condemned to be flogged was attached. It 
was, in fact, the cart belonging to a well-known char- 
acter called Tam M'Cluckie that was generally chos- 
en for this duty ; and well, indeed, was the selection 
made, for it would have been difficult to say whether 
the driver or dragged was the worse in appearance. 
Tam was a wicked, drunken wretch, and his horse was 
so ill attended to that it fully realised the line in the 
old song of Tam o' the Linn's grey mare, that " all her 
banes they did rattle within." It was quite plain that 
if its owner had spent less money on whisky and 
more on oats, the one would have exhibited fewer 
carbuncles on his countenance and the other far more 
flesh on his carcass. The disgusting punishment of a 

284 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

public whipping was in those days but a too frequent 
accompaniment of the market-day. On such occa- 
sions the effects of the cat were first tried at the 
Cross, whence, after a few strokes were appHed to the 
back of the criminal, the procession, preceded by the 
town officers with staves, moved down the Saltmar- 
ket, along Bridgegate, up Stockwell, and back by the 
Trongate to the Cross, and occasionally even up and 
down the High Street, the hangman being called to 
do duty at every crossing of a street, at which point 
Tam M'Cluckie halted his horse and Jock Suther- 
land brandished his whip. The windows of the houses 
lining the streets through which the sad procession 
moved were filled with curious spectators, while a 
crowd of noisy urchins and blackguard women fol- 
lowed, hooting and hallooing in the wake of the dis- 
gusting cavalcade, which, happily for the honour and 
thefeelingsof the community, has been for many years 
discontinued, never, it is hoped, to be revived.* 

"Senex," that notable authority on all that relates 
to old Glasgow,gives the folio wing interestingdescrip- 
tion of a sitting of the Circuit Court about the begin- 
ning of the nineteenth century : — 

" In April 1 805 I, having paid a shilling to the offi- 
cers at the door, was admitted, and for the first time 
saw the 'Lords' on the judgment-seats in their robes, 
and before them many members of the bar dressed in 
all the trappings of office, 'in solemn silence all,' till a 
prisoner was placed at the bar to be tried for a capital 
crime, said to have been perpetrated in Airdrie. That 
morning Adamson and Scott had been sentenced to 

* Glasgow afid its dubs, p. 207. 
285 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

death for having forged and uttered notes of the Ship 
Bank, and the trial now to be noticed occupied the 
court fourteen hours — from ten o'clock a.m. until mid- 
night. Then, as now, the public were excluded from 
court during similar trials, according to the evidence 
to be given; but in this case all were allowed to re- 
main in court during the whole trial, which, though 
not reported in the public papers, was both amusing 
and instructive. Many witnesses were examined, and 
the advocate for the Crown made a speech, which took 
two hours to deliver, against the prisoner, and his coun- 
sel addressed the jury in an eloquent harangue equal- 
ly long. Then the judge summed up all on both sides 
in a discourse which lasted three hours, after which 
the jury acquitted the prisoner, who, in the opinion of 
some who heard the case, should not have been brought 
to trial. The Lords Craig and Armadale were the jud- 
ges, but that day the whole work of the bench was 
directed by Armadale (Sir William Honyman). 

"At five p.m. the advocate and the jury were served 
with soup, etc., ad libitum, for a potful was brought 
and set down in the court-room. Their lordships bad 
only wine and fruit placed before them on the bench; 
but the Lord Armadale took only an orange, and not 
a drop of strong drink during the whole trial, and left 
the bench once only for a few minutes during fifteen 
hours. His lordship, while charging the jury, refer- 
red at length to ancient history, both sacred and pro- 
fane; noticed the rape of Jacob's daughter, and the 
terrible revenge which was inflicted by her brothers; 
the violation of the Princess Helen and the woeful re- 
sults, ending in the destruction of Troy ; also, the cal- 

286 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

amities which overtook Italy consequent on the rape 
of the Sabine women by the Romans, etc., after which 
illustrations, and adverting to the evidence, head vised 
the jury to acquit the prisoner, which was done." * 

From another Glasgow authority, "Nestor," one 
may get much interesting information regarding old 
Glasgow and its ways. He also gives some descrip- 
tion of the Circuit Courts about the beginning of the 
nineteenth century, and writes as follows : — 

"Before i826,the verdicts of a jury were in writing, 
and, from mistakes in the writs, frequently the crimi- 
nal escaped from sentence. To secure accuracy, a writ- 
er or law agent was uniformly selected as one of their 
number. The envelope was sealed, and if the verdict 
was one of guilty, the seal was in black, otherwise in 
red wax. So the culprit and audience thus learned 
the result before the seal was broken. The period be- 
tween the sentence of death and its execution was 
generally a month or six weeks. Duringthatinterval, 
prayers were always offered in the churches in accord- 
ance with a request read by the precentor : 'A man 
or woman under sentence of death.' Generally great 
exertions were made to obtain a respite or commuta- 
tion of the sentence. Frequently a respite of fourteen 
days was the prelude to a commutation of the sentence 
to one of transportation for life. In the early portion 
of the century, a young lad, Grindlay by name, whose 
father was a respectable baker, was condemned to 
death for housebreaking and theft. The lad had been 
educated in the Grammar School, and great excite- 
ment prevailed among those who had been his school 

* Glasgow Past and Present, vol. i. p. 263. 
287 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

companions. Vast exertions were made to save his 
life, and, after much hesitation and difficulty, these 
were crowned with success. It isworthy of notice that 
the last death sentence inflicted by a sheriff and car- 
ried into execution was at Glasgow, on 8th December 
1788, on a man William Scott, for the crime of house- 
breaking and theft."* 

There were only two circuits, spring and autumn, 
and only one court-room for the two judges who took 
the trials in rotation. The accommodation for the 
public was so circumscribed in the new court-house 
as to render it necessary to admit by ticket. This was 
made a great theme of grievance in the public papers. 
A score of passports were daily sent to the Dean of 
Faculty, then Mr. John Lang, for distribution among 
the law apprentices. So great was the pressure that 
the outer gates were kept by military guards. On one 
morning, whilst the soldiery were keeping back the 
crowd, a bayonet slipped from its musket and hit a 
stranger, one Mr. Smith from x\lyth. The weapon 
wounded and bled him on the head, and the crowd, 
conceiving that the injury was intentional, raised a 
very considerable riot. The judge in those days used 
tediously to read over to the jury his whole notes of 
evidence, and it was not uncommon for ajuror to cor- 
rect the judge in someof the details. The newspapers 
usually stated the charge as being impartial, but, in 
fact, it was more a second address for conviction. In a 
trial for assault occurring in a village in the Upper 
Ward of Lanarkshire, there was a question of identity 
raised by Mr. Erl. Monteith, the counsel for the accus- 
* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow, " Nestor," p. 78. 

288 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

ed. The affair took place after sunset. Butthejudgein 
his charge remarked that there might have been moon- 
Hght. The counsel interrupted by saying that he had 
proved that there was no moonlight that night. The 
judge still continued that there might have been gas- 
light. The counsel again checked the judge by bring- 
ing to his recollection that he had proved there was 
no gas in the village. Still the judge, nowise discon- 
certed, calmly remarked "that there might be star- 
light, and other circumstances," and the accused was 
convicted. The jury werenotballoted,butwerepicked 
out by the presiding judge from the list which was 
prepared by the sheriff clerks of the three counties. 
The jury were kept standing while the judge read 
over to them his notes of evidence. Lord Cockburn 
was the first who abolished this servile position of 
juries. At a Glasgow Circuit he addressed the jury: 
" Gentlemen, you will just stand or sit, as you find it 
most convenient for yourselves." A paper which he 
wrote in the Edinburgh Review whilst at the bar led 
to much of the improvement in criminal trials. Lord 
Cockburn disliked all pedantry. A medical witness, 
in a trial for assault, said in his report that the inju- 
ry resulted "in a facial abrasion of the cuticle." His 
lordship remarked, "I suppose, in plain language, 
you mean a 'scart on the face.' " It was usual, especi- 
ally with one judge, when the verdicts were not in 
accordance with the views of the bench, to receive it 
with the implied censure: "Gentlemen, the verdict 
xsyours^ not ours." A Glasgow merchant at last did 
away with this by indignantly retorting, "My Lord, 
the jury do not require to be told that the verdict is 
289 T 



Z :OK OF GLASGOW .\XECDOTE 

theirs.' Tbe --ry -srere =::pol:ed wrih p3.rer :z- note- 
ri ^ "fused. C':: rr.e cccasioD 



At^--T : : - :miSl7there-ira= = tr. 



vwas small. 



*-is E. D. ^ _ ir^: =i:er- 

~ 1 1 a. 5cin-" T T"-" ' i~ z . 2.rt 

MXeil 



Lnv 



trted. Taeii :3at 



Lit. A 
2^ 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

regiment in the barracks had frequently got into dis- 
cord with the citizens. One night, in the Trongate, 
opposite the Tron Church, a serious conflict ensued. 
A young officer in passing drew his sword and called 
on the soldiers "to fall in," vdth the intent to lead them 
back to the barracks in the Gallowgate. A Mr. Scott, 
foreman to Mr. \Vm. Buchanan, house painter, whose 
premises were in Hutcheson Street, on the site now 
occupied by the City' Chambers, happened to pass. 
Thinking that the officer was about to take part with 
his men against the townsmen, he sprang out, and seiz- 
ed and broke the officer's sword. He was brought to the 
bar of the Circuit Court. Thejudge^Lord Hermand), 
in charging the j ur>-, became almost frantic at the dar- 
ing act of the painter. "Gentlemen," he bawled, "the 
sword was given to this officer by His Majesty, and 
none dared to take it from him except him who gave 
it. Had it been I that had the sword, and the painter 
had sought to have deprived meof my weapon, I would 
— I would — I do not know what the consequences 
would have been." His lordship at this stage almost 
lost the power of speech, and his colleague (Lord Jus- 
tice-Clerk Boyle) brought to him a tumbler of water 
from the closet behind. The man was acquitted, and 
the audience applauded, on which the judge ordered 
the court to be cleared, which was done by a party of 
soldiery- with rixed bayonets. 

At this period it was usual for the judges, in inflict- 
ing sentences of any kind, to address the convicted at 
ver>' great length, and the sentences were read by the 
clerk in certain adjusted forms, especially in sentences 
of transportation, which were generally for seven, 
291 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

fourteen, and twenty-one years, with the express cer- 
tification that if they returned they would suffer 
death. Their lordships indulged at great length on 
the rigid nature of the law in the penal colony. In one 
of those long addresses a young girl got tired, and in- 
terrupted his lordship with the exclamation, " Never 
mind, my Lord, I'll get a black man there." His lord- 
ship, nowise disconcerted, merely interjected, "Then 
deeply sympathising, as I certainly do, with the black 
man, I was going on to say before you interrupted 
me, that if you ever again be found swerving from the 
paths of honesty you will find a severer law in that 
region than you have found in this." * 

Two persons were once on trial before the Circuit 
Court for theft, aggravated by housebreaking. A 
smart fellow was put into the witness-box to give evi- 
dence as a King's witness, or approver, as it is termed 
in English law. A young advocate, a native of Glas- 
gow, who afterwards became a sheriff, had newly been 
called to the Bar, but on circuit at that time neither 
wig nor gown was worn. The advocate was connect- 
ed with a well-known and highly respected family in 
Glasgow, and in time of circuit took up his residence 
with a relative in Carlton Place. This juvenilecounsel 
at the trial appeared for the accused parties, and put 
the followingquestionto theyoung£-amm : "At what 
place was it that you and the prisoners first concocted 
the plan for the robbery ? " The witness, with a seem- 
ing desire to give very accurate and particular informa- 
tion on thequestion, remained silent for a few seconds, 
meanwhile scratching his unkempt head, and then, in- 
* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow, p. 83. 

292 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

stead of answering the question, 7nore Scotice became 
the interrogator. "Do you ken the High Street?" 
"Quite well," was the ready response of counsel. "Then 
you maybe ken Bell Street? " "Yes," was the prompt 
reply. " Then it is not unlikely you will ken the big 
wall (well) which stands just foment Bell Street?" 
*' Yes," was then again gladly repeated, as the point 
seemed coming the closer. " Then you may at your 
leisure gang and pump that well, and you will get 
plenty and guid water frae it ; but me ye'll never 
pump." Judge,jury, and audiencecould scarcely keep 
their wonted and becoming gravity. 

Two young men, who were great friends, went to- 
gether to the theatre in Glasgow, supped at the lodg- 
ings of one of them, and passed a whole summer night 
over their punch. In the morning a kindly wrangle 
broke out about theirseparating,or not separating, in 
the course of which, by some rashness, one of them was 
stabbed, not violently, but in so vital a part that he 
died on the spot. The survivorwastried, and was con- 
victed of culpable homicide. The legal guilt was great- 
er than the moral, and, very properly, he was sentenc- 
ed to only a short term of imprisonment. 

Lord Hermand,who was renowned as a boon com- 
panion, felt that discredit had been brought on the 
cause of drinking, then so common and fashionable, 
even in the best society, and he had no sympathy with 
the tenderness of his temperate brethren on the judi- 
cial bench, but was vehement for transportation. 

" We are told, my laards," said he, " that there was 
no malice, and that the prisoner must have been in 
liquor. In liquor! Why, he was drunk ! and yet he 
293 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

murdered the very man who had been drinking with 
him ! They had been carousing the whole night, and 
yet he stabbed him ! after drinking a whole bottle of 
rum with him ! My laards ! if he will do this when he 
is drunk, what will he not do when he's sober ? " * 

Lord Eskgrove, at the Glasgow Circuit Court, had 
to condemn two prisoners to death for breaking into 
the house of Sir James ColquhounofLuss, assaulting 
him, and robbing him of a large sum of money. He 
first, as was his constant practice, explained the nature 
of the various crimes — assault, robbery, and hame- 
sucken, of which last he gave the explanation — 
namely, the crime of beating or assaulting a person 
within his own house. He next reminded them that 
they had attacked the house and the persons within 
it, and robbed them; and then he came to this climax — 

" All this you did, and, God preserve us ! just when 
they were sitten down to their denner ! " f 

The public of Scotland is indebted to Mr. Robert 
M'Nair, merchant in Glasgow, for obtaining the ab- 
olition of ashamefulcustom, which in olden times ex- 
isted in our Exchequer Court. It was the practice, in 
all Exchequer trials, for the Crown, when successful, 
to pay each] uryman one guinea, and to give the whole 
of them their supper. It happened that Mr. M'Nair 
had got into some scrape with the Excise, and an ac- 
tion was raised against him in the Exchequer Court 
at Edinburgh. When the case came to be called, the 
Crown Ad vocate,after narrating all the facts and com- 
menting on them, concluded his address to the jury 

* The Anecdotage of Glasgow, p. 285. 
t Ibid. p. 247. 

294 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

by reminding them that if they brought in a verdict 
they would receive a guinea each and their supper. 
Upon hearing which Mr. M'Nair rose up, and asked 
thejudgesif he might beallowed the liberty of speak- 
ing one word to the jury. To which request the judges 
readily assented. Mr. M'Nair then turned round to 
thejury and thus addressed them : " Gentlemen of the 
jury, you have heard what the learned Advocate for 
the Crown has said, namely, ' that he will give you 
a guinea each, and your supper, if you bring in a 
verdict in favour of the Crown.' Now, here am I, 
Robert M'Nair, merchant in Glasgow, standing be- 
fore you, and I promise you two guineas each, and 
your dinner to boot, with as much wine as you can 
drink, ifyou bringin a verdict in myfavour ; " andhere 
Mr. M'Nair sat down. The trial went on, and Mr. 
M'Nair obtained a verdict in his favour. After this 
trial the Crown never made any attempt at influenc- 
ing thejury by this species of bribery.* 

The late John Clerk (afterwards Lord Eldin), when 
at the bar, was counsel in a case before Lord Hermand, 
and having finished his address sat down to receive 
judgment. The judge took up the case strongly, and 
dwelt longer than usual on its various aspects. Be- 
coming somewhat excited,thesaliva from his lips was 
projected on to the face of the sarcastic advocate, who 
remarked, " I hae often heard o' the dew of Hermon, 
but never felt it afore this nicht." 

Perhaps enough has been said about the adminis- 
trationofjusticeinoldGlasgow.and nodoubt modern 
cases of notoriety, such as the Madeleine Smith, Prit- 

* Glasgow Past and Present^ vol. i. p. 295. 
29s 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

chard, City of Glasgow Bank Directors, and other re- 
cent cases, are familiar to the reading public. It may 
therefore be as well to turn from the criminal side of 
law and record a few matters of interest on the civil 
side. 

The following is a summons which may throw some 
light on the small strifes which long ago often deluged 
the Courts of Justice : The summons sets forth" that 
James Fergus, leather currier in Glasgow (the com- 
plainer), about six weeks ago, at least within the last 
six months, had a pair of fine canarie birds : That the 
hen of this pair laid four fine eggs, and- after laying of 
them the hen turned sicklie : That the complainer 
communicated this circumstance to John Macindoe, 
tinsmith (the defender), who at this time had a pair of 
canarie birds, and his hen had three eggs : That the 
defender bargained and agreed with the complainer 
to take his four eggs and lay them below his (the de- 
fender's) hen, and she would bringout the wholeseven 
eggs, and whatever young ones were produced from 
the whole seven eggs, the complainer was to have the 
half tJiereof: Tha.tjive birds were brought out from 
the seven eggs, but one of them died, and there also 
remains four birds, said to be fine cocks, in perfect good 
health, and able to pick seed for their own preserva- 
tion : That the said defender now refuses to give the 
complainer any of the said four birds : Therefore, the 
said defender should be decerned either to deliver to 
the complainer the one just and equal half of the said 
four birds after drawing cuts for the first choice, or to 
make payment to him of £i, is. sterling as the value 
thereof, or the value of his four eggs, together with 

296 




SIR DAVID RAE, BT., LORD ESKGROVE 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

fifteen shillings of expenses of process, or such other 
sum as shall be modified at sentence." Thesummons 
is dated the 21st July 1768. It will be observed how 
providential it was that the whole of the seven eggs 
did not come to their full time, as two miscarried, 
and again how one of the Jive coming into existence 
died. Had there been an odd number the judgment of 
Solomon could scarcely have obviated the legal diflfi- 
culty. 

The gentlemen of the lav/ in Glasgow are not now 
looked upon as fire-eaters, buttime was when duelling 
was not unknown among them. In fact one of the fra- 
ternity figured in the last attempt at duelling known 
to have taken place in Glasgow. The attempt ended 
in simple fiasco. A duel was arranged, some time in 
the 'thirties, between Mr. William Weir, the original 
editor of the Glasgow A j-gus — a paper which became 
extinct many years ago — and Mr. John Douglas of 
Barloch, a local lawyer, politician, and wit. Thelatter 
was physically a large and dignified personage, and 
it was wickedly suggested that either he himself, or 
some of his trusty confreres, had got the public auth- 
orities informed quietly and timeously of what was 
about to take place. The consequence was, that as 
he sat in his parlour, with his pistols displayed on the 
table before him, waiting for the appointed hour and 
eager for the fray, the minions of the law broke in upon 
his heroic meditations, and, nolens volens, bound him 
over to keep the peace.* 

Mr. James Galloway, writer in Glasgow, was a fine 
old man, and at one time was Professor of Con veyanc- 

* Backward Glances, p. 116. 
297 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

ing. He was, however, a little pompous in expounding 
the doctrines of law to his students. He delighted in 
expatiating to them on the antiquity of deeds of con- 
veyance, and consequently of lawyers as their framers; 
and he used to bring forward, neck and shoulders, 
the purchase by Abraham, from Ephron the Hittite,of 
the field and cave of Machpelah, which, in the worthy 
lecturer's opinion, created " a strong inferential case " 
that at that remote time Sarah's grave, with the field 
and trees, must have formed the subject of consulta- 
tion between her Chaldean husband and a Canaanitish 
lawyer, resulting in a formal deed of sale, probably as 
simple in style as the Scotch disposition ! — in fact, that 
as the sacred record expressly states the transaction 
" was made sure," Mr. Galloway could not for the life 
of him seehovvthat could be done effectually without a 
deed.though very likely wantingaregistration clause!* 
Generally speaking,humour isnot much in evidence 
in law offices. The present writer spent ten years in 
legal chambers — three of them in the largest office in 
Scotland — andlittleofahumorousnaturecameunder 
his notice. Beyond the vagaries of one religious enthu- 
siast wholefta will in favourof his sister, whom failing, 
of his mother, whom failing, " then to Jesus Christ 
only," the only really funny incident which occurred 
was in connection with the completion of one of the 
most important deeds ever executed in Scotland. It 
was an assignation of good will and trade-marks. The 
consideration was something like two millions, and the 
stampduty was over eleven thousand pounds. It hap- 
pened that at that time there was a " catch word " much 
^Glasgow Past and Present, vol. ii. p. 418. 

298 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

in vogue among the youths of Glasgow. They refer- 
red toeverythingas"acommon orgarden"soand so. 
The assignation already mentioned had been duly 
signed by the Directors and sealed by the Company. 
It was then returned to the solicitor's office in order 
that the testing clause, the most vital portion of the 
deed, giving particulars of its execution, might be 
completed. 

The deed was entrusted to an experienced clerk, 
who proceeded to inscribe as follows: — 

" In Witness Whereof these presents are subscrib- 
ed by and , two of the Directors of the said 

John Jones Limited, and are sealed with the common 
or garden seal of the said Company, etc. etc." 

The feelings of the Company's solicitor when he 
discovered the mistake can only be properly realised 
by brother solicitors. 

An amusing story is told of the late Colin Dun- 
lop Donald, who, for some reason or another, received 
his legal training in Edinburgh, chiefly in the office 
of James Dundas, Clerk to the Signet, founder of the 
great firm of Dundas & Wilson. It was a convivial 
place and a convivial time. Mr. Donald used to tell 
howonenight,diningwith Mr. Dundas,need for some 
wine arose. The steps to the cellar were awkward, the 
sederunt had been long, and no one but Mr. Dundas 
knew where the wine wanted lay. At last the difficulty 
was solved. The apprentice took the master on his 
back down to the cellar. The latter pointed out the 
winetobe taken up, and then the modern pious ^Eneas 
returned with his double burden.* 

* One Hundred Glasgow Men, vol. i. p. 107. 
299 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

A certain Glasgow writer, desiring to proceed to 
Holland by the Harwich route, sent a telegram say- 
ing, " Please reserve a sleeping-berth for Forbes." 

The gentleman in question was a bachelor, and 
upon mentioning his intended trip to his friends, and 
also mentioninghis telegram, they chaffingly told him 
that he would probably find himself among the ladies. 
Whereupon in great trepidation he sent off another 
telegram as follows : " Forbes is a man." 

The average Scot is considered a saving individual, 
and one who looks askance at reckless expenditure. 
Of this type must surely have been a prominent Glas- 
gow lawyer who used to send his clerk down to the 
Central Station on the first day of each month to as- 
certain if there were any changes in the trains, and 
if so to correct his penny diary. Thus are fortunes 
made. 

Some of the legal fraternity are given to the use of 
strong language. A dispute once sprang up between 
a lawyer who fancied that he was of ancient lineage, 
and another whose father had made a fortune in the 
manufacture of chemical manure. The interview was 
concluded by a statement from the former gentleman 
to the effect that he would not submit to insolence 

from any b y son of a d d dung merchant. 

From which it will be seen that the manners of Vera 
de Vere are not greatly in vogue in Glasgow, even in 
professional circles. But perhaps in saying this one 
does injustice to the metropolis of the West. Thegen- 
tleman who made the remark no longer honours the 
City with his presence. 

A good story is told of a well-known lawyer who 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

was deeply engaged dictating an important deed to 
his clerk. The door of his private room had a large 
pane in it of frosted glas3,and against this pane there 
suddenly loomed the shadow of a woman. The law- 
yer saw, was annoyed, and, turning to his clerk, said 
savagely — 

" Here's this d d b ch coming to interrupt 

me. 

Then hastening to the door he flung it open, and 
holding out both hands remarked sweetly — 

" Come away in, madam, come away in. We were 
just talking about you." 

The following three stories of legal instructors may 
fittingly be included in this chapter. 

A professor in the Faculty of Law had occasion in 
his lectures to mention the name of Lord Stair, a fa- 
mous Scottish lawyer. The professor — a highly re- 
spected man — was rather fond of showing how excel- 
lent were his social connections. Therefore when he 
first mentioned the name of Lord Stair he paused, 
with a beatific smile on his countenance, and said to 
the class — 

" And, gentlemen, this mention of Lord Stair re- 
minds me that only the other evening I myself had 
the honour of taking the Countess of Stair in to din- 
ner." Whereat, of course, loud applause. But tradi- 
tion says that the statement was made each winter 
session for many years. 

The same professor had a praiseworthy desire to 
make all his students understand clearly any parti- 
cular point which he was striving to elucidate. To 
attain this end he would take infinite pains. But if 
301 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

during his explanations heobservedanystudentpay- 
ing insufficient heed, that unhappy youth was prompt- 
ly held up to scorn and derision. For the professor 
proceeded as follows: — 

"Now, gentlemen, I have laboured this point at 
some length, as I wished to makeit clear to all of you. 
The question is not a difficult one, but it is my desire 
that no student in this class should be able to say that 
a point has been insufficiently explained. Therefore 
I have treated the subject with the greatest simplic- 
ity. I have made it intelligible to all ordinary minds. 
Nay, more, I have made this point obvious to the very 
meanest intelligence in the class. Mr. Brown in 
bench 4, will you kindly stand up and explain this 
point which I have just elucidated ? " 

Of course Mr. Brown was the inattentive student, 
and probably came to ignominious grief in his 
attempted explanation. Whereupon the professor 
would proceed — 

" Gentlemen, I thought I had explained this matter 
with absolute clearness. I thought I had made it ob- 
vious to the very meanest capacity in my class. But 
it appears that there is at least one intelligence which 
I have not been able to reach. Sit down, Mr. Brown." 

Another University tale runs as follows : There 
was a somewhat irascible Professor of Conveyancing, 
whom we shall call Smiley. But it was a source of 
great grief to him that occasionally ignorant people 
addressed him as Professor Smellie. On such occa- 
sions, the Professor was an angry man. In the course 
of time he was gathered to his fathers ; and a story 
went round the University as to his reception at the 

302 



CONCERNING LAW IN GLASGOW 

Gates of Heaven, when he went to learn his fate from 
St. Peter. 

" Who are you ? " asked the Saint. 

" I am Professor Smiley," was the answer. 

The Saint produced his Register and began to run 
over the names therein. 

" Smail," he murmured, running his finger down 
the column, " Small, Smart, — Ah ! here we are — 
Smellie. Andrew Sm,ellie,AlexanderSmellie, Alfred 
Smellie " 

The professorial wrath blazed forth. 

" No, no, mister ! Not Smellie, Smiley ! " 

*' My mistake," said the Saint. " Here we are. Smi- 
ley, — Andrew, Alexander, Bertram, Charles, Dun- 
can, Edward, Frederick, George, Harry, Ignatius, 
John " 

" Yes, yes, mister, John Smiley." 

"John Smiley, LL.D., Professor of Conveyancing 
in the University of Glasgow ? " said the Saint inter- 
rogatively. 

" Yes, yes, mister. That's me." 

" Humph ! Damned. Second door to the left, and 
mind the step." 

The legal profession in Glasgow is not divided into 
societies to the extent which prevails in Edinburgh. 
In Glasgow the W.S. and the S.S.C. are practically 
unknown ; but the majority of the members of the 
profession of good standing are members of the Fac- 
ulty of Procurators — a Corporation laying claim to 
a direct historical connection with the Chapter of the 
Bishopric of Glasgow in the fifteenth and sixteenth 
centuries. The office of Dean of the Faculty is at 
303 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

present held by Mr. James Mackenzie, LL.D., who is 
one of the leading authorities in Glasgow upon Ship- 
ping Law. Like many other outstanding Glasgow 
men he was educated at the High School ; among his 
classmates being the Very Rev. Pearson McAdam 
Muir, D.D., whoseportrait also appears in this volume; 
and that distinguished educationalist Sir Henry Craik. 
Upon leaving the High School Dr. Mackenzie stu- 
died at Glasgow University, and since 1869 he has 
been engaged in the legal profession. In 191 1 the 
University of Glasgow conferred upon him the degree 
of LL.D., — partly, no doubt, because of his having 
served the University as Lecturer on MercantileLaw 
from 1 894 till 1 899, but also, to some extent, because 
of the interest which he has always taken in the Royal 
Technical College, Glasgow, of which institution Dr. 
Mackenzie is at present the Vice-Chairman. 




JAMES MACKENZIE, ESQ., LL.D, 



> 



CHAPTER ELEVEN 
THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 



CHAPTER ELEVEN 

OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

TIME WAS WHEN THE CITIZEN OF GLAS- 
gow cared little and knew less about Medicine. His 
Pharmacopoeia was akin to that which is said still to 
prevail in remote parts of the Western Highlands — 
tar for the sheep and whisky for the people. Life in 
those distant times was common and cheap. Money 
was scarce, and valuable. The canny Glasgow man 
did not relish parting with hard-earned siller of ascer- 
tainable value for medical advice of dubious quality. 
Therefore if he received a " clour on the held " from 
some quarrelsome fellow-citizen, the Glasgow man, 
prior to the sixteenth century, did not rush to the local 
professors of the healing art, but laved his injured cra- 
nium in the waters ofthe classic Molendinar. Of ordi- 
nary ailments he took all the risks. If he recovered, 
good and well. If he died, it was the Lord's will. In 
consequence of this delightful blend of parsimony and 
fatalism the medical profession was long in establish- 
ing any satisfactory footing in Glasgow. I n some mea- 
sure this may have been due to indiscretions on the 
part ofthe doctors themselves. An old proverb says 
*' It's an ill bird that fouls its own nest," and yet one 
finds that on the 3rd of June i589,ThomasMyln,asal- 
aried surgeon, was brought up before the Council for 
speaking "sclanderouslie of the town, calling it the 
hungry town of Glasgow." But " out of the fullness of 
the heart the mouth speaketh," and no doubt theerring 
Thomas Myln considered that hisexperiencesjusti- 
fied his criticism. Nevertheless he should have put a 
bridle on his tongue, for the Magistrates of the City 
307 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

were jealous of its good fame. Therefore they seized 
the incautious Thomas, and, having considered his 
case, ordained him to appear at the Cross, confess his 
fault, and forfeit his pension for one year, or longer if 
the magistrates thought fit. No doubt this sentence 
would put a check upon further audible criticisms by 
the sufferer; but it is difficult to see how the forfeit- 
ure of his pension for a year was to convince him that 
Glasgow was not a hungry town. 

The Magistrates even a century later than the fore- 
going occurrencestill exercised a fatherly care over the 
profession and its patients, for it is recorded that in 
August 1685 the Council decreed as follows: — "The 
said day ordains the Thesaurer to payjohn Hall.youn- 
ger, Chirurgian, the soum of fourty pounds Scots for 
cureingof James Hamilton.son to vmqll James Hamil- 
ton, Wryter, of ane why te scabbed head, being ordain- 
ed to be cured be the provost." 

But fifty years prior to the distressingcase of James 
Hamilton the medical profession in Glasgow had re- 
ceived Royal recognition, and the Royal Faculty of 
Physicians and Surgeons had been founded in virtue of 
a Charter granted by the King on 14th August 1635. 
The actual founder appears to have been Dr. Peter 
Lowe, who was a man born ahead of his time. In other 
words, he was a man of discernment, judgment, and 
breadth of mind ; which qualities, and especially the 
last mentioned, were bound tocause him to come in- 
to collision with the narrow-minded and sour Presby- 
terians of his time. Peter Lowe pursued his studies 
in Paris; and this circumstance also tended to make 
conflict inevitable w^ith the clerical element in Glas- 

308 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

gow. An entertaining account of his troubles is given 
by Dr. Alexander Duncan in his Memorials of the 
Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgoiv, in 
which one may read as follows: — 

"The state of his surroundings generally, the rude- 
ness of manners, society everywhere dominated by a 
stern ecclesiastical despotism,must have struck him as 
strange. He had just returned from France. Curiously 
enough, it was with the high and mighty power of the 
Kirk that he appears to have come early into collision. 
The following is a minute of the Presbytery of 8th Au- 
gust 1598 : 'the Presbeteri orderis Mr. Peter Lowe, 
Doctorof Chirurgerie, tobe convenit before ye Ses- 
sioun, thair to asser for his etrie on ye Pillar (a species 
of cutty stool placed outside the church on which the 
penitent had to stand frequently in sackcloth),not hav- 
ing satisfyed ye Thesaurer of ye Kirk, and wtout his 
instructions, and not behaving him on ye pillar as be- 
cumes ; and furder to mak as yet two Sondayeshisre- 
petance on ye Pillar,and first tosatisfieye Thesaurer, 
as ye said Sessioun hes ordenit him to do.' What the 
original offence was which rendered him liable to ec- 
clesiastical discipline we are not told. It must have 
been trifling in its nature, otherwise the penalty would 
have been different. 

"But in the present instance, whatever the original 
peccadillo, we gather from the minute that the Doctor 
had been condemned to the pillar, and further mulct- 
ed in a compulsory contribution to the Kirk funds. 
Of the first partof the punishment he had apparently 
made fun, and the fine remained unpaid. Whether he 
ever 'made his repentance, as ordanit/ and, if he did, 
309 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

whether on the second occasion the merry Doctor 
'behaved him as becumes/ano even vvhether,as a pre- 
liminary step, he contrived 'to satisfie ye Thesaurer,' 
are questions on which the defective records throw 
no light. Doubtless long residence on the Continent, 
with so many of these years passed in camps, had im- 
pressed on his manners a freedom which would ill ac- 
cord with rigid Presbyterian notions of decorum." * 

Doctor Peter Lowe survived the censure of the 
Church for twelve years, and his tombstone stands a- 
gainst the south wall of the High Churchyard, near 
the entry gate to the Cathedral. History is silent as 
to when it was erected, or by whom. It is the property 
ofthe Faculty ofPhysicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, 
havingcome into their possession in i S34by purchase 
from Rev. John Hamilton Gray of Chesterfield, the 
eminent genealogist, whose family had acquired it in 
consequence of some of their descendants being also 
descendants of Dr. Lowe. The quaint inscription is 
still legible, though the stone shows too evident signs 
ofthe corroding hand of time. 

1612.+ 

M 

P L 

John Lowe James Lowe 

DOCTOR PETER LOWE 

The founder ofthe Faculty ofPhysicians and Surgeons 

STAY . PASSENGER . AND . VIOW . THIS . STONE 
FOR , UNDER . IT . LYIS . SUCH . A . ONE 

* Memorials of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of 
Glasgow^ Alex. Duncan, LL.D., p. 26. 

t It has now been ascertained that Dr. Peter Lowe died on 
15th August 1610. 

310 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

WHO . CUIRED . MANY . WHILL . HE . LIEVED 

SOE . GRACIOUS . HE . NOE . MAN . GRIEVED 

YEA . WHEN . HIS . PHISICKS . FORCE . OFT . FAILED 

HIS . PLESANT . PURPOSE . THEN . PREVAILED 

FOR . OF . HIS . GOD . HE . GOT . THE . GRACE 

TO . LIVE . IN . MIRTH . AND . DIE . IN . PEACE 

HEAVIN . HES . HIS . SOUL . HIS . CORPS . THIS . STONE 

SIGH . PASSENGER . AND . SO . BE . GONE. 

AH ME I GRAVELL AM AND DUST 
AND TO THE GRAVE DESHEND I MOST 
O PAINTED PEICE OF LIVEING CLAY 
MAN BE NOT PROUD OF THY SHORT DAY. 

" In view of the fact that this tombstone was rapid- 
ly decaying, the Faculty, in 1892, resolved to erect a 
bronze memorial tablet to Dr. Lowe within the nave 
of the Cathedral. An appropriate design was made 
by Mr. Pittendreigh Macgillivray the eminent sculp- 
tor, then of Glasgow, afterwards of Edinburgh; and 
the epitaph on the tombstone is reproduced under the 
figured part of the tablet, which stands on the north 
wall of the nave almost opposite the south door. This 
memorial tablet was unveiled by Dr. Bruce Goff, 
President of the Faculty, in presence of a number of 
the Fellows and Glasgow citizens, on the 5th April 
1895."* 

About this period it would seem that the knowledge 
of the classic tongues was not general,for we find that 
the pharmacist's formula entitled him " to sell drogues, 
and mak up recepies according to the Doctor's dir- 
ections." Butinonecase,thatof a Paisley apothecary, 
this rider is added, " which he is to receive from ye 

* Memorials of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of 
Glasgow^ p. 30. 

3" 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Doctor in ye Scots language, because he has no other 
language." * 

Unhappily the Faculty was not without troubles 
caused by its own members, as witness the case, in 
1667 on 24th September, of William Cliddesdaill. In 
regard to this case one finds it recorded that "a com- 
plaint is givene in by the sd Arch. Bogle (the Visitor 
for the year) and \Vm. Currie, makand mentione that 
q' Wm.Cliddesdaill upon the 19th dayof thesdmon- 
ethe in presence of the haill bretherne upon redd- 
ing of the sd Wm. Currie" (a new entrant examined 
at the previous meeting) "his supplicaone anent his 
admissione to exerce such points of chirurgie or apo- 
thecarie as he sould be fund qualified unto. Trew it 
is the sd Wm.did in ane most uncivill maner, w'out 
any offence given, upbraid the sd visitour by uttering 
ane number of vyll expressions, as particularlie yt he 
was ane mere fool and ane ass not worthie to carry 
office in his place, and did call the sd Wm Currie ane 
warlock and runniegait going fra door to door, as the 
sd complaint more fully comportes." Theaccused ad- 
mitted the ( iffence so far as Curriewas cone erned, but 
denied it as respected the Visitor. Thereupon the 
charge was put to proof, the evidence of the Visitor 
and other members present being taken, with the re- 
sult that the accused was found guilty as libelled. 
"Thereupon the said facultie all in one vo) cedidfyne 
thesd Wm. Cliddesdail in Twenty merks moneye for 
the use of the poor and yt the sdWm. sould never Car- 
rie office nor have a vott in all tyme coming, except 

* Memorials of the Faculty 0/ Physicians and Surgeons of 
Glasgow, "i^ 52. 

312 




DR. PETER LOWE 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

the Visitour present and to com and the facultie see 
his good behaviour in the futur." CHddesdaill was 
afterwards rehabiHtated on his own application, and 
his fine remitted. But he appears to have had a knack 
of getting into scrapes. In i669thewidowof onejohn 
Risk laid a complaint against him before the faculty 
for "malpraxis," which she alleged had resulted in the 
death of her husband. The complaintissetdown with 
a quaint minuteness which almost borders on the lu- 
dicrous; how "that the sd umquhill John Risk having 
anepaine in his briest"consultedCliddesdaill,paying 
him a fee in advance, whereupon the latter gave to the 
" defunct in two cockell shells ane potione of anti- 
monie," with instructions as to the taking of it. The 
result is thus stated : "The sd defunct made use yrof 
upon the morrow, being a Sabbath day . . . that it did 
no wayes in the least work with the sd defunct until 
Monday at aight, at which time that it wroght the de- 
funct to death." Cliddesdaill denied the charge in 
toto: but his admission that he had administered to 
the patient "some oyles and some pills" was enough 
to seal his fate. He had treated a medical case, which 
was "altogether contrair to his actof admission." He 
was therefore heavily fined, and a representation of 
the facts was ordered to be made to the Town Coun- 
cil, with what object does not appear.* 

The surgeon of the seventeenth century combined 
the duties of barber with those of surgeon, a blend of 
occupation which to modern ideas appears peculiar. 
This humbler side of the profession appears to have 

* Memorials of the Faculty of Physiciatts and Surgeons of 
Glasgow, p. 67. 

313 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

been a stumbling-block to some of its members, and 
to have endangered their salvation. But of Sunday 
shaving the Faculty had a pious horror. Again and 
again they had to put down the foot on impious bar- 
bers, who were inclined to please their patrons by 
indulging in the proscribed practice. Here is a min- 
ute of January 1676: "Thesd day, upon informaone 
given to the facultie that severall harbors, who were 
members yrof within the burgh, are prophaners of 
the Sabath by barborizing of persons yt day. They 
taking it to ther consideraone, and finding the same 
to be so gross a sin, and violaone and breach of the 
Sabath day, contrair to the word of God, and to all 
lawes both humane and di vyne. That any should take 
upon them who are members of the Incorporaone, 
and does sitt and vott w* them to comitt the same, 
being in itself mostscandelous,as it is a hielyprovok- 
ing sin, They all w* on consent doe heirby enact that 
qtever person, ether a pnt incorporat wt them, or who 
sail heireft be admitted as a member of the facultie, 
sail presume to barborize any person qtseveruponane 
Sabboth day, and he be convict yrof in presence of the 
facultie, sail for each of the first and second faultes, 
pay in to the Collector of the upsett ffourtie punds 
Scots, and upon refusal to paythesame.tobedeclarit 
no member of the facultie, and his act of admissione 
cancellit and delet. Lykeas if any sail happen to be 
so gross as be convict a third tyme, of the foresd sin, 
they do heirby declare him no member of ye sd facul- 
tie fra yt tyme furth as if he had never been admittit, 
and incapable at any tyme yreft to be readmittit, and 
his act of admission cancellit, scorit, and expungit 

314 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

furth of ther records as a prson iinworthie of being in- 
corporat in any societie, and m uch less to be a member 
of the facultie." Thislastsentencereveals adepthand 
virulence of detestation of unsanctified shaving to 
which the Faculty Clerk of the day was fortunately 
able to give adequately pungent expression.* 

In a work of general appeal, such as the present 
book, it is not appropriate to follow a learned profes- 
sion through all its development. Whatever may have 
been the case in bygone times the medical profession 
now has an honoured place in Glasgow, and numbers 
among its members scores of men whose labours and 
skill are likely to enhance the reputation of the Glas- 
gow medical practitioners. But the slow growth and 
development of the Faculty, however interesting, 
cannot be fully traced here. Those of an inquiring 
turn of mind will find the whole history of the Glas- 
gow Faculty admirably detailed in Dr. Duncan's able 
and exhaustive work. Since the days of Dr. Peter 
Lowe, the President's chair of the Royal Faculty of 
Physicians and Surgeons has been filled by a long suc- 
cession of able and eminent men in the past, and is now 
fittingly occupied by Dr. James A. Adams, a distin- 
guished son of Glasgow University, and a man who 
commands the confidence of the profession. Dr. 
Adams is full of vigour and activity, and his energies 
find outlet in various directions — all of them useful to 
his fellow-men. He holds the position of Surgeon in 
the Royal Infirmary, Glasgow. He is also Lecturer 
Examiner in Surgery in the University of Glasgow. 

* Memorials of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of 
Glasgow, p. 72. 

315 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

He further held the rank of Surg.Lieut.-Colonel.V.D., 
in the i st Lanark Rifles. From his occupancy of this 
position one would gather that, like Dr. Peter Lowe, 
Dr. Adams is a man who will maintain the rights and 
privileges of the Royal Faculty of Physicians and 
Surgeons against all dangers. 

Not so very long ago all Scotland was excited 
over the doings of Burke and Hare, and other mur- 
derers and resurrectionists ; and therefore some refer- 
ence to the question of the supply of anatomical 
subjects for dissection will not be out of place. Dr. 
Duncan writes as follows on this subject: "To an- 
other matter we must also briefly refer in this place, 
as it equally concerned the University School of 
which we have spoken and the extra-mural schools 
of which we are about to speak. The question of 
the mode in which the necessities of a large anato- 
mical school, such as existed in Glasgow for a quarter 
of a century before the passing of the Anatomy Act, 
were supplied, is inevitably suggested by the statistics 
given above (showing the number of students), and 
those to be stated in connection with the outside 
schools. The number of students studying anatomy 
in Glasgow about the year 1814 has been estimated 
as about 800. For the use of such a number almost 
the only legalized meansof obtainingsubjects wasby 
voluntary contract with relatives, from which source 
there would probably be almost no supply; and by 
claiming the victims of the gallows, the supply from 
which source was, as need not be said, wholly inade- 
quate. This raises the question whether there is any 
evidence that there existed a lack of materiel for the 

316 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

supply of the Glasgow dissecting rooms in the first 
third of the century. Atameeting of the medical pro- 
fession held in London in 1826, in reference to a re- 
form of the College of Surgeons, Mr. (afterwards Sir) 
William Lawrence said: 'But, Gentlemen, I have a 
more material objection to state, and it is to the cata- 
logue of the schools of instruction to which the privi- 
lege of recognition has been conceded — Aberdeen, 
Glasgow ! We know, gentlemen, that at least anatomy 
cannot be studied in these places with any hope of 
success. We are all, I believe, aware, and no one is 
more ready than myself to acknowledge the great 
talents and acquirements of the gentlemen at the head 
of the anatomical schools, in these places ; but we are 
also aware that they are destitute of subjects' This 
statement so definitely made at once provoked denial 
from persons in Glasgow who had evidently an inti- 
mate knowledge of the facts. It was averred that so 
far from Mr. Lawrence's assertion being true, the sup- 
ply in Glasgow was better and very much cheaper 
than in Edinburgh,and even London itself. One cor- 
respondent of the Lancet, taking a retrospect within 
his own experience, stated that in 18 14 though the 
total number studying anatomy was not less than 
8oo,he never knewastudent obliged towaitforlonger 
than three or four days before he could be provided 
for dissection, whereas in London it was a common 
experience to wait a month. He also stated from his 
knowledge that in 18 16 and 18 17 Dr. Barclay's dis- 
secting room in Edinburgh was supplied in great 
measure from that of Mr. Granville Sharp Pattison in 
Glasgow. These statements remained unchallenged, 
317 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

and we may therefore assume that even at that period 
when the dissecting rooms were most crowded, there 
existed in Glasgow no lack of anatomical material. 
There is no doubt that a varying amount of this sup- 
ply was afforded by an irregular traffic with Ireland, 
ghastly glimpses into which, through misadventure 
or inadvertence, occasionally shocked the public. 

" The remaining source of supply was the illegiti- 
mate one of clandestine exhumation. It is very diffi- 
cult now to form any proper estimate of the extent of 
' resurrectionism ' in Glasgow and the surrounding 
district. Most, if not all, of those who, as students, 
profited by, or took part in it, have departed, and few 
of them knew much beyond the doings of their own 
coteries." * 

Many stories are told of the doings of the resurrec- 
tionists, but space forbids the quotation of more than 
one or two. 

A great sensation was one winter excited by two 
medical students being found dead in bedinalodging 
in Anderston Walk. Their death was announced as 
the result of suffocation, from the damper having fallen 
over the fireplace. But as a skirmish had the previous 
night taken place in the High Churchyard, and shots 
had been exchanged, their sudden deaths were attri- 
buted to a more sudden and violent cause. Onestart- 
ling event attracted much attention. In 1814 there 
was a private anatomy class on the north side of Col- 
lege Street. The lecturers w^ere Dr. Andrew Russell 
and Dr. Granville Sharp Pattison. The former had 

* Memorials of the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons of 
Glasgow.^ p. 176. 

318 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

his dwelling in Garthland Street, the latter in Carlton 
Place. One night the grave, in the Ramshorn Yard, 
of the wife of a respectable haberdasher in Hutcheson 
Street had been disturbed, and her body removed. It 
was afterwards understood that the wrong grave had 
been opened instead of an adjacent one, where a corpse 
of a humbler citizen had been deposited. The body 
of the lady was, on a search warrant, found in the dis- 
secting room in College Street, identified by some 
curious marks. The two lecturers were tried before 
the High Court of Justiciary in Edinburgh, but ac- 
quitted because the identification did not completely 
satisfy the jury, nor were the lecturers proved to have 
been parties to the opening of the grave,* 

During resurrection times, in addition to watchers 
of graves and churchyards, trap-guns were set to scare 
the violators of the so-called last resting-places of the 
dead; but in spite of all such precautions the outrages 
were numerous. One instance is recorded of a student 
in Glasgow being killed by stumbling over one of these 
guns. He and two companions were in search of a 
body in the Blackfriars churchyard at the time of the 
fatal mishap. When he dropped dead, his fellow-stu- 
dents were horrified ; but the fear of discovery forced 
them to adopt an extraordinary method of taking 
away the body of their unfortunate friend. 

They carried it to the outside of the churchyard, and 
placed it on its feet against the wall; then they each 
tied a leg to one of theirs, and taking the corpse by the 
arms, they passed slowly along the street towards their 
lodgings, shouting and singing as if they were three 
* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow^ p. 1 6 1 , 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

roisterers returning from a carouse. Oncesafelyhome, 
the dead man was put to bed, and next morning the 
story was circulated that during the night he had 
committed suicide.* 

In these up-to-date times electricity figures largely 
in medical practice, but at the beginning of the nine- 
teenth century its uses were little understood, and men 
of science werestillatalossto comprehend fully either 
its generation or its application. The following story 
of an experiment with a galvanic battery is of interest 
in this connection. 

At the Glasgow Circuit Court in October 1819 a 
collier of the name of Matthew Clydesdale was con- 
demned to death for murder. The judge, in passing 
sentence,ordered, as was the custom , that after the exe- 
cution the body should be given to Dr. James Jeffrey, 
the lecturer on anatomy in the University, " to be 
publicly dissected and anatomised." The execution 
took place on the 4th of November following, and im- 
mediately thereafter the body of the murderer was 
taken to the College dissecting theatre, where a large 
number of students and many of the general public 
were gathered to witness an experiment it was pro- 
posed to make upon it. 

The intention was that a newly invented galvanic 
battery should be tried upon the body, and the great- 
est interest had accordingly been excited. The corpse 
of the murderer was placed in a sitting posture in a 
chair, and the handles of the instrument put into the 
hands. Hardly had the battery been set working than 
the auditory observed the chest of the dead man heave, 
* The Anecdotage of Glasgow, p. 263. 

320 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

and he rose to his feet. Some of them swooned for 
fear; others cheered at what was deemed a triumph of 
science. But the Professor, alarmed at the aspect of 
affairs, put his lancet in thethroatof themurderer,and 
he dropped into his seat. For a long time the com- 
munity discussed the question whether or not the man 
was really dead when the battery was applied. Most 
probably he was not. For in those days death on the 
scaffold was slow — there was no long drop to break 
the spinal cord ; it was simply a case of strangula- 
tion.* 

While the Faculty of Physicians and Surgeons is 
the predominant medical society in Glasgow, there is 
nevertheless a very flourishing kindred society on the 
south side of the river. It is known as the Glasgow 
Southern Medical Society, and had its origin more 
in a desire for social meetings of its members than 
in any notion of the advancement of medical science. 
No doubt the members benefit by the interchange of 
thought and opinion ; but from the start the Society 
included genial souls, and many such are still num- 
bered among its members. An interesting sketch of 
the Glasgow Southern Medical Society was written 
some time ago by Dr. John Dougall, and from it one 
gathers the impression that the ordinary meetings of 
the Society were intellectual feasts ; while the annual 
picnic raised the members to realms of pure delight. 

The Society included men of varyingattainments, 
and among the number Doctor Campbell, who pos- 
sessed an inventive turn of mind. One of the fruits of 
hisgeniuswasagastroscope — an instrument intended 

* The Anecdotage of Glasgow^ p. 226. 
321 X 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

to aid the examination of the human stomach. Un- 
fortunately.the inventorcould not find any livingsub- 
ject willing to submit to the insertion of the gastro- 
scope into his alimentary canal. Even the brethren of 
the Southern Medical Society shrank from the ordeal. 
It happened, however, that " the shows " were then at 
the foot of Saltmarket, it being Glasgow Fair, and 
amongst the various wonderful feats there performed 
was the swallowing of a sword by one of the perform- 
ers. Dr. Campbell hearingof this, naturally concluded 
that when the man could swallow a sharp, rigid, flat 
sword, he would have no difficulty in getting him to 
swallow his smooth, flexible, round gastroscope. Ac- 
cordingly, he called at the sword-swallower's booth, 
and producing his gastroscope, tackled him by ex- 
plaining its intended use, and requesting liberty to 
experiment on him with it. The showman looked 
askance at the gastroscope and shook his head in a 
mild, negative way. Dr. Campbell urged that from 
the construction of his instrument the experiment 
was perfectlyincapable of doing the Ieastinjur>' ; and 
said further that if the showman could swallow a 
sword without danger he could surely swallow the 
comparatively harmless gastroscope. But the show- 
man was inflexible, and put a damper on Dr. Camp- 
bell's ardent hopes about the future of his gastroscope 
by abruptly exclaiming, " I know I can swallow a 

sword, but I'll be if I can swallow a trumpet." * 

But if the members of the Society shrank from assis- 
ting their inventive brother they at least stood by one 

* Historical Sketch of the Glasgow SoutJiem Medical Society, 
John Dougall, M.D., p. 14. 

322 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

another in the matter of professional charges. Thus 
onefinds it minuted that " Dr. Scott mentioned a case 
at the cavalry barracks (then in Eglinton Street) which 
he attended, but the officer would only pay 2s. out of 
the 5s. which were charged." This was a situation full 
of pathos from the medical man's point of view. But 
he appears to havebeenaperson of determination and 
perseverance, for at the next meeting he read letters 
from the Board of Ordnance, to whom he had appeal- 
ed, sending him his full fee. 

The question of fees seems to have been much be- 
fore the Society about this time (i85o),forthe Society 
agreed "tokeep a 'Black Book 'of those patients who 
have failed or refused to pay their accounts." One 
gathers, however.from the Minute Book,that this plan 
was not a conspicuous success. 

Mention has already been madeof the annual picnic 
of the Society. On 21st June 1877 the Society held 
its picnicat Tillietudlem,and the joys of theoccasion 
inspired one of the members. Dr. T. F. Gilmour, to 
write the following commemorative verses : — 

" Forty doctors, bent on play, 
Pitch'd upon the longest day. 
And travelled forty miles away. 
To dine at Tillietudlem. 

The Faculty sent their right hand ; 
Th' Infirmaries were a robust band ; 
The Schools sent both their teachers and 
Their taught to Tillietudlem 

Of all the band did one M.D. 

Care not one for what might be 

His hapless patients' lot while he 
Was doing Tillietudlem, 

323 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

With sundry fluids, white and red, 
Kept going round they typified 
The circulation of the blood. 
While seeking Tillietudlem. 

With song and story, jest and prank, 
They reached the Castle, dined and drank, 
Got photographed in triple rank ; 
The background Tillietudlem. 

The Dougal Cratur led the lot. 
He evidently knew the spot, 
The fossils, strata, and what not 
That's found at Tillietudlem. 

Then some sought fossils in the glen, 
And peered through audits at the men 
Who win the coals out of the den 
That pierces Tillietudlem. 

And some had beetles on the brain. 
And searched for grubs among the grain ; 
Some wiser (?), only sought champagne 
And beer at Tillietudlem. 

How sweet the multitudinous hum 
From birds and bums and branches come 
Upon the tickled tympanum, 
Unused to Tillietudlem. 

And grudge them not the time they spent — 
The city deaths fell four per cent 
That day the forty doctors went 
To dine at Tillietudlem."* 

The following three anecdotes relating to Glasgow 
doctors will perhaps afford some amusement: — 

A wealthy citizen of Glasgow, who had the misfor- 
tune to require the frequent services of his medical 

* In view of the interesting effect of the picnic upon the vital 
statistics of the city, mentioned in the last verse, the Glasgow 
Public would not grudge its doctors an annual outing. 

324 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

man, wasin the habit of havingthe gold always ready 
in his hand wherewith to reward the doctor when he 
felt his pulse. 

One day, on the doctor making his stated visit, the 
servant, with a rueful countenance,said to himmourn- 
fully,"Allisover!" 

" Over? " re-echoed thedoctor, with sad surprise,as 
the vision of his accustomed fee flashed before his 
mind's eye; and then he added — 

"Impossible! Letmeseehim. Surely he cannot be 
dead yet; some trance or heavy sleep, perhaps." 

Accordingly the doctor was ushered into the sable 
apartment, lifted the hand of the corpse, applied the 
finger to that artery which once ebbed and flowed with 
life, gave a sorrowful shake of his head, while with dex- 
terous legerdemain he relieved from the grasp of death 
two guineas, the last fee, which in truth had been des- 
tined for him. Then,turningto those present,hesaid: 
•' Ay, ay, good folks, he is dead. There is a destiny in 
all things." 

And,full of shrewd professional sagacity,he turned 
on his heel.* 

A pious Glasgow man was fast losing his hearing. 
For weeks he had prayed that the Lord would spare 
him from this affliction. But his hearing did not im- 
prove, so he decided to go to a medical man, and learn 
what was wrong with his ears. Thedoctor understood 
the trouble, and after using a small instrument for a few 
minutes, the man recovered his hearing. He immedi- 
ately proceeded to thank God. Whereupon the doctor 
told him that there was no use expecting the Lord to 

* The Anecdotage of Glasgow, p. 357. 
325 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

clean his ears for him. He expected us to do some 
things for ourselves. 

At a Glasgow dinner everyone had contributed 
to the entertainment but a Dr. Macdonald. " Come, 
come, doctor," said the chairman; but thedoctor pro- 
tested. " My voice," he said, " resembles the sound 
caused by the act of rubbing a brick along the panels 
of a door." The company attributed this to the doctor's 
modesty. "Very well," said he finally; "ifyou can stand 
it, I am willing," and he proceeded to murder a song. 
There was a painful silence when he concluded, broken 
at length by the voice of a country practitioner at the 
endof the table. "Man,"he exclaimed, "yoursinging's 
not up to much, but your veracity's fine. Ye' re richt 
aboot that brick." 

We now live in days of fresh-air fiends and sana- 
toria ; and most people are convinced that a liberal 
supplyof ozone is beneficial to theirframes. Generally 
speaking, theeducated classes are alive to theimport- 
ance of fresh air and open windows, but medical men 
havestill a hard fight in many country and citydistricts 
to overcome popular prejudice. An admirable skit on 
this state of affairs appeared in the Glasgow Herald 
of 28th November 1 908, from the pen of Mr. Alexander 
Welsh. It is here reproduced by permission. 

The New Doctor 

Kirsty Grey came out of her cottage and closed the 
window with a bang. 

"Ay," she said, "a body's back's never turned but 
some o' they folk open the window. Gie a body their 
death o'cauld!" 

326 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

" They will that," Mrs.Stout said,shaking her head. 
" Eh, ay, whow me ! There was nane o' thae new- 
fangled ways in my young days." 

"I met that young doctor," Kirsty said vindictively, 
"gaun smilin' doon the road, an' folk wi' their death o' 
— achoo ! — death o' cauld wi' his nonsense ! " 

"Him an' his microbes an' his tubercul — tuber- 
culo — osis!" said Mrs. Stout. "There was nae mi- 
crobes when the auld doctor was here. He gied ye a 
poother, an' away to your work in the mornin'. Ay, 
yon was the man that kent aboot a body's inside. 
There was nae open windows in my young days. Gie 
folk their death o' cauld ! " 

"Theyhaeta'en heraway!" Kirsty said, looking up 
the road and nodding in the direction of a little cottage. 
" Eh, ay; puir cratur! Yon was an awfu' life, Leeb 
woman! I'mthankfu'naneo'uswere like yon. Sleepit 
nicht an' day wi' the windows open, an' the sna' some- 
times blawin' on her bed ! Eh, puir cratur! An' Mrs. 
Kempwas here near greetin', for she says the windows 
hae been up sae lang she canna get them shut. Gie a 
body their death o' cauld ! " 

"Their death o' cauld!" Mrs. Stout said, conduct- 
ing the conversation according to the most approved 
models in her style. "There was nae nonsense in my 
young days. Never a window open in my mither's 
hoose. We were weel brocht up. I f a body took con- 
sumption, the doctor didna speak aboot microbes an' 
fresh air. Na, na, Kirsty ; thae things are just sent ! " 

"Ay, puir cratur!" Mrs. Grey answered, sneezing 
violently. " But I'm thinkin' she had hersel' to blame. 
If her mind hadna been sae muckle set on the lads she 
327 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

wadna hae ta'en a dwinin'. It wasna microbes that 
did yon!" 

"Ay," Mrs. Stout said fervently. "Her mind was 
owre muckle set on Jamie Dick. Eh, she was never 
the same since he gied her the by-gae! An' a weel- 
faur'dlad!" 

"Eh, yon wasna mensfu'," Kirsty answered. " Her 
black een gaun dancin' like yon when he looked at her. 
Eh, yon wasna like an unmarried lassie!" 

"A thing Ineverdid,"saidMrs. Stout, "never. An' 
here am I, a married wife wi' eight bairns, an' five o' 
them dead, an' ane a sodjer! 

"As I was say in', she sleepit wi' the windows open. 
Yon couldna be guid for a body ! " 

" It could not," said Mrs. Grey. " I was brocht up in 
a box bed, an' my father wore a red nightcap, an' we 
drew the shutters roond us as soon as we got in. An' 
there was nae fresh air in my hoose. Gie a body 
— achoo ! — the cauld ! He disna need to tell me ; me 
that has had seven bairns — ay, an' buried them a' 
but Maggie there. I ken something aboot consump- 
tion!" 

" Thae young doctors," said Leeb, " ken naething ! 
Wants us to take baths ; wants to take away a body's 
tea. Him an' his dijestion ; says folk should drink 
some wishy-washyChina stuff that has nae mair taste 
than a pickle hay — an' me a fair martyr to indijes- 
tion ! " 

" In my mother's hoose,"said Kirsty, with the con- 
servatism of her sex, " the teapot was aye there, an' 
there it'll be in mine ! Wants to take away a body's 
tea, an' that the only comfort a woman has. But come 




DR. JAMES A. ADAMS 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

in an' hae a drap ; the teapot's been at the fire this twa 
hours, an' it's weel drawn ! " 

*' I see, Kirsty," said Leeb, hastily accepting this 
handsome offer to add to the source of her indigestion, 
" ye hae a touch o' the cauld ! " 

" I kenna whaur I got it," said Kirsty, looking has- 
tily round for a draught. " There's never a window 
open in my house, an' — achoo ! — I keep the chim- 
neys stuffed up wi' rags ! " 

The foregoing sketch simply hits off to the life the 
old-fashioned prejudice against fresh air and in favour 
of stewed tea. This chapter may fittingly conclude 
with another amusing sketch, dealing with the ques- 
tion of doctors' fees, which appeared in the Glasgow 
Herald on 31st July 1909. It also is a masterpiece in 
its way. The author is Dr. A. Leitch, and permission 
has again been kindly granted by the Editor of the 
Glasgow Herald \.o reproduce the article. 

A Benefactor to Medicine 

The flow of their conversation was interrupted by 
the car-conductor, who asked for their fares ; but, hav- 
ing contributed their pence to the Corporation reven- 
ue, the voluble lady resumed her discourse to her 
companion. 

"'Weel,' says I, 'Mrs. M'Inally,' says I, 'if you 
think I'm gaun to wash oot the close on ma ain week 
as weel as yours,' I says, ' while you are gaun aboot 
daein' the leddy,' says I, ' ye never were mair mis- 
taken since ye were born,' I says, lookin' her straicht 
atween the een. An' then I thocht I wad just gie her 
329 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

a piece o'ma mind, an' says I, 'There are some folk 
gaun aboot vvi' false teeth that hasna peyed for them,' 
says I." 

" An' whit did she say to that ? " 

" Oh, her} Shejuist glowered as if somebody had 
drawn the back o' their haun ' across her mooth. An' 
then she up and she says she didna owe a penny tae a 
livin' sowl, and that there wis no tax on teeth people 
wis born with ; an' then, says she, quite nebby like, 
tossin'herheidasmuchastosay, 'That'syinintheeye 
tae you,' she says, ' There are some folk that me and 
you kens that shifts their doctors without peyin'them 
aff,'saysshe. ' Yeimpidenttrash,'says I ; an'wi'that 
I juist slammed the door in her face. I was that mad 
it was a' I could dae tae keep my fingers aff her. That 
was a slap at me, ye ken, for sendin' for young Dr. 
M'Gilp to see oor wee Geordie when he wis no' weel. 
Dr. Thomson had seen him and said it was naething 
but a strain o' the muscles he got wi' playin' fitba'. 
That Dr. Thomson body disna pit himsel' aboot, an' 
he juist looks at ye as if ye were dirt, an' ye had nae 
bisness tae sen' for him. An' there wis wee Geordie 
lyin' there greetin' wi' pain. I says tae Dr. Thomson, 
says I, ' I ken Geordie's system better nor you. Him 
wi' muscles ! ' says I ; ' he's faur ower young tae hae 
muscles. He'll no' be seeven till next Febberwary.' 
' He'll be a' richt in a day or two,' says he, lofty like. 
* Weel,' says I, ' thenk ye for your veesit, an' we'll no' 
need ye ony main' An' wi' that he demanded hauf a 
croon. ' Whit for?' says I. Says he, 'For ma advice.' 
' I hae nae intention o' takin' your advice,' says I, ' an' 
I never pey for ony thing I dinnatak'.' Him a doctor? 

Z2>° 



OF THE MEDICAL PROFESSION 

A potty doctor ! So I juist sent for Dr. M'Gilp, my 
guid-brither's wife's doctor. An' he cam' an' saw wee 
Geordie.an' soondit him a' ower,an'gied him a bottle. 
He's a nice, ceevil-spoken sort o' a man, wi' nae airs 
aboot him, an' that kind an' affable. Wee Geordie 
juist took to him at wance." 

" Whit wis the matter wi' the laddie ? " 
" Weel, Dr. M'Gilp said, as shune as he clapped 
eyes on him, that it wis spine in the back, an' I says 
that wis juist whit I thochtmyser,an' Dr. M'Gilp said 
he wad juist catch it in time before it went tae his 
lungs. An' I declare, efter wan spoonfu' o' the medi- 
cine Geordie wis like himsel'. Aw, he's a nice man, a 
cliver, cliver doctor." 

" Whit does he chairge a veesit ? " 
" Chairge a veesit ? I canna richtly tell ye. Ye see 
ma man wisna constant workin' then, an' it wis close 
on the rent time, an' I hae juist keepit him hangin' on 
wi' wan thing an' anither, wi' John when he had a 
touch o' the liver, an' masel' when I wis doon wi' the 
broonkatics. Aw, but he's a nice, ceevil man, an' it's 
no' in him tae demand his money. They tell me that 
he had a gey sair fechttae get through the college, an' 
he kens what it is himsel'. I daur say we'll be necdin' 
him again shune for something : poor folks are aye 
in trouble. 'Deed, ay ! I wad juist sen' for him in a 
meenit whenever ony o' us are no' weel. It's best tae 
grup thae things in time." 

" But ye'll be rinnin' up an awfu' expense." 
" Aw, weel, that's true. But Dr. M'Gilp is a nice 
young man, an'he's keen ongettin'experience,yeken; 
an' I'm aye wullin'tae help thae young fellahs that 
331 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

want tae get on. Forbye, ma man is tryin' tae get 
work doon at Greenock, whaur his auld brither is, an' 
maybe we'll beshiftin' there atthe term. Glesca never 
agreed wi' me." 



CHAPTER TWELVE 
THE CHURCH 



CHAPTERTWELVE.'THECHURCH 

FROM ITS EARLIEST DAYS GLASGOW 
has been a place in which the Church figured promin- 
ently. Underthe shadow of its ancient Cathedral the 
City has flourished, many to this day believe, "by the 
preaching of the Word," as its ancient motto has it. 
Certainly the Word has been abundantly preached, 
and still is. Indeed to the modern mind it might al- 
most appear as if the preaching had at times been a 
trifle overdone, and the life of the people darkened 
unnecessarily by doctrines of wrath and destruction, 
and counsels ofgloom and austerity. Things are some- 
what changed now ; and a breadth of view prevails in 
religious matters which is calculated to give pain to 
the Shades of Zachary Boyd, and other zealous pro- 
fessors of olden times. But even yet intolerance exists 
in the community,and quite recently the kirk-session 
of St. Mary's U.F. Church, Govan, decided to admit 
none buttotal abstainers to the eldership. Those who 
know Govan will admit most readily that the Burgh 
is not exactly a home of teetotalism, and that a pro- 
pagation of the doctrines of abstinence will do more 
good than harm. Still the absolute exclusion from the 
eldership of any man who may take a modest glass of 
claret savours of intolerance. Indeed, as pointed out 
by the Glasgow Herald, this decision erects a barrier 
which would have excluded John Knox from the eld- 
ership. In his account of the Reformer's last illness 
Richard Bannatyne asserts that on " Setterday, John 
Durie and Archibald Stewart came in about 1 2 hours, 
not knowing how sick he (Knox) was ; and for their 
cause he cametothe table, which was the last time that 
335 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

ever he sat at ony thereafter; for he caused pierce one 
hogshead of wine which was in the cellar, and willed 
thesaid Archibald send for thesameso longas itlasted, 
for he would never tarry until it were drunken." From 
this one must conclude that Knox was not an ardent 
teetotaler ; but of course he did not know Govan, and 
the Govanite. 

Perhaps the earliest Glasgow Presbyterian divine 
of distinction was the well-known Zachary Boyd, who 
was rector of the University during the years 1634- 
45. Zachary was born in Carrick, Ayrshire, in 1585. 
He was descended from the Boyds of Pinkell in that 
district, and was cousin to Andrew Boyd, Bishop of 
Argyle, and to the Rev. Robert Boyd of Trochrig, 
another eminent divine in the seventeenth century, 
and a native of Glasgow. 

He relates the following anecdote in one of his ser- 
mons, which shows his strong opposition to the Pap- 
acy, and at the same time his bold outspoken manner, 
"In the time of the French persecution," he says, " I 
came by the sea to Flanders ; and as I was sailing from 
Flanders to Scotland, a fearful tempest arose which 
made our mariners reel to and fro, and stagger like 
drunken men. In the meantime there was a Scots 
Papist who lay near mee, while the ship gave a great 
shake ; I observed the man ; and after the Lord had 
sent a calm, I said tohim," Sir, now yee see the weak- 
ness of your religion ; as long as yee are in prosperitie 
yee cry to this sainct and that sainct ; in your great 
danger I heard yee cry often, Lord ! Lord ! but not a 
word yee spake of our Lady ! " 

In 1623 Boyd was appointed ministerof the Barony 

336 




ZACHARY BOYD 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

Parish, for which the crypts beneath the Cathedral 
Church then served as a place of worship — a scene 
well fitted by its sepulchral gloom to add to the im- 
pressiveness of his Calvinistic eloquence. 

As an illustration of his fearlessness as a pulpit ora- 
tor, one may recall that when he preached before the 
great Protector, Oliver Cromwell, on one of the latter's 
two visits to Glasgow, he did not mince his words. 
The incident is thus related by Bailie : " Cromwell, 
with the whole body of his army, comes peacefully to 
Glasgow. The magistrates and ministers all fled a- 
way ; I got to the Isle of Cumray with my Lady Mont- 
gomery ; but left all my family and goods to Crom- 
well's courtesy, which, indeed, was great, for he took 
such measures with the soldiers that they did less dis- 
pleasure at Glasgowthan if they had been at London, 
though Mr. Zachary Boyd railed on them all to their 
very face in the High Church." 

Besides being a fearless and eloquent preacher, Mr. 
Boyd was a voluminous author ; and his writings dis- 
play, even more fully, his quaint,vigorous, and original 
habit of mind. His language was often more vigorous 
than elegant. He wrote a metrical version of the 
Psalms, and tried hard to get it adopted by the Pres- 
byteries and Assembly, but in this hewas disappoint- 
ed, as on 23rd November 1649 Rous's version, revis- 
ed and improved, was sanctioned by the Commission, 
with authority of the General Assembly, and any 
other discharged from being used in the churches, or 
in their families. Boyd also wrote two volumes of 
poetry, under the title o( Zions Flowers, or Christian 
Poems for Spiritual Edification. The following ex- 
337 Y 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

tract from these Flowers of Z ion is a specimen of his 
rough, coarse, unconscious humour, ahhough he gen- 
erally wrote in a finer strain : — 

Jonah in the Whale's Belly 

" Here apprehended, I in prison ly ; 
What goods will ransom my captivity ? 
What house is this, where's neither coal nor candle, 
Where I nothing but guts of fishes handle ? 
I and my table are both here within. 
Where day neere dawned, where sunne did never shine ; 
The like of this on earth man never saw, 
A living man within a monster's maw — 
Buried under mountains which are high and steep, 
Plunged under waters hundreth fathoms deep. 
Not so was Noah in his house of tree. 
For through a window he the light did see ; 
He sailed above the highest waves — a wonder, 
I and my boat are all the waters under ; 
He in his ark might go and also come, 
But I sit still in such a straitened roome 
As is most uncouth, head and feet together, 
Among such grease as would a thousand smother. 
I find no way now for my shrinking hence. 
But here to lye and die for mine offence. 
Eight prisoners were in Noah's hulk together, 
Comfortable they were, each one to another ; 
In all the earth like unto me is none. 
Far from all living, I heere lye alone, 
This grieves me most, that \ for grievous sinne 
Incarcer'd lye within this floating inn." * 

Boyd was an avowed Nonconformist, and publish- 
ed a poem on the defeat of the Royal army at New- 
burn. The following lines will illustrate its singular 
style and peculiar sentiments : — 

* Popular Traditiofis of Glasgow^ ?• 45- 

338 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

"In this conflict, which was both sowre and surily, 
Bones, blood, and brains went in a hurly-burly ; 
All was made Hodge-podge, some began to croole. 
Who fights for prelats is a beastly foole." 

The subject of Jonah appears to have possessed an 
especial fascination for the reverend poet, and the fol- 
lowing extract from his metrical version of the Bible 
may cause some Paisley poets to writhe with envy : — 
" That said : they Jonah took at last. 

Both by the feet and head, 

And overboard they did him cast, 

Into the sea with speed. 

But God in mercy did perceive 

That he, who by the lot 

Appointed was to die, should have 

A whale to be his boat. 

Therefore he made the whale quicklie. 

His mouth to open wide. 

Him to receive, as soon as hee 

Came down from the ship's side. 

That was the fish to Jonah made 

A house and als a prison ; 

Where three days and three nights he had 

Of trembling fears great reason. 

Then were his prayers his repast, 

Wherein he did excell. 

While in that prison he lay fast 

The belly ev'n of Hell. 

Here was his chamber and his hall, 

His pantry and his palace, 

'Mongst rolling fishes great and small. 

As herrings, mullets, crefish. 

A miracle how in that hall 

He still remained raw, 

And was not even digested all, 

Within that monster's mavve. 

339 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

The whale him carried still about, 
Among the weedes and sand, 
And did at last him vomit out 
All safe upon the land." 

After consideration of the Reverend Zachary's vol- 
uminous writings both in prose and verse, one is dis- 
posed to agree with the assertion which he makes re- 
garding himself in the following verse : — 
" There was a man called Job 
Dwelt in the land of Uz. 
He had a guid gift of the gob, 
The same thing happens us." 

The religious feelings of the people of Glasgow, dur- 
ing the first half of the last century, are well illustrated 
in many diaries which were kept by certain of the citi- 
zens, and the following extract from the diary of Mr. 
George Brown, merchant in Glasgow, gives a picture 
of the manner in which a Sunday was spent in Glas- 
gow in those days. 

" Sabbath-day, Nov. lo, 1745. — Rose about seven 
in the morning — called on the Lord by prayer — read 
the 9th chapter of Job — then attended to family wor- 
ship, and again prayed to the Lord for his gracious 
presence to be with me through the whole of the day, 
and went to church at ten of the clock — joined in the 
public prayers and praises in the assembly ofthe saints 
— heard the I7thchapter of Revelations lectured up- 
on, and sermon from the 8ist Psalm, 13th and 14th 
verses. In the interval of public service I thought on 
what I had heard, and wrote down some ofthe heads 
of it; went again to the house ofthe Lord, and heard 
sermon from the same text — came home and retired, 
and thought on the sermon. About five at night joined 

340 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

in family worship and afterwards supped — then retir- 
ed again and wrote down some things I had been hear- 
ing — then read the 9th chapter of Romans, and pray- 
ed ; after this I joined in social worship a second time, 
and went to keep the public guard of the City at ten 
o'clock at night." 

Thus it appears that, besides his private devotions, 
this worthy merchant heard two sermons and a lec- 
ture, and attended family worship three times ! A 
second extract gives a curious insight into the char- 
acter of his religion : — 

"Forthese two orthree days," says he, "I have been 
in much perplexity concerning my duty with respect 
to the rebellion; whether I was called to rise up in arms 
in defence of my religion and liberty,and goon my own 
charge to Stirling or elsewhere as a volunteer for that 
end or not. The reasons that sometimes inclined me 
to one side, and at other times to the contrary, I de- 
sign to write down in full,ifthe Lord will, afterwards." 

This "afterwards," like most "convenient seasons," 
seems never to have arrived, at least there is no trace 
of it in the MSS. Mr. Brown, however, did go to Fal- 
kirk, but in the matter oi arms,thQ only thing he took 
to, like the rest of his party, was " his heels ! " * 

" All ecclesiastical life had vastly altered when the 
eighteenth century closed. There was as much trans- 
formation in the feelings, opinions, andhabits of lifeas 
in the habits of dress — in the change from grey home- 
spun clothing and coloured cravats of ministers, who 
strode the Trongate in 1700, to the brown wigs or 
powdered hair, the cocked hat, black single-breasted 

* Glasgow and its Clubs ^ p. 284. 
341 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

coat, frills and ruffles, knee-breeches, and silver-buck- 
led shoes of the City ministers who walked the pave- 
ment of Glasgow Cross in 1 800. The characteristic in- 
stitution the 'Scotch Sabbath' had been modified in 
its observance from the rigid days. It was not uncom- 
mon for clergymen in Edinburgh and Glasgow to 
have their friends attheir genial suppers on Sundays, 
or after family worship at home to pass through the 
dimly-lighted streets to bright gatherings of gentle- 
men in the flats. It is true that stricter persons mourn- 
ed over such degenerate city ways. It was noted with 
sadness that the streets were not silent and deserted 
on the Sunday as of old, that barbers trimmed and 
carried home, on the Lord's Day, the gentlemen's 
wigs ; that the churches were not full as once they were, 
and it became as fashionable for gentry to stay away 
from worship as it had formerly been for them to at- 
tend it. Indifference to religious forms, with more lax- 
ity of talk, faith, and morals, was lamented as the pre- 
vailing mark of these latter days." * 

Prominent about this time among Glasgow manu- 
facturers was Mr. James Monteith, who has always 
been considered the first manufacturer who worked a 
muslin web ; muslins of cotton yarn from the mule 
jenny having been first made in Anderston in 1785. 
Of this gentleman, to whom Glasgow is so deeply in- 
debted for the first step he took in the cotton manu- 
facture, and who was the father of so many sons who 
emulated their parent's talents, many curious anec- 
dotes have been told. Among these it may be men- 
tioned, that it was to Mr. Monteith's declining to 
* Social Life of Scotland in the Eighteenth Century^ p. 364. 

342 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

stand Church censure that the Anderston Relief 
Church owes its establishment. The attempt to cen- 
sure him arose from the circumstance of himself and 
his wife, when one day proceeding to their usual place 
of worship (the Dissenting church in Duke Street), 
having turned aside into the Tron Church of the Es- 
tablishment, on account of being overtaken in a very 
heavy shower. For this grievous offence both he and 
his lady were ordered to stand a sessional rebuke, 
which Mr. Monteith would not submit to ; and a paper 
war having ensued, the result was the establishment 
oftheReliefChurch,ofwhich Mr. Monteith continued 
to be a manager till within a few years of his death. 
Although of late we have seen much sectarian bitter- 
ness, it was at least equalled, during the last century, 
betwixt Dissenting bodies now happily united. This 
may be well illustrated by the following occurrence, 
which took place in the Anderston Relief Church. 
Mr. Stewart, the clergyman, who was said to be a son 
of the Pretender, after preaching the action sermon, 
and serving the first table, took his staff in hand and 
walked into the churchyard to hear the tent preach- 
ing, where he encountered two boys riding on one of 
the gravestones; and having lifted his stick and pur- 
sued one of them, the other cried out, " Weel done — 
thrash him weel — his father's an Antiburger — he has 
nae richt to be here 1 " Asa further instance of the pre- 
valence of this antagonistic feeling, it may be stated, 
that when the Antiburger Church was undergoing 
some repairs, accommodation was given betwixt the 
usual diets in the Anderston Relief Church ; but the 
sermons there delivered , although by their own clergy- 
343 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

man, were not relished, but described as " grand ser- 
mons, but out of a foul dish ! " * 

Dr. Strang gives a vivid account of a bold attempt 
which was made by Dr. Ritchie, of St. Andrew's 
Church, in 1806, backed by the whole of his fashion- 
able and intelligent congregation, to obtain the use of 
an organ, as an accompaniment to the Church psal- 
mody. " The proposal was brought in regular form be- 
fore the Heritors, by a memorial addressed to the 
Magistrates and Council, who, knowing full well the 
intolerant spirit that has too frequently characterised 
the West of Scotland, and rendered it ever a prey to 
over-zealous churchmen — refused to giveanydeliver- 
ance thereon, until a guidingreport could be obtained 
on the matter from their then new and able legal ad- 
viser, Mr. Reddie. Before, however, the opinion of the 
cautious Assessor could be got, some bigoted and gos- 
siping councillor noised abroad the sacrilegious pro- 
ject, which immediately roused the intolerant spiritof 
the Glasgow Presbytery, who at once saw, in this re- 
form, the most insidious and fatal of all engines to 
destroy the venerable Kirk of Scotland. The ' Church 
in danger ' was now the clerical cry, and the cry was 
made loud enough to excite not only a commotion 
throughout the whole Presbyterian district, but an 
angry discussion at every tea and dinner table in 
the City. Every old tabby in the town was heard 
lamenting the deep degeneracy of modern times, 
and whistling through her false teeth anathemas 
against the emulators of ' whistling- kirks ' ; while 
good religious men, who knew much better, were un- 
* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 462, 

344 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

happily seen pandering to the vulgar prejudices of 
the moment. 

" At length the first Town Clerk laid his long and 
well-concocted opinion on the Council table, in which 
hestated that, while he personally had no possible ob- 
jections to, nay, rather approved of, the introduction 
of the organ into church worship, he, at the sametime, 
as the legal adviser of the Corporation, must counsel 
the Magistrates neither to interfere in norconsiderthe 
matter in question, ay, and until the sanction of the 
Ecclesiastical Court be obtained for such an innova- 
tion in the public worship of the Kirk of Scotland. It 
may be easily supposed that the ad vicegiven was most 
greedily adopted, by a Council who had each totally 
distinct views on the s ubject, and the consequence was 
that Dr. Ritchie's memorial lay on the table without 
any official answer. In the course of time, however, 
the lovers of harmony showed that they were not to be 
baulked by the abettors of discord; and, without fur- 
ther leave being asked from either Council or Presby- 
tery, an organ was placed in St. Andrew's Church, and 
the congregation, as fearless of the taunts of hetero- 
doxy as of clerical threats and denunciations, joined 
the full-toned diapason in the Old Hundredth Psalm, 
on the last Sunday of August 1 807. 

" On hearing that this overt and unpardonable act 
had been committed, the Presbytery were aroused to 
madness, while Provost M'Kenzie, equally inflamed, 
summoned the Council to action. The lengthy cor- 
respondence which had taken place between the chief 
magistrate and the minister of St. Andrew's Church, 
relative to playing the organ on the Sunday in ques- 
345 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

tion,\vas read and considered; and, while the Provost 
loudly protested against so great and grievous an off- 
ence, committed by this refractory portion of the Kirk, 
theTown Council, at the same time, merely agreed not 
to withdraw the formal intimation which had been 
made of the fact to the Presbytery. Matters con- 
tinued in this rather unsatisfactory state till the 8th 
January 1808, when Dr, Ritchie received an ap- 
pointment to the High Church of Edinburgh; and, 
having no doubt been already sufficiently disgusted 
with the conduct of certain of the co-presbyters, he 
at once accepted the call to the capital, and left pos- 
terity to fight at some more favourable epoch, for that 
which he had so manfully but unsuccessfully advo- 
cated."* 

Glasgow Cathedral is one of the few ecclesiastical 
edifices of note which escaped the destroying zeal of 
the Reformers. But it only escaped narrowly. As 
Denholm puts it : "This stately edifice was preserved 
from destruction bythe townsmen at the Reformation, 
who.though zealous Reformers, listened to the judici- 
ous remonstrance of their chief magistrate, ' I am for 
pulling down the High Church, but not till we have 
built a new one ! '" That " new one," fortunately, never 
was built ; and the ancient Cathedral remains to this 
day, at once a reminder of ancient times, and a stimu- 
lus to the present generation. 

But the Cathedral .though erected to spread a gospel 

of peace and goodwill, has witnessed scenes of strife 

and hatred. It may suffice to mention one incident. 

About the end of the sixteenth century the Rev. Mr. 

* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 550. 

346 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

Montgomerie of Stirling was presented to the Cathe- 
dral as Bishop. The Provost and several of the lead- 
ing burgesses proceeded to the church to have him 
inducted, and found the pulpit already occupied by- 
Mr. Howie of Cambuslang, who declined to vacate 
in favour of the Bishop. A scuffle ensued in church, 
where some blood was shed. The reverend gentle- 
man was dragged from the pu Ipit and shamefully mal- 
treated ; his beard being torn, and several of his teeth 
knocked out. From this incident it would appear that 
"methods of peaceful persuasion" are not so modern 
as one has supposed. 

That witty Frenchman Max O'Rell once visited 
the Cathedral. He wrote of his visit as follows: — 

"Religion is still sterner in Scotland than in Eng- 
land. It is arid, like the soil of the country ; angular, 
like the bodies of the inhabitants ; thorny, like the 
National Emblem of Scotland. One Sunday I went 
to Church in Glasgow. The preacher chose for his 
text the passage from St. Matthew's Gospel, com- 
mencing with ' No man can serve two masters,' and 
ending' Ye cannot serve God and Mammon.' About 
three thousand worshippers, careworn and devoured 
by the thirst for lucre, listened unmoved to the dia- 
tribes of the worthy pastor, and were preparing by a 
day of rest, for the headlong race after wealth that 
they were going to resume on the morrow. What a 
never-ending theme is the contempt for riches ! What 
sermons in the desert, preached by Bishops with 
princely pay, or poor curates who treat Fortune as 
Master Reynard treated certain grapes that hung out 
of his reach ! I was never more edified than on that 
347 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Sunday in Glasgow, especially when the assembly 

struck up 

' O Paradise ! O Paradise ! 
, 'Tis weary waiting here ; 

I long to be where Jesus is, 
To feel, to see him near.' " 

One can readily understand that a Scots Presbyter- 
ian service would not appeal to a Frenchman. But the 
text was undeniably appropriate in addressinga Glas- 
gow congregation. It is doubtless true, in the words 
of the text, that we cannot serve God and Mammon. 
But some people in Glasgow try very hard to do both. 
So far as Mammon is concerned their worship is quite 
genuine. 

The old bell of the Cathedral has, like its church, 
seen vicissitudes. Denholm gives the following ac- 
count of it. 

In the winter of 1789 this bell having been acci- 
dentally cracked by someperson who had got admis- 
sion to the steeple, it was taken down and sent to 
London, where in the following year it was refounded 
by Meats. On the outside is the following inscrip- 
tion : — 

In the year of Grace 

1594, 

Marcus Knox, 

A Merchant in Glasgow, 

Zealous for the interest of the Reformed Religion, 

Caused me to be fabricated in Holland 

For the use of his fellow-citizens of Glasgow, 

and placed me with solemnity 

In the Tower of their Cathedral. 

My function 

Was announced by the impress on my bosom, 

348 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

Me aiidito venius Docirinain Sanctam ut Discus, 

And 

I was taught to proclaim the hours of unheeded time. 

195 years had I sounded these awful warnings, 

When I was broken 

By the hands of inconsiderate and unskilful men. 

In the year 1790, 

I was cast into a furnace, 

Refounded at London, 

And returned to my sacred vocation.* 

No chapter upon the subject of the Church in Glas- 
gow could be more suitably illustrated than by the 
portrait of the present minister of Glasgow Cathedral, 
the Very Rev. Pearson Mc Adam Muir, D.D., Chaplain 
in Ordinary to the King. Dr. Mc Adam Muir comes 
of clerical stock, being the youngest son of the Rev. 
John Muir, minister of Kirkmabreck, Galloway. Dr. 
McAdam Muir is an old Glasgow High School boy, 
and was also a student of Glasgow University, which 
he entered in 1861. He was duly licensed by the 
Presbytery of Glasgow, and acted first as assistant to 
the Rev. Dr. Lawrieof Monkton, and afterwardsto the 
Rev. Jas. Cruikshank of Stevenston. On 22nd Sept- 
ember 1 870 he was ordained at Catrine, Ayrshire ; but 
apparently his gifts were such that he was not destined 
to remain long in any one parish, for in 1 872 he was 
translated to Polmont, Stirlingshire. From there, in 
1 880, he was translated to Morningside Parish, Edin- 
burgh ; and finally, in 1896, he was appointed to Glas- 
gow Cathedral. The highest honour of the Church 
was bestowed upon him in 1 9 1 o, in which year he be- 
came Moderator of the General Assembly, and also 

*DQvi\xo\xii's History 0/ Glasgow, p. 153. 
349 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Chaplain in Ordinary to H.M. the King. Dr.McAdam 
Muir has also been active out of the pulpit,as he has lec- 
tured on Pastoral Theology in all four Scottish Uni- 
versities. He has further quite a numberof published 
works to his credit, including The Churchof Scotland^ 
a Sketch of its History ; Religious Writers of Eng- 
la7id ; Modern Substitutes for Christianity, etc. etc. 
In his hands the reputation of the Cathedral pulpit 
is worthily upheld. 

The churches of Glasgow are numerous, but few of 
them are in any sense historical. In any case, stories 
of men are generally of greater human interest than 
stories of buildings. Accordingly the following tales 
of Glasgow ministers may be read with interest. 

The Act of Union was bitterly opposed in Scotland, 
though one might have expected that a nation with 
a reputation for commercial shrewdness would have 
been alive to the advantages that would follow that 
measure. Glasgow grew to greatness because of the 
Union. But so little was this foreseen that the Com- 
mission of the General Assembly appointed a fast to 
be held on Thursday, 7th Nov. 1705, to implore the 
Divine protection from what was considered an im- 
pending calamity. On this occasion Mr. James Clark, 
the minister of the Tron Church, Glasgow, preached 
from these words in Ezra viii. 21 : " Then I proclaim- 
ed a fast there, at the river Ahava, that we might 
afflict ourselves beforeour God, to seek of him a right 
way for us, and for our little ones, and for all our sub- 
stance." After the discourse was finished, the preacher 
said, " Wherefore, up, and be gallant for the city of 
God!" The people instantly rose, and, being joined 

350 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

by those from other towns, armed themselves, and 
burned the proposed Articles of Union. They then 
resolved to take their way to Edinburgh and dissolve 
the Parliament. Meantime the Privy Council had 
issued a proclamation against riots, and ordered the 
guard to fire on the discontented. Soon after this 
the ministry, in consequence of the defection of a 
number of the nobility and gentry who had formerly 
favoured the popular feeling against the Union, suc- 
ceeded in obtaining a majority, and the articles were 
passed by the Scottish Parliament on the 3rd Octo- 
ber 1706, on which occasion the Duke of Queens- 
berry, who was a great supporter of the Union, dis- 
solved that ancient assembly, and Scotland from 
that time ceased to be a separate and independent 
kingdom.* 

Thefollowingquaint discourse is said to have been 
delivered, on Glasgow Green, by the Rev. John 
Aitken : — 

"Well,mydear friends, many editions of the follow- 
ing able discourse on the Life of Man may be found 
scattered here and there ; But I select and give you 
this as one of the best in my round of duty and labour 
of love. Please take the text, as near as may be, from 
Job, chap. V. ver. 6, and attend to these words — Man 
is born unto trouble, as the sparks fly upward ; and 
also Job, chap. i. ver. 21. In discoursing, my beloved 
hearers, from these words, I shall carefully observe 
the following things: — 

Firstly, Man's ingress into the world. 

* History of the Incorporation of Cordiners in Glasgow, 
W. Campbell, p. 236. 

351 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

Secojtdly, His progress through the world. 
Thirdly, His egress out of the world. 
" To explain, my brethren — 

1st. Man's ingress into the world 

Is naked and bare : 
2nd. His progress through the world 

Is trouble and care : 
3rd. His egress out of the world 

Is nobody knows where. 

" To conclude — 

We shall all do well there, if we but do well here ; 

I could tell you no more, did I preach a whole year."* 

That eccentric radical divine.the Rev.Neil Douglas 
of Glasgow, while engaged, one sultry day, denoun- 
cing in hot and fiery terms Lord Sidmouth and the 
Tory ministry of the time, during his discourse was 
very much tormented with flies, which kept buzzing 
round him. At length he wound up a grand outpour- 
ingof invective and prophecy of evil to come, with the 
exclamation — 

"Yes, assuredly, they will all perish and go to per- 
dition, just as surely as I catch this fly !" 

And, so saying, he made an adroit effort to catch 
one of the buzzers with his hand; but on carefully open- 
ing it to look, he ejaculated — 

"Fegs, I've missed; thereis a chance for them yet."f 

In the course of a sermon which he preached before 
the Associate Synod at Glasgow,the witty and learned 
Rev. James Robertson, who was for nearly half a cen- 
tury minister of the Secession Church in Kilmarnock, 

* The Anecdotage of Glasgow, p. 195. 
t Ibid. p. 223. 

352 




The Very REV. P. M'ADAM MUIR, D.D. 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

introduced the possibility of a French invasion as a 
punishment for national sin ; and while admitting the 
immoral character of the infliction, he assured his 
hearers that — 

" Providence was not always nice in the choice of in- 
struments for punishing the wickedness of men. Tak'," 
he continued, " an example frae among yoursel's. 
Your magistrates dinna ask certificates o' character 
for their public executioners. They generally select sic 
clamjam^phrie as hae rubbit shouthers wi' the gal- 
lows themsel's. And as for this Bonaparte," he added, 
"I've tell'd ye, my freens, what was the beginning o' 
that man, and I'll tell ye what will be the end o' him. 
He'll come doon like a pockfu' o' goats' horns at the 
Broomielaw!"* 

Regarding the ministers of Glasgow one may find 
many interesting and amusing stories. 

In 1785 Dr. Rankin became minister of the North 
West Parish of Glasgow, in which charge hecontinued 
till his death, which took place 23rd February 1827. 
He was the author of several works, among others the 
History of France and the Institutes of Theology. Al- 
though he was a most laborious compiler, he want- 
ed sufficient genius to be a historian. His Histoiy of 
France is a correct but very ponderous production, 
and, as such, fell still-born from the press. Like most 
authors, however, the Doctor loved his most rickety 
progeny the most, andbeinganxioustodiscover what 
the world thought of his work, he imagined he could 
best do so by applying to the librarian of Stirling's 
Library. With this view he entered Hutcheson's Hos- 

* The Anecdotage of Glasgow., p. 205. 
353 2 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

pital, where the Rev. Mr. Peat sat as librarian, — a man 
of rather a harsh and sarcastic disposition, — and, in 
order better to conceal his connection with a work of 
which he was eager to get an opinion, he on enter- 
ing merely put the following query: "Pray, Mr. Peat, 
is Dr. Rankin's History of France in ? " To which 
the caustic librarian curtly replied, " It never was 
out!"* 

The Rev. Dr. Love was a strict Sabbatarian. His 
house was in Robertson Street, then partially built on 
the east side, with a pasture-field on the opposite side. 
In going to and from his church he admonished all 
stragglers whom he suspected to be desecrating the 
Sabbath. I n the year 1 8 1 9, during the so-called " Ra- 
dical Rebellion," on a Sabbath, a great concourse sur- 
rounded and were reading a large seditious placard 
posted on a tavern at the foot of York Street. The 
Doctor solemnly moved into the midst of the crowd, 
put on his spectacles, and earnestly began to read the 
poster, when he suddenly exclaimed, "You, like me, 
are all wrong. This is not, as we had thought, a Bible 
lesson, but something very different." It is needless to 
add thatthe people speedily skedaddled. On another 
Sabbath he met with a little boy amusing himself on 
the water-side grass, where now the harbour exists. 
The Doctor inquiringly asked, " Laddie, can you tell 
me where all the boys go who play on the Sabbath?" 
The smart boy archly replied, " Maisto'them go to the 
Green; but as for me, I like better the water-side." 

A Glasgow minister connected with the Secession 
Church was riding along the road one day, and had on 
* Glasgow and its Clubs, p. 194. 

354 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

a cloak of rather an extraordinary make and pattern, 
cape upon cape like theoutworks of aregularfortifica- 
tion; so that when the rain had got possession of one 
fold it had a fresh one to encounter. The winds were 
trying their full power to turn this tailor's barricade 
into ridicule, and were blowing the capes in all direc- 
tions, when an English gentlemen came up mounted 
on a very spirited horse, which, never having been 
trained to such sights, took alarm and almost threw 
his rider. 

" Why, man," said John Bull, " that cloak o' yours 
would frighten the Devil." "Weel," replied the minis- 
ter, "that's just my trade."* 

A Glasgow gentleman, Mr. R., when in London at 
onetime, went with two intimate friends, Dr. Jerment, 
of the United Secession Church, London, and Mr. 
Thomas Hart, of Glasgow, to see the modern Jewish 
mode of worship, as conducted in the London Syna- 
gogue. Mr. R., an excellent Hebraist, lent his ears 
with the most marked attention visible in his counte- 
nance, to hear whether the high priest, who was actu- 
ally presiding, read according to the received mean- 
ing. Mr. Hart observed to Dr. Jerment, " I fear. Doc- 
tor, from Mr. R.'s manner, that he is about to speak." 
"Oh, surely not, replied the Doctor. Immediately 
afterwards, Mr. R. addressed the high priest, and 
challenged the correctness of his reading. The de- 
scendant of Levi asked whether the person who had 
interrupted him could read Hebrew,when Dr. Jerment 
replied in the affirmative. The Hebrew Scriptures 
were immediately handed over to Mr. R., who received 

* Laird o' Logan^ p. 1 97. 
355 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

the sacred volume,and turning up the 5 3rd chapter of 
Isaiah, read a portion with much propriety, and even 
elegance, to which the high priest paid great atten- 
tion, and appeared to be much surprised. Mr. R. then 
improving this opportunity, commenced exposition, 
when the priest interrupted him and told him that he 
could not be permitted to offer any comment. Mr. R. 
then returned the volume, and taking his leave, shook 
hands with the priest,remarking, "The dayis coming 
when Jew and Gentile will be of one mind in the in- 
terpretation of this passage of the prophet." * 

The Secession Church at one time encouraged their 
students to attend the medical classes and to qualify 
themselves to take degrees in medicine as well as in 
theology. Those located in rural districts found the 
qualifications very useful. Several of their ministers 
who were recognised as doctors were not D.D., but 
M.D. The profane used to style them, not Doctors 
oi Divinity, but Doctors oi Drugs. Dr. Beattie, when 
he applied for his diploma, was told plainly, but 
seemingly in earnest, as in kindness by one of the 
Medical College, that it was resolved to be as severe 
with the ecclesiastical aspirants to degrees as with 
those who intended to prosecute the medical profes- 
sion, as hitherto the former had been too much fav- 
oured. His friend advised Mr. Beattie to read well 
up, Vv^hich he accordingly did for many nights. When 
the solemn day of examination arrived, one of the 
examiners, with grave visage, put to the young min- 
ister some such questions as the following : " Sup- 
pose you are in some remote district, and a man is 
* Laird d Loga7i, p. 1 2. 

356 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

brought to the manse who was found lying on the 
highway in a state of almost unconsciousness. You 
find that his symptoms have been of long duration. 
His chief symptom, when brought to you, was exces- 
sive bulemia. But the cutaneous surface is cool, there 
is no polydepsia, and he has lapsed into a somewhat 
apatheticcondition on accountof theattenuatedstate 
of the liquor sanguinis transuding the capillaries of 
the cerebral hemispheres." The examiner continued 
todescribethepathology in still more involved terms, 
and then suddenly asked what treatment Mr. Beattie 
would, as a medical man, propose for instant relief. 
Mr. Beattie, after pondering the question proposed, 
but still perplexed and perspiring, in a state of be- 
wilderment, suggested bleeding and powerful purg- 
ing. The examiners in one voice exclaimed, in ap- 
parent indignation, " Oh, young man, your patient 
would die in your hands ! " Mr, Beattie begged that 
the question should be repeated, which was done, but 
in still more involved and technical terms. At length 
he perceived the joke, and at once replied, " I rather 
think, gentlemen, that the symptoms are those of 
extreme hunger and consequent exhaustion, and the 
best mode of treatment should be to replace the vacu- 
um with the. plenum, and I would therefore prescribe 
a good dinner." The examiners at once exclaimed 
the answer was most satisfactory, and that they 
would greatly enjoy the remedy. The dinner had 
already been prepared, in the Buck's Head Inn, and 
only waited the result of the examination, and was 
therefore partaken of with much enjoyment, not less- 
ened because of the practical joke which had been 
357 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

perpetrated on the young doctor, who well earned 
his diploma.* 

The Rev. Peter Henderson, who was at one time a 
minister in Pollokshaws, was on intimate terms with 
" Hawkie," the well-known street wit. They met in 
the poorhouse, where Mr. Henderson was in the habit 
of visiting before he was licensed to preach. After be- 
ing licensed he was to start on a travelling mission to 
some out-of-the-way district which would take him 
away for six months. He paid a visitto the poorhouse 
to give the matron the news, and found " Hawkie" sit- 
ting by the fire and reading to her from Allan Ram- 
say's Gentle Shepherd. 

The matron expressed regret that Mr. Henderson 
was about to leave them, but pleasure at his advance- 
ment ; adding, " But, dear me, you are a young man 
to be entrusted with such a sacred mission." Mr. Hen- 
derson was rather flattered by this remark, and, as 
" Hawkie" was surveying him very steadfastly, he ex- 
pected that the mendicant shared these sentiments. 
But lifting up his book, " Hawkie" observed, " Ou ay; 
he'll do weel enough. The man will no' be sax weeks 
at it till he be fleyin' the puir creatures wi' hell the 
same as if he had been born in't and brocht up in't a' 
his days." f 

The late Rev. Dr. Wardlaw, when a young man, 
was fair to look upon ; and, like the early fathers of 
the Congregational denomination, he now and again 
went on a tour through the country to preach the gos- 
pel. Inthesummer of 1811 theyoung preacher visit- 

* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgoiv, p. 135. 
■\ Reminiscences 0/ Eighty Years, p. 54. 

358 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

ed Banff on atour through the North of Scotland, and 
was by no means strictly clerical in his costume, but 
wore topped boots and other articles of dress corre- 
sponding to the necessitiesof a journey onhorseback. 
This circumstance, added to the remarkably elegant 
appearance of the preacher, rather stumbled the faith 
of a lady, one of the old school. She looked aghast 
as she saw theyoungminister ascendthe pulpitstairs; 
but as he entered on his subject she was seen to be- 
come most grave and attentive. When he had finish- 
ed his discourse she looked round to another lady — a 
person of an exceedingly different cast of mind — and 
exclaimed — 

" Oh, woman ! was na that a great sermon for sic a 
young man ? But oh, he's o'er braw and bonny ! " 

" O'er braw!" replied the lady addressed ; "fat sig- 
nifies a man's claes, if there be plenty o' furniture in's 
mind ? And to find fault wi' the dear young man be- 
cause he's bonny is something like a reflection on 
the Creator Himsel'," — a rebuke both reverent and 
sensible.* 

Some little time ago a pair of lovers, seemingly 
anxious to become united in the bands of wedlock, 
made their appearance before one of the city clergy- 
men in Glasgow, whofinding the requisite certificates 
all right, proceeded with the ceremony till became to 
that part of it where the question is put to the bride- 
groom, if he " is willing to take this woman to be his 
wife? " To this necessary query the man, after a con- 
siderable hesitation, answered," No." "No!" said the 
minister, with a look of surprise; "for what reason?" 

* The Anecdotage of Glasgow^ p. 214. 
359 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

" Just," said the poor embarrassed simpleton, looking 
round for the door, " because I've ta'en a scunner at 
her." On this.the ceremony, to the evident mortifica- 
tion of the fair one, was broken off, and the parties re- 
tired. A few days after, however, they again present- 
ed themselves before his reverence ; and the fastidious 
bridegroom having declared that he had got over his 
objection, the ceremony was again commenced, and 
proceeded without interruption, till a question similar 
to the above was put to the bride, when she in her turn 
replied by a negative. " What is the meaning of all 
this?" said theclergyman, evidently displeased atthe 
foolish triflingoftheparties. "Oh.naethingavaV'said 
the blushing damsel, tossing her head with an air of 
resentment. " Only I've just ta'en a scunner at him !" 
The two again retired to their lonely pillows; and 
lonely it would seem they had found them, for the 
reverend gentleman on coming out of his house the 
following morning, met the foolish couple once more 
on their way to solicit his services. " It's a' made up 
noo," said the smiling fair one. " Oh yes," said her in- 
tended; "it's a' settled noo, and we wantyou to marry 
us as soon as possible." " I will do no such thing," was 
the grave and startling reply to the impatient request, 
" What for ? " cried the fickle pair, speaking together 
in a tone of mingled surprise and disappointment. 
" Oh, naething ava',"said his reverence, passing onhis 
way; " but I've just ta'en a scunner at ye baith." 

Very sharp and stinging was the wit and satire of 
the well-known Rev. Mr. Thom of Govan. One day 
when he was preaching before the magistrates, he is 
reported to have suddenly halted and said, " Dinna 

360 




EDWARD IRVING 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

snoresaeloud, Bailie Broon,ye'llwaukentheProvost." 
On another occasion,thecircumstances of which were 
very similar, he suddenly stopped in his discourse, 
took out his snuff-box, tapped it on the lid, and took 
a pinchof snuff with the greatest deliberation. By this 
time the whole congregation was agog with eager curi- 
osity to know what was wrong. Mr. Thom, after a 
little, gravely proceeded to say, " My friends, I've had 
a snuff, and the Provost has had asleep; and, if ye like, 
we'll just begin again." * 

A country laird, near Govan, who had lately been 
elevated to the position of a county magistrate, meet- 
ing Mr. Thom one day on horseback attempted jocu- 
larity by remarking that he was more ambitious than 
his Master, who was content to ride upon an ass. 
"They canna be gotten noo," replied Thom ; "they're 
a' made Justices o' the Peace." f 

Dr. Anderson of John Street was a man of very fine 
musical taste, and one Sabbath in his church after the 
first Psalm had been sung, and sungbadly,headdress- 
ed the congregation thus : "Are ye not ashamed of 
yourselves for offering up to God such abominable 
sounds ? If you had to offer up a service of praise be- 
fore Queen Victoria, then you would have met every 
night,ifnecessary,forweeksonend; but as Godisun- 
seen you evidently think anything is good enough for 
Him. I am ashamed of you." Then, taking a pinch of 
snuff out of his waistcoat pocket, he said solemnly, 
" Let us pray." % 

He was one of the first preachers who began to 

* Thistledozvn, R. Ford, p. 59. t Ibid. p. 60, 

+ Ibid. p. 67. 
361 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

speak of common things from the pulpit plainly and 
in work-day language. In dealing with the sins of the 
great city and of the religious world — especially with 
the master-sins of money-loving and uncharitable 
judging — he used great plainnessof speech. Hisraci- 
est sayings and best illustrative stories often came 
in when he was giving a running comment on the 
passages of Scripture he read. His late colleague, Dr. 
Macleod, has told us that in reading the 15th Psalm 
he would pause at the words, " He putteth not out his 
money to usury," and say, " There was once in this 
church a poor widow, and she wanted ;;^20 to begin 
a small shop. Having no friends, she came to me, her 
minister. And I happened to know a man, not of the 
church, who could advance the money to the poor 
widow. So we went to this man, the widow and I, and 
the man said he would be happy to help the widow. 
And he drew out a bill for ;^20, and the widow signed 
it, and I signed it too. Then he put the signed paper 
in his desk, and took out the money and gave it to the 
widow. But the widow counting it said, ' Sir, there is 
only £1$ here.' 'It is all right,' said the man; ' that 
is the interest I charge.' And as we had no redress 
we came away. But the widow prospered. And she 
brought the .^20 to me, and I took it myself to the office 
of the man who had lentit,and said to him, 'Sir, there 
is the ;^20 from the widow.' And he said,' Here is the 
paper you signed, and if you knov/ any other poor 
widow I will be happy to help her in the same way.' 
I said to him, ' Vou help the widow ! Sir, you have 
robbed this widow, and you will be damned ! ' "* 
*One Hundred Glasgow Men, vol. i. p. 11. 

362 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

When the Rev. Mr. (afterwards the esteemed Dr.) 
Macgregor, of Edinburgh,settled in Glasgowas minis- 
ter of the Tron Kirk, he had occasion, a few weeks after, 
to visit a family in one of the poorer districts, wherehe 
was as yet unknown to the eyes of his flock, although 
their ears had heard his name andhis personal appear- 
ance had become in some vague way familiar to their 
minds. He inquired of the good wife whether the head 
of the house was at home, and being informed that he 
was not, was kindly invited to await his arrival. This 
not occurring as soon as the goodwife had expected, 
she suggested to her visitor, who had not acquainted 
her with his name or station, thatheshould "gang oot 
an' see the pigs," the mother-pig having brought into 
the world a fine litter a few days before. This, of course, 
Mr. Macgregor cheerfully consented to do. The in- 
mates of the sty having been duly inspected, and the 
virtuesof themother-pigextolled till the oldwoman's 
vocabulary refused tosupply another adjective,shein- 
formed hervisitor thaf'theyoung piggies had a'been 
named aifter different fouk," according as their per- 
sonal appearances seemed to offer points of resem- 
blance. And she indicated this and that one, as the 
bearer of some well-known name, honoured or other- 
wise, until she came to the last one, a rather diminu- 
tive but active specimen of the porcine breed. " An' 
this ane," said she to her unknown and attentive listen- 
er, " this wee black deev'luck, we ca' Wee Macgregor 
<?' the Tron I " * 

When the Rev. Mr. Mitchell had been translated 
from a country parish to a church inGlasgow,a friend 

* Thistledown, p. 86. 
363 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

of his, visiting the old parish, asked the beadle how he 
likedthe new minister. "Oh," said the beadle, "he's a 
very good man, but I would raitherhae Mr. Mitchell." 

" Indeed," said the visitor. " I suppose the former 
was a better preacher ? " 

" No, we've a good enough preacher now." 

" Was it the prayer of Mr. Mitchell, or his reading, 
or what was it you preferred him for ? " 

" Weel, sir," said the beadle, " if you maun ken the 
reason, Mr. Mitchell's auld claes fitted me best." * 

Perhaps the three brightest lights in the Glasgow 
clerical firmament in modern days have been Dr. 
Chalmers, Edward Irving, and Dr. Norman Macleod. 
Thefollowingstory of Irving is worth preserving. He 
had been lecturing at Dumfries, and a man who pass- 
ed as a wag in the locality had been to hear him. He 
met Watty Dunlop, another Dumfries man, the fol- 
lowing day, who said — 

" Weel, Willie man, an' what do you think o' Mr. 
Irving?" 

"Oh," said Willie contemptuously, "the man's crac- 
kit." 

*' Ah, Willie," rejoined Dunlop, patting the man 
quietly on the shoulder, " but ye'll aften see a bright 
licht shinin' through a crack." No rejoinder was ever 
more pat.f 

Of Dr. Chalmers many stories are told. A coun- 
try woman, whilst on a visit to Glasgow, went to hear 
him. On her return she was asked her opinion of"the 
StaroftheWest,"ashe is often called. " Oh,"shesaid, 
"he's a won derfu' preacher — a great preacher." "Well, 
* Thistledown, P- 1 !?• t Ibid. p. 54. 

364 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

well, that's all true," said the other, " but what do you 
think of his views of doctrinal points and his powers 
of expounding the Scriptures ? " " Oh," said the worthy 
critic, " I dinna ken; but he's jist a wonderfu' man." 
" But what did he say ? " " Oh, he jist gaed on, and 
gaed on, and chappit on his Bible, and raised his twa 
hands abune his head, and then gaed on again, and 
gaed on again, and then he swat and rubbit his brow, 
and whenhe stoppit,he looked as if hecouldhavesaid 
mair than when he began — oh, he's a wonderfu' grand 
preacher ! " 

Another story of Dr. Chalmers runs as follows : — 
Going the round of his visitations, he called upon a 
poorcobbler, who was industriously engaged with awl 
and ends, fastening sole and upper. The cobbler kept 
fast hold of the shoe between his knees, perforating the 
stubborn bend, and passing through the bristled lines 
right and left, scarcely noticing the clerical intruder; 
but one glance that he gave showed evident recogni- 
tion ; then rosining the fibrous lines, he made them 
whisk out on either side with increased energy, show- 
ing a disinclination to hold any parley. " I am," said 
the Doctor, " visiting my parishioners at present, and 
am to have a meeting of those resident in this locality 
in the vestry of St. John's on , when I shall be hap- 
py to have your presence along with your neighbours." 
Old Lapstone kept his spine at the sutor's angle, and 
makingthe thread rasp with the force of thepull, cool- 
ly remarked, " Ay, step your weys ben to the wife and 
the weans ; as for me, I'm a wee bit in the Deistical line, 
Doctor." 

Dr. Chalmers figured in the great fight over the 
365 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

appointment of Principal Macfarlane to the offices 
of Principal of the University and Incumbent of the 
Cathedral. 

The Principal of the University until 1 824 was Dr. 
Taylor, minister of the High Church. He was suc- 
ceeded in Church and College by Principal Macfar- 
lane, translated from Drymen, in Dumbartonshire. 
This last movement excited great interest and oppo- 
sition on the objection to pluralities. The Presbytery 
of Glasgow, on ist July 1823, refused to induct Dr. 
Macfarlane as minister of the High Church by a ma- 
jority of 18 to 9. The case was appealed to the Synod, 
which met in the Tron Church in November 1823, 
with a crowded audience. Patrick Robertson (after- 
wards Lord Robertson), then a young advocate, was 
counsel for the presentee, and the Rev. John Muir, of 
St. James', followed in a most brilliant speech by Dr. 
Chalmers, was heardin opposition. The Synod affirm- 
ed the judgment of the Presbytery, but the General 
Assembly in 1824 reversed the decision of the Pres- 
bytery and Synod, and ordered the induction.* 

The following two interesting paragraphs regard- 
ing Chalmers are taken from recent numbers of the 
Glasgow Herald : — 

In an article dealing with the social and moral con- 
ditions of Glasgow, which appeared lately, it is sug- 
gested that matters are no worse than they were a 
hundred years ago, when Dr. Chalmers lamented that 
a large number of the City's inhabitants were " alien- 
ated from God." Uncharitable as this judgment may 
seem, it is noteworthy that the great divine's attitude 
* Rambling Recollections of Old Glasgow^ p. 30. 

366 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

towards many problems was much more tolerantthan 
that of the average minister of to-day. Thus in one of 
his Glasgow Letters he writes: "What think you of 
my putting my name to two applications for licences 
to sell spirits in the course of yesterday?" In his ac- 
count of a Sunday spent in London Chalmers strikes 
a still more up-to-date note : "Took a boat to Kew, 
when we passed Isleworth, and had a charming sail 
down the river. From Kew we coached to the town, 
and reached Walworth by eleven in the evening." 

The followingstory of the later lifeof Dr. Chalmers 
was related by an eye-witness. He was walking near 
Fairlie with a party, and they came to a notice against 
trespass which barred their road. A lady of the party 
said to Dr. Chalmers, " You know Lord Kelburne ; 
you can take us through the grounds." He replied, 
emphasising the words by striking his stick on the 
ground, "Not a step, madam; not a step. 'He that is 
faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much.'" 

For all Chalmers' brilliant genius and devotion to 
duty it is questionable if he ever held in the hearts of 
the people of Glasgow the place occupied by Dr. 
Norman Macleod. Chalmers was a great orator, and 
a great Churchman. Norman Macleod had an intense 
humanity which secured for him the love as well as the 
admiration of his people. In proof of this there is the 
following story which the great Norman himself told 
with much gusto. A Dissenting minister in the district 
had been asked to come to a house in the High Street 
and pray with a man who was thought to be at the 
point of death. He knew by the name and address 
given that the people were not connected with his 
367 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

congregation. Still, he went off at once as desired. 
When he had read and prayed — having previously 
notedhowtidyeverythinglooked about theroom,and 
being puzzled by the thought of a family of such re- 
spectable appearance having no church connection — 
he turned to the wife and mother of the household, 
and asked if they were not connected with any Chris- 
tian body in the City ? 

" Ou ay," she replied, " We're members o' the 
Barony." 

" You are members of the Barony ! Then why didn't 
you call in Dr. Macleod to pray with your husband, 
instead of sending for me ? " 

" Ca' in the great Dr. Norman Macleod ? " skirled 
the matron, with uplifted hands. " The man's surely 
daft. Dinna ye ken it's a dangerous case oi typhus}''* 

When Norman, not yet great, began his ministry 
in the Ayrshire parish of Loudoun, among his parish- 
ioners were some rather notable freethinkers, whose 
views the young divine, with the energy and earnest- 
ness characteristic of him, thought it proper to assail 
and denounce. Naturally this caused a good deal of 
commotion and excitement in what had hitherto been 
rather a sleepy parish. One of his elders, who thought 
his minister's zeal outran his discretion, one day thus 
addressed him : "Mr. Macleod, hoo is it that we ne'er 
heard o' unbelievers hereaboot till ye cam' among 
us?" "John," said the ready minister, "saw ye ever a 
wasp's bike?" " Hoot ay, aften." "Weel, lat them 
be, and they'll lat you be ; but put your stick through 
the heart of it, and it'll be anither story." f 

* Thistledown^ p. 65. t Ibid. p. 64. 

368 




DR. CHALMERS 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

The reverend brother and biographer of the late 
minister of the Barony Parish Church states that 
"Although at one period he, Norman Macleod, oc- 
casionally wrote his sermon seven times before he 
preached it, there were years during which he seldom 
wrote any discourse fully out, but preached from notes 
in which the sequence of ideas was clearly marked. 
These notes, though often jotted down on Saturday 
afternoon, were the result of constant cogitation dur- 
ing the week." 

It is told that Norman Macleod was once preach- 
ing in a district in Ayrshire, where the reading of a 
sermon was regarded as the greatest fault of which 
a minister could be guilty. When the congregation 
dispersed, an old woman, overflowing with enthusi- 
asm, addressed her neighbour — 

"Did ye ever hear onything sae gran'? Wasna that 
a sermon?" 

But all her expressions of admiration being met 
with a stolid silence, she shouted — 

" Speak, woman ! wasna that a sermon ? " 

"Ou ay," replied her friend sulkily ; " but he read 
it." 

" Read it ! " cried the other, with indignant emphasis. 
"I wadna hae cared if he had whustieditV* 

Dr. Macleod and the late Rev, Dr. Watson of Dun- 
dee were once travelling in the north-west on some 
special mission, and had to cross an arm of the sea 
from one island to another. During the passage the 
weather became so stormy and the sea so rough 
that there was the greatest danger of the boat being 

* Tlie Anecdotage of Glasgow, p. 339. 
369 2 A 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

swamped. In these perilous circumstances, Dr. Wat- 
son suggested that one of them should engage in 
prayer to the Great Ruler of the elements. One ofthe 
two boatmen, who had been toilingat the oars till they 
were almost worn out,looked over at Dr. Watson, who 
was a man of small stature, and said — 

"You may pray if you like, sir, but this ane" — 
pointing to Dr. Alacleod — " maun tak' an oar." 

Anyone who knew the worthy Dr. Norman Mac- 
leod, or who knows of him, can imagine what a hearty 
laugh he would take to himself at this practical re- 
mark, so much in harmony was it with his own ideas 
of praying and working.* 

"Of Dr. Macleod's high animal spirits, the follow- 
ing," says Dr. Hedderwick, " is a happy instance. The 
Marquis of Lome, shortly before his marriage with the 
Princess Louise, consented to take the chair at the 
annual dinner in Glasgow ofthe Arg>-leshire Benev- 
olent Society. On the right he was supported by the 
genial Doctor, and I had the good fortune to be one of 
the company. The Marquis, with his youthful com- 
plexion and soft golden hair, looked like a picture ; 
and at such a crisis in his life nothing could be more 
natural than that the forthcoming event should have 
been uppermost in all minds. 

"Prominent among the toasts was, of course, the 
health of the Princess. It was neatly proposed by Mr. 
Archibald Orr Ewing, and followed by such honours 
as only Highlanders know how to bestow. The out- 
burst ofloyalty,consideringthe selectness of thecom- 
pany, could hardly have been exceeded. After the 
* The Anccdotage of Glasgow, p. '^2)7 ■ 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

noble chairman had modestly and gracefully replied 
It became Dr. Norman's turn to speak. He was in 
what is called great form. 'Mr. Ewing,' he said (for 
he was not Sir Archibald then), 'has spoken of the 
delicacy he feels in alluding to Her Royal Highness 
in presence of our happy chairman. Now, for myself, I 
feel no delicacy at all, for I know that a young man 
delights in nothing so much as to hear people talk 
about his sweetheart' (laughter). Then after much 
loyal fun, which gave rise, of course, to further merri- 
ment, he exclaimed, ' I have had the honour and the 
happiness of meeting with Her Royal Highness, and 
I can only say that if I had been the Marquis of Lome 
instead of the minister of the Barony Kirk, I would 
have gone in for her myself! ' " * 

It is told of Dr. Macleod that when walking down 
Buchanan Street, Glasgow, arm in arm with a mer- 
chant friend of the West one day, the two were passed 
first by the Most Reverend Bishop Irvine, of Argyll' 
then by the Bishop's valet, following a few steps be- 
hind him ; the one short and slim, and the other long 
and thin, but both dressed clerically, and seemingly 
much alike. They each saluted the popular minister 
ofthe Barony as they passed, whereupon his merchant 
friend turned to him and inquired, "Who was the man 
with the choker on, walking behind the Bishop, who 
saluted you just now. Doctor? " 

" Oh," said Norman, "that's the z/^/^/ of the shadow 
of death."! 

Norman Macleod, Anthony Trollope the novelist, 

* Backward Glances^ p. 2 16. 
t Thistledown, p. 64. 
371 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

and John Burns of Castle Wemyss were great friends, 
and went together once on a tour in the Highlands. 
On arriving at an inn late at night, they had supper, 
and then told stories and laughed without stint half 
the night through. In the morningan old gentleman, 
who slept in a bedroom above them, complained to 
the landlord that he had not been able to sleep on 
account of the noise from the party below, and added 
that he regretted that such men should " take more 
than was good for them." 

" Well," replied the landlord, " I am bound to say 
there was a good deal of loud talking and laughing, 
but they had nothing stronger than tea and herrings!* 

" Bless me," rejoined the old gentleman, " if that is 
so, what would Dr. Macleod and Mr. Burns be after 
dinner ! " * 

When Dr. Macleod was called to his rest his funeral 
was a day of mourning in the City he had loved so 
well. The Magistrates of Glasgow, the Sheriffs, the 
Representatives of Royalty, and the Senate of the 
University, from the various churches in which ser- 
vices had been conducted by ministers of the three 
great Presbyterian denominations, accompanied the 
remains to the outskirts of the City, on their way to 
the churchyard of Campsie, where he lies beside his 
father. But more striking than all was the long line 
of mourners, uncalled, and of all classes in the com- 
munity, numbering nearly three thousand, who fol- 
lowed in silent array, and the vast multitude through 
which they passed along — mostly of working men and 
the poor — who came to pay honour to his memory. 
* Thistledoivn, p. 66. 

372 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

" There goes Norman Macleod," a brawny working 
man was heard saying as the dark column moved past. 
"If he had done no more than whathe did for my soul, 
he should shine as the stars for ever." * 

By way of wind-up to purely clerical anecdotes, it 
may be appropriate here to give one more example 
of Glasgow clerical wit : — 

Onedayayoungelder,makinghis first appearance 
in the Glasgow Presbytery, modestly sat down on the 
very end of a bench near the door. By and by the mini- 
ster who had been sitting at the other end rose. The 
form tipped up, and the young elder was just falling 
off when the door opened and Dr. Gillan of Inchinnan 
entered, who, catching him in his arms, with his usual 
readinessexclaimed," Sir,when you come to this place, 
you must try and stick to \.\ye: forms of the Church." f 

After so many stories of the clergy, one or two re- 
garding the laity may not be out of place. 

The Cameronians have always been famed for re- 
ligious zeal, and members of that sect used often to 
make great sacrifices in order to attend the preaching 
of the Word. A good example of this characteristic 
was exhibited by two humble but honest and devout 

Cameronians who were in the habit of leaving D , 

their native village, and travelling to Glasgow, a dis- 
tance of more than twenty miles, for the purpose of 
hearing a minister of their own persuasion. In the 
evening they travelled back half-way, but were ob- 
liged to sleep in a moorland cot until the succeed- 
ing morning would fit them for their journey. On one 

* One Hundred Glasgow Men, vol. ii. 211. 
t Thistledown, p. 63. 

373 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

occasion, being more than usually fatigued, one of 
them, waking about the middle of the night, thus 
addressed his friend : " John, I'll tell you ae thing, and 
that's no' twa — if thae kirk folk get to heaven at last, 
they'll get there a hantle easier than we do." 

In a community such as Glasgow, dominated in 
bygone times by a narrow Presbyterianism, there 
were of necessity specimens of religious intolerance 
to be found. In this connection the following extract 
from the records of Shuttle Street Secession Church 
is illuminating : — 

" The Session, understandingby the Moderatorand 
some members of the Session that they had conversed 
privately with Andrew Hunter, mason, a member of 
this congregation who had engaged to build the Epis- 
copal meeting-house in this place, and having been at 
great pains in convincing him of the great sin and 
scandal of such a practice ; and the Session under- 
standing that notwithstanding thereof he has actu- 
ally begun the work, they therefore appoint him to 
be cited to the Session at their meeting on Thursday 
after sermon." 

But Andrew's " sin " sat lightly on his conscience. 
He declined to put on sackcloth and ashes, and weep 
and wail in the outer courts of the sanctuary. So the 
fathers and brethren at once cast him forth from the 
circle of the elect — in other words, he was solemnly 
excommunicated.* 

Another manifestation of the same spirit is to be 
seen in the following story : — 

During the erection of a Unitarian chapel in Glas- 
* Centenary Souvenir of St. Andrew's Churchy p. I7- 

374 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

gow, one of the tradesmen engaged ran short of nails, 
and proceeded to an ironmonger's to procure a fresh 
supply. The shopkeeper, surprised at the large quan- 
tity ordered, said — 

" That's nails eneuch to big a city kirk." 

"'Deed,"said the customer," that's just what they're 
for, although it's no' for a town's kirk." 

"It's maybe for a meeting-house?" queried the 
ironmonger. 

" Na," answered the other. " They're just for the 
woodwork of the new Unitarian chapel." 

" Say ye that ! " exclaimed the indignant seller of 
nails ; " and had ye the daring impudence, since I 
maun saysae,totry and getthem fraeme? Tak'back 
yer siller, and gie me my nails. I'll ne'er hae't said 
that I sell't a pin to prop up a pillar o' Satan's." * 

James Morton, who acquired an unpleasant notor- 
iety in connection with the failure of the City of Glas- 
gow Bank, was an elder of his particular kirk, and was 
commonly reported to rule it with a rod of iron. 

Once an acquaintance met him in Cornhill on a 
Saturday afternoon. Knowing him to be an elder of 
his church, he asked him if he was not bound for the 
North, to be in time to attend to his duties. " I cannot 
get back without travelling on the Sunday," was the 
reply, " and I will not do that. But I'm just wiring the 
tunes and hymns they are to sing." f 

Some might say that the next story is illustrative 
of Scots independence, but the cynic would no doubt 
observe that it exemplified Scots " nearness." 

* The Anecdottge of Glasgow, p. 303. 
Clydeside Cameos, p. 277. 

375 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

" Weel, Mr. Wilson," said a collector, " I hae just 
ca'ed on you to see if you'll add your name to the list 
o' subscribers for a new pulpit Bible for our minister, 
an* I hope you'll put down something handsome." 
" I'll dae naething o' the kind, Mrs. Brown," was the 
sturdy reply. " It's a poor trade that canna afford to 
buy its ain tools." 

In the following anecdote the mean man got more 
than he gave : — 

A collection for foreign missions was being taken 
in a wealthy church. The collector approached a well- 
known millionaire with the plate, when the latter 
shook his head with vigour and whispered, " I never 
give to missions!" "Then takesomeout,sir,"saidthe 
collector suavely. "The money is for the heathen ! " 

Occasional!}- the clergy and the laity forgather with 
comical results. 

A tipsy man one day got into a tramway car in 
Glasgow, and became very troublesome to the other 
passengers, who were^ so much annoyed that it was 
proposed to eject him. However, a kind-hearted di- 
vine, who was also a passenger, interposed for him, 
and soothed him into good behaviour for the rest of 
the journey. Before leaving, however, he looked a- 
roundwith a scowl of contempt upon and muttered 
some angry words with regard to the other passen- 
gers, but shook hands warmly with the reverend Doc- 
tor, remarking with fervour — 

" Good day, ma frien' ; I see you ken what it is to 
be drunk ! " * 

Another story of humorous turn is the following: — 
* The Anecdotage of Glasgow^ p. 344. 

376 




DR. NORMAN MACLEOD 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

A minister was once watching a boy pushing a 
heavy hand-cart up the hill in Buchanan Street. The 
hill was steep, and the boy was small ; but he bent 
strenuously to his work. The minister was interested, 
and thinking to help the boy, called out — 

" Push it up zigzag, and you will find it go much 
easier." 

To which the boy replied — 

" Not so much o' yer bloomin' advice ! Come an' 
gie's a shove." 

History does not state if this invitation was ac- 
cepted. 

In the course of pastoral visitation the unexpected 
answer is occasionally met with. Such was the case 
in the next story. 

One day a minister was calling upon a dear old lady, 
one of the " pillars " of the church to which they both 
belonged. As he thought of her long and useful life, 
and looked upon her sweet, placid countenance, bear- 
ing but few tokens of her ninety-two years of earthly 
pilgrimage, he was moved to ask her : " My dear Mrs. 
S., what has been the chief source of your strength 
and sustenance during all these years ? What has ap- 
pealed to you as the real basis of your unusual vigour 
of mind and body, and has been to you an unfailing 
comfort through joy and sorrow? Tell me, that I may 
pass the secret to others, and, if possible, profit by it 
myself" The old lady thought a moment, then, Hfting 
her eyes, dim with age, yet kindly with sweet memories 
of the past, she answered briefly, "Tea." 

To come down to date, and to the recent miners' 
strike : that melancholy event was illuminated by 
377 



BOOK OF GLASGOW ANECDOTE 

at least one flash of clerical humour which is here 
reproduced with acknowledgments to the Glasgow 
Herald. 

During the strike an Ayrshire minister said to his 
servant one morning : " Mary, you must be very care- 
ful of the coal ; our stock is running low, and there is 
no saying when we may be able to get more." " Yes, 
sir," said Mary humbly. " A'm savin' every cin'er." 
" Ah," said her master, " I have been trying to do that 
for forty years." 

It sometimes happens that a minister finds that 
the faithful discharge of his duties has overtaxed his 
strength, and that a holiday is necessary. On such 
occasions congregations are usually thoughtful and 
considerate, and express their sympathy in a practi- 
cal way by assisting to defray the expense of the need- 
ed change. But occasionally minister and congrega- 
tion do not view the matter in precisely the same light. 

One Glasgow clergyman, in announcing that the 
Presbytery had granted him six months' leave of ab- 
sence, remarked, " My brethren, it is sometimes best 
to view one's work from afar." Many of his congrega- 
tion felt that, with a congregational cheque in their 
pockets,.they too would like to flee the " five o'clock in 
the morning bell," and regard their work " from afar." 

Another aspect of this matter is presented in the 
following story : — 

A Glasgow congregation once presented their mini- 
ster with a sum of money, and sent him offto the Con- 
tinent for a holiday. Soon after a gentleman just re- 
turned from the Continent, meeting a prominent 
member of the congregation, said — 

378 



OF THE CHURCH IN GLASGOW 

" Oh, by the way, I met your minister in Germany. 
Hewas lookingvery well. He didn't look as if he were 
needing a rest." 

" No," replied the member calmly. " It wasna him ; 
it was the congregation that was needin' a rest." 

It is unfortunately the case that class distinctions 
prevail to some extent in certain city churches. In- 
deed this is almost inevitable when one considers 
that a church in the West End of Glasgow is in the 
nature of things largely frequented by the well-to-do. 
When Lansdowne Church was built some malic- 
ious wag declared — 

" This church is not for the poor and needy, 
But for the rich, and Dr. Eadie." 

No doubt this was a libel, and the poor would have 
been welcomed to the church. That ourchurches are 
open to all classes is demonstrated by the scarcity of 
stories to the contrary. Therefore, to illustrate the 
matter of exclusiveness, one is compelled to fall back 
upon an American tale which is good enough to fur- 
nish an appropriate conclusion to this chapter. 

An old darkey wanted to join a fashionable city 
church, and the minister, knowing it was hardly the 
thing to do, and not wanting to hurt his feelings, told 
him to go home and pray over it. In a few days the 
darkey came back. " Well, what do you think of it by 
this time ? " asked the preacher. " Well, sah," replied 
the coloured man," Ah prayed an' prayed, an' de good 
Lawd He says to me, "Rastus, Ah wouldn't bodder 
mah haid about dat no mo'. Ah've been tryin' to git 
into dat chu'ch Mahself for the las' twenty yeahs, and 
Ah ain't done had no luck.' " 
379 



INDEX 



2 B 



INDEX 



Aberdeen, University of, 317. 
Accidental Club, 45, 46. 

poetical bill of, 46. 
Adams, Bill, showman, 99. 

Dr, James A. , present President 
of Faculty of Physicians 
and Surgeons of Glasgow, 
315, 316. 
Adamson, Hugh, 232. 

trial of, 285, 286, 287. 
Adelaide, Madame, sister of 

Louis-Philippe, 161. 
Aird, Andrew, ?,2 7i., loi. . 
Aitken, Rev. John, 351. 

William, of Frisky Hall, 109. 
Albany, Duchess of, 64. 
Alexander, J. H., 92, 96. 

Matthew, 38. 
Alison, Mr., 30. 

R. N., 117, 121. 

Sheriff, 118. 
Allan, Robert, 273. 
Allison, David, 44. 
Alston, Major, 236. 
American VVar of Independence, 

7, 51. 179- 
Anatomy Act, 316. 
Ancients, the, 7. 
Anderson, John, 199. 
Dr., of John Street, 361. 
Mr., 248. 
Anderston, 16. 
Club, 254. 
Police, 28. 
Relief Church, 343. 
Walk, 159, 318. 
Anecdotagc of Glasgow, The, 32, 
36,117, 119, 121, 122,169, 
185, 194, 228, 294, 320, 
321, 352, 353, 359, 369, 

370, 375. 376". 

Atmals of Glasgow, 88. 

Annals of Great Britain, frovithe 
Accession of George iii. till 
the Peace of Amiens, 41. 

Antiburger Church, 343. 

Antiquities, Roman, 15. 

Aquitania, the, 196. 

383 



Argyle Street, loi, 210. 

Argyleshire Benevolent Society, 
370. 

Argyll, John, Duke of, 65. 
Duke of (1715), 7. 

Armadale, Lord, 286 (Sir 

William Honeyman). 

Army of the South, 85. 

Arthur, Mr., master manufac- 
turer, 118. 

Assemblies, the, 19-20, 21. 

Assembly Rooms, 20, 62. 

Assembly, The Card, 20, 21. 

Atkinson, Thomas, 31. 

Auchincruive, Richard Oswald 
purchased estate of, 51. 

Auchinleck, Lord, 273. 

A utobiography of A lexander Car- 
lyle of Inveresk, 1 6 ;z . , 2 50 
n., 251 71. 

Ayr Bank, bankruptcy of, 51. 

Backward Glances, 61 n. , 94, 95, 
96, 97, 160, i62«., 164W., 

297''-.. 371 «• 
Bacon, Francis, 245, 
Baillie of the River, 157. 
Baird, Alexander, of Ury, 193. 

Douglas, of Closeburn, 193. 

James, of Cambusdoon, 193, 
194. 

Mr., of Newbyth, 79. 

Mrs., 193. 

Robert, of Auchmedden, 193. 

William, & Co., 192. 

William, of Elie, 193. 
Ballantine, James, 59. 
Banff, 359. 
Bank, failures, 239. 

Lawsuit, Trotter v. Cochrane, 

Murdoch <St^ Co. , 2 1 3, 2 1 4. 

Bank, City of Glasgow, 239, 240, 

375- 
Commercial, 235. 
Glasgow Arms, 208. 
Glasgow Union, 228. 
Greenock, 226. 
Kilmarnock, 234. 



INDEX 



Bank — contintud. 

of Scotland, 207, 233. 

Old Paisley, 225, 226. 

Paisley Union, 227. 

Renfrewshire, 228. 

Royal, 236. 

Ship, 207. 

Thistle, 208. 

Thomson's, 229. 

Union, 207. 

Union of Scotland, 228. 

Western, 227. 
Banks of Glasgow and Edin- 
burgh, rivalr}- between, 
212, 213, 214, 216, 218, 

Shortage of Bullion, 218. 
Bannat\-ne, D., 5. 

Richard, 335. 
Bannockbum, battle of, 187. 
Barbers, violation of the Sabbath 

by, 314, 315- 
Barclay, Dr., 317. 

Robert, of Capelrig, 89. 

William, 276. 
Barony Parish, 337. 

Parish Church, 369, 371. 
Beattie, Dr., 356. 
Bell, David, 29, 30. 

Henry, 196. 

Mr., 250. 
Bellamy, Mrs., 88, 
Beiufactoi- to Medicine, A, 329. 
Big Sam, 80. 
Bilsland, Hugh, 272. 
Bishopbriggs, 119. 
Black, Dr., 250. 
Black Boy Close, 1 1 8. 

Boy Tavern, Gallowgate, 
Glasgow, 118. 

Bull Inn, 67. 
Blackfriars' Church, 86. 

Churchyard, 319. 
Blane, 246. 
Bleach-works in Strathblane, 

176. 
Boaz, Herman, 80, 81. 
Bogle, Robin, 250. 

Arch., Visitor for the year, 
312. 



Bonnymuir, skirmish at, 236. 
Boswell, James, 248. 
Bowling, 96. 

Boyd, Andrew, Bishop of Argyle, 
336. 

Robert, of Trochrig, 336. 

Zachary, 335, 336, 337, 340. 
Boyle, Lord Justice-Clerk, 291. 
Braxfield, Lord, 283. 
Brewing industry in Glasgow, 

191, 192. 
Bridewell, 283. 

Bridgegate, 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, 
70, 84. 

Riots, 77, 78. 
Bridgeton, 68, 82, 119. 
Briggate, 208. 
Broomielaw, the, 157. 
Brown, George, 340. 

James, 232, 233. 

John, 232, 233. 

Mrs., cotton dealer, 188. 

William, 232. 
Bruce, Robert, 187. 
Brutus, or the Fall of Tarquin, 

94. 
Bryce, David, bookseller, 121. 
Buccleuch, Duke of, 248. 
Buchanan, Andrew, 208. 

David, 209, 210. 

Dr. John, 188. 

George, 246, 247. 

Norman, 83. 

Walter, 29. 

William, 291. 
Buchanan Street, 120, 121. 
Burke, murderer and resurrec- 
tionist, 316. 

Edmund, works of, 160. 
Burns, John, of Castle Wemyss, 
372. 

Robert, 209. 
Burrard, General, 39. 
Bushell, Captain, 108. 
Bute, 94. 

Lord, 250. 
Butts, Executions at, 272. 



Cadzow, Queen of, 150. 



384 



INDEX 



Caird, Edward, 256, 257, 258. 

John, 256. 
Calton, 119. 
Police, 28. 
The, 28. 
Cambusdoon, 193. 
Cambuslang, 214. 
Cameronians, the, 373. 
Camlachie Burn, 24. 
Campbell & Company, 67, 
Campbell Archibald, 189. 
Lady Charlotte, 65. 
Sir Colin (Lord Clyde), 42. 
Daniel, of Shawfield, 107, 

108. 
Dr., 321, 322. 
Colonel John, 65. 
of Blythswood, 70, 
Principal, 15. 
Richard, 116. 
Thomas, 40-42. 
and Mr. Fox, 42. 
and Sir James M'Intosh, 

41. 
Battle of Hohenlinden wit- 
nessed by, 41. 
Introduced to King of 

Clubs 41. 
Married Matilda Sinclair, 

41. 
Residence at Sydenham 

after marriage, 41. 
Return to Edinburgh of, 41. 
Successes of, 41. 
Travels of, 41. 
Tutor at Mull, 41. 
Works of, 41. 
W., 151 «. 

William, of Tullichewan, 61. 
Candleriggs, 66, 108. 
Canning, George, 57. 
Carlyle, Dr. Alexander, of Inver- 

esk, 10, 249. 
Carnegie, Andrew, 185. 
Carrick, Ayrshire, 336. 

J. I).,A Lifeof lVa//ace, hy,S9. 
Robert, 208 ei seq. 

anecdotes about, 220 et 
seq, 

385 



Carrick, Robert — continued. 
death of, 209. 
house of, 210. 
manners, customs, and dress 

of, 210-212. 
wealth of, 210. 
Carron Company, 214. 
Cartwright, Major, 1 13. 
Cathkin Braes, 82. 
Cat-o'-nine-tales used, 284, 285. 
Catrine, Ayrshire, 349. 
Centenary Souvenir of St. And- 
rew's Church, 374 «. 
Chalmers, Dr., 364, 365. 
Chambers' Journal, 178. 
Chantrey, Sir Francis, 162. 
Chapman, Robert, 109 w., 280. 
Charles Edward Stuart, 7> 64. 
Charlotte, Queen, 66. 
Chartist riots, 120. 
Cheeks, Provost, 178. 
Church of Scotland, the, a sketch 

of its History, 350. 
Cintra, Convention of, 39. 
Circuit Court of Justiciary, 116. 
City of Glasgow Bank, 375. 

Failure of, 239, 240. 
Clark, James, 350. 
Cleland, Dr., 88. 
Clerk, John (Lord Eldin), 295. 
Cliddesdaill, William, 312, 313. 
Club, Accidental, 45. 

Friday's, 15. 

Golf, 79. 

Grog, 79. 

Hampden, 113. 

Hodge Podge, 69. 

King of, 41. 

Literary, 14. 

Morning and Evening, 47. 

Robert's, 14. 

Simson's, 14. 

Weekly, 13, 14. 
Clyde, cotton mills on, 176. 

Floods of, 2.1 et seq. 

Lord (Sir Colin Campbell), 42. 

river, 157 ^^ ^^'1- 

Street, 114, 159. 

Trustees, 157, 158. 



INDEX 



Clydesdale, Matthew, condemned 

for murder, 320. 
Clydeside Cameos, 1 95 ^/. , 1 97 «. , 
198 «., 199 ;/., 200 «., 
201 //. , 202 ;/., 203 M. , 
240 «., 357//. 
roorhouse, 210. 
Cochrane, Andrew, Provost, 11, 
151, 176, 213. 
Correspondence, the, 151,152. 
Cockaine, Mr., 14. 
Cockburn, Henry, 228. 

Lord, 289. 
Cockfighting, 79, 83. 
Cock-shooting, 75. 
Colhoun, Sir James, 294, 
College Street, 319. 

Private anatomy class, 318. 
Colquhoun, Lord Advocate, 112. 
Comet, the, 196. 
Commercial Bank, the, 235. 
Conjuring, 80. 

Conn, Hugh, of Kilwinning, 97. 
Connell, David, 79. 

James, 79. 
Convention of Cintra, 39. 
Corbet, Colonel, 7. 

Cuningham, 79, 
Corunna, 39. 

Cotton mills on the Clyde, 176. 
Courier the, 79- 
Court of Session, 11 1. 
Cow Loan, 86. 
Craig, John, 79. 

Lord, 286. 
Craigie, Laurence, 79, 114. 
Craik, Sir Henry, 305. 
Cromwell, Oliver, 337. 
Crosbie, John, porter of Ship 

Bank, 210. 
Cruikshank, Rev. Jas., of Stev- 

enston, 349. 
Cunningham, Dr., 113. 

Mr., 86. 
Cunninghame, of Lainshaw, 177. 
Curiosities of Glasgow Citizen- 
ship, G. Stewart, 36 «., 
108, 156, 178, 187 «., 189 
«., 210 n. 



Currie, Wm., 312. 

Dale, David, 23, 37, 38, 39, 
no, 176, 186, 187, 188, 
230. 
Cotton mills built by, 37. 
Dinner party given by, 23 et 

seq. 
Miss, 25. 
Dalgleish, Provost, 30. 

Robert, 29, 30. 
Dalmeny, Lord, 57. 
Dalquhurn, birthplace of 

Smollett, 251. 
Dalrymple, General, 39. 

Sir John, 176. 
Davidson, Thomas (Lucius 

Verus), 60. 
Day, Mr., 265, 266. 
Death sentences, 287-288. 
Defoe, Daniel, 4. 
Defoe's Tour in 1727, 4, 5. 
Dcloraine, Lord, regiment of 

foot of, 107. 
Demonstration of Liberals of 
Glasgow and West of 
Scotland, 28. 
On Passing of Reform Bill, 29 
et seq. 
Dempster, George, of Dunni- 

chen, 185. 
Denholm, 19, 346, 348. 
Dick, Pvobert, 14. 
Dillon, J. J., Ill, 112. 
Dissenting Church, Duke 

Street, 343. 
Divinity Hall, 14. 
Donald, Colin Dunlop, 299. 

Provost, 7. 
Donaldson, John, 250. 
Donovan, Mr., 228. 
Dornoch Firth, 1S5. 
Dougall, Dr. John, 321. 
Douglas, Duchess of, formerly 
M iss Douglas of Mains, 70. 
Duke of, 70. 
John, 297. 

Mary, flogging of, 282. 
Rev. Neil, 352. 

386 



INDEX 



Dreghoin, Mr., 250. 

Robert, laird of Ruchill, 43, 
114. 
Dugald's tavern, 14. 
Dumbarton Castle, 108. 

Rock, 258. 
Duncan, Dr. Alexander, 309, 
316. 
Dr. , work on f acuity of Physi- 
cians and Surgeons, 315. 
Dundas, James (Dundas & 

Wilson), 299. 
Dunlop, Houston, Gammell & 
Co., of Greenock, 226. 
John (ex-Lord Provost), 213, 

281. 
Mr., 89, 90. 
Watty, 364. 
Dunlop Street, 89. 

Theatre of, 91, 92, 
Dunlops, the, 250. 
Dunn, William, of Duntocher, 

184, 185. 
Dunsmore, Robert, 186. 
Durie, John, 335. 

East George Street, 120. 
Edinburgh, 41, 311. 

comparison with Glasgow, 
149. 
Edinburgh Review, 289. 
Eglinton, 97. 

Earl of, 96, 97. 
Elberfeld, 176. 

Eldin, Lord (John Clerk), 295. 
Elvina, monument at, 40. 
English Literature, chair of, 

263. 
Erskine, Henry, 90. 
Eskgrove, Lord, 294. 
Ewing, Archibald Orr, 370, 

371- 

G. E., sculptor, 42. 

Humphrey, trial of, 275. 

James, of Strathleven, 29. 
Exchange Square, 121. 

Royal, 84, 86, 224. 
Exchequer Court, 294. 
Executions, 272 ^^ seq. 



Faculty of Physicians and Sur- 
geons of Glasgow, 310 et 
seq. 

Fairlie, 367. 

Falkirk, battle of, 7. 

Fawtrell, 80, 

Fergus, James, 296, 

Findlay, James, 152, 153. 

Fine Art Academy in Glasgow, 

153- 

Finlay, James, & Co., 190. 
Kirkman, Glasgow commerce 
extended by, 52. 
Note in Glasgow Herald on, 

53- 
Flanders, 37. 

Fleming's map of Glasgow, 159. 
Floggings, 281, 282. 
Ford, R., 143 «.; 361 M. 
Foulis, Andrew, 153. 

Robert, 153. 
Fox, Charles James, 42. 

General, 39. 
Frazer, Daniel, 120, 121. 
French, Provost, 180, 
French Revolution, 7. 

Galloway, Mr. James, 297, 298. 
Gallowgate, 24, 66, 120. 
Infantry barracks of, 1 15. 
Meeting of Glasgow regiment 

at, 153- 
Gardner, Alexander, 143 «. 
Gastroscope, invention of, 321, 

322. 
General Assembly, Commission 

of, 350. 
George Street, 86. 
Gilfillan, Robert, 59. 
Gillan, Dr., of Inchinnan, 373. 
Gillespie, William, of Woodside, 

186. 
GiUies, Rev. Dr., 38, 46, 89, 

90. 
Gilmorehill, 245, 258. 
Gilmour, Matthew, 49-50. 

Dr. T. F., 323. 
Glasgow, Amusements of the 

people of, 75 £/ seq. 



INDEX 



G I asgo w — con tin ucd. 

Anecdotes about the magis- 
trates and councillors of, 
1 59 et seq. 
Architecture and planning of, 

5- 
Arms Bank, 207, 212, 213, 

230. 
Arms of, 149. 
Associate SjTiod of, 352. 
Ayre, 283. 
Bailies of, 164 ei seq. 
Bank, Directors of City of, 

296. 
Banks, introduction of, into, 

207. 
Brewing industry of, 191, 192. 
Cathedral of, 310, 335, 346. 
Circuit Court of, 273, 285, 

289, 295, 320. 
City Guard of, 9. 
City Sanitary Department 

of, 155- 

City Parochial Board of, 
162. 

Ci%dc hospitality of, 153 et 
stq. 

College of, 12, 13, 14, 15, 
16, 247 et seq. 

Colonial trade of, 179. 

Commerce of, 11, 175 et seq. 

Commercial abilities of wo- 
men of, 187, 188. 

Commercial depression of, 
230- 

Comparison of, with Edin- 
burgh, 149. 

Council minutes of, 154, I55- 

Cross, the, of, 214, 224, 342. 

Dr. Johnson's visit to, 248. 

Exports of, 4. 

Fair of, 97, 322. 

Green of, 8, 22, 28, 68, 79, 
120, 223, 351. 

Industries of, 4. 

Juridical Society, 271. 

Law in, 271 et seq. 

"Magistrates," 157. 

Mail to, 31. 



Glasgow — continued. 

Manners and customs in the 

eighteenth century of, 4 et 

seq 
Medical profession in, 307 et 

seq. 
Municipal life of, 149 et seq. 

affairs of, 28. 
Old College Green of, 118. 
Politics of, 28. 
Polj-technic, the, of, 200. 
Post Office of, 224, 225. 
Progress in social life of, 17. 
Provosts of, 151. 
Record and dates of, 4 et seq. 
Regiment, 7. 

the raising of, 151. 
Religious affairs of, 6, 8. 
Riots in, 107 et seq. 
Royal Technical College of, 

305- 
School discipline of, 26, 27. 
Sharpshooters, 236. 
Shipping of, 196 et seq. 
Southern Medical Society, 

321, 322, 323. 
Town Clerks of, 151. 
Trade opened with Virginia, 

177, 178. 
Union Bank, 228. 
University of, 245, 305. 
Glasgow and its Clubs, 6 m., 40, 

43. 44, 46, 47, 50. 53, 69, 
78,80, 134, 153 «., 155 «., 

157 W., 22I«., 230M.,248 

M.,249«., 253 «., 28o«., 

285;/., 344 «■, 354 «• 
Glasgow Chronicle, 29. 
Glasgow Conrant, 154. 
Glasgow Courier, advertisement 

for an Executioner in, 282. 
Glasgow Evening A^ews, 266. 
Glasgow Herald, no, 122, 124, 

258, 273, 326, 329, 335, 

366, 578. 
Glasgow in igoi, 103 n, 
Glasgow Journal, 215. 
Glasgow Past and Present, 2T,n., 

26, 27, 28, 51,55,68,76 

388 



INDEX 



n., 77 11,, 82 ji., 84 n,, 86 
n., 91 «., 93 «., now., 

159 "■■> 179 «•, 183 «M 

2I4M.,2l6«.,220 ;/., 221 
«., 222 n., 223«.,227«., 
228 «., 229 «., 230«.,23I 

«., 282 w., 287 «., 295 W., 
298 «., 334 "• 
Glasgowensians, 76, 77. 
Glassford, 11. 

of Dougaldston, 177. 
Glassford Street, 108, 210. 
Glimpses of Old Glasgow, 82 «. , 

lOI. 
Goff, Dr. Bruce, President of the 

Faculty, 311. 
Golf Club, 79. 

Vogue of, 78, 79. 
Gorbalonians, 76, 77. 
Gorbals Police, 28. 
Court, 167. 
village of, 22. 
Gordon, Mr., 36. 
Shamus, 187. 
Surgeon, 251. 
Gordon Street, 120. 
Gouldie, John, tavern of, 83. 
Gourlay, Bailie James, 233. 
Robert, LL.D., 232, 233. 
career of, 232, 233. 
Govan, 75, 335, 336. 

New Year's festival, 75, 76. 
Govane, Archibald, 47. 
Graeme, Dr., 60. 
Graham, Rev. Henry Gray, 4 «., 
8, 10, 16, 17. 
Thomas, analytical chemist, 

191. 
Walter, 80. 
Grahame, Mr., 157, 158. 
Grahamston, 87. 

Destruction of theatre, 88. 
Grant, Professor, 267. 
Gray, Captain Charles, 60. 
Mr., of Carntyne, 152, 153. 
Rev. John Hamilton, of Chest- 
erfield, 310. 
Greatrex, John Henry, 234. 
" Greenock Bank," 226. 



Grindlay, 287. 
Grog Club, 79. 
Guild-hall, 5, 
Guizot, 161. 

Half-way House, 230. 
Hall, John, 308. 
Hamilton, Archibald, 214. 
Douglas, Duke of, 65, 79, 

83- 
Dr. Robert, 46, 
Herbert, 214. 
James, junior, Chirurgian, 
308. 
Senior, Wryter, 308. 
Mr., 83. 

Rev. Dr. John, anecdote 
about, 50. 
Hammermen, Incorporation of, 

252. 
Hampden Club, 113. 
Hanover, House of, 6-7 
Hardie, James, 115. 
Hare, murderer and resurrec- 
tionist, 316. 
trial of, 160. 
Hart, Thomas, 355. 
Hawkie, 141 ^/ seq. 
Hebrew, chair of,in GlasgowUni- 

versity, 247. 
Hedderwick, Dr., 57, 61, 94, 96, 

160, 370. 
Hemming, great hall of, 80. 
Hen-Broth Amateurs, 254. 
Henderson, Andrew, 60, 
James Elliott, 227. 
Rev. Peter, 358. 
Robert, 196. 
Thomas, 196. 
Heriot, James, 246. 
Heritors, 344. 
Hermand, Lord, 291, 293. 
High Churchyard, skirmish in, 

318. 
High Court of Justiciary, 319. 
High Street, 9. 

Historical Sketch of the Glasgow 
Southern Medical Society , 
322 n. 



INDEX 



History of England, Hume's, 
251. 

History of France, 353. 

History of Glasgow, Denholm's, 
■2.1 n., 349 «. 

History of the Incorporation of, 
Cordiners in Glasgow, L. 
Campbell, 151 n. 

History of the Scottish Stage, 89. 

Hoffman, Dr., 192. 

Hohenlinden, battle of, 41. 

Holmes, Jean, 181. 

" Hopkirk's Land," 214. 

Horse-racing. 79. 

Howgatehead, executions at, 
272. 

Howie, Mr.,ofCambuslang, 347. 

Humanity, chair of, 259. 

Hume, David, 25, 249. 

Hunter, Andrew, 374. 
Colonel, 236. 
James, of Hafton, 226. 

Hunterian Museum, 253. 

Huskisson, Mr., 52. 

Hutcheson, Professor, 250. 

Hutcheson's Hospital, 353. 

Andrew Cochrane, Precep- 
tor of, 152. 

Independence, American War 

of, 51. 
Ingram, Provost, of Glasgow, 

152, 153. 
Street, 86. 
Inkle manufactory, il, 38. 
Innes, Gilbert, of Stowe, 23, 

230. 
Inquiry info Nature and Causes 

of the Wealth of Nations, 

248. 
Institutes of Theology, 353. 
Iron and Steel industries in West 

of Scotland, \C)i^ et seq. 
Irvine, Bishop of Argyll, 371. 
Irving, Edward, 364. 

Jack, James, trial and execution 
of, 276, 277. 



Jack, Matthew, trial of, 275. 
Jackson, John, manager of 

Theatre Royal, Edin- 
burgh, 89. 
Jail Square, 99, lOO. 

Coffee-house, announcement 

of, by" Sandy M 'Alpine," 

100, lOI. 
Jamaica Bridge, 115. 

Street, 22. 
James vi. of Scotland and I. of 

England, 246, 308. 
Jardine, Professor, 255. 
Jarvie, Bailie Nicol, 10. 
Jarvies, Archibald, 276. 
J ebb, Professor Richard, 260, 

261, 262. 
Jeffrey, Dr. James, 320. 

Francis, iii, 228. 
Jerment, Dr., 355. 
Jock, 133. 

"Jocks and Jennies," 78. 
John, servant to R. Carrick, 209, 

210. 
Johnson, Dr., 248, 249. 
Jones' Directory, 188. 
Justiciary, High Court of, 275, 

283. 

Katrine, Loch, 149. 
Kean, Charles, 94. 

Edmund, 94. 
Kelburne, Lord, 83, 367. 
Kellet, Lieutenant-Colonel, 109. 
Kelvin, Lord, 265. 
Kennedy, Mrs., 20. 

William, Fitful Fancies, by, 

58. 
Kerr, John, 229. 
Killearn, birthplace of George 

Buchanan, 246. 
Kilmarnock, bank at, 234. 
King of Clubs, 41. 
King Street, 66. 
King's Park, 68. 
Kingston, bowlers, 96. 
Kirkcaldy, birthplace of Adam 

Smith, 247, 248. 
Knox, John, 335. 



INDEX 



Laird d' Logan, l66 ;/., 355 n., 

356 n. 
Lanark, cotton mills near. 176. 
Lancet, the, 317. 
Lang, Mr. John, 288. 
Lansdowne Church, 379. 
Lapstone, 365. 
Laurieston, cavalry barracks of, 

115- 
Lawrence, William, afterwards 

Sir William, 317. 
Leadbetter, John, 62. 
Leechman, Professor, 250. 
Leghorn, 196. 
Leitch, Dr. A., 329. 
Leven, Vale of, turkey-red trade 

in, 176. 
Leyden, 247. 
Life of Sir Walter Scott, Lock- 

hart, 280. 
Life of Watt, 253. 
Lindsay, W. S., M.P., 163. 
Liverpool, 198. 
Loch Fad, 94. 
Lochead, James, teacher of 

cookery, 154, 155. 
Logan & Kennedy, Messrs., 228. 
Logic, chair of, 256, 262. 
London mail-bag, 16. 
Lome, Marquis of, 370, 371. 
Lothian, Rev. Robert, 44, 277. 
Louise, Princess, 370. 
Louis-Philippe, King of France, 

159, 160. 
Love, Rev. Dr., 354. 
Lowe, Dr. Peter, 308, 309, 310, 

310 «., 315, 316. 
Inscription on tomb of, 310, 

311 ; memorial tablet, 

3"- . 

Lumsden, Sir James, 30, 159. 

IMacalpine, Mr., 223. 
McAlpine Street, 159. 
M 'Galium, Archibald, trial and 
punishment of, 277, 278. 
M'Cluckie, Sam, 2S4, 285. 
Macdonald Dr., 326. 
Macfarlane, Principal, 366. 



Macgillivray, Mr. Pittendreigh, 

sculptor, 311. 
Macgregor, Rev. Dr., 363. 
Macindoe, John, 296. 
Macintosh, 186, 187. 
M'Intosh, George, 24, 

Sir James, 41. 

Walter, 272. 
M'lvor, John, trial and punish- 
ment of, 277, 278. 
Mackcoul, James, 228. 
Mackenzie, James, LL.D., 305. 
M'Kenzie, Provost, 345. 
McKinlay, Peter, tavern of, 

153- 
McLean, William, 163. 
McLellan, Bailie, 162. 
Macleod, Dr. Norman, 362, 364, 

367, 369 £t seq. 
McNair, James, LL.D., 79, 182. 

Jean, 187. 

Robert, 181, 182, 183. 

Robert, merchant, 294, 295. 
M'Nair's Folly, 79. 
Macnee, artist, 95. 
M'Neill, Duncan, 290. 
M'Pherson, Alexander, 282. 
M'Ure, 181. 
Maitland Club, 152. 
Manchester, 11. 
Margarot, Maurice, 113. 
Marine Insurance, 189 et seq. 
Marshall, John, 223. 

Mr,, 87. 
Mathematics, chair of, 253, 

255- 
Maxwell, Sir John, of Pollok, 28, 

133- 

Mears, bellfounders, 348. 

Memoirs of Great Britain and 
Ireland, Dalrymple, 176. 

Memorials of the Faculty of Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons of 
Glasgoiv, 309, 310, 3io«., 
311 «., 3i2«.,3i3«.,3i5 
;/., 318 «. 

Mendoza, Daniel, 80. 

Menzies, Major James, 151. 
William, 290. 



INDEX 



Merry & Cuninghame, 83. 

James, S^- 
Millar, Captain, 118. 

Mrs., 15. 

Professor John, 249, 255. 

Provost, 107, 108. 
Miller, William, 59. 
Mitchell, Mr., Master of Police, 
78. 

Rev. Mr., 363. 
Modern Substitutes/or Christian- 
ity, 350. 
Molendinar Burn, 24. 
Monboddo, Lord, 90. 
MoncriefT, Scott, 24, 231. 
Monkland Canal, 24. 
Monkton, Rev. Dr. Laurie of, 

349- 
Monteith, Mr. Erl., 288. 
Henry, of Carstairs, 109. 
Henry, Provost of Glasgow, 

157, 158, 225. 
James, 342. 
Montgomerie, Rev. Mr. , of Stir- 
ling, Bishop of Glasgow, 

347- 
Moore, Sir John, 39-40. 
Advance to Sahagun, 40, 
Convention of Cintra, 39. 
Monument to, 40. 
Retreat to Corunna, 40. 
Service under General Burrard, 

39- 
under King of Sweden, 39. 
Ser\4ces under General Dal- 
rymple, 39. 
Moral Philosophy, chair of, 247. 
Morning and Evening Club, 47. 
Morningside Parish, Edinburgh, 

349- 

Morton, James, 375. 

Moss, home of George Buchan- 
an, 246. 

Motherwell, William, 58, 162. 

Muir, Rev. John, 349, 366. 
Very Rev. Pearson McAdam, 
D.D., Chaplain in Ordin- 
ary to the King, 305, 349, 
350. 



Muirhead, Mr., 253. 

Mull, 41. 

Municipal Politics, American, 

149. 
Murdoch, 213. 

Very Rev. Bishop, 142. 
Myln, Thomas, 307. 

Napier, David, 196. 
Wm., & Co., 228. 
Napoleonic Wars, 189. 
" Nestor," 69, 287. 
Newcomen, 252. 
New Doctor, The, 326. 
New Lanark, cotton industry, 

no. 
New Wynd, 23. 
Nichol, Professor, 263. 
Nish, Mr., sheriff-officer, 118. 
North British Daily Mail, 253. 
North-gate, 5. 

Old Glasgow Essays, 208 n. 

Old Monkland, 192. 

" Old Paisley" Bank, 225, 226 

et seq. 
One Hundred Glasgow Men, 120 

«., 196, 299, 362, 373. 
Ordnance, Board of, 323. 
O'Rell, Max, 347. 
Organ, introduction of, into St. 

Andrew's Church, 344. 
Orr, Bailie, afterwards Sir 
Andrew, 121. 
John, 283. 
Wilham, 51. 
Oswald, James, 28, 30. 
Richard, junior, 51. 

Paisley, 4, 11, 214. 

Industries, 4. 

Union Bank, 227. 
Paris, 308. 

Provost Lumsden's trip to, 
160, 161. 

Scots' College at, 246. 
Park, Robert, Town Cierk of 
Glasgow, 151. 

Sandy, So, 81. 

392 



INDEX 



Partner, 80. 

Paterson, Archibald, 25, 38. 

Pattison, Dr. Granville Sharp, 

3177 318. 
Payne, John Howard, drama- 
tist, 94. 
Peat, Rev. Mr., 354. 
Peregrine Pickle, 251. 
Perthshire Benevolent Society, 

61. 
Phelps, Hon. E. J., United 

States Ambassador to 

Great Britain, 271. 
Pinkerton, Edward, 59. 
Pitfour, Lord, 273. 
" Plainstanes," the, at Glasgow, 

178. 
Pleasures of Hope, by Thomas 

Campbell, 41. 
Pollokshaws, 358. 
Polmont, Stirling, 349. 
Polytechnic, the, at Glasgow, 

200. 
Popular Traditions of Glasgotv, 

252 «., 260 «., 338 «. 
Porteous, Mr., 89, 90. 
Pritchard, 296. 
Provan, Alexander, trial and 

execution of, 275. 
Provand, George, looting of 

house by rioters, 1 14. 
Pugilism, 80. 
Punishments, 283, 284. 

Quaint OldGlasgow, by a Burgess 
of Glasgow, 89«., 236 «., 
259 «. 

Queen Street, 70, 83, 84, 86, 
120. 

Queensberry, Duke of, 351. 

Rab Ha', 83. 

Radical Rising, 114. 

Rambling Recollections of Old 
Glasgow, 99 «., 211 «., 
234«.,255w.,256w.,279 
w.,288«., 292;/., 358 «., 
366 n. 

393 



Ramsay, Allan, 258. 

of Barnton, 83. 

Professor, 259. 

Sir William, 266. 
Ramshorn Yard, 319. 
Rankin, Dr., 353. 
Ratan, 27. 
Ratting, 83. 

Rebellions, '15 and '45, 6-7. 
Reddie, Mr., 344. 
Reform Bill, 28, 29, 31. 

Parliament, 29. 
Reformation, the, 87. 
Reid, Dr., 248. 

Matthew, 159. 

Miss, 157, 158. 

Mr., 279, 2S0. 

Professor, 8, 9. 
Religious Writers of England, 

. 350. 
Reminiscences of Eighty Years, 
83«-, 93» 97. 200 «., 234 
n., 358. 
Renfrewshire Bank, 228, 229. 
Renton, village of, 251. 
Resurrectionism, 316, 31S. 
Risk, John, widow of, 313. 
Ritchie, of Busby, 177. 

Dr. John, 62. 

Dr., of St. Andrew's 
Church, 344, 346. 
River Bailie Court, 170. 
Robertson & Atkinson, 57. 
Robertson, Andrew, 186. 

David, 58, 59, 60, 61. 

James, 186. 

Rev. James, 352. 

Mill of, 82. 

Mr., 61. 

Patrick, afterwards Lord, 366. 

William, 186. 
Roderick Random, 251. 
Rodger, Alexander, 59. 
Romana, Marquis, 40. 
Rosehall Gardens, New City 

Road, 82. 
Roseneath cottage, Paisley 

Road, 82. 
Rothesay, 94. 



INDEX 



Rowan, Michael, 211. 
Royal Bank, 212, 214, 230, 231, 
236 
robbery at, 239. 
Royal Bank Place, 120. 
Royal Exchange, Glasgow, 177, 
121, 236. 
theft at, 2 38. 
Royal Faculty of Physicians and 
Surgeons founded, 30S, 

3io> 3"- 
Ruach, Donald, 187. 
Russell, Dr. Andrew, 318. 

Lord John, 29. 
Rutherglen, Andrew, 31. 

Sabbath, Scotch, 342. 

Sahagun, 39. 

St. Andrew's Square, 24. 

St. Andrews University, 246. 

Saint Kentigern, first Bishop of 

Glasgow, 149. 
St. Mary's U.F. Church, Govan, 

335- 
St. Mungo, 176. 
Saint Serf, 150. 
Salmond, Mr., procurator-fiscal, 

118. :r.T 

Saltmarket, 10, 22, 24, 121, 

322. 
Sanders, Henry, 226. 
Sandford, Sir Daniel, 30. 

E. D., 290. 
"Sandy M'Alpine" (the late 
William Walker), lOO. 
Saracen's Head Inn, 248. 
Sauchiehall Street, 234. 
Scotch humour, 131 f/ se(]. 
Scotland, Bank of, 207, 212, 

214, 233. 
Scots' College in Paris, 246. 
Scots Magazitte, 214, 216. 
Scott, Charles C, of Hawkhill, 
226. 
David, 231, 232. 
Dr., 323. 
Messrs. John, of Greenock, 

226. 
Mr., 291. 



Scott, trial of, 285, 286, 287. 
Walter, of Harden, 13. 
Sir Walter, 249. 
William, 288. 
Scotton, the cricketer, 258. 
Secession Church, 354. 
"Senex," 21, 68, 77, 83, 84, 
180, 216, 218, 223, 230, 
232, 285. 
Serpentine Walk, 68. 
Seymour, F., 92, 94. 
Shawfield riot, 107. 
Shawfield, Walter of (late of 

Islay), 65. 
Shearer, Robert S., bookseller 

at Stirling, 121. 
Ship Bank, 207, 208, 209, 210, 
211, 212, 213, 220, 229, 
230, 231. 
Notes, 234. 
Situation of, 210. 
Shipbuilding at Glasgow, 196. 
Shipowners of Glasgow, 197 et 

seq. 
Shuttle Street Secession 

Church, 374. 
Siddons, Mrs., 95. 
Sidmouth, Lord, iii, 112. 
Simpson, William, 23, 231. 
Simson, Dr., 253, 254. 
Robert, 14, 15, 16. 
Club of, 14. 
Sinclair, Matilda, marriage of, 

Skibo, building of factory at, 

185 et seq. 
Smart, Professor, Economic 

Annals, by, 53. 
Smith, Adam, 11, 208, 247, 
248, 250. 
James, 100. 
John, 102. 
Madeleine, 295. 
R. A., 162. 

Wm., of Fullwood, 226. 
Smollett, Tobias, 36, 37, 251, 

252. 
Social Life of Scotland in the 
Eighteenth Century, 4 

394 



INDEX 



«., lo «., 17 «., 274 «., 

342 n. 
Spanish Junta, 39. 
Spiers of Elderslie, 177. 
Spinners' strike, 111-112. 
Spinningdale, 186. 
Spreull, James, 79. 
Stair, Countess of, 301. 

Lord, 301. 
Star Inn, 214. 
Statute of Artificers, 114. 
Steel, Rab, Provost of Ruther- 

glen, 83. 
Stewart of Omoa, 162. 
Stewart, Archibald, 335. 

G., 156 71. 

Gavin, of Cumnock, 229. 

Thomas, 220. 
Stewarton, 37. 
Stirling, Mr., 177. 

Walter, Stirling's Library 
founded by, 54. 
Stockwell, 98. 

Street, 22, 235. 
Stone-fighting, 76. 
Story, Dr., of Roseneath, 258. 
Strang, Dr. John, 5, 37, 43, 44, 
45, 60, 69, 78, 79, 230, 

344- 
Strathblane, bleach-works in, 

176. 
" Strike, The," Glasgow Herald, 

122. 
Strikes, result of, in Glasgow, 

117. 
Stuarts, the, 6, 7. 
Sun, 30. 

Surgeons, College of, 317. 
Sutherland, Jock, hangman, 

280 et seq. 
Sydenham, Thomas Campbell 

resided at, 41. 

Talla water, 149. 
Tawse, use of, 20, 27. 
Taxation, reform of, in Glas- 
gow, 162 et seq. 
Taylor, Dr., 366. 
John, 46. 

395 



Tea gardens, 82. 
Templeton, Andrew, 227. 
Tennant, Charles (afterwards Sir 

Charles), 30. 
Theatre, introduction of, into 

Glasgow, 87. 
Theatre Royal, Queen Street, 

92, 95- 

Theory of Moral Sentiments, 
248. 

Thistle Bank, 208. 

Thistledown, 143;?., 167;/., 257 
n., 363 «., 364;;., 368 w., 
371 w., 372;/., 373 «• 

Thom, Rev. Mr., of Govan, 360, 
361. 

Thomson, William, afterwards 
Sir William, afterwards 
Lord Kelvin, 265. 
Alexander, 226. 
Dr., 248. 
John, 226. 

Thomson's Bank, 229, 230. 

Tillietudlem, 323. 

"Tobacco Lords," 178, 179. 

Tobacco trade, 11. 

Tolbooth, 5. 

Tollcross, robbery on road to, 
290. 

Tontine, the, 19. 

Topographical Picture of Glas- 
gow, 109 «., 151 71. 

Town Council, representation of 
the facts of Cliddesdaill's 
case made to, 313. 

Tradeston shopkeepers, 96, 

Trollope, Anthony, 371. 

Tron Church, 67, 343. 

Trongate, 9, 66. 

Trotter, Archibald, 213, 214. 

Tuileries, 160. 

Turkey-red trade in the Vale of 
Leven, 176. 

Umbrella, introduction of, into 

Glasgow, 18. 
Union, Act of, 4, 177, 350. 

Burning of Articles of, 351, 
Union Place, 87. 



INDEX 



Union Bank of Scotland, 207-8, 

228. 
Unitarian Chapel in Glasgow, 

374, 375- 
University of Glasgow, 245 et 
seq., 315. 
Schools, 316, 

Veitch, Professor, 262, 263. 

Victim, The, 124. 

Virginia, 11. 
Dons, 224. 

Trade opened with Glasgow, 
177, 17S. 

Virginian trade, loss of, 1 79. 

Visitor for the Faculty of Phy- 
sicians and Surgeons, 
Arch. Bogle, 312, 313. 

Waddell, Bailie, 78. 
Walkinshaw, Clementine, 64. 

John, of Barrowfield, 64. 

Mr., Camlachie built by, 51. 
Ward, 80. 
Wardlaw, Rev. Dr., 358. 

William, 25. 
Wardrop, James, anecdotes 

about, 53, 54, 55. 
Washington Street, 157 et seq. 
Watson, Dr., of Dundee, 369, 
370. 



Watson, Robert, 225. 
Watt, James, 8, 196, 252, 253. 
Wealth of Nations, 12. 
Weavers' strike, 109. 
Weekly Club, the, 11. 
Weir, William, 297. 
Welsh, Alexander, 326. 
West-end Park, 79. 
Western Bank, 227. 
West of Scotland, commercial 
instinct in, 175, 176. 

Iron and Steel Industries, 194. 

Mineral wealth of, 179, 
Wight, Dr., II, 250. 
Wilkes, 250. 

Wilkie, Sir David, 62, 162. 
Wilson, Professor, 59. 
Wolfe, Genera], 8, 17, 51, 64. 
Wombwell's Show, 99. 
Woodlands, 79. 
Wyld, Mr., 255. 

York Street, 354. 

Young, Mr., editor of Sun, 31. 

Professor, 263. 

Thomas, hangman, 116. 

Zioit^s Flowers, or Christian 
Poems for Spiritual Edi- 
fication, 337. 



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