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THe Clydc 


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frOxM: its source to the sea, 







W. J. MILLAR, C.E., 

Secretary of the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland ; 

author of " Principles of Mechanics;" 

'Studies in Physical Science;" "An Introduction to the Differential and Integral Calculus;" &c. 








In the present volume I have endeavoured to give an 
outline of the principal features of the River Clyde, 
and of the commercial and industrial operations which 
have rendered it so well known as a navigable river. 

Various books have appeared from time to time treat- 
ing specifically of the leading characteristics of the 
district, and of the rise and progress of its industries. 

The object of this work is rather to convey, in a con- 
densed form, a general idea of the River, and of its varied 
surroundings — both of a topographical and a commercial 
character — together with some of the geological and 
meteorological features of the Clyde Valley. 

For much of what is contained in the volume I am 
indebted to already published works, and to various indi- 
viduals and business firms, who readily responded to in- 
quiries on special points of a commercial, mechanical, or 
scientific nature ; also to many personal friends, who have 
kindly communicated valuable information, especially 
about old Glasgow, the river, and early steamboats. 

Throughout the text I have endeavoured to acknow- 
ledge the sources of all the quotations or special informa- 
tion obtained, and of the drawings and photographs lent 
for the purpose of illustration. The picturesque scenes 
have been drawn by D. Small and John Blair. 


Glasgow, J/«j/, 1888. 


Chap. Page 

I. Descriptive, ---1 

II. Topographical and Tributaries, &c., - - - 16 

III. Geological, - 40 

IV. Historical, ---.--..46 

V. The City of Glasgow, 64 

Old Glasgow, - -71 

Conveyances, - 91 

Postal Services, ------- 99 

Buildings, -------- lOO 

Institutions, - - - - - - - -111 

Bridges, 113 

Parks, 119 

Water Supply, .----.. 123 

Charities, &c., - - 129 

Poi)ulation and Area, 137 

VI. The Eiver, - . I44 

Steam Navigation, - - - - - -159 

Ptiver Traffic, - 188 

Steam Shipping, - - 199 

Progress of Shipping, ------ 232 

VII. Commercial and Industrial, . - - - 258 

Mining and Metallurgy, &c., 269 

VIII. Meteorological, &c., 286 

IX. Defences, 306 

X. Yachting, 311 

XL Lighthouses, 316 


The Harbour, Glasgow, ----- Frontispiece. 

Cora Linn — Falls of Clyde, ----..- 6 

Scene on the Clyde at Both well Castle, - - - - - 13 

Chart of Firth, 16 

Portrait of Thomas Telford, 22 

Cadzow Oaks and Cattle, Hamilton, ----- 25 

Roman Bridge over the Calder, ------ 26 

Geological Section from Gramjaians across the Country near 

Glasgow to South of Scotland, --..-. 43 

View of Firth of Clyde from above Largs, - - - - 57 

University Buildings, Gilmourhill, - - - - - - 103 

The Trongate — Tron Steeple and Cross, - - - - - 107 

New Municipal Buildings, - - - - - - - 109 

The Broomielaw, - - - - - - - - -119 

Tinto, near the Source of the Clyde, - - - - - - 121 

The Clyde, as viewed from near Finlayston, - - - - 133 

Gourock Bay and Firth of Clyde, from a Height between 

Greenock and Gourock, - - - - - - - 133 

Hopper Dredger for excavating and transporting Material, - 155 

Newcomen Engine, - - - - - - - - - 161 

Steamer Charlotte Dundas, 163 

Facsimile of the original Draft of the Comet by John Wood, - 166 

Engine of the Comet Steamboat, - - - - - - 167 

Portrait of Henry Bell, - - - .* - - - - 169 

Portrait of John Eobertson, - - - - - - - 175 

Plan and Section of an early Steamboat, 176 

Plan of Engines and Boilers of the second Waterloo, - - 183 

Steamer Helensburgh, built about 1826, 184 

Rough Weather on the Clyde, 197 

Portrait of James Watt, - - - ... 203 



Portrait of Robert Napier, 209 

Engine of the Industry, - - - - - - - - 211 

Part of Paddle-wheel, showing arrangement for Feathering Floats, 216 
Comparative Sizes of some early and more modern Steamships, - 223 
Cross Section of Marine Boiler, ...... 226 

Longitudinal Section of Marine Boiler, ----- 227 

The Industry in Bowling Harbour, ------ 229 

Longitudinal Section through Engine and Boiler Rooms of an 

Ocean-going Steamer, ....... 230 

Longitudinal Section throiigh After-part of an Ocean-going 

Steamer, showing Propeller and Shafting, - - . - 231 
Comparative Sections of Three Steamers, ----- 245 

Passenger Locomotive Engine, - - - - - - -284 

Bell-Coleman Refrigerating Machine, - - - - - 285 

Ailsa Craig, 321 




The traveller by the Caledonian Railway after passing 
Carstairs finds himself rising rapidly as he enters the 
mountainous district to the south. On the right the fine 
conical form of Tinto stands like a guardian of the pass. 
As he speeds onwards the valley narrows, with great 
swelling hills on either side. The river Clyde, which the 
line crossed shortly after leaving Carstairs, is once more 
alongside, and as the iron horse speeds his way upwards 
the long train dashes across the winding stream, which 
is now seen hurrying onwards with more rapidity than 
when it was first met lower down, where it lazily moved 
among the meadow-lands. 

A well-made road is also observable, being the old 
mail-coach route to Carlisle. This road was laid out by 
Telford, a celebrated engineer of nearly a century ago, 
who, from being a shepherd boy on the slopes of the 
Eskdale Hills, rose to design some of the most important 
engineering works carried out at the commencement 
of the present century. As a road-maker Telford was a 
worthy successor to the old Roman engineers who have 
left so many records of their skill and enterprise through- 
out our country. The present road from Carlisle to 
Vii " A 


Glasgow is pretty much in the line of the early Roman 
road which passed north from the termination of Ha- 
drian's Wall at the Solway to the Wall of Antoninus 
between the Clyde and the Forth. Branches from this 
road ran down the Clyde Valley to the termination of 
the latter wall, and passing over the site of Glasgow, 
reached the Roman station situated near the town of 
Paisley, which is supposed by some to be the Vanduara 
of the Romans. 

The road, rail, and river are all at this point close along- 
side one another in the narrow valley. It is not until 
an elevation of about 1000 ft. is reached that the river 
parts company, and winding along an upland valley to 
the right, stretches away like a silver thread into the 
dark and misty recesses of the Lowther Hills. Curiously 
enough, this longer terminal feeder of the stream we 
have been following does not carry the name we know 
it by farther down, but a shorter branch coming 
from the hills to the left, called Clydes Burn, is some- 
times spoken of as the source of the Clyde. The longer 
branches, called the Powtrail and Daer Waters, flow from 
the amphitheatre of hills bounded by Queensberry Hill 
to the south; of these branches the Daer Water is the 
more important feeder. According to the Ordnance Sur- 
vey the river Clyde is first known by that name after 
the junction of the Powtrail and Daer Waters. 

The course of the Clyde is at first in a northerly direc- 
tion, after which it trends to the east, and passing near 
Biggar, wheels round in a roughly-semicircular curve. 
It then starts off" in a north-westerly course, which it 
more or less keeps until, reaching the Firth of Clyde at 


Greenock, its waters flow seawards in a southerly direc- 
tion. The length of the river from its source to below 
Greenock, where the Firth of Clyde begins, may be taken 
at 100 miles, and the total fall or difference of level 
between the same points is about 2000 ft. The area of 
the basin or prolonged valley through which its course 
flows is about 1600 square miles. Throughout this 
course great variations of fall occur, notably at the 
Falls of Clyde, where the total difterence of level from 
above Bonnington to the foot of Stonebyres Falls is 
350 feet. 

The sources of the Clyde, lying as they do about the 
centre of the southern part of Scotland and amongst the 
high hills south of Tinto and around the Moflfat district 
(some of which rise to 2600 and 2700 feet above the 
level of the sea), are naturally associated with other waters 
which also in their turn play an important part in the 
topography of the district, and many of which are 
immortalized in Border song and story. Thus within a 
short distance of the so-called springs of the Clyde, and 
on the other side of the hills to the eastward, rises the 
classic Tweed, and not far to the east and south the im- 
portant tributaries of the latter, the Yarrow, Ettrick, and 
Teviot; whilst just over the summit level the Annan 
darts away to the south, making for the far-distant and 
blue outline of Skiddaw beyond the wide and rapid 

Tributaries of the Nith flow towards the south-west 
from the western sides of the hills bounding the valley, 
and on the western side Douglas Water flows northwards, 
joining the Clyde itself west of Tinto. 


Wilson, in his poem of "The Clyde," thus describes the 

" From one vast mountain bursting on the day, 
Tweed, Clyde, and Annan urge their separate way. 
To Anglia's shores bright Tweed and Annan run, 
That seeks the rising, this the setting sun." 

The district around the upper waters of the Clyde is 
wild and bleak, and across the hills on the western side 
lies the Enterkin Pass, thus described by Defoe: 

" From Drumlanrig I took a Turn to see the famous Pass 
of Enterkin or Introkin Hill: It is indeed not easy to 
describe; but by telling you that it ascends through a 
winding Bottom for nearly half a Mile, and a Stranger 
sees nothing terrible, but vast high Mountains on either 
Hand, tho' all green, and with Sheep feeding on them to 
the very Top; when, on a suddain, turning short to the 
left, and crossing a Rill of Water in the Bottom, you 
mount the Side of one of those Hills, while, as you go 
on, the Bottom in which that Water runs down from 
between the Hills, Keeping its Level on your Right, be- 
gins to look very deep, till at Length it is a Precipice 
horrible and terrifying; on the left the Hill rises almost 
perpendicular, like a Wall; till being come about half 
Way, you have a steep, unpassable Height on the Left, 
and a monstrous Casm or Ditch on your Right; deep 
almost, as the Monument is high, and the Path, or Way, 
just broad enough for you to lead your Horse on it, and, 
if his Foot slips, you have nothing to do but let go the 
Bridle, least he pulls you with him, and then you will 
have the Satisfaction of seeing him dash'd to Pieces, and 
lye at the Bottom with his four Shoes uppermost." 


And at a much later date the genial author of Rah and his 
Friends, the late Dr. John Brown, writes of the same glen: 

" There is something marvellous in the silence of these 
upland solitudes; the burns slip away without noise; 
there are no trees, few birds; and it so happened that 
day that the sheep were niblDling elsewhere, and the 
shepherds all unseen. There was only ' the weird sound 
of its own stillness ' as we walked up the glen. It was 
refreshing; and reassuring after the din of the town, this 
out-of-the-world, unchangeable place." 

And one of the doctor's friends, inspired by the spirit 
of the scene, wrote: 

" Yet, I know, there lie, all lonely, 

Still to feed thought's loftiest mood, 
Countless glens undesecrated, 
Many an awful solitude. 

" Many a burn, in unknown corries, 

Down dark linns the white foam flings, 
Fringed with ruddy-berried rowans, 
Fed from everlasting springs. 

" Still there sleep unnumbered lochans, 
Craig- begirt 'mid deserts dumb. 
Where no human road yet travels, 
Never tourist's foot hath come." 

The superficial features of the valley of the Clyde are 
very varied. Rising amongst the great hills of the 
Southern Highlands, the course of the river lies for a 
time amid the moors and rough pasture of these up- 
lands. Lower down, and above the Falls, it moves slowly 
onwards through spreading meadows, with a wide pro- 
spect around of cultivated and wooded slopes. At 


Bennington Fall, however, the scene changes to one of 
combined beauty and grandeur not easily surpassed. The 



Cora Linn— Falls of Clyde. 

river, after taking its headlong plunge, rushes along for 
a couple of miles through a deep and narrow chasm, 


whose jagged rocks seem to torment and vex the once 
placid stream, until, after its triple leap at Cora Linn, it 
escapes for a time into the opener valley below. But along 
with all this impressive grandeur we have the softening 
effect of the foliage from the thousand trees and shrubs 
which clothe the rocky crags, and the varied bloom of 
the wild flowers amongst the grassy slopes. 

Here the calm beauty of the scene appears to have 
affected Wordsworth, who writes: 

" In Cora's glen the calm how deep, 
That trees on loftiest hill 
Like statues stand, or things asleep. 
All motionless and still." 

And now for a few miles we see the river once more 
comparatively quiet, and notice the angler wading in the 
shallows, or poised on some rocky ledge, deftly throwing 
his deceptive fly to catch the sportive trout. The deep 
and sombre ravine of Cartland Crags is passed on the 
right, with its caves where Wallace found a hiding-place, 
and its magnificent viaduct by Telford, with its tapering 
piers and arches rising high overhead. 

Once more at Stonebyres the river makes a series of 
leaps through a rocky chasm, and thereafter flows onward 
more leisurely through the orchard district above Hamil- 
ton. Here let us take leave of the Falls, saying with Sir 
John Bo wring: 

" O ! I have seen the Falls of Clyde, 

And never can forget them ; 
For Memory, in her hours of pride, 

'Midst gems of thought will set them, 
With every living thing allied : 

I will not now regret them." 


This part of Lanarkshire appears to have been cele- 
brated for its orchards from an early date. Thus we find 
in the Statistical Survey of Scotland: — "Orchards are of 
considerable antiquity on the Clyde. Merlin the poet, 
who wrote about the middle of the fifth century, cele- 
brates Clydesdale for its fruit. The soil and climate 
being inland, and consequently free from the blasting 
influence of mildews and fogs, may account for its being 
so favourable for the cultivation of orchards. At first 
they were planted in the shape of gardens, attached to 
houses for the accommodation of resident families. For 
two centuries or more they have been cultivated as a 
source of profit; they chiefly prevail, and are most ex- 
tensive and productive, on the north bank of the Clyde, 
having a southern exposure, though on the south bank 
there are also a considerable number, and some of them 
very fruitful." 

Campbell thus records his memories of a visit to this 

district : 

" It was as sweet an autumn day 
As ever shone on Clyde, 
And Lanark's orchards all the way 

Put forth their golden pride ; 
Even hedges busked in bravery, 
Look'd rich that sunny morn; 
The scarlet hip and blackberry 
So prank'd September's thorn." 

The area of ground set apart for orchards in Scotland 
appears to be nearly 2000 acres, of which Lanarkshire 
possesses nearly one-third. The fruits cultivated in the 
Clyde orchards are apples, pears, plums, strawberries, and 
gooseberries. Apples are not cultivated now to the same 


extent as formerly, owing to the importation of Ameri- 
can varieties. The culture of strawberries has very- 
much increased of late years, arising in part from the 
extensive manufacture of this and other fruits into jams 
and jellies, owing to the cheap price of sugar. 

Clydesdale has long been famed for its horses, many of 
which are now exported to America, and fetch large prices 
on account of their great strength and other valuable 
qualities. The line lorry horses in Glasgow, drawing 
their heavy loads, carefully looked after and well har- 
nessed, are a well-known sight, especially on the carter's 
holiday, or mayhap during some civic procession, when 
they turn out in all the glory of their natural strength. 

A writer in the Transactions of tlte Highland and 
Agricultural Society of Scotland thus describes them; he 
says: " Clydesdale horses, the best type of which are per- 
fect models of strength, with shapes eminently calculated 
for endurance and activity, undoubtedly are, as generally 
admitted, the best breed for farm work." On the upland 
farms the powerful draught of the Clydesdale soon adds 
furrow to furrow in the stiff soil, and at evening we see 
the cheery ploughman and "the miry beasts returning 
from the plough." 

The angler can find plenty of sport on the Clyde. 
Among the lonely hills, on the rocks or shallows at the 
foot of the Falls, further down in the Bothwell haughs, 
or again at Carmyle in the shade of the Kenmuir woods, 
he will find the trout rising to his fly. Regarding this 
Mr. Robert Blakey in his book on Angling says: "The 
waters from Elvanfoot to the primary rivulets of the 
river are full of fine trout; and there is a splendid fly- 


fishing range of many miles in extent. The streams 
are numerous and rippling. The trout found in these 
waters are of very good quality. The Falls efiectually 
prevent salmon ascending higher up than a few miles 
below Lanark. The rod-fishing is interrupted by the 
Falls, which are objects well worthy of a visit from the 
tourist. Below them good fishing again commences, and 
continues down to within three miles of Glasgow Bridge. 
There are no tributaries of the Clyde of so much fishing 
repute as to induce the tourist to turn aside from the 
main stream. If he fishes it properly from its source to 
the confines of Glasgow he will find the range of waters 
very interesting, and capable of affording him ample 

Following the course of the river we reach Hamilton, 
with its ducal palace showing above the tall trees which 
cover the haugh lands on the left bank, whilst indications 
of the utilitarian progress of the age may be seen on 
the opposite side in a briskly-going colliery placed close 
to the line of the old Roman road. A fine sweep of the 
river with high terraced banks on the right, on which 
part of the town of Bothwell is built, also suggests a time 
long before our historical reckoning when a wider stream 
swept past, or estuarine waves beat, on the higher slopes, 
which at that time probably formed an island. 

Bothwell Bridge, as originally built, appears to have 
been of the style commonly adopted by the earlier bridge- 
builders, that is, a high arch or arches in the centre, nearly 
if not altogether semicircular, with smaller arches towards 
the ends or sides of the river. The roadway was also 
narrow, and this, combined with the great steepness of the 


gradients on each side of the central arches, must have 
rendered the passage of wheeled vehicles a laborious 
process. We have still a number of such old bridges 
remaining in different parts of the country; some 
preserving the early characteristics referred to, others 
showing improvements in wider roadways and less steep 

The Bridge appears to have been built at an early 
date. It was originally only 20 feet wide, had a steep road- 
way, and was fortified by a gateway at the Hamilton 
side. It appears to have retained its smaller side arches 
till 1826, when it was widened; the addition which was 
made on the up side was 22 feet. This difference in the 
mason work is readily noticeable, as the old or down- 
stream part of the centre arches is of a kind of ribbed 
work, the new part being plain in the soffit or under part 
of the arch. The piers, which are 15 feet thick, have 
heavy starlings both on the up and down side of the 
stream. Some years ago the width was still further in- 
creased by iron work carrying a footway 5 feet wide. 
The footway thus projects from the stonework of each 
side, and the carriage roadway, which is 30 feet wide, 
extends over the whole breadth of the stone structure. 
There are now four arches of 45 feet span, and the 
length of the bridge from bank to bank is 225 feet. 

The roadway of the bridge is now level, and the road 
on each side rises with a considerable gradient. The old 
road on the Glasgow side was much steeper than the new 
approach, and had in addition the disadvantage of leaving 
the bridge at nearly a right angle, turning sharply in 
the reverse direction as it ascended the hill. In coming 


down this hill on a dark night, taking the sharp turns 
required to get on the bridge, must have called for all 
the well-known skill of the drivers of the mail-coaches 
of the old days. Standing on the bridge and viewing 
the changes which have taken place there, it is difficult 
to picture to one's self the unsettled and troublous times 
of our forefathers, when the struggle for its possession 
took place. When 

"The muskets were flashing, the blue swords were gleaming, 
The helmets were cleft, and the red blood was streaming." 

Passing the Blantyre mills, where at one time the 
great African traveller Livingstone worked when a boy, 
and who was born at the village of the same name 
adjoining, the river flows through the steep and beauti- 
fully-wooded slopes between Blantyre Priory and Both- 
well Castle. 

After passing Uddingston the course of the river is 
through Kenmuir Wood and past Carmyle — favourite 
haunt of fisherman and artist — and as it winds along in 
the flat grounds it passes in turn some well-known land- 
marks, such as the Clyde Iron Works, the site of the old 
Glasgow Water Works, and then through the high arches 
of the old bridge leading to Rutherglen, the handsome 
tower of the town building of this ancient burgh rising 
high on the left. Hugh M'Donald in his interesting 
Rambles Round Glasgow, says: "The steeple of a small 
though very ancient church, on the site of which the 
present one was built, stands in the vicinity, a venerable 
memorial of bygone ages, associated with recollections of 
several interesting events in Scottish history. According 



to Blind Harry, the biographer o£ Wallace, a peace was 
concluded here between England and Scotland in 1297." 
Sweeping in a fine curve round Glasgow Green, and 
passing through the arches of the various bridges which 
connect the northern and southern parts of the city, the 

Scene on the Clyde at Bothwell Castle. 

river holds its way to the sea, hemmed in now by quay 
walls and dykes, with the buckets of the dredger con- 
stantly scooping out the loose material from the bottom, 
and thus fitting it to bear on its now broadening bosom 
the vast fleet of vessels, new and old, which constantly 
ply on its waters. 

The valley of the Clyde from Glasgow downwards is 
wide and open, with great areas of comparatively flat 



and fertile land stretching back on either side to the 
ranges of hills which bound its course to north and south. 
Several fine old mansion houses are still to be seen on 
the banks, many of them now incorporated in the numer- 
ous shipbuilding yards which line the river. 

Campbell — with more of sympathy for nature than 
for the triumphs of science and art — expresses himself 
forcibly on the changes which have taken place through 
the shipbuilding and engineering industries on the river 

"And call they this Improvement 1 — to have changed 
My native Clyde, thy once romantic shore, }. 

Where Nature's face is banished and estranged, 
And Heaven reflected in thy wave no more ; 
Whose banks, that sweeten'd May-day breath before, 
Lie sere and leafless now in summer's beam. 
With sooty exhalations covered o'er; 
And for the daisied greensward down thy stream 
Unsightly brick-lanes smoke and clanking engines gleam." 

About 10 miles from Glasgow the hills on the north 
side of the valley approach the river, and from a slight 
elevation called Dalnottar Hill a magnificent view is ob- 
tained of the now widening Clyde, with Dumbarton Rock 
and the distant hills above Dunoon filling up the distance. 
This view has brought several artists of high reputation 
to portray its features on canvas. Lovely at all times as 
the view is, it is specially so on a fine summer evening, 
when the sun, now nearing the western hills above the 
Holy Loch, throws a long trail of luminous splendour all 
along the line of the flowing stream. 

Near this point the Forth and Clyde Canal joins the 


river, the Roman wall terminates but a short distance 
below, whilst the adjacent village of Old Kilpatrick 
has the special prestige of being, according to authentic 
tradition, the birthplace of St. Patrick, Ireland's patron 
saint. The harbour of Bowling, where the bulk of the 
river steamers quietly doze away during the winter 
months after their busy summer's work, the monument 
to Henry Bell, who has the distinguished honour of 
having started the first passenger steamer in European 
waters, the Comet, and the great basaltic hill of Dumbuck 
completely fill the eye of the observer as he contemplates 
the scene; whilst, turning to the southern side, he sees 
the handsome mansion and grounds of Erskine House. 

Onwards the river sweeps to the sea, hurrying past 
the Vale of Leven, which opens out to the north, with 
the massive form of Ben Lomond overlooking the sur- 
rounding hills. Wide stretches of sandy flats now show 
themselves when the tide is out, but the navigable part 
is kept clear by training walls and constant dredger work, 
and the sea breezes now curl the waters as they flow 
past Port-Glasgow and Greenock, to mingle with the salt 
waters of the tidal wave which beats upon the coast. 

Around us now is a varied scene: shipping, from the 
full-rigged ship and the 5000-ton steamer to the 5 -ton 
yacht and steam-launch; towns and villages lining the 
shores with the villas and mansions of the prosperous 
Glasgow merchant; while we may catch a glimpse of the 
evening steamers racing from the nearest railway ter- 
minus, each with its load of business men returning to 
their families at the coast. The beauties of the Firth of 
Clyde are deservedly well known, and for this we have 


to thank the enterprising steamboat-owning firms, who 
have for more than half a century been actively engaged 
in opening up the various now well-known routes and 
consolidating their efforts in coimection with railway and 
coaching transit. 

The Firth of Clyde just below the " Tail of the Bank " 
presents many of the well-known characteristics of the 
West Highland scenery, which in turn is like a miniature 
Norwecjian coast-line. The arms of Loch Long, the 
Gareloch, and Holy Loch run into the wild Highland 
hills beyond, like the fiords of the old Norse land, whilst 
the Alpine peaks of Arran are seen far away over the low 
and fertile hills of Bute. 

"In night the fairy prospects sink 
Where Cumray's isles, with verdant link, 
Close the fair entrance of the Clyde ; 
The woods of Bute no more descried, 
Are gone." 

Chapter II. 

From its source downwards to Glasgow the Clyde flows 
through Lanarkshire; afterwards, until about Greenock, 
its course is between Dumbartonshire on the north and 
Renfrewshire on the south. The fertile slopes of Aj^rshire 
and the Highland hills of Argyleshire continue the boun- 
dary to the now widening waters of the Firth. 

Lanarkshire, or Clydesdale, is bounded on the north 

J. BartholDniew, liiiln. 


and north-west by the counties of Stirling, Dumbarton, 
and Kenfrew; on the north-east by Edinburgh and Lin- 
lithgow; on the east by Peebles; on the south by Dum- 
fries; and on the south-west and west by Ayrshire. It 
is situated between 55° 54' and 55° 25' of north latitude, 
and 3° 25' and 4° 18' of west longitude. The length 
from north-west to south-east is about 50 miles; and the 
greatest breadth from north-east to south-west is 34 miles. 
It contains an area of 568,867 acres, or 888 square miles. 

Lanarkshire is subdivided into three districts, called 
the Upper, Middle, and Lower Wards. In the Upper 
Ward, of which Lanark is the chief town, are the 
parishes of Carluke, Lanark, Carstairs, Carnwath, Dun- 
syre, Dolphinton, Walston, Biggar, Liberton, Lamington 
and Wandell, Coulter, Crawford, Crawfordjohn, Douglas, 
Wiston and Roberton, Symington, Covington, Pettinain, 
Carmichael, and Lesmahagow. The Middle Ward, of 
which the town of Hamilton is the centre, comprehends 
the parishes of Hamilton, Blantyre, East Kilbride, Avon- 
dale, Glassford, Stonehouse, Dalserf, Cambusnethan, 
Shotts, Dalziel, Bothwell, New Monkland, and Old 
Monkland. The Lower Ward contains the parishes of 
Cadder, Cambuslang, Rutherglen, Carmunnock, and part 
of Govan and Cathcart. In and around Glasgow are 
the parishes of the City, Barony, Calton, Gorbals, Mary- 
hill, Springburn, and Shettleston. 

Dumbartonshire, in old times known as The Lennox, is 
more or less mountainous, with some arable land near 
the Clyde. Loch Lomond stretches for miles towards 
the Highland mountains, and the "Lofty Ben Lomond," 
over 3000 feet in height, rises from the eastern side of 



the loch, seen from afar, whether from Highland hill 
or Lowland vale. The area of this county is 172,677 
acres, of which the waters of Loch Lomond itself form 
nearly one-eighth part. The town of Dumbarton, famous 
for its ship-building enterprise, is the principal industrial 

Kenfrewshire extends to 162,427 acres, and is much 
diversified as to soil, minerals, towns, &c., and, like 
Lanarkshire, contains many important industrial centres 
of population. From the returns for 1887-88 the valua- 
tion of Lanarkshire appears to be £2,079,860. 

Several important tributary streams enter the Clyde 
along its course, and are associated with many circum- 
stances and places of interest. Wilson, in his Clyde 
poem, enumerates these streams, giving each its parti- 
cular characteristic, thus: 

" Glengonar's dangerous stream was stained with lead ; 
Fillets of wool bound dark Duneaton's head ; 
With corn-ears crowned, the sister Medwins^ rose, 
And Mouse, whose mining stream in coverts flows ; 
Black Douglas, drunk by heroes far renowned. 
And turbid Nethan's front with alders bound; 
Calder, with oak around his temples twined. 
And Kelvin, Glasgow's boundary flood designed ; 

1 A small branch of the South Medwyn runs off towards the east, near Gar- 
Taldfoot, changes its name soon to the Tarth, passes out the Lyne, and through 
it to the Tweed. The fact or phenomenon that salmon have been caught in 
the Clyde above the majestic and lofty cataracts of that noble river is accounted 
for on the supposition that, at the spawning season, some of the fish diverge 
from the Tweed up the Lyne and the Tarth till they turn the fork of the South 
Medwyn, and then go down the Clydesdale section of that curious stream. The 
point at which the Medwyn splits is, in consequence, popularly called the 
Salmon Leap.— Note to Wilson's " Clyde," by Dr. Leyden. 


Cart's sombre stream, which deep and silent moves, 
Where kings and queens of old indulged their loves ; 
Leven, which growth and infancy disdains. 
Rushing in strength mature upon the plains." 

John Wilson was born near Lanark in the year 1720. 
He wrote several pieces of a descriptive and dramatic 
character. His poem o£ "The Clyde" was published in 
1764. Wilson afterwards was appointed to the Grammar- 
school of Greenock in 1767, under the condition that he 
would give up "the profane and unprofitable art of poem 
making." This was a sore blow to the poet, but he 
accepted the position, and devoted himself closely to his 
work, which he carried on till within a year or two of his 
death in 1789. 

Allan Ramsay was a native of Leadhills, where he was 
born just about two hundred years ago. As described 
by himself: 

" Of Crauford-muir, born in Lead-hill, 
Where mineral springs Glengonir fill. 
Which joins sweet flowing Clyde, 
Between auld Craufurd-Lindsay's towers. 
And where Deneetnie rapid pours 
His sti'eam through Glotta's tide."^ 

He afterwards went to Edinburgh, where, amongst many 
pieces, his " Gentle Shepherd" was published in 1725. 
He died in Edinburgh in 1757, aged 73. 

Taylor and Symington, who were associated with the 
first attempts at steam navigation made by Patrick Miller 

1 The word Glota, the old Roman name for the river Clyde, is still kept up 
in the word " Glotiana," one of the " nations " in which the students of Glasgow 
University vote for the Lord Rector. 


of Dalswinton just a century ago, were also natives of 
this district. 

Lanark is an ancient town and royal burgh, situated 
a few miles north of the Clyde. According to some it was 
a seat of royalty and the home of an early parliament 
in the tenth century. Its associations with the patriot 
Wallace in his early struggles are graphically portrayed 
in the Scottish Chiefs, and it was doubtless one of the 
many points in the Roman system of military ways 
which passed down the Clyde valley at the eastern end 
of the town. 

A local guide-book states that "Lanark formerly en- 
joyed the privilege of keeping the standard weights of 
the kingdom. These weights were stamped with a spread 
eagle with two heads, the arms of the burgh. In 1790 
they were measured by Professor Robison of Edinburgh, 
and a second time (about 1800) for the purpose of 
rectifying those of Edinburgh." 

Here the ruins of the church of St. Kentiffern, datine: 
from the early part of the twelfth century, are interest- 
ing as an example of the " Early English " architecture. 
The Lee Aisle is attached to the building, and a number 
of quaint old tombstones may be seen in the cemetery, 
together with a handsome monument erected to the 
martyrs who suffered for conscience sake and belonged to 
the district. 

Sir Walter Scott, in his tale of the Talisvian, tells us 
that this talisman was an amulet supposed to possess 
special healing virtues, and which was brought from the 
East in the fourteenth century by Sir Simon Lockhart of 
Lee and Cartland, who "left it to his heirs, by whom, and 


by Clydesdale in general, it was, and is still, distinguished 
by the name of the Lee-penny, from the name of his 
native seat of Lee." 

The history of bells is always curious and interesting. 
One of those in the spire of the parish church has been 
recast several times, the earliest date on it being 1110. 

One of the principal tributary streams of the Clyde is 
the Douglas Water, an important stream, draining the 
large district to the south of Lanark and the Falls of 
Clyde, and lying to the west of Tinto. The beautiful 
and fertile valley through which this stream flows is 
called Dougiasdale, the parish of Douglas extending 
from the Clyde for about 12 miles. The parish is 
said to take its name from the stream, Douglas signi- 
fying a dark colour, and which appears to have given 
the surname of Douglas to the family who so power- 
fully affected the history of Scotland in earlier days. 
Douglas Castle, the "Castle Dangerous" of Sir Walter 
Scott, played, like other strongholds, an important part 
in the War of Independence, and he states that its sur- 
render by the English about the year 1306 "was the begin- 
ning of a career of conquest which was uninterrupted 
until the crowning mercy was gained in the celebrated 
field of Bannockburn." 

The Mouse enters the Clyde on the right bank a 
short distance below Lanark. It is principally notice- 
able from the bold and striking scenery neai* its point of 
junction with the river, where it flows through the chasm 
of the Cartland Crags, spanned by Telford's viaduct carry- 
ing the Glasgow road. Writing of Telford's works in roads 
and bridges. Smiles says: "Owing to the mountainous 



nature of the country through which Telford's Carlisle 
and Glasgow road passes, the bridges are unusually nu- 
merous and of large dimensions. Thus the Fiddler's Burn 
Bridge is of three arches, one of 150, and two of 105 feet 
span each. There are fourteen other bridges, presenting 
from one to three arches, of from 20 to 90 feet span. 

But the most pictur- 
esque and remarkable 
bridge, constructed by 
Telford in that district, 
was upon another line of 
road subsequently car- 
ried out by him, in the 
upper part of the county 
of Lanark, and crossing 
the main line of the 
Carlisle and Glasgow 
road almost at riffht 
angles. It was carried 
over deep ravines by 
several lofty bridges, the 
most formidable of 
which was that across the Mouse Water at Cartland Crags, 
about a mile to the west of Lanark. The stream here 
flows through a deep rocky chasm, the sides of which are 
in some places about 400 feet high. At a point where 
the height of the rocks is considerably less, but still 
most formidable, Telford spanned the ravine 129 feet 
above the water." 

The Nethan enters the Clyde on the left below Stone- 
byres Fall. It flows through the parish of Lesmahagow 

Thomas Telford. 


(famous for its gas-coal), and not far from its junc- 
tion passes through a rocky gorge, on the top of which 
stands the ruins of Craignethan Castle, believed to be the 
prototype of the Castle of Tillietudlem in Old Mortality- 
A considerable extent of Silurian rocks are met with 
in this district, some of the characteristic Lingula fossils 
being found in the rocks of the Nethan. 

Ordnance survey and Ordnance datum are well-known 
terms, especially the former, the latter belonging more 
specifically to the province of the engineer. We often 
speak of differences of levels of places and compare their 
heights; and if we look over the Ordnance maps, which 
indeed so well repay careful study, we see not only the 
country mapped out with accuracy, but we also find certain 
figures dotted over the surface, showing the elevation of 
the land above the fixed mean water datum at Liver- 
pool.^ The principles underlying such a survey as that 
which has been carried out in this country depend upon 
the science of spherical trigonometry, and are more or 
less complex in their applications to the necessary 
refinements entered into by the officers of the Survey. 
It may be interesting, therefore, to note that a native 
of the parish of Carluke (General Roy) appears to have 
been the first surveyor who carried out the earlier 
measurements of the base-lines required. Thus, in a 
recent notice the Glasgow Herald, referring to the work 
of General Roy and others about a century ago, says: 
"General Roy, apart altogether from later labours, may 
be said to have originated the Ordnance Survey as we 

1 This datum is a point 4-67 feet above the level of the old Dock Sill, Liver- 


now understand the phrase. It is pleasant for west- 
country people to remember that this distinguished 
military engineer was a native of Carluke parish, 

The Aven or Avon, doubtless from the British word 
for river, flows into the Clyde at Hamilton, and drains a 
good extent of country to the south. As it approaches 
the neighbourhood of Hamilton it finds its way through 
the fine old woods of Cadzow, whose old oaks, after 
braving the "battle and the breeze" of a thousand years, 
are, many of them, still flourishing, and likely to see 
many more changes in the coming years. Their battles 
have been mainly with the elements and the some- 
what varying conditions of climate throughout the long 
centuries of their life; but they have struck root firmly, 
and borne themselves nobly and bravely against the 
winds and frosts of winter, and the no less trying 
droughts of summer. Some old veterans there are, 
hollowed out by time, into whose shelter we can 
gather; and as we stand within the oak walls, with 
their still vigorous foliage floating high above us, we 
seem to hear them whispering to one another old stories 
of the past, when the wild animals and their Caledonian 
hunters roamed beneath their branches, and the excite- 
ment of the chase or the din of war echoed through the 
far-stretching glades. Later on the merry hawking 
party with knights, ladies, and attendants, clad in the 
armour and gay attire of the middle ages glanced amidst 
the sombre depths of this forest, and in times nearer to 
our own, persecuted Covenanters sought shelter amid its 
friendly covering. And here, even yet, under these old 



oaks, we have a remnant of the wild denizens of the 
primeval forest in the white cattle quietly feeding there. 
Cadzow, and Chillingham in England, seem to be the only- 
places where the old breed of wild cattle now exists. 



Cadzow Oaks and Cattle, Hamilton. 

They are of a white colour with black muzzles, and appear 
still to retain traces of the wild and untamable spirit of 
their far-back ancestors of the Caledonian forest. 

After passing the Avon we find three different streams 
bearing the name of Calder as tributaries, two of which 
flow in on the north side, and one on the southern side 
of the river. As the word Calder is said to indicate 
a place of wood and water, it is not strange that it 
should be applied to several of the well-wooded streams 
of this district. The South Calder Water is distinguished 



for its fine semicircular arch, supposed to be of Roman 
origin, as it is on the line of the Roman road which ran 
along the north side of the Clyde. 

A short distance below is the village of Bothwell with 

Roman Bridge over the Gaidar. 

its curious old church, thus described in the Statistical 
Survey of Scotland : — 

"The Old Church of Bothwell is a very ancient structure, 
and presents a fine specimen of Gothic architecture. It 
was used in former times as the quire of the collegiate 
church of Bothwell. In Catholic times Bothwell was 
the most important of the five collegiate churches of 
Lanarkshire. It was established by Archibald Douglas, 
Lord of Galloway (who married Johanna Moray, heiress 
of Bothwell), 10th October, 1398, and was confirmed by 


a charter from the king, 5th Feb. 1398-9. It was about 
this period that the present quire was built. The master- 
mason, as was indicated by an inscription in Saxon letters 
on a stone near the outer base of the old steeple, now 
removed, was Thomas Tron. The roof is arched and 
lofty, and presents the most remarkable feature of the 
building. On the outside it is covered with large flags 
of stone, hewn into the form of tiles resting on a mass of 
lime and stone, which in the centre is 11 feet in depth. 
The side walls are strengthened by strong buttresses to 
support the weight of the roof." The new parish church 
was built in 1833, and is in the Gothic style, to harmonize 
with the old church to which it is attached, a handsome 
tower, 120 feet high, rising at the junction of the two 
buildings. Joanna Baillie, celebrated as an authoress, 
was born in Both well Manse, her father, the Rev. James 
Baillie, D.D., being minister of the parish. 

The Calder — sometimes called the Rotten Calder — rises 
in the trap-hills to the south of Kilbride, and flows more 
or less northwards through a district of much geological 
interest and picturesque beauty. Both coal and ironstone 
have been worked along the bed of this stream, the old 
entrance workings being still visible. Cement-stones and 
limestones, both commercially valuable, are worked at 
diflerent parts of its course. One feature of special inter- 
est to geologists is that in passing along in its course from 
the hills to the Clyde it crosses the great "fault," which 
runs more or less parallel to the valley of the Clyde, and 
extends more or less from the Nethan, near its confluence 
with the Clyde, to about a mile or so to the south of 
Glasgow Bridge. 


There is still another Calder flowing from the north 
and joining the Clyde almost opposite the Rotten Calder, 
below Uddingston. 

The Kelvin is an important tributary of the Clyde, 
draininff a considerable area from its source in the Kil- 
syth Hills till it falls into the river at Partick. Its 
course is interesting, as at several points it is not far 
from the line of the Roman Wall, and at Belmulie, a 
few miles north of Glasgow, it crosses a point where at 
one time a Roman station was placed. 

The Cart enters the Clyde on the south side, a few 
miles farther down, passing to the west of the ancient 
burgh of Renfrew, and not far from Inchinnan, whose 
religious church history dates back to 1100 — a grant to 
the Knights Templars being made at that time by 
David I. Two considerable streams — the White Cart 
and Black Cart — meet just a little above their junction 
with the Clyde, the Black Cart having been, shortly 
before the junction, supplemented by the waters of the 
Gryfe. These streams drain a large extent of country 
from their sources in the high hill ground bordering 
the southern valley of the Clyde, passing through well- 
cultivated and populous districts, abounding in fine 
scenery and varied associations, both of an antiquarian 
and commercial character. 

The White Cart rises in the Mearns district, eleven miles 
south of Glasgow, and flows at first in a northerly direc- 
tion, passing through the parish of Cathcart and near the 
ruined castle of the same name. Within a short dis- 
tance is the field of Langside, the battle fought there 
in 1568 being so disastrous to the unfortunate Queen 


Mary of Scotland. This stream then turns westwards, 
passing through the populous and industrial centre of 
Pollokshaws, and shortly afterwards near the now ruined 
Crookston Castle, a residence of the same ill-fated Queen 
in her earlier days. Flowing through the busy town of 
Paisley, the White Cart turns again northwards until it 
joins its brother with the dark cognomen, which latter 
rises in Castle Semple Loch, and flowing north-easterly 
is joined by the Gryfe Water, which rises on the western 
side of Renfrewshire behind Greenock, and flows through 
a long valley lying amongst the hills. The head-waters 
of the Gryfe are utilized for supplying the town of 
Greenock with water, and at Bridge of Weir a dam is 
thrown across to give water-power to the mills there. 
Campbell sings of the Cart: — 

"Oh, the scenes of my childhood and dear to my heart, 
Ye green waving woods on the mai'gin of Cart! 
How blest in the morning of life I have strayed 
By the stream of the vale and the grass-covered glade!" 

Paisley appears to be situated on or near the site of the 
old Roman station of Vanduara, and has for long been a 
prosperous town, both in the early days of the hand- 
loom weaving industry, and later on when water-power 
and steam gradually superseded the use of hands, 
and the single work-room of the weaver was extended 
and enlarged to the factory with its looms and spinning- 
jennies for the manufacture of various fabrics. Now the 
great thread-mill, where miles of that indispensable 
material for sewing, whether by hand or by machine, is 
made, may be seen rising as a palatial-looking structure 


many stories high. Our old friend Pennant, always keenly 
alive to facts and objects of interest, tells us that, "about 
fifty years ago the making of white stitching threads was 
first introduced into the west country by a private gentle- 
woman, Mrs. Millar of Bargarran, who, very much to her 
own honour, imported a twist-mill from Holland and 
carried on a small manufacture in her own family." This 
early and simple attempt was afterwards extended, and 
at the time of Pennant's visit the value of the thread 
manufacture had risen to nearly £50,000. Besides this 
the manufacture of lawns, silk gauze, and ribbons, was 
carried on, and the celebrated Paisley plaid, with its 
well-marked pine-cone pattern, became quite a fashion. 
Some of these latter industries have died out, but their 
place has been taken by others, and Paisley, with her 
66,000 inhabitants, is as busy as ever manufacturing, 
besides thread and some other textile fabrics, starch, 
corn-flour, and machinery, while on the banks of the 
tributary Cart iron vessels of various kinds are now 

Paisley has a long list of eminent men who have been 
born within her borders. Professor Wilson, the " North " 
of the Ixodes; Wilson, the ornithologist; and the sweet 
singer, Tannahill, whose home is still shown where he 
worked at his loom; many others whose names are cele- 
brated were natives of this busy industrial centre. 

The Abbey Church is a fine old building, the style being 
early English Gothic. Adjoining the church is a build- 
ing called the Sounding Aisle, from the wonderfully fine 
echo or reverberation of sound which takes place inside. 
On shutting the door suddenly the noise is intensified 


to such an extent as to resemble a peal of thunder. The 
sound of a strong, deep voice is answered by as it were 
the roar of a lion. Singing, especially low, clear tones, 
and whistling, can be heard wandering away about the 
roof as if there were answering spirits hovering above. 

Passing down to Renfrew, another ancient burgh, we 
are in the neighbourhood of Elderslie, where at least one 
tradition says that the patriot Wallace was born. 

" Yet bleeding and bound though her Wallace wight 
For his long-loved country die, 
The bugle ne'er sung to a bi'aver knight 
Than Wallace of Elderslie." 

Renfrew was an important place in early times, and 
was frequented by royalty. Robert II. had a palace 
here, and, as showing the condition of the river at these 
times, it is said that in the sixteenth century the burgesses 
of Renfrew had sixty boats employed fishing salmon. 
These fish, indeed, were so plentiful that the apprentices 
in the ancient and royal burgh made a stipulation that 
they were only to have a certain number of salmon 
dinners. Now, a railway-station, a steamboat wharf, and 
ship-building yards, are the most striking features which 
attract the eyes of the visitor. It may be noted that the 
building of dredgers is made a specialty here, all the 
newest improvements being introduced, so as more 
readily to scoop up and remove the dredged material 
from the river or bank. It is not only in our own river 
that dredging operations are carried on, but in many 
other rivers at home and abroad, and on the bars at 
their mouths, the iron bucket tears its way and brings 
up its spoil. 


Inchinnau parish church stands a little below Renfrew, 
beautifully situated on a bend of the Gryfe close to its 
junction with the Cart. A religious house existed here 
so far back as in the year 1100; and in the graveyard 
several quaintly-carved old stones may be seen. 

The following anecdote is told to show the eiFect on 
an upper Clydesdale man of the tidal action in the river 
here. " In the early part of last century the clergyman 
of Lamington, in the upper ward of Lanarkshire, had 
come to assist his friend, the incumbent of Inchinnan, on 
a sacramental occasion, travelling on horseback, and at- 
tended, according to the invariable practice, by his man, 
who, although from his vocation a severe critic of ser- 
mons, was profoundly ignorant of the doctrine of the 
tides. During the course of the visit the servant was 
astounded and alarmed to discover that the waters were 
moving in a direction the reverse of what he had pre- 
viously witnessed; whereupon, concluding that some aw- 
ful calamity impended, he hastened to his master's 
chamber, broke his slumbers, divulged the appalling 
phenomenon, suggested the prudence of immediate de- 
parture, and concluded by expressing a faint hope that 
they might yet reach Lamington in safety." — Statistical 
Survey of Scotland. 

The water from Loch Humphrey in the Kilpatrick 
Hills is j)erhaps the largest addition for some distance on 
the north side, if we except the Forth and Clyde Canal, 
which empties itself at Bowling. The stream referred 
to was largely utilized some years ago by the mills at 
Duntocher erected there. A little above this village the 
stream crosses the line of the Roman wall, where an old 


arch, probably of Roman origin, still carries the roadway 
leading to Glasgow by New Kilpatrick, and contains a 
stone with an inscription in Latin, which appears to be 
a copy from an earlier part of the structure. A mile or 
two lower down the river the small village of Milton is 
situated in a hollow almost beneath the shadow of the 
great basaltic hill of Dumbuck. This place, and Rothesay 
in the island of Bute, have the honour of being the first 
to start the cotton industry by power. 

The Leven, also on the north side, is a short river, 
being the outlet of the waters of Loch Lomond. It is 
not now the stream of which Smollett wrote, as its banks 
are alive with various industries, such as dyeing, printing, 
ship-building, &c. 

" On Leven's banks, while free to rove, 
And tune the rural pipe of love, 
I envied not the happiest swain 
That ever trod the Arcadian plain; 
Devolving from thy pai-ent lake, 
A charming maze thy waters make. 
By bowers of birch and grove of pine 
And edges flowered with eglantine." 

Dumbarton, situated at the foot of its guardian 
Rock, has, like many other Scottish towns, a history- 
stretching back to the rude and troublous times of cen- 
turies ago ; thereafter, as the country quieted down, shar- 
ing in the manufacturing and commercial progress of the 
times, due to the enterprise and skill of its townspeople. 
At an earlier date it was noted for its glass manufacture; 
now the specialty is ship-building and marine engineer- 
ing. The Dumbarton people appear early to have shown 


skill in the ship-building line, as it is said that a ship 
was built here for King Robert the Bruce, who, after 
" life's fitful fever," died at Cardross in the neighbour- 

Pennant says, " The Roman fleet in all probability had 
its station under Dumbarton; the Glota or Clyde has 
there sufficient depth of water; the place was convenient 
and secure, near the end of the wall, and covered by the 
fort of Dunglas; the Pharos on the top of the great rock 
is another strong proof that the Romans made it their 
harbour, for the water beyond is impassable for ships or 
any vessels of large burden." 

From Dumbarton many fine steamers and sailing vessels 
have been launched into the Leven, and its various ship- 
building and engineering yards employ many thousands 
of workmen. And not only is the practical department 
of ship-building so well represented, but this town has the 
honour to possess a special feature, unique on the Clyde, 
viz.: a tank, erected by the Messrs. Denny in the Leven 
Shipyard, in which models of the various ships about to 
be built can be experimented upon, and the results for 
the ship obtained from the experiments with the model 
by means of the relations established by the late Dr. 
Froude, whose tank at Torquay has yielded so many re- 
sults alike valuable to the ship-builder and the marine 

From Pennant's tour we learn that: "After a long 
contest with a violent adverse wind, and very turbulent 
water," he passed under on the south shore, Newark, a 
castellated house with round towers, and reached Port- 
Glasgow. He says it is "a considerable town with a great 


pier, and numbers of large ships, dependent on Glasgow, 
a creation of that city since the year 1608, when it was 
purchased from Sir Patrick Maxwell of Newark, houses 
built, a harbour formed, and the Custom-house for the 
Clyde established." 

Port-Glasgow, with its many old-fashioned houses with 
crow-stepped gables, and its distinctive odour to the passer- 
by in the railway train of tar or oakum from the rope- 
spinning works, recalls the past times when there were 
few or no steam-boats and no electric telegraph, and the 
sailing ship was the great ocean carrier. The merchant 
in those days, after sending off his ship and cargo, could 
rest contentedly, so far as these possessions went, and was 
not worried, as his successor is at the present time, with 
swift passages and "wires" from all quarters of the globe. 
This town was originally called New Port-Glasgow, or 
shortly "Newport;" at least, Wilson, about 1764, refers 
to it thus: 

" Where, crowned with wood, fair hills embrace the bay 
Where Newport smiles, in youthful lustre gay." 

Ground was originally feued here by the magistrates 
of Glasgow for a harbour for the shipping of the city. 
The Glasgow people had at first thought of Dumbarton 
and then Greenock as their port; but difficulties with the 
authorities of these independent burghs caused them to 
set up one for themselves, hence Port-Glasgow. 

Greenock, like the larger commercial city further up 
the river, was but a comparatively small town about the 
middle of last century, the population at that time being 
under 4000. Looking at a map of the river and firth 


published in 1760 by Jolm Watt, junr.,^ we see Greeuock 
and the neighbouring town of Cart^dyke (now long since 
united) a^ each chistered round their quaj^s or harbours, 
which project boldly into the river like bent arms, as if 
to welcome and secure the passing sail. 

Greenock, according to Pr. Lej^den in 1707, was a 
" thriving seaport, rapidly emerging into notice. In the 
beginning of last century it consisted of a single row of 
thatched houses, stretching along a bay without a har- 
bour. In 1707 a harbour began to be constructed, but 
the town increased so slowly that in 1755 its population 
amounted only to about 3800 souls." In 1785 a dry-dock 
was built, and from time to time the harbour accom- 
modation improved, so that about 1820, when the popula- 
tion amounted to about 27,000, the length of quays was 
over 700 yards. The Custom-house was erected in 1818 
at a cost of £30,000, and with its handsome classic front 
has long been a well-known object to the steam-boat 
travellers up and down the river, and especially in the old 
days before the Princes Pier and Wemyss Bay routes were 
opened. Many a hurried, and perchance wearied, foot has 
trod the naiTOw and dirty lane which used to lead from 
the railway terminus to the quay, passing this tine edilice 
on the way. But not only ha^ the mai-ch of improvement 
in railway service been going on, it has also passed over 
the quaint old crow-stepped gabled houses of this part of 
the town, and new building-s in all the glory of fresh 

^ This map is of gi-eat interest, and apj^ars to have been published by John 
Watt, jiuu-., a brother of the great J;vnies Watt, and nephew to the John 
Watt, senr., who made the survey for the map itself in 1734. It also appears 
that the map was advertised as on s;\le at the shop of James Watt, in the 
Collie of Glasgow, at the price of 2s. 6d. 


ashlar fronts have arisen in their place. A few years ago 
a handsome group of buildings, with an elevated tower, 
were erected for the municipal work of the town. 

In the Statistical Survey of Scotland we have the 
following curious extract: — 

" In the Literary Ramhler for October, 1832, there are 
some curious excerpts from a manuscript in the Advocates' 
Library, purporting to be a report by Thomas Tucker, 
one of Cromwell's servants, who was appointed to arrange 
the customs and excise in this country; from which we 
may form some conception of the state of commerce in 
Greenock and the neighbouring towns two centuries ago. 
The report is addressed ' To the Right Honourable the 
Commissioners for Appeals,' and is dated November 20th, 
1656. After describing Glasgow as a 'very neate burghe 
towne;' all whose inhabitants were traders except the 
students, ' some for Ireland, with small smiddy coales in 
open boates from four to ten tonnes . . . some for 
France with pladding, coales, and hering.' And some 
venturing as far as Barbadoes, but discouraged by the 
loss they sustained, 'by reason of their going out and 
coming home late every year.' The reporter proceeds to 
describe the towns of Port-Glasgow and Greenock in the 
following terms: 'The number of ports in this district 
are, 1st, Newarke (Port- Glasgow), a small place where 
there are (besides the laird's house of the place) some 
four or five houses, but before them a pretty good roade, 
where all the vessells doe ride, unlade, and send their 
goods up to the river Glasgow in small boats ; and at this 
place there is a wayter constantly attending. 2dly, 
Greenock — such another — only the inhabitants are more, 


but all sea men or fishermen trading for Ireland or the 
isles in open boates. Att which place there is a mole 
peere where vessells in stresse of weather may ride and 
shelter them selves before they pass up to Newarke ; and 
here, likewise, is another wayter.' " 

Greenock, with a population of about 70,000, is a busy 
commercial centre. Ship-building, marine engineering, 
iron-foundries, and sugar- works, all combine to give em- 
ployment to large numbers of work people. In busy times 
the smoke from the many tall chimneys, although indi- 
cating commercial activity, has quite an obscuring eflTect 
on the splendid landscape which opens out to the passer- 
by on the railways carried along the steep hill -sides 
above the town. 

The Shaws Water- works, for supplying Greenock with 
water, were designed by Mr. Robert Thom, who had so 
successfully carried out the water-power required for the 
Rothesay cotton-mills, by laying various lochs under con- 
tribution, and regulating the supply in the various chan- 
nels by self-acting sluices. Mr. Thom reported in 1824 
on the Greenock supply, showing the great value of the 
power which could be obtained. Mr. Thom was so im- 
pressed by these advantages, that he says, " Here you 
would have no steam-engines, vomiting smoke, and pol- 
luting earth and air for miles round, to the no small 
annoyance and discomfort of the community at large, and 
to the unspeakable vexation and chagrin of gardeners, 
bleachers, and washerwomen." Mr. Thom afterwards 
says: "It is not to be inferred from this that I think 
lightly of the steam-engine. I merely wish to draw a 
little attention to another source of national wealth. 



which (perhaps obscured by the dazzling blaze that has 
so long encircled the inventions of Watt) has been hith- 
erto almost totally neglected. Such, indeed, has been the 
eclat of the steam-engine, that whenever a work became 
scarce of water, either from its being enlarged or from a dry 
season, nothing was to be heard but the general cry: 'Put 
up a steam-engine, and be independent of water.' " Mr. 
Thorn, however, thought that the cry would soon change 
to, " Get water if you can, and down with your steam- 
engines." He, however, acknowledges the importance of 
his rival, especially for navigation, and concludes by 
saying, "Nor shall the name of the less fortunate inventor 
of the steam-boat be ultimately lost to fame, for although 
a thoughtless public should allow him to linger out the 
evening of his days in poverty, yet the time is coming 
when public meetings will be held and monuments erected 
to the memory of Henry Bell." 

Harbours and docks present an inviting water-way 
and secure retreat for the various ships freighted with 
merchandise from all quarters of the globe, and from the 
fine esplanade carried along the shore to Fort Matilda 
a splendid view is afforded of the busy river, with its 
variety of shipping, the outward and inward bound 
Altantic liners at the Tail of the Bank, and the distant 
Highland hills beyond the Kilcreggan shore. The range 
of the tide at Greenock being small, from 8 to 10 feet, 
docks inclosed with locks or gates were not so much re- 
quired as in ports having a greater range. Several of 
the docks or harbours are therefore open to the river. 

Greenock, in its prosperity, has not forgotten the poor 
and the aged. A large and well-appointed building to 


the west of the town, called Wood's Mariners' Asylum, 
was founded in 1850 by Commissary-General Sir Gabriel 
Wood, for the benefit of aged merchant master-mariners 
and merchant seamen, natives of the county of Renfrew 
and neighbourhood. Hospitals and Infirmaries, Charity 
Schools, a Seamen's Friend Society, homes for destitute 
boys and girls, and many other benevolent undertakings, 
all go to show that the present age, marked out as it is 
by the splendour of commercial success and scientific 
skill, is yet especially noticeable above the ages which 
have passed away as one of individual and public be- 
nevolence. Greenock has also several scientific institu- 
tions, one of which, the " Scientific Library," was founded 
by James Watt in 1816. 


The Clyde rises from the northern border of the great 
Silurian rocks of the Southern Highlands, flowing along 
these until about Symington, where it enters the Old 
Red and afterwards the Carboniferous basin onwards 
to Glasgow. The Silurian system of the south of Scot- 
land is described as follows by Professor Young: "The 
broad undulating district lying to the south of the Car- 
boniferous basin of Central Scotland, and known under 
the general name of the Southern Uplands, is carved 
almost wholly out of rocks of Silurian age. The domi- 
nant formation is an immense series of comparatively 
barren graywackes and shales, which, thrown into in- 
numerable folds and contortions, spread in an unbroken 


sheet from St. Abb's Head to the Mull of Galloway, 
forming by far the grandest exhibition of Middle Silu- 
rian Strata yet discovered." Page, in his Text Booh of 
Geology, says: "This system is largely developed in vari- 
ous countries, both in the Old and in the New World, 
and typically so in the district between England and 
Wales, anciently inhabited by the Silures; hence the 
designation 'Silurian System' by Sir R. Murchison, 
their first and most ardent investigator." 

The Clyde valley presents varied geological features, 
and offers a very good field for the study of this now 
important economical science. The rocks throughout 
are of the earlier and Carboniferous periods, seamed by 
dykes and capped by overflows of trappean rocks, indi- 
cating great changes of level and conditions in the past; 
whilst to the student of the glacial period abundant 
evidences of the presence of a great ice-sheet once more 
or less filling up the valleys, as the glaciers of Switzer- 
land and Norway now do, may be met with in the 
boulders scattered about the lower levels, the great 
masses of boulder-clay, and the smoothed and striated 
rock surfaces which may still be met with. In reference 
to this it may be noted here that "A table-case in the 
Hunterian Museum contains a series of hand specimens, 
obtained by Mr. Young from the boulders which were 
removed when the summit of Gilmorehill was lowered for 
the foundation of the University. The series includes 
all varieties of rock from Bonawe to the Kilpatricks. 
The glacial striations of the district are generally from 
north-west to south-east."^ 

^Professor Young, M.D. : Geology and Palwontology of the West of Scotland, 


If we take a sectional view of the country, in a line 
running north and south through the Clyde valley and 
passing through the Glasgow district, we find the Silurian 
rocks appearing to north and south, as a framework on 
which rests deposits of Old Red Sandstone, on which, in 
turn, rest the limestone, shales, and coal and iron beds of 
the Carboniferous period. Ejections of trappean rocks 
are frequently met with in the later deposits, troubling 
the miner by causing upthrows and downthrows. 

The most widely-spread and most interesting series, in 
an industrial point of view, is the Carboniferous, covering 
all the middle portion of the Clyde valley, and extending 
to a depth of several thousand feet. The series consists 
mainly of beds of coal, iron-stone, shales, and fire-clay, 
with their accompanying limestones and sandstones. 

The great "fault" already referred to as crossed by 
the Rotten Calder has caused the downthrow of the efreat 
coal-beds to a level with the lower deposits of the car- 
boniferous limestone, shown in a geological map of the 
district by a sharp dividing line between the dark- 
coloured portion (the coal) and the bluish (the limestone). 
The amount of this displacement equals that of the 
thickness of the beds awanting, and has been estimated 
at about 1500 feet. Speaking of the limestones to the 
south of Glasgow Mr. Bell (Rocks around Glasgow) 
says : — 

"They are also often called the 'cement limestones,' 
being largely used for cement and building purposes, as 
from a certain admixture of silica and alumina in their 
composition they have the property of 'setting' with 
a firm band under water. The Orchard limestone is 




wrought at a short distance to the south of Giffnock 
Quarries. It is also wrought as the 'Lyoncross' hme- 
stone at Nitshill and Barrhead, and is known as the 
' William wood ' limestone near Cathcart. It is only a 
thin bed, from 18 to 26 inches in thickness, but is of 
excellent quality, and has long been esteemed as a cement 
limestone. Underneath it is a thin seam of coal, which 
is used in calcining the stone. The Arden limestone, 
wrought extensively near Thornliebank and Barrhead, 
is in much greater mass, attaining a thickness of 8 to 10 
feet, in some places even more. Its equivalent to the 
north of the Clyde, in the Garnkirk district, is largely 
used for iron-smelting." 

The varieties of coal, and varying condition and thick- 
ness of the limestone and sandstone beds, all point 
to long periods of land surface, with correspondingly 
extended periods of depression under the surface of the 

Professor Geikie, in his Scenery of Scotland, thus 
graphically describes the Clyde valley: — 

"While the three main rivers resemble each other in 
thus breaking through a chain of hills to find their way 
into their firths, they present many points of difi^erence 
in their respective courses across the lowland valley. 
Perhaps the most interesting is the Clyde. Drawing its 
waters from the very centre of the southern uplands, it 
flows transverse to the strike of the Silurian strata, until 
entering upon the rocks of the lowlands at Roberton it 
turns to the north-east, along a broad valley that skirts 
the base of Tinto. If the reader will glance at the map 
he will notice that at that part of its course the Clyde ap- 



preaches within seven miles of the Tweed. Between the 
two streams, of course, lies the watershed of the country, 
the drainafje flowino- on the one side into the Atlantic, 
and on the other into the North Sea. Yet, instead of 
a ridge or hill the space between the rivers is the broad 
flat valley of Biggar, so little above the level of the 
Clyde that it would not cost much to send that river 
across into the Tweed. Indeed, some trouble is necessary 
to keep the former stream from eating through the loose 
sandy deposits that line the valley, and finding its way 
over into Tweeddale. That it once took that course, thus 
entering the sea at Berwick instead of at Dumbarton, is 
probable ; and if some of the gravel mounds at Thanker- 
ton could be re-united it would do so again. Allusion has 
already been made to this singular part of the water-shed. 
Its origin is probably traceable to the recession of two 
valleys, and to the subsequent widening of the breach by 
atmospheric waste and the sea. 

" From the western margin of the Biggar flat the 
Clyde turns to the north-west, flowing across a series 
of igneous rocks belonging to the Old Red Sandstone 
series. Its valley is there wide, and the ground rises 
gently on either side into low undulating hills. But 
after bending back upon itself, and receiving the Douglas 
Water, its banks begin to rise more steeply, until the 
river leaps over the linn at Bonnington into the long, 
narrow, and deep gorge in which the well-known falls 
are contained. That this defile has not been rent open 
by the concussion of an earthquake, but is really the 
work of sub-aerial denudation, may be ascertained by 
tracing^ the unbroken beds of lower Old Bed Sandstone 


from side to side. Indeed, one could not choose a better 
place in which to study the process of waste, for he can 
examine the effects of rains, springs, and frosts in loosen- 
ing the sandstone by means of the hundreds of joints that 
traverse the face of the long cliffs, and he can likewise 
follow in all their detail the results of the constant wear 
and tear of the brown river that keeps ever tumbling and 
foaminsT down the ravine." 


Burton in his History of Scotland says : " It js in the 
year 80 of the Christian era that the territory in later 
times known as Scotland comes out of utter darkness and 
is seen to join the current of authentic history. In that 
year Julius Agricola brought Roman troops north of the 
line, wlxich, hundreds of years afterwards, became the 
border dividincr Scotland from England. . , . 

"The neck of land between the Firths of Clyde and 
Forth appears to have been the boundary where the 
general found that the outer line of Roman acquisition 
could be most effectually marked. Agricola ran defensive 
works across this line; and these were the beo^inninsf of 
the fortified rampart, renewed and strengthened from 
time to time, of which some remnants may still be seen." 

Agricola for five years remained in the country estab- 
lishing forts and making occasional campaigns, gradually 
pushing northwards until the famous battle of Mons 
Grampius was fought, somewhere probably north of the 
Tay, but authorities are divided on this, as upon many 


other matters of these far- back times. Agricola appears 
to have been a skilful general as well as military engi- 
neer, as his forts were numerous and well planned. In 
A.D. 85 he was recalled by orders from head-quarters, it 
is believed through envy at his success. The chain of 
forts which he erected from the Forth to the Clyde, after 
subduing the tribes to the south of the latter river, gave 
him a base of operations from whence he proceeded in his 
more northern and last campaign. The tribes to the 
north of this line appear to have been the Caledonians, 
or Picts as they were known later on, a race of a warlike 
character. Thus we are told by a Roman historian, Dion 
Cassius, that "they have neither castles nor cities; nor do 
they till the ground, but live by their flocks, by hunting, 
and on the fruits of trees. They go naked and dwell in 
tents. They are addicted to plunder, make war in 
chariots, and have small but fleet horses." He further 
tells us that they are armed with a shield and short spear, 
and carry short daggers. This description applies to the 
"two great nations, the Caledonians and Mseatse;" the 
latter, however, were said to "dwell near the wall which 
divides the island into two parts, and beyond them are 
the Caledonians." 

These impetuous natives, on the retreat of the Roman 
army southwards and the absence of Agricola, descended 
from their "rugged and arid mountains, and desert plains 
abounding in marshes," and made reprisals, carrying with 
rapid and fierce attack the Roman forts and driving back 
their legions. The Emperor Hadrian, however, visited 
Britain (a.d. 120), and determined to make a division 
further south, so as to protect the Britons who had become 


Romanized from the Caledonian tribes of the north, and 
consequently built a wall extending from the Tyne to 
the Solway. This no doubt served the purpose to 
some extent and for a time, but the Romans had a 
valiant, restless people to deal with, who paid little 
respect to the warlike emissaries of the Mistress of the 
World. Hence about a.d. 140 Lollius Urbicus, a lieutenant 
of the Emperor Antoninus, was sent to deal with the 
refractory tribes who lived to the north of Hadrian's 
Wall, in which he seemed to be successful, as he appears 
to have penetrated as far north as the Moray Firth. 
Lollius, like Agricola, believed in having a base of oper- 
ations to operate against the Caledonians of the north 
and the inhabitants of the country to the south, as he 
completed the line of defences begun by the latter general, 
and built a wall from the Forth to the Clyde pretty much 
on the line of Agricola's forts. 

The northern tribes appear to have highly resented 
this abridgment of their liberties, and made constant 
efforts to overturn the Roman power. They were finally 
successful in bursting^ throug-h this new barrier, and 
apparently did not stop until they had passed through 
the more southern wall of Hadrian. For a time they 
appear to have held this territory, harassing the pro- 
vincial Britons of the southern part of the country, and 
levying "blackmail" on these more wealthy and probably 
more peaceful tribes. Such a state of things did not suit 
the central authority at Rome, and about A.D. 208 the 
Emperor Severus came to Britain to look into matters in 
person, and subdued the tribes once more with his legions. 
The passion for building walls still existed as strongly as 


ever, and Severus built another somewhat on the line of 

For about two hundred years after little is known of 
the events happening north of this wall. About the year 
306 the restless Caledonians seem again to have made an 
excursion south, only to be driven back by the Romans, 
who, still believing in their walls, had the one between 
Forth and Clyde put in complete repair, and added to 
its strength about the year 368. The district lying 
between the walls was known to the Romans as the pro- 
vince of Valentia. The Romans finally abandoned the 
district about the year 446, and their ancient foes of the 
north were not long in following up this advantage, and 
renewing their raids upon their neighbours to the south. 
Those tribes formed themselves into a community for 
purposes of defence, from which arose the Cumbrian or 
Strathclyde kingdom, of which what we now call Lan- 
arkshire constituted a portion. Mr. M'Gregor, in his 
History of Glasgow, says : 

" Running through this early British kingdom was the 
now famous river Clyde, a name derived with little or no 
alteration from the old British or Welsh word Clyd, sig- 
nifying warm or sheltered. Even in these primitive 
days Clydesdale was celebrated for its fruit crops, for 
there is an obscure reference by one of the early chroni- 
clers to the 'orchardes of Lenerck.' The metropolis of 
this region was Alclwyd, or Petra Cloithe (Rock of the 
Clyde), afterwards called by the Scoto-Irish Dunbritton 
(Hill of the Britons), from which, by an easy transition, 
comes the present name of Dumbarton." 

Speaking of these occurrences. Burton says: " Cumbria 


or Cambria was the name given to the northern territory- 
retained by the Romanized Britons, a territory described 
as a continuation northward of their Welsh territory. 
Gradually, however, the name of Strathclyde was given 
to that portion reaching from the Solway northward, in 
fact the portion within modern Scotland. The word 
Cumbria continued to be frequently used as equivalent to 

The walls built by the Romans appear to have been 
much the same in design, that is to say, they consisted 
generally of a wall with a ditch. In the case of the ear- 
lier works the material used was mainly earth, stones 
being placed where the foundations were to be on marshy 
ground. The later wall raised by Severus was largely 
composed of stone, with towers at intervals. The wall 
between the Forth and Clyde appears to have had a 
vallum or ditch of from twelve to fifteen feet wide, and 
the earth taken out was used to make the agger or wall, 
the latter being raised on the south side. A military 
road or causeway adjoins this work. From inscribed 
stones found on the line of this wall we find that a great 
part of it was executed by the Legio Secunda Augusta, 
and it is thought, from the skill and celerity with which 
the Roman legions executed such defensive works, that 
although the length is about thirty miles, yet it might 
be finished in a few months.^ 

1 "Perhaps no part of Britain has been the scene of so many sanguinary con- 
flicts as the vicinity of the Roman Wall. 

"The Romans and the Caledonians, the Southern and Northern Britons, the 
Saxons, the Picts, the Welch, and the Scots, had all fallen on these fields before 
the plains of Falkirk and Bannockburn were whitened with the bones of the 
more modern English and Scots. ' The sore battaile of Camlan,' in which 


The line of this wall can still be readily traced at 
parts, and at the stations made out. Recently a portion 
of the wall and military way was exposed in some exca- 
vations at Kirkintilloch. 

Many sculptured stones and objects of interest, of 
Roman origin, have been discovered from time to time 
in the line of the wall and in the Clyde district, and are 
now preserved in the Hunterian Museum. Not many 
years ago a fine bowl of Samian ware was dug up in 
Glasgow Green, and is now preserved in the Kelvingrove 
Industrial Museum. This bowl is supposed to date back 
to near the beginning of the Christian era, and may have 
at one time in other lands served at the banquets of the 
great, when the order was given to 

"Fill high the bowl with Saniiau wine !" 
On the parish church of Baldemock, a few miles to the 

Arthur antl Modred fell, was probably fought in the same vicinity. The fol- 
lowing passage of an old romance presents a vivid picture of one of these 
battles : — 

" King Bohort so smot ozan, 

the helme that hoge man, 

That he sat astoned uprizt, 

& nist whether it was dai or nizt — 

— Ichon other so leyd beir, 

That it dined into the air; 

Also thicke the aruwe schoten. 

In Sonne bem so doth the moten; 

Gaue lokes al so thick flowe. 

So gnattes ichU avowe. 

Ther was so michel dust riseing. 

That sen ther was sonne schineing; 

The trumpeing and the taburninge 

Dede togider the knitztes flinge." 

— Leijdeits Notes to Wilson's "C'li/de." 


north of Glaso-ow, and not far from the line of the Roman 
wall, is a stone with the following Latin inscription: 


The year mentioned is the date when the present 
church was built, an earlier edifice having stood upon 
the same site. In Dr. Bruce's description of Hadrian's 
Wall a stone is described having an inscription almost 
similar so far as the three first words are concerned, but 
with Jove as the deity addressed. The similarity suggests 
a Roman origin for the stone, or at least for the form of 
the dedication. 

The Rev. H. R. Haweis, in The Liglit of the Ages, says: 
" The Romans had no special cosmogony — no favourite 
gods — everyone was allowed to bring his own — all seemed 
welcome, all were equally accepted by the state, which, 
if it gave any theological unity at all to the national 
Pantheon, only did so by a rather misty assertion of the 
general supremacy of Jupiter Optimus Maximus." 

The withdrawal of the Romans did not, however, leave 
the natives in undisturbed possession of their territories, 
as about the middle of the fifth century the Saxon 
element asserted itself in the south-eastern part of the 
country, and about the year 500 the Scots settled in 
Argyle. These Scots were also known as Dalriads, their 
original territory having been the northern part of 
Antrim. Here, then, we see the country nearly divided 
amongst four different peoples, all of whom appear to 
have been actuated by an aggressive spirit. Consequently 
they were in incessant commotion, which was heightened 
at a later period by the inroads of the Norsemen. 


About the year 685 a great battle appears to have been 
fought at a place called Dun-nechtan or Nechtans Mere, 
north of the Tay, between the Northumbrian Saxons who 
had invaded the country and the Picts, in which the latter 
were victorious. This battle appears to have had a 
greater importance than many of the other struggles in 
which these various tribes were engaged. Thus Burton 
in his History of Scotland says : " The Saxon army was 
destroyed ; the frontier of the Forth was abandoned ; and 
the Kingdom of Northumbria, taking its limits at the 
Tweed, foreshadowed the boundary line between the 
England and Scotland of later times." 

About this time Great Britain appears to have been 
divided broadly into four nationalities. The ancient 
Britons, who had still preserved something of their origi- 
nal characteristics notwithstanding the four centuries of 
Roman occupation, were distributed more or less along the 
western coast throughout Cornwall, Wales, and Cumbria. 
The Saxons, who, having been invited by these Britons 
to help them oppose the Roman power, preferred to 
remain on the island, and spread themselves over a great 
part of England and the east of Scotland. The Picts, who 
still held their own against all comers, appear to have 
inhabited, the country to the north of the wall between 
Forth and Clyde ; and the Scots were established in the 
West Highlands. The struggle for existence went on; 
the Picts and Scots struggling over long years for the 
mastery, until finally a union resulted in 843 under 
Kenneth II., King of the Scots. 

During those early times the Strathclyde Britons must 
have been more or less atiected by the movements of their 


active and predatory neighbours. The territory spoken 
of as Strathclyde appears to have embraced Ayrshire, 
Renfrewshire, Lanarkshire, Stirlingshire, and Dumbarton- 
shire (in which latter shire the capital was situated), and 
they appear to have preserved an independent existence 
till after the union of the Picts and Scots; after that 
event it became incorporated with the larger state about 
the time of Kenneth III. or Malcolm II. The latter prince 
appears to have been an able general, and extended the 
boundaries of the now rising kingdom of Scotland. In 
this he had to contend both against the Northumbrians 
and the Danes; the latter sea-rovers having for some 
time infested the coast both east and west. 

A few years afterwards, in 1039, the then reigning 
King Duncan was slain by a northern chieftain, whose 
name and deeds live again in the tragedy of Macbeth, 
who himself fell in a fight with Malcolm, a son of 
Duncan, the latter being proclaimed king: 

"Hail king! for so thou art; behold, where stands 
The usurper's cursed head: the time is free; 
I see thee compass'd with thy kingdom's pearl, 
That speak my salutation in their minds ; 
Whose voices I desire aloud with mine, — 
Hail King of Scotland." 

This Malcolm, surnamed Canmore, reigned for thirty-six 
years, and married Margaret, a Saxon princess and sister 
to Edgar Atheling, the heir to the Saxon line in England. 
He was an able prince, who upheld the position of the 
now growing country of Scotland against its foes, and 
died in battle against the Normans at Alnwick Castle in 
1093. Passing over the short reigns of Donald Bane, 


Edgar, and Alexander I., we find David, the youngest 
son of Malcolm Canmore, succeeding to the throne in 
1124. He did much for the improvement of the country 
both commercially and ecclesiastically, and died in 1153 
after reigning twenty-nine years. The succeeding reigns 
of Malcolm IV., William, and Alexander II., until that of 
Alexander III., are more or less marked by struggles for the 
consolidation of the regal power or extension of the same. 

The seaward portion of Strathclyde must have now 
suffered much from the incursions of the Norse sea- 
rovers, as from time to time their ships entered the firth 
and their warlike crews threw themselves upon the 
country with the suddenness and celerity of sea-birds. 
These adventurous strangers carried on their raids for 
the long period of eight centuries, and especially along 
our north-eastern and north-western coasts have left 
many traces of their inroads and occupation. They have 
doubtless contributed much of the sea-blood in our stock, 
as the earlier races do not seem to have been distinguished 
by nautical enterprise. 

Motherwell, a Glasgow poet (1797-1835), gives us the 
following stirring song of the Danish sea-king: 

"Lords of the wide-spread wilderness of waters we bound free, 
The haughty elements alone dispute our sovereignty ; 
No landmark doth our freedom let, for no law of man can mete 
The sky which arches o'er our head — the waves which kiss our feet. 
The warrior of the land may back the wild horse in his pride; 
But a fiercer steed we dauntless breast — the untamed ocean tide; 
And a noble tilt oiu- bark careers as it greets the saucy wave. 
While the herald storm peals o'er the deep the glories of the brave." 

The reign of Alexander III. is marked especially by a 


determined attempt of the Norsemen under King Haco, 
who with a large fleet entered the firth in 1263, and 
attempted to land his forces at or near where the town 
of Largs now stands. It appears that the cause of this 
attack on the Scottish kingdom was the question of the 
sovereignty of the Western Islands. The circumstances 
of this early battle seem remarkably like in many respects 
those which accompanied the attack on the shores of Eng- 
land in the reign of Elizabeth. In both cases a violent 
storm interfered with the plan of attack by disabling 
part of the attacking fleet. The battle of Largs, how- 
ever, was in no case a sea-fight; it was more an attempt 
at invasion of the country with a large army conveyed in 
sailing vessels, as the Normans had done at Hastings 
nearly two hundred years before. 

The storm burst upon the Norsemen, and King Haco 
could only land a part of his forces. These were routed 
by the Scots. Afterwards some more of the scattered 
fleet landed their contingents, and the battle was renewed 
and carried on for a whole day. But the victory was not 
for Haco. The forces of nature and the determination 
of the Scottish wari'iors were too much for the valour of 
the sea-rovers, who were at length finally beaten off to 
their ships. With a military courtesy which one would 
hardly have expected in that rude age the Norsemen 
were afterwards allowed to bury their dead on the field 
of battle, and many cairns and tumuli still, or until recent 
years, stood near Largs as silent memorials of that event- 
ful day in our history. 

From the higher slopes we can still view the main 
features of the scene as they appeared when — 


"The King of Norse in summer tyde, 

Puff' d up with pow'r and might, 
Landed in fair Scotland, the isle 

With mony a hardy knight. 
The tydings to our good Scots king 

Came as he sat at dine, 
With noble chiefs in brave array, 

Diiukiug the blood-red wine." 

King Haco drew off his shattered forces, and hied him 
away back to Norroway; but his proud heart could not 
bear defeat, and he died at Orkney. 

Carlyle in his Early Kings of Norioay says : " To this 
day, on a httle plain to the south of the village, now 
town, of Largs, in Ayrshire, there are sandstone cairns 
and monumental heaps, and, until within a century ago, 
one huge, solitary, upright stone, still mutely testifying 
to a battle there, — altogether clearly to this battle of 
King Hakon's; who, by the Norse records too, was in these 
neighbourhoods at that same date, and evidently in an 
aggressive, high kind of humour." 

In these early days the kingdoms or districts of Nor- 
thumbria and Cumbria appear to have stretched side by 
side from the Forth to the Humber on the one hand, and 
from the Clyde to the Mersey on the other ; almost divid- 
ing the country in a north-and-south direction equally 
between them, the dividing line following somewhat the 
main watershed of the country. 

The ancient kingdom of Strathclyde comes into promi- 
nence, amidst the confusion which surrounds a great deal 
of the history of these early times, through the labours of 
Kentigern, or, as he is better known, St. Mungo. Born 
about the middle of the sixth century, he is supposed 


to have established himself as a religious recluse in a cell 
on the banks of the Molendinar, latterly establishing a 
church in the district, where, some think, the Romans had 
a station, and which may be considered as the point 
around which the city of Glasgow gradually developed 
itself. St. Mungo died about the year 600, and tradition 
says he was buried on a spot near where the eastern 
end of the present cathedral now stands. 

About the same time (560) Columba established his 
religious community in lona, and it is said he afterwards 
visited Kentigern in his district. Many stories have 
come down to us of St. Mungo's piety and miraculous 
power; and doubtless he would, like Columba, exercise 
considerable influence on the wild tribes amongst whom 
he dwelt. In speaking of Strathclyde, Burton says: 
" Strathclyde has less renown from its political history 
than as the theatre of the triumphs of St. Kentigern." 

Both in a religious and social aspect little is known 
of the condition of the people in these early times. The 
early religion of the people, according to references by 
Roman writers, appears to have been Druidism ; but as to 
its essential characteristics, we are left much to specula- 
tion. The habitations appear to have been formed in 
some cases of branches or twigs and clay, as Columba's 
early dwellings are recorded to have been. The remains 
of lake-dwellings, founded on piles driven into the water, 
stone towers or brochs, and earth-houses, are left for the 
antiquary to investigate and unravel their use and pur- 
pose as best he may. The part of the country held by 
the Romans would soon show the skill and taste of that 
nation of builders, and the Romanized inhabitants would 


no doubt learn some o£ the lessons taught them by the 
buildings which were erected. 

The Druid performed his mysterious rites in the 
gloom of the forest, and the Roman soldier raised his 
altar to one or other of his mythological heroes, and 
to the mighty Jove. In an article on "Ancient Tumuli," 
in The Scots Mechanics' Mcigazine, 1825, it is stated 
that " On Dychmount Hill, near Glasgow, which is 
situated in the centre of the Rutherglen and Cathkin 
tumuli, a thick stratum of charcoal has been discov- 
ered, M^hich has lain concealed for time immemorial 
under a stratum of fine loam near the summit of the 
hill; and that on seeing the charcoal for the first time 
the country people expressed no surprise, because the 
tradition was familiar that their forefathers had been 
in the habit of lighting the Beltane on the summit 
of this hill. The Beltane is generally believed to have 
derived its appellation from the divinity Belus, or Bel of 
the Babylonians, who is supposed at some distant date to 
have had his worshippers in our island." It was a rude 
age, the people restless and ever engaged in struggles 
either for their daily food — whether with the wild beasts 
which then roamed through the forests, or with a soil 
whose return was as yet scanty and limited from the 
want of skill of the agriculturist — or, again, in contention 
with their neighbours for the mastery over the lands 
which stretched around. 

Whatever Christian influence there may have been, 
and which might have entered during the later part 
of the Roman occupancy, does not seem to have been 
marked. It was a most unpromising outlook in many 


ways for the mission of such men as Columba, Kenti- 
gern, and Aidan. Yet these men, by calm perseverance 
over the many difficulties which surrounded them, by 
the purity of their lives and the force of a noble ex- 
ample, inspired by a high religious purpose, where 
Christian gentleness was opposed to all the rough and 
warlike energy which dwelt in those to whom their 
mission was addressed, slowly gained an influence over 
the various districts in which they laboured, sowing a 
seed for good which, with many changes during the long 
course of the ages, has yet sprung up and grown and 
increased, we now reaping the fruits of their labours. 

Speaking of this. Dr. Ross says:^ "During the long 
period of eight centuries that elapses from the departure 
of the Eomans to the War of Independence, some shining 
figures light up the deep obscurity in which Scottish his- 
tory is involved. Of contemporary literature there was, 
unfortunately, little or nothing, and the lives of men like 
Ninian, and Kentigern, and Columba have come down to 
us with halos of imaginative superstition that make bio- 
graphical criticism well-nigh impossible." 

And as bearing upon this subject, and showing the 
condition of the people inhabiting the district of the 
Tyne, we have the following in a work on the river 
Tyne by the late J. Guthrie: — "During the long dark 
night which ensued on the cessation of the Roman 
power, and the establishment of the Saxon dominion, 
we get no glimpse of the Tyne, nor, indeed, of anything 
certain in English history. Fearful and bloody inroads 
of Picts and Scots, arriving shoals of Angles, Jutes, and 

1 Scottish Hisiov)/ and Literature, by John M. Ross, LL.D. 


Saxons, with their murderous warfare on the ancient 
inhabitants the Britons, is what we know to have taken 
place; and when, after this darkness of a century and 
a half, history again throws a dim light on the scene, 
we find the district forming part of the sometimes 
dual, and sometimes united, Saxon kingdom of North- 
umbria. Under the Northumbrian kings Christianity 
is again introduced among the pagan inhabitants by 
Paulinus from Kent and Aidan from lona. The foun- 
dations of the great see of Durham are laid by Aidan in 
the church formed at Lindisfarne, or Holy Island. The 
monastic system is established and rapidly spreads. 
Churches and monasteries are founded at Monkwear- 
mouth and Jarrow, and we find the old Pons ^lii, the 
military station of the Romans, referred to by the appel- 
lation of Monkchester. The Cathedral of St. Wilfrid, now 
the Abbey Church of Hexham, is erected. The stately 
and beautiful Priory of Tynemouth rises through the 
piety and munificence of Northumbrian kings, who 
endowed the place with princely gifts. The earliest reli- 
gious house is said to have been founded at Tynemouth 
by King Edwin, and church of stone first built by King 

Writing on " The Early Christianity of Northumbria," 
the late Dean Stanley (see Oood Words, 1875), speaking 
of the two sources from which Northumbria was Chris- 
tianized, says: "At the end of the sixth century, when the 
first Italian missionaries landed in Kent, Northumbria 
had, as far as we know, remained more completely be- 
yond the reach of the Christian religion than Southern 
or Western Britain. We hear of the first British martyr. 


St. Albyn, in the southern provinces; jbut there is no 
story of any such martyr in the earlier days of Northum- 
bria. We hear of the first British missionary, St. Ninian, 
on the coast of Cumberland, in the fourth century, and on 
a lonely hill in Galloway still survives the contemporary 
gravestone of some who would seepi to have been his own 
companions." He then speaks of the advent of Paulinus. 
A stagnation in the new religious life afterwards fol- 
lowed, and Aidan from lona was sent. " He started on 
the long journey over highlands and lowlands, and did 
not pause till he came to a spot which reminded him of 
the distant island home that he had left on that western 
coast of Scotland. This spot was Lindisfarne, which, 
from his settlement there, became the Holy Island in his 
eyes, and in the eyes of those that followed him, even as 
lona had been before." 

When we see across so many centuries the use to which 
King- Oswald turned the irreOTlar bands of Irish and 
Scottish missionaries to fill up the vacant spaces which 
Edwin and Paulinus, with their more statesman-like and 
established order, had left unoccupied, we can now see 
clearly that without some such co-operation Christianity 
might have died out from the old kingdom of Northum- 
bria, and generations would have been lost to the Chris- 
tian civilization of England. 

Of St. Ninian we are told {History of Stirlingshire, 
1817) that " The Romanized Britons of Valentia, who, by 
Bede and the contemporary writers of the middle ages, 
are called the Southern Picts, were converted, about the 
beginning of the fifth century, by Ninian or Ringan." 
He appears to have been born in Scotland about the 


year 360, and founded a church at his birthplace, Whit- 
horn, which, being built of stone, was called Candida 
Casa. Ninian died in the year 432, and the day of his 
death appears to have been long celebrated, and his name 
associated with many places throughout Scotland. 

It is usual for archaeologists to speak of the Stone, 
Bronze, and Iron ages, and doubtless the earlier inhabitants 
of the Clyde valley would have methods of living, and 
implements alike primitive. Their early vessels in which 
they moved about in the then wide estuary, which must 
have stretched across the valley where the city of Glasgow 
now stands, do not show any special marks of skill, as the 
various canoes which have been found in the sandy sub- 
stratum of our now busy thoroughfares are simply " dug- 
outs." We must not, however, suppose that because the 
races which inhabited a certain tract of the earth's sur- 
face were of a low type, that therefore all its inhabitants 
were in a like condition. Doubtless the various develop- 
ments overlapped each other, as they do at the present 
day, when our high civilization is often contemporary 
with very primitive habits. 


Glasgow is the centre of wide and varied industry. 
The great coal and iron fields of the neighbourhood have 
afforded unlimited scope for the enterprise of the Middle 
Ward to develop itself in the form of coal-mines, blast- 
furnaces, puddling-furnaces, rolling-mills for iron and 
steel manufacture. The sandstones have been quarried 


for the buildings which now stretch for miles in all direc- 
tions around the old historic centres of the Cathedral and 
the Cross. The ajDplication of chemistry to the arts has 
developed many and special branches of products, the 
tall chimney of St. Rollox being a memorial to the foun- 
dation of several notable industries, viz. the manufacture 
of soda, soap, and bleaching-powder. 

The introduction of steam-power, and the improvement 
of the spinning and weaving appliances, caused the con- 
struction of cotton and other mills ;^ while the great ship- 
building and engineering industries of the Clyde, from 
very humble beginnings in 1812, have developed and 
flowed onwards like their parent river in ever-widening 
volume. The rise of many of these industries is of com- 
paratively recent date; some which at one time flourished 
have largely disappeared, whilst other and newer forms 
have taken their place. Glasgow, fortunately, is many- 
sided in this respect, and therefore not so much affected 
by times of depression as are other cities which depend 
upon a few special processes of manufacture. 

In earlier days the productive operations were carried 
on mainly for home consumption, and the produce would 
be bargained for on a large scale at the various fairs held 
during the year; a survival of the name only now re- 
maining in the " Fair Week " and " Fair Saturday," well 
known to Glasgow citizens as a period of recreation. 
Then the commercial activity relaxes, the clank of the 
steam-engine is hushed, and the black smoke from its 
accompanying boiler-chimney is scarcely seen. This is 

1 The first power-loom experiments were made in the Gallowgate, and the 
first really practical work was done at Milton, near Dumbarton. 



the time for a stranger to visit the city, if he wishes to 
get some idea of its extent and the character of its archi- 
tecture, as then the ahnost smokeless atmosphere will offer 
little impediment to his inquiring gaze. 

The most notable export in early times appears to have 
been the natural product of the river and the firth, as 
we find that in the fifteenth century salmon was exported, 
and later in the seventeenth century both salmon and 
herrings were cured and exported to France; brandy, 
wine, and salt being returned as imports. 

The union of the Scottish and English crowns took 
place in 1603, when James VI. of Scotland ascended the 
throne of England; but it was not till the union of 1707, 
when the parliaments were united, that any special com- 
mercial benefit was felt by Scotland. After that union 
a great stimulus to commercial enterprise was obtained 
in the new fields opened up by the colonial trade being 
thrown open to the energy of the Clydesdale merchants. 

The " Tobacco Lords " rose and flourished in the Vir- 
ginia trade, and walked the " plainstanes " at the Cross 
with great importance, dressed in rich attire even in 
business hours: 

"When on the 'Change the gay-drest merchant shines." 

The American war put an end to this colonial trade, 
so that about the year 1775 new fields of enterprise had 
to be looked for and opened up, and the great cotton 
industries were started, together with dyeing and the 
printing of cloths. 

Pennant tells us that when he visited Glasgow in 1772 
there were carried on quite a variety of industries, such 


as linens, cambrics, lawns, fustians, tapes, striped linens, 
sugar-refining, glass-making, rope-spinning, shoes, boots, 
and saddles. Speaking of the latter he says: "The Maga- 
zine of Saddles is an amazing sight; all these are destined 
for America." One wonders now what became of the stores 
in this " magazine," as about that time the disputes were 
just arising which led to the war being declared in 1775, 
and the blockade-runners of the eighteenth century would 
hardly equal in speed those of the nineteenth. It is 
somewhat curious to find that at that time there was "a 
great porter brewery which supplies some part of Ire- 
land." The export of coals was also going on to the 
same country and to America. 

In speaking of the origin of the foreign trade of Glas- 
gow, Pennant says it was due to a M^alter Gibson, who, 
in 1668, cured and exported in a Dutch vessel about 1800 
barrels of herrings. These herrings went to France, and 
the return was brandy and salt. The profit on this ven- 
ture enabled the enterprising merchant to buy vessels for 
himself, with which he traded to Europe and Yirginia. 
He even imported iron and wine; previously to that 
Glasgow depended for those commodities on some of the 
other Scotch towns. M'Ure, in his quaint History of 
Glasgovj, published 1735, tells us that "Walter Gibson, 
eldest Son of the deceast John Gibson of Overnewtoun, 
Merchant and late Provost of Glasgow, his first appear- 
ance was in malt-making, and his stock being improven 
that way, he left that trade, and betook himself to mer- 
chandizing, and began first with the herring-fishing." 
He appears to have been Provost of Glasgow in 1687. 
After all this Pennant remarks: "Yet I find no statue, 


no grateful inscription to preserve the memory of Walter 

In the early centuries of our era the rise of centres of 
life and energy, which we now designate towns and cities, 
appears often to have been due to one or other of two 
causes, viz. religion or war. In the one case the influence 
from the cell of the recluse became like a light shining in 
the darkness, and penetrated the obscurity which lay 
around, gradually spreading until communities were 
formed, moved more or less by united aims. In the other 
case, especially later on in feudal times, the strong castle 
of the baron gave shelter and protection to those who 
acknowledged his sway, and were prompt to defend and 
further his interests. 

Glasgow appears largely to have originated in the 
former of these causes. Kentigern placed his cell on the 
banks of the Molendinar, and the collection of huts which 
at one time must have grown around this centre of light 
and leading gradually took upon itself the form of a 
town, and in gratitude to the early recluse adopted him 
as its patron saint under the designation of St. Mungo. 
The religious aspirations of the young town and growing 
city showed themselves in the motto which the early 
rulers chose to accompany the arms : " Let Glasgow flou- 
rish by the preaching of the Word." 

According to Mr. Macgeorge it was towards the close 
of the sixteenth century that armorial bearings were 
used by Glasgow, and from that time till about twenty 
years ago great variety appeared in the forms used, until 
it was authoritatively settled at the request of the magi- 
strates by the Lord Lyon in 1866. A seal was used in 


early times which appears to have exhibited the loading 
features shown afterwards on the city arms, these being 
the head of St. Mungo, the bell, fish, bird, and tree. 

Mr. Macgeorge, in further speaking of the motto, "Let 
Glasgow flourish," says that it is first met with on the 
bell of the Tron Church, of date 1592, an inscription on 
which reads, " Lord, let Glaso-ow flourish through the 
preaching of the Word and praising Thy name." This, 
however, was only an ecclesiastical motto, and it was not 
till 1699 that it appears in the heraldic form upon the 
city arms ; but in this case again it is still connected with 
a church (the Blackfriars in High Street), where it simply 
reads, "Let Glasgow flourish." This motto was after- 
wards confirmed in 1866 by the Lord Lyon King of 

St. Mungo, or St. Kentigern as he was at first called, 
is so associated with the early history of Glasgow, that 
both in records of a historical and fabulous character we 
find frequent reference to him in the earlier traditions of 
the city. He was the 

" Prophetic seer, whose visionary eye, 
Saw Glasgow's glory iu the future lie." 

St. Mungo appears to have been one of the early Culdee 
monks, and selected the banks of the Molendinar for the 
site of his cell. About 580 he appears to have founded 
a church in the risinfj villacje or town of Glaso'ow, where 
he died about 601, his tomb being still shown in the 
crypt of the Cathedral which bears his name, and which 
rose in later years (1123), on or near the site of his early 
abode. The passing years brought with them many 


changes; one not the least important in the civil life of 
the town was the increased power of the clergy, as we 
read that a castle was afterwards built for the bishop 
close to the Cathedral. This castle, or episcopal palace, 
was removed in 1791 to make way for the Royal Infir- 
mary, which now occupies the site. 

The legends relating to St. Mungo's powers are many 
and various. Some have been associated with the arms 
of the city. " The Legend of Saint Mungo " is told by 
" Keelivine " (the late A. D. Robertson) in verse, who 

says: — 

" He was the gentlest of his kind, 
Beloved by grit and sma'; 
A welcome guest where'er he gaed 
In cot-house or in ha';'' 

the poet then makes a beautiful and quaint reference to 
the robin of St. Mungo's former master St. Servanus or 
St. Serf, which he when a boy had restored to life: 

" He lookkl east, he looked west, 
His hand on his ee-bree, 
He looked north, he looked south, 
There Clyde flow'd to the sea. 

Nae signal-fires 1 on Tintock blazed, 
Or Deichmont's sacred height, 

^ The signal fires referred to were common in the days of old before the rail- 
way and electric telegraph had entered the field as swift messengers of news. 

The Jubilee Year of our Gracious Majesty Queen Victoria, however, saw 
many a beacon glowing on the mountain tojjs on the fiftieth anniversary of her 
coronation, and so, although now commemorating a happy and iieacef ul event, 
we were enabled to form some idea of the appearance of the country in far- 
back times when invasion was expected, as on the approach of the great 
Armada to our shores just three centuries ago, when the country was roused by 
beacon lights from the southern coast. 


Nae smoke arose fi'ae Cathkin Braes 
To vex Saiut Muugo's sight. 

* But hark ye weel, my bonny bird, 

Upon the tree sae high, 
Was that the curlew's distant call, 
Or lapwing's warning cry ? 

' Or was it, what I weel mot guess, 
The sough of angry men ; 
Or but the burnie's playful sang, 
That wimples down the glen 1 ' 

The birdie flew a mile about, 

A mile but barely three. 
O'er howm and height wi' steady flight, 

To see what he could see." 

The bird on returning tells Saint Muno-o amono-st other 

o o o 

things that 

" Thy prayer has quench'd the Beltane fires, 
For heljjless victims laid; 
And furious priests shout for revenge 
On thy devoted head." 

After many enterprises in which the saint was engaged 
in calming the troublous spirits of the times, the author 
finishes by saying: 

" While Christian truths Saint Mungo taught 
His people to discern, 
• And under God that gentle saint 
Was hailed as Kentigern." 


When a stranger visits a large town or city he is gener- 
ally desirous of having a comprehensive view of its extent 
and the character of its buildings. Some cities from their 


natural position are better suited than others for affording 
the visitor a variety of bird's-eye views, which combine 
instruction with picturesque effect. Edinburgh is no- 
table in this respect, and has for long afforded the visitor 
a great and lasting pleasure in the splendid views which 
can be obtained from the many elevations in and around 
the city. . 

Where, however, the natural features do not offer these 
advantages, the visitor usually betakes himself to the 
summit of some high building, where he can have an 
uninterrupted outlook on the whole city. In this way, 
combined with a closer examination of the places of 
interest and observation of the characteristics of the 
people and their ways, he is enabled to come to a general 
conclusion as to the individuality of the place, and is 
thus in a position to draw comparisons with other popu- 
lous centres with which ho is acquainted. 

Ordinary industry and habits of observation should in 
this way enable us to have an intelligent apprehension 
of the life around; but when we wish to look into the 
state of life and w^ork in our own or other cities during 
past generations, the conditions are wholly different, as 
we must then depend upon descriptions left us by others, 
and view the past through other eyes than our own. We 
are therefore grateful to the traveller who has left any 
record of his experiences, and to the artist who has faith- 
fully delineated by picture or plan the condition of the 
buildings or arrangement of the city in the past. This 
interest in the life of the human race, especially in refer- 
ence to prehistoric periods, is widely extending. The ex- 
cavations in Egypt, Asia Minor, and at Pompeii, which 


have been carried out with scientific skill and painstak- 
ing industry, enable us now to gain very accurate ideas 
as to the conditions of life in far-past ages. 

It is, therefore, the object of the present chapter to 
present in a general way to the reader some glimpses of 
the past of Glasgow, without attempting detailed descrip- 
tions or finished pictures, as that has already been well 
done in the many excellent works published by local 

Glasgow seems to have impressed the visitors who at 
various early times came to the city from the south, as 
we find from many of their recorded views. Of these 
enterprising travellers the most loquacious is Pennant, 
who took such a fancy to Scotland that he made as 
many as three different tours through the country, pene- 
trating even to the most northern parts. Defoe and 
Johnson also found time to pay visits to the city on 
the Clyde. 

Defoe, travelling in 1727, says: "Glasgow is the em- 
porium 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 fairest for breadth, and the finest built that 
I have ever seen in one city together." 

Dr. Johnson while in Glasgow, after his return from 
his West Highland trip in 1773, said: "To describe a 
city so much frequented as Glasgow is unnecessary. 
The prosperity of its commerce appears in the great- 
ness of many private houses, and a general appearance of 


Pennant, however, enters completely into the life and 
work of the city, his remarkable power of observation, 
and his cultivated tastes, enabling him to write fully and 
attractively on the subjects which came before him. 
Speaking of the city, he says : " Glasgow, the best-built 
of any second-rate city I ever saw, the houses of stone 
and in general well built, and many in good taste, plain 
and unaffected." He then goes on to describe in detail 
the various places of interest. 

One of the best books which we have for bringing up 
the past of old Glasgow in its social aspects is Dr. 
Strang's Glasgow and its Clubs. Here we have spread 
out before us a varied panorama of the life of these old 
days, or, as stated in the title-page, "Glimpses of the 
condition, manners, characters, and oddities of the city, 
during the past and present century." From this work 
we see that club life was much in vogue in those days, 
as nearly thirty different social unions of this descrip- 
tion are noted by the genial writer. Some of them had 
curious names, such as: "The Face Club," "The Sma' 
Waft Club," " The What-you-please Club," &c. At the 
time in which these clubs were in their glory, about 130 
years ago, the population of the city was under twenty- 
five thousand, the streets were few, and the industries, 
now so multifarious, scarcely developed. The fashion- 
able centres at that time were in the neighbourhood 
of the Cross, the famous Bailie Nicol Jarvie of Sir 
Walter Scott's Rob Roy having his domicile in the Salt- 

Apparently in these days Glasgow, like the older part 
of Chester, had many houses built over arcades. It is 


not many years since we had the fine arcade at the 
Cross, in front of what was at one time the Exchange.^ 
Arcades still exist in Glasgow, consisting of double rows 
of shops covered in with a glass roof, forming convenient 
shopping centres, especially in wet weather. 

Club life appears to have been an important institu- 
tion of the old times, the citizens meeting in the evenings 
to enjoy social recreation after their duties in the shops 
and warehouses, and where no doubt many subjects 
affecting the social welfare of the community and the 
progress of the nation would be discussed. Thus in 
speaking of the Post-office Club, which appears to have 
taken much interest in the venture of Henry Bell in 
starting the Comet, Dr. Strang says: "Considering the 
quality and character of the members of the Post-office 
Club, it is scarcely necessary to say that in the successful 
result of Henry Bell's practical experiment they felt the 
deepest sympathy — wisely accounting it better than all 
the speculative theories which had hitherto been pro- 
mulgated; — and, as a token of that sympathy, it may be 
added, that to certain of the members of this mercantile 
fraternity belong the honour of having afterwards aided 
in the establishment of our first coasting, and thereafter 
of our ocean steamers." 

The Hodge-Podge Club appears to have been made up 
largely of the Tobacco Lords, who were the aristocratic 
merchants of the time. This club appears to have com- 
bined literature with amusement and good cheer. 

^ The quaint sculptured faces which at that time formed part of the piazza, 
may now be seen grimly surveying the present-day life from their elevated 
perch on the top of a warehouse at the foot of Buchanan Street. 


" A club of choice fellows, each fortnight employ 
An evening in laughter, good humour, and joy; 
Like the national council, they often debate, 
And settle the army, the navy, and state. 
In this club there's a jumble of nonsense and sense. 
And the name of Hodge-Podge they have taken from thence." 

One of the originators of " The Gaelic Club," was Mr. 
George Mcintosh, whose son, Mr. Charles Mcintosh, born 
in 1776, was the inventor of the process of waterproofing 
known by his name. 

The citizens of those days dealt principally in the 
markets, one being at the Cross for butter and eggs, and 
another at Bell Street for butcher-meat. There was no 
water supply, the wells being the only source of that 
necessary. Towards the close of the eighteenth century 
the principal hotels were limited to four — The Black 
Bull, Buck's Head, Star, and Tontine. The Black Bull 
stood on the north side of Argyle Street, near Glassford 
Street, and the Buck's Head at the corner of Dunlop 
Street, the latter well-known building with its outside 
stairs having recently given way to the progress of the age. 

The dinner hour appears to have been three o'clock, 
at which the wines were port and sherry, these being 
succeeded. Dr. Strang tells us, "by the largest china 
bowl in the house. In this gorgeous dish, which was 
of course placed before the landlord, the universal bev- 
erage of cold punch was quickly manufactured; and to- 
wards its proper concoction many opinions were freely 
offered; but to these the host, if a regular punch-maker, 
paid little attention. The ceremonial was always gone 
through with great deliberation, and witli an air of 


self-importance that must have made a stranger smile. 
The pleasing decoction once made and approved of, it 
was now the time to sit in for serious drinking — and 
serious indeed it often was, for while toast followed 
toast and bowl followed bowl, it rarely happened that 
the party broke up till some of the members at least 
were not in a condition to return to their homes with- 
out the aid of companions, who, if their heads were less 
niiizzied, possessed more stable legs." 

A graphic description of a Glasgow Lord Provost's 
dinner in the beginning of the present century is given 
in the pages of Cyril Thornton, in which he tells us that 
" the ladies were no sooner gone than Bell Geordy made 
his appearance, bearing a bowl of extraordinary dimen- 
sions, which he deposited on the table. Lemons, sugar, 
limes, rum from Jamaica and the Leeward Islands, soon 
followed, and expectation sat on every brow." The 
author then graphically describes the difficulty expe- 
rienced in getting any of the guests to "handle the china," 
but finally this is accomplished, when, " every improve- 
ment which human ingenuity could devise with regard 
to the punch having been at length suggested, the 
business of drinking commenced in good earnest, each 
replenishing of the glasses being prefaced by a loyal or 
patriotic toast by the Lord Provost. ' The King,' ' The 
Queen,' 'The Prince of Wales,' 'The Trade of Clyde,' 
having been drunk in bumpers, the current of conversa- 
tion was gradually diverted into other channels." 

The "tea parties" were held at an early hour of the 
evening, the guests getting home in good time. 

The gentlemen of those days walked abroad in blue 


coats and buff-striped waistcoats, with great shirt frills, 
and white neckcloths, also, knee-breeches with shoes. 
The dress of the ladies appears to have been plain, and 
favourincr black silks and laces. 

As yet there was no police force as we understand 
it. Pennant, in his tour in Scotland in 1772, speaks 
of the guard-house " where the inhabitants mount guard 
and regularly do duty;" and he further adds, "The 
police of Glasgow consists of three bodies — the Magis- 
trates with the Town Council, the Merchants' House, 
and the Trades' House." It appears that the citizens 
made arrangements at a later date to avoid this some- 
what compulsory duty of watching, and employed repre- 

The earlier watchers of the city appear to have been 
the town-officers, wearing red coats, these being supple- 
mented at night by watchmen, who were principally old 
men, and who made themselves as comfortable as they 
could in wooden sentry-boxes placed at different parts of 
the town. One of these retreats was a niche in the wall 
at the foot of Balmanno Street, now built up. These 
old guardians often retired about eleven o'clock to their 
boxes, drew on their night-caps, and had a quiet snooze, 
liable, however, to have the door locked on them by 
some passing wag, or, what was worse, the box turned 
over altogether. 

One of the town's officers was noted for his character- 
istic appearance and humorous remarks, acting as he did 
as bellman and town-crier. He was usually known as 
" Bell Geordy." His real name appears as George Gib- 
son in the pages of the first Glasgow Directory, in a list 


of town's officers and sergeants, numbering eighteen in 
all, his habitation being Lochhead's Close, High Street. 
Being a big stout man, dressed in a scarlet coat, and 
with a turn for humour, he was quite a noted character; 
and in his combined functions of bellman or town-crier, 
town-officer, and provost's man, was an important indivi- 
dual, and is still remembered by septuagenarian citizens. 

Cyril Thornton, when dining with a Lord Provost of 
the year 1802, describes in graphic terms his announce- 
ment to his lordship's drawing-room by this worthy, 
who tries to keep his assistant "Hector" (another town- 
officer) right by saying: "I carena whare he's frae, but 
I want his name. Didna I tell baith you and Duncan to 
cry oot a' the names to me, that they may be properly 
annoonced ? " 

When a fire occurred Geordy turned out with his 
drum, a crowd of boys following him, eagerly asking 
"Whaur's the fire?" but getting often put on a wrong 
scent by the astute and humorous herald. 

The dress of these ancient members of "the force" 
seems to have been of a nondescript character. Later 
on the police garb appears to have been a dress blue 
coat with a red collar; afterwards the buttoned-up 
surtout of the present time. Sticks and tall hats were 
formerly worn, instead of the helmet and baton of to- 
day. The police force of Glasgow at the present time 
is about 1100 strong. The night policeman, until a few 
years ago, was in the habit of calling out the hours and 
the state of the weather, so that besides his more imme- 
diate protective duties he combined the office of time- 
piece and meteorological register, and thus, accompanying 


his heavy footfall echoing in the silent streets, the gradu- 
ally-awakening citizens heard the watcher's voice crying: 
— " Hauf-past five and a fine mornin'." 

This practice of intimating the condition of the weather 
by night watchmen to those indoors seems to have held 
good in other towns of this and other countries. In some 
towns of Sweden and Norway, where, owing to the 
numerous wooden houses, fires are more common than 
in stone-built cities, the watchmen used to call out some- 
thing to this efiect: 

" May God still keep the town from fire 
While the citizens sleep." 

The following, which is called the " Watchman's Song,' 
is of German origfin: 

" Listen, townsmen, hear nie tell 
Ten hath struck upon our bell ; 
God hath given commandments ten, 
That we might be happy men. 
Nought avails that men should waixl us, 
God will watch and God will guard us. 
May He of his boundless might 
Give unto us all good night." 

The song goes on with a verse for each hour until 
after four o'clock, when he sin^s: 

" Now all stars must fade away, 
Quickly now must come the day. 
Thank your God, who through each hour 
Kept you with a Father's jjower." 

In Kennedy's volume of Singing Mound the World 
we find this practice referred to as existing at the 
present time in St. John's, Newfoundland, as also the 



more modern one of the "time-gun." Thus the writer 
says: "An eighteen-pounder fires every day at noon; 
while at eleven o'clock p.m. a watchman patrols the 
street calling out the hour, adding 'and a clear star- 
light night/ or whatever the sky might be." 

In old Glasgow the lamplighter made his rounds 
with his flaring torch, whale-oil lamp, and ladder on 
shoulder, ready to mount to the street lamps, which 
then projected from the house walls. Carrying all these 
impedimenta he had no spare breath for vocal announce- 
ments like his contemporary the watchman; but what 
he failed to supply was volunteered by the boys of the 
city, who greeted him with their 

"Leery, leery, licht the lamps. 
Long legs and crooked shanks." 

The lamplighter of modern Glasgow is independent of 
ladder and almost of hand-lamp, as, rapidly passing 
along the streets carrying his pole with its small lamp 
at one end, he deftly turns the stop-cock and pokes his 
pole through the hole cut in the bottom of the glass globe, 
thus lighting the gas more quickly than can be described. 
Giving us a picture of the modern city, Mr. Wm. Black, 
in White Heather, tells us : " This golden — radiant city 
of Glasgow! — with its thousand thousand activities all 
awaking to join the noise and din of the joyous mor- 
ning. The interminable thoroughfares, the sky-piercing 
chimneys, the masses of warehouses, the overhead net- 
work of telegraph lines, the red-funnelled steamers moving 
slowly away through the pale blue mist of the Broomie- 



Perhaps nothing shows better the extent and re- 
sources of a great commercial city than the means 
now adopted for the checking of the spread of fire. 
Not only does this appear in the high pressure of our 
modern water supply, by means of which a hose fixed 
on a fire hydrant will convey a stream of water to our 
high buildings, but also in the steam fire-engine, with its 
powerful pumps and capacity for rapid steam raising, 
all enabling the fire brigade to effectually cope with the 
most serious outbreak. 

Without a proper supply of water, and machinery to 
utilize it, any outbreak of fire could only be dealt with 
in a very primitive fashion. Indeed, to a compara- 
tively recent period the "butts" were a great institution, 
for when a fire broke out a dash was made with these 
water-barrel carts, the first carter getting a sum of 
money as a premium to hasten up the supply for the 
small engine worked by hand. The West of England 
Company placed a more modern type of fire-engine in 
the city about forty years ago, which with its helmeted 
firemen was the great attraction of the youngsters as it 
urged its course to the scene of the confiao^ration. 

About forty years ago the announcement of an out- 
break of fire was made by means of a drum by day 
and a rattle by night, the latter, consisting of a set of 
big "clappers" made of loose pieces of wood, tied in 
such a manner as to cause a strong rattling noise when 
shaken by the hand, the night policeman at the same time 
crying out fire at such and such a number and street. 
The clappers were only disused a few years ago, as 
the spread of the city and the modern improvements 


in the communication of messages by means of electric 
signallino- combined to render the slow transmission of 
the news by word of mouth of no effective service. 

The celerity with which the fire-brigade can be turned 
out varies somewhat, depending a good deal on the neces- 
sities of the case. In our own city, where with our solid 
stone buildings and stone stairways, more resistance is 
offered to the spread of the devouring element than 
in lighter-built brick houses with wooden stairs, or in 
wooden houses throughout — as is the case in many 
towns in America — there is not such danger of the fire 
obtaining the mastery. Still, in the interests of the 
community, the quicker a fire is put out the better. 

The fire-brigade of Glasgow do not pretend to the 
speed of the Chicago firemen, who can turn out in a 
few seconds, being stimulated, if asleep, by the electric 
current "hitching" the bed-clothes off them and almost 
dropping the active brigaders through the opening trap- 
door of their room on to the fire-engine standing ready in 
the ground -floor below. The average time taken in 
Glasgow to turn out is about a minute and a half. 

Besides the fire-engine to send the current of water on 
the burning mass, we have the fire-escape, a familiar ob- 
ject, especially in London, as a long strange ladder-look- 
ing apparatus standing in some quiet corner of the busy 
city, ready to be brought out and run to the nearest fire. 
In America, however, the traveller moves and sleeps in 
an atmosphere of contingent fire; in the hotels he sees 
placards " To the Fire Escape," and directions to the- 
nearest exit. Recently an invention was patented for 
enabling an individual to escape single-handed by means 


of a reel of steel wire, one end of which he screwed into 
the window-sill. Securing himself to the reel, he then, 
with a faith in a successful journey which could only be 
implanted by the urgency of the occasion, is supposed to 
launch himself out into space and descend spider-like by 
means of his reel and wire. 

Besides the use of water to extinguish fire, chemists 
have supplied us with compounds in cases, which, by the 
quality of the gases emitted, smother the flame. 

In Mr. Nicol's excellent Statistical Account of Glas- 
goiv, published in 1885, the following reference to the 
early methods of coping with the city fires appears: — 
" The first fire-engine was got by the corporation in 
1657, five years after the great tire which destroyed one- 
third of the town from the Trongate southwards, and 
unhoused some thousands of people. The engine was 
similar to one in use in the Capital, and its functions are 
described in the Council minutes as for 'the occasioune 
of Suddent fyre in spouting out of water thereon.' As 
another destructive fire, from the Trongate northwards, 
occurred in 1677, the engine, if brought into use, would 
appear to have been inadequate. And no wonder, seeing 
great part of the structure of Glasgow houses was then 
of wood." 

Later on fires became less disastrous as the use of 
stone became more general; although we find that in 
some towns the use of wood was so much preferred that 
after the great fire in Dunfermline in 1624, in which 220 
houses were destroyed, the wood of Garvock, in the 
neighbourhood, was completely denuded of its old trees 
for the rebuilding of the town. 


The strength of the Glasgow fire-brigade, according to 
the published report for 1886, is as follows: — Permanent 
firemen, 81; auxiliary firemen, 54; horses, 17; 6 steam 
fire-engines; 9 manual fire-engines; 19 hose and ladder 
carriages; about 7500 yards of hose on engines and car- 
riages, with over 3000 feet of spare hose; about 600 feet 
of scaling-ladders; 1 telescopic fire-escape; and 83 elec- 
tric street fire-alarms. During 1886 there were 244 fires 
at which the engines were called out, and 128 at which 
the engines were not called. Of fires which occurred, 
154 happened through the day and 218 during the 
night. Of these fires 326 were extinguished by firemen, 
and 46 by occupants and others. The bulk of the calls 
were through the electric fire-alarms, a good many being 
of a malicious character, ending in nothing but a turn- 
out of the brigade. 

The average annual loss of property in the city by fire 
during the last six years is valued at about £134,000. 
Physicists tell us matter is never lost, and, like energy, it 
simply changes its form. In the case of a large city fire 
we have a striking spectacle of such transformation, 
the stored-up valuables, whether of art or commerce 
igniting and disappearing in flames, sparks, and smoke, 
whilst the inclosure becomes a roarinof furnace, and the 
walls themselves crack and splinter under the fervent 
heat. Meanwhile the vital energy on the streets below, 
in the shape of the daring firemen, scorched by the heat 
and blinded by the smoke but undaunted in their efforts, 
directs the play of the water-hose to arrest the destruc- 
tion going on ; for whatever the result may be physically, 
it is a loss commercially, as much as when a gallant ship 


founders and takes her cargo down to the depths of 
ocean. Strange it is in this advanced age of applied 
science that, as yet, we have to lament those appalling 
catastrophes of fire, in which not only valuable property 
but infinitely more valuable human lives are destroyed 
in a short hour or two. 

Previous to the year 1750 there were no banks in 
Glasgow. In that year, however, several of the merchants 
started what was known as the Ship Bank, the notes 
issued bearing a ship engraved upon them. In the first 
Glasgow Directory, published one hundred years ago, we 
find seven banks mentioned, viz.: The Glasgow Arms 
Bank, Ship Bank, Thistle Bank, Merchant Bank, Royal 
Bank, Messrs. Thomson's Bank, and Paisley Bank. 

The following lines, which quaintly and graphically 
portray the changes which have come over our old city 
during the space of the last century, appeared in the 
jGflasgow Herald, and were written for the centenary of 
that newspaper, February, 1882: 

"A hundred years ago! As in a dream 
All things have changed along the human stream, 
The thousand roaring wheels of traffic pass 
"Where the maids spread the linen on the grass ; 
The mighty ocean liners outward bound 
Heave o'er the sjDOt where windmill sails went round. 
The haystacks of the Trougate, where are they 1 
Where the green meadows which produced the hay ? 
Who were the last fond lovers (who can tell ?) 
That kissed beneath the alders at Arn's Well 1 
Oh, quaint Arcadian city which appears 
In the bright vista of a hundred years ! 
The ancient merchant in his scarlet cloak, 
Great wm and silver buckles, if he woke 


From his archaic skimber, would he know 

Th' Havannah of a century ago] 

In that brave year of seventeen eighty-two 

The stars looked out of smokeless heavens and knew 

The city by its nine dim lamps. At dawn 

The glimmering vapours from the Bens were drawn." 

These are a few of the brighter aspects of the " good 
old times;" but there are other aspects less pleasing. 
Fortunately the latter are not necessarily specially iden- 
tified with Glasgow, but belong to an age now fortunately 
passed away, when regard to the value of life and living 
had not taken the high position of the present day. 

The execution of criminals for what we would now 
call comparatively trivial ofifences was the law of the 
land. The condition of the unhappy prisoners incarcer- 
ated within the jails for crime or debt was miserable in 
the extreme. Jail-fever was a disease by itself. The 
" Hulks " still existed for convicts, at places such as the 
Thames, Plymouth, and Portsmouth ; from which detach- 
ments were sent from time to time to Botany Bay. 

Howard, in his work on Prisons, &c., says: "On my 
coming into Scotland in July 1787 the first county gaol 
I visited was at Ayr. There is no court, so that debtors 
and felons are never out of their rooms. 

" There is the same defect in the Tolbooth at Glasgow. 
As the transports continue long in confinement, some 
alteration was making, by arching the rooms, in order to 
obtain greater security against escapes and disturbances. 

"Several of the transports were removed to a new 
prison adjoining to the poor-house. Each had a separate 
room (about six feet and a half by six). The rooms here 


not being very strong, the prisoners had chains on their 
feet and necks. 

" The passage being only two feet eight inches wide, 
most of the rooms were very offensive, and some very 
damp. No endeavours are made to reclaim these unhappy 
objects; whose long confinement, together with the great 
severity of their chains, and their scanty food (being only 
two pennyworth of bread in a day), must reduce them to 
the extremity of misery and desperation." 

Mr. Howard adds: "The Tolhooth is in the Tower, has 
no apartments for the keeper, no court, no water, no 
sewers, and seems as if it was never whitewashed; allow- 
ance to prisoners 4(i. a day; 1787, Augt. 3, prisoners 4." 

One bright gleam falls across this dismal picture. We 
are told that the magistrates expressed " their readiness 
to make any alteration for the benefit of their fellow- 
creatures." The magistrates also accompanied Mr. Howard 
on his visits, and presented him with the freedom of the 

Since in dealing with such far -back matters we can 
only gain our information from records of the times, it 
may not be out of place to refer to a later description^ 
of the new jail of Glasgow built in 1810, where we are 
told that " In its construction much attention has been 
paid to the health and comfort of the unfortunate; and 
while it is to be lamented that the crimes of men render 
such a structure necessary, it is at the same time agree- 
able to reflect that, in promoting security, humanity has 
not been overlooked. 

" The superintendence of building the jail was in- 

^ Picture of Olasgoio, Chapman, 1820. 


trusted to Mr. James Clelland, whose zealous exertions 
on the public account have been eminently conspicuous 
on many occasions. From his judicious suggestions, the 
cells for the reception of criminals under sentence of 
death were constructed. In these, the wretch who had 
hitherto pined in irons, and under a restricted use of his 
limbs, may now, even in his dreary cell, employ them 
with freedom in acts of exercise and devotion." 

That this humane spirit was now growing in the com- 
munity we can readily gather from part of the inscription 
on the plate over the cavity in the foundation-stone.^ 

" To afford more suitable accommodation 

Such as the increasing population 

And wealth of the City 

Have, for many years, required for those 

Engaged in the Administration of Justice, and in 

The Management of the Affairs 

Of the Community : 

And to provide 

More convenient Places of Confinement, 

Secure, and yet not injurious to Health, for 

The unfortunate Individuals 

Whose Imprisonment 

Their Debts, or their Crimes 

May render legally necessary. 

The Magistrates and Council of Glasgow 

Have resolved, after mature Deliberation, 

To erect these Buildings 

By the favour of Almighty God." 

The first ten or twelve years of the beginning of the 
present century appear to have wrought a great change 
in the size and appearance of the city and of the manners 

1 See Glangoio Municipal Buildings: by John Carrick and James Nicol, 1883. 



of the people. Thus the popuhition o£ the city has been 
stated m 1795 at about 70,000, whilst in 1819 it was 
147,000. This great change is graphically portrayed 
in the pages of Cyril Thornton, where this gentleman 
says: "Though in the external aspect of Glasgow little 
change was apparent from the lapse of years which had 
intervened since my former visit, yet a great change was 
certainly observable in the manners and mode of life of 
its inhabitants. Wealth had evidently increased, and 
exotic luxuries and fashions had taken root in the soil. 
At the epoch of my former visit the city boasted but 
one carriage ; now gay equipages, with servants in gaudy 
liveries, were to be met with in every street. Formerly 
a few clumsy and Quaker-like buggies, drawn by horses 
better fitted for the plough than the shafts, might be 
seen lumbering along, conveying a physician on his 
rounds, or an elderly gentleman and his wife to their 
cottage in the suburbs; now vehicles of the smartest and 
most fashionable description, whether designated in the 
nomenclature of the day as Dennet, Stanhope, Whiskey, 
Tilbury, or Drosky, glittered past with almost meteor- ( 

like velocity in all the great avenues of the city. The 
ideas of the generation which had been springing up 
during my absence evidently differed widely from those 
of their fathers. . . . Several new and elegant streets 
had sprung up to the westward of the city, and the gayer 
and more wealthy part of the population had deserted 
their former small and smoky residences, for the more 
elegant and commodious mansions which these afforded." 
In reference to early commercial matters in Glasgow 
Dr. Strang says : " While the tobacco trade existed, as we 


have already seen, the class engaged in this lucrative 
business was limited, and their position in society was 
special and prominent. But no sooner had the Virginia 
lords thrown aside their scarlet cloaks, gold-headed canes, 
cocked hats, and bushy wigs, and left the field open to 
the ambition and enterprise of the wider circle of mer- 
chants engaged in the growing commercial intercourse 
with the West Indian colonies and foreign countries, 
than a new order of things began to be developed. Busi- 
ness of all kinds became diffused among the citizens. 
The two great classes of society, into which the city has 
been so long divided, gradually disappeared. The mer- 
chant and manufacturer were now seen amalgamating; 
while the strict social barrier, which so long separated 
the tradesman from the foreign trader, was henceforth 
swept away amid the daily intercourse of business men, 
which, after 1781, had been taking place under the 
canopy of the public News-room at the Cross. Trade, 
in fact, was now regarded under a new and more uni- 
versal phase; and society assumed a more cosmopolitan 
condition, under a happy amalgamation of all classes." 


Living as we do in prosaic railway times we can only 
form pictures of the past coaching days, yet, from a 
well-appointed tourist coach in the Highlands or else- 
where we may gather some idea of what the Royal Mail 
Coach with its four spanking horses, driver, and guard 
must have been, and the excitement which their arrival 
and departure caused at the towns on the way and at the 
terminus of the run. Professor Rankine, with happy 


facility, has thus sung in praise of the older method of 

" Ye passengers so bothered 

Who snore in rattling trains, 
By dusty vapour smothered, 

Awake and hear my strains ! 
I'll tell you of the good old days, 

For ever past and gone. 
Before your pestilent railways 

Had spoiled all sorts of fun. 
When Joe, with light but steady hand, 

Did four high mettled steeds command, 
And well was known, through all the land. 

The coachman of the ' Skylark.' " 

One hundred years ago the mail-coach was called a 
diligence; and we are told in the first Glasgoiu Directory 
that " it sets off from James Buchanan's Saracen's Head 
Inn upon Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays at 12 o'clock 
at night, — arrives up on Saturdays, Mondays, and Wed- 
nesdays at 9 o'clock at night." Dr. S. Smiles (Lives of 
Engineers) tells us: 

" With the progress of industry and trade, the easy 
and rapid transit of persons and goods had come to l)e 
regarded as an increasing object of public interest. Fast 
coaches now run regularly between all the principal 
towns of England, every effort being made, by straighten- 
ing and shortening the roads, cutting down hills, and 
carrying embankments across valleys, and viaducts over 
rivers, to render travelling by the main routes as easy 
and expeditious as possible. Attention was especially 
turned to the improvement of the longer routes, and to 
perfecting the connection of London with the chief 


towns of Scotland and Ireland. Telford was early called 
upon to advise as to the repairs of the road between 
Carlisle and Glasgow, which had been allowed to fall 
into a wretched state. . . . 

"Although Glasgow had become a place of considerable 
wealth and importance, the road to it north of Carlisle 
continued in a very unsatisfactory state. It was only in 
July, 1788, that the first mail-coach from London had 
driven into Glasgow by that route, when it was welcomed 
by a procession of the citizens on horseback." 

Mr. Smiles further mentions that the road had become 
so dangerous that the mail was often delayed, and that the 
bridge over the Evan water fell with the coach, several 
persons being killed and others injured. At length, in 
1816, a Parliamentary grant of £50,000 was made, and 
the new road carried out by Telford, who executed the 
work in a substantial manner, with easy gradients, about 
one in thirty being the steepest inclination. 

The railway system has swept away the old mail- 
coach; but it is curious to note how the tendency to 
carry on old associations exists amongst us, as in the 
early railway carriages much similarity existed to the 
older forms, the "guards" sat outside on the top of the 
carriages, and some of the carriages were open above; 
the run to Greenock in the open and stand-up vehicles 
being quite within the memory of many. In the first 
edition of Chcnnhers's Information for the People, pub- 
lished about 1848, we read: "Carriages are usually di- 
vided into three classes, first, second, and third. The 
first are covered, and resemble three coach bodies united. 
Each compartment is double-seated, the seats being sepa- 


rated by cushioned arms or supporters, thus preventing 
the passengers crowding one another. The whole interior 
is hned, cushioned, carpeted, and lighted; presents as 
much elegance, and affords as much luxurious ease, as 
any nobleman's carriage. The second class carriages — 
originally very uncomfortable concerns — are now covered 
and provided with windows, and on some lines are fur- 
nished, like the first class, with lamps, and soft cushions 
for seats. These are not divided into compartments, but 
are calculated to hold, without crowding, from four to 
six passengers on each side. The third class carriages 
were originally quite open, and in some cases entirely 
unprovided with seats; but now the parliamentary third 
class — so called from companies being obliged to run 
them by act of parliament — are very comfortable con- 
veyances, infinitely superior to the outside seat of a mail 
or stage coach. They are covered and furnished with 
seats and windows." 

In connection with the opening up of the country 
by railways the following extract from an interesting 
work on the Rise and Progress of the Midland Rail- 
way, by Mr. F. S. Williams, is of much interest: " But 
at length the monopoly even of canals began to be 
threatened. A new competitor was coming into the 
field. The Stockton and Darlington Railway had been 
completed, the Liverpool and Manchester line was in 
course of construction, and the idea was spreading that 
railways were likely to succeed. Two or three enter- 
prising men in Leicester shared these impressions, and 
they conferred on the subject with Mr. John Ellis, their 
townsman. He replied that he had no practical acquain- 


tance with the making or working of railways; but he 
did not discovirage the project. At that time he was 
associated with some other gentlemen in the reclamation 
of a part of Chat Moss, — that vast morass over which 
George Stephenson was then carrying the Liverpool and 
Manchester Railway; and Mr, Ellis promised that he 
would ask the advice of his friend Stephenson. Accor- 
dingly, a week or two afterwards, Mr. Ellis went from 
Chat Moss in search of the great engineer, and found 
him very busy, and, we must add, very ' cross,' in Rain- 
hill Cutting. ' Old George/ as he was familiarly called, 
refused to discuss the matter. Mr. Ellis for a while 
forbore with his friend's infirmity, and at length induced 
him to go to a village inn hard by, that they might have 
a beefsteak togjether for dinner. Here ecood humour 
soon returned; Mr. Ellis explained his plans, and George 
Stephenson undertook to go over to Leicester and see 
the country. He did so; and his report as to the prac- 
ticability of a railway being carried through it was 
favourable. He was then requested to undertake the 
office of engineer. This he declined. ' He had,' he said, 
'thirty-one miles of railway to make, and that was enough 
for any man at a time.' But, being asked if he could 
recommend any one for this service, he mentioned the 
name of his son Robert, who had recently returned from 
South America, and the father added that he would 
himself be responsible that the work should be well done. 
The matter was so arranged; and when, not long after- 
wards, a difficulty arose in obtaining the requisite capital 
for the new undertaking, — in consequence of many of 
the well-to-do Leicester people being already interested 


in canals, — George Stephenson further showed his prac- 
tical interest in the work. ' Give me a sheet of paper/ 
he said to his friend Ellis, ' and I will raise the money 
for you in Liverpool.' In a short time a complete list of 
subscribers was returned. 

" The Leicester and Swannington line was commenced 
about the latter end of the year 1830; and one spring 
morning in 1832 Mr. Ellis said to his son, then a lad of 
fifteen, ' Edward, thou shalt go down with me, and see 
the new engine get up its steam.' The machinery had 
been conveyed by water from Stephenson's factory at 
Newcastle-on-Tyne to the West Bridge Wharf at Leices- 
ter; it had been put together in a little shed built for its 
accommodation; it was named ' The Comet;' and it was 
the first locomotive that ever ran south of Manchester. 

"On the l7th July, 1832, amid great rejoicings, and 
the roar of cannon that had been cast for the occasion^ 
the new line was opened — a line which brought the long- 
neglected coal-fields of Leicestershire almost to the door 
of the growing population and thriving industries of the 
country town." 

In this same volume is a racy bit of experience by an 
engine-driver, which shows that the iron horse has his 
peculiarities like his four-footed namesake. "A good 
engineman takes a pride like in his engine, as if, you 
know, she was his own property, and we know what 
we can coax out of her; and, what's more, what we 
can't. We have to fire the engine on the lightest part of 
the road, that is, when she's running down banks and 
such like, and has the least blast on. If we put coal on 
when the blast is strong, up the chimney the small coal 


goes, into the smoke-box, and flies up out of the chimney. 
It is the fireman, you know, that watches the fire and 
keeps the steam up by the indicator as the driver requires 
him; and both driver and fireman have also to keep a 
sharp look-out ahead." 

The canals, doubtless, sufiered by the introduction of 
the railways, but, strangely enough, we are now coming 
round to favour once more the inland water-ways; and 
the ffigantic undertakingf of the Manchester Canal now 
commenced, which will cost several millions, and is de- 
signed to admit sea-going vessels into the heart of the 
country, will be one of the greatest engineering works in 
the country, at least of the present time. 

If the changes during a dozen years of the early part 
of this century were so marked, how shall we record 
those which have taken place during the seventy years 
which have elapsed? The one hundred and forty odd 
thousand persons have grown to some 700,000. The 
boundaries of the city have extended not only west- 
ward, but on all sides, until now it is difficult to define 
them, and the spaces between the city and neighbouring- 
towns some miles off" are getting, by mutual extensions, 
less and less year by year. The steamboat and the 
railway train have now far exceeded in power and speed 
the old flies and diligences, and even the "meteor-like 
velocity " of the improved vehicles referred to. Hansom 
cabs and tram-cars, horse and steam, have superseded 
the clumsy " noddies " and sedan-chairs ; and all these 
supplemented by telegraph and telephone communica- 
tion. In addition we have water brought from a High- 
land loch, and gas for lighting and heating distributed 


through this industrial hive in a net-work of under- 
ground pipes. 

The use of steam-power on ordinary roads was early 
attempted in Glasgow. One road-locomotive, spoken of 
as Gurney's engine by old residenters, made some eccen- 
tric movements on the south side of the river, and exploded 
once or twice. These engines met with great opposition, 
the roads being heavily metalled to prevent their progress, 
which led in one case to the breaking of an axle in 
England, and to the final destruction of the Glasgow 
carriage between Paisley and Glasgow, where, pressing 
the steam too high to get through the heavily-metalled 
roadway, the boiler blew up, injuring the passengers. 
Gurney was a Cornishman, and, like his countryman, 
Trevethick, seems to have been a born engineer. 

Scott Russell's name is also associated with the Glas- 
gow engine or coach; and it is said that Symington, the 
designer of the Charlotte Dundas steamboat, tried one 
in Edinburgh. In the Scots Mechanic's Magazine for 
1 825 there is a drawing and description given of a pro- 
posed steam-carriage, spoken of as follows: "This im- 
provement in the construction of steam-carriages consists 
in adapting separate engines to the gear of each of the 
wheels on which the carriage runs, instead of actuating 
them all by one engine." It is doubtful if this very 
direct application of the power would be successful, as k 

the traction-engines and road-steamers of the present I 

day owe part of their success to the geared connection 
of the engine and the wheels. We also hear of a steam- , . 

coach in the Noctes Amhrosiance in 1827, where the | 

Shepherd is speaking of the dry summer of 1826, and 


of the roads in the south towards Berwick, when North 
says, " The steam-engine mail-coach is to run that road 
in spring;" and the Shepherd adds, "Is't? She'll be a 
dangerous vehicle— but I'll tak' my place in the safety- 


The amount of work got through by a post-office 
should be a good indication of the business character of 
the town or city in which it is established, and the 
Glasgow post-office is an excellent illustration of the 
rapid progress of the city from time to time ; and as show- 
ino' the extent of the resources of this establishment we 
find a volume published by the post-office officials in 1887 
and called Tlie Queens Head, from which we can gather 
at a glance a great deal of valuable information about 
the rise and progress of postal work in Glasgow. 

It appears that in 1695 the Scottish Parliament estab- 
lished a letter post, and for a time the letters were wholly 
conveyed on foot. In the year 1711 one post-office 
system for both England and Scotland was established. 
The first direct London and Glasgow mail was estab- 
lished by coach in 1788. Apparently the first Glasgow 
post-office was started in the year 1787, over one hun- 
dred years ago. It was situated in Princes Street, and 
looking at a copy of the first Glasgow Directory we find 
that the staff consisted of five persons, viz.: a post- 
master, a head -clerk, an under-clerk, a letter-carrier, 
and another whose functions are not stated. After some 
changes of place, in 1810 the post-office was situated in 
Nelson Street, and citizens still living can recall their 


delight as boys when seeing the mail-coach arrive in the 
Trongate, and the important guard get oiF his perch, pull 
out his mail -bags, and walk up Nelson Street to the 
office, the pistols or blunderbusses which were his com- 
panions on the road being beheld with proper respect 
by the onlookers. 

In 1840 a removal was made to Glassford Street, where 
many can remember the piazza or arcade front to the 
street. This was a marked period in postal history, as 
in this year the uniform penny postage came into opera- 
tion and postage stamps were first used.^ In 1857 the 
post-office found its present home in George Square. 

The following interesting tabular statement of the 
staff is given in The Queen's Bead : — 

In 1V87 5. 1869 2G8. 

1826 22. 1870 449. 

1840 58. 1872 455. 

1848 98. 1887 1402. 

1857 150. 

The number of letters now dealt with is about 2,500,000 
weekly. The revenue is £336,000, and expenditure 
£107,000. Besides ordinary letter work, post-offices have 
not only to deal with money-orders, &c., but with all 
kinds of parcels since the introduction of the parcel-post 
system, and with telegraph messages. 


The Cathedral was founded in 1123, during the reign 
of David I., and was dedicated to St. Mungo. It is situ- 

1 The postal rates formerly varied within the United Kingdom, and it is said 
that a boy, who acted as postman in a country district, on being reprimanded 
for delay on the road, replied, " Oh, these are only penny letters." 



ated on the higher part of the city at the head of High 
Street, and just above the banks of the Molendinar 
stream, where its patron saint established his humble 
cell thirteen centuries ago. The Cathedral, fortunately 
surviving the destruction of similar buildings about the 
time of the Reformation, is still an object of interest 
to visitors and of pride to the inhabitants for its pure 
and early English style of architecture, its crypt almost 
unique in its completeness and extent, and, although a 
modern decoration, its stained-glass windows are of such 
high-class work and artistic design as to be quite in har- 
mony with the venerable structure, whose gray and 
sombre colouring by the hand of Time they serve to 
brighten with their rich and many-coloured lights. 

Sir Walter Scott gives us in Rob Roy a picture of the 
Cathedral and its surroundings as they appeared when 
" The Mac Gregor" paid his occasional visits to Glasgow: 

" Standing in a populous and considerable town, this 
ancient and massive pile has the appearance of the most 
sequestered solitude. High walls divide it from the 
buildings of the city on one side; on the other it is 
bounded by a ravine, at the bottom of which, and invis- 
ible to the eye, murmurs a wandering rivulet, adding by 
its gentle noise to the imposing solemnity of the scene." 

At one time the building was divided as follows: — 

The Choir, Outer Church, Inner High Church, and 
Vaulted Cemetery. Worship was conducted on Sundays 
in the Outer Church and the Inner High Church, and 
for a time in what was called the Vaulted Cemetery or 
Crypt; and it is to this lower sanctuary that we are 
conducted in the novel referred to, which is described 


as "an extensive range of low-browed, dark, and twi- 
light vaults," in which a numerous congregation had 
assembled, and where the hero of the story hears the 
whisper, " You are in danger in this place ; meet me 
to-night on the Brigg at twelve preceesely;" and giving 
heed to this warning he meets Rob Roy, as " the hour 
of twelve o'clock swung its summons over the city 
from the belfry of the Metropolitan Church of St. 
Mungo, and was answered and vouched by all the others 
like dutiful diocesans." 

The College buildings stood in High Street, but like 
many other things they also have had to give way to the 
changes which constantly occur in an ever-growing and 
widening industrial community. Where once the learned 
professor and aspiring student met in yearly session and 
devoted themselves to the advancement of learning and 
the cultivation of the mind, there is now little remaininrr 
to mark the site of their former abodes and class-rooms. 
The railway passes through them, and the snort of the 
iron-horse and his warning whistle echo throuo-h the colon- 
nades of the railway-station which has taken their place. 
But is it not a fitting successor to the old halls and 
class-rooms where James Watt first made his immortal 
discovery, which gave the old and inefficient steam-engine 
a renewed vitality? As we stand on the platform, we see 
the locomotive with its train behind, the fire burning 
brightly and the steam up to its required pressure, with 
the electric light brilliantly showing from the carriage 
roofs, switched off and on automatically as the train 
dives out and in the tunnels driven beneath the busy 
streets. We feel that this is the outcome of much that 




has been lectured and experimented upon in the class- 
room and laboratory o£ the old buildings. And the names 
of Black, Watt, Rankine, and Thomson occur to us as 
workers in the field of science, whose investigations in 
this very place have helped to bring about these wonder- 
ful changes. 

The University has now moved west; all modern life 
seems to tend westward, and since the time of Columbus 
we have pushed still further out into the new fields open- 
ing to the enterprising on the other side of the Atlantic. 
The new site is much more prominent than the origi- 
nal one in the High Street, yet no doubt in the early 
days the old buildings would be quite as well marked 
out, as the city was smaller and distances were not then 
reckoned by miles. Various recent endowments by 
wealthy citizens and others have contributed to the com- 
pletion of the present buildings on Gilmourhill, and to 
the carrying on more completely the work of the various 
chairs. And not only have these benefactions resulted in 
the erection of the handsome modern structure, but also 
in the re-erecting of the old gateway, with the veritable 
stones cut by and bearing the chisel marks of the old 
builders a couple of centuries ago, and which once more 
throws its shadow over the student and visitor as they 
pass and repass to class-room and court, as in the days 
of old. We can also still pass up and down the old stone 
stairway with its guardian lion and unicorn, which was 
originally erected in the old college so far back as 1690. 

George's Square, at one time a dismal, railed-in place, 
is now opened out to the public, and contains a number 
of monuments to distinguished names, combining royalty, 



war, science, literature, &c. Sir Walter Scott from his 
lofty pedestal looks abroad over the city, whose old- 
fashioned life and incidents he has so well portrayed. 
Sir John Moore, whose death at Corunna is so drama- 
tically described in the well-known lines: 

" We buried him darkly ; — at dead of night, 
The sods with our bayonets turning; 
By the struggling moon-beams' misty light, 
And the lantern dimly burning." 

Sir Colin Campbell, posed alert, and intense with 
readiness for action. Graham, the master of the mint, and 
Watt in scientific contemplation, Campbell and Burns, 
Livingstone and Peel, are all here ; the unchanging bronze 
perpetuating by the magic skill of the sculptor the per- 
sonal characteristics of each, while the busy city life goes 
on, and we hear arising from the constant murmur of the 
streets something like this: 

" For men may come and men may go, 
But I go on for ever." 

Other statues adorn the city, such as that of the Duke 
of Wellington in front of the Exchange, where, mounted 
on his faithful charger, the "hero of a hundred fights" 
appears to be directing the movement of his troops on the 
battle-fields, depicted on the panels below. 

Another and an older equestrian statue stands at the 
Cross, viz.: that of King William III., and of which the 
late Rev. Norman Macleod tells the following story: — 

" The traveller who visits Glasgow and takes the 
trouble of walkino- along the Trongate, which would be 
a fine street in any city, will notice near the ' Cross,' at 


its eastern extremity, an equestrian statue of no mean 
value as a work of art, and he will also discern two old 
guns protruding their small rusty muzzles above the 
ground at its base. Those guns blazed at the battle of 
the Boyne, and they now look up to King William III., 
who commanded them there. Strange to say, this is the 
only statue in Scotland or England erected to him of 
' immortal memory.' A Latin inscription on the base of 
the statue inform us, among other things, that it was 
erected in 1734 by 'Jacobus Macrae, Gubernator Madrasii.' 
We may add that this work of art was the only one of 
the kind known for more than a century to the peasantry 
of the West Highlands. The first object on reaching 
Glasgow which the Highlander went to see was the 'black 
horse;' and the first question asked of him when he re- 
turned home, by those who wished to hear his news, was, 
' Have you seen the black horse ? ' " 

A number of fine old mansion-houses built by the 
mercantile aristocracy of the last century at one time 
adorned the city, but are now mostly pulled down or 
incorporated with new buildings. One of these is inter- 
esting from the fact that it is built into the front part 
of the Exchange in Queen Street. This mansion-house 
was known as the Lainshaw Mansion; afterwards The 
Royal Bank used the upper or drawing-room fioor for 
its business, and finally, when the Royal Exchange was 
built in 1829, the old building was preserved, and the 
new building, with its fine row of Corinthian columns, 
spread out over the old garden ground behind. 

The new Municipal Buildings in George Square, ap- 
proaching completion, constitute an elaborate and massive 



The Trongate— Iron Steeple and Cross. 



pile, in which the work of the various trusts connected 
with the municipality can be carried out, and the magis- 
terial functions of the representatives of the city can have 
freer scope in the Council Chamber. The foundation- 
stone was laid on 6tli October, 1883, with all the masonic 
honours, and Glasgow kept high holiday in honour of 
the event, the various trades turning out in their 
thousands, as the Glasgow tradesmen love to do on any 
great occasion, and carrying on for the edification of 
their fellow-citizens their various crafts; working away 
on stages carried by lorries, drawn by gaily-caparisoned 
horses. This great procession, reckoned at about 30,000 
strong, headed by the carters mounted on their splendid 
Clydesdales, specially decorated for the occasion, made a 
tour of the city, and finally converged on the square. 

The building is in the Italian Renaissance style, and 
occupies a square of about 75 yards on the side, thus 
covering an area of about 5600 square yards. There are 
several stories, the main walls reaching to a height of 75 
feet, having a central tower rising to a height of 242 feet, 
of which 225 feet is of masonry, terminated with 17 feet 
of ornamental gilded metal work. Besides the Council 
Chamber and various offices a large banqueting hall is 
one of the features, measuring 110 feet in length by 50 
feet wide; the height of this hall is 50 feet. 

In modern buildings Glasgow can boast of having the 
tallest chimney-stalks in the world. The great stalk at 
Messrs. Tennant's St. Rollox Chemical Works is 455 1 feet 
in height from foundation to top, or 435 i feet above- 
ground. Its external diameter at base on ground-line is 
40 feet, with a thickness of 2 feet 7^ inches; at top its 



external diameter is 13 feet G inches, with a thickness of 
1 foot 2 inches. The chimney has a slightly-curved hatter 
or rate of variation in width. 

The chimney at Messrs. Townsend's Chemical Works, 
built 1857, is 468 feet high, of which 454 feet is above- 
ground. An extra heio-ht of ornamental iron work ex- 
tends for 20 feet above the cope. The outside diameter 
at surface of ground is 32 feet, and at top 12 feet 8 
inches; the thickness varies from 7 bricks at base to 1^ 
brick at top. The chimney has a straight hatter. 

This great stalk shortly after being finished was sub- 
jected to a severe storm which broke over Glasgow, and 
in consequence of the immense pressure of wind upon 
such a great surface it was visibly bent over. It became 
a question how to deal with it under such conditions, 
when finally a simple, and, as the result proved, an 
effective remedy was suggested, viz. that of sawing into 
the joints on the convex side. This was done, and the 
great chimney gradually settled back to its originally 
perpendicular position. 

Up to within a few years ago these great stalks were, 
witli one or two exceptions (the great spires at Vienna and 
Strasburg, and the Great Pyramid), the highest build- 
ings in the world; but the Americans can now claim to 
possess a building which much exceeds previous struc- 
tures, viz. the Washington Monument at Washington. 
This is an obelisk 555 feet high, built of beautiful white 
marble, and which, in the clear air of that city, can be 
seen a lonsf distance ofi". 



Glasgow possesses many scientific and literary institutes, 
many of these, such as the Philosophical Society, carrying 
back a corporate record to the beginning of the present 
century. This Society was instituted in 1802, the first 
president being Professor Wm. Meikleham, LL.D. 

The Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders is a 
younger body, and was instituted in 1857 under the 
presidency of the genial and accomplished Professor 
Macquorn Rankine. 

Geological, natural history, and other societies discuss 
questions relating to our solid globe and its inhabitants, 
archaeological societies revive our interest in the past, 
while literary and educational societies discuss questions 
of a more general character. As educational institutions, 
more or less scientific in their character, the Andersonian, 
Mechanics' Institution, and Athenaeum have long been well 
known, and many can look back with gratitude to the 
help which these places of learning afforded them when 
struggling to acquire some further information than a 
short school period had enabled them to obtain, and to 
advance in the special line of knowledge which they 
desired. Old students of the Mechanics' Institution will 
not readily forget the stirring addresses made at the 
annual meetings, when the prizes were presented by 
the late Sheriff' Glassford Bell. 

Anderson's Institution was founded in 179G by Mr. 
John Anderson, Professor of Natural Philosophy in Glas- 
gow University; and it has long been a centre of class- 


work, lectures, &c. Classes for mechanics were early 
started in this Institution. 

The Glasgow Mechanics' Institution was started in 1823, 
and in its first year had fully one thousand students 
on its roll attending the various scientific lectures and 
classes. This Institution changed its name in 1881 to 
that of College of Science and Arts. 

The scheme recently drawn ujd by Commissioners 
appointed under the provisions of the Educational En- 
dowment (Scotland) Act, viz. that Anderson's College, the 
Young Chair of Technical Chemistry in connection with 
that College, the Collegre of Science and Arts, Allen Glen's 
Institution, and the Atkinson Institution should now be 
amalgamated as The West of Scotland Technical College 
has been carried out; and the work of these bodies, 
formerly under separate and independent government, 
is now administered by a body elected from the Town 
Council, the University, and various societies in the city, 
called Governors. Libraries are connected with all these 
Societies and Institutions, which, combined with the 
excellent and rapidly-growing public libraries of the 
city, afford ready means for mental improvement and 

The Glasgow Observatory has for many years been 
located on Dowanhill. The original University Observa- 
tory stood in the old College grounds in High Street, 
and was built at the time when the chair of Astronomy 
was founded in 1760. There was an observatory erected 
in 1810 on Garnethill, which was divided into scientific, 
popular, and literary departments. It says a great deal 
for the scientific enterprise of tlie citizens of the early 


years of the century that they founded this establishment 
by " individual subscription." 

The comet of 1811, from which the first European 
steamer derived its name, was watched at this observa- 
tory, and particulars regarding its orbit, size, &c., de- 
duced. Tlius, its distance from the earth on 15th Sept., 
1811, was estimated at 142,500,000 miles; distance from 
the sun, 95,253,8'iO miles; perihelion distance, 9-i,724,260 
miles; length of tail, 33,000,000 miles. The magnitude 
of the nucleus, as determined by the great telescope of 
Herschel, which, it is said, stood on a terrace at this 
observatory, appeared like the full moon. The present 
observatory, ably presided over by Professor Grant, con- 
tains, beside the usual transit instruments, a fine equa- 
torial, having an object-glass of 9 inches diameter and a 
focal length of 11 feet. 


Looking at a map of the city for the year 1778 we see 
iust two bridges, one at foot of Stock well Street, leading 
to the " Gorbells " — a small district of about one or two 
streets, and at that time the only part built on the south 
side; another, called the "New Bridge," crossed the river 
at the foot of Jamaica Street, the most important build- 
ing near it on the south side being a windmill near the 
river, and standing in the Windmill Croft. 

Looking at another map of tlie city for the year 1818 

we see three bridges shown, joining the north and south 

sides of the river. One at the foot of Saltraarket, one at 

the foot of Stockwell Street, and one at the foot of 

Jamaica Street. On the south side we now see various 




streets and buildings divided into the districts of Hutche- 
son Town, Laurieston, and Trades Town. The windmill 
has disappeared, and amongst a few single-masted sailing 
boats we see a solitary steamer. 

The bridge spanning the river from Saltmarket Street 
to Hutchesontown was at one time made of wood, and was 
built in 1803. This bridge was about 340 feet in length, 
having eight supporting piers ; the width was only a little 
over 7 feet. It was raised up so much above the river — 
probably to allow flood water to pass underneath safely — 
that stairs were required at each end to get on to it from 
the roadway. Later on, a stone bridge was built about 
the same position. The inscription, coins, papers, &c., 
which were placed at the laying of the foundation of 
the stone bridge, are to be seen in the Kelvingrove 
Museum. In 1871 the present handsome Albert Bridge 
was erected. This bridge consists of three spans, one of 
114 ft. and two of 108 ft. each; the width is 60 ft.; it is 
constructed of wrought iron. The piers are formed of 
cast-iron cylinders, sunk to a depth of from 65 ft. to 
80 ft., through strata of sand, mud, and gravel, until the 
sandstone rock is reached. 

A wooden bridge appears to have existed as early as 
the fourteenth century, as a stone bridge was erected Ijy 
Bishop Rae in its place in 1345. This bridge spanned 
the river at the foot of Stockwell Street. The present 
bridge was built in 1851. 

The old Jamaica Street Bridge was erected in 1767, 
and gave place to the present handsome building, de- 
signed by Telford, and founded 1833. In reference to 
this work of the great engineer (who, besides road- 



making and ordinary stone-bridge building, successfully 
spanned the Menai Straits with his iron suspension 
bridge), Smiles, in his Lives of the Engineers, says: 
" But the most important, as it was the last of Mr. Tel- 
ford's stone bridges, was that erected across the Clyde 
at the Broomielaw, Glasgow. Little more than fifty 
years since the banks of the river at that place were 
literally covered with broom — and hence its name — 
while the stream was scarcely deep enough to float a 
herring-buss. Now the Broomielaw is a quay fre(pented 
by ships of the largest burden, and bustling with trade 
and commerce. Skill and enterprise have deepened the 
Clyde, dredged away its shoals, built quays and wharves 
along its banks, and rendered it one of the busiest 
streams in the world. It has become a arreat river 
thoroughfare, worked by steam. On its waters the first 
steamboat ever constructed for purposes of traffic in 
Europe was launched by Henry Bell in 1812, and the 
Clyde boats to this day enjoy the highest prestige. 

"The deepening of the river at the Broomielaw had led 
to a gradual undermining of the foundation of the old 
bridge, which was situated close to the existing landing- 

" A little above it was an ancient overfall weir, which 
had also contributed to scour away the foundations of 
the piers. Besides, the bridge was felt to be narrow, 
inconvenient, and ill-adapted for accommodating the 
immense traffic passing across the Clyde at that point. 
It was, therefore, determined to take down the old struc- 
ture and build a new one, and Mr. Telford was called 
upon to supply the design. The foundation was laid 


with great ceremony on the 18th of March, 1833, and 
the new bridge was completed and opened on the 1st 
of January, 1836, rather more than a year after the 
engineer's death. It is a very fine work, consisting of 
seven arches, segments of circles, the central arch being 
58 feet 6 inches; the span of the adjoining arches dimin- 
ishing to 57 feet 9 inches, 55 feet 6 inches, and 52 feet 
respectively. It is 560 feet in length, with an open 
waterway of 389 feet; and its total width of carriage- 
way and foot-path is 60 feet, or wider, at the time it 
was built, than any river-bridge in the kingdom." 

Some years ago, after the removal of the weir above 
referred to, it appeared that the increased scour due to 
this removal, or to the constant dredging operations going 
on below, was affecting the foundations of the piers of the 
bridge. These foundations had been made on piles sunk 
into the bed of the river, which at this part consists 
mainly of silt and sand. Steps were accordingly taken 
to strengthen the parts required. This was eftected by 
placing aprons of concrete around the foot of the piers. 
The roadway referred to above as being noticeable for 
its width has long been felt to bo insufficient for the im- 
mense traffic which daily crosses the bridge. 

The railway bridge erected by the Caledonian Railway 
to carry that line into the Central Station, is situated 
immediately below the Glasgow Bridge just referred to. 
It consists of three spans of lattice-girders resting on 
iron piers sunk in the river bed until a sufficiently solid 
foundation was reached; in this case the depth of loose 
material, silt, sand, &c., which had to be penetrated was 
as much as 80 feet. The bridge carries four lines of 


rails. The contractor for the erection of this bridge, 
Mr. Wm. Arrol, like his great predecessor Telford, has 
made a name for himself as a bridge builder, the gigan- 
tic structures of the Forth and Tay Bridges having been 
intrusted to him to carry out. The successful completion 
of the Tay Bridge having just been accomplished, gives 
us the more assurance that in a short time we shall §ee 
the projecting arms of the Forth Bridge stretching their 
1700 feet of steel framework across the deep and fast- 
flo wins' waters of the Forth. Mr. Arrol has the inventive 
faculty and ready resource of the early engineers and 
builders who have laid the foundation of our engineering 
celebrity as a nation. 

Another railway bridge, carrying the Glasgow and 
South-Western traffic, spans the river below the Albert 
Bridge. Like the Caledonian Railway Bridge further 
down, the girders are of the lattice type and carried on 
piers. A suspension bridge above the Jamaica Street 
Bridge, and another higher up connecting the Green 
with the south side, completes the existing number of 
Glasgow bridges. The cross traffic is, however, so great, 
that proposals are occasionally made and discussed as to 
additional facilities further down the river than Glas- 
gow Bridge, whether by subways, high-level bridges, or 
other special means has as yet not been decided. 

In the meantime the ferry traffic for passengers is 
admirably conducted at various points in the harbour 
and further down by means of steam ferry-boats having 
a screw propeller at each end, thus rendering turning 

Bridges, like ships, are indispensable as links of com- 


munication, and from an early period have had much 
attention paid to their design and construction. With 
the introduction of the railway system a great develop- 
ment took place in bridge building, and as in many cases 
the spans required and sites to be occupied were of such 
a nature as to prohibit the use of stone or wood, iron was 
employed, and a new form of structure gradually appeared, 
diftering much in design and construction from the old 
stone arch. The tubular-girder bridges across the Menai 
Straits, and the St. Lawrence at Montreal, are great ex- 
amples of a special form of structure adopted by Robert 
Stephenson, who with his father George were the early 
pioneers of the railway system. 

Brunei, noted for his daring genius, bridged the Taniar 
at Saltash with two bows of 483 ft. span made hollow 
in section, and connected at the ends by chains, which, 
acting as ties, resist the thrust through the bow due to 
the load, somewhat as in the later "bowstring" form. 

Zigzag, or " Warren " girders, lattice-girders, and arch- 
rib structures all followed in rapid succession. Suspen- 
sion bridges with supporting medium of chains or wire- 
ropes were flung across wide and deep ravines where 
scaflblding could not And a place. And now at the pre- 
sent time, thanks to the skill of the steel manufacturer, 
the engineer has placed at his disposal a material which 
enables him to take still wider leaps than his predeces- 
sors, and project bridges across wide and dangerous rivers 
and estuaries which a few years ago would have been 
deemed almost impossible. Steel as now manufactured 
readily lends itself to these requirements, as from its now 
well-established reliability, great tenacity, and ductility, 



it is well adapted to railway bridges, as the strength can 
be easily varied in the manufacture to suit any special 
demands by the engineer. 

The great structure now erecting across the Forth at 
Queensferry is designed on the cantilever system; it is 
composed of steel and the great spans are being thrown 
out without the aid of scaffolding. This bridge will have 
two main spans of 1700 feet each. The largest bridge 
span at present is that of the East River Bridge, New 
York. The main span is on the suspension principle, 
and is 1595 feet 6 inches wide. There are four cables, 
each of which contains over 5000 parallel steel wires 
carefully wrapped together. 

' ±f. 


The Brooiiiielaw . 


Glasgow is well supplied with parks. The Green, 
bordering the river above the bridge, has long been a 
favourite place of recreation for the citizens and for assem- 


blies of a civil or military character. More than a hundred 
5'ears ago Wilson gives us a picture of a review on the 
" Green : " 

" The Clydesdale heroes bright in arms are seen 
To rival Rome's in force and awful mien ; 
While, robed in red, fierce ilarae tlie lengthened lines, 
From their bright aims a dreadful si)lendour shines; 
While tubes that distant drive the death unseen. 
Or gleaming swords flash terror o'er the Green," 

And since the first enrolment of a volunteer force in 
1795, we have had many displays of the citizen-soldiers' 
drill, and the evolutions of the yeomanry, together with 
the military displays of the " regulars." 

The Kelvingrrove or West End Park was laid out l)v 
Sir Joseph Paxton about 1854, and is beautified by walks 
and drives along the slopes rising up to Park Terrace, 
from which extensive views of the valley of the Clyde 
can be had. Indeed on a fairly clear day the eye can 
range from Ben More in Glen Dochart to Goatfell in 
Arran, whilst the Dunoon and Lock Eclc hills bound the 
western horizon. 

From the Queen's Park on the south side of the river 
a complete and comprehensive view of the Clyde valley 
can be had, with Glasgow lying stretched around, cur- 
tained by a haze of smoke from its innumerable chim- 
neys, both domestic and manufacturing. When the 
smoke nuisance is abated in Glasgow the visitor will 
then be able to admire the regularity and handsomeness 
of its street architecture. At present he may study in- 
dividual buildings, but no tine vista opens out as it might 


do if the atmosphere were clearer than it usually is in 
the busier part of the city. 

From the Alexandra Park at the east end of the city 
fine views of the Clyde valley as far as Tinto can he liad, 

Tinto, near the source of the Clyde. 

tlie latter conical hill standing out distinctively thirty 
miles to the east. 

The districts of Govan and Partick have also now 
their parks, showing the increase of population in the 

The parks are made attractive to the citizens and visi- 
tors by a varied and tasteful ornamentation of shrubs 
and flowers, the latter arranged in a harmony of colour 
which delights the eye ; whilst in summer bands of music 
at intervals perform selections from suitable stands around 
which crowd the old and young, the grave and gay. 

At the present time the lower part of the Kelvingrove 


Park is being covered over with the buildings for the 
Glasgow International Exhibition of 1888. The domes 
and pinnacles of the temporary home of the industrial 
products of our nineteenth-century civilization and me- 
chanical skill rise above the long line of buildings which 
are grouped almost at the feet of the University on Gil- 
mourhill, whose high tower with its now finished spire 
grandly towers over all. This is a fitting association of 
the halls of learning and the products of the workshop, 
the home of philosophy with its cultured professors and 
eager students, and the courts of the Exhibition filled 
with the products of the artificer, around which circulates 
the stream of active life. Here we see once again, after 
more than a century has passed away, that association 
of the college and the workshop which led to such 
mighty consequences in that far -back time when James 
Watt in his little workshop within the privileged walls 
of the old college in High Street, in repairing the old 
Newcomen engine of the natural philosophy class, de- 
vised the separate condenser, an invention to which so 
much of this grand industrial collection is due. It 
seems, therefore, fitting, after so many generations have 
passed away, during which even the old college has 
left the grimy shades of the High Street and reared 
itself wider and grander on the breezy slopes of Gilmour- 
hill, that the industrial products of the world should be 
spread around it, as if in recognition of its early work in 
the field of philosophy and science, and of such names as 
Simpson, Black, Adam Smith, and Watt. 



Up to the year 18 GO the greater part, or north side, of 
Glasgow was supplied from the river. The water was 
taken in from the stream above a bend in the river be- 
yond the Dalmarnock Bridge, and after being filtered 
was pumped up to reservoirs in different parts of the 
city, such as at Drygate, Eottenrow, Garnethill, and Cran- 
stonhill. There were altogether three pumping stations 
and thirteen pumping engines, placed as follows : — Seven 
at Dalmarnock, four at Cranstonhill, and two at Drygate. 
Two of the engines at Dalmarnock were very powerful, 
and went by the names of " Samson and Goliath." They 
were on the Cornish principle, with cylinders of 72 inches 
diameter and 10 feet stroke. Scmisoii could elevate 
3,000,000 gallons a day, and Goliath 5,500,000 gallons; 
the latter, however, supj^lying the low-level districts, 
did not work against such a back pressure as Samson. 
These old works have the special interest that the fil- 
tered water was originally carried across the river to the 
pumping engines by means of a 15-inch spherical -jointed 
pipe, designed by James Watt. 

The Gorbals Water Works were started in 1845. The 
water is drawn from the drainage area lying on the hill 
slopes to the south of Glasgow, and stored in artificial 
reservoirs, situated about six miles from Glasofow and at 
varying heights above the city, generally about 300 feet 
above ordnance datum. The average rainfall is about 
45 inches, and the quality of the water flowing off the 
trap-rocks which compose the hills is pure, the analysis 
o;ivinof: — 



Organic Matter, ... 
Carbonate of Lime, 
Sulphate of Lime, 
Sulphate of Magne.sia, 
Muriate of Magnesia, 
Alkaline Chlorides, 
Oxide of Iron, 



Grains per Gnllun. 



The water is Ultered and supplied to the city in cast- 
iron pipes 24 inches diameter. 

Like the improvements on the river, the water supply 
of the city has had the benefit of much wide and varied 
experience. In the old days the puljlic wells were the 
sources from which the inhabitants drew their supplies. 
The earliest attempt to organize a supply — limited, in- 
deed, l)ut still etfective so far as it went in the then 
small area — was that by a Mr. Harley, whose baths and 
byres are still spoken of by old residenters. Mr. Harley 
started a supply station about the head of West Nile 
Street, and sent the water which had been pumped into 
a reservoir out through the town for sale. 

In 1806 a company was formed, called the Glasgow 
Water Works Company, who brought in a supply from 
a point on the river a few miles above the city. In 1808 
another company was started, called the Cranstonhill 
Water Works Company, who secured ground at Cranston- 
hill, where they made reservoirs, the water for which was 
pumped from the Clyde in the neighbourhood. Later on 
they removed the pumping station further up the river. 


After about thirty years of competition the two com- 
panies were amalgamated. In 1855 the works of the 
Glasgow and Gorbals Water Companies were taken over 
by the Town Council, and the Loch Katrine Water Works 
opened in 1860. 

For a long time previous to that date the Town Council 
had been moving for a better supply to the city, they 
having instituted a series of surveys of the available 
resources around Glasgow. Various reports were handed 
in by the skilled engineers employed, the districts con- 
sidered lying more or less around the city. Thus in 
1834 the Earn Water, to the south of the city, was pro- 
posed. In 1836 the North Calder and the Avon, several 
miles up the valley of the Clyde, and two of its tribu- 
taries, were brought forward. The engineer of this 
scheme was Mr. Robert Thom, who introduced water- 
power at Rothesay for factory purposes, and carried out 
the Shaws Water Works, for the supply of Greenock. 

In 1837 another scheme was proposed, the water in 
this case to be drawn from the district lying south of 
Paisley. Later on a scheme to pump water from Loch 
Lomond appeared; another had the River Endrick as a 
source of supply, while in 1844 a proposal came forward 
to utilize the Clyde itself, but above the Falls. 

These schemes coming to nothing, a company was 
formed in 1845, who constructed the Gorbals works for 
the supply of the part of the city lying on the south side 
of the river. In the same year we find a company 
started, of which Mr. Lewis Gordon, the first professor 
of civil engineering in Glasgow University, and Mr. Laur- 
ence Hill, were the engineers. This scheme was the first 


bold public proposal to tap the Highland lochs lying far 
to the north of the city, the loch selected — Loch Katrine — 
being the one from which the city now draws its pure and 
plentiful supply. This proposal had influential support, 
and was only withdrawn on the Glasgow Water Company 
arranging to bring in a supply from Loch Lubnaig, a 
large loch near Loch Katrine. It was afterwards found 
that the Loch Lubnaig scheme was unworkable, and 
nothing was done. 

Besides some of the names mentioned as engaged in 
the various proposals brought forward, we find that of 
Professor Rankine, the amiable and learned successor of 
Professor Gordon in the civil engineering chair of the 
Glasgow University. Dr. Rankine, along with Mr. John 
Thomson, in 1852, ag-ain brought forward the Loch Ka- 
trine supply scheme. After about two years of further 
proposals the Town Council managed to get the Loch 
Katrine scheme passed by Parliament, the Glasgow and 
Gorbals works having passed into their hands. 

Loch Katrine, celebrated by the genius of Sir Walter 
Scott, is a loch of about seven miles in length, lying 
among the schistose hills of the southern part of the 
Perthshire Highlands. Its elevation above sea-level is 
about 360 feet. The water is very pure and abundant, 
as the rainfall of the district is high, being nearly 100 
inches per annum. The level of the loch was raised 4 feet 
by a masonry wall at the outlet where the river Teith 
emerges. A tunnel, 1^ mile long and 8 feet in diameter, 
was driven through the outlying spurs of Ben Venue, 
after which the aqueduct runs through a rough and out- 
of-the-way district, passing not far to the west of Loch 


Ard, famous as the scene of Bailie Nicol Jarvie's adven- 
ture and encounter with the Highlandmen at Aberfoyle, 
the coulter of the plough which he is said to have used 
so successfully in its red-hot state being still on view to 
the eyes of the curious, hanging from a tree opposite 
the inn. 

The contractors had a hard time of it; dynamite was 
not then in the market, and gunpowder was the strongest 
ally they could employ against the old metamorphic rocks. 

Bridges, cast-iron troughs, cuttings in rock and earth, 
piping, &c., were required to carry on the line until the 
Endrick valley was reached, when a four-foot syphon 
pipe, 2^ miles long, was laid. Another large tunnel, 
about 1| mile in length, had to be driven through the 
high ground to the north of Milngavie, after which the 
aqueduct terminates at the Mugdock Reservoir — in all, a 
distance of about 26 miles. 

The Mugdock Reservoir is situated 317 feet above sea- 
level, and contains 548,000,000 gallons. The water leaves 
the reservoir by two main pipes, each 42 inches diameter, 
and which wore calculated to deliver the total daily supply 
for which the works were constructed, viz. 50,000,000 
gallons; thereafter two 36-inch pipes continued the line 
to the city, about seven miles distant. 

The total cost of the works was £918,000. They were 
begun in 1856 and finished in 1859, being opened by Her 
Majesty the Queen in person on the 14th October, 1859- 
The engineer was Mr. J. F. Bateman, of London. 

Additions were afterwards made by laying extra piping, 
so that the whole estimated supply might be made avail- 
able; and now, the city has grown so rapidly that at the 



present time additional works are in progress, designed 
by the Corporation Water Works engineer, Mr. J. M. 
Gale, whereby the originally contemplated fifty million 
gallons per day — which is now nearly all required to 
meet present demands — may be about doubled, so as to 
meet the wants of many years to come. These works 
necessitate other tunnels being driven and additional 
piping laid, and another service reservoir at Mugdock.^ 

An analysis of the Loch Katrine water, made by the 
late Dr. Penny in 1854, gives as follows: — 

Grains per Gallon 

Organic Matter, ... 


Sulphate of Lime, 


Chloride of Calcium, 


Alkaliue Chlorides, 


Carbonate of Magnesia , . . . 


Sesquioxide of Iron, 






ardness, on Dr. Clark's scale, ... C 


Gases per Gallon. 

Cub. Ins. 

Carbonic Acid, 




Nitrogen, ... 




1 For a graphic description of tbe "Glasgow Water Works, by Mr. James 
M. Gale, C.E., Engineer Gla.sgow Corporation Water Works," see Trans. Inst. 
Engitieers and Skiphidlders, vol. vii. , to which the author is indebted for the 
greater part of the facts in this description. It may be interesting to note that 
Professor Rankine, in the discussion of the paper, remarked "that although 
Mr. Thomson and himself had tried to improve their plan in its details, Mes.srs. 
Gordon and Hill were specially to be remembered for their having discovered 


From one of the monthly reports (September, 1887) 
of the quality of Loch Katrine water, prepared by Pro- 
fessor E. J. Mills, D.Sc, F.R.S., Anderson's College, the 
results are returned in parts per 100,000: — Total solid 
impurity, 250; organic carbon, '151; organic nitrogen, 
•021; nitric nitrogen, "004; ammonia, "000; total com- 
bined nitrogen, •025; hardness, •95; chlorine, "yO. Tem- 
perature, 130 degrees C. = 56^40 degrees Fahr. 


" Linlithgow for wells, Glasgow for bells." So rhymes 
the old couplet. The bell has long been associated with 
the arms of the city, the motto " Let Glasgow Flourish, by 
the preaching of the Word" being, it is said, derived from a 
pious aspiration inscribed on the bell of the Tron Church. 
The sound of the church-going bell is weekly wafted 
across the great city from many a tall spire on Sundays, 
when the great workshop wheels cease to run, and the 
thousand engines stop for a while their weekly eftbrts, 
and the toiling workers, whether by hand or brain, may 
find rest for the body and elevation of the soul, undis- 
turbed by the feverish bustle of the busy week through 
which they have passed. Glasgow is a city of churches, 
from the noble old Cathedral with its long-drawn aisles 
along which the organ peals, and its gray walls illumined 
here and there by beams of light through the stained- 
glass windows, to the humble meeting-house of earnest 

that there was a point in the ridge between Loch Katrine and the valley of 
Loch Ard where a tunnel could be driven through the hill. That was, he 
thought, the great original discovery which showed the Loch Katrine Water 
Works to be a practicable scheme." 



souls seeking to serve God as they believe right; for 
fortunately we live in an age when religious freedom is 
a recognized right of the people, unlike times not so 
far passed away, and which had existed for generations 
further back, when such mottoes as these were written, 
and may still be read, carved in quaint old letters on door 


" Sen . vord . is . thrall . and thocht . is . fre . 
Keip . weile . thy . touge . I coinseil . the ."^ 

The local charities of Glasgow are wide-spread, and as 
the years roll on one after another is added to the list. 

When Pennant visited the city in 1772 he mentions, 
amongst other features of interest, the Trades House, 
composed of fourteen incorporated trades, of which the 
Deacon Convener is head, and which maintained the 
poor and settled disputes.^ The Merchants' Hospital, 
founded in 1601, having a large capital to support the 
poor.^ The Town's Hospital containing at his time 400 
indigent persons. Hutcheson's Hospital, founded in 1642 
by the brothers of that name, and also a large Alms 
House near the river. 

In the first Glasgow Directory, published 1787, we 
find one or two additional charities mentioned, viz.: — 
St. Nicholas Hospital, of which the magistrates of 
Glasgow were part directors; Blair's and Scot's Tarbet's 
for boys; and Wilson's Charity. In a directory of the 

1 On old house in Maygate, Dunfermline. 

2 The revenue of the Trades House during the year ending in 1887 was 
£4399 ; of this about £2800 was paid away in pensions, whilst about £1500 was 
spent on education and subscriptions. 

3 The yearly revenue of this institution is about £8000 for benevolent 


present day we find about 100 entries under the title of 
Charitable and Friendly Institutions, some of the 
more recent of which are for the succour of poor children, 
and for the nursing of them in sickness; and following 
the teaching of the " Ancient Mariner," that 

He prayeth well, who loveth well, 
Both man, and bird, and beast, 

we find also such meritorious associations as that of the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

If the traveller to the coast passes down to Greenock 
by the Glasgow and South- Western route, he may notice, 
between the Bridge of Weir and Kilmalcolm, a cluster of 
houses, a church, and, strange sight in these upland dis- 
tricts, the masts of a ship, with the hull showing the 
well-known British white-painted side-ports, sailing, as it 
were, on dry land. This establishment or colony, quietly 
lying at the foot of the hills and by the waters of the 
Gryfe, is, we may say, an embodiment of the power of 
faith. " The Orphan Homes of Scotland," "The Destitute 
Children's Emigration Homes," and the " City Home and 
Mission," were originated in Glasgow sixteen years ago 
by Mr. William Quarrier of that city. This movement to 
reclaim the orphan and outcast children of the city streets 
had a small bemnninor, but has been carried on success- 
fully by the originator, now assisted by many devoted 
workers, in the spirit expressed by himself in his annual 
report : — " We never call on anyone for money, nor do we 
send out collectors, or resort to bazaars or entertainments, 
to raise it. The work is the Lord's, and we commit every- 
thing to Him in prayer, believing that He will supply 


through His children what we require; and hitherto this 
has always been the case." The doors of this Christian 
mission are always open, and, unlike most other chari- 
ties, no subscriber's line is necessary for admission, no 
really destitute orphan child being refused. The extent 
of this mission may be realized from the fact that during 
the year 1887 over twelve thousand pounds sterling have 
been received, together with large quantities of much- 
needed clothing and provisions. During the year about 
1000 children have passed through the homes, besides 
hundreds of others who have met with much-needed help 
and Christian advice. Contingents of the children from 
time to time proceed to Canada, where, in the wider field 
for service in that as yet comparatively sparsely -peopled 
Dominion, homes are readily obtained for the young 
emigrants, and where many are now living useful and 
industrious lives. 

The various departments of this Christian philan- 
thropic mission consist of the City Orphan Home and 
Mission Hall, James Morrison Street, in Glasgow. The 
Orphan Homes of Scotland, Bridge of Weir, consisting 
of twenty-six buildings erected at a cost of £70,000, pre- 
sented in many cases by individuals. The Bethesda 
Home for Incurable Children, Bridge of Weir; Training 
Homes for Boys and Girls for Canada, Bridge of Weir; 
Canadian Distributing Home, Fairknowe, Brockville, 
Ontario, Canada; and "The Ship on Land," for training 
boys to become missionary seamen, at Bridge of Weir. 
The Ship on Land was presented by a wealthy donor. 
She is called the James Arthur, is a full-rigged brig, and 
measures 120 feet in length by 23 feet in breadth, and 


Greenock. Holy Loch, 

Dumbarton Castle 

The Clyde, as viewi io)i 

Towards the sea. 

Holy l-och. 

GouROCK Bay and Firth of Clyde, from '± 


Blainnore Hills. 

Loch Lon^. 



has a height between decks of 9 feet. The vessel is built 
of iron, cost about £3400, and is fitted up with gear 
and stores as if for a voyage. A captain and officers are 
in command of the ship, and the crew of about 30 boys. 
A complete system of navigation is taught in the schools 
on board. The boys also have the advantage of some ac- 
tual seamanship in boats on the neighbouring river Gryfe. 
As the traveller passes onwards towards Greenock, he 
will find himself rapidly descending the slopes above 
the Clyde, with a perfect panorama of mountain and val- 
ley, sea and sky, spread before him. Dumbarton Rock, 
Ben Lomond, the far-off mountains of Argyleshire, the 
river below with its sailing vessels and steamers, the dis- 
tant smoke of Greenock, and the shipping at the "Tail 
of the Bank." If his eye is fairly good he may notice 
beyond the town of Helensburgh, and almost in shadow 
of the woods of the ducal seat of Roseneath, a three- 
masted square-rigged ship, lying as if to guard the en- 
trance to the Gareloch; the ship is the Cumberland, 
serving as a training-ship for boys. The movement 
of which this vessel is the outcome originated about 
twenty years ago amongst several gentlemen connected 
with the city of Glasgow, at a meeting held in Glas- 
gow, in November, 1868, and presided over by Mr. John 
Burns of Castle Wemyss. The object of the meeting 
was stated to be the " establishing of a training-ship for 
boys on the Clyde, under the provisions of the Indus- 
trial Schools Act 1866." Later on this resolution was 
followed up by an appeal to the Lords of the Admiralty, 
showing that while much had been done in the district by 
means of industrial schools, the memorialists were desirous 


of still further extending this work, and more especially 
with the view to the material advantage of the mer- 
cantile marine service, by educating boys to become 
efficient seamen, for which purpose the memorialists 
desired the Admiralty to grant them a suitable ship 
in which the work could be carried on. 

The desire of the memorialists was granted, and the 
Admiralty presented the Gmnhevland,Qi\ old line-of -battle 
ship of seventy guns, which was launched at Chatham 
in 1842, had carried the British flag on the North 
American coast, the West Indies, and during the Russian 
war formed part of the Baltic fleet. After serving her 
Queen and country on the ocean the Cumberland cast 
anchor at the mouth of the Gareloch on 30th May, 
1869, as training-ship for the Clyde and the west of 
Scotland. Her principal dimensions are: length 216 feet, 
breadth 54 feet, and she is 2214 tons burthen. The 
Cumberland since her establishment as a training-ship 
in 1869 has received about 3000 boys, these passing 
away from time to time to active service. There are 
generally about 400 on board, who receive a complete 
educational as well as a specific training for their after- 
life, the latter consisting in studying navigation, practice 
of seamanship, gunnery, &c. A tender has now been 
attached to the Cumberland, called the Cumbria, about 
60 or so of the boys going ofl" at intervals on board of 
this vessel, a brig, for cruising purposes. The work is 
kept up financially by a government grant supplemented 
by annual subscriptions. These boys, who must be under 
fourteen years of age, are drawn from the vagrant class 
so widely spread unfortunately in big cities. 


It appears that an incident in connection with the 
manning of one of our war-ships so far back as the year 
1756, in which a number of the London city waifs 
were collected and sent to Portsmouth to fill up the 
Barfieur, about to join the blockading squadron oft" 
Brest, brought about the establishment of the Marine 
Society in the same year, for the purpose of gathering 
such boys, attending to their wants, and transferring 
them to various vessels as required. The idea of a 
training-ship was first carried out in 1786 by this 
society, a small vessel being purchased for the purpose 
and placed on the Thames, to be replaced later on by a 
disused war-ship. This filling up of war-ships in these 
stirring times was accomplished forcibly, through the 
work of the press-gang, official announcements of the 
results appearing in some of the newspapers at the close 
of last century, telling us that a "warm press" had been 
made in which "prime and ordinary seamen were taken." 

Farther down on the shores of the Firth, where the 
invigorating ozone in the sea-breeze puts new life into 
the wearied and sickly frame, are Convalescent Homes, 
such as that at Dunoon, originally promoted amongst 
other charitable institutions by Miss Beatrice Clugston 
of Glasgow. The Sick Children's Hospital in that city, 
for which " The Fancy Fair" was held in St. Andrew's 
Halls in 1884, was another special movement whose suc- 
cess was largely due to Miss Clugston's untiring labours, 
and of which it is recorded that " To Professor Cowan, 
with whom the movement originated, and to Miss Clug- 
ston, who by earnest speech and writing pleaded for sick 
children, special acknowledgments are due." 


From an epitome of the history of the Savings-bank 
we find that after some preliminary meetings the bank 
started business on July 80, 1836, 391 accounts being 
opened in the first week. In 1840 Mr. Wm. Meikle was 
appointed accountant, and in 1849 actuary. In 1846 
depositors numbered 23,450; funds, £412,086. In 1851 
property was purchased at the north-west corner of 
Wilson Street, which had been previously occupied by 
the Paisley Bank and the City of Glasgow Bank. In 
1856 depositors were 32,873; funds, £664,996. In 1857, 
owing to a commercial panic, the bank paid over in one 
day £28,000, about three times more than usual. In 1865 
the present site was purchased. In this year the num- 
ber of depositors had risen to 51,598; funds, £1,120,000. 

This bank, largely through the able management 
bestowed upon it, is now the largest in Great Britain, 
the transactions for the year 1886 being as many as 
447,375, made by 103,269 depositors, whose total funds 
amounted to over £3,000,000. In this work the head 
office is assisted by four branches iji the various quarters 
of the city. It is interesting to note that the total funds 
or assets of the bank are increasing in a very rapid ratio, 
indicating that there is a spirit of thrift al;)road amongst 
the working community, for whom the bank was origi- 
nally intended, and that the excellent management of 
its affairs has given a good guarantee of security to the 
depositors. It is further somewhat curious to observe 
that the total funds are almost doubling every tenth 
year; in other words, increasing approximately in geo- 
metrical progression. 



Glasgow as a city has rapidly extended its boundaries, 
and as the years of its history have gradually rolled 
along, places which once were independent centres with 
a jurisdiction of their own have been, one by one, assimi- 
lated and incorporated into the municipality now exist- 
ing. Again, as the advance of the city continued, 
districts which had sprung up on the outskirts were 
gradually overtaken, and the area now covered by 
the actual municipal city and the wide-spread and now 
practically continuously united outskirts, has grown to 
about 20 square miles in extent. This condition of 
things at the present time has called for careful con- 
sideration, as, although the various newer suburban dis- 
tricts are managed under the Police Act, it is believed 
by the city authorities that greater efficiency and har- 
mony of action would arise if the municipal boundaries 
were extended to meet the state of aftairs which has 
gradually grown up. 

In a statement recently prepared by the Glasgow 
Town Council and laid before the Glasgow Boundaries 
Commission it is shown that, since the parliamentary 
boundaries were hxed in 1832, the population and rental 
have nearly trebled; and further, that the present popu- 
lation is about one-sixth of that of the whole of Scot- 
land. The population at present of the city within 
the municipality is estimated at about 544,000. The 
population of Glasgow in 1614 was about 8000; in 
the year 1740, or about a century and a quarter later, 
the population had fully doubled; about 1770, or only 


thirty years later, it had again about doubled. In 1791, 
or about twenty-one years later, another duplication had 
taken place, the population at this date being 66,578, 
or fully eight times what it was in 1614, one hundred 
and seventy-seven years previous. The next duplica- 
tion was between the years 1811 and 1821. In 1811 the 
population had reached fully 100,000. A rapid increase 
now took place in the next ten years of nearly 50 per 
cent, the population in 1821 having reached the figure of 
147,043. Since that time the percentage of increase per 
ten years has been much less. The following are the 
figures during the present century:^ 

Year. Population. 

1801, 77,385 

1811, 100,749 

1821, 147,043 

1831, 202,426 

1841, 255,650 

1851, 329,096 

1861, 395,503 

1871, 477,732 

1881, 511,415 

1887, 543,995 estimated. 

The population for 1887 is as estimated in connec- 
tion with the Glasgow Boundaries Commission held 
in November and December, 1887. If to this be added 
the population of the suburban burghs, estimated at 
187,122, we have a total population in the city and 
suburbs of 731,117. The rapid extension, with the in- 
crease of property, is lucidly brought out in the statement 

1 Vital, Social, and Economic Statistics of the, City of Glasgow, by James 
Nicol, City Chamberlain. 


submitted by the Town Council to the Boundaries Com- 
missioners, and published in the Glasgow Herald, thus: 

"As a consequence of the increase of Glasgow, which 
since 1840 has proceeded in a manner probably un- 
exampled in Great Britain, various suburbs have sprung 
up beyond the Parliamentary boundaries, and are in 
reality part and portion of the city. Although ample pro- 
vision was believed to have been made by the Boundaries 
Commissioners of 1832 for future large extensions, the 
actual growth of Glasgow within the last fifty-live years 
has far exceeded the expectations of the Commissioners. 
It has pushed itself westward nearly 2 miles beyond 
the Kelvin, uniting itself to and going be3-ond the village 
of Partick; it has extended to the north-west, so as 
to include the village of Mary hill; while the district 
on the north, known as Possil, is being rapidly built 
over; the ground between Maryhill and Partick, to a 
distance of nearly 2 miles west of the Kelvin, known 
as the Hillhead and Kelvinside districts, is either already 
occupied or is being rapidly covered by the residences 
of the wealthier citizens. South of the Clyde, Glas- 
gow has united itself to and gone beyond the village 
of Govan, and has extended over the districts known 
as Kinning Park, Pollokshields, Govanliill, Crossbill, 
Polmadie, Mount Florida, Langside, Shawlands, Cross- 
myloof, Strathbungo, and Bellahouston. As showing 
the increase of Glasgow within its municipal limits, 
it is stated (1) that while the population, as given in 
the report of the Boundaries Commissioners of 1832, 
was, in 1821, 147,043, and in 1831, 202,426, the census 
of 1871 shows it to have been 491,495, and the census of 


1881, 511,415. At the present time (1887-88) it is esti- 
mated to be 543,995. (2) The report of the Boundaries 
Commissioners also gives the number of houses within the 
city in 1821 as 33,805, and in 1831 43,513; in 1871- 
72 they numbered 103,633; in 1878-79, 118,300; and 
in 1887-88, they are estimated to number 122,043. The 
rental of lands and heritages within the city cannot 
be given authoritatively previous to 1854, when the 
Valuation of Lands (Scotland) Act was passed, and for 
the first time established a uniform mode of valuation. 
In 1855-56, however, the valued rental was £1,362,178; 
in 1878-79 it was £3,418,322; and in 1887-88 it is 
£3,336,964. The population resident in the suburbs 
of Glasgow beyond the Parliamentary and municipal 
boundaries was estimated in 1878-79 to be 140,498; 
in 1887-88 it is estimated to be 187,122. The number 
of dwelling-houses in these suburbs in 1878-79 was 
estimated at 33,794, and in 1887-88 it is estimated at 
41,040. The valued rental in 1878-79 was estimated 
at £901,152; in 1887-88 it is estimated at £1,058,516." 

It is gratifying to find that, notwithstanding this 
rapid increase in the size of the city, the death-rate 
should be lessening, a hopeful sign that the increased 
improvements in the construction of houses, width of 
streets, plentiful supply of pure water, and close atten- 
tion to sanitary matters, together with the increasing 
skill of our physicians, has enabled the citizens to bear 
the strain of a great industrial centre better than their 
forefathers. Speaking of this Dr. Russell, the medical 
officer of health for the city, says : " The death-rate of 
Glasgow has been improving. Previous to 1871 the aver- 


age death-rate was 30; from 1871 to 1880 it was 26; in 
1885, 26; 1886, 25; and during the present year 23." 

In connection with this it may be interesting to notice 
the influence of a rapid change of temperature as affecting 
the death-rate, and to which reference was lately made 
by Dr. Russell in dealing with the health of the city about 
the middle of October, 1887: " The death-rate in the first 
week of the fortnight was 23, and the mean temperature 
39° F.; in the second week 18, and the mean temperature 
46° F. This sudden rise of the death-rate with the sudden 
fall in temperature was an illustration of the extreme 
sensitiveness of our population to cold, and a warning 
of what might be expected if a severe winter, especially 
with fog, followed the warm and genial summer of this 
year. The deaths and mean temperatures of the last 
four weeks were as follows : — 50° F., number of deaths 
172; 49° F., ditto 188; 39° F., ditto 236; 46° F., ditto 185; 
so that a fall of 10 degrees in the mean temperature 
added at once 48 or 41 per cent to the number of deaths, 
which was immediately taken off" by the rise of 6 degrees 
in the next week. Although the fall in temperature was 
general and very uniform over Scotland, there was no 
such proportionate effect exercised on the other chief 

Glasgow has not been the scene of so many stirring 
historical events as its sister city Edinburgh; still, from 
the time of Wallace's strufjo-le for the freedom of his 
country, when he made a dash at the English garrison 
in the Castle of Glasgow, onwards, we find that Glasgow 
has heard the roll of the war-drum on several occasions. 
About the middle of the sixteenth century the castle was 


again a point of attack, during the regency of the Earl 
of Arran, who appears to have attacked this stronghokl 
in the cause of the future Queen Mary, what was known 
as the Battle of the Butts being fought and won by this 
nobleman, whose army afterwards entered Glasgow. 

The battle of Langside, which resulted in the overthrow 
of the unfortunate Queen Mary, was fought in 1568 at a 
place near Glasgow at that time, but now covered with 
streets and the villas of the citizens. Glasgow appears 
to have favoured the party opposed to the Queen, as we 
read that the Regent Murray showed his gratitude to the 
citizens for their help. After the victory at Langside he 
returned to Glasgow and bestowed on the Incorporation 
of Bakers a charter, whereby certain lands on the bank 
of the Kelvin were granted them for the building of a mill, 
so that they might grind wheat for their own use, and this 
on account of the liberal supplies of bread with wliich 
they had provided his army. 

In 1645 the Marquis of Montrose, after the battle of 
Kilsyth, entered Glasgow; and Cromwell in 1650 estab- 
lished himself for a short time in the city, living, it is 
said, in a house in the Saltmarket. 

In 1678 the Highland Host entered Ghisgow on their 
way south to suppress the conventicles or meetings of 
the Covenanters, and they get credit for disturbing the 
peace of the town and plundering the inhabitants. 

Again in 1679 a struggle took place after the battle of 
Drumclog in the streets of the city, between Viscount 
Dundee and the Covenanters, followed shortly afterwards 
by the battle of Bothwell Bridge. 

In 1715 the citizens declared for the Hanoverian cause 


raised an army, and fortified the city by intrenchments 
during the disturbed period, from the standard of the 
Stuarts being set up by the Earl of Mar, until shortly 
after his defeat at Sheriff-muir. And again in the '45, 
when the Stuart cause for a short time was revived and 
the clans rallied round Prince Charlie, Glasgow heard 
the wild music of the great war-pipe, and saw the targets 
and claymores of his devoted followers on their return 
from their incursion into England. They remained in the 
city for about ten days, Charles residing, it is said, in a 
house in the Trongate. A levy was made for articles of 
clothing, after which the Highlanders departed for the 
North, the Duke of Cumberland and General Wade, with 
the English forces and the supporters of King George, 
closing upon them, till, a few months afterwards, the de- 
cisive battle of Culloden was fought, and the Prince became 
a wanderer. As the sun of his short-lived day of success 
set amidst the clouds of misfortune there was heard from 
many a stricken home the wail arising: 

" Drunimossie Muir, Drummossie Muir, 
A waefu' day it was to me, 
For there I lost my father dear, 

My father dear, and brethren three. 

Their winding-sheet the bluidy clay, 
Their graves are growing green to see, 

And by them lies the dearest lad 
That ever blest a woman's e'e. 

Now wae to thee, thou cruel Duke, 

A bluidy man I trow thou be, 
For mony a heart thou hast made sair, 

That ne'er did wrancr to thine or thee." 


Chapter VI.— THE RIVER. 

An important feature in connection with both ancient 
and modern Glassfow is its river. Bounding it on the 
south in the early days, it now passes through it, the 
old Barony of Gorbals being absorbed, and streets ex- 
tended far and wide along what was once grassy banks 
where the sheep pastured. 

To go no farther back than what can be recalled by 
the memory of many citizens, we see a comparatively 
shallow stream, much subject to floods, crossed by three 
bridges having the high narrow roadway of the old 
builders. The Glasgow Bridge of those days, say sixty 
years ago, was not the handsome almost level structure 
of the present time, but rose high in the middle, with 
narrow footpaths, and a broad ledge outside of the 
parapet, along which the foolhardy youngsters of that 
time dared to walk. 

On the lower side of the bridge an apron of causeway 
had been put to protect the piers from the action of the 
stream, and above this stonework the tide did not rise. 
So shallow was the Clyde at that time in the harbour 
that one who was a boy of that period tells the author 
that he easily waded across and rested himself on the 
paddle-wheels of the Largs, one of the early Clyde river 
steamers. The banks on the south side, below the bridge, 
were largely open fields where cattle pastured, and the old 
towing path by the margin afforded a pleasant promenade 
to the old gentleman of the period down by the fisher's 
hut to Govan. 


The shallowness of the river at low- water was also so 
marked, that somewhere about the present Clyde Street 
Ferry the workers of the mills which were about Spring- 
field used to wade across to their homes on the north side. 
The boys also sometimes attempted an opposition to the 
halfpenny ferry, which at that time existed, by swimming 
across with their clothes tied in a bundle on the top of their 
heads. Their nautical instincts also had opportunities of 
development in the quiet waters of the " Hem-in," where 
they sailed their boats. This pond, as somewhat implied 
by its name, was simply a part of the shallow water of the 
river on the south side, bordered and shut off from the 
Clyde by the towing-path: the water was used for a spin- 
ning-mill in the neighbourhood. Another amusement of 
these sixty-yeare-ago juveniles was to throw clods into 
the river and fish them out, perhaps on the following day, 
a large number of small eels having congregated about 
the clods in the meantime; these were taken home and 
placed in basins of water to edify the young naturalists 
and their friends. 

At that time big posts were placed out from the bank 
to tie vessels to, and the small single-ladder dredger 
with its attendant punts did what it could to deepen the 
channel. To assist it in getting at the shallower portions 
near the river bank, an iron spoon-like machine with a long 
pole attached was dragged outwards by a windlass placed 
on a punt in deeper water. By this means some of the 
sand, &c., of the shallow parts was brought within the 
range of the dredfjer's buckets, which in turn transferred 
it to the punts ; a windlass on the shore, with rope attach- 
ment, drew the spoon back again for a fresh start. Some- 



thing like this spoon arrangement was the only method 
adopted for dredging the river at the time of Pennant's 
visit in 1 772. 

It is interesting to note that one of the early methods 
of scooping up the sharp river sand for building purposes 
still exists in full action above the Stockwell Bridge, 
where the passer-by may notice a strange flat box-like 
boat, with a mast, to which is slung a long pole or yard, 
which is frequently lowered and raised, bringing with it 
a quantity of sand from the bottom in a box or bucket 
suspended from one of the ends of the yard. 

It was considered an event in the annals of Glasgow, as 
showing the great improvement which had been effected 
on the river by persevering operations, when about 1828 
the first ship, the Earl of DalJiousie, came up to Glas- 
gow with a cargo of sugar from the West Indies, des- 
tined, no doubt, for the sugar-refinery which then stood 
in Ann Street. This vessel must have taken several 
tides to get up, coming, as she did, partly under sail and 
partly horse-towed. No wonder that the early dredgers 
were called the " Terror of Greenock," as now here was 
the commodity, which formerly was transhipped and 
brought up by the goods steamers. Industry and Trusty, 
discharged a hundred yards or so from its ultimate des- 

Above the Glasgow Bridge the houses on the north 
side were residential, and had grass slopes extending 
from the outside of the roadway to the water, an iron 
railing dividing the grassy part from the street, some- 
thing like what still exists on the south side. 

At that time the city of Glasgow lay mostly on the 



north side of the Clyde; on the south side was the 
Barony of Gorbals; Calton, Bridgeton, Anderston, and 
Finnieston adjoined the city proper on the east and west. 

Pennant in his Tour in Scotland, 1772, says: "The 
city of Glasgow till lately was perfectly tantalized with 
its river; the water was shallow, the channel much 
too wide for the usual quantity of water that flowed 
down, and the navigation interrupted by twelve remark- 
able shoals. Spring-tides do not flow above three feet or 
neap-tides above one at Broomy-Law quay, close to the 
town, so that in dry seasons lighters are detained there 
for several weeks, or are prevented from arriving there, 
to the great detriment of the city." He then refers to 
his friend John Golborne of Chester, "that honest and 
able engineer," being called in by the city authorities; 
"and he entered into contract with the magistrates of 
Glasgow to deepen the channel to seven feet at the quay, 
even at neap-tides." And he adds, " before this improve- 
ment lighters of only thirty tons burden could reach the 
quay; at present vessels of seventy come there with ease." 

Mr. Pennant proceeds down the river, and goes to " sur- 
vey the machines for deepening the river ; they are called 
ploughs, are large hollow cases, the back is of cast-iron, 
the two ends of wood, the other side open. These are 
drawn across the river by means of capstans placed on 
long wooden frames or flats; are drawn over empty, re- 
turned with the iron side downwards, which scoops the 
bottom and brings up at every return half a ton of gravel, 
depositing it on the bank, and thus twelve hundred tons 
are cleared every day. Where the river is too wide the 
shores are contracted by jetties." These jetties, by the 


eddies around them, gradually accumulated sand, &c., 
and so narrowed the channel ; and to increase the natural 
scour of the river-flow Rennie proposed to still further 
increase the action by joining the jetties by training walls- 
Telford at a later date was called in, but seems to have 
looked at the question more from the point of view of 
the tidal water being allowed to flow freely up the river, 
and so add to the scour in its downward course. 

The condition of the Clyde has exercised the faculties 
of the inhabitants on its banks from an early period. 
Indeed, so far back as the year 1566 an attempt was 
made to clear away an extensive shoal or sand-bank above 
Dumbarton Rock, near Dumbuck. Since that time the 
bed of the river has had much attention turned to it, and 
various have been the means adopted to give it that 
breadth of water-way which from time to time it was 
thought desirable to have. Eminent authorities were 
called in, surveys carried out, and plans made, showing the 
existing condition of things. Smeaton, the "father of 
modern engineering," and builder of the famous Eddy stone 
Lighthouse, reported in 1755, and he points out, to begin 
with, twelve shoals between Glasgow and Renfrew, the 
depths of water on some of these being 15 inches at low 
and 44 inches at high water. To enable vessels 70 feet 
long to get up to Glasgow, he proposed to get a constant 
depth of 4J feet for a few miles down, by placing a dam 
and lock across the river. Watt, afterwards famous for 
his revolution in the steam-engine, made a survey in 1709 
and reported on the depth of the channel. Ingenious 
minds were at work devising other schemes whereby the 
river could be made available for the passage of larger 


vessels. One of these was to place large waterproof bags 
at the sides of the vessel, so as to float her up higher to- 
wards tlie surface ; the inventor pointing out that a vessel 
requiring 10 or 15 feet of water in ordinary cases might 
be made to float with 5 feet or even less; he then goes 
into a calculation, showing the quantity of air required. 

To render the river navigfable above the har])Our was 
also the subject of a design. This was to place a timber 
dam on the top of the weir, already referred to as existing 
below the Glasgow Bridge. Part of this dam was to be 
floating, so that when the water was low the upper or 
movable part would remain down upon the fixed part, and 
so constitute a dam, raising the water above to that extent, 
but when the water rose, due to floods in the river, the upper 
part would rise and allow the flood- water readily to flow 
down. One special advantage claimed in thus raising the 
level of the river, was that the sand and mud which is 
brought down during floods, would not be stopped in its 
downward course as is the case with a fixed dam, but 
would pass onwards with the flood- water when the float- 
ing part of the dam rose. 

Golborne in 1768 reported that "The River Clyde 
is at present in a state of nature, and for want of 
due attention has been suffered to expand too much; ' 
and he goes on to state : " I shall proceed on these prin- 
ciples of assisting nature when she cannot do her own 
work, by removing the stones and hard gravel from the 
bottom of the river where it is shallow, and by contract- 
ing the channel where it is worn too wide." Golborne, 
in thus "assisting nature," shows advanced views, and 
the result afterwards proved that his opinions were 


founded on correct principles. It is interestincr to find 
very much the same ideas expressed by the late Prof. 
Rankine in his Manual of Civil Engineering, written 
about one hundred years after. Speaking of im- 
provements of river channels, he says: "The works for 
the improvement of the channel consist mainly of: — I. 
Excavations to remove islands and shoals, and widen 
narrow places. II. Regulating dykes, to contract wide 
shallows. III. Works for stopping useless branches." 
And further, " the object kept in view should be to obtain 
a channel either of nearly uniform section, or of a section 
gradually enlarging from above downwards, with a cur- 
rent that shall be sufficient to discharge flood -waters 
without overflowing the banks more than can be avoided, 
and at the same time not so rapid as to make it difficult 
or impossible to preserve the stability of the channel." 

In the discussion of a paper on " The River Clyde," by 
Mr. Jas. Deas, C.E., engineer to the Clyde Trustees,^ Mr. 
James Abernethy said: "Amongst the various navigable 
tidal rivers of Great Britain the Clyde stood prominently 
forward as an example of a river improved by following 
out what he considered a sound engineering principle, 
namely, that of bringing the river into a state of equi- 
librium by the construction of works to create a current 
proportionate to the size and form of the channel and the 
nature of its bed." Mr. Abernethy then went on to say 
that Smeaton,Golborne, Watt, Telford, Rennie, and Walker 
had acted on the principle of increasing the tidal volume 
and prolonging its flow upwards by dredging, and by 
filling up indents which tended to create eddies. The 

1 See Minutes, Proceedings 'Inst. Civil Eiigineers, vol. xxxvi. 


jetties with their joining training-walls and dredging had 
to a great extent improved the Clyde; he thought that 
the Clyde and Tyne were illustrations that navigable 
channels of tidal rivers depended on tidal ebb and flow 
and not upon the natural stream or floods. 

Some of the special charactoi-istics of the navigable 
water-way of the Clyde were given recently by Mr. Deas 
(meeting of the Inst. Mechanical Engineers, Edinburgh, 
1887). " A hundred years ago at Glasgow there was at 
low water a depth of 15 inches. Now they had from 18 
to 20 feet at Glasgow at low-water. One hundred years 
ago high-water was only noticeable at Glasgow — it came 
rippling up. Now they had 11 feet range of tide, and a 
good deal of the depth had been obtained, not by the 
raising of high -water, but by taking out the bottom, 
which was now virtually level from Port -Glasgow to 
Glasgow. The tide at Glasgow 100 years ago was three 
hours later than at Port-Glasgow. It was now only one 
hour later. In 1871 there took place 59 groundings be- 
tween Glasgow and the sea, and the maximum draught 
was 21 feet 7 inches. Last year the groundings were 
only 16, and the maximum draught was 24 feet 9 inches." 

From the experience gathered during the past one 
hundred years engineers may readily determine their 
course of action in regard to the improvement of tidal 
rivers; and when we see the present condition of such 
rivers as the Clyde and the Tyne, with their great depth 
of water and well-formed lines of banks, carrying the 
largest vessels both of the merchant and Her Majesty's 
navy, we are apt to forget the difficulties which beset 
the would-be improvers of these rivers fully a century 


ao-o; that these difficulties were not sliojht is the more 
obvious when we consider the high engineering talent 
and skill which from time to time were devoted to the 
desired improvements. The Clyde had for its early 
engineering advisers, as already stated, such well-known 
men as Smeaton and James Watt. Later on Rennie, the 
designer of Waterloo Bridge on the Thames, Plymouth 
Breakwater, and other great works, advised the author- 
ities in 1799; and Telford, the great bridge and road 
builder, was also called to give his advice in 1806. 
Walker and Ure at later dates gave completeness to the 
earlier efforts, and the charge of this important work is 
now placed under the care of Mr. James Deas, C.E. 

Turning to the sister river, the Tyne, we find that in 
1782 a survey was made by John Fryer, who, like Watt, 
was a mathematician. Rennie in 1813 reported on the 
best methods of dealing with the natural channel, such as 
by narrowing it at certain wide parts and widening and 
rcmovinir obstructions at others. Cubitt, Rendell, and 
Walker at later dates also contributed of their wide 
engineering experience, the work being finally brought 
to a successful issue under Ure in 1859. 

It is interestino; to trace in the records left the various 
ideas of the engineers employed to bring about the grand 
results obtained in both rivers. In the case of the Clyde 
we find that Smeaton proposed to place a lock and dam 
at a part of the river called the Marling Ford, which 
from a map of the river made by John Watt, sen., in 
1734, is placed about a couple of miles above Renfrew. 
The lock was to be 70 feet long by 18 feet wide, and 
deep enough to admit of a " lighter " drawing 4| feet of 


water, passing through and up to Glasgow. Nothing 
came of this proposal, and Golborne was called in to help 
the magistrates of the city in their difficulty. He pro- 
posed to contract the river by jetties, and also to dredge 
the channel. In 1770 an act of parliament was obtained 
for this purpose. The work was carried out, and by 1775 
Golborne had built 117 jetties, and raised the depth of 
the water at the Broomielaw, so that vessels drawing 6 
feet of water could come up to the quay there at high- 
tide. Rennie's proposal was to join the ends of the jetties 
by training-walls. This was afterwards done and land 
reclaimed from the river. Telford did not place much 
reliance on the jetties, as he considered the main thing 
was to get as much tidal water up the river as possible 
by shaping the bed to suit. 

Turning to the Tyne, we find an additional difficulty 
confronting the engineers in the bar at its mouth. Thus 
besides the improvement of the channel of the river, the 
prolongation of this channel through the bar had to be 
attended to. Rennie in 1813 recommended improvements 
on the banks and channel by walls. Nothing, however, 
was done. Cubitt in 1837 approved of this plan, but 
considered that dredging should also be employed. This 
was carried out, but the results were not satisfactory. 
Walker believed that the first difficulty lay in the bar. 
Piers were then built out from Tynemouth and South 
Shields. Dredffino^ also went on. But it was not till 
after 1859 that effective results were obtained through 
the vigorous measures resorted to by Mr. Ure, which 
included thorough and complete dredging. The result 
being that instead of a depth of water on the bar of 6 


feet at low-water and 4 feet in the channel up to New- 
castle, as in 1813, and as it continued very much for forty 
years afterwards, the condition of things in 1879 was that 
the depth on the bar was 22 feet at low-water, and 37 
feet at high-water of springs; and at Newcastle 20 to 25 
feet at low, and 35 to 40 feet at high water. 

The great advantage obtained by securing an addi- 
tional tidal flow has been well exemplified at the port 
of Dublin, where, about seventy years ago the depth 
of water on the bar was only about six feet, but by 
building the Bull Wall out towards the end of the pre- 
viously built South Wall, a large water area was obtained 
amounting to about 2500 acres, the scour due to the ebb 
of which rapidly cut down into the bar, until a depth of 
16 feet at low-water was obtained, or 28 feet at high- 
water of springs. The river channel is deepened by 
dredging, the dredgings being removed in hopper-barges, 
some of them carrying 1000 tons, and deposited outside 
in the sea. The dredging plant of the Clyde Navigation 
Trustees consists of 6 dredging machines from 40 to 75 
nominal horse-power; 1 floating steam digger barge; 18 
hopper-barges from 35 to 65 nominal horse-power, with 
a fleet of punts and boats, several diving-bells, &c. 
Some of the dredgers are capable of working in 30 ft. 
of water, and have lifted nearly 400,000 cubic yards in 
a single year. During the year 1887, 1,319,344 cubic 
yards were dredged. The total amount dredged during 
the last forty-three years amounts to 32,261,778 cubic 

The following reference to the deepening of bars ap- 
peared in the Times, 1885: " The Cunard Company have 




now reached the hmit of draught permitted by the en- 
trance to New York. Measures, however, are being taken 
to dredge away or rather disperse the bar to the extent 
of 2 ft., by a macliine called a dredging plough, which is 
designed to disturb the bar and disperse the sand by air 
force when the currents are setting seawards. Still, when 
this is done it will only permit vessels coming east to be 
fully laden instead of as at present leaving freight un- 
shipped. The ship-owner and ship-builder can now do 
little more for the ease of an Atlantic voyage; they wait 
upon the harbour and dock authorities for permission to 
increase the breadth and depth, and therefore the steadi- 
ness and comfort, of their steamers." 

The river Mersey is only about 56 miles in length, but 
at Liverpool is much wider than the Clyde at Glasgow, 
being a thousand yards in width between Liverpool and 
Birkenhead. An immense area of sand-banks exists at the 
mouth of the river ; various channels exists through these 
banks, kept in equilibrium by the flow of the tide. On the 
bar at the mouth of the main channel the depth at low- 
water of spring-tides is as little as 10 feet, and at high- 
water 40 feet, thus giving an extreme range of 30 feet. 
The total water area of the Liverpool docks is about 
368 acres. The total water area of the Birkenhead 
docks is about 164| acres. Total, 532| acres. See 
Paper in Trans. Inst. Naval Architects, 1887, by G. F. 

As the range of the tide in the Clyde is not so great as 
at Liverpool or London, there is less necessity for having 
docks or basins with locks or gates upon them; but to 
increase the quay area several basins or docks have been 


made opening to the river by entrances sufficiently wide 
for ordinary traffic, and wliicli are crossed by swing- 
bridges. Tfie first basin so constructed is known as tlie 
Kingston Dock, and was excavated in 1867 out of tlie 
lands formerly known as the Windmill Croft; the water 
area covers fully 5 acres. The Queen's Dock, excavated 
on the old lands of Stobcross on the north side, was 
opened in 1882, and has a water area of 33 acres. The 
quays alongside have a lineal extent of 3334 yards, are 
fitted with hydraulic cranes and capstans, and there is 
a railway connection with the main lines. Considerable 
difficulty was experienced in excavating part of this 
dock, where the till or boulder-clay had been largely 
deposited, and which from its tough tenacious nature 
offered great resistance to the pick or tlie more powerful 
action of explosives. 

Additional docks are being made on the south side of 
the river immediately opposite the Queen's Dock, the 
entire area of which when finished will be about 38 
acres, with 8786 lineal yards of quays. Two large grav- 
ing-docks have been constructed within the last few 
years, both in the neighbourhood of the docks in process 
of construction on the south side of the river. It may 
be sufficient to give an idea of the size of these docks 
if we say that the City of Rome, the longest steam- 
ship afloat — always excepting the Great Eastern, which 
has long had the misfortune to be out of employment — 
was docked in No. 1 Graving Dock a year or two ago. 
No. 2 Graving Dock was opened in 1886, and is close 
to No. 1. The two docks are very similar in design, and 
the following extracts from description of No. 2 Dock, 

575 ft. 


52 „ 

4 „ 

92 „ 


57 „ 

6 „ 

67 „ 



by Mr. James Dcas, C.E., the engineer of these works, 
will give a correct idea of their character: — 

"Length of floor from inside of caisson, 
Width at bottom, - - - - 
top, - . . - 

„ of entrance at bottom, 

Depth on centre of sill at average high- ] ^^ -.^ 
water of ordinary spring-tides, j 

" The wing walls and apron of entrance are carried on 
triune concrete cylinders, 9 ft. in external and 5 ft. 9 in. 
internal diameter, sunk 24 ft. into the ground, and filled 
up with concrete, their tops being 3 ft. below the level 
of top of sill at centre." This system of concrete cylin- 
ders has also been successfully used by Mr. Deas in 
the other works of dock and quay walls from time 
to time in the extensions made by the Clyde Trust. 
" The whole body of the dock is of concrete, except the 
side walls of entrance, the stairs, timber slides, top altar 
course, and cope, which are of granite, and all the other 
altar courses, seventeen in number, of granolithic 14 in. 
on the tread and 18|- in. rise, except the bottom course 
which is 30 in. average rise." " The floor of caisson 
chamber is a brick-in-cement invert, with granite stones 
and cast-iron blocks alternately for carrying the rails 
upon which the caisson travels." " The caisson for clos- 
ing the entrance is of iron, rectangular in shape." The 
steam pumping machinery of No. 1 Dock is also em- 
ployed for No. 2 Dock. The cost is stated as not 
exceeding £100,000. No. 1 Dock cost £127,500. 


The principal shipping quays on each side of tlie Clyde 
extend from the Broomielaw to the entrance of the Queen's 
Dock. Additional wharfage exists both further down and 
above the Glasgow Bridge, the total length of quayage 
being about 6 miles. 


The Clyde has the honourable distinction of being the 
first European river on which the steamboat was used 
commercially. Various attempts had been made from 
time to time by many ingenious inventors to apply the 
steam-engine to propel vessels. Amongst the earliest of 
these is the patent of Jonathan Hulls, in 1736, for a 
tow-boat, having a rotatory paddle at the stern, driven 
by a steam apparatus placed in the boat. It is said, 
however, that Denis Papin, in 1707, invented a steam- 
boat in which he ascended the river Weser. The in- 
habitants on the banks, resenting this innovation on 
their boating privileges, are said to have destroyed his 
vessel. Curiously enough, since history is said to re- 
peat itself, the same sudden termination to another and 
like effort of applied science seems to have taken place 
nearer home, as tradition says that the boatmen of 
Loch Katrine were so indignant at the appearance of 
the first steamer which was placed on this beautiful 
sheet of water that they managed to sink her. These 
stories seem probable enough when we find that the 
feeling at coast places was so strong against the steam- 
boats that they were not allowed to approach the quay, 
and it is said that a steamer lying off one of the coast 


towns had her cables cut, some of the old boatmen being 
of the belief that she was aided by the powers of evil. 

Papin, who appears to have been a very able man, 
turned his attention, so far back as the year 1690, to 
improvements in the cylinders of the rude steam appli- 
ances of his day, and it is said that he cqficeived the idea 
of moving a piston in a cylinder by the alternate action 
of the pressure and condensation of steam effected in the 
cylinder, — the great improvement of Watt, in 1764, was 
the condensation of the steam in a separate vessel called 
the condenser, whereby the loss of power due to the 
alternate heating and cooling of the cylinder, as in New- 
comen's engine, was overcome. 

An important attempt to utilize steam to propel ves- 
sels was made by Patrick Miller of Dalswinton, on Dal- 
swinton Loch, Dumfriesshire, in the year 1788. The 
boat used in the experiments had a double hull, thus 
anticipating the twin boats afterwards tried from time 
to time, one now working successfully, on the English 
Channel. It measured 25 feet in length by 7 feet in 
breadth, and was fitted with two paddle-wheels, one be- 
fore and the other behind the engine. It appears that 
Mr. Miller was endeavouring to find some means of 
turning paddles fitted into small boats with which he 
was experimenting, and a Mr. Jas. Taylor suggested the 
steam-engine as a propelling power. This suggestion 
was, however, met by the following reply from Mr. 
Miller: "That is a powerful agent, I allow, but will 
not answer my purpose, for when I wish chiefly to give 
aid it cannot be used. In such cases as the disas- 
trous event which happened lately, of the wreck of a 



wliole fleet upon a lee-shore, off the coast of Spain, every 
fire on board must be extinguished, and, of course, such 
an engine could be of no use." Later on it was deter- 
mined to try the steam-engine, and a young mechanic, 

Newcomen Engine. —From Prof. Rankine's Manual of tlie Steam Engine. 

a. Beam; &, boiler; d, pump-rod chain; e, pump rod; /, furnace; gg, counterpoise 
ft, cylinder; p, steam-pipe ; m, steam-cock ; I, tank for condensation water; mn, con- 
densation-water pipes; 0, cock; g, discharge pipe from cylinder; s, piston rod; w, 
piston; x, piston-rod chain. 

Wm. Symington, was employed to superintend its con- 
struction at Edinburgh. The result was very satisfac- 
tory, as the vessel moved at the rate of 5 miles an hour. 
The boat was afterwards laid up, and in 1789 Mr. Miller, 

with Taylor and Symington as assistants, made another 



experiment, this time on the Forth and Clyde Canal 
near Carron, at which works the engine was made. 
The first trial was unsuccessful, as the paddle-wheels 
gave way when full power was put on. This defect 
was soon remedied and a successful trial made, the 
speed being nearly 7 miles an hour. The expense and 
trouble in connection with this experiment caused Mr. 
Miller to have the boat dismantled, although he still in- 
tended to work out his ideas on steam propulsion. 

In 1801 Lord Dundas employed Symington to tit up a 
steamboat for trial on the canal, and in 1802 the vessel 
named Charlotte Dundas was tried on the Forth and 
Clyde Canal. In this vessel Symington introduced the 
important addition of a crank connection with the 
paddle-wheel, whereby a direct rotatory action was kept 
up. The engine was, in this way, much in advance of those 
previously tried, and curiously enough remained in ad- 
vance of many of the after-made machinery for propelling 
the Clyde steamers, where, instead of the action being 
directly applied, as in this case, the motion of the wheels 
was obtained through intermediate levers and spur-wheel 
gearing. In reference to this. Professor Rankine, in his 
Manual of the Steam Engine, says : " The Charlotte 
Dundas had one paddle-wheel near the stern, driven 
by a direct-acting horizontal engine, with a connecting- 
rod and crank. The arrangement of her mechanism was 
such as would be considered creditable at the present day ; 
and she has been justly styled by Mr. Woodcroft ' the 
first practical steamboat.' " 

It may be mentioned that one of the first iron vessels 
was built at Faskine, on the Monkland Canal, a few 



miles east of Glasgow. She was named the Vulcan, 
and started with passengers from Port-Dundas to Lock 
16 on the loth September, 1819. Forty-five years after- 
wards she was still in good condition, but doing service as 
a cargo boat. 


steamer Charlotte Dundas.— From Prof. Rankine's Manual of the Steam Engine ; 
by permission. 

The following verses, written by William Muir, Bird- 
ston, near Kirkintilloch, in March, 1803, on seeing the 
Charlotte Dundas pass on the canal, are interesting, as 
giving us a humorous glimpse into the past, enabling 
those of the present day who are familiar with such 
splendid achievements in marine architecture as are seen 
on our ocean highways, to appreciate to some extent the 
difficulties which at that time had to be overcome, and 
the wonder and amazement of the beholders of the early 
attempts at steam propulsion: — 

" When first, by labour, Forth an' Clyde 
Were taught o'er Scotia's hills to ride, 
In a canal, deep, lang, an' wide, 

Naebody thocht 
That winders, without win' or tide, 
Would e'er be wrocht. 


" To gar them trow that boats would sail 
Thro' fields o' corn or beds o' kail, 
An' turn o'er glens their rudder's tail, 

Like weathercocks, 
Was doctrine that wad needed bail 

Wi' common folks. 

" They ca'd it nonsense, till at last 

They saw boats travel east and wast, , 

Wi' sails an' streamers at their mast, — I 

Syne, without jeering, j 
They were convinced the blustering blast 

Was worth the hearing. J 

" For mony a year, wi' little clatter, i 

An' naething said about the matter, \ 

The horses haul'd them through the water, 

Frae Forth tae Clyde; 
Or the reverse, wi' weary splatter, i 

An' sweaty side. 

" But little think we what's in noddles, 
Whar Science sits an' grapes and guddlcs, 
Syne darklins forth frae drumly puddles. 

Brings forth to view 
That the weak penetration fuddles 

O' me an' you." 

The author then refers to the new HHiter as beino- 

" Wi' something that the learned ca' steam;" 

and adds: — 

" By it she through the water plashes, 
An' out the stream behint her dashes 
At sic a rate, baith frogs and fishes 

Are forced to scud. 
Like ducks and drakes amang the rashes, 

To shun the mud." 


And after this vivid description of the rapid movement 
of the novelty, he proceeds to speculate on what he has 

seen: — 

" Can e'er, thought I, a flame o' reek, 
Or boiling water's cauldron smeek, 
Tho' it war keepit for a week. 

Perform sic wonders, 
As quite surprises maist the folks 
O' gaziu' hunders?" 

And finally finishes in a philosophic and prophetic vein: — 

" But facts, we canna well dispute them, 
Altho' we little ken about them; 
When prejudice inclines to doubt them 

Wi' a' her might 
Plain demonstration deep can root them, 

An' set lis right. 

" Or lang gae now, wi' whirligigs 

An' steam engines we'll plough our rigs, 
An' gang about on easy legs 

Wi' nought to pain us. 

But flit in tethers needless nags 

That used to hain us." 

Returning, however, to the Clyde, we come upon a 
notable period in our history, as in the year 1811 Henry 
Bell arranged with John Wood, of Port-Glasgow, to build 
a vessel for him, to be fitted with an engine by John 
Robertson of Glasgow. This vessel was launched in 
June, 1812, with steam up, and made her first trip 
to Helensburgh. She was named the Comet, after a 
famous meteor which had shone across the heavens for 
some time previous.^ This vessel, the precursor of the 

1 Seo reference to this meteor at p. 113. 


long line which followed, year by year, in growing num- 
bers, was fitly named. She was to many as much an 
apparition as the strange and uncanny visitor of the 
skies, and, as with it, her train of successors has spread, 
like a tail, far out in ever- widening sweep. 

The Comet was a wooden boat, 42 feet long, 11 feet 
broad, and 5 feet 6 inches deep. She had the usual long 
funnel of the early steamers, and it occasionally did duty 
as a mast, a large square sail being hoisted on it when 
the wind was favourable. The engine was made by John 
Robertson, and was a condensing one of 3 horse-power, 
the diameter of the cylinder being 11 inches and the 
stroke 16 inches. The crank worked below the cylinder* 
and the engine shaft was of cast-iron, square in section, 
and measured 3| inches on the side. A fly-wheel was 
added to equalize the motion. The vessel was originally 
fitted with two pair of paddle-wheels, 7 feet in diameter, 
having spur-wheels of 3| feet diameter attached, so 
that, by means of another spur-wheel of the same 
diameter, placed between these, and gearing into them, 
each pair of paddles was rotated at the same speed. 
This arrangement was obviously very inefficient, as the 
one pair of paddle-wheels worked in the wash of the other 
pair, besides the loss of power due to working through 
the toothed wheels. It is said that Robertson, the 
engineer, tried to dissuade Bell from arranging his wheels 
in this manner, but the latter stuck firm to his idea, and 
the boat was tried with them, but proved a failure. The 
double wheels were then removed, and Robertson made 
another engine of about 4-horse power, having a cylinder of 
12| inches diameter. The workshop where the engine of 


From a photograph from the original, kit jp,-.^ 

BtLiXt cxjt Port GloLsgow — 
For M^ Henry Bell . JSJI . 
J'.Woooi. ■ 


^"2 Feet lon/y 
1 I -Feet broouL 


ipplied by Henry M. Napier, Esq. 



this famous steamer was made was situated in Dempster 
Street, a small street off North Frederick Street, in the 
north part of Glasgow. The original model of the Comet 
is in the possession of Messrs. John Reid & Co., ship- 
builders, Port-Glasgow, and shows the double set of 

Engine of the Comet Steamboat. 

paddle-wheels as originally proposed and tried. See 
plate, which is a facsimile from a photograph of the ori- 
ginal draft of this vessel, kindly supplied by Henry M. 
Napier, Esq. The drawing shows the vessel in both plan 
and section, with the first-tried arrangement of the double 
paddle-wheel on each side, also the spur-wheel gearing 
connecting the engine with the paddles. 

The navigation of the river had up till this time been 
managed by boats, which, with the combined exertions of 


sail and oars, made the passage up and down the river at 
more or less regular intervals, as the time of the passage 
depended much upon wind and tide. Thus Pennant, 
visiting the Clyde in 1772, tells us that after passing 
Dumbarton, on his way to Greenock, they had "a long 
contest with a violent adverse wind and very turbulent 

Bell appears early to have turned his attention to the 
use of the paddle with hand power, some attempts having 
been also made in this direction by a Mr. Rennie of 
Greenock. As in later trials of this method of propulsion, 
the labour was found greater than that required with the 
oar. It might, however, be supposed that, by the use of 
ball-bearings, which have so much conduced to the success 
of the modern velocipede, the resistance due to the friction 
of the shaft of a paddle-wheel open pleasure-boat might be 
greatly reduced. It is said that Brunei fitted a collar to 
the rudder-post of the Great Eastern, which, resting on 
cannon balls, became really an early form of ball-bearing. 

The boiler of the Comet was made by David Napier, 
a name to be afterwards widely associated with the 
progress of steam shipping on the Clyde. The follow- 
ing is a copy of Bell's advertisement of his new boat: 
"The Steamboat Comet, between Glasgow, Greenock, 
and Helensburgh, for passengers only. — The Subscriber, 
having at much expense fitted up a handsome vessel to 
ply upon the river Clyde from Glasgow, to sail by the 
power of air, wind, and steam. He intends that the 
vessel shall leave the Broomielaw on Tuesdays, Thursdays, 
and Saturdays, about mid-day, or such an hour thereafter 
as may answer from the state of the tide; and to leave 




Greenock on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, in the 
morning, to suit the tide. The elegance, comfort, safety, 
and speed of this vessel require only to be seen to meet 
the approbation of the 
public; and the pro- 
prietor is determined to 
do everything in his 
power to merit general 
support. The terms are 
for the present fixed at 
4s. for the best cabin 
and Ss. for the second, 
but beyond these rates 
nothing is to be allowed 
to servants or any per- 
son employed about the 

" The subscriber continues his establishment at Helens- 
burgh Baths, the same as for years passed, and a vessel 
will be in readiness to convey passengers by the Comet 
from Greenock to Helensburgh. ,, tt„^„,^ t?^, ^ » 

"Helensburgh Baths, 5th August, 1812." 

This advertisement of Bell's in which the power of 
wind is referred to, brings up forcibly the condition of 
the early navigation of the Clyde when the passenger 
communication with Greenock and the other lower ports 
of the river was carried on by means of what were 
termed Fly-Boats,^ which made their passage to and fro 

1 The term Fly seems to have come from the coaches on the roads, as 
diligences, coaches, and fiys are advertised in the fii'st Glasgow Directory. 

Henry Bell. 


by means of the power of wind and oars, occasionally, it 
is said, being helped by horse power. The incidents in 
such journeys must have been frequently of a humorous 
description, as the following graphic sketch which ap- 
peared some years ago in the Glasgow Herald will show: 
" The passage to Greenock in favourable circumstances 
was accomplished in about ten or twelve hours ; as much 
depended on the flow of the tidal wave, not unfrequently 
the passage was interrupted for a night at Bowling. It 
was surmised that the flies were intercepted there by a 
net or web in the shape of a tavern. The passengers had 
frequently to remain in their ark, or get quarters in the 
'public' until the morning. A story was told and vouched 
that when a 'fly ' had been thus arrested for the night, and 
the crew were called in early and dusky morn to avail 
themselves of the favourable tide, the two boatmen, 
who had been meantime indulging in strong drink, set 
to work with their oars. With the dawn the passengers 
had a dreamy notion that they were making little or no 
progress as the outhne of the castellated rock, still phan- 
tom-like, appeared in the mist. Calling the attention of 
the rowers to their apprehensions, the fact was painfully 
realized by the following colloquy between the ancient 
mariners: 'Tonalt, did you lift t' anchor?' and the dis- 
couraging reply, ' Na,Tougal, not me, but 'twas your duty.' " 
From the Memorials of James Watt we learn that these 
Fly boats were built by W. Nicol, a Greenock boatbuilder, 
and that they were a great improvement on the smaller 
packet boats. They measured about 28 ft. in length by 
8 ft. beam, and were wherry-rigged. The passengers 
were protected from the weather by a cover over the 


after part of the boat. A projecting platform ran round 
the deck outside of this cabin for the crew to pass and 
repass, and on fine weather by favour of the commanding 
ofiicer some of the passengers were allowed to sit upon 
the roof with their feet on the passage way. The boats 
generally left Greenock with the flood-tide, and if the 
wind was also favourable Glaso^ow might be arrived at in 
from four to five hours. As late as 1820-1830 fly-boats 
without sails were used; these were simply large stout 
open boats, which were rowed by four men. They plied 
to Greenock from the foot of a long flight of stairs at 
the Broomielaw. About that time the passage to Greenock 
by the steamers took sometimes three hours, and the cost 
was 5s. in the cabin and 2s. 6d. in the steerage. A wherry 
sailed from Greenock to Helensburgh and the Gareloch 
in ojyposition to the steamers. 

To facilitate this trafiic there was a towing-path down 
as far as Renfrew, and it is interesting to read in Cleland's 
Annals of Glasgow under "Abstract of Regulations for 
Steam Boats and other Vessels." — " That none of the 
said Steamboats shall cross the tracking or towing lines 
of the vessels plying on the river where there is room to 
pass on the ofi" side, under the penalty of £5 for each 
offence." And further " That none of the said Steam- 
boats shall ply in the twilight or in the dark without 
having lights ahead fitted up properly." This regulation 
does not intimate the colour of the lights, or if they were 
to be fitted to the paddle-boxes; and it was no doubt at 
a later date that the well-known red and green paddle- 
box lights were introduced, which, on first sight, fright- 
ened some of the boatmen who happened to be out on 


the river during a heavy spate, one of them declaring 
that an apothecaries' shop had been carried away and 
was drifting down on them.^ 

Even after the introduction of the steamboats the shal- 
low condition of the Clyde at low water, together with 
the numerous sandbanks, made the navigation difficult and 
somewhat uncertain, as the boats frequently got aground 
and had to lie till the tide rose, the passengers sometimes 
assisting in getting a start by running from side to side 
to loosen the keel out of the sand. Besides the use of 
coloured lights for the more complete guidance of vessels 
meeting or crossing each other's path, the position and 
method of fixing the lamps are now specified. Thus a 
steamship shall carry on the front of the foremast at 
a height of not less than twenty feet a bright white 
light, on the starboard side a green light, and on the port 
side a red light. A sailing vessel shall carry the red and 
green side-lights only. The rules for the mariner's guid- 
ance have been humorously put into rhyme by Thomas 
Gray, C.B., secretary to the Board of Trade, thus: 


" When all three lights I see ahead, 
I port my helm aud show my Red. 


Green to Green, or Eed to Eed — 
Perfect safety — go ahead ! 

1 Lights now vary according to the craft which carry them ; the red and 
green side-lights carried by both steamers and sailing vessels were ordered by 
the Admiralty in 1847, and the Merchant Shipping Act of 1862 compelled the 
fixing of the red and green lights in sailing ships, as in these vessels they had 
only previous to that date been requii-ed to be shown. 


Very safe and good advice is given in the last stanza: 

"Botli in safety and in doubt, 
I always keep a good look-out ; 
In danger, with no room to turn, 
I ease lier ! Stop her ! Go astern ! " 

The connection with places further down the river was 
accomplished by the steamboats carrying the passengers 
to Greenock, who then went by sailing packets to their 
destination. It is recorded by a traveller in 1815 that 
he sailed in the Comet from Glasgow for Greenock, leav- 
ing in the morning and arriving at Greenock after a 
seven hours' passage, three hours of which had, how- 
ever, been spent lying on a sand-bank at Erskine. At 
Greenock he went on board the Rosa packet and landed in 
Rothesay the same day, much to the surprise of the residen- 
ters there, as the passage was an extraordinarily fast one. 

The Comet was followed by the Elizabeth, of 33 tons, 
built in 1812-13, by John Wood. She measured 58 ft. 
long over all, 51 ft. keel, 12 ft. beam, and was 5 ft. 
deep. The engine was made by James Cook of Trades- 
ton, Glasgow, and was of 10 H.P. The following copy of 
an advertisement in reference to this steamer is given 
in a work on Steam and Steam Navigation, by J. Scott 
Russell, and is interesting as giving us a good deal of 
insight into the appearance and management of the early 
Clyde steamers : " The Elizabeth was started for passen- 
gers on the 9th of March, 1813, and has continued to run 
from Glasgow to Greenock daily, leaving Glasgow in the 
morning and returning the same evening. The passage, 
which is twenty-seven miles, has been made, with a 


hundred passengers on board, in something less than four 
hours, and in favourable circumstances in two hours and 
three-quarters. The Elizabeth has sailed eighty-one miles 
in one day, at an average of nine miles an hour. The 
Elizabeth measures aloft fifty-eight feet; the best cabin is 
twenty-one feet long, eleven feet three at mid-ships, and 
nine feet four inches aft, seated all round, and covered 
with handsome carpeting; a sofa, clothed with marone, 
is placed at one end of the cabin, and gives the whole a 
warm and cheerful appearance. There are twelve small 
windows, each finished with marone curtains, with tassels, 
fringes, and velvet cornices, ornamented with gilt orna- 
ments, having altogether a very rich effect. Above the 
sofa there is a large mirror suspended, and at each side 
book-shelves are placed, containing a collection of the best 
authors, for the amusement and edification of those who 
may avail themselves of them during the passage — other 
amusements are likewise to be had on board. The engine 
stands amidships, and requires a considerable space in 
length, and all the breadth of the vessel. The forecastle, 
which is rather small, is about eleven feet six by nine 
feet six inches, not quite so comfortable as the after one, 
but well calculated for a cold day, and by no means dis- 
agreeable on a warm one; all the windows in both the 
cabins are made in such a way as to shift up and down 
like those of a coach, admitting a very free circulation 
of fresh air. From the height of the roofs of both cabins, 
which are about seven feet four inches, they will be ex- 
tremely pleasant and healthful in the summer months for 
those who may favour the boat in parties of pleasure. 
Already the public advantages of this mode of con- 



veyance have been generally acknowledged; indeed, it 
may without exaggeration be said that the intercourse 
through the medium of the steamboats between Glasgow 
and Greenock has, comparatively speaking, brought these 
places ten or twelve 
miles nearer to each 
other. In most cases 
the passages are 
made in the same 
time as by the 
coaches ; and they 
have been, in nu- 
merous instances, 
done with greater 
rapidity. In com- 
paring the comfort- 
ableness of these 
conveyances, the 
preference will be 
given decidedly to the steamboat. Besides all this, a 
great saving in point of expense is produced; the fare 
in the best cabin being only four shillings, and in the 
inferior one two shillings and sixpence; whereas the 
inside of a coach costs not less than twelve shillings, 
and the outside eight shillings." 

The Clyde, 69 tons, was also built by John Wood. She 
was 76 ft. long over all, 72 ft. keel, by 14 ft. beam, and 
depth of hold of 7 J ft. The engine was made by John 
Robertson; the cylinder was 22 in. diameter, with a 
2-foot stroke, and of 14 h.p. The speed attained was six 
miles per hour. 

John Robertson.— From a photograph. 



The Glasgow, 74 tons, was built by John Wood, and 
was 72 ft. long by 15 ft. beam. The engine was a side- 
lever one, of 16 h.p., with a cylinder 20 in. diameter, stroke 
2 ft., and was made by James Cook. This vessel ran to 
Largs and Millport, and must have been the first boat on 
this station. She could run from Glasgow to Greenock 
with the tide in two hours and ten minutes. The form 

of these early boats is shown by the annexed plan and 

In 1814, six steamers appear to have been built — viz. 
the Industry, Trusty, Princess Charlotte, Prince of 
Orange, Marjery, and Argyle. The Industry, still exist- 
ing, was built, it is said, by Fyfe at Fairlie in 1814, 
her builders being afterwards celebrated for their racing 
yachts; a reputation which the firm, still flourishing, 
maintains. Her dimensions are as follows : Length, 68 ft. ; 
breadth, 17 ft.; depth, 8 ft.; gross tonnage, 69; register, 


42; one cylinder, 16 in. in diameter. She had at first 
a copper boiler, not an uncommon arrangement in those 
early days, of low pressure; but it was afterwards re- 
placed by an iron one. The original engine was also 
replaced about 1826 by the one now on board. One 
special feature of interest, which can still be inspected, 
is the spur-wheel gearing to connect the engine with 
the paddle-shaft.-^ From the grinding sound caused by 
the spur-wheels she was known at Greenock as the 
" Coffee-mill." The original engine was by Thomson, of 
Tradeston, and the second engine by Caird, of Greenock. 
The paddle-wheels are 11 ft. diameter, with floats 2 ft. 
9 in. long, ten on each wheel; stroke of engine, 2 ft.; 
diameter of shaft, 5h in.; spur-wheels, 2 ft. and IJ ft. in 
diameter. The Industry was the seventh steamer on the 
Clyde, and must now be the oldest steamer in existence. 
She plied between Glasgow and Greenock, principally as 
a luggage boat, but occasionally ventured down the firth 
as far as Campbeltown. 

Strangely enough, at the present time the Clyde con- 
tains two of the greatest curiosities in marine architec- 
ture, viz. the oldest steamer extant — the Industry — 
and the largest vessel in the world — the Great Eastern, 
which for some time has been lying at the " Tail of the 
Bank," off" Greenock. The dimensions of the latter, as 
given in the advertisement of bill of sale, is: Length, 
6790 ft.; breadth, 828 ft.; depth, 60 ft. Tons B.M., 
22,927; tons gross, 18,915; tons nett register, 13,344 

1 This ongino has now been removed for the purpose of being preserved as 
an ilhistration of the early forms of engines, and is now placed near the 
Kelvingrove Museum. See cut p. 211. 



Screw engines, 1,600 h.p. nominal; paddle engines, 1,000 
H.P. nominal. On comparing these dimensions with those 
of the Industry, we find that the Great Eastern is ten 
times longer, about five times broader, and seven and a 
half times deeper. The tonnage is about three hundred 
times greater. 

It may be interesting to note that the combined length 
of these seven precursors of steam traffic on the Clyde 
was little over 400 ft., so that, if placed end to end, 
they could all have been carried by such a vessel as the 
Anchor Line steamer Furnessia, now sailing from the 
Clyde, which measures 445 ft. long. 

The Trusty was a boat like the Industry, and is said 
to have been the first steamer built at Dumbarton; the 
builder being Wm. Denny. She was 68 ft. long, with a 
breadth of 17 ft. 6 in., having a geared side-lever engine 
of 10 H.P. made by George Dobbie, Tradeston. Like the 
Industry, she got a new engine of greater power at a 
later date. This boat appears to have sunk in the river 
after a collision, but was afterwards raised and converted 
into a schooner, and wrecked in 1854 off Loch Ryan. 

The Princess Charlotte and Prince of Orange were 
built by Mr. Munn of Greenock, and engined by Boulton 
& Watt. 

The Marjery was built at Dumbarton by William 
Denny, and engined by James Cook, with a single side- 
lever engine of 10 H.P. Her dimensions were 63 ft. long 
by 12 ft. beam. This vessel was sent to the Thames 
about 1815. When the Marjery sailed past the Nore, at 
which part of the British fleet was lying, she was closely 
scrutinized by the old salts on board; one of them, who 


belonged to Dumbarton, gave her a cheer, adding, "Well 
done, Dumbarton ! " 

The Argyle, 78 tons, was built at Port- Glasgow, and 
engined by James Cook, with a single side-lever engine 
of 14 H.P. She was a similar vessel to the Albion, and 
appears to have gone to the Thames in 1815. 

In 1815 other six steamers appear to have been added, 
viz. the Waterloo, Argyle No. 2, Greenock, Caledonia, 
Diirtiharton Castle, and Britannia. 

The Waterloo, 90 tons, was built and launched after 
the celebrated battle was fought, and was similar to the 
Argyle. She plied on the Helensburgh station. The 
engines were by James Cook, and were of 20 H.P. 

Among the songs which appeared from time to time in 
reference to the early boats, one refers to the Waterloo 
as follows: 

"And now amid the reign of peace 

Arts guiding stream we ply, 
That makes our wheels, like whirling reels, 

O'er yielding water fly. 
As our heroes drove their foes that strove 

Against the bonnets blue, 
On every side the waves divide 

Before the Waterloo." 

The Greenock, 62 tons 10 h.p., appears to have been 
built by Archibald M'Lauchlan at Dumbarton, The 
Caledonia, 102 tons, was built by Messrs. Wood, Port- 
Glasgow. She measured 95 ft. 6 in. long by 15 ft. beam; 
draft 4i ft. to 5 ft., and had two engines of 16 H.P. each, 
made by the Greenhead Foundry Co. This vessel went 
in 1816 to the Thames, and was afterwards placed on the 


Rhine. The Dumbarton Castle, 81 tons 32 h.p. (two of 16 
H.P. each), built by Archibald M'Lauchlan, Dumbarton, and 
engined by Duncan M'Arthur & Co., Camlachie, was the 
first steamer to make a trip to Rothesay, and the event 
was marked by the presentation of a handsome punch- 
bowl to the captain, James Johnston. This vessel 
appears to have been wrecked in the Clyde in 1829. 
The Britannia, 109 tons, 32 h.p., with a draft of 4 ft. 
G in., measured about 80 ft. long by 16 ft. beam. Her 
engines were made by James Cook, and consisted of a 
pair of beam-engines and spur-wheels to raise the power 
to the paddle-shaft, similar to those of the second Water- 
loo (see cut p. 183). The cylinders were 20 in. diameter, 
with 2 ft. 6 in. stroke. This vessel plied to Campbeltown 
and made a trip to Londonderry, thereby opening up the 
trade with the latter port. She appears to have been 
wrecked off Donaghadee in 1829. 

The following is a copy of an advertisement appearing 
in the Glasgoiv Herald of June, 1815: — "The proprietors 
of the Britannia steamboat beg leave to inform the pub- 
lic that she, according to advertisement, performed her 
voyage to Largs, Rothesay, and Campbeltown, and re- 
turned in such a short time, and gave so great satisfac- 
tion, that, owing to an agreement with the public of 
Campbeltown, they will be under the necessity of aban- 
doning the voyage to Inveraray, as advertised for to- 
morrow, but will upon Monday first, at ten o'clock, sail 
for Greenock, Gourock, Rothesay, and Campbeltown, and 
return on Wednesday. As the voyage is far, the passen- 
gers will be accommodated with refreshments, suitable 
and agreeable for them." 


The Britannia appears to have had a beam-engine. 
The Industry engine is of the side-lever type ; very much 
hke a beam-engine inverted. Beam-engines are still used 
in America to a large extent; one o£ the largest examples 
of these being the engine of the Pilgrim, built in 1882, 
and now plying on the Fall River route by Long Island 
Sound, between New York and Boston. These engines 
have not found favour on the Clyde, but occasionally 
boats fitted with them for the China river service may be 
seen at the works of Messrs. A. & J. Inglis. About the 
last large mail paddle-steamer to be fitted with the side- 
lever engine was the Persia, of the Cunard Co., engined 
by Messrs. R. Napier, Glasgow. Another existing ex- 
ample of the side lever can still be seen at Dumbarton, 
and from its position can be readily inspected. There, 
the engine of the Leven, the first marine engine made 
by Robert Napier in 1824, has been erected on a 
pedestal at the foot of the great rock which has for 
so long silently looked down on the productions of the 
toiling hands and inventive brains of the workers of 
the Clyde. 

In 1816 we have further additions, viz. the Neptune, 
Albion, Rothesay Castle, Lord Nelson, Lady of the Lake, 
and Duke of Wellington. This latter vessel appears to 
have been built by William Denny in 1817, but was a few 
years afterwards lengthened and named the Highland 
Chieftain, running to the Highlands till about 1838. 
Of these the Albion, 92 tons, was built by J. Wood, 
and measured about 70 ft. by 13 ft. beam, with draft of 
4 ft. The engine (side-lever) of 20 h.p. was by James 
Cook, the cylinder being 22 in. diameter, with a 2-ft. 


stroke. She plied to Largs. The cost of this vessel is 

stated as — 

Hull, £1,000 

Engines, 1,600 

Fittings, 850 

The Lady of the Lake, engined by James Cook with a 
single side-lever engine, appears to have been transferred 
to the Firth of Forth, and after plying there was sent to 
the Elbe, but was afterwards brought back. In 1817 only 
two boats appear to have been added, viz. the Marion 
and the Defiance. Of these the Marion appears to have 
been the first steamer on Loch Lomond, where she plied 
in 1820 in connection with the Post Boy steamer from 
Glasgow. The year 1818 brought several additions, viz. 
the Rob Roy, Marquis of Bute, Woodford, Active, and 
Despatch. The Rob Roy is the most interesting, as she was 
the first steamer to ply to Belfast. She was 90 tons and 
of 30 H.P., with a draft of 7 ft., and was built by William 
Denny, at Dumbarton, engined with a single side-lever 
engine by David Napier, and was latterly transferred to 
the Dover and Calais service. Previous to starting this 
steamer it is said that Mr. Napier crossed to Belfast dur- 
ing a storm in a sailing vessel, and watching the effect of 
the waves was convinced steam could be utilized to over- 
come them. He then by means of experiments on model 
boats determined to give his proposed steamer a sharper 
entrance at the bow than was at that time common for 
the river steamers. 

In 1819 the second Waterloo was built by Scott of 
Greenock, and was the longest steamer afloat at that time, 



measuring about 120 feet long by 22 feet beam. She had 
two beam-engines with 30-inch cylinders and 3 feet stroke, 

ro O O O O 

o o o ^^ o 
o o o o o 



o o o o 

O O O i o 
yo OOP Q 

Plan of engines and boilers of the second Waterloo. 

6&, boilers; ee, beam-engines; s, spur-wlieel to connect engines witii paddle-shaft; 

//, furnaces; mm, uptakes to chimney. 

with spur-wheels to connect with the paddle-shaft. See 
annexed cut. 

In 1819 Mr. David Napier had the Talhot built for 
him by Messrs. Wood. She was 150 tons, and had two 
of Mr. Napier's engines of 30 h.p. each. The Talhot plied 
between Holyhead and Dublin, and appears to have been 
a very complete and efficient vessel. Another vessel, the 
Ivanhoe, was added to this route. She was 170 tons 
burthen, built by Scott of Greenock, and engined by 
Mr. D. Napier with engines of 60 H.P. In the same year 



Mr. D. Napier established the first Hne of steamers be- 
tween Glasgow and Liverpool, the Robert Bruce of 150 
tons and 60 h.p. being the first to start. She was built 
by Messrs. Wood and engined by Mr. D. Napier. Two 
others were added, viz. the Superb, in 1820, of 240 tons 
and 70 H.P., and the Eclipse, in 1821, of 240 tons and 60 
H.P. The former was built by Scott, and the latter by 

steamer Helensburgh, built by William Denny at Dumbarton about the year 1826. 
—From an engraving kindly supplied by Messrs. Denny. 

Steele of Greenock, the engines in both cases being by 
Mr. D. Napier. 

We may now look at one or two pictures of the early 
boats, and their successors of the present day. Compare 


the Superb of 1820, and the Etruria, one of the largest 
and most powerful vessels now on the Atlantic service. 
The Steamboat Companion for 1820 tells us that "The 
Superb, is at this moment the finest, largest, and most 
powerful steam vessel in Britain. She registers 241 tons, 
and is impelled by two very fine engines of 36 H. P. 
each, to which copper boilers are attached. The average 
duration of the passage from the Clyde to Liverpool does 
not exceed thirty hours; fare, £2, 15s." Contrast this 
with what the Tir)ies for 1885 says: 

" The Etruria is a sister ship to the Umbria, both built 
by John Elder & Co., of Fairfield, Govan, the largest, 
most finished, and fastest vessels in the Atlantic service. 
She is built entirely of steel, and is divided into ten 
water-tight compartments. She is 520 ft. long by 57 
ft. 3 in. broad, and 41 ft. deep. The coming season 
will be an interesting one to the Atlantic traveller and to 
those who watch the performance of the vessels. The 
list is filled up for the present. There is nothing on the 
stocks and nothing projected to compete with what is on 
the water, and the public interest will centre in nine ves- 
sels, constructed within the last eight years, as follows: — 

Name. Builder. Length. Breadth. Depth. 

ft. in. ft. in. ft. in. 

Arizona Elder 452 2 45 4 35 7 

Alaska Elder 500 50 38 

Servia Thomson 515 52 1 37 

CityofEome Barrow 560 2 52 3 37 

Oregon Elder 500 54 39 9 

Aurania Thomson 470 57 2 37 2 

America Thomson 441 8 51 2 36 

Umbria Elder 520 57 3 41 

Etruria Elder 520 57 3 41 


" The Etruria is fitted to accommodate 720 first-class 
passengers. Several of the state-rooms are fitted en suite 
for family use, and every advantage has been taken of 
the breadth of the vessel to afford variety and greater 
space in the accommodation. The saloon will seat 280 
people at dinner, and as the electric lamps are fixed high 
up near the ceiling by slender pendants the view is un- 
obstructed throughout the chamber. The panelling of 
the saloon is all in light wainscot oak, with a dark walnut 
sideboard at the service end and a bookcase at the other. 
Above, in the form of a sort of gallery, is a music-room; 
and on the same upper deck are a number of superior 
state-rooms in the middle of the ship. Above these, and run- 
ning for 300 feet in length throughout the entire breadth 
of the ship, is a promenade deck. Here is the captain's 
room and a large saloon, exclusively set apart for ladies, 
sumptuously upholstered in green velvet and panelled in 
maple. Below, on the main deck, on a level with the 
saloon, is a boudoir, which forms a vestibule to the baths 
and lavatories set apart exclusively for ladies. Alto- 
gether there are 13 marble baths, fitted with steam 
and shower apparatus; and lavatory accommodation is 
dispersed throughout the ship. On the main lower decks 
are placed the major portion of the state-rooms. Each of 
them is provided with a hot-water heating apparatus, an 
electric light, and a life-saving cork jacket for each berth. 
The smoking-room, which is unusually large, is fitted 
with red leather benches, and is panelled in maple and 
oak. It is placed on the upper deck. The electric light 
is produced by four of Siemens's machines, each with 
its own three-cylinder engine. Three of them are suffi- 


cient to maintain the whole 850 lamps of the ship, so 
that one is always in reserve, and oil lamps are entirely 
dispensed with. The passages, the engine-room, and 
boiler-house are lighted day and night, and some of the 
lights of the saloon are also maintained during the night. 
The engines are marvels of construction, and are un- 
equalled, except by those of the Umbria, for strength, 
power, and simplicity. With good coals they are capable 
of indicating upwards of 14,000 horse-power, with nine 
boilers, but the speed attained by the Etruria has been 
secured by some thousand horse -power less than the 
tnaxinium. The boilers are fired by 72 of Fox's cor- 
rugated furnaces. They work at a pressure of 100 lbs., 
which was maintained during the cruise with a total 
absence of smoke, even with inferior coals." 

In speaking of the progress of steam navigation, 
Dr. Cleland says, " The success of steamboats on the 
Clyde induced some gentlemen in Dublin, to order 
two vessels to be made to ply as packets in the 
channel between Dublin and Holyhead, with a view of 
ultimately carrying the mails. They were built by 
Mr. James Munn, Greenock, have engines of twenty 
horse -power, made by Mr. James Cook, Tradestown, 
Glasgow, and are named Britannia and Hihernia. 
Mr Cook, whose eminent abilities as an engineer, have 
enabled him to make numerous improvements on ma- 
chinery, has been very successful in constructing the 
paddles of these packets, so that one man can easily raise 
them from five to six feet out of the water, while the 
engine is at work, in the event of a heavy gale making 
that measure necessary." The author is indebted to 


Mr. Robert Cook, a nephew of the Mr. Cook referred to, 
for much personal information of the sizes, powers, and 
general appearance of these early steamers. 

We have clearly in the Sujierb reached a point, eight 
years later only than the launching of the Comet, when 
steam navigation on our coast may be considered com- 
pletely and efficiently established. Certainly the time 
stated as taken on the voyage to Liverpool is long, but 
it took some years and many improvements in both 
vessels and machinery to reduce it to 18 hours from 
Greenock by the Unicorn in 1837, and in 1841 to 16| 
hours by the Princess Royal. The Liverpool steamers 
about 1837, the Unicorn and Actceon, appear to have 
been very handsomely furnished, and even carried a 
chaplain with them who conducted divine service on 
Sunday. The chaplain had a special room to himself 
with a brass plate marked " Chaplain's Room." Notwith- 
standing all these advantages it was still considered a 
serious event to make the Liverpool journey, some 
travellers making their "will" and taking a special fare- 
well of their friends ere they started. 


The traffic on the Clyde gradually increased, and new 
ports of call were established, at first only accessible to 
the passengers by ferry-boats, but soon facilities in the 
way of stone and wooden piers were afforded. Primi- 
tive fashions existed where no pier had yet thrown its 
wooden or iron piles out across the sandy shore, and 
where at low tide, when the ferry-boat stuck on the 


sand, the ferrymen carried the passengers ashore on 
their backs. In regard to customs it is curious how the 
position from which we view certain matters affects our 
wonderment. Thus, the well-known practice of the quay 
porters on the Clyde in pointing their fingers at the pas- 
sengers on board steamers arriving at the quays is little 
noticed by regular coasters. To strangers however it has 
an air of comicality; yet in a description by a Scotchman 
of a visit to London about fifty years ago, he says that 
the signal by the conductors of the street omnibuses to 
attract the prospective passenger's attention is pointing 
with the finger. 

Boats had all their peculiar characteristics, especially 
well known to the boys who had gone " doon the water " 
for the holidays. Green-painted boats ran to Helens- 
burgh, of regal and imperial designations such as Sove- 
reign, Queen, Emperor. Dumbarton boats for the Vale 
of Leven were neat little crafts, with blue paddle-boxes 
and broad white strips on their black funnels. The 
Rothesay boats, calling at Dunoon, Kirn, &c., belonged 
to the Castle Company, and had quarter-deck, two masts, 
and a tall funnel, with the well-known white strip. The 
Cardiff, Craignish, and Dunrohin Castles were famous 
in their day, the latter with her powerful steeple engine, 
fast but rather crank. There were Largs and Millport 
boats, from the martial Warrior and Victor to the 
Olympian Jwpiter and Juno; Inveraray boats, from the 
old Dunoon, Duntroon, and Inverary Castles to the 
dashing Lord of the Isles, which now makes the long 
run from Glasgow to Inveraray and back in the sum- 
mer season, so that it is no longer a " far cry to Loch 


Awe." The West Highland boats stretch from the Comet 
through a series of big and little crafts to the Columha, 
which can carry 2000 passengers on a Fair Saturday 
without "feeling it." Some of them, like the Cygnet, 
Plover, and Lcvpwing, were little dumpy things made 
specially to go through the Crinan Canal, so small that 
it is said the captain of one of them told a heavy drover 
that used to travel with him " to keep away from the 
side and stand in the middle of the boat, or he would 
be upsetting it." Eagles, Plovers, Merlins, Osjpreys, 
Flamingoes, Petrels have from time to time jflown across 
our waters; Pioneers and Pilots have shown the road; 
Spunkies and Kelpies have glanced through the waves; 
Vulcan and Neptune have tried to rule them; as also 
Sultans, Sultanas, and Viceroys. The Pioneer, Petrel, 
and Pilot came on as railway boats on the Kothesay 
route as far back as 1845. They connected at the old 
Greenock or Custom-house Quay with the Glasgow and 
Greenock Railway. In later years the Glasgow and 
South -Western Railway Company from Princes Pier 
made their connection, the smart Sultana being well 
known on the Rothesay route; the Wemyss Bay Rail- 
way Company from Wemyss Bay have also their well- 
known fleet of white-funnelled boats carrying many 
thousands of passengers from the busy city to the Largs 
and Rothesay shores. Fifty years ago only seven 
steamers plied between Glasgow and Rothesay, the 
horse-power of each varying from fifty to seventy, the 
speed being eleven miles per hour. The fares to or from 
Glasgow were — cabin, 2s.; steerage. Is. 6d The first 
steamers which made the passage to Rothesay in 1814 


had only a speed of six miles per hour. A large fleet 
of steamers now call at Rothesay during the height of 
the summer traffic, their horse-power varying from 1000 
to 2000, and with speeds of 17 to 20 miles per hour. 

Speaking of our Clyde steamers a writer in an 
American paper says : " Although England has a greater 
fleet of ships, both of war and of peace, than all the rest 
of the world put together, she is just a little short of 
fine, roomy, piazza-surrounded cabins, such as can be 
found on almost any American river. The trouble with 
British rivers seems to be that almost as soon as they 
become navigable they empty into the sea, and so all 
steamers have to be built like ocean liners, where com- 
fort has to give way to safety. However, the Clyde, the 
mother of the finest steam-ships in the world, shows 
that it is possible to combine comfort and elegance with 
great speed and safety. For years the lona held the 
palm, but now she gives the first place to her more 
recent sister, the Columba. This steamboat does not 
present the three or four storey appearance of some of 
the American boats, nor has it their dazzling whiteness, 
nor the easy undulating walking-beam. Taking the 
Columba as the finest specimen of passenger craft afloat 
in Great Britain, I must say that as far as outside ap- 
pearance is concerned she does not come up in beauty 
or picturesque efiect to many of the boats of the New 
World. It will be hard to make a Glasgow man believe 
this; but if he doesn't he should go over to America and 
see for himself. I haven't the Columba before me as 
I write, but my remembrance of her is a long steamer 
with side wheels, a mast in front, two large rakish 


red funnels, a great length of cabin aft, and a fine 
promenade deck above it. She seems as steady and 
solid as a rock, very little motion being felt, and at 
full speed races easily along, like an express train. 
The cabin seems like a very much magnified Pullman 
car. There is a glow of crimson velvet from the seats, 
and a general sunset hue pervades the entire saloon, 
toned down by the milder splendour of the carpet 
and the richness of the hangings and wood-work. The 
cabin is surrounded by a continuous window of the 
clearest plate glass, and as the seats are ranged facing 
the front and rear as in a Pullman car the traveller 
can sit there, no matter what the amount of the out- 
side rainfall is, and have a series of landscape scenes 
presented to him that would be hard to equal anywhere 
else in the world." The Columha, built and engined by 
Messrs. J. & G. Thomson of Clydebank, measures 316 
feet in length, and is built of steel with steel boilers. 
There are two oscillating engines, each cylinder being 
53 inches in diameter, with a stroke of 5 feet 6 inches. 

The Columha is the largest of our river steamers, and 
is one of the large fleet of well-known red-funnelled 
West Highland boats owned by Mr. David MacBrayne. 
Amongst them is the Inverary Castle, built and engined 
by Tod & M'Gregor in 1839, and now tlic oldest steamer 
plying on the river. 

In order that some comparison may be made between 
typical river steamers of our own and American waters, 
the following descriptions of American steamers are 
appended: The Mary Powell, a famous Hudson River 
boat, measures 280 feet by 33^ feet beam, with a 


draft of 6 feet; displacement, 757 tons. She is fitted 
with a beam -engine, working up to about 2000 horse 
power. The eyhnder is 72 inches in diameter and 12 
feet stroke. The paddle-wheels are 31 feet in diameter. 
The boilers are return tubular, having 154 square feet of 
grate surface, and 4700 feet of heating surface. The 
coal consumpt is at the rate of 40 lbs. per square foot of 
grate, with fan draught. Speed about 20 miles per hour. 
The steam is cut off at about half stroke, giving a 
mean effective pressure of about 24| lbs. per square inch. 
Professor Thurston says: "The performance of the Poiuell 
has been such as to make her probably the most famous 
craft of the type in American waters." 

The Pilgrim, a newer and larger vessel, plies on Long 
Island Sound, from New York to the Fall River, is 
374 feet long and 50 feet broad, or 88i feet over the 
guards; 3483 tons gross. The engine, single, of the usual 
beam type. The cylinder is 110 inches in diameter, with 
a stroke of 14 feet; diameter of paddle-wheels, 40 feet; 
steam power, 40 to 50 lbs.; speed about 18 miles per 

A Clyde river steamer is managed very quietly by 
the captain, who, with a slight motion of his hand 
indicates his wishes to the steersman at the wheel when 
approaching a quay. The signalling to the engineer has 
long been done by a very simple code of knocks through 
means of an iron rod passing from the paddle-box to 
the top of the engine-room. Tradition says that this 
system was introduced by an old captain, who, being lame, 
carried a stick, with which he used to rap on the engine- 
liouse. The more complete telegraph disc instrument, 


however, is now superseding the simple knocker — at k'ast 
in the larger and smarter boats. 

On the Thames the "call boy" still shouts his "Ease 
'er;" "stop 'er;" "turn ahead slow at the wharf." Possibly 
the latter, as a direction to the engineer, indicates the 
reason of the continuance of this system, the tide running 
so strong in the Thames upwards, and the flow of the 
river and ebb being so strong downwards, that a more 
extended intimation of wliat is necessary is demanded. 
Valentine Vox and Punch have both brought out in 
their own way the characteristics of the Southern River, 
the various signals of transmission being somewhat 
in this fashion, as we find in an old volume of Punch: 
"'Stand by!' from the captain. 'Stand by!' repeated the 
midshipman of the engine hatchway. 'A turn or two 
ahead!' was the captain's next ejaculation. 'A turn or 
two ahead!' promptly issued from the lips of his diminu- 
tive echo. 'Move on easy!' 'Move on e — e — easy!' re- 
peated the gallant youth. 'Stop her!' 'Stop her!' issued 
from the mouth of the youngster at the engine hatch- 
way." These were the signals in vogue in 1842 on board 
the "PJtizglg, fresh - painted and new-engincd, with as 
powerful a boiler and as first-rate a cargo of Hetton's, 
Wallsend, as ever were stowed under hatches; the awn- 
ing as white as a pocket handkercher', the seats as 
green as a First Lord of the Admiralty, and the binnacle 
polished like the steward's stew-pans." Punch by the 
way is rather hard on the 1842 Thames river boats. 
He says : " There are about thirty steam-boats running 
between London Bridge and Richmond, all of which have 
at different times run against the tide, while twenty-five 


have had the benefit of the wind on some occasions. Six- 
teen have run aground, and twelve have run into four- 
teen, while the remaining six have dashed against the 

The system of silent signalling by telegraph between 
the captain and the engineer seems to have been early 
introduced into the Atlantic steamers. Thus, in a descrip- 
tion of the Atlantic, one of the Collins line, we read: 
" In the engine-room is a long box with five compart- 
ments, each communicating with a wire fastened like 
a bell-pull to the side of the paddle-box. These handles 
are marked respectively ' ahead,' ' slow,' ' fast,' ' back,' 
and 'hook on,' and whenever one is pulled a printed 
card, with the corresponding signal, appears in the 
box opposite the engineer, who has to act accordingly. 
There is thus no noise of human voices on board this 
ship. The helmsman steers by his bells, the engineer 
works l)y the telegraph, and the steward waits Ijy 
the annunciator." 

The steam-boat service on the Clyde has been carried 
on with great immunity from serious accidents, especially 
when we consider the large fleet which on a summer's-day 
plies from early morning till late at night, both on direct 
business and pleasure trips, including "moonlight" cruises 
away to the Highland lochs of the firth. It is now 
many years since a boiler explosion took place, and, 
indeed, only about three disasters due to this cause can 
be counted, viz.: those of the boilers of the Uari Grey 
at Greenock quay in 1835, the Telegnqjh at Helensburgh 
in 1842, and the Plover at Glasgow some years later. 
Occasionally we hear of a water -tube of a haystack 


boiler giving way, with no worse result than the putting 
out of the fire. A crank-shaft, after having made thou- 
sands of revolutions daily for years, suddenly breaks and 
brings the vessel to a standstill for a time till assistance 

The Clyde steamers are all weatherly boats, and can 
bear up against a stiff sou'-wester in the firth nobly ; and, 
indeed, they would require to be able to do so, as the 
choppy sea raised in such gales, especially with an ebb- 
tide, is like that of the "channel," short and angry, and 
pitches the boat al:)out in a wonderful manner. A 
graphic picture of the stormy nature of the outlying 
part of the firth is given in Sketches of Highland 
Character. A passenger goes on board the Arab lying 
at Greenock, ready to start for the West Highlands, and 
overhears the following colloquy: — 

" 'Yell think it'll pc a plowy nicht?' said a hairy -faced 
fellow, who had a plaid rolled tight round his neck, as 
if he had serious thoughts of doing himself a grievous 

"'Ay will it,' answered a short squat man in moleskins, 
all covered over with coal-dust. ' Ye see the clouds, hoo 
they chase ane anither; that's a gran' sign o' wind. We'll 
hae a dance on the Moil the nicht, or I'm mista'cn. There 
is plenty o' that afore us, or the winter is owcr.' 

" ' No toot o' that; but ye're accustomed to it, and 'ill no 
mind it.' 

" ' We wadna need, Dougald, for mony's the awfu' nicht 
we hae o' it on the Mull of Cantyre.' 

" ' It'll pe sometimes washing ower the f esliel ? ' 

" ' Washing ower the veshel! ay, man, sometimes wash- 


ing ower the funnel, and near puttin' out the fire on us, 
and wad do sae if the smols:e dinna keep it frae coming 

The wrecks, however, don't count more than two or 
three altogether. The Mars, an old Largs steamer, went 
ashore in a gale after her engine broke down; and the 
Lady Gertrude took the rocks at Toward Point, due to a 
like cause, her ribs remaining for long, showing at low- 
water gaunt and grim; the Eclipse managed to run her- 

Rough Weather on the Clyde. 

self ashore on the Gantocks reef, off Dunoon. Collisions 
are also of rare occurrence, although occasionally at 
times such an accident occurs when two boats are try- 
ing to take a pier in a hurry. And as a good many 
accidents have nearly happened in like situations, due 
not only to the rivalry of the steamboat captains, but to 
the desire for speed and rapid transit on the part of the 
passengers, steps have been taken to erect proper signal- 
ling arrangements, somewhat after the railway system, 
under the charge of the piermaster, whose duty will be to 


signal which steamer has the right to approach the pier. 
This racing between rival boats has for long been indulged 
in, when opportunity offered; but as the danger from 
explosion may now be regarded as eliminated, due to im- 
proved materials and construction of boilers, and also 
to Board of Trade loaded safety-valves, the risks are 
very slight to the passengers. The boats being skilfully 
handled keep quite clear, unless when approaching a 
quay, when by coming too near each other they may 
rub some of their paint off, or get the side-planks of a 
paddle-box crushed in. 

During an early competition for passengers on the 
river, and consequent low fares, a story is told of a 
fishwoman who intended travelling to Greenock by the 
Album (which was a kind of luggage boat carrying pas- 
sengers), shortlyafter the Earl Gray wa^s blown up in 1835. 
Tlie would-be passenger asked the captain if it was true 
that he carried passengers for sixpence. He said, " Yes." 
"But," she replied, "is there nae fear o' bcin' blawn up?" 
"Oh, no," said the captain; "we canna afoard to blaw ye 
up for sixpence." 

Many of the Clyde river-steamers have wandered far 
froui their early home, and found final resting-places on 
foreiirn shores and beneath the ocean waves. From the 
very earliest Clyde-built boats went off to England and 
France, to ply on the rivers there; this was only what 
might have been expected, from the fact of the Clyde 
being the birthplace of steamboat navigation. At cer- 
tain times they departed, like some of the finny tribe, in 
slioals; thus about 1856 a number of our finest river 
steamers were sold for service on the Australian rivers, 


some of them coming to grief on the way. Again, during 
the American Civil War, blockade-runners were much 
in request amongst the smart steamers of the Clyde. 
Curiously enough an old Clyde steamer, after acting as 
a blockade-runner, has now managed to get to the great 
lakes of North America, plying between Toronto and 
Niagara, on Lake Ontario. 

Unfortunately the splendid river service of steamers is 
accompanied by much troublesome smoke and falling soot. 
Possibly the "haystack" boiler commonly used accounts 
for this, as the heated gases from the furnace shoot 
quickly through the various uptakes to the funnel. The 
stoke-holes are also necessarily limited, and we can hardly 
expect the stoker to remain longer below than necessary, 
hence his tendency to shovel in a good (quantity of coal 
at a time and then ascend to the deck for a smoke him- 
self. In the old days it was considered the proper thing to 
have a long pennant of black smoke streaming from the 
high and narrow funnel. Possibly as the early steamers 
were called by some the " reek boats," the association of 
smoke and the power within were closely identitied. 


As in making the Clyde a navigable river there were 
many eminent names, connected with the works, brought 
forward from time to time, so in the special and leading 
industries on its banks, both in ship-building and engineer- 
ing, there are many names which have become household 
words, and will be honoured in the future as in the past. 

Henry Bell, whose monument stands beside the old 
fort of Dunglass, overlooking the river which his enter- 


prize has rendered famous amongst the rivers of the 
world as the cradle of European steam navigation, started 
his Comet in 1812. Bell was a clever, enterprising man, 
and appears early to have turned his attention to steam- 
ship propulsion, as in 1800 he tried some experiments 
in this direction, and in the same year laid his plans 
before the Admiralty, hut without a successful issue. 
Lord Nelson, however, thought differently, and with a 
deeper insight into the future than his colleagues, said: 
" My Lords and gentlemen, if you do not adopt Mr. Bell's 
scheme other nations will, and in the end vex every vein 
of this empire. It will succeed, and you should encourage 
Mr. Bell." The practical success was indeed very soon 
shown in America, where Fulton, with a native-built boat 
and a Boultonfc Watt engine, started the Claremont on the 
Hudson, and it was not till about five years later that Bell 
managed to get his long-cherished scheme accomplished. 
The Comet, begun in 1811, and launched in 1812, has 
several well-known names associated with her, as she 
was built by John Wood, of Port-Glasgow, "the father 
of all that is best in the style of our ships, and truest in 
the practical application of science in the ship-building 
trade of Great Britain." ^ David Napier, afterwards so 
celebrated in connection with the development of the 
steamship industry of the Clyde, made the boiler. Bell's 
Comet, after undergoing various changes, was wrecked 
off Craignish, on the west coast, in October, 1820, and 
the engine was afterwards recovered and finally placed in 
the Museum at South Kensington, London. Bell was on 

^ Mr. Robert Duncan's Presidential address, Inst. Engineers and .Shii>-builders 
in Scotland, session 1872-73. 


board the Comet at the time of the disaster, as he had 
gone especially with the view of getting subscribers for a 
bigger and more powerful boat. This was now gone into 
vigorously, the West Highland lairds coming forward 
readily, and in 1821 Comet No. 2 appeared, which, after 
plying for some time to Inverness, was sunk by collision 
with the steamer Ayr, off Gourock, on 20th October, 
1825; upwards of seventy people were lost in this 
disaster. The vessel was afterwards raised and many 
valuable articles recovered. 

Henry Bell was born at Torphichen Mill, near Linlith- 
gow, on the 7th of April, 17G7; he died at Helensburgh 
on the 14th November, 1830, and was buried in the 
churchyard of Row, in the neighbourhood. 

That the early attempt by Bell had all the elements of 
after success in it, appears from the following statement 
drawn up by well-known early Clyde engineers: 

" Glasgow, 2nd April, 1825. 

" We, the undersigned engineers in Glasgow, having been em- 
ployed for some time past in making machines for steam vessels on 
the Clyde, certify that the principles of the machinery and paddles 
used by Henry Bell in his steamboat the Comet in 1812, have under- 
gone little or no alteration, notwithstanding several attempts of in- 
genious persons to improve them. 

Signed by Hugh and Eobert Baird, John Neilson, David and 
Robert Napier, David M' Arthur, Claud Gird wood & Coy., Murdoch 
& Cross, William M'Andrew, William Watson." ^ 

Professor Rankine also remarks, in speaking of this 
introduction of steam power: " Since that period the 
advancement of steam navigation has consisted not so 

^ Life of Henry Bell, by Edward Morris. 


much in the development of new principles, as in the 
improvement of workmanship, arrangement, and economy 
of fuel, and the progressive increase of the size, power, 
and speed of steamships, and the extent of their voyages." 

The whole subject of the introduction and develop- 
ment of steam propulsion is one of great general interest, 
as illustrating the application of mechanical skill and 
inventive genius in overcoming difficulties ; yet, in any 
general account of the progress from the early periods 
until now (as the field is so wide and the interval of 
time great since the first feeble attempts were made on 
inland rivers to use the power of steam), we lose tlie 
more salient points in the development because of the 
wide-spreading results with which we are at the present 
day so familiar. For the last half -century we have been 
living in an age of steam. In 1765, James Watt, while 
repairing a model of a Newcomen engine belonging to the 
natural philosophy class of the University of Glasgow, 
made his discovery of the separate condenser. This 
afterwards, applied practically with many other beautiful 
mechanical inventions, gave vigour to a machine which 
formerly, from its elementary form and rude construction, 
had been limited to the pumping of water. Although 
Watt made his discovery in 1765, it was not till the 
year 1784 that we find him writing: "Our rotative 
engines, which we have now rendered very complete, are 
certainly very applicable to the driving of cotton mills, 
in every case where the conveniency of placing the mill 
in a town, or ready-built manufactory, will compensate 
for the expense of coals and of our premiums." 

As yet the steam-engine was on its trial, and encoun- 



tered great opposition ere it won its way by sheer force 
of applicability to the many operations gradually opening 
up. In reference to the great invention of James Watt, 
the late Professor Macquorn Rankine says: "Watt set 
to work scientifically from the lirst. He studied the 
laws of pressure of 
elastic fluids, and 
of the evaporating 
action of heat, so 
far as they were 
known in his time ; 
he ascertained as 
accurately as he 
could, with the 
means of experi- 
menting at his dis- 
posal, the expendi- 
ture of fuel in eva- 
porating a given 
quantity of water, 
and the relations 
between the temperature, pressure, and volume of steam. 
Then, reasoning from the data which he had thus ob- 
tained, he framed a body of principles expressing the 
conditions of the efficient and economic working of the 
steam engine, which are embodied in an invention de- 
scribed by himself in the following words, in the speci- 
fication of his patent of 1769: " ' My method of lessoning 
the consumption of steam, and consequently fuel, in fire 
engines, consists of the following principles: 

" ' Firstly, that vessel in which the powers of steam are 

James Watt.— From a print )jy lloU, after 
Sir W. Beechy. 


to be employed to work the engine, which is called the 
cylinder in common lire-engines, and which I call the 
steam- vessel, must, durin*!" the whole time the eno;ine is 
at work, be kept as hot as the steam that enters it; 
first, by inclosing it in a case of wood or any other mate- 
rials that transmit heat slowly ; secondly, by surrounding 
it with steam or other heated bodies; and thirdly, by 
suffering neither water or any other substance colder 
than the steam to enter or touch it during that time. 

" ' Secondly, in engines that are to be worked wholly 
or partially by condensation of steam, the steam is to be 
condensed in vessels distinct from the steam-vessels or 
cylinders, although occasionally communicating with 
them. These vessels I call condensers; and whilst the 
engines are working, these condensers ought at least to 
be kept as cold as the air in the neighljourhood of the 
engines by application of water or other cold bodies. 

" ' Thirdly, whatever air or other elastic vapour is not 
condensed by the cold of the condenser, and may impede 
the working of the engine, is to be drawn out of the 
steam-vessels or condensers by means of pumps, wrought 
by the engines themselves or otherwise. 

" ' Fourthly, I intend, in many cases, to employ the 
expansive force of steam to press on the pistons, or 
whatever may be used instead of them, in the same 
manner in which the pressure of the atmosphere is now 
employed in common fire-engines. In cases where cold 
water cannot be had in plenty the engines may be wrought 
by this force of steam only, by discharging the steam 
into the air after it has done its office. 

" ' Lastly, instead of using water to render the pistons 


and other parts of the engines air and steam tight, I 
employ oils, wax, resinous bodies, fat of animals, quick- 
silver, and other metals in their fluid state.' " 

The earlier forms of the Watt engine had wooden 
" walking-beams." An example of such an engine may 
be seen near the Museum in the KelviuOTOve Park of 
Glasgow, where it was re-erected some years ago. Iron 
was afterwards substituted for the wooden beam, and so 
designed as to give a maximum of strength, to resist the 
heavy strains coming upon it, with a minimum of weight. 
The beam-engine still holds its place as a reliable engine 
for mill work, and the Americans have retained it for 
their steamers at least on the eastern waters and coasts. 
Watt's prolific brain thought out from time to time many 
important inventions which proved useful in the develop- 
ment of the steam-enirine. 

In 1812 we start with the Comet, and by 1814 we have 
in all seven steamers which had been built up to that 
year, including the Industry, which, as the seventh 
steamer built on the Clyde, is, as already stated, still in 
existence at the age of seventy-four, lying rotting away 
in Bowling Harbour (see cut on p. 229). In 1820 we 
find the number of steamers as given in the Steam- 
boat Compamion for that year plying on the Clyde to 
be twenty -four, nine of which (including the first Comet) 
extended their voyages to Fort- William, Campbeltown, 
Belfast, and Liverpool. In 1828 the number, according 
to Dr. Cleland, extended to fifty-nine, twenty-five of 
which were sea-going boats ; Liverpool and Dublin being, 
however, as yet the farthest ports ventured to. In 1836, 
another step of eight years, we find recorded in Fowler's 


Commercial Directory for Renfrewshire seventy-eight 
steamers as calling at Greenock, of which thirty-one were 
for Liverpool, Dublin, Belfast, and generally ports beyond 
the end of the firth. The voyages of the Sirius and 
Great Weste^m to New York in 1838 and the establish- 
ment of the Cunard Co. in 1840 brings us to the period 
of ocean-going steamers, and the interest in the river 
and coasting boats built or plying on the Clyde ceases to 
have a paramount interest. 

The engine of the Comef^ was of a somewhat pecu- 
liar form, called a bell-crank arrangement, and, like 
a number of the earlier engines, was connected to the 
paddle-wheels by spur gearing. Afterwards the side- 
lever engine was commonly employed in sea-going vessels, 
and the steeple and oscillating engine on river boats. 
The custom in this country at least was to work the 
steam at low pressure with the aid of the condenser. In 
some cases, however, high-pressure steam was used; but 
its progress was checked by the disastrous explosions 
which occurred, notably in the case of the Telegra2^h at 
Helensburgh and the Cricket on the Thames. Broadly 
speaking we had at first a period of wooden boats, blufi- 
bowcd and broad in proportion to length, driven more or 
less by side-lever engines, the propellers being paddle- 
wheels with fixed floats. A single long narrow funnel 
rose abaft the paddle-box, and the vessels were heavily 
sparred and rigged. Copper boilers in many cases were 
used, and steam pressures of from 5 to 10 lbs. were com- 
mon. The jet condenser was in use, and the steam, when 

1 A model of tlie Comet, also likenesses of Mr. Robertson, together with paint- 
ings and models of early steamboats, may be seen in the Kelvingrove Museum. 


unused, was blown from a steam-pipe led up alongside 
the funnel with a roaring noise. By a simple arrange- 
ment it can now quietly escape into the water. The 
regulating of the escape in the old boats was managed 
through a safety-valve loaded with a series of disc- 
shaped weights, which could be adjusted on the spindle 
of the safety-valve, placed upon the steam-chest, imme- 
diately adjoining the funnel, and manipulated from the 
deck by a stoker or attendant engineer. 

The use of iron for shipbuilding did not become general 
till about thirty-five years after the Comet was launched. 
Some early attempts are recorded to have been made 
with canal boats both in England and Scotland. John 
Wilkinson, of Lancaster, about the year 1750 made an 
iron boat, and in 1787 another was tried on one of tlie 
Staffordshire canals. In 1818 an iron boat named the 
Vulcan (designed by Sir John Robinson, of Edinburgh, 
in 1816) was built at Faskine, on the Monkland Canal, 
by Thomas Wilson. This boat plied for a number of 
years on the Forth and Clyde Canal. Wood has now 
almost disappeared as a building material for our vessels ; 
but on the Continent fully one-half of the vessels are still 
built of that material. 

The ofreat drawback to the use of steam of a hi oh 
pressure in these times was the weakness of the boiler. 
Watt from the first clearly saw the advantages in economy 
which would arise from its use, but was unable, from the 
imperfect mechanical appliances of his time, to obtain the 
necessary resisting strength in the material employed.^ 

' Nominal horse-power conveys at the present time little idea of the efficiency 
of the machinoiy, but in the days of Watt it was such a measure, the pressures 


In a few years after Bell's Comet a goodly number of 
steamers were plying on the Clyde, built and engined by 
different constructors; some of these men ultimately rose 
to much distinction. The name of Jas. Cook early appears 
as the engineer for several of the early boats; thus the 
next steamer after the launch of the first Comet was the 
Elizdheth, started on 9th of March, 1813. It was engined 
by James Cook of Tradeston, as were a number of others 
later on. David Napier is specially connected with the 
sea-going vessels, as in 1818 the Roh Roy was engined 
by him with a single side-lever engine, a type much 
developed in later years. This vessel was built by 
William Denny of Dumbarton, and thus we find a well- 
known name on the Clyde appearing amongst the early 
builders of our sea-going vessels. This same builder's 
name, however, appears as early as 1814, when he built 
the river boats Trusty and Marjery. The Roh Roy plied 
to Belfast, and was afterwards on the Dover and Calais 
route. In 1817 Mr. Napier, like Mr. Seath at a later 
date, tried the running of a steamer above the bridges. 
The name of Robert Napier, however, is linked to 
others who took a leading part in the development of 
ocean-going steamers. We find the history of events 
bringing us in contact with great commercial undertak- 
ings, and one more especially where the Clyde and the 
Mersey in some measure joined hands. In 1824 the firm 

at that time being only about 7 lbs. on tlio square inch, with a piston speed of 
240 feet per minute. With the higher pressures now used and greater piston 
speeds, the indicated horse-power is about five times the nominal. Nominal 
horse-power, as a commercial term, may be calculated by squaring the diameter 
of piston in inches and dividing the result by 12 for a non-condensing engine, 
and by 24 for a condensing engine. 



of Messrs. G. & J. Burns was started, their vessels ply- 
ing to the North of Ireland. In 1828 they built their 
first steamer for the Liverpool traffic. Mr. Napier became 
early associated , _ 

Robert Napier. — From a photograph, 
kindly supplied by Henry M. Napier, Esq 

with these move- 
ments, and thus we 
find that in 1840, 
when the Cunard 
Co. was established, 
and in the forma- 
tion of which the 
Messrs. Burns and 
Mr. Napier took a 
leading part, his en- 
gines were placed in 
the first steamer of 
the company, and 
the steamers them- 
selves were all built on the Clyde by such well-known 
firms as those of Duncan, Wood, and Steele. 

In connection with this it is interesting to notice that 
the four vessels with which the Cunard Coy. started 
in the Liverpool and American service in 1840, viz. 
the Britannia, Acadia, Caledonia, and Columbia, all 
wooden paddle boats of about 1100 tons burthen each, 
have been year by year added to until the total number of 
boats used since that time amounts to fifty-nine. After 
passing through the period of iron, with paddle or screw, 
they are now built of steel, with screw-propellers, such 
ships as the Umbria and Etruria being of about 8000 
tons burthen. The large paddle ships culminated in the 


Scotia, also built for the Cunard Co. by R. Napier & 
Sons in 1861. The dimensions of this boat were: Length, 
366 feet; breadth, 47 feet 6 inches; tonnage, 4050. She 
had two side-lever engines of a nominal horse-power of 
1000. The diameter of the cylinder was 100 inches; 
stroke, 12 feet. The paddle-wheels were 40 feet dia- 
meter, and the size of the floats 11 feet 6 inches by 2 
feet. Time of passage to New York, 9 days. This, the 
last paddle steamer of the Cunard Co., was a very dif- 
ferent vessel from their first steamer the Britannia, no 
doubt considered a wonderful boat in her day. The 
side-lever type of engine is illustrated by the figure on 
p. 211, which shows the engine of the Industry, and also 
the spur-wheel connection used in the older boats. 

The first iron steam-vessel was the Aaron Maiihy, made 
at "Horsely" in 1821, and put together at London. 
This vessel plied on the Seine. The first iron steamer 
Imilt on the Clyde was the Aglaia in 1827. This vessel 
plied on Loch Eck. The first iron steamer to ply on 
the Clyde was the Fairy Queen, built in Glasgow at the 
Old Basin, about a mile and a half from the river, to 
which slie was carried, and launched in 1881. This 
vessel plied to Largs about 1836. The Vanguard was 
the first iron vessel built by R Napier at Go van (1843). 
She plied for many years on the Glasgow and Dublin 

The use of wood, however, continued for many years, 
all the early Atlantic steamers being built of this mate- 
rial; and it was not till 1856, when the Persia was added 
to the celebrated Cunard fleet, that that company intro- 
duced iron for the hulls of their vessels. The firm of 



Tod & M'Gregor is associated with the first iron sea- 
going steamer, the Royal Sovereign, built in 1839. She 
was engined by this firm and plied to Liverpool. The 

firm of T. Wingate & Co. had the special honour^ of 
having made the engines of the first steamer which 
crossed the Atlantic from Britain, the Sirius, built in 
1837 by Menzies & Sons, of Leith. The engines were of 


tlio side-lovor class, and had the special feature of being 
fitted with Hall's Surface Condenser. The name of 
Caird & Co., of Greenock, is specially associated with 
the start of the deep-sea boats belonging to the firm of 
Messrs. G. & J. Burns, as in 1828 they engined the Glas- 
gow for that company. The engines were side-levers, 
the steam pressure being 5 lbs. per square inch. The 
Liverpool, a bigger ship than the Glasgow, was added 
to the same company's fleet in 1830, and was built by 
Steele & Co. of Greenock. The Afrato for the West India 
Royal Mail Steam-Packet Co. was built and engined by 
Caird & Co., at Greenock, in 1854. Dimensions: 315 
feet long by 42 feet broad, and 26 feet 6 inches deep; 
gross tonnage, 3466; diameter of cylinder, 96 inches; 
stroke, 9 feet; nominal horse-power, 800. The paddle- 
wheels had feathering floats. The average ocean speed 
was 13*3 knots, with an average daily coal consumpt of 
100 tons. The Atrato was an iron vessel. 

Experiments were being made from time to time with 
the screw-propeller, early attempts being made with a 
screw or helix of several turns. Stevens, at New York, 
tried a small vessel on the Hudson in 1802. The engine 
and i:)ropeller can still be seen at the Stevens' Institute, 
Hoboken. The engine is placed vertically, and geared 
by a spur-wheel to the propeller shaft. Smith and 
Woodcroft in this country, and Ericsson in America, 
also tried various arrangements; and in 1840 the late 
Captain Kincaid of Greenock tried a four-bladed pro- 
peller in a steam-boat on the Forth and Clyde Canal. 
But previously to that, and as early as 1828, Captain 
Kincaid made a wooden four-bladed propeller, and ex- 


pcrimented with it on a long-boat in mid-ocean. The 
actual propeller then used is now in the Kelvingrove 
Museum. The first British steamer fitted with a screw- 
propeller was the Archimedes, 237 tons, and built on 
the Thames in 1839. This vessel appears to have come 
up to Glasgow on a trip. The first screw-ship in H.M. 
navy was the Diuarf, an iron vessel, built in 1843. 

The Great Britain, huWi in 1843, was the largest vessel 
of that day. It may be interesting to state some parti- 
culars of this ship as noted at the time,^ as she was a 
departure in several ways from what had gone before, 
both in size and method of propulsion. In the journal 
referred to we find amongst other details that " the 
Great Britain is no doubt an object of great interest; 
she differs from every other steamer which has ever 
crossed the Atlantic; she is the largest — she is built of 
iron — and she is propelled by the screw instead of pad- 
dles. She is thus destined to test three principles: — 
The first as respects size. The advantage of iron over 
wood as a material for marine architecture may already 
be considered as established; but the trial of the Screw 
V. Paddle is yet pending for want of sufficient evidence." 
The Great Britain still, or until recently, running, after 
nearly half a century's service, was designed by Brunei, 
and built at Bristol. She was launched after some diffi- 
culty, on account of her unprecedented size, in 1843. 
From an advertisement notifying her sale in 1881, the 
dimensions are given as — length, 274'2 feet, or 322 feet 
over all; breadth, 48'2 feet; depth, 31*5 feet; 3270 gross 
tonnage. Engines by J. Penn & Sons, Greenwich; and 

1 See The Practical Mechanic and Enfjineer's Maijazine ior 1843. 


boilers by Fawcett, Preston & Co., Liverpool. Strongly 
built of Low Moor iron of the finest quality. This 
vessel plied with much satisfaction in the Australian 
, trade. The propeller was 16 feet diameter; the main 
shaft was hollow, measuring 28 inches diameter out- 
side and 10 inches inside: this part being bored out and 
a stream of water sent through it to keep the bearings 
cool. The engines were geared to the shaft. The Great 
Britain, like the Great Eastern, made her first trips 
across to New York, the passage being fifteen days. In 
one of her outward trips, by a mistake as to the lights, 
she got ashore in Dundrum Bay on the Irish coast, and 
lay there for a considerable time. This event, occurring 
to this wonderful ship of the time, was reckoned suffi- 
ciently notable to be illustrated in one of the views of a 
panorama which came to Glasgow after the mishap; the 
describer carefully pointing out to the spectators the 
position of the " propeller," which could V)e easily seen, 
as the vessel was shown at low-water, pretty much high 
and (h-y. 

Shortly after this, in 1845, the first iron screw-steamer, 
the Fire Queen, was built at Glasgow; and in 1850, the 
City of Glasgoiu, of 1609 tons, connnenced to ply between 
Glasgow and New York. This vessel was built by Tod & 
M'Gregor, and was an iron screw-steamer of 1600 tons, 
measuring 227 feet long by 32 feet 7 inches broad, and 
24 feet 7 inches deep. She had two geared beam-engines 
of 380 horse-power; the propeller was 14 feet diameter. 

The City of Glasgoiu left Glasgow on the 16th of April, 
1850, and arrived in New York on the 3d of May, after 
a passage of 16 days 21 hours. She encountered head 


winds ; her greatest day's run was 241 knots. The return 
voyage was made in 14 days G hours; greatest day's run, 
263 knots. 

Attempts were made from time to time to increase the 
effective action of the paddle-wheel, the feathering float 
being the most important improvement. (See cut p. 216.) 

The Glasgoiu, which followed her, was the first steamer 
belonging to the Inman Company, so long well-known on 
the Atlantic route for its swift and commodious steamers. 
This company, under the new designation of the Inman 
and International Company, are at present having two 
very large Atlantic liners built and engined on the Clyde 
by Messrs. J. & G. Thomson, Clydebank; twin-screws of 
about 10,000 tons, with corresponding power and equip- 

The Glasgow left Glasgow for New York on 16th Sep- 
tember, 1857, and arrived on the 30th of the same month; 
the greatest day's run was 254 knots. She left New 
York on the 11th and arrived in the Clyde on the 28th 
October; greatest day's run, 262 knots. 

The dimensions of the City of New York now launched 
are: length on water-line, 525 feet; breadth, 63 j feet; 
depth, moulded, 42 feet; tonnage, 10,500. This vessel is 
fitted with twin-screws and triple expansion engines. 

The Collins line, belonging to the United States, started 
in 1850, and continued to run for about ten years; their 
vessels were large paddle-wheel steamers. 

It is just about thirty years since the iron vessel and 
screw-propeller may be said to have taken a prominent 
place in the history of naval architecture. About the 
time of the introduction of the screw-propeller for ocean- 



going vessels it was thouglit by some that a modified 
application might prove commercially successful; and 
this gave rise to auxiliary screw-propellers, the idea 
being to aid the force of the wind upon the sails by 
means of steam-power applied to a screw-propeller. To 

Part of raddle-wheel, showing arrangement for Featliering Floats. 

A, Paddle-wheel Centre-boss; bb, Arms; C, Piim; D, Float; E, Arm for Float. 
V, Driving-rod; II U, Stays; II, Brackets; K.'Fixed Eccentric. 

test the correctness of this, a vessel was built at Liver- 
pool in 1846, called the Sarah Sands, of 1100 tons, and 
made several voyages between that port and New York, 
her passages occupying about seventeen days. This vessel 
was nearly destroyed by fire in the Indian Ocean while 
conveying troops during the Indian mutiny. For the 
following incidents the author is indebted to one of the 
passengers: — The vessel sailed from Portsmouth on 15th 


August, 1857, having on board 350 officers and men of 
the 54th Regiment; on the 11th November tire broke out, 
and raged so furiously that it was only through the mili- 
tary discipline that it was got under; to add to the danger, 
during the conflagration some powder exploded in the 
after-part of the ship. The women and children were 
placed in boats and rafts which lay alongside. The iron 
got white-hot, and the masts went overboard, but finally 
the fire was extinguished and some sail got up. The 
boats lying around were then taken in. They had been 
followed by shoals of sharks, which had been attracted 
by the light and tlie prospect of making the castaways 
their prey. The chronometer was lost, and the watches 
of the officers were used instead. A course was set for the 
nearest land, the Mauritius, 1000 miles distant, and the 
weather fortunately remaining fine, the battered craft and 
miserable-looking ship's company arrived safely on the 
23d November. 

Another incident of the sea may be mentioned in con- 
nection with the TJtree Bells, built at Dumbarton by 
Messrs. Wm. Denny Brothers in 1851. She was the 
largest iron sailing ship afloat at the time, and during 
one of her voyages came upon the San Francisco, a 
United States transport, which had a number of troops 
on board. As this vessel was in a sinking condition the 
captain of the Three Bells determined to stand by them 
till morning, so that help might be given, which incident 
has been described by the poet Whittier in the following 

" Beneath the low-hung night cloud 
That raked her splintering mast 


The good shij) settled slowly, 
The cruel leak gained fast. 

"A voice came down the wild wiud, 
' Ho ! Shi]! ahoy ! ' its cry : 
Our stout Three Bells of Glasgow 
Shalllay till daylight by!' 

" All uiglit across the waters 

Tiie tossing lights shone clear; 
All night from reeling tatt'rail 
The Tlcree Bells sent her cheer. 

" And when the dreary watches 
Of storm and darkness jjassed, 
Just as the wreck lurched under, 
All souls were saved at last." 

Tlie firm of Randolph & Elder is inseparably associated 
Avitli the successful introduction of the compound engine, 
as that of R. Napier & Sons is now witli the triple-expan- 
sion system. In a memoir of John Elder, by the late 
Professor Macquorn Rankine,^ we find that Elder mas- 
tered the sul)ject of reduction of friction by neutralizing 
the forces which drive the shaft. In 1853 they patented 
vertical direct-acting and geared compound engines for 
driving a screw-propeller; in 1856, two opposite cranks; 
in 1858, three cranks. The first vessel fitted with a com- 
pound engine by Randolph, Elder, & Co. was the Brandon 
in 1854, the consumpt of coal obtained being 3| lbs. per 
indicated horse-power per hour; formerly this consumpt 
had been as high as 4 to 4 i lbs. 

After this the Pacific Steam Navigation Company got 

^ Traits. Inst. Emjiiuers and Ski2jbidlders in Scotland, vol. xv 


two paddle steamers built — the Inca and Valparaiso. 
These were fitted with Randolph & Elder's compound 
engines in 1856, the consumpt being from 2i to 3 lbs., 
" a degree of economy never before realized in marine 
engines; and this was not only obtained on the trial 
trips, but maintained during many years' subsequent ser- 
vice at sea. It amounted to a saving of from 30 to 40 
per cent of the coal previously burned by steamers of the 
same class." This great reduction of fuel now made long 
ocean passages commercially practicable. 

In the Memorials of James Watt, published in 1856, it 
is stated that " at that time by far the largest proportion 
of steam-vessels launched in the Clyde are of iron," 
and "of the whole steam -vessels constructed on the 
Clyde, or in progress at the various building- yards in 
1852, amounting in all to 73, only four were of wood; 
while the proportion of screws to paddle-wheels was as 
43 to 30." The Times, treating of shipbuilding in 1883, 
says : " One fact, emphasized by the returns for the year 
under review, is, that wood has practically, if not abso- 
lutely, gone out of existence as a shipbuilding material. 
Iron is now the general material of which vessels are 
constructed, though steel is year by year coming to the 
front. This is particularly shown in the returns from 
the Clyde. Very few years have elapsed since the first 
steel ship was launched on the Clyde. Four years ago 
the entire output of steel vessels was 18,000 tons. In 
1882 the quantity had been increased to fully 100,000, 
and in 1883 it rose to 120,000 tons, or nearly one-third 
of the whole tonnage launched, the proximity of steel- 
plate works, and the distance of the source of part of the 


supply of iron plates undoubtedly contributing to that 
change. In the north-east ports the number of steel vessels 
built is much fewer. On the Tyne 12 vessels have been 
built of steel, and on the Wear 4. But in the Scotch and 
Irish ports this material is being increasingly used, and 
in addition to the Clyde, Grangemouth and Belfast have 
used it largely. Another fact prominently brought out 
is that sailing are speedily giving way to steam-vessels. 
Of the 326 vessels launched on the Clyde during the 
year, 240 are steam and only 86 sailing. On the Tyne 
not one sailing vessel has been built, and on the Wear 
one only. Taken all round, the size of the vessels has 
increased. The Clyde still holds its own for vessels of 
the largest class; but taking an average between large 
and small, the Tyne and Wear show larger figures 
than the Clyde. Roughly stated, the average is as fol- 
lows:— Clyde-built vessels, 1210; Tyne, 1400; Wear, 

The most of our great ocean liners of the present day 
are built of steel. This material, both in ship plates, 
angles, &c., and in lioiler plates, has within the last few 
years largely replaced the use of wrought iron, — partly 
due to its greater strength, whereby less material is re- 
quired; a very great advantage, when we consider the 
great weight of the vessels and boilers of the present 
day. The use of steel for shipbuilding is not, how- 
ever, altogether new, as, about twenty-five years ago, 
some river steamers were built on the Clyde of that 

Mr. Robert Duncan, speaking on the classification of 
shipping, gives the following statistics of the comparative 


number of vessels built at ports in Great Britain in 


Built at London, 45 vessels of 3,696 tons. 

„ Liverpool, 16 „ 18,268 „ 

„ TheTyne, 50 „ 49,614 „ 

„ The Wear, 28 „ 46,187 „ 

„ The Tees, 18 „ 33,797 „ 

„ The Clyde, 151 „ 135,159 „ 

The consumpt of coal in all the earlier sea-going 
steamers was excessive, consequently the available space 
for merchandise was very limited, giving rise to the belief 
expressed at the time of the first ocean passages, that it 
would be impossible to carry on a commercially successful 
traffic with steam. In reference to this. Sir William 
Pcarce, Bart., in a lecture delivered in 1881,^ points out 
that the Persia burned 6 '3 tons of coal for every ton 
of cargo she carried; whilst the Gallia, built in 1879, 
and fitted with screw-propeller and compound engines, 
l)urned only about half a ton of coal for every ton of 
cargo, and, besides, carried this cargo about two and 
a half knots faster. Still further, the Arizona, also 
built in 1879, burns only 5 cwts. of coal for every ton 
of cargo carried. The daily coal consumpt in the Persia 
was 150 tons per day, the indicated power 3600, or 37 
lbs. of coal per indicated horse-power. In the Gallia the 
daily consumpt was 97 tons, the indicated power 5000, 
or 1'8 lbs. per indicated horse-power per hour. In the 
Arizona the daily consumpt was about 110 tons or 
1"75 lbs. per I.H.P. The speeds of the Persia, Gallia, 

^ See lecture delivered during Naval and Marine Engineering Exhibition at 
Glasgow, 1880-81. 


and Arizona were about 13 knots, 15| knots, and 16 1 

In connection with the subject of the size of our 
future sea-going steam-vessels, Mr. William Denny says 
(Watt Lecture, 1882): "Steamers were increasing in size, 
and the least costly increase for weight-carrying, and, up 
to certain points, for speed, was in beam, provided suffi- 
cient draughts could be obtained. Steamers would follow 
their natural course of development, and it would be for 
dock proprietors, river trustees, and harbour boards to 
see that their docks, rivers, and harbours were of such 
depth as to permit them to favour steamers so developed. 
He believed it was found daily more difficult to build the 
larger types of Atlantic steamers rigid enough for the 
service, even with the great percentage of their displace- 
ment devoted to structural weight. A reaction would 
set in against their extreme proportions and absolute 
length. When that happened, beam would be increased; 
as a consequence draught increased, and distinct prefer- 
ences accorded to ports having great draught of water. 
Besides, great draught of water, and comparative short- 
ness of a steamer, were more favourable to the efficiency 
of the screw, by keeping it well immersed, than great 
length with shallow draught, which told very much 
against the screw's efficiency." Mr. Denny further states 
that he he is " convinced that the steamer which was to 
do the Atlantic work would be a vessel of what might be 
called at the present time moderate length. That was a 
vessel which would not only be shorter than the City of 
Rome, but shorter than the Servia, and shorter than the 
Alaska, which, of the three steamers, as far as he could 


learn, came nearest the type he had in view. He believed 
the steamer to do this work would be under 500 feet in 
length between perpendiculars. What her other dimen- 
sions should be would have to be fixed by experiment 
and a very careful series of calculations." 

The annexed diagram of the comparative sizes of some 
leading steam vessels was originally used to illustrate 
a lecture delivered by the author during the Naval Exhi- 
bition, held in Glasgow in 1880-81, under the auspices 
of the city authorities. 

The compound engine, as introduced on the Clyde by 
Randolph, Elder & Co., in the first mercantile steamer 
fitted with this form of engine, the Brandon, in 1854, 
reduced the consumpt of fuel to a large extent. Later 
on, due to further improvements, such as surface con- 
densation, the use of three cylinders instead of two, 
whereby the efibrts on the shaft were more completely 
equalized, the consumpt was further reduced, until, in the 
latest compound engines, less than 2 lbs. of coal were re- 
quired. Recently the triple-expansion engine has been 
introduced, whereby a further saving in coal is obtained. 
In this form of engine the expansive action of the steam 
is carried out through three cylinders consecutively — that 
is, it is admitted from the boiler into the first and smallest 
cylinder, and, after driving the piston of that cylinder be- 
fore it for a part of the stroke, the admission of the steam 
is cut oft', the rest of the stroke being accomplished by the 
expansion of the steam already admitted. Thereafter 
this steam passes into the next or intermediate cylinder, 
and presses forward the piston in that cylinder, and 
finally, as its expansive power is not yet exhausted, it is 


allowed to enter the third cylinder, pressing forward in 
turn the piston there. The -intensity of the pressure, as 
it enters the second or intermediate cylinder, is much less 
than when entering the first; but as this cylinder is 
made proportionately wider, and has therefore a greater 
area of piston, the total driving power on the piston is 
still obtained about equal to that in the first cylinder. 
The third cylinder is in turn larger than the second 
cylinder. Certain proportions have been adopted as best 
suited to equalize the pressures on the pistons, and from 
thence to the cranks. 

The quadruple-expansion engine, of which a few^ have 
been made, is simply, like the triple-expansion engine, 
a development of the compound — that is to say, in the 
compound the steam was expanded through two cylinders, 
in the triple through three, and in the quadruple through 
four, higher pressures being required in the triple and 
quadruple forms than in the compound, as the range of 
expansion is greater. Here, however, we touch the main 
item in the increased economy of the later forms, and 
which may be shortly referred to. 

Generally speaking, steam when expanding may be 
represented as following what is known as Boyle's law 
of gaseous expansion — that is, that the pressure varies in- 
versely as the volume ; so that if, in the triple-expansion 
engine above referred to, we suppose that the steam is cut 
off from the boiler after driving the piston through half 
of the stroke, or when one-half of the cylinder is full, 
then at the end of the stroke the volume of steam will be 
double of what it was when cut off. The pressure, there- 
fore, will be only one-half of what it was before being cut 



off — that is to say, the volume having doubled, the pressure 
has fallen to one-half. In like manner, when the volume 
has further increased — say to five times — then the pres- 
sure will be reduced to one-fifth. It will now be found 
that the mean pressure is higher when the expansion 


Cross Scctiou of Muiiui; iiuik 

is considerable, in proportion to the steam used. Thus, 
if the steam were not used expansively at all the 
pressure would be uniform throughout the stroke; but 
a whole cylinder full of steam would be used. If cut 
off" at say half-stroke, the mean pressure would now he 
approximately seven-eighths of what it was in the 
first case. But only one-half of the steam is now used. 



It is, therefore, economical to use the expansive force 
of the steam; and to do this with the greatest effect 
a long cylinder or a series of cylinders is necessary. It is 
also necessary that the initial pressure be high, so as to 
take advantage of expansion to the fullest. 


Longitudinal Section of Marine Boiler. 

In the compound system, therefore, an advantage 
is gained; and in the triple and quadruple systems 
a still further improvement arises from the use of steam 
at a higher pressure and expanded more fully, whereby 
less steam can be made to give a better mean result. 
A saving is thus effected, both in coal consumed and 
in boiler space. Pressures have now reached 160 lbs. and 


170 lbs. per square inch, and will, no doubt, go higher 
still. The limit of economical working cannot, however, 
be far off, as with increased pressure difficulties will be 
met from the greater heat of the steam affecting the 
working parts. 

The whole question of economical working, in a word, 
depends upon the amount of effective work which can 
be obtained from the coal consumed. So that, not only 
is the engine subject to further improvement, but also 
the boiler and furnace. Combustion by forced draught, 
&c., are all elements in the question. From the combus- 
tion of 1 lb. of coal about 14,500 thermal units should be 
obtained. Roughly speaking, this energy may be stated 
to be expended as follows: — In the triple-expansion 
engines as now used at sea, we may take 1^- lb. of coal 
consumed per hour as equivalent to one horse-power; 
but as one horse-power represents 33,000 foot-pounds 
of work done per minute, then the total work done by 
the combustion of the 1^ lb. of coal in the hour is 
33,000 X GO = 1,980,000 foot-pounds. But it can be shown 
that from the combustion of one pound of coal 14,500 
thermal units should be obtained, and consequently from 
11 lb. 21,750 thermal units, which, multiplied by 772 
(the mechanical equivalent of heat), gives 16,791,000 
foot-pounds of work done in the hour; if, therefore, we 
compare the work actually done with the work which 
should be done if all the coal energy could be converted 
into useful work by the engine, we have this ratio: 

1,980,000 1 ,.,,, . ,, „ ,, 

ir 7tn non ' ^^ °^^ ^ httle over one-nmth or the energy 




The triple-expansion system of marine engines was first 
tried in the Propontis, built in 1874, by Messrs. J. Elder. 
The diameters of the cylinders were 23, 41, and 62 inches 
respectively; steam pressure 150 lbs. Mr. William Parker^ 
says: "The first engines made for sea-going purposes on 
the triple-expansion principle were those made in 1874, 
from the designs of Mr. A. C. Kirk, now of the firm of 
Messrs. E,. Napier & Sons, for the S.S. Proiwntis. The 
next triple-expansion engines were those of the yacht 
Isa, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, in 1877, steam-power 120 lbs. 
In 1881 the Aberdeen was built and fitted with triple- 
expansion engines by Messrs. R. Napier & Sons, the steam 
pressure being 125 lbs. In the Propontis and Aherdeen 
there were three cranks, in the Isa two cranks only, 
two of the cylinders being arranged tandem-wise. The 
diameters of the Aherdeen' s cylinders are 30, 45, and 70 
inches respectively, with 4 feet 6 inch stroke." Since 
then many sets of such engines have been made, the 
steam pressure rising to 160 and 170 lbs. A few 
quadruple-expansion engines have also been made. 

1 See Trans. Inst. Naval A rchitccts for 1SS7. 

The IiuUistiy in Dowling Ilarbuiir (tlie oldest steamer in the worhl). 



There are many lines of steam vessels now sailing from 
the Clyde to various parts of the world. 

The total number of ships which have carried the flag 
of the old firm of G. & J. Burns, started in 1824, together 
with tliat in the new Cunard Co., started in 1840, reaches 
to 18G vessels, divided as follows: — 

Route. Vessels. 'J'oiinage. 

Glasgow and Belfast and Noitli of Irelaiul, 47 24,548 

Glasgow and Liverpool, 35 20,734 

Glasgow and the Highlands, 15 1,051 

Glasgow and Firth of Cljde, 11 2,085 

Liverpool and America, 5U 1()3,513 

Mediterranean and Havre, 19 25,709 

180 238,300 

The nominal horse-power of these vessels reaches to 55,055. 

The years in which these various routes were started are: 
Glasgow and Belfast, 1824; Glasgow and Liverpool, 1828; 
Glasgow and the Highlands, 1832; Liverpool and America, 
1840; Glasgow and the Firth of Clyde, 1846; Liverpool 
and the Mediterranean, 1853. 

As it is interesting to know something of the origin of 
such widely-spreading and successful undertakings, so is it 
also desirable to have some idea of what the first vessels 
were like with which the various routes were opened. 
The first steamer on the Glasgow and Belfast route 
belonging to Messrs. G. & J. Burns was the Fiii<j<d, a 
wooden paddle steamer of 296 tons and 100 horse-power. 
The powerful steamers for the Belfast service, built and 


engined for the firm by Messrs Barclay, Curie, & Co. a 
few years ago, measure 250 feet in length by 30 feet in 
breadth and 14 feet 7 inches deep. The speed is 15 knots, 
the average passage from Greenock to Belfast being 7 
hours. Between Glasgow and Liverpool there was the 
Glasgoiu, a wooden paddle steamer of 280 tons and 100 
horse-power, built by John Wood, Port-Glasgow, engined 
by Caird & Co., Greenock, with side-lever engines, the 
steam pressure being only 5 lbs. per square inch. Plying 
between Glasgow and tlie Highlands was the Staff a, a 
wooden paddle steamer of 60 tons and 45 horse-power, 
and between Liverpool and New York, the Britannia, a 
wooden paddle steamer of 1154 tons and 440 horse-power. 
This early ocean steamer was only 207 feet long (about 
the length of an ordinary Clyde passenger steamer of the 
present day), 34 feet broad, and 22 feet deep, fitted with 
side-lever engines. Her speed was about 8| knots. Sail- 
ing between Glasgow and the coast, the Dunoon Castle, a 
wooden paddle steamer of 190 tons and 50 horse-power; 
and between Liverpool and the Mediterranean ports, the 
Taurus, an iron screw steamer of 1126 tons and 180 
horse-power (nominal). The Britannia was built at 
Greenock in 1840 by R Duncan and Co.; the engines 
were by R. Napier. The dimensions were: length, 207 
feet; breadth, 34 feet; depth, 22 feet; gross tonnage, 1155. 
There were two side-lever engines, the diameter of the 
cylinders being 72 inches, with a stroke of 6 feet 10 inches. 
The power was 403 nominal, and the speed about 8^ knots. 
The Persia was built in 1856 for the Cunard Co. by 
R. Napier & Sons at Glasgow. Dimensions: Lengthy 
375 feet; breadth, 46 feet; tonnage, 3590; 850 nominal 


horse-power, or about 3600 actual; side -lever engines; 
speed, about 13 knots, and time of passage between Liver- 
pool and New York, 10| days; coal burned per day, 150 
tons. The Scotia, built in 1862, was the last large paddle 
steamer belonging to this company. 

The "Allan Line," now possessing a large and well- 
appointed fleet of Atlantic steamers, may be said to have 
originated three-quarters of a century ago, when the 
founder of the line, Alexander Allan, owned and com- 
manded a ship carrying stores to the Peninsula during 
the old wars. Afterwards he traded regularly between 
the Clyde and Canada. In 1820 the Allan Line of sailing 
ships was established, and thus formed that link between 
the Scottish river and that other great river the St. 
Lawrence which has been continued unbroken to the 
present day. In 1853 the first steamer of this line, the 
Canadian, was built at Dumbarton by Messrs. Denny, 
the dimensions being: length, 277 feet; breadth, 33 feet 
8 inches; depth, 23 feet 9 inches; tonnage, 1765. The 
Canadian mail service was begun in the same year, the 
vessels sailing from Liverpool. The steam service be- 
tween Glasgow, Quebec, and Montreal was started in 
1862. In 1871 the company ran vessels between Liver- 
pool and St. John's, Newfoundland, Halifax, and Balti- 

Glasgow to Boston in 1879. 

„ to Halifax in 1879. 

„ to Philadelphia in 1884. 

„ to Monte Video and Buenos Ayres in 1876. 
Havre to „ „ „ „ iu 1876. 

Liverpool to „ „ „ ,, iu 1878. 

Loudon to Quebec and Montreal in 1884. 


The Allan Line have a goodly record of ships, the roll 
from the commencement consisting of 

cj •!• 1- ( Built of wood, 30 Tonnage. 

Sailing snips < ' ^ 

( „ of iron, 16 

— 46 43,234 

Steamers \ ^^'^^ «^ "'«"' ^8 

of steel, 7 

— 55 146,432 


Total, 101 189,666 

These vessels, representing as they do an investment 
of about four millions sterling, will convey some idea 
of the importance of this company. In the year 1881 the 
Parisian was added to the fleet, built and engined by 
Messrs. R. Napier & Sons. This vessel is of steel, her 
dimensions being: length, 440 feet; breadth, 46 feet; 
depth, 33 feet; tonnage, 5366. The first steel steamer of 
this line, the Buenos Ayrean, was built in 1879 by Messrs. 
Denny of Dumbarton, 4004 tons register. This vessel 
indeed was the first large ocean-going steamer built of 
steel, which, as a comparatively new material for ship- 
building, had still to prove its reliability and efficiency. 
At the present time (1887) the Allan Line fleet consists of 

12 iron sailing ships of 18,120 tons. 

and 31 steamships (24 of iron and 7 of steel), 96,222 „ 

Having a total tonnage of 114,342 tons. 

The collective nominal horse-power of the steam fleet 
is about 12,530, or equivalent in these days of great 
pressure and high piston speed to about 50,000 indicated 

The Anchor Line was started in 1856 by Messrs. 


Handyside & Henderson of Glasgow, the Mediterranean 
being their first special field. In 1863, however, they 
commenced the Glasgow and New York service, the 
Caledonia and Britannia being their first steamers on 
this route; and since then their flag, with its emblem 
of hope emblazoned, has waved from many a tall mast 
in their fleet, their right to their adopted motto, " Secure 
amid perils," having been well-earned through the safe 
and efficient service which they have now established on 
the ocean. The Mediterranean trade commenced in 1854 
with the Vasco de Gama, bringing from the sunny 
shores of the great inland sea oranges, raisins, lemons, &c. 
The Atlantic service commenced in 1857 with the Tempest, 
84-i tons. The Indian service commenced in 1875 with 
the Caledonia, of 2145 tons. 

Besides owning a fleet of steamers, the firm carry 
on extensive ship-building and engineering works at 

Since its commencement the company has had close 
on 100 vessels, having a collective tonnage of 159,000 
tons. Forty-three of these comprise the existing fleet, 
with a total tonnage of 117,000 tons. Of these the 
Fiirnessia is the largest vessel sailing from the Clyde, 
being 445 feet in length by 44 feet beam, and 34 feet 
deep; tonnage, 5494 tons. 

The building of sailing ships still continues to be 
carried on to a large extent notwithstanding the 
progress of steam; and one can frequently see some 
great " four master" getting fitted with hollow iron 
masts, wire-rope standing rigging and running tackle, 
with yards and sails, double topsails, and what not. 


The sailing ship, both as a line packet and a China 
clipper, is largely a thing of the past; but still the 
demand for sailing vessels for certain routes continues. 
The races of the old China clippers were exciting events, 
these vessels often leaving with their cargoes of tea about 
the same time, and thereafter traversing the many thou- 
sand miles of their course, only again sighting each other 
as they approached the English Channel. As many 
famous ships of this class were built on the Clyde, and 
owned by merchants there, it may be of interest to state 
that the Sir Lancelot, which was built by Messrs. Steele 
at Greenock, and owned there by Mr. John MacCunn, 
made the passage in 1869 from Foochow to London in 89 
days, averaging, during many days, fully 300 miles per 

Mr. Thomas Gray, C.B., of the Board of Trade, in 
an interesting address on the maritime legislation of 
the last fifty years, delivered before the members of 
the Shipwrights' Company, London, gives a number 
of interesting details, some of which may not be un- 
fitly referred to in a work on the river Clyde, more 
especially as he refers to that river several times in the 
course of his remarks. Speaking of the great develop- 
ment of the shipping interest, he says: "In 1836 there 
were 25,820 ships on the register of British ships, and 
their tonnage was 2,792,646 tons. Of these ships 600 
were steamers of 67,969 tons." "In 1886 there were 
38,335 ships on the register of British ships, and their 
tonnage was 9,323,615 tons. Of these ships 8913 were 
steamers of 4,293,115 tons. Comparing the effective ton- 
nage by assuming that one steam ton does four times the 


work of one sailing ton, Mr. Gray concludes "that while 
in 1836 (taking the work done by a sailing ton as the unit) 
there were 2,996,553 effective tons of shipping, there were 
in 1886 22,202,960 tons." In speaking of our ships, he 
says: "Before 1836 British ships were chiefly built of 
wood, and were chiefly sailing ships ; and naval architec- 
ture had received no adequate attention in this country, 
the tonnage law being much to blame for this; but since 
the tonnage law of 1854 was passed, and the improve- 
ments effected by the skill of naval architects, and classi- 
flcation, the models of ships have now been brought to 
much perfection." 

In speaking of seamen, Mr. Gray, says : " British seamen 
are now divided into five distinct classes, and the division 
between men in each of those classes is broadening and 
becoming marked every day. Now the navy trains its 
own men, and is the most popular branch of the national 
services." Fishermen have now become a separate class. 
Firemen, stokers, &c., form the third; the fourth is the 
British mercantile Jack; the fifth Asiatics and others, but 
British subjects. Mr. Gray does not recognize the foreign 
seamen as a separate class. The naval reserve numbers 
18,000 men, nearly the half of whom are fishermen. Mr. 
Gray, in speaking of the improvement in our seaman, 
says : " I have to put this to his credit, that he deposits in 
the savings-bank at the rate of £70,000 a year." 


As regards 1836 I must ask you to picture to yourselves a time of 
which the records are as follows, viz. : — 

When British ships were classed by Lloyd's solely on age, or 
according to port of building: 


When protection of British shipping existed as against foreign ships, 
and when British Colonial ships were excluded from many foreign 
ports, and others were admitted only on paying a surtax de pavilion: 

When British ships were so faulty in design, and as sailei-s so slow, 
tliat British shipowners feared free-trade, because they knew that 
successful competition on equal terms with foreign shii^s was impos- 

When trading harbours were so shallow that the bottoms of ships 
needed to be specially constructed to take the ground: 

Wlien, in spite of the fact that some of the officers of the larger 
foreign-going ships were gentlemen of the highest attainments and 
of undoubted reputation, drunkenness and incompetency among the 
ordinary run of officers, as well as of seamen, was notorious: 

When charts were notoriously inefficient : 

When lifeboat and rocket apparatus were not stationed around 
our coasts: 

Wlien the mercantile marine largely depended for a supply of 
seamen on pauper apprentices: 

When there was no examination of masters, mates, and engineers: 

When numerous lighthouses were the property of, or leased to, 
individuals for their personal benefit, and when surplus light dues 
went to so-called charitable purposes, and to other purposes uncon- 
nected with shipping: 

When harbour dues, town dues, charity dues, and passing dues 
were levied on ships, and were also frequently appi'opriated to many 
purjjoses not solely connected with shipping: 

When there were no harbours which would now be called harbours 
of refuge, though a passing toll had to be paid by all ships passing 
Wliitby, Bridlington, Dover, or Ramsgate: 

When tliere were scarcely any docks: 

When the Clyde, Tyne, and Tees were navigable only by small 
vessels even at high water, and many other ports now flourishing 
scarcely existed: 

When freiglit was the mother of wages: 

When payment for salvage of life was unknown: 

When ships did not carry side-lights: 

When there was no international I'ule of the road at sea: 


When no reports of wrecks were required to be made: 

When no inquiries as to wrecks were held: 

When the press-gang was in full work: 

When crimps preyed, and preyed unchecked, on British seamen: 

When there were no savings-banks nor seamen's money order 

When there was no system for recovering the wages and effects of 
deceased seamen: 

When the only seamen available for augmenting the navy in 
emergency consisted of undrilled men of the mercantile marine: 

When there was no statutory provision as to the supply of food or 
as to the accommodation of seamen: 

When there were no checks to the tyranny of masters and mates 
at sea; no provision for the proper execution and enforcement of 
contracts between masters and seamen: no naval courts, &c.: 

When one ship was not required to stand by another ship after 

When a seaman could not raise any question as to the unseaworthi- 
ness of his ship, but could be sent to prison as a deserter if he went 
ashore to comj)lain: 

When there was no international or commercial code of signals: 

It is possible that but few shipowners of the present day, especially 
those who now feel inclined to complain of what they are pleased to 
call "government coddling" of seamen, can bring themselves to 
realize such a state of things — it is within the range of possibility 
that some of them never even heard of it. Yet that was the state of 
things fifty years ago, and these were the features of the so-called 
"good old times" whose departure, especially as regards seamen, 
they profess to dejilore. 

The following advertisements of some of the early- 
steamers are taken from a sketch of the history of the 
Anchor Line, published in 1872. In connection with 
these early records it may bo observed that the present 
year has a special significance in connection with the 
use of steam as a means of propulsion, as it is just one 


hundred years since Patrick Miller's experiments were 
made on Dalswinton Loch. Again, it is just fifty years 
since the first steam-vessel crossed from this country to 
America. The year 1888 is therefore the centenary of 
steam propulsion, and the jubilee of ocean navigation by 
steam-ships. As early, however, as 1819, a vessel called 
the Savannah was built in New York. She was of 300 
tons burden, ship-rigged (three masts); had one inclined 
direct-acting engine; cylinder, 40 inches diameter; 6-feet 
stroke; 20 lbs. steam; paddles of wrought iron, without 
paddle-boxes, and which, it is said, could be removed and 
shipped on deck in about 20 minutes. She sailed from 
New York to Savannah on 28th March, 1819. The fol- 
lowing advertisement appeared in a paper of the time, 
notifying her return voyage to New York: — 

"passage to new YORK. 

" The steam-sliip Savannah, Captain Rogers, will make one trip 
to New York, previous to her departure for Liverpool, should a 
sufficient number of passengers offer, and will be ready to i)roceed 
in the course of this week or commencement of the next. Apply on 
board at Taylor's Wharf, or to Scarbrough & M'Kinne." 

The following advertisment appeared on the 19th May, 
1819, intimating her voyage to Liverpool: — 


"The steam-ship Savannah, Captain Rogers, will, without fail, 
proceed for Liverpool direct, to-morrow, 20th inst. Passengers, if 
any offer, can be well accommodated. Apply on board." 

Apparently the public of those days had no confidence 
in this new and untried method of propulsion, as no 

. Q 


passengers came forward. The vessel, however, set sail 
for Liverpool on the 20th May, and arrived at that port 
on 20th June. The engine was worked for 18 days of 
the passage; pitch-pine was used instead of coal. The 
Savannah then boldly set sail for St. Petersburg, and 
returned to her native American shore again all safe after 
a successful voyage of 50 days from St. Petersburg. 

Some time after her return the machinery was taken 
out, and as a sailing vessel only she traded on the American 
coast, until lost in a storm on Long Island. 

In 1825, The Enter jyi'ise, of 500 tons, and 120 horse- 
power, made the passage to India. The Enterprise was 
built on the Thames by Messrs. Gordons & Co., and 
launched on 22d January, 1825. She had two engines 
of 60 horse-power each made by Henry Maudslay. After 
a long and troublesome passage round the Cape of Good 
Hope, as the Suez Canal was not even thought of in 
those days, she reached Madras, having had to depend on 
her sail power for a considerable part of the passage. 

The Siriiis was built l)y Mr. Menzies of Leith, the 
engines and boilers being made by Mr. T. Wingate of 
Glasirow. The dimensions of this vessel were as follows: 
length, 178 feet 4 inches; beam, 25 feet 8 inches; depth, 
18 feet 3 inches; register tonnage, 412. There were two 
side-lever engines of 270 horse-power; and as a notable 
feature in these early days, she had a surface-condenser. 
The cylinders were GO inches diameter with a 6-foot 
stroke. The paddle-wheels were 24 feet 1 inch in diameter, 
having 22 floats, each 9 feet 6 inches long by 2 feet 6 
inches broad. The Sirius left Cork for New York on 
5th April, 1838, and arrived after a passage of 18| days. 

THE rJYER. 243 

The advertisement of her return voyage reads as fol- 
lows : 

" British Steam-packet 8\np for Loudou, to sail from New York, 
May 1, 1838. 

" The New and Powerful Steam-ship /Sinus, 700 Tons Burthen 
and 320 Horse-Power, Lieutenant E. Roberts, Commander, 

" Is intended to sail from London, March 28th, touching at Cork, 
and thence, on 2nd of April, for this port, returning from New York 
to London on the 1st of May. This vessel has superior accommoda- 
tion, and is fitted with separate cabins for the accommodation of 
families, to whom every possible attention will be given. Cabin, 
$140, including provisions, wines, &c. Second cabin, .^80, including 
provisions. Tliis superior steam-ship has been chartered by the 
directors of the British and American Steam Navigation Company, 
of London, to meet the j^ressing demands of the public, in anticipa- 
tion of the steam-ship British Queen, now building, — is a new vessel, 
about six months old, and has proved herself superior to any steam- 
vessel in British waters in speed and seaworthy qualities. Further 
information afforded on application; and, for freight and passage, 
apply to Wadsworth & Smith, 4 Jones Lane (rear 103 Front Street), 
agents of the British and American Steam Navigation Company." 

The Great Western was built by Mr. Paterson of 
Bristol, and engined by Maudslay of London. She was 
212 feet in length, and had engines of 440 horse-power. 
This vessel left Bristol on the 8th of April, arriving in 
New York after a passage of 14 A days. The Sirius 
arrived at New York on the morning of the 23d of April, 
and the Great Western on the afternoon of the same day. 
The arrival of these vessels caused OTeat excitement in 
New York. 

The Great Western Steamship Company afterwards 
added the Gi^eat Britain. The British Queen was built 


at London and enginod by Robert Napier. She left 
Portsmouth on 12th Jnly, 1839, and arrived at New- 
York after a passage of nearly 15 days. The President, 
a later steamer, on her return voyage from New York 
to Liverpool in 1841, was never afterwards heard of. 
The Royal William was the first steamer to cross the 
Atlantic from Liverpool. She was 617 tons burthen and 
276 horse-power. She sailed for New York on 5th July, 
1838, arriving 19 days later, and returned on the 4th 
Augnist of the same year. The following announcement 
being made in the New York papers: — 

"British Steam-ship, Iloi/al ]yilliam, 617 Tons. Cai^taiu Swaiu- 
son, R.N., Commander. 

"This fine steamer, having lately arrived, will be dispatched again 
for Liverpool on Saturday, 4th August, at 4 p.m. She is only 10 
months old, and from her peculiar construction, being divided into 
five sections, each water-tight, she is considered one of the safest 
boats in England. Her accommodations are capacious and well 
arranged for comfort. The price of passage is fixed at ^140, for 
which wines and stores of all kinds will be furnished. Letters 
will be taken at the rate of 25 cents for the single sheet, and in 
proportion for lai'ger ones, or one dollar per ounce weight. 

"For further particulars, apply to Abraham Bell & Co.; or, Jacob 
Harvey, 28 Bine Street." 

A vessel also named the Royal William was built at 
Three Rivers, near Quebec, in 1831. She was 160 feet 
long by 44 feet broad, and 17 feet 9 inches deep, and of 
363 tons register. She crossed to Liverpool in 1833, 
and w^as afterwards sold to the Spanish government for 
a war vessel, and said to be the first steam-vessel so em- 
ployed. Great changes in the forms and dimensions of 



steam-vessels have taken place during the period of now 
fully three quarters of a century since the Comet was 
launched. The annexed diagram shows the comparative 
sizes of some of the leading steamers of this period. The 


Great Eiisteru. 

Comparative Sections of Tliree Steamers. 

Great Eastern, although now nearly approached in length 
by the Atlantic liners of the present day, is still a long 
way in excess of these in tonnage room, and displace- 
ment. The annexed diagram shows the comparative 
midship sections of the Great Eastern, a 5000- ton steamer, 
and a river steamer. 

The ship-building industry of the Clyde is naturally of 
older date on the lower reaches of the river, as until 
somewhat recent times the Clyde from Glasgow for many 
miles down was too shallow to admit of the passage of 
vessels of larfje dimensions. 


It appears^ that the first square-rigged vessel, a brig 
built at Greenock, was launched in 1760. In the year 
1776 the largest vessel built there was only 77 tons. 
There were larger vessels, however, than this frequent- 
ing the harbour of Greenock, some being of 250 tons. 
These, however, were chiefly built in the colonies, and 
were owned in Glasgow. A stimulus, however, was ffiven 
to the Greenock building trade, both from the demands 
for larger vessels and from the fact that the American 
colonial vessels, although cheaper than those made at 
home, were deficient in durability. 

The introduction of steam as a propelling power, in the 
beginning of the present century, gave a great stimulus 
to Clyde ship-building, and by degrees the river banks 
have had yard after yard added, until at the present 
time, from the lower part of the Glasgow harbour, the 
building yards are met with on each side extending for 
several miles, and thereafter at Paisley, Bowling, Dum- 
barton, Port-Glasgow, and Greenock. Again, along the 
shores of the Firth there are other ship-building yards, 
amongst which may be noted the old yacht-building centre 
at Fairlie. 

Several of the ship-building firms on the river have 
existed under the same names or with slight variations 
during a long period of years, that of Barclay, Curie, & 
Co. being apparently the oldest — the business having been 
commenced at Stobcross in 1822. 

Iron and steel has now replaced wood for the con- 
struction of large vessels. The tonnage launched on the 
Clyde in 1864 was 178,505 tons, and in 1883 404,383 

1 Memorials of James Wait. 

THE RIVER. ■ 247 

tons.^ Since this latter date tlie general depression of 
trade has largely afiected the ship-building industry both 
here and elsewhere. 

The following extract from Barkers Trade and Finance 
Journal shows very clearly the relations of the ship- 
building trade at home and abroad: — 

" It is satisfactory to know that in ship-building the 
United Kingdom continues to maintain a supremacy 
which is unquestioned. We do sometimes hear of foreign 
competition in this as in other branches of business, but 
the marvel is that we are able to keep such an enormous 
lead as we do. The facts are astounding. Out of a total 
of 404,016 tons registered by the United Kingdom, France, 
Germany, Italy, Norway, and Sweden, during the year 
1886-7, 327,743 tons were built in the United Kingdom 
and 76,273 tons were built elsewhere; but out of these 
76,273 tons no less than 19,916 tons were wood or com- 
posite, leaving only 56,357 tons of iron or steel vessels 
built out of, as against 327,743 built in, the United King- 
dom. Germany and France are the only countries which 
produce any appreciable quantity of iron or steel tonnage, 
although Sweden and Norway produce what little they 
require for their own use. Germany is fast becoming a 
ship-building country, already producing two-thirds of 
her fairly large requirements; and France produces less 
than two-thirds of her requirements, although these are 
less than one-third of Germany. No country in the world, 
excepting the United Kingdom, is at present able to 
supply a market outside of itself. Therefore, with the 

^ Vital, Social, and Economic Statistics of the Citi) of Glas<jow. By James 
Nicol, City Chamberlain. 


exception of the four countries named, the whole world 
is dependent upon the ship-building yards of this country 
for its fleets. We have only been able to maintain this 
supremacy by keeping well to the front in all improve- 
ments. To the enterprise and business ability of its 
ship-owners and ship-builders this country owes much. 
There does not appear to be any likelihood that they 
will lag behind in the future. One illustration will show 
how they are taking the lead now. In the building of 
ships, as in many other directions where iron has been 
largely used, the merits of steel, as compared with iron, 
is one of the most important questions of the day, and is 
being undoubtedly settled in favour of steel. Figures 
clearly show that we are not slow to adopt improvements, 
but rather that we are much more i*eady than the rest of 
the world to do so. While we have practically ceased 
the building of wood and composite vessels, more than 
one-half of the total built elsewhere are still of these 
obsolete types, and iron vessels are nearly as two to one 
of steel, whereas we are building considerably more of 
steel than of iron." 

Ship-buildiug, like marine engineering, has now become 
a science as well as an art, and one of the recent chairs 
founded in Glasgow University is for the study of the 
principles on which these important branches of our in- 
dustrial activity depends. The naval architect deals 
with such matters as form and stability, and is conver- 
sant with such terms as metacentres, centres of buoyancy, 
moments of stability, &c. The ship-builder, whether 
working in wood, iron, or steel, has a deflnite series of 
practical considerations before his mind both of a con- 


structive and commercial character from the time the 
keel is laid till the launching of the vessel. 

In the building yards in the old days of the " wooden 


" Covering many a rood of ground, 
Lay the timber piled around ; 
Timber of chestnut, and elm, and oak, 
And scattered here and there, with these. 
The knarred and crooked cedar knees." 

Now in our great building yards it is iron and steel 
frames and plates which cover the ground, and the sound 
of the " busy hammers closing rivets up " is heard on all 

The following are some of the leading steps in the 
building of an iron or steel ship: — 

1st. General design, including tonnage, speed, engine 
power, draught of water, stability, &c. 

2d. The keel. Logs are laid along the ground, and 
on these blocks are placed at an inclination of about one 
in twenty towards the water. The keel is laid along 
these blocks. 

3d. The frames are composed of angle iron or steel. 
They are bent to the required curves and riveted to- 
gether, so as to form a Z section. 

4th. The beams for supporting the decks are formed 
of T section, iron or steel. The frames are now put into 
place on the keel, and the beams attached to them. The 
frames are then " faired " and the keelsons fitted. 

5th. The plating is now put on, each plate being cut to 
the proper size, and the rivet holes made. It is rolled 
so as to fit the shape of the part of the vessel it is to 


occupy. It is then taken to the ship, and riveting 
begins. The butts and edges of the plating are then 
caulked water-tight by forcing the one edge close to the 
other. The internal fittings are in the meantime being 
carried on. 

But although it is of first importance that the various 
building operations shall be successfully carried out, yet 
unless suitable provision be made for getting the com- 
pleted vessel into the water the labour would be thrown 
away, or, as in the case of the launching of the Great 
Eastern, a long period of time might elapse and expense 
be incurred before this was accomplished. The launch- 
ing of a ship, especially of such vessels as are now built 
for our ocean lines, is therefore a matter of great import- 
ance, and has to be carefully considered. Generally 
speaking the various steps are as follows: The vessel 
having been built resting on the keel-blocks, ways are 
laid down on each side, and a timber structure called 
a cradle formed around the under part of the vessel. 
The cradle rests on the ways. The ways are inclined 
with slopes varying according to circumstances. 

Prior to the launch these ways are coated with grease, 
and the cradle allowed to rest upon them ; the keel-blocks 
are then removed, and the vessel allowed to rest com- 
pletely on the cradle, the latter being kept from sliding 
downwards by a movable piece of wood called a dagger, 
which is knocked out of its place by a heavy weight 
allowed to fall at the moment of launching by the cut- 
ting of a cord, usually assigned to a lady visitor. 

Besides the harbour and dock works at Glasgow already 
referred to, there are other public and private docks on 


the line of the river, such as at Bowling, Dumbarton, 
Port-Glasgow, and Greenock. 

The harbour works at Greenock are now distinguished 
as the old and new works. 

The West Harbour, commenced 1707, has a water area 
of 7| acres, with a public graving-dock 220 ft. long, 
with about 10 ft. depth on sill. The East India Harbour, 
commenced 1805, water area 6 J acres. A public graving- 
dock is connected with this harbour, 356 ft. in lenofth, 
depth on sill about 12 ft. The Victoria Harbour, com- 
menced in 1846, water area 5| acres, length 560 ft., 
width of entrance 150 ft., depth at low water 14 ft. 
The Albert Harbour, commenced 1862, water area lOf 
acres, length 1000 ft., width of entrance 100 ft., depth 
at low water 14 ft. In the construction of the Albert 
Harbour a new system of working without coffer-dams 
was introduced by the engineers Messrs. Bell & Miller, 
C.E., of Glasgow. The method adopted was to "form 
the walls under low water of a combination of cast-iron 
guide-piles in the front, with a continuous stone-facing 
slid down over and inclosing these, and of concrete back- 
ing deposited in a soft state;" timber bearing piles being 
used where required, the walls from the low-water line 
being carried up of masonry. The ground was found to 
be unequal, the upper being mud and sand, further down 
red " till." The concrete employed was formed of Arden 
hydraulic lime (a useful material obtained to the south of 
Glasgow), iron-mine dust, sand, gravel, and stone chips.^ 

The new works wholly or partly completed, comprise: 
The Garvel Basin, area 6 acres, width of entrance 175 ft., 

^ Structures in the Sea. By Daniel Miller, M.Inst.C.E. 



depth at low water 25 ft. The Great Harbour, area 45 
acres, depth at low water 28 £t. The James Watt Wet 
Dock, water area 14 acres: two entrances of 75 ft. each, 
depth on sills 32 ft. Garvel Graving Dock, G35 ft. in 
length, width of entrance 60 feet 6 inches, depth on sill 
20 feet. 

From the Annual Report of the Clyde Trustees for the 
year ending June, 1887, it appears that the total imports 
at Glasgow from foreign ports was 1,160,598 tons; coast- 
wise, 648,010 tons; whilst the exports during the same 
time were: to foreign ports 1,202,276 tons, and coastwise 
712,174 tons. 

The goods imported consist mainly of 

Iron Ore, 

374,000 tons. 



Iiidiiui Corn, ... 








longst other goods imported 

we tint 



39,9.')7 tons 


28,929 „ 

Pease, ... 

28,380 „ 

Fruits, ... 

19,989 „ 


14,4G8 „ 


14,289 „ 

Bales and boxes of goods. 

11,777 „ 

Bacon, ... 

10,908 „ 


10,226 „ 


Of goods exported coal, iron, and machinery have the 
chief place. Thus — 



Coal totals up to about ... 

830,000 tons. 

Pig iron, ... 

190,000 „ 

Iron bars, rods, rivets, rails, &c., 

121,000 „ 

Cast-iron pipes, 

98,000 „ 

Other castings, 

47,000 „ 

Bales and boxes of goods, 

120,000 „ 

Steel, nearly 

50,000 „ 


51,000 „ 

Beer and spirits, 

51,000 „ 

Amongst other articles exported from Glasgow were 

tlie following: — 

Bricks, ... 

22,456 tons. 

Spirits, ... 

12,503 „ 


12,336 „ 

Chemical manure. 

8,480 „ 


8,344 „ 

Coal-tar pitch, 

7,983 „ 

Oil (Crude Shale), 

7,153 „ 

Paper materials, 

5,688 „ 

Earthenware, ... 

5,121 „ 


3,556 „ 

The annual revenue of the Clyde Trust in ten-year 
periods, from 1787, is as follows: — 

























From 1752 to 1770 it was only £147, iu 1771 it was 
£1044, and the total revenue to 1887 is £7,167,281. 
This revenue was mainly derived from dues on vessels 
and on efoods. The annual revenue and tonnasfe of the 
ports on the river appear to be as follows:^ — 

Clyde Navigation Trust, ^SST^OSS 

Greenock Harbour Trust, ... ... ... 54,859 

Port-Glasgow Harbour Trust, ... ... 4,868 

Register tonnage inwards at Glasgow, ... 1,020,279 
„ outwards „ ... 1,430,730 

,, inwards at Greenock, ... 231,705 

„ outwards „ ... 97,510 

„ inwards at Port-Glasgow, G9,000 

The revenue of the Clyde Lighthouse Trust appears to 
be £12,G70. 

Measured miles'^ have been laid oft" at Skelmorlie and 
in the Gareloch, where trials of the speeds of vessels can 
be made, the time being taken as the steamer passes the 
extremities of the measured distance, which are marked 
by two tall posts. It is also customary to test the speed 
by running the lights, or taking the time occupied on 
the run between the Cloch and Cumbrae Lighthouses; 
this distance is 13'666 knots, or 15736 statute miles. 
Buoys for compass adjustment are laid down in the 

The question of the relation existing between speed 
and resistance has of late years been ably investigated 

1 Alliance of Cbjde Ports, 1S8S. 

- This measured milo is a nautical mile or knot, which bears to the statute 
mile a ratio of 1'1508 to 1, or roughly one-seventh longer. 


both experimentally and mathematically, amongst others 
by the late Dr. Froude of Torquay, and by two well- 
known Clyde ship-builders, Mr. Robert Mansel and the 
late Mr. William Denny. Dr. Froude's experiments were 
carried out in a large tank 270 feet long by 36 feet broad 
and 10 feet deep, containing suitable mechanism for mov- 
ing the models. These latter varied in size from 6 feet 
to 20 feet, and were made of paraffin. 

Messrs. Denny, at their ship-building works at Dum- 
barton, have constructed a large tank for the same pur- 
pose, with special machinery for recording the results 
obtained, and also for making the models. 

The principal elements of ship resistance, as deter- 
mined by Dr. Froude, consisted in frictional resistance of 
the skin of the ship, eddy resistance, and wave-making 
resistance. The first is the most important in a well- 
formed ship, and appears to vary as the l"87th power of 
the speed. The relation between power and resistance 
has been expressed by the old admiralty formula as 

C = ^=- , in which M is the immerged midship area, E 

the gross indicated horse-power, V speed in nautical miles, 
C being a numerical coefficient, and which is to a certain 
extent the measure of the efficiency. Great variations in 
the value of the coefficient are found at diffijrent speeds. 
Much useful information as to power and speed has 
been derived from progressive speed trials, due largely 
to the labours of the late Mr. Wm. Denny, and from dia- 
grams constructed of the results obtained. Thus, if the 
speeds are set off to scale on a horizontal line, and the 
corresponding power required to drive the ship sets off 


as verticals, the curved line joining the upper ends of 
these vertical lines will show the relation between the 
speed and power. Mr. Mansel, in analysing these rela- 
tions, takes the logarithms of the ratios of the different 
powers and speeds, and uses these for the verticals raised 
at the corresponding speeds, the result being that the 
relation between these verticals and the horizontal dis- 
tances is now shown by a straight line more or less 

Mr. Mansel, in treating of this subject, says: "In a 
given steam -vessel under experiment, if we carefully 
measure various rates of development of the power, and 
note for each the corresponding rate of speed of the 
vessel, the normal law of the relation of these elements, 
power and speed, can be stated thus: — The logarithms of 
the ratio of the power to the speed, drawn as ordinates 
to the speed laid otf as abscissajs, will range in a straight 
line inclined to the axis." 

In a paper read before the Greenock Philosophical 
Society in 1882, on " The Speed and Carrying of Screw 
Steamers," the late Mr. Wm. Denny explains in a very 
lucid manner the law of comparison between the ship 
and model. He says: "What Mr. Froude discovered 
amounts to this — that for vessels of the same propor- 
tionate dimensions, and of the same form, or, as we say, 
of the same lines, there arc speeds appropriate to these 
vessels which vary as the square root of the ratio of 
their dimensions, and that at these appropriate speeds 
the resistance will vary as the cubes of these dimensions." 
He then goes on to illustrate this, and takes the case of 
two steamers, the linear dimensions of one of which are 


four times greater than the linear dimensions of the 
other. Thus if the length of the first is taken as 400 
feet the length of the other is taken at 100 feet, the 
breadth of the first being 40 feet that of the second is 10 
feet, and if the draft of water of the first steamer is fixed 
at 20 feet the second will be 5 feet; the appropriate speed 
for these vessels will therefore be //5= ^^1^2^ that 

is, the speed of the larger vessel should be twice the 
speed of the small vessel. And so Mr. Denny says: "What 
Mr. Froude would have predicted of these two steamers 
is — that if the speed of the smaller steamer were 10 
knots, then the similar appropriate speed of the larger 
steamer would be 20 knots." At these speeds Mr. Froude 
proved that the resistance, with some allowance, would 
be as the cube of the steamer's dimensions, which would 
give for comparative resistance with these figures, as 
\jj -\~i) =y or as 64 is to 1. 

This, as Mr. Denny points out, "means practically that 
the resistance would vary as the displacement of the two 
steamers;" so that, in the case illustrated, the speed is 
doubled without adding to the resistance per ton of weight, 
and that consequently at a lower speed the large steamer 
would have a very much less comparative resistance; 
hence, " in the same type of steamer, by simply increasing 
all the dimensions proportionately, the same speed can be 
obtained with much less resistance per ton of weight 
driven through the water — that is, since the speed re- 
mains unchanged, much less expenditure of horse-power, 
and consequently much less expenditure of coal per ton 
of weight driven." 


The relation of the powers required to drive the ship 
and model can also be shown by another power of the 

ratio of the lineal dimensions, viz.: ™=^(^)^, where P and 
p are the powers required for the ship and model 

These powers are the effective powers required to over- 
come the fluid resistance. The gross power is much in 
excess of this, as there are losses by friction of the work- 
ing parts. Dr. Froude found that the thrust or effective 
power is 87 ^ per cent of the indicated power. 


Much has been written and spoken in connection with 
the Union of 1707, in respect to its effect on tlie indus- 
trial condition of Scotland, and more especially with 
reference to tlie rise and progress of the commercial life 
of Glasgow. The union of the crowns, in 1G03, was one 
of inheritance on tlie part of the Scottish king, but this 
was not necessarily, as the event proved, of special advan- 
tage to Scotland; and it was not until many changes 
had taken place that the treaty, whereby a legislative 
union was established, removed certain restrictions on 
the foreign trade which enabled the Scottish merchants 
— more especially on the west coast — to open up enter- 
prises which formerly had been closed to them. But, 
after all, what could have been expected in the way of 
commercial operations in the earlier times ? The country 
had been for centuries in a state of turmoil; a condition 


of things which is prejudicial to that peace, security, and 
recognition of law which encourages and gives confidence 
to commercial undertakings. 

After the death of Alexander III., throughout whose 
reign the country was becoming consolidated after the 
earlier struggles, a long period of turmoil arose during 
the contention for the crown and the armed interference 
of the English monarch, Edward I. The Scottish nation, 
without a king to lead them, found in the patriot hero 
Wallace one who carried on the cause of national liberty 
boldly and unselfishly for several years. Then it was 
taken up by the Bruce himself, who fought against the 
power of both the first and second Edwards, finally 
rolling back the tide of usurpation on the field of Ban- 

During the next two centuries we read in history of 
almost nothing but war and turmoil, Scotch and English 
invading each other's country, and fighting desperately 
with equal courage and valour. In James IV.'s reign we 
find that not only on land, but also at sea, the old fighting 
was kept up; and it says a great deal for the resources 
of the country at that time, and for the skill of the east- 
coast ship-builders, that they could turn out such ships 
as enabled Sir Andrew Wood successfully to cope with 
the English vessels. 

The great nobles and the monarch watched each other, 
trying who was the stronger. Sometimes the former 
had the advantage, and laid hands on royalty itself. 
Another half -century, and the career of the unfortunate 
Mary ended. The Reformation, both in Scotland and 
England, had taken place. Knox, with an early enlighten- 


ment in scholastic matters, endeavoured to provide in a 
systematic manner for the welfare of the people, by found- 
ing schools, and establishing the means for a proper 
religious training; but political contention was now for a 
time united with religious zeal, and, in the earlier part 
of the reign of James VI., the country was in a state 
of civil war. In 1603 that monarch succeeded to the 
English crown, and it is stated wished to unite the two 
kingdoms; but however well meant his aims were, his 
method of procedure was unfortunate, as, by attempt- 
ing to rule the religious instincts of the people, he 
stirred up opposition, and the strife became renewed, 
and was continued in the reign of his son, whose fur- 
ther attempts to impose the southern liturgy upon his 
subjects in the north was met with a robust Presbyterian 
defiance, which took a public shape in the well-known 
scene in St. Giles' Church in Edinburgh. The National 
Covenant was signed by all ranks, and thus we are 
brouerht to the Covenanting times, when again the reli- 
gious aspirations of the country were attempted to be 
dominated by force, and for years we read of little but 
strife with tongue and sword, English, Scottish, High- 
land, and Irish troops all marching and countermarching 
about the country. 

In the reign of the English Commonwealth, Cromwell 
invaded the country, and, it is said, conceived the idea of 
uniting the three kingdoms. The restoration of Charles 
II. took place, but unfortunately the same religious spirit 
of intolerance was abroad, so that an Archbishop of Glas- 
gow, in 1662, gave orders to shut up the churches until 
Episcopal incumbents could be got to fill them ; fines and 



imprisonment were now common for religious noncon- 
formity, and the Covenanting struggle was renewed with 
special severity in the west country. The Bass Rock was 
a state prison ; torture was applied to refractory prisoners, 
for these were days of rude and ready methods to effect 
their objects, when men's passions were aroused. 

Later on we find the tide of battle rolling in the North 
and in the West Highlands, ending for a time in the 
battle of Killiecrankie, in 1689. The reign of William 
III., Prince of Orange, began to have an influence in 
quieting the country, Glasgow being granted — for its 
loyalty — a new charter, whereby the citizens were con- 
ferred the power of self-government in the choosing of 
"their own magistrates, provost, bailies, and other officers." 
In reference to the troublous times in Scotland, in the 
latter part of the seventeenth century, Woodrow, in his 
Church History, says: "This rising in the west of Scot- 
land, like many other considerable turns, had but very 
small beginnings; and it is scarce to be thought that the 
persons concerned in them had any prospect that what 
they did would have been followed with what succeeded." 
Woodrow then goes on to recount that about eighty 
armed persons, avoiding Glasgow in consequence of hear- 
ing that the king's troops had come there from Lanark, 
went to Rutherglen, "a small royal burgh two miles 
from Glasgow," where they affixed to the market cross a 
declaration, entitled "The declaration and testimony of 
some of the Presbyterian party in Scotland ; published at 
Rutherglen, May 29th, 1C79." This declaration, after 
referring to the "testimony of faithful witnesses from 
the beginning against adversaries to the church and kinof- 


dom of our Lord Jesus Christ in the land," ijoes on to 
state that " we judge it our duty (though unworthy, yet 
hoping we are true members of the Church of Scotland) 
to add our testimony to those of the worthies who have 
gone before us, in witnessing against all things that have 
been done publickly in prejudice of his interest," there- 
after particularizing certain Acts which had been passed, 
amongst others, one for " overturning the whole cove- 
nanted reformation," and another for " outing of the 
faithful ministers who could not comply with prelacy, 
whereby 300 and upwards of them were illegally ejected;" 
they then publicly burned the Acts at the cross of 

The publication of this declaration caused a great stir 
in the country, and Graham of Claverhouse — afterwards 
created Viscount of Dundee — started with a troop of 
horse and foot, passing through Hamilton and Strath- 
aven, where, hearing that a preaching was to take place 
at Loudon Hill, to the west of the latter town, he marched 
in that direction. Public worship had been commenced 
when the military appeared; but those who had arms, 
some forty horse and 150 or 200 foot, left the meeting 
and boldly went to meet the soldiers, and, after a short 
but sharp conflict, caused them to retreat, rescuing also 
some prisoners whom Claverhouse had formerly taken. 
Some relics of the fight may still be seen at the farm of 
Lochgoin, principally the flag and drum of the Cove- 
nanters : — 

" You'll marvel when I tell ye o' 

Our noble Burley and his train, 
When last he marched up through the land, 

Wi' sax-aud-twenty Westland men. 


Than they I ne'er o' braver heard, 
For they had a' baith wit and skill; — 

They proved right well, as I heard tell, 
As they cam' up ower Loudon Hill." 

Claverhouse retired to Glasgow, and the forces there 
barricaded the town, in expectation of an attack, which 
came off a few days later, the Covenanters having re- 
ceived additions on the way. " About ten of the clock the 
country men came to Glasgow, and divided themselves 
into two bodies. The one under command of Mr. Hamilton 
came up the street called the Gallowgate; the other party 
came in at the head of the town, by the wynd head and 
college. The country men showed abundance of courage, 
but were under mighty disadvantages. Their horses were 
of no use to them at all ; they were perfectly open to the 
fire from the closes and houses, as well as that of the 
soldiers who lay behind the rails and barricadoes covered 
from their fire." After a short fight, being unable to over- 
come the defences of the troops in the town, the country 
men retired, and afterwards marched back unmolested to 
Hamilton, where they encamped. 

A royal proclamation was, after these events, issued on 
June 3d, 1679, in which Charles, after referring to this 
rising, states that " We, out of our royal tenderness for 
the peace and quietness of our ancient kingdom, being 
careful to repress the said rebellion, and that simple and 
unwary people be not ensnared by the said rebels, and 
their emissaries, and involved in their rebellion, and to 
take off" all pretence of ignorance or excuse, do therefore, 
with advice of the lords of our privy council, declare 
the said insurrection to be an open, manifest, and horrid 


rebellion, and high treason." This was followed by others 
later on, calling out the militia and the heritors to fight on 
the king's side. A good deal of marching and counter- 
marching then seems to have gone on with the troops, 
so as to make head against the proclaimed movement. 
Some skirmishes took place in different parts of the 
country, and finally we find that " The king has also 
thought fit to name the Duke of Monmouth general to 
command all his forces, so long as his grace shall remain 
in Scotland." 

The "west country people" were all this time receiving 
reinforcements; a number of whom did not seem to be 
very clear upon the origin of the rising. " They reck- 
oned them a body of people appearing for the Presbyterian 
interest, and in hazardous circumstances at present, whom 
the king's army would swallow up unless assistance were 
given them ; and therefore resolved to hazard themselves 
in their defence, not knowing what Providence had to 
bring forth from these small beginnings." Although num- 
bers appeared in this way to have gathered, yet the absence 
of suitable arms, recognized officers and discipline, made 
them less formidable than otherwise they might have 
been. A declaration of their objects was proposed to be 
drawn up, but no final agreement could be come to. On 
19th June the Duke of Monmouth set out with his army 
towards Hamilton, but appears to have been troubled 
with the commissariat arrangements ; the bread had fallen 
short, the blame being laid on the bakers. The immediate 
result of all this was the well-known battle of Bothwell 
Bridtre, fouc^ht on 22d June, 1679. 

In an article on " Freedom of Bequest," by I. S. Leadam, 


we find the following remarks bearing on the rise of com- 
mercial activity after the troublous times had passed 
{Contemporary Review for January, 1888): "Many 
writers have dwelt upon the invasion of England by 
Scottish talent which marked the last century and 
stirred the spleen of Dr. Johnson. In the seventeenth 
century the law of ' legitim ' ^ had enabled the cadets 
of Scottish houses to equip themselves for commands 
in the army of Gustavus Adolphus or for service in 
the Scottish Guard of the French kings. The activity of 
Scottish enterprise which followed within a generation 
of the pacification of Scotland was due, no doubt, to the 
comparative excellence of their education. But their 
education itself sprang, as influences for refinement com- 
monly do, from social and economical circumstances. To 
originate a national education a people must have attained 
a certain uniform grade of well-being. Though not high, 
and in the eyes of grands seigneurs of England and Ireland 
pitifully scanty, such existed through the law of 'legitim' 
among the people of Scotland. Out of this arose that 
intellectual force which has for so many years given the 
Scottish race, when account is taken of its numbers, 
indisputably the first place in the empire in general 
progress and contentment." 

The energy of the citizens of Glasgow was now turned 
to the improvement of their harbour accommodation, and 
in 1695 ground was purchased at the village of Newark 
(now Port-Glasgow) for this purpose. The stirring mili- 
tary events of 1715 and 1745 did not improve business 

1 The writer says "In Scotland the legitim has existed from time immemorial 
as 'bairns' part of gear." 


matters; but after the country had again settled down to 
peaceful avocations we find the spirit of enterprise abroad 
in the great undertaking of the Forth and Clyde Canal, 
which was begun in 1768 and partly finished to near 
Glasgow in 1775, and afterwards to the Clyde at Bowling 
in 1790, where, on the arrival of the first vessel from the 
Forth, a barrel of water of that river was poured into the 
Clyde as symbolical of the now completed union of the 
eastern and western rivers. The canal is about 35 miles 
long, and has 39 locks. The greatest height above the 
sea is 156 feet. Its course is on historic ground, passing 
as it does pretty much along the line of the Roman wall. 
There are many aqueducts spanning streams, one of the 
largest being over the Kelvin at Maryhill, where the 
canal is carried across a wide and deep ravine at a height 
of 83 feet. 

The Monkland Canal was completed in 1791. Its 
course is from the northern part of the city eastwards 
to the great mineral fields in the neighbourhood. A 
connection with the Forth and Clyde Canal is formed to 
the west of Port-Dundas. At one time passengers were 
conveyed along these canals in swift boats, and until 
a year or two ago a passenger screw-steamer plied from 
Port-Dundas to Kilsyth, a Saturday afternoon trip with 
which formed a most enjoyable outing, as both the scenery 
and historical associations were sufficient to interest the 

These swift boats with their horses and riders formed 
a pretty sight as they sped smoothly along the waters of 
the canal, and were probably last seen on the Crinan 
Canal before the twin-screw Linnet had displaced the 


old Suvhearti with its horses and red-jacketed riders. 
It is said that one of the old riders o£ the swift boat 
horses, on hearing some one spoken of as a man before the 
mast, said, " Oh, I was a man before the boat." 

The manufacture of cotton and other materials became 
established in Glasgow, and commercial enterprise had 
now assumed such a position that the merchants founded 
the Chamber of Commerce in 1783. In the beginning of 
the present century the manufacture of gas for illumina- 
ting the city was commenced, and a canal made between 
Glasgow and Johnstone, the route of which is now tra- 
versed by the Glasgow and South -Western Railway. 
Water- works were also established, and in 1812 the intro- 
duction of steamboats on the river effected great com- 
mercial changes. In 1818 the Union Canal, connecting 
Edinburgh with the Forth and Clyde Canal at lock 16, 
was commenced. 

Much interesting information as to the condition of 
engineering and manufactures forty or fifty years ago 
may be obtained by looking over the mechanical journals 
of the period, where we see the gradually awakening 
scientific knowledge shown in the many inventions for 
utilizing the forces of nature to more advantage than in 
the older times. Chemistry, as applied to the arts in 
dyeing and bleaching; improvements in spinning and 
weaving; the use of iron for ship-building; higher pres- 
sure and greater economy in the use of steam at sea; 
the extension of the railway system; the electric tele- 
graph; the introduction of gas for lighting; machine 
tools and labour-saving appliances; all such subjects are 
written upon and discussed, with descriptions of the inven- 


tions themselves. Sometimes even in these early days 
the brilliant idea is thrown out of aerial flights, and 
drawings of proposed machines given. Progress, however 
rapid since these times in all directions of land and sea 
transit, has not achieved the power of flying, although 
theories of flight are not awanting; the old-fasliioned 
balloon, floating at the mercy of the aerial currents, is 
still the only means whereby we can travel above the 
earth's surface. 

The waterproof material invented by Mr. Mackintosh 
was soon taken up by ingenious persons in various ways. 
One proposed to make bags of it and apply them to float 
ships up the shallower parts of the Clyde. Another saw 
a splendid future for it not only in life-saving apparatus, 
but as a means to render the Glasgow people practically 
amphibious when they went to the coast, "sporting on 
the surface of the water with as nmch safety as on dry 
land." Another proposal was made by one evidently 
more of an equestrian turn of mind, viz. to have water- 
proof bags on each side of the rider, which he could 
inflate on coming to a river and then plunge fearlessly 
in. In the inventor's description we get a glimpse of 
the way in which the comparatively new steamboat 
method of locomotion was regarded at that time (1825), 
as he goes on, when describing his apparatus, to say: 
"Whenever danger is apprehended on board a Steam 
Boat, no delay should be made in putting on the Life 
Preserver; indeed, were it constantly worn by those who 
are much exposed to the chance of being thrown over- 
board, it might save many a valuable life." He then 
goes on to show what a safeguard it would be in a 


crowded vessel where fire occurred, or when that 
dreaded catastrophe, the bursting of the boiler, hap- 
pened. The dwellers on the Clyde, however, have not 
taken the hints thrown out to render themselves un- 
sinkable in sport or danger. The Americans seem to 
have found it necessary to provide more fully against 
steamboat disasters than ourselves, as the traveller on 
the rivers there finds life-preservers in the form of 
belts and jackets ready to his hand on board, and even 
printed directions in his state-room instructing him in 
the proper method of buckling on the armour provided 
for him. 


Burton in his History of Scotland, in speaking of the 
gold of the Leadhills district, says : " Bishop Leslie de- 
scribes the streams of the Lanarkshire heights carrying 
so much of it in the gravel brought down by the floods 
as if each were a very Pactolus; but he makes a signifi- 
cant admission in tellino: us that the siftinej of this 
gravel for gold is the occupation of the poor." " Lead 
was extracted at a very early period in the district of 
the present Wanlockhead mines. The method of sepa- 
rating any portions of silver that might be in the matrix 
of lead must have been early in use, as the royalty estab- 
lished in favour of James I. applies to those mines 
where 'three halfpennies of silver may be fined out of 
the pound of lead.' " The mining industry at Leadhills 
is still prosecuted with vigour, the lead ore being the 
principal, or, indeed, the only commercial product; al- 
though, besides lead, other metals are occasionally ob- 


tained. Gold is still sometimes found, but no special 
process is adopted to prosecute this part of the mining 
operations. The gold found appears to be got only in 
drift, not mi siHi. There are altogether between two and 
three hundred persons employed, and the quantity of 
lead ore mined yearly amounts to about 2500 tons. The 
ore is smelted by the company working the mines, viz. 
the Leadhills Silver-lead Mining and Smelting Co. Ltd., 
and yields from 77 to 78 per cent of lead. 

The basin-like nature of the coal-field of the Clyde 
valley is very well illustrated by the section (see figure, 
page 43), where it will be seen that the coal beds are 
disposed in such a manner that the various characteristic 
seams are met with at difi'erent depths, depending upon 
the position in the basin or valley. The coal beds are 
known commercially by certain names, the principal 
being the Upper, Ell, Pyotshaw, Main, Splint, and Virgin 
coals. The Upper coal was so named as being the first 
found worth working. At 100 feet or so beneath this we 
come on the Ell coal, named in this way because it was 
the first found of that thickness; the thickness of the 
seam is, however, often about 5 feet. The Pyotshaw 
seam lies about 50 feet below this, and is 3 or 4 feet in 
thickness. At a few feet below the latter we come on 
the Main coal, so called, it is said, from its possessing all 
the good qualities of the others, or from the fact that in 
the oldest mining locality in the north-west of Lanark- 
shire — about Airdric — the Main and Pyotshaw seams 
are together, and form the thickest bed. It is considered 
a most profitable seam to work, its thickness being fully 
4 feet. At about 60 or 70 feet further down the Splint 


coal is reached, having a thickness of about 5 feet. Close 
below this is the Virgin coal, after which we come on 
a seam of ironstone, the most famous in this locality, 
being the Blackband discovered by Mushet in 1805. 
What is known as the " Palace Craig Ironstone " lies 
above the Upper coal, and is worked at Palace Craig, 
between Coatbridge and Holytown. The average depth 
of the coal-pits is about 80 fathoms. The depths of the 
coal seams vary very much, due to disturbance, differ- 
ences of several hundreds of feet of level below ordnance 
datum being not unfrequent within short distances. A 
larger fault bounds the coal-field on the south side of the 
river, extending from a point a mile or so to the south 
of Glasgow eastwai'ds to beyond Hamilton. Smaller 
faults cross the river at Glasgow Green, above Bothwell, 
and below Larkhall. 

A bed of coal called the Humph, about 30 inches 
thick, occurs between the Main and the Splint, but has 
not been much worked except in the neighbourhood 
of Glasgow, where it is found to be a capital house 
coal. These upper coal-measures do not extend beyond 
Glasgow to the westward, as their boundary, at least 
on the south side of the river, is the fault crossing 
the Clyde close to Glasgow through the Green. To the 
west of this we come upon the lower coal-measures, 
or "Possil section," lying under the series of strata 
which correspond to the "Millstone Grit" of England. 
These beds contain the fire-clays found about Garnkirk 
and Glenboig, and extend from the lower slaty -band 
ironstone to the Cowglen limestone, which is the top of 
the lower coal-measures. Further west, about Jordanhill, 


we are in the Possil section, and at Knightswood a gas 
coal was worked which has been identified by Mr. Ralph 
Moore, H.M. Inspector of Mines, with the Lesmahagow 
gas-coal. The coal-seams down to the Splint do not 
extend under the river much, if any, past a 25-fathom 
fault, crossing the river near Larkhall; but they appear 
several miles further south-east on both sides of the 
river, while the lower coal-measures exist about Douglas 
and to the south of Lesmahagow. They are not met 
with anywhere on the Clyde above the village of Hazel- 

The position of the principal seams in the Clyde valley 
may be shown in sectional order, thus: 

Upper Coal, 2 ft. to 5 ft. 

Intermediate Strata, 20 to 25 fathoms. 

Ell Coal, 5 ft. to 7 ft. 

Intermediate Strata, 6 to 8 fathoms. 

Pyotshaw Coal, 2 ft. 8 in. to 4 ft. 6 in. 

Intermediate Strata, varying up to 5 fathoms. 

Main Coal, 3 ft. 6 in. to 4 ft. 8 in. 

Intermediate Strata, 7 fatlionis. 
Humiili Coal, ... ... ... About 30 inches. 

Intermediate Strata, T) fatlioms. 
S))lint and Virgin Coal, ... ... 5 ft. to 7 ft. 

The fire-clay deposits to the north- cast of Glasgow are 
of great commercial value, a large industry existing in 
the making of retorts, drain-pipes, fire-bricks, &c. The 
clay, after removal from the mine, is broken up and put 
through the crushing -mill, and after being properly 
treated passes to the moulder. The brick moulds are 
mostly made of brass, an allowance of one twelfth being 
made for shrinkaere. The moulded material is then stove- 


dried and thereafter burned. The kiln contains many- 
thousands of bricks, and is fired gently at first for about 
two days, after which it is put on full fire for two other 
days, thus being brought up to a white heat; gradual 
cooling thereafter being allowed. 

The following description of the geological position 
and method of mining fire clay is taken from a paper on 
" Fire Bricks," read by Mr. James Dunnachie, of Glenboig, 
before the British Association, Glasgow meeting, 1876. 

" The fire-clays wrought in the neighbourhood of Glas- 
gow are situated geologically in the upper coal series and 
limestone series, taking the Roman cement as the dividing 
line, or, according to the Ordnance geological map, in the 
millstone grit. They are found at all depths, from 
the surface opencast workings, to pits of 40 or 50 
fathoms. They are sometimes taken from lower depths 
where coal is being wrought, but we do not find our best 
qualities in such positions. The workable seams vary in 
thickness from about 3 feet to 30 or 40 feet. The process 
of fire-brick making is pretty much alike all over the 
West of Scotland, and indeed everywhere else, when fire- 
clay is the material employed; but as it is necessary to 
be clear and connected, we will follow the process as 
applied at the Glenboig Star Works, near Coatbridge. 
The clay is there found 113 feet deep, and varies in 
thickness from 6 to 9 feet. In descendino- the shaft, we 
pass through from 12 to 20 feet of floating whinstone 
(the overflowings of the numerous trap dykes w^hich 
intersect the strata of the district), this covers a consider- 
able part of the Glenboig field; under the whin are 
numerous beds of fire-clay and siliceous rocks, some of 


them almost pure silica of the true ganister type. The 
system of mining is what is called stoop-and-room, or 
pillar-and-stall. The workings are 12 feet wide, and the 
stoops left in are 30 feet square, excepting at the pit- 
bottom, where they are much larger. The stoops may be 
cut through, and when the proper time comes, removed 
altogether. The clay, in its natural state, is very hard, 
and requires to be blown down with gunpowder. The 
clay is sent out in pieces about the size of good round 
coal. It is raised to a high pit-head platform, from 
whence it is run either to the crushing-mills direct, or to 
the bing where it is exposed to the action of the weather. 
When weathering is adopted, the extra labour of lifting 
and laying is involved; but the ease with which the 
milling is afterwards effected fully compensates. When 
the clay is mixed with 'bullets' or nodules of iron, or 
any other visible impurities, weathering permits of these 
being picked out. It also disintegrates and softens the 
clay, so that a much solider body and smoother surface 
can be given to such articles as require these qualities. 
In bricks for general furnace purposes we do not want 
a close texture. The brick must have sufficient flour in 
it to give it toughness and strength, but that accomplished, 
our aim is to make it as rough and open in the grain as 
possible, that it may be the better able to resist high and 
variable temperatures. The crushing and milling are 
effected by means of revolving pans, in which heavy 
iron-edge rollers run. The crushing-pan is 7 feet in 
diameter and perforated in the bottom; the crushing- 
rollers weigh upwards of 3 tons each. The wet pans are 
G feet in diameter, and the rollers weigh 35 cwt. each. 


They receive their motion from a large shaft running 
overhead, connected with the fly-wheel of the engine." 

The iron industry has long been established in the 
Clyde valley at such centres as Gartsherrie, Summerlee, 
Langloan, Calder, &c., and such towns as Airdrie, Coat- 
bridge, Wishaw, &c., have grown and prospered through 
the work of the blast and puddling furnaces. 

The following extract, which is of interest in connec- 
tion with the early process of manufacture of iron, is 
given in the Journal of the Iron and Steel Institute for 
1887, and refers to a statement submitted to parliament 
entitled : 

"The case of Importation of Bar-Iron from our own 
Colonies of North America. Humbly recommended to 
the Confidence of the present Parliament by the Iron- 
Manufacture of Great Britain. 1756. 

" In the year 1751. Application was made to Parlia- 
ment for the Admission of Bar-Iron Duty free from our 
own Colonies. And after various Struggles, as is always 
the case, between Self-interest and the Public Good, the 
contending Parties seemed to compromise the Difierence, 
— By passing a Law for importing Bar-Iron Duty free 
into the Port of London only, continuing the Restraint 
against all the other Ports of the Kingdom. 

" The only Indulgence, which could be obtained at that 
Juncture, was a Permission to Import Pig-iron Duty- 
free into other Places. 

" It is a fact that the Iron-Manufacture in England is 
increasing every Day; So that the Demand for Paw 
Materials is growing greater and greater. 

" The first Process is to refine the Iron from the Ore, 


by running the Metal into short pieces like Billet- Wood 
called Pig-iron; and the proprietor of this Work is 
termed the Furnace- Master. But Note. The only Fuel 
proper for this Operation is Wood Charcoal. The next 
Process is to meliorate the Iron, still by means of a 
Charcoal Fire, to render it malleable, and draw it out into 
Bars by the Strokes of the Great Hammer; The Owner 
of which Work is stiled the Forge-Master. But, generally 
speaking, the same Person, or Persons, united in a Com- 
pany, are the Proprietors of both Works : And perhaps of 
Slitting and Rowlling Mills besides; whose common Appela- 
tion is therefore. That of Iron Masters." 

The "Case" then goes on to state that in the next place 
there are the Iron- Manufacturers who receive the material 
to make into "Bars, Rods, or Plates, and work it up into 
all the various Implements for which England is now 
become famous over all the World." It is then noted that 
after the iron comes to be dealt with by the Manufacturer 
" the Use of Wood Charcoal is from thence-forward en- 
tirely laid aside, and that they perform all their Opera- 
tions with Pit-coal;" and this is shown to have an im- 
portant bearing on the question at issue, as the price of 
Cord- Wood in England necessary for the making of the 
charcoal, had more than doubled, and from this and other 
reasons the " Iron-Manufacturer" greatly suffered, hence 
it is evident that the "Manufacturer" who did not require 
charcoal in his operations, was much interested in getting 
a plentiful supply of plates and bars to work up with 
the pit-coal which was abundant at home. 

An additional argument for drawing closer to the 
Colonies for supplies of iron was the " present alarming 


Connection of Russia with France," this position being 
illustrated by what had been done in regard to pitch and 
tar, "when Sweeden, under the influence of the same 
constant Enemy, endeavoured to distress us in the Use of 
these necessary important Articles." 

At that time four tons of pig-iron were allowed for 
making three tons of bar. It appears that at that time 
foreign iron paid a duty of £2, 8.s. 6d. per ton, and freight 
from America was at the rate of 25s. to 30s. per ton as 
cargo, if in ballast from 6s. to 8s. per ton.^ 

1 The following complete description of the introduction of the hot-blast into 
the smelting furnace is given in the Statistical Survey for Scotland : — 

"Ncilson's Patent Hot-Blast.— Kn improvement of national importance has 
lately taken place in the making of iron, of which the following is a description. 
Mr. James B. Neilson, engineer in the city, obtained patents in this country 
and France, for an improvement in the manufacture of iron, which he desig- 
nated a Hot-Blast. The patentee drew up a description of this improvement, 
of which the following is an abridgement : — ■ 

" In 1824 an iron-maker asked Mr. Neilson if he thought it possible to purify 
the air blown into blast-furnaces in a manner similar to that in which carburetted 
hydrogen gas is purified; and from this conversation Mr. Neilson perceived 
that he imagined the presence of sulphur in the air to be the cause of blast- 
furnaces working irregularly, and making bad iron in the summer months. 
Subsequentlj' to this conversation, which had in some measure directed his 
thoughts to the subject of blast-furnaces, he received information that one of 
Muirkirk iron-furnaces situated at a considerable distance from the engine did 
not work so well as the others ; which led him to conjecture, that the friction 
of the air, in passing along the pipe, prevented an equal volume of the air 
getting to the distant furnace with that which reached the one situated close 
by the engine ; and he at once came to the conclusion, that, by heating the air 
at the distant furnace, he should increase its volume in the ratio of the known 
law according to which air and gases expand. Thus if 1000 cubic feet, say at 50° 
of Fahrenheit, were pressed by the engine in a given time and heated at 600° 
of Fahrenheit, it would then be increased in volume to 2-1044, and so on for 
every thousand feet that would be blown into the furnace. In prosecuting the 
experiments which this idea suggested, circumstances, however, convinced him 
that heating the air introduced for supporting combustion into air furnaces 
would materially increase its efficacy in this respect; and, with,tho view of putting 


As the older manufactured products and the machinery 
used have been for many years well known and fre- 
quently illustrated, it may only be necessary to state gen- 
erally the industries carried on in the Clyde district; 
amongst these we have iron smelting, malleable and cast 
iron manufacture; the construction of machinery for 
various purposes, such as marine and locomotive engines, 
cranes and machine tools; the building of iron bridges 
and roofs, together with ornamental castings, sugar-mill 
and refinery machinery, nails, rivets, and iron tube 
making, wire-work, railway plant, calico-printing, and 

his suspicions on this point to the test, he instituted the following experiments: — 
To the nozzle of a pair of common smith's bellows, he attached a cast-iron vessel 
heated from beneath in the manner of a retort for generating gas, and to this 
vessel the blowpipe by which the forge or furnace was blown was also attached. 
The air for the bellows having thus to pass through the heated vessel above- 
mentioned, was conseciuently heated to a high temperature before it entered 
the forge fire, and the result produced in increasing the intensity of the heat 
in the furnace was far beyond his expectation, whilst it made apparent the 
fallacy of the generally received theory, that the coldness of the air of the 
atmosphere in the winter months was the cause of the best iron being then 
produced. But in overthrowing the old theory he had also established new 
principles and facts in the process of iron making; and by the advice and 
assistance of Mr. Charles Macintosh of Crossbasket, he applied for and 
obtained a patent as the reward of his discovery and improvement. Experi- 
ments on the large scale to reduce iron ore in founder's cupola were forthwitli 
commenced at the Clyde Iron-works, belonging to Mr. Colin Dunlop, M.P., 
and were completely successful, in consequence of which the invention of Mr. 
Neilson was immediately adopted at the Calder Iron-works, the property of 
Mr. William Dixon, where the blast, by being made to pass through two retorts 
placed on each side of one of the large furnaces before entering the furnace, 
effected an instantaneous change both of quantity and quality of iron produced, 
and a considerable saving of fuel. The whole of the furnaces at Calder and 
Clyde Iron-works were in consequence immediately fitted up on the principle 
of the hot-blast, and its use at these works continues to be attended with the 
utmost success. It has also been adopted at Wilsontown and Gartsherrie 
works in Scotland, and at several works in England and France." 


chemical products, soap, soda, bleaching-powder, confec- 
tionery, dyeing, fire-clay goods, galvanizing, glass manu- 
facture, pottery, leather (saddlery, belting, «Sz;c.), oils and 
colours, paper-making and paper-staining, brewing and 
distilling, publishing, type-founding, rope, twine, and sail- 
cloth, flour-milling, saw-milling, tobacco, snuff, tobacco 
pipes, cotton, woollen, and other textile fabrics. Improve- 
ments on many of these industries are from time to time 
being made. A few of these demanding more special 
attention may be noticed. 

One of the most important is the great extension of the 
steel industry of late years. The introduction of complete 
and special plant in works around the city, at an immense 
outlay of capital, has enabled the Clyde district to pro- 
duce great quantities of the material known as "mild 
steel," not only for the plates of the great ships and 
boilers built on the river but for shipment abroad. The 
principal process used in this district is the Siemens or 
open-hearth system. The furnace is lined with a refrac- 
tory siliceous material, and is charged with pig-iron and 
scrap, and subjected to the intense heat arising from the 
combustion of a current of heated gas and air. To re- 
move the carbon, iron ore is added. After the whole is 
melted and brought into a state of practically pure iron, 
the necessary quantity of carbon and manganese is then 
added in the form of ferro-manganese or spiegeleisen, 
and the whole poured into moulds. 

The Bessemer process so largely worked in England, and 
recently introduced again in Scotland at the Glengarnock 
Iron and Steel Works, consists in filling an iron vessel 
called a converter, lined with refractory material, with 


molten pig-iron, and then subjecting the liquid mass, 
weighing several tons, to the oxidizing influence of a 
strong blast of air forced through the iron by means 
of powerful air-compressing machiner3^ After about 
twenty minutes of this action, during which the flames 
and sparks arising from the rapid chemical actions going 
on constitute quite a pyrotechnic display, the metal is 
brought into a comparatively pure state, after which a 
quantity of melted spiegeleisen is added, and the now 
constituted steel is run out into moulds. 

The invention of Messrs. Thomas & Gilchrist, whereby 
the phosphoric iron ores, so common in some parts of the 
country, can be utilized for the production of steel, has 
given an increased facility for manufacture of this 
material. The essential peculiarity of this process lies in 
the nature of the lining of the converter, in this case a 
])asic material being used, such as magnesian limestone. 
In the ordinary Bessemer process, where hematite pig is 
used, the lining is, as already mentioned, of a siliceous 
character. The ingots, after being reheated (where the 
Gjers soaking pits are used this is unnecessary), are 
hammered and rolled into plates, bars, rails, &c. 

Steel, from its greater strength over iron, weight 
for weight, can be used with much advantage for ships 
and boilers, since many steel-built vessels, although going 
ashore, yet remain sound, the steel plates being bent but 
not fractured. The saving of weight by using steel in- 
stead of iron for ship-building is said to amount to about 
16 per cent. The following descriptive notes of the works 
of the Steel Company of Scotland may serve to convey 
some idea of the resources now in the hands of the steel- 


maker for the production of this material. These works, 
besides being the earliest to be started in the Clyde 
district, may be taken as representative in their general 
arrangement of the others which have arisen from time 
to time to the east of Glasgow: — The Hallside Works of 
the Company are situated near Newton Station, on the 
Caledonian Railway system, about seven miles south-east 
of Glasgow. They were commenced in 1871, for the 
manufacture of steel by the Siemens process. There are 
now in use in the melting department 17 furnaces of 13 
tons capacity, and in the steel foundry one 10- ton and 
one 15-ton melting furnaces. Their production of steel, 
when in full work, is about 2000 tons weekly. There are 
two 12-ton, one 10-ton, and one 4-ton hammers for the 
production of slabs, blooms, and forgings; two 26-inch 
plate mills, one 28-inch cogging mill, one 28-incli mill 
for rails and heavy sections, one 18-inch and one 14-inch 
bar mills. There are two sets of Gjers soaking pits, and 
the necessary reheating furnaces for ingots, slabs, &c., 
and one plate annealing furnace. There is also a foundry 
for the production of steel castings of the largest size, 
having a complete arrangement of drying stoves and 
annealing furnaces. A large machine-shop has just been 
erected for the completion of the heaviest crank shafts, 
and is being fitted with the best machine tools for doing 
this class of work. Besides this there is a complete 
establishment for conducting the necessary chemical 
analysis and mechanical tests, as also repairing shops, 
including pattern, smith, boiler and machine shops. 

The Blochairn Works of the Company are situated 
on the north-eastern outskirts of Glasgow. They were 


purchased by the Company in 1880, and remodelled 
for the production of steel. There are now in use 13 
steel melting furnaces of 13 tons, and one of 4 tons 
capacity, equal to a total production of 1600 tons of 
ingots weekly. Besides this there are two 12-ton and 
one 7-ton steam-hammers for preparing slabs, blooms, 
&c. ; two 26-inch and one 32-inch plate mills, two 22-inch 
plate or sheet mills, one 16-inch bar and one 10-inch 
guide mills. There is also a universal mill for the rolling 
of bars up to 24 inches wide, and one 32-inch cogging 
mill for preparing slabs for the different mills. There 
are also two sets of Gjers soaking pits, which deal with 
almost the whole of the ingots made, and the necessary 
reheating furnaces for slabs, &c., and an annealing fur- 
nace for plates, &c. The works also embrace a plate 
flanging and stamping department, fitted with Tweddel's 
flanging-press and the necessary machines for planing 
and turning the edges of the flanged plates. Among 
other necessary adjuncts are a chemical laboratory, a 
mechanical test-house, and an iron foundry, with pattern, 
fitting, and smith shops, &c. The tests to which the 
finished steel plate, rail, &c., are subjected are various. 
Strips are cut from the plates and subjected to bending 
tests and to tensile tests; in the latter the ultimate 
strength is recorded, and the percentage of elongation. 
The strength varies from 27 to 31 tons per square inch, 
with 20 per cent of elongation in a length of 8 inches. 
The drop test for rails is 1 ton, falling from a height of 
five feet. 

Another important and widely-spread industry of 
comparatively recent origin is that of the extraction 


of paraffin from shale, originally invented by the late 
James Young. The shale is placed in specially con- 
structed retorts and subjected to heat, whereby the 
constituents are liberated; and after being variously 
treated by distillation, refrigeration, &c., the commer- 
cial product of paraffin, so much used now for candles, 
paraffin oil, so excellent for lighting and heating, and 
ammonia, &c., are obtained. The great fields of this 
industry lie on the north-eastern boundary of the Clyde 
valley, at Addiewell, Bathgate, &c. 

Not only is the manufacture of iron from the ore 
carried on in Glasgow and the neighbourhood, but the 
remelting of the " pigs," so made in the cupola, is carried 
out in many foundries throughout the city; great cast- 
ings of cylinders and their accompaniments for the 
Atlantic liners, pipes for water and gas, from the gi-eat 
four-foot diameter drysand casting, down to the one-inch 
diameter greensand casting. The pipe-founding trade has 
long been a speciality in Glasgow, its originators having, 
like their industrial brethren the ship-builder and en- 
gineer, made for themselves, by their skill and enterprise, 
a wide reputation. This we see is still maintained; for 
we notice lorries, each with a single 12-foot length of 
huge iron pipe slowly being drawn by a sturdy Clydes- 
dale to the river for shipment, or the lines of railway 
trucks with their corresponding loads, all for great water 
supply works at home or abroad. 

The forging of iron under the powerful stroke of 
the steam-hammer is also a speciality, as in the Lance- 
tield Forge the shaft of the Great Eastern was turned 
out for that big ship. 



The building of locomotives is considerable in Glasgow ; 
thus the various private firms in the city can turn out 
as many as 450 completed engines in the year. Besides 

Tassenger Lucomotive Engine. 

this, the works of the railway companies are engaged in 
making and repairing both engines and carriages. 

The utilization of the waste gases from the blast 
furnaces has also been largely worked out; so that instead 
of the wide-mouthed flaming tower-like structure illumi- 
nating the country for miles around, we have a close- 
topped furnace with a bell and cone arrangement for 
charging the ore, the waste gases which formerly were 
consumed in flame at the top being led off to heat the 
blast and raise the steam required for the blowing- 
engine. And recently, as a further improvement, plant 
has been laid down at several works for the recovery of 
ammonia from the gases. 

Explosives in the form of gunpowder and dynamite 
are manufactured on a large scale on the Firth of Clyde 
— gunpowder at Kames, in the Kyles of Bute, and 
dynamite at Ardeer, Stevenston, where the works of 
Nobel's Explosives Company are situated. Dynamite is 



a pasty substance com- 
posed of nitro- glycerine 
and an absorbent earth, and 
is of great advantage to the 
engineer and others, not 
only from its greater power 
than gunpowder, but from 
its explosive qualities being 
unaffected by damp or 

Amongst some of the 
more recent industrial 
achievements which belong 
to the Clyde district, the 
Bell -Coleman method of 
preserving meat fresh by 
the circulating of air at a 
low temperature may be 
mentioned. Several years 
ago the process was first 
applied in sea-going ves- 
sels by the inventors, a 
cargo of meat being brought 
home from Australia and 
delivered in prime condi- 
tion. Now the method is 
widely developed, and the 
mechanical application ap- 
pears in different forms 
and for different purposes. 
The Industrial Museum 


in Kelvingrove Park, belonging to the Corporation of 
Glasirow, thoucjh small, contains an excellent assortment 
of the leading manufactured products of the city. A 
short but lucid descriptive Sketch Guide, by Mr. James 
Paton, F.L.S., the superintendent, enables the visitor 
almost at a glance to carry away a very fair idea of 
the commercial variety in manufactures carried on in 
the city. 

Chater VIIL— meteorological, &c. 

The Firth of Clyde presents some peculiar features 
which are of much interest. The long narrow lochs 
which stretch like arms for many miles inland, carry 
the sea-water to the foot of the Highland hills of 
Argyleshire, and, in the combination of mountain slopes 
and salt-water with the tidal ebb and flow, are, in a 
miniature form, a reproduction of the fiords so common 
on the Norwegian coast. In many cases the latter still 
terminate in the great ice-field or glacier, with snow-clad 
mountain summits. The Clyde hills, however, unless in 
winter, are free from snow or ice. By the student of 
geology many traces can still be seen around these inlets 
that point to a time in the far-back history of our river, 
when the glacier slowly crept down the valleys, the ice 
sheet being floated away down to the opener waters 
beyond, carrying with it some of the debris from the 
mountain slopes. Speaking of the glacier period, Mr. 
Bell, in his Rocks around Glasgow, says: 

" So issuing in great volume from the mountain ranges 
by the channels of these Highland lochs, Loch Fyne, 


Lochs Ridden and Striven, Loch Eck and Holy Loch, 
Loch Goil, Loch Long, the Gareloch, and Loch Lomond — 
all of which are simply old glacier beds — the ice spread 
across what is now the Firth of Clyde; part, as we have 
seen, taking an easterly and south-easterly direction, 
and part, also, as shown by the markings on either shore, 
proceeding down what is now the channel, past Bute and 
the Cumbraes. There must, therefore, have been a 
' shedding ' or parting of the ice near Gourock, and this 
may be one reason why the boulders there are so abun- 
dant. At Kilmun point, where the Loch Eck and the 
Loch Long glaciers coalesced, there would be formed a 
'medial moraine,' which would be borne by the ice 
across the present channel, and strewn where it impinged 
on the slopes of the opposite hills." 

The deposits left by these movements are partly of a 
clayey nature, and a classic interest surrounds certain 
beds which are found on the banks of the river and firth; 
and it is to the late Mr. Smith of Jordanhill that we 
owe the discovery of shells of an Arctic type which 
had lain embedded since the glacial period, contemporary 
living specimens being only now found in Arctic regions. 
These shells can still be found in the beds of clay at 
various points, one of which is at the mouth of the Balni- 
kailly Burn, Bute, which enters the Kyles nearly opposite 
Colintraive pier. 

Whether as a student of geology, natural history, or, 
shall we call it, climatology, an observer will find much 
of interest in the configuration of the lower part of the 
Clyde, from where Loch Long terminates at Arrochar to 
the Craig of Ailsa itself, which may be considered as the 


terminal mark of the firth. If anyone will take a chart 
of the firth and note the soundings he will observe a 
varied assortment of figures, wdth here and there a 
characteristic letter attached. The figures represent in 
fathoms the depths below low w^ater, and the letters in- 
dicate the character of the bottom. If we now compare 
these varied depths w^e may notice that, although the 
depth increases in a general manner as we recede from 
the shore, yet, at the lowest part of the firth, and where 
we would naturally look for the deepest water, we have 
very much shallower water than at many points higher 
up the firth. Thus, if we take a line across from Girvan 
by Ailsa Craig to Campbeltown or the Mull of Cantyre, 
we find that the soundings there vary very little, pre- 
serving a fairly uniform value of 25 or 26 fathoms 
(immediately outside it is 50 fathoms), while some miles 
higher up, oflf Arran, they increase to about 70 fathoms, 
attaining at the north end of that island to 90 fathoms, 
which again is exceeded in Loch Fyne, at a point a few 
miles below Tarbcrt, by the great depth of 104 fathoms, 
or 624 feet. And thus one of the two great chimney- 
stalks in Glasgow, which measures about 450 feet, would, 
if placed in the water out at Ailsa Craig, have from 
about one-half to three-fourths of its height above water, 
but would be completely submerged if placed ofi* the 
north end of Arran; and in Loch Fyne, at the point of 
greatest depth mentioned, it would be covered by about 
170 feet of water. Such a configuration points to a deep 
basin of water lying more or less up the firth from its 
termination; hence if a sufficiently great ebb-tide were 
to lay bare the plateau around Ailsa Craig, there would 


he left inside an inland lake which, at its deepest part, 
would be about 470 feet deep. Indeed, if we consider 
that the level of the water has undoubtedly stood at one 
time much higher than it is at present, Loch Lomond 
will afford us an illustration of such a chanofed condition 
of things, as it is obvious that at one time what we 
now see as a fresh-water lake must have been an arm 
of the sea not unlike Loch Lon^, and, indeed, misfht 
now be united to it, as the narrow neck of land which 
divides these two large sheets of fresh and salt water 
is not greatly raised above sea-level. The deepest part 
of this inland and fresh-water loch is over 100 fathoms, 
its lower part being separated by 6 or 7 miles of low- 
lying ground from the river Clyde. 

Besides this general depression in the firth there are 
also subsidiary depressions at different points in the arms 
or lochs already referred to; thus, the inner part of the 
firth, or that lying above the Cumbrae Islands, shows 
this same basin-like structure, as we find deeper water 
about Dunoon than at Toward Point ; a little off Dunoon 
we find 56 fathoms, but ofl" Toward Point 23 fathoms. 

From the north end of Greater Cumbrae an elevation 
all within the 20-fathom line runs northwards till it 
reaches its highest part at Skelmorlie Buoy, on the bank 
of the same name, where the depth is only 2f fathoms, 
it then slopes down rapidly to 44 fathoms off Wemyss 
point. A deep channel exists on the Skelmorlie shore, 
which, along the measured mile course, varies from 38 to 
45 fathoms. 

Starting with the Gareloch, the highest up of the sea 
lochs, and just at the commencement of the firth, we find 



that the entrance, which is narrow, has only a depth of 
a few fathoms, 1 to 5, whilst about half-way up the depth 
reaches 23 fathoms. At the entrance to Loch Long the 
greatest depth is from 32 to 33 fathoms, whilst 44, 46, 
48, and 50 are registered up towards the mouth of Loch 
Goil. Considerably deeper water is also found in this 
short loch or arm of Loch Long than at its entrance. 
The Holy Loch is short and shallow, a depth of 14 
fathoms being pretty uniformly preserved throughout its 

The next important arm of the firth is Loch Striven, 
which runs back among the Cowal hills for a distance 
of about 7 miles, and exhibits in the grand and lonely 
character of its scenery much of that for which some of 
our far west Highland lochs are justly celebrated. The 
deepest sounding at the mouth of this loch is 23 fathoms, 
deepening rapidly to 35 fathoms, and reaching to 40 and 
41 fathoms aliout half-way up. 

Coming to Loch Fyno, which stretches as a long narrow 
valley far up into Argyleshire, we find that in the upper 
part, viz. that running in a somewhat north-easterly 
direction from Otter, near Ardrishaig, to beyond Inverary, 
we have at the narrow part of Otter Ferry an irregular 
series of soundings varying from 6 to 23 fathoms, whilst 
fully half-way up the depth reaches 82 fathoms. At the 
mouth of the lower part of Loch Fyne we find the 
greatest depths marked to be 79 and 84 fathoms, the 
greatest depth, as before stated, being found higher up, 
and reaching to 104 fathoms, the depths above and below 
this point being 96 fathoms. (See Chart of Firth, p. 16.) 

Now, it is obvious that not only the peculiar superficial 


configuration of this system of sea-water into which the 
river Clyde flows, but the peculiar characteristics of the 
bottom must aflfect the flow and ebb of the tide and the 
temperature of the water. The tidal wave as it reaches 
our coasts is deflected around the northern and southern 
ends of the island, and in like manner, to a smaller 
extent, suffers considerable interruption to its course on 
entering the Firth of Clyde by the Mull of Cantyre. 
Passing up from the North Channel the island of Arran 
divides the stream, one part reuniting again at the north 
end of that island and passing up Loch Fyne and through 
the Kyles of Bute, the other part flowing past the Cum- 
brae Islands and advancing up the upper lochs and the 
river itself till reaching Glasgow. 

The temperature of the deep water in the Firth of Clyde 
and the neighbouring sea lochs has recently formed the 
subject of careful experimental investigation, and the con- 
clusion drawn from the data obtained recorded in papers 
and reports. These interesting researches were first be- 
gun in 1886, when the steam-launch Medusa cruised 
about the firth and neighbouring lochs, taking deep- 
water soundings and gathering much general and useful 
information both as regards the waters and the creatures 
which live in them. From these observations it was found 
that the distribution of temperature depended largely on 
the depth and form of the sea bottom. Surface tempera- 
ture was lost at 10 fathoms down. The temperature on 
the shallowest part off" the Craig was higher than at the 
bottom of the lochs. Speaking on this subject Dr. Mill 

" The work has so far brought out the following quite 



new results. The temperature in the open channel south 
of the Mull of Cantyre is always nearly uniform from 
surface to bottom; it changes regularly with the advanc- 
ing season and appears to be higher all the year round 
than the mean of that of equally deep water anywhere 
inside the Clyde Barrier Plateau. In the great Arran 
Basin temperature is uniform from surface to bottom for 
a considerable time when the warmth is at a minimum 
in early spring. As the weather grows warmer the 
surface heats most rapidly, and the warmth slowly 
spreads downwards, affecting the whole mass of water 
below the depth of about 30 fathoms uniformly and 
slowly at first; but the distance to which a rapid rise 
extends increases until past the autumnal equinox. Then 
the surface commences to cool, the maximum occurs at 
the middle, but is speedily transferred to the bottom, 
and gives the early winter distribution of increase of 
temperature with depth. Cooling ultimately takes place 
throughout until an exactly uniform vertical distribution 
is established. The deep rock-basins resemble the Arran 
Basin with its peculiarities relative to the open Channel 
much exaggerated. They arc comparatively isolated from 
tidal influence, and exposed to the extremes of summer 
heat and winter cold from the proximity of steep moun- 
tainous walls down which much surface water pours. 
The deep basins have a strong resemblance to inland 
lakes in their great range of temperature at the surface 
and small range at the bottom. The intermediate layers 
usually show remarkable instances of the superposition 
of strata at different temperatures. The phenomenon of 
a cold layer sandwiched between warmer ones, and gradu- 


ally sinking lower as summer advances, is characteristic 
of all rock-basins filled with sea-water, but was not so 
marked this year as last in the Clyde lochs." — Journal 
of the Scottish Meteorological Society for 1886. 

There appears to be about 3 J per cent of salt in the 
waters of the firth, and the deeper water is, in all cases, 
Salter than the surface water. In many cases calm 
patches of water are noticeable on the surface when 
otherwise there are ripples due to the wind, also oily- 
looking patches scattered about on calm days. These 
patches may sometimes be noticed when becalmed while 
yachting, and if closer attention be paid a distinct up- 
welling of the water at these places can be detected. 
During the cruise of the Medusa such patches were 
investijjated, and it was found that in one case, off the 
Mull of Cantyre, the temperature of the patch was 42° 
to 42°'3, whilst that of the surrounding water was 43° to 
45°"5; the conclusion drawn by the observers was that 
such appearances were due to the deeper and therefore 
colder water welling up from the bottom.^ 

The rise and fall of the tide around the coasts of the 
firth is very varied on account of the configuration of the 

1 Professor James Thomson, of Glasgow University, considers this uprise of 
water to be due to "impulses arising through the scouring action of the current 
along the bed. Thus the water so arriving at the surface and spreading out there 
is composed largely of the deadened water from the bottom." As to the calm 
patches, Dr. Thomson says: "The water must often be affected by various 
causes, such as tides, breezes, currents, and circulation due to differences of 
temperature, so as to be made to rise occasionally at some places and sink at 
others. Now along the line of meeting and sinking of two opposing surface 
currents all floating objects carried by these currents will be collected together, 
and there they will act as dampers or floating breakwaters for the small ripple 


channel; the action of the wind, too, has much to do with 
the range. In looking over a chart of the firth we see 
that near the southern end of Bute the range is 10 feet, 
at Ardrishaig from 6 to 9 feet, at Inverary 10 feet, Loch 
Striven head 6 feet, Lochgoilhead 6 to 10 feet, at Arrochar 
12 feet, and at Greenock 10 or 12 feet. At West Loch 
Tarbert the tides are so irregular that the familiar prac- 
tice of beaching lighters to tranship their cargoes, so com- 
mon on the shores of the firth, cannot be carried out, at 
least with the certainty of a rise of tide at a stated time to 
get afloat again. The range there is only from 1 to 4 feet. 
About Loch Crinan it appears to vary from 3 feet at 
neap-tides to 8 feet at springs. At the Mull of Cantyre 
the range is only 4 feet at springs. At the Cumbrac 
Head the range of the tide at springs is about 12 feet. 
At Toward Point the greatest range, which is in March, 
is about 14 feet with a north wind. If the wind be 
southerly the ebb will be reduced by as much as two feet. 
Around Ailsa Craig there appears to be little or no 
range of tide. The speed of flow is, however, from 4 to 
5 miles an hour. 

The influence of the wind is very marked in such 
narrow channels as occur about the firth. Southerly 
gales happening at the time of springs, frequently cause 
flooding of the lower parts of our coast towns, whilst 
extreme ebbs occur with easterly winds, causing difficul- 
ties sometimes in the launching of vessels on the river, 
and in the taking of some of the coast piers by the river 

Where there is an island with a long narrow channel 
at one end, we find that part of the tide coming up the 


firth keeps to one side of the island and part to the other, 
like the island of Bute, where it meets at a point in the 
Kyles about Southhall; yachtsmen and fishermen, who 
are more or less dependent on the wind and tide, can 
in this way gain advantage of the direction of flow of 
both flood and ebb. 

The times of high-water are also very varied. Thus, 
at Ardrishaig, Kyles of Bute, Garroch Head and Loch 
Striven head, the time of high-water is much the same, 
but at Skipness and West Loch Tarbert it is about three 
hours later; at Inverary, Lochgoilhead, and at Greenock, 
it is about a quarter of an hour later. 

The effect of wave action is often experienced on the 
Firth of Clyde, the passage between Gourock and Dunoon 
and the rounding of Toward Point having been long 
dreaded by passengers to Rothesay, as also the rounding 
of the Farland Point going to Millport, and the side sea 
experienced crossing at Wemyss Bay. The winds which 
produce this disturbance are from the southward, having 
a long fetch from the outside part of the firth, accom- 
panied, it may be, by a ground -swell from the deeper 
water outside. During the ebb-tide, with a southerly 
wind, the effect is intensified, the waves being higher and 
sharper. It is well known that the judging of the height 
of waves is deceptive, and great variety exists in indi- 
vidual minds as to the size of waves even with those 
accustomed to see them. Thus, in the firth, within the 
Cumbraes, heights of from 8 to 12 feet are quoted by 
steamboat captains and others conversant with the firth 
in storms, whilst outside and beyond Arran 12 to 15 feet 
is assumed as an approximation. It is unlikely, in the 


inner waters of the firth at least, that such extreme 
heights as 12 feet are met with, from 6 to 10 feet being 
more probable. No doubt where the water shoals the 
tendency of the wave is to rise and break; thus in a 
southerly gale one experiences the sharpest heave off the 
buoy on Toward Bank. 

Where the waves are unaffected by special tidal action, 
the rule devised by Mr. Thomas Stevenson, C.E., appears 
to give fairly accurate results for the height of waves in 
heavy gales, viz.: 

^=1| . A?, where /i= height of wave in feet, and 

f? = fetch in nautical miles. Applying this formula to the 
waves coming up the channel, it appears that for a height 
of 6 feet the fetch would require to be 16 miles, and for a 
height of 8 feet 28^- miles. 

It is generally recognized that there is extreme diffi- 
culty in estimating approximately correct the heights of 
waves at sea. A sensitive aneroid, however, readily 
indicates the rise and fall of the ship, and might be 
employed for such investigation. As a kind of gauge of 
the height of the waves in the inner parts of the firth, it 
may be often noticed by passengers on rough nights who 
cross from Wemyss Bay that the light on the floating 
gas buoy on Skelmorlie Bank disappears regularly with 
every wave. Now, as the height of the light is 14 feet 
above sea-level, this indicates a considerable apparent 
height of wave. This buoy carries a bell for fog-signal- 
ling, and being specially rounded off below to intensify 
its swinging tendency in a swell, we cannot take the whole 
14 feet as representing the difference of level from trough 


to crest ; but, as the buoy is more or less inclined, some- 
thing less would indicate a real height of wave as already- 
noted from direct observation. 

The meteorological conditions of the Clyde valley are 
somewhat varied, arising largely from the variations of 
altitude of the different parts of the country through 
which the river takes its course and the direction of the 
hill slopes which border it. In the Upper Ward, which 
extends down to Carluke, a great part of the country 
is moorland and rough pasture, but the soil in many 
places is well suited for cultivation, the principal part of 
the arable land lying near the Clyde. The soil becomes 
more clayey as the boundary of the middle ward is 
approached, which, although showing great variety, yet 
is principally clayey. Alluvial soil is met with near 
the river and its tributaries, and a peaty earth is common 
in some parts. In the lower ward the soil varies from 
clay to sand, with alluvial bottoms along the Clyde. 

The weather of the Upper Ward is steadier, and the 
cold and heat more severe than lower down, and heavy 
rains frequently fall in the higher parts. In the lower 
parts of Lanarkshire the temperature is modified by the 
influence of the Atlantic. 

Looking over such reports as those published by the 
Meteorological Society of Scotland we see the great vari- 
ation of temperature and rainfall in the different districts 
where records are kept. Thus, if we take the report for 
the year ending December, 1885, we find that at Ar- 
drossan, on the eastern side of the firth, the annual rain- 
fall amounted to 30 inches. Crossing the country to 
Paisley we find registered 33 inches ; at Gasgo w, 27 inclies. 


Following up the line of the Clyde valley we have 
at Cambuslang, 26 inches; about Both well, 22; Ham- 
ilton, 29. Keeping by the coast we find at Rothesay, 
44 inches registered; at Greenock, celebrated as a rainy 
place, we have the large quantity of 56 inches; at Helens- 
burgh, on the opposite side of the river, 48 inches ; and at 
Arrochar, at the head of Loch Long, the great quantity 
of 71 inches fell in one year, or nearly 6 feet of water. 
By the time we get up to Dumbarton we find that only 
42 inches were registered. Very nearly the same quan- 
tity of rain was registered on opposite sides of the Clyde 
valley at points roughly north and south of Glasgow; 
thus at Mugdock, near Milngavie, 8 miles from Glasgow, 
where the service reservoir of the Loch Katrine water 
supply is situated, the rainfall was about 42 inches, and 
at Ryat Linn, another of the Glasgow reservoirs, but 
connected with the Gorbals works on the south side of 
the river, a few miles from Glasgow, the rainfall was 
about 41 inches; Glasgow, as already stated, coming in 
between these two stations with 27 inches. 

The variations of monthly mean temperatures in degrees 
Fahrenheit throughout the year at various points in the 
Clyde valley and firth are as follows: — ^ 

Jany. July. Range. 

At Mull of Kiutyre, 37*4 56-() 186 

„ Coreewall, 37-7 569 19-2 

„ Pladda, 37*0 557 18-7 

„ Lainlash, 39-4 5()-l 16-7 

„ Eothesay, 36-0 5G-0 20-6 

„ Greeuock, 35-4 50-7 21-3 

„ Helensburgh, 34-1 55-6 21-5 

^ Rainfall for 1886. — Journal of Scottish Meteorological Society, 1886. 













At Dumbarton, 35-2 

„ Paisley, 35"6 

„ Glasgow, 34*6 

„ Wanlockhead (1334 feet),... 27-4 

The island of Bute ha.s long been celebrated for the 
salubrity of its climate, and is well known as a health 
resort. The climate is mild, as the following notes of tem- 
perature will show: thus, the average temperature of Bute, 
taken over a period of nearly fifty years' observation, is 
given as 47°'34, the highest of any year during that time 
being in 1828, when the average for that year was SO^'TS, 
the lowest average being 43° -40 in 1838. The highest 
average temperature for July during that time was 63°'09 
in 1852, and the lowest average temperature for Decem- 
ber was 31°-81 in 1874. The highest temperature recorded 
during the same period was 85° and the lowest 14°. The 
rainfall is much less than at some points on the main- 
land adjoining, the average fall taken over a large number 
of years giving 4832 inches. 

Freedom from sudden changes of temperature is un- 
doubtedly favourable to longevity, rapid variations affect- 
ing the death-rate in a marked manner. The following ex- 
tract refers to the salubrity of some of our western islands:^ 
"The islands of Bute, Arran, and Mull are peculiarly 
adapted as sanatoria for consumptives, and their climates 
are highly conducive to restoring energy in cases of 
lowered vitality and nervous exhaustion. . . . After 
a most careful study of Rothesay and its surroundings, 

1 .1 Treatise on Medicated Respiration in Pulmonary Consumption. By 
Anthony Bell, L.R.C.P.E. 


climatically, geographically, and socially, I am not sur- 
prised at its being designated ' the Madeira of Scotland.' 
. . . I must not neglect to mention the pleasant village 
of Port-Bannatyne, situated at the head of the beautiful 
bay of Kames, about two miles from Rothesay, rendered 
charmingly picturesque by its brilliant scenery, including 
the far-famed Kyles of Bute. During the summer months 
the air at this health-inspiring spot is purer than Rothe- 
say, and certainly more buoyant and invigorating." 

From a voluminous report on the weather of 1886 by 
Professor Grant of the Glasgow Observatory, published 
in the Glasgow Herald, it appears that the average 
annual temperature at Glasgow for the last ten years was 
4G°"4. During 188G the maximum temperature in the shade 
was 7G°'7 in July; the minimum, also in the shade, being 
15°'3 in February. The maximum in sun was 131°"1 in 
July. The highest reading of the barometer was 30G81 in 
November; the lowest reading being 27G47 in December; 
the monthly range of the latter month being 2'843 inches, 
and the average range for the year being 1'453 inches. 

The rainfall was 32179 inches, the greatest fall being 
in September, when as much as 4'958 inches fell during 
a period of 16 days. The least fall was in April, the 
depth during that month being 1"160 inches, distributed 
over a period of 12 days. 

The prevailing winds were from the south-west and 
north-east, the former blowing during 84-29 days and the 
latter 7943 days. The least fre(|ucnt were the south-east 
winds, showing 14*5 days, and the north-west, 17'46 days. 
There were 64'92 days of west wind, and 37*29 of east 
wind; 4321 days of south wind, and 23'90 of north wind 


An interesting tabular statement orives the movements 
of the air, from which it appears that the average hourly 
movement for a period of 10 years was 11*6 miles per 
hour, the highest being in 1877 with 13"2 miles per 
hour, and the lowest in 1879 with 10"9 miles. The 
mean temperature during 1886 was highest with the 
south wind, which o^ave 49°'4.5, and lowest with the east 
wind, which showed only 43°'67. The south-west wind 
was the wettest, giving 8 '57 inches of rain in the year, 
and the north-west wind the driest with 0"74 inches, 
and the north wind with 1"21 inches. The percentage 
of possible sunshine for the year 1886 was 22'4. 

Glasgow and the Clyde valley are occasionally visited 
by strong gales, a pressure of as much as 55 lbs. per 
square foot having been recorded at Glasgow Observa- 
tory. During a severe storm in January, 1868, 42 lbs. 
was registered. During the memorable Tay Bridge storm 
a pressure of 37 lbs. was recorded, but the fury of the 
storm so damaged the instrument that a complete record 
could not be obtained. After the inquiry as to the cause 
of the Tay Bridge accident the Board of Trade deter- 
mined to adopt 56 lbs. per square foot of surface as the 
wind pressure to be allowed for in designing structures 
such as bridges. In 1881 a severe storm registered a pres- 
sure of 48 lbs. per square foot, the wind travelling with 
a velocity of 80 miles per hour. This was quite a hurricane 
in intensity if we take 10 lbs. per square foot as equal to 
a strong gale. 

Sometimes the nature and velocity of the wind are 
given in tables with the corresponding pressures. Thus, 
a " light breeze " has a velocity of about 7 miles per hour, 


and giving a pressure of about a ^ of a lb. per square foot 
of vertically-exposed surface. A "fresh breeze" is double 
this velocity, but the pressure is now four times what 
it was at 7 miles. A "strong breeze" is about 20 miles 
per hour: "gales" range from 25 to 45 miles per hour; 
whilst storms and hurricanes rise beyond this to as much 
as from 60 to over 100 miles per hour, with wind pres- 
sure of 20 to 60 lbs. per square foot. The pressure varies 

generally as the square of the velocity, and may be ap- 

proximately represented as follows : — p = — ' where p = 


pressure in lbs. per square foot and V = velocity of wind 
in miles per hour. The constant c seems in some cases to 
be about 100, and sometimes almost double that.^ Pro- 
fessor Grant has kindly informed the author that the ex- 

pression 2^~T7^ agrees better with experiments made 

at Glasgow Observatory than p~ , but tliat he has 

° ^ ^ 200 

not arrived at any relations between the two elements 
which can be regarded as definitely satisfactory. 

The very heavy storms which come upon our coasts 
appear to partake more or less of the character of cy- 
clones, as from the tendency to veer in varying directions 
during the time of blow, a distinct rotatory and progres- 

1 If we consider that the pressure of a flowing body such as air may be calcu- 

(ivv) V 
lated from the momentum of the mass in motion, then we have w= , where 

f g 

j3 = pressure in lbs. per square foot of surface, MJ=weight of a cubic foot of air 
(say -08 lbs. for dry air), j; = velocity in feet per second, and (/—gravity, or say 
32'2. It will be found that the above formula will resolve itself practically 

1)2 V2 

mto P=7JY); or, if we take the velocity in miles per hour, p—oj^' 


sive motion is indicated. This veering tendency is some- 
times marked in heavy storms by the direction of fallen 
timber, in some cases one tree lying across another, 
showing the movement of the wind. 

The great and memorable storm in which the Tay 
Bridge fell began on the west coast as a strong south 
wind about 2 p.m., and gradually shifted round to west and 
north-west, increasing in intensity till about 7 or 8 p.m., 
when it decreased.^ The law of such storms has now 
been ably investigated, and instructions drawn up for the 
guidance of the mariner at sea, showing how he should 
steer to get out of the spiral or circle of storm influence. 

The herring fishing industry in the Firth of Clyde has 
long been an extensive one, and the fame of the Loch 
Fyne herring is known far and wide. The migratory 
tendencies of this fish are but little known; but the 
quality and size appear to vary in some measure with 
the locality around our coasts where the shoals con- 
gregate, the distinctive characteristic of the Loch Fyne 
herrinw beins^ its delicate flavour and small size. This 
industry, like all fishing more or less, varies much in its 
results. Thus the quantity of herrings cured on the west 

^ The whirling motion seems in the northern hemisphere to be in a direction 
against the hands of a watch, and the advance from west or south-west to east 
or north-east, whilst in the southern hemisphere the rotatory motion is in the 
opposite direction, or icith the hands of a watch. It appears that the hnes of 
equal pressure during such storms are more or less of a circular character, the 
lowest pressure being at the centre. The general tendency of the wind during 
rotation is to blow slightly towards the centre. The changing condition of the 
weather also may be noted in such whirling and progressive gales commenc- 
ing from the south with rain; as they veer to the west and north-west the wind 
becomes more squally, with showers, and eventually, as it gets more north- 
wards, clears off to dry weather. 


coast in 1886 was about 170,000 barrels; whilst in 1885 
there were as many as about 254,000 barrels. Although 
such a great difference is seen in the total, yet it appears 
that on some parts of the coast, such as Kilbrannan 
Sound, the fishing was prosperous in 1886. 

The following yearly average from published state- 
ments shows for a period of fifty years back the quantity 
of herrings cured in the west of Scotland: — 

183G to 1845 inclusive 72,145 barrels per aiiimm. 

1846 to 1855 inclusive 83,500 „ „ 

1856 to 1865 inclusive 114,997 „ „ 

1866 to 1875 inclusive 165,982 „ „ 

1876 to 1885 inclusive 209,703 „ „ 

The herring fishing is prosecuted in the Firth of Clyde 
by means of wherry-rigged half-decked boats of 6 or 8 
tons, and by smaller boats carrying lug sails. The drift 
nets are shot about sundown, and drawn about sunrise. 
The system of trawling is, however, now much in vogue, 
and has largely displaced the drift-net fishing; but in 
the opinion of some of those who should know, the 
hcn-ing caught by the ti'awl method are inferior to the 
d)-ii"t-nct herring, as the blood docs not get out at the 
gills as when caught in the mesh. The herring fishing in 
the firth commences in June and used to end in January, 
but is now sometimes carried on to March. 

On looking over the fishery statistics, it is most 
astonishing to note the quantity of fish of all kinds 
taken around our coasts and the value of this sea harvest. 
Thus for one month only (September, 1887), the total 
value of the fishin^ around the Scotch coasts was over 
£123,000, and of this the herring value was fully one- 


half, or over £66,000. Haddocks were nearly one-half 
of the herring value. Of this fishing the east coast share 
was by far the largest, the value of the herring caught 
there being about £40,000. Shetland and Orkney had 
the high figure of £12,000, and the west coast £14,000. 
Of this the Firth of Clyde gave £12,000 alone. 

It appears that the value of the fish of all sorts landed 
on the Scotch coasts during the ten months ending; 31st 
October, 1887, was: 

East coast, £891,525 

West coast, £205,183 

Orkney and Shetland, £121,700 

Giving a total of £1,218,408 

Dr. John Murray, of the Challenger expedition, in 

speaking of the feeding grounds of the herring and 

salmon, says that the ridge, 25 fathoms from the surface, 

which separates Loch Fyne from the ocean, causes 

a marked difierence between the well-known herrings 

of that loch and those of the outside western lochs. 

Dr. Murray believes that the Loch Fyne herrings do 

not quit the loch at all, but that after spawning they 

go down to the deep water of the loch and remain 

there feeding in quiet, rising afterwards to the warmer 

waters of the surface for the purpose of spawning. 

Their food appears to be prawns and small crustaceans, 

and it is due to the superior feeding at the bottom 

of the loch that these herrings owe their characteristic 

quality. Oysters beds do not flourish on the Firth of 

Clyde; but the mussel beds are valuable, the famous 

mussel banks opposite Port-Glasgow being well known; 



and from fishery reports these appear to extend prin- 
cipally on the north side of the river, the space fished 
extending to about three miles in length by one in 
breadth. Other beds exist further down in the firth, as 
at Holy Loch, Blairmore, and Loch Ridden. 

Chapter IX.— DEFENCES. 

The defensive condition of the Firth of Clyde has 
occupied some attention recently, and measures have 
been taken, based upon a government survey and report, 
to protect the entrance of the river at the Tail of the 
Bank at Fort Matilda by arranging for the placing of 
mines. The following extract, from a scheme proposed 
by Major-general Sir Andrew Clark, Lispector- general of 
Fortifications, published in the daily papers July, 1885, 
is of much interest: — 

" The vast national importance of the shipbuilding- 
industries of the Clyde, however, and its position as 
one of the two great western commercial ports of the 
country, render defence absolutely necessary. During 
war with a European power the security of the Clyde 
and Mersey would be vital to the food supply of the 
people ; while the whole of the shipbuilding energies there 
concentrated would be required to create and main- 
tain the great supplementary force which the peace 
navy of the country would need. Such a port as the 
Clyde has, therefore, a military as well as a commercial 
importance, and its adequate defence becomes a national 


necessity. Glasgow, approached by a long, narrow chan- 
nel, is eminently defensible against a naval attack. There 
is not sufficient water to allow the larger ironclads to 
move up the river; the sinking of a single ship would 
effectually bar the approach; but the maintenance of the 
free navigation of the Clyde during war is a matter 
of necessity, and such an expedient is inadmissible, 
except as a last resort. It becomes necessary, therefore, 
to create a main line of defence at some point which 
shall serve as an absolute bar to the progress of a 
squadron. Such a bar can be created only by heavy 
guns, in combination with submarine mines. Thus the 
position selected must lend itself to both these methods 
of defence." In connection with this it may be stated 
that there is now a Mining Volunteer Corps, who practise 
the laying and placing in position of both ground and 
mechanical mines. These are iron cases filled with gun- 
cotton, and can be fired by electricity from the shore. 

The strength of the volunteer forces in the Clyde 
district is as follows: — 

Lanarkshire — Rifles, 10,760 

„ Artillery, 1369 

„ Engineers, 867 


Yeomanry, 626 

Naval Brigade, about 70 

Renfrewshire and Dumbartonshire — Rifles, 3587 

Renfrewshire and Dumbartonshire — Artillery, 484 

The total strength of the volunteers in Great Britain 
appears to be about 228,000. The Tactical Society have 

mapped out the country to facilitate military defensive 



operations. The Boys' Brigade movement, started in 
Glasgow some years ago, now numbers about GOOO. The 
primary object of this movement is to improve the boys 
morally and physically, but from their great aptness 
in learning the elements of drill it is likely that the 
volunteer ranks will be afterwards increased from this 

The present Fort Matilda is the successor of an earlier 
battery, erected further up the river in 1768; it was 
afterwards strengthened during the American war, and 
replaced in 1812. About the close of the last century, 
when the stirring events in France led us to fear inva- 
sion, a battery of several 18-pounders was placed on the 
east side of the Bay of Rothesay, some of the guns being 
still there beside the present aquarium. 

We have perhaps the most powerful ship in our navy, 
the Ajax, guarding the river. 

" Lives there a cliief whom Ajax ought to dread — 
Ajax, in all the toils of battle bred I" 

So spoke Homer of one of his Grecian heroes. The 
Ajax fortunately has not yet been inured to battle; but 
if ever that time should come when our fleets have to 
defend their country, we may be sure our Ajax will 
equal the Homeric hero in valour. 

We have also an occasional visit of the Channel Fleet, 
consisting of half a dozen of our powerful ironclads, 
broadside or turret ships a great deal more destruc- 
tive but far less picturesque than the old wooden-walls 
which came sailing up the river under a cloud of canvas. 
The great speed of some recently-built war-ships is 


specially noticeable — thus the fast cruiser Australia, 
built by Messrs. Napier & Sons for Her Majesty's 
government, has attained a speed of about 19 knots on 
a lengthened trial. The new Spanish war-ship Reina 
Regente, built by Messrs. James & George Thomson, 
Clydebank Works, attained on a four-hour trial an aver- 
age speed of 20-73 knots, with a maximum of fully 21 
knots. As this represents about 24 miles per hour, we 
have a large and completely equipped war-ship, having 
a displacement of 5000 tons, with a draught of water of 
20 feet, driven at railway speed, with a power exerted 
by her triple-expansion engines equal to 11,000 horses. 
Those who have seen this vessel sailing: alono- throuefh 
the narrow waters of the firth, throwing up a high and 
crested wave from her bows, which made large vessels 
plunge and roll, and finally broke along the shore like the 
surf in a gale of wind, will not readily forget the sight. 
Torpedo boats show also railway speeds of 25 and 30 
miles an hour. Great speed, however, cannot be obtained 
with heavy armour, and as the guns are likely to gain in 
power in a faster ratio than the defensive character of 
tlie armour, we may yet see history repeating itself; and 
as the coats of mail of the old knight proved useless 
against the musket ball, and were in consequence doffed 
as an encumbrance, so in time the armour plating of 
our modern war-ships may disappear, and the smart 
swift cruiser with heavy guns of long range take her 

All these defences are still thought to be necessary 
even amid the enlightenment of the present day when 
the peaceful arts are so largely cultivated. Coleridge 


appears to believe in the efficiency of the "silver streak" 
for defence when he says: 

" And Ocean mid his uproai- wild 
Speaks safety to his island-child ; 
Hence for many a fearless age 
Hcis social quiet loved thy shore, 
Nor ever jjroud invaders' lage 
Or sacked thy towers, or stained thy fields with gore." 

The sister ship to the Australia, the Galatea, has at- 
tained on trial a mean speed of fully 19 knots. Like 
the Australia, this vessel is fitted with triple-expansion 
engines at the suggestion of Dr. Kirk. 80 that these 
two ships are specially interesting as the first vessels of 
her majesty's navy to be so fitted. It further appears 
from the results of these trial trips that the weight of 
the engines and boilers was comparatively light for the 
power developed. The Clyde has also the honour of 
having first applied the compound engine to her majesty's 
war-ship Constance, which was fitted with these engines 
by Messrs. Randolph, Elder, & Co. in 1863. 

Forced draught is now being used at sea, a comparison 
of the results obtained by this and ordinary draught in 
the same vessel being shown in the trials of her majesty's 
Galatea, when, without special air-pressure, the steam- 
pressure was 130 lbs.; vacuum, 27'82o inches; the revolu- 
tions, 101; the horse-power being 5871; the correspond- 
ing speed was about 17 "4 knots. With forced draught 
the following results were got: steam-pressure, 138 lbs.; 
vacuum, 27195 inches; revolutions, 113i; indicated 
horse-power, 9219; speed, 19*021 knots; the forced draught 
equal to I'lo inch on the water-gauge. 


Chapter X.— YACHTING. 

The Firth of Clyde, from its landlocked character, and 
from the numerous fine lochs stretching away inland 
from its shores, offers special facilities for yachting. 
These facilities have been abundantly taken advantage 
of, and the tourist, as he sails down the river on a fine 
sunnner day, will see the whole bright and sparkling 
waters dotted over with the white sails of pleasure-boats, 
(from the square lug of the small rowing boat to the 
great "white wings" of the hundred-ton cutter or smart 
schooner), which, in the far distance, look like veritable 
sea-birds. Numerous rowing boats are also to be seen, 
and in holiday times they literally cover the water near 
the shores. This love of the sea is referred to by Froude 
in his Oceana, where he says: "After their own island, 
the sea is the natural home of the Englishman; the Norse 
blood is in us, and we rove over the waters, for business 
or pleasure, as eagerly as our ancestors. Four-fifths of 
the carrying trade of the world is done by the English. 
When we grow rich, our chief delight is a yacht." 

Yacht-building has long been carried on, notably at 
Fairlie, near Largs, where the name of Fyfe has become 
a household word. Many famous yachts have been 
turned out by this firm. Glasgow, however, has now 
done much to bring yacht-building to both structural 
and scientific perfection ; and for successful efforts in this 
direction the name of Watson is known far and wide. 
Commencing successfully with the smaller sizes of five 
and ten tons, Mr. Watson, in the hundred-ton steel cutter 


Vanduara, astonished some of the other big cutters that 
tried conclusions; and recently in the Thistle, although 
unsuccessful against the American centre-board Volun- 
teer, excellent results were obtained against cutters of 
her own class and style of build. 

In his large and exhaustive treatise on yachts, Mr. 
Dixon Kemp says : " Open-boat sailing has long been very 
popular on the Clyde; and this is hardly to be wondered 
at, as the firth offers special opportunities for such a pas- 
time — snug anchorages, fairly smooth water, little or no 
run of tide." "And the facilities given by the railway and 
steamboat companies for readily getting from the city to 
the coast, induce most young men who are in the least 
degree nautically inclined to keep a boat of some sort; and 
during the summer months, in the bright northern even- 
ings, from every coast village may be seen a fleet of little 
vessels flitting along the shore in the smooth water, and 
lying over to the land wind, which in good weather rises 
as the sun sets." 

The racing boats are divided into three classes, the 
lengths being 17, 19, and 21 feet; the breadths varying 
from about 5h feet to 7 feet, and the depths from 3 feet 
to 4 feet. The lug-sail is principally used. It is of 
great size, spreading in a 19-feet boat to between 20 and 
30 square yards, or say 1^ square yard to the foot of 
length. An old rule for an ordinary lug, for a 12 or 16 
feet rowing boat, was 1 square yard per foot; but these 
bigger boats are specially ballasted or have metal keels; 
some also carry shot in bags, which can be shifted to 
windward, on the principle of sitting up to windward 
in the ordinary open lug-sail boat. A three-ton yacht 


carries about 75 to SO square yards of lower sail on a 
water-line of 25 feet, or say fully 3 square yards per 
foot. A five-ton yacht carries about 3 square yards; a 
ten-tonner, about 4 yards; a twenty-tonner, 4| yards; 
a f orty-tonner, 5 square yards ; and for a hundred-tonner, 
about 6 square yards. 

These areas are only for the mainsail, jib, and foresail, 
so that when the yachts are in racing trim the area is 
very much increased with topsails and other additions. 
Thus the racing sail areas of the Volu7iteer, Mayflower, 
Thistle, and Galatea appear to have been respectively 
1000 yards, 959 yards, 986 yards, and 833 yards. The 
length on the load water-line of the first three yachts 
was about 85 feet, whilst the Galatea was about 86 feet. 
This gives as much as about 1 1 J yards per foot of water- 
line. The comparison of sail area with length on water- 
line is of more importance since the introduction of the 
new tonnage rule by the Yacht Racing Association, viz.: 
Length on load-line X area of sails in square feet, 

The making the sail area a factor in the rating appears 
to be a sensible movement, as it takes into account the 
power which drives the vessel, as the marine engineer 
does when he considers the indicated horse- power 
required to be placed in his vessel to get the required 

Not only has there been a great development in the 
sailing type of pleasure yachts, but there has been even 
a greater in that of steam yachts, which now range from 
the tiny launch of 20 feet or so to the great sea-going 
vessel of 600 tons. The improvements in boilers and 


engines, which have gone on for some time in the mer- 
cantile marine, have also been applied to pleasure ves- 
sels, and swiftness with economy of consumpt of fuel are 
now readily obtained. To many no doubt the sailing 
yacht will always be preferred with its pleasant and 
buoyant motion, but the steam-launch has a great ad- 
vantage over the sailing yacht in the many calm days 
which in summer-time so often beset the yachtsman. 

The various yachting clubs have done nuich to foster 
and keep alive the love of yachting; and the regattas 
which are held during summer stimulate improvements 
to carry off the prizes offered. The forms of yachts 
have undergone considerable change during late years, 
a general narrowing of beam having taken place, stability 
being obtained by increasing the depth; and, for the 
purpose of keeping the centre of gravity low, the lead 
in iron and steel yachts has been run into the bottom 
of the vessel, and in wooden yachts heavy lead keels are 
fastened on outside. 

The tonnage rules for yaclit measurement have no 
doubt had a great deal to do with these tendencies to 
narrowness, as the length and breadth were the principal 
factors in determining the tonnage. Now, however, from 
the new tonnage rule of sail area and length on load 
water-line, we may expect a change in the form, as 
designers will be left practically untrammelled as to the 
form which they may give the midship section of their 
boats. Thus the Thistle, which was built for a special 
purpose, viz. to attain great speed, with a great carrying 
power of canvas, has a much greater proportion of beam 
than the type of yacht so much run after during the past 


few years. These remarks apply of course more to racing 
yachts than to cruising yachts. 

The " centre board," of which we have heard so much 
durinf; the recent contest between the Thistle and Volun- 
teer, at New York, for the " America Cup," appears to be 
a very effective arrangement for beating to windward, 
and, hke a great many of our present-day appHances, 
seems to have been tried many years ago in this country, 
although not perhaps in the complete manner in which 
it has now been fitted. It is doubtless a development 
from the old-fashioned " lee-board," which was fixed on 
the gunnel, and hung down at the side. The Americans 
have developed its application in both small sail-boats 
and large sloops, as they prefer to call their yachts. 
The centre board has never been a favourite on the 
Clyde, but in England there are a large number of small 
boats now fitted with this appliance. Various forms 
have been given to this arrangement. Sometimes it is of 
iron and pivoted at the forward end, so that when the 
after-part is lowered down, the appearance is that of a fin 
or half the tail of a fish. In some cases the board is 
made in pieces, fan-like, and can be pulled up to lie 
alongside the keel, and not up into a well in the boat as 
in the other cases. 

Mr. Dixon Kemp, in Yacht and Boat Sailing, says: 
" A belief sometimes exists that a centre board adds to 
the stability of a boat. So it does if made of iron or other 
metal, just the same as an iron or other metal keel would; 
but if the material be wood, not heavier than water, the 
tendency of the board would be to upset the boat, as the 
wood would strive to come to the surface, or, in other 


words, to float; thus the larger a wood board were made, 
and the deeper it were lowered, the more urgent would 
be its tendency to assist in upsetting a boat. A board, 
however, causes the process of heeling to be a little more 
slowly performed, as the board has to be moved through 
water, and the resistance to the board being so moved is 
of the same nature as the resistance of the water to any 
plane moved in it. Thus, when a boat is once perman- 
ently heeled, or has settled down on " her bearings," as it 
is termed, the board will be of no more use for stability, 
as its tendency will be to float or come to the surface. If 
the boat is struck by a squall which only lasts, say, four 
or five seconds, the board may possibly prevent an upset 
that otherwise would take place; but if the scjuall con- 
tinues, and is of a strength to upset the boat without the 
board, the boat will be assuredly upset with the board, 
only it may take two or three seconds longer to do so." 


The lighthouses on the Firth of Clyde provide a com- 
plete system of distinctive illumination. Thus, going 
down the channel from Greenock, we have on the cast 
side the Cloch, white fixed light; on the opposite side the 
Gantocks, 2 fixed 7'ed lights; and Toward, white fiashing 
light; on the island of Cumbrae, the Cumbrae light, 
white, fixed; on Holy Island, 2 fixed lights, green above 
and red below; on Pladda, 2 fixed white lights; on Turn- 
berry Point on the Ayrshire coast, one white flashing 


light; and on Corsewall, near Loch Ryan, a white and 
red revolving light; on Ailsa Craig, one white flashing 
light; and on Davaar Island (Campbeltown), a white 
revolving light; whilst on Sanda there is a white inter- 
mittent light; on the Mull of Can tyre, a white fixed 
light; and on Rathlin Island, to the west of the Mull, 
there are two white lights — the upper intermittent, and 
the lower fixed. Besides this there are fog-signalling 
arrangements at the Cloch, Toward, Cumbrae, Pladda, 
Sanda, Mull, Ailsa, and Rathlin lighthouses. 

Since 1829 a beacon, consisting of a stone tower, has 
stood on the Gantocks reef. The light, as already noted, 
is two red lights placed vertically, and is obtained from a 
gas supply kept in a tank, arranged as in the case of the 
lighted buoys on Skelmorlie bank and in the river channel 
above Greenock. The lighting of the river above Greenock 
consists of Beacons, Ships and Buoys, the lights displayed 
by these being obtained from gas contained in iron tanks 
in the two first mentioned; in the latter, the buoy itself 
forms the tank. These buoys are from 7 to 9 feet in 
diameter, and contain sufficient gas to provide for burning 
throughout the whole 24 hours, during periods varying 
from 7 weeks to 14 weeks. The gas is forced in under 
pressure until it attains to a pressure of about 100 lbs. to 
the square inch, the variation of pressure due to reduction 
in quantity being regulated at the light by controlling 

The difficulty of giving a distinctive character to the 
constant! 3^ increasing number of lights around our coasts 
has brought out various suggestions, one of which by Sir 
Wm. Thomson consists in giving the distinctive character, 


by causing the light to blink rapidly or slowly in certain 
arranged periods. The light on Craigmore pier at Rothesay 
is of this character. Speaking on this subject, Sir Wm. 
Thomson, who has devoted much attention to lighthouse 
characteristics, groups these under three heads, viz. : " I. 
Flashing lights; II. Fixed lights; and III. Occulting or 
eclipsing lights." " In the flashing light, the light is only 
visible for a short time — a fraction of a second, or from that 
to five or six seconds — and then disappears; and for a much 
longer time than the duration of the flash it remains invis- 
il)le, until it again flashes out as before. In the flxed light 
there is no distinguishing characteristic whatever, but 
merely a light seen shining continuously and uniformly. 
Characteristic distinction is given by a short eclipse or 
by a very rapid group of two or three short eclipses, or 
of short and longer eclipses recurring at regular periods — 
' flashes of darkness,' as they have been called — cutting out, 
as it were, from the light its mark, by which it may be 
distinguished and recognized to be itself and nothing else, 
in the very short time (from half-second at the least, to 
seven seconds at the most) occupied by the gi'oup of 
eclipses." The attempt to distinguish flashing lights 
simply by their respective length of period was found to 
require some improvement, and colour in some cases was 
introduced, and afterwards a system of triple flashes ; the 
latter was found to be the most successful, although in 
some cases the movement is rather slow to the sailor who is 
anxiously endeavouring to read his position from the 
character of the light. In speaking of the occulting or 
eclipsing lights. Sir Wm. Thomson says, " the only sys- 
tematic means of giving characteristic quality to a fixed 


light is by means of occultations or eclipses; and hence 
the origin of the ' Occulting ' or ' Eclipsing light.' We 
may, accordingly, look forward to all, or nearly all, the 
important fixed lights of our coast being, without any 
very long delay, converted into lights of this class." 
Several of these occulting lights are now exhibited on 
the English, Irish, and Scotch coasts. 

Ailsa Craig, although lying very much in the fair-way 
of the channel — it is situated about 10 miles west from 
Girvan and 12 south from Pladda — does not seem to 
have called for special attention in the way of lighthouse 
requirements; its great bulk, unless in very dark nights 
or foggy days, indicating its whereabouts. There were, 
however, difficulties in dealing with it as a lighthouse 
station, as from the steep, and in some places precipitous 
nature of its sides, no point offered itself readily for 
erecting such a structure. Again, from its great height, 
the summit was unsuitable, being frequently hid in clouds. 
Several accidents to vessels having occurred, however, it 
was determined to erect not only a lighthouse but fog- 
horns as well, and in 1883 works of this character were 
commenced and finished in 1886. The light-tower, 25 
feet high, is placed on the eastern side, where the only 
flatfish bit of shore exists. It is stated in technical 
language as "a dioptric third-order flashing white light," 
which, being placed about 60 feet above the water, has a 
range of visibility fi-om the deck of a vessel of 13 nautical 
miles, through an arc of 252°. The light is obtained from 
the combustion of gas made from mineral oil, this gas is 
also used to drive the enu'ine for condensing the air re- 
quired by the fog-horns. Ailsa Craig, therefore, has now 


become a centre of applied science, the latest improve- 
ments in the machinery required being here developed. 

A small ruined square tower, about 40 or 50 feet in 
height, stands at an elevation of about 400 feet on the 
east side, and on the opposite side the ruins of what 
appears to have been a church may be seen. Recently 
during the excavations required to be made in connection 
with the new lighthouse and fog-signalling machinery 
wliich have been erected on the rock, two ancient graves, 
containing human bones, were discovered. According to 
some, the tower referred to was one of the line of watch- 
towers erected many centuries ago to guard our coasts. 
Others ajjain regard it as having been a monkish cstab- 

In an article which appeared recently in the Ghisgoiv 
Herald, entitled, " A Forgotten Chapter in Scottish His- 
tory," it appears that Ailsa Craig was the scene of a war- 
like episode in the year 1597, when Andrew Knox, min- 
ister at Paisley, determined to frustrate an attempt by 
Hew Barclay, Laird of Ladylands, to assist the designs of 
the King of Spain on this country. The object of the con- 
spirators being " to take and surprise the island and house 
of Aylsaie in the mouth of the Clyde, a place of great 
sti'cngtli." The government of the day remaining inactive 
Andrew Knox took the matter in hand, and " solved the 
difficulty by taking possession of Ailsa Craig, at the head 
of a small body of nineteen men, with whom he stationed 
himself on the solitary rock to await the course of events. 
Before long Ladylands, ignorant of Knox's movements, 
and wholly unconscious of the ambush laid for him, sailed 
to Ailsa with thirteen of his fellow -conspirators, intend- 



ing 'to have fortefeit and victuallit the same for the 
ressett and comforte of the Spanishe armey, luiked for 
be him to have cum and arryvit.' On reaching the spit 
of shingle on the east side, which affords the only landing- 
place, he found himself suddenly opposed by a band of 
determined men, who at once ' forgadderit with him and 




Ailsii Craig. 

his compliceis, tuke sum of his associatis and desirit him- 
selfe to rander and be takin with thame, quha wer his 
awne freindis, meaning nawayes his hurte nor drawinge 
of his blude.' Thouo^h taken at a disadvantao^e the laird 
was not of a temper to yield without a struggle; 'with- 
drawing himself within the sey cant,' he resolutely 
defended himself against his opponents till, having been 
forced to retreat step by step to the very edge of the cliff, 
he was thrust ' backwart in the deip, drownit and per- 
isheit in his awne wilfull and disperat resolutioun.' In 


the heat of the struggle no attention had been given 
to the mooring of the boat in which Ladylands and 
his accompHces had come across. Not till the skirmish 
had ceased was it discovered that it had drifted out to 
sea, bearing with it the laird's 'coffers' and the impor- 
tant documents which these were believed to contain. 
This untoward accident, however, delayed the clearing 
up of the plot but for a short time. A few days later 
the masterless craft was picked up off South Annan. In 
Ladylands' coffers were found, as had been expected, 
letters which revealed the whole extent and importance 
of the treasonable scheme in which he had been enofaired. 
It appeared ' that the conspiracye to have been accom- 
plished by the takinge and forcinge of Ailsa was devysed 
by the larde of Ladylands, Corronall (Colonel) Hakerson, 
and the Spanish Ambassador.' " 

The stone of Ailsa Craig has long been celebrated for 
the making of curling-stones for the lovers of the " roar- 
ing game," which was graphically described some years 
ago in Blackwood: 

" It's an uncolike story tliat baith Wliig and Tory 
Maun aye colly-sliangy like dogs ower a banc ; 
And a' denominations are wantin' in patience, 
For nae Kirk will thole to let ithers alane; 
But in fine frosty weather let a' meet thegither, 
Wi' a broom in their haun' and a stane by the tee, 
And then, by my certes, ye'll see hoo a' parties 
Like brithers will love, and like brithers agree!" 

The curling-stones are quarried out of various parts of 
the rock, and are afterwards cut and polished principally 
at Mauchline, Ayrshire. They weigh, when finished, from 


35 to 40 lbs., and are generally of a grayish colour 
shaded with a reddish or greenish hue. As the stone is 
of a very compact, fine-grained character, they take a 
fine polish, some of them being highly ornamental in the 
smoothness of surface and fine tone of colour. The brioht 
polish is reserved for one of the surfaces, say the top of 
the stone ; but as the handle can be shifted from one sur- 
face to the other the player can use top or bottom accord- 
ing as the ice is dull or keen. 

The rock has a somewhat elliptical base, measuring 
about 1200 yards long by 750 yards broad; the form is 
roughly conical, rising to a height of 1114 feet. Geologi- 
cally it is composed of syenitic trap of a gray colour 
with reddish patches. On the west and south-west there 
are precipices, where the rock takes a columnar form. 

Ailsa Craig is the home of the solan goose and his 
feathered relatives, puffins, kittiwakes (white gulls), and 
guillemots, the familiar "dooker" of the Clyde. The blind- 
worm, measuring several inches in length, is also common. 

Most of the Clyde lighthouses were established many 
years ago, the present lighthouse on the Lesser Cumbrae^ 
being erected in 1757. The old beacon tower on the top 
of the island was built in 1750. 

The Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce were also early 
alive to the necessity of lighting the coast, for it appears 
that in 1774 they made a visit to the Isle of May to see 
what improvement could be made on the uncertain light, 
due to the burning of coals, already existing on that island. 

1 Dr. Strang says : In 1756 Mr. Oswald, a London merchant, was presented 
liy the corporation of Glasgow with a piece of plate for his services, in 
obtaining the act for the erection of this lighthouse. 


A brilliant electric light is now shown from the light- 
house on the May. It appears that at one time lighthouses 
were in some cases family property, with a right of toll, 
from which a rising revenue was obtained. Outlying 
lighthouses and their keepers are much more exposed to 
vicissitudes than those on shore. The famous Eddystone 
has now its fourth tower erected upon it. Winstanley, the 
builder of the first tower on that rock, perished with 
his structure in the furious storm of 1703. 

Ailsa Craig, like the Bass Rock in the Firth of Fortli, 
stands out prominently to the eye from the wide stretch 
of water around. The Craig, unlike its eastern counter- 
part, is not noticeable in the political history of Scotland 
as a prison-house. In viewing it, tlierefore, from the 
swiftly passing deep-sea steamer, or in visiting it with 
a party of pleasure, there is nothing in the Craig to re- 
call any special events connected with Scottish history 
or to depress the spirits by the surroundings calling up 
associations of a grim and hard-hearted past. And so 
as we see the old Craig looming grandly in the hori- 
zon, and watch it as we approach rising higher and 
higher above the swelling waves of the North Channel, 
we can look upon it as a magnificent rock standing 
sentinel-like, always at its post, welcoming the home- 
ward-bound and speeding the departing ship — its great 
mass, like all simple masses whether of nature or art, 
satisfying the eye with its large outline, and creating a 
feelinof of restfulness in the beholder.