THE ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA

A DICTIONARY OF ARTS, SCIENCES, LITERATURE AND GENERAL INFORMATION

ELEVENTH EDITION 1911

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GLASGOW, a city, county of a city, royal burgh and port of Lanarkshire, Scotland, situated on both banks of the Clyde, 401½ m. N.W. of London by the West Coast railway route, and 47 m. W.S.W. of Edinburgh by the North British railway. The valley of the Clyde is closely confined by hills, and the city extends far over these, the irregularity of its site making for picturesqueness. The commercial centre of Glasgow, with the majority of important public buildings, lies on the north bank of the river, which traverses the city from W.S.W. to E.N.E., and is crossed by a number of bridge19699-h.htm'>bridges. The uppermost is Dalmarnock bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge, dating from 1891, and next below it is Rutherglen bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge, rebuilt in 1896, and superseding a structure of 1775. St Andrew’s suspension bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge gives access to the Green to the inhabitants of Hutchesontown, a district which is approached also by Albert bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge, a handsome erection, leading from the Saltmarket. Above this bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge is the tidal dam and weir. Victoria bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge, of granite, was opened in 1856, taking the place of the venerable bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge erected by Bishop Rae in 1345, which was demolished in 1847. Then follows a suspension bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge (dating from 1853) by which foot-passengers from the south side obtain access to St Enoch Square and, finally, the most important bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge of all is reached, variously known as Glasgow, Jamaica Street, or Broomielaw bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge, built of granite from Telford’s designs and first used in 1835. Towards the close of the century it was reconstructed, and reopened in 1899. At the busier periods of the day it bears a very heavy traffic. The stream is spanned between Victoria and Albert bridge19699-h.htm'>bridges by a bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge belonging to the Glasgow & South-Western railway and by two bridge19699-h.htm'>bridges carrying the lines of the Caledonian railway, one below Dalmarnock bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge and the other a massive work immediately west of Glasgow bridge19699-h.htm'>bridge.

Buildings.—George Square, in the heart of the city, is an open space of which every possible advantage has been taken. On its eastern side stand the municipal buildings, a palatial pile in Venetian renaissance style, from the designs of William Young, a native of Paisley. They were opened in 1889 and cost nearly £600,000. They form a square block four storeys high and carry a domed turret at each end of the western façade, from the centre of which rises a massive tower. The entrance hall and grand staircase, the council chamber, banqueting hall and reception rooms are decorated in a grandiose style, not unbecoming to the commercial and industrial metropolis of Scotland. Several additional blocks have been built or rented for the accommodation of the municipal staff. Admirably equipped sanitary chambers were opened in 1897, including a bacteriological and chemical laboratory. Up till 1810 the town council met in a hall adjoining the old tolbooth. It then moved to the fine classical structure at the foot of the Saltmarket, which is now used as court-houses. This was vacated in 1842 for the county buildings in Wilson Street. Growth of business compelled another migration to Ingram Street in 1875, and, fourteen years later, it occupied its present quarters. On the southern side of George Square the chief structure is the massive General Post Office. On the western side stand two ornate Italian buildings, the Bank of Scotland and the Merchants’ House, the head of which (the dean of gild), along with the head of the Trades’ House (the deacon-convener of trades) has been de facto member of the town council since 1711, an arrangement devised with a view to adjusting the frequent disputes between the two gilds. The Royal Exchange, a Corinthian building with a fine portico of columns in two rows, is an admired example of the work of David Hamilton (1768-1843), a native of Glasgow, who designed several of the public buildings and churches, and gained the second prize for a design for the Houses of Parliament. The news-room of the exchange is a vast apartment, 130 ft. long, 60 ft. wide, 130 ft. high, with a richly-decorated roof supported by Corinthian pillars. Buchanan Street, the most important and handsome street in the city, contains the Stock Exchange, the Western Club House (by David Hamilton) and the offices of the Glasgow Herald. In Sauchiehall Street are the Fine Art Institute and the former Corporation Art Gallery. Argyll Street, the busiest thoroughfare, mainly occupied with shops, leads to Trongate, where a few remains of the old town are now carefully preserved. On the south side of the street, spanning the pavement, stands the Tron Steeple, a stunted spire dating from 1637. It is all that is left of St Mary’s church, which was burned down in 1793 during the revels of a notorious body known as the Hell Fire Club. On the opposite side, at the corner of High Street, stood the ancient tolbooth, or prison, a turreted building, five storeys high, with a fine Jacobean crown tower. The only remnant of the structure is the tower known as the Cross Steeple.

Although almost all the old public buildings of Glasgow have been swept away, the cathedral remains in excellent preservation. It stands in the north-eastern quarter of the city at a height of 104 ft. above the level of the Clyde. It is a St Mungo’s Cathedral. beautiful example of Early English work, impressive in its simplicity. Its form is that of a Latin cross, with imperfect transepts. Its length from east to west is 319 ft., and its width 63 ft.; the height of the choir is 93 ft., and of the nave 85 ft. At the centre rises a fine tower, with a short octagonal spire, 225 ft. high. The choir, locally known as the High Church, serves as one of the city churches, and the extreme east end of it forms the Lady chapel. The rich western doorway is French in design but English in details. The chapter-house projects from the north-eastern corner and somewhat mars the harmony of the effect. It was built in the 15th century and has a groined roof supported by a pillar 20 ft. high. Many citizens have contributed towards filling the windows with stained glass, executed at Munich, the government providing the eastern 81 window in recognition of their enterprise. The crypt beneath the choir is not the least remarkable part of the edifice, being without equal in Scotland. It is borne on 65 pillars and lighted by 41 windows. The sculpture of the capitals of the columns and bosses of the groined vaulting is exquisite and the whole is in excellent preservation. Strictly speaking, it is not a crypt, but a lower church adapted to the sloping ground of the right bank of the Molendinar burn. The dripping aisle is so named from the constant dropping of water from the roof. St Mungo’s Well in the south-eastern corner was considered to possess therapeutic virtues, and in the crypt a recumbent effigy, headless and handless, is faithfully accepted as the tomb of Kentigern. The cathedral contains few monuments of exceptional merit, but the surrounding graveyard is almost completely paved with tombstones. In 1115 an investigation was ordered by David, prince of Cumbria, into the lands and churches belonging to the bishopric, and from the deed then drawn up it is clear that at that date a cathedral had already been endowed. When David ascended the throne in 1124 he gave to the see of Glasgow the lands of Partick, besides restoring many possessions of which it had been deprived. Jocelin (d. 1199), made bishop in 1174, was the first great bishop, and is memorable for his efforts to replace the cathedral built in 1136 by Bishop John Achaius, which had been destroyed by fire. The crypt is his work, and he began the choir, Lady chapel, and central tower. The new structure was sufficiently advanced to be dedicated in 1197. Other famous bishops were Robert Wishart (d. 1316), appointed in 1272, who was among the first to join in the revolt of Wallace, and received Robert Bruce when he lay under the ban of the church for the murder of Comyn; John Cameron (d. 1446), appointed in 1428, under whom the building as it stands was completed; and William Turnbull (d. 1454), appointed in 1447, who founded the university in 1450. James Beaton or Bethune (1517-1603) was the last Roman Catholic archbishop. He fled to France at the reformation in 1560, and took with him the treasures and records of the see, including the Red Book of Glasgow dating from the reign of Robert III. The documents were deposited in the Scots College in Paris, were sent at the outbreak of the Revolution for safety to St Omer, and were never recovered. This loss explains the paucity of the earlier annals of the city. The zeal of the Reformers led them to threaten to mutilate the cathedral, but the building was saved by the prompt action of the craftsmen, who mustered in force and dispersed the fanatics.

3 acres, was opened, but soon proved inadequate, and in 1880 Queen’s Dock (two basins) at Stobcross, on the north side, of 30 acres, was completed. Although this could accommodate one million tons of shipping, more dock space was speedily called for, and in 1897 Prince’s Dock (three basins) on the opposite side, of 72 acres, was opened, fully equipped with hydraulic and steam cranes and all the other latest appliances. There are, besides, three graving docks, the longest of which (880 ft.) can be made at will into two docks of 417 ft. and 457 ft. in length. The Caledonian and Glasgow & South-Western railways have access to the harbour for goods and minerals at Terminus Quay to the west of Kingston Dock, and a mineral dock has been constructed by the Trust at Clydebank, about 3½ m. below the harbour. The shipping attains to colossal proportions. The imports consist chiefly of flour, fruit, timber, iron ore, live stock and wheat; and the exports principally of cotton manufactures, manufactured iron and steel, machinery, whisky, cotton yarn, linen fabrics, coal, jute, jam and foods, and woollen manufactures.

Government.—By the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1889 the city was placed entirely in the county of Lanark, the districts then transferred having previously belonged to the shires of Dumbarton and Renfrew. In 1891 the boundaries were enlarged to include six suburban burghs and a number of suburban districts, the area being increased from 6111 acres to 11,861 acres. The total area of the city and the conterminous burghs of Govan, Partick and Kinning Park—which, though they successfully resisted annexation in 1891, are practically part of the city—is 15,659 acres. The extreme length from north to south and from east to west is about 5 m. each way, and the circumference measures 27 m. In 1893 the municipal burgh was constituted a county of a city. Glasgow is governed by a corporation consisting of 77 members, including 14 bailies and the lord provost. In 1895 all the powers which the town council exercised as police commissioners and trustees for parks, markets, water and the like were consolidated and conferred upon the corporation. Three years later the two parish councils of the city and barony, which administered the poor law over the greater part of the city north of the Clyde, were amalgamated as the parish council of Glasgow, with 31 members. As a county of a city Glasgow has a lieutenancy (successive lords provost holding the office) and a court of quarter sessions, which is the appeal court from the magistrates sitting as licensing authority. Under the corporation municipal ownership has reached a remarkable development, the corporation owning the supplies of water, gas and electric power, tramways and municipal lodging-houses. The enterprise of the corporation has brought its work prominently into notice, not only in the United Kingdom, but in the United States of America and elsewhere. In 1859 water was conveyed by aqueducts and tunnels from Loch Katrine (364 ft. above sea-level, giving a pressure of 70 or 80 ft. above the highest point in the city) to the reservoir at Mugdock (with a capacity of 500,000,000 gallons), a distance of 27 m., whence after filtration it was distributed by pipes to Glasgow, a further distance of 7 m., or 34 m. in all. During the next quarter of a century it became evident that this supply would require to be augmented, and powers were accordingly obtained in 1895 to raise Loch Katrine 5 ft. and to connect with it by tunnel Loch Arklet (455 ft. above the sea), with storage for 2,050,000,000 gallons, the two lochs together possessing a capacity of twelve thousand million gallons. The entire works between the loch and the city were duplicated over a distance of 23½ m., and an additional reservoir, holding 694,000,000 gallons, was constructed, increasing the supply held in reserve from 12½ days’ to 30½ days’. In 1909 the building of a dam was undertaken 1¼ m. west of the lower end of Loch Arklet, designed to create a sheet of water 2½ m. long and to increase the water-supply of the city by ten million gallons a day. The water committee supplies hydraulic power to manufacturers and merchants. In 1869 the corporation acquired the gasworks, the productive capacity 85 of which exceeds 70 million cub. ft. a day. In 1893 the supply of electric light was also undertaken, and since that date the city has been partly lighted by electricity. The corporation also laid down the tramways, which were leased by a company for twenty-three years at a rental of £150 a mile per annum. When the lease expired in 1894 the town council took over the working of the cars, substituting overhead electric traction for horse-power. One of the most difficult problems that the corporation has had to deal with was the housing of the poor. By the lapse of time and the congestion of population, certain quarters of the city, in old Glasgow especially, had become slums and rookeries of the worst description. The condition of the town was rapidly growing into a byword, when the municipality obtained parliamentary powers in 1866 enabling it to condemn for purchase over-crowded districts, to borrow money and levy rates. The scheme of reform contemplated the demolition of 10,000 insanitary dwellings occupied by 50,000 persons, but the corporation was required to provide accommodation for the dislodged whenever the numbers exceeded 500. In point of fact they never needed to build, as private enterprise more than kept pace with the operations of the improvement. The work was carried out promptly and effectually, and when the act expired in 1881 whole localities had been recreated and nearly 40,000 persons properly housed. Under the amending act of 1881 the corporation began in 1888 to build tenement houses in which the poor could rent one or more rooms at the most moderate rentals; lodging-houses for men and women followed, and in 1896 a home was erected for the accommodation of families in certain circumstances. The powers of the improvement trustees were practically exhausted in 1896, when it appeared that during twenty-nine years £1,955,550 had been spent in buying and improving land and buildings, and £231,500 in building tenements and lodging-houses; while, on the other side, ground had been sold for £1,072,000, and the trustees owned heritable property valued at £692,000, showing a deficiency of £423,050. Assessment of ratepayers for the purposes of the trust had yielded £593,000, and it was estimated that these operations, beneficial to the city in a variety of ways, had cost the citizens £24,000 a year. In 1897 an act was obtained for dealing in similar fashion with insanitary and congested areas in the centre of the city, and on the south side of the river, and for acquiring not more than 25 acres of land, within or without the city, for dwellings for the poorest classes. Along with these later improvements the drainage system was entirely remodelled, the area being divided into three sections, each distinct, with separate works for the disposal of its own sewage. One section (authorized in 1891 and doubled in 1901) comprises 11 sq. m.—one-half within the city north of the river, and the other in the district in Lanarkshire—with works at Dalmarnock; another section (authorized in 1896) includes the area on the north bank not provided for in 1891, as well as the burghs of Partick and Clydebank and intervening portions of the shires of Renfrew and Dumbarton, the total area consisting of 14 sq. m., with works at Dalmuir, 7 m. below Glasgow; and the third section (authorized in 1898) embraces the whole municipal area on the south side of the river, the burghs of Rutherglen, Pollokshaws, Kinning Park and Govan, and certain districts in the counties of Renfrew and Lanark—14 sq. m. in all, which may be extended by the inclusion of the burghs of Renfrew and Paisley—with works at Braehead, 1 m. east of Renfrew. Among other works in which it has interests there may be mentioned its representation on the board of the Clyde Navigation Trust and the governing body of the West of Scotland Technical College. In respect of parliamentary representation the Reform Act of 1832 gave two members to Glasgow, a third was added in 1868 (though each elector had only two votes), and in 1885 the city was split up into seven divisions, each returning one member.

Population.—Throughout the 19th century the population grew prodigiously. Only 77,385 in 1801, it was nearly doubled in twenty years, being 147,043 in 1821, already outstripping Edinburgh. It had become 395,503 in 1861, and in 1881 it was 511,415. In 1891, prior to extension of the boundary, it was 565,839, and, after extension, 658,198, and in 1901 it stood at 761,709. The birth-rate averages 33, and the death-rate 21 per 1000, but the mortality before the city improvement scheme was carried out was as high as 33 per 1000. Owing to its being convenient of access from the Highlands, a very considerable number of Gaelic-speaking persons live in Glasgow, while the great industries attract an enormous number of persons from other parts of Scotland. The valuation of the city, which in 1878-1879 was £3,420,697, now exceeds £5,000,000.

History.—There are several theories as to the origin of the name of Glasgow. One holds that it comes from Gaelic words meaning “dark glen,” descriptive of the narrow ravine through which the Molendinar flowed to the Clyde. But the more generally accepted version is that the word is the Celtic Cleschu, afterwards written Glesco or Glasghu, meaning “dear green spot” (glas, green; cu or ghu, dear), which is supposed to have been the name of the settlement that Kentigern found here when he came to convert the Britons of Strathclyde. Mungo became the patron-saint of Glasgow, and the motto and arms of the city are wholly identified with him—“Let Glasgow Flourish by the Preaching of the Word,” usually shortened to “Let Glasgow Flourish.” It is not till the 12th century, however, that the history of the city becomes clear. About 1178 William the Lion made the town by charter a burgh of barony, and gave it a market with freedom and customs. Amongst more or less isolated episodes of which record has been preserved may be mentioned the battle of the Bell o’ the Brae, on the site of High Street, in which Wallace routed the English under Percy in 1300; the betrayal of Wallace to the English in 1305 in a barn situated, according to tradition, in Robroyston, just beyond the north-eastern boundary of the city; the ravages of the plague in 1350 and thirty years later; the regent Arran’s siege, in 1544, of the bishop’s castle, garrisoned by the earl of Glencairn, and the subsequent fight at the Butts (now the Gallowgate) when the terms of surrender were dishonoured, in which the regent’s men gained the day. Most of the inhabitants were opposed to Queen Mary and many actively supported Murray in the battle of Langside—the site of which is now occupied by the Queen’s Park—on the 13th of May 1568, in which she lost crown and kingdom. A memorial of the conflict was erected on the site in 1887. Under James VI. the town became a royal burgh in 1636, with freedom of the river from the Broomielaw to the Cloch. But the efforts to establish episcopacy aroused the fervent anti-prelatical sentiment of the people, who made common cause with the Covenanters to the end of their long struggle. Montrose mulcted the citizens heavily after the battle of Kilsyth in 1645, and three years later the provost and bailies were deposed for contumacy to their sovereign lord. Plague and famine devastated the town in 1649, and in 1652 a conflagration laid a third of the burgh in ashes. Even after the restoration its sufferings were acute. It was the headquarters of the Whiggamores of the west and its prisons were constantly filled with rebels for conscience’ sake. The government scourged the townsfolk with an army of Highlanders, whose brutality only served to strengthen the resistance at the battles of Drumclog and Bothwell Brig. With the Union, hotly resented as it was at the time, the dawn of almost unbroken prosperity arose. By the treaty of Union Scottish ports were placed, in respect of trade, on the same footing as English ports, and the situation of Glasgow enabled it to acquire a full share of the ever-increasing Atlantic trade. Its commerce was already considerable and in population it was now the second town in Scotland. It enjoyed a practical monopoly of the sale of raw and refined sugars, had the right to distil spirits from molasses free of duty, dealt largely in cured herring and salmon, sent hides to English tanners and manufactured soap and linen. It challenged the supremacy of Bristol in the tobacco trade—fetching cargoes from Virginia, Maryland and Carolina in its own fleet—so that by 1772 its importations of tobacco amounted to more than half of the whole quantity brought into the United Kingdom. The tobacco merchants built handsome mansions and the town rapidly extended westwards. With the surplus profits new industries were created, which helped the city through the period of the American War. Most, though not all, of the manufactures in which Glasgow has always held a foremost place date from this period. It was in 1764 that James Watt succeeded in repairing a hitherto unworkable model of Newcomen’s fire (steam) engine in his small workshop within the college precincts. Shipbuilding on a colossal scale and the enormous developments in the iron industries and engineering were practically the growth of the 19th century. The failure of the Western bank in 1857, the Civil War in the United States, the collapse of the City of Glasgow bank in 1878, among other disasters, involved heavy losses and distress, but recovery was always rapid.

Authorities.—J. Cleland, Annals of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1816); Duncan, Literary History of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1886); Registrum Episcopatus Glasgow (Maitland Club, 1843); Pagan, Sketch of the History of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1847); Sir J. D. Marwick, Extracts from the Burgh Records of Glasgow (Burgh Records Society); Charters relating to Glasgow (Glasgow, 1891); River Clyde and Harbour of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1898); Glasgow Past and Present (Glasgow, 1884); Munimenta Universitatis Glasgow (Maitland Club, 1854); J. Strang, 86 Glasgow and its Clubs (Glasgow, 1864); Reid (“Senex”), Old Glasgow (Glasgow, 1864); A. Macgeorge, Old Glasgow (Glasgow, 1888); Deas, The River Clyde (Glasgow, 1881); Gale, Loch Katrine Waterworks (Glasgow, 1883); Mason, Public and Private Libraries of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1885); J. Nicol, Vital, Social and Economic Statistics of Glasgow (1881); J. B. Russell, Life in One Room (Glasgow, 1888); Ticketed Houses (Glasgow, 1889); T. Somerville, George Square (Glasgow, 1891); J. A. Kilpatrick, Literary Landmarks of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1898); J. K. M’Dowall, People’s History of Glasgow (Glasgow, 1899); Sir J. Bell and J. Paton, Glasgow: Its Municipal Organization and Administration (Glasgow, 1896); Sir D. Richmond, Notes on Municipal Work (Glasgow, 1899); J. M. Lang, Glasgow and the Barony (Glasgow, 1895); Old Glasgow (Glasgow, 1896); J. H. Muir, Glasgow in 1901.


Transcriber's note: A few typographical errors have been corrected. They appear in the text like this, and the explanation will appear when the mouse pointer is moved over the marked passage. Sections in Greek will yield a transliteration when the pointer is moved over them, and words using diacritic characters in the Latin Extended Additional block, which may not display in some fonts or browsers, will display an unaccented version.

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