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to protect property in the islands, and in much of it Glasgow merchants had a deep interest—the Chamber of Commerce in the first year of its corporate existence, agreed to present a sword to the gallant Marquis, in testimony of their appreciation of the high qualities manifested in his late command, when, in the career of victory, "he softened the horrors of war in a manner hitherto unknown, and protected the property of individuals in those moments of distress, when the vanquished were accustomed to experience devastation and ruin.” The sword, made after an ancient Scottish pattern, and reputed at the time as the finest ever made in the country, was conveyed by General Melvill to the Marquis, who duly acknowledged the gift with expressions of esteem for Great Britain, and the most lively sentiments of gratitude to "the gentlemen of the Chamber of Commerce.”
The above incident, taken almost at random from the first year in the history of the Chamber, may indicate to Mr. Stewart in what manner, if not to what extent, he might have usefully shown, with more minuteness than he has done, the more important questions taken up from time to time by the Chamber, as well as the influence it may be presumed to have exercised in their settlement. With this exception, no words except words of praise need be used in describing his labour. The merchant, the historian, the genealogist, will all find it full of excellent matter fitly arranged. Even those curious on the subject of street nomenclature will find it of much use, for many an important thoroughfare, many a street, lane, and square owes its name to members of the Chamber described by Mr. Stewart
OLD GLASGOW HOUSES.
SOME years since there was issued a handsome folio volume filled with 100 highly-finished photographs of mansions in and around Glasgow, historically interesting, as being associated with the names of old City merchants, or
with the families of landed proprietors. In addition to the excellent pictures by Annan, each mansion had devoted to it a few pages of letterpress, descriptive of its age and history, with some account of the families, past and present, reared within its walls. When it is mentioned that many of these sketches came from the pen of our amiable and accomplished friend, the late John Buchanan, LL.D., assurance was given that the duty of preparing the text had been committed to most competent writers, familiar alike with the details of burghal life and property, as well as trained in the somewhat special pursuit of genealogical investigation. The impression was limited to a little over 100 copies, almost instantly taken up by subscribers. Since the date of publication the chance of obtaining the volume has only rarely been afforded by sales when libraries were being broken up, and when nobody thought of grudging a very large advance on the original cost. The book was a rarity, and it was besides—what is not always the case with book rarities—a substantial and valuable addition to local historical literature. There was room at any time for a new impression. Under these circumstances, and as applications for the work were much increased of late (1882), Mr. Maclehose issued a new edition of 225 copies, fully subscribed for, in like manner to the first. It is, indeed, in some respects rather a preferable volume, the opportunity of reprinting the sheets having been taken advantage of to correct a few unavoidable slips in names and dates, as well as to bring in a general way the family records to a point nearer the present day. Annan's photographs are still perfectly fresh and lustrous. They have been taken in almost every instance from such a point of view as gives a fair notion of the fabric, with the exception probably of Garscube, where we miss the fine old English manor front, designed with so much taste by Mr. Burn. In a book otherwise handsome, entertaining, and useful—a book, besides, which hardly makes any appeal to the general public for patronage, it may appear ungracious even to refer to apparent defects; but
or two will be noticed in turning over the leaves. The photographs, though strictly speaking correct and bright, are yet cold and stiff—a result
largely due to the fact of many of them having been taken in the winter season, when trees stand bare of foliage, and produce startling pictorial effects with their skeleton branches. In many cases the bleak aspect outside contrasts strongly with the comfort and good cheer which it may be presumed was enjoyed within. Then the two maps. of Glasgow, showing the City at different dates, are on much too small a scale to permit of tracing out streets or properties referred to in the text. A full-page, or even a double-page, map of the dates given would have been of considerable service to the reader. Lastly, we miss one or two mansions interesting on their own account, or as being associated with Glasgow merchants. There is Cordale, with its memories of the elder Stirlings, Campbell, Sir William Hamilton, and “Cyril Thornton;" there is the stately pile of Tillichewan, acquired by one who was in many respects a typical merchant of the early years of the present century; and there is the fine old house of Gartshore, now absorbed in the Gartsherrie connection.
The rise of the great industries of Glasgow not dating much beyond the latter quarter of last century, the history of these old merchants comes to be really a history of the commercial enterprise of the period read in the light of their daily experience and domestic usages. Would we know the facts about the tobacco or wine trade, about coal or iron, about spinning or weaving, where need we look with more confidence than in the family records of citizens so prominent as the Buchanans, the Bogles, and the Glassfords, the Hamiltons, Douglasses, and Dunlops? It is only a pity the labour was not undertaken earlier. Between improvement schemes and railway operations the City has become a new place to citizens who might be offended if they were called elderly. The Cathedral, to be sure, St. Andrew's, and the Tron Steeple still remain ; there is a Gallowgate and a High Street in name, though the first is changed to a broad and well-built thoroughfare, and the last pulled down in many quarters beyond hope of identification with old land-marks, but no assurance can be given for the preservation even in name of old buildings in the outskirts. Of the 100 mansions figured in the work, ten have gone since it was first issued. North Woodside and Camplefield
were spared just long enough to have their features taken in 1870; since then Annfield, Gilmorehill, Kelvinbank, Kelvinside, Meadow Park, Possil, Stobcross, and Whitehill have all disappeared. It is appropriately remarked in the introduction that those whom people here used to own as their natural leaders were “kent folk," who made no pretence to count them their equals, but who shared their feelings, opinions, and prejudices—who spent their lives within hearing of the Tolbooth chimes—who found in Glasgow, kirk and market, the centre of their interests in business and out of business. Every year the notables of our day grow more of strangers to the place that they live by-spend fewer hours in its smoke and din ; outside their own little circle are more and more unknown even by face, till it has come to this, that a man may be in the foremost rank on 'Change, may by all who know him be looked up to and recognised as exceptionally fitted by talent, knowledge, and force of character for the highest post in the gift of citizens, and may yet to the bulk of these be so unknown that his candidature is resented as the intrusion of a stranger.
Mention has already been made of the important services rendered to the volume by the late John Buchanan, LL.D. Availing themselves of his account of Slatefield, where his mother, Catherine Miller, was born, the editor of the new issue takes occasion to refer in a few graceful and appropriate lines to some of his many merits. It is mentioned of him that he was well read in general literature, and in history, especially Scottish history; but his favourite study was archæology, and most of all the archæology of his native City. “He loved old Glasgow with a lover's love, and he made it such a study from boyhood that a knowledge of it died with him, never to be replaced. A diligent student may recover as much of the past as lies buried in books and cartularies, and there is some hope that this work may erelong be done by one every way fitted for it. But John Buchanan had a minute personal knowledge of those who once lived here that records cannot give. The Glasgow of a hundred years ago he knew as few know the Glasgow of to-day. Its old merchants and bankers, its ministers and professors, its beaux and its belles, still lived for him; he had known them from their cradles, and
their fathers and mothers before them; he knew where they had been trained, and the use they made of their training; whom they had married, and whom they had tried to marry; where they lived, and how they lived; where they died, and where they lie. And he had the rare art to make them live again for our benefit. At his bidding they rose from the Ramshorn or the High Kirkyard, and once more paced the planestanes in red cloak and cocked hat, or tramped the Trongate in pattens and caléche.” In the “Mansions” his help was invaluable. No one but himself could have written “Kelvingrove," "Stobcross,” and other papers readily recognised. It was hoped he would have given his help to the new issue, but his final illness prevented him from doing more than making a few verbal alterations on what he had already written. Dr. John Buchanan died (June, 1878) as the “Country Houses” was being finished. In a brief introductory advertisement, the publisher, Mr. Maclehose, expresses warm thanks to his friends, John Guthrie Smith and John Oswald Mitchell, for the unwearied labour they also have bestowed on the new volume. The papers, it is mentioned, have been not only revised and enlarged, but in many cases entirely re-written by them. Only those who have tried this kind of work can have any idea of the amount of research and patience that is necessary to secure accuracy; and none but those who have been associated with Glasgow and its history could have accomplished the task. The result is a work which the publisher may well describe as rare in character, if it be not indeed the solitary example of its class.
A GLASGOW CATHEDRAL RELIC.
A SCULPTURED memorial, suggestive in the highest degree of the ancient ecclesiastical dignity of Glasgow, was removed in 1878 under circumstances somewhat unusual, yet at the same time extremely interesting and appropriate.