Timeline of Glasgow history

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

This article is intended to show a timeline of the history of Glasgow, Scotland, up to the present day.


543: The 12th century Bishop Jocelyn will later claim Glasgow's monastic church was founded by Saint Kentigern, also known as Saint Mungo, in this year; he also claimed that Kentigern found at Glasgow a cemetery which Saint Ninian had hallowed[1]

560: Jocelyn claims Mungo/Kentigern made his first bishop in this year


1114: Glasgow is a farming village, with a monastic church and water mill; the reach of Glasgow's bishops extends to Cumbria; the church is elevated to temporary cathedral status by young David of Strathclyde, later David I

1123: A cathedral is built over Saint Kentigern's grave, near the site of a Celtic monastery

1134: The churches of Saint John and the Holy Sepulchre are in the city; the church of Saint James is dedicated

1136: The cathedral is consecrated in the presence of David I

c1150: The Glasgow Fair is an eight-day event

1153: The sacking of Glasgow, and devastation of its surrounding countryside, by Somerled, Lord of Argyll.

c1174/c1178: William the Lion makes Glasgow an episcopal burgh of barony, and grants Bishop Jocelyn a charter

1179?-1199?: Bishop gives abbot and convent of Melrose a plot of land in Glasgow


1220s: Early trades in the town include fishermen, millers, bakers, cobblers, painters, and blacksmiths; wooden merchant's houses replace peasant huts

1233: Cathedral still under reconstruction

1240: Diocesan authorities deeply in debt to bankers from Florence; church over Saint Kentigern's grave being added

1246: Dominican order (Blackfriars) building their own church.

1258: Work on Kentigern's church complete

1274: Diocese includes Teviotdale in Dumfries

1286: Glasgow Bridge, made of timber, spans the River Clyde

1293: Saint Mary's church is in the town

1295: Saint Enoch's church is also in the town, and there is a second water mill beside the Gallowgate


1301: Edward I of England visits Saint Kentigern's tomb in the town. Edward forces the townspeople to make a giant wooden siege tower and supply 30 wagons to transport it to Bothwell Castle to besiege it, along with tools, iron and coal; the town has trade in salmon and herring

1320: There is a St Thomas's Church in the town, with a Florentine Dean

c1330-1350: The west end of the cathedral is completed

1350: The Black Death hits the town


c1400: Population estimate: 1,500-2,000

1410: The wooden bridge across the River Clyde is replaced by an arched stone bridge.

1431: William Elphinstone is born. He later obtained a papal bull for the University of Aberdeen in 1494, and introduced printing to Scotland in 1507

1438: Bishop's Palace is built

1450: Glasgow is a "burgh of regality"

1451: the University of Glasgow is established by bull of Pope Nicholas V, and founded by Bishop Turnbull, beside Blackfriars monastery

1453: John Stewart, Glasgow's first Provost, gives a grant of privileges to the university

1460: There is a Grammar School in the city; "fulling" is carried on; an extension to the college is begun (finished 1660)

1464: St Nicholas Hospital is in the city

1471: Provands Lordship, Glasgow's oldest dwelling-house, is built

1475: The Greyfriars (Franciscans)are granted a tenement and lands on the High Street; St Ninian's Hospital is established

1478: Other stone houses are built in Glasgow

1492: Pope Innocent VIII makes the See of Glasgow an Archbishopric - Robert Blackadder is the city's first archbishop


c1500: Population estimate is 2,500 - 3,000

1504: Plague hits Glasgow; the city is eleventh among Scottish burghs for taxation revenue

c1510: The Bishop's Palace is extended

1516-1559: The city's craft guilds are incorporated

1518: The university becomes more active

1520: The archdiocese now includes the former diocese of Argyll

1525: James Houston founds the Tron Church

1535-1556: Glasgow pays 1.5% - 3% of total Scottish burgh taxes

1544: Siege of castle; estimated population is 3,000

1556: Estimated population c4,500

1560: The burgh of Glasgow is now represented in the Parliament of Scotland

1570: Andrew Melville rejuvenates the university

1574: Plague hits the city again

c1576: The council mill is rebuilt

1579: The city's cathedral is saved from demolition by craftsmen threatening to riot

1581: Glasgow pays 66% of upper Clyde customs tax

1584: Plague

1589: Golf is played on Glasgow Green

1593: Emergence of the Presbytery of Glasgow in the new self-governing church

1594: Glasgow is now fifth in ranking of Scottish burghs, paying 4.5% of export customs


1600: Population estimates for the city vary between 5000 and 7500

1604: 361 craftsmen work in fourteen trades, including two surgeons and 213 merchants

1605: The Trades House and Merchants House combine to form the first town council

1610: The General Assembly approves the restoration of diocesan episcopacy in Scotland

1611: Glasgow becomes a royal burgh, with a population of about 7600

1615: The Jesuit John Ogilvy is hanged for saying Mass

1621: Glasgow pays 3%-10% of Scottish customs duties

1625: The first quay is built at Broomielaw

1626: The Tolbooth is constructed

1636: There are 120 students at the university

1638: Covenanters at the General Assembly plan to abolish bishops

1639: Glasgow the 3rd richest burgh in Scotland, one-fifth as rich as Edinburgh; Hutcheson's Hospital is founded

1641: Hutchesons' Grammar School is founded for orphan boys; 50 buildings erected in Trongate

1645: Montrose enters city, celebrates victories

1645-1646: Plague hits city

1649: Glasgow displaces Perth as Scotland's 4th trading centre; pays 6.5% of customs duties

1652: Major fire makes about a thousand families homeless; an early fire engine from Edinburgh helps put out the blaze

1655: Glasgow trades in coal, hoops, meal, oats, butter, herring, salt, paper, prunes, timber, and hides: goat, kid, and deerskins

1656: Glasgow is described as a "flourishing city", with "strong stone walls"

1659-1665: Bridgegate merchants' house is rebuilt

1660: A coal pit is reported in the Gorbals

1661: Several pits reported

1662: A post office opens

1663: Alexander Burnet is appointed archbishop

1668: Land is purchased for a new harbour - later Port Glasgow

1669: Burnet resigns the archbishopric, objects to Act of Supremacy

1670: Glasgow displaces Aberdeen and Dundee to become Scotland's second trade city

1673: Colonel Walter Whiteford opens city's first coffee house

1675: Magistrates take action against unauthorised prayer meetings

1677: Another major fire hits the city

1678: First stagecoaches run to Edinburgh

1680: The city's population is perhaps around 12,000, with 450 traders, 100 trading overseas

1688: Broomielaw Quay is reconstructed following dredging of the River Clyde

1690 Glasgow is re-chartered as a royal burgh; the city has an early Bank of Scotland branch


1702: the University of Glasgow has around 400 students

1706: Anti-unionists riot; Glasgow is a major smuggling port

1707: Act of Union

1710: The city's population is estimated to be 13,000; over 200 shops are open; much of the city is liable to flooding

1712: Glasgow owners own 4% of Scottish fleet, 46 vessels

1715: Glasgow Courant newspaper appears

1718: Possible date for first Glasgow vessel to sail to America

1719: Cotton printing has begun

1720: Glasgow's estimated population is 15,000

1721-1735: James Anderson builds "Andersontown" (modern-day Anderston) village

1725: Glasgow occupied by General Wade's army; protests and street violence against liquor tax

1726: Daniel Defoe describes Glasgow as "The cleanest and best-built city in Britain"; 50 ships a year sail to America

1729: The Glasgow Journal newspaper is published

1730: The Glasgow Linen Society is formed

1735: The city's ship-owners own 67 ships

1736: The first history of Glasgow is published by John McUre

1737-1760: A new Town Hall is built west of the Tolbooth

1738: The Anderston Weavers' Society is formed

1740: Approximately 685,000 m of linen is made in Glasgow, some of which is sent to London

1740-1741: The Foulis brothers begin printing

1742: Delft pottery is manufactured in the city

1743: The Foulis brothers become printers to the university

1745: Tennents open a new brewery in Glasgow

1749: A stage coach service opens between Edinburgh and Glasgow

1750: There are five sugar refineries in the city

1751: The John Smith bookshop is established

1753: Foulis Academy is established at the university to promote art and design; turnpiking of main roads from Glasgow; the city's involvement in the tobacco trade is reflected in the naming of Virginia Street

1755: The estimated population of Glasgow is 23,500

1757: 2.2 million metres of linen are produced in the city

1760: Glasgow enjoys a wave of prosperity; there are 13 professors at Glasgow University

1763: David Dale opens a draper's shop in the city; regular coaches run from Glasgow to Greenock

1765: Joseph Black discovers latent heat

1769: Tennents brewers is now a large industry; James Watt patents his steam engine condenser

1771: The Scottish economy is boosted by trade through Glasgow

1775: Trade with America in tobacco, sugar, and cotton - the city's prosperity is at its height

1776: Adam Smith, a professor at Glasgow University, publishes Wealth of Nations

1779: Mobs protest against the Catholic Relief Act

1780: The construction of the Forth and Clyde Canal is completed

1781: Vessels of over 30 tons can now reach Broomielaw Quay

1782-1783: The Forth and Clyde Canal enables grain from London to ease famine in Glasgow

1783: Glasgow Chamber of Commerce is founded by Patrick Colquhoun - the first in Britain

1785: A hot air balloonist flies from Glasgow to Hawick in the Borders; the firm of Thomsons is formed as bankers

1796: The Royal Technical College (which will later become The University of Strathclyde) is founded

1798: The Merchant Banking Company of Glasgow fails

1799: Demonstrations over bread prices; trade in tobacco and rum declines


1800: The River Clyde is 14 ft (3.1m) deep, and supports 200 wharves and jetties; there is a large Gaelic community in the city

1800: The Glasgow Police Act is passed by Parliament allowing the creation of the first modern preventative police force

1803: Dorothy Wordsworth visits Glasgow

1807: Hunterian Museum and Art Gallery opens off the high street, adjacent to the then campus of Glasgow University

1809: General Association of Operative Weavers is formed

1810-1814: Glasgow Asylum for Lunatics is built in Dobbies Loan

1813: Weavers fail in bid for fair wages

1814: Glasgow Green is Europe's first public park

1815: The Glasgow Herald is published twice-weekly

1818: Public supply of gas begins in the city

1820: Radical insurrection

1825: the University of Glasgow, still located in the High Street, has over 1200 students and about 30 professors; 10 coaches run to Edinburgh daily

1827: The Argyll Arcade opens

1828: James Beaumont Neilson makes breakthrough in iron-smelting technology; a total abstinence society is formed

1832: The city benefits from increased representation under the Great Reform Bill

1835-1874: The Liberals represents Glasgow in Parliament

1836: The Forth and Clyde Canal has increased traffic in goods and passengers

1837: Violent cotton-spinners strike; the leaders are sentenced to transportation

1841: Chartist demonstration is addressed by Fergus O'Connor

1842: Glasgow slums "the filthiest in Britain"; opening of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway and Glasgow Queen Street railway station

1843: Disruption of the Church of Scotland

1844: Glasgow Stock Exchange opens

1846: Burgh boundaries are more than doubled to 5,063 acres (20.49 km2)

1848: 100,000 people gather on Glasgow Green to support Chartists

1851: Glasgow is Scotland's largest city, with a population of 329,096; over 18% are Irish-born; Portland St suspension footbridge is built

1851-1854: Victoria Bridge is built at Stockwell Street

1858-1859: St Vincent Street Church is built by Alexander "Greek" Thomson

1859: Loch Katrine water supply is opened by Queen Victoria

1863: Dr Henry Littlejohn becomes the city's first medical officer

1865: Dr Edward William Pritchard is the last person to be publicly hanged in the city, for poisoning his wife and mother-in-law

1866: The City Improvement Trust clears slums and constructs new roads and buildings

1867: Queen's Park F.C. is founded

1868-1870: The University of Glasgow buildings at Gilmorehill are built to designs by George Gilbert Scott

1872: Rangers F.C. is founded

1876: Partick Thistle F.C. is founded

1883: The Boys' Brigade is founded

1888: Celtic F.C. is founded

1888: International Exhibition (1888)

1896: Opening of the Glasgow Subway


1901: Glasgow International Exhibition (1901)

1902: 20 football fans die in the first Ibrox disaster; magistrates ban barmaids

1903: Charles Rennie Mackintosh builds Miss Cranston's Tearooms

1904: The Kings' and Pavilion Theatres open

1905: Theatre Royal opens

1905-1907: The Caledonian Railway extends the Central Hotel

1907-1911: New buildings for the Mitchell Library are constructed

1909: Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Glasgow School of Art opens

1910: Emigration leads to 20,000 housing vacancies in Glasgow

1911: International Exposition (Scottish Exhibition of National History, Art and Industry) at Kelvingrove; Glasgow's population is 785,000

1914: Tramcars cover wide routes around Glasgow

1919: Large strike for a 40-hour week

1921: Sinn Féiners murder policeman

1923: Glasgow railways are grouped as part of the new London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS)

1925: There are approximately 200 miles (320 km) of tramlines and 1100 trams in and around the city

1926: Violence during General Strike

1929: Hogmanay cinema fire causes stampede which kills 69 children in Glen Cinema; Glasgow has nearly 100 cinemas

1931: The Glasgow population peaks at 1,088,000 thus becoming Britain's 2nd biggest city.

1932: The Dental Hospital in Sauchiehall Street is built

1934: Unemployed "Hunger marchers" shunned by Ramsay MacDonald; RMS Queen Mary launched

1935: Glasgow's subway becomes electric

1936: Overcrowding exists in 29% of Glasgow's houses

1937: Citywide automatic telephone dialling becomes available

1938: Glasgow hosts Empire Exhibition, Scotland 1938 at Bellahouston Park

1939: World War II: Glasgow naval base HMS Spartiate opens

1940: Bomb hits Merkland Street subway station, closes underground for four months

1941: Bombing raids on Clydebank, 500 killed

1944: Glasgow trams carry about 14 million passengers

1946: Glasgow naval base HMS Spartiate closes

1949: Trolley buses introduced, condemned by pedestrians as the "whispering death"

1950: Eye infirmary demolished

1951: Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) is formed by merger

1952-1955: Union Bank of Scotland absorbed by Bank of Scotland

1958: William Burrell dies, bequeaths Burrell Collection; Lanarkshire County Council moves its headquarters from Ingram Street to Hamilton

1960: Duke Street prison closed; Glasgow electric Blue Train system starts

1962: Last route of the Glasgow Corporation Tramways closes

1964: University of Strathclyde established; Beeching closes low-level (Argyle) line

1966: Buchanan Street and St Enoch railway stations close

1967: Celtic F.C. first British winners of European Cup; RMS QE2 launched; trolley-buses withdrawn

1969: Last daily steamers from Bridge Wharf

1970: M8 motorway and Kingston Bridge open

1971: 66 football fans die in the second Ibrox disaster; Government refuse to save Upper Clyde Shipbuilders

1975: British Army tackle rubbish caused by dustmans strike; Glasgow becomes the home of Strathclyde Region's headquarters; the city sees the start of Britain's first mass-circulation daily newspaper workers' cooperative when the Scottish Daily News opens in Albion Street in May, as well as the country's first newspaper work-in when it folds after six months.

1977: Glasgow Subway closes for extensive modernisation (reopening in 1980)

1978: The Rev Geoff Shaw, first Convener of Strathclyde Regional Council (and former leader of Glasgow Corporation), dies in office aged 52

1979-1980: Low level Argyle Line re-opens

1982: Roy Jenkins wins Hillhead by-election for the newly formed Social Democratic Party

1983: Burrell Collection opens; launch of the Glasgow's miles better campaign

1985: Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre opens; Glasgow population is 734,000

1988: The Glasgow Garden Festival hosts this year's National Garden Festival and attracts 4.3 million visitors.

1989: High number of poll tax arrears; St Enoch Centre opens

1990: Cultural city of Europe; McLellan Galleries re-opens; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall completed; the QE2 returns to the river Clyde to mark the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Cunard Steam Ship Company.

1993: Glasgow Caledonian University established; Opening of the new St Mungo's Museum, the UK's only Museum of Religion, next to the city's 13th century cathedral.

1996: Glasgow Festival of Visual Arts; opening of the Gallery of Modern Art in the former Stirling's Library; first Glasgow International Festival of Design

1996-1999: Festival of Architecture and Design

1997: Opening of new £38 million Clyde Auditorium at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

1999: Glasgow is UK City of Architecture and Design; Buchanan Galleries open; millennium celebrations; The Rt Hon Donald Dewar (MP and MSP for Glasgow Anniesland) become the first First Minister of Scotland


2002: Final of UEFA Champion's League held at Hampden Park. Real Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1.

2002: 2002 Glasgow floods

2004: Stockline Plastics factory explosion, Nine people dead, 37 injured, 15 seriously.

2005: The city launches a bid to host the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

2006: Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum reopens after its three-year, £27.9million restoration

2007: Final of UEFA Cup held at Hampden Park on 16 May, Scotland's first terrorist attack after the Lockerbie bombing fails at Glasgow Airport, Glasgow awarded 2014 Commonwealth Games

See also[edit]


  • The Oxford Companion to Scottish History, ed. Michael Lynch, Oxford University Press, 2001
  • The Making of Scotland, Robin Smith, Canongate Books, 2001
  • The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, 1997 ed., Helicon Publishing Ltd, 1996
  • Chronicle of Britain, Chronicle Communications Ltd, 1992
  • Glasgow Guide


  1. ^ Bright, William (1896), The Roman See in the Early Church, London: Longmans, Green, & Co, p. 406 (footnote), retrieved 2008-08-07 

Further reading[edit]

Published in the 18th century
  • John Tait's Directory for the City of Glasgow, Glasgow, 1783 . (1871 reprint)
  • Jones's Directory; or, Useful Pocket Companion for the year 1787. Glasgow. . (1887 reprint)
Published in the 19th century
  • "Glasgow", Scottish Tourist and Itinerary, Edinburgh: Stirling, Kenney, 1842 
  • "Glasgow", Lizars' Scottish Tourist, Edinburgh: W.H. Lizars, 1850 
  • "Glasgow". Cook's Scottish Tourist Practical Directory. Thos. Cook. 1866. 
Published in the 20th century
  • "Glasgow", Great Britain (7th ed.), Leipzig: Karl Baedeker, 1910