Story of the Burgh of Calton
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Superintendent JOHN ORD.


THE lands of Blackfaulds and Barrowfield, now known as Calton and Bridgeton, originally formed part of the Church Lands of the Archbishopric of Glasgow, and by an Act of the Scottish Parliament of 1587 they were annexed to the Crown. In a charter granted by King James VI., of date 3rd November, 1587, in favour of Walter, Commendator of Blantyre, his heirs and assignees, there were granted in feu, along with the Land and Barony and the Town and Burgh of Glasgow, the lands of Barrowfield and other places now forming part of the City of Glasgow. In 1643 the lands of Blackfaulds or Calton were owned by George Duncan of Barrowfield. He was succeeded by James Duncan, who subsequently sold his estates to John Walkinshaw, a member of an old Renfrewshire family. In 1705, a grandson, also named John, commenced to feu the lands of Blackfaulds. This gentleman and his brother-in-law, Sir Hugh Paterson of Bannockburn, were implicated in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1715. Their lands were forfeited, and Walkinshaw was committed to Stirling Castle on a charge of high treason, but escaped through the adroitness of his lady, who changed clothes with him and remained in his stead. The Crown subsequently relinquished Barrowfield to a trustee, for behoof of Walkinshaw's wife and family. He had ten daughters, one of whom, the famous Clemintina Walkinshaw, was a mistress of Prince Charlie, who created their illegitimate daughter Duchess of Albany.

In 1723 the estate of Barrowfield was purchased by the Town Council of Glasgow, and at that time only 19 small lots had been feued. In 1731 Barrowfield was bought from the Town Council by John Orr, a merchant in the City, for 10,000. This gentleman appears from the records to have been Bailie of Gorbals in 1718, and one of the Merchant Bailies of Glasgow the following year. He was three times elected Rector of the University, viz., in 1731, 1735, and again in 1741 and bequeathed 5,000 to the University to provide a Library. He was succeeded by his son William in 1744,


and by his grandson John in 1755. When a very young man this last named gentleman was the hero of a romance which one would scarcely expect to find outside the pages of a novel. He fell in love with a beautiful young lady, the intimate friend of his sisters, and a very ardent correspondence was the immediate result, the lover concluding one of his epistles by signing himself "Your affectionate husband, JOHN ORR."

Years passed and Mr. Orr ceased to talk of marriage. An action in the Court of Session was raised against him, and after a protracted litigation the lady was declared his lawful wife. He refused to live with her or to acknowledge her as his wife. She accordingly entered the Court of Session once more, obtained a divorce and got married a second time, while Mr. Orr remained single through life. He was for several years Captain-Commandant in the light troop of Volunteers, and from 1781 till his death in 1803 he was Town Clerk of Glasgow. The Magistrates and Council erected a monument to his memory in the Choir of the Cathedral. Besides disposing of many feus, Mr. Orr sold to James Dunlop of Garnkirk, and Robert Scott of Aitkenhead, part of the estate of Barrowfield. He became bankrupt in 1795, and this was followed by the dismemberment of the Barrowfield estate. In 1817 the portion of the lands of Barrowfield called east Blackfaulds, on which the old village of Calton was built, were in possession of Esther and Martha Orr, sisters of the late John Orr, the male line having become extinct at his death. At the same time the lands of Blackfaulds and Broomward, on which the new village of Calton was built, were owned by Robert and William Pollok of Crossbank. From the charter granted in 1817, erecting Calton into a Burgh, it appears that the Polloks held their lands from the Crown.

The villages of old and new Calton formed part of the lands of Barrowfield, which were erected into a Barony by a charter granted by King George II. in favour of John Orr of Barrowfield, and dated 15th September, 1735. The appointment of a Baron-Bailie would naturally follow. In all Baronies in Scotland the tenants and feuars appointed Birlaymen, whose functions were to aid the Baron-Bailie in the execution of his duty.

A Baron's jail appears to have been erected in Main Street shortly after the granting of the charter. It was a curious looking structure with iron-stanchioned windows, and had a figure resembling a dog's head above the entrance. This jail disappeared on the extension of Moncur Street.

That the Baron's Court of Calton was out of existence prior to 1771, and that there was no local authority at that period is shown by an interesting document presented by the late Sir Michael Connal to the Kirk Session of St. James' Free Church, London Street. It is a compact amongst the feuars of Calton binding themselves under certain penalties not to let their houses to persons of bad character, and was approved and signed by, amongst others, Rev. Laurence Hill, minister of the Barony Parish; Rev. John Jameson, first minister


of the Associate Ante-Burgher Church in Havannah Street; and Rev. James Fisher, first minister of the Associate Burgher Church, Shuttle Street.

Towards the end of the 18th century Calton was chiefly inhabited by weavers, and in 1787, owing to the manufacturers having refused to grant an advance of wages, many of them struck work. They assembled in large crowds, and paraded the streets with the object of intimidating and annoying those whom they thought most inimical to their demands. On 3rd September of that year, after doing considerable damage in Calton, a crowd of strikers repaired to the foot of the Drygate, and were burning a number of webs of cloth when the Magistrates, accompanied by a detachment of the 39th Infantry Regiment, arrived on the scene. The mob greeted the Magistrates and military with a shower of stones. The riot Act was then read, and the people were ordered to disperse. On the rioters refusing to do so the soldiers were ordered to fire, which they did, killing three men on the spot and wounding several others. This caused the rioters to disperse, although the following day they again assembled in great force in the Calton, but the timely arrival of the Glasgow Magistrates prevented them from doing any further mischief.

A few days later the funeral of the men who were shot took place in the Calton burying ground, and was attended by about 6,000 persons. Their grave is still to be seen at the north-end of the Calton graveyard in Clyde Street, now Abercromby Street, and is marked by a large flat stone bearing the inscription -










The Calton burying ground, now maintained by the Glasgow Parks Department as an open space, was acquired by the Society of Weavers, in two portions, in 1787 and 1822, as a graveyard for Calton and neighbourhood.

In 1791, according to a census taken by the Kirk Session of the Barony Parish, the population of Calton (then written Caltoun) was 11,120.

The lighting of the Calton streets by gas was begun by the Glasgow Gas Lighting Company in 1817.

At the time of the Radical rising in 1820, when the city was in a great state of excitement, the weavers and cotton-spinners of Calton stopped work, and, along with the miners, paraded the streets in large numbers. Many arrests were made, and houses in Calton were searched for arms.

The old village of Calton, known as East Blackfaulds, extended to twelve acres one rood, while the new village of Calton, built partly on the lands of Blackfaulds and partly on the lands of Broomward, extended to forty-one acres one rood. Three acres one rood and twenty-eight falls lay to the west of Green Street, and the remaining thirty-seven acres one rood and twelve falls lay to the east of said street.

The charter of the Burgh of Calton, dated 30th day of August, 1817, and by which the villages of old and new Calton were erected into a Burgh of Barony, declared that the magistracy should consist of a Provost and three Bailies, that the administration of any Common Good should be committed to eleven Councillors and a Treasurer, and that the Councillors should act as Birleymen. It was further provided that, for the space of twenty years after the date of the first election of Magistrates, all the male inhabitants of lawful age and who were feuars or heritable proprietors within the burgh, and rated in the assessed hooks of the County of Lanark at not less than twenty pounds sterling of yearly rent, or who possessed, either as tenant or proprietor, a dwelling-house within the burgh rated at the yearly rent of at least ten pounds sterling, should be qualified to be elected to the offices of Magistrate, Councillor, and Treasurer. The Bailie whose name was placed first on the list was to be the eldest - or senior - Bailie, and was to continue in office for two years. Thus only two of the Bailies were elected annually, the third remaining in office for two years.

The Bailies and Treasurer were to be elected from among the Council and Magistrates of the preceding year only, but the Provost might be chosen from the resident burgesses. The further provision was made that after the space of twenty years from the first election, the qualification for those offices should be thirty pounds assessment of the tenancy of a house rated at fifteen pounds a year. There was also a resident qualification attached. The aspirant to office should have resided in the burgh from the term of Whitsunday before the election. For the office of Provost, however, this residential qualification was not necessary. Even the property qualification might be set aside if the candidate was a Justice of the Peace, or Commissioner of Supply for the County of Lanark. The rights of the burgesses were also conserved. They had a vote in elections whether resident or not. The elections were fixed to take place on the first Tuesday of September, and the constituent members of the first meeting (where, of course, open voting took place) were the inhabitants who had paid not less than two guineas towards the erection of the lands into a Burgh of Barony. The right of nominating the Clerk of the burgh was expressly reserved to Esther and Martha Orr, and Robert and William Pollok, and their successors as superiors of the burgh, but it was stipulated that they should be obliged to nominate a fit and proper person who must not be under thirty years of age, and who, before entering office, should find security to the satisfaction of the Magistrates and Council. The Clerk was to act always under the direction of the Magistrates and Council, who had the power of fixing and regulating his fees. If at any time the superiors should delay for more than a fortnight to appoint a Clerk, the appointment for that year would devolve upon the Magistrates and Council.

In the event of any dispute regarding the nomination of the Clerk, or his continuance in office, the matter was to be referred to the Professor of Scots Law in the University of Glasgow, and the first Town Clerk of the City of Glasgow. These individuals were also to decide electoral disputes. Power was also given to the burgh to constitute a weekly market on Saturday, and to collect tolls to defray the expense of maintaining the peace and order of the market, and otherwise for the benefit of the community.

Although Mile-end formed no part of Calton the Magistrates of that burgh obtained police jurisdiction over the village and lands of Mile-end in 1819.

The first election of Magistrates and Councillors took place on 2nd September, 1817, in the session house of Calton Parish Church - then a Chapel of Ease to the Barony Parish - when eighty-one persons who had qualified to vote, amongst whom were William Pollock of Crossbank, James Sword of Westthorn, and Nathaniel Stevenson of Braidwood, attended. Robert Struthers, brewer in Calton, was elected Provost; James Parker, manufacturer, Senior Bailie; James Kerr and John Clark, Bailies; Robert Shaw, Treasurer; and John Bartholomew, John Tossach, John Hutcheson, John Cassels, John Kirkwood, John Little, Archibald Gardner, and Peter M'Phun, Councillors. On the 11th of the same month the Council met and appointed twelve constables, under the superintendence of a Councillor for each ward, for the purpose of establishing a general and effective police, It was arranged that the Provost and Bailies would meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays to transact business. A few days later the Magistrates found it necessary to publicly declare that they meant to support and protect the night patrol, and to punish all persons who obstructed them in discharge of their duty, which shows that the citizen constabulary were finding the life of an amateur policeman not a happy one. It was arranged to hold Courts, on certain days, at 6 o'clock in the evening, in the north wing of the Lancastrian School, Green Street, for the determination of claims not exceeding 2 sterling. Two Town Officers were appointed to summon all debtors, and were ordained to find caution in 10 each for their own good behaviour. Their remuneration was to be two shillings per day and a suit of uniform. A Town Bellman was also appointed, and he likewise was allowed uniform. The total cost of officers' uniforms for the first year was 14 16s.

In 1810 schools, conducted on the principle of Mr. Lancaster's Institute in London, had been erected in Calton, Anderston, and Gorbals, at a cost of 5,434, but as they did not pay they were closed six years later. The building in Calton still stands, and is presently used as an industrial school.

On 25th October the affairs of the Night Watch were again before the Council, when it was ordained that the captain for the night was to divide the whole patrol into parties of six, seven, or eight under a sergeant; that not more than one glass of spirits was to be allowed to each man while on duty, and the captain was prohibited from allowing any more to be brought into the room. Six pairs of figure "8" hand-cuffs were ordered for the use of the patrol, and three weeks later other twelve pairs were obtained.

The following September the burgesses were called together by intimation from the pulpit, and by tuck of drum through the burgh. In opening the proceedings the Rev. Matthew Graham delivered a discourse. The election of the Magistrates and Council then took place, when Nathaniel Stevenson of Braidwood was elected Provost, which office he held for the long period of twenty-one years.

The practice of opening the proceedings with a religious service at municipal elections obtained for many years afterwards. The minutes of the Town Council of 29th August, 1833, set forth that "the chairman of the meeting was requested to call upon the Rev. Mr. Graham for the usual sermon previous to the election on Tuesday first." On this occasion the Magistrates and Council met at half-past nine, the election being at eleven o'clock forenoon.

On 28th April, 1818, the Magistrates issued a proclamation recommending all householders to discharge beggars from travelling in the burgh, by refusing to give them charity. A week later, "in order to prevent Irish and other disorderly persons from going about," the Magistrates and Council authorised stocks to be erected on the ground purchased for a jail, or any other place to be approved of by the Provost and Bailies. On 11th May following the Council recommended that the Irish beggars and vagrants be sent home, and that a subscription should be set on foot to raise money for that purpose. These proceedings were taken as a precaution against the spread of disease, as "it was feared that in consequence of the measures taken by the Magistrates of Glasgow against common beggars a great influx of beggars are likely to resort to Calton, carrying along with them the seeds of infection, and spreading the typhus fever throughout the burgh."

On 17th December, 1818, the design of a seal for the burgh was adopted. The Police seal has been preserved and is at present in the Police Museum in the Central Police Office.

At the beginning of the last century the inhabitants of Calton are described as being exceedingly lawless and unruly, and the Magistrates almost from the first inception of the burgh found that it would be necessary to have a regular paid police force. In 1818 a Bill was promoted for the establishment of a joint force for Calton, Bridgeton, Anderston, and Blythswood. The scheme miscarried, but in the following year Calton obtained an Act for the establishment of a police


force, and the annexation of the village of Mile-end and its district, these lying contiguous to Calton and going as far east as the territory of Glasgow extended.

In 1806 Bridgeton was described as being nearly half a mile in length, and to have taken its name from its vicinity to the bridge over the river leading to Rutherglen, which was built in 1775 at a cost of 1,800.

At the same period Camlachie was described as being mostly inhabited by colliers employed in the neighbourhood.

Calton Parish Church was built by subscription in 1793 as a Chapel of Ease to the Barony. It was seated for 1,400, and the stipend was 250. The Reformed Presbyterian Church in Great Hamilton Street was built in 1756* and was seated for 600. Calton Relief Church, now the Calton U.F., was built on the site of the old Cameronian Church in Kirk Street, in 1821, and was seated for 1,400.

Prior to 1805 there was no place of worship in Bridgeton, but in that year a number of the members of (East) Campbell Street Relief Church residing in Bridgeton and neighbourhood formed themselves into a congregation and erected a Church in John Street, which was opened the following year. It was seated for 1,320, and for many years was the only place of worship in Bridgeton. When the United Presbyterian


Church was formed in 1847, by the union of the Secession and Relief Churches, its designation was changed to Greenhead U.P. Church, and is now the Greenhead United Free Church.

A letter appearing in a local paper in April, 1834, complained that there were 11,000 inhabitants in Bridgeton and only one place of worship. Drunk people staggering about on Sundays was said to be one of the commonest sights, and street fights were frequent. The scenes in Main Street were described as "almost' incredible."

The Calton police were only sent into Bridgeton in exceptional circumstances.

That the behaviour of the people of Calton was just as bad is seen by the following excerpts from the Glasgow Thistle of 1831.

"During the week upwards of 20 persons were taken up for being drunk and disorderly on the streets (of Calton), the greater number of these were taken up on Sunday, while strolling the streets in a beastly condition, during the hours of Divine service. They were all fined in various small sums."

"Mrs. Peebles, an old wretch, residing in Main Street, Calton, for having her house in a disorderly state on Sunday morning., was fined in two shillings and sixpence."

October 22, 1831, Calton Police Court, Monday.

Eighteen cases of drunks and disorderlies were disposed of. The general part of them were Chelsea pensioners, and were carried in for preservation. Some of them were ordered to pay for their porterage, and others were fined according to the nature of their offences.

November 5, 1831: "The rest of this week's cases consisted of drunks and disorderlies, some of whom were wheeled or carried to the Police Office and had to pay porterage. The others were fined from two to five shillings."

December 5, 1831: "Four of the toppers found strolling the street during divine service were fined in sums ranging from two shillings and sixpence to five shillings."

As shown by the Police Court books some curious cases were brought before the Calton Bailies. Thus on 14th January, 1822, John Johnston, for whistling on the streets on Sunday, was fined half-a-crown. On 6th May of the same year John Ballantyne, of Saltmarket, Glasgow, was fined in a like sum for allowing three swine belonging to him to be at large on the streets of Calton during church hours. On 17th June following, four men were each fined in five shillings for "improper and reprehensible conduct', on the streets by "putting the stone." On 26th August, Archibald Galla, from Cambuslang, for having at 10.30 o'clock the previous night caused a disturbance, resisted arrest, and caused Patrolman Connor to lose his nightcap was fined in ten shillings.

Although persons convicted of trifling offences were treated in a very lenient manner, persons convicted of serious offences were sharply dealt with. For example, on 18th July, 1822, Thomas Miller, a weaver, for theft of a black silk cloak from the house of Miss Parrat, Clayknowes, was sentenced to 28 days' solitary confinement, during which he was to be fed on bread and water. On the 6th of the same month a man named Ebenezer M'Laren, got a like sentence for stealing a pair of drawers. On 22nd January of the same year, Hugh

Clelland, a weaver, for cruelty to a dog by skinning it while it was alive, was fined in twelve shillings, failing immediate payment, thirty days' imprisonment with hard labour. The Calton and Mile-end Bridewell book, which is still preserved, shows that he underwent his full term of imprisonment.

St. Luke's Parish Church in Main Street was one of the twenty churches erected through the indefatigable labours of Dr. Thomas Chalmers. It was built in 1836, the first minister being the Rev. W. Fowler.

At the disruption in 1843 the members of the congregation threw in their lot with the Free Church, and continued to worship in the old church till 1849, when the House of Lords decided that all quoad sacra churches were the property of the Established Church of Scotland.

This was particularly hard on St. Luke's congregation, for the money necessary to erect the church was raised by public subscription, not one halfpenny being granted by Government. The Rev. David Mitchell, who had succeeded Mr. Fowler, preached the last sermon in the old building on 25th February, 1849. Bravely the members kept together, and after worshipping in different churches, kindly placed at their disposal, they took a lease of the Mechanics' Hall, Canning Street, where regular worship was held, until they secured the site where St. Luke's U.F. Church now stands at 131 Great Hamilton Street.

The foundation stone was laid on 10th September, 1849, by Mr. Hugh Logan, and the church was opened on 13th May, 1850, by the Rev. Dr. Cunningham, Principal of the New College, Edinburgh, who preached morning and evening, while the minister, the Rev. David Mitchell, preached in the afternoon, the day's collections being 127 10s. 5d.

The total cost of the church was 2,177 19s. 6d. The present clocks, which still tick merrily in the building, were originally gifted to the old St Luke's by a lady who, when the House of Lords decision was made known, resolved that when she went the clocks would go with her. Without delay she had them removed, and retained them till the present building was completed when she had them hung up where they are still to be seen.

The Anderston and Calton Sabbath Day School Society established Sabbath schools in both these districts in 1808, the teachers giving their services free. The subjects taught seem, however, to have been more of a secular than of a religious nature.

In 1833 a lady, Miss Hood, bequeathed the sum of 500 for the encouragement of education in the burgh. The money was placed under the management of the Magistrates in conjunction with the minister of Calton Chapel of Ease.

In 1833 was established the Calton, Mile-end, and Bridgeton Mechanics' Institution, with the object of placing within the reach of the subscribers the fullest information on all matters of general interest and to provide an agreeable place of resort. It was the first institution of its kind in the country, and is still in existence.

From the reports on Municipal Corporations in 1835 we learn that there were, at that time, in the burgh of Calton 181 burgesses, 264 persons whose yearly rents in property or tenancy amounted to 10 or upwards, and 714 whose yearly rents, though under 10, amounted to 5 or upwards.

During the first half of last century there existed in Calton an association called "The Calton and Bridgeton Bread Society,", which was formed for the purpose of distributing bread to its members at a lower rate than the current prices in the district.

The first Calton Police Act was passed on 23rd March, 1819. It was entitled "An Act for regulating the Police of the Burgh of Calton and Village of Mile-end, in the County of Lanark; paving, cleansing, and lighting the streets and passages of the said district; and for the erecting a Court House, Gaol, and a Bridewell or Workhouse therein."

The burgh was divided into nine wards, each represented by a Resident Commissioner of Police, who was invested with the whole powers known in the law of Scotland to belong to the office of constable. His insignia of office was a white rod, four and a half feet long, with the crown and initial of the reigning Sovereign on one side, and the burgh arms and motto, "By industry we prosper," on the other. Under the arms were the words "Commissioner of Police" on a scroll painted round the rod in serpentine form. This rod was even more imposing than the insignia of a Police Commissioner of Glasgow. Part of a Commissioner's duties was to warn away from his ward all poor persons not entitled to relief, in order to prevent them from becoming entitled to any benefit or charity connected with his ward.

The First Ward was bounded by Great Hamilton Street on the south, by Well Street on the east, by New Street on the north, and by the Royalty of the City of Glasgow on the west, and, like all the other wards, comprehended all intermediate grounds and buildings.

The Second Ward was bounded by New Street on the south, by Main Street on the east, and by the Royalty of the City of Glasgow on the other parts.

The Third Ward was bounded by Great Hamilton Street on the south, by Green Street on the east, Kirk Street on the north, and by Well Street on the west.

The Fourth Ward was bounded by Kirk Street on the south, by Green Street on the east, by the Royalty of the City of Glasgow on the north, and by Main Street on the west.

The Fifth Ward was bounded by Barrowfield Road on the south, by Clyde Street on the east, by Crossloan Street on the north, and by Green Street on the west.

The Sixth Ward was bounded by Crossloan Street on the south, by the Royalty of Glasgow on the east and north, and by Green Street on the west.

The Seventh Ward was bounded by Barrowfield Road on the south, by the lands and village of Mile-end on the east, by the Royalty of the City of Glasgow on the north, and by Clyde Street on the west.

The Eighth Ward was bounded upon the west and south by the Royalty of the City of Glasgow, by Camlachie Burn on the east, and Barrowfield Road on the north.

The Ninth Ward embraced the lands and village of Mile-end.

The Commissioners were elected annually on the first

Monday in October by persons who paid a rent of 5 or upwards, or who possessed property in Calton or Mile-end valued in the county assessor's books at 20, or householders whose dwellings were valued at 10 or upwards.

Three of the Commissioners demitted office each year. They met four times yearly on the second Mondays of October, January, April, and July, at 10 o'clock forenoon. The Provost, Bailies, and Dean of Guild were Commissioners ex officiis.

They were empowered to cause the streets to be lighted with lamps, and to have lamp irons fixed to houses and buildings. The penalty for breaking or taking away such lamps or irons was 15, or in default of payment two months' imprisonment; They were also empowered to appoint a Master of Police to act under the authority of the Provost, Bailies, and Dean of Guild, and they also appointed the watchmen and patrolmen. The Magistrates and Dean of Guild had also power to appoint special constables.

The Dean of Guild had the same powers as a Bailie, and two Magistrates had the power to commit to gaol for six months any dealer who refused to give up stolen goods to the police.

The jurisdiction of the Magistrates was restricted to persons living in the Calton or persons committing offences within the burgh, and when a person accused of committing an offence removed from Calton before his trial, the warrant to arrest him had to be signed by the Sheriff.

All idlers, beggars, vagrants, and persons following no lawful employment were liable to three months' imprisonment, and those harbouring them or giving them lodging were liable to a penalty of 2.

Anyone entertaining watchmen while on duty was liable to a penalty of 1, half of the fine to go to the informer,

All Sheriffs, Justices of the Peace, and Magistrates were required by the Act to aid the Magistrates of Calton in enforcing the law, and any appeal from their judgement was to be made to next Circuit Court at Glasgow.

The Act was to be in force for a period of 21 years.

The Magistrates of Calton still exercised both a civil and criminal jurisdiction over old and new Calton, but they had only a criminal jurisdiction over the village of Mile-end, and they had no power to grant a public-house licence. When a person residing in Calton desired to have a licence to sell malt or spiritous liquors, he had to produce a certificate signed by his minister and elder setting forth that he was of good moral character, and might be safely licensed to keep a public-house. This certificate he presented at the J.P. Clerk's Office, Glasgow, where it was entered in a book preparatory

to the applicant receiving a certificate under the hand of two Justices to the Collector of Excise, who thereupon granted the licence for one whole year commencing on 5th July. The certificate specified the kind of liquor to be sold in the applicant's house, shop, cellar, yard, garden or premises, and prohibited gaming, disorder, or drunkenness.

This state of affairs continued till the passing of the " Home Drummond Act," in 1828.

It was the duty of the Magistrates to see that public-houses were closed at midnight, and on Sundays during the hours of divine service.

So soon as the first Board of Commissioners were elected they set about the enrolment of a regular police force.

A large number of the burgesses were also sworn in as

special constables, and were each supplied with a round- shaped brass badge of office, with the Burgh Arms, and dated "30th August, 1817," on the obverse side, and the words "Special Constable, No. ," on the reverse side. The following is a copy of the oath subscribed by them:-

"We do severally swear that we will faithfully discharge the duties of a special constable to the best of our judgement, and as such will give our assistance to the Provost and Magistrates of Calton and to the Sheriff and Justices of the Peace for Lanarkshire in maintaining order, in supporting lawful authority, and preserving the public peace within the district of Calton and Mile-end."

The first entries on the roll of special constables are dated, "Calton of Glasgow, and signed, Nathaniel Stevenson, Chief Magistrate."

The first Calton Police Court book has unfortunately been lost, but the second one, which covers a period from 1st

September, 1821, to 26th October, 1822, contains proceedings in 1,769 cases, including 2,694 persons. Of those 538 were from Glasgow, 202 from the country, and 1,984 resided in the Calton.

The most surprising thing, however, is that of the 2,694 persons proceeded against only 27 (22 males and 5 females) were committed to Bridewell, all the others convicted having managed to pay their fines, and the manner in which the fines were recovered will be shown further on.

Mr. John Hamilton was the first chief, and the new force consisted of 1 superintendent, 3 sergeants, and 10 watchmen. The first police office was formed out of part of the Lancastrian School in Green Street, and consisted of an officer's room, with two or three small cells adjoining. A Glasgow historian mentions that in a court outside there were stocks for the purpose of reducing troublesome prisoners to reason, and as terror to evildoers in general. The same historian adds: "The Calton was for many years an exceedingly lawless and unruly place, so much so that the first police officers perambulated the streets in couples armed with cutlasses-and they used them, too, for one occasion was well remembered on which an encounter took place with a gang of desperate resurrectionists, who were robbing the Calton burying ground in Clyde Street, when one of the body lifters got his arm nearly cut off, and this wholesome blood letting helped to clear the district of those wretches." In more peaceful times the cutlasses were displaced by staves, some of which have been preserved and can be seen in the Kelvingrove Museum. They are green painted, and are somewhat longer than an ordinary police baton, but are of the same thickness throughout. At a later date the staves were in turn superseded by the ordinary baton.

It would appear that the police premises in Green Street

were occupied for at least three years. The Burgh Buildings, which included the Council Chambers, Police Office, and Bridewell, were erected in Stevenson Street in 1823-4.

In 1821 it was found necessary to employ five extra patrolmen on Saturdays, and in 1824 an extra watchman was added to the force. In 1826 Mr. Robert Bryce, the second superintendent, was appointed. The strength of the force was then 15, but six extra patrolmen were employed on Saturdays. Two years later the extra Saturday patrol was discontinued, and three additional men were employed on Sundays instead. In 1830 the force included 1 superintendent, 4 sergeants and 15 watchmen, three extra patrolmen being engaged on Sundays. In 1831 two doorkeepers were added, and two years later the regular watchmen were reduced by five, but four extra patrolmen were employed on Saturdays and six extra on Sundays. It thus required upwards of 50 per cent. more men to keep the peace in Calton on Sundays than on week days.

In 1833 Bryce Smith, a lieutenant in the Glasgow Police, was appointed superintendent of the Calton Police, but held office for only twelve months, when Mr. John Gilliland was appointed chief. His term of office was also very short, and in June, 1835, Mr. James Smart, a sergeant in the Gorbals Police, was appointed superintendent. In addition to his duties as Chief of Police, Mr. Smart was also joint Burgh Fiscal, Inspector of Weights and Measures, and Burgh Surveyor.

After the Police Commissioners were constituted the most active share of the government of the burgh devolved upon them, and the minutes of the Magistrates and Council are chiefly of a routine character, dealing with such subjects as the annual elections, the admission of burgesses, the imposition and collection of Statute Labour money for keeping up the streets and roads, and regulations regarding weights and measures.

The number of cases disposed of in the Calton Police Court between the date of its inception in 1820 and 1832 averaged 2,587 yearly.

In addition to the powers conferred upon them by the Police Act, the Magistrates of Calton had all the rights,

powers, authorities, and jurisdictions possessed by the Magistrates and Councils of Royal Burghs, with the exception that they did not have the power to try cases punishable by death or transportation.

The fact that comparatively few sentenced persons were committed to Bridewell is explained by the practice in vogue of accepting almost any article of value in pledge. Thus on 6th November, 1821, David Jackson and John Russell, who had been fined 4s each for fighting, left three yards of blue cloth in pledge for 14 days.

On the 28th of the same month three men who for consuming liquor to the value of 6s. 8d. in a public-house in Kirk Street, and refusing to pay for the same, were fined half-a-crown each, and in default of payment, to be committed to Bridewell until their fines were paid, left two coats and a silk vest in pledge for the fines. On 17th December, 1821, John Downie, a blacksmith, who had been fined seven shillings and sixpence for disturbing the peace, left his own hat and a child's hat in security for the fine.

All sorts of articles were taken in pledge by the Police until the offenders were able to pay their fines, some of the most curious being a barber's hone, a handkerchief, a pair of trousers, a pair of blankets, and in one case Peter O'Hara, an Irish shoemaker, left a gown, a bed-tick, a straw hat, and other articles. On 29th May, 1822, a Mrs. Fraser, from New Street, who had been fined in half-a-crown, left a watering-can. On 4th June, 1822, a Mrs. M'Farlan, a pedlar, left a pack containing beads, earrings, and tapes until she could pay a fine of one shilling and sixpence. This woman was in all probability the mother of James M'Farlan, the pedlar poet.

When articles were not redeemed within fourteen days they were sold, as shown by the fact that in July, 1822, a man named John Gillan, left a watch and coat in security for a fine of twenty-one shillings, and the books show that the watch was afterwards sold for twenty-five shillings. On 13th August of the same year, a watch left in security for a fine of fifteen shillings was sold for ten shillings. In the same month a watch left for a fine of seven shillings was sold for ten shillings, showing that if there was a loss in one case there was a gain in another.

That prisoners sometimes made themselves useful is shown by an entry of 4th July, 1822, to the effect that Samuel Jackson, a slater from Kirk Street, who had been fined 5s., or in default 14 days, for getting goods and refusing to pay for them, whitewashed the Police Office and painted the superintendent's room during his term of imprisonment.

In November, 1899, an Act of Parliament was passed empowering Governors of Prisons to accept part payment of fines after a prisoner had undergone part of his sentence. But this was nothing new, as on 8th July, 1822, Edward Reilly, a weaver from Bell Street, Calton, who had been sent to prison for seven days in default of payment of a fine of 5s. for assaulting his mother, was liberated at the end of six days, when he left a bed-tick with the police in lieu of the last day.

The wall known as Harvie's Dyke was erected in 1822 at Westthorn, on the banks of Clyde, about 1 1/4 miles above Dalmarnock Bridge, by Thomas Harvie, spirit merchant, Glasgow, for the purpose of closing up a footpath which had existed for about half a century. The attempt to effect a free passage through this wall, which was ten feet high and four feet thick, gave rise to the process between Harvie and the public which, after a litigation of six years in the Scottish Law Courts and the House of Lords, terminated in the public's favour.

To James Duncan of Mosesfield and Gabriel Neil is due the credit of having originally formed the determination of asserting and maintaining the rights of the citizens to a free passage along the banks of Clyde opposite Mr. Harvie's property.

On .34th July, 1822, a letter signed "Argus," which was written by Neil, appeared in the Glasgow Chronicle, suggesting a public meeting of the citizens for the purpose of taking steps to have the footpath re-opened to the public. This letter was followed by others written in a similar strain, but it was not till June of the following year that public indignation was thoroughly aroused owing to another proprietor adjoining Dalmarnock Bridge having commenced to build a wall to prevent any passage farther up the side of the river than the bridge.

On Saturday, 21st June, 1823, a large crowd of people assembled and demolished part of both walls. Some one informed the Sheriff, who called out the military, a troop of the Enniskillen Dragoons, with the result that 43 persons were arrested by the soldiers. Of those arrested, four of


Erected by Thos Harvie, Spirit Dealer.

them, named respectively Alexander McPhie, John Baird, Andrew Adamson, and Walter Winning were convicted at the Autumn Circuit Court at Glasgow in September, 1823, for mobbing and rioting, and were each sentenced to six months' imprisonment, and ordained to find caution in 50 to keep the peace for the following three years.

A meeting was held on 10th July, and a committee of ten feuars in Bridgeton, Camlachie, Parkhead, Tollcross, and Carmyle, and merchants in Glasgow, were appointed to conduct the case in the interest of the public.

The year 1829 saw the end of the lawsuit, which resulted in a great victory for the public and the presentation to five of the principal members of the committee of a gold medal as a token of public respect and gratitude for their labours in the case.*

*The medal presented to Mr Duncan was shown at the Scottish Historical Exhibition.

In the spring of 1837 set in an alarming stagnation of trade, which was felt keenly in Calton and the East-end. Orders for goods almost ceased, and manufacturers reduced the wages of the cotton-spinners, who struck work in April. Finding the mills almost depopulated, there were many who either from necessity, or from an ambition to improve their circumstances, "went in" upon the cotton-spinners' labour. These were designated "Nobs," and on 22nd July, one of them, named John Smith, was shot down on the streets. A few days afterwards a spinner, named William M'Lean, was arrested at Campsie on suspicion of having committed the murder, and on 29th July the committee of the Glasgow Cotton Spinners' Association were arrested by Sheriff Allison and Superintendent Millar, of the City Police, in the Blackboy Tavern, Gallowgate. Twelve of them were subsequently liberated, but five of the executive of the association, including M'Lean, were committed for trial charged with "having formed an illegal conspiracy for the purpose of forcibly and illegally raising or keeping up wages, or the price of labour, by means of writing or sending threatening letters to masters or their managers, and wilfully setting fire to, or attempting to set fire to the dwelling-houses, mills, or warehouses of owners, masters, or their managers, and of forcibly invading the dwelling-houses of workmen, and of assaulting and murdering workmen, or by means of the perpetration of one or more of these unlawful acts, with the illegal and felonious intent and purpose of thereby deterring and intimidating them respectively from giving or taking employment at the rate of wages or on the terms which they please."

The sum of 1,000 was contributed for the defence of the accused. A long delay took place before the prisoners were indicted for trial, and it was not until 3rd January, 1838, that their trial commenced before the High Court at Edinburgh.

The names of the prisoners were :- Thomas Hunter, president ; Peter Hacket, treasurer; Richard M'Neil, secretary; James Gibb, assistant secretary; and William M'Lean, guard.

There were twelve separate counts in the indictment, and the jury by 8 to 7 convicted on four of the counts. They were each sentenced to seven years transportation.



Public opinion was sharply divided on the merits of the case. On the one side it was argued that three actual murders, twice as many attempted murders, several daring cases of incendiarism, with numerous cases of assault, were clearly traced to the association, and that consequently the punishment was too lenient. On the other side the friends of the prisoners pointed out that the long delay in bringing them to trial, and the fact that the jury only convicted by a majority of one, showed that the case against them was very weak, and called for their liberation, or at least for a reduction of their sentences.

In the course of the trial, the mysterious murder of a widow, named M'Pherson, in Pollok's Land, Calton, was elucidated. It appeared from the evidence that Mr. Dunlop, proprietor of Broomward Factory, Calton, had filled his mill with female workers. A secret committee of three was appointed by the Operative Cotton Spinners' Association to get the women turned out of the mill. The committee was independent of control from the main body of the association, but it was understood that they were to use every means to put out the women who had taken the places of the male workers. They first attempted to set fire to the mill, but failed. They then lay in wait for the purpose of murdering a daughter of the woman M'Pherson, who worked in the mill, with a view to intimidating the other women, but by mistake killed the mother instead of the daughter. The murder was committed by two men named Patton Dunlop and Bernard M'Kerry; their passage money to America was paid out of the funds of the association, and they were smuggled out of the country. The money given to persons for committing murder and other crimes was entered in the books and documents of the association under the heading of "Collery."

At the Glasgow Circuit Court on 11th January, 1838, Thomas Riddle, an operative cotton-spinner, was convicted of invading a dwelling-house in Reid Street, Bridgeton, and assaulting and intimidating its inmate, Thomas Donaghy, an operative cotton-spinner, with the Mile-end Spinning Company, from following his employment, and was sentenced to seven years' transportation. Two other men concerned in the crime absconded and were not afterwards heard of.

* In 1837 there were 100 cotton mills in Glasgow and suburbs, and cotton-spinning was one of the principal industries in the city.

(*Annals of Glasgow, by E. Henderson, F.R.S.A.)

At the beginning of last century hand-loom weaving was the staple industry of Calton; to-day Mr. John M'Dowal, 42 Bell Street, is probably the sole representative of that once famous trade.

In 1839 Provost Stevenson resigned after having held office for twenty-one years, and Mr. Robert Bartholomew was elected Provost.

In 1840 the second Calton Police Act was passed. This Act empowered the Magistrates and Commissioners to erect Slaughter-Houses; and to appoint Meat Inspectors and Inspectors of Common Lodging Houses. The keepers of lodging houses were ordained to give notice to the police if any of their lodgers became ill. This was enacted with a view to prevent the spread of infectious disease, and the penalty for omitting to give such notice was a fine of 2.

By containing a provision securing the burgh against exclusion from the operations of any future Act for the establishment of a general system of police, applicable to the whole boundaries to which the Parliamentary franchise of the city extended, this Act paved the way for amalgamation.

In 1844 Calton attempted to annex Bridgeton, but the bill was rejected.

There was a Feuars' Court in Bridgeton for the management of the streets and other matters relative to their feus. In 1845-46 this Court and other parties interested promoted bills in Parliament for the establishment and maintenance of a police force in the village, but the bills did not become law by reason of the passing of the Police Act of 1846, under which the amalgamation of the burghs of Anderston and Calton and the Barony of Gorbals with the city took place. While the Act of 1846 was the Amalgamation Act, the Glasgow Police Act of 1843 was partly so, as it gave the police of Anderston, Calton, and Gorbals power to apprehend offenders in Glasgow without a Glasgow Magistrate's warrant. The City Police had previously obtained power to apprehend within the whole of the Parliamentary boundary of Glasgow, which included the aforesaid burghs and barony. Thus; up till the end of 1846, there were five separate police establishments within the Parliamentary bounds of the city, and the united forces amounted to 422. These establishments were governed by separate and independent Magistrates and Police Commissioners, but he Municipal Act of that year abolished the whole of the suburban Magistrates, with the Commissioners of Police; and the whole of the buildings and other property, with the several police establishments, were handed over to the Town Council of the city, who, by a committee of their number, performed the duties of the old Commissioners under the title of the Police Board. By the Corporation and Police Act, 1895, the Police Board merged into the Corporation, but the Office of Clerk of Police, which had existed since the passing of the first Glasgow Police Act in the year 1800, was continued so long as Sir James Marwick should hold the office of Town Clerk. On his resignation of that office, in 1903, the duties of the Police Clerk devolved upon the Town Clerk.

The fourth and last Provost of Calton was Mr. Robert (should be William - GA) Bankier, who was elected in 1843. He held office until the burgh amalgamated with Glasgow in 1846; and Superintendent Smart, who was at the date of amalgamation superintendent of the Calton Burgh Police, was appointed assistant superintendent in the City Police in charge of the Calton or C Division. It was during his term of office that the Bread Riots took place.

These riots commenced in the city on Monday, 6th March, 1848, but nothing serious occurred in Calton until the following day. On the Tuesday Mr. Smart, escorted by a small body of old pensioners, designated " Old Foggies," who were armed with muskets, was conveying a prisoner to Calton Police Office, when they were attacked by a mob of people who threw stones, some of which struck Mr. Smart and members of his escort. Mr. Smart ordered the pensioners to fire, which they did, killing a man named Carruth, who was attending at his own shop door, and fatally wounding three men, one of whom had been sworn in as a special constable. The mob placed Carruth's body upon a shutter and marched with it to Glasgow Cross, calling aloud for vengeance. In Trongate they were met by the military, accompanied by the Sheriff, who read the Riot Act, and this caused the crowd to disperse. The body of Carruth was taken to the Central Police Office in

Albion Street, and the riots ended.

However regrettable the shedding of blood, and particularly the taking of innocent lives may have been, it was the vigorous action of Superintendent Smart that saved the city from pillage by the mob. He was appointed chief of the whole police force of the city before the end of the year, and held the position till his death in 1870.

The second Superintendent of the Calton Police, after its amalgamation with Glasgow, was Mr. Richard Baker, an ex-army pay-sergeant and a native of London. Mr. Baker, who was serving as a lieutenant in the Gorbals Police at the amalgamation, was transferred to the Central Division in 1847, and appointed Superintendent of the Calton Division in 1848. He died on 2nd December, 1883; and was buried in the Necropolis. Mr. Baker was much respected in the east-end.

The third Superintendent, Mr. John Reid, a native of Dalkeith, joined the Royal Engineers' when a young man, and subsequently served in the Ordnance Survey. He was appointed Lieutenant in 1864, and Superintendent of the Calton Division on 11th December, 1883. He resigned on pension on 30th April, 1898.

Mr. Reid was succeeded by Mr. Hew Colquhoun, who joined the service as a constable in the early "sixties." After passing through the various grades of detective, detective-clerk, and lieutenant, and serving in the Northern, Southern, and Central districts, he was promoted Superintendent of St. Rollox Division in 1886. On 1st May, 1898, he was transferred to the Calton Division, which office he resigned in April, 1904. In November, 1905, and again in 1907, he was elected a Town Councillor, and sat in the Council as one of the representatives of the Calton Ward. He is a Justice of the Peace for the County of the City of Glasgow.

The present Superintendent, Mr. John Samuel, joined the service as a constable, and after serving for 22 years in the Northern Division, during which period he passed through the ranks of sergeant, inspector, and, lieutenant, he was transferred to the Central district, and four years later he was appointed Superintendent of the Queen's Park Division. On the retiral of Superintendent Colquhoun he was transferred to the Calton Division. He is an elder in Gillespie U.F. Church and a member of the Glasgow U.F. Presbytery.

In conclusion, I will just say a word or two about the streets of Old Calton. In all or nearly all the towns and villages in Scotland, in the olden times, the principal street was known as the "Main Street," hence the name Main Street, Calton. King Street was originally known as the "Beggars' Row," and is referred to as such in the Burgh Charter. Regarding Kirk Street, Andrew Brown, in his history of Glasgow, published in 1795, tells the following story:-

"About this period (early in the eighteenth century) some of the inhabitants and people in the neighbourhood erected a small chapel to the worship of the Deity, at the east end of a street, running in the same direction from the Cross. From this circumstance it is named "Kirk Street." On the site of this chapel is now erected (in 1795) a very neat one by the people called the Cameronians or the followers of the tenets of the 400 ministers who were ejected from their charges and Church in 1662." The Calton Relief, now the Calton U.F. Church, stands on the site of the old Cameronian Kirk.

Struthers Street was called after the first Provost of Calton, while Stevenson Street, originally called "Crossloan Street," was named after the second and greatest Provost, Mr. Nathaniel Stevenson of Braidwood. Bankier Street was called after the fourth and last Provost of the burgh. Orr Street was called after John Orr of Barrowfield, while Barrowfield Road was the road to Barrowfield House, the one time residence of the families of Walkinshaw and Orr. Tureen Street took its name from Touraine in France, the first feuar in it having been a Frenchman named Bagniolle, who had a large pottery there. Bagniolle was a Roman Catholic, and at the time of the "Lord George Gordon" riots in London Bagniolle's pottery was wrecked by a Glasgow mob. Witch

Lone was the connecting link between Abercromby Street and Bellgrove Street, and Marshall Street being the road from Calton to the Boarhead Inn, Gallowgate, was locally known as "Boarhead Lone."

I am indebted to Mr. Renwick, Town Clerk Depute, for his assistance in obtaining information from the Minutes of the Town Council of Calton,


* (This is incorrect - the Great Hamilton Street Church was built in 1819 -the date given by Ord seems to refer to the date of the congregation's origination, not the building - Gordon Adams)

NOTES: Updated for 1st July, 2010.

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