[The following passage from the Chambers 1838 Gazetteer of Scotland appears on page 479. — George P. Landow.]

Decorated initial A

mong the numerous charitable institutions in Glasgow, the chief is Hutcheson's Hospital, which now possesses a handsome fabric in Ingram Street. This establishment was set on foot about the year 1640, by George and Thomas Hutcheson, of Lambhill, who mortified certain lands and sums of money for founding an hospital. The patrons are chiefly the magistrates, council, and ministers. The barony of Gorbals having been bought with part of the funds, the houses which were afterwards built on a portion of the ground, were called Hutcheson-town. Since its institution, the establishment has received new benefactions from different persons. The charity is resolved into a distribution in the shape of life pensions, for the maintenance of decayed men above fifty years of age, and generally those who are burgesses of three years standing. Pensions are also given to widows and daughters of burgesses, fifty years of age, or forty, if they have two children. A por tion of the funds is set apart for maintaining, clothing, and educating a specified number of boys. The school consists of eighty boys, the sons of burgesses, and in some cases of indigent persons. The amount of funds dispensed in the charity is altogether upwards of £2500. — The next hospital is that of St. Nicholas, which was endowed by Bishop Muirhead in the reign of James III. for the maintenance of twelve old laymen and a priest. Of late there have only been ten pensioners on the foundation at three pounds each per annum.

In 1729 William Mitchell, a merchant in London, and a native of the city, mortified two thousand pounds; the interest of which is divided among decayed burgesses or their families.

Tennent's Mortification, made in 1741, is applied to the furnishing and mending of about 100 pairs of shoes and stockings to poor children annually, and pensions of a few pounds each to poor widows.

Wilsons Charity dispenses about £215 annually, in the way of giving education and suits of clothes to forty-eight boys, each of whom receives instruction for four years. The endowment was made in 1778, and the school received an addition by the funds mortified in 1653 by Sir John Scot of Scotstarvet in Fife, for paying apprentice fees "for Scotch Bairns within the burgh of Glasgow in preference to any in Edinburgh;" being incorporated with Wilson's charity, on account of the inutility of purpose for which it was originally designed.

Coulter's Mortification was made in 1788 by James Coulter, merchant in the city, and dispenses £60 per annum in pensions of from £4 to £ 10, to deserving persons in indigent circumstances. It also gives a medal or small sum annually to the inventor of any machine calculated to benefit trade.

Millar's Charity was founded in 1790 by Andrew Millar, a merchant in the city, by the endowment of an estate worth £7000, for the purpose of clothing and educating a certain number of indigent girls. At present there are sixty girls in the school, who receive clothing and instruction during three years. The annual expenditure amounts to about £270.

Buchanan's Society was instituted in 1725 for the relief of persons of the name of Buchanan, or those sprung from or connected with the clan. Entrants pay £5. The society, since 1815, has given £25 annually as a bursary to a student of philosophy in the university of Glasgow for four years. The students to belong to the sept. The funds of this association are in a flourishing condition.

The Highland Society of Glasgow was instituted in 1727 by a few gentlemen, natives of the Highlands, for the purpose of clothing, educating, and putting to trades a certain number of boys, whose parents belong to the Highlands of Scotland, and are in indigent circumstances. At present there are sixty boys on the funds, who are apprenticed to any suitable trade they make choice of; they receive clothing, a free indenture, and instruction in reading, writing and church music, after working hours, during three years. Members pay two guineas on entrance.

Graham's Society was instituted for the relief of indigent persons, whose own name or that of his wife is Graham. Members pay five guineas on entrance. Nearly £200 are dispensed annually.

The Humane Society was instituted in 1790 for restoring animation, suspended by drowning. Funds have been raised chiefly by subscription. The society has a house in the High Green, containing a complete set of apparatus, steam bath, boats, drags, &c, and articles of a similar nature are deposited at certain houses along the Clyde.

The Town's Hospital, or Poor-House is an institution which was begun in 1733, and is supported by fixed contributions from the magistrates, the trades' houses and general session, but chiefly from an assessment on those inhabitants who have property or business to the extent ot £300 annually. The amount of assessment is about £ 10,000, and the total fund for supporting the hospital is about £ 12,000.

The Royal Infirmary of Glasgow has been alreaiy noticed. Besides it, there is an institution or a truly philanthropic character, called the Lock Hospital, which was established in 1805, and is supported by voluntary contribution. It is for the care of unfortunate females; and it frequently occurs that patients are conveyed from it, by their own request, to the Magdalene Asylum. The annual expense of this institution is about £500. There is also an Infirmary for diseases of the eye.

M'Alpin's Mortification was made in 1811 by the widow of a Duncan M'Alpin, for the purpose of giving small pensions to old women and men in indigent circumstrinces; the women to receive pensions of £5, and the men £10. Nearly £ 100 is now dispensed annually in this way. The men must have been burgesses of Glasgow for ten years, and resident three years, and the women must have resided in Glasgow twenty years. In this, as well as in most other mortifications, some names are preferred, which at best is a miserable mode of selecting applicants, though one which the endowers are quite at liberty to originate. Besides these very useful institutions, there are others for the relief of indigent old men and women — the sick and the stranger — and all other classes of persons needing the aid of the benevolent. In this respect Glasgow goes far beyond Edinburgh, where such institutions are not numerous. We have only room to notice the names of the remainder. The Old Men's Friend Society, the Aged Women's Society; the Sick and Destitute Stranger's Friend Society; Society for the instruction of the Deaf and Dumb; the Benevolent Society; the Ruth Society; the Stirlingshire Society, the Benevolent Society for clothing the Poor, the Charity Sewing School; Society for relieving the widows and children of Teachers: the Dumfries-shire Society; the Grocers' Society for the relief of decayed Brethren; the Fleshers' Free School; Society for relieving persons of the name of Brown; a similar institution called Watson's Society; the Statesmen's Society; the Thistle and Rose Society for the support of decayed Members; the Glasgow Galloway Brotherly Society; the Sons of Freemen Bakers' Society, &c. &c. Some years ago it was calculated by Cleland, that there was no less a sum than £104,360 dispensed annually in public and private charities in this city, exclusive of what was given away in the suburbs. Such a striking fact, which has all the appearance of being based on close observation, says more for the kindliness of heart of the inhabitants of this great city than a thousand panegyrics.

In the foregoing enumeration nothing is said of societies of a religious nature, for the propagation of Christianity and the dissemination of the blessings of education in the Highlands and other places, and of which we can only state there is a considerable number.

Of private associations, some of which are partly on principles of benefit societies, there are likewise a great number, as the Societies of the Tobacco- Spinners, Old and Young, Shepherds, Bon-Accord, Sawyers, Caledonian, Cowfeeders, Inkle Weavers, St. Crispin, St. Mungo, Grand Antiquity, Chapman's Club, Red Society, Glasgow Freeborn, Unfeigned Friendship, North-Quarter Charity, Washing House Society, Gutter Blood; Journeymen Tradesmen's Boxes of various descriptions; District Friendly Societies; Mason Lodges, &c. &c. It is a gratifying peculiarity in the charitable institutions of Glasgow, that they depend more on their intrinsic excellence for popularity than the outward splendour of the edifices connected with them.

The last institutions to be noticed under this head are the Lunatic and Magdalene Asylums, which occupy an airy situation on the rising ground north of the town. The Lunatic Asylum is a handsome edifice; and, with the airing grounds, it occupies a space of three acres and a half. The house has 136 apartments for patients, besides other rooms, and the very best classification is preserved. No inmates are received but those who pay fees. This is a very splendid institution. The Magdalene Asylum was erected in 1812, and is situated a little to the east of the above building. It is supported by private contribution, and accommodates thirty-six penitents. On the 26th of April, annually, the interesting pageant of a procession of all the charity children in Glasgow takes place, a circumstance which thus originated: Mr. George Wilson, a native of the city, and merchant in London, having in 1778 bequeathed a sum of money for clothing and educating a number of boys, desiring, among other things, that the boys on his foundation, should specially attend divine service one day in the year in respect for his memory, the magistrates resolved that the procession of the charity children in the city should take place on 26th April, yearly, the anniversary of Mr. Wilson's death. When that day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the procession takes place on the following Monday.

The procession usually moves off from Hutcheson's Hospital to St. Andrew's Church, at half past ten o'clock. The magistrates appear in full dress, preceded by their officers, the ministers in their gowns and bands, preceded by their beadles; the governors of the various charities in black; the teachers in their gowns, and the boys and girls, about 600 in number, in their new dresses, decked out with evergreens and spring posies. After divine service, the charities move off to their respective halls, where a dinner of roast beef and plum pudding is provided for the children, with a cordial glass to drink to the memory of the beneficent founders. This very imposing spectacle excites great interest; the streets are crowded by persons of eveiy rank, to witness a sight, than which there is none more calculated to inspire the mind with gratitude to God for putting it into the hearts of the affluent to provide the means of instruction and relief to their necessitous brethren. The number of charity children in this city will soon be augmented by those belonging to MacLachlan's Free School.


Chambers, Robert. The Gazetterr of Scotland. Glasgow: Blackie and Son, 1838. Internet Archive online version digitized with funding from National Library of Scotland. Web. 30 September 2018.

Last modified 1 October 2018w