[The following passage from the Chambers 1838 Gazetteer of Scotland appears on page 478-79. — George P. Landow.]

Book Publishing

Though by no means noted as a place of publication, Glasgow has sent forth a vast quantity of useful books over the whole kingdom, principally in the shape of numbers. Two thirds of the books thus emitted are on religious subjects, and it was calculated in 1816, that there had been then issued 200,000 family Bibles from Glasgow alone, and several millions of other books.

Glasgow sustains a well-merited reputation for beautiful and correct printing, which is probably to be traced to the Messrs. Foulis, who began to flourish in this city about the middle of the last century, and who were the first to produce elegantly printed books in Scotland. Their classics — and especially their edition of Horace, which is said to be immaculate — are well known to collectors.

Various attempts have been made to establish magazines and other periodical publications of a literary nature in Glasgow, but they have invariably failed, apparently less from want of merit, than from the difficulty of finding a sufficient circulation in a community so generally and so exclusively devoted to commercial pursuits. This difficulty, however, is decreasing; and we should not be surprised to find the time soon arrive, when the native talent of the city shall establish a local organ for giving publicity to its effusions. With all its non-encouragement of native genius, Glasgow is noted for its taste in reading the periodicals of London and Edinburgh. There was recently published in the town a periodical entitled "the Glasgow Mechanics' Magazine," which extended to several volumes, and is one of the best popular works of the kind; also a literary periodical, called "The Ant," wholly from the pen of Mr. Atkinson, which reached two volumes.


The first newspaper printed in the west of Scotland was the Glasgow Courant, which appeared in 1715. It was published three times a-week; consisted of twelve pages in small quarto; and was sold for three halfpence, or "one penny to regular customers," This print appeared during the heat of the Rebellion, and the second number contained a letter from Provost Aird, colonel of the Glasgow volunteers, detailing certain views regarding the Duke of Argyle's successes at Sheriffmuir. The name of the paper was changed after a few publications to the West Country Intelligence. It only existed a few years.

From 1715 till the present time, there have been sixteen attempts made to establish newspapers in Glasgow, and out of these only seven survive. The names of these papers, and the dates of their commencement, are here given : The Glasgow Couraut, 1715; the Journal, 1729; the Chronicle, 1775; the Mercury, 1779; the Advertiser, afterwards termed the Advertiser and Herald, and latterly the Herald, 1783; the Courier, 1791; the Clyde Commercial Advertiser, 1805; Caledonia, 1807; the Sentinel, 1809; the Chronicle, 1811; the Scotchman, 1812; the Western Star, 1813; the Packet, 1813; the Free Press, 1821; and since that time, the Scots Times and the Evening Post.

The seven surviving prints are, the Journal on Fridays; the Herald on Mondays and Fridays; the Chronicle and the Courier on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays; the Glasgow Free Press on Wednesdays and Saturdays; the Scots Times on Tuesdays and Saturdays; and the Evening Post on Saturdays. The Herald has a circulation of about 1700, and the others average from 1000 to 1300. All of them are conducted by men of taste and ability. The Edinburgh, Leith, Glasgow, and North British Advertiser, published in Edinburgh on Saturdays, which is disseminated gratis, is extensively circulated in this city, and commands a share of its advertisements.


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 2018