Glasgow Burghs


Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1820-1832, ed. D.R. Fisher, 2009
Available from Cambridge University Press

Background Information

Renfrew (1820); Rutherglen (1826), Glasgow (1830), Lanarkshire; Dumbarton (1831).


 Kirkman Finlay2
23 May 1831JOSEPH DIXON3
 Kirkman Finlay1

Main Article

Glasgow, situated on the banks of the River Clyde, had been transformed since 1750 into a ‘major centre of international commerce and industry’. The North American tobacco trade, the source of much of the town’s prosperity in the eighteenth century, had collapsed by 1800, but the profits helped to finance industrial development, particularly in textiles. Since the 1790s the application of steam power had encouraged the concentration of cotton spinning and weaving into mills in and around the town, a process that was assisted by Glasgow’s proximity to the Lanarkshire coalfield. Trade with the West Indies was crucial, accounting for 65 per cent of Glasgow’s exports by value in 1813, mostly textiles, and involving the supply of sugar and rum to its refineries and distilleries. Other industries included carpet and glass making, chemicals, brewing, metal working and engineering, but much of this was still carried on on a small scale. Glaswegians also controlled many of the mining and manufacturing enterprises in the surrounding region. However, the ‘strangely lop-sided’ economy, with its ‘overwhelming dependency on textiles’, rendered Glasgow extremely vulnerable to fluctuations in trade. The population rose from 147,043 in 1821 to 202,426 in 1831, part of a longer-term explosion in numbers which was overwhelming the poor relief and sanitation systems and making Glasgow ‘a by-word for urban squalor and filth’. The council, which ‘retained a reputation for efficiency’, compared to Aberdeen and Edinburgh, had 32 members, nominated from the ranks of the Merchants’ House and Trades’ House, all of whom resided in or near the town; an elite group of wealthy merchants predominated.1 Dumbarton, a seaport situated on the east bank of the River Leven, just above its confluence with the Clyde, was ‘compactly built’ and contained ‘many respectable houses’. There was an ‘extensive glass works’ and shipbuilding was ‘carried on to some extent’, but overall the economy was said in 1832 to be ‘stationary’. Its population (burgh and parish) increased from 3,481 in 1821 to 3,623 in 1831, and its self-electing council had 15 members (10 merchants and five tradesmen), all but one of whom was resident in 1822.2 Renfrew was a port and market town near the south bank of the Clyde, six miles west of Glasgow. Its ‘principal business’ was weaving, but it too was apparently ‘stationary’. The population (burgh and parish) grew from 2,646 in 1821 to 2,833 in 1831, and the 19 self-elected councillors were all resident.3 Rutherglen, which adjoined the Clyde, two-and-a-half miles south-east of Glasgow, had been a major trading centre in the Middle Ages, but was now becoming a ‘manufacturing suburb of Glasgow’; many of its inhabitants were employed in the nearby coalmines. The population increased from 4,091 in 1821 to 4,741 in 1831. There are conflicting statements about the council’s membership, but they must have numbered 18 (the majority of them chosen by the four incorporated trades), as the total electorate of the four burghs was 84.4 Political control of Rutherglen was exercised by the Whig 10th duke of Hamilton, of Dumbarton by the Dixon family, local glassmakers, who supported Alexander Houston, a Glasgow West India merchant, and of Renfrew by Archibald Campbell of Blythswood; Glasgow followed its own course. Elections were often decided by the returning burgh. Since 1806 Houston and Campbell, both Tories, had combined forces to share the representation, although the prominent Glasgow merchant and cotton manufacturer, Kirkman Finlay of Castle Toward, captured the seat in 1812, only to lose it to Houston in 1818.5

In 1820 Houston announced his retirement, owing to poor health, and Campbell promptly offered in his place. Finlay, aware that Campbell could ‘count upon the support of Dumbarton ... and Renfrew’, the returning burgh, which left ‘no room to doubt the result of a contest’, reluctantly decided not to come forward and was returned again for Malmesbury. James Ewing of Strathleven, a West India merchant, stated in a published address that the retirement of his ‘friend’ Houston and the (unexplained) ‘opinion that prevailed respecting the views of Mr. Campbell’ had given him a ‘fair field’ on which to stand, but subsequent inquiry had persuaded him ‘for a time to resign my pretensions’, although the ‘fairness and propriety’ of his ambitions had been ‘universally acknowledged’. Glasgow town council resolved unanimously to support Campbell. On election day the delegates from Dumbarton, Glasgow and Renfrew voted for Campbell, but the Rutherglen delegate reportedly voted for James Oswald of Shieldhall, a wealthy Glasgow merchant who was ‘not a candidate’; Campbell was ‘declared duly elected’.6

During the years of economic insecurity following the end of the Napoleonic wars Glasgow was ‘racked as ... never ... before by social tensions and violent disturbances’, and the weavers in particular were drawn towards radical protest. Cavalry were stationed in the town throughout the autumn of 1819 and in February 1820 a number of delegates from radical societies were arrested, although the lord advocate, Sir William Rae*, subsequently reported to Lord Melville, the Liverpool ministry’s Scottish manager, that connections with ‘the horrible [Cato Street] plot in London’ were tenuous. The general election passed off quietly, but two days afterwards posters appeared on walls in Glasgow and ‘all the manufacturing towns and villages for a dozen miles around’, from the ‘committee of organization for forming a provisional government’, calling for a general strike to effect a political revolution. It was evident to the Tory Glasgow Herald that the address was ‘of English composition, from its dwelling much upon Magna Charta and the Bill of Rights, in which Scotland has no interest’, but the order to strike was admittedly ‘too implicitly obeyed’. ‘All the weavers in Glasgow and its suburbs’ abandoned their work (some allegedly because of intimidation), the ‘cotton spinners and some of the machine makers and founders’ followed suit, as did the ‘colliers in the country round’. Glasgow’s streets were ‘crowded with [workers] walking about idle’, though exhibiting a ‘perfectly peaceable’ demeanour, and it seemed that ‘everything bears more the mark of an attempt to intimidate by numbers, than to strike a blow’. The ‘formidable’ military presence, which included cavalry, artillery, a rifle brigade and volunteers, with more on their way, allowed little scope for ‘open resistance’, and the lord provost issued a proclamation imposing a night-time curfew. Several incidents occurred in the vicinity, where radicals with pikes, muskets and pistols were arrested, and it was reported that when a ‘general muster of the radical force’ was attempted at various locations one night, with the intention of marching into the town, the ‘numbers were so totally deficient that the enterprise was abandoned’. The Herald declared that the populace had been ‘completely deluded and duped by ... English emissaries, who assured them of a simultaneous movement over the whole of Lancashire and West of Yorkshire’, and the realization that no external support would be forthcoming had finally broken ‘a conspiracy which appears to have been more extensive than almost anyone imagined’, but lacking in leadership. Within days most people had returned to work. At a meeting of merchants, manufacturers and proprietors of public works, 11 Apr., Finlay, Ewing and Oswald took the lead in carrying resolutions not to ‘re-employ those who took up arms or encouraged it, or who join treasonable confederacy in future’. Eighteen Glaswegians were convicted of treason in July 1820; two were executed and the rest transported.7

The news of the withdrawal of the bill of pains and penalties against Queen Caroline in November 1820 occasioned ‘some rather unpleasant demonstrations of joy’ in Glasgow. Large crowds immediately ‘gathered in the principal streets’ and ‘amused themselves with firing guns and pistols, setting off squibs, etc.’, but patrols by the police and dragoon guards ensured that the day ‘concluded without any serious affray’. Next evening, however, ‘a scene of disorder and riot highly disgraceful’ to the town was witnessed. Certain individuals, without consulting the magistrates, illuminated their shops and houses, and this ‘proved like a watchword to the populace’, who ‘soon broke out into acts of outrage ... firing guns and pistols ... carrying along the streets burning tar barrels’, which caused a number of fires, and ‘throwing stones and brickbats against the windows of the principal houses’. The civil and military forces were called out and the presence of cavalry gave a ‘check ... to the violence of the mob’, who ‘gradually dispersed’. Next morning the lord provost, John Alston, issued a proclamation imposing a night-time curfew and warning that force would be used. The streets were ‘extremely crowded with people, male and female’ that evening, ‘looking at the illuminations’, but ‘little or no damage was done’. It was felt that there had been less destruction than in Edinburgh, because the demonstrations were more spontaneous. Alston invited some 60 selected individuals, with ‘strong predilections in favour of ministers’, to attend a ‘private conference’ in the town hall, 11 Dec., and organize a loyal address to the king. However, news of these proceedings leaked out and on the appointed day ‘a printed placard was carried through the town announcing that a public meeting was to be held’, with the result that a ‘considerable number of the lower ranks rushed into the hall and caused some disturbance’. After ordering the crowd to disperse, Alston and his friends adjourned to a nearby hotel where they arranged their address, which was signed by a ‘considerable number of the most respectable merchants, bankers and manufacturers’. The town council, Merchants’ House and University senate sent similar addresses. Alston rejected a requisition, signed by over 300 individuals, for a public meeting to consider an address calling for the dismissal of ministers, and it was convened instead at John Street chapel, 18 Dec. 1820, with Oswald in the chair and ‘upwards of 2,500 people’ present. Robert Grahame of Whitehill, a lawyer and veteran reformer, and the banker James Dennistoun moved a series of resolutions which were ‘carried unanimously’, and the meeting was over in half an hour. The resolutions condemned the way in which agricultural, commercial and manufacturing interests had been ‘sacrificed’ by ministers, whose ‘wasteful and unnecessary establishments and expenditure’, ‘ruinous system of taxation’ and ‘impolitic restrictions ... upon foreign trade’, had reduced the ‘great body of the people’ to the ‘most grievous suffering and distress’. The conduct of foreign policy, characterized by a ‘constant partiality to every kind of despotism’, had led to a ‘breach of faith’ with ‘weaker states ... seeking to enjoy free or popular forms of government’. By raising ‘continued false alarms’ and employing spies and informers, ministers had endeavoured to ‘create a mutual distrust and hatred between the rich and the poor’, and used this to justify ‘attacking the constitutional privileges and liberties of the people’. They had also resisted reform of the representative system, ‘the grand source and origin of our present calamities and distresses’, while their ‘unconstitutional proceedings’ against the queen had made them ‘objects of public aversion and distrust’. A committee was formed to organize the resulting address, which was sent to London with 18,065 signatures attached to it.8

Glasgow’s chamber of commerce petitioned the Commons for inquiry into Britain’s commercial system, 16 May 1820, blaming the prevailing distress in ‘great degree’ on ‘impolitic restrictions imposed upon trade’, asserting the principle of a ‘division of labour’ between countries, which produced ‘beneficial exchanges’, and urging ministers to ‘retrace’ their steps and restore the system to ‘a free state’, with ‘the least possible injury to individuals’. This should not be made contingent on reciprocity deals, as it was ‘our interest to adopt the measure independent of any such consideration’. On the other hand, several petitions were sent to the Commons from Glasgow merchants and ship owners against revision of the timber duties, which might endanger the North American trade, 23 June 1820, 14 Mar., 9 May 1821, although the last also called for the removal of restrictions on the importation of Canadian corn, which provided the wherewithal for purchases of British manufactures.9 The chamber of commerce pressed the Commons for the gradual removal of restrictions on the importation of all foodstuffs, 21 May 1822, Glasgow’s corn merchants petitioned against any alteration to the corn laws, 28 Apr. 1825, while the weavers and tailors favoured revision, 13, 21 Apr. 1826.10 Petitions were forwarded to the Commons from the West India interest in Glasgow complaining of the ‘extreme depression of their trade’, 1 Apr. 1822, condemning the campaign for the abolition of slavery, which would result in ‘insurrection, anarchy and bloodshed’ and the ‘utter ruin of their plantations and the entire loss of the colonies to the British crown’, 12 May, and against equalisation of the sugar duties, 22 May 1823.11 However, the Glasgow Society for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery, of which George Jardine was president, used a network of 20 addresses, half of them chapels, to collect 27,000 names for its petition, which was presented to the Commons, 6 Apr. 1824.12 The abolitionists obtained 38,000 signatures for a similar petition through a network of 21 chapels and 18 shops, and forwarded it to Parliament, 17 Apr., 19 May 1826, when James Blair, Member for Aldeburgh, a spokesman for the planters, alleged that it was ‘a regularly got up job ... among the Dissenters and Methodists’, and that the signatures were ‘those of the lowest people, colliers, carters and operative mechanics, and schoolboys in immense numbers, many of whom had put their names down five or six times over’. A petition from the West India interest, requesting compensation for the loss of their property in the event of emancipation, had meantime been made available for public signature and was presented to both Houses, 12, 19 May 1826.13 Several petitions against the Catholic peers bill, including ones from the Trades’ House and the synod of Glasgow and Ayr, were sent up to Parliament between April and June 1822.14 Numerous anti-Catholic petitions from the synod, various Glasgow chapels, parishes and trades, and the inhabitants (following a meeting chaired by Bailie William Knox), were presented to Parliament in 1825.15 Glasgow operatives forwarded six petitions to the Commons against the combination laws, 5 Apr., 4, 12 May 1824.16

Although Glasgow’s economy recovered during the early 1820s, thanks largely to a boom in cotton textile manufacturing, by 1826 there was another slump and the effects of mass unemployment were exacerbated by a banking crisis and a bad harvest.17 At a special meeting of the Merchants’ House, 20 Feb., Finlay and Ewing moved a petition against any alteration to the Scottish banking system, which attributed the ‘rapid progress in agriculture, commerce and manufactures, since the middle of the last century’ to the ‘solid and judicious system of paper currency’, warned that the withdrawal of small notes would be ‘hostile to the habits and inclinations of the people’ and maintained that there was ‘not the most remote parallelism between the circumstances’ in England and Scotland; it was presented to Parliament, with others from the town council, Trades’ House and Renfrew town council, 28 Feb., 9, 20, 21, 22 Mar.18 The Merchants’ House meeting also sent a memorial to the treasury, requesting the issue of exchequer bills to help alleviate distress. Instead, the Bank of England announced, 9 Mar., that it was advancing £300,000 to the Glasgow region to provide loans for businesses.19 The lord provost, Mungo Campbell, summoned ‘one of the most numerous ... meetings ever held’ in Glasgow to raise a subscription to assist the unemployed operatives. Finlay, who presided, declared that ‘distress and misery were so great, apparent and paramount’ that it was clearly beyond the control of the workers, whose ‘patient forbearance and general propriety of conduct’ he praised. He recommended that money ‘should be given to the poor in the shape of labour’, as this was ‘more agreeable to the feelings’. An organizing committee was formed, which included Alston, Dennistoun and Ewing, and over £10,000 was raised by the end of June 1826, with the king and the London relief committee giving £1,000 each.20

In March 1824 Finlay apparently told the foreign secretary Canning that ‘party is nearly extinct’ in Glasgow, ‘where it used to run higher than in almost any other place’. The following year Campbell informed Melville that he had sounded another constituency, presumably Renfrewshire, but did not ‘dare risk a certainty for an uncertainty’ and had therefore pledged himself to his ‘Glasgow friends’.21 At the dissolution in the summer of 1826 he was chosen as delegate for the Whig stronghold of Rutherglen, the returning burgh, while the Glasgow town council unanimously agreed a vote of thanks. On election day he was nominated by Mungo Campbell, who eulogized his past services, and the provost of Dumbarton, Jacob Dixon, and unanimously elected. Afterwards, a ‘considerable number of men and women collected in expectation of a distribution of liquor’, but were told by Campbell that it ‘only led to rioting and mischief and he thought it more prudent to give a donation to assist the manufacturing population’.22

Whereas Glasgow town council and the weavers petitioned Parliament for revision of the corn laws in late 1826, certain inhabitants, the tailors, and Rutherglen’s town council and weavers petitioned for their repeal in early 1827.23 Ewing organized a special meeting of Glasgow ship owners to consider the ‘unparalleled depression’ in their industry, 12 Feb., when it was resolved that the Navigation Acts provided the foundation of national prosperity, that ‘new doctrines’ embodied in the Reciprocity Act were ‘pregnant with the most ruinous results for British shipping’ and that the timber duties should be revised to rejuvenate the North American trade; the resulting petition was forwarded to both Houses, 19 Mar. 1827.24 Numerous petitions from Glasgow inhabitants and emigration societies for assistance to emigrate to Canada were sent up to the Commons in 1826, 1827 and 1828.25 It was reported in February 1827 that ‘nearly all the weavers in this manufacturing district’ had found employment again, albeit ‘at lamentably low wages’. The biggest victims of the recent depression were apparently the ‘country labourers’, who, as a result of the ‘exertions ... made to find out field-work for the unemployed operatives’ had lost much of their ‘ordinary’ work in road making and carrying out agricultural improvements.26 Petitions for repeal of the Test Acts were forwarded to Parliament in 1828 from Glasgow’s town council, inhabitants, united associate presbytery and chapels.27 On 16 Feb. 1829 a public meeting was convened at the Religious Institution House to consider petitioning against Catholic emancipation. Resolutions were carried warning that Ireland would elect more ‘Popish’ Members than the entire Scottish representation, threatening ‘the very existence of our Protestant constitution’, and arguing that their forefathers would never have agreed to the Act of Union ‘had not the security of our church establishment been a fundamental article of it’. A committee was formed, headed by Bailie McLellan, Alston and Ewing, to organize a petition, and 36,790 signatures were collected in 10 days, ‘solely from males above 14 years of age’, before it was forwarded to Parliament, 6, 17 Mar. Some 21 anti-Catholic petitions from Glasgow were presented in March and April, including ones from the town council (carried by 16 votes to ten, with one abstention), many trades, the synod (carried by 56 votes to seven), various congregations and University students and graduates, the last signed by ‘upwards of 300’ persons to counter a pro-Catholic petition which received ‘only about 120 signatures’. The town council, ministers and inhabitants of Renfrew also sent up hostile petitions. It was reported that a shop in Glasgow’s Tongate, being used to gather names for a pro-Catholic petition, was ‘closed by order of the landlord, who considered his property in danger from the threatened violence of the mob that collected in front of it’. Instead, Finlay chaired a ‘most respectable meeting’ in the Tontine Hall, 23 Feb., when James Smith of Jordanhill and Professor Mylne moved a petition, which was supported by Grahame, Oswald and Dennistoun and ‘unanimously adopted’. Finlay advised that ‘the public generally should not sign the petition ... only ... those who, from education, subsequent reflection and habits, had acquired such knowledge as gave them the means of forming an opinion worthy to be attended to’. The resulting petition was presented to Parliament, 4, 27 Mar. An address to the king against further concessions to the Catholics was agreed at a meeting of the General Session of Glasgow, 16 Mar. 1829, and ‘signed by five ministers and 97 elders’.28 Campbell, who had hitherto opposed Catholic emancipation, supported the Wellington ministry’s bill.

In the context of renewed depression in the cotton textile industry, one of the ‘most numerous and highly respectable public meetings’ held in Glasgow for many years was summoned by requisition, 5 May 1829, to petition against renewal of the East India Company’s charter. Finlay, who had ‘no hesitation whatever in acknowledging it was on selfish grounds he acted’, took the lead, supported by Oswald and Robert Dalglish, in carrying resolutions demanding the removal of ‘all the disabilities to free commercial intercourse’ east of the Cape, which would ‘open up a wide field to the mercantile enterprise of this country at present languishing from want of profitable employment’. They also called for an end to restrictions on the settlement of Britons in India, asserting that the ‘character of the native population’ might thus be ‘elevated ... in the scale of moral and responsible agents by the force of British energy and example’, helping them to ‘gradually throw off the trammels of caste by which they are enslaved ... become more orderly and useful subjects, and more ... important in a commercial point of view to this country’. The resulting petitions were presented to Parliament, 14 May, 1 June 1829.29 A similar meeting, 11 Feb. 1830, considered a petition drawn up by the Glasgow East India Association, which was moved by Finlay and William Dunn and ‘unanimously agreed’. Thanks were given to the lord provost, Alexander Garden, and Ewing, for their exertions in London the previous year on behalf of the cause, a committee was nominated, consisting of Garden, Finlay and Oswald, to join delegates from other towns in lobbying Parliament, and subscriptions to a ‘special fund’ were collected. Next day Finlay chaired a meeting of the chamber of commerce, which agreed a similar petition, he and Ewing took the lead at a meeting of the Merchants’ House on the 17th, and Alston convened a meeting of the Trades’ House, 23 Feb., when a petition was carried complaining of the ‘long continued distress’ among the manufacturing interest, arising from the ‘want of proper channels for their goods’, and arguing that opening up East Indian markets would provide ‘immediate relief’. These petitions, with others from Glasgow, Dumbarton and Rutherglen town councils and Glasgow weavers, were presented to both Houses between March and May.30 Finlay became chairman of the national committee of deputies in London, and optimistic reports were circulated about the progress being made with Members of Parliament. Whereas the select committee on the subject had ‘hitherto ... been a close one’, it was hoped that ‘steps will be taken to get it made ... open’, ‘important witnesses’ were meantime being sent from Liverpool and some, with practical knowledge of the China trade, were ‘about to proceed from this neighbourhood’. However, when the Commons committee was appointed, ‘strong doubts’ about its ‘impartiality’ were entertained. Finlay and his associates remained in London throughout the parliamentary session, while the committee took evidence, until the dissolution interrupted their work.31 Glasgow’s East India merchants petitioned the Commons for equalization of the sugar duties, to promote Indian consumption of British manufactures, 15 June.32 Conversely, the West India planters and merchants petitioned for reduction of the ‘high and ruinous duties’ on sugar, to relieve the ‘overwhelming distress and depression’ in the colonies, 26 Feb., 14 June, and for compensation for the loss of property in the event of emancipation, 9 July.33 Having lost their battle with the masters against wage reductions, Glasgow weavers sent up a petition to the Commons for inquiry into distress, 18 Mar., as did the powerloom factory workers and cotton spinners for the abolition of night work, 4 June, 5 July.34 During the 1830 session the Clyde navigation bill brought to a head the protracted dispute between Glasgow and Dumbarton over the latter’s exemption from river tolls. The bill offered £16,000 in compensation for the loss of Dumbarton’s privileges, but it was vigorously opposed by Dumbarton town council, the shipping interest and prominent merchants, notably the Dixon family, and finally withdrawn, 10 June 1830.35

At the dissolution in the summer of 1830 Finlay announced his candidature, informing Glasgow town council that he was responding to ‘the earnest entreaty of friends’ in the belief that he ‘could better serve the great India and China question in than out of the House’. Campbell soon afterwards confirmed that he would offer again, prompting Garden to observe that the council ‘could not think on this occasion of deserting’ him. Nevertheless, fears were expressed in Scottish Tory circles that Campbell might be ‘turned out’. Renfrew elected provost Robert King as its delegate to support Campbell, but Rutherglen and Dumbarton unanimously elected provosts Andrew Harvie and Jacob Dixon respectively, ‘in Finlay’s interest’. Glasgow’s verdict was decisive, as it was the returning burgh. Stewart Smith, dean of the Merchants’ House, and Bailie Buchanan nominated Garden as delegate, while Bailie Matthew Fleming and Alston proposed Bailie Hugh Robertson, a supporter of Finlay. The vote was tied, 16 each, whereupon Garden claimed a casting vote, in addition to his original vote, to elect himself. It was later claimed that Finlay had been confident of victory, but one of the councillors thought to be in his favour had turned against him on the day. The election proceedings ‘excited considerable interest’ in Glasgow. Protests were lodged against Garden’s selection, and when the oaths were administered Robertson claimed the right to be sworn as a delegate, which was allowed. Thanks to Glasgow’s casting vote Campbell was declared elected, although Robertson insisted that Finlay was the winner. Campbell briefly gave thanks and Finlay, in a lengthy address, promised to petition against the result. He rejected criticism that he had gained an unfair start in the contest by delaying the announcement of his candidature, explaining that he had been unable to act until Ewing had agreed to abandon his pretensions, and he claimed to have received support from 49 of the 84 burgesses. He said he was anxious to re-enter the Commons, which was ‘deplorably in want of commercial men’, declared his adherence to strictly ‘independent’ principles, expressing admiration for the duke of Wellington but hoping he would ‘dispose of his present companions’, aligned himself with Joseph Hume* on the issue of retrenchment and argued that the parliamentary franchise ‘ought to be enlarged ... in a slow and gradual manner, to keep pace with public opinion’. He admitted he had been wrong to support the corn law in 1815 and supported its revision, and, while favouring the abolition of slavery, he denied any hostility to the West India interest and accepted that due regard must be shown for property rights. He suspected that ‘the East India directors had not been idle in the transactions which were passing here’, and, looking pointedly at Garden, observed that ‘they had got powerful allies in the camp’. At the subsequent dinner given in Finlay’s honour, Ewing maintained that ‘we have almost the whole population ... on our side’ and was confident that the ‘time is not far distant when the principal commercial towns of the empire will be represented in Parliament’; Glasgow would ‘of course return a Member for itself’. Provost Dixon’s son Joseph stated that Dumbarton had supported Finlay ‘solely on condition’ that he would obtain ‘a fair and candid hearing’ for the town’s case against Glasgow, whereas Campbell had behaved ‘unfairly’ towards them by assisting the Clyde navigation bill.36 Finlay petitioned the Commons, 3 Nov., challenging the validity of Garden’s conduct, claiming procedural irregularities in Renfrew’s choice of delegate and accusing provost King of procuring votes by ‘corrupt and improper promises ... and agreements’. A friend reported that Sir James Macdonald was to strike the ballot, with Thomas Spring Rice providing the list of names, both having been recommended by one Lyttelton as ‘the best men’ for the job. Finlay regarded the resulting committee as ‘a very favourable one ... composed principally of Whigs or independents’, and was thankful that he had ‘only one witness to keep’ in London, whereas Campbell had ‘a good many’. When the committee hearings finished Finlay remained ‘very sanguine of success’, but Campbell was confirmed in his seat, 6 Dec. 1830.37

A public meeting was summoned by requisition at Glasgow town hall, 9 Sept. 1830, to hear Grahame and Robert Thomson of Camphill move resolutions praising the ‘moderation and wisdom’ displayed by the French people in ‘establishing a free government’, which was ‘an example and beacon’ to others. Finlay ‘concurred in every sentiment’ expressed, adding that the ‘late glorious events’ were ‘highly conducive to the interests and welfare of mankind’.38 On 15 Sept. Colin Dunlop of Tolcross presided at a dinner at the Assembly Rooms in honour of Hume, which was attended by 260 gentlemen, including Sir John Maxwell of Pollok and his son John, formerly Member for Renfrewshire. Dunlop eulogized Hume’s crusade for free trade and retrenchment and battle against corruption, expressed the belief that parliamentary reform would further these objects, and welcomed the ‘moral influence’ of the revolution in France as a powerful ‘new ally’ which would ‘turn the tide of battle and crown their exertions with victory’. Ewing chaired a crowded public meeting at John Street chapel, 24 Sept., when Hume was presented with an address bearing 5,000 signatures. In returning thanks, Hume emphasized the need for reform and urged that ‘associations should be formed throughout the kingdom’. That evening he received a similar address from a meeting of 4,000 operatives at Campbell Street church, where he delivered the same message. After his departure one Johnstone, a radical agitator from the Preston political union, harangued the audience with violent language, but he was apparently disappointed by the lack of enthusiasm shown. Only about 1,500 attended a subsequent meeting on the Green, 2 Oct., organized by the committee of trades.39 Following a requisition signed by 200 gentlemen, Dunlop presided over a ‘numerous meeting’ at the trades’ hall, 8 Oct., when it was agreed to establish a reform association. A committee of 12, consisting mostly of merchants, such as Dunlop, Oswald, Thomson and Thomas Muir, and professional men like Mylne and Dr. Richard Millar, was appointed to draw up a constitution. According to a recent history of Glasgow, the association ‘revolved around a wealthy group of Whig activists known as "the clique"’, and it provided a ‘forum for those who had previously been excluded from the town council and wanted a stake in the civic control’. At the next meeting, 12 Nov., Thomas Davidson’s proposal that the new body should be called a political union was rejected, along with Millar’s suggestion that a public meeting be organized. As Dunlop observed, ‘a public meeting he considered a very powerful engine; but an association would bring a greater moral force to bear on the question’. In fact, the association’s membership never exceeded about 300, its exclusivity being preserved by a 5s. subscription. The constitution, published a few days later, embodied a commitment to securing ‘for all classes of the inhabitants ... their constitutional rights’. Priority was attached to the abolition of rotten boroughs, enfranchisement of ‘populous towns’, extension of the franchise to those who ‘may be deemed qualified to exercise the privilege with independence and judgement’, repeal of the Septennial Act and an unspecified measure to combat bribery, but the association’s ‘special endeavour’ was to highlight ‘the gross evils of the present system of representation in Scotland’.40 The breadth of support for reform was demonstrated at meetings of Glasgow’s leading institutions. On 3 December the town council unanimously approved resolutions, moved by Ewing and Garden, declaring that the time was ripe for a ‘considerate, moderate and safe’ measure, ‘in accordance with the established order of society ... the settled institutions of the nation and ... the principles of our excellent constitution’. It was hoped that the ‘great towns of the empire’ would be enfranchised, with Glasgow receiving its ‘equal’ share, and that a ‘moderate’ measure of municipal reform for Scotland would follow. Three days later Ewing chaired a ‘very full’ meeting of the Merchants’ House, where Oswald and Thomson moved a petition which warned that the ‘undue influence ... acquired by the privileged classes has now become so great as absolutely to threaten the overthrow of the constitution’, that the problem was ‘peculiarly and strikingly manifest in the case of Scotland’ and that it was necessary to ‘return to the original principles of the representative part of the constitution’. It seems that ‘with two or three exceptions none of the Tories attended the ... meeting’. In response to a requisition containing 125 names the lord provost, Robert Dalglish, convened a ‘most respectable’ meeting of about 500 people at the justiciary court room, 20 Dec., when resolutions moved by Sir Daniel Sandford, professor of Greek at the University, were carried. They condemned the ‘pernicious nature of the Scottish representative system’, instancing the case of Glasgow which ‘may be truly said to have no representative’, as the inhabitants did not elect the town council. The fact that most Scottish Members uniformly supported the government of the day proved that ‘they have not represented the Scottish nation’ and an ‘early and effectual reform’ was needed to ‘restore ... confidence’ in Parliament. More than 30,000 signatures were attached to the resulting petition, which was forwarded to Parliament, with those from the town council, Merchants’ House and Trades’ House, and others from Dumbarton and Renfrew inhabitants and Rutherglen town council, between December 1830 and March 1831.41 The Tory marquess of Bute was convinced that the impetus for ‘opening burgh elections in Scotland’ had come ‘from Glasgow and K. Finlay’s failure in the election’. Scottish Whigs were impressed by the ‘enthusiasm of the better classes of the community’ for reform, which reflected a desire to secure recognition of Glasgow’s civic status and accounted for the relative absence of class antagonism in the ensuing campaign.42

At a ‘thinly attended’ meeting of the Glasgow Anti-Slavery Society chaired by Anthony Wigham, 11 Nov. 1830, it was agreed to petition for ‘speedy and total abolition’. The organizing committee included Grahame, Thomson and Davidson, and they forwarded their petition to the Commons, 15 Dec. 1830; others to either the Commons or Lords followed from the synod, various chapels and Dumbarton’s inhabitants in 1831.43 The West India planters and merchants petitioned Parliament for the protection of their property, 29 Nov. 1830, 28 Mar. 1831, and a petition from Glasgow merchants, manufacturers and bankers, 16 Dec. 1830, 15 Apr. 1831, while expressing ‘sincere abhorrence’ of slavery, condemned the ‘dangerous and unconstitutional’ campaign by the abolitionists, who were ‘violating the sanctity of private property by decreeing the speedy extinction of slavery ... without ... compensation’; an ‘impartial’ inquiry, respecting the rights of all classes, was needed.44 In January the Glasgow East India Association appointed Garden, Oswald and Henry Dunlop as their representatives to join the lobby in London against the Company’s charter. Dalglish summoned a public meeting on this issue by requisition, 3 Feb., and its petition was presented to the Lords, with ones to both Houses from the chamber of commerce, 17, 30 Mar., 21 Apr.45 Petitions against revision of the timber duties were forwarded to the Commons from merchants and ship owners in Glasgow and Dumbarton, 15, 16, 17 Mar.46 Dumbarton and Glasgow inhabitants petitioned the Commons against the proposed tax on steam vessels, 23, 29 Mar. 1831, the latter having been signed by ‘upwards of 10,000’ people in ‘little more than two days’.47

The Grey ministry’s reform bill proposed to give Glasgow two Members of its own, while adding the large manufacturing town of Kilmarnock to the remaining burghs, which would continue to return one Member. In response to a requisition signed by 193 people, a public meeting was convened in the court hall, 12 Mar. 1831, to petition in favour of the bill. Grahame, who moved the main resolution, argued that the career of William Pitt† proved that without reform ‘no honest man could be prime minister’ without ‘deviating from his principles’. It was inconceivable that a reformed Parliament would ‘allow millions to be thrown away upon Canada, the Cape of Good Hope and other useless appendages’, or ‘multiply idle sinecurists under the title of ambassadors, for the support of despotism throughout Europe’, or exclude Britons from the trade with China ‘for the benefit of a set of monopolists’. He was seconded by Mylne, who thought that the bill reformed abuses ‘in the most efficient and peaceful manner’ and that ‘in the present circumstances it seems better than a more extended system, or than accompanied by ballot’. Sandford, Oswald, Colin Dunlop and Davidson were among the other speakers. The resulting petition, declaring that the bill was ‘calculated to restore that part of the constitution’ which had been ‘well nigh destroyed’ by ‘an oligarchical faction’, was signed by 24,120 individuals ‘in ... five days’ and forwarded to Parliament later that month with similar ones from the town council (‘unanimously adopted’), Merchants’ House, Trades’ House, various trades, the Reform association and Dumbarton, Renfrew and Rutherglen’s inhabitants.48 When the bill’s second reading was carried Glasgow’s magistrates countenanced a voluntary illumination, and the inhabitants ‘male and female ... took to the streets and enjoyed the passing scene in great good humour’, although it was ‘very scantily got up in most of the houses of the more wealthy’; regret was expressed in the Tory press that tricolour flags had been ‘hung out in numerous places’.49 Following the bill’s rejection the news that Parliament was to be dissolved prompted the Glasgow trades to organize a ‘grand procession’ in favour of reform, 2 May. At least 25,000 workers took part in the march, which was ‘orderly and correct’, and numerous flags were carried bearing mottoes, one from the ship carpenters reading: ‘state ship constitution under repair - 62 rotten timbers displaced by real British oak’. On reaching the Green their numbers were swollen by spectators to something approaching 100,000, and, with Daniel McAulay presiding, the meeting agreed an address of thanks to the king. Dalglish chaired a ‘most respectable and numerous’ public meeting at the court hall, 7 May 1831, when Finlay commended the bill as ‘one of caution, wisdom and propriety’ and an address praising the conduct of Grey and the ‘patriot king’ was ‘carried unanimously’; similar addresses were sent by the Merchants’ House and several of the trades.50

Finlay, Joseph Dixon and Campbell all signified their intention of offering at the ensuing general election, but the latter, who had isolated himself by opposing the reform bill, quietly withdrew. Glasgow town council ‘unanimously elected’ Dalglish as its delegate to support Finlay, but Dixon was sure of Dumbarton, the returning burgh. The events at Rutherglen became so notorious that they were commemorated in verse. It appears that during their canvasses Dixon found favour, through his support for the ‘whole bill’, whereas Finlay ‘hum’d an he’d ha’d, an he’d shown nae decision, An’ said that the Bill wasna richt as it stood’. More importantly, perhaps:

          Of course for young Joseph the weemen were workin’;
          He’d fairly wan them wi’ his fine takin’ way.
          An’ then ‘twas weel Kent, too, that a’ wha wrocht for him,
          The chiel was baith able an’ willing to pay.

Consequently, Finlay secured only four of the burgesses’ votes, while the other 14 were promised to Dixon. The 14 burgesses were taken by steamer from Glasgow to Dumbarton, and thence by small boats to Luss, all the while being lavishly treated. Then, with ‘their wallets sae reamin’ wi’ a’ kin’s o’ dainties’, they were mounted on highland ponies and taken to the top of Ben Lomond, where they ‘subscribit a document read them’, before being taken to Govanhill for more hospitality. Returning to Rutherglen for the council meeting, they demanded a pledge from the delegate, provost John Gray, to vote for Dixon. The election at Dumbarton caused more ‘excitation ... than ... was ever witnessed within the ... returning burgh’, as Dixon’s friends made ‘great preparations ... to give as much zest as possible to the proceedings’. Rutherglen’s fortunate burgesses again arrived by steamer and joined the ‘reforming operatives’ and a ‘corps of colliers’, all wearing blue colours, for entertainments in an enclosure owned by Dixon’s father. At the county hall, Finlay’s attorney lodged a protest against the ‘illegal and corrupt practices’ used by Dixon’s party. The Dumbarton, Renfrew and Rutherglen delegates then voted for Dixon, who was declared elected. In returning thanks, he reiterated his support for the reform bill, while indicating that the Scottish measure required modification, and admitted that Finlay could probably ‘do ... more justice than himself’ to issues such as free trade. Finlay, denying any ill feeling, noted that provost Gray had been obliged to vote for Dixon ‘contrary to his own opinion’. Dixon was drawn through the streets in a carriage and ‘about 700 people’ were given dinner in the park, consuming ‘1,000 lbs of ham and beef, 1,000 fourpenny pies and an unlimited supply of porter, ale and spirits’. Dining with ‘about 130’ of his friends, Dixon praised the Rutherglen burgesses (‘almost all men labouring for their bread’) for having resisted ‘large pecuniary rewards’ offered by ‘injudicious friends’ of Finlay, and toasted Provost King, the Renfrew delegate, ‘although they differed in a slight degree as to the measure of reform’.51 Finlay petitioned the Commons against the result, 4 July, accusing Dixon and his agents of employing ‘corrupt and illegal practices’ in the election of delegates for Dumbarton, Renfrew and Rutherglen, but Dixon was confirmed in his seat, 27 July 1831.52

At a meeting of the reform association chaired by Henry Dunlop, 2 Sept. 1831, a petition to the Commons was ‘unanimously adopted’ expressing concern at the ‘slow advance’ of the reintroduced reform bill, pointing to the ‘most injurious effect upon the mercantile interests of this community’, which would ‘continue to languish’ until the issue was settled, warning of the ‘dangerous consequences to the tranquillity, and perhaps to the very existence of the present structure of society’ if the bill failed, and urging its passage ‘without mutilation or curtailment’. The petition was forwarded to Dixon, but apparently not presented. On 8 Sept. the coronation was marked by another procession of the Glasgow trades, involving some 12,000 people carrying banners in favour of the king, reform, economy, peace and ‘no boroughmongers’, which the Scottish solicitor-general, Henry Cockburn, described as ‘a magnificent and gratifying yet fearful spectacle’. Great care was taken by the organizers and the authorities to ensure that the event was orderly. ‘Considerably upwards of 100,000’ marchers and spectators gathered on the Green and there was a ‘very grand display of fireworks’ in the evening.53 Dalglish summoned a ‘numerous’ public meeting by requisition at the town hall, 23 Sept., when it was ‘unanimously agreed’ to petition the Lords for the bill’s speedy passage. Among the speakers, John Campbell Colquhoun† of Killerment ‘concurred ... in deprecating the impolicy of using intimidation’, which was best left to the likes of Henry Hunt*, and insisted that ‘the present contest was not about the privileges of the peers, but merely about an eccentricity of their privileges, by which they had invaded our rights’. Colin Dunlop expressed a ‘very low opinion’ of the Lords, whom he described as ‘consisting of persons partly living abroad, and totally ignorant of ... the interests of their country, partly young dissipated men, who cared nothing for public affairs or public opinion, and partly old crazy creatures disqualified to form sound opinions’; he was sure they would not dare to resist the will of the king and the people. The resulting petition attracted ‘upwards of 40,000 signatures’ and was forwarded to Grey for presentation, along with others from the town council (moved by Dalglish and carried by 14 votes to six), Merchants’ House, Trades’ House, reform association, various operatives and Dumbarton and Renfrew’s inhabitants, 27, 30 Sept., 3, 4, 7 Oct.54 Following the Lords’ rejection of the bill, Dalglish summoned a public meeting by requisition at the court hall, 19 Oct., when about 1,500 people attended. John Douglas of Barloch, clerk of the Merchants’ House, moved an address to the king requesting the use of his prerogative to facilitate the bill’s passage, which was seconded by Sandford, who counselled ‘patience and peace’. Davidson, in a ‘very conciliatory’ speech, declared that ‘reformers stand upon the rock of the British constitution’, as they desired ‘no more than that the country shall have a king ... the true centre and representative of the people’s power’, a ‘House of Lords, purely the great hereditary council of the king and the nation’, and ‘a House of Commons fairly representing the people’, rather than ‘an oligarchy which usurps the functions of the last and controls the first’. The address was forward to Grey for presentation, with others from the town council (agreed unanimously), the trades and the Merchants’ House, which had negatived an amendment by Robert Findlay and Daniel Mackenzie in favour of reform but against the ‘proposed infringement of the independence of the ... peers’.55 A ‘completely crammed’ meeting in the trades’ hall, chaired by James Turner of Thrushgrove, 16 Nov. 1831, agreed to form a Glasgow political union, for ‘the remedy of all political abuses, whether general or local’. Significantly, its membership overlapped with that of the reform association, as was instanced by the merchants Turner and Atkinson, and of the Glasgow trades, as in the cases of the operatives McAulay and John Tait. Sir John Maxwell became the president. While the union was intended to have a broader social appeal, and used some ‘colourful language’, it was deeply imbued with the values of moderation and respectability; Atkinson suggested that its motto should be ‘peace, order and union’. Davidson, the reform association’s convenor, welcomed in its annual report the ‘good understanding’ that ‘subsisted among all classes of reformers’ in Glasgow.56 The political union and the reform association petitioned the Lords to ‘preserve the integrity’ of the revised reform bill, 7, 11 May 1832.57 During the constitutional crisis that month a meeting of members of the reform association, political union and trades was held at the Black Bull, to organize a public demonstration. Despite the short notice, there was an impressive gathering on the Green, 12 May, with estimates of the numbers present ranging from 20,000 to 70,000. The trades marched to the venue accompanied by ‘music and flags, many of them black, with symbolic representations, some in barbarous taste, such as deaths heads’. Old flags bearing likenesses of the king or loyal inscriptions were ‘reversed, or covered with crepe, and afterwards burned on the ground, the crown being dashed from the top of those poles which it had previously adorned’. Sir John Maxwell presided and his son professed ‘unfeigned grief’ that they were ‘again obliged to petition ... to breathe the air of freedom’. The king regrettably had ‘evil counsellors around him’, who had influenced his refusal to create new peers, but Maxwell was confident that a clear expression of public opinion would prove to him that only Grey could govern the country. Various speakers followed, moving a series of resolutions. Atkinson emphasized his ‘unflinching loyalty and respect for the king, whom Earl Grey and his colleagues had piloted to a degree of popularity ... never before ... obtained by a British monarch’. Sandford condemned Wellington, likening him to ‘Phaeton, who undertook to guide the chariot of the sun’, only to ‘drive it into the midst of a conflagration’. At the end, Douglas expressed pride at Scotland’s ‘first response ... to the rejection of the bill’, pointing out that the meeting had been called ‘by the middling and industrious classes, many of whom had no hope of voting under the bill’. An address was sent to the king, calling for the reinstatement of Grey’s ministry, and a petition was forwarded to the Commons, to withhold supplies until the reform bill was carried, along with others from the Merchants’ House (‘unanimously adopted’), Trades’ House and Dumbarton’s inhabitants, 21, 30 May, 13 June, 13 July.58 The Whig James Abercromby* conveyed to Lord Lansdowne information he had received from a Glasgow resident, who reported that the area was in a ‘most alarming’ state owing to problems with the North American trade and the ‘check to the home trade, which he ascribes almost entirely to the suspense and delay’ over the reform bill:

The reform association at Glasgow, including most of the liberal gentry, was formed for the support of the larger object of parliamentary reform and of the secondary measure of burgh reform. The main use, if not its main object, has been to facilitate intercourse between them and the leaders of the working class. They find these leaders quite disposed to be reasonable so long as they have confidence in the ministers. That confidence enabled them to weather the storm when the bill was rejected ... He stated that many of the most reasonable Tories ... are quite certain of the necessity of reform and only want for their own credit that it may be carried by those who have always been friendly to it ... [He also] anticipates a great accession to the radical party and in the word a violent change. This last opinion he tells me is held strongly by Sir John Maxwell, assuredly the most popular of the gentry in the West of Scotland. Sir John says that his influence, most considerable, would expire with the rejection of the reform bill, and that ... he must give place, in that event, to the violent leaders.59

On 17 May ‘another ... immense meeting’ took place on the Green, attended by ‘not ... fewer than 120,000’ people, as many factories and workshops closed and ‘great bodies of men poured into Glasgow’ from surrounding towns and villages; a ‘strong body of 7,000 Irishmen came to the ground together and sent up a delegate to the hustings’. The Glasgow Herald testified to the ‘correct and excellent deportment of the whole assembly’. Flags, ‘generally black’, bore inscriptions such as ‘liberty or death’, ‘better to die in a good cause than live in slavery’, and ‘no petticoat government’; one depicted a woman holding a pair of breeches, with the motto ‘sic a wife as Willie had’. Although news had arrived of Grey’s reinstatement, Sandford urged the need to ‘show a stern and unbending front’, and Oswald trusted they would disappoint their enemies by demonstrating their attachment to ‘the laws, good order and the rights of property’. Douglas, Colin and Henry Dunlop, Atkinson and Tait were among the other speakers, another petition to the Commons urging them to withhold supplies was agreed and a ‘standing committee’ was formed ‘to meet daily if required’. At the end, a ‘female figure was ... torn to pieces and a fine straw crown ... committed to the flames’, and the meeting dispersed while the band played ‘Scots wha hae wi’ Wallace bled’. The petition was presented to the Commons, 4 June.60 Petitions were sent to the Commons from the political union against the property qualification for Scottish burgh Members, 27 June, and in favour of a 40s. freehold franchise in the Irish counties, 13 July 1832.61

In April 1832 Glasgow’s planters and merchants organized a public petition calling for ‘prompt and substantial relief’ to save the West Indian colonies from ‘impending destruction’, observing that they were of ‘incalculable advantage to the mercantile interests of Scotland’ and to ‘the promotion of its industry’. The petition was presented to Parliament, with similar ones from the Trades’ House, chamber of commerce and General Shipping United Association, 9, 17 Apr., 24 May, 4 June.62 Alston chaired a meeting at the Assembly Rooms, 4 Apr., when a petition was agreed against the proposed system of national education in Ireland and the Maynooth grant. It condemned the implication that ‘Popish and Protestant principles are equally founded in truth and equally worthy of support’, asserted that the Catholic faith was ‘essentially opposed to the religion of Christ and injurious to mankind’ and attributed the ‘disorders and distresses which afflict Ireland’ chiefly to its influence; the petition was forwarded to Parliament with ones from the synod and the presbytery of Glasgow (agreed ‘with one dissenting voice’), 17 Apr., 21, 24 May, 5 June.63 The political union petitioned the Commons for abolition of Irish tithes, 16 Aug. 1832.64

At the general election of 1832, when Glasgow’s registered electorate had dramatically increased to 6,994, Ewing was returned at the head of the poll as an independent Conservative, along with Oswald, who was endorsed by the Whig ‘clique’, the political union and the trades; Dixon came bottom of a poll of six. Ewing was defeated in 1835 by Colin Dunlop but Oswald sat, with a brief interruption, until his retirement in 1847. Glasgow remained a Liberal stronghold until 1885.65 The Kilmarnock Burghs, to which Port Glasgow was added at a late stage, had 1,200 registered electors in 1832 and returned a Liberal at every election but one up to 1865. Municipal reform in Glasgow in 1833 inaugurated an era of mainly Liberal domination, which was symbolized by the election of the 74-year-old Grahame as lord provost.66

Author: Terry Jenkins


  • 1. Ordnance Gazetter of Scotland (1895), iii. 92-169; PP (1823), xv. 704, 705; (1831-2), xlii. 11-16; (1836), xxiii. 1-53; Glasgow Vol. I: Beginnings to 1830 ed. T. Devine and G. Jackson, 10-15, 139-277.
  • 2. Ordnance Gazetter of Scotland, ii. 384-7; PP (1823), xv. 704, 705; (1831-2), xlii. 184, 185; (1835), xxix. 197-208.
  • 3. Ordnance Gazetter of Scotland, v. 242, 243; PP (1823), xv. 704, 705; (1831-2), xlii. 190, 191; (1836), xxiii. 353-61.
  • 4. Ordnance Gazetter of Scotland, v. 289-91; PP (1831-2), xlii. 194, 195; (1836), xxiii. 370-4; Glasgow Herald, 27 Aug. 1830.
  • 5. HP Commons, 1790-1820, ii. 602-4.
  • 6. Glasgow Burgh Recs. ed. R. Renwick, x. 539, 540, 545, 546; Glasgow Herald, 14, 18, 25 Feb., 3 Apr. 1820.
  • 7. Glasgow Beginnings, 360-401; G. Eyre Todd, Hist. Glasgow, iii. 450-5; P. Ellis and S. Mac a’ Ghobhainn, Scottish Insurrection of 1820, passim; NLS mss 11, f. 24; Glasgow Herald, 25 Feb., 3 Mar., 3, 7, 10, 14 Apr. 1820.
  • 8. Glasgow Herald, 17, 20 Nov., 15, 18, 22, 25, 29 Dec. 1820, 19 Jan. 1821.
  • 9. Ibid. 15 May 1820; CJ, lxxv. 218-29, 346, 347; lxxvi. 166, 322.
  • 10. CJ, lxxvii. 285; lxxx. 350; lxxxi. 235, 271.
  • 11. Ibid. lxxvii. 161; lxxviii. 303, 304, 331.
  • 12. Ibid. lxxix. 257; Glasgow Herald, 23 Feb., 15 Mar., 9 Apr. 1824.
  • 13. CJ, lxxxi. 367, 368, 372; LJ, lviii. 193, 333; Glasgow Herald, 27 Feb., 3, 24 Mar., 28 Apr.; The Times, 20 May 1826.
  • 14. CJ, lxxvii. 179, 219, 220; LJ, lv. 203, 210, 216, 218, 245, 258.
  • 15. CJ, lxxx. 309, 314, 315, 320; LJ, lvii. 558, 564-80, 593, 659, 660, 740, 755, 784; Glasgow Herald, 21, 25, 28 Mar., 1, 4, 8, 11, 15 Apr. 1825.
  • 16. CJ, lxxix. 253, 319, 353.
  • 17. Eyre Todd, iii. 479.
  • 18. Glasgow Herald, 24 Feb. 1826; CJ, lxxxi. 145, 193; LJ, lviii. 61, 124, 138.
  • 19. Merchants’ House of Glasgow, 335-9; Glasgow Herald, 10, 13 Mar. 1826.
  • 20. Glasgow Herald, 19, 26, 29 May, 2-30 June 1826.
  • 21. Harewood mss, Canning to wife, 30 Mar. 1824; NAS GD51/5/140.
  • 22. Glasgow Burgh Recs. xi. 212-13; Glasgow Herald, 16 June, 7 July 1826.
  • 23. CJ, lxxxii. 40, 54, 190, 292, 305; LJ, lix. 35, 79, 141.
  • 24. CJ, lxxxii. 335; LJ, lix. 172; Glasgow Herald, 16 Feb. 1827.
  • 25. CJ, lxxxii. 90, 155, 216, 428, 455; lxxxiii. 126, 313, 432, 471.
  • 26. Glasgow Herald, 19 Feb. 1827.
  • 27. CJ, lxxxiii. 197, 271, 306; LJ, lx. 150, 178, 207, 250.
  • 28. Glasgow Herald, 20, 23, 27 Feb., 2-27 Mar. 1829; Glasgow Burgh Recs. xi. 313-15; CJ, lxxxiv. 41, 76, 86, 94, 103, 105, 109, 115, 121, 127, 140, 146, 151, 154, 210; LJ, lxi. 66, 73, 102, 103, 108, 115, 122, 131, 133, 142, 145, 183, 185, 187, 191, 200, 208, 301, 302, 331.
  • 29. P. Jupp, British Politics on Eve of Reform, 411; Glasgow Herald, 4, 8 May 1829; CJ, lxxxiv. 300; LJ, lxi. 530.
  • 30. Glasgow Herald, 8, 12, 15, 19, 26 Feb., 1, 15 Mar. 1830; CJ, lxxxv. 111, 133, 200, 242, 261, 434; LJ, lxii. 53, 104, 112, 138, 194, 324, 388.
  • 31. Glasgow Herald, 26 Feb., 8, 15, 26 Mar., 12 Apr., 21 May, 23 July 1830.
  • 32. CJ, lxxxv. 553.
  • 33. Ibid. 106, 547, 639.
  • 34. Ibid. 193, 511, 616; Jupp, 413.
  • 35. CJ, lxxxv. 51, 132, 448, 449, 533; J. Irving, Bk. of Dunbartonshire, ii. 101-4.
  • 36. Glasgow Herald, 2 July, 6, 20, 23, 27 Aug. 1830; Glasgow Burgh Recs. xi. 382, 383; Authentic account of proceedings [at] Glasgow (1830); NAS GD157/2976/2; Add. 38758, f. 226.
  • 37. CJ, lxxxvi. 19, 140, 146; St. Deiniol’s Lib. Glynne Gladstone mss 196, T. to J. Gladstone, 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 Dec. 1830.
  • 38. Glasgow Herald, 10 Sept. 1830.
  • 39. Ibid. 30 Aug., 17, 27 Sept., 4 Oct. 1830; Wellington mss WP1/1160/11.
  • 40. Glasgow Herald, 11 Oct., 15, 22 Nov. 1830; Glasgow Beginnings, 266.
  • 41. Glasgow Herald, 3, 6, 10, 17, 20 Dec. 1830, 4 Feb. 1831; Glasgow Burgh Recs. xi. 404, 405; Merchants’ House, 357, 358; CJ, lxxxvi. 183, 193, 195, 255, 309, 310, 407; LJ, lxiii. 189, 201, 240, 306.
  • 42. Wellington mss WP1/1149/1; Add. 51831, J. Gibson to Holland, 17 Dec. 1830; F. Montgomery, ‘Glasgow and struggle for parl. reform, 1830-1832’, SHR, lxi (1982), 130-45.
  • 43. Glasgow Herald, 12, 15, 19 Nov. 1830; CJ, lxxxvi. 175, 222, 269, 455; LJ, lxiii. 227, 403.
  • 44. Glasgow Herald, 19 Nov. 1830; CJ, lxxxvi. 451, 491; LJ, lxiii. 137, 138, 180.
  • 45. Glasgow Herald, 28 Jan., 4, 11 Feb. 1831; CJ, lxxxvi. 396; LJ, lxiii. 401, 507.
  • 46. Glasgow Herald, 25 Feb. 1831; CJ, lxxxvi. 381, 388, 395.
  • 47. Glasgow Herald, 18 Mar. 1831; CJ, lxxxvi. 426, 459.
  • 48. Glasgow Herald, 4, 7, 11, 14, 18, 21 Mar. 1831; Glasgow Burgh Recs. xi. 416, 417; CJ, lxxxvi. 371, 372, 405-7, 415, 416, 446; LJ, lxiii. 337, 345, 346, 348, 349, 354, 360.
  • 49. Glasgow Herald, 28 Mar., 1 Apr. 1831.
  • 50. Ibid. 6, 9, 13, 16 May 1831.
  • 51. Ibid. 29 Apr., 20, 27 May 1831; Glasgow Burgh Recs. xi. 421-2; H. Muir, Remininsces of Rutherglen, 48-54; NAS GD224/581/4.
  • 52. CJ, lxxxvi. 609, 610, 681, 702.
  • 53. Glasgow Herald, 5, 9 Sept. 1831; Cockburn Jnl. i. 18-21.
  • 54. Glasgow Herald, 23, 26, 30 Sept., 3 Oct. 1831; Glasgow Burgh Recs. xi. 440, 441; LJ, lxiii. 1011, 1023, 1025, 1034-7, 1045-7, 1071.
  • 55. Glasgow Herald, 14, 17, 21, 28 Oct. 1831; Glasgow Burgh Recs. xi. 445; Merchants’ House, 367, 368.
  • 56. Glasgow Herald, 18 Nov., 26 Dec. 1831; Montgomery, 133-7.
  • 57. Glasgow Herald, 6, 20 Apr. 1832; LJ, lxiv. 186, 201.
  • 58. Glasgow Herald, 11, 14, 18, 25 May 1832; Merchants’ House, 369, 370; CJ, lxxxvii. 326, 347, 396, 488.
  • 59. Lansdowne mss, Abercromby to Lansdowne [May 1832].
  • 60. Glasgow Herald, 18 May 1832; CJ, lxxxvii. 371.
  • 61. CJ, lxxxvii. 436, 488.
  • 62. Glasgow Herald, 2, 9 Apr. 1832; CJ, lxxxvii. 337, 371; LJ, lxiv. 157, 179.
  • 63. Glasgow Herald, 16 Apr., 11, 25, 28 May 1832; CJ, lxxxvii. 325, 375; LJ, lxiv. 175, 235.
  • 64. CJ, lxxxvii. 590.
  • 65. Glasgow Herald, 13, 20 July, 21, 24 Dec. 1832; Glasgow Vol. II: 1830-1912 ed. W. Fraser and I. Maver, 186-97; Scottish Electoral Politics, 226, 265, 266, 277.
  • 66. Glasgow Beginnings, 266-70; Glasgow 1830-1912, pp. 441-53.