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Glasgow and its Clubs
Or Glimpses of Conditions, Manners, Characters and Oddities of the City
By John Strang LL.D. (1857)

Preface to the First Edition

It is not without considerable hesitation that the following pages are submitted to the public; for the Writer cannot conceal from himself the fact that the lighter matters they contain are very foreign to his ordinary pursuits and avocations. Although nearly thirty years have passed since the idea was first entertained of snatching from oblivion the salient characteristics of a few of the more remarkable Clubs connected with a City which has always been famous for the number and variety of its social fraternities,—and although, too, even at that early period, an attempt was made to sketch some of the more notable of these, it was not till accident, about eighteen months ago, brought again one or two of the long lost and very imperfect pencillings under the Author's notice, that the thought occurred to him of entirely remodelling them, so as to render those social Clubs the vehicle through winch the ever-changing manners and habits of Glasgow society might be properly portrayed and chronicled. The Writer then began to collect his materials, from various public documents, and from the information of private individuals whose memories still preserved such fast-fading subjects: and he has, during the intervals of his leisure hours, arranged these floating facts and traditions in the form in which they are now presented,—if not with that spirit and playfulness which a more practised penman might have displayed, yet, it is to be hoped, with that truthfulness which may at least render the following pages not altogether unworthy exponents of the norm] history of Glasgow daring the past and present Centuries.

To these brief preliminary remarks, the Author has only to add his sincere apology for the imperfect manner in which he has performed his somewhat difficult task, trusting that, while his deficiencies cannot be wholly overlooked, the multifarious duties and anxieties incident to an important public office will, in some degree, extenuate any inaccuracies lie has committed, and induce his readers to treat with indulgence that which an otherwise exacting criticism might condemn.

22 Woodside Place
GLASGOW 1st November, 1855.

Preface to the Second Edition

The flattering manner with which the First Edition of this Work was received, has induced its Author to put a Second to press. In doing so, he has attempted not only to correct any errors which had, unfortunately, been committed; but he has likewise been enabled to make many additions, arising out of the hints and suggestions sent him since the publication of the Volume. To Mr Gabbiel Neil of this City, in particular, he is under great obligations for many antiquarian memoranda, which either have formed new facts, or been interwoven with the old. To the Metropolitan and Provincial Press, for the manner in which the Work has been noticed, the Author cannot but feel deeply grateful—and he only trusts that his renewed attempt to render it a vehicle for depicting the ever-changing Manners, Habits, and Feelings of Glasgow Society, and the West of Scotland, during the past and present Centuries, will be received with the same indulgence which has characterised the criticisms already so numerously passed on "Glasgow and its Clubs."

22 Woodside Place, Glasgow,
30th October 1856


Glasgow about 1750—Anderston Club
The Glasgow Tobacco Aristocracy—Hodge-Podge Club
  The Hodge Podge Club 1752—1900
  Compiled from the Records of the Club by T. F. Donald (1900)
Glasgow from 1750 to 1780—My Lord Ross's Club
Glasgow from 1777 to 1783—Morning and Evening Club
Highland Immigration and Highland Hospitality—Gaelic Club
Glasgow from 1780 to 1795—Accidental Club
Glasgow's Prandial Favourite about 1795—Face Club
Glasgow Loyalty—Grog Club
Glasgow Toryism in 1797—Camperdown Club
Banking Habits during last Century—Meridian Club
The Sugar Aristocracy—Pig Club
Stockwell-Street and its Characteristics—Beefsteak or Tinkler's Club
Glasgow Mediciners  and Chirurgeons—Medical Club
Glasgow Theatricals—What-You-Please Club
Glasgow from 1785 to 1815—Coul Club
Quondam State of the Glasgow Police—Gegg Club
Youthful Frolics of Glasgow—Banditti Club
Music and Masonry in Glasgow—Packers' and Every Night Club
Mercantile Emergencies from 1812 TO 1816—Post-Office Club
Glasgow Habits before and after the Peace of Waterloo—French Club
Patriotism and Poetry from 1812 to 1816—Anderston Social Club
Patrick and its Gastronomes—Duck Club
The Radical War—Waterloo Club—The Wet Radical Wednesday of the West
The Glasgow Charities—Shuna Club
Progress of Liberal Opinion in Glasgow—Sma' Weft Club
Glasgow Politics in 1832—Crow Club
Concluding Sketches of Past and Present Clubs


The Battle of Garscure, from Reminiscences of a Member of the Grog Club
The Glasgow Homer, yclept Blind Alick, by a Member of the Camperdown Club
Early Honorary Burgesses of Glasgow

Minute Book of the Board of Green Cloth 1809-1820
With Notices of the Members

The Board of Green Cloth was a Whist and Supper Club in Glasgow. It was founded probably between 1780 and 1790, and came to an end about 1820. Convivial Clubs were one of the most marked features of that time in Glasgow. Many of them have been chronicled by Dr. John Strang, but he merely mentions this Club without saying anything about it, perhaps because he knew nothing. We shall never see such clubs again, for our whole habits of life, to say nothing of the enormous size to which Glasgow has grown, are against them; but while they lasted they must have been very enjoyable.

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