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Govan

A historical perspective, drawn from the Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland: A Survey of Scottish Topography, Statistical, Biographical and Historical, edited by Francis H. Groome and originally published in parts by Thomas C. Jack, Grange Publishing Works, Edinburgh between 1882 and 1885.

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Govan, a parish and a burgh in the lower ward of Lanarkshire, and in the extreme NW of that county. A portion of the parish towards the SE end is in the county of Renfrew. It is bounded N by Dumbartonshire, NE by Maryhill and Barony, E by City and Rutherglen, all in Lanarkshire, S by Cathcart and Eastwood, SW by Abbey and Renfrew, and NW by New Kilpatrick, all in Renfrewshire. The boundary between it and Maryhill and Barony is formed by the river Kelvin for a distance of 3½ miles, except a small portion occupied by one of the ship building yards on the W bank of the Kelvin at the mouth, and there Govan crosses the river and includes this yard. From the mouth of the Kelvin the boundary between Govan and Barony and afterwards between Govan and City is the river Clyde along a distance of over 3½ miles eastward as far as Malls Mire or Polmadie Burn up which the line of division passes for about a mile. For the rest of its course, excepting a very short distance at the Mill Burn on the extreme W, the boundary is purely artificial, turning westward in an irregular course to a point on the Greenock road 3 miles W of the burgh of Govan, and so close to Renfrew that a small portion of the parish is included within the parliamentary boundary of that burgh. After following the course of the Mill Burn for a very short distance it passes eastward to the Clyde, and then runs irregularly N and NE to the starting-point on the Kelvin. From the Malls Mire Burn W, N, and NE to the Kelvin, the boundary of the parish coincides with that of the counties, except for about a mile immediately to the S of the Malls Mire Fire-brick Works, and for a distance of about 2 miles to the W of Strathbungo, past the S side of Haggs Castle. The Clyde divides the parish into two unequal parts, the larger extending along the S side of the Clyde with a length of 6½ miles, and a breadth at its widest part, near the centre, of 15/8. mile; the smaller on the N bank of the Clyde W of the Kelvin, and measuring in its greatest length (along the Great Western Road, W of Kelvin Bridge) 2 ¼ miles, and in its greatest breadth (from Whiteinch on the SW to the point on the N where the county of Dumbarton reaches the Kelvin) 21/8. miles. The total area is 6940 acres distributed thus:land 6281 acres, public roads 340 acres, railways 112 acres, foreshore 18 acres, water 37 acres, and tidal water 152 acres. Of this 5738 acres are in Lanarkshire, and 1202 in Renfrewshire. Govan is here taken as including the small parish of Gorbals, which has been for a long time ecclesiastically distinct, and also had, for a considerable period, as is noticed in the article Glasgow, a separate jurisdiction. The inhabitants of Gorbals, about 1727, found themselves numerous enough to think of building a church for themselves, and this having been begun the heritors of Govan granted the prayer of a petition from the feuars, elders, and inhabitants of Gorbals, asking that their district should be formed into a new parish. The church was opened in 1730, but, owing to opposition from the magistrates of Glasgow-who were superiors of the barony of Gorbals, and who had offered to 'pay the expense of the building of the church, and to give a stipend and manse to the entrant'if the inhabitants of the Bridgend would only'bear Scot and lot with them'and from the University authorities, who were patrons of Govan, it was not till 1771 that the new parish of Gorbals was disjoined and erected. The lands of Little Govan and Polmadie were in the same year joined to it quoad sacra, and so matters remained till 1873 when the Board of Supervision reunited the two for poor law purposes in what is now known as Govan Combination. The parish of Gorbals is very small, having an area of only 28 -489 acres, but it is very densely populated.

The surface of Govan is irregular. Along the Clyde it is low and flat, varying in height from 19 (Clyde view) to 24 feet (Govan burgh) above sea-level, but from this it rises to the N and S, reaching in the former direction a height of 214 feet near the county boundary, and, in the latter, of 165 feet at Ibroxhill, 170 at Haggbowse, and 137 at Titwood. With the exception of Barony parish in Glasgow, Govan is the most important and populous parish in Scotland, as well as the most valuable, and, from the rapid strides it has of late been making, it is more than probable that at no very distant date it will reach the foremost position. This progress arises from the great change that has, within less than half a century, taken place in its industries. Prior to 1840 there were on an average 4320 acres under crops of various kinds, and, besides this, there were many gardens and orchards, the produce of which went to Glasgow for sale. Now the agricultural area is very materially diminished, and is growing less from year to year, while the area occupied by buildings of various kinds has rapidly and largely increased. Of the total valuation of the parish the portion set down as arising from agricultural land is only about the one-hundredth part, while the remaining 99/100 arise from the built area, and this will ere long, when the proposed new docks are erected at Cessnock in the Plantation district, be materially increased. The built area includes, on the N side of the Clyde, the burghs of Partick and Hillhead, and the districts of Dowanhill, Kelvinside, and Whiteinch; and, on the S side of the river, all the part of Glasgow known as the South Side (and containing the districts of Hutchesontown, Gorbals, Laurieston, and Tradeston), the police burghs of Govan, Kinning Park, Crosshill, Govanhill, East Pollokshields and West Pollok shields, and the districts of Strathbungo, Ibrox, and Plantation.

History, etc.—The etymology of the name is uncertain. In 1518 we find it spelled Gwuan, and Leslie, in his Seotiœ -Description (1578), says that the parish got its name from the excellence of its ale (A. S. Godwin), while Chalmers, in his Caledonia, advances the Gaelic Gamhan, meaning a ditch. How the parish came to be divided between two counties is not known. It has been asserted that the whole lay originally within the county of Lanark, but that in 1677 the lands of Haggs, Titwood, and Shields were transferred to the county of Renfrew,'for the convenience of Sir George Maxwell' of Pollok, to whom they belonged. This, however, cannot be the case, as these lands are, in the original charter granted by the Archbishop of Glasgow in 1581, described as in Renfrewshire. The appearance of the district in late prehistoric times has already been alluded to in the article Glasgow, but in connection with this it may here be noticed that in the parish of Govan there are beds of finely laminated clay and sand at different places at considerable heights above the sea. In beds of clay at Balshagry and Gartnavel, about 90 feet above sea-level, the late Mr Smith of Jordanhill found marine shells, of which 10 per cent. were of types now living in colder seas. Whiteinch was, as the name implies, formerly an island, as was also part of the lands of Meadowside, and islands they remained till late in the historic period. There is mention made of the islands between Govan and Partick in one of the documents in the chartulary of Glasgow, and in the map in Blaeu's Atlas, published in 1654, Whiteinch and a number of islands adjacent are shown, as are also villages at Partick,'Little Gouan,'at the S end of Glasgow Bridge, and'Mekle Gouan,'where the present burgh stands. This map also shows the parish intersected by a small stream which entered the Clyde opposite Stobcross. The land at Whiteinch was, till near the middle of the present century, very low, but about 1840 the Clyde Trustees got permission to deposit dredged material on it, and in this way the level over a space of 69 acres was raised from 10 to 15 feet.

The earliest notices of Govan that are to be found are in connection with church matters. In 1136, when Glasgow Cathedral was formally consecrated, King David gave to the See the lands of Perteyc and also of Govan (Guvan cum suis divisis), and Bishop Herbert (1147-64) erected the church into a prebend, and bestowed it on his chaplain, and from this time onward to the Reformation we find frequent mention of various prebendaries of the parish. In 1319 we find Edward IIplaying with the assumption of the power over Scotland that had been lost for ever, and nominating 'Johannes de -Lund,'or Lundy, prebendary of Govan, but the presentee probably never appeared in his benefice. In 1525 Walter Betoun was'Reetor de Gowan,' and in 1527 he assisted at St Andrews at the trial of Patrick Hamilton. His successor, Stephen Beatoun, presented to the charge by Queen Mary in 1561, was the last of the Roman Catholic clergymen. He was permitted to retain the temporalities of the benefice as long as he lived, and as, immediately before his death, he gave a lease of the teinds to his brother, the latter managed to retain them for other nineteen years, to the great loss of the University of Glasgow, to which they had been granted.

After the Reformation Govan had a succession of eminent ministers. When the revenues of the vicarage of Govan were granted to the University, one of the conditions attached was that the principal of the University should preach at Govan every Sunday, and so practically be minister of the parish, though there was also an'exhortar''We have,'says the king in the charter,'thought it to be right, when our college is supported out of the tythes and revenues of that church, that they who provide temporal things should receive spiritual things, and not be defrauded of the bread of life, which is the word of God-'The principal of the University, when this grant was made, was the celebrated Andrew Melvil, and according to the account given by his nephew, James, in his -Diary, the Regent Morton was in his action in the matter exercising some political.finesse. James Melvil says that this'guid benefice, paying four-and-twentie chalder of victuall,' was offered to his uncle, if he would only keep his views of church government in the background. When this was refused the appointment was kept open for two years, dangling as a sort of bait before the eyes of the worthy principal. Morton finding this all in vain, at length granted the revenues to the University with the above-mentioned condition as regards the church services, hoping thus in an indirect way'to demearit Mr Andro, and cause him relent from dealling against bischopes; but God keepit his awin servant in uprightness and treuthe in the middis of manie heavie tentationes.' When Melvil was transferred to St Andrews in 1580 he was succeeded by Thomas Smeton, after whom came Patrick Sharpe and Robert Boyd, the last of the principals of the University, who also was minister of Govan. Complaint had been made as early as 1596, and again in 1606, that there was no one'to teiche ye youthe of ye parochin of Govane dwelland besyde ye kirk yairof,'and when Charles I. granted a charter of confirmation to the University in 1630 (ratified 1633) special power was given to the University authorities 'of electing, nominating, presenting, and accepting for the proper service of the cure at the said church of Govan, a minister who shall take up his actual residence at the said church-'This power had been acted on previously, for a James Sharpe had been appointed minister in 1621; and in 1637 the stipend was assigned of'fyve hundredth merks usuall money of the realme, twentie-four bollis bere, and eight bollis meil . . . togedder with ye whole mailis and duties to be payed to ye tacksman of ye vicarage of the small teinds,'while the University connection was maintained by the condition that the minister should in the'common schools' of the college read a public lecture on some subject prescribed by the authorities. Of the succeeding ministers, the most eminent were Hugh Binning (1649-54), Alexander Jamieson (1659-62), William Thom (1746-91), and M. Leishman (1821-74). Mr Binning became, in 1646, at the age of nineteen, Regent of Philosophy in Glasgow University, and minister of Govan three years later. He is said to have been one of the ministers who was present at a dispute held at Glasgow with Owen and Cary;, the chaplains of Oliver Cromwell, during the Protector's visit to Glasgow in 1651, and on that occasion his boldness and quickness were too much for the Independent divines, and caused Cromwell to inquire who that learned and bold young man was. On being told, his remark was,'He hath bound well, indeed, but this [his sword] will loose all again-'Mr Thom was an active and vigorous minister, and became popular, notwithstanding a considerable amount of feeling caused by a dispute about his settlement. It seems to have been customary at that time to let vacant farms by a sort of public roup, the highest bidder becoming the tenant, and as the bidders were generally well plied with drink beforehand, the rents in many cases were exorbitant, and out of all proportion to the value. This system Thom denounced in plain and energetic language, while, as a method of relief for the farmers and cottars, he warmly recommended emigration, particularly to North America, which he looked on as destined to become the future centre of the British Government.

This was little more than a hundred years ago, and yet things have changed greatly since then-'Once upon a time,'says Mr Wallace,'and that too almost within the lifetime of our immediate forefathers, the parish of Govan was almost entirely an agricultural parish, and its population were a plain simple rural population. Only a century ago the population of the entire parish, even including Gorbals, which, as we have seen, was at that time incorporated with it, was only 4389. It will be easily seen from this fact that the greater portion of the parish which is now teeming with myriads of human beings, and resounding from one end to the other with the clanking of hammers, the roar of traffic, and the incessant hum of general business and activity was then reposing in all the quietude and somnolency of purely primitive life. The now large and populous south-side of Glasgow was then an insignificant country village, with no industry greater than a distillery for the brewing of ale, a bottlework, or a few handloom factories. The dwelling-houses of the people were thatched with straw, and most of them had small gardens attached to them, where the cottagers reared their own potatoes and cabbages. Many of the inhabitants kept their own cows and pigs, and they earned their scanty livings either in tilling the land or in those other trades such as tailoring, shoemaking, coopering, and weaving, which are essential even to the most simple modes of existence. There was a thriving village then situated at a considerable distance to the south of the Clyde known as "Little Govan," consisting of a number of weavers'cottages, but which afterwards, through the enterprise of two families of the names of Rae and Dixon, became the centre of a large coal and iron district, which gave a great impetus to the growth and prosperity of that portion of the parish, and even contributed largely to the importance of the city of Glasgow itself. Dixon's Ironworks, or "Dixon's Blazes," as they are commonly called, were at the time of their first erection situated far out in the open country, whereas now the buildings and population extend beyond them for nearly a mile. Close to the river Clyde where Carlton Place now stands there was an extensive rope work, while opposite the present Gorbals Church there was a shallow ford, where horses were led to the watering, and where horses and carts were driven across to the city when the Glasgow bridge was too rickety or too crowded to accommodate the influx of traffic from the country on the market-days, and then too the schoolboys could wade across the river without thinking they had done any wonderful feat. Afterwards the Lauries of Laurieston and other leading gentlemen erected a few commodious mansionhouses by the river side, which might then be almost termed country residences. A fine avenue of trees was formed, and these mansions were guarded against the public by a gateway erected near the present Broomielaw Bridge. In those days the male villagers of Govan and Gorbals took their turn nightly in acting as voluntary police and guardians of the peace. Their funds were raised by a voluntary tax, called ''Reek Money," and by another small tax upon malt.'

But this sleepy state of existence was soon to come to an end. The deepening of the Clyde was just begun; and now, in place of the fords already mentioned, and another at the W, where the parish boundary crosses the Clyde, known as Marline Ford, there is a depth of 24 feet of water. The Comet was by-and-by to make her first adventurous voyage from Greenock to Glasgow, and to be the forerunner of the great fleet that now sweeps up and down the river, and that has brought such prosperity to Glasgow, and, above all, drawn the shipbuilding yards in its train. And yet all this came at first slowly; for when Dr Leishman wrote the article on Govan, in the New Statistical Account, in 1840, the industries, etc., he mentions are-agriculture, which was the main occupation in the parish; the salmon fishery in the Clyde, which was rapidly falling off, the rent paid by the tacksman having decreased from over £300 in the beginning of the century to £60 at the time of his writing; cotton bleaching and printing factories in Hutchesontown and Tradeston; a silk factory at Tradeston, and a carpet factory at Port Eglinton, employing altogether over 5000 hands; Mr Dixon's ironworks, with four furnaces and an annuall output of 4000 tons of pig-iron; a dye-work in the village of Govan, and handloom weaving also in the village. He mentions, besides, a new granite-faced quay on the south side of the river, and says that it will soon have to be enlarged, and this is all. This quay was to the W of Glasgow Bridge, and was erected first of timber in 1828, and in 1837 the timber, to the extent of 405 yards, was replaced by stone. Since then the harbour accommodation on the Govan side of the river has increased till there are now 3522 lineal yards of quayage, inclusive of Kingston Dock, while, at the W end of the quay, there is one public graving dock constructed and another in progress, and large additional dock space will probably ere long be provided at Cessnock. In 1840 shipbuilding seems to have been undreamt of, for there is not the slightest mention of it; and yet it is to this and to the shipping that Govan owes by far the greater part of its increased value and importance. The whole of the shipbuilding yards immediately connected with Glasgow on both sides of the Clyde are in the parish of Govan; and the burgh of the same name, as well as Partick and the large district of Whiteinch, are mostly inhabited by an artisan population engaged in this industry, and finding employment in the various yards adjoining. Some idea of the vast present importance of the industry may be obtained, when it is mentioned that the number of men employed at all these establishments is about 14,000, and the amount of wages paid over £1, 000, 000 per annum. Of the total tonnage of new vessels built and launched on the Clyde every year (for which see articles Clyde and Glasgow), about one-half, on an average, comes from yards in the parish of Govan. There are also in the parish a number of boiler works and foundries-including the very large Clutha Iron-works, the Bellahouston Iron-works, the Govan Forge and Stee; Company's works, and the Govan (Helen Street) Tube Works, engine works, tool works, oil works, a rope and twine work; silk, cotton, dye, and bleaching works, and brick works; while Dixon's Govan Forge, mentioned in 1840, is still in full flame; but now, instead of producing 4000 tons of pig-iron annually, it probably produces about 40,000. There were formerly a number of coal and ironstone pits in the parish, but these are now pretty much worked out and abandoned.

In the Old Statistical Account mention is made of 'vestiges of religious houses'near Polmadie, but these traces have all long since vanished. They were the remains of an almshouse, known as the Hospital of Polmadie, dedicated to St John, and intended for the support of pensioners of both sexes. Its revenues were derived from the church and temporalities of Strathblanc, and froin the income of part of the lands of Little Govan. It must have been founded at a very early date, for its privileges were confirmed by Alexander III-, and again by Robert Bruce. From 1316 onwards there are recorded the names of a number of masters'of the brothers and sisters and pensioners of the hospital of Polmadie;'and in 1427 Bishop Cameron, with consent of his chapter, erected the hospital of Polmadie and the church of Strathblane into a prebend of Glasgow Cathedral, an erection confirmed by Pope Martin V. Near the centre of the southern boundary of the parish are the ruins of Haggs Castle, built in 1585 by one of the Maxwells of Pollok, and long used as the family jointure house. This family embraced the doctrines of the Reformation, and remained constant in them all through the troublous times between the Restoration and the Revolution of 1688, and Haggs in consequence was more than once the scene of conventicles. In 1667 the so-called Presbytery of Glasgow had before them a number of persons cha-rged with being present at a meeting at the castle; and in 1676 the'outed'minister of Govan'gave the sacrament in the house of the Haggs;'while in 168 4 the privy council imposed on Sir John Maxwell a fine of £8000, and sent him to prison for sixteen months, because he had here received some others of the protesting clergy.

Communications.—Lying close to, and indeed including part of, Glasgow, the parish is naturally traversed by a number of the great roads leading from that centre. The various ferries and bridges across the Clyde have been noticed in the article Glasgow. The northern part of the parish is touched at the extreme NE corner by the Forth and Clyde Canal on its course to Bowling, and is also traversed by the lines of the Great Western Road and the Dumbarton Road, which unite near Yoker (in New Kilpatrick) and pass on to Dumbarton and away to the W Highlands. The southern portion of the parish is traversed by a road continuing the line of Eglinton Street and Pollokshaws Road, which passes to Kilmarnock and Ayr; and by two roads which continue the line of Nelson Street and Morrison Street westward, one branching off to Paisley, the other running parallel to the Clyde and passing through Govan and Renfrew on its course to Greenock. The Vale of Clyde Tramway Company have steam cars running on the latter road from the fork just mentioned as far as Fairfield and back. From the fork to Glasgow there are cars belonging to the Glasgow Tramway Company. The Glasgow, Paisley, and Ardrossan Cana; starts from Port Eglinton on the W side of Eglinton Street, and passes westward and south-westward through the parish for nearly 3 miles. The northern division of the parish is intersected by the Stobcross railway, with goods stations at Jordanhill Street, Partick-one for the Caledonian and one for the North British Railway Company. The southern portion is traversed by the Caledonian railway on its way to the various stations belonging to it in Glasgow; by the different sections of Glasgow and South-Western Railway System with a branch from the Glasgow and Paisley Joint Line from Ibrox to Govan, and by stretches of the City of Glasgow Union Railway.

Burghs. etc.—The part of the parish within the municipal and parliamentary boundary of Glasgow extends (inclusive of the parish of Gorbals) to 841 acres, and of this the greater part is built on, some of it very densely. This district has already been noticed in the article Glasgow, and to what is there said but little falls here to be added. The Leper Hospital, built by Lady Lochow, daughter of Robert, Duke of Albany, has been already noticed. It was dedicated to St Ninian, and the ground on which it stood and by which it was surrounded -known as St Ninian's Croft -is now occupied by part of the district of Hutchesontown. A chapel, belonging to the hospital, was'rebuilt and endowed in 1494 by William Stewart, prebendary of Killearn and rector of Glasford. The chaplain was the master of the grammar school of Glasgow.'He was responsible for the safe keeping of the missals and silver chalices, and had also to supply fuel for the hospital, and to'give twenty-four poor scholars two shillings Scots each to sing seven penitential psalms with the -De profundis,'on the anniversary of the founder's deatb, for his sou;'s repose. The barony and regality of Gorbals passed in 1587 from the Archbishop of Glasgow to Sir George Elpbinstone, who seems to have retained for his own use funds really belonging to the hospita;, and the care of building and inhabitants fell to the charge of the kirk-session of Glasgow, for in November 1587 we find this body ordering disbursement of money 'to repair ye puirlipper folkis hous beyonde the brig of Glasgow,'but with the saving clause that this was not to bind the session in time coming, nor to'derogate or abstract ye burden fra these persones, gif ony be quha hes ben or may be fund astricted, to repair ye samen-'They at the same time ordered a return within eight days of the'nomber of ye puir in ye said hospitalle and quha are yai yt aucht to haif place yairin-'The site of the hospita; itself was near the S end of Victoria Bridge, between Main Street (Gorbals) and Muirhead Street, and part of the buildings remained till early in the present century, and was known by the name of the Leper Hospital. The burying-ground was close by. The chapel was in Main Street (Gorbals) on the E side, and was standing till after the middle of the present century, but all trace of it, or even of its site, is gone since the recent alterations on Main Street. The districts of Govan, to both the S and W of Glasgow, have long been favouritelocalities for suburban residences, and aslong ago as 1840 it was said that the parish was'studded with the villas of the opulent merchants of Glasgow.' Govan. The burgh of Govan, formerly the village of Meikle Govan, is a place of considerable antiquity. According to Fordun, in the Scotichronieon, Constantine, King of Cornwall (traditionally a son of Rhydderch and Langueth, for whom see Glasgow), resigned his crown, and becoming a follower of St Columba, founded a monastery at Govan in 565 a. d., and was the first abbot of it himself. Subsequent notices of it are confined to ecclesiastical affairs down to the latter part of the 16th century, but the'kirkton'must have flourished, whatever the cause, for then we find Bishop Lesley, in the work already referred to, describing it as'thelargest village on the banks of the Clyde.'In 1595, it is mentioned as Meikle Govan, and was then what it remained for two hundred years afterwards, a mere country village, with inhabitants of the agricultural class and possibly a few salmon fishers. In 1775 the population of the whole parish, inclusive of Gorbals and Partick, was 4389; so that the village itself could not have had more than about 1500 inhabitants. Towards the beginning of the present century handloom weaving was introduced, and in spring, when salmon fishing began, the weavers left their looms and fished all the spring and summer months. By 1836 the population of the village had increased to 2122, and in 1839 there were 340 handloom weavers in the place, weaving being the staple industry. Govan village was then, and indeed remained down to 1856 (when it was still more than a mile distant from the nearest part of Glasgow on the S side of the Clyde), a quiet village with old-fashioned thatched houses, some of them with quaint circular inside stairs. A few of these still remain, but they are fast disappearing to make room for'tall and imposing "lands" of houses, and the "canny natives"are now 'outnumbered by the more vigorous and enterprising, if not quite so steady-going, members of the engincering, boiler-making, and other trades-'These last, along with the shipbuilding, have, within the last twenty years, so rapidly enlarged the limits of Govan, that it is now practically conterminous with Glasgow through the districts in Govan parish known as Plantation and Kinning Park. Under the Lindsay Act the police burgh of Govan was formed in 1864, and has an cxtent of 1115 acres. The principal street extends for more than a mile along the Glasgow and Greenock Road, and from this streets branch off on both sides, the newer ones mostly at right angles. The burgh buildings in Albert Street were erected in 1867 at a cost of nearly £11,000, and contained a large hall or court-room, with police cells and various offices, etc. A considerable portion of the building was destroyed by fire on 8 Dec1882. The police station was built in 1869, and contains good quarters for the sergeants and constables, both married and single. The public hall has a very modest exterior, but a tasteful interior. It contains a main hall 60 feetlong, 34 wide, and 23 high, capable of accommodating 700 persons, and a smaller hall capable of accommodating from 150 to 200 persons. The parish church stands towards the W end of the burgh, and was built in 1826 after a design by the late Mr Smith of Jordanhill. It is a plain Gothic building, with a tower and spire in imitation of those on the church at Stratford-on-Avon. It contains about 1100 sittings, and is surrounded by the churchyard, which is bordered by elms. The Gaelic church was built in 1866 at a cost of £1150, and has 600 sittings. It at present ranks as a mission church, but a petition is now pending before the Court of Session for its disjunction and erection as the church of a separate quoad sacra parish to be known as Kiaran parish. The Govan Free church is a spacious edifice erected soon after the Disruption. Govan St Mary's Free Church, built in 1872-73, is in Summertown Street, and cost about £6000. It has a tower and spire 150 feet high, and contains 1100 sittings. There is also a Free Gaelic church (St Columba). The United Presbyterian church is a very ornamental, though somewhat unecclesiastical-looking building at the corner of Copland Road and Govan Road. The Congregatioual church is a recent structure calling for no particular notice. The Baptist chapel was built in 1876 at a cost of about £4000. It is in the Early English style, and contains 650 sittings, while adjoining it is a hall with accommodation for 450 persons. The Roman Catholic church, St Anthony's, is a handsome Byzantine edifice, built in 1877-78 in lieu of a temporary chapel of 1864, and contains 1500 sittings; St Michael's Episcopal church (1875; 320 sittings) is of iron. The chief institutions are Abraham Hill's Trust, founded in 1757, the income of which, arising from land and amounting to over £600 a year, is applied to educational purposes in Hill's Trust School; the Macfarlane School Trust, founded by Mrs Waddell of Stonefield about 1830, and under which a number of girls receive free education; Thom's Library, founded by the widow of the Rev. William Thom, minister of Govan from 1748 to 1790, the books being lent out to parishioners on payment of a very small subscription; a ladies'clothing society, a penny saving's bank, a British Workman's coffee tavern, a bowling club, and public baths. There is a newspaper called The Govan and Partick Press (1880). There is a post office, with money order, savings'bank, insurance, and telegraph departments, a railway station, offices of the Union and National Banks, and agencies of six insurance companies. The affairs of the burgh are managed by a senior magistrate, 2 junior magistrates, and 9 commissioners. Income (1881-82) £15,945, 6s. 4d.; the police rate was, in the same year, 1s. 2d. per £, and the sanitary rate 1d. per £. In 1864-65, when the burgh was first constituted, the valuation was about £5000, while for 1881-82 it was £202,362. Pop. (1864) 9000, (1871), 19,200, (1874) 37,120, (1881) 50, 492, of whom 49,426 were in the police burgh. Houses (1874) 7424, (1881) 11,646, of which 1384 were unoccupied and 39 were building.

The burgh of Govanhill is on the S side of the parish close to Crosshill, and a little to the NE of the Queen's Park. It was constituted a police burgh in 1877, after having, under the name of No Man's Land, constituted a serious bone of contention between Glasgow and Crosshill, both of which had cast envious eyes on it, each being anxious to include it within its boundaries. It embraces an area of 113 acres, and its affairs are managed by a senior magistrate, 2 junior magistrates, and 6 commissioners, the burgh being divided into 3 wards, returning 3 members each. The burgh rate is 9dper £. When the burgh was formed the valuation was £38,698 and the population 7212, while there were 1721 houses. In 1881-82 the valuation was £40, 753, the population 9636, and the number of houses 2327, of which 336 were uninhabited and 13 were building. There is a post office, with money order and savings' bank departments.

The burgh of Pollokshields proper or West Pollokshields lies almost in the centre of the southern portion of Govan parish. It was constituted a police burgh in 1876 (having taken alarm at the efforts Glasgow was then making to incorporate the surrounding districts), and is entirely occupied by detached villa residences. Previous to its constitution under the Lindsay Act, the lighting, watching, etc-, were managed by a committee of the inhabitants, the funds being raised by voluntary assessment; but since 1876 the affairs have been attended to by a senior magistrate, 2 junior magistrates, and 6 commissioners. The burgh rate is 9d. per £The burgh has an area of 250 acres, and in 1877-78 the rental was £18,280, the population 1864, and the number of houses 233; in 1881-82 the rental was £26,949, the population 2104, and the number of houses 312, of which 9 were unoccupied and 3 building. East Pollokshields is immediately to the E of the last-mentioned burgh, but, unlike its more aristocratic neighbour, does not consist of detached villas, but of ordinary tenements. It was, under the Lindsay Act, constituted a police burgh in the beginning of 1880, and embraces an area of 160 acres. The affairs are managed by a senior magistrate, 2 junior magistrates, and 6 commissioners. The burgh rate is 7½d. per pound. In 1881-82 the rental was £33,202, the population 4360, and the number of houses 955, of which 91 were unoccupied and 78 were building.

The burgh of Kinning Park lies immediately to the N of Pollokshields, and between it and the Clyde. It has an area of 108 acres. The rapid growth of suburban Glasgow is here well shown, for this district, densely populated as it now is, was yet, some thirty years ago,'a beautiful rural spot, the principal features in the landscape being green fields, waving trees, and lovers'walks, with here and there a charming mansionhouse, while a pure purling stream, called the''Kinning House Burn " meandered its way down the vale till it joined the comparatively clean waters of the Clyde not far from the Park House Toll, where the road diverges into two branches-the one leading to Paisley, the other to Govan and Renfrew-'To go to the district was to visit the country, and in due course a pleasant suburb sprang up; but this rapidly changed, owing to the extension of the harbour and the city, and the region was speedily invaded by various public works, bringing with them an artisan population and all the attendant smoke and din. Kinning Park was, under the Lindsay Act, constituted a police burgh in 1871; and its affairs are managed by a senior magistrate, 2 junior magistrates, and 9 commissioners, 3 representatives being returned from each of 4 wards. The income in 1881 was £3320, 11s-, and the burgh rate was 10½d. per £In 1871 the rental was £28,355, and the population 7214; in 1877-78 the population had risen to 11,825; but since then there has been a slight falling off, for in 1881 the rental was £47,844 and the population 11, 552, while there were 2839 houses, of which 445 were uninhabited. These are the whole of the police burghs in the part of the parish on the S side of the Clyde, but the inhabited area is rapidly spreading along by Plantation and on the Paisley Road as far as Ibrox and Bellahouston, and the village of Strathbungo on the SE is rapidly becoming a considerable suburb.

In the SE of the portion of the parish to the N of the Clyde, and to the W of the Kelvin, is the burgh of Partick, which has an area of 977 acres. The village of Partick was of very ancient date, for King Morken, traditionally associated with St Mungo (see Glasgow), had a residence at Pertmet, which is supposed to be Partick, and in the chartulary of Glasgow mention is early and frequently made of Perdeyc or Perthik. It has been already mentioned that lands at Perdeyc were among those granted by David I. to the Bishop of Glasgow in 1136; and within the next century there was an episcopal residence at the place, for in 1277 we find a grant made by Maurice, Lord of Luss, of wood for the repair of the Cathedral, and this document is dated from 'Perthik,'where Luss is presumed to have been at the time on a visit to the bishop. In the chartulary there is also a notarial instrument bearing on the arbitration by the Bishops of Dunkeld, Brechin, Orkney, and Galloway, on certain differences that had arisen between Bishop William of Glasgow and his chapter. This deed bears date 30 June 1362,apud manerinm dicti domini Glasguensis episcopi de Perthik-'An old castellated building, which stood immediately to the W of the junction of the Kelvin and Clyde, and the ruins of which remained down till about 1836, used to be regarded as the remains of this residence; but it was really of much later date. Chalmers, in his Caledonia, describes it as built in 1611 by Archbishop Spottiswoode, but this is a mistake; for though the building was undoubtedly erected in or about 1611, the work was carried out, not for Spottiswoode, but for George Hutcheson, the founder of Hutcheson's Hospital, Glasgow. That this is so is abundantly proved by the contract (still in existence) for its construction entered into between Hutcheson and William Miller, mason in Kilwinning, in which the standard foot, by which the various dimensions of the building were to be settled, is specially declared to be'ye said George's awn fute-'Hamilton of Wishaw, in his Description of the Sheriffdom of Lanark, also writes to the same effect:-'Where Kelvin falls into Clyde is the house of Pertique, a well-built and convenient house, well planted with barren timber, large gardens, inclosed with stone walls, which formerly belonged to George Hutcheson, founder of the Hospital Hutcheson in Glasgow-'It is possible, however, that Hutcheson's house may have been built on the site of the bishop's residence, and though no traces of the latter have come down to recent times, the early references leave no doubt of the fact of its existence

At the close of last century, according to Dr Strang, Partick was'a rurall village, nestling among umbrageous trees, and standing by the side of a limpid and gurgling stream, which flowed through its centre-'It was almost a Sabbath day's journey from Glasgow, and contained 'a dozen or two comfortable and clean cottages,'among which the most noteworthy was a public-house known as'The bun and yill house,'to which a club of jovial spirits used every Saturday, at the proper season, to resort for a dinner of duck and green peas. From this condition Partick was first wakened up about thirty years ago, when villas began to be built about it, and now an excellent villa quarter covers the whole of the north-western part of it. The rest of it is devoted to 'lands'for the artisan class, and the streets are busy with din and bustle, while the noise of the riveters' hammers breaks loudly in from the adjacent boiler and shipbuilding works, where most of the working-class inhabitants find employment. In 1834, when Partick became a quoad sacra parish, the population was under 3000; in 1852, when the police burgh was originally constituted under the General Police Act of 1850, the population was 5337. The Lindsay Act was adopted in 1866, and the affairs are now managed by a senior magistrate, 2 junior magistrates, and 9 commissioners. Since 1869 there has been a division into 4 wards, each having 3 representatives. The burgh rate is 1s. 7½d. per £, and the income in 1881 was £11, 212, 14s. 2½d. The rental for 1881 was £130, 628. Pop. (1871) 17, 707, (1875) 23,770, (1881) 27, 410. In the latter year the number of houses was 6558, of which 1090 were uninhabited and 21 were building.

Immediately to the NE of Partick, and like it, separated from Glasgow by the Kelvin, is the burgh of Hillhead, which has an area of 129 acres. Hillhead occupies a commanding and airy situation, and has for more than thirty years been a favourite suburban district. It is entirely occupied by shops and houses, there being no trade carried on to the destruction of its amenity. It was under the Lindsay Act constituted a police burgh in 1869, at which time the rental was £32, 697, 12s. 6d., and the population 3654. In 1881 the rental was £79, 955, 11s. 3d-, and the population 6684, while there were 1521 houses, of which 234 were unoccupied and 35 were building. The burgh income in 1880-81 was £8214, 13s. 8d., and the rate of assessment was 1s. 3½d. per £. To the N of Partick and to the W and SW of Hillhead are the large districts of Dowanhill and Kelvinside entirely occupied by self-contained houses either in terraces or detached villas, these districts forming two of the most aristocratic quarters of suburban Glasgow. The former extends over 496 acres, while Kelvinside extends to 742. In 1875-76 the latter district offered successful resistance to an effort for the extension of the Hillhead burgh boundary so as to include it. To the W of Partick is the village of Whiteinch with a population employed in the adjoining shipbuilding yards.

Educational Affairs.—The inhabitants of Govan in the 17th century seem to have been advanced in their educational views, for in the records of the kirk-session of the parish for 1653, it is recorded that'the session does ordain that everie elder in their several qrters do search who have children able and fit to come to schoole, and does not send them, to deal wt. them for that effect, and to signifie that if they prove deficient hereinto, according to an old act of session, they will be oblidged to pay their quarter, as well as if they came to this schooll,, but it is somewhat to be feared that their descendants were not so strict, for when the Govan school-board came into existence in 1873 it found 11,082 children of school age in the parish, with accommodation in 46 schools for only 6583, and only 6049 children of school age on the rolls. Of these schools only one was a public school (the old parish school at Govan Cross), and the board at once proceeded with the erection of new schools, and it has now (Dec. 1882) under its charge 14 schools finished and opened. These, with their accommodation at 8 square feet per scholar, the area of the site and the cost per scholar, exclusive of cost of site, are given in the following table:—

School. Accom-
modation.
Area of Site
in Square
Yards.
Cost per
Scholar
Anderson Street, . . 587 .. £5 4 5
Broomloan Road, . . 960 2501 7 3 6
Calder Street, . . . 944 2334 7 3 0
Church Street, . . . 695 1971 4 17 7½
Copeland Road, . . . 441 800 2 14 0¾
Fairfield, . . . . . 900 2444 7 5 7
Govan Cross,. . . . 234 .. 1 8 10¾
Kinning Park, . . . 730 1700 8 1 4½
Lambhill Street, . . 1514 3169 6 19 2
Pollokshields, . . . 786 2328 8 8 0½
Polmadie, . . . . . 520 2435 7 17 2
Rosevale Street,. . . 932 2327 7 16 1
Whiteinch, . . . . 735 2104 8 16 2

Of these the Anderson Street and Copland Road schools were transferred to the board, while the Church Street school was purchased, and Govan Cross school is the old parish school. The remaining 9 have been built by the board, and have cost for buildings, etc., exclusive of sites, at the average rate of £7, 12s. 3d., or inclusive of site, £9, 14s. 7¾d. per scholar. In the 3 newer schools, in accordance with the new rule of the education department, accommodation for infants will be at 8 square feet, and for other scholars at 10 square feet. Albert Road school, opened in the present month (Dec. 1882) by the Right Hon. Mr Forster, has accommodation for 852 pupils, and a site of 2435 square yards, and the estimated cost is £9, 10s. 5d. It is one of the handsomest of the schools as yet erected by the board. Schools at Harmony Row and Rutland Crescent are at present in course of construction, and these will jointly accommodate 1970 scholars at an estimated cost of about £10 per scholar, and it is calculated that should the population go on increasing as it has been doing during the last 10 years, the board will require to erect a new school every year. There are now in the parish 14 board schools with accommodation for 10,828 pupils, 6 other schools under government inspection, with accommodation for 3070, 31 higher class schools, with accommodation for 7321, and 8 private elementary schools, with space for 505 pupils, or total accommodation for 21,724, and with the addition of Harmony Row and Rutland Crescent schools, accommodation for 23, 694 as against children of school age, according to a census just (Dec. 1882) taken, to the number of 24,259, of whom 18,815 or 77 -56 per cent. were on school rolls. The average percentage of passes in reading, writing, and arithmetic in 1881 was 92.73 as against 87 -7 for all Scotland, while in the same year the grants earned amounted to £6832, 6s. 2d. or an average of 18s. 1¾d. per scholar. In 1881 the fees amounted to £6568, 0s. 1d., or at the rate of 17s. 5¼ d. per scholar. Evening classes are carried on in five of the schools. The building loans received by the board amount to nearly £100,000, of which about £10, 000 has been paid off. In 1881 the income from fees and grants, etc., was £14,379, 14s. 10d., and the teachers' salaries £11,273, 18s. 8d., so that the schools are more than self-supporting. The salaries of head-masters range from £520 to £200, of male assistants from £110 to £70, and of female assistants from £100 to £50. The total income of the board for 1881 was £30,128, 2s. 2d., and the total expenditure £26, 284, 10s. 2d. In 1881 the total population of the parish within the school-board district (i.e. outwith the Glasgow municipal boundaries) was 123,108.

In April 1881 the sum of £1000 was gifted by Alexander Stephen, Esq., chairman of the board since 1873, the interest to be applied every year in aiding a boy to attend classes at Glasgow University. Candidates must be at the time, and have been for two years previously, pupils at one of the Govan board schools. The selection is made by competitive examination, and the bursary is known as the Alexander Stephen bursary.

The six schools not managed by the board but under inspection are Abraham Hill's Trust School, Govan; three Roman Catholic schools at respectively Govan, Kinning Park, and Partick; an Established Church female industrial school at Partick, and Partick Academy. The last is a high class school for both boys and girls, and the other principal high class schools are Bellahouston Academy at Ibrox for boys and girls, and Kelvinside Academy at Kelvinside for boys.

Ecclesiastical and Parochial Affairs.—Ecclesiastically, the parish is in the presbytery of Glasgow and the Synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and, besides the parish proper, includes the 17 quoad sacra parishes of Abbotsford (pop., 1881, 8891), Bellahouston (6149), Dean Park (3915), Gorbals (2641), Hillhead (erected since census of 1881), Hutchesontown (9205), Kingston (7041), Kinning Park (12, 758), Laurieston (10,040), Maxwell (13,269), Partick (8698), Partick, St Mary's (8722), Plantation (11,524), Pollokshields (erected since census of 1881), St Bernard's (11,176), Strathbungo (3172), Whiteinch (4468), while the parish of Kiaran is at present, as has already been mentioned, in course of erection. A very small part of Kelvinhaugh quoad sacra parish, belonging to the civil parish of Govan, has a population of 10; and the ecclesiastical parish of Govan itself had still, in 188l, the large population of 107,920. There are mission churches at Govanhill, Hyndlands, Oatlands, and Govan (West Church). Including Kiaran, eleven of these quoad sacra parishes and the four mission churches have been established since 1875.

There are now (1882) 22 Free churches in the parish:—Augustine, Candlish Memorial, Gorbals, Govan St., Columba's and Govan St Mary's, Hillhead, Hutchesontown, Kelvinside, Kingston, Kinning Park, Knox, Paisley Road, Partick Dowanvale and Partick High, Pollokshields, Renwick, Rose Street, Tradeston, Union, Victoria, Westbourne, and Whiteinch, while there is a Gaelic mission church at Partick. There are (1882) 19 U.P. churches:-Belhaven, Caledonia Road, Cumberland Street, Eglinton Street, Elgin Street, Erskine, Fairfield, Govan, Govanhill, Hutchesontown, Ibrox, Oatlands, Partick Dowanhill, Partick East and Partick Newton Place, Plantation, Pollokshields, Pollok Street, and Whiteinch. There are, besides these, 5 Roman Catholic churches, 3 Congregational, 3 Evangelical Union, 2 Baptist, 2 Episcopal, 2 Wesleyan Methodist, 1 Original Seceder, and a barrack belonging to the Salvation Army. The parish is, for registration purposes, divided into the districts of Govan, Hutchesontown, Gorbals, Tradeston, and Kinning Park.

For parochial affairs the parish has been united with Gorbals since 1873, as has been already noticed, in what is known as Govan Combination. The original poorhouse was in Gorbals, and has been noticed in the article Glasgow. The present poorhouse is at Merryflatts, to the W of Govan, and was finished in 1872, at a cost of £100,000. It has accommodation for over 700 paupers and over 200 lunatics; but the Court of Session having recently decided that the Glasgow District Board of Lunacy are not bound to take over the Merryflatts Asylum, and are, notwithstanding its existence, entitled to impose a lunacy assessment within the Govan Combination district, it is possible that the lunatic accommodation may be otherwise utilised and provision for the pauper lunatics made by the District Lunacy Board. On 14 Nov. 1882, at the close of the half-year, there were in the poorhouse 545 paupers and 220 lunatics. The staff consists of 48 members, including a governor, a medical officer and assistant, a chaplain, a matron, a teacher, a governor's clerk, warders, lunatic attendants, and tradesmen. During the last half-year 127 children were receiving education in the poorhouse. For the year ending 14 May 1882 the total expenditure on indoor poor in the poorhouse and asylum, including salaries, etc., was £10,760, 10s. 2¾d., or at the rate of £13, 14s. 1¾d. per head per annum; while, for the half-year from 14 May to 14 Nov. 1882, the expenditure for the same purpose was £5489, 0s. 8d. The total receipts of the board for parochial purposes for the year ending 14 May 1882 were £48,253, 17s., and the expenditure £38,404, 16s. 6d. During the same period there were 3793 applications for relief, of which 598 were from natives of the parish, 1758 from natives of other parishes in Scotland, 115 from natives of England, 1280 from natives of Ireland, and 42 from natives of foreign countries-figures worthy of notice, as showing the varied elements of the population, and particularly noticeable in respect of the large number of Irish applications. Of 5603 persons, with 5059 dependants, chargeable during the whole year 1881-82, no less than 1414, with 1655 dependants, or over 25 per cent., were natives of Ireland. The total number of registered poor at 15 May 1882, exclusive of dependants, was 2466, and at 14 Nov. 2388, of which 799 were indoor at the former period, and 765 at the latter.

A comparison of figures between the years 1862 and 1881 brings out some noteworthy results. During that time the population of the parish had increased from 105,716 to 232,896 and the adult registered poor from 1692 to 4102, or from 1 -60 to 1 -76 per cent. of the population-a very slight rise indeed, when we consider the poor condition of many of the districts included in the combination, and a result highly creditable to the able and judicious administration of the parochial board and its responsible officials, as is also the fact that, notwithstanding the greatly increased cost of most things, the average cost of each pauper, in proportion to the assessment, has, in the same period of twenty years, only increased from £4, 11s. 2d. to £4, 13s. 3d., while the increase of assessment, from 84/5d. per £ to 9½d., is entirely due to 1d. of increase on the building rate necessary in connection with the erection of the Merryflatts poorhouse. In 1881 the average cost of each person receiving parochial relief was £6, 13s. 3¼d., while the average cost for the whole of Scotland was £8, 6s. 10¼d., and the average cost of the registered poor per head £9, 18s. 6d., while the average cost for the whole of Scotland was £10, 13s. 6½d. It is very noticeable that between 1862 and 1881 the proportion of insane poor has increased from -07 per cent. of the population and 4.72 per cent. of the adult paupers to -18 and 10.48 per cent. respectively, and the proportion of orphans and deserted children from -09 per cent. of the population and 5.67 per cent. of the adult paupers to 22 and 12-79 per cent. respectively. The number of children of poor parents whose education is defrayed by the parochial board is about 900 every year. The board consists of 33 members, and the inspector's and collector's departments have a staff of 27 persons, including an inspector, a collector, and 7 assistant inspectors. There are also five parochial doctors for respectively the Govan, Partick, east, west, and central districts.

Rental (1839) £100,913, 3s. 2d., (1861) £380,000, (1866) £497, 790, 15s. 7d., (1871) £654,281, 6s. 2d., (1876) £1,030,942, 17s. 2d., (1878) £1,148,277, 8s., (1879) £1,135, 257, 12s. 7d. (the result of the failure of the City of Glasgow Bank), (1880) £1,151, 687, 15s. 7d-, (1881)£1,178,463, 6s., (1882)-Glasgow, £515,941, 14s.; suburban burghs, £579,401, 19s. 11d.; outwith these £127,549, 7s. 4d.; total valuation, £1,222,893, 1s. 3d. Pop. (1775) 4389, (1793) 8318, (1831) 26,695, (1861) 105,.716, (1871) 151,402, (1881) 232,896--Ord. Sur., sh. 30, 1866.

See also M'Ure's View of the City of Glasgow (1736, new ed. 1830); Brown's History of Glasgow (1795-1797); Denholm's History of the City of Glasgow (1804); Cleland's Annals of Glasgow (1816); Hamilton's -Descrip tion of the Sheriffdom of Lanark and Renfrew (Maitland Club, 1831); Registrum Episcopatus Glasguensis (Maitland Club, 1843); a valuable article by the late Dr Leishman in the New Statistical Account of Scotland (Vol. for Lanarkshire, 1845); Strang's Glasgow and its Clubs (1856); Reid's (Senex) Old Glasgow and its Environs (1864); Wallace's The Parish of Govan as it was and is (1877); and Wallace's Popular Sketch of the History of Glasgow (1882).

An accompanying 19th C. Ordnance Survey map is available.

Note: This text has been made available using a process of scanning and optical character recognition. Despite manual checking, some typographical errors may remain. Please remember this description dates from the 1880s; names may have changed, administrative divisions will certainly be different and there are known to be occasional errors of fact in the original text, which we have not corrected because we wish to maintain its integrity. This information is provided subject to our standard disclaimer

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