Timeline of Glasgow history

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This article is intended to show a timeline of the history of Glasgow, Scotland, up to the present day.


543: The 12th century Bishop Jocelyn will later claim Glasgow's monastic church was founded by Saint Kentigern, also known as Saint Mungo, in this year; he also claimed that Kentigern found at Glasgow a cemetery which Saint Ninian had hallowed[1]

560: Jocelyn claims Mungo/Kentigern made his first bishop in this year




1350: The Black Death hits the town


  • c1400: Population estimate: 1,500-2,000
  • 1410: The wooden bridge across the River Clyde is replaced by an arched stone bridge.
  • 1431: William Elphinstone is born. He later obtained a papal bull for the University of Aberdeen in 1494, and introduced printing to Scotland in 1507
  • 1438: Bishop's Palace is built
  • 1450: Glasgow is a "burgh of regality"
  • 1451: the University of Glasgow is established by bull of Pope Nicholas V, and founded by Bishop Turnbull, beside Blackfriars monastery
  • 1453: John Stewart, Glasgow's first Provost, gives a grant of privileges to the university
  • 1460: There is a grammar school in the city; "fulling" is carried on; an extension to the college is begun (finished 1660)
  • 1464: St Nicholas Hospital is in the city
  • 1471: Provands Lordship, Glasgow's oldest dwelling-house, is built
  • 1475: The Greyfriars (Franciscans)are granted a tenement and lands on the High Street; St Ninian's Hospital is established
  • 1478: Other stone houses are built in Glasgow
  • 1492: Pope Innocent VIII makes the See of Glasgow an Archbishopric – Robert Blackadder is the city's first archbishop


  • c1500: Population estimate is 2,500 – 3,000
  • 1504: Plague hits Glasgow; the city is eleventh among Scottish burghs for taxation revenue
  • c1510: The Bishop's Palace is extended
  • 1516-1559: The city's craft guilds are incorporated
  • 1518: The university becomes more active
  • 1520: The archdiocese now includes the former diocese of Argyll
  • 1525: James Houston founds the Tron Church
  • 1535-1556: Glasgow pays 1.5% – 3% of total Scottish burgh taxes
  • 1544: Siege of castle; estimated population is 3,000
  • 1556: Estimated population c4,500
  • 1560: The burgh of Glasgow is now represented in the Parliament of Scotland
  • 1570: Andrew Melville rejuvenates the university
  • 1574: Plague hits the city again
  • c1576: The council mill is rebuilt
  • 1579: The city's cathedral is saved from demolition by craftsmen threatening to riot
  • 1581: Glasgow pays 66% of upper Clyde customs tax
  • 1584: Plague
  • 1589: Golf is played on Glasgow Green
  • 1593: Emergence of the Presbytery of Glasgow in the new self-governing church
  • 1594: Glasgow is now fifth in ranking of Scottish burghs, paying 4.5% of export customs


  • 1600: Population estimates for the city vary between 5000 and 7500
  • 1604: 361 craftsmen work in fourteen trades, including two surgeons and 213 merchants
  • 1605: The Trades House and Merchants House combine to form the first town council
  • 1610: The General Assembly approves the restoration of diocesan episcopacy in Scotland
  • 1611: Glasgow becomes a royal burgh, with a population of about 7600
  • 1615: The Jesuit John Ogilvy is hanged for saying Mass
  • 1621: Glasgow pays 3%-10% of Scottish customs duties
  • 1625: The first quay is built at Broomielaw
  • 1626: The Tolbooth is constructed
  • 1636: There are 120 students at the university
  • 1638: Covenanters at the General Assembly plan to abolish bishops
  • 1639: Glasgow the 3rd richest burgh in Scotland, one-fifth as rich as Edinburgh; Hutcheson's Hospital is founded
  • 1641: Hutchesons' Grammar School is founded for orphan boys; 50 buildings erected in Trongate
  • 1645: Montrose enters city, celebrates victories
  • 1645-1646: Plague hits city
  • 1649: Glasgow displaces Perth as Scotland's 4th trading centre; pays 6.5% of customs duties
  • 1652: Major fire makes about a thousand families homeless; an early fire engine from Edinburgh helps put out the blaze
  • 1655: Glasgow trades in coal, hoops, meal, oats, butter, herring, salt, paper, prunes, timber, and hides: goat, kid, and deerskins
  • 1656: Glasgow is described as a "flourishing city", with "strong stone walls"
  • 1659-1665: Bridgegate merchants' house is rebuilt
  • 1660: A coal pit is reported in the Gorbals
  • 1661: Several pits reported
  • 1662: A post office opens
  • 1663: Alexander Burnet is appointed archbishop
  • 1668: Land is purchased for a new harbour – later Port Glasgow
  • 1669: Burnet resigns the archbishopric, objects to Act of Supremacy
  • 1670: Glasgow displaces Aberdeen and Dundee to become Scotland's second trade city
  • 1673: Colonel Walter Whiteford opens city's first coffee house
  • 1675: Magistrates take action against unauthorised prayer meetings
  • 1677: Another major fire hits the city
  • 1678: First stagecoaches run to Edinburgh
  • 1680: The city's population is perhaps around 12,000, with 450 traders, 100 trading overseas
  • 1688: Broomielaw Quay is reconstructed following dredging of the River Clyde
  • 1690 Glasgow is re-chartered as a royal burgh; the city has an early Bank of Scotland branch


1710: The city's population is estimated to be 13,000; over 200 shops are open; much of the city is liable to flooding

  • 1712: Glasgow owners own 4% of Scottish fleet, 46 vessels
  • 1715: Glasgow Courant newspaper appears
  • 1718: Possible date for first Glasgow vessel to sail to America
  • 1719: Cotton printing has begun
  • 1720: Glasgow's estimated population is 15,000
  • 1721-1735: James Anderson builds "Andersontown" (modern-day Anderston) village
  • 1725: Glasgow occupied by General Wade's army; protests and street violence against liquor tax
  • 1726: Daniel Defoe describes Glasgow as "The cleanest and best-built city in Britain"; 50 ships a year sail to America
  • 1729: The Glasgow Journal newspaper is published
  • 1730: The Glasgow Linen Society is formed
  • 1735: The city's ship-owners own 67 ships
  • 1736: The first history of Glasgow is published by John McUre
  • 1737-1760: A new Town Hall is built west of the Tolbooth
  • 1738: The Anderston Weavers' Society is formed
  • 1740: Approximately 685,000 m of linen is made in Glasgow, some of which is sent to London
  • 1740-1741: The Foulis brothers begin printing
  • 1742: Delft pottery is manufactured in the city
  • 1743: The Foulis brothers become printers to the university
  • 1745: Tennents open a new brewery in Glasgow
  • 1749: A stage coach service opens between Edinburgh and Glasgow
  • 1750: There are five sugar refineries in the city
  • 1751: The John Smith bookshop is established
  • 1753: Foulis Academy is established at the university to promote art and design; turnpiking of main roads from Glasgow; the city's involvement in the tobacco trade is reflected in the naming of Virginia Street
  • 1755: The estimated population of Glasgow is 23,500
  • 1757: 2.2 million metres of linen are produced in the city
  • 1760: Glasgow enjoys a wave of prosperity; there are 13 professors at Glasgow University
  • 1763: David Dale opens a draper's shop in the city; regular coaches run from Glasgow to Greenock
  • 1765: Joseph Black discovers latent heat
  • 1769: Tennents brewers is now a large industry; James Watt patents his steam engine condenser
  • 1771: The Scottish economy is boosted by trade through Glasgow
  • 1775: Trade with America in tobacco, sugar, and cotton – the city's prosperity is at its height
  • 1776: Adam Smith, a professor at Glasgow University, publishes Wealth of Nations
  • 1779: Mobs protest against the Catholic Relief Act
  • 1780: The construction of the Forth and Clyde Canal is completed
  • 1781: Vessels of over 30 tons can now reach Broomielaw Quay
  • 1782-1783: The Forth and Clyde Canal enables grain from London to ease famine in Glasgow
  • 1783: Glasgow Chamber of Commerce is founded by Patrick Colquhoun – the first in Britain
  • 1785: A hot air balloonist flies from Glasgow to Hawick in the Borders; the firm of Thomsons is formed as bankers
  • 1796: The Royal Technical College (which will later become The University of Strathclyde) is founded
  • 1798: The Merchant Banking Company of Glasgow fails
  • 1799: Demonstrations over bread prices; trade in tobacco and rum declines




See also


  • The Oxford Companion to Scottish History, ed. Michael Lynch, Oxford University Press, 2001
  • The Making of Scotland, Robin Smith, Canongate Books, 2001
  • The Hutchinson Encyclopedia, 1997 ed., Helicon Publishing Ltd, 1996
  • Chronicle of Britain, Chronicle Communications Ltd, 1992
  • Glasgow Guide


  1. Bright, William (1896), The Roman See in the Early Church, London: Longmans, Green, & Co, p. 406 (footnote), retrieved 2008-08-07<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. "London 2012 Olympic Games to kick off at Hampden Park in Glasgow". Daily Record. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 5 April 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

Further reading

Published in the 18th century
  • John Tait's Directory for the City of Glasgow, Glasgow, 1783<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>. (1871 reprint)
  • Jones's Directory; or, Useful Pocket Companion for the year 1787. Glasgow.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>. (1887 reprint)
Published in the 19th century
  • Glasgow Directory, Glasgow: McFeat & Co., 1806<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "Glasgow Lists, 1817". Edinburgh Almanack. Edinburgh.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • David Brewster, ed. (1830). "Glasgow". Edinburgh Encyclopædia. Edinburgh: William Blackwood.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "Glasgow", Scottish Tourist and Itinerary, Edinburgh: Stirling, Kenney, 1842<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "Glasgow", Lizars' Scottish Tourist, Edinburgh: W.H. Lizars, 1850<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "Glasgow and its Environs". Oliver and Boyd's Scottish Tourist. Edinburgh. 1860.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • "Glasgow". Cook's Scottish Tourist Practical Directory. Thos. Cook. 1866.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  • Lua error in Module:Citation/CS1/Identifiers at line 47: attempt to index field 'wikibase' (a nil value).
  • Tourist's Guide to Glasgow, London: T. Nelson, 1887<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
Published in the 20th century