The Project Gutenberg EBook of Western Worthies, by J. Stephen Jeans

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Title: Western Worthies
       A Gallery of Biographical and Critical Sketches of West
              of Scotland Celebrities

Author: J. Stephen Jeans

Release Date: October 2, 2006 [EBook #19434]

Language: English

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The author does not consider that the following pages require any apology for their appearance. They are given to the world with a two-fold object—the first being that of gratifying an increasing and perfectly legitimate anxiety on the part of the public to know more of the antecedents—the struggles, and the triumphs—of the men whom they recognize as leaders; and the other, that of reminding a younger generation, from a contemplation of the lives of great men, that they too, may leave behind them

"Footprints on the sands of Time."

The scope of the present work renders it impossible to do full justice to any one of the men who have been selected; and on this account the author has made his Sketches more biographical than critical, leaving the reader to reflect on facts rather than on opinions.

To become food for biographers and worms was the two-fold evil of which Rachel spoke shortly before her death. So far as the former terror is concerned, the men who are pourtrayed in these pages have little to fear. Every care has been taken to secure accuracy of detail, most of the Sketches having been revised by those whom they more directly concern; and the author's aim has been to be just without severity, and truthful without personality. Humanity is so prone to error that the best men have their failings as well as their virtues; but while it is not desirable to extenuate the former, the biographer is still less warranted in setting them down in malice. Hence the writer has endeavoured to criticise in a kindly and temperate spirit, and to hold up virtues for imitation rather than errors for avoidance.

When these Sketches originally appeared in the columns of the journal with which the writer is connected, it was never intended that they should assume a more permanent form. It was only after witnessing the great amount of interest which they evoked, that he was induced to yield to pressing solicitations by trying to convert what was only a terminable lease into one renewable for ever.

One word more. Since the sketch of Dr. Norman Macleod was in print, that genial, versatile, and accomplished Divine has gone over to the Great Majority. On Sunday forenoon, the 16th of June, he died rather suddenly, although, as he had been ailing for some time previously, his end was not altogether unexpected. In the public prints of both England and Scotland, the tributes paid to his worth and ability have more than justified all that will be found in these pages. From Royalty downwards, his demise has produced a sadness "that passeth show." Requiescat in pace!

J. S. J.
Glasgow, June 20, 1872.


The Duke of Argyll,9
The Right Hon. H. A. Bruce,16
Sheriff H. G. Bell,23
Mr. Robert Dalglish, M.P.,36
Mr. William Graham, M.P.,42
Mr. George Anderson, M.P.,47
Sir James Campbell,57
Mr. James Young,63
Mr. George Burns,71
Mr. James Baird,79
Sir William Thomson,88
Principal Barclay,95
Professor Rankine,101
Professor Allen Thomson,109
Professor John Caird,117
Rev. Dr. Norman Macleod,123
Rev. Dr. Robert Buchanan,134
Mr. Robert Napier,143
Mr. James Watson,152
Rev. Dr. William Anderson,159
Rev. Dr. John Ker,165
Rev. Dr. Eadie,172
Mr. Daniel Macnee, R.S.A.,178
Mr. Thomas Corbett,182
Mr. Edward S. Gordon, M.P.,191

[Pg 9]



For its size and population Scotland has been remarkably prolific in the rearing of eminent statesmen, soldiers, and litterateurs. Viewed with respect to its relative importance as an item in the map of Europe, it has likewise a most chequered and eventful history—a history to which, in various essentials, no counterpart can be found elsewhere. Chiefly, however, has "the land of mountain and of flood" bulked largely in the records of the world, from the stern and heroic character and statesmenlike tendencies of its titled nobility, the lights and shadows of whose characters, as they are developed in the historic page, go a long way towards conferring upon Scotland the distinguishing qualities that have made her famous. As this is not intended to be even a bird's-eye view of Scottish history, we may have said enough by way of introducing the reader to one of the most noble and illustrious of the hereditary peerage of Scotland. Every schoolboy is more or less familiar with the annals of a race which has been identified through many ages with the interests—political, social, and commercial—of the West of Scotland. The Clan Campbell have been stigmatised as haughty, aggressive, and ambitious. The soft impeachment may be justly merited. Throughout the most exciting and eventful crises of their country's history, the Campbells have always borne a distinguished and conspicuous part, both in the field of battle and in the Councils[Pg 10] of State. Unlike not a few families and clans who can boast of a lineage almost if not quite as ancient and noble as their own, their name and fame are not "to hastening ills a prey." The lapse of years has not dimmed the lustre of their achievements, or caused them to lie upon their oars inactive and inglorious. The present head of their clan—the Duke of Argyll—has in his day and generation been as distinguished as any of his more formidable ancestry. Their prospective head—the Marquis of Lorne—has passed the Rubicon of Royal etiquette, allied himself with a Princess of the Blood, and gives promise of a most useful and distinguished career. The clan can further claim for themselves six members of the British Peerage, and no less than twenty-two Baronets, nearly every one of whom has been raised from the ranks for conspicuous merit in one sphere or another. In almost every relation of life, the clan has had honour and glory reflected upon it through some of its members; and, in consideration of its past, present, and future importance, the possessor of the name of Campbell may feel a justifiable pride in the stock from which he springs.

George Douglas Campbell, the present head of the Ducal House of Argyll, unites in himself many of the most estimable qualities that enabled his ancestors, apart from the mere accident of birth, to achieve greatness. That he is one of the most exalted of Scotland's aristocracy, a great territorial magnate, and entitled to take a high place in the Council of the nation, are facts external and independent of his own intrinsic merits. But the same remark does not apply to the Duke's rare diplomatic and literary abilities, to the sageness of his wisdom, to the maturity end value of his experience, and to the kindly qualities of his heart. Pope spoke of an ancestor of his Grace as—

"Argyll, the State's whole thunder born to wield.
And shake alike the Senate and the field;"

but if the poet had applied his Muse to describe the living[Pg 11] representative of the noble House he could justly have bestowed upon him a much greater meed of praise. It is a rare conjunction to find one who is born great, seek also to achieve greatness; but this His Grace has done in an eminent degree. The adventitious circumstances of his birth placed him in a position only a few removes from Royalty itself, but not content with mere physical greatness, and realising that "the mind's the standard of the man," he has applied himself diligently to the acquisition of wisdom, until both in the domain of politics and in the still more cosmopolitan sphere of belles lettres he has, perhaps, made himself more conspicuous by his sheer native worth than any other member of the aristocracy of Scotland. Intimately associated from his earliest years with the civil and ecclesiastical affairs of his native country, he has been enabled, in his time, to do the State some service; and when the "history of Scotland in the nineteenth century" shall come to be written, the Duke of Argyll will be mentioned with honour and grateful regard. On these, and many other grounds that might be quoted, we are prepared to justify the incorporation in the present series of articles of such a name and of such a life—a name that is as familiar in the Church Courts as in the Councils of the nation, and a life that has been singularly pure, useful, and exemplary.

Born April, 30, 1823, his Grace is the second son of the sixth Duke of Argyll, by his marriage with Joan, daughter of John Glassel, Esq., his father's second wife. The present Duke is the thirty-second Knight of Lochow, and the thirtieth Campbell in the direct line of descent. He showed from an early age the remarkable aptitude for business and the literary capacity which have since distinguished him in so eminent a degree, his first work being published before he was 20. While Marquis of Lorne he took an active part in the great controversy relating to patronage in the Presbyterian Church of Scotland, which culminated in the Disruption of 1843. His Grace was one of the first to denounce the obnoxious system of patronage, and he lent his great influence and high social[Pg 12] position to the party of which Dr. Chalmers was the recognised head, giving it an importance which it might never otherwise have acquired. But his Grace did more than aid the Secession by his social influence; he also rendered yeoman service to that movement by his able pen. One of his first productions was a brochure "On the Duty and Necessity of Immediate Legislative Interposition on behalf of the Church of Scotland as determined by considerations of Constitutional Law." In this publication the writer gave an historical view of the Church of Scotland, particularly in reference to its constitutional power in matters ecclesiastical. In another pamphlet, written in the course of the same year, and entitled "A Letter to the Rev. Thomas Chalmers, D.D., on the present position of Church affairs in Scotland, and the causes which have led to it," his Grace vindicated the right of the Church to legislate for itself, condemned the movement then in progress among certain members of the General Assembly to establish the Free Church by a secession from the Establishment, and expressed his dissent from Dr. Chalmers' view that "lay patronage and the integrity of the spiritual independence of the Church has been proved to be, like oil and water, immiscible." In an essay entitled "Presbytery Examined," published in 1848, the Duke entered upon a critical and historical review of the ecclesiastical history of Scotland since the Reformation, which was favourably criticised at the time, and received from every theological party in Scotland a good deal of attention. His "Reign of Law," may, however, be considered his chef d'œuvre as a literary effort. First contributed to the pages of Good Words, the "Reign of Law" was re-published in a separate form in 1866, and since then it has enjoyed a large sale and a high reputation.

As showing his unflagging industry and his love of letters, it is worth mentioning that he still contributes from time to time to the leading magazines of the day. As a rule, his articles receive the place of honour. They may not be so profoundly metaphysical as the contributions of Professor[Pg 13] Maurice, neither are they so appallingly scientific as the propaganda of Huxley; but they are at least as entertaining, as instructive, as able as the best literary efforts of our most popular writers. One of the Duke's most recent contributions, which appeared in the Contemporary Review for January last, on "Hibernicisms in Philosophy," shows that to Sidney Smith's stale joke about the obtuseness of Scotchmen there is at least one illustrious exception. It is one of the best things of its kind that has ever appeared in a magazine that can command the greatest literary talent of the day.

The Duke of Argyll's political career has been long and illustrious. He first took office as Lord Privy Seal under Lord Aberdeen's administration in 1852. After Lord Palmerston had assumed the reins of Government he was continued in this place until, in 1855, he exchanged it for the office of Postmaster-General. In the following year he went out of office; but in 1867 he was again induced to accept the Lord Privy Seal, an appointment which he continued to hold until 1859. In 1860 he was restored to the slightly more lucrative (there is a difference in salary of £500) but much more responsible and useful appointment of Postmaster-General. When the present Administration was formed, the Duke was elected to the office of Secretary of State for India, the Under-Secretary being Mr. Grant Duff, the member for the Elgin Burghs, than whom no man alive has a more thorough acquaintance with Indian affairs.

In 1851 the Duke was elected Chancellor of the University of St. Andrews, and in 1854 he was elected Rector of Glasgow University. In September, 1855, His Grace presided over the twenty-fifth meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, which was held that year in Glasgow. On that occasion, as well as at other times throughout his career, His Grace displayed scientific knowledge and antiquarian research of more than ordinary depth; and his remarks on the subjects brought under discussion were listened to by the savants with the utmost deference.

The Duke of Argyll is married to Lady Elizabeth Georgina,[Pg 14] second daughter of George Greville, second Duke of Sutherland, by whom he has issue five sons and seven daughters. The eldest son, who has recently allied himself to Royalty, gives promise, as we have already indicated, of possessing in an eminent degree the talents that have so much distinguished his ancestors. Both the Marquis of Lorne and his Royal partner are extremely popular, and the alliance which has been consummated amid the fervent aspirations of a whole nation, is bound to raise still higher the influence of the ducal family of Argyll. Alexander, the second son of the Duke, was born in 1846, and married, in 1869, Miss Jane Sabella Callendar, ward of his father, and daughter of the late James Henry Callendar, Esq. of Craigpark, Stirlingshire. The only other married member of the Duke's family is Edith, his first daughter, who was espoused by Earl Percy, the eldest son and heir of the Duke of Northumberland.

For the benefit of the curious in such matters we may mention that the Duke's titles are, by writ 1445, Baron Campbell; 1457, Earl of Argyll; 1570, Baron of Lorne; by Royal charter, 1701, Duke of Argyll; Marquis of Lorne and Kintyre; Earl of Campbell and Cowal; Viscount of Lochow and Glenila; Baron Inveraray, Mull, Morven, and Tory, in the Peerage of Scotland; 19th December, 1766, Baron Sundridge of Croombank; May 4, 1776, Baron Hamilton, in the Peerage of England; Hereditary Master of the Queen's Household; Keeper of Dunoon, Dunstaffnage, and Carrick Castles; Heritable Lord-Lieutenant of Argyllshire.

The literature of the Herald's College sets forth that the arms of Argyle are—Quarterly, 1st and 4th, Girony of eight pieces topaz and diamond for Campbell; 2d and 3d, pearl, a lymphad, or old-fashioned ship with one mast, close sails, and oars in action; a diamond with flag and pennants flying; ruby for the Lordship of Lorne; crest on a wreath, a boar's head, couped proper, topaz. Supporters, two lions guardant, ruby. Motto—"Ne Obliviscaris." Behind the arms there are two honourable badges in saltire, which his Grace's ancestors have borne a long time, as Great Masters of the[Pg 15] King's Household and Justiciaries of Scotland. The first is a battern topaz, same of thistles, emerald, ensigned with an imperial crown proper, and thereon the crest of Scotland, which is a lion sejant guardian ruby, crowned with the like crown he sits on, having in his dexter paw a sword proper, the pommel and hilt, topaz; and in the sinister a sceptre of the last. The other badge is a sword, as that in the lion's paw.

The Duke is proprietor of the greater part of Argyllshire—a county having an area of 2,432,000 acres, of which only 308,000 are under cultivation. The greatest breadth of the mainland is about 115 miles; and from the windings of the numerous bays and creeks, with which the land is everywhere indented, the county is supposed to have more than 600 miles of sea coast. His chief seats are—Inverary Castle, on the banks of Lochfyne; Roseneath Castle, Dumbartonshire; Longniddry, Haddingtonshire; Halnaker, Sussex; and Argyle House, Camden Hill, London.[Pg 16]


The Right Hon. Henry Austin Bruce is a native of Wales. He was born at Duffryn, Aberdare, Glamorganshire, and is both by birth and training a thorough Cambrian. His father, who is still living, was for several years Stipendiary Magistrate at Merthyr, and once contested that borough unsuccessfully with Sir John Guest. He was originally a Mr. Knight—a patronymic which, in 1805, he changed to Bruce, and afterwards, in 1837, to Pryce. The Member for Renfrewshire is, therefore, described as the second son of John Bruce Pryce, Esq., of Duffryn, St. Nicholas, Glamorganshire, by Sarah, the second daughter of the Rev. Hugh Austin, Rector of St. Peter's, in Barbadoes. Paternally, he is a nephew of the late Lord-Justice Knight Bruce, who was spared to see him attain the dignity of Privy Councillor, but not long enough to witness his admission to the rank of a Cabinet Minister. It may be added, for the purpose of completing these domestic details, that his great-grandfather, Mr. Bruce of Kennet, was High Sheriff of Glamorgan more than 150 years ago; and, further, that he himself has been twice married, his first wife (to whom he was married in 1846, but who died in 1852) being Annabella, the only daughter of Richard Beadon, Esq., of Clifton, Gloucestershire; and his second wife, to whom he was married in 1854, being Norah, the youngest daughter of the late Lieutenant-General Sir William Napier, K.C.B., the author of that matchless military narrative, the "History of the Peninsular War," and distinguished also as the brother of the heroic conqueror of Scinde. The reader will thus perceive that the Member for Renfrewshire, who might be supposed from his patronymic to be a Scotch[Pg 17]man, is not even connected closely by family ties with this part of the Island. His position, however, as the member for Renfrewshire, and his consequent intimate connection with the West of Scotland, may excuse his appearance in these pages.

In 1837, when he was only 22 years of age, Mr. Bruce was called to the bar. He practised at the Chancery bar, and attended the Oxford Circuit for two years. He withdrew from practice in 1843, but still retained his name on the rolls of Lincoln's Inn. In 1847, four years after this withdrawal, he received the appointment of Stipendiary Magistrate at Merthyr-Tydvil and Aberdare, the office previously held by his father, and for a period of more than five years he presided at the Police Courts of those towns. From this office he retired in the December of 1852, when he was elected Member for the Merthyr boroughs, the seat having become vacant by the death of that Sir John Guest whom his father had unsuccessfully opposed many years previously. Mr. Bruce has all along manifested a deep interest in the affairs of his own neighbourhood. He was Deputy-Chairman of Quarter Sessions in his native county of Glamorganshire, and he was also Chairman of the Vale of Neath Railway, Captain of the Glamorganshire Rifle Volunteers, and fourth Charity Commissioner of England and Wales.

Mr. Bruce retained his seat for Merthyr without interruption for a period of seventeen years. He had been ten years in the House of Commons when, in the November of 1862, he was nominated to office by Lord Palmerston; and it is worthy of remark that he was then appointed Under-Secretary of the very department over which he now presides—the post which was conferred the other day by Mr. Gladstone on the young and promising Member for Stroud. Mr. Winterbotham has not had to serve as long a political and administrative apprenticeship as his chief; for at the early age of twenty-seven, and after a Parliamentary career of only two years, he has leapt into the office which Mr. Bruce did not procure till he was twenty years older and a Member[Pg 18] of ten years' standing. This significant fact seems to "point a moral." It shows that there is now-a-days a better chance for the man who is capable for an important political post, despite his circumstances and antecedents. Mr. Winterbotham is as staunch a Liberal and as pronounced a Nonconformist as any of his ancestors; and yet, as we have seen, he is appointed at twenty-seven by Mr. Gladstone to an office which Lord Palmerston did not bestow upon Mr. Bruce until the latter was verging on fifty; and it is not at all improbable that Lord Palmerston, when he made the appointment in 1862, took credit to himself for stretching a point in favour of a laborious and deserving man?

Mr. Bruce had been Under-Secretary at the Home Office for about a year-and-a-half when he was appointed Vice-President of the Committee of Council on Education. This office he held for more than two years. His tenure of it came to a close in 1866, when Lord Derby (or rather Derby-cum-Disraeli) returned to power. It was during these two years, in which he devoted himself to the subject of education, that he made the most impressive appearance which any portion of his career has yet presented either to the House of Commons or to the country. Though a nominee of Lord Palmerston, and like his patron anything but an advanced Liberal, he displayed an apparent breadth of view and an earnestness of purpose in his new sphere of Ministerial labour which were exceedingly creditable to him. Some of his speeches on education were admirable, and their tone may be guessed from the fact that they made him a favourite at the time with such organs of public opinion as Mr. Miall's Nonconformist.

It has been argued that Mr. Bruce had not the elevated motives which must inspire a thoroughly successful minister of education; that he was still the police magistrate in his ideas; and that he wished to call in the schoolmaster to aid in the repression of crime. But it is only fair to add that he never said a word to show that he did not value education for itself, and in his own locality he has been a constant[Pg 19] patron of Mechanics' and other educational institutions. Again, it has been said that his rejection by the house-holders of Merthyr at the general election, indicated that he had not really succeeded in winning the confidence of the working classes. But there are other circumstances to account for this that ought not to be lost sight of. The constituency was suddenly increased from 1390 to 15,500, two-thirds of whom could neither read nor write. They chose, with great judgment, Mr. Richard, an eminent Nonconformist; with less judgment, Mr. Fothergill, an ironmaster, who had been conspicuous for the manner in which he had enforced "Truck," and opposed education. A new constituency naturally chose new members. But nearly 6,000 voted for Mr. Bruce, including, with very few exceptions, every man of education in the borough. One circumstance that was prejudicial to Mr. Bruce's interest, was his refusal to support the Ballot. Up to 1868 he had never voted either for or against that measure; but during the long contest which preceded the election of November, 1868, he saw much to recommend the Ballot, and to weaken his objections to it. Therefore, when he stood for Renfrewshire, on the death of Captain Spiers, he declared his devotion to the Ballot unsolicited.

Of the success of Mr. Bruce's administration at the Home Office, different and conflicting opinions are inevitably entertained. The post is one of great importance. Its holder stands above every other Secretary of State. He is the Minister who follows next after the First Lord of the Treasury. He is virtually the governor of Great Britain. But really the Home Secretary is not a man to be envied. He has a thousand things to decide which, decide them how he may, are sure to bring about his ears a nest of stinging critical hornets. He is responsible for so many things that his name is sure to be in the papers every day, and the notices of his words and actions are no less sure to be in the majority of instances unfavourable. Truly, it is a "fierce light" which beats upon the Home Secretary. It is a fine[Pg 20] thing in its way to be a Cabinet Minister; but we can imagine some more enviable situations than the one which is at present occupied by the member for Renfrewshire. No doubt he gained the seat for that county by virtue of his position at the Home Office; but the same distinction has also made him one of the best-abused men of his day. The articles of almost savage ferocity which have been hurled against Mr. Bruce by the metropolitan newspapers would make, if brought together, one of the largest books in the world. He is assailed in books and pamphlets as well as in the newspapers. "Who could conscientiously envy Mr. Bruce?" asks a pungent critic who has recently been showering a series of "Sketches" upon the town, which have caused rather a sensation at Westminster. "Was there ever such an unmitigated mistake in any Cabinet as that man? He has proved himself weaker even than Mr. Walpole, and that was difficult." On every hand we hear it remarked that Mr. Bruce's solitary act of legislation has been the one relating to the London cabs, and even that is said to be an utter failure. It is true that, from no fault of the Home Secretary, but from political exigencies, Home Office Bills, being of a social and administrative and not of a political character, have been thrust aside. They have been obliged to give way to such measures as the Irish Church and Land Bills, Education, Army Organization, and the Ballot. As for the latter question, Mr. Bruce spontaneously handed it over to Mr. Forster, believing that it would be better treated by an old advocate than by a recent convert. In such small space of time as he could command, however, Mr. Bruce has carried the Habitual Criminals Act, which, in its proved results, has been the most successful measure for the repression of crime passed during the last thirty years. He has also successfully dealt with the difficult subject of Trades' Unions, and he has carried an important extension of the Factory Acts, besides many minor measures. As for the Cab Act, about which the Pall Mall Gazette has every now and again raised a cuckoo cry, it is altogether a[Pg 21] municipal one, and ought not to be in the hands of a Secretary of State. As it was, Mr. Bruce tried the experiment of "Free Trade." It failed, because the London cab owners had not the enterprise to introduce better vehicles, which he could not impose upon them. The Licensing question and the Contagious Diseases Acts are two of the most important questions with which Mr. Bruce is now endeavouring to grapple. Upon the construction of both measures he has manifestly bestowed a great amount of labour.

For a Scotch Member to be also a Cabinet Minister is, at present, a conjunction of exceeding rarity; and no less exceptional is it to find the county of Renfrew returning to the House of Commons one who is not a politician of native growth. For its size it has been remarkably prolific in statesmen of ability. One of its burghs can point to such memorable names as Wallace of Kelly, and Murray Dunlop; and the county itself has, in our day, been represented (amongst others of its own gentry) by that brilliant scholar and historian, the late Colonel Mure of Caldwell, who was the lineal descendant of the Mures of Rowallan, one of the very oldest of our Scottish families, and who was an embodiment of many of the finest qualities which have characterised the members of that ancient and honourable house. Nor can we forget that the sad event which made way for the return of a stranger was the sudden death of Captain Spiers of Elderslie—one who was just beginning to be appreciated by the general public, as they saw the gradual development of qualities which were solid rather than brilliant, and in whom were united manliness and modesty in a degree which is rarely to be seen, and which now gives more than a touch of pathos to his memory. There was no want of local talent to supply the vacancy so unexpectedly and painfully made by the removal of Captain Spiers, but a combination of curious circumstances, and chiefly the state of transition which at the moment characterised the politics of the two most likely candidates, left the field open for a stranger, while the enthusiasm felt in this part of the island for the[Pg 22] new Prime Minister made it almost a matter of course that the vacant seat should be conferred, on terms unexampled for magnanimity and ease, upon that statesman who had been singled out for the post of Home Secretary by Mr. Gladstone, but who, having been thrown overboard at the general election by the new constituency of Merthyr-Tydvil, was still destitute of the essential condition to the retention of the high honour to which he had been nominated by his political chief. The manner in which the constituencies of Scotland, and especially those of our northern shires, responded to Mr. Gladstone at the supreme moment of his political career, is a fact which cannot be overlooked by any one who shall hereafter trace the lines of his biography; and the most striking proof of the trust that was reposed in him at that critical epoch by the people of Scotland will be found in the facility with which his Home Secretary procured a seat for one of her counties. Mr. Bruce's return for Renfrewshire was perhaps the finest of all compliments paid by a generous and intelligent nation to Mr. Gladstone. One could wish to see some proof that it was duly appreciated in a little more attention being given to Scottish business in Parliament, and also in an increased measure of respect being shown to those measures of reform in which our agricultural population justly feel so great an interest. Thus far, it must be confessed, the farmers of Scotland have met with but a poor return for their fidelity; and we cannot wonder if we perceive amongst them symptoms of discontent that may ultimately lead to bitter estrangement.[Pg 23]


Of Henry Glassford Bell, the Sheriff of Lanarkshire, we may say, as Macaulay said of Johnston, "We are familiar with his personal appearance, as with the faces that have surrounded us from childhood." For nearly half-a-century he has been a foremost citizen in Glasgow. During that long period he has taken an active interest in all that relates to the welfare of the city. Not in Law alone, but in Music, Literature, Painting, and the Fine Arts generally, he is regarded as an authority. In short, he is the intellectual king of the city, although he differs from a monarch de juré in his accessibility to all ranks and conditions of men, and in the homage and respect which are universally and spontaneously paid to his high personal qualities. His experience is a direct reversal of the ordinary rule, that "a prophet hath honour save in his own country and in his own house." In tracing the lines of Sheriff Bell's biography, we are entering upon a fertile but hitherto unoccupied field. A man of rare gifts, and one of whose happiest literary productions it may safely be predicated that they will live in the literature of his country, he has now for upwards of thirty years relinquished the pursuit of belles lettres, thereby sacrificing the world-wide fame as an author to which, in the early part of his career, he seemed likely to attain. But if he has failed to achieve a niche in the Temple of Fame, he has at least secured a permanent place in the respect of the legal profession, and in the esteem of his fellow-citizens. If the scope of his mind has been narrowed by the arduous and incessant labour devolved upon him by his official position, he has yet been enabled to lead a life of more than ordinary usefulness; and[Pg 24] future generations will probably listen with wonder and admiration, when they hear of the extraordinary amount of hard and irksome labour which, when the eight or nine hours' movement was yet in embryo, the Sheriff of a county embracing a third of the population of Scotland was able to accomplish.

Born in Glasgow in 1805, Sheriff Bell is descended from an honourable and honoured family. His father followed the practice of the law, and educated Henry to the same career. It did not seem, however, as if the son cared to have his father's mantle falling upon him. After receiving the rudiments of his education at the High School of Glasgow, he proceeded to Edinburgh, where he commenced to go through a regular University curriculum. So far as the Scottish metropolis was concerned, the first quarter of the present century was the Augustan age of literature. Sir Walter Scott was in his meridian. De Quincey, under the influence of the "Circean spells" of opium, was making Blackwood a power in the land. Sir William Hamilton, the greatest British supporter of à priori philosophy in this century, had just been appointed to the Chair of Civil History. Through the columns of the Edinburgh Review, Francis Jeffrey was "propounding heresies of all sorts against the ruling fancies of the day, whether political, poetical, or social." John Wilson, "Christopher North," that "monster of erudition," was acting as the animating soul of his celebrated magazine. Amid such a galaxy of brilliant constellations, Henry Bell graduated for a literary career, and he was not esteemed the least of the parhelions that shone around the fixed stars in that spacious intellectual firmament. By contact and association with such men, he enjoyed exceptional facilities for qualifying himself as an author; and having the "root of the matter" in him, he published, in rapid succession, poems, sketches, and reviews that were more than sufficient to justify the compliment which the Ettrick Shepherd years afterwards pronounced upon them, when he said, "Man, Henry, it was a great pity ye didna[Pg 25] stick to literature; 'od, Sir, ye micht hae done something at literature."

Finding, perhaps, that his tastes were literary rather than legal—that he had a greater aptitude for belles lettres than jurisprudence—young Bell, on the 15th November, 1828, undertook the Editorship of the Edinburgh Literary Journal. He was then twenty-three years of age. The Journal professed to be a "weekly register of criticism and belles lettres." It contained fourteen pages of royal octavo, and its price was sixpence. The motto of the Literary Journal—it was often the custom in those days to select a motto for periodical publications—was the following taken from Bruyere:—

"Talent, goût, esprit, bons sens, choses differentes,
Non incompatibles;"

and this was supplemented by the well-known verse of Burns—

"Here's freedom to him that would read,
Here's freedom to him that would write!
There's nane ever feared that the truth should be heard,
But they whom the truth would indite."

On looking over the index to the first volume of the Literary Journal, we find that it contained original contributions in miscellaneous literature from Thomas Aird, the author of the Odd Volume; R. Carruthers (editor of the Inverness Courier), R. Chambers, Derwent Conway, Dr. Gillespie, Mrs. S. C. Hall, James Hogg, John Malcolm, Dr. Memes, Rev. Dr. Morehead, Alexander Negris, Alexander Sutherland, William Tennant, and William Weir. Of those who contributed original poetry, our readers will be familiar with the names of the authoress of "Aloyse," Thomas Atkinson, Alexander Balfour, Sheriff Bell himself (who, by the way, is the most voluminous writer of all, his poems, in the list before us, including "The Bachelor's Complaint," "Song to[Pg 26] Leila," "Lines about Love, and such like nonsense," "Edinburgh Revisited," and "To a Favourite Actress"), Thomas Bryson, Gertrude, Captain Charles Gray, Mrs. E. Hamilton, Mrs. Hemans, W. M. Hetherington, Alexander Maclagan, John Malcolm, Percy Bysshe Shelley, Charles Doyne Sillery, Thomas Stoddart, William Tennant, James Thomson, Alaric A. Watts, and Mrs. Grant of Laggan. A rare combination of talent! An original contribution from almost any one on this long list would be esteemed a priceless treasure by the publishers of the present day. What would Mr. Strahan or Mr. Macmillan not give to have the command of such a host?

A disposition to linger over the history and varied fortunes of this now defunct censor, is naturally evolved from the contemplation of the talent which it was able to command. A well-known author has said that "whatever withdraws us from the power of the Senses; whatever makes the past, the distant, or the future predominant over the present, advances us in the dignity of human beings." So must the quondam editor of the Literary Journal think when he recalls the reminiscences of those bygone days—days that were spent in edifying and agreeable association with men and women whose names are inscribed on the roll of Scotland's illustrious sons and daughters. He may also take a justifiable pride in the fact that, by virtue of his position as editor, he was at once the arbiter and the censor of works which have since, by universal acclamation, been awarded a permanent place in the literature of England. That Bell's conduct of the Journal was able, popular, and successful, we have ample evidence to show. It is proved by the variety and excellence of the contributions which poured in upon him from the most gifted writers of the day. In his Noctes Ambrosianæ, Professor Wilson has published his attestation of the fact in the following passage:—

North—Here, James, is one of the best, because most business-like prospectuses I ever read, of a new weekly periodical about to be published in Edinburgh in the middle of November—the Edinburgh[Pg 27] Literary Journal. From what I know of the editor—a gentleman of talent, spirit, and perseverance—I foretell the book will prosper.

Shepherd—I shall be glad o' that, for ane gets tired of that eternal soun'—Blackwood's MagazeenBlackwood's Magazeen—dinnin in ane's lugs, day and night, a' life long.

Our readers will bear with what may appear to some to some to be unnecessary digressions, when they reflect upon the influence that the Literary Journal exercised upon the subject of our sketch while he was yet a young man "winning his spurs" in the field of literature. It was through his editorship of the Literary Journal that Mr. Bell formed his close intimacy with all the distinguished writers of his day; and if this was not the most useful, it certainly was the most interesting part of the career of him whom we are proud to acknowledge as the author of "Mary, Queen of Scots." From this time forward he was the most intimate friend and companion of Wilson and Hogg. The former came to Edinburgh in 1815, with the view of practising at the Scottish bar, so that Bell had no opportunities of visiting him at his beautiful residence at Elleray, on the banks of Lake Windermere, where for years previously he had lived in Utopian health and happiness, "surrounded by the finest of scenery, and varying his poem-writing and halcyon peace, with walking excursions and jovial visits from friends that, like himself, entered with zest into the hearty enjoyment of life." But, as between Bell and Wilson, there was a fellow-feeling that made them "wondrous kind," they were much in each other's society. Both were fond of piscatorial pursuits. Wilson had early discovered an enthusiasm for angling, which he used to cultivate on the banks of Lake Windermere. Bell, too, became a disciple of Isaac Walton, and to indulge their love of sport, and to enjoy each other's company where, removed from the busy haunts of men, they might "hear the tumult and be still," they were accustomed to spend whole days and nights on the banks of Loch Awe, and amid the gloomy and impressive scenery of Glen Dochart. At other times[Pg 28] they would plan walking excursions. It was no unusual thing for them to walk upwards of thirty miles at a stretch. They had not then the command of railway facilities, nor did they want them. Muscular vigour, and a love of intellectual pursuits were qualities characteristic of both men, and both possessed a large amount of physical endurance. In physique, too, there was a considerable vraisemblance. Christopher North has been described as a "Goth of great personal prowess." Haydon says of him that he was like a fine Sandwich Islander, who had been educated in the Highlands. His light hair, deep sea blue eye, tall athletic figure, and hearty hand grasp, his eagerness in debate, his violent passions, great genius, and irregular habits, rendered him a formidable partisan, a furious enemy, and an ardent friend. Of Bell, with one or two qualifications, the same description would hold good. Wilson has immortalised their intimacy and friendship in his "Noctes," where Bell is made to figure as "Tallboys," and where he is only mentioned with respect and affection. In the Six Foot Club, an institution which had a local habitation and a name in Edinburgh during the early part of the nineteenth century, and of which both Wilson and Bell were members, they had further opportunities for muscular exercise. It was an indispensable condition to membership in this club that the candidate should be over six feet in height; and it is surprising how many men who have made their mark in literature, science, and art had attained that sine qua non. Physical and intellectual greatness were so invariably combined in those days that the two were thought by many vulgar minds to go hand in hand; but even in the "Six Feet Club" there were few who presented in all respect a more distingué appearance than the subject of these remarks.

Another of Bell's most intimate friends during these years was James Hogg, the "Ettrick Shepherd." Along with Wilson and other friends he paid several visits to Hogg's native place, where they enjoyed pleasant ramblings by St Mary's Loch, and in the Vale of Yarrow, to which the[Pg 29] Shepherd's muse has imparted quite a classic interest. There was, however, a species of vulgarity about Hogg, which marred his otherwise estimable qualities, and his uncouth Johnsonian habits were probably the means of erecting a barrier between himself and more cultivated friends. Lockhart, in his life of Scott, speaks of Hogg as a "a true son of nature and genius," and this he undoubtedly was. One who had taught himself to write by copyright the letters of a printed book as he lay watching his flock on the hill side, and whose vivacious imagination, as his own brother informs us, disqualified him from study or research, was not likely while alive to make many close friends in the exclusive and polished circles which formed the élite of Edinburgh. But by Bell and a few others, who saw the diamond glittering in the rough casket, Hogg was duly appreciated. To the Literary Journal he was a constant contributor both of prose and verse, and he took a warm interest in its success. When the proposal to erect a monument to the Shepherd in Ettrick Vale took a practical shape, Sheriff Bell was selected to inaugurate the structure. This he did on the 28th June, 1860. In fitting terms, his old friend panegyrised the virtues and the genius of The Shepherd, describing him "as a true poet—not equal to Burns, because no national poet was ever equal to Burns, because no national poet was ever equal to him—but justly entitled to take rank in the second place, and worthily taking up the harp which he found lying on the grave of that immortal man."

In the year 1830 Mr. Bell relinquished his connection with the Literary Journal, which was conducted for some time afterwards by Mr. William Weir. The paper had never been a "good property," even in its palmiest days, and Mr. Weir, after carrying it on for a few months, allowed it to stop, and came to Glasgow for the purpose of establishing a newspaper, pure and simple. Mr. Weir was well known in Glasgow from his long connection with the Argus, which he edited with rare tact and ability until he was called to occupy a similar position on the Daily News in[Pg 30] London. Meantime Mr. Bell was admitted a member of the Faculty of Advocates. This was in 1832, so that he was in his twenty-seventh year.

Up till now he had consecrated his whole talents and energies to the pursuit of literary eminence, his greatest works being his well-known poem on "Mary, Queen of Scots," and his vindication of the same unfortunate monarch in a masterly history of her life. These works were to him a labour of love, for he has always manifested a deep sympathy with the misfortunes of the unhappy Mary Stuart. It is even said that it was to his intense devotion to her memory, and his beautiful poem on her life, that he was indebted for his wife, who claimed some remote connection with the Queen of Scots, through Donald Dhu, of whom she was a descendant. Mrs. Bell, we believe, was a daughter of Captain Stuart of Sheerglass, on the banks of the Garry, opposite Athole, and en passant we may remark that her forefathers took a prominent part in the battle of Killiecrankie. As an advocate, Sheriff Bell never held a distinguished position. He was, perhaps, too far advanced in life before he joined the bar. Be that as it may, he was one of a numerous circle of literati who lived contemporary with and subsequent to himself, to whom the bar never brought any laurels; but after all, he made better progress in the Court of Session than Professor Blackie, whose briefs were so terribly akin to angels' visits that he has been heard to declare himself that his practice as an advocate never brought him so much as £40 a-year. Nor was his success less than that of Professor Wilson, Professor Ferries, Professor Aytoun, Professor Innes, Sir William Hamilton, Hilburton, Spalding, and others whom we might mention, who have stamped the English literature with the sign-manual of their genius, and whose names will be held in remembrance and honour long after those of the most distinguished lawyers of the age shall have passed to the limbo of oblivion. Advocates who also followed the profession of litterateurs, and were addicted to belles lettres, often experienced unfair treatment at the hands[Pg 31] of the agents or writers by whom counsel is usually retained. They were not considered safe men. And if they were not completely ostracised from legal life, they were so far tabooed and kept at a distance that their emoluments from their legal practice could not, if they had depended solely upon that source of income, have held body and soul together. Besides this, the Edinburgh bar at that time could boast of a most unusual combination of legal talent. Some of the ablest lawyers of this or any other age were at that time practising in the Parliament House. And the eminence of not a few men was so great as to leave a long way behind others who, like Sheriff Bell, would now be considered above the average in their profession. The young advocate of 1872 has not to encounter such intellectual giants as Patrick Robertson, Jeffrey, Cockburn, Rutherford, M'Neil, Moncrieff, Hope, and other contemporaries of Bell, who shed the lustre of their genius upon the law of Scotland, and secured for the Court of Session a reputation higher, perhaps, than even Westminster Hall has ever been able to attain.

At this time, and throughout the whole of his literary career, Sheriff Bell was an uncompromising Tory. He never took any prominent part in imperial politics, although in the Edinburgh Town Council, of which he was for some time a member—sitting as the representative of St. George's Ward—he entered into some fierce debates on the Annuity-tax with Duncan M'Laren. That obnoxious impost was even then, as it has subsequently been, a great bone of contention, and proved the casus belli of many a wordy war. The embryo M.P. was generally, as we are well informed, more than a match for the young advocate, whom he overcame with those simple but effectual weapons—facts and figures.

In 1836, Sheriff Bell stood as a candidate for the Logic Chair in Edinburgh University, his opponents being Mr. Isaac Taylor, author of the "Natural History of Enthusiasm;" Mr. George Combe, the phrenologist; and Sir William Hamilton. Previous to that time, Sir William had been Professor of Civil History in the University, and his[Pg 32] candidature for the Logic Chair, which was strongly supported by Mr. Adam Black and Mr. Napier, editor of the Edinburgh Review, was successful.

While nominally following his practice at the bar, Mr. Bell still continued to attach himself to literary pursuits. There are some rather good stories told of his attachment to the Temple of Thespis, of which, while in Edinburgh, he had always been a regular attender. When a well-known actor, made his first appearance at the Edinburgh Theatre-Royal, it is said that Bell wrote a slashing criticism of the performance, his article concluding with the significant remark: "N.B.—Steamers sail from Leith for London twice a week," meaning, of course, that however well the new actor might satisfy the London critics, he did not come up to the standard of the Edinburgh drama. Indeed, Mr. Bell made the drama a special study, and his opinion on any new play or actor was always asked and listened to with the utmost deference. He was on very intimate terms with the late Mr. William H. Murray, manager of the "Royal," and through him furnished a number of prologues for that theatre in its palmiest days. He also established for himself a high reputation as a lecturer on the Fine Arts; and his prelections on music, poetry, sculpture, painting, and the drama were universally admitted to be of a high order of merit. Until the present hour, Sheriff Bell continues to manifest a great attachment to the Fine Arts, and amid the pressure of his official duties, he often finds leisure to visit the theatres either in Glasgow or in Edinburgh.

In 1839, Mr. Bell was appointed a Sheriff-Substitute of Lanarkshire, with a salary of £400 per annum. The appointment lay with Sir Archibald Alison, who is said to have been favourably impressed with his successor's conduct while acting as junior counsel for the Glasgow cotton-spinners when they were brought to trial in the spring of 1838 for conspiracy. When Mr. Bell became Sheriff-Substitute, the duties of the office were very light compared with what they are at the present time. For a number of years his only colleague was[Pg 33] the late Mr. George Skene, who subsequently became Professor of Law in Glasgow University. Indeed, the duties of the Sheriffs continued to be comparatively easy up to 1853, when the passing of the Sheriff Court Act, which compelled Sheriffs to take all notes of evidence in their own handwriting, rendered the work much more laborious. Their salaries were raised from time to time, in proportion to the increased irksomeness and responsibility of their duties; and it is a fact worth noting, that whereas Mr. Bell, as Sheriff-Substitute, had only £400, Mr. Dickson, in the same sphere of labour, has now £1400 per annum.

On the death of Sir Archibald Alison in 1867, Mr. Bell was appointed Sheriff-Principal. One of his first acts upon his promotion was so graceful in itself and so creditable to his good taste that we cannot refrain from referring to it here. To external appearance, Sheriff Bell has little of the suaviter in modo about him; and while acting as Sheriff-Substitute, he gave offence to several of the agents practising in the local courts by what may be called a little gruffness of demeanour. Coming to hear that his manner had been spoken of as offensive, Sheriff Bell, on succeeding Sir Archibald Alison, candidly and broadly referred to the fact in open court. He expressed his regret if anything defective in his manner had given unintentional offence, and declared that, so far as it was in his power, the Faculty might rely in future upon being treated with every courtesy and consideration. Such a frank and candid avowal could only come from a manly man; and it went a long way towards restoring Sheriff Bell to the confidence and esteem of the offended practitioners.

With the exception of this little cloud, Sheriff Bell has uniformly lived in peace and concord with his professional friends, and he has at their hands received many little marks of honour and respect. In 1852, a rumour went out that Sir Archibald Alison was to be elevated to the Supreme Court. This led the profession in Glasgow to present a memorial to the Lord-Advocate, praying that in such an[Pg 34] event Sheriff Bell might be made Sir Archibald's successor. Again, about 12 years ago, strong representations and inducements were held out to him to return to Edinburgh as consulting counsel in Mercantile Law—a department of jurisprudence which, if he did not altogether create it, Sheriff Bell has done much to develop and bring into a practical shape. Although the offer promised the realisation of a handsome income, it was respectfully declined. Still farther we may remark, that it was no small honour to Mr. Bell that he was made Sheriff of Lanarkshire contrary to the usual custom, which is to appoint to the office some one that has acted for a longer or shorter period as Advocate-Depute—a place which he, of course, has never filled.

As a judge, Sheriff Bell displays remarkable discrimination and insight. He is gifted in a large measure, with the judicial faculty; but for the same reason that he is a good judge, he would probably fail as a pleader. At the bar it is customary only to represent and contend for one side of a case, to the exclusion or destruction of the other; but on the bench conflicting arguments have to be duly weighed, and the balance so adjusted between them that truth and justice may ultimately be evolved. In thus discriminating between irreconcilable issues, and duly weighing the arguments presented on both sides, Sheriff Bell is particularly at home; and his decisions are remarkable for standing the great test of an appeal to the Supreme Court.

Since he came to Glasgow as Sheriff-Substitute, Mr. Bell has taken an active part in all public movements apart from politics; and in regard to educational and scientific matters he deserves to rank as a pioneer. When the Social Science Congress met in Glasgow in 1860, Professor Pillans and other savants were dining with Sheriff Bell, whose sound judgment and profound knowledge of nearly every subject brought under discussion enabled him to take a very intelligent and conspicuous part in the proceedings. Talking of authors and their works, Professor Pillans quoted certain lines, respecting which he asked Sheriff Bell whether he had ever heard them[Pg 35] before. The latter confessed that he did not recollect them. "Why," said the Professor, "you wrote these lines when you were a pupil in my class." On another occasion, when Thackeray came to Glasgow to deliver his lectures on the Four Georges, the great novelist was introduced to the Sheriff of Lanarkshire by the late Mr. Walter Buchanan, M.P. At that time there was some disagreement between Thackeray and the directors of the Athenæum as to the terms of his engagement, and we believe that Thackeray considered himself (whether with or without just cause) to have been badly used. Referring to Mr. Bell as the champion of Mary Stuart, Mr. Buchanan jocosely remarked to Thackeray that he must not repeat in Glasgow the attack he had made in Edinburgh on Mary Queen of Scots. "Never fear," replied Thackeray, "I can't afford to do it for the money."

By his wife, whom he has now survived nearly twenty years, Sheriff Bell had one son and four daughters. Three of his daughters have been married—one to Professor Nichol, and the other two to members of the firm of M'Clellan, Son, & Co., accountants, Glasgow. The fourth daughter is unmarried.[Pg 36]


There are not a few reminiscences associated with the name and history of Mr. Robert Dalglish, the senior representative of Glasgow, that must tend to render a record of his life peculiarly interesting to his constituents. Born at Glasgow in 1808, he is now in his sixty-third year. His father was emphatically one of the pioneers of Glasgow's industrial prosperity. Born in humble circumstances, he "burst his birth's invidious bar," and elevated himself to the proud position of the first magistrate of that city "whose merchants are princes and whose traffickers are the honourable of the earth." During his three years tenure of the civic chair, Mr. Robert Dalglish, sen., approved himself a very useful and excellent citizen, and his attention to municipal affairs was most unremitting and diligent, while at the same time he was laying the foundations of that splendid business to which his son, the subject of the present sketch, ultimately succeeded. Our Senior Member was educated at the University of Glasgow, and "when the fulness of the time had come," he was admitted a partner in the firm of which his father was then the principal, and which is now well-known by the title of R. Dalglish, Falconer, & Co. It is, perhaps, the largest calico-printing firm in Scotland, their works at Campsie employing upwards of 1000 hands. Since his accession to the business, Mr. Dalglish has largely extended and improved the original works, so that they are now vastly superior to what they were at that time. Several substantial additions, including a large engraving shop, were recently made to meet the requirements of the firm. It is worthy of note that the father of Mr. Dalglish occupied as a dwelling-house the building[Pg 37] now used as the offices of the firm in St Vincent Place—the business part of the city being at that time within a short radius of the Cross. To the son, however, the lines have fallen in more pleasant places, for his mansion at Kilmardinny, near Milngavie, is one of the most "highly desirable residences" (as an auctioneer would phrase it) in the West of Scotland. The grounds or policies attached to the house extend to 140 acres, and within recent years Mr. Dalglish has expended a great deal of both money and taste on his fine property.

Of Mr. Dalglish's political connection with the city there is not much to be said. Up to the year 1857 he had not taken any active part in either municipal or political affairs; and when he announced his intention of coming forward as a candidate for the representation of the city in April of that year, the Whigs and the Tories alike were taken by surprise. Glasgow had then only two members. Both of them had been in Parliament for a number of years, although neither had ever been distinguished for any brilliant political achievement. Mr. Dalglish was brought forward by no section or party—at least he disclaimed any connection with either Whigs or Tories, and as for the Radicals, they were then out in the cold. He stood, as he himself said, on his own responsibility, and as a perfectly independent candidate. It is not too much to affirm that it was his pluck and independence that carried him through. He had little difficulty in forming a committee, including, for the most part, gentlemen of considerable local influence, and that sine qua non having been obtained, the rest was comparatively smooth sailing. Mr. Hastie, his opponent, was a quiet and easy-going member, who never did anything, either good, bad, or indifferent, to distinguish himself in the House of Commons, and who, as one of his quasi friends declared, had not even the merit of being a regular attender, although he had represented the city in Parliament for ten continuous years. On the nomination day, Mr. Dalglish was accompanied to the platform by Bailie Galbraith, Mr. W. West Watson (City Chamberlain), Mr. David Dreg[Pg 38]horn, Councillor Moir, Mr. Walter Paterson, and other gentlemen, who still figure in the ranks of our most prominent citizens. His nomination was proposed by Bailie Galbraith, and seconded by Mr. W. West Watson. Mr. Dalglish delivered a thoroughly characteristic speech, of which we are in a position to give the salient points. He said:—"I shall not refer to my antecedents as has been done by my hon. opponents; but this I will say, that for the future I am prepared to do everything for the advancement of the interests of the people. I am anxious to see not the reform of 1832, which was a mere sham and delusion, but a reform which will give to every householder a vote, and a vote to every man who pays a direct tax to the Government. (Great cheering.) I am in favour of every social and sanitary reform in this city; and if our local philanthropists—the Hendersons, the Campbells, and the Clarks—will turn their attention to the centre of the city, where the masses of our population are congregated, and project some scheme for the opening up of the closes and winds, and the building of better houses for the working classes, I shall be ready to support them. (The city improvement scheme was at that date in the matrix of the future.) I have much respect for the voluntary system of education, but I feel that it does not reach all the children of a large city such as Glasgow, and that therefore a national system of education is required. I would also support the establishment of schools for the teaching of children, because I believe that he who teaches should first be taught himself. (Laughter.) I am against all intervention with other States, but at the same time I would prevent intervention by others. (Cheers, and a call, "put on your hat Bob," and laughter.) I will support Lord Palmerston so long as his policy is conducted with a view to the true interests of the country—so long as his measures are calculated to promote the interests of the masses—but I will not support Lord Palmerston if he is disposed to offer any opposition to a Liberal measure of Reform." The show of hands was de[Pg 39]clared by Sheriff Alison to be in favour of Mr. Buchanan and Mr. Dalglish, and a poll was demanded for Mr. Hastie. The poll took place next day, when the majority of those who had supported Mr. Merry, at the election six weeks before, recorded their votes for Mr. Dalglish. At the close of the poll the votes stood—


At every subsequent election Mr. Dalglish has been returned with acclamation. At one time he announced his intention to retire from Parliamentary duties, but a numerous and influential deputation from Glasgow waited upon and induced him to alter his resolution. At the General Election of 1868, the electors raised a subscription, to which men of all ranks and all shades of politics contributed, to defray his election expenses, and so liberal was the response made by his constituents that he was returned free of personal cost.

Of Mr. Dalglish's merits as our Parliamentary representative it behoves us to say something, and we can safely premise with the affirmation that few men have a greater personal influence in the House of Commons. Those who cannot see a little behind the scenes may wonder at this apparently rash statement, and ask—What has Mr. Dalglish done to give him a political influence? When has he ever made any brilliant speeches? What great measures has he succeeded in passing? Do you ever see his name even so much as mentioned in Parliamentary debates? To one and all of these questions the friends and admirers of Mr. Dalglish would almost be compelled to return a negative answer. To the uninitiated Mr. Dalglish, so far as any outward and visible manifestations of power and influence—of senatorial usefulness and ability—is concerned, will appear to be a mere cipher. But it does not require the meddlesomeness of a Whalley, or the volubility of a Newdegate, to[Pg 40] make a politician. In politics, as in the minor affairs of life, tact and discrimination often go for more than fervid bursts of oratory, or highly-concentrated genius. In the region of politics, too, there are wheels within wheels—an imperium in imperio. The House of Commons bears, in some respects, a remarkable affinity to a puppet-show. You cannot always see the magician who pulls the strings, and moves the political machine obedient to his will. And of no man in the House of Commons is this more true than of Mr. Dalglish. Unless one is under his magic spell, it is impossible to understand its mainspring, although it is easy to feel its effects. Ask the influential citizens of Glasgow to reveal the secret of Mr. Dalglish's power, and they will mention two qualities, both very good in their way but neither of them, one would think, sufficient to give their possessor a transcendent influence in the most august and intellectual assembly in the world. We would be told, first of his bon hommie, and next of his punctuality and unfailing attention to his Parliamentary duties. Put the same question to those who see behind the scenes, however, and they would probably return another and a more truthful answer by ascribing Mr. Dalglish's popularity to his good dinners. In this respect he is unique. With almost unfailing regularity he invites his friends and enemies alike to dine twice a week. We mean, of course, his political enemies, for of personal enemies, Mr. Dalglish must have very few. At these bi-weekly feasts, men of all shades of politics, and of all degrees and stations in life, meet together with the most delicious equality and freedom from restraint. Lord and commoner, peer and peasant, marquis and merchant, are thrown into immediate contact, and hob-nob without restriction or ceremony. The unalloyed joviality and good humour of the host is imparted to the guests, and while as a dispenser of creature comforts Mr. Dalglish stands almost alone, he has a suavity of manner that disarms party feeling, and compels a favour when it is asked for. It is not to be wondered at, under these circumstances, that our Senior Member is the presiding genius of the House of Com[Pg 41]mons' kitchen, or that in the administration of cigars and wines he is perfectly at home. We all know that

"A fellow feeling makes us wondrous kind;"

and so long as human infirmities tend in the direction of a good dinner, so long will Mr. Dalglish, whose unbounded hospitality must have cost him quite a large fortune, remain the facile princeps of diplomatists.

It would be unfair, however, to imply that Mr. Dalglish owes his influential position in the House of Commons to this speciality alone. No member is more regular in his attendance on Parliamentary duties. Mr. Dalglish is always in his place, and he is ever eager to promote the interests of his constituents. He has rendered yeoman service to the municipal affairs of the city, having sat on many committees appointed to deal with bills promoted by the Corporation. His solicitude to oblige his constituents is, indeed, only bounded by his ability to serve them, and the "open sesame" is seldom beyond his control. As a speaker he never did and never will excel, although he has several times, and notably on the question of the management of the dockyards, addressed the House.

In personal appearance, Mr. Dalglish is about the ordinary height. He has a genial and pleasant countenance, to which a long white beard imparts somewhat of a patriarchal aspect; and the merry twinkle of his keen, bright eye affords a capital index to his real character. His whole demeanour is that of a man in whom confidence may be reposed without fear of rebuff, and no man in the House could be more readily accessible to his constituents. Mr. Dalglish is considered to have as good a technical knowledge of the House of Commons' business as any private member in it.

Consistently with his Liberal principles, Mr. Dalglish voted for the disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church in 1869. He is in favour of the withdrawal of all State grants for religious purposes, and he is also an advocate for the assimilation of the county and borough franchise.[Pg 42]


There are politicians and politicians. It is due to the varied opinions and characters of its members that the House of Commons is such an eminently representative assembly. It is not wealth alone, neither is it genius, that affords the "open sesame" to Parliamentary fame. The wheels of progress would probably move much slower than they do, if all who entered St. Stephen's were gifted orators. Eloquence is a great recommendation to a seat in Parliament; but there are other qualities which, without being so conspicuous, are perhaps much more solid, and in the long run lead to the accomplishment of a greater amount of really useful work. Talking and working are essentially different things; and it is well for Parliament, for the newspapers, and for the nation at large, that so many excellent legislators are compelled to confess, like Marc Antony, "I am no orator." The members for Glasgow have never made themselves famous in the direction of much speaking; their aim has been to gather much wool with little cry, thus reversing completely the well-known motto. The interests of a city like Glasgow are purely commercial and industrial, but they require to be constantly watched with the utmost vigilance. To guard and conserve them aright requires, also, a more or less practical and comprehensive knowledge of mercantile affairs. This Mr. Graham possesses in a marked degree, having been trained from his youth up in all the ramifications of commerce; and on this ground alone his claims to represent his native city in Parliament are not to be despised. But he has another, and, perhaps, still stronger, hold upon the sympathies and support of the "free and independent electors" of St. Mungo. He is[Pg 43] recognised as the advocate and representative of the religious and educational interests in Parliament, and it was upon this basis that he was returned. Mr. Dalglish has been so long and so closely associated with the commercial and municipal interests of the city, that it would be impossible to find one with a stronger hold in that direction. As for Mr. Anderson, he is, of course, the champion of the working classes, and holds his seat by their suffrages. But there was still another important party not directly represented—the party to whom the city is indebted for much of its social, intellectual, and religious prosperity—and Mr. Graham stepped in to fill up the breach. Nailing his colours to the mast of the good ship "Nonconformity," he has all along contended for religious equality and toleration throughout the whole Empire; and if his specialité is not that of "darkening counsel with vain words," he has given his best services since he entered Parliament to the advancement of the true and permanent interests of his constituents, by unremitting application to such duties as came within his reach.

Mr. Graham is the eldest son of the late Mr. Wm. Graham, of Burnshields, by Catherine, daughter of Mr. J. Swanston. He was born in Glasgow in 1817, and after passing some time at a private school, was sent to Glasgow University, where he finished his education. He is married to Jane Catherine, daughter of the late Mr. John Lowndes, formerly of Arthurlie, Renfrewshire. Mr. Graham succeeded to his father's place as head of the firm of William Graham & Co., merchants. The principal business in which he is engaged is that of cotton-spinning, the firm owning the Lancefield Factory, which, if not one of the largest, is at any rate one of the oldest establishments of its kind in Glasgow, and carries the memory back to the days when cotton and not iron was the industrial King of the West. At the Lancefield Factory there are upwards of 1000 hands employed, principally women, and the annual output of cotton is nearly equal to that of some of the largest mills in Manchester. Besides being a cotton-spinner, however, Mr. Graham is also a wine importer on a very con[Pg 44]siderable scale, and is largely engaged in the East India produce trade. Vintages of the choicest quality, and ports of the heaviest "body," are imported by the firm direct from Lisbon and Oporto, where they have branch establishments; and so conspicuous for their excellence are the wines which they import, that when paterfamilias wants to impress upon his guest that he is enjoying an unmistakeable treat, he announces that the grateful beverage under discussion "was imported direct by William Graham & Co." In his father's days, Mr. Graham represented the house both in India and on the Continent, and since he became head of the firm, he has devoted himself with the utmost assiduity to the management and direction of affairs at home. Thus, unlike either of his colleagues, Mr. Graham takes an active personal supervision of a large mercantile concern, at the same time that he earns the credit of being one if the most regular attenders in the House of Commons. Indeed, he makes it a matter of duty to attend the House closely, and it is a fair matter of doubt whether there are half-a-dozen members—not in office—who attend to their Parliamentary duty with more punctuality and unfailing attention than the three representatives for Glasgow.

On the retirement from Parliamentary duties, through commercial misfortunes, of Mr. Buchanan, who had for many years been the senior member for the city, Mr. Wm. Graham came forward as a candidate. His address to the electors, dated the 11th May, 1865, contained the following:—"A native of Glasgow, an alumnus of her University, and connected with the city by the closest ties of business and of friendship, I have felt that for the honour and usefulness of such a position the cares of business may well be, to some extent, relinquished, and the duties and responsibilities of public life undertaken; and should I be fortunate enough to secure your suffrages, my best efforts and most anxious attention shall not be spared faithfully to represent the views and advocate the interests of this great community.... I may at least say, in a few words, that from my earliest [Pg 45]recollection I have been strongly attached to Liberal principles, and that nothing can ever alter my faith in the truth and wisdom of what are known as Liberal opinions in civil and religious politics, or diminish my deep interest in the social, civil, and religious progress of the country." On the following day Mr. Dalglish took his constituents by surprise by announcing that it was not his intention to seek re-election. On the 10th June, Mr. John Ramsay issued an address, in which he enunciated his advocacy of economy and retrenchment in the public expenditure, recommended a judicious extension of the franchise, and stated, in reference to the Maynooth grant, which at that time engaged at a considerable amount of attention, that he "would oppose any further grants from the national exchequer, either in favour of the Roman Catholics or any other body." Mr. Ramsay set forth, in conclusion, that "his business connection with Glasgow for nearly thirty years past had made him acquainted with local affairs, and it would be his pleasure, as he should regard it his duty, to give unremitting attention to every measure fitted to advance the interests of the city." The candidature of Mr. Graham was from the first looked upon with a great deal of favour by a large body of the more influential electors, and his general committee, of which Mr. Archibald Orr Ewing of Ballikinrain was chairman, and Bailie J. W. Anderson was deputy-chairman, comprised the names of Mr. Wm. Kidston, Sir James Lumsden, Mr. Alex. Dennistoun of Golfhill, Mr. Colin R. Dunlop, Mr. Alex. Crum Ewing, Mr. John Orr Ewing of Tillichewan, Mr. W. J. Davidson of Ruchill, and Mr. J. C. Wakefield. At the nomination, which took place on the 12th of July, the show of hands was declared to be in favour of Mr. Dalglish (who had been induced to stand again) and Mr. Graham—the latter, indeed, obtaining a larger display than either of the other two candidates. The poll, which was demanded on behalf of Mr. Ramsay, took place on the following morning, and from the outset Mr. Graham was a long way ahead of either of his opponents. At four o'clock the poll stood[Pg 46]


Thus giving a majority of 2276 for Mr. Graham, and a majority of 878 for Mr. Dalglish. On entering Parliament at the commencement of the session of 1866, Mr. Graham had the honour of being selected to second the Address to her Majesty, which was moved by Lord H. Cavendish. This he did in a singularly able and practical address, which was listened to with great attention by the House. The Daily Telegraph, in its Parliamentary summary, referring to this occasion, said:—"Mr. Graham, the new member for Glasgow, spoke like an habitué of the House of twenty years' standing. He had caught the very manner of the place, spoke fluently, almost eloquently, and exhibited both political and commercial knowledge. It was an undoubted success, and Mr. Gladstone, who had listened attentively, warmly congratulated him when he sat down."

In reference to Mr. Graham's political tendencies and conduct, we may remark that although he has mainly been a supporter of the policy of Mr. Gladstone's Government, he has at the same time, on questions of principle, held himself entirely independent of any Government or party. He is more especially associated with that section of the House which represents the English Nonconformists and the Presbyterians of all three countries. Next in importance to religious progress and toleration as a matter of Parliamentary policy, Mr. Graham advocates the reduction of the national expenditure, holding that the present scale thereof is excessive beyond any possible justification. Therefore, in every case where such a reduction appeared in his view to be honestly aimed at, he has been in the habit of acting with the economists.

Although he has never been a prominent speaker in the House, Mr. Graham is, in his own way, a very useful member, and he is specially called into requisition when any matter[Pg 47] of an ecclesiastical or educational kind is under consideration. In many ways he has shown an anxiety to be useful, and to those of his constituents who make calls upon his time and services he is always most accessible and ready to oblige. Although a Liberal, he is not in favour of extensive changes, and he is opposed to any interference with religious questions, whether by endowments or State connection, by the Government.

Mr. Graham, we may add, is a magistrate and deputy lieutenant of Lanarkshire.[Pg 48]


Mr. George Anderson, the junior member for the city of Glasgow, was born at Liverpool in 1819, and is thus in his 52d year. He is a son of George Anderson, Esq., of Luscar, Fifeshire, by his marriage with Miss Rachel Inglis. His father, who had been in early life in the navy, was for some years managing partner of the firm of Messrs. Dennistown & Co. at Havre and New Orleans, from which he left to be manager of the one branch of the old Glasgow Bank (with which the same house was largely connected) at Kirkcaldy, of which town he was afterwards for many years the highly-respected Provost.

Mr. Anderson was educated partly at Havre, partly at the High School of Edinburgh, and subsequently at the University of St Andrews. On coming to Glasgow in 1841, he entered the concern of Alex. Fletcher & Co., flaxspinners, St. Rollox, and was latterly managing partner of that extensive manufacturing establishment, employing nearly 2000 workpeople; and through his experience there, during 25 years, he acquired that knowledge of the grievances and wants of the working classes which has enabled him to legislate for them since. Mr. Anderson had never taken any part in Municipal affairs, but he had in other ways always done his fair share of public work. The Polytechnic Institution, the Fine Art Exhibitions that preceded the present Institute, the Art Union, the Philosophical Society, the Lock Hospital—of all of these he had been an active promoter or director. In connection with the West of Scotland Angling Club, of which he was a zealous member, he had successfully introduced the grayling into Scotland—an achievement in[Pg 49] acclimatisation worthy of being remembered. While President of the Glasgow Skating Club he published a treatise on the art of skating, which is still the most popular manual on the subject, and has, we believe, reached a third edition. In 1859, on the starting of the Volunteer movement, Mr. Anderson took an enthusiastic part, and was among the original officers of the 4th Lanark, with which corps he has continued, being still its senior major; while he has repeatedly advocated, in the House, the claims of the Volunteers to increased assistance as an economical measure for national defence.

His candidature for the City of Glasgow, in 1868, was promoted by the local branch of the Reform League, conjointly with the trade delegates, who held a conference to deliberate on the matter. Previous to that time, our junior member was well known among the proletariat for his well-timed efforts to effect the abolition of the arrestment of wages. In 1852 he started the subject of wages arrestment by a series of letters in the Reformer's Gazette, Daily Mail, and Herald. The subject had long been felt to be a sore grievance and rock of offence among the working classes, and periodical agitations had taken place without leading to any decided action. From the very first Glasgow took the initiative in seeking to modify or get rid altogether of a law which pressed with greater severity on the lower orders than, perhaps, any other enactment that ever found its way into the Statute Books of Scotland. The late Neale Thomson, of Camphill, gave great assistance in that agitation, and a very exhaustive and able pamphlet on the arrestment of wages was published by Mr. Anderson in 1853, which led to the appointment of a Royal Commission; but though the report was entirely favourable to Mr. Anderson's views, nothing came of it, as under the £10 franchise the small shopkeepers were too strong for them, and the work which they had been sanguine of completing in 1854 was left for himself to do alone in 1870. Mr. Anderson wrote frequently on the currency question. His most recent production (published in[Pg 50] 1866) was a pamphlet entitled "The Reign of Bullionism"—having previously read a paper on the subject of the Bank Acts to the Social Science Congress at Manchester—in which he advocated a national issue of note currency, and the abrogation of the Bank of England charter, and all other banks' monopoly. His literature was not all, however, of so practical a character; not long before he had edited, jointly with Mr. J. Finlay, a volume containing fifty of the best of the poems written on the centenary of Robert Burns—one of his own, which had been highly commended at the Crystal Palace competition, being among them. The volume is, perhaps, the most fitting tribute to the memory of our national poet that has appeared, and we believe it is now out of print.

In the education question Mr. Anderson had always taken a keen interest. Besides lectures and papers to the Philosophical Society, the Educational Institute, and the Social Science Congress he published two pamphlets pointing out how utterly worthless the half-time education clauses of the Factory Acts had proved, and urging compulsory education, or, in default of that, a quasi compulsion in the form of an educational test, in place of an age test, for youthful labour. He also came prominently before the public on the occasion of an agitation which took place in 1867 in reference to the subject of an education bill for Scotland. It will be remembered that two parties in the city sought to influence the Government of the day for different ends. One party was composed of the religious, while the other represented the unsectarian element, and by both memorials were sent to Parliament urging the claims of Scotland to a more comprehensive system of national education. Mr. Anderson, of course, espoused the cause of the unsectarian party, who went in for compulsory education; and he addressed a meeting in the City Hall, at which several resolutions approving of an unsectarian as opposed to a religious scheme of education were passed by a considerable majority of those present. The Reform Bill of 1868 gave Glasgow a third member, and Mr. Anderson was fixed upon as the[Pg 51] most suitable representative of the interests of labour. His candidature, which as we have already indicated, had been invited by the Reform Leaguers and Trades Delegates of the city, was warmly supported by the working classes. A three-cornered constituency, the electors of Glasgow could only vote for two candidates; and as there was a Tory in the field, in the person of Sir George Campbell, it became a rather nice question as to how the three Liberal candidates were to be returned. The Liberal party were equal to the emergency. They agreed to vote for the two lowest candidates on the list throughout the polling, irrespective altogether of personal predilections or sympathies in favour of either. In this way the battle was won in the Liberal interest, and Glasgow vindicated her claim to be esteemed the most Liberal constituency in the kingdom. At the close of the poll, the return was as follows:—

Robert Dalglish,18,287
W. Graham,18,062
G. Anderson,17,803
Sir G. Campbell, Bart.,10,812

Since he entered Parliament, Mr. Anderson has amply justified the choice of his constituents. He stands in the front rank of advanced Liberals, and is in favour of "Reform being carried to its fullest extent, by three-cornerism being abolished, by dispensing with the payment of rates, and by adopting the Ballot." Retired altogether from private business, Mr. Anderson has every facility, apart from his bent and disposition, for taking an active and intelligent part in public affairs, and he has approved himself a most industrious and zealous legislator. No man is closer in his attendance on the House of Commons. During his first session in Parliament he was present at 128 out of 160 divisions; his second year in Parliament, though he was away ill for a month, was marked by a scarcely less scrupulous and regular attention to his duties, for he was present at 171 out of 264 divisions; and in his third session he was present at 262 out of 270.[Pg 52]

Mr. Anderson made his maiden speech in Parliament on the 3rd day of March, 1869. The occasion was the second reading of Mr. Fawcett's Election Expenses Bill, which proposed to throw the expenses of elections on the ratepayers. In the course of his address, which was listened to with the utmost attention, Mr. Anderson said—"To the great bulk of those whom he addressed, the payment of £200 or £300 was in all probability a matter of trifling importance; but undoubtedly the necessity for incurring even that expense had a great effect in limiting the field from which constituencies might choose their members; and if the House were anxious to avoid the charge of desiring to keep Parliamentary honours and political power in the possession of one class—namely, the class of very wealthy men—they must legislate in the direction proposed by the hon. member for Brighton (Mr. Fawcett). It should be remembered that in limiting the field from which constituencies might choose their members, the House thereby tended to limit its own intellectual power."

Again, in Committee of Supply on the army estimates, Mr. Anderson addressed the House on the 11th March, 1869; and on the 17th June, 1869, he electrified the "Colonels" of the House by declaring, while speaking of the great expense of the non-effective services and pensions, that "he thought the whole system of pay and pensions in the army was rotten and wrong.... Officers ought to provide for old age out of their incomes, and even if their pay were proportionately increased, the service would gain in efficiency if the change made it less aristocratic, by throwing it open to men without private fortunes, who must live on their pay." Mr. Anderson has persistently, both in season and out of season, kept "pegging away" at the bugbear of Army Reform, and on the 2d August, 1870, he attacked the abuse of sinecure Colonels, and abuses in the higher branches of the army; such as the Colonelcies held by the Prince of Wales, the Duke of Cambridge, the chief military secretary, and others. Mr. Cardwell, in his reply, alleged that these were honorary, but was afterwards[Pg 53] obliged to admit that the Prince and the Duke were each paid for one colonelcy, the former £1350, and the latter £2200. He moved large reductions in the salaries of the commander-in-chief and the military secretary, in respect of their holding incomes from colonelcies, and repeated his motion in 1871. Although he was defeated in these motions, the result has been the restriction of the salary of the military secretary by £700 a year, and a prospective reduction of the commander-in-chief's by £450 at next vacancy. But it is hardly to be expected that these reductions will induce Mr. Anderson to desist from further attempts in the same direction. In 1871 he was selected to second Mr. Trevelyan's motion on army reform, and in speaking on that occasion he again attacked the sinecure colonelcies and other abuses in the administration of the army. He systematically opposes all increase of expenditure, particularly on the army, and in 1870, on the outbreak of the Franco-German war, when Government asked a vote of two millions for increased army expenditure, he was one of a minority of seven who opposed it. In the debate on the abolition of purchase, Mr. Anderson denounced the injustice of razing over regulation prices, and thus rewarding men for knowingly breaking the law. He pointed out that it would lead to officers getting not one, but two over regulation prices, and he afterwards supported Mr. Ryland's motion against that payment.

It is, however, to his Wages Arrestment Act and the Citation Amendment (Scotland) Act that Mr. Anderson stands indebted for his prestige and popularity as a legislator. The first of these is the bill which he introduced last session with the object of limiting the arrestment of wages. In Glasgow, and elsewhere throughout Scotland, the provisions of the measure were discussed with a good deal of personal feeling—one party arguing that the security afforded to shopkeepers by the power of arresting wages enabled them to give credit to working men when they could not otherwise venture to do so; while another class contended that extravagance and distress were the results of too easy access to credit. The general[Pg 54] impression, however, appears to be that the bill will be productive of the most beneficial results both to the small shopkeepers and to their customers—the two classes most directly interested in its operation.

In reference to the Citation Amendment (Scotland) Act, which has put an end to keyhole citations in small debt cases throughout Scotland, we may remark that Mr. Anderson aimed, in introducing this measure, at the amelioration of the poorer classes, on whom the keyhole system pressed with undue severity. Previous to the passing of the new Act the officer appointed to serve a summons was permitted—if he did not find the defender at home, or could not obtain access to his house—to place the summons in the keyhole, after six knocks at the door, or to affix it to the gate; and whilst many accidents might readily occur to prevent its reaching the hands of the proper party, it was also not unfrequent for some one interested to take it away, and thus a decree in absence was too readily obtained.

In the Trades' Union and Criminal Amendment Bills he attempted several amendments on behalf of the working man, and was successful in some, particularly in excluding the jurisdiction of Justices of Peace from such cases in Scotland, which renders that Act less oppressive in Scotland than it is in England.

We may briefly indicate, in reference to the rest of Mr. Anderson's Parliamentary career, that he has voted in favour of Mr. Mundella's motion against the increase of the Army Estimates. He has supported the bill for the legalizing of marriage with a deceased wife's sister, and voted in favour of the Irish Church and Land Bills. On the 9th May, 1871, he voted in favour of Mr. Miall's proposed resolution for the disestablishment of the Church of England; while as cognate to this subject, we may add, that he has opposed Mr. M'Laren's Annuity Tax (Edinburgh) Bill, as well as the Church Rates (Scotland) Bill; though, in speaking to his constituents in 1871, he claimed to have been the means of bringing about the settlement of the Annuity Tax question.[Pg 55]

During the last two sessions he has repeatedly called the attention of the Home Secretary to the prevalence and results of betting advertisements, and urged the need of further legislation. On mercantile subjects Mr. Anderson is considered somewhat of an authority, and in 1869, when the English Bankruptcy Bill came on, his knowledge of the Scotch system, which the English commercial members wished to adopt, was of some use, and enabled him to take a considerable share in the discussion of the clauses, and to carry a number of amendments, though failing in some important ones, he has taken an active part also in amending the Assurance Companies Bill, and in almost every discussion bearing upon the commercial relations of the country. Speaking against Mr. Delahunty's Money Law (Ireland) Bill in the session of 1869, he declared with reference to the proposed abolition of small notes in Ireland, that "if the House came to the conclusion that small notes ought to be abolished in Ireland, a proposal to abolish them also in Scotland would probably follow; and that it was only with the assistance of her small notes that Scotland had maintained her place in commerce and manufactures by the side of so enormously wealthy a country as England." It is worthy of note that Mr. Anderson is a convert to the abolition of the game laws, which until the session of 1870 he had wished to see only amended, not repealed. He is also in favour of the abolition of the laws of entail and hypothec. Mr. Anderson seems to have a thorough detestation of anything like jobbery. He has several times, by judicious questions in the House, succeeded in stopping a job—such, for instance, as the Colonel Shute scandal, and the proposed pension to the Military Secretary—and though he is a general supporter of Mr. Gladstone's Government he never hesitates either to vote or to speak against them when he thinks them wrong; and as no Government can see any merit in merely supporting them when they are right, he is naturally no great favourite in high quarters.

Mr. Anderson voted against any grant to Prince Arthur,[Pg 56] and explained that he "thought it unfair that savings by the abolition of old offices on the civil list should go to the Crown, while the burden of establishing new princes was to be thrown on the people." He has also voted in a minority of four in favour of Sir Charles Dilke's motion for enquiring into the expenditure, under the various classes prescribed by the Civil List Act, declining to accept the general opinion that the vote was a Republican vote, merely because Sir C. Dilke moved it, and as a protest against the Government for refusing the information, and the Opposition Benches for endeavouring to howl down the motion.

Mr. Anderson's speeches are always short, unadorned, and practical. He has endeavoured, by moving a resolution, to reduce the inordinate length of the speeches in the House as the only way of saving time to get through the yearly increasing work of legislation, and he has proposed some other resolutions for facilitating the business of the House.[Pg 57]


Glasgow cannot lay claim to a hereditary aristocracy. She has, however, what is infinitely better for the purposes of commercial, political, and social progress—an aristocracy of energy, talent, and moral worth. There are very few of her merchants and manufacturers who have not been the architects of their own fortune. The pioneers of her industrial prosperity do not build their aspirations and hopes upon a few broad acres, or a pedigree stretching backwards to the time of William the Conqueror. These maybe fine things in their way, and, like an antique jewel, they may serve very well to wear on special occasions, or to treasure as an antiquary would do some rare coin or "auld nick-nacket." But the magnates of Glasgow have a juster and more legitimate cause for pride; their ambition is of a less ornamental, but far more useful kind. The Youngs, the Napiers, the Elders, the Campbells, and the Bairds are, after all, your true and permanent nobility. All that is not the direct result of merit and industry can only induce vanity and vexation of spirit. It is no uncommon thing to hear men who have been pitchforked into an affluent position—whose progenitors may have taken part in the "forty-five"—to go no further back—look with disdain upon the pretensions of those who have, within the short span of a single lifetime, realised a colossal fortune. But Catullus has truly said that there's "nothing so foolish as the laugh of fools," and many men still require to be taught that—

"Honour and fame from no condition rise,"

although the fact is every day patent to the most casual observation.[Pg 58]

Sir James Campbell belongs to a family who have secured a right to a permanent place in the annals of the West of Scotland. In commerce, in politics, in matters ecclesiastical, they have been alike conspicuous. Born at the Port of Menteith, in Perthshire, Sir James is one of three brothers who went forth into the world and distinguished themselves, not less by their success as merchants, than by the honour and integrity of all their transactions. The father of the family was a farmer, who occupied the small farm of Inchanoch, in Menteith—as his ancestors for three generations before him had done—the produce accruing from which was scarcely sufficient to provide in an adequate degree for the maintenance of a numerous family. While his sons were yet young, he removed with his family to Glasgow, which was even then considered an inviting field for all who possessed energy, industry, and ability to work. Here James became connected in partnership with a tailor named Paterson, the father, we believe, of a well-known tradesman now in Glasgow. For some years they carried on business together in Brunswick Street, but fortune frowned upon their efforts, and the firm was dissolved. Subsequently James entered into partnership with his brother William, who had been engaged for some years in a small drapery shop in High Street, and the brothers established themselves in business in the Saltmarket. Their business was at this time in a very humble way—their operations being confined for the most part to supplying basket-women and hawkers with cotton goods, such as handkerchiefs and pinafores. By dint of unwearied energy and attention to business the brothers were enabled, in course of time, to extend their ramifications so far as to build a large warehouse in Candleriggs, which they continued to occupy for many years, and in which they conducted an extensive wholesale business as well as retail. The eldest brother, John, who had been for some years in America, had charge of the retail department of the concern. There are several features of the business as carried on at this time that deserve to be noticed. In the first place, they were the first to set their face against the objec[Pg 59]tionable system of "prigging," which up to that time had prevailed to a greater or less extent in every description of retail business. Their goods were all ticketed with a certain figure, the lowest that they could possibly be sold at so as to leave a fair margin of profit, and from this price nothing would induce them to make any abatement. Adopting the Horatian maxim, they "kept one consistent plan from end to end." The result was that goods which in another establishment would be quoted at 2s 6d or 2s 8d, were sold by Messrs. Campbell for 1s 6d or 1s 9d, being less than they could generally be obtained for elsewhere, even after a customer had spent his ingenuity and breath in half-an-hour's "prigging." The advantages to be obtained at Messrs. Campbell's establishment soon became known, and although it required a great effort to induce thrifty housewives to desist from attempting to cheapen and "prig" down their goods, Messrs. Campbell ultimately succeeded in putting a stop to the practice, so far at least as their own establishment was concerned. Since then, their example has been followed by all the other respectable drapers and warehousemen throughout the city, so that a child of tender years can now be entrusted to make a purchase without the slightest risk of being overcharged or imposed upon. In connection with their warehouse in Candleriggs, the firm for many years carried on warping mills in the upper flats, being thus manufacturers as well as merchants. Before leaving Candleriggs, however, and entering upon their present extensive premises in Ingram Street, which they opened in 1856, they had abandoned the manufacturing department of their business, and confined themselves exclusively to buying and selling. Such were the beginnings of a concern which, at the present day, is surpassed by none, and equalled by few in the city of Glasgow, and such were the circumstances under which the two brothers laid the foundations of a reputation for sterling integrity and worth, which has given their family a leading place in the West of Scotland. It may be mentioned that in 1842 they opened an additional retail warehouse in Buchanan Street, under the[Pg 60] firm of Campbell & Co.—a business afterwards disposed of to Neilson, Shaw, & M'Gregor; and that the retail business in Candleriggs Street was disposed of to Donald & Sellar.

With reference to Sir James's public career a great deal might be written, and yet the gist of it might be comprised in a few sentences. Both he and his brother William, so well known as Mr. Campbell of Tillichewan, were for a long time members of the Town Council, and Sir James occupied for the statutory period of three years—from 1840 to 1843—the position of Lord Provost. It was while Sir James filled the civic chair that the heir apparent to the Throne was born, and to mark the occurrence of such an important event, as well as in recognition of the active part which he took in connection with the festivities and demonstrations that happened in Glasgow to celebrate the same, he received from her Majesty the honour of knighthood. In 1837, he had come forward as a candidate for the representation of the city, conjointly with Mr. Monteith of Carstairs; but as he stood in the Conservative interest, and as Glasgow, even at that distance of time, was a Radical constituency, he was, despite his great local influence, defeated by a considerable majority. His opponents on this occasion were Lord William Bentinck, Mr. John Dennistoun, and Mr. Robert Monteith; and after a hard struggle the election terminated with the following result:—

Lord William Bentinck,2767
John Dennistoun,2743
Robert Monteith,2121
James Campbell,2090

Again in 1841, while Lord Provost, he was an unsuccessful candidate for the representation of the city, the poll terminating as follows:—

James Oswald,2776
John Dennistoun,2728
James Campbell,2416
George Mills,355

[Pg 61]

In every movement having for its object the promotion of the interests and well-being of Glasgow, Sir James has taken an active and useful part. Politically, his support and influence have had an important bearing upon the fortunes of the Conservative party in the West of Scotland; and to the Established Church, of which he has all along been a steadfast and warm adherent, he has contributed unwearied service.

On the 14th January, 1868, Sir James was entertained at a banquet in the Corporation Galleries in recognition of his private worth and his public services as a citizen of Glasgow. The banquet was so far official that the Lord Provost occupied the chair, and he was supported by most of the leading men of Glasgow. In proposing the health of Sir James, the Lord Provost (Sir James Lumsden) declared that he had "for many years taken an active part, and still takes a deep interest in all municipal affairs;" and added, "he is well known as a warm and attached friend, a judicious counsellor, ever ready not only to lend his name and open his purse in the furtherance of all measures leading to the improvement of his fellow-citizens, but by taking such an active part in their management as shows his earnestness in accomplishing whatever he takes in hand." In the course of his speech, the Lord Provost also mentioned the interesting fact that, entering the Council in 1831, Sir James was one of the four surviving members of that body who presided over municipal affairs prior to the passing of the Borough Reform Bill—Mr. William Smith, Mr. William Brown, and Mr. Thomas Douglas being the other three.

Lady Campbell is a daughter of the late Mr. Henry Bannerman of Manchester, founder of the well-known firm of Henry Bannerman & Sons. It is a coincidence worthy of notice that the progenitors of the Bannerman family, with whom throughout the greater part of his life Sir James has been so closely identified, were also Perthshire farmers, occupying a comparatively humble rank in life.

Of Sir James Campbell's family, the eldest son, Mr.[Pg 62] James A. Campbell, younger of Stracathro (who is married to a daughter of Sir Morton Peto, the eminent contractor), now administers his father's interest in the business. His other and younger son, Mr. Henry Campbell, has, since 1868, represented the Stirling Burghs in Parliament, and now occupies a responsible post in the Government of his country as Financial Secretary in the War Office.

In his private capacity, Sir James is genial, accessible, and full of dry, pawky humour. He is in his proper element when entertaining a company of his friends, either at his town residence in Bath Street, or at his more delightful country mansion of Stracathro, near Brechin. Although upwards of eighty years of age, he is in the full possession of all his faculties, his sight alone excepted, and even his sense of vision is sufficiently retained to enable him to find his way in the most crowded thoroughfares of the city.[Pg 63]


The whole range of industrial biography does not present a more signally successful career than that of Mr. James Young; nor can we find, in all the annals of aspiring genius, a more wonderful example of the ultimate triumph of mind over matter.

The origin of the inventor of paraffin oil was comparatively obscure. He was born in the Drygate of Glasgow—a street on which the operations of the City Improvement Trust have effected a wonderful transformation—where his father was a working cabinetmaker. After receiving what little schooling his parents were able to afford, Mr. Young commenced to assist his father—who had by this time established himself as his own master in the Calton—and while so employed he took to the study of Chemistry. For some time he attended the lectures of Professor Graham, the late Master of the Mint (to whom a monument has been erected by his illustrious pupil in George Square) at the Andersonian University, and he showed such aptitude for science, that in a remarkably short time he became Mr. Graham's class assistant. In this capacity Mr. Young continued for seven years, and, as his subsequent career amply showed, he did not fail to improve his opportunities. After leaving the Andersonian, he followed Mr. Graham to London, when the latter was appointed to the Professorship of Chemistry in London University, and he continued to be associated with his old friend and master until he accepted the position of manager of Muspratt's Chemical Works at Newton, near Liverpool. Here he continued for four-and-a-half years, improving, of course, his acquaintance[Pg 64] with the practical bearings of his favourite science, especially in regard to the manufacture of alkali and bleaching powder, the staple products of Muspratt's works. Mr. Young afterwards removed to Manchester, where he undertook a responsible position in Tennant's Chemical Works—a branch of Tennant's of Glasgow. This would be in the year 1843. While employed in Manchester he received from Dr. Lyon Playfair, whose acquaintance he had made while in the Andersonian University, a communication with reference to the existence of a petroleum spring in Derbyshire. This may almost be said to have been the turning point in Mr. Young's career. Dr. Playfair stated that in his brother-in-law's coal mine in Derbyshire there was a large quantity of petroleum, and he proposed that Mr. Young should investigate the mine, and judge if anything could be made out of it. A commission so responsible, and involving the exercise of so much scientific skill, was just suited to Mr. Young's fancy. He went and examined the springs, found petroleum dropping from the roof of the mine over the coal, and the result was that he took a lease of the spring, and worked the petroleum with the view to making it profitable. We may here explain that petroleum is of different kinds, although in all its diverse forms it retains the same qualities. It is an oleagenous substance, naturally evolved from the earth, and may be found in all degrees of thickness, from a very light substance found in some parts of Persia, to a thick viscid substance more indigenous to Britain. Before taking a lease of the petroleum spring, Mr. Young suggested the advisability of Tennant's people taking it up, but they said it was too small a matter for them. Mr. Young, however, in 1848, commenced to work the spring for himself, producing two different oils—one a thick oil for lubricating, and the other a thin oil for lamp burning. In course of time it became evident that the petroleum was almost worked out, and Mr. Young directed his attention to finding an artificial substitute for the natural oil. He had previously held the idea that the petroleum might be produced by the[Pg 65] action of heat on the coal and the vapour going up into the sandstone to be condensed. He made a great many experiments in retorts, with the view of testing the practicability of this idea, and the results obtained were very various. He had no fixed data to guide him, and he sometimes got one thing, sometimes another. At last, however, success rewarded his labours, and he was entitled to exclaim—"Eureka!" Out of a cannel that came to be mixed with soda ash he obtained a quantity of liquid that contained paraffin. In the beginning of 1850, Mr. Bartholomew, of the City and Suburban Gas Works, Glasgow, showed Mr. Young some specimens of the Boghead coal, with which he renewed his experiments, distilling the mineral at a low temperature, until he evolved a considerable quantity of crude paraffin. Ultimately, Mr. Young, Mr. Meldrum, and Mr. Binney, to whom the discovery was imparted at the Edinburgh meeting of the British Association, in 1850, resolved on erecting works at Bathgate, in the centre of the Torbanehill coal district, for the manufacture of paraffin. Before setting out on this venture, however, Mr. Young took care to protect his invention by securing a patent. In 1851 the Bathgate works, which originally consisted of only two or three retorts, were set agoing, and from that time until the present hour their success has been uninterrupted. It is worth while mentioning that Mr. Young, during the whole course of his experiments, derived no advice or assistance whatever from the experience or conclusions of others who had preceded him in the same phase of chemical science, and that he had never either heard of or seen Reichenbach's letter to Dumas, upon which the claims of the German chemist to have been the original discoverer of paraffin were based. It is now generally admitted that Reichenbach was the real discoverer of paraffin. He found it as an ingredient in the tar obtained by distilling beechwood, as far back as 1830. What Reichenbach only dreamed about and hoped for, however, Mr. Young practically realised; and to our townsman is due the credit of having been the first to[Pg 66] prepare paraffin as a commercial article from mineral sources.

The exact nature and properties of shale was the subject of a remarkable trial in the Court of Session soon after Mr. Young began to work the raw material at Bathgate. The proprietor of the estate of Torbanehill, Mr. Gillespie, disputed with the lessee, Mr. Russell, of Falkirk, affirming that the valuable mineral called shale was not coal, and that the working of it was therefore not included in Mr. Russell's lease. Subsequently, Mr. Young had several lawsuits against parties who had infringed his patent, one being an action against the Clydesdale Chemical Company, in which, the jury gave a unanimous verdict for Mr. Young, the defendants paying large sums as costs and damages. Another was an action against Mr. E. W. Ferney, of Saltney, near Chester, who had established works on Mr. Young's principle, and would not be bound by the decisions pronounced in previous cases. In the spring of 1864, after a trial which lasted nearly forty days, judgment was again given in favour of Mr. Young, who claimed £15,000 of professional expenses alone, in addition to a royalty of 3d. per gallon of oil made in contravention of his patent rights.

The monopoly carried on by Mr. Young and his partners was broken down in October, 1864, by the expiry of the patent rights, and the dissolution of the partnership, and the Bathgate works subsequently passed into the hands of a limited liability company, by whom they are still owned and controlled, Mr. Young continuing to hold a large share, and the position of general manager. The amount paid for the works and plant by the new company was £450,000, and we believe Mr. Young took shares to the extent of one-fourth of that amount; Mr. Pender, of Minard, the next largest shareholder, holding stock to the extent of £70,000 more. The idea of erecting new works on a larger scale, and with more improved and modern appliances, in the West Calder district, was meanwhile conceived by Mr. Young. He selected a site on the estate of Addiewell, a mile west[Pg 67] from the village of West Calder, extending to fully fifty acres of ground. Here he erected works that are still unrivalled in point of extent, and of which it may be said that they form an apt commentary on their projector's energy, intelligence, and enterprise. There being no accommodation in West Calder for a large body of workpeople, Mr. Young's first care was to erect suitable dwelling-houses. Very soon a new village of respectable proportions sprang into being, and the chemical works were pushed forward with equal celerity. The arrangement of Addiewell Chemical Works is admirably calculated for their purpose. They cover nearly a half of the entire site, the buildings as well as the mechanical appliances being on a gigantic scale. The retort sheds are upwards of 200 yards in length taken together, and each shed contains a double row of retorts. Altogether, there are no less than 354 retorts, capable of distilling more than 3000 tons of shale per week, and producing 120,000 gallons of crude oil, which yields 50,000 to 60,000 gallons of burning oil, in addition to about 12 tons of refined paraffin oil and a large quantity of lubricating oil. Each of the condensers contains several miles of piping. The main pipe, which collects the vapours from the retorts, is nearly a yard in diameter. One and a quarter million cubic feet of gas are manufactured at the works every day. Upwards of 1000 hands are employed. In the shale-pits adjoining, four hundred miners are regularly at work. The pits are conveniently near to the Addiewell Works, none of them being more than two miles off. A network of railway lines communicate with the various shale-pits, and five locomotives are regularly employed in the transit of minerals. A school, under Government inspection, is attached to the works, and the employés are exceptionably well off for house accommodation.

Within the limits of this article we cannot do full justice to the enormous industry of which Mr. Young is the founder. It is even claimed for Mr. Young's little factory at Alfreton that it was the parent, not only of the Scotch mineral oil trade, but also of that of America; for oil had never been dis[Pg 68]tilled to produce an article of commerce until he commenced to work his patent there. From such a small beginning has arisen, within the short space of twenty-three years, one of the most important and extensive industries in the world. At the present time there are in Scotland altogether 65 oil-works, at 17 of which crude oil is manufactured and refined ready for the market. At 38 other works the crude oil alone is produced, and although most of the crude oil so made is refined at other works in Scotland, a not inconsiderable quantity is sent to the Welsh refiners, while some of it is sent to the Continent. Of the remaining works, 16 refine the crude oil only. There are altogether 3804 retorts in operation, both vertical and horizontal. It is a moot point, which is now engaging the attention of those in the trade, whether vertical or horizontal retorts are the best suited for the purposes in view. At Mr. Young's works, which are the largest and most important in Scotland, nothing but vertical retorts are used, it being considered that they possess an advantage over the horizontal kind in respect of their continuous feeding, but the latter are likewise very largely used. Of the 3404 retorts, however, there are seldom more than 3000 at work together. The remainder are usually standing idle, on account of repairs or some other cause. The average weekly production of crude oil at the Scotch works is nearly 120,000 gallons, and the number of men engaged in the trade in its various departments is estimated at little short of 6500. Assuming, as we may fairly do, that 3000 retorts are regularly at work, they will yield 21,800,000 gallons of crude oil, and distil 730,000 tons of shale annually; or, in other words, they will distil 13,000 to 14,000 tons of shale weekly. From the crude oil thus distilled there will be produced something like 10,000,000 gallons of refined burning oil annually, besides crude solid paraffin, and other products, such as naptha and lubricating oils. It is further calculated that the average wages paid in connection with this industry will reach between £400,000 and £500,000 per annum. The districts in which the manufacture is carried on are situated in Midlothian,[Pg 69] Ayrshire, Lanarkshire, Fifeshire, and Linlithgowshire. The largest works are in the Midlothian and Linlithgowshire districts, the Fifeshire and Ayrshire works being comparatively limited in extent, and chiefly confined to the manufacture of crude oil. Some of the principal works have been considerably extended of late.

Mr. Young is distinguished for his public munificence and private philanthropy. Many a young man who has attained a respectable and influential position is indebted to Mr. Young for his first start in life. As a ready and effectual means towards promoting a thirst for knowledge, and an acquaintance with the practical bearings of the science to which he is himself so much indebted, he founded, about three years ago, a chair of technical chemistry in the Andersonian University. Previously the students attending the chemistry classes under the late Professor Penny had no opportunity of making themselves familiar with the application of the principles of the science to arts and manufactures; a knowledge of the principles themselves was all that they could attain. A man may be the greatest proficient in the knowledge of the principles of chemical science, and yet be utterly ignorant of how bleaching powder, chromate of potash, or soda are made. Thus it was with the Chemical Chair at the Andersonian until Mr. Young, by his munificent bequest of £10,000 for the foundation of a Chair of Technical Chemistry, established a connection between the scientific chemist and the workshop. The first occupant of the chair, Herr Bischof, commenced his duties during last summer, and the number of students attending his class has already exceeded all expectations. The foundation of nine bursaries, each worth £50 per annum, is certainly an inducement to perseverance which is not every day placed within the reach of poor students; and considering the multiform phases of chemical science, and the comparatively limited extent to which they have hitherto been developed, there is no saying to what results Mr. Young's bequest may serve to lead.

Although so far advanced in life, Mr. Young continues to[Pg 70] labour with as much zest and enthusiasm as ever in the field of chemistry. It is to him a labour of love. His mind is of that vigorous and active disposition that cannot indulge in the repose to which the successful labours of an arduous life invariably lead. Within the last few months he has given to the world a new process for the manufacture of soda, which will probably introduce an important revolution in the manufacture of alkali, and enable carbonate of soda to be produced at something like one-fourth of its present cost.

It is a fitting recognition and reward of Mr. Young's great discoveries and enterprise that he should have amassed one of the largest fortunes that was ever realized by individual effort within a similarly short period. Some years ago he acquired the beautiful estate of Kelly, at Wemyss Bay, which he has greatly improved and adorned. He owns also one of the most handsome yachts on the Clyde, which has been named the "Nyanza," in honour of Mr. Young's most intimate friend—Dr. Livingstone, the African traveller. Dr. Livingstone and Mr. Young were fellow-students at the Andersonian University, and their friendship has remained unbroken since that time. It is interesting to note that it was Dr. Livingstone who laid the foundation-stone of Mr. Young's new works at West Calder, and it was a brother of Dr. Kirk of Zanzibar who superintended the Addiewell works for some time after they were built.

Mr. Young has never taken any active part in political or municipal affairs, but he is identified with various scientific and literary societies; and for the last four years he has been President of the Andersonian University. In social life he is kindly, warm-hearted, and genial; and these qualities shine most conspicuously in his own family circle, or while he is entertaining a company of his numerous friends.[Pg 71]


The commercial annals of the West of Scotland are full of interest. They illustrate a prosperity that is almost without parallel. Macaulay's New Zealander is not likely to plant his foot on Glasgow Bridge for many generations to come, or if he does he will witness a scene totally unlike that for which the historian had prepared him. In all our staple industries we are advancing with gigantic strides. Shipping and shipbuilding are especially conspicuous for their steady and rapid development. As a shipping port Glasgow stands second to none in the United Kingdom, Liverpool alone excepted. It was not always so. So late as the beginning of the eighteenth century there were only about a dozen vessels belonging to the port, their aggregate tonnage amounting to no more than 1000 tons. More than any other river in the world, the Clyde has triumphed over natural obstacles and drawbacks. Originally the estuary of the Clyde was so shallow that no vessel of any size could come further up than Port-Glasgow. It was considered a great achievement when, in 1801, craft of 40 tons burden were enabled to touch at the Broomielaw. A story is told of a daring navigator who, towards the close of last century, built a vessel of 30 tons burden for the purpose of exploring "the wee bit burn ca'd the Clyde." As a reward for his enterprise and daring, he was presented with the freedom of the city on reaching the harbour of Glasgow. Thanks to the fostering care and ceaseless exertions of the Clyde Navigation Trustees, vessels of the largest tonnage can now come up to the Broomielaw; and the port of Glasgow can lay claim to some of the largest and most magnificent merchant vessels afloat. A rare conjunction of private and public enterprise[Pg 72] brought about these results. From the time that Henry Bell's Comet appeared on the scene in 1812, until the present, the Clyde has occupied a pre-eminent position in the records of the progress of steam navigation. In 1841 the number of vessels belonging to the port of Glasgow was 431, with an aggregate of 95,619 tons. At the present time there are 895 vessels belonging to the port, their total tonnage being 433,016 tons! These figures speak for themselves. They do not indicate a merely natural evolution. Hard work, skilful and energetic application of available resources, and well concerted plans, were necessary to bring about such an era of prosperity; and these conditions of success were supplied by such men as Mr. George Burns, who has been identified most closely for more than half-a-century with this branch of commerce.

Belonging to a family which has long occupied an honourable position in the West of Scotland, Mr. George Burns has reason to be proud of his ancestors. His grandfather, whose name was originally Burn, inherited a small property near Stirling, which he sold and came to reside in Glasgow. Here he distinguished himself as a scholar, and published an English dictionary and grammar which was long used in all the schools and academies throughout the country. He died at the age of eighty-four, and his time carries us back to the beginning of last century. He used to tell of seeing combatants in the battle of "Shirra Muir" pass his father's place in 1715. His son, Dr. Burns, who was an only child, remembered being carried in his nurse's arms to the King's Park at Stirling, where he saw encamped the Hessians who had been employed in the unsuccessful rising in favour of Prince Charles in 1745, and who remained in this country for some time subsequently. Dr. Burns, born in 1714, was minister of the Barony parish, in Glasgow, for the long period of seventy-two years, dying in 1839, in his ninety-sixth year. He preached in the crypt of the Cathedral, which Sir Walter Scott has made famous in the pages of "Rob Roy," and at a time when such qualities were rare in the Church of Scotland, he was distinguished for the evangelical faithfulness of his preaching,[Pg 73] and for his conscientious and laborious performance of pastoral work. In the prosecution of his duties he established and conducted Sabbath schools in Calton, which was included in his parish. These, as far as is known, were the first Sunday schools instituted in Scotland, and it is believed were before the time of Mr. Raikes, who began the system in England. At the time above mentioned the population of the Barony parish did not exceed 8000, but long before the death of Dr. Burns it had increased more than tenfold. One of the most unselfish and simple-hearted of men, he brought up a large family upon a small stipend, refusing for a long time to ask an augmentation from the Tiend Court, until his scruples were overborne by the pressing entreaties of his heritors. This venerable patriarch lived to see the blessing of his Covenant-God, and the reward of his own training, in the highly honourable and successful career of his family. He had nine children, of whom four died in early life. The remaining five were—John, born in 1775; Allan, born in 1781; Elizabeth, born in 1786; James, born in 1788; and the youngest, the only one of the family now living, George, born in 1795. The eldest son—Dr. John Burns, F.R.S.—was the first Professor of Surgery in the University of Glasgow. He was a man of extensive erudition and devoted piety. He wrote several standard medical works, which secured for him the high honour of being elected a member of the Institute of France, and also several most excellent religious works, one of which, entitled "Christian Philosophy," is still popular. His sad death, by drowning, in the wreck of the steamer Orion, in 1850, will be well remembered. The second son—Allan—was the intimate friend of Sir Astley Cooper, Bart., the celebrated surgeon. He went to St. Petersburg, where he became physician to the Empress of Russia, from whom he received valuable presents and honourable distinctions. Returning to Glasgow, he lectured on anatomy, and prosecuted his profession with great success. He died at the early age of thirty-two, in consequence of a wound received while dissecting. But short as was his career, he succeeded in acquiring a European reputation[Pg 74] by his scientific writings. James and George, both of whom possessed much of the native talent of the family, found ample scope for their abilities in mercantile pursuits, and about the year 1818 they entered into partnership and commenced business in Glasgow. In 1824 they became owners, along with the late Hugh Matthie of Liverpool, of six sailing vessels trading between that port and Glasgow, and in the same year they engaged in steam navigation between Glasgow and Belfast. Shortly thereafter they substituted steam for sailing vessels in the Glasgow and Liverpool trade, and in 1830 they amalgamated this concern with that of the Messrs. MacIver of Liverpool. The various trades thus organised comprised branches between Glasgow and Liverpool, Belfast, Londonderry, and the West Highlands, but the last named business was disposed of in 1852 to Mr. David Hutcheson, who long held a responsible position in Messrs. Burns' office, and who was joined by his brother, Mr. Alexander Hutcheson, and by Mr. David MacBrayne, a nephew of the Messrs Burns. Under the firm of David Hutcheson & Co. the West Highland trade has continued to be conducted with every satisfaction to the public. The other branches are still carried on by Messrs. Burns & MacIver. While James applied himself to the mercantile branch of the business, the direction of the shipping department devolved upon George, whose energy and sagacity rendered him well qualified for the onerous duties, and under whose able management the business gradually developed into a steam shipping concern second to none in the world.

In 1830 the establishment of mail steam communication between Britain and North America was projected by Mr. Samuel Cunard, of Halifax, N.S., who, in prosecution of his undertaking, was introduced to Mr. Robert Napier by Mr. Melvill, secretary in London to the East India Company, and through whom he entered into conferences on the subject in Glasgow with Mr. George Burns and Mr. David MacIver. The consultation resulted in the undertaking since popularly known as the Cunard line, and Mr. George Burns persuaded his brother to join in this, as he had in like manner previously[Pg 75] induced him to join in the establishment of steamers between Glasgow and Liverpool. The contract for the conveyance of the North American mails was entered into between the Admiralty on the one part, and Samuel Cunard, George Burns, and David MacIver on the other part; and the first steamer of the line, the Britannia, sailed from Liverpool on 4th July, 1840, for Halifax and Boston. The means of travelling between the mother country and America were previously very inadequate. Although steam had come into pretty general use for coasting purposes, it had been little applied to ocean voyages. The Cunard line commenced with four paddle-wheel steamers, of an aggregate tonnage of 4602 tons. Now the company possess between 40 and 50 vessels afloat, or in course of construction. Many of these are the most magnificent merchant ships afloat. Some of them are over 4000 tons burden, and the aggregate tonnage of the whole is close upon 90,000 tons.

It is not too much to affirm of the Cunard line, that it is the most popular and successful Transatlantic service afloat. For upwards of thirty years a Cunard Transatlantic steamer has sailed—at first once a week, subsequently twice a week, and latterly three times a week—from Liverpool, and another from New York or Boston. During that long period many hundred thousand passengers have been carried by that noble fleet. Yet, despite the dangers of the Atlantic, and the liability to accident in a thousand ways of such a voyage, the Cunard line can thankfully say that they have never lost a life—nay more, although they have had a contract with the British Government since they started for the conveyance of the North American mails, the company have never even lost a letter! Such a claim cannot be made on behalf of any other line afloat. But it would be quite a mistake to infer that this wonderful exemption from misadventure is due to luck or chance. On the contrary, the skilful management of the line has been the chief, if not the sole cause of its matchless reputation. Every consideration of profit has from the very outset been subordinated to a painstaking and anxious regard for[Pg 76] the efficiency of the fleet, and for the safety and comfort of the passengers. Without a single exception, all the Cunard Liners are noted for their seaworthy qualities, which have been admirably preserved by the existence of the company's engineering works at Liverpool; and the instructions for the navigation of the fleet are most complete and peremptory. Thus, it will be seen that a combination of rare administrative qualities, together with the intrinsic superiority of their ships, have been the means of realising for the Cunard Company a character which is altogether without a precedent, while the same causes have imparted to the most timid passengers a confidence in the Cunard line which they would not be justified in placing even in a railway company. In short, the Cunard Company have brought about a condition of things which our grandfathers could not have believed possible. They have set at naught the dangers of the mighty deep, and rendered ocean travelling more safe and interesting than travelling on the dry land. Truly, those who have had the management of this gigantic business are entitled to be regarded as the pioneers of a high standard of progress, the highest standard, indeed, that has yet been attained, or is possible of attainment, in the direction of one of the greatest ends of civilisation—that of making the navigation of the ocean compatible with perfect safety to human life. In illustration of the style of management, it may be added that it has been the policy of those conducting the business to keep abreast with the advancement of the age, by constantly selling and replacing vessels as required. From first to last they have sold considerably above 100 steamers.

The business of the Cunard Company, in its various branches, has from its origin been carried on in Glasgow by Messrs. G. & J. Burns; in Liverpool, by the energetic firm of Messrs. D. & C. MacIver; in Halifax, N.S., by Messrs. S. Cunard & Co.; and in New York, by Sir Edward Cunard, Bart. Mr. David MacIver died a few years after the formation of the Cunard line, Sir Samuel Cunard, Bart., and his son Sir Edward, died more recently; and James Burns and[Pg 77] George Burns having retired several years before the death of the former, which took place in September last, the business devolved upon the two sons of George Burns—John Burns and James Cleland Burns, of Glasgow; Charles MacIver, of Liverpool; and William Cunard, formerly of Halifax, N.S., now of London, who remain the sole partners of this gigantic concern, which is still further extending its ramifications by the addition of a line of steamers between the Clyde and the West Indies.

The subject of our memoir married, in 1822, the eldest daughter of the late Dr. Cleland of Glasgow, a man who may be said to have been the father of social and vital statistics in this country; for at the time he published his works, "Annals of Glasgow," and "Statistical Tables," we believe that Sweden was the only country that laid claim to the possession of regular statistics. Dr. Cleland was a member of the Institute of France, and other scientific bodies. By his wife, who is still alive, Mr. Burns has had seven children, of whom there only survive the two sons who are now at the head of the business in Glasgow. Mr. George Burns, soon after his retirement from business, purchased the estate of Wemyss Bay, where he now spends the greater part of his time. Mr. John Burns is possessor of the property of Castle Wemyss, where he resides; and Mr. James Cleland Burns lives at his property of Glenlee, near Hamilton.

Neither Mr. Burns, nor any of his family, have ever taken a prominent part in politics, although their immense business experience and conspicuous aptitude for controlling and directing their own unrivalled private concern, would in all probability have qualified them for taking a high place in the councils of the nation had they chosen to enter the domain of politics. In their private capacities each and all of the family have been distinguished for their ready and liberal support of measures calculated to improve the moral, social, and religious condition of their fellow-townsmen, and an appeal for support to a deserving object has never been made to them in vain. Mr. George Burns has always been ready to afford[Pg 78] personal service and pecuniary assistance to schemes of a benevolent or philanthropic character. The name of Mr. John Burns is a "tower of strength" where there is a good cause to be promoted. He rendered valuable service in assisting to establish the Cumberland training ship—an institution which, in its proved results, has done more than all the rest of our industrial institutions put together to reform our street Arabs, and to inspire them with higher aims and better motives in life. During the three years that have elapsed since the Cumberland was brought to the Gareloch, Mr. Burns has acted as its president, and in the midst of his own multitudinous and incessant business duties he has not failed to bestow upon its affairs great attention. As an honorary president of the Foundry Boys' Religious Society, which embraces within its pale upwards of 14,000 boys and girls in the humblest ranks of life, he has likewise assisted very materially to promote the welfare of the city. For their own servants the Messrs. Burns have displayed an exemplary solicitude. They have provided a chapel in Glasgow for the sailors employed in their coasting trade; and they defray the expenses connected with the support of a chaplain, who visits the men on board ship, sailing with each vessel in turn, and preaching in the chapel on Sundays. Through the chaplain, who visits the wives and families of the sailors when they are away on duty, the Messrs. Burns are made aware of the circumstances and condition of the sailors in their employment, and they spare no trouble to maintain an efficient and sober body of men in a happy and comfortable position.[Pg 79]


"I cannot," wrote Bacon, "call riches better than the baggage of virtue." Practically the dictum of the philosopher has been endorsed by Mr. James Baird of Cambusdoon, who, along with his brothers who have predeceased him, has set a noble example in regard to both the acquisition and the distribution of wealth. Few men have been so fortunate in laying up treasure on earth; few have been so zealous of those good works which realise treasure on the other side of Time. For nearly half a century the name of Baird has been a household word in the West of Scotland. Ranking as they have done for many years as the largest employers of labour in Scotland, they must ever continue to occupy a foremost place in our commercial annals. But while they have thus been "diligent in business," they have also been "fervent in spirit." Possessing the power that belongs to wealth, they have not been unmindful of its accompanying responsibilities and duties. In the promotion of education, in the support of Church and missionary objects, in aiding the amelioration of their less fortunate fellow-creatures, and in the dispensation of that charity which covers a multitude of sins they have made their vast wealth subordinate to the service of their day and generation—the humble but yet potent means to the most beneficent ends. By every consideration, therefore, the honoured name of Baird is entitled to a place in these sketches.

Mr. James Baird of Cambusdoon is the only survivor of a family of eight sons, whose ancestors for several generations followed the primitive occupation of farming in the parish of Old Monkland. The father of the proprietors of Gartsherrie[Pg 80] Ironworks was tenant of Kirkwood, Newmains, and High Cross farms. Of his numerous family, William, who died recently, after having attained the rare distinction of a millionaire, was the eldest, having been born in the year 1796; James, who was six years his junior, was born in 1802. The older members of the family received their education at the parish school of Old Monkland, under the late Mr. Cowan—one of a class of teachers who were qualified to impart something more than the mere rudiments of a solid classical education, and who have assisted so materially to place the parochial school system of Scotland on the high vantage ground from which, unless present appearances are deceptive, it is in danger of being hurled by the operation of the Education Act now under the consideration of Parliament. For the younger members of his family, Mr. Baird was enabled to provide the benefits of a University curriculum. It will not be necessary to refer to the head of the family further than to say that he lived to assist, by his judicious counsel and shrewd penetration, in founding the works at Gartsherrie, from which his family have since derived such a wide-spread fame.

Half a century ago, the inducements to enter upon an industrial career were much more limited than they are at the present day. The industries of the West of Scotland were then few and comparatively uninviting. The iron trade was in its infancy, and those engaged in it lacked the resources for the acquisition of wealth that were evolved from the discovery of blackband mineral deposits by Mushet, the application of the hot blast by Neilson, and the introduction of other more economical modes of working. Mr. James Baird did more than any other ironmaster in Scotland to carry out to its full and perfect development the principle of hot blast, and he greatly aided the success of Mr. Neilson's invention by designing appliances which enabled the air to be heated to a high temperature without destroying the apparatus. Many other important improvements, which rendered iron-making much more easy and simple, were soon afterwards carried out under Mr. Baird's auspices, including the adoption of the[Pg 81] modern shape of the blast furnace, which is very much less in bulk and first cost than the furnaces used in the early history of the trade. We believe that Mr. Baird was the very first to introduce the modern shape of the blast furnace. It was a distinguishing feature in Mr. Baird's character that he excelled in suggesting and applying different modes of saving labour in every department, and so thoroughly skilled was he in all the various processes of manufacture, that every workman with whom he came in contact regarded him as a master of his handicraft. More than any other member of his family, Mr. Baird exercised practical authority over all structural and mechanical arrangements as well as over the mineral workings leased by or belonging to the firm. So late as the year 1830, the total number of blast furnaces in Scotland was only seven, and their capacity of production did not exceed 10,000 tons per annum. Last year, the total production of the 154 furnaces in Scotland was 1,164,000 tons, representing an aggregate value of not less than £3,000,000! A single glance at these figures will convey an adequate idea of the progress made in the interval; they require neither note nor comment. The Messrs Baird had little prospect before them other than that afforded by the pursuit of agriculture, in which their forefathers had engaged. But William, with characteristic enterprise, resolved that he would not be tied to the soil. Commencing on a very humble scale, with only a day level and a gin pit, at Rochsolloch, he was favoured by fortune in his development of the little colliery. His brothers joined the venture, and in a short time they were able to extend their operations to Maryston and Gartsherrie. On the 4th May, 1830, they put in blast the first furnace in the latter place, thus laying, perhaps with fear and trembling, the foundations of an establishment which is now one of the largest of its kind in the world. This was the tide in their affairs which, taken at its flood, led on to fortune. Although they have experienced, in common with all others similarly situated, the occasional vicissitudes of bad times, they were not only able from henceforth to keep their heads above water,[Pg 82] but they continued to go forth "prospering and to prosper." In 1846 they started the Eglinton Ironworks, at which there are now eight blast furnaces. Six years later they acquired the Blair Ironworks, with five blast furnaces. In 1856, the Lugar and the Muirkirk Ironworks came into the market, and the Messrs. Baird became the purchasers. The latter works embrace a small manufactory of malleable iron, and the two together have seven blast furnaces. In 1864, the firm still further extended their now enormous business by the acquisition of the Portland Ironworks, with five blast furnaces, to which one has since been added. At the present time they own, inclusive of Gartsherrie, at which there are 16 blast furnaces, a grand total of 42 blast furnaces, 30 of which are now (March, 1872) in operation. The total produce of iron from the whole of these works will average 750 tons per day.

Of the Gartsherrie Ironworks—the largest establishment of its kind in Scotland—it may be interesting to state that it gives employment to 3200 men and boys, and turns out 100,000 tons of pig iron per annum. The consumpt of coal at Gartsherrie is upwards of 1000 tons per day. Ever since 1826 Messrs. Baird have been working coal in Gartsherrie estate, so that a considerable part of the coal consumed has been found adjoining the works. Pits are still being worked to some extent there, but it is now found necessary to look elsewhere for coal. We understand the future supply is to be derived mainly from the district of Bothwell, where there is a very large virgin field of coal—indeed, evidently the most important in Scotland—from which the public must ere long begin to draw their principal supplies. The ironstone for the Gartsherrie works is now brought from a considerable distance; formerly it was found within from one to five miles from the furnaces. It is a distinctive peculiarity of the huge establishment that it is divided by the Monkland Canal, the blast furnaces standing in two parallel rows on each side of that highway. Taking the whole of their works together, the Messrs. Baird employ fully 9000 men and boys, and if we multiply this number by three, which is a moderate figure, we get[Pg 83] 27,000 souls as the number dependent on the works of the firm. It is quite within the record to declare that the Messrs. Baird, who turn out annually one-fourth of the entire production of Scotland, are the largest pig iron makers in the world.

As landed proprietors, the Messrs. Baird have attained a pre-eminent position in the West of Scotland. Besides his estate of Cambusdoon in Ayrshire, which he purchased in 1853 for the sum of £22,000, Mr. James Baird owns the estate of Knoydart, in Inverness-shire, for which in 1857 he paid £90,000. In 1863 he purchased the estate of Muirkirk, at the price of £135,000, and he owns other properties in Ayrshire of considerable value. On the death of his brother Robert, who died in 1856, he acquired the estate of Auchmedden, Aberdeenshire, which three years previously had been purchased for the sum of £60,000. The other members of the family have found an equally conspicuous place in "Burke's Landed Gentry." William, who died in March, 1864, was proprietor of the estates of Rosemount, in Ayrshire, and Elie, in Fifeshire, the former purchased in 1853 for £47,000, and the latter in the same year for £155,000. John was proprietor of the estates of Lochwood, in Lanarkshire, and Ury, in Kincardineshire, the latter being a gift from his brothers, by arrangement with William, who inherited it from his father, by whom it was purchased in 1826; while Ury was bequeathed by his brother Alexander, who purchased it in 1854 for the sum of £120,000. Douglas, the sixth son, acquired the estate of Closeburn, in Dumfriesshire, for the sum of £225,000. George, a still younger member of the family, was proprietor of the estate of Strichen, in Aberdeenshire, and Stichell, in Roxburghshire—the former purchased in 1865 for the sum of £145,000, and the latter inherited from his brother David, who purchased it in 1853 for the sum of £150,000. The family thus own estates representing in round numbers nearly two millions of capital, in addition to what they hold as a company in the shape of mineral fields.

Although it is probably in the annals of commerce that[Pg 84] the Messrs. Baird will find their most lasting monument, they have not been unknown in the arena of politics. William sat in Parliament for the Falkirk District of Burghs from 1841 till 1846, when he accepted the Chiltern Hundreds, and Lord Lincoln reigned in his stead. In 1851, however, the seat again became vacant, consequent upon Lincoln succeeding to the title and estates of the Duke of Newcastle. James Baird then took the field in opposition to Mr. Loch, factor to the Duke of Sutherland, and was returned by a majority of 55 votes. In the course of the following year a general election took place, and James again came forward as a candidate. This time he was opposed by Mr. Anderson, of London. The result of the election was a majority of 50 in favour of Mr. Baird. At the general election of 1857, he retired from the representation of Falkirk, and was succeeded by Mr. Hamilton, of Dalzeill, and afterwards by Mr. Merry, who has since continued to retain the seat. The politics of the family have always tended towards Conservatism, and for the support of the "good old cause" Mr. James Baird has exercised all his influence, both moral and material.

The educational interests of the West of Scotland owe a deep debt of gratitude to the Baird family, who have made provision in various ways for the instruction of upwards of 4000 children. In addition to having established schools in almost every locality where their workmen are employed, they have built and supported schools other than those connected with their works. One of the latter is now in progress of erection at Townhead, Glasgow, a poor and populous locality, with but a limited access to the means of education. Another school is just in course of being erected at the east end of Coatbridge, the expenses of which will be entirely defrayed by Mr. James Baird, who has all along taken on active interest in the progress of education. On the 20th December, 1871, he presided at the meeting held in the City Hall, Glasgow, with the view of recommending the continuance of religious instruction in day schools. On that occasion he pleaded eloquently and ably for a programme which contained[Pg 85] three leading propositions—(1) the maintenance of the religious instruction that had hitherto been the use and wont of the country; (2) the management of the parochial and other schools of Scotland by the people themselves, instead of by a Board in London, which could know but little respecting the educational wants of the country; and (3) that a proper training in secular and religious knowledge be provided for the teachers, along with a due remuneration for their labours. Mr. Baird then proceeded to show that there was a danger of allowing the education of the country to become secularised, and that the word religion, which only appeared twice in the Education Bill, was inserted in the sense of forbidding it to be taught at all. With reference to the support of education, Mr. Baird expressed a clearly defined opinion, of which we quote the ipsissima verba. "I have," he said, "a strong and conscientious objection that any of my money, whether exacted from me by rates and taxes, should be expended in teaching secular knowledge unless it is permeated by religion, and I believe I shall be joined by an overwhelming majority of the people of Scotland in that objection." ... "Religious and Scriptural education is what we are contending for, and religious education we must have, even should the State withdraw its support, which is a thing not likely to be done." These are the words of one who has evidently "read, marked, learned, and inwardly digested" the whole subject of education, and is prepared, at whatever sacrifice or cost, to stand up for a system of instruction that shall embrace preparation not only for the duties and exigencies of this life but also for that which is to come. And the views of such a man have all the more weight that they accompany and flow from a sincere desire and a tangible readiness to afford practical support to the cause of education.

But if education owes much to the generosity and practical sympathy of the Messrs. Baird, the Church has still more reason to register their names in its roll of attached friends. With reference to Mr. James Baird, it may be fitly said that he is "a pillar in Israel." He is conservative to the extent[Pg 86] of maintaining unimpaired all the institutions of the Church; but patronage, and other plague-spots in her bright and noble constitution, he would utterly abolish. Progress has long been his watchword, but it is in the direction of building up and not of pulling down. He is not an iconoclast for the mere sake of change. But he would remove out of the pathway of the Church all that would hinder from the efficient discharge of her mission. Above all, he is averse to a policy of laissez faire. Believing that the Church has failed to meet the increasing wants of the people, he is an eager advocate and a liberal and intelligent supporter of missionary schemes. At an ordination dinner held in Glasgow in 1868, Mr. Baird delivered an address, in the course of which he pointed out that the missions of the Church were in a languid state, and dragged along a dreary and miserable existence. Although there were from 12,000 to 15,000 young men and women arriving in Glasgow every year at an age when they should become members of some church, the Establishment was getting barely sufficient from that multitude to maintain its old numbers. He was afraid, he added, that a great many had not the chance of joining any church, as none of the churches were increasing in proportion to the population of the city; and that, therefore, they would go on to swell the ranks of heathenism and materialism. The results of the investigations recently carried out in this city, amply vindicate Mr. Baird's almost prophetic remarks. Mr. Johnston's pamphlets on the religious wants of Glasgow; pamphlets issued on the same subject by Mr. Alexander Whitelaw, Mr. Baird's hearty coadjutor in every good word and work; and the inquiries made under the auspices of the association established for the purpose of inquiring into the religious destitution of Glasgow, all tend to prove that there are from 100,000 to 160,000 souls living without the means of grace, and in a state of practical heathenism, in a city that can boast of a Knox, a Chalmers, and other apostles of Christianity. Thus, although Mr. Baird's figures appeared startling, and although his forebodings may have seemed unnecessary, they have turned out to be rather under[Pg 87] than beyond the mark. But the zeal of Mr. Baird did not stop at merely pointing out the evil. He exerted himself most assiduously to provide a remedy. We believe he was one of the promoters of a society formed for the purpose of extending the church accommodation of Glasgow, and especially for the building of new churches in neglected and necessitous localities. That society has already done the Church some service. It aims at removing from the Establishment the stigma that she has failed to keep pace with the requirements of the population; and, despite the difficult and arduous character of the work which it has assigned itself, the association is likely to succeed in making "rough places plain and crooked paths straight."

We may add that Mr. Baird has been twice married. His first marriage was in 1852, to Charlotte Lockhart of Cambusnethan, who died at Nice, in Italy, in 1857. In 1859 he espoused Isabella Agnew Hay, daughter of the late Admiral Hay. Although he is still the principal of the firm, Mr. Baird takes no very active part in the conduct of the business, the management devolving upon the other partners.[Pg 88]


The world-wide reputation, as a mathematician and physicist, which Sir William Thomson has acquired, is a sufficient plea for giving him the foremost place in our sketches of University professors. Born in Belfast in June, 1824, Sir William has entered upon the forty-eighth year of his age. His father, Dr. James Thomson, was the author of several mathematical text-books, and occupied for some time the position of lecturer on mathematics at the Royal Academical Institute in Belfast, from whence he was transferred to the mathematical professorship of Glasgow University. The subject of our present sketch commenced his University life at the early age of eleven years. Both in the chemistry classes of Dr. Thomas Thomson, and in the astronomical lectures of Dr. Nichol, he showed himself an exceedingly apt student, and gained numerous prizes. In 1845, he graduated as second wrangler and first Smith's prizeman at Cambridge University. On Sir William's career as a Cambridge student we find the following interesting paragraph in an article recently supplied to one of the leading magazines:—"When quite a boy at Cambridge, still in his teens, he was a contributor to mathematical journals both in France and England. It might have been supposed that he was a lonely student, dwelling in a tower, like Erasmus or Roger Bacon, quite cut off from the unsympathetic mob of his brother collegians. On the contrary, Thomson was one of the best oarsmen of his day, and an immense favourite with his brother under-graduates. This taste for the water has always accompanied him. He had made many valuable excursions in his beautiful yacht Lalla Rookh; and his knowledge of the theory and practice of sailing is said to be [Pg 89]extraordinary. The occasion of his taking his degree proved an ovation still recollected, and recorded in the annals of Cambridge. There was not the least doubt in the University but that the youthful Peterhouse man was the mathematical genius of the day. 'Eclipse was first and the rest nowhere.' But the rumour arose that there was a 'dark man' at St. John's, who possessed a wonderful power of throwing off paper-work at examinations with the regularity of a machine. One of the examiners subsequently described himself as petrified at the papers thrown off, as if by the velocity of a steam-engine, on the part of the Johnian. At the Cambridge Senate House examinations speed is everything; and when two men are pretty evenly balanced the muscular power of the wrist settles the day. Thomson was Second Wrangler, and a little more time for writing would have made him Senior Wrangler. For the Smith's Prize he of course distanced the Senior Wrangler and all other competitors. The worthy Johnian, who supplanted him for the blue ribbon of the University, was, irrationally enough, very unpopular, and has subsequently been lost sight of in scientific history. Before Sir William Thomson there was a great career. At twenty-one he was a fellow of his college. At twenty-two he was a Professor of Natural Philosophy at the University of Glasgow. When little more than out of his teens, Sir William Thomson became editor of the Cambridge and Dublin Mathematical Journal, through which a great impetus was given to the study of pure and applied mechanics; and before the era of the Atlantic Cable he contributed many papers on telegraphy to the Royal Society, in connection with which he made the acquaintance and enjoyed the esteem of such men as Faraday and Brewster. The Natural Philosophy Chair in Glasgow University he has raised to a high rank—perhaps the highest of its kind in the world, and students come from far and near to sit at the feet of this Gamaliel among the physicists of his day and generation."

The Bakerian lecture, entitled "The Electro-Dynamic Properties of Metal," was delivered by Sir William Thomson in 1855, and by that and kindred contributions to scientific[Pg 90] literature he was rapidly laying the foundation of his great reputation. In 1854 he published a series of investigations, by which he shows that the capacity of the conducting wire for the electric charge depends on the ratio of its diameter to that of the gutta percha covering; and in the face of much opposition he established what is now known as the "law of squares," which asserts that the rate of transmission is inversely as the square of the length of the cable. These results were of much utility in their bearing on the working of submarine cables, and it is not too much to affirm that it was to Sir William Thomson's counsel that the success of the Atlantic Cable is in great part due. His mirror galvanometer was the first instrument that could be applied with anything like satisfactory results to submarine telegraphy. More recently, however, he has invented and patented another instrument, called the "syphon recorder," which was exhibited publicly for the first time at the opening of the British India Submarine Telegraph. The special feature of the "syphon recorder" is a minute capillary syphon, which, while it continually discharges ink against a moving paper, is by means of a delicate electro-magnetic arrangement caused to move from side to side according to the electric pulses passed through the cable, and from the record thus obtained of these motions the message is deciphered. From trials lately made on the Falmouth, Gibraltar, and Malta lines, it has been ascertained that 25 words per minute can be registered through a cable 800 miles long. It is also a recommendation to the "syphon recorder" that it can be worked by very low battery power, and therefore tends to the preservation of the cable. Among Sir William's other inventions we may specially mention an electrometer, which has now assumed a very complete form. His divided-ring electrometer admitted of accurate measurements, in skilled hands, of fractions of a Daniell's cell; his portable electrometer admits of readings from 10 or 20 cells upwards; but his new reflecting electrometer gives as much as 100 divisions on the scale for one single cell of the battery. In Mr. Varley's patent of 1860, he describes a method which[Pg 91] he employed to make the one plate charge itself, and on this principle he constructed a large electrical machine, which he exhibited at a soiree of the Royal Society of 1869-70. This machine has been adopted by Sir William Thomson for maintaining the charge in his electrometer. The new electrometer is really a combination of three inventions—of Sir William Thomson's portable electrometer to indicate whether or no the instrument is sufficiently charged; of the replenisher by Mr. Varley for charging or discharging; and of the quadrant electrometer for reading off the minute tensions measured. The instrument is in its present form so practically useful that it has been largely used in connection with telegraphic cables, and Mr. Varley has calculated tables to enable any electrician at a glance to infer from two readings by this electrometer the insulating power of any telegraphic cable.

Sir William Thomson is no specialist. Many people are accustomed to associate his name with the Atlantic Cable, and with that alone. This, however, is a great mistake, for he has made many important additions to the science of magnetism, respecting which he published a number of valuable papers between the years 1847 and 1851. He has also displayed extraordinary acumen and intelligence in the investigation of the nature of heat. Neither should it be forgotten that Sir William has speculated a great deal on the ultimate constitution of matter—an inquiry which has occupied the attention of all great physicists in modern times. Last year he published in Nature an article which, running from four different lines of argument, seeks to establish proof of the absolute magnitude of the atoms of matter. Of this argument Tyndall says:—"William Thomson tries to place the ultimate particles of matter between his compass points, and to apply to them a scale of millimetres."

In the Encyclopædia Britannica, Sir William has published an article describing the instruments—chiefly invented by himself—which were used in laying the Atlantic Cable. In the same contribution he describes the expeditions undertaken in 1857 and 1858 for the purpose of laying the Atlantic[Pg 92] Cable, and the difficulties that had to be encountered in that great enterprise. This he was eminently qualified to do from his experience as acting electrician on board the Agamemnon during the progress of the work which resulted in the completion, in August, 1858, of the Atlantic Cable, and the astonishment of the world at finding the two opposite shores of the great ocean placed in instantaneous communication with each other. For some time after the cable was laid he remained at Valentia, endeavouring to bring his galvanometer to still greater perfection. From the subsequent failure of the Atlantic Cable, and until it was finally established as a successful "institution," Sir William was busily employed in seeking to make more perfect and easy the difficult science of submarine telegraphy; and in the expeditions of 1865 and 1866, which he accompanied, his counsel and assistance proved of inestimable value.

From the Royal Society of Edinburgh Sir William received the Keith Prize for the years 1862 and 1863. On the occasion of the award, Sir David Brewster, the Vice-President of the Society, thus referred to the many valuable papers he had communicated to the Society during the seventeen years of his connection with it:—"These papers, and others elsewhere published, relate principally to the theories of Electricity, Magnetism, and Heat, and evince a genius for the mathematical treatment of physical questions which has not been surpassed, if equalled, by that of any living philosopher. In studying the mathematical theory of Electricity, he has greatly extended the general theorems demonstrated by our distinguished countryman, Mr. Green; and was led to the principle of 'electrical images,' by which he was enabled to solve many problems respecting the distribution of electricity on conductors, which had been regarded as insoluble by the most eminent mathematicians in Europe. In his researches on Thermo-dynamics, Professor Thomson has been equally successful. In his papers 'On the Dynamical Theory of Heat,' he has applied the fundamental propositions of the theory to bodies of all kinds, and he has adduced many curious and important[Pg 93] results regarding the specific heats of bodies, which have been completely verified by the accurate experiments of M. Joule. No less important are Professor Thomson's researches on Solar Heat, contained in his remarkable papers 'On the Mechanical Energy of the Solar System;' his researches on the Conservation of Energy, as applied to organic as well as inorganic processes; and his fine theory of the dissipation of Energy, as given in his paper 'On a Universal Tendency in Nature to the Dissipation of Mechanical Energy.' To these we may add his complete theory of Diamagnetic Action, his investigations relative to the Secular Cooling of our Globe, and the influence of internal heat upon the temperature of its surface." Sir David Brewster, after referring to other works, added that "the important conclusions which he obtained from 'The Theory of Induction in Submarine Telegraphy,' have found a valuable practical application in the patent instrument for reading and receiving messages, which he so successfully employed in the submarine cable across the Atlantic; and when that great work is completed, his name will be associated with the noblest gift that science ever offered to civilisation. By his delicate electrometer, his electric spark recorder, and his marine and land relation galvanometer, he has provided the world of thought with the finest instruments of observation and research, and the world of action with the means of carrying the messages of commerce and civilisation which have yet to cross the uncabled oceans that separate the families of the earth."

In 1866, after the Atlantic Telegraph Cable had been successfully laid, Sir William Thomson received the honour of knighthood from the Crown. On the same occasion he was presented with the freedom of his adopted city—Glasgow. The degree of LL.D. was conferred on him successively by Trinity College, Dublin, by Cambridge and by Edinburgh Universities, and that of D.C.L. by Oxford. He is a Fellow of the London Royal Society, as well as that of Edinburgh; and he is an honorary and corresponding member of several learned societies abroad.[Pg 94]

On the loss of H.M.S. Captain, a Commission was appointed to investigate the merits of designs for ships of war. Of that Commission Sir William Thomson is a valuable and valued member, from his intimate acquaintance with dynamical science and the theory of stability. Sir William also conducts the operations of two committees appointed by the British Association to investigate the subject of Tides and Underground Temperature, the results of which are expected to settle many points of physical theory. The circumstances of Sir William Thomson's election to the presidential chair of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and the remarkably able address which he delivered in opening the late Edinburgh meeting, are of such recent occurrence that they need not be recapitulated.

Sir William Thomson married, in 1852, a daughter of the late Walter Crum, Esq., F.R.S., who has predeceased him. He is a Liberal in politics, and no one has taken a more active part than he in forwarding the interests of the Liberal candidates for the representation of the Universities.[Pg 95]


Cities that bear the dual character of seats of learning and marts of commerce are comparatively rare. Who would ever dream of finding a foundry on the Isis, or a factory on the Cam? These streams are sacred to learning. They are not polluted with the vapours that are evolved from industrial life. No sounds of the ponderous hammer, or screeching "buzzer," are to be heard within the range of their pellucid course. They are consecrated to more lofty, if not to more useful purposes. But with the Clyde the case is different. It is almost a puzzle to say whether Glasgow excels more as the seat of a famous University or as the centre of a hundred busy, important, and prosperous industries. Certainly, the decadence of the one has not followed the development of the other. Learning and commerce flourish hand in hand, without the slightest trace of incompatibility. No less an authority than Sir Robert Peel declared, on the occasion of his installation as Lord Rector of the University in 1837, "I do not consider it an exaggerated compliment when I say that I doubt whether, of all cities existing on the face of the earth, there be any one so remarkable for the combination of commercial and active industry, with services rendered to science and literature, as Glasgow." From the watch towers of Gilmorehill a hundred chimneys, some of them rivalling the Pyramids of Gizeh in height, may be seen; the din of a hundred hammers, employed in the service of the world's merchant marine, may be distinctly heard; innumerable masts, denoting our traffic with all parts of the globe, may be counted. And yet in these same halls the budding genius of Scotland's sons is being developed—the qualities that are[Pg 96] henceforth to distinguish our statesmen, and orators, and poets, and merchant princes, are being matured. The alumni of Glasgow University have not all blushed unseen, albeit the fame of their Alma Mater has sometimes been over-shadowed by that of Edinburgh. To go no further back than the living members of the Senatus Academicus, it will be admitted that Caird in Divinity, Lushington in Greek, Sir William Thomson in Natural Philosophy, Allen Thomson in Anatomy, Rankine in Mechanics, Grant in Astronomy, and Gairdner in Medicine, are names to conjure with. For the Principal of a seat of learning, that combines with an extraordinary amount of present vitality and prestige the traditions of a glorious past, stretching backwards until it is almost lost sight of amid the mists of the Middle Ages, it is surely essential that he should be a man of piety, of excellent governing and administrative powers, and, above all, of extensive erudition. All these conditions have distinguished more or less the predecessors of Dr. Barclay, the present Principal, and in himself they are very happily combined, although he is "not so young as he used to be," and his energy and usefulness have necessarily been somewhat impaired by the lapse of years.

Principal Barclay is the son of the Rev. James Barclay, minister of Unst, Shetland, and was born in the year 1792. After having been educated at King's College, Aberdeen, which he entered in the year 1808, and where he distinguished himself by carrying off the highest bursary, young Barclay proceeded to London, pending his appointment to a ministerial charge in the Church of Scotland. A spirit of adventure and enterprise induced him to take this step. He could not brook the idea of spending any of his time in a state of comparative idleness. Through the influence of some friends, he succeeded shortly after his arrival in the metropolis in getting an appointment as Parliamentary reporter to the Times, and he continued in the gallery of the House of Commons in that capacity during the four years commencing with 1818. It is not too much to say that these four years embraced one[Pg 97] of the most eventful and exciting periods of England's history. The Reform agitation was being carried on with a bitterness that almost eclipsed all subsequent attempts to establish the five points of the Charter as the law of the land. In these years, too, the memorable trial of Queen Caroline took place, and it is one of Principal Barclay's most interesting reminiscences that during his connection with the Times he had occasion to report not only a considerable amount of the evidence taken in the House of Lords during the Queen's trial, but also the memorable speech of Lord Brougham in defence of the unfortunate lady—a speech which has only been eclipsed in point of length by the recent address of the Attorney-General in the Tichborne trial, and by Burke's speech in connection with the trial of Warren Hastings. Among his collaborateurs on the Times, Principal Barclay can recall the names of Collier, so well known for his knowledge and criticism of Shakespeare's works; Barnes, who subsequently distinguished himself as the sub-editor and leader-writer of the leading journal; and Tyas, who afterwards introduced that special feature for which the Times has long been noted—the abridgement of the Parliamentary debates. The routine of a reporter's duties at that time was pretty much the same as it is at the present day, the main difference being that the work was, if anything, more difficult and arduous at a period when shorthand was in its infancy, and when the staff employed on the daily journals was much less numerous than it is in our own day. Another feature that tended to make more difficult the Parliamentary reporters' duties at that period, was the long "takes" which they had to supply—a "take" being the share of the work which each member of the reporting staff has individually alloted to his charge. At that time every reporter who entered the gallery was compelled to write out the proceedings of a whole hour, and he had to do this with so much celerity and amplitude that the report had to be as complete as the Parliamentary reports of the Times have ever been. It has since been found, however, that the labour of an hour is far too much for one man, if he is to do himself or[Pg 98] the report anything like justice; and hence the "take" of reporters became very much shortened, until they now seldom exceed a quarter of an hour or twenty minutes. Another negative phase of Dr. Barclay's journalistic career which may be noticed, is the fact that he never fell foul of the Sergeant-at-Arms, into whose custody many an unlucky reporter, who was accused of having misstated the speeches of legislators, was given. Despite the fact that Collier was at that time the only shorthand writer on the staff of the Times, it was his misfortune to undergo this ordeal. He was summoned to the bar of the House, and, having fully vindicated his report, he was immediately discharged from custody. The fee of the Sergeant-at-Arms (eighty guineas) was paid by Mr. Walter. On another occasion a complaint was made in the House of a report by a Mr. Ross, one of the Times' staff. The occasion was a speech delivered by Canning, and the sentence which he was said to have misreported was to the effect that the subject had never been under the consideration of the Cabinet above five minutes. Ross, however, had the satisfaction of receiving a letter from Canning himself, in which the great statesman vindicated the accuracy of the report. Mr. Barclay was never a shorthand writer. He was accustomed to use abbreviated longhand, and he became so expert in the use of this system, that he could report without difficulty any average speaker. After leaving the Times, which he did at the close of the year 1821, Mr. Barclay received a call to Dunrossness, in Shetland, and he continued to minister in that parish until the year 1827, when he was translated to Lerwick, a parish in the same remote region. Subsequently, in 1843, he was removed to Petercoulter, in Aberdeenshire; and his fourth and last charge was Currie, in Mid Lothian, to which he was translated in 1844. It was while he was in the latter charge that the Principalship of the Glasgow University became vacant, owing to the death of the late Principal Macfarlan, and the office was conferred by the Government, with whom the patronage lay, upon Dr. Barclay. The appointment was a good deal discussed at the time, and it was said in some[Pg 99] circles that it was scarcely judicious, the fact being that Mr. Barclay's claims and qualifications for such a high position were not fully known. But he had really earned the honour by his ability and scholarship. It is questionable whether any man in Scotland has a more extensive acquaintance with languages, both modern and ancient. He is particularly conversant with Icelandic literature, which very few people have studied, but which is specially worthy of study, both for its historical interest and its poetry. Indeed, from the Mediterranean to Iceland there is, perhaps, no language spoken that Principal Barclay does not understand. Besides this, however, he has devoted much attention to Biblical criticism, and he was long distinguished as one of the ablest and staunchest of the few advocates of reform and liberalism that during his ministerial career adorned the Church Courts. Hence, although they might be comparatively unknown, Dr. Barclay was not without due qualifications for the office. One of the leading journals, in referring to Principal Barclay's appointment, which was made in December, 1857, declared "that to stand up as he did against a mass of brethren in matters on which the esprit de corps is morbidly strong, requires not only the exercise of some of the higher moral and intellectual powers, but the sacrifice of some of the weaknesses especially incident to the clerical character, and those who in the Established Church Courts perform such a duty in the interests of justice, of progress, and of the public, have much need of the sympathy and encouragement that can be given from without. Hitherto, however, there has been a sort of impression that the support of liberal measures formed rather an obstacle than a recommendation to the good offices of even liberal dispensers of patronage, and there is matter for congratulation in so much being done towards the destruction of this impression by the fact of Dr. Barclay, being a Liberal in Church and State not having been allowed to act as a counterbalance to his other qualifications for the high office to which he is about to be raised." Principal Barclay enjoys in his present capacity an otium cum dignitate to which, after the[Pg 100] labours of a long life, he is well entitled. Although verging on his eightieth year, he is still hale, hearty, and vigorous, and able to converse intelligently on the most abstruse and recondite subjects. Principal Barclay was married in 1820 to Mary, the daughter of the late Captain Adamson of Kirkhill. They have had a large family, but only two daughters and one son survive. Both the former are married, and the latter is following the medical profession in China.[Pg 101]


The Clyde is indissolubly connected with the history and progress of naval architecture. It was on the Clyde that steam navigation was first successfully applied. The Clyde may almost be said to be the cradle of iron shipbuilding; and it is to Clyde engineers and shipbuilders that the compound marine engine, and other improvements that have rendered ocean navigation more easy, safe, and practicable, are mainly due. But while the earlier history of naval architecture is bound up with that of the Clyde, its ultimate development and its present high state of perfection were brought about by the sustained and unflagging energy, enterprise, and ability of men like Professor Rankine, Robert Napier, and John Elder, who exerted themselves to maintain the pre-eminence which, thanks to their discoveries and exertions, the Clyde has never lost. The two latter gentlemen carried out in practice what the former demonstrated in theory. Never having been directly engaged in commercial pursuits, Professor Rankine could not earn the credit of building those leviathans that have directly contributed to our commercial prosperity; but in another, and not less essential way, he has assisted to build up and consolidate our industrial supremacy, and his numerous writings and discoveries in the science of mechanics will ever cause him to be regarded as a pioneer, not less than Henry Bell or Robert Napier, of a trade that has proved a source of untold wealth to the West of Scotland.

Professor William John Macquorn Rankine was born in Edinburgh. His father was an officer in the Rifle Brigade, and afterwards a railway manager and director. After receiving his education at Edinburgh University, he studied[Pg 102] engineering under his father, and afterwards under Sir John M'Neill, who subsequently became Professor of Practical Engineering in Trinity College, Dublin, and at the opening of the railway from Dublin to Drogheda, which he constructed in 1844, received the honour of knighthood from Earl de Grey, Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. When we remember that Sir John was no less able as a teacher than as an author, and that his knowledge of engineering was not bounded by mere theory alone, we get a clue to the eminently practical turn of mind which characterised his illustrious pupil. In 1844 Mr. Rankine commenced business as a civil engineer in Edinburgh. His residence in Edinburgh was unrelieved by any event worthy of being recorded in his biography, if we except a project, which he brought before the authorities and zealously promoted, for obtaining a more efficient supply of water. After a two or three years' residence in Edinburgh, Mr. Rankine determined to remove to Glasgow, where a more congenial sphere appeared ready to receive him. Entering into partnership with Mr. John Thomson, he took an active part in all great schemes of a scientific or mechanical nature; and it was while here engaged in private practice that he again called attention to the admirable source of water supply afforded by Loch Katrine, thus reviving a project which had been originated in 1845 by Messrs. Gordon and Hill. It was reserved for others to carry to a successful issue the scheme thus earnestly advocated by Rankine; but to him belongs the merit none the less of having urged it upon the authorities of that day. After the lapse of several years, during which he no doubt improved his time and opportunities by laying the foundation of that series of text books which he produced with remarkable fecundity in a marvellously short space of time, Mr. Rankine was appointed in 1855 to the Chair of Civil Engineering and Mechanics in Glasgow University. This Chair, we may explain, was instituted by Queen Victoria in 1840, and is in the gift of the Crown. Its first occupant was Louis D. B. Gordon, C.E., who subsequently devoted his whole time and attention to the practical business of civil[Pg 103] engineering and to telegraphy, in connection with which subjects he has made a great reputation. The curriculum of study imparted by Professor Rankine includes the stability of structures; the strength of materials; the principle of the actions of machines; prime movers, whether driven by animal strength, wind, or the mechanical action of heat; the principles of hydraulics; the mathematical principles of surveying and levelling; the engineering of earthwork, masonry, carpentry, structures in iron, roads, railways, bridges, and viaducts, tunnels, canals, works of drainage and water supply, river works, harbour works, and sea coast works. The engineering school of the University of Glasgow was approved by the Secretary of State for India in Council as one in which attendance for two years would qualify a student who had fulfilled the other required conditions to compete for admission to the engineering establishments of India. This recognition, however, came to an end when the Cooper's Hill College was established. It is worth while noticing that although Professor Rankine started on his academic career with only some half-a-dozen pupils, his class now numbers between 40 and 50. This is to be ascribed in a great measure to the establishment by the authorities of the University in 1862 of a systematic course of study and examination in engineering science, embracing the various branches of mathematical and physical science which have a bearing on engineering. While attending to his University duties he still continued to carry on a private practice, and was frequently called in to consult upon engineering schemes of great magnitude, in this and other countries, and upon matters relating to shipbuilding and marine engineering.

Mr. Rankine's literary career commenced while he was in Edinburgh with the publication of a series of papers on the mechanical action of heat. His theory of the development of heat as one of the forces of thermo-dynamics was propounded simultaneously with that of Professor Clausius of Berlin, in 1849, and supplied the only link that was wanted to make the theory of the steam engine a perfect science. For his[Pg 104] researches on this subject he received the Keith Medal of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1852. Of miscellaneous literature connected with the science of mechanics he has been a most voluminous writer. He has contributed a number of valuable papers to the Institution of Naval Architects, of which for many years he has been a prominent member. In 1864 he read before that Society papers on "The Computation of the Probable Engine Power and Speed of Proposed Ships," "On Isochronous Rolling Ships," and on "The Uneasy Rolling of Ships." In the following year he read a paper on "A Proposed Method of Bevelling Iron Frames in Ships;" and, in 1866, he read two papers—one of them demonstrating the means of finding the most economical rates of expansion in steam engines, and the other describing a balanced rudder for screw steamers. But he did not confine his contributions to one Institution, or even to one medium of publication, for we find that he read a number of papers before the Philosophical Society, the Royal Society of Edinburgh, and the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland, while he wrote occasionally at the same time for the Philosophical Magazine, the Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, and other leading publications. His first appearance in the pages of the Philosophical Magazine was made in 1842, when he wrote a paper on an experimental inquiry into the advantages attending the use of cylindrical wheels on, with an explanation of the theory of adopting curves for these wheels, and its application to practice, and an account of experiments showing the easy draught and safety of carriages with cylindrical wheels. From this time, until he made his début at the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1853, he had been working most assiduously at his theory of the development of heat, and one of his first papers to the Royal Society was entitled "A Review of the Fundamental Principles of the Mechanical Theory of Heat, with Remarks on the Thermic Phenomena of Currents of Elastic Fluids, as Illustrating those Principles." In 1858 he published "A Manual of Applied Mechanics and other Prime Movers," in[Pg 105] 1859 he produced another masterly work on "Civil Engineering," and in 1866 "Useful Rules and Tables Relating to Mensuration" came from his prolific pen. In 1865 he published, in conjunction with his friends Mr. James R. Napier, Mr. Isaac Watts, C.B., and Mr. F. K. Barnes, of the Constructors' Department of the Royal Navy, a treatise on "Shipbuilding, Theoretical and Practical," which has since taken a foremost place among the mechanical works of the day. Besides these, he wrote, in 1857, the article on "Applied Mechanics" for the eighth edition of the Encyclopædia Britannica, and in 1870 he published "A Manual of Machinery and Mill work." From the time that Mr. Rankine's maiden efforts at the literature of mechanical science appeared in the London Philosophical Magazine, he has attracted the attention and commanded the esteem of scientific men throughout the world. One of the most remarkable features in his career is the rapid succession with which he produced the text books of mathematical formulæ which bear his name. Not a little of the contents of his works can claim the merit of originality, and where he has drawn upon previously ascertained facts, he has carried out his plan in such an able and judicious manner as to secure for his publications the confidence of the whole profession. Although each of his works is, in its way, equally valuable, the "Manual of Applied Mechanics," which forms the real basis of the others, maybe regarded as the standard, and so universal has its use become that the young engineer who has not mastered its contents is considered to have learned only half of his profession.

With his ample and varied experience in the qualities and requirements of sea-going vessels, Mr. Rankine was very appropriately selected a few months ago as one of the members of the Committee on Designs for Ships of War. This, we may add, is not the only instance in which he has been entrusted by Government with a responsible and honourable commission. For a number of years Mr. Rankine has held the honorary post of Consulting Engineer to the Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland. In 1859 he raised the[Pg 106] Glasgow University Company of Rifle Volunteers, and served with that corps as Captain and Major for nearly five years. He is a Fellow of the Royal Societies of London and Edinburgh; an LL.D. of Dublin University; and a member of several learned societies, including the British Association for the Advancement of Science, over the Mechanical Section of which he has more than once been called to preside.

Special reference should be made to Professor Rankine's connection with the Institution of Engineers in Scotland, with which the Association of Shipbuilders was ultimately incorporated. Of that Society Mr. Rankin was an earnest promoter, and he was suitably elected to be its first president. In recognition of the services which he rendered to the cause of mechanical science generally, and to this Institution in particular, he was presented with his bust at a conversazione held in the Corporation Galleries on 19th August, 1870, when the North of England Institution of Mining and Mechanical Engineers held a series of joint meetings with the Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders in Scotland. The presentation was made by Mr. David Rowan, president, who read on the occasion an address prepared by the Council of the Association, in which the following passages occurred:—"The valuable assistance which you have constantly given for the advancement of the Institution since its foundation in the year 1757, the admirable manner in which, during three sessions, you presided over its deliberations, the distinction which your papers, and the part you have taken in the discussions, imparted to the proceedings, have placed the Institution under a debt of gratitude to you that we all feel cannot be adequately repaid by anything that it is in our power to do. These, however, are not the only reasons for the great esteem with which we all regard you. These may be said to be on our part selfish reasons; but there are others vastly more important why you merit—why you irresistibly attract—not only from us that great regard which we all feel to be an honour to ourselves to bestow, but from all who possess an acquaintance with your works, and who possess a knowledge[Pg 107] of the value of exact science. Your work on 'Applied Mechanics' is a great illustration of your power to grasp, to connect, and to apply the definite principles of exact science with the less definite known elements of practical problems. Abstract principles are valueless, except in application to the wants of man, and this work occupies that field with great eminence. Your work on the 'Steam Engine and other Prime Movers' deals with the principles involved in that important subject in a masterly manner, that renders comparison with any other similar work impossible. In this work the first elements of the science upon which these machines depend are traced in their operation through their material embodiment, and the laws which govern the principle of pure science connected definitely with the varied construction of the machines. Your works on Civil Engineering, Machinery, and Millwork, &c., each exhibit the powerful intellect that is invariably found in all your productions, and that place them on an eminence peculiarly your own. All your books possess a value which we, who are practical men engaged in performing many of the varied works which fall to engineers, feel to be of the very highest importance. Each of these works is a text book on the subject to which it relates, and an authority established in the estimation of those engaged in these pursuits. The labour and mental power required for the production of these works place the author on an eminence rarely attainable. But great as is the distinction which the authorship of these works proclaim, there is yet another and grander achievement for which science is indebted to you. The new science of modern times which embraces the relation of all physical energy is largely your own. It is to you that we chiefly owe the development of that branch of the science called Thermo-dynamics, which has revolutionised the theory of heat and the principles of all the machines dependent on that theory. The steam engine, the most important instrument, I believe, in existence, is now placed on two principles. Its operation before the development of this science was to a considerable extent obscure, and although there are some features that[Pg 108] still require consideration, you have done more than was ever done before to instruct us in its true principle and operation. Your development of thermo-dynamics, coupled with the great discovery of Joule of the numerical relation of heat and dynamic effect, or the quantity of the one that is equal to a quantity of the other, places within our reach the numerical result to be obtained from assumed elements of heat—prime movers. Your name, and that of Clausers, and Joule, and our distinguished friend Thomson, will ever be associated with this science, which has done much towards explaining important laws of nature."

We may add that Mr. Rankine is a painstaking and conscientious teacher, and takes great care to impart to his students a correct and intelligible knowledge of their studies. He is no sciolist himself, and he does not believe in merely superficial attainments in his pupils. As to his social qualities, it is well known to his more intimate friends that Professor Rankine is a bon vivant of the first water. He is in his element at the "Red Lion" dinners of the British Association, where he has frequently displayed vocal powers of a high order of merit; and it is worth while mentioning that he is the composer of the words and music alike of some of his best songs. One of his most familiar productions as a song writer appeared originally in Blackwood's Magazine, and is entitled "The Engine Driver's Address to his Engine."[Pg 109]


Though Glasgow has long been somewhat over-shadowed, in matters medical, by the superior fame of Edinburgh, it is nevertheless worthy of remark that at no period have her medical schools, whether intra-academical or extra-academical, been without teachers of high excellence. The Hamiltons, the brothers Burns, Jeffrey, Millar, Thomson, M'Kenzie, Lawrie, M'Grigor, Graham, Hunter, and Pagan were men all who would have shone with a bright lustre in any sphere, and when we instance Harry Rainy, Andrew Buchanan, and Allen Thomson as a few who are still with us, we say enough to show that the mantles of those that have passed the fatal bourne have fallen on no unworthy successors. The cynosure, however, just now, in our faculty of medicine, would seem, by general consent, to be Dr. Allen Thomson. And there is reason for this. His able, trustworthy researches in microscopic science have gained for him a European reputation—as a teacher of anatomy he is rivalled by few, if any, in the kingdom—as a member of the Academical Senate he is a most energetic promoter of the welfare of our time-honoured University—while as a citizen he is ever the warm and judicious supporter of all measures calculated to forward the social prosperity of our great and still-increasing civic community. Dr. Thomson was born in Edinburgh in 1809. His father was Dr. John Thomson, one of the most eminent metropolitan practitioners of his day; his mother was Margaret, a daughter of the late Professor John Millar, of this city, one of the most attractive expounders of jurisprudence of the period, and well-known as the author of various treatises of acknowledged excellence on "Ranks," "Govern[Pg 110]ment," and other departments of constitutional law. Dr. John Thomson was in many respects a very remarkable man. When upwards of twenty years of age, he might have been seen in his father's factory in Paisley, working at the loom as a silk-weaver; when he died, which was in his eighty-second year, he was Professor of General Pathology in the University of Edinburgh. In proof of the extent of his attainments, it may be stated that besides being the author, editor, and translator of a variety of publications, some of which may be perused with advantage even at the present hour, he delivered at one time or other during his professional career, courses of lectures on chemistry, pharmacy, surgery, military surgery, diseases of the eye, practice of physic, and general pathology. Besides professional friends in nearly all quarters of the world, he could number among his intimate associates Brougham, Horner, Jeffrey, Pillans, Thomas Thomson, and John Allen, afterwards private secretary and confidential friend of the late Lord Holland—friendships which, no doubt, account readily for the appearance of certain of the productions of his unresting pen on medical topics in the earlier numbers of the Edinburgh Review. We presume that it was to his long, warmly-cherished intimacy with Mr. Allen that his younger son, the subject of the present sketch, stands indebted for the baptismal name he bears. Dr. John Gordon, who, half-a-century ago, was looked upon as one of the brightest and most promising ornaments of the Edinburgh Extra Academical Medical School, and whose early death was felt to be almost a public loss, was among his earlier favourite pupils; the late Sir James Simpson was one of the last. Dr. Thomson was from his youth quite a helluo librorum, and up to the close of a busy, laborious life, was a keen student and admirer of the ancient classical literature of his honourable profession. When an old man, it was no uncommon sight to see him whiling away a leisure hour with a well-thumbed Greek copy of the Aphorisms of Hippocrates for his sofa companion. In a home so graced by all the amenities of lettered and scientific tastes, the subject[Pg 111] of these remarks could not but enjoy, when a youth, many and great educational advantages. The tutorial shortcomings, if such there were, whether of High School or College, could not fail to be amply supplemented beside a domestic hearth predominated over by a father possessed of such force of character and well-garnered experience. As a student of medicine, Dr. Thomson held a distinguished place among his contemporaries, a circumstance which in due time earned for him the laurel-crown of Edinburgh studenthood, in the form of a presidency of the Royal Medical Society—a post of honour which had been occupied by his venerable father also, a quarter of a century before. His curriculum of professional study completed, and the necessary examinations passed, he obtained the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Edinburgh in 1830. At this time it was yet the rule for the aspiring candidate, ere he could secure the longed-for degree, to compose and defend a Latin thesis drawn from some department or other of medical science, and this, like his fellows, had Dr. Thomson to do. "De Evolutione Cordis Animalibus Vertebratis," was the title of his dissertation, a subject wide as the poles apart from the customary jejune hackneyed topics figuring on such an occasion, and, at this period, one of all others, we would imagine, where learned professors, if modest men, would in all probability be the pupils, and the trembling candidate the instructor. It would appear from this that microscopic embryology has been with Dr. Thomson a favourite field of study and research from his youth upwards. The inaugural dissertation was, however, but a brief antepast of something more exhaustive to follow. In the same year in which he took his degree, we find him coming before the scientific world through the medium of the Edinburgh New Philosophical Journal, with a series of elaborate papers, entitled "The Development of the Vascular System in the Fœtus in Vertebrated Animals," a contribution which is admitted on all hands, we believe, to be perhaps the highest and safest authority on its intricate and recondite subject-matter that[Pg 112] as yet exists. We are not aware whether Dr. Thomson entered on the study of medicine with any view of going into the arduous and often unremunerative toils of private practice. If so, the idea must have been soon abandoned, as we have him, in 1832, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh, and thereafter betaking himself, as an extra academical lecturer, to the teaching of the Institutes of Medicine. The labours of the class-room would seem, however, not to have in any way overtasked his energies, as we find that in the same year he was again before the public as an author. The publication which saw the light on this occasion was an "Essay on the Formation of New Blood Vessels in Health and Disease," a subject at once full of practical interest to both physician and surgeon, and a most natural supplement to the magnum opus on the development of the vascular system. The same period, too, occasionally found Dr. Thomson not unwilling to appear before lay audiences with lucid, instructive expositions of the structure and functions of our wonderfully-made frame—a fact, we daresay, of which many middle-aged citizens of Edinburgh will, even still, retain a pleasing recollection. As regards his professional courses on physiology, these he continued to deliver up to 1836, when the removal of his colleague and intimate friend, Dr. Sharpey, from Edinburgh to the Chair of Anatomy and Physiology of the London University College, induced him to open classes for extra-mural students of anatomy, at that time a somewhat numerous body in the northern metropolis. As prelections and demonstrations on this fundamental important branch of medical study formed the daily vocation, at the period spoken of, of not less than three or four private lecturers—as they were termed—we can well imagine that the labours of Dr. Thomson, at this point of his career, would by no means be light. In 1839, however, a partial reward for his anxieties and toils came in the shape of an appointment to the Chair of Anatomy in Marischal College, Aberdeen, a situation which he had filled for three years, when he was recalled to the University of his[Pg 113] native city to take the place of the late venerable and widely-venerated Professor Alison. The year which saw Dr. Thomson transferred to the granite city saw also a valuable contribution from his pen in the Edinburgh Medical and Surgical Journal, "On the Development of the Human Embryo," an elementary nucleus, among others, of a series of specially luminous articles by him on "Circulation," "Generation," and "Ovum," which afterwards appeared in "Todd's Cyclopediæ of Anatomy and Physiology." After a six years' incumbency as Professor of Physiology in the University of Edinburgh, he was, in 1848, presented by the Crown to the Chair of Anatomy in Glasgow University, at that time vacant in consequence of the death of Dr. James Jeffrey, who formerly had been its occupant for the long period of 58 years. On coming to Glasgow, he soon gave lively proofs that the important situation which he had been brought to fill would, in his hands, be anything other than a sinecure. In his opening address he modestly promised that he would do his best to preserve the fame which the place had acquired under his predecessors, and amply has he fulfilled the pledge. We are led to understand that, alike in lecture-room and laboratory, everything is carried on with spirit, decorum, and order, and that what with the efficiency of the prelections and examinations, aided as these are by a profusion of admirably executed pictorial illustrations, many of them drawn by the lecturer himself, the place is, in point of usefulness, outstripped by no anatomical theatre anywhere, whether at home or abroad. As a lecturer Dr. Thomson possesses many points of excellence. He is singularly lucid in his arrangement of his topics, and what he thus arranges so well is always stated in language at once impressive and perspicuous, while over all there is a quiet self-possession which has a never-failing power in subduing pupils, however buoyant or wayward. Dr. Thomson's eminence as a scientific observer has been attested and recognised by his admission into the various learned societies, foremost among which may be mentioned the Royal Societies of Edinburgh and London;[Pg 114] and we need scarcely say that whether as councillor, vice-president, or president, the Glasgow Philosophical Society has no more active supporter than he. What the members of the Universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen think of his qualities as a man of judgment and discretion is well evidenced by the fact of their selection of him once and again as their representative in the General Council of Medical Education and Registration of the United Kingdom, an office fraught, we are led to believe, with cares and duties of the highest social importance.

At the late meeting of the British Association in Edinburgh, Dr. Thomson rather startled the scientific world by an address delivered in the Biological Section, in which he characterised the so-called new science of spiritualism as the invention of impostors and mountebanks. His address, which lacked the author's constitutional caution and discretion, was severely handled in several of the leading journals, and a trenchant pen, in an Edinburgh cotemporary, "cut up rough" with a vengeance. Among others who replied to Dr. Thomson's strictures was Dr. Robert H. Collyer, of London, who claims to be the original discoverer of electro-biology, phreno-magnetism, and stupefaction, by the inhalation of narcotic and anæsthetic vapours. In the course of his address, Dr. Thomson spoke as follows:—"It must be admitted that extremely curious and rare, and to those who are not acquainted with nervous phenomena, apparently marvellous phenomena, present themselves in peculiar states of the nervous system—some of which states may be induced through the mind, and may be made more and more liable to recur, and greatly exaggerated by frequent repetition. But making the fullest allowance for all these conditions, it is still surprising that persons, otherwise appearing to be within the bounds of sanity, should entertain a confirmed belief in the possibility of phenomena, which, while they are at variance with the best established physical laws, have never been brought under proof by the evidences of the senses, and are opposed to the dictates of sound judgment.[Pg 115] It is so far satisfactory in the interests of true biological science that no man of note can be named from the long list of thoroughly well-informed anatomists and physiologists, who has not treated the belief in the separate existence of powers of animal magnetism and spiritualism as wild speculations, devoid of all foundation in the carefully-tested observation of facts. It has been the habit of the votaries of these systems to assert that scientific men have neglected or declined to investigate the phenomena with attention and candour; but nothing can be farther from the truth. From time to time men of eminence, and fully competent, by their knowledge of biological phenomena, and their skill and accuracy in conducting scientific investigation, have made the most patient and careful examination of the evidence placed before them by the professed believers and practitioners of so-called magnetic, phreno-magnetic, electro-biological, and spiritualistic phenomena; and the result has been uniformly the same in all cases when they were permitted to secure conditions by which the reality of the phenomena, or the justice of their interpretation, could be tested—viz., either that the experiments signally failed to educe the results professed, or that the experimenters were detected in the most shameless and determined impostures." This sentence fell among the savants like a bomb, and "great was the fall thereof." Some have described it as an ad captandum vulgus use of words, and others have called it rash, and unduly sceptical. It is proverbial that doctors disagree, and it would be wonderful indeed if they were of one mind on the mysterious phenomena of spiritualism.

It would be unpardonable were we to omit reference to Dr. Allen Thomson's great exertions on behalf of the new University. No member of the Senate was more zealous and hard-working in raising the necessary funds for the splendid edifice that now rests on Gilmorehill, and Professor Thomson was suitably selected to cut the first sod some four years ago, when the work of erection was commenced.[Pg 116]

Like his father, Dr. Allen Thomson has all his life been a consistent Whig in politics, although in political movements, as such, he has never taken any very prominent part.

In August last Dr. Thomson received from his Alma Mater the degree of LL.D.[Pg 117]


Of the many ornaments which the Established Church of Scotland has produced, Dr. John Caird is one of the most brilliant as a preacher, as a thinker, and as a rhetorician. During the comparatively short period of his ministry, he secured a world-wide fame for the eloquence and beautiful diction of his sermons, and although his pulpit appearances are now few and far between, they are sufficiently important to draw together larger congregations than any Church in Glasgow could possibly accommodate; to find a prominent place in the newspapers of the day; and to realise for the author a handsome honorarium for the copyright of his sermons.

The Rev. Dr. John Caird was born at Greenock, where his father was an engineer, in 1820. After following out a course of study at the University of Glasgow, he was licensed as a preacher in 1844. In the following year he was ordained minister of Newton-upon-Ayre, from which in 1846 he was translated to Lady Yester's Church, Edinburgh. The patronage of this appointment lay with the Town Council of the Metropolis, and Dr. Caird was nominated almost unanimously. Here Dr. Caird was building up a great reputation—his popularity being quite extraordinary, and his church habitually crowded—when he found it necessary to retire to the country to get rid of the demands made upon his physical energies by a metropolitan congregation. He soon found what appeared to be a more congenial sphere at Errol in Perthshire, to which he was translated in 1850, and where he ministered with much acceptance, drawing to his church strangers from[Pg 118] far and near, for a period of about eight years. It was while at Errol that Dr. Caird fell out with the more orthodox Calvinists of his church, his breadth of sympathies failing to meet with approbation from the older members who were still leavened with the leaven of "persecuting and intolerant principles in religion." It is related of one old lady that on leaving the church, after hearing Dr. Caird deliver one of his most powerful and characteristic sermons, she exclaimed, "What's the use o' gaun to hear that body preach; ye never get a word o' gospel frae his lips." During the period of his pastorate at Errol, Dr. Caird preached, in 1865, a sermon, entitled "The religion of common life," before the Queen at Crathie. This sermon was subsequently published by her Majesty's command, and secured a very large sale. Indeed, it is recorded, in an article on the book trade in Chambers's Cyclopædia, as an evidence of the kindness which publishers sometimes show to authors, that the Messrs Blackwood, of Edinburgh, made Dr. Caird a present of £400, in addition to the £100 which they had agreed to pay him for his Crathie sermon—so extensive was the sale which, in the form of a shilling pamphlet, it was able to command. The same sermon was translated on the Continent, under the auspices of the Chevalier Bunsen, Ambassador from the German Court to London, who has since died. Bunsen was well known as one of the most accomplished scholars of his day, and the preface which he wrote for this sermon suddenly carried the fame of the preacher into all parts of the Christian world.

In 1857 Dr. Caird accepted a call to Park Church, Glasgow. During the following year he published a volume of sermons marked by great chasteness and beauty of language, strength and delicacy of thought, and, above all, by spirituality of tone, and breadth of earnest sympathy with men. By this time his fame as a preacher had reached its zenith. The demands made upon his powers of endurance were such as no one could possibly last for any length of time. His sermons were not the mere inspirations of the hour. They[Pg 119] were rather like the chef d'œuvre of a great painter or sculptor—well thought out, carefully and conscientiously reasoned, and polished until their lustre was perfectly dazzling. We have before us an extract from Fraser's Magazine, published about this time, which justly estimates Dr. Caird's oratorical gifts and graces. The writer states that Dr. Caird "begins quietly, but in a manner which is full of earnestness and feeling; every word is touched with just the right kind and degree of emphasis; many single words, and many little sentences which, when you read them do not seem very remarkable, are given in tones which make them absolutely thrill through you; you feel that the preacher has in him the elements of a tragic actor who would rival Kean. The attention of the congregation is riveted; the silence is breathless; and as the speaker goes on gathering warmth till he becomes impassioned and impetuous, the tension of the nerves of the hearer becomes almost painful. There is abundant ornament in style—if you were cooler you might probably think some of it carried to the verge of good taste; there is a great amount and variety of the most expressive, apt, and seemingly unstudied gesticulation; it is rather as though you were listening to the impulsive Italian speaking from head to foot, than to the cool and unexcitable Scot. After two or three such climaxes, with pauses between, after the manner of Dr. Chalmers, the preacher gathers himself up for his peroration which, with the tact of the orator, he has made more striking, more touching, more impressive than any preceding portion of his discourse. He is wound up often to an excitement which is painful to see. The full deep voice, so beautifully expressive, already taxed to its utmost extent, breaks into something which is almost a shriek; the gesticulation becomes wild; the preacher, who has hitherto held himself to some degree in check, seems to abandon himself to the full tide of his emotion; you feel that not even his eloquent lips can do justice to the rush of thought and feeling within. Two or three minutes in this impassioned strain and the sermon is done."[Pg 120]

In 1862, Dr. Caird was appointed Professor of Divinity in the University of Glasgow. Since that time his pulpit ministrations have been comparatively few. In fact, although his eloquence is in some respects as powerful and unique as ever, his voice has lost much of the charm of former days, and this is perhaps one of the most weighty reasons that actuated the reverend gentleman in seeking the otium cum dignitate of a Professor's chair. As a teacher no less than as a preacher Dr. Caird has made his mark. In reference to both functions we find personified in him the attributes of

"Echenus sage, a venerable man,
Whose well-taught mind the present age surpassed,
And joined to that the experience of the last.
Fit words attended on his weighty sense,
And mild persuasion flowed like eloquence."

If there is one thing more than another that has brought Dr. Caird a special name and reputation as a thinker, it is the broad and somewhat latitudinarian notions which he holds on religions matters. So far does he carry his toleration and charity that he has, we believe, given serious offence to not a few of his most attached admirers in questions other than religious. Briefly stated, Dr. Caird's belief is that all the theological distinctions that ever distracted Christendom are not worth a single breach of charity. In a sermon which he preached before the Senate, at the opening of the new University Chapel, on the 8th of January last, he set himself to show that the mere holding of the Catholic faith, in the sense and form of the creed, cannot be the essence of religion—first, because the great mass of mankind are incapable of doing justice to the definitions and evidences of the creeds; yet need religion, and are, in point of fact, pious in spite of their want of theological accomplishments; secondly, there is an organ or faculty of the soul deeper than the intellect, by which (apart from accurate doctrinal notions) the force of religious realities may be apprehended and appropriated;[Pg 121] and, thirdly, men of the most divergent and even opposite dogmatic convictions may be, and are, religiously one. Accordingly, he maintains that the essence of religion must lie in 'something profounder than ecclesiastical and dogmatic considerations. And could we get at that something—call it spiritual life, godliness, holiness, self-abnegation, surrender of the soul to God; or, better still, love and loyalty to Christ as the one Redeemer and Lord of the spirit—could we pierce deeper than the notions of the understanding to that strange, sweet, all-subduing temper and habit of spirit, that climate and atmosphere of heaven in a human breast, should we not find that there lies the essence of religion?' Religion, in short, is a matter of feeling rather than of knowledge, a hallowed condition of the spiritual sentiments and instincts, rather than an orthodox complexion and arrangement of the spiritual ideas; a thing of the heart rather than of the head. On this view, it has been argued, though Dr. Caird does not expressly draw the inference, orthodoxy is not essential to "salvation," and heathenism is not a barrier to the blessings of heaven.

One distinguishing characteristic of all Dr. Caird's sermons—and, indeed, of everything to which he applies himself—is that they are carefully and conscientiously manipulated. He does not commit himself to a mere superficial treatment of the subject in hand, but, like John Bright—to whom in more than one respect he presents a striking parallel—he takes the utmost pains to provide thoroughly acceptable and nourishing pabulum for his hearers, believing that whatever is worth doing, is worth doing well. No man alive has furnished a more fitting illustration of the lines—

"The heights by great men reached and kept,
Were not attained by sudden flight;
But they, while their companions slept,
Were toiling upwards in the night."

Every sentence which Dr. Caird utters in his discourses is turned and polished with the consummate art of which he is[Pg 122] such a master until it is a sparkling gem. Hence his diction bears the most crucial test; like his oratory, his composition is unique.

When the British Association held its meetings in Edinburgh in August, 1871, Dr. John Caird was selected to preach the sermon which it is customary to deliver before the savants at any town at which they may happen to meet. On this sermon a pungent critic in a well-known metropolitan magazine, who rejoices in the nom de plume of Patricius Walker, Esq., has the following remarks:—"Mr. Caird (who spoke somewhat huskily, but with much emphasis) was on the broad Liberal tack. He quoted passages from Herbert, Spencer, Comte, and other modern philosophers; not showing them up as monsters or deluded—O dear no!—or taking refuge behind his Bible or any 'cardinal doctrine' of faith, but professing a profound respect for these writers, and bringing his facts and logic against their facts and logic. It was a clever exercise and a very curious discourse to hear in the High Kirk of Edinburgh, but it was hard to suppose it could do anybody much good.

Says Caird, 'I'll quote and then refute,
Each modern philosophic doot'—
And so he did; but each quotation
Seem'd to outweigh the refutation.

Some of the old-fashioned worshippers must have felt uncomfortable, like the villager who, after a clever sermon on the Evidences of the Existence of the Deity, said he never thought of doubting it before."

Professor Caird is one of her Majesty's chaplains for Scotland.[Pg 123]


Those who believe in the transmission of hereditary qualities and predilections from generation to generation will find a rare practical illustration of their theory in the Rev. Norman Macleod, who is known and recognised as par excellence Her Majesty's Chaplain for Scotland. With as unfailing certainty as if they had been regulated by the laws of primogeniture and entail, this estimable clergyman has inherited the gifts and graces of his esteemed father. Nay more, he has even fallen heir to whatever honours and emoluments of value accrued to the latter during his long and useful career. The two men are in many respects "similar, though not the same." Both have answered to the same name; both have been popular preachers; both have held prominent positions in the Established Church of Scotland; both have prosecuted their ministerial labours in the same city; and both have been honoured with special marks of favour and distinction from their Sovereign. There are other minor points of resemblance upon which we cannot stay to dwell.

Dr. Norman Macleod, the elder, was ordained a minister of the Established Church at Campbeltown in 1807, where his son, the present minister of the Barony, was born. From Campbeltown the father removed to Campsie parish in 1855; and subsequently he was inducted minister of the Glasgow Gaelic Church, afterwards St. Columba's, in 1836. While in Glasgow, he preached once in Gaelic and once in English every Sunday. Like his son, he had broad sympathies, and soared far above the petty barriers of denominational forms and prejudices. He was Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in 1836, and it was greatly due to his efforts that[Pg 124] the Presbyterian Church obtained such a firm hold in the province of Ulster. In the year 1824 he brought the state of education in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland so fully and so eloquently under the notice of the General Assembly that the education scheme of the Established Church was projected to remedy the evils pointed out. Along with Principal Baird, he was appointed on three different occasions to inquire into the existing means of education in the Highlands and Islands, and in many other ways he contributed valuable service in "building up," consolidating, and expanding the distinctive schemes and agencies of the church to which he belonged. His labours were rewarded by the appointment—through the late Sir Robert Peel, with whom he had considerable influence—to the envied position of one of Her Majesty's Chaplains for Scotland, and by his preferment to the Deanery of the Chapel Royal.

But we have only said so much by way of introduction. It is with the son and not with the father that we have to deal. Young Norman, after spending his earlier days amid the rustic environs of his father's manse—the Scotch equivalent for parsonage—at Campsie, entered the University of Glasgow as a divinity student. So far as we have been able to ascertain, he made his first public appearance, while still in his "teens," at a banquet given to Sir Robert Peel on the occasion of the right hon. gentleman's installation as Lord Rector of the University of Glasgow. This event, memorable in the annals of the city, happened on the 6th Jan. 1837. Considered in relation to all its accessories, the banquet was perhaps the most brilliant affair of its kind that ever took place in Glasgow. On making an analysis of the attendance, we find that there were altogether 3300 gentlemen present, including 12 members of the peerage, eight baronets, ten members of Parliament, a host of military men, and all the gentry for many miles round. The total cost of the feast was £2434 13s 8d, and the toasts were thirty-seven in number.

The fact that Dr. Norman Macleod took a very active part[Pg 125] in promoting Sir Robert Peel's candidature for the Lord Rectorship, which led to this brilliant gathering, must be our excuse for dwelling upon it at such length. In recognition of his exertions on Sir Robert's behalf, he was selected to respond to the toast of "The students of the University of Glasgow who have done themselves honour by selecting Sir Robert Peel to fill the office of Lord Rector." There was little in his reply worthy of quotation. It was neat, appropriate, and well put, and concluded by expressing the anxious hope that "by the additional means which had been adopted to promote Conservative principles and to unite Conservative students within the University, and especially by the establishment of our 'Peel Club,' the students may continue to heap additional honours upon themselves by returning Conservative Lord Rectors."

After a very promising career as a divinity student, Dr. Norman Macleod was at an early age ordained a minister of the Church of Scotland. His first parish was Loudoun, in Ayrshire, from whence, in 1843, he was translated to Dalkeith. He laboured with much acceptance in the latter charge for a period of eleven years, and in 1851 he succeeded the late Dr. Black as the minister of the Barony Parish of Glasgow—a position which he still continues to fill. It is related of the doctor that, while at Dalkeith, he happened one day to be strolling in the "kirkyard," and met the sexton, a man of venerable years, who took quite a pleasure in pointing out to the new minister the more notable graves in the little God's acre. "This," he said, "is where Mr. So-and-So (the former clergyman of the parish) is buried, and here—pointing to a still unoccupied lair—is whaur ye'll lie, gin ye be spared!" It is worth while mentioning that whereas the population of the Barony Parish in 1755 was only about 5000, it had increased in 1850 to 130,000, and at the present time it is estimated at 200,000, so that Dr. Macleod's parochial duties and responsibilities have been greatly multiplied since he entered upon his present important charge.[Pg 126]

Dr. Macleod has taken the most active interest in everything relating to the welfare of the city, while the affairs of his own parish have afforded him a source of unremitting care and anxiety. With every movement projected for the purposes of Church extension or the development of missions in Glasgow he has been closely identified; and at the present time he is at the front of an association promoted some eighteen months ago, with the view of providing additional churches in certain neglected districts of the city. As the result of this association's efforts, several new churches are now in course of erection, one of them having been undertaken at Dr. Macleod's express request. Closely allied to the means of grace are the facilities for the acquisition of education, and of this important adjunct to the work of the ministry Dr. Macleod has never for a moment lost sight. No less than five large schools have been opened in connection with the Barony Church since he entered upon his parochial duties; and several preaching or mission stations, at each of which divine service is conducted every Sunday, have also been opened up, with the most successful results.

The Church of Scotland has not always enjoyed its present exceptional prestige. The time was when Presbyterianism had anything but a sweet smelling savour out of Scotland. It is largely due to the efforts of Dr. Macleod that the merits of Presbyterianism have come to be acknowledged and its principles understood by other denominations. No man has done more than Dr. Macleod to make the Church of Scotland famous and to give her a position in Christendom. His influence both at home and abroad, his abilities as a preacher, and his graces as a writer, have helped to bring the Presbyterian Church before the country, and to induce the respect alike of her friends and rivals.

It is in connection with her missions, more than any other agency of the Church of Scotland, that Dr. Macleod has made himself conspicuous. In these he has, from an early period of his ministerial career, taken a deep and active interest.[Pg 127] So far back as the year 1844-45 he was sent out to Canada, along with his uncle and the late Dr. Simpson of Kirknewton, as a deputation from the Church of Scotland to inquire into the progress of the Church in the British Provinces. About four years ago, he was sent to India in company with Dr. Watson, to visit the missions of the Church in that country, and on their return to Scotland, Dr. Macleod published a series of articles, giving the results of his observations, which excited a considerable amount of public attention, and elicited among educationists and others a warm discussion. For some of his statements the rev. gentleman was taken severely to task, it being argued that he could not, during his limited sojourn in India, have acquired a sufficient knowledge of the country and its institutions to enable him to speak with anything like authority on all the subjects to which he referred.

We believe that Dr. Macleod commenced his career as an author by the publication, during the fierce heat of the controversy which eventuated in the Disruption, of three separate pamphlets, each bearing the title, "Cracks about the Kirk, for Country Folks." Two of these pamphlets, written in "broad Scotch," were remarkable for their pungency and effective banter. Although published anonymously, it was generally known that these pamphlets owed their existence to "young Norman," and they contributed very materially to establish his growing fame as a writer and preacher. During the memorable year of the Disruption he was a member of the General Assembly, and took part in all the controversies of the day. His efforts to keep up the drooping spirits of the Establishment are worthy of honourable mention. His boundless good humour, and cheerful, happy disposition kept alive the enthusiasm of those who preferred to stick by the Kirk in the greatest crisis she has ever known, and he was, above all, instrumental in preventing the missionary operations of the Church from becoming

"To hastening ills a prey."

From that time until now he has never ceased to manifest[Pg 128] the warmest interest in the missions of the Church, watching over them with an almost paternal zeal and solicitude; and no man in the Establishment is so well qualified as himself to preside at the Indian Mission Board—an office which he has occupied with equal credit to himself and advantage to the church for a number of years.

Many who are quite unacquainted with Dr. Macleod's antecedents, will have heard of him as the editor of Good Words. It is not too much to assume that even the contributor to a New York journal, who lately described him as "Dr. Macleod, one of the Court physicians," will know him in this capacity. Commencing his editorial career on the Edinburgh Christian Magazine, which he conducted from April, 1849, till April, 1869, Dr. Macleod, in the course of the latter year, became connected with Mr. Strahan; and the Christian Guest, which was started in the beginning of that year, appeared with Dr. Macleod's name as reviser. The latter magazine, which was published by Messrs. A. Strahan & Co., Edinburgh, came to a conclusion at the end of the year which witnessed its birth, and it was succeeded in January, 1860, by Good Words, published by Messrs. A. Strahan & Co., London, and in which Dr. Macleod's name appeared as editor. We need hardly criticise the merits of the latter periodical, which, as we have indicated, owes its origin to the joint labours of Mr. Strahan and its able editor. From the first it was conducted on what might be called popular principles—being something more than a religious magazine pure and simple. The result was that it grew rapidly in public favour, and commanded the support and approbation of the highest literary circles. Indeed, it may safely be said that there is not a moral, religious, or scientific writer of any note that has not in one form or another contributed something to its contents. Mr. Gladstone, Dr. Vaughan, the Rev. Charles Kingsley, Dean Alford, and Mrs. Oliphant are but a few of the many names that have adorned its pages, and its popularity and merits are still maintained with undiminished[Pg 129] vigour. Mr. Strahan's boundless energy and excellent discrimination have contributed more to this result than any other cause; but Dr. Macleod's editorship has at the same time been singularly able and judicious. Although Dr. Macleod never aspired to rank as a theological writer, he has in his way been a prolific and successful author. His works may be said to have merits peculiarly their own. His graceful, easy, fluent style; his admirable capacity for illustration; his graphic delineations of scenery and character; and, above all, his unfailing use of simple, terse, homely Saxon, have combined to place him in the front rank of living writers. Among his more notable publications we may mention "The Home School" (Edinburgh, 1856, 12mo), a reprint and extension of lectures for working men; "Deborah" (Edinburgh, 1857, cr. 8vo), a treatise on the duties of masters and servants; "The Earnest Student—being memorials of John Mackintosh" (1854, cr. 8vo); "Parish Papers" (Edinburgh, 1862, 12mo); "Reminiscences of a Highland Parish;" "The Old Lieutenant;" "The Starling;" and "Wee Davie." He also published numerous sketches of his travels in the Holy Land, in India, and in the British provinces. His "Eastward," a diary of travels in Palestine, is one of the most interesting and instructive works of its kind in our literature; while his "Far East," in which his Indian experiences are detailed, is not less full of useful matter. This leads us to mention the fact that his travels in Palestine were undertaken on his own account, and solely for the purpose of receiving correct impressions of the Holy Land, with its hallowed traditions and deeply-interesting associations. With the same object he has travelled in other lands, and scarcely a year passes without his visiting some new clime or country, and thus enriching his great stores of knowledge and observation.

As a preacher Dr. Macleod is great, although lacking some of those qualities which are essential to a popular and effective pulpit speaker. Many of his best pulpit efforts, and notably his sermons preached before the Queen at Crathie,[Pg 130] are among the most excellent of their class, and may be read with as much profit and interest as the discourses of Wesley and Whitfield. Yet to those who have heard only of his great fame, apart from the pulpit, and who are naturally led to associate that fame to some considerable extent with his pulpit utterances, there must, in some respects, be disappointment in store. His voice is far from musical, being too much pitched on one key, and that not the most melodious on the gamut. His discourses lack the fire and finish of Caird or Guthrie; while his composition and style are neither so graceful nor so polished as those of Spurgeon or Newman Hall. He makes no attempt at nicely rounded periods, or subtle verbal distinctions. But he has other qualities entirely his own. His speech is homely, familiar, almost conversational. There is no "darkening of counsel with vain words." He is not only easily understood, but it is difficult, even on the most recondite points, to misunderstand him. What he states in the plainest possible phraseology, he renders still more intelligible by some apt illustration. Herein lies one of the great secrets of his success in the pulpit. Possessed of a very acute mental faculty and a warm heart, his sermons are always eminently practical, full of conclusive argument, appealing directly to the consciences of his hearers, and permeated above all by strong common sense, called so as locus a non lucendo, because so uncommon even in the pulpit. His thoughts, often strikingly original, are always expressed in a vigorous, manly style. He does not hesitate to call a spade by its proper name. Hence he has often been taken to task for what, gauged by the rule of the Confession of Faith, would be called loose, if not absolutely heterodox notions on sacred things. His memorable speech on the Decalogue is a case in point. The Presbytery of Glasgow woke up one fine morning to find that the minister of the Barony recommended in almost so many words that the Decalogue, inasmuch as it was a Judaical institution, was not for modern Christians. Of course the rev. gentleman brought a hornet's nest about his ears; and he had to explain away, as best he could, the[Pg 131] "damnable and pernicious doctrine." There are more learned men in the Church of Scotland, but none have a greater share of sagacity, penetration, and strong, pungent, mother wit. Another distinguishing trait in the doctor's character is his charitable and tolerant disposition in reference to religious things. He does not believe that anything is gained by denominational differences, and would put an end to the intestinal strife that separates the various branches of the Church of Christ. To all who would say, "I am of Paul, or I am of Apollos, or I am of Cephas!" he has but one reply. Dogmatism is to his broad and liberal mind a foolish and unnecessary thing in theology, and hence he is to be found in the van of all progressive and tolerant measures as opposed to the odium theologicum, although in political matters he maintains a mildly Conservative tone. It is a curious fact that, despite his anxiety to keep pace with the times, Dr. Macleod has never yet been able to procure the introduction of an organ to the Barony Church, and it is not less remarkable that, notwithstanding his popularity both as a preacher, as a writer, and as a public man, his church, which might reasonably be expected to be one of the handsomest and largest in the city, is little better than a village school. Strangers visiting Glasgow are almost bound to "do" the Barony Church. Dr. Macleod is one of the "lions" of the city, and people from all quarters flock to see and hear him. Yet the building in which he preaches is, without exception, the ugliest in Glasgow, both externally and internally. It is situated in one of the most ill-favoured localities in the city, although in the immediate vicinity of the Cathedral and the classic Molendinar, with the statue of sturdy John Knox looking down upon it from the Pisgah of the Necropolis—that God's acre of Glasgow worthies through many generations. Chagrin and dismay will, we fancy, have been the feelings predominant in the breasts of many who entered the Barony for the first time. Between the preacher and the pews there is certainly neither affinity nor vraisemblance. Worship is also conducted in the most primitive[Pg 132] fashion. Most of the Established Churches in Glasgow have now got educated up to the introduction of organs, as accessories of public worship, but here there is only an indifferently competent choir to lead the service of praise. Of course the emoluments of the living or parish are not regulated by "outward and visible signs," or the Barony minister would only draw a sorry stipend.

We have already had occasion to notice Dr. Macleod's acuteness of intellect. If there is anything in phrenology, his perceptive faculties must be very highly developed. Few men are so observant of all that passes around. Wherever he goes, he puts himself en rapport with his society for the time being. He can read

Sermons in stones,
Books in the running brooks,
And good in everything.

In this fact we have a sufficient explanation of the rich store of fun and fancy—of humour and pathos—of anecdote and illustration—upon which he draws ad libitum. Adopting Captain Cuttle's plan, he makes a note of everything within his reach, and the merest trifles—incidents which to an ordinary mind would be

Like a snow-flake on the river—
A moment seen, then lost for ever!

he treasures up in the storehouse of a highly retentive memory.

In seeking briefly to analyse the secrets of Dr. Macleod's wide-spread fame, we are almost constrained to think that they will be found to lie in qualities belonging to the heart rather than the head. His bon hommie is unique; he has a rich, pawky humour, which with his own countrymen is almost worshipped. In all circumstances he displays the suaviter in modo. In short, he is excellent company. "Aye[Pg 133] ready!" might be his motto, if Dr. Macleod has any dealings with the literature of the Herald's College. He will speak, and that effectively, on any mortal subject; and if he cannot say much pertaining to the matter in hand, he will at least say something else, equally or perhaps more edifying and acceptable.

Of the high position which Dr. Macleod holds in the esteem of Her Majesty, our readers will have heard and seen so much, that we need say but little. Since his appointment as one of her Majesty's Chaplains in Ordinary for Scotland Dr. Macleod has had many gracious marks of Royal condescension bestowed upon him; and these he has reciprocated by vindicating, whenever opportunity offered, the character and conduct of the Queen from the aspersions and calumnies of her detractors. From him we have had glimpses, now and again, of what transpires behind the scenes at Balmoral, and we have as it were felt our hearts knitted more closely than before to a Sovereign who is a pattern to all her sex.[Pg 134]


The Rev. Dr. Robert Buchanan has many claims to be esteemed one of the "Pilgrim Fathers" of the Free Church of Scotland. He was one of the first to obey the injunction dictated by the Ten Years' Conflict, "Come out from among them, and be ye separate." Ready to abandon a Church that adopted principles, and practised a system, of which he could not approve, he was also in the front van of the handful to whose wisdom, prescience, and fostering care the Free Church owes its remarkably successful career. Of the many who took a more or less prominent part in the Disruption, Dr. Candlish, of Edinburgh, and Dr. Robert Buchanan, of Glasgow, are now the only two left who have been recognised from the outset as leaders in the great and memorable crisis. The Free Church has not within her pale, at the present moment, a man more generally esteemed, or more influential in all that relates to the discipline and welfare of the body, than he whose career and character we now propose briefly to sketch.

The century was very young when Dr. Buchanan first saw the light at the quiet, rural village of Gargunnock, near Stirling. His father, who followed mercantile pursuits, was able to give Robert a good, sound education; and as he displayed, when little more than a child, a tendency for reasoning and disputation, it was resolved that he should be brought up for the ministry. After receiving the rudiments of his education at a country school, he entered the University of Glasgow as a divinity student. In 1827 he was ordained a minister of the Established Church of Scotland. His first charge was Saltoun, in East Lothian, where Principal Fairbairn, his[Pg 135] friend and co-worker, subsequently ministered. From Saltoun Dr. Buchanan came to the Tron Church, Glasgow, in 1834, and he continued to labour in that congenial sphere until the year 1857, when, in consequence of circumstances to be afterwards stated, he entered upon the pastorate of the College Church, where he still continues to labour with much acceptance. After the Disruption, Dr. Buchanan, with other 474 ministers that were identified with the Establishment, formed what has since been known as the Free Church of Scotland. Leaving the Old Tron, he and his followers made use of the City Hall for a time, until the Free Tron Church, which was built specially for Dr. Buchanan's congregation, was completed. The means were not long awanting to provide a church for a minister so popular and so well-beloved, and hence the period of his ministry in the City Hall—that asylum of needy, distressed, and transitional congregations—was very short.

A movement was set on foot about the year 1855 to change the sphere of Dr. Buchanan's labours from the Free Tron to the West-End of the city. A disjunction was drawn up; the advice of Dr. Candlish and Mr. Gray of Perth was taken as to the proper mode of procedure; a memorial, signed by about 150 members of his congregation, was laid before Dr. Buchanan, inviting him to transfer his services to a new church in the West-End; and a similar memorial was laid before the Presbytery, craving their consent to the project. After the preliminary arrangements had been carried out, the disjunctionists found a friend in Dr. Clark of Wester Moffat, the founder of the Free Church Training College in Glasgow, who offered, upon the most liberal terms, to provide them with a site. One of the conditions laid down was that fifty free seats should be reserved in perpetuity for the use of the students attending the college. It was also stipulated as a sine qua non that Dr. Buchanan should accompany the disjunctionists to the new church. Both of these pre-requisites having been agreed upon, the new College Church was commenced. The total cost of its erection was upwards of[Pg 136] £10,000, and about five years ago this amount was fully paid off. The new church grew and prospered under Dr. Buchanan's ministry, until it has now a membership of over 400, including not a few of the most influential and liberal men in the city. For the first time in its history, the College Church subscribed last year the second largest amount of any church in Scotland towards the Sustentation Fund, the exact sum being £1201, as compared with £3435 raised by St George's, Edinburgh, (Rev. Dr. Candlish's), which stands highest on the list. The total amount raised last year by the Free College Church for all purposes was £2939, being higher than the aggregate of any other church in Glasgow. It is not too much to say that Dr. Buchanan's admirable financial talents have been greatly instrumental in bringing the fiscal arrangements of the Free Church to such a high point of perfection. His eminently methodical and far-seeing mind set itself to work, immediately the necessity presented itself, to devise ways and means of putting the ministers of the Church who were all at once, without any preparation, and many of them under much physical disadvantage, compelled to bid adieu to "the fleshpots of Egypt." The ordeal was so terrible that it might well have appalled the timid. Suffering for conscience sake, these noble-minded men chose to leave behind them the Lares and Penates belonging to the Establishment: but their adoption of Moses' choice, did not, after all, entail much privation. Congregations and ministers alike resolved on surrendering a position which they could not any longer, with a good conscience, retain; and both proved equal to the emergency of dealing with financial problems which all at once they were called upon to solve. Casting herself promptly and entirely on the system of Free-Will Offerings as the means of her future sustenance, the Free Church met with a response so liberal and spontaneous that it is almost without parallel in history. In all these arrangements Dr. Buchanan took an active interest, and his sound practical advice was on all occasions of financial embarrassment consulted by his colleagues. As to the manner in which these difficulties were[Pg 137] met Dr. Buchanan, himself, in a paper read on the 15th March, 1870, before the Statistical Society of London, stated that "The Free Church at once and unanimously adopted, as the backbone of her financial system, the plan of a common fund, to the support of which all her congregations should contribute, and in the benefits of which all her ministers should share. With whom the central idea of the scheme originated it is impossible to say. The very nature of the case was such as almost inevitably to suggest it to any one who was seriously and intelligently considering the subject. Of one thing, however, there can be no doubt or question, that the authorship of the system of finance, into which the idea now spoken of was gradually developed, belonged to Thomas Chalmers. It had taken shape in his mind, and in at least some of its leading features had been put in writing by his pen in the summer of 1841. It is true that in the autumn of the same year, and without any notion of the views or plans of Dr. Chalmers, the principle of a common fund, to be distributed in equal shares, was given out by Dr. Candlish at a great public meeting held at Edinburgh, in anticipation of the event which, even then, had begun to loom out, not indistinctly, through the storm and tempest of the time. It was not, however, till the month of November, 1842, that it took the form of a fully-planned scheme for the future support of the church, drawn out in detail and supported by elaborate argument. This form it assumed in a speech of great power and eloquence, which is still preserved, and which was delivered by Dr. Chalmers at a very memorable meeting. The meeting to which I refer was called 'the convocation,'—a name familiar enough in England, though descriptive there of a quite different assembly. The Scotch convocation was not a court, but simply a private, unofficial conference of ministers interested in the common cause of the then impending disruption. They met alone, because they desired to look their position, prospects, and responsibilities calmly and prayerfully in the face, without being liable, under the influence of[Pg 138] public feeling, to be either turned back or to be carried further or faster forward in the direction in which events were moving, otherwise than as their own deliberate judgment and sense of duty might seem to them to sanction and require."

It is for his labours in connection with the formation of the Sustentation Fund, of which he has for many years been convener, that Dr. Buchanan is most prominently known. Indeed, we are not sure but the idea of a Sustentation Fund was entirely his own—at least he had a great deal to do with its development. The great object of the Sustentation Fund is the support of the ministry to the extent and effect of at least securing for each minister a certain minimum stipend. From the first it was the aim of the Church to bring up the minimum to £150, although that was not reached until the year 1863. The Sustentation Fund Committee, of which Dr. Buchanan has been convener and chairman ever since the death of Dr. Chalmers in 1847, is appointed annually by the General Assembly, and consists of about a hundred ministers and elders, in nearly equal proportion, nominated by the Assembly, and of one member, who may be either minister or elder, nominated by each of the fourteen Synods of the Church. The committee meets once a month in Edinburgh, and is usually attended by about 60 members.

This is scarcely the time or place to enter into an exhaustive account of the finances of the Free Church, or we might pursue these observations until we had traced the mighty river that now is, to the small and comparatively insignificant stream from which it took its source. The Free Church has set an example to the world in fiscal arrangements, showing what steady determination, backed by courage and sound judgment, can eventually accomplish. Not only had the Free Church to provide means for supporting its ministers, but also for building places of worship, manses or parsonages, and elementary schools. Since the Disruption, the Church has built 920 churches, 719 manses, and 597 schools, the total amount raised towards the general and local building fund during the twenty-six years intervening[Pg 139] between May, 1843, and 1869, being £1,667,714. Three Theological Colleges for the training of candidates for the ministry, and two large and flourishing Normal Schools have also been provided.

Ministers of the gospel may be divided into two classes. There is the warm, enthusiastic, emotional evangelist, who flashes across the ecclesiastical horizon like a meteor, and creates a temporary "sensation," so to speak, among the dry bones in the valley of vision. Then there is the more steady-going preacher of the Word, who maintains an even pace throughout, turning neither to the right nor to the left—whose forte is to conserve the truth, and keep it alive where it has once been found. In the latter category we may include Dr. Buchanan. He is not by any means a brilliant preacher, in the ordinary acceptation of the term. He does not draw the multitude about him. He is no Boanerges of the Temple; but he is a giant as regards a firm grasp of doctrinal truth. He never evolves new shapes or fantastic theories, "won from the vague and formless infinite;" but he "proves all things," and "holds fast that which is good." If he is not an essentially popular preacher—and this is a merit which even his most partial admirers would scarcely venture to claim for him—he is edifying and didactic, and few ministers are better qualified to build up and consolidate a church. Rather too stereotyped (if we may hint such a fault) in his tendencies, he is yet deeply skilled in the form of sound doctrine, and his style is terse, vigorous, and polished. There is, perhaps, what not a few would be disposed to term a want of animation in his pulpit utterances. Habitually grave and dignified, he seldom indulges in anything like an ebullition of fancy or of mirth. His sentences are cut, polished, and beautified like a piece of Parian marble. People are so much accustomed now-a-days to hear orators whose hearts (like Coriolanus) are upon their lips, that they have little sympathy with scholarly and erudite prelections, pure and simple, come from whatsoever quarter they may. But it does not therefore follow that calm, dispassionate, logical[Pg 140] reasoning, of which Dr. Buchanan is both a master and exponent, is without its merits and admirers. On the contrary, it is impossible to sit under the minister of the Free College Church without being "built up" in all the Christian graces. He is an uncompromising foe to the Scarlet Lady, to the materialistic tendencies of the present day, to looseness and infidelity, of every kind, in religious matters; and some would perhaps object that his sermons are too strongly impregnated with the Confession of Faith, the Deed of Demission, and the Shorter Catechism. But he is on this account all the more entitled to rank as a living embodiment of the principles and practice of the Free Church of Scotland; and when questions on which a little margin of difference may be allowed are brought under consideration, Dr. Buchanan will be found to be tolerant and even liberal in his views. With a presence so commanding and dignified as to be almost leonine, a deep, melodious voice, and a head of snowy whiteness, Dr. Buchanan's appearance, as he ascends to the pulpit, conveys the impression of conscious power. He enters upon the services of the sanctuary with an evident sense of their solemnity and importance. No glimpse of humour, no outré illustration, no divergence from the beaten track is attempted; the heavy and portentous gravity of his manner and matter is unrelieved by a single touch of light—all is sombre, deep, profound. One can fancy that Dr. Buchanan is inclined to think, with Dr. Johnson, that a punster is as bad as a pickpocket.

But it would be unfair to estimate Dr. Buchanan from his pulpit appearances only. Listening to his discourses from the pew, one can form but a faint conception of the greatest merits—the strongest points—of the minister of the Free College Church. It is in the ecclesiastical Forum that Dr. Buchanan is found most in his element; there, like Mark Tapley, he comes out the stronger, the greater the pressure and opposition brought to bear upon him. No man in the Free Church is more completely "posted up" in all the questions that come before the Assembly—no[Pg 141] man is more entitled to rank in that body as the Rupert of debate. In the Glasgow Presbytery he takes a leading part in the discussion of all prominent questions; and no member is listened to with greater attention. It is not too much to say that, although he may meet with a foeman worthy of his steel in the General Assembly, he has not in the more circumscribed sphere of the local Presbytery, a single rival who is in any sense his match. The late Dr. Gibson was frequently accustomed to tackle him, and perhaps he sometimes did so successfully; but while the latter was undoubtedly an able debater, he lost ground from his impetuosity of temper—an infirmity to which Dr. Buchanan never gives way. In all circumstances he is cool, calculating, unruffled; he measures the full meaning and effect of every sentence; he can be fierce and withering, and still maintain a calm and composed demeanour. The gladiatorial conflicts in which these two combatants took part were often a source of rare amusement even outside the pale of the Presbytery, and, inasmuch as they were both well fortified with weighty and telling arguments, the spectacle was not always unedifying. On the question of Union, as is well known, they took diametrically opposite views. Many a passage of arms passed between them on this questio vexata, while the younger and less athletic backers surrounded the arena, waiting the shock with eager anticipation; for

"When Greek meets Greek, then comes the tug of war."

But the one has been taken and the other left; and no man, we believe will be more ready to do justice to the memory of his deceased fellow-confrère than Dr. Buchanan himself.

We have specially mentioned the question of Union, because of late years Dr. Buchanan has closely and completely identified himself with it, and he is pledged to see it carried through. He has made eloquent and effective speeches in favour of Union at almost every meeting of the General Assembly held since it was brought on the tapis; and only last year he opened the debate in an address that has seldom[Pg 142] been equalled for sound argument and rhetorical effect. It would be superfluous to make any selections or quotations from the rev. gentleman's speeches on this subject; his views are already well known to all who take an interest in the cause for which he pleads, and before that cause has reached its final consummation it is more than likely that he will again be at Ephesus, fighting on its behalf.

The soundness of his judgment and the eminently dispassionate views which he is able to take of all questions laid before him are so fully recognised by his brethren in the Free Church that Dr. Buchanan is consulted on nearly every matter that relates to the welfare of that body. He can discriminate so nicely and so fairly on the merits of any one question submitted for his adjudication—his judicial faculty is so highly developed, that some of those who know him best have hazarded the prediction that, had he been trained for the bar instead of for the pulpit, he would by this time have held the position of Lord President of the Court of Session. Dr. Buchanan is a man of such varied gifts and accomplishments that he would have shone in any sphere, and in the interests of Christianity it is a source of congratulation rather than otherwise that he chose the pulpit for his profession. In this connection we may mention the fact that Dr. Buchanan has spoken at many public meetings of a moral, social, and political, as well as of an ecclesiastical character. One of his last appearances on the City Hall platform was on the occasion of a meeting held last year to take measures for providing additional church accommodation in Glasgow—a desideratum for which he has often and eloquently pleaded.

As an author, Dr. Buchanan's name will be handed down to posterity—at least so far as his own church is concerned. His "Ten Year's Conflict" is the only complete and authoritative record of the causes and effects of the Disruption that has yet been published. He has also published an able and scholarly work on the "Ecclesiastes;" while his leisure hours on a holiday tour in the Mediterranean have been turned to advantage by his publication of an interesting volume entitled "Clerical Furlough."[Pg 143]


In that magnificent work, "London: a Pilgrimage," for which we are indebted to the joint labours of Gustave Doré and Blanchard Jerrold, allusion is made to the decadence of the shipbuilding trade on the Thames, and the rapidly accumulating growth of the same industry on the Clyde. The contrast is startling, and although it may be gratifying to the pride of those who are identified with the northern river, it must create sad and humiliating emotions in the breasts of others who have seen the "silvery Thames" shorn so completely of her ancient glory and prestige as a mart of naval architecture. The Clyde has not directly made capital out of the Thames, but the progress of the one has undoubtedly been stimulated by the misfortunes of the other. It is impossible to ignore the fact that the Clyde possessed many advantages over its rival. Its immediate proximity to almost illimitable fields of iron and coal, the easy terms upon which shipbuilders could thus obtain their materials, and the lower wages paid to workmen on the Clyde, had undoubtedly an important influence in securing for the latter its exceptionally prosperous career; but there were, at the same time, other drawbacks to contend with, including a miserably inadequate draught of water, which in the early history of naval architecture, were only surmounted by patient continuance in well-doing, by unwearied energy, and by the most advanced and economical application of the mechanical arts on which shipbuilding is dependent. These conditions were present on the Clyde in a greater degree than on the Thames, and hence the fame of the one has been eclipsed by that of the other. Into all parts of the civilised world[Pg 144] the fame of the Clyde has been carried through the medium of her shipbuilding works. We still continue to lead the van in this industry, being so far ahead of all other seats of naval architecture that by comparison they dwarf into insignificance and "pale their ineffectual fires." Let the figures speak for themselves. In 1863, the new tonnage launched on the Clyde was 124,000 tons, while at the end of that year 140,000 tons additional were on the stocks or under contract. In 1871 no less than 196,229 were launched, and 301,809 tons were on the stocks or under contract. Comparing these results with those attained on the Wear—perhaps the greatest rival to the Clyde in this particular industry—it appears that the aggregate tonnage launched during 1863 was 70,040, and during 1871 only 81,903, or in round numbers 11,000 tons additional were launched on that river. It is impossible in the course of this article to follow the history and analyse the causes that have contributed so materially to promote the growth of iron shipbuilding on the Clyde, but it is equally impossible to trace the lines of Robert Napier's biography without affording a clue to this marvellous progress.

On the eighteenth day of June, 1791, Mr. Napier was born in the town of Dumbarton. His father was a blacksmith, and early imparted to his son a knowledge of the rudiments of that business, so that Robert was not far wrong when he quaintly remarked that he was born with the hammer in his hand. The elder Napier occupied, as his forefathers had done before him, a prominent position in their little town, being a freeman with a prosperous business, which enabled him to gratify his anxiety to give his son the benefits of a sound practical education. Ultimately the latter was apprenticed to his father with the view of following out the trade of a smith. When he was twenty years of age, young Robert, determined to fight his way in a less limited sphere, removed to the Scottish metropolis, where he was employed by Robert Stevenson, the eminent lighthouse engineer. Latterly, however, he returned to Dumbarton, and after spending a short time longer in the service of his father, he permanently[Pg 145] settled down in Glasgow, where he started business on his own account in the month of May, 1815. We are not aware that Mr. Napier had at this time any intention of eventually going in for marine architecture. The prospects of that industry were by no means so assured and encouraging as they have since become. Bell's Comet had been launched three years before, but it was still regarded even by practical men as a doubtful venture. It was one of those "inventions born before their time," which, according to the Emperor Napoleon III., "must necessarily remain useless until the level of the common intellect rises to comprehend them." Thanks, however, to the co-operation of Mr. David Napier, a cousin of Robert's, who assisted him in the construction of the Comet, and took a lively personal interest in the advancement of steam navigation, Bell was enabled to achieve a permanent triumph, and the subject of these remarks, from the same cause, had his attention turned at an early period to the revolution which was being silently but surely evolved out of Bell's achievement. For some years, however, Robert Napier had to fight an uphill battle with the world. His first place of business was on a very moderate scale in Greyfriars Wynd, a place to which it has since imparted an almost classical interest, and his orders were at first so few that they could easily be overtaken by himself with the assistance of two apprentices. His experience was eventually that of the great bulk of mankind, verifying the well-known aphorism—labor omnia vincit. In the course of time he was encouraged to undertake the general work of an engineer, and his removal from Greyfriars Wynd to Camlachie Foundry afforded greater scope for the extension of his operations. While here, he undertook a number of tolerably large contracts, one of them being for the pipes required by the Glasgow Water Company when bringing the supply from the upper reaches of the Clyde. The first land engine made by Mr. Napier is still in use in Mr. Boak's spinning factory at Dundee. His first essay at marine engineering was a contract undertaken in 1823, to build the engines for the Leven, a small paddle-steamer that used to[Pg 146] ply between Glasgow and Dumbarton. When the Leven had been "put on the shelf," after having served its day, the engines were taken from her and removed to the Vulcan Foundry in Washington Street, to which Mr. Napier subsequently removed, and where these interesting memorials of the early history of a trade which has since assumed such gigantic proportions may still be viewed.

Succeeding his cousin in the Lancefield Foundry, as he had previously succeeded him in Camlachie, Mr. Napier was enabled, by the acquisition of better facilities to undertake a much larger amount of work, and with Mr. David Elder, an engineer of much experience and inventive genius, as his manager, he speedily laid the foundations of an altogether exceptional reputation as a marine engineer. In 1826 he engined the Eclipse, a vessel employed on the Glasgow and Belfast route; and in 1830 he became connected with the City of Glasgow Steam Packet Company, projected for the purpose of running first-class vessels between Glasgow and Liverpool, through which his maritime influence acquired an additional impetus. Indeed, from this time forward, no steamship company of any importance was started on the Clyde without Mr. Napier being called in to consult. In the year 1834, he contracted for and engined several vessels for the Dundee and London Shipping Company, of which Mr. George Duncan, late M.P. for Dundee, and a very warm friend of Mr. Napier's, was a leading director. The Clyde-built vessels belonging to this concern were admired by all who saw them, and they presented a marked contrast to the other steamers that were to be seen in the London Docks.

Mr. Napier engined and supplied the East India Company with the Berenice, 220 horse power, in the year 1836, and subsequently with the Zenobia, 280 horse power, both of which were used as war and packet ships by the company. In 1839, the British Queen followed with engines of 420 horse power, which were then considered of extraordinary size. Several finely modelled steam-yachts were also supplied about this time to the order of that great turf celebrity, the late Mr. Assheton Smith. Amongst these we may men[Pg 147]tion the Fire King, 230 horse power, a vessel which was the first illustration of the hollow-line system, and which proved itself to be the fastest steamer then afloat. In the year 1840 the Government was induced to enter into a contract with Mr. Napier to supply engines for two new war vessels, the Vesuvius and Stromboli, and, when the return for the cost of repairs, &c., of a number of war ships—including the Vesuvius and Stromboli—was ordered by the House of Commons in the year 1843, it was found that the work executed by Mr. Napier stood the test most favourably when compared with that done by some other engineers, and consequently proved economical to the nation. The origin of the British and North American Mail Company, or, in other words, the Cunard Company, in the year 1840, was an event of immense national and international importance, to the bringing about of which Mr. Napier contributed both by his counsel, and by his supplying the first vessels. Sir Samuel Cunard, who was evidently a man of immense enterprise and rare foresight, came across the Atlantic with the view of taking measures for the projection of a line of steamships between London and New York. Having been introduced to Mr. Napier through his friend Sir James Melvill, of the India House, Sir Samuel contracted with him for four vessels, each of 900 tons and 300 horse-power. Mr. Napier assured Sir Samuel at the time that vessels of this size would be inadequate for the requirements of the Atlantic trade, and suggested that they should be 1200 tons and 400 horse-power; but as he failed to alter Sir Samuel's mind on this point, he proceeded with the building of the vessels according to contract. Only a very short interval had elapsed however, when Sir Samuel again saw Mr. Napier, with whose views as to the size of the vessels he declared his complete acquiescence, although, he added, their cost, if built on the scale proposed by Mr. Napier, would be too much for him as a private individual to defray. Upon this Mr. Napier and Sir Samuel took counsel as to the likelihood and advisability of forming a company, the latter declaring that if he got a few others to[Pg 148] join in the venture, he would go in for the larger size of vessels. The two Liverpool Companies that were carried on by the Messrs. Burns, and the City of Glasgow Company, had at this time formed a sort of coalition, and Mr. Napier took advantage of the circumstance of their amity to invite both to join in the new Transatlantic undertaking. At last about twenty gentlemen, most of whom subscribed £5000 each, entered into the scheme, and of that number we believe that Mr. Napier, Mr. George Burns, Mr. M'Iver of Liverpool, and Sir James Campbell are the only survivors. Four vessels of about 1200 tons each were ordered of Mr. Napier—the Britannia, Acadia, Caledonia, and Columbia, built respectively by Messrs. Robert Duncan, John Wood, Charles Wood, and Steele, and all supplied with engines of 400 horse-power by Mr. Napier. Thereafter he furnished the machinery for other vessels belonging to this company, including the Hibernia, Cambria, America, Niagara, Europa, Canada, and Arabia. All of these vessels have now been withdrawn from active service, being superseded by Mr. Napier's more recent and well-known vessels, Persia, 3000 tons and 850 horse-power; Scotia, 4000 tons, and 1000 horse-power; and China, 2540 tons and 550 horse power. Among more recent specimens of Mr. Napier's mercantile ships, we may mention the Pereire and Ville de Paris, 3300 tons and 800 horse-power, belonging to the French Compagnie Generale Transatlantique. He has likewise constructed the Malabar, 4174 tons and 700 horse-power (one of the finest Government troopships), which, we believe, has given much satisfaction.

Mr. Napier, we may add, has been very successful in the construction of machines and war vessels for the British, French, and Turkish-Russian, and Danish and Dutch navies; and when it was decided to reconstruct the British navy with armour-clad vessels, Mr. Napier's firm had the honour of furnishing one of the two armour-clad vessels first built, viz., the Black Prince, 6040 tons and 800 horse-power; the Audacious and Invincible, armour-clad frigates, also for the British[Pg 149] Government, each 3775 tons and 800 horse-power; two armour-clad turret vessels for the Dutch Government of large size; and last but not least, the well-known Hotspur, which was launched in 1870.

There is one circumstance connected with Mr. Napier's career which, while it may have led eventually to his more intimate and cordial relations with the Admiralty, must also reflect credit upon his good sense and accommodating disposition. In the earlier days of steam navigation, and before it had been applied to Government ships, the Admiralty were without any school or dockyard where naval officers could be taught the principles and practice of the science. They tried, but unsuccessfully, to obtain admission into the more important private shipbuilding establishments on the Thames, such as Mosley's and Rennie's; and at last, as a dernier resort they resolved to try the Clyde. Making their requirements known to Mr. Napier, he received them with every consideration, and cordially acceded to their wishes, not only giving them perfect and unrestrained liberty to make use of his own works, but also securing for them the privilege of sailing free of charge in many of the vessels that then frequented the port of Glasgow. Some of these young officers subsequently obtained certificates as to their knowledge of steam navigation from Mr. Napier; and we understand that the Lords of the Admiralty did not lightly esteem credentials from such a source.

Having been so constantly and deeply immersed in the cares of his own extensive business, Mr. Napier, prior to his complete retirement into private life, had no time to devote to municipal or imperial politics. He was, however, even while most engrossed with his own affairs, an indefatigable promoter and supporter of all movements tending to the well-being of the city. In the local institutions of engineers and shipbuilders he has always taken a peculiar interest, and his sympathy and co-operation were never invoked for a deserving object in vain. In recognition of the eminent services he has rendered to marine architecture, he has had[Pg 150] many honours heaped upon him. He was a juror of the Paris Exhibition of 1855, when he received the gold medal of honour, and the decoration of Knight of the Legion of Honour; he was chairman of the jury for Class 12 (Naval Architecture, &c.) of the National Exhibition 1862, and Royal Commissioner of the Paris Exhibition 1867, and then received a grand prize. He was one of the committee for the organisation of the Fine Art Exhibition in the South Kensington Museum in 1862, during the Great Exhibition. In the summer of 1864 he presided at the Glasgow meeting of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, of which he was then president; his hospitality on that occasion will long be remembered by many of the members of the profession who were present at the meeting. He is also a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers.

For a number of years past Mr. Napier has lived constantly at his magnificent residence at West Shandon, on the shores of the Gareloch. In the erection and furnishing of this palace he has exhibited a most refined and judicious taste. He has accumulated one of the finest collections of pictures, old china, and articles of vertu generally to be found in all Scotland, and an inspection of his valuable and varied collection is a treat of which the most accomplished virtuoso would gladly take advantage, and from which he would be sure to learn something new. The active management of the business of Robert Napier & Sons now devolves on Mr. John Napier, his youngest son. His other son, Mr. James R. Napier, who is a Fellow of the Royal Society, and distinguished for his inventive genius, is engaged in a business of his own, which he commenced in the year 1857.

To confirm what we have already said as to Mr. Napier's kindly and benevolent disposition, we might adduce many examples, but that they were never intended to see the light. In all his acts he is unostentatious, and seeks to avoid public comment. Perhaps he only allows one exception to this rule, and that is the splendid monument which he has erected to the memory of his friend Henry Bell, in the beautiful[Pg 151] little churchyard of Row, within a couple of miles of his own residence at West Shandon. To this shrine many a pilgrimage has been and will yet be made.[Pg 152]


Apart from the dignity and importance of his position as Chief Magistrate of Glasgow, Mr. James Watson has unquestionable claims to be esteemed and honoured by the citizens of this our "no mean city." His uprightness and integrity of character, his business tact and ability, his sound judgment, and his rare administrative talents place him on an eminence rarely attained. Having received his education at Glasgow University, Mr. Watson entered a mercantile house in the city, where he remained for some years, and in which he acquired a considerable business experience. Subsequently he was connected with the Thistle Bank, which, as many of our readers will recollect, was ultimately incorporated with the Union Bank of Scotland. From the Bank he proceeded to the establishment of Messrs. John M'Call & Co., who were at that time among the largest grain merchants in Glasgow, and for some years Mr. Watson presided over their provision department—then of very considerable extent. When he assumed the profession of a stockbroker, there were no representatives of that business in the city. It is perhaps the most interesting feature in Mr. Watson's career that he was the first stockbroker in Glasgow; and it is no less interesting to contrast this fact with the position of the Glasgow Stock Exchange at the present time, when it occupies one of the finest buildings in the city, and its membership numbers not less than thirty large and influential firms. Besides these, there are fully a dozen firms of stock and sharebrokers not members of the Exchange. The first Stock Exchange in Glasgow was established two or three years after Mr. Watson commenced business in this capacity,[Pg 153] its first local habitation being a building situated in Buchanan Street, on the site now occupied by the Bedford Hotel. Previous to that time there were very few joint stock companies in existence—investors being satisfied for the most part with the sweet simplicity of three-per-cents. Indeed, the only local companies that could lay any claim to the name of joint-stock or limited liability, were the Banks, the Gas and Water Companies, and the Garnkirk Railway. Mr. Watson continued the only stock and sharebroker in Glasgow for nearly two years, and in 1833 he took a prominent part in the establishment of the Glasgow Stock Exchange, of which he was the first chairman. For 22 years he continued to preside over the Stock Exchange, while that institution was laying the foundations of the high character and exceptional prestige which it has since acquired, and through which it regulates in no small degree the price of stocks and shares in other markets throughout the world. We may mention, also, that the Stock Exchange in Glasgow commenced its career with only twelve or fourteen members, and from this small nucleus it has continued to grow until it is now one of the most flourishing institutions of the kind in the three kingdoms.

About 15 years ago Mr. Watson's services were called into requisition in connection with the winding up of the Ayrshire Iron Company, of which he was a shareholder. The bankruptcy of this company, as many gentlemen on 'Change will well remember, was induced by the mismanagement of its affairs. The works of the company were extended far too rapidly, and, in order to compel business, iron was bought upon credit and sold for cash at a ruinous sacrifice. The result was that the concern became insolvent, with liabilities to the extent of £250,000, and without a copper in the shape of assets except the works at Dalry. It was a terrible dilemma, and very few of the shareholders were equal to dealing with the emergency. Mr. Watson, however, undertook the labour of extricating the company from its awkward position, and his efforts were ably seconded by those of the late Mr. James[Pg 154] Dennistoun, and Mr. Mansfield, accountant, Edinburgh, assisted by one or two other gentlemen in Glasgow. On the bankruptcy of the company being announced, Mr. Watson called a meeting of subscribers, at which the late Mr. W. Brown, of the Standard office, was appointed to act as secretary. Time was allowed by the creditors, the money was called up by separate instalments, and with the aid of £60,000 borrowed from the British Linen and the Bank of Scotland Banking Companies the name of the concern was kept out of the Gazette. After a period of five or six years the whole affairs of the company were wound up, and the plant and premises were disposed of to the Messrs. Baird, of Gartsherrie, for the sum of £20,000, or fully £70,000 less than they had originally cost. Mr. Watson's efforts, his patient plodding industry and commercial skill in connection with this insolvency, were greatly commended at the time; and, indeed, as the affairs of the company were in a state of the greatest confusion, it required more than ordinary tact and perseverance to place them on an intelligible and proper footing.

It would be unpardonable to omit reference to Mr. Watson's intimate connection with the railway system in the West of Scotland. He was the first interim secretary of the Glasgow and Ayrshire Railway, which was promoted in 1836, and he continued to act in that capacity until 1839. Afterwards he became secretary of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway, in the promotion of which he was associated with Mr. Andrew Bannatyne, the late Dean of Faculty, and the first solicitor to the company. It will be remembered that the first bill of the Edinburgh and Glasgow Railway was thrown out of Parliament in 1837 owing to the strong opposition raised against it. In 1838, however, the bill was reintroduced, and passed—Lord Wm. Bentinck, the then member for Glasgow, being chairman of the committee. Ultimately Mr. Watson relinquished the office of railway secretary, but he continued to be associated in the management of the Edinburgh and Glasgow and Glasgow and South-Western lines with such men[Pg 155] as the late Mr. M'Call, of Daldowie, chairman of the Ayrshire company; Mr. Fleming, of Claremont; Mr. T. D. Douglas, Mr. Leadbetter, and Mr. A. Smith, who now lives on the Gareloch, and who, we believe, is the sole survivor of the original directorate, with the exception of our townsman, Sir James Campbell. Prior to the establishment of the direct railway communication with England, Mr. Watson was concerned with the projection of a line of steamers between Ardrossan and Fleetwood—the railway only having been carried the length of Sir Hesketh Fleetwood's estate at that time. By means of this arrangement, in which Mr. Watson had the cordial co-operation of the directors of the Ayrshire Railway, passengers leaving London at 10 o'clock forenoon could break the journey, and obtain the relief of a night's rest in the boat, arriving in Glasgow at 12 o'clock next day. The vessels on this station were Her Majesty and the Royal Consort, but they were discontinued when the direct line to Carlisle was opened up.

The first model lodging-houses established in Glasgow, about 25 years ago, owe their existence to the efforts of Mr. Watson, assisted by ex-Provost Blackie, who, with a number of other directors, have since carried on these establishments, very much to the benefit of the community at large. There are altogether three of these model lodging-houses, situated respectively in Carrick Street, M'Alpine Street, and Greendyke Street, and the very large extent to which they have been taken advantage of by those for whose benefit they were built is the best possible justification of their origin.

Mr. Watson's services in connection with the various charitable institutions in the city are too well known to require comment or eulogium at our hands. Both in season and out of season he has always been ready to aid the dissemination of charity and philanthropy, and perhaps no gentleman in the city is more closely or more generally identified with institutions of this kind.

In 1863 Mr. Watson commenced his municipal career, having succeeded Mr. Thomas Buchanan as representative of the[Pg 156] Eighth Ward. Two years afterwards he was appointed a bailie, Mr. Blackie, then Lord Provost, having invited his co-operation and assistance in the carrying out of the City Improvement Scheme, which was then in process of being hatched. Mr. Watson was the first deputy-chairman of the City Improvement Trust, and he continued to fulfil that onerous and important office up to the period of his election as Lord Provost, in November 1871. From the very outset he has been a staunch and eloquent advocate of the improvement scheme, against which, however, there was a great outcry raised, and maintained for some time after its adoption by the Council. We may here notice that the scheme embraced portions of the city covering between 50 and 60 acres, and containing a population of nearly 60,000—being equal to the entire population of Glasgow and its suburbs 100 years ago. The valuation of the property to be acquired amounted to £1,200,000, divided into many small holdings. In the summer of 1865 the preliminaries were adjusted and in the winter of that year application was made to Parliament for the requisite powers, which were obtained in the session of 1866. The Trustees were authorised to acquire the property within five years, to levy an assessment on the inhabitants not exceeding a sixpence per pound of rental, with further power to assess for ten years at threepence per pound to meet the expense for the new streets, and to provide for payment of the interest of the outlay as a whole. Power was also obtained to purchase ground for a public park in the north-east quarter of the city at an expenditure of £40,000. Up to the present time the Commissioners have spent £900,000; and so successfully have the affairs of the Trust been managed that there is now enough of revenue to meet the expenditure, while a large extent of ground remains on hand to be disposed of, so that it is expected the cost of the scheme to the public will be even less than the original estimate. The total properties demolished by the Improvement Trustees up to the 1st December 1871 number 1287 houses, with a gross rental of £7367. Of the usefulness and[Pg 157] sanitary importance of the Improvement Scheme, even those who were its most determined opponents can scarcely now entertain a doubt. By the demolition of badly-ventilated and miserable dwellings in the lowest parts of the town, the Trustees have quickened the supply of low-rented houses for the working classes, so that within the last two years there have been erected within the municipal boundaries 1728 houses of one apartment, 3921 of two apartments, and 1368 of three apartments. It is not too much to say that from the outset, or at least since Mr. Blackie left the Council, Bailie Watson has been the head and front of the Improvement Scheme. He has taken the utmost pains both in and out of the Council to inculcate its obvious advantages, and it is largely due to his lucid and practical explanations that the public has been reconciled to the Act.

When the exigencies of commercial misfortune compelled the late Lord Provost Arthur to retire from the active discharge of his official duties, in the autumn of last year, Mr. Watson was at once appointed acting Chief. He continued to discharge the duties of the office in a satisfactory and efficient manner until the November election, when he was requested by the unanimous voice of the Council to allow himself to be nominated for election to the place of Chief Magistrate. The honour, we believe, was none of Mr. Watson's own seeking. His time had more than an adequate demand made upon it in other ways; but he was induced to set aside his own large and important business for the good of the city. During the short time he has already sat in the Chief Magistrate's seat, Mr. Watson has exhibited a marked capacity for public business; and it is not too much to predict that his administration will be signalised as one of the most successful and progressive in the annals of the municipality.[Pg 158]


The Scottish Pulpit since the time of the Reformation has always been able to reckon upon some of the most eloquent and thoughtful preachers of the age. It seems as if the genius of Scotchmen tended towards ecclesiasticism. Religion, or, rather, theology—for there is an essential difference between the two—impregnates their whole existence, and mere children are imbued with pronounced views upon the minutiæ of doctrinal distinctions, when they might be supposed to know only the practical bearings of hygienic laws. The Shorter Catechism instead of cricket and football—the Confession of Faith instead of music or other lighter accomplishments—have been inculcated by the early fathers of the Presbyterian Church. Hence the Scottish character is instinct with gravity, and pervaded by an earnestness that is strangely at variance with the levity and looseness common to nearly all ranks and conditions of Englishmen. But while their peculiar form of training has thus exercised a powerful influence in moulding the character and stamping the genius of the Scottish people with the sign manual of dogmatism, otherwise called the perfervidum Scotorum, it has also assisted to secure for Scottish preachers a world-wide reputation for eloquence and power. Flippancy and sciolism may pass muster at the bar, or even in the Senate House; but to be effective, the pulpit must possess in a high degree the qualities of earnestness and an ability to "prove all things." Few men have been more strongly fortified with these essentials to success than Dr. William Andersen, minister of John Street United Presbyterian Church, Glasgow. Born in the year 1799, Dr. Anderson is now in his seventy-third[Pg 159] year. His father was the Rev. John Anderson, Relief Minister in Kilsyth, who lived to the great age of ninety-two years, and was in some respects equally as remarkable as his more celebrated son. Conspicuous for his extensive spiritual knowledge, vigorous mind, and strong logical power, the father of Dr. Anderson took a prominent part in the religious controversies of the early part of the present century. Besides William he had other two sons, both of whom became ministers of the U.P. Church, and one of whom became his father's assistant and successor. After receiving the rudiments of his education at the parish school, Dr. Anderson entered Glasgow University, where he proved more than an average student. It is worthy of remark, too, that he laboured under difficulties as a student, which, although by no means uncommon in our own day, would likely tend to retard the progress of his studies. His father having only a limited stipend could ill afford to provide for the expenses contingent on the education of his numerous family, and we find that William was not above eking out his limited resources while at the University by undertaking private tuition. Almost immediately after he was licensed as a minister of the gospel, Dr. Anderson received a call to John Street U.P. Church, Glasgow—his first and only charge. This was in the year 1822 when William was only in his twenty-third year. At the time he entered upon the charge of John Street Church, the congregation was in anything but a flourishing condition. Rent by dissentions from without and from within, it was in a lamentably disorganised state, and presented a decidedly uninviting sphere for the maiden efforts of a young and inexperienced minister. But William Anderson was neither disheartened nor dismayed. He approached the work of reconstructing and assimilating his congregation in a spirit of love and charity, which, mingled with tact and firmness, succeeded in subduing the anarchy and mismanagement that had previously prevailed. His victory over the turbulent spirits under his charge was as signal and complete as that he had achieved over the Presbytery, which in March, 1822, consented to his ordination,[Pg 160] after having threatened to ostracise him on the ground that he would persist, under all circumstances, in reading his discourses. But that which George Gilfillan has happily described as the "tender mercies of a Scotch Presbytery," did not induce him to turn aside from his purpose, or to make an abject and inglorious submission. From his first start in life, Dr. Anderson showed that he not only held opinions of his own, but unless there was some cogent reason to the contrary, he clung to them tenaciously. So it was with the casus belli of manuscripts in the pulpit. Failing to understand that the use of "the paper" could interfere in the remotest degree with the due and proper effect of the pulpit, and knowing that he could not do either himself or his congregation adequate justice by extempore preaching, Dr. Anderson continued to adhere to written sermons, until the Presbytery at last gave way, leaving him master of the situation. The feud between Dr. Anderson and his Presbytery has been described by himself as "the eleven months of anguish to which I was subjected by the prosecution—I do not say persecution—of the Presbytery for my using my manuscript in the pulpit, and for certain alleged errors and improprieties in my preaching, such as—that in two of my sermons I had quoted Shakespeare." This contretemps proves that the Presbyterian Church was as strongly opposed to the use of manuscripts in the pulpit half a century ago as it is now—or was until lately—to the introduction of organs as accessories of public worship. Fortunately, we have fallen on more tolerant and tolerable times.

If the interference of the Presbytery had no other effect, it tended to secure for the subject of these remarks an exceptional amount of public attention at a very early period of his ministerial career. People were naturally solicitous to improve their acquaintance with the young man, little more than out of his teens, who had had the hardihood to brave the discipline and upset the prejudices of a whole Presbytery on a question which, at that time of day, was considered to be of vital importance. Contrary, in all probability, to his[Pg 161] own expectations, Anderson woke up one fine morning to find himself famous. Although there were few outward and visible signs of approval with his rebellious spirit, he yet retained in secret the countenance of many colleagues in the ministry, who had long pined for a freer and more tolerable ecclesiastical atmosphere, and the issue of Dr. Anderson's independence had the proximate result of achieving their release from one of the most grievous and galling fetters imposed upon them by the exacting and puritanical spirit of the times—a spirit which, however well it may have answered the requirements of a less enlightened age, was an insult to the freedom of action that belonged to the nineteenth century. While the Presbytery was left in anything but a dignified position, Dr. Anderson could confidently say, "Veni, vidi, vici!" It was the old story over again. It was not one of the pillars in Israel—it was one of the weak things of the Church that was chosen to confound the mighty.

From the first, Dr. Anderson secured a rare measure of popularity as a preacher. His zeal, energy, and power were acknowledged on all hands, and it is no small tribute to his genius and popularity that in a city where Dr. Chambers was still in the zenith of his fame, where Dr. Wardlaw had built up his splendid reputation, and where, last but not least, Edward Irving was making his magic influence felt, Dr. Anderson was able, not only to hold his own, but to make fresh friends and admirers every day. He seemed to have a special talent for drawing the multitude about him. And yet it was not done by any dexterous shuffle of the theological cards, or by pandering to the morbid passions and tickling the vanities and weaknesses of his hearers. He never hesitated to tell his hearers that they were poor, and miserable, and blind, and naked. Thackeray has ridiculed the idea of a man with a long rent-roll, and a comfortable cushioned pew, believing himself to be a miserable sinner; but, he must have been obtuse indeed who would not wince under this rough and bizarre, but terribly earnest and fervid preacher. For a long period he gave a series of evening lectures which[Pg 162] were crowded to suffocation, and as the fame of him went abroad throughout all the city, he was often the cynosure of eyes that were neither friendly nor devout. But, if he sometimes failed to make a deep impression, he always succeeded in persuading his hearers of the seriousness and importance of eternal things, so that "many who came to laugh remained to pray."

In most of the great political and ecclesiastical controversies of his day, Dr. Anderson has stood forward as the unflinching champion of justice and mercy. He was a prominent and effective speaker on the Voluntary question; and he rendered effective service to the movement for the repeal of the slave trade. Besides these pet themes, Dr. Anderson has always been a vigorous assailant of Popery, on which he has spoken perhaps more frequently, and with greater effect, than any other man of his time. During his crusade against Popery he received an anonymous letter threatening that if he proceeded with his lectures on the subject of the Mass, his life would be in danger. Nothing daunted, however, he sent the anonymous letter to the head of the Roman Catholic Church in Glasgow, with the intimation that it was still his intention to persevere with his lectures despite threats and cajolery. About this time he challenged to a public discussion the well-known Dr. Cahill, who was then regarded as the champion of the Romish Church in this country. His challenge was respectfully declined; but so bitter was the animus raised against him that on more than one occasion he had to be escorted to the platform of the City Hall by policemen. Finally, he overcame the opposition of the Papists so far as to secure a patient hearing, and it has since been admitted that his lectures were greatly instrumental in arousing public opinion to a just sense of the errors and insidious influence of the priests and the Papacy. There are, doubtless, not a few still living in Glasgow who will remember Dr. Anderson's scathing denunciations of American slavery and the strong sympathy which, from the outbreak of the civil war, he expressed with the Federals. When Henry[Pg 163] Ward Beecher visited and lectured in Glasgow, he was supported by Dr. Anderson, who spoke so bitterly and with such emphatic disapprobation against the Southern States and their policy, that his sentiments evoked the hisses of his audience. Nothing discomfited, he pursued the even tenor of his way, until he reached the climax of his argument, when bearing down upon his opponents with irresistible force, he cried out, in a voice of triumph, "Hiss, noo, gin ye dare." On that occasion he created a profound impression by his eloquent appeal to Mr. Ward Beecher to interpose with his countrymen to avert from Britain the consequences which her sympathies for the slave-holding States had justly entailed.

For the greater part of his long ministerial career, Dr. Anderson was without a colleague. About ten years ago, however, the congregation called the Rev. Alex. Macleod (now of Birkenhead) to become his assistant, and he was succeeded in 1865 by the Rev. David M'Ewan of College Street Church, Edinburgh, upon whom the active duties of the pastorate now devolve. Some years previous to Dr. M'Ewan's appointment the old church in John Street was removed, and the present splendid edifice was erected at a cost of upwards of £10,000. It is undoubtedly one of the most handsome and comfortable churches in the city, and presents some architectural features of a unique character.

Although Dr. Anderson has not been a very voluminous writer, some of his works are well known and generally appreciated. His earliest productions, issued in the shape of pamphlets on the subjects of the hour, have not acquired any lasting celebrity; but one or two subsequent publications, notably his "Treatise on Regeneration," and a volume of sermons that appeared in 1844 (and now, we believe, out of print), have placed him in the front rank as a theologian. Some time afterwards he issued a second volume of sermons which were very favourably reviewed, and elicited a complimentary notice from Lord Brougham. Among his later literary efforts we may specify[Pg 164] a "Treatise on the Popish Mass," a "Treatise on the Millennium," and a volume on "The Filial honour of God."

On the occasion of his jubilee Dr. Anderson was entertained by his friends and admirers to a dinner in Carrick's Royal Hotel, and on the same evening (March 7, 1871) he was presented, at a soiree held in the City Hall (which was crowded in every part), with a cheque for £1200, as a mark of esteem for his character and talents. On both occasions the chair was occupied by the Rev. David M'Ewan, his estimable colleague and successor, who made the presentation. Dr. Anderson declined to accept the money for himself, but gave it back to be funded for scholarships in connection with the United Presbyterian Church, to be called the "William Anderson Scholarships." In acknowledging the gift the recipient made a characteristic speech, remarking that "in '68, in the course of one month, I preached (at canonical hours, observe) in an Independent Church, an Established Church, a Free Church, and a Methodist Church. A short time before that I had preached in a Baptist Church; and, latterly I have preached in two churches of the Evangelical Union, and I have had a Sabbath afternoon of more than common congeniality of feeling in fellowship with a church of the Reformed Presbyterians."[Pg 165]


Glasgow seems to be peculiarly favourable to the growth of United Presbyterianism. It is the great stronghold of that body—the garrison from which they send out skirmishing parties all over the world. Some of the wealthiest congregations, as well as some of the ablest ministers in Glasgow belong to this denomination. The "dissidence of dissent" has found favour in the eyes of our merchant princes, and among all ranks and conditions of men the views which, when promulgated by Ebenezer Erskine, caused a shudder to pass through the lines of the hard and fast, albeit not over conscientious theologians of his day, are now hailed with toleration and cordial approval. The growth of United Presbyterianism is one of the most remarkable chapters in our ecclesiastical history. The principles upon which this particular form of creed are founded must be sound at the core, otherwise they could never have achieved such signal and lasting triumphs; but their development was entrusted to men of rare energy, discrimination, and ability—men who have left behind them no unworthy prototypes, although the lines have fallen to the latter in more pleasant places, and their heritage is of a more excellent kind.

The Rev. Dr. John Ker occupies, as his character and accomplishments entitle him to do, a prominent place among the "reverend fathers and brethren" of the United Presbyterian Church. He was born at Tweedsmuir, in the upland pastoral district of Peeblesshire, where his father was a farmer. Here he spent the first years of his childhood, a circumstance which had probably more influence on his future character and tendencies than might be supposed on the first blush.[Pg 166] "The boy is father to the man," and while he was yet a mere child, Dr. Ker was laying up a store of memoranda bearing upon the romantic vicissitudes of the "good old times, when George the First was King;" or, perhaps, long anterior to that much vaunted period. The isolated condition of the peasantry and agricultural classes generally in those days prevented the free and constant intercourse which may now be found all over Scotland. Railways had not yet been evolved from the matrix of the future, newspapers were scarce and dear, books were few, the means of education and mental improvement were limited, and thus in the rural districts the reminiscences of the past were handed down in the form of traditions, communicated orally from generation to generation, or assuming the less perishable shape of ballad literature. Young Ker's mind, which was ever ready to receive and retain impressions, became the conservatory of a vast selection of ancient lore, written and unwritten, which he has never forgotten. His memory is quite an encylopædia of ballads and stories, which it would probably be difficult, if not impossible, to find elsewhere, and upon this rich storehouse he can and does draw ad libitum "for doctrine, for instruction, for reproof," or for the entertainment of his friends. Dr. Ker's ancestors of five generations lie buried in the little rural churchyard at Tweedsmuir, a spot, of which Lord Cockburn says, "It is the most romantic in Scotland." Many are the stories that are still told by the "ingle cheek" of farmers' houses in that deeply interesting locality, relative to the Covenanters who lived in the glens around, and the soldiers who went up there in the '45.

After completing his studies as a Divinity student at Edinburgh—where he was a most distinguished student, and was universally regarded as a young man of excellent promise—Dr. Ker was licensed as a minister of the United Presbyterian Church. He was ordained in the year 1845, his first charge being in Alnwick, Northumberland, where he continued to minister until the year 1851. During the interval he received several calls from Glasgow and elsewhere. Twice he was[Pg 167] called to preside over the United Presbyterian Church in East Campbell Street of this city. The first call he decidedly refused; but upon representations being made to him that the church was in anything but a satisfactory condition, so far as its pastorate was concerned—both Dr. Kidston and Dr. Brash, who then presided over it, being in infirm health and disqualified for the active discharge of ministerial duties—Dr. Ker, foreseeing no doubt that there was a large and ample field in Glasgow for the exercise of his energy and talents, at last agreed to accept the call. His ultimate consent was given, we believe, mainly through the importunity of the Rev. Dr. Taylor, who has for many years been his most attached and intimate friend. Dr. Taylor went to Alnwick with the view of seeing and arranging personally with Dr. Ker; and it is a notable fact that although Dr. Ker had determined to treat the second call as he had treated the first—by returning a distinct and unqualified refusal—Dr. Taylor's entreaties had the effect of inducing him to alter his decision. So far, indeed, had Dr. Ker's mind been made up that he had actually written a letter negativing the call, and the letter was on its way to Glasgow while Dr. Taylor was en route to Alnwick, the two having thus crossed each other. We do not, however, believe that Dr. Ker has had any reason to regret his decision. The field that was open for his efforts in Glasgow was much more extensive if not more congenial than that presented by a remote country town like Alnwick, and Dr. Ker has been instrumental in raising up a congregation second to none in Glasgow as regards numbers and influence. Shortly after he removed to Glasgow an effort was made to secure a more eligible church for his large and increasing congregation, which was at length removed from East Campbell Street to Sidney Place. The new church cost upwards of £8000, and the opening services were conducted by Dr. Edmond and Dr. Cairns of Berwick, the respected pastor being himself absent at the time from ill health. At the present hour there are upwards of 800 members in connection with Sidney Place Church, and it is[Pg 168] seldom indeed that the membership of a church covers so wide a radius, some coming four and six miles every Sunday.

During the first few years of his residence in Glasgow, and even prior to that date, Dr. Ker was most zealous and indefatigable in the promotion of every good word and work. No one was more frequently before the public during the years 1854-55-56 as the upholder of truth, as the advocate of justice, as the bitter and uncompromising foe of error and ignorance, as the alleviator of misery and distress. The amount of physical and mental work which he undertook during these years was more than any ordinary mortal could stand; but it was to him a labour of love, and he did not stay his hand until an enfeebled and broken-down constitution warned him that the laws of nature had been transgressed. Dryden has described Shaftesbury as

A fiery soul, which, working out its way,
Fretted the puny body to decay,
And o'er-informed the tenement of clay;

and it has all along been Dr. Ker's misfortune that his body would not bear the strain imposed upon it by his active and vigorous mind. As might be supposed, he was at this time a prominent speaker in the Church Courts, where his sage counsel and kindly disposition made him a favourite and a power. In 1857 he was requested by the Synod of his own Church to accept the office of Home Mission Secretary. The whole Synod stood up in token of their approval and esteem when the appointment was moved; and Dr. Andrew Thomson of Edinburgh, in supporting the nomination of Dr. Ker, remarked of him that "his very presence was a benediction." To the infinite disappointment of the Synod, however, Dr. Ker declined, for private and no doubt weighty reasons, to undertake the appointment. The choice of the Synod then fell on Dr. M'Gill, who continued to discharge the functions of Home Mission Secretary with zeal and efficiency until he was changed to the "Foreign Office." The result of too close attention to his ministerial duties led[Pg 169] Dr. Ker into a dangerous illness, from which he suffered severely for a period of three years. During that time he visited many places both at home and abroad, travelling in Germany, France, Italy, Switzerland, and America. In the course of these journeys Dr. Ker cultivated his penchant for antiquarian lore and old traditions. He also improved his very extensive knowledge of the Continental languages; and there are few men so thoroughly conversant with German, French, and Italian, who have not made these languages a special study. In addition to modern languages, however, Dr. Ker is a master of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.

At the time of the Irish revivals several years ago, Dr. Ker took a deep interest in the spiritual awakening, and he travelled over the country with the view of assisting its promotion, preaching very frequently every day in the week. Nothing is more remarkable in Dr. Ker's character than the immense power of mental and physical endurance he has displayed as a preacher. He has not unfrequently delivered four sermons or homilies in one Sunday, besides preaching more or less frequently during the week. These sermons are not thrown off on the spur of the moment. Every pulpit effort is thoughtfully and carefully prepared beforehand. His readiness to preach and assist in every good work has been largely taken advantage of by the numerous charitable and religious societies in Glasgow, which have, perhaps, rather ungenerously taxed his good nature and anxiety to make himself useful.

Although Dr. Ker has seldom been prominently before the public in connection with political or social agitations, he has all along taken an active part in the establishment and advancement of Sunday and day schools and missionary schemes. At the same time he has been ready to assist in any movement of a political kind that presented itself to his view as one worthy of support and encouragement. While he is always earnest and conscientious in his pulpit and platform labours, he can out-Spurgeon Spurgeon in his gift of pointing a moral, with an amusing illustration. His alternations between grave and gay are always in season; he takes[Pg 170] good heed to Solomon's admonition that "there is a time for everything." But while he sometimes condescends to tickle the midriff of his hearers, consciously or unconsciously—for his quaint yet pungent remarks are not unfrequently the inspirations of the moment—he can afford to indulge his relish for humour without let or hindrance at a select party or by his own fireside. In either of these situations his solid and volatile qualities appear to vie with each other for the mastery. With quips and jokes, apposite and sparkling, he "is wont to set the table in a roar." Hence his society is much courted.

As a preacher, Dr. Ker has few if any superiors in Glasgow. His imagination is very fine and subtle, although not so exuberant and flowery as many other speakers who have an equally ready flow of language. He is apt in illustration, and he generally contrives to set forth his arguments in the most intelligible and convincing form; but he does not introduce illustrations for the mere sake of rhetorical effect. He rather makes every figure of speech to arise as it were by a natural sequence in the course of his reasoning, and few men have a greater facility for making "crooked paths straight, and rough places plain." The most abstruse and knotty points he makes so obvious and clear that his hearers are inclined to wonder why they did not think of them in that light before—giving to themselves, or to the merits of the question in hand, a credit that is only due to the preacher whose discernment has removed the lions of doubt and difficulty from the path of the reader or hearer. As a litterateur his taste is highly cultivated, and his discriminating judgment enables him to compose sermons the diction of which is as beautiful as the argument is sound. By all who know him, and especially by his congregation, he is very much esteemed for his literary gifts and graces, and the public appreciation of his sermons is attested by the fact that a volume which he published several years since, has gone through eight large editions, the last edition having been issued only a few months ago. It is perhaps a[Pg 171] pity that Dr. Ker has not been constrained to adopt Mr. Spurgeon's plan of publishing his sermons regularly as they are delivered. They would certainly form a serial literature that the people of Glasgow would not be slow to appreciate.[Pg 172]


The Rev. Dr. Eadie was born in 1813, at Alva, in Stirlingshire, where his parents occupied a comparatively humble rank in life. After receiving the rudiments of his education at the school of Tillicoultry, in which he afterwards became assistant to the Rev. Mr. Browning, a man of uncommon ability both as a preacher and as a thinker, Dr. Eadie entered the University of Glasgow, where he pursued his studies on a more extended scale. From the University he went to the United Secession Divinity Hall, with the view of qualifying himself for a place in the ministry of that Church. At the University he was a most successful student, and distinguished himself more especially by his knowledge of Latin and Greek. This is all the more noteworthy when it is remembered that during his University career he had the private tuition of many students to undertake. Dr. Eadie's first charge was Cambridge Street U.P. Church. At the time he entered upon that charge he was only over 21 years' of age, and it is a fact worth recording that, within three months of being licensed, he was called to and bold enough to accept a city charge. Cambridge Street Church was built about nine months before Dr. Eadie became its pastor. Commencing with a membership of only 60, he raised his church during his pastorate of over 25 years to a membership of 1100, many of his adherents being the foremost men in connection with the U.P. body in Glasgow, of which the rev. gentleman himself soon became a distinguished ornament. Before leaving Cambridge Street to enter upon his new church in Great Western Road, Dr. Eadie, on his semi-jubilee, was presented by his congregation with a purse containing 300[Pg 173] guineas and a silver salver, and he then informed his congregation that "they had changed his wages five times, every change representing a substantial advance." Many of his West-End members found Cambridge Street too great a distance to come to worship on the Sabbath day, and Dr. Eadie removed with them to Lansdowne U.P. Church, where he has gathered a large and aristocratic congregation. We believe that Dr. Eadie is the only U.P. minister in Glasgow who has been the first pastor of two new churches, the only parallel case within our knowledge being that of Dr. M'Ewen, who first founded a new church at Helensburgh, and afterwards in Claremont Street, Glasgow. From the Great Western Road Dr. Eadie's church has a commanding appearance. It is built in accordance with the strictest Gothic principles, and has one of the finest spires in the city. Its cost was about £12,000, and of this sum upwards of £1200 was raised on the occasion of its opening.

In the month of May, 1843, Dr. Eadie was chosen Professor of Biblical Literature in the Divinity Hall of the U.P. Church. He delivered his first lecture in the month of August following. By his students the rev. gentleman is greatly esteemed and beloved, none the less so that he imposes upon them mental discipline of the strictest and most severe description. It is perhaps even more owing to his entente cordiale with his students, than because of his eminence as a preacher and author, that Dr. Eadie has been so often selected to open new churches all over the country. Certain it is that no minister in the U.P. Church has been more frequently called into requisition for "special services" both at home and abroad. One of the last new churches he opened was in Dundee, when the collections taken on a single Sunday amounted to £1090. He also opened the church of Dr. Macfarlane, of London; and along with Dr. Alexander, of Edinburgh, he took part in the inauguration services of Springhill College, Birmingham. We may here mention the well-known fact that Dr. Eadie has been appointed to the Moderator's Chair in the U.P. Synod—the highest office in[Pg 174] the power of the Church to confer; and, although he has never taken a very prominent part in the Church Courts, his speeches are invariably full of weighty matter and sound argument. He spoke strongly in the Synod for toleration as to the use of organs in public worship. In the negotiations for Union with the Free Church he has taken a peculiar interest. Although he has received calls from other churches, Dr. Eadie has steadfastly maintained his attachment to Glasgow. In the year 1846 he was twice called to Rose Street U.P. Church, Edinburgh—Dr. Finlayson's—but the call was met each time with a firm refusal.

Dr. Eadie first brought himself into prominent notice as an author by the publication of a manual of Cruden, intended for popular use, about the year 1841. This abridged concordance has had an enormous sale among all classes, both at home and abroad. Up to the year 1850 it had gone through no fewer than fourteen different editions, and we believe that the latest edition issued is either the twenty-first or the twenty-third. The preface to Dr. Eadie's "Cruden" was furnished by Dr. King, and is a masterly performance of its kind. It is worth while noticing that no other copy of "Cruden" is used or recognised by the Tract Society, who have at different times issued it on their own account. In 1848 Dr. Eadie published his Biblical Cyclopædia, of which in 1868 twenty-four thousand copies had been sold, being upwards of one thousand every year. Of the merits of this work we need not here speak, as to all of our readers it must be known more or less familiarly. It is essentially what it professes to be—a dictionary of history, antiquities, geography, natural history, sacred analysis, biography, and Biblical literature generally, illustrative of the Old and New Testaments. He has also compiled from Henry and Scott a Bible which has gone through many editions, and has commanded a sale of not fewer than 60,000 or 70,000 copies. First published in folio form, it had been sold within seven years to the tune of 36,000 copies, and thousands of working men were enabled from the cheapness with which it was[Pg 175] issued, to possess themselves of this Bible who might otherwise never have had a Family Bible in their houses. The first edition was issued in 1851, and in Sept., 1858, another and still larger edition was put through the press. Dr. Eadie published in 1856 a work entitled "An Analytical Concordance of the Holy Scriptures, or the Bible presented under distinct and classified heads and topics," published by Richard Griffin & Co., London. In 1862 he published an "Ecclesiastical Cyclopædia of antiquities, architecture, controversies, denominations, doctrines, governments, heresies, history, liturgies, rights, monastic orders, and modern Judaism." As the biographer of the well-known and esteemed Dr. Kitto, Dr. Eadie has also achieved a considerable reputation. Collected from papers furnished by Dr. Kitto's personal friends, this biography is perhaps one of the best and most interesting in the English literature, and it deservedly met with a very large circulation. In a surprisingly short space of time it went through several editions, and even at the present day it is referred to and quoted as an authority on ecclesiastical matters of a particular kind. Dr. Kitto was one of the best Biblical scholars of his day. Like Dr. Eadie himself, he was possessed of an extraordinary memory, and highly cultivated lingual powers; and after he returned from the East he was frequently employed to do literary work for Mr. Charles Knight, for whom also Dr. Eadie contributed occasional papers. In short, the one man was eminently qualified, both by his acquirements, by his disposition, and by the exceptional facilities which he enjoyed, to become the biographer of the other, and Dr. Eadie has approached his task with such a spirit of love, and with so genuine and well-founded an esteem of the man whose Boswell he aspired to be, that the biography will rank in some respects almost equal with that of Dr. Johnson. Some years later, Dr. Eadie published through the Messrs. Oliphant, of Edinburgh, a series of lectures on the Bible for the young, which met with a very large sale. He has also written and published a well known work entitled "Divine Life," being a series of discourses, most of[Pg 176] which were preached from time to time to his own congregation, and all of them breathing a spirit of true orthodoxy and Christian feeling. In 1859 he issued another book called "Paul the Preacher; or a popular and practical exposition of his discourses and speeches as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles," a work which is treated in the author's best style, and displays much evidence of high literary attainments. In addition to works already quoted, and comprising many years of arduous toil and research, Dr. Eadie has published a series of Commentaries on the Epistles of St. Paul, commencing in 1853 with that of the Ephesians. This was followed in 1856 by his Commentary to the Colossians; in 1859 by his Commentary to the Phillipians; and in 1869 by his Commentary to the Galatians. Upon these Commentaries, and upon his popular handbooks to sacred literature, namely, his Cruden's Concordance, his Biblical Cyclopædia, and his Ecclesiastical Cyclopædia—Dr. Eadie's well-earned fame as a biblical scholar and author will securely last for generations. Next to the profound knowledge displayed in his works, we are struck with Dr. Eadie's surpassing fertility as a writer. Very few men, indeed, have published so many works within so short a compass of time; and it is a marked characteristic of all books bearing his sign-manual, that they are masterly both in style and in matter, that they have been well and carefully thought out, and that they display great learning and extraordinary research. We must not forget that while thus copiously contributing to ecclesiastical literature, Dr. Eadie gave unremitting attention to his pulpit duties. He never had a coadjutor or assistant, and he has occupied his own and other pulpits every Sunday since the date of his ordination. And even the long list we have enumerated does not complete Dr. Eadie's literary efforts, for we find him contributing now to Dr. Kitto's and Principal Fairbairn's Biblical Cyclopædia (published by Blackie, Glasgow), then to the "North British Review," and again to the "Journal of Sacred Literature." Several of his works are now out of print, but all of them are of untold value in their[Pg 177] way, and are highly esteemed by those best qualified to form a just estimate of their merits. Dr. Eadie is a member of the Committee for the Revision of the New Testament; a post which he holds conjointly with Professor Brown and Professor Milligan, of Aberdeen, the only other Presbyterian members of the New Testament Revision Committee who belong to Scotland. The Committee, we may here explain, commenced its sittings in June of 1870. Once a month it is accustomed to meet in the Jerusalem Chamber, Westminster Abbey—a room fraught with the most interesting historical recollections, for it was here that the Commissioners met who drew up the Scottish Confession of Faith, and here also the Lower House of Convocation is accustomed to hold its sittings. After deliberating for two years, the Committee have only as yet reached the end of Saint Luke's Gospel. The labour incumbent upon the Committee may be estimated to some extent by the fact that for four days in every month it sits, without any interval, from eleven o'clock forenoon till six o'clock in the evening.

Dr. Eadie's literary and scientific attainments have been recognised and rewarded by the degree of LL.D. from Glasgow University, while the University of St. Andrews has conferred upon him the degree of D.D. He is a member of several learned bodies, and is also chaplain of the 19th Lanarkshire Rifle Volunteers.[Pg 178]


Among Scotch artists Mr. Daniel Macnee occupies a conspicuous place, while in Glasgow, his adopted city, he stands at the head of his profession. Born in Fintry, in Stirlingshire, he was destined originally for mercantile pursuits, but from an early age he showed an unmistakeable bent for the profession of an artist, and even while at school receiving the rudiments of his education, he used to while away his leisure hours by drawing different subjects, especially portraits, for which he showed a considerable aptitude. About 1820 he was apprenticed to Mr. John Knox, a teacher of drawing, in Glasgow, who was celebrated as a landscape painter, and than whom no one was ever better qualified to teach the principles and practice of art. Associated with Mr. Macnee at this time were Mr. Horatio M'Culloch and other young men who subsequently became artists of eminence, and the lessons imparted by Mr. Knox laid the foundations of the correct taste and careful attention to detail which distinguished all of his more illustrious pupils. After attending Mr. Knox's classes for a period of four years, Mr. Macnee proceeded to Edinburgh and entered himself as a pupil under Sir William Allan, who was at that time head of an institution termed the Honourable Board of Trustees for Manufactures in Scotland, which was established in terms of an Act of Parliament passed at the time of the Union, towards "encouraging and promoting the fisheries and such other manufactures and improvements in Scotland as may conduce to the general good of the United Kingdom." The funds set apart for the maintainance of this Institution amounted to £2000 a year, and in carrying out the purposes of the Act, the Trustees,[Pg 179] originally twenty-one in number, offered premiums for the best designs or drawings of patterns for the improvement of manufactures. In 1760 a master was permanently appointed to instruct the youth of both sexes in drawing, thus laying the foundation of the School of Design, which existed and prospered under the management of the Board for more than a century afterwards. The main reason for the establishment of this Board was a fear on the part of the promoters that by the Act of Union the manufactures and arts of Scotland would be transferred to England, and thus be prejudiced to a very considerable extent. Sir William Allan was an artist of great power and varied experience. Mr. Thomas Duncan, who afterwards became an Associate of the Royal Academy, and produced a number of high-class pictures, with which all lovers of art are familiar, was one of Sir W. Allan's pupils, contemporaneously with Mr. Macnee, and from this coincidence, a friendship, which was life-long and intimate, sprang up between them, but it was unhappily severed by the early death of Duncan. Sir David Wilkie, Sir William Allan, Sir John Watson Gordon, Burnet, the engraver and painter, Lizars, the Lauders, the Faeds, and other painters of note, were students in the Trustees' Academy. It may be remarked in passing, that this Board is still in existence, but instead of being controlled, as originally intended, by a certain number of trustees, it is under the management of the Department of Science and Arts at South Kensington. Mr. Macnee's studies at this time were various, but they principally took the shape of drawings from the antique statues. When he first went to Edinburgh, Mr. Macnee became connected with Mr. Lizars, the eminent engraver, by whom he was employed in executing anatomical drawings, colouring engravings, and other cognate works, which greatly tended to amplify his experience, and through Mr. Lizars he obtained numerous commissions from lithographers in Edinburgh, which brought him in emoluments of considerable value. Having completed his studies under Sir W. Allan, Mr. Macnee set up in Edinburgh as a professional artist on[Pg 180] his own account, and for several years he continued to paint portraits and finished sketches from ordinary life. He returned to Glasgow in the year 1832, since which he has resided, except at rare intervals, in the Metropolis of the West. For a number of years subsequent to his taking up his residence here, he was largely employed in executing crayon portraits, and he was a large exhibitor at most of the Art Exhibitions in Edinburgh, London, Glasgow, and elsewhere. Indeed, it is perhaps not too much to say that Mr. Macnee has exhibited more pictures in the Royal Scottish Academy than any other living artist.

The first pictures exhibited by Mr. Macnee in the Royal Academy of London were portraits of Sir Charles, afterwards Lord Hardinge, and General Messurier, hereditary Governor of Guernsey. The latter picture was executed for the States' Hall, in Guernsey, where it is still exhibited. In 1855 he showed a portrait of Dr. Wardlaw in the French Exhibition at Paris, and for which he was awarded a gold medal, being one of three medals that were then secured by Scotch artists. The other two fell to Sir John Watson Gordon, and Mr. Hamilton, the architect of the High School of Edinburgh, respectively. Among other notable pictures executed by Mr. Macnee we may mention his portrait of Lord Brougham, which is now in the Parliament House, Edinburgh, and for which his lordship sat only a few years before his death. Before being hung in the Parliament House, this picture was exhibited in the Royal Academy of London, and attracted a considerable amount of attention. A portrait of Viscount Lord Melville, which he executed for the Archers' Hall, and another picture of Lord Belhaven, painted for the County Hall, in Lanark, are also considered two of his most excellent works. Since the death of Mr. Graham Gilbert, Mr. Macnee has been without a rival in the West of Scotland, and there are not more than one or two artists in Edinburgh who have any pretensions to compete with him as a portrait painter. In the painting of presentation portraits, Mr. Macnee's services are largely called into requisition, both in London,[Pg 181] where he has been accustomed to spend three months during each summer for a number of years past, and in the West of Scotland. Among his earliest and most attached friends were Horatio M'Culloch, and Mr. L. Leitch, also a Glasgow artist, and, perhaps, the most accomplished water-colour painter of the day. It was Mr. Leitch who instructed Her Majesty in this department of art, and he has been largely employed by the nobility both of Scotland and of England, in imparting instruction in this study.

The Royal Scottish Academy, of which Mr. Daniel Macnee has for many years been a prominent member, was established forty-five years ago. Previous to that date an organisation, named the "Institution for the Encouragement of the Fine Arts," founded on the 1st of February, 1819, on the principle of the British Institution of London, was carried on for the purpose of having annual exhibitions of pictures by the old masters, as well as the works of living artists. This association consisted of noblemen and gentlemen, who, by the payment of £50, became shareholders or life members. By its constitution "no artist was capable of being elected on any committee, or of voting as a governor, while he continued a professional artist." This and the superscilious treatment which they received in other respects caused great discontent among the artists who were associate members. In the nature of things such a disagreeable relationship could not last, and, consequently, in the year 1826, several of the associates, disgusted with the treatment to which they were subjected, commenced making arrangements to found a Scottish Academy. A document was handed round containing the proposal to found this Academy, which, when published, had twenty-four names attached to it, viz., thirteen academicians, nine associates, and two associate engravers, the original number of the Academy's members. Mr. Macnee was not one of the original promoters of the Academy but some of his works were shown at their first exhibition, which took place in February, 1827. This opening exhibition was not so successful as might have been[Pg 182] expected. The Academy had to compete with the Royal Institution already alluded to, which had many things in its favour, and was backed by the influence of a large number of the nobility, from the King downwards. The second exhibition, however, was more successful, and for the third exhibition such energetic efforts were put forth that the Royal Institution was fairly driven from the field. Ultimately, under the award of Lord Cockburn and Mr. John Hope, afterwards Lord Justice-Clerk, the two institutions amalgamated under the name of the Royal Scottish Academy. It is one of the standing rules of the Academy that the members shall not number more than thirty-nine, and those artists who are ultimately admitted to membership are obliged to graduate as associates for some time previously. Mr. Daniel Macnee and his friend Duncan were exceptions to this rule. They were admitted at once as full members without any previous association, an honour which was due to the great promise they exhibited in their earlier career, and which both have amply fulfilled in their maturer years. There are thirty members and twenty associates of the Royal Scottish Academy.

Having said so much as to Mr. Macnee's professional career and abilities, it would be doing him scant justice were we not to allude to his excellent social qualities. Full of animal spirits and humour, he is one of the favoured few who have been described by De Quincey as drawing the double prize of a fine intellect and a healthy stomach, and having none of what Burke has called "the master vice Sloth" about him, he gets through an enormous amount of work, while he cultivates the social amenities of life to the fullest possible extent. "Dan" Macnee is a universal favourite. No dinner party in the upper circles of Glasgow society is fully complete without him; and no one ever met him for the first time without forming the impression that he was a "jolly good fellow"—an impression which is strengthened by a more matured acquaintance. He is one of the most amiable of men, having a benignant smile and a[Pg 183] kindly word for everybody, and many of the most entertaining post-prandial jokes and stories are fathered upon him, sometimes justly and at other times wrongly, simply because he is known by all diners-out to excel in this form of entertainment. In short, Mr. Macnee is exactly what Carlyle described Sir William Hamilton to be, "finely social and human," and wherever he may chance to meet with company he leaves behind him a pleasant memory.[Pg 184]


Practical philanthropy is a rare virtue. It is seldom that a Howard or a Wilberforce is born into the world; yet there are few towns that do not possess men more or less distinguished for their good offices towards their less fortunate fellow-creatures. Of such men Glasgow has happily had more than an average share. The number and variety of our charitable, friendly, and educational institutions bears testimony to the presence in our midst of a spirit zealous of good works. Our merchant princes, too, subscribe most liberally to every movement projected for the amelioration of the moral, social, or religious condition of the lapsed masses. The story of our lives from year to year is one that contains many bright spots in which the recording angel must take pleasure, although it is also darkened by not a few stains so black, foul, and ghastly, that we are led to despair of ever attaining the ends for which the Church and the State are existent—for which laws and religion are inculcated and enforced.

Mr. Thomas Corbett is a philanthropist of the most practical kind. He does not distribute his means like milk spilled upon the ground, which cannot be gathered up again; neither does he take cognisance of merely speculative benevolence. Everything to which he has put his hand has prospered, and he has thus laid the foundations of a good name, which is better than all his riches—a name which the working men of his native city will be slow to forget. It is with the establishment of the Great Western Cooking Depôt that Mr. Corbett's name is most prominently identified. That institution, we believe, owes its origin to a very simple and quite[Pg 185] an accidental circumstance. While reading in the Cornhill Magazine the account of a scheme that had been launched by a lady in England for providing poor and destitute children with food, Mrs. Corbett was struck with the idea that something of the kind might be attempted in Glasgow. She mentioned her thought to her husband, and asked him if, out of their abundance, they could not do something to relieve the wants of those to whom the lines had fallen in less pleasant places. Mr. Corbett entered heartily into the project, and determined to set apart a certain sum, to be vested in the way that his wife might deem most likely to do good. At last, the idea of a cooking depôt was broached. Mr. Corbett foresaw with the eye of a political economist, as well as with the eye of philanthropist, that the best and most effectual means of doing good to the poor and needy in Glasgow, was to assist them to help themselves. Upon this principle he resolved to proceed. Nothing in the shape of the "Great Western" was at that time in existence. Mr. Corbett sent a messenger to London and elsewhere with the view of gathering information that would assist the carrying out of his scheme; but nothing could be found to meet exactly his conception of what a cooking depôt should be. Proceeding, however, upon his own views of the requirements of the city, he invested £300 in the lease and fitting up of a cooking depôt at the Broomielaw, beside the Sailor's Home. It was given out that the establishment was to be conducted upon the principle of supplying provisions at as nearly prime cost as possible. A tariff of charges was prepared, contracts were entered into with butchers, bakers, and other tradesmen, and the experiment was thus fairly launched. It was a great success. The Americans have faith in the "almighty dollar." Mr. Corbett had an equally firm belief in the efficacy of the "almighty penny," as a circulating medium. He took care that, so far as it was practicable, nothing should be sold for more than a penny. A bowl of porridge, that might satisfy a hungry man for breakfast, was to be had for what Montague Tigg would call this "absurdly low figure." A plate of pota[Pg 186]toes, an egg, or a cup of coffee, cost no more. The very novelty of the thing drew thousands to the cooking depôt who had no economical purpose to serve. They were more than satisfied. Many who came, like the scoffer to the church in Goldsmith's "Deserted Village," to criticise and condemn the new institution, remained to admire and praise it. The depôt became so popular that other branches had to be opened up in a very short time in the most central parts of the city. Mr. Corbett did not hesitate to supply the funds necessary for the development of his scheme. He bestowed his means ungrudgingly, stipulating only that the books should be periodically examined by competent accountants, and that the profits should be divided among the charitable and benevolent institutions in the city. Beyond receiving a certain interest for his money, Mr. Corbett has never fingered a farthing of the profits, and when he left Glasgow a few years ago he had invested altogether upwards of £8000 in the scheme. The accumulated profits, which have been divided, according to his behest, for charitable purposes, amount to upwards of £7000.

With the management and chief characteristics of the Great Western Cooking Depôt every citizen must be familiar. The cooking establishment is situated in Pitt Street, from whence enormous supplies of victuals are sent out every morning to all parts of the city. Including Glasgow and its suburbs, there are now twenty-eight branches of the Cooking Depôt in operation. Most of them are in the immediate vicinity of public works, and are largely taken advantage of by the workmen, who, in the great majority of cases, reside at a considerable distance from the works, and could only go home to dinner at great personal inconvenience. The same tariff of charges prevails at every one of the branches, and all of them are supplied direct from the Central Depôt. The business of the institution has become so gigantic that applications to establish other branches in different parts of the city have had to be refused. The principal branches are in Jamaica Street and Mitchell Lane. These[Pg 187] two buildings were built by Mr. Corbett himself; but the branches at the public works have mostly been built by the employers, who rent it to the manager of the Cooking Depôt for a nominal sum. At the Mitchell Lane branch from 1400 to 1600 people dine daily. The Jamaica Street branch dines an almost equally large number. The milk of 140 cows, obtained from four of the largest dairies in Scotland, is consumed at the various branches every day; and the consumption of "cookies" and rolls averages 20,000 per diem. Some idea of the quantity of porridge consumed may be gathered from the fact that the cost of oatmeal is from £90 to £100 monthly; and of eggs, butter, butcher's meat, and vegetables the consumption is fabulous. The average daily number of visitors to the depôt at its various branches since the month of August last has been 10,000 to 12,000. The daily attendance at the present time is greater than it has ever been before. The attendance is not confined to working men, so called. Clerks, shopkeepers, and strangers to the city patronize the depôt most liberally. And well they may, for when eggs are selling elsewhere at 1s 4d they can be had in the "Great Western" for a penny each, and other provisions are sold in the same proportion. This result is only possible by balancing one period of the year with another, so that when provisions are much cheaper the difference will be made up.

The question has often been asked, why has the Great Western Cooking Depôt turned out such a marvellous success as compared with institutions of a similar kind in other parts of the country? The most simple and correct answer is that other cooking depots though similar were not the same. An attempt was made in London some years ago to establish a restaurant on the same principle, but although it was backed by the advice and influence of Lord Houghton and some other leading men, it proved a complete failure. It is a trite saying that "too many cooks spoil the broth," but in this instance the saying was verified. A large committee was appointed to take charge of the arrangements. A committee means divided management and conflicting opinions. So far[Pg 188] as the Great Western is concerned, everything from the out set has been under the control of one man (Mr. Jenkins) who still continues to preside over the destinies of the institution. But the vigorous and able management of the Great Western had not more to do with its success than the demand which it was fitted to supply. There had been nothing of the same kind previously in existence, and it was only necessary for the establishment to be opened to command support. With regard to its moral aspects, the depôt occupies a high platform. Nothing in the shape of intoxicating liquors is allowed to be sold on the premises. When counselled to introduce beer as an adjunct to dinner, Mr. Corbett replied that sooner than relinquish the principle of conducting the establishment on a strictly temperance footing, he would shut it up altogether. The good sense of this resolution has been proved by the results, for despite the enormous number of working men who frequent it, there has never been a police case arising out of a disturbance in any of the branches. In Bradford, some years ago, Mr. Isaac Holden projected a cooking depôt on the principle of the "Great Western," but with this important difference—that he made it partake of the dual character of a club and an eating-house by introducing spirituous liquors and games of different sorts. What between smoking and drinking, the place became too noisy and rough for respectable men to have anything to do with it, and after lingering for some months it died an inglorious death, showing that

"Whoever tries
To rob the poor man of his beer."

does a not injudicious thing, so far as institutions of this kind are concerned. Before taking leave of the Cooking Depôt, we may state that it has been visited by many illustrious personages, who have manifested a deep interest in its history and progress. Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, when they visited Glasgow some years ago, were shown all over one of[Pg 189] the branches, and had the modus operandi thoroughly explained to them by Mr. Melvin, who has always acted as Mr. Corbett's right hand man. The Premier was very curious to see the kind of broth that could be produced at a penny per bowl, and both he and Mrs. Gladstone, after tasting the soup, pronounced it to be very excellent and wholesome. The commercial aspect of the institution was, however, its most interesting phase to Mr. Gladstone, who could hardly understand how such a gigantic establishment could be made to pay with such small profits. Ultimately it was explained to him that it was a fixed rule to have a farthing of profit on every pennyworth sold, to which he replied that "he knew something of the power of the farthing."

Mr. Corbett was the founder, along with his friend, Mr. Melvin, of the Working Men's Club in Trongate. He expended a sum of £250 in furnishing the club, and laid down certain conditions for its management, the most important of which was that it should be conducted on strictly temperance principles. Having got such a capital start, the Club has never looked behind it. It is now worth fully £1100, and last year the number of visitors was upwards of 100,000.

Under the auspices of the Central Club, a Working Men's Industrial Exhibition was held during the winter of 1865-66 in the Polytechnic Buildings, Argyle Street. The preliminary outlay for this exhibition was considerable. Mr. Corbett was appealed to, and he at once gave a cheque for £500 to start the exhibition, intimating that he should not expect to be recouped if it was a failure. Happily it turned out otherwise, for a sum of £1200 was cleared by the exhibition, and it gave the Central Club an impetus that it has never since lost. Why has the experiment not been repeated? Has the Central Working Men's Club lost its cunning?

The latest, but not the least important exhibition of Mr. Corbett's philanthropy to which we shall refer is his bequest of £2000 to Mr. William Quarrier, for the founding of a Home for Destitute and Orphan Children. To the results of Mr. Quarrier's scheme allusion has from time to time been[Pg 190] made in the local prints. We need only remark here that it is calculated to supply one of the most pressing and important social and moral wants of the city.

The part which Mr. Corbett has taken in connection with the establishment of a Seaside Home at Saltcoats is so generally known that to refer to it is enough. For the permanent support of these homes, he has built a number of model working men's dwellings at Whiteinch. The architectural and other arrangements of these homes were planned by Mr. Corbett himself. There are altogether sixteen dwellings from each of which a rent of £10 per annum is drawn. Altogether, Mr. Corbett has expended about £1500 upon the Saltcoats Homes, in addition to what he has provided by way of endowment.

With reference to Mr. Corbett's family history, we have left ourselves little room to speak. His father was a doctor in the Gorbals, and Thomas, after having been educated at the High School of Glasgow, commenced business as a tea merchant. While trading in this capacity he turned his attention to shipping, and in the course of time he went into the Australian produce trade altogether, freighting vessels on a large scale to and from Glasgow. His Australian business has been so prosperous that he was induced a few years ago to remove altogether to London, where it could have more scope. He still continues to reside in the Metropolis, although he retains a lively interest in the affairs of his native city, which he visits at least once a year, while passing to and from his beautiful marine residence at Kilcreggan.[Pg 191]


Mr. Edward Strathern Gordon, the member for the Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities, is a son of the late Major John Gordon, of the 2d Queen's Royal Regiment, by Catherine, daughter of Alexander Smith, Esq. Born at Inverness in 1814, he is now in his fifty-seventh year, although he wears so well that he would readily be mistaken for a much younger man. After having received a very superior education, first at the Royal Academy of his native town, and subsequently at the University of Edinburgh, he was called to the Scotch bar in 1835, being then only in his twenty-first year. He early discovered a peculiar aptitude for mastering knotty points of law, and during the whole of his long and distinguished legal career he has worked very hard, and spared no effort, to acquire that knowledge of dry, technical, and abstruse details with which the statute-books abound, and to be well grounded in which is essential to soundness or eminence in jurisprudence. In 1858 Mr. Gordon entered upon the responsible duties of Sheriff of Perthshire. In that capacity his decisions were awarded with an impartiality and rigid adherence both to the letter and to the spirit of the lex scripti that caused them to be often quoted in the inferior courts. By his superiors his talents were so far recognised that in 1866 he received the appointment of Solicitor-General for Scotland, and his place as Sheriff of Perthshire was allotted to Sheriff Barclay.

Mr. Gordon only held the Solicitor-Generalship for a single year, when he was elevated to the still more distinguished post of Lord Advocate, on the accession to political power of the Disraeli administration. Coming in with the[Pg 192] Tories, Mr. Gordon was likewise compelled to go out with them; and as they were only allowed to hold the reins of office for a year, his tenure of the Lord Advocateship was very short lived. Some measure of compensation was, however, obtained for his loss of the highest legal office in the Scottish administration, by Mr. Gordon's appointment in November, 1869, as Dean of the Faculty of Advocates. This is one of the most honourable, if not one of the most lucrative offices in Scotland, and Mr. Gordon's selection as the successor of many of the most distinguished pleaders at the Scottish bar showed that, although rejected by the country, he was not despised by his professional brethren.

It is, however, for his political rather than for his legal abilities that Mr. Gordon is known, although, of course, he could not have earned such a reputation in St. Stephen's but for his knowledge of Scotch law. Although short, his Parliamentary career has neither been uneventful nor inglorious. Simultaneously with his return for Thetford, he was appointed Lord Advocate for Scotland; and although some of his detractors have argued that he was only selected to fill that post because the Conservatives could not find another man, it is hardly credible that the Court of Session is so barren of Tory talent and leanings. Besides, the malicious insinuation has been completely disproved by Mr. Gordon's zealous and efficient discharge of the duties of his office, in which his conduct completely vindicated the choice of his party. Unfortunately for his own peace of mind, Mr. Gordon identified himself with a rotten borough. Thetford is a constituency on the East Coast Railway, near to Norwich, which had in 1861 a population of 4208, and returned two members to Parliament. At present the constituency only numbers about 200. Although the ancient borough of Thetford, which was in the seventh century the see of the bishopric of Norfolk and Suffolk, had many claims to the veneration of Parliament, and the affection of the Conservative party, to which it had been faithful for generations, it was doomed by the inevitable decree of destiny, of which—sad to tell! its[Pg 193] best and most devoted friends were the ministers, to political dismemberment; and Mr. Gordon, having been dispossessed, at one blow, of his seat in the House of Commons and his place in the Cabinet, was compelled to seek for

"Fresh fields and pastures new."

He had not long to wait. At the general election of 1868 he contested the Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities with the Right Hon. James Moncrieff. A very severe struggle took place; indeed, the contest may justly be described as one of the most bitter and hotly contested that ever took place in Scotland; and both in Glasgow and in Aberdeen it gave rise to a great deal of animosity and personal feeling, which will be long remembered, and the effects of which, we believe, have not yet completely died out. In the end, however, Mr. Moncrieff beat his opponent by sixty-seven votes, a majority so small in proportion to the constituency that the bitterness and humiliation of defeat must have been felt with more than ordinary poignancy. It seemed at that time as if the Conservatives would never have another chance of lifting their heads above water. There were few constituencies in Scotland on which they could place perfect reliance, and the Universities of Glasgow and Aberdeen they regarded as a special preserve—as their own inalienable and chartered possession; but this confidence was scarcely justified by the result, and they were not permitted even the satisfaction of recording of the most intelligent constituency in Scotland that—

"Amid the faithless, faithful only they."

The appointment of Mr. Moncrieff to the Lord Justice Clerkship in November, 1869, caused a new writ to be issued for Glasgow and Aberdeen Universities, and Mr. Gordon again came forward as a candidate. On this occasion, however, he was opposed by Mr. Archibald Smith, who appeared in the Liberal interest. Mr. Smith had neither the influence nor[Pg 194] the abilities of James Moncrieff; he was a comparatively untried man, and almost his sole claim to the support of the Universities was his Liberal promises and proclivities. Such a candidate was evidently no match for Mr. Gordon, whose defeat in the preceding year, after a severe and plucky fight, had drawn towards his interest the sympathies of not a few who differed from him on political questions. Hence Mr. Gordon was triumphantly returned at the head of the poll, which stood at the close—

Edward S. Gordon2120
Archibald Smith1616

The result of this election was looked forward to with eager expectation by men of all shades of politics throughout the length and breadth of the land. In Glasgow, as we can well remember, the excitement was intense, although the proceedings were, upon the whole, of an orderly character.

Mr. Gordon has voted with his party on all the great questions that have come before Parliament since he entered the House of Commons. During the last two sessions he was very regular in his attendance to legislative duties, and made several telling speeches on Scotch questions, in which he is, perhaps, better informed than any other man in the House. He is always listened to with respect, if not with admiration, for he exhibits a mastery of details, and a perfect apprehension of the subject in hand, which enables him to speak with effect, when others, who possess greater oratorical powers, would be liable to "put their foot in it." Indeed, Mr. Gordon is not an orator, in any sense of the term. His legal training at the Scotch bar has stunted the development of his rhetorical gifts. In pleading before a judge or a jury he seeks to influence their judgments rather than their hearts, and this tendency is to a greater or less extent characteristic of all good Scotch lawyers, although it is fatal to those nicely rounded periods and soul-stirring appeals to the imagination and emotional faculties, that tell so forcibly[Pg 195] upon an English jury. It is disappointing to listen to Mr. Gordon for the first time. His appearance is sufficiently distingué, for he is tall of stature, and he has a decidedly intellectual cast of countenance. But when he commences to speak there is an almost painful absence of embellishment or emotional feeling; his language is severely practical and argumentative; but his logic is unimpeachable, and he can summon to his aid no end of hard and dry, albeit telling, facts—

"Chiels that winna ding."

During the session of 1868, while he held the office of Lord Advocate, Mr. Gordon passed the Scotch Reform Bill, and it is to his efforts that the Universities of Scotland are indebted for direct Parliamentary representation. It seems, therefore, consistent with the fitness of things that a constituency which he himself had been the means of creating should become his own. To Mr. Gordon we are also indebted for the Titles to Land Act, passed during the session of 1868, by which the whole conveyancing system of Scotland has been consolidated, and placed on a more satisfactory footing. In the same year he succeeded in passing the Writs Registration Bill, which has affected beneficially the whole of the land system of Scotland. A bill for the purpose of amending the Feudal System of Scotland was introduced during the session of 1870, by Mr. Gordon, but although it was hailed with every symptom of approbation and encouragement by the leading men of the country, it had ultimately to be withdrawn. The same fate was reserved for a bill to abolish the feudal system altogether, which was brought in by Mr. Young, the present Lord Advocate of Scotland.

In ecclesiastical matters, no less than in matters political, Mr. Gordon has taken a conspicuous part. He has often appeared at the bar of the General Assembly of the Established Church of Scotland, of which he has always been a devoted adherent, both in a professional and in a private capacity. In the General Assembly of 1870, he seconded Dr[Pg 196] Pirie's motion against the Law of Patronage in a speech of great argumentative power, and on the same and other occasions he has spoken effectively on behalf of union with other Presbyterian Churches, his leading ecclesiastical idea being in favour of the reconstruction of the National Church on such a basis as will enable her to co-operate and unite with other Churches, and thereby emphatically make her what she professes to be. His disposition is of a most kindly and generous tendency. He practises charity and toleration towards all mankind. At the time of the Disruption, he used all his influence with the late Lord Justice-Clerk with a view of maintaining intact the position and privileges of the parish schoolmasters, who had elected to leave the establishment and become members of the Free Church. He strongly urged upon the leaders of the Establishment that a measure so harsh as this, besides being unduly severe upon the teachers, could not benefit the Church of Scotland, and would only raise up enemies against her. This is only one of many proofs of his broad humanity that might be adduced.

It is almost unnecessary to remark that Mr. Gordon enjoys in a high degree the confidence and esteem of the political party with whom he acts. We happen to know that the present Earl of Derby values his counsel and co-operation very highly, and as for Mr. Disraeli he has long made it a principle to consult Mr. Gordon on questions specially affecting Scotland. He is regarded as a decidedly safe man. Prudent and unassuming, he never seeks to catch the eye of the Speaker unless he has something of importance to say, and hence he is listened to by both his own and the opposite parties with attention and deference. In the discussions that have taken place during the present session on the Scotch Education Bill, he has proposed several amendments all tending in the same direction—namely, that of preserving the element of religious teaching in our national schools. He is also strongly in favour of maintaining a high curriculum, and, as far as possible, improving the status and efficiency of the teachers.[Pg 197]

We may add, in conclusion, that Mr. Gordon is a Queen's Counsel, and he has been rewarded for his splendid legal and literary acquirements with the degree of LL.D. by Edinburgh University. He is likewise Chancellor's Assessor for Edinburgh University, an office of considerable honour, and in virtue of which he is a member of the University Court. Mr. Gordon has taken a lively interest in the Volunteer movement, and at the present time he holds the commission of Lieut.-Colonel in the Queen's City of Edinburgh Rifle Volunteer Brigade.

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