James Cleland.

Statistical tables relative to the city of Glasgow, with other matters therewith connected online

. (page 5 of 23)
Online LibraryJames ClelandStatistical tables relative to the city of Glasgow, with other matters therewith connected → online text (page 5 of 23)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

necessary to exhibit the results themselves; it will be sufficient to give a view
of the relative goodness of the various Loaves, deduced from these trials.
This goodness has nothing to do with the skill of the Baker, but depends solely
on the quality of the Flour, so that it is independent of the whiteness, and
other sensible qualities of Bread, as far as these are to be ascribed to tlie skill
of the Baker.

Quality. of Loaf .

1st 2

2d 3

3d 7

4th 5

5th 4

6th 15

7th 10

Quality. of Loaf.

8th 12

9th 8

10th 13

ilth 6

12th 19

13th 18

QualUy. of Loaf .

14th 14

loth. 16

16th 11

17th 9

I8th 20

19th 17

" The ashes from No. 1, were accidentally lost before they could be
weighed; judging from the quantity of soluble matter abstracted by water,
No. 1 would occupy the fourth place in point of goodness, or it would stand
immediately before No. 5 in the Table.

" 4tli, My next object was to endeavour to ascertain whether any of the
Loaves contained any other article besides Flour, Water, and common Salt,
the ingredients of which it ought to be composed.

" I must mention in the first place, tliat I am in possession of no method
of determining whether Potatoes exist in a Loaf or not. Potatoes consist
almost entirely of Starch; now Starch is one of the constituents of Wheat
Flour, of course, Potatoes may be put into Bread, without being detected by


Chemical experiments. In London, they are put into Bread by all the
Bakers, and this I beheve, is one reason why the London Bread is so white.
I do not know whether they are used or not by any of the Glasgow Bakers.

" The only foreign matters which I had it in my power to detect, were
Chalk, Whitening, or Stucco, or Clay, which have been occasionally mixed
with Bread; or Alum, or any other Salt which Bakers may be in the habit of
employing, besides common Salt.

" I examined the residual ashes of all the Loaves, without detecting in
them any thing except substances which exist in Wheat; namely, Phosphate
of Lime, Silica and Oxide of Iron. Hence, I have no evidence that any of
the Bakers have added any earthy matter on purpose.

" Two only of the Loaves contained any other saline matter besides com-
mon Salt, except in such minute quantities, that it was obviously derived from
the Flour, or from the Yeast.

" No. 14 contained some Salammoniac.
" No. 20 contained some Alum.

(Signed) Thomas Thomson."


The price of Milk, like other articles of provision, varies
with the demand. Sweet Milk is sold in this City by
the spirit pint. See Table in Weights and Measures.

In 1733, when the Town's Hospital was opened, Sweet
Milk was sold at Ifd. per pint; in I78O, at 2d.;* in 1790,
at 3d.; in 1798, at 4d.; in 1802, at 6d.; in 1808, at 8d.;
in 1810 it was reduced to 6d.; in July, I8I6, it was far-
ther reduced to 4d.; and during the winter months of

• In 1780, when Milk was 2d. per pint, a mutdikin, or fourth part of a pint was con-
sequently one halfpenny, although the twelfth part of a pint is now only got for a halfpenny,
it still retains the name of a mutchkin.


that year, it was raised to 6cl.; at which price * it has re-
mained ever since.

Qjiaiitity of Milk used in Glasgow iii One Year.

In 1816, the names of Cow-keepers and the number of
Cows kept by each, were pubhshed in the Annals of Glas-
gow, vol. i. p. 375. It appears from that document, that
within the Royalty there were i^5 Cow-keepers, who had
among them 586 Cows.

On the supposition that the same quantity of Milk was
used in 1822 as in I8I6, the number of Cows, quantity
of Milk, and value for the supply of the City and Suburbs,
would be as follows.

In the Royalty:— on the average of)
6 pints to each Cow, J

The quantity of Milk produced in
the Barony and Gorbals Parishes,
is probably more than in the
Royalty, owing to a part of these
Parishes being landward, but as
Cow-keepers in the Royalty sup-
ply some families in the Suburbs
with Milk, it may be near the
truth to take the Suburbs as
equal to the Royalty.

As the adjoining Parishes of Ruth-")
erglen, Cumbuslang, Cathcart,
Govan, and even Parishes far-
ther distant, send a considerable
part of the produce of their dai-
ries f to Glasgow. The quantity
sent to that City may be estimated
at one-hventielh part of the whole. ^




586 128,340at6d. £32,083 10

> 586 128,340 at 6d. 32,083 10

}■ 58 12,834


Totals, 1230 269,514 at 6d. £67,375 7

* Sweet Milk ought to be cheaper in this City, in 1823, than it was in 1818, for
the following reasons: — The average price of Milch Cows have fallen from ^15 to 5^9;
Hay, fiom ^4iil0 to £5i\5 per cwL; Distillery Grains, from 4s. 6d. to 5s. 9d. per boll;
Servant's Wages, (seven days) from 14s. to 10s ; Rent, from 30s. to 24s. per stall.

f Butter Milk is sold by the ale pint. See Table in Weights and Measures.



Value of Meaty Bread and Milky sold in the City and Siiburbs,

in 1822.

Meat, £303,969 4 5

Bread, 177,266 10 8

Milk,* 67,375 7

Total value of Meat, Bread and Milk, £548,61 1 2 1

Commerce and Manufactures.

Glasgow is advantageously situated for commerce.
Placed on the borders of one of the richest coal and mi-
neral fields in the island, with which it communicates by
the Monkland Canal, and connected on the one hand with
the Atlantic by the Clyde, and on the other, with the
North Sea and the German Ocean, by the Forth and
Clyde Navigation and the River Forth, it possesses facili-
ties peculiarly favourable for trade.

In 1420, a Mr. Elphinston is mentioned as being en-
gaged in the trade of curing salmon and herrings for the
French market, which continued to be the staple trade
for several centuries. In 1661, soon after the restoration
of Charles II. an Act was passed for protecting the Scotch
Fisheries, and during the same Parliament another Act
was passed for encouraging the manufacture of Soap in
Scotland. In 1674, Sir George Maxwell of Pollock, Bart.
Provost Anderson, and others, entered into an extensive
Fish-curing and Soap-making concern; at that period, the
Company employed five ships. Sugar-houses, Tan works
and Breweries were erected in Glasgow about the time of
the Restoration.

Previously to 17O7, the Foreign trade of Glasgow was
chiefly confined to Holland and France. The Union of

♦ The quantity of butter, cheese, eggs and butter milk, sold in Glasgow, is verj- gieat.
In the Bazar during 1822, sweet and salt Scotch butter, varied from 13d. to ITd. per lb.
Scotch cheese from G^d. to 9d. per lb. Eggs from lid. to 15d. per dozen. Buttermilk
has been sold at Id. per pint for a number of years past, except, perhaps for a few weeks,
when the grass is very abundant, the price is reduced to three farthings per pint; from all
which it is evident that the farmers in the neighbourhood of this City, who have large dai-
ries have no cause to complain of agricultural distress.


the Kingdoms which took place in this year, having opened
the Colonies to the Scotch, the merchants of Glasgow im-
mediately availed themselves of the circumstance, and en-
gaging extensively in a trade with Virginia and Maryland,
soon made their City a mart for Tobacco, and the chief me-
dium through which the farmers-general of France received
their supplies of that article. To so great an extent w^as
this branch of commerce carried on in Glasgow, that for
several years previous to 1770j the annual imports of To-
bacco into the Clyde, w^ere from 35,000 to 45,000 hhds.;
In 177s, 43,970 hhds. were imported; — the names of the
importers and the quantity each imported, are narrated in
Cleland's Rise and Progress of the Public Institutions of
Glasgow, page 70-87-97' As the Tobacco trade was sus-
pended in 1783j at the breaking out of the war M'ith A-
merica, the merchants of Glasgow engaged their capital in
other pursuits. Prior to 1718> the commerce of this place
was carried on in vessels chartered from the English ports;
in that year the first ship built on the banks of the Clyde,
belonging to the City crossed the Atlantic.

West and East India Trade: — Attempts were success-
fully made to open a connexion with the AVest Indies. — In
1775, the imports from that quarter into the Clyde, w'ere
as follows: — Sugar 4621 hhds. and 69I tierces; Rum 1154
puncheons and 193 hhds.; Cotton 503 bags. The great
increase of trade since that period, will appear from the
following excerpt taken from the Custom-house books for
the year ending 5th July, 1815. Sugar 540,198 cwt. 2 qr.
25 lb. Rum 1,251,092 gallons; Cotton^wool 6,530,177
lb. The import duties of these and other articles, a-
mounted to j^563,058, 2s. 6d.; the produce was carried in
448 ships, carrying 79,219 tons, and employing 4868 men
in navigating them. These importations are exclusive of
Grain, Hemp, Tallow, &c. from the Baltic through the
Great Canal. The exports during the same period to
America, the West Indies, and Europe, amounted to
^4,016,181, ISs. 2M.— 592 ships, 94,350 tonnage, and
6476 men were employed in this traffic.


East India Trade:— In the spring of 1816, Messrs. James
Finlay & Co. despatched the ship, " Earl of Buckingham-
shire,*' 600 tons burden, to Calcutta, being the first ves-
sel from Scotland direct to the East Indies. Since that
period a number of enterprising merchants in this City
have engaged in the India trade.

Manufactures: — The manufacture of Linens, Lawns,
Cambrics, and other articles of similar fabric was intro-
duced into Glasgow about the year 1725, and continued
to be the staple manufacture till 1785, when the introduc-
tion of fine Muslins took place from yarn spun by mule-
jennies. In 1802, Messrs. Henry Monteith, Bogle & Co.
established the manufacture of Bandana Handkerchiefs,
which, for bright and fast colours, and variety in design,
has raised the character of that branch of trade all over
Europe. With the exception of an attempt to introduce a
similar manufacture on the Continent, which proved un-
successful, this branch of trade has hitherto been confined
to Glasgow.

Soon after the termination of the war in 1815, the
commerce and manufactures of this City experienced a
severe shock, from which they are gradually recovering, as
will appear from the following valuable paper.

On 16th February, 1823, His IVIajesty's Government addressed a letter to the Lord
Provost of this City, requesting answers to certain questions. His Lordship, from a wish
to furnish the best information, desired the assistance of four gentlemen, than whom,
there are none better qualified to give the necessary information.

Question 1st. What is the present state of trade and employment of the working classes?

Answer. The Cotton trade, the staple manufacture of Glasgow and its Suburbs, has,
for the last eighteen months, been more prosperous than usual, affording regular employ-
ment and adequate wages to the working classes, the prices of the necessaries of life beinc
comparatively low. — The Coarse Linen trade now carried on in Glasgow, is also understood
to be in a thriving state. — The Import Colonial trade, has been in nearly the same state as
in London and Liverpool. Of Rum, tlie prices low, and little demand. Of Su"-ar and
Coffee, the prices low, but more demand. The trade of sugar-refining, in a low state. The
returns from Canada, except from Timber, unproductive. — The Export Colonial trade much
in its ordinary state. — The trade to the Baltic and Mediterranean, also, much in its usual
state. — The trade with the United States of America, is, in general, extending, but a great
deal of it is carried on from Lancashire, owing to the facilities afforded tliere.

The Shipping interest docs not yet appear to have recovered from the effects of the peace.
High priced vessels are unproductive, except in the employment of West India merchants,
who have established connexions with the Colonies. Low priced vessels afford only very


moderate freights. The price of shipping in general, still continues low, partly in conse«
quence of the vessels now built in America at cheaper rates.

Question 2d. Wlmt is the rate of wages, as compared with the charge of providing com-
fortable subsistence for workers and their families?

Answer. In the Cotton trade, the rate of wages has, during the last eighteen months, been
higher, compared with the prices of provisions, than for many years past. The prices paid
for weaving some kinds of Cotton Goods, have, indeed, yielded to the persons so employed,
only moderate means of subsistence. But taking tlie Cotton manufacture generally, and
tlie trade connected with it, the working classes employed in them have lately enjoyed
more comfortable subsistence, than for a considerable time past.

Question 3d. What is the calculation with respect to tlie continuance of trade and em-

Answer.. The continuance of the present state of thing* in the Cotton trade, depending
on so many circumstances of which it is impossible to have a perfect knowledge, is neces-
sarily a matter in which persons must speculate with great uncertainty. There is, how-
ever, nothing in the present state of the stock of manufactured goods at home, to lead one
to anticipate any very sudden or great alteration. At the same time, it appears from the
most recent accounts, that some of the foreign markets to which considerable quantities of
Cotton goods are sent, were too fully supplied with them.

Periods of great prosperity, are naturally followed by others of an opposite description.
And as the extent of business has, during the last year, been unusually great in this depart-
ment, it is not difficult to foresee a change, the more especially as the increased production of the
present time, will require still more extensive markets; that a pressure causing great stagna-
tion, and consequently lower wages, and distress among the operatives must take place at
some time, probably not verj' distant, seems to be beyond all question. And much will
depend on the political circumstances of the country, as to tlie period when such a pressure
may be expected to occur.

It may be added, that the recent practice of our manufacturers exporting their goods to
foreign markets on their own account, and of their obtaining advances on their goods
from the commission merchants, to whom they consign them, seems likely to lead to over-
production, to occasion more frequent gluts in distant markets, and consequently to give
rise to greater vicissitudes in trade, than the system which formerly prevailed.

Question 4lh. What is the amount of Poor Rates for ten years preceding 1823, distin-
guishing each year?

Answer. The Poors' Rates of tlie City of Glasgow, strictly so called, exclusive of the
extensive Suburbs, containing nearly an equal population, have for the last ten years a-
mounted to the following sums : —

In 1813 =£:i4,487 In 181S, =^15,546

1814, 13,635 1819, 14,110

1815, 13,177 1820, 15,136

1816, 11,835 1821 14,560

1817, 17,052 1822, 11,413

Question 5th. What is the general disposition of the working classes, in regard to the
peace of the Country and subordination to the laws?

Answer. Tlie disposition of the working classes in general, appears to be greatly im-
proved; and there does not seem to be any reason to apprehend any early inten-uption to
the internal tranquillity of the Country.

Question 6th. What is the increase of buildings with details as to the amount of tlie

Answer. For twenty years preceding the year 1818, the increase of buildings in Glas-
gow and its Suburbs was very considerable. Since 1818, the buildings erected have been
comparatively very few. In 1822, tliere were 1917 unoccupied houses, calculated to ac-
commodate 8818 persons. And the rental of Glasgow which had hitherto regularly in-
creased from the Union, has fallen about 15 per cent. But this year, there is a prospect of
more buildin"' going on than for the last four years. And Masons, House Carpenters,
Plumbers, Slaters, &c. arc likely to have constant employment and adequate wages.



Although the want of uniformity in Weights and Mea-
sures over the whole Kingdom, is an evil that has long
been complained of, the object of the following Treatise is
not to suggest any plan by which the evil may be removed ;
but simply to exemplify and elucidate the Weights and
Measures which statute or inveterate practice have fixed
for buying and selling Commodities in Glasgow.

The following general abstract, although not connected
with local exemplification, may be interesting to the
general reader.

In England, from the year 1215, when King John
signed Magna Charta, to the present time, there have been
more than fifty Acts respecting Weights and Measures
entered on the Statute Books ; and in Scotland, since the
assize of King David I., who reigned from the year 1124i
till 1153, there have been above forty Acts of Parliament
on the same subject.

It appears from the Scotch Statute Books, that there
have been seven general regulations for Weights and
Measures. The first is the assize of King David I., made
at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, without date: the second was
in the reign of Robert I., also without date, but must have
been between the years 1306 and 1330, which compre-
hended his reign: the third was in the reign of Robert III.,
in 1393 : the fourth is contained in the 68th, 69th, and
70th chapters of the fourth Parliament of James I., in
14^6 : the fifth in the 73d chapter of the fourteenth Par-



liament of James II., in 1457: the sixth in the 115th
chapter of the eleventh ParHament of James VI., in 1587-
and the seventli, and last assize, is the general regulation
made by James VI., in I6l8, after that monarch had
ascended the English throne, which contains our present

On the 28th June, I617, the Scotch Parliament ap-
pointed certain Commissioners, of whom Provost Hamil-
ton of Glasgow was one, " to consult and advise together,
and to appoint and determine upon the most convenient
means from which the Weights and Measures might be
reduced to a conformity."

The Commissioners were vested with full powers, and
having had several meetings in Edinburgh, did, on the
19th of February, I6I8, enact and ordain, " that there
should be only one uniform Weight throughout the king-
dom, by which all kinds of merchandise should be bought
and sold."

In 1688, at the Revolution, Mr. Flamstead, Dr. Halley,
and others, made a report to Parliament, by which cer-
tain variations were made on particular standards. In
1696, Mr. Everard, and a Committee of the House of
Commons, investigated the Weights and Measures, when
certain standards were constructed.

At the Union between England and Scotland, in 1707»
the Commissioners from both countries were so desirous
that an equalization of Weights and Measures should take
place, that the seventeenth article of the Union was
framed for the express purpose of securing the desired
object, viz. *' That the Weights and Measures of the
United Kingdom shall be the same as those in England,
and that they shall be kept by those burghs in Scotland to
whom the keeping the Standards of Weights and Mea-
sures does of special right belong j all which Standards


shall be sent down to such burghs from the Standards
kept in the Exchequer at Westminster." Soon after the
Union, duplicates of the Weights and Measures were ac-
cordingly sent down to the respective burghs in Scotland.

When half a century had passed away without any
thing material having been done towards equalization,
the House of Commons, in the year 1756, appointed a
Committee of their number, assisted by Mr. Bird and
Mr. Harris, " to inquire into the original Standards of
Weights and Measures in England, and to consider the
laws relating thereto, and to report their observations
thereupon, together with their opinion of the most effec-
tual means for ascertaining and enforcing uniform and
certain Standards of Weights and Measures to be used
for the future.'* This Committee, having entered deeply
into the merits of the remit, produced two elaborate re-
ports, one in 1758, and the other in 1/59. On these re-
ports, which contained a minute history of the then
Weights and Measures, two Bills were brought into the
House of Commons in the year 1760. The first was in-
tituled, " A bill for ascertaining and establishing uniform
and certain Standards of Weights and Measures through-
out the kingdom of Great Britain." The second, " A
Bill for enforcing uniformity of Weights and Measures to
the Standards thereof by the law to be established."

Although these Bills set forth in the preamble, " that
it was necessary, for the security of commerce, and for
the good of the community, that they should pass into a
law," the Parliament seems to have thought otherwise,
for the Bills were not passed.

From this period, the matter of Weights and Measures
continued to attract the attention of several persons,
eminent for scientific acquirements. Among others, the
learned Lord Swinton, late one of the Senators of the
College of Justice, who, in 1779, drew up a proposal for


the uniformity of Weights and Measures, together with a
specification of the Weights and Measures used in every
county in Scotland. In June I789, Sir John Riggs Millar,
M.P, having moved the House of Commons to take the
matter of a general uniformity of Weights and Measures
into their consideration, requested the Merchants' House
of Glasgow to give him their opinion and advice ; after
mature consideration, the House transmitted a paper ap-
proving of the measure generally, and particularly recom-
mending the formation of Tables by which the Ahquot pro-
portion of the standard Weights and Measures would be
shown. The House in urging the formation of these
Tables on Sir John's attention, said, " that none could
object to such Tables, but those who had an interest in
keeping the matter in darkness. That although the for-
mation might be difficult, it would be overcome by industry
and attention, and would be of great use to the pubUc."

The Board of Agriculture and the Highland Society of
Scotland, having from time to time devoted much of their
attention to the equalization of Weights and Measures, the
matter was again brought before ParHament. In I8I6, Earl
Stanhope, on the 24th May, in moving " that a Committee
of the House of Lords be appointed, for taking into their
consideration an equalization of the Weights and Measures
of the country, and to report their opinions thereon,'* ex-
pressed a hope " that the arrangements would not be
made, as formerly, by barleycorns, acorns, and horse-ches-
nuts, but would be worthy of the country of Newton,
Hutton, Simpson, Napier, and M'Laurin."

Soon after this, his Royal Highness the Prince Regent
appointed Sir Joseph Banks, Sir George Clerk, Dr. Wol-
laston, and Davis Gilbert, Thomas Young, and Henry
Kater, Esquires, Commissioners, for the purpose of con-
sidering how far it may be practicable and advisable to
establish within his Majesty's dominions a more uniform
system of Weights and Measures. These Gentlemen


after consideration commensurate to the importance of the
matter submitted to them, reported their opinion in ten
articles, which the House of Commons ordered to be
printed, 7th July, 1819, to which reference is here made.
The labours of the Commissioners terminated with the
production of a Bill, of which the following is the title :

3d. Geo. IV. Sess. 1822.

A Bill {as amended on recommitment) for ascertaining
and establishing uniformity in Weights and Measures, or-
dered by the House of Commons to be printed 1st July,
1822, and taken into consideration during the next Session
of Parliament. The preamble to the Bill will give an idea
of what is intended. It is as follows :

" Whereas it is necessary for the security of Commerce
and for the good of the Community, that Weights and
Measures should be just and uniform ; and whereas, not-
withstanding, it is provided by the Great Charter that there
shall be but one Measure and one Weisrht throughout the
Realm, and by the Treaty of Union between England and
Scotland^ that the same Weights and Measures should be
used throughout Great Britain^ as were then established in
England^ yet different Weights and Measures, some larger
and some less, are still in use in various places throughout
the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland^ and
the true measure of the present standards is not verily

1 2 3 5 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23

Online LibraryJames ClelandStatistical tables relative to the city of Glasgow, with other matters therewith connected → online text (page 5 of 23)