This node is intended to show a timeline of the history of Glasgow, Scotland up to the present day. It shows the development of Glasgow from a small village and town of religious importance to the bustling, busy city it is today.


543: The 12th century Bishop Jocelyn will later claim Glasgow's monastic church was founded by Saint Kentigern, also known as Saint Mungo, in this year

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


1114: Glasgow is a farming village, with a monastic church and water mill; the reach of Glasgow's bishops extends to Cumbria; the church is elevated to temporary cathedral status by young David of Strathclyde, later David I

1123: A cathedral is built over Saint Kentigern's grave, near the site of a Celtic monastery

1134: The churches of Saint John and the Holy Sepulchre are in the city; the church of Saint James is dedicated

1136: The cathedral is consecrated in the presence of David I

c1150: The Glasgow Fair is an eight-day event

c1174/c1178: William the Lion makes Glasgow an episcopal burgh of barony, and grants Bishop Jocelyn a charter

1179?-1199?: Bishop gives abbot and convent of Melrose a plot of land in Glasgow


1220s: Early trades in the town include fishermen, millers, bakers, cobblers, painters, and blacksmiths; wooden merchant's houses replace peasant huts

1233: Cathedral still under reconstruction

1240: Diocesan authorities deeply in debt to bankers from Florence; church over Saint Kentigern's grave being added

1246: Dominicans (Blackfriars) building their own church.

1258: Work on Kentigern's church complete

1274: Diocese includes Teviotdale in Dumfries

1286: Glasgow Bridge, made of timber, spans the River Clyde

1293: Saint Mary's church is in the town

1295: Saint Enoch's church is also in the town, and there is a second water mill beside the Gallowgate


1301: Edward I of England visits Saint Kentigern's tomb in the town. Edward forces the townspeople to make a giant wooden siege tower and supply 30 wagons to transport it to Bothwell Castle to beseige it, along with tools, iron and coal; the town has trade in salmon and herring

1320: There is a St Thomas's Church in the town, with a Florentine Dean

c1330-1350: The west end of the cathedral is completed

1350: The Black Death hits the town


c1400: Population estimate: 1500-2,000

1410: The wooden bridge across the River Clyde is replaced by an arched stone bridge.

1431: William Elphinstone is born. He later obtained a papal bull for Aberdeen University in 1494, and introduced printing to Scotland in 1507

1438: Bishop's Palace is built

1450: Glasgow is a "burgh of regality"

1451: Glasgow University is established by bull of Pope Nicholas V, and founded by Bishop Turnbull, beside Blackfriars monastery

1453: John Stewart, Glasgow's first Provost, gives a grant of privileges to the university

1460: There is a Grammar School in the city; "fulling" is carried on; an extension to the college is begun (finished 1660)

1464: St Nicholas Hospital is in the city

1471: Provands Lordship, Glasgow's oldest dwelling-house, is built

1475: The Greyfriars (Franciscans)are granted a tenement and lands on the High Street; St Ninian's Hospital is established

1478: Other stone houses are built in Glasgow

1492: Pope Innocent VIII makes the See of Glasgow an Archbishopric - Robert Blackadder is the city's first archbishop


c1500: Population estimate is 2,500 - 3,000

1504: Plague hits Glasgow; the city is eleventh among Scottish burghs for taxation revenue

c1510: The Bishop's Palace is extended

1516-1559: The city's craft guilds are incorporated

1518: The university becomes more active

1520: The archdiocese now includes the former diocese of Argyll

1525: James Houston founds the Tron Church

1535-1556: Glasgow pays 1.5% - 3% of total Scottish burgh taxes

1544: Seige of castle; estimated population is 3,000

1556: Estimated population c4,500

1560: The burgh of Glasgow is now represented in parliament

1570: Andrew Melville rejuvenates the university

1574: Plague hits the city again

c1576: The council mill is rebuilt

1579: The city's cathedral is saved from demolition by craftsmen threatening to riot

1581: Glasgow pays 66% of upper Clyde customs tax

1584: Plague hits the city

1589: Golf is played on Glasgow Green

1593: Glasgow a presbytery in new self-governing church

1594: Glasgow is now fifth in ranking of Scottish burghs, paying 4.5% of export customs


1600: Population estimates for the city vary between 5000 and 7500

1604: 361 craftsmen work in fourteen trades, including two surgeons and 213 merchants

1605: The Trades House and Merchants House combine to form the first town council

1610: The General Assembly approves the restoration of diocesan episcopacy in Scotland

1611: Glasgow becomes a royal burgh, with a population of about 7600

1615: The Jesuit John Ogilvy is hanged for saying Mass

1621: Glasgow pays 3%-10% of Scottish customs duties

1625: The first quay is built at Broomielaw

1626: The Tolbooth is constructed

1636: There are 120 students at the university

1638: Covenanters at the General Assembly plan to abolish bishops

1639: Glasgow the 3rd richest burgh in Scotland, one-fifth as rich as Edinburgh; Hutcheson's Hospital is founded

1641: Hutcheson's Grammar School is founded for orphan boys; 50 buildings erected in Trongate

1645: Montrose enters city, celebrates victories

1645-1646: Plague hits city

1649: Glasgow displaces Perth as Scotland's 4th trading centre; pays 6.5% of customs duties

1652: Major fire makes about a thousand families homeless; an early fire engine from Edinburgh helps put out the blaze

1655: Glasgow trades in coal, hoops, meal, oats, butter, herring, salt, paper, prunes, timber, and hides: goat, kid, and deerskins

1656: Glasgow is described as a "flourishing city", with "strong stone walls"

1659-1665: Bridgegate merchants' house is rebuilt

1660: A coal pit is reported in the Gorbals

1661: Several pits reported

1662: A post office opens

1663: Alexander Burnet is appointed archbishop

1668: Land is purchased for a new harbour - later Port Glasgow

1669: Burnet resigns the archbishopric, objects to Act of Supremacy

1670: Glasgow displaces Aberdeen and Dundee to become Scotland's second trade city

1673: Colonel Walter Whiteford opens city's first coffee house

1675: Magistrates take action against unauthorised prayer meetings

1677: Another major fire hits the city

1678: First stagecoaches run to Edinburgh

1680: The city's population is perhaps around 12,000, with 450 traders, 100 trading overseas

1688: Broomielaw Quay is reconstructed following dredging of the River Clyde

1690 Glasgow is re-chartered as a royal burgh; the city has an early Bank of Scotland branch


1702: Glasgow University has around 400 students

1706: Anti-unionists riot; Glasgow is a major smuggling port

1707: Act of Union

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

1712: Glasgow owners own 4% of Scottish fleet, 46 vessels

1715: ''Glasgow Courant'' newspaper appears

1718: Possible date for first Glasgow vessel to sail to America

1719: Cotton printing has begun

1720: Glasgow's estimated population is 15,000

1721-1735: James Anderson builds "Andersontown" (modern-day Anderston) village

1725: Glasgow occupied by General Wade's army; protests and street violence against liquor tax

1726: Daniel Defoe describes Glasgow as "The cleanest and best-built city in Britain"; 50 ships a year sail to America

1729: The ''Glasgow Journal'' newspaper is published

1730: The Glasgow Linen Society is formed

1735: The city's ship-owners own 67 ships

1736: The first history of Glasgow is published by John McUre

1737-1760: A new Town Hall is built west of the Tollbooth

1738: The Anderston Weavers' Society is formed

1740: Approximately 685,000m of linen is made in Glasgow, some of which is sent to London

1740-1741: The Foulis brothers begin printing

1742: Delft pottery is manufactured in the city

1743: The Foulis brothers become printers to the university

1745: Tennents open a new brewery in Glasgow

1749: A stage coach service opens between Edinburgh and Glasgow

1750: There are five sugar refineries in the city

1751: The John Smith bookshop is established

1753: Foulis Academy is established at the university to promote art and design; turnpiking of main roads from Glasgow; the city's involvement in the tobacco trade is reflected in the naming of Virginia Street

1755: The estimated population of Glasgow is 23,500

1757: 2.2 million metres of linen are produced in the city

1760: Glasgow enjoys a wave of prosperity; there are 13 professors at Glasgow University

1763: David Dale opens a draper's shop in the city; regular coaches run from Glasgow to Greenock

1765: Joseph Black discovers latent heat

1769: Tennents brewers is now a large industry; James Watt patents his steam engine condenser

1771: The Scottish economy is boosted by trade through Glasgow

1775: Trade with America in tobacco, sugar, and cotton - the city's prosperity is at its height

1776: Adam Smith, a professor at Glasgow University, publishes ''Wealth of Nations''

1779: Mobs protest against the Catholic Relief Act

1780: The construction of the Forth and Clyde Canal is completed

1781: Vessels of over 30 tons can now reach Broomielaw Quay

1782-1783: The Forth and Clyde Canal enables grain from London to ease famine in Glasgow

1783: Glasgow Chamber of Commerce is founded - the first in Britain

1785: A hot air balloonist flies from Glasgow to Hawick in the Borders; the firm of Thomsons is formed as bankers

1796: The Royal Technical College is founded

1798: The Merchant Banking Company of Glasgow fails

1799: Demonstrations over bread prices; trade in tobacco and rum declines


1800: The River Clyde is 14ft (3.1m) deep, and supports 200 wharves and jetties; there is a large Gaelic community in the city

1803: Dorothy Wordsworth visits Glasgow

1809: General Association of Operative Weavers isformed

1810-1814: Glasgow Asylum for Lunatics is built in Dobbies Loan

1813: Weavers fail in bid for fair wages

1814: Glasgow Green is Europe's first public park

1815: The Glasgow Herald is published twice-weekly

1818: Public supply of gas begins in the city

1820: Radical insurrection

1825: Glasgow University, still located in the High Street, has over 1200 students and about 30 professors; 10 coaches run to Edinburgh daily

1827: The Argyll Arcade opens

1828: James Beaumont Neilson makes breakthrough in iron-smelting technology; a total abstinence society is formed

1832: The city benefits from increased representation under the Great Reform Bill

1835-1874: The Liberals represents Glasgow in parliament

1836: The Forth and Clyde Canal has increased traffic in goods and passengers

1837: Violent cotton-spinners strike; the leaders are sentenced to transportation

1841: Chartist demonstration is addressed by Fergus O'Connor

1842: Glasgow slums "the filthiest in Britain"

1843: Disruption of the Church of Scotland

1844: Glasgow Stock Exchange opens

1846: Burgh boundaries are more than doubled to 5063 acres (2295 Ha)

1848: 100,000 people gather on Glasgow Green to support Chartists

1851: Glasgow is Scotland's largest city, with a population of 329,096; over 18% are Irish-born; Portland St suspension footbridge is built

1851-1854: Victoria Bridge is built at Stockwell

1858-1859: St Vincent St Church is built by Alexander "Greek" Thomson

1859: Loch Katrine water supply is opened by Queen Victoria

1863: Dr Henry Littlejohn becomes the city's first medical officer

1865: Edward Pritchard is hanged for killing his wife and mother-in-law

1866: The City Improvement Trust clears slums and constructs new roads and buildings

1867: Queen's Park FC is founded

1868-1870: Glasgow University buildings at
Gilmorehill are built to designs by George Gilbert Scott


1902: 20 football fans die at Ibrox; magistrates ban barmaids

1903: Charles Rennie Mackintosh builds Miss Cranston's Tearooms

1904: The Kings' and Pavilion Theatres open

1905: Theatre Royal opens

1905-1907: The Caledonian Railway extends the Central Hotel

1907-1911: New buildings for the Mitchell Library are constructed

1909: Charles Rennie Mackintosh's School of Art opens

1910: Emigration leads to 20,000 housing vacancies in Glasgow

1911: International Exposition at Kelvingrove; Glasgow's population is 785,000

1914: Tramcars cover wide routes around Glasgow

1919: Large strike for a 40-hour week

1921: Sinn Feiners murder policeman

1923: Glasgow railways are grouped as part of the new London, Midland and Scottish Railway (LMS)

1925: There are approximately 200 miles of tramlines and 1100 trams in and around the city

1926: Violence during General Strike

1929: Hogmanay cinema fire kills 69 children; Glasgow has nearly 100 cinemas

1932: The Dental Hospital in Sauchiehall Street is built

1934: Unemployed "Hunger marchers" shunned by Ramsay MacDonald; "Queen Mary" launched

1935: Glasgow's subway becomes electric

1936: Overcrowding exists in 29% of Glasgow's houses

1937: Citywide automatic telephone dialling becomes available

1938: Glasgow hosts Empire Exhibition at Bellahouston Park

1939: World War II: Glasgow naval base ''HMS Spartiate'' opens

1940: Bomb hits Merkland St station, closes underground for four months

1941: Bombing raids on Clydebank, 500 killed

1944: Glasgow trams carry about 14 million passengers

1946: Glasgow naval base ''HMS Spartiate'' closes

1949: Trolley buses introduced, condemned by pedestrians as the 'whispering death'

1950: Eye infirmary demolished

1951: Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama (RSAMD) is formed by merger

1952-1955: Union Bank of Scotland absorbed by Bank of Scotland

1958: William Burrell dies, bequeaths Burrell Collection; Lanarkshire County Council moves its headquarters from Ingram Street to Hamilton

1960: Duke Street prison closed

1962: Trams stopped running

1964: University of Strathclyde established; Beeching closes low-level (Argyle) line

1966: Buchanan Street and St Enoch railway stations close

1967: Celtic first British winners of European Cup; QE2 launched; trolley-buses abandoned

1969: Last daily steamers from Bridge Wharf

1970: M8 and Kingston Bridge open

1971: 66 fans die at Ibrox; Government refuse to save Clyde shipbuilders

1975: Troops tackle rubbish caused by dustmans strike; Glasgow becomes the home of Strathclyde Region's headquarters

1979-1980: Low level Argyle Line re-opens

1982: Roy Jenkins wins Hillhead by-election for SDP

1983: Burrell Collection opens

1985: Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre opens; Glasgow population is 734,000

1988: The Glasgow Garden Festival hosts this year's National Garden Festival and attracts 4.3 million visitors.

1989: High number of poll tax arrears; St Enoch Centre opens

1990: Cultural city of Europe; McLellan Galleries re-opens; Glasgow Royal Concert Hall completed; the QE2 returns to the river Clyde to mark the 50th anniversary of the beginning of the Cunard Steam Ship Company.

1993: Opening of the new St Mungo’s Museum, the UK’s only Museum of Religion, next to the city’s 13th century cathedral.

1996: Glasgow Festival of Visual Arts; opening of the Gallery of Modern Art in the former Stirling’s Library; first Glasgow International Festival of Design

1996-1999: Festival of Architecture and Design

1997: Opening of new £38 million Clyde Auditorium at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre.

1999: Glasgow is UK City of Architecture and Design; Buchanan Galleries open; millenium celebrations


2002: Final of UEFA Champion's League held at Hampden Park. Real Madrid beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1.

See also
Glasgow City Chambers
Scottish history

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

Previously published on wikipedia (and written by me)

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