Skip Navigation / Jump to Content



Beginnings: Early times to 1560

Culture and Leisure


By Eila Williamson

Very little is known about dramatic entertainments in Glasgow before 1560. The only recorded event that can be termed "theatrical" was the celebration organised by the Arts Faculty of the University of Glasgow in 1462. On 2 May that year arrangements were made for an annual meeting on the feast day of the Translation of St Nicholas on 9 May at which two masters would be elected to organise festivities for the Sunday or next feast day.

The festivities began with the hearing of Mass at the chapel of St Thomas the Martyr and then the masters and students processed on horseback through the burgh carrying flowers and branches. They returned to the College of the Arts Faculty where a banquet was held before moving to locum solatii (a place of solace) at which an interludium vel aliquod tale (a short play or something similar) took place. The performers of the interlude were some masters or students who gained special privileges for taking part.

The procession itself would have been theatrical and elsewhere in Scotland processions were held on feast days in this period. For example, there were processions by masters and scholars at St Andrews University in honour of St Nicholas in the early 15th century, and also craft processions in several burghs, including Aberdeen and Haddington, prior to 1560. The "place of solace" was possibly out-of-doors but unfortunately not much detail is given about the interlude other than it was described as quod iocundare potest populum (which can delight the people).

Quick Search

Photo Album

You have 0 images in your photo album.

View Photo Album

Log-In (Optional)

Not a user? Register now for FREE!

Other Options