Skip Navigation / Jump to Content



The Rising Burgh: 1560 to 1770s

Learning and Beliefs


By Bart McGettrick

Old Grammar School, c 1650s The growth of schools in Glasgow made it a city of note in Europe. By the late 16th century there was an "Inglis Schole" (English School) beside the dilapidated Tron Kirk. The "Sang School" was flourishing in spite of the Reformation. Indeed the Reformation did not suppress the arts, as often it is portrayed as doing.

Hutchesons' Hospital By 1639 there was a growing proliferation of schools to the extent that the city fathers passed a statute which limited the number of schools in the burgh to the Grammar School and four "English Schools". There was also a "Writing School", a Mathematics School was set up in 1660, and there was a growing interest in the economic and mercantile advantages of schools.

Tait's Directory p34 In spite of these civic restrictions, in 1643 the Hutchesons' charitable foundation set up a school as part of a hospital to cater for "tuelf maill children indigent orphanes or uthers of lyk condition". After various adjustments, interruptions and developments this school remains as one of Glasgow’s prestigious educational establishments.

There were some schools which charged fees and others were subsidised by weavers and other townsmen. The nature of schooling was varied, and even the workhouse for orphans was referred to as "a school", largely because it had a master for the resident children. Education was intended to be for all.

One of the curiosities was not only the number of schools, but also the specialisation among them. This variety was a major contributory factor in establishing the strength in education in the city.

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