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The Rising Burgh: 1560 to 1770s

Learning and Beliefs

Civic Pride

By Norman F Shead

Molendinar Burn Concern for the weal of the town took varied forms: unstopping a well, maintaining the grammar school, appointing glass workers. Keeping the Molendinar and Gallowgate Burns unpolluted, cleaning the streets, removing middens and forbidding the throwing of filth from windows showed a concern for "the good order and decorum of the place". The danger of fire meant control of candle factories and breweries, ordering soot swept from chimneys, the purchase of fire-fighting equipment and the creation of new streets as fire-breaks.

Wooden House, Saltmarket Rebuilding was required to have "sufficient stonework for the decorement of the town". The disastrous fire of 1652 was an opportunity: Saltmarket frontages were straightened. In the new King Street, houses were to be built "in a decent…manner". The council paid for pillars and arcades so that new buildings matched their neighbours: the streets around the Cross were lined with arcades. The permission of the dean of guild was required for new building. The dean of guild court had jurisdiction over all the building in a royal burgh.

Glasgow Coat of Arms In the 1620s the tolbooth was rebuilt. Money was expended on the maintenance of its clock, chairs and a mahogany table for the council room, and pictures, including portraits of the reigning monarchs. Uniforms were provided for the burgh's officials. The town's arms were carved on public buildings and in the mid-18th century a fine town hall was added to the west side of the tolbooth.

Glasgow 1750 In the first history of Glasgow (1736) John M'Ure summed up civic pride: Glasgow "is generally believed to be of its bigness the most beautiful city of the world…"

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