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Industrial Revolution: 1770s to 1830s

Everyday Life


By Rudolph Kenna

Delftfield Pottery By the 1770s "Glasgow Punch" - a mixture of Jamaica rum and water, flavoured with lemons and limes - was being served at all important functions. The punch was mixed in handsome china bowls and the favourite toast was "The Trade of Glasgow and the Outward Bound".

Stockwell Street 1819 By the end of the 18th century the city had a flourishing "clubland", centred on Glasgow Cross. My Lord Ross's Club, founded in 1780, met in a High Street tavern to eat rabbits and drink Jamaica rum and "tippeny" (two pence a pint) ale. The reactionary Beefsteak Club met in a Stockwell Street tavern to consume sirloins and deplore the "levelling" tendencies of the day. Members of the Grog Club gathered in the Black Boy Tavern in Gallowgate to drink diluted navy rum. In the 1780s some Highland gentlemen residing in Glasgow formed a Gaelic Club. Members were obliged to wear "tartan short coats" - post-Culloden legislation outlawing the tartan was repealed in 1782.

In the early 1800s Glasgow was plagued by drunken members of the Banditti Club, an association of affluent young ruffians. Their favourite prank was "boxing a Charlie" - tumbling over a night watchman's sentry box so that the elderly occupant was trapped underneath.

By the early 19th century, some Glasgow taverns had become centres of radical activity. In 1820, soldiers arrested twenty-seven Radical Society delegates who were holding a meeting in a Gallowgate tavern. Sympathetic crowds pelted the troops with stones.

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