Glasgow, the industrial metropolis of Scotland and the most populous city in Great Britain next to London, is situated on the banks of the Clyde, in the county of Lanark, the portions heretofore in Renfrew and Dumbarton shires having been transferred to Lanark under the act of 1889. At Greenock, 22 miles below, the river spreads out into a great estuary, the Firth of Clyde. Glasgow is 405 1/2 miles by rail from London, and from 44 to 47 1/4 miles from Edinburgh. In 1801 the population was only 77,385, but the increase has been rapid and enormous. In 1881 the municipal population was 511,415. In 1891, before the extension of boundary, it was 565,839 ; after the extension in that year, when the area of the city was increased from 6111 acres to 11,861 by the addition of six suburban burghs and other districts, it was 658,198. In 1901 the municipal and police burgh contained a population of 761,709, including parts of the parishes of Cathcart (20,983), Eastwood (3534), Glasgow (547,645), Govan combination (1S9,470), and Rutherglen (77). The total area of the city, including the conterminous but still independent burghs of Partick, Kinning Park, and Govan, is about 15,660 acres. The parliamentary burgh has a population of 622,372, divided into seven constituencies - viz. Bridgeton Division, Camlachie Division, St Rollox Division, Central Division, College Division, Tradeston Division, and Blackfriars and Hutchesontown Division. In 1893 Glasgow was constituted a county of a city.
As an archiepiscopal seat, and subsequently as a centre of Covenanting activity, Glasgow has a prominence in the religious history of Scotland ; but as an industrial city its history can hardly be dated farther back than the Union of 1707. This event opened up to the town - the most favourably situated in Scotland for the enterprise - an immense trading prospect with America, and roused in its inhabitants the extraordinary mercantile activity which has been its leading feature ever since. And yet the city of Glasgow is a very old one. It was about 5G0 a.d. that St Kentigern or Mungo, the apostle of the rude Celts of Strathclyde, on the banks of the Molendinar, built his little wooden church on the very spot where now rises the venerable cathedral. In 1116 the diocese was restored; and between 1175 and 1178 Jocelyn, Bishop of Glasgow, received authority from William the Lion to ' have and hold' a burgh in the neighbourhood of the cathedral; but it was not till 1(536 that Glasgow received the position of a royal burgh. Of buildings possessing historical interest Glasgow is conspicuously destitute, with the very notable exception of the cathedral, which is a fine example of the Early English Gothic style of architecture. Built between 1197 and 1446, it was saved from injury at the Reformation by the Glasgow craftsmen, and afterwards, from time to time, was carefully repaired by the Protestant archbishops who governed the see until the Revolution. It is 319 feet long, and 63 wide. From the centre rises a tower, surmounted by a graceful spire, 225 feet in height. The richly-ornamented so-called crypt under the choir is really a lower church formed to take advantage of the ground sloping eastward towards the Molendinar. The city chambers, opened in 1889, built at a cost of £530,000, occupy a prominent Position, filling the east side of George Square, The Royal Exchange (1829) is a handsome building ornamented with colonnades of Corinthian pillars. The architecture of many of the churches, banks, and other public buildings is varied in style and rich in detail, and the post-office buildings, though severely plain and massive, deserve mention for their great size and perfect planning.
Many extensive improvements have been made by the corporation. A plentiful supply of water from Loch Katrine has been introduced (1854-59 and 1889-96) at a total cost of nearly 3 1/2 million pounds. The municipality controls the lighting (including the electric system) and the electric tramways, as well as the sanitation and sewage disposal. Over £2,000,000 have been spent on improved dwellings for the working-classes. The corporation have a telephone exchange under their own management.
Glasgow has several public pleasure-grounds besides the Glasgow Green - a wide expanse along the north bank of the river. The equestrian statue of Wellington stands opposite the Royal Exchange, and that of William III. at the east end of Argyle Street, near the site of the old cross. There are a number of monumental statues in George Square, including, besides Sir John Moore and Lord Clyde (natives), Scott, Burns, Livingstone, and others.
The university, founded in 1451 by Bishop Turnbull, occupies fine new buildings at Gil-morehill, overlooking the West End Park, designed by Sir G. G. Scott, and opened in 1870, their total cost being upwards of half a million, including the Marquis of Bute's common hall, the students' union, etc. It has five faculties-arts, science, divinity, law, and medicine - a teaching staff of 100, and, if we include the Queen Margaret College for Women, 2000 students. There are over 300 bursaries of from £6 to £S0, besides the Snell exhibitions to Balliol College, Oxford, and the Clark scholarships. The Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College was formed in 1886 by the amalgamation of several institutions (including the arts department of Anderson's College). It has over 2000 students attending its day and evening classes. St Mungo's College, dating from 1889, has faculties in medicine and law; and the medical department of Anderson's College is a separate school. The latter college was founded by John Anderson (1726-96), professor of Natural Philosophy, and has nearly twenty teachers of medicine, science, languages, music, etc. St Margaret's College is for women. The Free Church College possesses conspicuous buildings ; and mention should also be made of the Normal Schools, and of the School of Arts and Haldane's Academy. Of the secondary schools in Glasgow the principal is the High School. There is no free lending library, but there are several great collections which may be used free of charge as consulting libraries. Of these the Mitchell Library, which is under corporation management, contains over 125,000 volumes; and the Stirling's and Glasgow Public Library contains about 65,000. Baillie's Library is under the same roof. In the Kelvingrove industrial museum (1871-76) a considerable collection, especially in natural history, is displayed. A valuable collection of pictures and statuary (1854) belonging to the corporation is now housed in a fine building which formed part of the exhibition of 1901 in the Kelvinside Park. In addition to numerous hospitals and dispensaries for special diseases, there are three general infirmaries, which among them accommodate upwards of one thousand patients.
Three vast terminal railway stations bring traffic to the heart of the town ; and there are several systems of underground railways, besides electric tramways, extending to outlying suburbs and adjoining towns. Another means of transit is found in the magnificent fleet of river-steamers. The river Clyde (q.v.) has been a chief source of the great prosperity of Glasgow. Its utility has been almost created by the gigantic works of narrowing the channel and dredging, so as to permit of the passage of the largest vessels. The quayage of the harbour and docks from the Broomielaw extends to over 8 miles, and the water space covers over 200 acres, while since 1875 three graving-docks have been provided capable of accommodating the largest mercantile steamers afloat. On the river and harbour the Clyde Navigation Trust has spent about twenty millions sterling. An average of about 11,500 vessels of 4,500,000 tons clear the port annually. The principal feature of the Clyde beyond the harbour is the great shipbuilding and marine engineering yards which line its sides, and which have flourished since the second quarter of the 19th century. The pioneers of these industries - the Napiers, Charles Randolph, John Elder, etc. - have a world-wide fame. They launched from their yards the most perfect examples of naval architecture and engineering skill of their day, and their present successors amply uphold that reputation. The greatest tonnage launched in any year on the Clyde was 419,600 in 1883 ; in 1903 there were (exclusive of war-vessels) 176 steamers and 46 sailing-vessels, of a gross tonnage of 363,306 tons, built. To the success of the little Comet, the earliest trading steamship in the Old World, which began to ply between Glasgow and Greenock in 1812, may be traced the great development of shipbuilding and shipping on the Clyde.
But another factor in the industrial prosperity of the city is the fact that it is built over a coalfield rich in seams of ironstone. It was in the neighbourhood of the city that the first experiments with Neilson's hot-blast in iron-furnaces, patented in 1828, were made, and the economy thereby effected developed the iron industry so rapidly in Glasgow as to distance for a long period all competition. Great forges, with powerful steam-hammers and other appliances, the making of steam-tubes, boiler-making, locomotive-engine building, sugar machinery, and general engineering are among the most important industrial features of the city.
Bleaching and calico-printing were established in Glasgow in 1738, nearly thirty years earlier than in Lancashire. The dyeing of Turkey-red was inaugurated in 1785 as a British industry by two Glasgow citizens, David Dale and George Macintosh; and this branch of trade has developed in Glasgow and the neighbourhood to an extent unequalled in any other manufacturing centre. In Glasgow, also, bleaching-powder (chloride of lime) was patented in 1799 by Charles Tennant, who thereby laid the foundation of the gigantic St Rollox chemical works, and gave the first impetus to chemical works generally. These, with the spinning and weaving industries, afford employment for a great proportion of the population.
See works by M'Ure (1736), Gibson (1779), Brown (1795-97), Cleland (1829), Macgeorge (3d ed. 1888), MacGregor (1881), Wallace (1882), Bell and Paton (1896); Innes and Robertson (1854) and Stewart (1891) on the university; for the cathedral, Eyre Todd (1898); for the Glasgow school of painting, D. Martin (1897).