Glasgow – Second City of the Empire

(Glasgow as seen  from Queen’s Park)

In my next series of blogs I am going to tell you about Glasgow. It was the second city of the British Empire for much of the Victorian period and Edwardian era. It is ranked as the 57th most livable city in the world. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries Glasgow grew in population, eventually reaching a peak of 1,128,473 in 1939,and was the fourth-largest city in Europe, after London, Paris and Berlin.

The present site of Glasgow has been used since prehistoric times for settlement. After the Romans left Caledonia the settlement was part of the extensive Kingdom of Strathclyde, with its capital at Dumbarton 15 mi (24 km) downstream, which merged in the 9th century with other regions to create the united Kingdom of Scotland. The origins of Glasgow as an established city derive ultimately from its medieval position as Scotland’s second largest bishopric. Glasgow increased in importance during the 10th and 11th centuries as the site of this bishopric, reorganised by King Davis I of Scotland and John, Bishop of Glasgow. 

Glasgow grew over the following centuries, the first bridge over the River Clyde at Glasgow was recorded from around 1285, giving its name to the Briggait area of the city, forming the main North-South route over the river via Glasgow Cross. The founding of the University of Glasgow in 1451 and elevation of the bishopric to become the Archdiocese of Glasgow in 1492 served to increase the town’s religious and educational status, and landed wealth. Its early trade was in agriculture, brewing and fishing, with cured salmon and herring being exported to Europe and the Mediterranean.

Heraldry

THE COAT OF ARMS OF THE CITY OF GLASGOW
Glasgow Coat of Arms.png
DETAILS
ADOPTED 1866
CREST Saint Mungo
SUPPORTERS Two salmon, bearing rings
MOTTO Let Glasgow Flourish by the preaching of Your word, and the praising of Your name.

The coat of arms of the City of Glasgow was granted to the royal burgh  by th Lord Lyon  on 25 October 1866.It incorporates a number of symbols and emblems associated with the life of Glasgow’s patron saint, Mungo, which had been used on official seals prior to that date. The emblems represent miracles supposed to have been performed by Mungo and are listed in the traditional rhyme:

Here’s the bird that never flew
Here’s the tree that never grew
Here’s the bell that never rang
Here’s the fish that never swam
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