Ewing’s father owned the largest sugar plantation in Jamaica. Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window), Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Michelin Guide 2016 – Glasgow Restaurants, Scottish Recipe Collection and Recipes using Scottish Produce, Everything you need to know about Burns Night, Robert and Andrew Foulis, Glasgow booksellers, Michelin Star 2021: Full list of restaurants that lost Michelin stars, The Michelin Guide Great Britain & Ireland 2021. Merchant City is an area in the city centre stretching from Queen Street in the west to High Street in the east, and from Trongate in the south to Ingram Street in the north. Laid out as a fashionable place to live and socialise. Named after Alexander Speirs of Elderslie owners of plantations in Virginia. Tobacco was one of the items traded, alongside sugar, rum and tea. Glasgow grew from a small town to a city of commerce through its dominance of the tobacco trade from the American colonies to Europe in the 18th century. In effect, the merchants cut out the Africa leg of the triangular trade and went directly to the plantations. Named after his Archibald Ingram tobacco merchant. The new building originally housed the Glasgow Ship Bank then in 1929 the building was converted into the city’s High Court. His legs are a good deal bended…’. In 1996 the building was converted to house the Gallery of Modern Art. There are also three famous court cases: Jamie Montgomery (1756), David Spens (1769-1770) and Joseph Knight (1774-1778) which provide further details. This was not a unique case and there are other records providing more detail. The city was part of a wider imperial network – based on New World slavery – that connected North America and the Caribbean with Scotland at least from the 1620s to 1838. In 1780 it cost £10,000 to build, equivalent to around £1.5m today! Named after John Gordon of Aikenhead, who was a partner in tobacco and sugar trading firm Stirling, Gordon and Co. Ingram Street The Merchant City is a label for the part of Glasgow where the merchants formerly lived and also had their warehouses. This was the worshipping place of the Episcopalian faction of the ‘Tobacco Lords’: Presbyterians looked down on their mode of worship which involved organ-playing during services, which led to the pejorative nickname the ‘Whistling Kirk’ for St Andrews by the Green. Operated with slave labour, ... where they gave their names to later streets in what modern Glasgow now calls the Merchant City. It is greatly altered since their day. It is here you will see most of the names associated with the slave trade. It wasn’t until 1833 that slavery was declared illegal in the British Empire. As I thought over the concept of a ‘Slave Merchant City’, I stumbled on the city’s booster slogan ‘People Make Glasgow’. Merchant city festivals have a lot of different entertainments, including street arts, dance, live music, markets, fashion and design, comedy, family events, tours, heritage walks, talks, visual art, film, and children - families activities every year. The slave collar owned by John Crawford reveals that Scots used instruments of subjugation (most likely worn by enslaved people) in Scotland. Glasgow merchants had financed trading missions to the Chesapeake since 1707 and they began to dominate the tobacco trade after 1740. Glasgow’s imperial past is hinted at by names littered throughout the city centre, in geographic pointers such as Virginia Street and Jamaica Street; and tributes to tobacco barons in the likes of Buchanan Street and Ingram Street. Although the fate of the young black child in the Glassford painting is unknown, we have records for some others, many of whom ran away from their masters. Goods from Europe were traded with West Africa to be sold or exchanged. Glasgow City Archives made the documents public at Mitchell Library to coincide with Black History Month. Speirs Wharf A grand building which reflects the power of what was once the largest empire in the world. Anti-racism campaigners have renamed streets in Glasgow city centre that have links to the slave trade. This short trip ends at The People’s Palace in Glasgow Green. Tobacco Merchants House illustrates the living conditions of a ‘Tobacco Laird’, a colonial merchant lower down the economic rung from the elite ‘Tobacco Lords’. Completed in 1778 and built in the Palladian style of architecture, it was described at the time as one of the most fantastic houses in the west of Scotland. This Act stopped the transatlantic slave trade in the British Empire, but slavery was still legal. With Black Lives Matters protests in the news, the debate has risen again on whether or not Glasgow’s streets should be renamed. Under grand tombs and memorials, you will find the finest of Glasgow society. Many Scottish merchants also funded slave ships from other ports such as London, Bristol, Whitehaven and Liverpool, in what became known as the ‘triangular trade.’ The Merchant City in Glasgow dates back to the 1750s and is one of the oldest areas of Glasgow. The city’s first paved street was located outside the Tontine Rooms and this was where the ‘Tobacco Lords’ convened. It features John Glassford – one of the four main ‘Tobacco Lords’ in Glasgow – and his family located within The Shawfield Mansion, the prototype colonial townhouse in the ‘Merchant City’ which was built in 1711. Two Tobacco Lords are buried here: John Glassford and Andrew Buchanan. He was a tobacco importer who lived there until 1802. Nestled amongst imposing 19th and 20th century industrial and retail architecture on Miller Street in Glasgow’s Merchant City, sits an attractive little house, built in 1775. There are stunning views of the city from the Necropolis on this cemetery modelled on Pere-Lachaise in Paris. Glasgow City Council has appointed a multidisciplinary team of local and international consultants to prepare for the next phase of our City Centre District Regeneration Frameworks (DRFs). Even though slavery had been judged illegal in Britain, the slave trade system was allowed to continue in the British Empire. It is understood that a public consultation will be held based on the findings of the study in … Tobacco merchant Andrew Speirs. In Scotland, there are only around 70-100 recorded black people during this period. Glasgow City Centre; Steak Cattle & Roll Merchant Square; Steak Cattle & Roll Merchant Square - Glasgow City Centre . Today, it is modern housing overlooking Virginia Court. He proposed to “dispose” of the man if he was left unclaimed: one assumes sell him into slavery in the West Indies. Named after Andrew Cochrane of Brighouse who was a wealthy tobacco merchant and also Lord Provost. Slavery is Scotland's secret shame - that’s why acclaimed Glasgow author Louise Welsh wants us to confront our past at her new Commonwealth Games venue, the Empire Café. Built between 1882 and 1888, the City Chambers is civic demonstration of Glasgow’s claim to be the ‘Second City of Empire’. Glasgow, a port city in western Scotland, was once a major center of trade with the West Indies. From the Trongate, we walk down to St Andrews in the Square. The Tobacco Merchant’s House is the oldest surviving house in the Merchant This article examines the city’s connections with New World slavery through the urban heritage, focusing on the men who made it possible: Virginia merchants, known as ‘the Tobacco Lords’ and West India merchants, known as ‘the Sugar Aristocracy’. Buchanan Street is one of Glasgow’s busiest streets and is famous for its stunning architecture and shopping. St Andrews by the Green also known as the Whistling Kirk. Head further into Merchant City along Ingram Street, the exclusive fashion boulevard featuring Armani, Ralph Lauren, Mulberry, and Cruiseto drop just a few famous names! The University of Glasgow announced in 2018, that it would begin a programme of ‘reparative justice’. Capital derived from exploitative and usurious activities in America, the West and East Indies all played a role. Many resisted and rebelled against oppressive conditions in Scotland and flight was one means to do this. Robertson Street Other streets recall the triangular trade more directly, with modern streets bearing names like Virginia Street and Jamaica Street. The People’s Palace already has some important exhibits. Learn from the past with this Glasgow slave trade trail. Slave-owner’s name removed from Barclays Bank development in Glasgow. The establishment of the Whistling Kirk was inextricably associated with Richard and Alexander Oswald, Caithness merchants who established a mercantile dynasty in Glasgow from the 1710s. There are also memorials to Sir James Stirling of Keir, who owned plantations and slaves in Jamaica, and to Andrew Cochrane, who owned the King Street Sugarhouse. Or should they be re-named completely? Should nothing be done? Ralph Wardlaw who became one of the leading slavery emancipationists in Britain after 1833. What are the street names that link Glasgow to the slave trade era? 2. image caption Glasgow's Gallery of Modern Art was home to slave trader William Cunninghame Many slave traders' mansions and churches were laid out near what is now Merchant City. I’ve been working with Glasgow Museums on the ‘Hidden Legacies’ project and we spent an enjoyable afternoon taking a tour through imperial Glasgow exploring the city’s historical connections with New World slavery. Alexander Campbell, Glasgow’s Sugar Aristocrat Alexander Campbell of Hallyards (1768-1817) was one of Glasgow’s most illustrious West India merchants active during the city’s ‘golden age’ of sugar. By The Newsroom Monday, 20th February 2017, 7:15 pm This article has traced locations where the ‘Tobacco Lords’ and ‘Sugar Aristocracy’ worked, lived, worshipped, convened. Glasgow’s full role in New World slavery can be viewed metaphorically in the painting: it has always been present, yet obscured from our view. Named after the country of Jamaica. These were shipped back to Britain where the process started again. He is from the family which had been deeply involved in the tobacco and sugar trades since the 1730s. These enslaved people worked on the plantations which produced items such as tobacco, sugar, rum and cotton. Start your exploration in Royal Exchange Square, one of the city's most gracious urban spaces filled with great restaurants, cafes and upmarket retailers which surround the splendid neo-classical building that now houses the Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA). And make no mistake, the ‘Tobacco Lords’ were fearsome capitalist competitors who monopolised the trade in slave-grown tobacco from Virginia, which was shipped to Europe (especially France) via Glasgow. We have outlined a trail around the city centre of Glasgow explaining the street names and pointing out some buildings of interest. Personally, I would like to see the streets with plaques explaining their naming. In 2007, Glasgow Built Preservation Trust (GBPT), in partnership with Glasgow Anti Racist Alliance, developed an exhibition linking Glasgow’s built heritage with the slave trade. A route called the Triangular Trade Route was established. At the end of 2019, Glasgow City Council launched a major academic study into Glasgow’s historic links to transatlantic slavery and the role the city played in the slave trade. It was redeveloped in 1999 as The Corinthian, a bar, nightclub, casino and dining rooms. Originally the Tobacco Exchange, and later the Sugar Exchange. Who were the merchants who gave the name to the Merchant City? The Merchant’s House shows the power of Glasgow’s merchants. It was home to the warehouses and dwellings of the merchants who shipped tobacco, sugar and tea. Arriving at the Trongate (passing the site Gordon Street Response to Historical Slavery Charity grants Apply for Grant FAQs ... We are delighted to announce that The Merchants House of Glasgow is to say a big thank- you to the Frontline NHS staff and key workers who have supported Glasgow during the Covid-19 Crisis by hosting a special reception. The Oswald family had extensive links with the tobacco and sugar trades.Plantations in the Caribbean, Florida, and Bance Island in Sierra Leone, which he used as a base for transporting Africans into slavery in South Carolina. The Merchant City in Glasgow dates back to the 1750s and is one of the oldest areas of Glasgow. 4. Named after tobacco merchant Colin Dunlop of Carmyle. Required fields are marked *. The audio trail, Merchant City Voices, a series of seven sound installations commissioned by Glasgow City Council, won the 2013 Scottish Design Award. Oswald Street Resplendent in their scarlet cloaks, scarlet cloaks and gold-tipped canes, these tobacco merchants bestowed upon themselves the regal sobriquets: ‘Princes of the Pavement’ and ‘Tobacco Lords’. The Glasgow streets named after merchants who had links to slavery should be changed, a senior council figure has claimed. The Virginia Galleries was once at the heart of the commercial area of Glasgow. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip. He owned plantations in Virginia and Maryland. No-one says ‘Slave Merchant City’, or ‘Slave produce Merchant City’ so it is important to keep in mind what a ‘Merchant City’ actually was. He supported the petition of 30,000 residents of the city to end the apprenticeship scheme in the West Indies that had continued a form of slavery. We may receive a commission for purchases made through these links. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. Austin-Smith-Lord will lead the team, in partnership with Rotterdam based urbanists Studio for New Realities, WAVEparticle and will also draw upon the expertise of Urban Movement and Civic Engineers. It was assumed until fairly recently that the young child had been painted out from the painting in the abolitionist period, although a restorative project in 2007 revealed the young child had not been painted out, but in fact dirt and grime built up over the years and partially obscuring the child from view. Glasgow in September appointed a specialist curator to deal with slavery and imperialism in the city’s existing collections. The burial plot of Andrew Buchanan, after whom Buchanan Street is named and the Oswald family have a burial plot within the Cathedral. Glasgow Museums are currently working through how to better represent New World Slavery within their collections (a process stimulated by the important Georgian Glasgow exhibit in 2014). This along with the French monarchy granting a monopoly for the importation of tobacco into French territories in 1747 gave Glasgow a huge advantage. Running from September 30 until November 28, the display highlighted Glasgow’s involvement in the slave trade in the 17th and 18th centuries. In 1756 a notice in the Glasgow Courant stated merchant James Anderson was looking for another runaway ‘called Cupid…born at Cape Faire in North America. Yes, yes they did. However, there has been no adequate explanation of the nation’s spectacular rise from one of the poorest nations in western Europe after Darien fiasco in the mid-1690s to nineteenth-century industrial powerhouse. HISTORY OF THE MERCHANT CITY 1700-1830 Foreign trade began in 1450 when William Elphinstone exported cured salmon and herrings (one of the first commodities of Glasgow… Glasgow had two advantages. It was home to the warehouses and dwellings of the merchants who shipped tobacco, sugar and tea. The contact to get the man back was Andrew Ramsay, a noted merchant and future Lord Provost of Glasgow. Here you can find St. Andrew’s Church with the interior furnished with rich mahogany imported by slave ships from the West Indies. The “second city of empire” was how this year’s host of the Commonwealth Games used to be well known. On Glassford’s right hand shoulder, there is a young black child, evidently a page-boy who had been brought over the colonies. The tobacco lords became successful because they were able to monopolise tobacco and sugar crops. The burial plot of Andrew Buchanan, after whom Buchanan Street is named and the Oswald family have a burial plot within the Cathedral. Slaves within the city of Glasgow will have carried out a whole variety of tasks; but the information is slight. Tobago Street The area lost its position as a swish place to stay as residents moved to the West End. The core of the mansion became the Royal Exchange in 1827-29. Presbyterian ‘Tobacco Lords’ attended to their spiritual needs and the Kirk was constructed between 1739-1756. Have you heard of the Tobacco Lords of Glasgow? And I instantly agreed. In the sacristry of Glasgow Cathedral is a large stained glass window dedicated to tobacco lord Alexander Speirs of Elderslie’. Your email address will not be published. It was a status symbol. What is now the Gallery of Modern Art that was originally the Cunninghame Mansion which was a mansion for a single man, William Cunninghame of Lainshaw. The newly rich traders were called The Tobacco Lords. 3. First, the port in Glasgow had a 2-3 week advantage in using the trade winds to travel compared to other ports in Europe. In effect, the merchants cut out the Africa leg of the triangular trade and went directly to the plantations. It wasn’t until 1807 that the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act was passed in Britain. Start a discussion and not try to eradicate part of the history of the city. Here they might have discussed the price of slaves in Africa, the growing conditions of tobacco in Virginia, the sugar crop in Jamaica and the tobacco market in France. The actual name “Merchant City” has no historic significance and was only coined in the 20th century, the original name simply being Trongate. The street is named after John Miller who was a land speculator. Many ran away thus inadvertently generating details of their lives particularly through newspapers in which masters placed what were essentially lost property adverts. Going across the bridge you will see a large plaque regarding the merchant’s guild. This was the rise of early-modern capitalism in the west of Scotland based on the exploitation of enslaved labour. Although Scotland had limited involvement with direct slave trade voyages (known as the ‘triangular trade’) and there were only 31 recorded between 1706 and 1766, the merchants of Glasgow traded in slave-grown produce. The Merchant City, as the name suggests, was where the merchants of Glasgow resided and carried out their business. As you can imagine, this created a lot of money. Jamaica Street The Oswald family (see Oswald Street) were involved in the foundation of the church. The church was redeveloped by The Glasgow Building Preservation Trust and is now Glasgow’s Centre for Scottish Culture, promoting Scottish music, song and dance. The Cuninghame Mansion – now The Gallery of Modern Art – was built by William Cuninghame, one of the four main ‘Tobacco Lords’ during Glasgow’s ‘golden age of tobacco’, 1740-1790. information on the people involved, goods, prices, etc. From George Square we travel south-west into the ‘Merchant City’. In Glasgow we have large signs marking our Merchant City, but nary a word about what these merchants traded. The City Halls hosted many rallies and anti-slavery meetings over the years. Glasgow University Rector sold man for £100 and spent the money on wine, Scot Free: Dr. James McCune-Smith and the long arm of racism, pt.III, Scot Free: Dr. James McCune-Smith and the long arm of racism, pt.II, Scot Free: Dr. James McCune-Smith and the long arm of racism, pt.I. The interior is an exemplar of mercantile splendour: the salubrious surroundings (now restored to their former glory) are enhanced by the mahogany imported from the Spanish West Indies. In this way, Glasgow merchants came to monopolise the trade in tobacco and sugar, although the latter to a much lesser extent. This was the site of the Tontine Rooms (which sat next to the Tolbooth Steeple) which served as the social and commercial headquarters of mercantile Glasgow.