Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports compiled by Rictor Norton

Tumult in Glasgow

10 July 1725
     Edinburgh, July 1. Since my last I have inform’d my self more particularly concerning the Tumult that happen’d at Glasgow. When the new Malt Act took Place, the Officers, pursuant thereunto, went to take an Account of Stock in Hand; but as they had declar’d they would not pay one Bawby [Scotch coin worth an English halfpenny] of the Tax, the said Officers desired the Assistance of some Forces; whereupon two Companies of Delorain’s Regiment was order’d into the Town. On the 23d the Mob began to assemble, which encreased the next Day to a great Number, when the commanding Officer sent and desir’d the Magistrates of the Town to give him Orders to suppress them; but their Answer was, That they did not think it convenient to make use of his Assistance. The Populace still encreasing, they fell upon Mr. Campbell of Shawfield’s House, and entirely demolish’d it, after having taken every thing within Side, and drank and destroy’d all the Liquors in his Cellar. After this they were so bold as to attack the Guard, before the Guard-House, with Stones, in a violent Manner, notwithstanding all the Entreaties of the Officers to be peaceable. Then the Soldiers fired Powder, but it avail’d nothing; so they were oblig’d to retire to the Guard-Room, and there they all loaded in good earnest, discharged thro’ the Door several Shot, and then sallied out, keeping a constant Fire in Platoons, till some of them dropp’d, and the Streets were clear’d of the rest. However, in a little Time they return’d, and got to a great Head again with Arms from the Talbooth, which they had broken open; upon which, the Soldiers, as ’tis said, by the Advice of the Magistrates, retreated out of Town in very good Order, thro’ the Tron Gate, out of the West Port towards Dumbarton, but were followed by a Body of 300 Rioters, with Arms, for six Miles, who then return’d, having sent two Men on Horseback to Dumbarton, threatening to burn the Town if they admitted the said Companies into it; whereupon the Magistrates, in great Terror, came out and besought the Officer not to enter, which he acquiesced in, and so took to the Castle directly. There were ten of the Rioters kill’d, and about twelve wounded. Two of the Soldiers being bruised with Stones, fell into the Hands of the Mob, and four others are yet missing. The keep the Alarm Bells ringing, and Drums beating, for the Magistrates have quitted the Town, and left the Mob Possession, who have plac’d a Guard to keep out the Forces General Wade has order’d thither: The Cry was, No Malt Tax. The Guards of this City, [Edinburgh] are doubled, for fear of the like Doings here.

Glasgow, July 2.   After the Mob were a little quiet, Deputies were sent to General Wade to use his Interest in Favour of this Town; but he would not hear what they had to say, till the Return of an Express to London. There were 27 Persons of the Town wounded, 11 are dead, and 8 others are not expected to live. [Mist's Weekly Journal]

(Texts have been modernized with regard to capitalization, italicization, and punctuation, but original spelling has been retained. This edition copyright Rictor Norton. All rights reserved. Reproduction for sale or profit prohibited. These extracts may not be archived, republished or redistributed without the permission of the compiler.)

CITATION: Rictor Norton, Early Eighteenth-Century Newspaper Reports: A Sourcebook, "Tumult in Glasgow", 5 June 2002 <http://grubstreet.rictornorton.co.uk/glasgow.htm>

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