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The Ephemera of John Smith
by Adam McNaughton

Introduction Transport Political Church Trade Entertainment Crime Education Medical CityAffairs


Abstract of accounts of St John's Parish Church, Glasgow, 1819-1835

Single sheet abstract of receipts and disbursements of 16 years. The creases would seem to indicate that it was at one time folded and delivered to John Smith, whose name is on the reverse.

St John's Parish Church, Glasgow, was built in 1819 immediately south of the Upper Green of the College Gardens. The first minister was Thomas Chalmers and at his request the parish was disjoined from the General Session so that it might deal directly with its own poor and illiterate population.

As his assistant for part of that time he had Edward Irving, who was visited in his Kent Street home by notable literary figures such as Lockhart and Carlyle. It was after his time in Glasgow that he developed his visionary religion and was expelled from the established church.

That St John's was not attended by paupers is shown by the annual collections and by the loan given to the City. Attendances were, of course, high when Chalmers and Irving were preaching. Seats at the evening services were kept for the poor of the area.


Broadside on fatal accident in Kirkcaldy church and Catholic riot in Glasgow, 1828

Typical prose broadside on coarse flimsy paper.

A news broadsheet proclaiming 'Awful Accident' was a sure seller, but the connection with the name of Edward Irving added to the sensation in Glasgow in 1828. Irving had a long-standing connection with Kirkcaldy as well. He taught and preached there in 1815.

By 1828 he was the most famous preacher in the country and his presence in the pulpits for his Scottish tour brought out large crowds, which presumably overloaded the gallery in Kirkcaldy. Though it was obviously not his fault, he became a target for popular abuse in the town.

The passage of the Catholic Emancipation Bill through Parliament was naturally watched with great anticipation, and provoked great animosity, in Glasgow. In alarms such as this the watchmen in the affected district would pass the word to those in the adjacent district who would pass it on before coming to assist.

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Introduction Transport Political Church Trade Entertainment Crime Education Medical CityAffairs


Text by Adam McNaughton and web editing by Julie Gardham July 2004

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