The Rev. W. M. Wade, “A Tour of Modern, and Peep into Ancient, Glasgow”, 1822: Glasgow’s New Town Recalls Images of Troy, Athens, Carthage and Rome

On the 6th of May 1822, Richard Griffiin & Co. advertised the publication, that day, of The Rev. W. M. Wade’s A Tour of Modern, and Peep into Ancient, Glasgow; with an Historical Introduction, and a Statistical Appendix. An advert in the Herald informed readers that it was “a neat pocket volume, containing 350 pages closely printed,” which cost four shillings-and-sixpence.

In his account of Glasgow’s Original New Town, Wade discusses some of the streets, their buildings and appearance, and the views along them. Streets such as Hutcheson, Brunswick and Wilson, have houses which:


“are generally three complete stories high; the lower story being for the most part rusticated in front; those houses which form angles being also, in most instances, better finished as to their exterior. Such exhibit, for instance, the decoration of pilasters either plain or fluted, pediments window architraves, or venetian windows. It would indeed be very difficult and fatiguing, were it useful, to particularize all the modes in which ornament is in this city bestowed upon houses that occupy the more conspicuous situations. Most assuredly Glasgow does, in a greater degree than any other city which as yet we have visited, recal [sic] to our mind the pictures which, as in boyhood we read of Troy and of Athens, of Carthage and of Rome, fancy drew of those celebrated cities of antiquity. Glasgow does this even more than Edinburgh, because, fair, yea lovely a city as the Capital of Scotia assuredly is, the beauty of Edina’s street architecture is of a less diversified character than that of the metropolis of the west.” (pages 192 to 193)