The whole of Glasgow on the N side of the Clyde, with a considerable landward tract around it, formed at the time of the Reformation only one parish, though the cathedral was in 1553 made a collegiate charge. In 1592 the church of St Mary and St Anne, now the Trongate, was repaired and a third minister was added. In 1595 a fourth was added, who officiated in the crypt of the cathedral, known as the Laigh Kirk; and in 1596 the landward portion above alluded to was set apart for this last minister as a separate parish, and was called the Barony. This quadruple division of parishes lasted till 1701, when other two were added, and thereafter divisions still went on till the original city parish of the High Church had been divided into the ten parishes of Inner High or St Mungo’s the Outer High or St Paul’s, St Andrew’s, St David’s or Ramshorn, St Enoch’s, St George’s, St James’, St John’s, St Mary’s or Tron, and Blackfriars or College, which constitute what are now known as the City churches and City parishes, the maintenance of which costs the city about £2200 a year, which is generally supposed to be provided from the common good; but it is just possible that if all the funds bequeathed of old to the corporation were thoroughly investigated, less of this sum than is imagined might be found to come from that source. Modern Glasgow is divided quoad sacra into a large number of parishes, as will be seen in the section on ecclesiastical affairs, but quoad civilia it is included most largely within the Barony, City, and Govan parishes. On the N side of the river, beginning at the E end, is the parish of Shettleston, and NW of this is the parish of Springburn, adjoining which on the W is Maryhill. The parish of Calton on the E adjoins Shettleston. Its limits are along Great Eastern Road to Crownpoint Street, along Crownpoint Road, Abercrombie Street, Millroad Street, King Street, in an irregular line to Great Hamilton Street, along which it runs irregularly till it reaches the edge of the Green at the public baths. It then proceeds, by Greenhead Street and Newhall Terrace, to the river, which is the boundary, back to the original starting-point. The City parish follows this line reversed, from Newhall Terrace to the corner of Great Eastern Road near Camlachie Foundry, then goes irregularly to a point in Duke Street, near the corner of Bluevale Street, along Duke Street to John Knox Street, then along Wright Street, and from that in an irregular line N to the canal. The boundary turns along the canal to a point opposite the old fever hospital, and thence back in an irregular line to the corner of Castle Street and Garngad Hill, then along Castle Street, Glebe Street, Albert Street, and behind St Mungo Street to Stirling Road along which it passes to St James’ Road, and along St James’ Road to M’Aslin Street, then along it to Parliamentary Road; from this it proceeds in an irregular line down West Nile Street to Argyle Street, along which it turns westward to a point midway between M’Alpine Street and Washington Street, where it turns straight down to the river, and back along the river to the S corner of the Green. The SE boundary of the main part of the Barony is the line just given, from the point on the canal opposite the old fever hospital to the point on the river midway between M’Alpine Street and Washington Street; from that the line follows the river down to the shipbuilding yard at the E side of the mouth of the Kelvin. It passes along the E and N sides of the yard to the river Kelvin, up which it turns to the Great Road, then passes along the Great Western Road, by an irregular line passing from the corner of Scotia Street and New City Road to the corner of Cowcaddens Street, and then along Ann Street to the canal. From the line of the Kelvin the parish of Govan sweeps W and S, crossing the river and extending up the S side as far as Malls Mire Burn, beyond which is the parish of Rutherglen. Still farther S are the parishes of Eastwood, in which are the districts about Shawlands and Pollokshaws, and Cathcart with the Queen’s Park and Crosshill.
Under the Local Government Act (1894) parish councils took the place of parochial boards. The parish councils for the city are those of the City, the Barony, and Govan. The City Parish Council consists of 7 members from the first and fourth wards, 6 from the second and fifth wards, and five from the third ward. Some sort of poor-rate must have been levied in Glasgow from 1595, for we find that in that year a committee of the general kirk-session was appointed to consider who were able to contribute for the relief of the poor, and in 1638 we find that the poor had., during the sitting of the General Assembly, been kept off the streets, an arrangement which so delighted the magistrates, that they determined that the inhabitants should be stented or taxed for the purpose of keeping them always off the street (as beggars presumably), and maintaining them in their houses, and this plan was carried out, for in 1639 all who had not paid were to have their goods seized at double the value, and were to have their names proclaimed in church; and in 1697 it was further determined to augment the assessment by church-door collections. In 1774, however, the kirk-sessions found they were no longer equal to the demands made on them, and on this being intimated to the council, the latter appointed 15 assessors who were to impose a rate to produce £1305, 10s. 10½d., and this board was the forerunner of parochial boards. The first poorhouse that existed in the city was created in 1733 on a site in Clyde Street, near the present St Andrew’s Roman Catholic Church. It was built at the joint expense of the Town Council, General Session, Merchants’ House, and Trades’ House. It was meant for 152 inmates, according to M’Ure, who declares that it was finer than any other hospital in the world except Heriot’s Hospital in Edinburgh. The present City Poorhouse or Town’s Hospital is an irregularly disposed pile of buildings near the W end of Parliamentary Road. It was originally built for the Royal Lunatic Asylum, but passed by sale to the City Parish Parochial board for £l5,000 in 1843, when the Asylum was removed to Gartnavel. The main buildings are a spacious octagonal structure with four radiating wings and a central dome. There is accommodation for1587 inmates, and there are on an average about 1400 paupers, while there are generally over 5000 poor on the roll. Formerly the City and Govan parishes were united with Lanarkshire for lunacy purposes under the Glasgow District Board, but this was dissolved in 1888, and each parish became a separate district. The City parish board accordingly, in 1891-97, erected an asylum at Gartloch, miles NE of Glasgow, where they had purchased an estate of 47 acres. Early French in style, the building consists of 9 pavilion blocks, and has accommodation for 550 patients. The income of the council in 1895-96 was over £59,000 of which over £42,000 was derived from rates. The gross rental of the parish for the same year was £1,350,000.
The Barony parish is the largest and most populous in Scotland. The parish council consists of 4 rate-payers from. the 1st ward, 4 from the 2d, 2 from the 3d, 3 from the 4th., 4 from the 5th, 3 from the fifth, 2 from the 7th, 2 from the 8th, and 2 from the 9th. There is also a landward committee, consisting of 2 representatives from Possil, 2 from Millerston and Springburn, 3 from North Shettleston, and 3 from South Shettleston. The poorhouse is at Barnhill in Springburn, in the NE of Glasgow, stands within extensive grounds, and has accommodation for 1348 inmates, and contains on an average 1100 paupers, the total number of poor being over 5000. The lunatic asylum for the Barony parish is an extensive range of buildings erected in 1872 and the following years, the first portion having been opened in 1875 at Lenzie, on the N side of and close to the North British line near Lenzie Junction station. The main building, Elizabethan in style, has the administrative block in the centre, and was, by new wing buildings erected in 1891-93, extended so as to have a total length of 1430 feet. From it pavilions project to the S, and to the N are wings extending from N to S. The workshops and laundry, etc., occupy detached buildings behind, while standing apart, opposite the centre of the front and connected with the main building by conservatory corridors, is a handsome little chapel, where there is daily service. The male wards are to the E of the entrance and the female wards to the W. The additions of 1891-93 enable 850 patients to be accommodated. A thoroughly equipped farm succursal was added in 1879 for the cultivation of the 459 acres in connection with the asylum, and at the same time a new method of dealing with the sewage was introduced, under which it is distributed over the fields by a special system of irrigation—a plan which has greatly improved the land without injurious effects on the sanitary condition of the institution. The income of the board in 1896-97 was about £90,000, of which over £63,000 was derived from rates. The gross rental of the parish the same year was £1,734,227.
From Groome's Ordnance Gazetteer of Scotland, 1892-96