1849 Fairnbiarn Large Antique Print of Mansion Stockwell Street Glasgow Scotland

Publisher : Thomas Fairbairn

This beautifully coloured large folio original antique lithograph print of views of old Glasgow now long gone by the Scottish artist Thomas Fairbairn (1821 - 1885) was published by Miller & Buchanan in the 1849 edition of Relic of Ancient Architecture and other Picturesque Scenes in Glasgow.

Subject Background
This is one of the finest specimens extant of the dwelling-houses which the Glasgow citizens of the seventeenth century delighted to rear for the accommodation of themselves and families. No story of any peculiar interest attaches to the fabric in question. It simply illustrates a once favourite style of architecture which has now almost disappeared from amongst us. In a document, dated in 1639, this site is described as having been occupied by three small tenements which were then in rather a ruinous condition. They were surrounded by a "yaird," and considered quite in the suburbs. The subjects must have remained in a dilapidated condition for a long time. They were purchased in 1668 by John Caldwell, merchant in Glasgow, who immediately afterwards built the present tenement or tenements. It had a garden to the back, surrounded with a wall, and adorned with a summer-house. The subjects passed into the hands of Andrew Caldwell, son of the former, who sold them in 1698 to John Gray and William Knox, merchants in Glasgow, but apparently only in security for a debt. This was not paid, however, and a commission was granted to these gentlemen to dispose of the property absolutely, when it was acquired by Daniel Campbell, John Graham of Dugaldston, William Cross, William Wodropp, James Muir, and Matthew Campbell, merchants in Glasgow. This transaction took place on 3rd October, 1700. These gentlemen belonged to the mercantile aristocracy of the time; but the purpose for which they became joint-stock owners of this property is not now apparent. These parties sold their respective shares to Graham of Dugaldston in 1705, who in turn disposed of it, in 1709, to Andrew Cathcart, merchant in Glasgow. In a document, dated 13th January of that year, the subjects are thus described:-

"All and haill, the foresaid northmost of the saids two tenements of land, high and laigh, back and forwd, with the closs yaird at the back thereof, and stone dyke about the same, and summer-house within the same yaird, office-house, and haill pertinents of the samen, with the equal half of the said well Lyand betwixt the said two tenements, with free ish and entree yrto, and haill liberties and privileges yrof. And whilk northmost tenement, closs, yaird, office-houss, and pertinents erected and rebuilded by umqll John Cauldwell, merchant, father to the said Andrew, pertained of old to umqll Peter Johnston Tayloor, and consisted of three small tenements, yaird, and pertinents, and were acquired by the said umqll John Cauldwell from Kathrine Johnstoune and John Montgomerie, her husband, and were then bounded betwixt the lands of Adam Hish, being now the southmost of the saids two tenements. The lands of umqll Patrick Crawford and oyrs, and of the representatives of the said umqll Mitchell on the north. The lands of umqll William Thomson, John Andersone, elder, and Mr Archibald Denniston on the east, and the High Street on the west parts."

The purchaser above-named having held the property during a very lengthened period, including the time of the two great rebellions, it descended in 1754 to his grandson, William Cathcart, then merchant in Kingston, Jamaica. The representatives of this gentleman sold the property in 1771 to James Campbell, saddler in Glasgow, for the sum of £820. Campbell seems to have been unfortunate, for in the same year the Trustees for his creditors sold the subjects to George Anderson, merchant. About this time the house was much damaged by fire, but as it was insured in the Sun Fire Office, the Trustees retained the insurance money, and sold the property as it stood for the reduced price of £535. Anderson held it till his death, and the greater part was disposed of by his Trustees in 1827 to Mr Ritchie, Stockwell Street, whose family still hold the house. The price then paid was £1800. It has long ceased to be a dwelling-house, the lower portions or ground floors having been occupied as spirit vaults for an uninterrupted space of more than 80 years. They are used for this purpose still. A tradition has long prevailed that this house was occupied by some of Cromwell's officers when the Protector was in Glasgow. This, of course, could not have been the case, for the house was not built till eight years after the Restoration. The three small houses, however, which previously occupied the same site may, in all likelihood, have afforded accommodation to some of Cromwell's train.

Relic of Ancient Architecture and other Picturesque Scenes in Glasgow, was published large folio size in 1849, containing 19 large folio coloured lithograph prints and has long since been out of print. A praiseworthy motive induced Mr. James Bogle, at one time Lord Dean of Guild, and a member of an old and highly-respected Glasgow family, to engage Mr. Thomas Fairbairn to reproduce them, before they passed into oblivion, some "Relics of Ancient Architecture and Picturesque Scenes in Glasgow." The immediate cause of Mr. Bogle's resolve was the fall of a sugar-house in Alston Street, by which some six or seven lives were lost, and a resolution on the part of the Dean of Guild Court to make a general survey of the City with a view to the removal of old houses which, from age or other causes, were considered to be unfit for habitation. Mr. Bogle naturally thought that this was the proper time to reproduce in permanent form a fair presentment of many of the noted houses of old Glasgow

Along with Mr. Fairbairn, the artist, Mr. Bogle made a tour of the City, and selected subjects for the drawings, nearly all of which are now gone, and those few that remain are so altered as to be almost irrecognisable.

A general wish having been expressed for a reproduction of the work, the publishers some time ago engaged Mr. Fairbairn (now alas! gone) to reproduce the original sketches, and also add a number of others of interest before the rapid growth of the City extinguishes or entirely defaces their subjects.

The drawings are now thirty in number, and have been reproduced by Messrs. Annan's new process of photo-engraving, which it will be observed, gives the effect of finely finished mezzo-tints.

The letterpress descriptions of the original edition are from the pen of the late Mr. James Pagan, Editor of the Glasgow Herald, and the descriptions of the new scenes have been supplied by his successor, the present Editor of that journal.

It ought to be stated that the descriptive portions, written by Mr. Pagan more than thirty years ago, have not been touched; so that readers should understand that they refer to the Glasgow of a former generation, and are all indicated in the Contents by an asterisk.

General Description:
Paper thickness and quality: - Heavy & stable
Paper color: - White
Age of map color: - Original
Colors used: - Red, green, blue, brown  
General color appearance: - Authentic   
Paper size: - 22in x 16in (560mm x 405mm)
Margins: - Min 4in (100mm)

Margins: - None
Plate area: - None
Verso: - None