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Law & Order – Duke Street Prison


The jail was in the heart of the city less than 800 metres from the City Chambers. It received its first inmates in 1798 and was in constant use until its closure in 1955. One of eight prisons in and around the city during the period, it held both male and female prisoners until the opening of Barlinnie Prison in 1882, after which it functioned as a women’s prison.

Glasgow’s Vulnerable – Death in a Model Lodging House


One hundred and twelve years ago the ‘Watson Street Fire’ occurred in Glasgow. A booklet tells the harrowing story of the fire in a model lodging house which resulted in the deaths of thirty nine men and twenty four others seriously injured. More than three hundred men escaped with their lives.

Public Health – the Christmas Cholera Outbreak


The day before Christmas Eve 1831 was one set to go down in history as the day the Second Cholera Pandemic first and fatally touched Scotland.  In Victorian Scotland, cholera was a frightening and little-understood killer. Only three years after the beginning of the worldwide pandemic, the bacterial disease – spread via infected water supplies – […]

Glasgow’s Vulnerable – The Lock Hospital


The Lock Hospital was founded for the care and treatment of women suffering from sexually transmitted diseases. What follows is a collection of abstractions from the Glasgow censuses from 1841 to 1911, showing the staff and patients in a snapshot of one night every ten years over seven decades

Public Health – Cause of Death


Never ignore or dismiss ‘cause of death’ on certificates, it can indicate a lot more to investigate. Occasionally it can be quite chilling – on convicted murderer Peter Manuel’s death cert for example, a prison officer notified the death and cause was given as ‘judicial hanging.’

Law & Order – Two Sharp Operators


Andrew and George Sharp were two of the twelve children of David Cruden Sharp and his wife Catherine Leith, and were my great-grandmother’s brothers. They were both born at Tillyfour farm in the parish of Foveran, about twelve miles north of Aberdeen – Andrew in 1866 and George in 1873.

Campsie Racing Pigeon Club


The earliest date that past members can confirm is the club being formed in 1920, however, there are trophies in the club which date back to this time and no present or past members has recollections of the clubs first secretary

Scots Overseas – Ontario’s British Home Children


More than 100,000 British children were sent to Canada over a period of seventy years, during the time of the British Home Children scheme. One in ten people in Canada is descended from these children who were sent overseas…most of them never to see their homeland again.