Glasgow Ballad Club


The founder and first President of this club was William Freeland, who served from 1876 to 1903. There were 11 original members.

The Glasgow Post Office directory for 1902-1903 gives a good overview of this club and its activities:

‘[…] The club meets during the session (October to May) in the North British Station Hotel, George Square, on the second Saturday of each month, at eight o’clock p.m. Object — The production and friendly criticism of original ballads and poems, and the study of ballads and ballad literature.’

(‘Glasgow Ballad Club’, ‘Artistic, Literary, and Scientific Institutions’, Post Office Glasgow Directory for 1902-1903… (Glasgow: Aird & Coghill, 1902), p. 177)

Date of Existence

11 November 1876-10 October 1987

Source of Information

1. (Newspaper clipping) ‘The Looker-on’, (annotated:) ‘Evening News. 1 May 1899.’ (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks Vol. 2, p. 90; Glasgow Scrapbooks, Vol. 2, pp. 38-39);

2. (Newspaper clipping:) G.E.T. [George Eyre-Todd], ‘Glasgow Ballad Club’, (annotated:) ‘The Scots Pictorial. 15 Jany. 1902. Geo. Eyre-Todd’) (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks Vol. 6, pp. 39-40);

3. ‘Glasgow Ballad Club’, ‘Artistic, Literary, and Scientific Institutions’, Post Office Glasgow Directory for 1902-1903… (Glasgow: Aird & Coghill, 1902), p. 177;

4. (Newspaper clipping:) ‘The Late Robert Ford. Poet and Humorist’, (annotated:) ‘Weekly Herald. 4 Nov. 1905’ (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks, Vol. 12, p. 5);

5. (Newspaper clipping:) (Death of Robert Ford), (annotated:) ‘Herald. 4 Nov 1905. See pp. 80.81. Vol. 9’ (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks, Vol. 12, pp. 5-6);

6. (Newspaper clipping, annotated:) ‘Third Volume of Glasgow Ballad Club in the Press […] Herald. 11 Jany. 1908’ (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks, Vol. 18, p. 20);

7.(Newspaper clipping:) ‘Glasgow Ballad Club. Presentation to Mr Johnston’, (annotated:) ‘Herald. 19 Jany. 1914’ (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks, Vol. 37, pp. 24-5);

8. (Photograph, annotated:) ‘William Freeland. Poet and Journalist’ (founder of Ballad Club) (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks, Vol. 39, p. 74);

9. Hammerton, John Alexander, Literary Glasgow, Past and Present (London: 1904), pp. 638-39; pp.728-31 (ML, Mitchell (GC) 820.9 230247);

10. Glasgow Contemporaries at the Dawn of the XXth Century (Glasgow: The Photo-Biographical Publishing Co., [1901]), p. 186 (ML, Mitchell (GC) 920.04 GLA499009)


Mitchell Library (ML)

Mitchell Library Special Collections (MLSC)

Reference Number

(See Source of Information)

Additional Notes

Willliam Young (whose Scrapbooks the Mitchell Library Special Collections holds) was a member of the Glasgow Ballad Club and The Thirteen Club, along with several other societies not considered in this project.

Alexander Lamont (head-master of one of the local schools in the 1880s at least, and published author) was a member of this club, as well as the Wellpark Free Church Literary Society, and the Sir Walter Scott Club.