Holyrood Literary Society


This group is an interesting example of a literary society whose history was not straight-forward, being the result of alliances made and broken — societies being formed, amalgamated with other societies, dissolved and/or re-formed as new clubs — over the course of its history.

There are varying accounts on the origin and history of this club and the New Literary Club, their histories being intertwined over the years. Further research on these clubs may help to untangle them. As we currently understand it,  The Holyrood Literary Society was founded in 1894. On September 24th, 1897, it amalgamated with the Literary Twenty-one Club (formerly known as the New Literary Club), and became The New Holyrood Club. The group then changed its name to The Holyrood Club. The minutes for this group continue up until the 1940s.

The Holyrood Literary Society was comprised of men and women who met at 17 Holyrood Crescent, in the West End of Glasgow. At the meetings, essays were read and debates were held on a variety of topics. In 1897, this group began to produce a magazine in manuscript written by and for its members (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).

Date of Existence

20 September 1894 – 24 September 1897 (amalgamation with Literary Twenty-One Club); 24 September 1897 – 26 March 1898 (as The Holyrood Club); 26 March 1898 – 1946? (as The New Holyrood Club, and later simply The Holyrood Club)

Source of Information

1. Holyrood Literary Society, Minutes, 1894-1904;

2. Holyrood Club, The Holyrood Magazine, Christmas, 1897;

3. New Holyrood Club, Minute Book, Vol. 4, 14 January 1905-29 March 1913;

4. Holyrood Club Minutes, 1937-1946


Mitchell Library Special Collections (MLSC)

Reference Number

(All records for this society are housed together with the records of the Holyrood Club (MLSC, 891047))

Additional Notes

The records for this club also include those of the Holyrood Club and the Literary Twenty-one Club (MLSC, 891047).

See also New Literary Club (Literary Twenty-one Club)Round Table Club, with whom the Holyrood Society had a joint meeting.

See also entry for The Holyrood Magazine on our sister website, Literary Bonds.