New Literary and Philosophical Society


The formation of this new group is discussed in an article published in 1824 that also included a summary of a number of different Glasgow literary societies. The foundations of New Literary and Philosophical Society were laid out at an introductory meeting held in early January 1824. A society was to be formed for the polite discussion of all topics, particularly science and literature, but avoiding politics and religion. The article also provides an extract of a report that was to be read at the next meeting, which includes the ‘objects’ of the new group (i.e. the purpose for meeting). These included the promotion of discussion on literature and philosophy, and to develop the members’ rhetorical skills particularly extempore speaking. The group also aspired to form its own library.

The first meeting of the New Literary and Philosophical Society is reported to have been on 13 January 1824 at the Black Bull Inn, Trongate. (For more information on this inn, see ‘Black Bull Inn‘ on the Old Glasgow Pubs website.) Meetings were to be held every Wednesday. Three Wednesdays of the month were to be on pre-selected topics chosen by the Committee, and the fourth to the reading of essays and translations.

The article closes by predicting a successful future for this group, and suggests that it was likely to be similar to the Speculative Society of Edinburgh.

Date of Existence

13 January 1824-?

Source of Information

‘Glasgow Literary & Scientific Institutions’, The Western Luminary, or Glasgow Literary & Scientific Gazette, Vol. I, No. 3, 17 January 1824, pp. 19-20


Mitchell Library Special Collections

Reference Number

Mitchell (AL) 310427

Additional Notes

The full title of this periodical is as follows: The western luminary, or, Glasgow literary and scientific gazette, embracing, Reviews of all new and interesting publications — Discussions of all important matters connected with the West of Scotland — Biographical memoirs of such living and dead individuals as possess peculiar claims on our sympathy or regard — Original essays upon men and manners, institutions and priciples — Poetry, written and selected for the work — Anecdotes and extracts — Arts and science — Truth and fiction, conducted by the Writers of the Free Press, and other literary gentlemen of Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

From the Mitchell Library online catalogue on this magazine:

‘Notes: Additional information: 1 v (208p.); 28cm[,] Bound with: Select views of Glasgow and its environs / engraved by Joseph Swan … Glasgow : Joseph Swan, 1828, in a volume with spine title The western luminary, Andrew Bain Memorial, Lacks nos. 14-16, no.18’ [accessed 31 January 2018].