The Literary and Artistic Society (aka Literary and Artistic Association) (possibly same society as The Literary and Artistic Club)


The information that we have on this group comes mostly from an article written (anonymously) by Thomas Gildard that was published in May 1892 in The Bailie, a Glasgow weekly magazine. The article itself was transcribed by William Young (Glasgow artist, 1845-1916), who attributed it to Gildard. The transcription was then placed in one of Young’s many volumes of scrapbooks (see Young’s Scrapbooks, Mitchell Library Special Collections).

Gildard was apparently a member of the group, and in the article, he gives a colourful description of its history. The group was made up of about 40 to 50 members who met at ‘Messrs Smith’s, presumably a pub, located at the corner of Gordon Street and Union Street. This was where an eclectic mix of artists, journalists, architects, artisans and a couple ‘men of science’ met every day except on Sundays. It seems to have been an informal, social group with no rigid membership rules nor strict order of business in running its meetings. The purpose was primarily for socialising and conviviality, the topics of discussion being varied but excluded religion and politics. Occasionally, on Saturday evenings, papers would be read. The group lasted for about 15 years.

Date of Existence


Source of Information

1. (For The Literary and Artistic Club see: Ballantine, James, Chronicle of the Hundredth Birthday of Robert Burns (Edinburgh and London: A. Fullarton & Co., 1859), pp. 81-88) (MLSC, Edwin Morgan Library, Robert Burns Collection, Mitchell (AL) 14B BAL 907845);

2. ‘Literary and Artistic Society of Glasgow’, Evening Citizen, 8 August 1864, p. 3;

3. (Transcription of newspaper article:) ”The Bailie’, Wednesday, May 18th. 1892′ (‘Monday Gossip’, The Bailie, 18 May 1892, p. 12) (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks, Vol. 10, p. 50);

4. Gildard, Thomas, ‘Miscellanea’ (MLSC, Mitchell (GC), 828 214964, pp. 34-45);

5. (Annotated newspaper clipping:) [Evening] ‘News. 4 Sep. 1909’ (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks, Vol. 25, p. 61)


Mitchell Library Special Collections (MLSC)

Reference Number

(See Source of Information)

Additional Notes

Thomas Gildard was also President of the “Ours” Club from 1882-1893. See Glasgow Philological and Literary Club (aka This Club of Ours, or ‘Ours’ Club), and see also A Book of “Ours” (“Ours” Literary and Social Club. A book of “Ours.”), details of which are available on our sister website, Literary Bonds, which has a photograph of Gildard.

Copies of the Evening Citizen are available at the Mitchell Library and the National Library of Scotland. For digitised copies, see the British Newspaper Archive: