Wellpark Free Church Literary Society


The Wellpark Free Church was located in Dennistoun, an area in the east end of the city. (For more information about this church, see ‘Glasgow — Wellpark‘ on the Ecclegen website, and Gordon Adams’s article, ‘Wellpark Church of Scotland‘ on the East Glasgow History website. For more information about this area, see Ian R. Mitchell’s article, ‘Dennistoun: No Mean Streets‘ on the Glasgow West End website.)

The information on this society comes from five printed brochures and three ‘literary’ magazines (see ‘Additional Notes’ below) that were produced by and for the society members. From their Constitution, we know that the object of the group was its members’ religious, moral and intellectual improvement. This was to be achieved by reading essays and holding debates at its meetings.

The group met on Friday evenings at 8.15pm at the church Session House (located around the corner from the church on Ark Lane) between October and March. Although there are no extant membership rolls, from the list of the society magazines’ ‘Readers’, we know that this group had about 30 members in the 1880s.

A full case study of this society and its magazine was published by Lauren Weiss in 2016 (see Lauren Weiss, ‘The Manuscript Magazines of the Wellpark Free Church Young Men’s Literary Society’, in Media and Print Culture Consumption in Nineteenth-Century Britain: The Victorian Reading Experience, ed. by Paul Raphael Rooney and Anna Gasperini (Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, 2016), pp. 53-73).

Date of Existence


Source of Information

1. (Announcement of current parliamentary election);

2. (Itinerary for ‘musical entertainment and reading’);

3. (Programme of 1883 opening social meeting);

4. (Schedule ‘conversazione’ for the 1883);

5. ‘Syllabus’ for the 1883-84 session (includes constitution and bye-laws) (Note: Nos. 1-5 are all pasted into back of society’s 1883-84 magazine (pp. 148-51));

6. Wellpark F.C. Literary Society M. S. Magazine, 1883-84 (MLSC, Mitchell (AL) 428697);

7. Manuscript magazine of Wellpark Free Church Young Men’s Literary Society, 1887-88 (MLSC, Mitchell (AL) 428698);

8. Wellpark F. C. Literary Society Magazine, 1888 (MLSC, Mitchell (AL) 428699);

9. (Newspaper clipping on The Ballad Club in The Scots Pictorial, 15 January 1902; Alexander Lamont was a member of the Wellpark society, The Ballad Club and the Sir Walter Scott Club) (MLSC, Young’s Scrapbooks Vol. 6, pp. 39-40)


Mitchell Library Special Collections (MLSC)

Reference Number

(See Source of Information)

Additional Notes

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 Sir Walter Scott Club, and the Glasgow Ballad Club.

See also Barony Free Church Literary Society, with whom this society had a joint debate.

See also entry for Wellpark F. C. Literary Society M.S. Magazine on our sister website, Literary Bonds.