Free St. John’s Literary Society (currently unknown if this is same as Free St. John’s Young Men’s Association)


Members of this society were most likely part of the congregation of St. John’s Free Church, located on George Street in the city centre. (For more information on this church, see ‘St John’s Free Church‘ on The Glasgow Story website; see also ‘Glasgow — St. John’s‘ on the Ecclegen website.)

There is little currently known about this society. The information we have comes from the Glasgow Post Office Directory for 1853-1854, which lists the society’s representatives in the Glasgow Free Church Literary Union (see below), a programme for their annual soiree, and a short listing in the ‘General Directory’ of the 1867-1868 Post Office directory.

This group was one of 12 societies that made up the Glasgow Free Church Literary Union in 1853 (at least) (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).

Date of Existence


Source of Information

1. ‘Glasgow Free Church Literary Union’, ‘Local Institutions–Religious’, Glasgow Post-Office Annual Directory for 1853-1854… (Glasgow: William Mackenzie, 1853), p. 79;

2. ‘Soiree’, Free St. John’s Young Men’s Association, programme, 21 April 1859 [annotated];

3. ‘Free St. John’s Young Men’s Association’, ‘General Directory’, Post Office Glasgow Directory for 1867, 1868… (Glasgow: William Mackenzie, 1867), p. 151


Mitchell Library (Glasgow Post Office directories)

Mitchell Library Special Collections (MLSC) (programme)

National Library of Scotland (NLS) (Glasgow Post Office directories)

Reference Number

Glasgow Scrapbooks, No. 5, p. 122 (MLSC) (programme)

Additional Notes

This society was part of the Glasgow Free Church Literary Union, which is listed separately.

The Glasgow Post Office directories are available at the Mitchell Library and the National Library of Scotland. Digitised copies are available through the NLS website: