Caithness is a county in the far north of Scotland. This society is a type of nineteenth-century county association. In the stricter sense, county associations were groups whose members (or whose parents) were former residents of counties across Scotland who had moved to Glasgow. This type of group incorporated elements of a benevolent society in that they could offer a combination of accommodation, advice, referrals, and general assistance to newcomers in the city when they arrived, while also offering aid to widows, unemployed members, or members undergoing financial hardship. In addition, they might offer to provide for the education of their members’ children, or money to support their higher education.
This society developed out of the Glasgow Caithness Benevolent Association (1875?-1961?). At a meeting of the Benevolent Association held on 8 August 1882, a discussion took place regarding the formation of a literary society in connection with the association; a motion was called and passed unanimously. In the ‘Constitution and Rules’ that were subsequently drawn up, the society’s object (i.e. purpose for meeting) was given as being the intellectual improvement of its members.
While this society was based in Glasgow, their records are housed in Caithness Archives in Wick.
Date of Existence
19 September 1882-1931?
Source of Information
1. Glasgow Caithness Literary Association, Minute Books 1-4, 1882-1931 (CAC, P294/2/1-4);
2. (See: Glasgow Orkney and Shetland Literary and Scientific Association, Annual Report, 1897-98 (p. 3) (SA, D58/4a/9));
3. (See: Glasgow Orkney and Shetland Literary and Scientific Association, Annual Report, 1898-99 (p. 2) (SA, D58/4a/10));
4. (See: Glasgow Orkney and Shetland Literary and Scientific Association, Annual Report 1900-01 (p. 2) (SA, D58/1/5));
5. (See: Glasgow Orkney and Shetland Literary and Scientific Association, Annual Report 1903-1904 (p. 3) (SA, D58/4a/12));
6. Glasgow Caithness Benevolent Association Centenary Souvenir 1836-1936 (CAC, P8/1/5);
7. Portfolio of Portraits. A Souvenir of the Opening Ceremony (CAC, P8/1/4(1-2));
8. (Newspaper clipping:) ‘Glasgow Caithness Benevolent Association’, Northern Ensign, 31 January 1905 (CAC, P8/1/1);
9. (Unsigned manuscript poem:) ‘Glasgow Caithness Literary Society’ (CAC, P8/2/1)
Shetland Archives (SA)
Caithness Archive Centre, now Nucleus: The Nuclear and Caithness Archives, Wick (CAC)
(See Source of Information)
‘Glasgow’s Literary Bonds’ would like to thank Ken Ross for kindly sharing additional information and photos of historic materials of the Glasgow Benevolent Association.