This society was instituted in 1824. In 1877, it amalgamated with the Glasgow Young Men’s Christian Association (aka G.Y.M.C.A., instituted in 1841, although this date is debatable) to become the Glasgow United Young Men’s Christian Association in 1877. In 1824, there were 14 associations connected with this society in Glasgow.
Ralph Wardlaw, D.D. (1779-1853) gave a sermon on the night of 19th September 1824 at the George Street Chapel on behalf of this society. He strongly promoted the formation of an association for young men’s improvement. He was particularly concerned about the young men who grew up in the country and came to the city looking for work. Groups like the Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement offered a lifeline. He also discussed the origin of this society, which was to work as a supplement to Sabbath Schools. He also sets out its object and rules, which was to be the formation of societies in Glasgow and the surrounding region that would encourage mutual improvement in its young male members with a focus on religion. In addition, a library of suitable religious works and biographies was to be instituted.
The ‘Regulations of the Glasgow Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement’ are given as an Appendix to this Sermon.
Date of Existence
Source of Information
1. Wardlaw, Ralph, Sermon: [for] the Glasgow Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement (Glasgow Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement (1825)) (ML, Mitchell (GC), 41446);
2. Wardlaw, Ralph, The divine dissuasion to the young, against the enticements of sinners: a sermon preached in George-Street Chapel, Glasgow, on the evening of Sabbath, 19th September, 1824: in behalf of the Glasgow Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement (Glasgow: Wardlaw & Cunninghame, [etc.], 1825) (UGSC, Sp Coll T.C.L. 4010);
3. Heugh, Hugh, The importance of early piety: a sermon preached for the Glasgow Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement: January 8th, 1826 (Glasgow: Printed by W. Lang, for the Glasgow Young Men’s Religious Tract Society, 1826) (UGSC, Sp Coll T.C.L. 3982);
4. Wardlaw, Ralph, Religion the duty, the happiness, and the hope of youth: a sermon, delivered in Greyfriars’ Chapel, Glasgow, on the evening of Lord’s-Day, May 27th, 1838, in behalf of the Glasgow Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement (Glasgow: Printed for the Society by Aird & Russell, 1838) (UGSC, Sp Coll T.C.L. 3953);
5. Campbell, J., Memoirs of David Nasmith, his labours and travels in Great Britain, France, United States and Canada (London, 1844) (NLS, NF.1346.e.11);
6. Address delivered at the reunion of those who were members of the Regent Place Young Men’s Society; subject: Dr. Heugh … 23d March, 1852, by David Young, United Presbyterian minister at Glasgow (1852) (UGSC, Sp Coll Mu39-h.32);
7. Thirty-fifth annual report of the Glasgow Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement: read 24th February, 1859 (Printed by K.& R. Davidson, 1859) (UGL, Library Research Annexe, Ba4-g.10);
8. Annual Report of the Glasgow United Young Men’s Christian Association, 1865-83, 1893-1937 (ML, Mitchell (GC) 267.3 43136);
9. Catalogue of the circulating and reference libraries. Glasgow Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement. 1873 (ML, Mitchell (GC), 017.2 9368);
10. Douglas, John D., The advantages of the adoption of the Public Libraries Act: first prize essay: Glasgow Young Men’s Society for Religious Improvement (1874) (ML, Mitchell (GC), 027.4 9372);
11. Binfield, Clyde, George Williams and the Y.M.C.A., online resource: <http://www.thirdsector.co.uk/brand-report-ymca-glasgow-becomes-y-people/communications/article/1053222> [accessed 23/03/15]
Mitchell Library (ML)
University of Glasgow Library (UGL)
University of Glasgow Special Collections (UGSC)
National Library of Scotland (NLS)
(See Source of Information)