This society was made up of young men from the congregation of the Kent Road United Presbyterian Church, located near Charing Cross, to the west of the city centre. (For more information on this church, see ‘Kent Road UP Church‘ on The Glasgow Story website.) The group also allowed other young men who were not part of the congregation to join upon agreement with the other members.
According to the printed ‘Rules’ affixed in the front of the first minute book, the object of the group was its members’ improvement, which included intellectual, religious and moral. The subscription fee was one shilling per year, which was cheaper than the average fee for these societies (2s 6d), which means that this group’s members were probably from the working classes.
The yearly session ran from October until April. Meetings were held weekly on Thursday nights at 8.15pm at the Church Hall, located under the church. The ‘Rules’ state that the meetings were to include debates and the reading of essays and other papers written by the members, which was to be followed by conversation.
The subjects of the debates and essays had to be pre-approved by the Committee of Management consisting of the office bearers and directors. This prior selection of subjects was similar to the procedures of the St. Columba Literary Association, wherein the Directors set the society’s agenda.
There are 46 named individuals next to their attendance records in the back of the minute book for the 1869-1870 session. Six names have been scored through, however, as it appears five members stopped attending the meetings and one member ‘Left Glasgow’.
Members of this group produced a manuscript magazine in April 1872, and there are known to be at least two issues that were produced prior to this date (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).
Date of Existence
1 November 1865-?
Source of Information
1. Kent Road, UP Church, UF, and C of S, Young Men’s Institute Minutes, 1865-74 (GCA, CH3/1443/34);
2. Kent Road Quarterly, issued by Kent Road U.P. Church Young Men’s Institute, Vol. 3, No. 2, 1 April 1872 (MLSC, Mitchell (AL), 725431);
3. Celebration of the ministerial jubilee of the Rev. Joseph Brown, D.D., Kent Road United Presbyterian Church, Glasgow (Glasgow: K. & R. Davidson, 1884) (ML, Mitchell (GC) 285.241443 KEN 109293, pp. 36+);
4. ‘Kent Road UP Church’, The Glasgow Story <http://www.theglasgowstory.com/image/?inum=TGSD00542> [accessed 13/09/17]
Glasgow City Archives (GCA)
Mitchell Library (ML)
Mitchell Library Special Collections (MLSC)
(See Source of Information)