George Square, and the Growth of the City,
page 6 of 9
it was from the massive mahogany doors, the fine oval gallery, the great ball-room, now the underwriters’ room.”
At the north-west corner of the Square there was built about the same time as the Lainshaw mansion another almost equal to it in stateliness and cost. This was Bailie George Crawford’s Lodging. Of himself very little is known, but his house is remembered by many. It stood amidst tall trees in which numerous crows had their nests, and in front of it, towards Queen Street, there was a spacious lawn dotted with shrubs. About the year 1815 it was purchased by James Ewing of Strathleven, subsequently M.P. for Glasgow, for £6,000 — more than was ever paid before for a Glasgow mansion. From his residence here he was sometimes termed “Craw Ewing.” There are many among us who remember looking through the gates into the “Queen Street Park,” as it was called before it was taken possession of by the North British Railway Company and transformed into a station. We are glad that, through the kindness of Mrs. Ewing and of Mr. J. Oswald Mitchell, we are able to present to these a scene of their youth, in a copy of the only sketch of it that remains.
The Crawford Lodging, Or ”Queen Street Park.”
Residence Of The Late Mr. James Ewing. M.P.
(This view was sketched originally on the margin of a silhouette
portrait of Mr. James Ewing, preserved at Strathleven.
It has been re-drawn by Mr. H. A. Mitchell of Glasgow.)
The last fifty years have made a marvellous change in and around the Square. The first picture of it is to be found in a caricature sketch in the Northern Looking Glass of 25th June, 1825, reproduced through the kindness of John Kirsop, Esq. The old holes have been filled up, and we see it here surrounded with a common wooden paling, broken in several places. It is covered with greensward, on which women are washing clothes in the old Scottish fashion, and boys disporting themselves. There is the solitary statue of Sir John Moore, which some of the boys are pelting with mud, and around which others are swinging with ropes. There are as yet no shrubs nor trees to be seen. These would probably have been in the way of the yeomanry, who were periodically reviewed here by the dignitaries. It was afterwards surrounded with an iron railing and planted with shrubbery. For a long period it was supposed that the proprietors of the houses around had a pro indiviso title to it, and it could only be entered with one of their keys, but the late Mr. Carrick, on reference to the records, found this was not the case, and so when the Prince of Wales laid the foundation stone of the Post Office the fence was taken down. It was not put up again. The Square was divided off into flower plots and asphalted paths, supplied with seats and properly lighted at night, and always open. Its last condition is better by far than