page 3 of 3
By this time there had come into prominence a formidable west-end rival to the Saracen’s Head. Mr. Glassford of Dougalston — who had acquired from the Campbells the well-known mansion of Shawfield, which stood in Westergate, now Argyle Street, at the foot of what is now Glassford Street — erected the Black Bull hotel, now the warehouse of Messrs. Mann, Byars, & Co., beside the Shawfield mansion, and immediately west of that part of it which afterwards became Robin Carrick’s bank. This hotel became the resort of the fashionables of the period; and, by a singular coincidence, in this house, and in the very street that had, a very short period previously, been named after him, lay in state the body of Archibald, Duke of Argyle, en route for burial in the family vault at Kilmun. The remains of the Duke were attended to the hotel by an imposing cortège which included many noblemen and landed gentlemen from the west, south, and east, the magistrates of the city, and many of the professors of the University in their civic and academic robes.
In the “Regality Club’ there is a list of the hotels where the old Glasgow Golf Club dined, and the following note in regard to them:—
“The Prince of Wales was a noted night-house, celebrated for suppers and convivial gatherings. The Buck’s Head was the inn at the corner of Dunlop Street and Argyle Street, so long kept by Mrs. Jardine of happy memory. There is a drawing of it in Lizar’s ‘Glasgow Tourist’ (1850). The George hotel, which belonged to the Glasgow Tontine Society of 1816, was at the south-east corner of George Square, and was long one of the best hotels in Glasgow. When its site was required for the Municipal Buildings it was transferred to the northern side of the Square, and the name changed to North British Station hotel. The Tontine was situated at the Cross, and was so called because it was built by the Tontine Society of 1781. The Eagle was a great posting and dining house. It was situated on the east side of Maxwell Street, and was taken down to make the Union railway. Haggart’s was in Princes Street, and was the great howff of the sharpshooters. Macfarlane kept the Buchanan Street hotel at No. 57, opposite the Arcade.”
Many others have started into existence during this century. We have Waverleys more than one and temperance hotels by the dozen, a Victoria, an Alexandra, a Cobden and a Cockburn. There are the two great west-end hotels, the Windsor in St. Vincent Street, shut off from the city’s din, and the Grand at Charing Cross, with its great hall, the frequent rendezvous of civic and of nuptial gatherings. The railways have erected those huge experiments, the Central and St. Enoch Station hotels, which absorb so many of their passengers. And yet, after all, to the traveller from afar, pleasanter quarters cannot be found than in those old and well-known edifices, the North British Station hotel and the Royal, which grace the northern side of the square. Amid the rise and fall of many others, they remain now much the same as they were in the beginning of Her Majesty’s reign, and are central and convenient in situation, stately in appearance, and most comfortable. The Royal was long presided over by Mr. Carrick, the brother of the late master of works. He was very much respected, and in the Royal did well for the many visitors who came to our city, and prospered abundantly. It is now tenanted by Mrs. Cuthbert, who became known for her management of the Imperial at the north-west corner. The North British Station hotel is the old Queen’s hotel, the Wellington hotel, and the George hotel rolled into one. Macgregor of Glengyle was long identified with the Queen’s, Macdonald of Brodick with the Wellington, and Maclachlan with the George. These and all their virtues are now represented in Mr. J. F. Rupprecht, a very master of his art. Under him it has undergone many modern improvements, and with its new name has entered on a new lease of prosperity. Those who have the opportunity should not leave without examining the rare and curious cabinets which form a feature in Mr. Rupprecht’s collections.
Last in rotation, though not by any means least in importance, are the Municipal Buildings.