Sir Walter Scott
On a summer day in the year 1817, the busy citizens of Glasgow passing rapidly from street to street on their proper business, might turn to look at a remarkable visitor — evidently a stranger in this bustling community — a man above the common height, halting slightly as he walked, and fixing his steadfast, searching eyes on the boats, on the buildings, sometimes even on a burly burgess too much engrossed with his own importance to be conscious of the gaze. He sauntered along the Broomielaw, through Bridgegate, past the site of the old Blythswood mansion, with which his forefathers had a close connection, on to the Saltmarket. There he crossed the street, and explored the Silvercraigs land right opposite (now, alas! swept away in city improvement), which stood at the south-east corner of the present Steele Street. There were then furniture stores beneath, with the residences of the proprietors above, but it had been the headquarters of Cromwell, where he met Zachary Boyd, minister of the Barony, and other local dignitaries in pious conference. It was not, however, because it had been the resting-place of Cromwell that he lingered lovingly before it, and slowly mounted its stairs, but because it had been built by a Robert Campbell, one of his paternal ancestors, and a connection of another “Rob” who was to become famous through this visitor’s pen and power. Thence he went up the Saltmarket to the Cathedral, observing every object with close attention. The onlookers might inquire (there was much more curiosity in Glasgow in 1817 than now), “Who is this distinguished stranger that takes such a
Silvercraigs Land, Foot Of Saltmarket.
Built by Robert Campbell, son of Provost Colin Campbell of Blythswood, 1640 — the Tocher House of his daughter, Jean, who married Walter Scott of Harden, the famous “Beardie.”
Specially drawn for this work by Miss Susan F. Crawford. The original in the possession of Sir Archibald Campbell of Blythswood.
The Dreghorn Mansion, Great Clyde Street.
Specially drawn by Miss Susan F. Crawford. Original in the possession of Wm. Hill, Esq. of Barlanark.