The Clydesiders Trilogy

Hidden Glasgow

Chapter XIII.
Lord Clyde

Lord Clyde

Lord Clyde.
Statue by Foley. Erected 5th August, 1868.

One of the foremost names on our city’s roll of honour is that of Colin Campbell, Lord Clyde. Closely identified, as he was, with much that is glorious in our national history, he started life in comparatively humble circumstances.

Of all those whose careers we have undertaken to describe he was born the nearest to the Square which his statue now adorns. Standing in the Square, at the north-west corner of the Municipal Buildings, and looking eastwards, you can see his birth-place. It was the west side of High John Street (No. 63), the first close up from George Street. He was the eldest son of John M’Liver and Agnes Campbell, who were married on the 9th of January, 1792. Colin was their eldest son, and born at the close of the same year. His father was at the time a working wright, and could boast of honourable lineage and connection. He had been born on his father’s estate of Ardnave, in the island of Islay. This gentleman, the grandfather of Lord Clyde, had followed Prince Charlie in the rebellion of 1745. After fateful Culloden his estate was forfeited, and he removed to Glasgow, where his children grew up and followed the handicrafts of the citizens.

Agnes Campbell, Colin’s mother, was the daughter of another old Highland house, who had good position in Islay. His kinsmen on both sides had at all times the martial spirit, and when the western feuds were quieted, and the Jacobite movements overcome, many of them served in the army with distinction.

In the home in High John Street there came to be a family of four. Among these there was a sister near to his own age to whom he was deeply attached. She was fortunately spared to be his correspondent and companion in riper years, and to minister to him at the close of life.

So far as we can learn, he was a very modest, patient boy. His extreme modesty was diminished neither by age, rank, nor honour. All through life he shrank from every kid of notoriety, and was most unwilling to lend his journals and preserved correspondence for biographical purposes.

Even in his will the reference to these is quite characteristic of the man. After leaving directions to his trustees, of whom our own Sir Archibald Alison, the son of


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