- GORBALS, a parish, in the suburbs of the city of Glasgow, chiefly in the county of Lanark, but partly in the Upper ward of the county of Renfrew; containing 39,263 inhabitants. This place, originally called Bridgend, from its situation at the extremity of a bridge over the Clyde, connecting it with Glasgow, was anciently part of the parish of Govan, from which it was separated in 1771. At that time it comprised only about fourteen acres, to which were subsequently added the lands of Rea, Little Govan, and the prebend of Polmadie, containing about 600 acres, and also that part of Govan called the Barony, a tract of 400 acres, belonging to the corporation of Glasgow, the patrons of Hutcheson's hospital, and the Trades' house. The whole of the rural district is arable land, with a small proportion of meadow and pasture; the soil is rich, and the moors have been brought into profitable cultivation. The crops are, wheat, oats, potatoes, and turnips; abundance of manure is obtained from the city and suburbs, and every recent improvement in agriculture has been adopted. The population is partly agricultural, but chiefly employed in the various manufactures of Glasgow. The parish, with the adjacent lands, was formed into a burgh of barony and regality at a very early period, and in 1607 was bestowed by the Archbishop of Glasgow upon Sir George Elphinstone, who, in 1611, obtained from James VI. a charter confirming the grant. In 1647, his successor conveyed it to the magistrates and town council of Glasgow, who are still superiors of the burgh and barony, of which the former includes the old parish of Gorbals and part of the parish of Govan, and the latter has been divided into the districts of Hutchesonton, Laurieston, Tradeston, and Kingston, which are described under their respective heads.The burgh is governed by four bailies, who are annually appointed by the inhabitants, and of whom two may be continued in office for a second year. Their jurisdiction is exercised chiefly in matters of police, in which they are assisted by commissioners under the police statute; they have no corporate rights or exclusive privileges. The police buildings comprise a spacious hall and court-house. A court for the trial of civil causes not exceeding thirty shillings, in which the process is either ordinary or summary, and a court for the recovery of debts not above forty shillings, are held before the bailies occasionally, the town-clerks of Glasgow acting as assessors. The burgh and barony are wholly within the parliamentary boundary of the city; the number of £10 householders is 1635. The rateable annual value of the parish is £150,202. Gorbals is in the presbytery of Glasgow and synod of Glasgow and Ayr, and in the patronage of the heritors and the Kirk Session: the stipend is £250; there is neither manse nor glebe, in lieu of which the minister has an allowance of £25 per annum. The church erected in 1771 was subsequently purchased for the district of Kirkfield, and a larger and more commodious edifice built for this parish in 1813, at an expense of £7350; it is a handsome structure, and contains 1460 sittings. There are also places of worship for members of the Free Church, United Secession, Relief Church, and Wesleyans. A school, in which are about 140 children, is supported by the Kirk Session, who pay the master a salary of £50, for the gratuitous instruction of the children of the parish; and there is a school for girls, established in 1833, under a bequest of £2000 by Mrs. Waddell, of Stonefield. The patronage of the girls' school is vested in the magistrates, and the minister and elders of the Kirk Session of Gorbals, with preference to children of the name of Macfarlane; the mistress has a salary of £20, with a house, coal, and candles.
A Topographical dictionary of Scotland. Samuel Lewis. 1856.
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