A summary of the history of the Renfield Free Church Young Men’s Society is available on our sister website, Glasgow’s Literary Bonds (see ‘Additional Notes’ below).
At a meeting of this society held on 28 April 1868, it is recorded that two men (who were later to briefly become joint editors) were to form a committee to look into the feasibility of starting a manuscript magazine for the group, and they were to make a report at the next meeting. The society discussed the report at the second meeting in the 1868-1869 session, and the matter was approved, so long as they were ‘economical in the matter of paper’. This highlights the fact that like most small societies, costs were an important factor in the decision to establish a magazine.
The ‘Report of [the] Committee appointed at [a] meeting of [the] Renfield Association, April 28th 1868, on [the] proposed Association Magazine’ can be found at the back of the group’s minute book and makes for interesting reading: this document is a rare example where the thought and care that went into the planning and execution of a society magazine is documented and preserved.
The committee couches the formation of the new magazine within the framework of an existing culture for society manuscript magazines already being produced in the city. It recommended having a monthly magazine, that the paper be provided by the association, and that the magazine should be bound. Circulation would be restricted to the members, and the list that would accompany the periodical would be constructed according to the proximity of members to each other, beginning and ending with the Editor/s. The committee also gave a full list of the Editors’ duties. The cost of the paper (approximately 50 sheets), ruling and binding of the magazine was estimated at 2s 6d per month.
However, we know very little about the magazine that was actually produced: interestingly, outwith the noting of the periodic change of editors for various reasons, there is no mention of the production of the magazines in the minutes.
At the close of the 1867-1868 session, there were 22 members on the roll, which dropped to 10 in this society’s very last session. This means that from the time of its proposal to the dissolving of the group, there was a decreasing number of members that would have contributed to this magazine.
We do know that there were in total six issues or ‘parts’, and that at the last meeting, they were allocated to six group members who are named.
Name of Club, Society or Group That Produced the Magazine
Renfield Free Church Young Men’s Society
Date of Existence
26 February 1851-18 January 1870
Date of Magazine
Number of Issues
6 (Nos. 1-6)
Contents and Contributions
(Glasgow City Archives)
(See: Glasgow, Renfield Free Church, U.F., Young Men’s Society minutes, 1851-69, CH3/1166/13)