Records of Glasgow University Students' Settlement Society, student voluntary association, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

  • Minutes 1903-1926
  • Reports of Robert Grierson, Poor Mans' Lawyer to the Settlement 1925-1926
  • List of famous ex-residents and sub-wardens of the Settlement 1900-1926

Administrative / Biographical History

Glasgow University Students' Settlement Society was first formed in 1894  in the Hebrew class of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, with Professor JJA Murray in the chair. The Settlement was formally started in 1899  when a building was rented in Possil Road, Glasgow. Its aim was for the carrying on of 'social, educative and Christian work in the neighbourhood of the Settlement'. Membership of the Settlement was open to all students and graduates of the University of Glasgow with the annual minimum subscription in 1903 being a shilling. The Settlement was governed by a committee consisting of a president, secretary/treasurer and a committee of 3 ordinary members. A finance committee of 5 was also elected at the annual business meeting each year. It was usual for the main committee to consist of senior lecturers or the Principal of the University with Sir Hector Hetherington (1888-1965) and William Boyd (1874-1962), Reader in Department of Education, both serving time on the committee.

The residents of the Settlement were male students or members of the Association. The residents elected a household committee to organise the running of the household and the president of the Settlement was also the Warden of the residence. A sub-warden and matron were employed to manage the day-to-day activities of the residence itself. The residents and members of the Settlement undertook Club work within the community and early activities included the organisation of a Fair Week trip. Children's play evenings were held with the aid of the Glasgow Schools Board, along with Temperance meetings, lectures and debates. In 1906, a series of 24 lectures was given to the local community and residents of the Settlement on Citizenship.

By 1910, the Settlement employed a Poor Man's Lawyer who visited the Settlement one evening a week to give free legal advice to members of the local public. A Workmen's Club was also established by this time and by 1914 the Settlement was hosting a Boys Brigade company and a Penny Bank had also been introduced. By 1925 there were women's' meetings, discussion classes and a Girls' Club.

The residence and meeting halls were by this time owned by the Royal Bank of Scotland who in 1925 increased the rent and leased out the upstairs room as a dance hall. The Settlement, which had experienced financial hardship for a number of years, could not afford the new rent and opposed the dance hall and new buildings were sought. However, no new suitable buildings could be found and in 1926  it was decided to close the Settlement. It was decided to approach the Queen Margaret College Settlement Association to request they continue the work of the settlement in Possil Road and also to purchase the fixtures and fittings of the Possil Road building.


The arrangement of this material reflects the original order in which it was received

Access Information


Acquisition Information

Gift : Dr William Boyd : 1961 : ACCN 4114

Other Finding Aids

Item level descriptions are available via the department's online manuscripts catalogue available at  by searching for call reference MS Gen 670

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Archivist's Note

Compiled by David Powell, Hub Project Archivist, February 2003

No alterations made to date

Conditions Governing Use

Applications for permission to quote should be sent to the Keeper of Special Collections

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use & condition of documents

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 247 procedures

Custodial History

Held by the Society and then Dr William Boyd


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 DC 22 Records of Glasgow University Queen Margaret Settlement Association: Glasgow University Settlement (Glasgow University Archive Services)

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Geographical Names