Records of the Citizens Vigilance Association, temperance organisation, Glasgow, Scotland

Scope and Content

Minutes, 1907-1925.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Citizens Vigilance Association was founded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1902. Its objectives were the due enforcement of existing licensing and related laws, the suppression of drunkenness, and the promotion of good government in the City.

The Association was governed by a president, a number of vice-presidents including clergy, Members of Parliament and Justices of the Peace, honorary secretary and a solicitor. There were 12 directors and the chairmen of local committees of the Association in Glasgow were ex-officio members. Each electoral district of the city had its own committee. Meetings were held in West Nile Street, Glasgow, and later in Hope Street, Glasgow.

The Association worked to prevent the granting of licenses for new public houses and to close down current disreputable ones. Their solicitor would represent individuals, communities and those who could not afford to represent themselves to oppose the granting of licenses. They also helped to prosecute temperance supporters victimised by public house landlords during their opposition to licensing.

Citizens Vigilance Association was also active in lobbying for licensing powers to be removed from the magistrates' courts and Justices of the Peace. They felt that the many JPs who held financial interests in the alcohol trade could not be impartial, and advocated that licensing powers should instead lie with the city council through the Sheriffs.

The Association also mustered support for Bills going through parliament and local by-laws that promoted temperance or better governance of the city. They also promoted and supported councillors and prospective MPs who advocated temperance.

The Association ceased to exist in its own right in 1925, when it merged with the recently formed Scottish Temperance Alliance.


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

Access Information

Access to records within this collection is open, however an appointment may be required. Please email Archives and Special Collections for advice:

Acquisition Information

Deposit : Scottish Temperance Alliance : 1975

Other Finding Aids

See also University of Glasgow Collections

Digital file level list available in searchroom

Manual file level list available at the National Registers of Archives in Edinburgh (NRA(S) 2804) and London (NRA 30487)

Alternative Form Available

No known copies

Conditions Governing Use

Reproduction subject to usual conditions: educational use and condition of documents. Applications for permission to quote should be sent to Archives and Special Collections, please email:

Appraisal Information

This material has been appraised in line with standard GB 248 procedures

Custodial History

Held by the Scottish Temperance Alliance prior to deposit with Glasgow University Archives. Previously catalogued as part of the Scottish Temperance Alliance Archive (DC19), the collection was re-catalogued in March 2003.


None expected

Related Material

GB 248 DC 19/1 Records of the Scottish Temperance League; GB 248 DC 19/2 Records of the Scottish Permissive Bill & Temperance Association; GB 248 DC 19/3 Records of the Scottish Temperance & No Licence Union; GB 248 DC 19/4 Records of the Scottish Temperance Alliance; GB 248 DC 19/5 Records of the Glasgow & District Municipal Federation; GB 248 DC 19/7 Records of the National Citizens Council; GB 248 DC 19/8 Records of International Order of Good Templars: Grand Lodge of Scotland; GB 583 Records of British Women's Temperance Association (Scottish Christian Union) (Huntly House Museum, Edinburgh); GB 233 Minute Book of the Scottish Permissive Bill & Temperance Association Ladies' Auxiliary 1894-1902.

Location of Originals

This material is original

Geographical Names