Origins and Evolution

The 32nd Congress was held in Glasgow, from Wednesday 10 August until Saturday 13 August 2016.

The first day, Wednesday, was devoted to Registration followed by lectures. In the late afternoon we formally opened the Congress, and the Very Reverend Iain Torrance, Dean of the Thistle and of the Chapel Royal, and Pro-chancellor of Aberdeen University, delivered a key-note lecture. This was followed by a procession to the Civic Chambers where the Lord Provost offered a Reception. This was followed by supper and a ceilidh. The two subsequent days were devoted to lectures in three lecture rooms. The Congress Banquet was on Friday evening.

The day of visits to various sites of interest was Saturday, rather than in the middle of the lecture days, as we understood that this would be popular. A short Tour of the heraldic sites in the west and centre of Scotland followed the Congress.

The Congress overlapped the beginning of the Edinburgh Festival, which allowed spouses and partners to visit Edinburgh during the days, and of course at the end it was possible to go over to Edinburgh easily for further days of culture.

The venue was the Trades Hall, in Glassford Street, just off the central George Square (map). This is a beautiful historic setting, the home of the Trade Guilds of Glasgow. The Hall was designed by Robert Adam in 1791, the year before his death, and was completed by 1794. The structure remains complete, although various redecorations and other internal changes have been made over time.

Glasgow is the largest city in Scotland, and one of the larger in Europe, with a population of over 1.2 million people in the greater Glasgow area. In contrast to Edinburgh its history is ecclesiastical and mercantile rather than royal, and it grew quickly from the mid 18th century, based essentially on the trans-Atlantic trade in tobacco, cotton, sugar and many other commodities. Its heyday was the 19th century when many of the fine buildings in the centre were erected.

The origin of the city is around the Cathedral of St Mungo, sometimes called St Kentigern, the present building dating from the 12th century, and being the most complete expression of Gothic architecture we have in Scotland. Glasgow University was founded in 1451, being the second oldest after St Andrews.

For a history of the international congresses of genealogical and heraldic sciences, follow this link.

Webmaster Last updated: 03/10/2016