Margaret Edythe Young was the first – and the last – of her sisters to make what was then called the Grand Tour. A trip through the old capitals of Europe, through the museums stuffed with looted antiquities, through the spas where hot mineral baths restored the old and invigorated the young and to the Shrines and Cathedrals of a Faith that dominated her world. At the same time she was making her way through Europe her brother, John Young, was on a cruise to the orient – not quite a pleasure trip since the purpose was to make commercial contacts for his father’s stevedoring business and, since he was a serving officer on leave from the coastal artillery, to report to his superiors on military preparations observed in his travels. Finally, the man who would marry Margaret Edythe Young’s daughter, Laureene, would make his way into the South American jungle searching for oil and prospecting for gold in one of the great adventures of his life.
Over the next several months we will examine these travels and try to convey what they saw, what they remembered and what we remember learning of what they saw. Much of it is no longer there so this is a guide only to memory and affection of places, things and people that, as Aristophanes tells us, are but gone before, advanced a stage or two upon that road which you must travel in the steps they trod. As an introductions we are going to begin with a series of pictures from a souvenir of the Glasgow International Exhibition of 1901. This was the apex of the British Empire and in its own Scottish way Glasgow was more completely British than London and Galveston looked to Great Britain for cultural emulation much more so than the European continent. We hope you enjoy the pictures of a time passed that lingers but will not return.
The city’s crest is an odd study in contrasts. On the top is Saint Mungo and the remainder of the crest recounts the four miracles attributed to him:
- The Bird — Mungo restored life to the pet robin of Saint Serf, which had been killed by some of his classmates, hoping to blame him for its death.
- The Tree — Mungo had been left in charge of a fire in Saint Serf’s monastery. He fell asleep and the fire went out. Taking branches from a tree, he restarted the fire.
- The Bell — the bell is thought to have been brought by Mungo from Rome. It was said to have been used in services and to mourn the deceased. The original bell no longer exists, and a replacement, created in the 1640s, is now on display in Glasgow.
- The Fish — refers to the story about Queen Languoreth of Strathclyde who was suspected of infidelity by her husband. King Riderch demanded to see her ring, which he claimed she had given to her lover. In reality the King had thrown it into the River Clyde. Faced with execution she appealed for help to Mungo, who ordered a messenger to catch a fish in the river. On opening the fish, the ring was miraculously found inside, which allowed the Queen to clear her name.
While the graphics remain the same, interestingly enough the 19th century changed to motto to Let Glasgow Prosper , where the original had been Let Glasgow Flourish by the preaching of Your word, and the praising of Your name. Prehaps a little too Catholic for the Presbyterian elders of the king’s church.