Virginia Court, Virginia Street, Glasgow

This evening,I  am focusing on a particular district of Glasgow which was the epicentre of a wealth generating tobacco trading business which acted as the catalyst to Glasgow’s subsequent growth as a major industrial centre.

It was in Virginia Street and Virginia Court that a group of businessmen known as the ‘Tobacco Lords’ controlled an extensive and lucrative market in tobacco which made up one-third of Scotland’s imports and over half of its exports. The profits from tobacco trading fuelled the development of private mansions, warehouses and offices. It was in Virginia Street that the Tobacco Exchange was built in 1753. In recent years this building has been converted to residential apartments, restaurant and shops.

In 1775 the tobacco trade collapsed as a consequence of American independence and fortunes were lost overnight.However, the underlying business infrastructure survived and enabled Glasgow to shift into other industries such as sugar, textile manufacture, banking and heavy industry.

The name Virginia is derived from the American State of that name in context of the 18th century tobacco industry.

Virginia Place, Glasgow, Scotland

Virginia Street, Glasgow, Scotland

Be Sociable, Share!