This engraving depicts the tenement at 27 to 39 Gallowgate, which was demolished in 1872. The Elephant and the Black Boy taverns were originally on the ground floor but were converted into shops as shown here.
The antiquarian James F S Gordon considered the buildings of no historical interest unless they were of interest to the police, which suggests that they had an unsavoury reputation. The name Black Boy tavern however is intriguing as it may have some connection with Glasgow's role in the slave trade. It was relatively common in the 18th century for fashionable families to "own" a black servant boy, although a Court of Session judgement in the 1770s made it clear that a slave purchased in the Colonies could not be held and treated as such in Scotland.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 941.435 GOR
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
Africans, Black Boy Tavern, Elephant Tavern, inns, pubs, servants, shops, slave trade, slavery, slaves, taverns