A Thomas Annan photograph of a portrait of Dr James Cleland (1770-1840). The painting was by William Ross.
A cabinetmaker by trade, Cleland is best remembered as a public servant and statistician. He became Superintendent of Public Works 1814-1834. In 1816 he published Annals of Glasgow which provided a history of the city's public services, societies and institutions. It was republished in 1820 as The Rise and Progress of the City of Glasgow.
Cleland was the driving force behind the clearing and landscaping of Glasgow Green between 1817 and 1826, transforming the public green into a public park. He was also responsible for the removal of the Town Council from the Tolbooth to the Justiciary Buildings in 1814 and the amendment of plans for the Ramshorn Church, although his efforts in the latter case were derided in the popular satirical publication The Northern Looking Glass in 1825!
Following Cleland's death a tenement was erected at the top of Buchanan Street which bore the inscription "The Cleland Testimonial". His body was interred in the crypt of the Ramshorn Church.
Reference: Mitchell Library, GC 920.041435 COR
Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning
Annals of Glasgow, Bailies, cabinetmakers, crypts, Glasgow Green, historians, Justiciary Courts, portraits, Ramshorn Church, Ramshorn Kirk, Rise and Progress of the City of Glasgow, St David's Parish Church, statisticians, statistics, Superintendents of public works, The Cleland Testimonial, Tolbooth, Town Council