W R Mainds' watercolour sketch of the courtyard behind an old mansion at the eastern end of Prince's Street. A cartwright's workshop has been added to the building, which had been demolished by the time the sketch was published in 1891.
Prince's Street was originally laid out as Gibson's Wynd. It was named for the merchant Walter Gibson who was Provost in 1688-1699 (the last to be selected by the Archbishop, before the practice of election by burgesses was introduced). He had a much-admired tenement, Gibson's Land, on the corner of the wynd and Saltmarket. In 1823, by which time it had become a brothel, the increasingly rickety building collapsed and a new tenement was built in its place.
Gibson possessed three ships of his own, traded with European ports from Sweden to Spain, and was involved in carrying emigrants to the American colonies during the 1680s. However, he was bankrupted and jailed for several years in 1691. He lived on in straitened circumstances until 1723.
Reference: Sp Coll Bh12-x.3
Glasgow University Library, Special Collections
backcourts, brothels, cartwrights, courtyards, Gibson's Land, Lord Provosts, merchants, slums, tenements, workshops, wynds