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Blythswood Square

Glasgow University Archive Services, Building Photographs

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Blythswood Square

The east side of Blythswood Square, c 1900.

Work began on laying out Blythswood Square in 1821, on a hill site that lay to the west of the city. The square consists of four identical classical terraces facing a central garden.

7 Blythswood Square is an address forever associated with one of Glasgow's most sensational murder trials. In 1857 it was the home of the architect James Smith, designer of the McLellan Galleries. His daughter, Madeleine, was charged with the murder of her former lover, Pierre Emile L'Angelier: he had threatened to show their love letters to her father after Madeleine became engaged to a more eligible young man. The trial shocked Victorian society, particularly the reading in court of explicit love letters, and the Glasgow Herald declared it was an "awful tale of immorality." However, the unexpected verdict of "Not Proven" received wild applause from the public galleries in the packed courtroom. Madeleine moved to London and became a renowned Bloomsbury hostess, and died in New York in 1928 at the age of 92.

Reference: Glasgow University Archive Services, PHU64/87

University of Glasgow

architects, architecture, buildings, crime, houses, housing, murders, plazas, roads, squares, streets, terraced houses, terraces, townhouses, trials

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