Broomhouse in 1997
How Broomhouse looked in 1997 before any of the modern housing estates were built.
The Easter Daldowie estate was held by the influential Stewarts of Minto until the mid-17th century. Calderpark House was built on the estate by the sugar refiner James McNair at the beginning of the 19th century. The mansion was demolished in the early 1930s owing to subsidence caused by coal mining in the area. The Zoological Society of Glasgow and West of Scotland acquired the estate in 1939 and Calderpark Zoo opened there in 1946.
The Zoological Society of Glasgow was founded in 1936, but it was not until 1947 that Glasgow Zoo opened on land purchased on the Calderpark estate. Tigers were kept from the beginning. The zoo hit the headlines in 1949 when a female Bengal tiger, Sheila, was shot dead by Zoo Director Sydney Benson after she left her enclosure and approached a group of Brownies. The conservation aspect of caring for this increasingly rare species was stressed as criticism mounted from animal welfare groups. In June 2003 it was announced that, for financial reasons, Glasgow Zoo would close in September and new homes would be sought for the tigers.
Daldowie House, south of Broomhouse, photographed in 1870 by Thomas Annan. The house was built in 1745 by George Bogle and considerable alterations and additions were made in 1830 and 1837.
Robert Stewart of Minto, a Lord Provost of Glasgow, lived at Daldowie in the 1520s. In 1724 the estate was sold to the Glasgow merchant Robert Bogle (d 1734) whose son and successor, George (1701-1782), built Daldowie House. George Bogle was Rector of the University of Glasgow in 1737, 1743 and 1747. His son, also George (1746-1781) became famous as the first East India Company envoy to travel to Tibet.
Daldowie remained in the hands of the Bogle family until 1825, when the estate was sold to John Dixon of the Calder Ironworks. James McCall, another Glasgow merchant, acquired it in 1830. The estate had extensive coal mines until the 1930s. Daldowie Crematorium was built on the site of the mansion in 1955.
George Bogle (1746-1781) was a Scottish adventurer and diplomat, the first to establish diplomatic relations with Tibet and to attempt recognition by the Chinese Empire. His mission is still used today as a reference point in debates between China and Tibetan independence activists. George Bogle was the second son of a wealthy Glasgow merchant, George Bogle of Daldowie, one of the Tobacco Lords and Anne Sinclair, a gentlewoman directly descended from James I and James II of Scotland. His father had extensive connections in the Scottish landed, commercial, and governmental elite, as well as trading contacts across the British Empire.
The Scots gentry to whom he belonged were in turn, in the 18th century, a key feature in the British state. Their political allegiance was often managed through patronage. In particular, Henry Dundas was able to offer the younger sons of gentry opportunities in India. This was to be a significant feature in George’s career.
He was born in 1746, the youngest of three brothers. His elder brother John Bogle eventually had a plantation in Virginia while his other brother, Robert Bogle, after the failure of a business adventure in London (the importing house of “Bogle and Scott”), established a cotton plantation in Grenada. Both intimately involved negro slaves. His four sisters married into their gentry network of traders, lairds and lawyers. His mother died when he was thirteen. The following year he matriculated at Edinburgh University where he studied Logic. He completed his education, when he was 18, at a private academy in Enfield, near London. Following this, he spent six months travelling in France. His brother Robert then took him on as a clerk in his London offices of Bogle and Scott where he spent four years as a cashier.
Using the family network, he secured an appointment as a Writer in the East India Company (EIC). In 1770, at the height of the Bengal Famine, he landed in Calcutta, the centre of British power in India. His extensive letters home, as well as his journal entries, show him to have been a lively, entertaining and perceptive writer. The comments of his colleagues and others show him to have been an agreeable, indeed playful – if sometimes riotous – companion. These qualities no doubt influenced Warren Hastings, the Governor-General of the EIC, when he appointed him his private secretary. His letters also show that, while he was aware of the general suspicion of corruption which surrounded the at the time, and had some misgivings about it – Hastings would soon be impeached for corruption – he was determined to make his fortune come what may.
In 1773, Hastings responded to an appeal for help from the Raja of Cooch Behar to the north of Bengal, whose territory had been invaded by the Zhidar the Druk Desi of Bhutan. Hastings agreed to help on the condition that Cooch Behar recognise British sovereignty. The Raja agreed and with the help of British troops they pushed the Bhutanese out of the Duars and into the foothills in 1773.
Zhidar, the Druk Desi, returned to face civil war at home. His nemesis, Jigme Senge, the regent for the seven year old Shabdrung (the Bhutanese equivalent of the Dalai Lama), had fanned the flames of popular discontent. Zhidar was unpopular for his corvee tax (he sought to rebuild a major dzong in one year, an unreasonable goal), as well as for his obsequious overtures to the Manchu Emperors which threatened Bhutanese independence. Zhidar who was soon overthrown and forced to flee to Tibet (where he was promptly imprisoned by the Panchen Lama). A new Desi Druk, Kunga Rinchen, was installed, and with him a new opportunity for British diplomacy opened up.
Hastings lost no time in appointing Bogle to undertake a diplomatic and fact-finding mission “to chart the unknown territory beyond the northern borders of Bengal”, with a view to opening up trade with Tibet and possibly even establishing a back-door trade relationship with the Chinese Empire who severely controlled foreign trade at Canton.
Bogle’s expedition set out in 1774 and consisted of himself, an army surgeon named Alexander Hamilton, and Purangir Gosain (an agent of the Third Panchen Lama, the effective ruler of Tibet), as well as a retinue of servants. The Desi Druk Despite warnings from the Chinese government and the Pachen Lama that he was not allowed to enter Tibet, he made use of the recent political instability in Bhutan and the tension between the Panchen Lama and the regent for the 7th Dalai Lama (only a child at the time) to win access to Tibet where he was brought before the Panchen Lama in Shigatse. Bogle made a favorable impression on Lobsang Palden Yeshe the Sixth Panchen Lama and spent six months overwintering in his palaces learning what he could of Tibetan culture and politics. Bogle was very struck by the experience, noting in his journal, ‘When I look upon the time I have spent among the Hills it appears like a fairy dream.’ Indeed, it may have been the publication of accounts of his journey which established the myth of Tibet as Shangri-la. Bogle, incidentally, helped the Lama compose his still famous Geography of India, the homeland of Buddhism.
Returning to India Bogle fulfilled the Lama’s request to establish a temple on the banks of the Ganges, not far from the East India Company headquarters, where Buddhist monks could return to their spiritual roots in India.
Although the ultimate goal of establishing a trade route to China was not met, a long-lasting relationship was formed between the British and the Tibetans. The mission to Tibet was viewed as a success, and was commemorated by a 1775 portrait of Bogle being presented (in Tibetan gowns) to the Panchen Lama. This portrait, by Tilly Kettle, a British painter who worked in Calcutta, was reputedly presented by Hastings to King George III and it is now in the Royal Collection.
The hopes for a breakthrough in China rested on using the Lama as an intermediary with the Manchu Qing Emperor of China Qianlong, an astute but aloof ruler who regarded all the world as tributaries. In 1780, Palden Yeshe visited Beijing where he came close to gaining a passport for Bogle. Qianlong presented him with a golden urn for use in ceremonial lotteries and the goodwill seemed to suggest that a passport would be issued. However, he was struck down by smallpox and died that same year. (It was not until 1793, that a British envoy ) Lord Macartney was, very sceptically, received by the Chinese Emperor).
Bogle died, probably of cholera, on April 3, 1781. He had never married, but left behind a son George, and two daughters, Martha and Mary. According to family lore, the girls’ mother was Tibetan. The two girls were sent back to Daldowie House, where they were brought up by Bogle’s family and eventually married Scotsmen.
Bogle’s diary and travel notes were published in 1876, providing a partial impetus for the Tibetan journeys of Sarat Chandra Das. Das translated and published parts of the Tibetan biography of the Third Panchen Lama, including descriptions of his friendship with Bogle. Some critics have ascribed Bogle and Das as major inspirations for Rudyard Kipling’s novel Kim, especially in Kipling’s use of the title “Teshoo Lama” (an alternate title of the Panchen Lama typically used by Bogle and other British sources of the time).
The Bogle mission has echoes today. The Chinese government has used it on official websites to suggest that Britain recognised Chinese sovereignty over Tibet. They portray the meeting of the Panchen Lama as one where he kowtow’ed in submission to China. The Tibetans suggest it was a meeting between a pupil (the Emperor) and a revered master (the Lama).
According to the Asia Times, in 1995 the search for the 11th Panchen Lama culminated with Beijing and the Dalai Lama proclaiming rival child candidates, Gyaincain Norbu and Gedhun Choekyi Nyima respectively, with Chinese officials using Qianlong’s urn as a symbol of legitimacy and sovereignty, placing it at the very heart of the ceremony.
The lands of Daldowie lie astride the River Clyde on the south and the North Calder Water to the east, and stretch to the present area of Baillieston in the north. It was one of a string of estates strung out along the River Clyde – from Dalmarnock, through Westthorn and Dalbeth to Easterhill, which went from being country seats in the 18th century, through an exploitation of their iron and coal deposits in the 19th century, to the commercial and residential uses which predominate today.
Daldowie Crematorium was opened in 1950 by Lanarkshire County Council, on the grounds of the historic Daldowie House – home of the Stewarts of Minto and George Bogle of Daldowie. His son, George Bogle the younger made an expedition to Tibet as the first British envoy to China. An elegant house was built in the 1730s, of which only the Dovecote remains, and extended in the 1830s by a local ironmaster, John Dixon. It is located at Daldowie Estate, North Lanarkshire.
Old Broomhouse Railway
Info on the old Broomhouse railway line from:
Mount Vernon North
Opened 1883 as Mount Vernon, closed 1 January 1917, re-opened 2 June 1919, re-named Mount Vernon North September 1952, closed 2 July 1955.
This was a two platform station with timber platforms. A station building here was burnt when a porter tried to thaw a pipe which turned out to be a gas pipe rather than a water one. There was a signalbox here closed in 1927 on replacement with a groundframe. The line crossed the Rutherglen and Coatbridge Railway to the south of the station. There was a link to this line from a north facing junction, the link joining the line at an east facing junction just to the west of where the line was crossed. Just to the south of the link line junction (and before crossing the other line) was a branch to the Barrachie Colliery and Brickworks which ran from a west facing junction and then ran north.
Opened 1883, closed 1 January 1917, re-opened 2 June 1919, closed 24 September 1927.
The station here closed in 1927 but the signalbox remained open. The signalbox replaced an earlier on in 1914 and was closed in 1960. The station remained standing after closure. There was a brickworks siding. To the south of the station was the Broomhouse Colliery and to the north the Daldowie Colliery.
Calderpark Halt for The Zoo
Opened 5 July 1951, closed 2 July 1955.
This halt was opened in 1951 to serve Calderpark Zoo by Mrs Cameron wife of British Railway’s Chief Regional Officer for the area.
This viaduct crossed the North Calder Water.