Argyle Street, Glasgow.
Thomas Fairbairn’s view of the Buck’s Head Hotel, built on the corner of Dunlop and Argyle Streets in 1757 by John Murdoch, a leading tobacco merchant and three times a lord provost. It became a hotel in 1790. The building of similar design to the left of the hotel on Argyle Street was built by Colin Dunlop of Carmyle, another tobacco merchant and lord provost.
During the so-called Radical War of April 1820 the Buck’s Head was occupied by the City Magistrates and by men of the 7th and 10th Hussars. The cavalry’s horses were kept saddled in the courtyard behind the building, ready to carry the troops into action against radical insurgents. However, the “rising” quickly fizzled out and the cavalry did not see action. Thanks to the Mitchell Library.
From Old Glasgow Club.1923-24. The Buck’s Head was built about 1750 in Argyll Street as a residence for Provost Murdock, the site being the east corner of Dunlop Street. Alongside stood the companion house of Colin Dunlop of Carmyle, and this last was taken down only last year for a clothier’s premises and a picture house.
The landlord was Peter Jardine, who married a widow, Mrs Currie, with a dashing daughter, who was the first to drive a two-horsed phaeton in the city. This Inn had a gilt stag’s head, and was reached by two side stairs rising from the pavement, as in the Old Tolbooth at the Cross.
In 1820 the town was crowded with troops, about 7,000 in all, a radical rising being feared, and the officers of the 10th Hussars were lodged in the Buck’s Head.
When on duty a young officer was assailed by hooligans and called an aristocratic coward. One of them tried to drag him down by the jacket, but the officer pitched him on to the pavement. His companions came to his aid, but the young Hussar disposed of each of them in turn. The Inn began its existence in 1790, and finally closed in 1863.
One of the earliest recorded acid attacks occurred in the Buck’s Head Inn on the 2nd of August 1833. A servant of the Inn called Mr Hugh Kennedy attacked Mr James Goodwin AKA “Head Boots” of the establishment. Mr Kennedy was hanged in Glasgow for his crime in early 1834 and didn’t tell anyone of his motive for the attack. Thanks to our reader James Simpson for his research on the acid attack.