Daniel Defoe, pamphleteer, entrepreneur, spy, and author of Robinson Crusoe, visited Scotland in 1706, 1712, and 1723.
As a result of his travels, he wrote A Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain (1724-27), an on-the-spot commentary of the country on the eve of the Industrial Revolution.
Defoe called Glasgow ‘one of the cleanest, most beautiful and best built cities in Great Britain’, which at the time boasted a population of 25,000.
Particularly interested in trade, he noted the city’s sugar-baking houses, the distilleries, and the industry surrounding plaid, muslin, and linen manufacturing.
By 1800, Glasgow’s population was over 62,000, and by the 1850s, it was in excess of 395,000. It is Scotland’s largest city.
Daniel Defoe, A Tour thro’ the Whole Island of Great Britain. 5th ed. Vol. IV. London: Printed for S. Birt, T. Osborne, [and 8 others], 1753.