The Head of the House is the Lord Dean of Guild, elected annually by the Members of the House. The Lord Dean acts as Chairman of the House, and delegates Convenership of the different committees. The Office of the Dean of Guild ranks next to that of the Lord Provost of the City. Prior to the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the Lord Dean was also the official head and sole judge of the Dean of Guild Court in Glasgow, assisted by four Lyners appointed by the Merchants House and four appointed by the Trades House of Glasgow.

The membership of the Merchants House is drawn from men and women in business, established in Glasgow or the West of Scotland with Glasgow connections if they are in business on their own account to a substantial extent, or in good practice in a recognised profession, or Directors, Managing Directors, Managers or other principal Officers in a significant business body, corporation or authority; or persons of like standing and qualifications established elsewhere in Great Britain who are sons or daughters of members; or are otherwise qualified in ways which, in the opinion of the Directors, would make them eligible members of the House.

The present membership of the House is almost 1000. Thirty six Directors, elected by the members, carry on the active work of the House, together with the Dean, the Vice Dean, the Immediate Past Dean and the previous 2 ex Deans. Twelve of the 36 Directors retire annually and arrangements are made to encourage the election of a proportion of new Directors each year without losing the advantages of experience in the work of the House.

By virtue of various Charters and Acts of Parliament the House elects representatives to a considerable number of Public Institutions, among them being Hutchesons' Hospital, Hutchesons' Educational Trust, The Glasgow Educational and Marshall Trust, The University of Strathclyde ,The Chamber of Commerce, The Adam Smith Chair of Political Economy at Glasgow University , as well as other charitable and educational bodies. The involvement of the House in the affairs of the community is still of importance, although over the years the emphasis has altered and today the House is principally concerned with its many charitable activities.

The House has accumulated considerable funds and has been the recipient of bequests and donations from its inception. However, the opportunities for benevolence of the House are continually extending and additional donations are always welcome. In 2005, to mark the Quatercentenary of the House, an appeal was made which resulted in a number of donations, and transfers of trust funds, amounting in total to over £1 million. The generosity of the benefactors is recorded on a Board in the Committee Room of the House. In 2006 we received the RNVR Club (Scotland) Memorial Trust. The income from this trust enables 12 young people each year between the ages of 16 and 25 to experience a short voyage on a Tall Ship. In addition to its general funds the House administers funds in trust, some being for special purposes and others not, but in respect of which it has been the custom to retain the name of the Founders as distinctive of their endowments. Of the many generous gifts and bequests extending the scope of the House's charity, amongst the largest is the Inverclyde Bequest Fund for Seamen, which was received by the House in 1926. On the recommendations of local committees the annual revenue of this notable bequest is distributed to seamen's missions in Scotland, Liverpool and Manchester, Belfast and New York and Boston. Despite state-funded benefits, the experience of the House is that distress among elderly people can only be alleviated by charitable institutions such as the House and, indeed there has been no reduction in the need for assistance. The effect of past periods of inflation continues to be felt and has meant hardship and worry for many whose pensions have not kept pace and the House is greatly concerned to do what it can. All appeals being carefully scrutinized.

Recent additions to the funds of the House are the Matthew B Campbell Trust and a fund received from the Underwood Trust – both funds to be disposed of, capital and interest, over a period of approx 10 years in the Glasgow and Paisley areas.

Liaison is maintained with other charitable institutions, such as Hutchesons’ Hospital and the The Royal Society for the Support of Women of Scotland, so that the most effective assistance may be afforded to those in need. In addition the benevolence of the House extends to charitable instit­utions. Amongst those assisted in recent times are Erskine, East Park Home, Guide Dogs for the Blind, The Boys’ Brigade Glasgow Battalion, Citizens Theatre, Greater Glasgow Scout Council, Princess Royal Maternity Unit, Scottish Opera and many others.

It is rare that a month passes without fresh appeals being made to the House. All are carefully considered and assistance given to the best of the House's ability. There is no doubt that, were unlimited funds available, the scope is there for increased benevolence by grants to Institutions such as those mentioned above, and others whom the Directors have regretfully had to reject.

The House also makes grants from its funds to various educational institutions and provide bursaries. Special mention should be made of the George Craig Trust. The Bequest made by the late Mr George Craig, Consulting Chemist and Chemical Engineer in Glasgow, provides that the Fund may be applied for by school children, undergraduates or students at central institutions.

This grant is fantastic news for Time and Space. 

Before now we’ve never been able to offer our members any kind of art therapy so to be able to offer this puppet class is going to be a great addition to the therapeutic support we already offer. 

Many of our members have had experiences that can be very difficult to talk about, being able to express these difficult experiences in a different way will make a huge difference to them. 


At Kibble we care for some of the most vulnerable young people in the country. This support allows us to teach new skills, offer a wider range of subjects, and work towards qualifications that will lead to employment opportunities. We also want to try and encourage more girls to take up design and technology subjects. 
“I would like to thank the Members of Merchants House Glasgow for their support. Their contribution will make a massive difference to the opportunities available to the young people in our care.” 


We are extremely grateful to The Merchants House of Glasgow for their generous grant of £28,000 for the purchase of this mini bus.

Their long term support of our veterans is so much appreciated.  The bus, which was donated in recognition of our centenary year, will be well used by our residents for outings and days out.


People with lived experience of mental health find it harder to access services, face greater levels of discrimination and self-stigma. The grant from Merchants House will enable us to continue delivering our core service and help us grow our network of self-help groups and self-management training. The groups provide community and friendship for people who are isolated and excluded.  It empowers people who feel powerless and acts as a forum to exchange insights, views and experience of Bipolar. This is an essential part of self-management, helping people keep well and thus reducing hospital admissions.


As a leading social care charity, CrossReach provides care and support to the most vulnerable people in Scotland and it is the support from others, like the Merchants House of Glasgow, which allows us to continue this very valuable work.

The statistics around mental health are stark – every year, 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem.  Many find it difficult to get the help they need.

The Tom Allan Centre, based in Glasgow, is a counselling service run by CrossReach. We work with over 1,000 clients per year, helping to improve the mental well being of these individuals, thanks to our generous supporters, like the Merchants House of Glasgow.


The grant provided by the Merchants House of Glasgow will help us to run our integrated dance group Horizons for around twenty young disabled and able-bodied people aged 14 – 25.  The project helps improve confidence, creativity and mental health and physical well being. The money will help to pay for the project to continue for another year.


We are Healthy n Happy, a charity and community owned organisation, governed by the local people of Cambuslang and Rutherglen and all of our work is directed by local priorities. We are delighted to have been awarded £3000 from Merchants House to support children and young people to get the best start in their community through the delivery of our Parent Cafes and The Wee Adventure Club.  Our Parent Cafes have a direct focus on supporting families with young babies/toddlers (0-5) who are affected by hardship and disadvantage and other challenging circumstances.   Following on from the Parent Cafes is The Wee Adventure Club - a weekly meet-up for “wee people from Burnhill“ (5-12) who are looking for BIG adventures in their community, making use of local community assets through play, exploration and nature based activities.  

This funding will:

  • Support parents to have enhanced relationships and bonding with their baby/child
  • Build lasting resilience in children - which is a key indicator of for future development, attainment and other positive life outcomes
  • Increase confidence, self-esteem, social skills and social networks for all participants
  • Develop a strong connection to community for all participants so they actively appreciate and enjoy their local neighbourhood

Thank you so much for helping to ease the many practical and financial difficulties families face throughout their child's treatment.

The support from The Merchants House of Glasgow has been instrumental in the delivery of complementary therapies at the Royal Alexandria Hospital and has become an important part of the charity's work to support cancer patients. This has also formed the model for other complementary therapy projects at a number of NHS facilities across the West of Scotland. 


Your generosity will help to support our Home from Home service in Glasgow, Marion's House.

Our home helps families to stay close to their child throughout treatment; as one parent explains, "It has made a difficult and scary situation less stressful by having a base close to hospital, leaving us to not have to worry about travel costs and long journeys." 


"Glasgow East End Community Carers has been providing support to carers in the east end of the city since 1991. Our new project, the Carers Hub, was launched in May 2016 and aims to provide ongoing preventative support to carers within our local community. It does this by providing carers with a range of services, support groups and activities aimed at improving health and well-being, reducing isolation and stress and increasing capacity and resilience to help carers continue in their caring role. This funding from the Merchants House of Glasgow will allow us to continue to provide this much needed support."