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Glas are a Scottish kin-group or family who do not have a chief and are therefore considered an armigerous clan. The name is more often spelt Glass.


This name is derived from ‘glas’, the Gaelic word meaning ‘grey’. It might be a shortened version of MacGillieglais, meaning ‘son of the grey lad’. <ref>George Way of Plean and Romilly Squire, Scottish Clan and Family Encyclopedia, 396</ref> It is also a component of personal names, for example, the forename Glas and the surname MacGlashan. <ref>David Dorward, Dictionary of Scottish Surnames, 116</ref>

In the Lyon Registers, kept in Edinburgh, the name is recorded as ‘Glas of that Ilk’. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 396</ref> Nisbet also listed a family of Glass of Sauchie and claimed that they had a relationship to the chiefly family due to similarity of their heraldry.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 396</ref>

Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries

Glas of Ascog on the Isle of Bute is listed as a notable family as early as the fifteenth century.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 396</ref> George Black records a grant of land of Alexander Glas in 1506.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 396</ref>

Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries

The name appears frequently in the Dunblane area. <ref>Dorward, Surnames, 116</ref> John Glass was recorded as a butcher in Elgin in 1674. <ref> (accessed 28th May 2014</ref>

The Rev. Alexander Glas, who was possibly a member of the Sauchie family, became known for founding a religious sect known as the ‘Glassites’. <ref> Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 396</ref> A native of Auctermuchty, Fife, his teachings opposed the Presbyterian establishment and he was expelled from the Church of Scotland. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 397</ref><ref> (accessed 28th May 2014</ref> He wrote a number of controversial pamphlets which were published in 1762.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 397</ref>

Anderson narrates the fate of John Glas, mariner.<ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 397</ref> On a return voyage from Africa he was murdered by his crew during a mutiny. Despite their attempts to conceal the crime the crew were executed in 1765. <ref>Plean, Squire, Encyclopedia, 397</ref>

Twentieth Century

The name's association with religious extremism continued in the shape of Pastor Jack Glass (1936-2004), an evangelical preacher from Glasgow. Glass became well-known for his campaigns against Catholicism and perceived immorality in the Arts, and was famously described by Ian Paisley as 'a bit of an extremist'.

In 2004 Glass died of lung cancer shortly after announcing that he had beaten the disease with prayer. <ref></ref>