The son of a bandmaster, James Stevenson Baylis became a bookkeeper in a brewery store and worked in the Singing Saloons, known also as “free-and-easies”, and in the early Music Halls. With the help of his wife Christina Ferguson he rose through the ranks and managed Sloan`s Oddfellows Music Hall in Argyle Street. In the 1860s he would create three theatres in Glasgow including the Royal, and become a millionaire in today`s money.
...in December James Baylis opened his second pantomime Let Glasgow Flourish, or, The Fairy of St Mungo written by William Lowe. Ticket prices were Dress Circle 3/-, Pit Stalls 1/- and Amphitheatre 6d. Running for three months, one of its theme tunes sung by leading lady Margaret Thorne was :
“Here's to the Bird, and here's to the Bell,
And here's to the Bonnie Green Tree,
The Fish and the Ring, their praises we'll sing,
Let Glasgow Flourish, say we.”