A former kingdom of west and southwest Scotland, Strathclyde was founded by the Britons during the Roman occupation of Britain. It extended south from the Antonine Wall into Cumbria and eastwards to the Lothians, its principal stronghold being Dumbarton Rock on the north shore of the River Clyde. In the 5th-6th centuries the Britons were converted to Christianity by St Patrick and St Mungo, founder of Glasgow. From 870 AD the kings of Strathclyde were subservient to the Scots and sometime between 960 and 1018 the kingdom's independence came to an end, the last king, Owen the Bald, helping Malcolm II defeat the English at Carham.

The name was revived in 1975 with the creation of Strathclyde Region, a local government region comprising 19 districts with Glasgow as its capital. The region, which had an area of 13,503 sq. km (5,215 sq. miles) and a population (1991) of 2,218,230, survived until 1996 when it was abolished during another round of local government reform. The name, however, was retained by a number of organizations including Strathclyde Police, Strathclyde Passenger Transport and Strathclyde University which was established as Glasgow's second university in 1964 through the amalgamation of the Royal College of Science and Technology (1796) and the Scottish College of Commerce (1845).

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