January 1811

1          Great heats in the Parliament about appointing a regent the King being still insane. The Ministers want to limit the Authority of the Prince of Wales as regent and keep themselves in power.

 2          Very Great losses on the coast of the Kingdom among our shipping by violent Gales of wind.

 2 frigates went ashore in Dunbar bay occasioned by mistaking the Lighthouses, few lives however were lost as the weather was not very stormy at that time.

 Great Inundations on the East Coast of Scotland by high tides, the sea breaking in over the Sea dykes, some people and much pro­perty both in Grain and Cattle was lost.

3          The weather very cold and Stormy with Frost and Snow.

            One William Thomson a deacon of the Weavers 8 days ago left his family. ‘Tis feared he has committed suicide. His Father hanged himself on a Tree in Murrays Wood about 30 years ago.

17 .      Bankruptcies among the Manufacturing houses very common, a general distrust pervades all ranks.

            Shipwrecks on the Coast very frequent on account of the very heavy gales of wind or rather Storms approaching to the nature of the Hurricanes in the West Indies attended often with tremendous Storms of Thunder and Lightning.

            Frost and Snow with intense cold weather.

            The Salmon fishing has turned out very ill this Season. The Town has all the fishing above the Bridge in their own hands, ‘tis imagined that they will make nothing of it after paying servants’ wages, expences of Boats, nets etc. They certainly ought to have let it.

            Houses are letting very badly in Stirling. The rents are also reduced about one sixth from what they used to be.

19        Paid Conveener Reid £34.14 Sterling being the last part of the money which I borrowed from him when I bought Dick’s property and includes every penny that I owe him.

            Heavy rains. The Frost is gone but there is snow on every hill.

            Bonaparte the French Emperor has got the Ports of Europe shut against us, and British goods are everywhere seized and burnt his order throughout Europe. Spain is not fully subdued but ‘tis thought that it must soon be finally subdued by his Army.

21        Houses are not letting. Many houses and shops ‘tis imagined will be untennanted this ensuing season except they be let at a great undervalue.

25        Mrs Whitehead came to Stirling and lodged with us. Her errand was relative to getting discharges from James Campbell and James Melles and other matters as McNab at Cowie has suspended the payment of the 2 Installment of the shares of the retiring partners.

26        Fine mild weather.

            Bankruptcies in the Mercantile houses still continuing.

            Planted severall additional Apple and pear trees.

28        Paid Robert Davidson Painter £2. Sterling.

            Paid to John Murdoch Merchant £3.13 Sterling.

30        James Melles and his wife refuses to give Mrs Whitehead their Mother in law a discharge altho they have received much more than their due and altho their refusal risks the loss of the rest of Mrs Whitehead’s property.

            Very cold weather with frost and snow.

The Markets are high altho somewhat lower than they were two month ago.

            Meal is at 40/- per Load, Beef 7 per lib, Butter 1/4, Eggs 1/-, Quartern loaf 1/1.

The Brewers have got into the practice of using Hashed or Bruised barley instead of malt for Brewing Beer by which means it is rendered harsh vapid and not worth the using.

 February 1811

 1          This month commenced with a very smart Storm of Wind, frost and Snow with a very great degree of cold. The Wind in particular blew with extreme Violence mostly from the NE, E and SE and once or twice from the N and NW. ‘Tis to be apprehended that great damage has been done by sea.

 3          Few news of importance from Spain or Portugal, the French seem to be gaining ground upon the whole. They have sent large reinforcements to their Armies, we have also sent some additional force to Lord Wellington who still continues encamped in the neighbourhood of Lisbon.

            The Spanish Settlements in North and South America and in the Island of Cuba are in a most distracted state. The Parties are 1 for a republican Government, 2 for owning the deposed King Ferdinand the 7th and assisting the Mother Country, 3 the weakest for acknowledging Bonaparte the French Emperor’s Usurped Authority.

Mrs Whitehead still in Stirling but she can do nothing with Melles or his wife, ‘tis suspected however that she rather favors them altho to her very great loss.

            Gave Willea (sic) and Walter 10 shillings each to give to their Grammar School Masters as a Candlemas gift.

8          Heard that James was very unwell, which gave me much uneasiness. Am determined to have him home, I have been very anxious about him all this winter on account of his indifferent State of Health.

10        James arrived from Edinburgh in a poor state of health. He complained of a pain in his left side and breast which was occasioned perhaps by his overgrowth and his too Close application to Study.

George Prince of Wales installed Regent of the United Kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland, but only to continue as such during the King’s insanity. He is laid under many restrictions highly derogatory to him and the Nation but much is expected from his great abilities.

After two days of Mild. weather we had another fall of snow with a severe cold frost.

25        Uncommonly wet weather with high winds and uncommonly high tides The Isle of France captured by an Army from the East Indies particularly Bombay and Madrass amounting to 13000men, after a slight resistance altho very strongly fortified and garrisoned by a Strong body of Troops.

26        The 4 Battalion of the Royalls arrived in town from Dunbar. They were 900 strong with a great number of Women.

The weather during most part of this month was very bad with heavy rains and high winds. The Markets were somewhat reduced but all the Necessaries of Life were still high, beef being 7d, Mutton 6½, Meal 21 sh. per boll and other articles in proportion.

 March 1811

3          A very heavy Gale of wind from the westward with much rain and a great flood or Speat in the River Fforth.

7          Planted early Charleton peas, the ground was rather wet.

9          Planted Cabbages 100 Late and 100 Early, with two lib. Beans.

13        Sowed 3 oz Onions, 3oz Leeks and 3oz Carrots seeds, the weather being very fine and dry with a little frost during the night. Severall Gardens laid out at the foot of the back brae south side of the town, on both sides of the Road that leads down to the Public road.

The Salmon fishing has as yet turned out to be very indifferent.

            The few Salmon caught sold at 2/6 per lib and are sent mostly to Edinburgh.

20        Planted Strawberries, and 2 pecks of Early Potatoes in the garden, the weather being fine altho rather cold.

Trade very dull, Bankruptcies very frequent, and a generall distrust of one with another in their dealings universally prevails.

29        The First sown early pease in the garden began to appear above the Ground.

            The Weather fine but with Frosty mornings.

An Old Fellow, one Man, a Carpet weaver who was incarcerated for Stealing Yarn from his Master Robert Young and was to have be tried at the Circuit Court here died in prison.

 News arrived that General Graham of Balgowan had defeated the French in the neighbourhood of Cadiz and had killed or wounded or made prisoners 3000 of them. The British lost in killed 400, the number of wounded amounted to 900.

30        Sowed Radishes, Early Turnips, Fennel and Carve Seeds. Observed the first sown pease coming through the ground.

            The last half of this month was uncommonly fine dry weather but rather inclined to frost on the mornings. The Labour of the field and in the Garden being well advanced, the Beans, Pease and Oats being mostly sown.

 April 1811

5          Planted three pecks of late potatoes.

            Mr Wardrope from Glasgow came here and remained with us untill the ….. (sic).

6          Severe frost with a high wind at Northwest which has done much harm to the vegetation particularly the fruit trees, the Gooseberry and Currant bushes, besides hurting vegetables very much, the frost and cold was very severe, the Ice on the Water in pools and ditches was one inch in thickness in one night.

8          Bankruptcies still very frequent, but ‘tis to be feared that severall have taken advantage of the times and the leniency of our bankrupt laws and have become insolvent when there was no necessity compelling them to these measures.

            Rumors of a Serious Misunderstanding betwixt the Russians and the French, perhaps the Russians are become sensible of their error in quarrelling with Us and preferring the friendship of the French to Ours.

            A great many French prisoners from the south of England sent to this country and sent to different depots at Greenlaw and Pennycuik where proper prisons have been erected to receive them.

9          A severe frost with some snow, it lasted three days and has hurt vegetation very much.

10        Mr Wardrope returned to Glasgow.

12        The Judges came into town, there is much business for them this Circuit, mostly for Housebreaking and theft.

17        Fine pleasant weather with rain.

            A Malt Barn burnt in St Ninians belonging to one Alexander Buchanan.

            Mrs Gordon an ill neighbour, altho she was informed that a dog belonging to her has done much mischief in my garden yet she continues to allow him to come into it to Scratch and dig large holes in it.

            The Judge called Lord Armadale sentenced two Colliers at Sauchie to 7 years banishment for deforcing and beating a revenue Officer, but the Thieves to the amount of 6 in number from an informality in their indictments got off, or rather were committed for a new trial. This affair raised a great outcry against the Judge, and no doubt very justly for the numerous thefts and robberies committed in every part of the Country cry loud for examples in order to repress these disorders.

20        Cold rainy weather with high winds, planted some peas.

23        An uncommon heavy fall of rain with much Thunder and lightning, the wind was from the southeast. A quantity of the soil of my garden was washed away with the little torrents that were formed from the very heavy rain.

            Thefts and Robberies about the Falkirk side more daring and frequent than ever.

            A draught of 180 very fine fellows from the 4 Battalion Royal marched for Leith in order to be sent to join one of the other Battalions in Portugal.

27        Wet weather and rather cold.

28        The Old Sugar House partners of Bathman & Douglas stopped payments and a sequestration took place, besides other Bankruptcies to a great amount.

            The French Army have been driven out of Portugal by want of provisions. Lord Wellington with the British and Portugese have harrassed them very much in their retreat and have Killed and made prisoners great numbers of them.

            A Strong Squadron of 21 Sail of the line with a proportionable number of smaller ships are to Act in the Baltic this Summer under the command of Admiral Sir James Samureze.

            The Butcher Market, the Butter Markets are still high. Meal is moderate being, forty shillings per load, the Quartern loaf is moderatly priced.

            Bankruptcies continue to be frequent.

            A Great Alarm in England has taken place on account of Smuggling the Gold and Gold Bullion out of the country, and selling it on the Continent where it bears high prices. This is an alarming evil and threatens very serious consequences if a stop is not put to it.

May 1811

1          Nothing but high winds and rain untill the …        (sic) of this month, the farmers have neither got their Potatoes planted nor their Barley sown.

12        Agnes came home from Cowie.

            Mary has got the Measles.

15        Paid my property tax amounting to £5 sterling exclusive of the like sum for Rashiehill. I paid also Eleven Shillings for Militiamens wives and children.

            Paid also five pounds ten shillings for servants wages due at Whitsunday and for one half year only.

            A Storm of rain with much thunder and Lightning. A Man and a horse was Killed at Gartmore, and two women were killed sitting in a Cart in the Streets of Glasgow. This happened on the 14th.

The weather fine and warm.

16        Placed six hundred pounds in the bank of Scotland of which £400 was on a bill, and £200 on an Account Current. This money I received as payment from Conveneer Henderson as payment of the Bond that I held on his property in the Mary Wynd. Henderson in settling for the Intrest did not use me well for altho he agreed to pay the Income tax yet upon settling for the Intrest for the last half year he keept £8.5 sterling being the amount of each year ever since he granted me his bond.

23        Went to Broadside to James Cuthils and took a second Infeftment for Miss Agnes Whitehead for her second bond for £500 on the land of Broadside and others in the parish of Denny.

25        Gave Robert Rennie Baker St Ninians £400 sterling on heritable security on his house and Garden called the Manse in St Ninians. The weather still continues Wet with heavy rains. The farmers complain much of not getting their Barley sown, but there is a good appearance of a fine Crop of Hay and the Wheat, Oats and beans have a good look. The Gardens are much infested with Caterpillars and worms and the 3 days frost of the early part of the month has done very much harm in destroying the Blossoms and buds on the Apple and Pear trees.

My Uncle Walter arrived from London by way of Grangemouth after an absence of Eleven Years.

The Eastern Battalion of Local Militia 800 strong marched into the Town for one fourthnight. They are a fine body of men but bad disciplined.

            News of a hard fought battle on the frontiers of Portugal betwixt the British under Lord. Wellington and the French under Massena. The French were beat, the loss has been considerable on both Sides

The whole of this month has been very rainy, so that the labour of the field is far from being completed,

31        The battle between Lord Wellington and Masena was for the rising of the Siege of Almeida in which the French failed. The loss has been great on both sides but the British succeeded in repulsing the French, Almeida fell the next morning.

June 1811

1          The May fair was not well attended the day being rainy.

4          The King’s birthday was Keept as usuall. All the Old Deacons, counsellors, old conveners and such riff raff together with the whole officers of the Local Militia and the 4th Battalion of the Royal besides some of the Magistrates were invited but not one respectable inhabitant. Drunkness and. riot prevailed, the Smuggle cost nearly £100 Sterling most of which is taken of the Hospitals’ funds.

6          The weather still wet with high winds at intervalls mostly at West and Northeast.

News arrived that the King was much worse and that Symptoms of Dropsy had appeared.

12        The Eastern Battalion Local Militia went home.

13        The Western Battalion of Local Militia 800 strong marched into town for a Fourthnight.

14        One Mason an Hostler at the Saracens head, drowned himself in the Forth a little below the Bridge of this town, said to be in consequence of losing some money by signing bills for one Wright a Butcher who had recently failed.

15        The Weather still wet.

            The Yeoman Cavalry consisting three Troops came into town to be on permanent duty for a few days.

            The INHABITANTS of STIRLING numbered and found to amount to 5894.

18        Settled with Mr McKinlay for the Miss Whitehead’s and McNab McFarlane & Co for £50 Sterling, and sent the receipts to Glasgow.

The Weather dry and warm.

22        The longest day, the weather dry and warm but the mornings were frosty.

            The Farmers are still sowing Barley altho it be rather late in the season for it.

.24       A Smart Shock of An Earthquake was felt at ¼ before 1 O’clock PM. The Sky exhibited an uncommon appearance the whole forenoon, the Clouds being some very dark others dense and blue and some nearly white strangely jumbled together and moving in different directions with great rapidity. The wind was first at NW then at NE, sometimes very high, at other times Calm, a rumbling noise resemb­ling Distant thunder but longer in duration, and seemed to move from east to west in the direction of the Ochill hills. The day was rather cold than hot or sultry.

            The remainder of this month was very warm drouthy weather. The Heat at times was very great. Hay harvest began towards the end of the month. It will be abundant in the Dryfield but rather a scanty crop in the Kerses.

July 1811

8          Sent Agnes Whitehead’s effects to Grangemouth consisting of a Chest of Drawers, a pianoforte besides articles such as Sheets etc. She is to set out this week to London to be married to Mr Malcolm McNaughton who was Clerk to the Cowie distillery company and is now at the Glasgow Wharf, London.

Fine mild weather with small showers.

            John Wardrop who paid his addresses to Jane for some time past is likely to turn out a Villain.

12        Got the back of my B(akers) Wynd house cast and Harled with lime.

13        A heavy rain at East with a strong wind.

            The Crop looks well especially the wheat, and the Markets are on the rise.

            Pulled pease for the first time this season.

Wrote Wardrop desiring an explanation of his conduct towards Jane but received no answer, ‘tis a very lucky Circumstance that matters were not carried further than a common Courtship, besides a promise of marriage, and that he did not attempt seduction but if he had the temerity to try such Villany her spirit and sense of honor would have been more than sufficient to have guarded her from such base beheaviour – but there remains no doubt but that he is a base mean fellow below our notice and even beneath contempt.

19        My Uncle set off for London in a Carron Vessel.

            Paid James Robertson at Craigtown his bill of £105 including the intrest.

22        A very heavy wind at West b N, it did considerable damage to my garden by breaking the Trees and bushes and shaking the apples.

27        Got my house, the back part of it only consisting of 4 roods, 29 yards, 5 feet and 10 Inches rough Cast at 13 sh. per rood, and also the back Jamb of my house at Whinwell rought cast consisting of 4 rod, 22 yards, 6 feet 8 Inches, together with the roof mended by putting in a few Slates the Charge of which amounted to £7.13.

            There is every appearance of a late Harvest, the Crop looks indifferently well, but the barley is the worst Crop. The butcher Markets are still High, good beef is at 7d per lib, lamb is uncommonly dear, butter and eggs are also high priced.

August 1811

6          The Grammar School was examined in presence of some of the Magistrates and some others, the boys went through their exercised tolerably well. They were 70 in Number. William and Walter were at the Heads of their respective classes.

7          Severall accidents Happened. A Man was killed at Craigforth Mill by getting his cloathes entangled in the Machinery. A boy was killed at Black grange by a horse running away with a Cart. Another man was killed at Denny by being upset whilst asleep in a Cart, by which he was so much bruised that he almost instantly died.

            A Great number of lives have been lost and much damage done to dwelling houses and cattle by Lightning this Season in various parts of the Kingdom.

            The weather fine and clear with frequent showers but there is destructive high winds at times.

            The town very much pestered with beggars who pretend to be Wounded Seamen and Soldiers widows.

13        Nanny, William and Walter went to Cowie to stay a few days.

14        James went to Glasgow in order to see the place he intends to stay two or three days.

            The Weather is fine with a Shower of Rain at times.

            A Typhus fever prevails among the 4th Battalion of the Royal, some few have died of it, ‘tis reported that there are nearly 100 such in the Hospital.

            The first Cattle tryst was held in Stenhousemuir. There were few buyers and the prices were rather low. Sheep are also falling in price.

17        Sent two Guineas to Glasgow to James in a letter adressed to him at Mr Buchanans No 33 Candleriggs, Glasgow.

            Sent also a Game Certificate for Mr W Buchanan directed to Mr Robert Leckie as at above.

19        This morning a Sawyer, one Duncan, was found dead on the Gowan hills, ‘tis not thought that he committed suicide but rather that he was of late deranged in his intellects.

20        Chamberlain and his company of Strolling actors came into town. They amounted to upwards of a dozen persons men and women, and are a most miserable set of people. They act in an old wright’s shop at the back of the town which they designate the Theatre Royall.

            The Salmon fishing in the Forth has turned out badly this Season. The people that have it will lose much by it. Altho Salmon are selling just now at 10 pence per lib early in the season they were as high as three shillings the pound.

            Our Armies in Spain and Portugal are in a state of inactivity. The French are in the same condition, and little is doing by Sea as the French fleets dare not venture out of their harbours.

23        A Field of Wheat cut down at the Burnt house below the town.

26        A man was Drowned at the Shore in consequence of the Boat upsetting by taking the Ground it being Full of stones.

            Severall sudden deaths without any apparent or visible cause and among others Alexander McKillop of Westhaugh. He was of a dissi­pated and drunken beheaviour but strong and robust.

29        Two Beautiful Lunar Iris’s of Rainbows appeared in the North at 9 o’clock PM. The Noon was very far south and about the Middle of her second Quarter or tenth day after change. They were in succession to one another and lasted about ten minutes each. The latter end of this month was variable weather. The Harvest was begun in many places, and the Markets were rather on the rise.

September 1811

2          Gave John Galloway the Cabinet maker directions to make a sideboard not to exceed Eleven Guineas in Value. Got a 220 Stone of Hay for our horse from Andrew Christie at the Badd.  NB Hay tis expected will be got at a Moderate price this year, the Average seems to be rather below three pounds per hundred Stone.

An Ellipse of the Moon began at 9 pm and ended at 11. The Eclipse was not total.

5          Sir Sidney Smith the Hero of Acre passed through the town on his way to Drummond Castle. The Magistrates intended to confer the freedom of the town on him but he declined it untill his return southward however the bells were set a ringing on his acc­ount. The Populace gave him repeated Huzzaas, to which he very politely Bowed to them and gave them thanks in his turn.

Sent off two Kipper fishes by Hosey’ s packet to Leith to be forwarded in a Leith Smack to London to Mr Malcolm McNaughton at the Glasgow Wharf.

7          Saw a Comet NNW about 4 degrees above the Horizon. The Newspapers had noticed it a week previous. It appears to the naked Eye to be a very considerable one and very Luminous.

8          The Justiciary Judges come into town this morning. There are two trials for forgery and four for Stealing or Shop breaking to come before them.

            The Weather is remarkably fine but the Harvest is not going on briskly owing to the Grain not being sufficiently ripe.

10        The Circuit or Justiciary Court closed. Two men received Sentence of Death for Shop breaking and are to be hanged here on the 11th of October. Two were sentenced to 14 years Transportation for Shopbreaking. Two were tried for Forgery, one of whom was Outlawed for Nonappearance and the other was sentenced to be transported for Seven Years. There was no other business came before the Court. The Judge was called Ferguson and bore the title of Lord Hermand.

12        William Entered to Mr Robertson’s School at St Ninians to learn Arithmetic. He is to attend during the forenoon and is to Attend at the Grammar School here to improve further in the Greek and Latin languages.

            The Comet still Visible. Its course seems to be in a Circular direction round the polar Star.

            The Second Market for Black Cattle or Tryst was held at Stenhouse Muir. The Cattle went off tolerably well at middling prices. Horses and sheep also sold indifferently well but there is a great reduction this year in the price of Wool.

13        Wrote Mr McNaughton Glasgow Wharf London.

            The 1 Division of the 4th Battalion Royal Marched from the Castle towards Musselburgh. This Regiment 1400 Strong leaves this Garrison because the Barracks are reckoned unhealthy. A number of Women belonging to the place are gone with them, but they are of a Kind that we can very well want and amount to nearly 18 men and boys.

16        The last division of the 14th Battalion of the Royal left the town. Both officers and men left a number of Unpaid accounts behind them. There were also a few of the bad Kind of women went with them.

22        Little or none of the Barley is yet reaped, the Wheat is mostly got in but the Oats and pease are mostly cut down and in the fields.

24        Robert Lucas with his daughter Jean and his sons Alexander and William came from Edinburgh

25        The Election of a Dean of Guild and three Guild Counsellers took place. John Murray was chosen dean of Guild by a great majority. John Morrison a retail merchant protested against it, because he did not live within the Royalty altho he did all his business as a Writer in the very midst of the Burgh.

The Races commenced in the King’s Park, the Company were few. The race was well contested and won by a horse of Bairds of New. The Town have withdrawn their subscription in consequence of the Country gentlemen shewing too much haughtiness towards the Citizens of Sterling.

26        The weather is extremely wet with high winds. The Mercury in the Barometer is 1.10 below 29.

28        Robert Lucas with his 2 sons returned to Edinburgh. His daughter Jean was left at our house for a few weeks.

            The Races on the 26 were well contested and afforded much diversion to the lovers of such pastimes.

            Received letters and presents in a box from Mr McNaughton and his wife at London. .

            Received a latter from my Uncle Walter at London.

            The latter end of this month was wet weather. The Comet is still visible and has nearly reached the Southern Star in Ursa Major, but it seems to be decreasing in size and Brilliancy.

Much of the Crop remains not cut down. The Markets are rather on the rise. Trade and Commerce are as bad as ever.

October 1811

1          Wrote My Uncle Walter and Mr McNaughton at London by Mr George Galbraith Surgeon Navy.

2          Two uncommonly high tides in the Forth.

            A French Prisoner who had escaped from Pennycuik was taken up here and lodged in the Castle.

11        Anderson and Menzies who were convicted of Shop breaking and theft at Last Assizes were executed pursuant to their Sentence betwixt the hours of 3 and four pm in front of the Tolbooth Steeple. They behaved with resignation and were attended by three Clergy­men Viz Stewart, Somervile and Henry. The Spectators were very numerous.

            The weather still very wet.

            The Tryst at Stenhousemuir was very numerously attended. Black cattle sold well but rather at reduced prices. Sheep were lower in price by one fifth than last year.

            A highland drover was Knocked down and Robbed opposite the Malt- barn in the Lane that leads to Irvine Place and Robbed of Property to the Amount of £1600 Sterling consisting of Bank notes Bank receipts and a promisary note besides other papers.

15        An uncommonly heavy Gale of Wind at West. A new house in Cowan Street was blown down. A Chimney of’ a Steam engine belonging to a Spinning Mill in the same Street was also blown down and the Machinery much damaged.

            The Fruit trees and Gooseberry bushes in the Gardens were much damaged and broken. ‘Tis supposed that much hurt is done all over the Country especially to the Crop. It continued nearly 24 hours.

            The Comet is still visible and very brilliant . It is ascending still towards the Southwest. The Tail of it is rather increased than diminished.

14        Set up the Trees that had been almost blown down in my Orchard and cut severall of their Branches away, in order to lighten their Tops.

16        The weather very Fine but little wind.

19        Digged four bolls of Potatoes. They are good in quality but inferior in quantity to the last year’s Crop by one third.

22        Got up the remainder of the Potatoes.

29        Cold wet weather.

            The Comet still visible but decreasing very fast.

            Much of the Crop is not yet got in, in some parts much is to cut down.

            The Crop this year is rather scanty. ‘Tis imagined that the distillers will not be allowed to distill from Grain.

30        Planted 5 Dozen White red and black currant bushes in the lower part of the Garden next to Mrs Gordons.

            The Markets are rather higher, Meal being 50 sh. per load and the Quartern Loaf at 1/5 . .

 November 1811

2          James left Stirling for Edinburgh. He returns to Mr Lining and means to attend the Scottish Law Class. His health is greatly improved.

            Jean Lucas, Mr Robert Lucas’s Daughter, went to Edinburgh with James.

4          Mr Anderson went to Edinburgh to pass an Examination at Surgeons hall.

7          Mr Anderson returned having passed for Surgeon and obtained his diploma from the Royal College of Surgeons at Edinburgh.

The Fair of Down, the Cattle sold rather low.

            The weather is exceedingly stormy being very rainy with high winds.

8          Planted a few Apple and Pear Trees together with some Beech Elm and Chesnut trees in the Hedges.

12        Planted 41 Fruit Trees, Apples and Pears chiefly in the upper part of the Garden. I procured them from the Nursery at Birkhill from Wm Drummond. Their price was fifteen pence a piece.

15        Exceeding wet cold weather with high winds. The Ochil hills were covered with Snow during the night there was much lightning. The Comet still visible in the far south in the Atmosphere and nearly at the same height.

15.       Thomas Raeburn son of James Raeburn wright in Dunbar and Brother to Reverend Win Raeburn minister at Bannockburn entered to Mr Anderson and myself as an Apprentice for three Years.

Planted 25 Fruit Trees which I bought of John Jameson Gardner Stirling at one shilling the Tree. They consisted of Apples and pears of various kinds. This completes my plan of the Orchard at present, there being at this time upwards of 170 fruit Trees in it.

18        Mrs Whitehead left Cowie and went to James Melles’s.

19        A Roup of Mrs Whitehead’s furniture at Cowie. Her Creditors have refused her a little furniture for one room. Her ruin is now complete, owing to her mismanagement and her being blind to the advice of everyone who wished her well.

            The Mercury in the barometer is at 30” 2/10.

20        The 70th regiment came here to be recruited and marched into the Castle. It was what is called a Skeleton regiment consisted of about 120, including plenty of officers, and a large regimental band. The same day the 79th regiment 2 Battalions went through the town from Dundee to Glasgow consisting of about 250 mostly boys.

            The Papers filled with Shipwrecks on every part of the Coasts of the United Kingdom.

25        Mrs Whitehead’s furniture was sold by public sale at Cowie.

            The roup lasted three days and things sold indifferently well.

            I bought a Mahogany bedstead with curtains together with a garden chair.

29        The Distillers are ‘tis reported to be prohibited from distilling from Grain.

            Tolerable weather at the end of the month but several very strong gales of wind.

            The Markets are still high.

            The Spaniards under General Blake have been defeated by the French in Valencia in Spain.

 December 1811

1          A very severe Storm of wind and rain at South.

3          A Storm of Frost and Snow, the frost is very severe.

8          James Lucas came to my house from the Cambus in a most wretched condition he being sick and afflicted with the Jaundice.

9          My brother was brought very weak by a purging of Blood occasioned by the rupture of a blood vessel perhaps a branch of’ the Vena portarum. He talked incoherently at times, his pulse from 120 to 112.

11        The discharge continued untill the 11th at intervals when at five minutes past two AM he departed this life with Calmness and Serenity in a firm belief of a happy immortality.

Fine cold frosty weather.

            My Sister Agnes came to see him but too late. He had his Senses to the last.

14        James Lucas my brother was buried in the Churchyard of Stirling in my own burial place. There was upwards of 80 who attended his funeral. Among others were James Scotland of Wallhall, James Sharp at the Woodlands, and John Drysdale at Sauchie. Things decent were not spared ostentation was carefully avoided.

17        A Storm of frost with some Snow.

            McNair who robbed and nearly killed a Hamburger, Master of a Vessel near Grange Mouth and who was sentenced to be hanged at Falkirk on the 26 of this present month, was brought from Edinburgh by Sherrif McDonald and lodged in our Jail.

18        The Comet is still visible but it is now very far to the South and verging towards the horison.

            Wrote to James at Edinburgh and enclosed two Guineas in the letter. One John Miller has taken the Towns fishing on the Forth this year for £1100 Sterling per annum. He has not as yet got many fish, the river being swelled much with the rains that have fallen almost incessantly.

20        News arrived of the taking of Batavia in the Island of Java, with 2000 of the Enemy killed and 5000 taken prisoners. Our loss amounted to 500 killed and wounded.

24        Went to Cambus to get John Pitkethley a wright there to inspect and get my brother’s furniture sold. I found it was of very little Value.

            One Ross a Slater fell from the House of Alexander Peebles in the Bow, of three Stories in height and was killed on the Spot.

26        McNair the Slater from Falkirk who robbed the Hamburgh Captain was taken from Stirling by a party of Dragoons and hanged at Falkirk; a rescue being apprehended the Streets of the Town was lined with strong detachments of Cavalry and infantry.

            A Storm of Frost and Snow.

            Was Infeft in my brother’s heritable bond on John Stevenson’s property at the Whins.

31        The Storm ended in Wind and rain.

            The year 1811 has been upon the whole very unfavorable. The winter was not severe but the spring was cold frosty and disagreeably long, or rather we had no spring at all. The Months of June and July were tolerable good weather but the remainder of the year especially autumn was bad with wind and rain almost constantly. The Crop was bad especially the barley and Potatoes, Markets got high. The War still continues but with little effect. We have taken some of the French and Dutch Colonies in Asia and Africa such as the Isle of France and Batavia but these conquests rather weaken than strengthen us. On account of the high winds we have lost many ships and seamen both Men of War and Merchantmen and the Enemy’s Privateer’s have also done us much mischief.


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