January 1816

1          A Thaw has taken place.

Severall people Drunk and quarrelling on the streets as is usual on the first day of the new year.

Allowed Lieutenant Bell to bury his daughter in my burial place on the North side.

7          The Weather exceeding Stormy with high winds chiefly at North West. Snow on all the hills, the frst still in part continues. The New building at the MealMarket is still advancing, it will be soon ready for the roof. The part where the new Corn Market is to be is nearly quarried out.

10        The Storm of frost and snow is terminated, ploughs are going in some parts of the low country but much Snow lies on the Hills, the Highland mountains are still covered with it.

15        Being old Handsell Monday was observed by the lower classes with the accustomed scenes of Drunkness Riot and confusion which is customary on celebration of that ancient festival.

Another storm of frost and snow has set in.

17        A very high gale at West, which continued 24 hours, attended with sleet and snow.

18        A fall of snow attended with hard frost.

Wrote Mr McNaughton London, sent him a small present of three hams. Severall people in various parts of the country have perished this winter among the snow.

24        Got all my Gooseberry bushes currants etc pruned and my apple, pear and plum trees pruned and nailed to the wall. Three or four Merchants have become insolvent and among them is James Melles our brother in law for the second time.

29        The Storm continues with great Intenseness. The Barometer is at 30.1 eighth. There is no snow in the Kerses but the height are every where completely covered to a considerable depth with snow.

30        The son of Alexander Bayne Smith at Causey head and the son of John McDonald labourer at Sherrifmuirlands were both drowned in the Fforth by the Ice breaking under them. Their bodies were not got untill next day.

31        The Storm still continues, the weather is very cold.

 February 1816

2          The Candlemas fair of Stirling. It was neither well attended, nor was there any business worth mentioning transacted.

3          A fall of Snow succeded by a partial thaw.

4          A very severe frost succeded, the Forth is frozen over in severall places. The Thermometer was at 40 within six foot of a good fire in my shop.

8          The Storm continues.

10        John Stevenson at the Whins paid me up his bond of £200 which I immediately put into the Stirling Bank.

Paid £3.12 for four Bolls of Meal.

11        Walter arrived from Edinburgh; he has left the Study of Medcine with a View of getting in as a Clerk in a Mercantile house in Glasgow.

12        Walter went to Glasgow with his brother James in order to settle with a Mercantile house there as an apprentice for three years. Gave him ten pounds twelve shillings towards getting him a Suit of Cloaths, and also for his subsistence for some time.

The weather still Cold and frosty, the barometer is up at 30.

13        Walter entered to the Messrs Hinshaws Merchants in Glasgow, ‘tis intended that he should remain with them for three years.

14        James returned from Glasgow.

17        One Walter Glass a Notorious Spendthrift, gave a ball and supper to upwards of 50 people. NB he is both a fool and a bankrupt but having got some money from a superannuate he thought fit to spend about 150 pounds sterling in that foolish manner. The Custom of sending Valentines among the young people was carried to excess this year, ‘tis reported tat upwards of 400 passed the post office. Severall young people received them by dozens.

20        Failures in the Mercantile line in and about Glasgow Paisley and other places to an enormous amount have happened of late and many others are expected to follow, the reason given is the excessive Speculations of sending British Goods to the Continent of Europe and to America.

25        The Weather very stormy with Showers of hail, sleet and snow.

28        A hard frost with high winds chiefly at West, began to lay dung on my potatoe ground.

James Melles our worthy brother in law failed about the beginning of this month, his household furniture and shop goods have been all inventoried, he has offered a composition of five shillings in the pound, but has not as yet been able to find security for paying it.

March 1816

1          Numerous petitions from most parts of England and a few from Scotland presented to the house of Commons against the continuation of the income tax, but it seems little attention will be paid to them. The necessities of the country are however very great and urgent. If useless places and tensions were abolished there would not be any occasion for such an odious tax.

2          Got the most part of my garden manured.

Constant falls of Snow, which generally melts and renders the roads and streets extremely dirty.

7          James went to Edinburgh and passed for a Notary, his examination was in the Library of the Writers to the Signet, by three of that body deputed for that purpose by the Lords of Session. The Tax to Government and the fees of Office amounted to 40 Guineas. A young writer from Stirling at the same time was reject because he could not anser the questions put to him.

10        Went to Pathfoot and examined John McInnes’s daughter as to the state of her health at the desire of Mr Lucas at Edinburgh.

11        A Thaw commenced, the Snow is still deep on the High grounds.

Bankruptcies still continue in various parts of the Nation.

14        About 80 of the Forfarshire Militia lodged a night in the town on their way home to be disimbodied.

16        A rumor of an earthquake which was to happen this day had agitated the minds of the weak part of the inhabitants of the town so as to prevent many of them going to their beds.

18        The Storm appears to nearly gone in the Plains but the Hills are still covered with Snow.

20        Sowed 5 oz of Leek seed and five oz of Onion seed with a few Carrots.

25        Planted 1 lib of Charleton Peas, one hundred late and one hundred early cabbages and one hundred Savoy plants, The Weather dry but the Ground rather wet.

The Snow still continues on all the hills, with the weather Sharp and Cold.

26        A Company of Veterans came to do duty in the Castle.

To the end of the month the weather was dry but very cold, the Wind generally at East. The Labour of the field and Gardens is considerably advanced, most of the Beans and Oats are sown in the Plains, the Snow still lies on the Hills. I have planted about six pecks of Potatoes. The Markets are on the rise.

April 1816

1          Cold, dry weather with the wind at N East, East and S East.

5          James and Isabella went in the Steam boat to Leith from whence they intend to go in one of the Leith Smacks to London.

The Labour of the farmer goes on briskly and the Corn Markets are rather on the rise.

7          Got all my potatoes planted, they amounted this year to 20 pecks.

A Shower of Snow but it did not ly long on the ground excepting on the Hills which are all covered.

16        The weather still excessive cold with winds at North, Vegetation is very backwards.

Got the house Whitened or washed with Lime and water.

A Collection of wild beasts in two or three Caravans were exhibited for some days at James Sawer’s outside of the Port.

William Laing and James Johnston Sugar boilers and Victual dealers stopt payment for upwards of £15,000 Sterling, this is the greatest failure that ever took place in Stirling. Laing was a Journeyman Mason a few years ago and Keept up an extravagant family.  Johnston was learned the trade of a brewer and was a proud upstart debauche low fellow.

20        The Justiciary judge (Herman) came into town. There were only some business relative to Smuggling came before the Court. Three young men from Tullibody, viz Marshall and 2 Scotts were indicted for deforcing excisemen but were acquitted.

25        Sent a Silver Watch to Walter at Glasgow of the Value of 4 Guineas.

28        The Weather has become rather more warm and mild so that ‘tis supposed that winter is now ended, but there is still Snow both on the OchilL and Touch hills.

The Balsam Poplar Trees are beginning to put furth leaves. This has been one of the longest winters in the memory of the oldest persons living, not but there have been winters in which the Storms were more severe and the cold more intense but for continuance of winter which came on on the 10 of November and continued untill the latter end of April and has lasted with very little intermission for six months.

The Markets are still reasonable although on the rise. The Ross-shire Militia from Ireland are passing through the town on their Rout to Ross-shire to be disembodied, they are a fine looking body of men and appear to be sober and decent in their beheaviour and are about 500 rank and file.

May 1816

1          Fine mild weather with frequent showers. Vegetation is fast advancing.

4          The Sacrament of the Estlished Church, the Assembly was small, little remarkable was observed..

6          News arrived of the Marriage of the Princess Charlote of Wales only child of the Prince regent to one of the name of Leopold a son of a Germain prince called the prince of Saxe Cobourgh.

8          James Returned from London.

The Weather remarkably cold and a fall of Snow which remained on the hills.

15        The Corn Market took a sudden rise in consequence of Advices from France that a famin or great scarcity prevailed there, the Average of Wheat got instantly up to Forty two shillings per boll.

18        Much rain, the Rivers were considerably swelled, Snow still on the hills, vegetation however has advanced rapidly within these few days but we have no real summer weather as yet.

20        Sent ten pounds in a letter to Walter at Glasgow to pay some little accounts and also for his subsistence.

Gave William likewise seven Guineas to buy a suit of Cloaths.

24        Fine weather but rather cold with the wind at the E and NE.

28        A young man of the name of Alexander Thomson, who had been quarter master to the Western Battalion of the Local Militia shot himself with a pistol through the head, various causes were assigned for his committing this rash action. The most probable was that he had taken to a course of drinking with low company and spent all his money on a bad woman and his father refusing to, uphold his extravagance. His father is a Merchant in Kilsyth.

29        Fine summer weather altho rather cold, the wheat does not look well in severall places.

The Markets on the whole are rather on the rise, butter, eggs and potatoes are still reasonable.

 June 1816

1          Cold dry weather, the Crop looks bleak and not of a healthy colour, the Grass is also very backward in springing up.

4          A very heavy gale of wind at west came on and has done very much damage, every thing in my garden has suffered very much. The Scaffolding is got up round the upper part of the new Steeple in order to get the Spire finished.

The Guns were fired from the Castle and the bells in the town were rung at 12 o’clock noon it being the Kings birthday but no other demonstrations of joy took place on that account.

9          An Eclipse of the Moon at ½ past 11 at Night but not visible here on account of thick Clouds which totally obscured her.

The intense drought with high winds at W b N still continues.

10        The Hay crop will be very scanty on account of the cold dry weather, grass of all Kinds is suffering much, the Crop in general is looking bad on account of the cold dry weather.

The Old Steam boat that was first set agoing has been repaired and is again set on foot to run between Stirling and Newhaven, near Leith, she has got a new Steam engine put into her.

The Old Light Sacrament was held, it was very thinly attended.

Their minister (Willies) makes a noise for a larger Stipend which has given much offence to some of his hearers.


11        A Line seasonable shower of Rain.

One Ryder with a Strolling company of Players began to act plays in an old Maltbarn on the north side of the town; after filling up the barn so as in some measure to resemble a Theatre they have named it in their playbills the Theatre Royal Stirling.


13        Bell returned from London. She came from Leith in the Stirling Steamboat. Mr McNaughton and his family went to Grangemouth and from thence to Glasgow.


16        The Sacraments are again become very frequent in the country, and will continue untill the harvest begins, but ‘tis remarked that they are not attended by such multitudes as formerly.


18        Another Bankruptcy has taken place.  David McLeran a haberdasher from Bridge (of) Allan and who has been only a few years in business has failed for 10 or 12 thousand pounds !!!


21        Money has become very scarse, nobody thinks of paying any thing if they can avoid it.


22        Jane went to Glasgow to stay a week or two with her aunt Mrs Leckie



29        Paid £15 Sterling to the Traveller of the Apothecaries hall Glasgow.

Fine warm weather with frequent Showers. The Crop looks much . better but the Harvest is expected to be late.

Mr McNaughton and his family arrived from Glasgow.



July 1816


1          Fine warm weather with Showers, the Crop looks well and markets are rather on the fall.


3          The Steeple, at the Corn Market was finished and a Gilded weather Cock put up which had a tolerable Fine effect but the weathercock by many was thought to be of rather too large a size for the height of the Steeple it being only one hundred and twenty feet in height.


4          Mr McNaughton and his family arrived here from Glasgow.


12        The Weather is fine with frequent rain but the wind is high at times.

A great deal of Thunder and Lightning but have not heard of many accidents or caisualties having happened by it.


18        Mr McNaughton left us for London but his wife, after going to Edinburgh returned and remains with us with her two Children. The Weather is very rainy and the hay harvest is not getting forward.

Two troops of Dragoons came hear and lay in the town for three weeks, they then marched back to Jockes Lodge near Edinburgh frm whence they had come.


27        The News arrived of the Marriage of the princess Mary with her cousin Prince William duke of Gloucester. Twenty one Guns were fired from the Castle on that occasion.

Severall Spots or Holes in the Sun has been observed by Astronomers this Summer and the Summer has been uncommonly rainy but it is not pretended that the great and almost incessant rains that we have had of late is on that account.


26        An expedition of Seven Sail of the Line, severall heavy frigates, four Bombs and some Artillery have sailed under the Command of Lord Exmouth to Chastise the Algerines and Tunisines, who have of late behaved with barbarity to our marhantmen in the Mediterannean Sea.

Very rainy weather continues.


30        Good weather has set in and the farmers are all throng among their hay.



August 1816


1          Two Companies of the 42 Regiment marched into the Castle. They had in generall the Waterloo Medal hanging on their left breast suspended by a red and blue ribbon. It is about the size of a Spanish Dollar.


2          Two women apprehended and put in jail for uttering base coin mostly shillings.

The Lammas Fair, it was very thinly attended, not the third part of people were present, that used to attend on such occasions. There was no sale for horses cows or sheep as was customary.

A Irishman had a small drove of Swine from Ireland for sale but he appeared to get very few of them Sold.


5          Walter, Arrived on a visit of eight days from Glasgow, reports that trade is very dull there, and that there was a very serious mob there on account of the distribution of some broth, in which the military aid was used whereby severall people were dangerously wounded, the riot continued severall days..


4          Very rainy weather.

Began to digg early potatoes, they were good in quality but not abundant in quantity.

The Gooseberries and Currants are not yet ripe which is about three weeks or a month later than the last year, for by this time they were all made use of.



7          Still very much rain, the Hay has however been mostly got in but the harvest must at all events be late, altho the crop looks well.

The Riots in Glasgow terminated without any person being Killed but severall have been wounded one of whom is since dead.


11        Very high wind at South with heavy showers at times.


13        Walter returned to Glasgow. I gave him Five Guineas towards supporting him, for his master does not give him any part of his salary untill the end of te year. Mrs McNaughton also went with him on a Visit to her friends in Glasgow.


14        The first annual tryst was held, there were very few cattle on the Moor, nor was there a brisk sale. The prices were low in proportion to what they were in former years.


16        The Salmon fishing in the Forth has been very productive this season but the price of fish has been high notwithstanding. Salmon has never been below eight pence per lib and Grilses at Sixpence per lib. At the beginning of the season Salmon was sold as high as three shillings per lib.

The weather is very wet, much rain continues to faIl.

Isabell was seized with a Fever on the 11th.


19        Wrote to Jane to come home from Glasgow forthwith.


20        Gave Mrs Campbell St Ninians Twenty one shillings to buy meal.

Fine weather but inclining to be soft.

An Earthquake in the north of Scotland, some damage done to the buildings in Inverness hut no lives were lost, it happened at 11 o’clock pm.


21        Mrs McNaughton returned from Glasgow.


28        Fine delightfull warm weather.

Isabell is recovering.

The Markets have got up, Wheat to 46, Oats to 26, Barley and beans to 50 shillings per boll and all in contemplation of a bad harvest and an ill gotten in crop.


29        The distillery being carried on in an improper manner, by the Distillery laws not being properly drawn up, Smuggling of highland Whiskey has been carried on to an amazing extent of Late, as the Spirits distilled by the Licenced distiller are not fit for human use. To check this evil the Duke of Montrose, the Lord Lieutenant of the County, and the freeholders of the Shire, had a meeting here ten severall resolutions were moved in order to check smuggling.


30        The weather very fine and dry.

The Markets are getting high but tis expected they will immediately fall again.


31        The Harvest is not yet begun – but the Markets are again falling, the Quartern loaf is 1/1.



September 1816


2          Some Small parcells of Barley are begun to be reaped, but the Harvest will not be generall for eight or ten days. The crop tis supposed will turn out well.

James went to Rashiehill to sell some wood by public Roup, but returned without effecting the business.

Snow seen on the Highland hills for the first time.

A rent or Crack is perceived in the new Steeple, it began in the Lintel of the door of the Steeple and extended thirty feet at least, upwards from Window to Window.


3          Wet weather with rain for eight days altho the Barometer Keept pretty high the whole time.

The Second Cattle market at Stenhousemuir. The number of Black cattle and sheep that have passed through the town as yet are not great or numerous. The market will be held on the 9th.



10        A Violent Gale of wind at SW. Altho my garden is well Sheltered from the Wind in that direction yet the Eddies from the South have done much harm in Breaking my fruit trees and bushes and in loosening them at the roots.


12        The Market at Stenhouse Muir turned out to be a very bad one.

Few were sold, the prices were low, especially Sheep, – the best Wedders sold at from 13/ to 13/6 a piece.


14        William Paul a plaisterer was Killed by one Paterson in a public house Friars Wynd by Patersons knocking his brains out with a half Mutchkin Whiskey Stoup. Another fellow of the name of Gilchrist, foot of Quality Street, attempted to Cut his brothers Throat. The one was a weaver the other a baker.

Mr D Smith came to my house for the first time.


18        Wrote a letter to Uncle Walter at London per Mrs McNaughton.


19        Mrs McNaughton and her two sons Colin and Malcolm left us on her return to London, by Leith with a Leith Smack.


20        Fair weather with Foggy mornings and cold but very warm during the day.

The Markets are well supplied with Butcher meat, the Beef and Mutton at 5½ per lib.

News arrived that Lord Exmouth had destroyed the Algerine fleet, their forts and Arsenal at Algiers and forced the Dey to conclude peace on very humiliating terms.

D Smith wrote a letter to Jane but not explanatory of his first letter to me.

The Judges of Justiciary came into town, one man was sentenced to 7 years banishment for deforcing a Gauger and almost murdering him. A man and three women all Irish were convicted of Shop­lifting from John Anderson Merchant and Manufacturer, two icre sentenced to seven years Banishment and two to one years imprisonment. Three men were sentenced to four months imprison­ment for assaulting some Gaugers on the common highway.


21        Walters box returned from Glasgow with his linnen.


24        The Harvest advancing but the weather is rather soft or inclined to be wet.

A remarkable Semicircle extending across the horizon in the form of an Arch from NE to S and E, the North end was over Alva hill, the South end was over Touch hills. It was very luminous and continued from 7 pm untill 9 same evening and gradually evanished. It had some appearance of being akin to the Aurora Borealis.


25        Robert Walker Wool merchant was elected dean of Guild.


26        Robert Young and John Buchan were turned out of the Council and Robert Gillies, Thomas Wright were elected Baillies in their places.


28        Very high wind at SW with heavy Showers of rain at times, the Early oats are much Shaken.

The Bakers have got the Quartern loaf to 1/1 and the markets are getting up on account of the backward late rainy harvest.



October 1816


1          Severall fine flocks of Sheep of the crossed Merino Breed from the North passed through the town to the Southward.


6/7/8     The third and last Cattle market at Stenhouse Muir was held. A vast number of sheep and black cattle were brought to market which sold at very reduced prices, few horses were there, any that were sold were at low prices.

David Smith returned to Glasgow, on the night of the 7th, he openly declared his intention of marriage with Jane my daughter and Jane also having owned her consent I and my wife also acquiesced that it should take place a month or six weeks hence.



9          The Weather dry and the farmers busily employed in reaping and housing the Corn in the Barnyards.


13        The Chelsea pensioners paid their quarterly pension, it used to be paid only half yearly.


22        The weather for some time has been tolerably dry by which means the Labour of the Harvest is considerably forwarded.


24        The Stirling Steam boat is still sailing between Stirling and Leith.

The Weather for the harvest is still favorable.


27        George Smith and another person named Macawl came here from Glasgow, they went away next day.


28        William went to Edinburgh in the Steamboat, he intends to prosecute his studies during the winter with the View of obtaining the Degree of MD against the first graduation in August.


29        James went to Edinburgh on business.

Gave William £30 sterling to pay his tickets and board for ~ some time.



November 1816

4          Sent William some books and £16.16 by the Mail Coach from Gibbs Inn in order to enable him to pay some additional Classes and also to get a big Coat.


6          Some frost with dry weather, the farmers throng in Stacking their Crop.


8          A hard frost succeded by a heavy, fall of Snow.

Much of the Crop to reap on the high Grounds .and some of the beans still to get into the Stackyards in the Kerses.

9          The Snow still on the ground attended with Sleet, the weather      very cold and disagreeable.


10         A Hard frost, Snow on the ground.


14         The Storm still continues with intervals of thaw, the Crop of Potatoes are not half lifted and will be lost.

Much of the Wheat is not sown. Winter has fairly set in with every appearance of much severity and the markets are rapidly advancing.

Trade is still exceeding Dull.


16         The Storm continues, the Ground is covered with Snow.

A man called Hutton was Killed by the threshing mill at Cowie, another Weaver lad called Reid was killed at the Clayrnill of John Wilsons pottery at the Craigs.. burn. They were both crushed to death by the Beam of the Mill squeezing their heads flatt.


18         Sent William to Edinburgh five pounds.

Another fall of Snow.


19        An eclipse of the Sun and moon, which began at 8 am and continued untill ten, but here we could not see it on account of rainy clowdy weather.

Thaw commenced.


20        The Storm of Frost and snow is gone excepting a little Snow in patches on the Hills.

Sent William Opera Sydenhamii.


24        Fine clear Frosty weather. The Potatoes are mostly got up and in a better condition than was expected.

David Smith and Walter came from Glasgow.

Gave Mrs Campbell two pounds six shillings.

Gave Walter five pounds.



25        Jane Lucas my oldest daughter was married to David Smith, Land Surveyor in Glasgow, the company was small and select, Rev John Smart was the Clergyman. They departed from Stirling to Glasgow after Dinner in two post Chaises, Isabell, Walter and a Mr McAlley from Glasgow went with them.


30        The Weather was good to the end. of this month by which means most of the potatoes have been got up, not many of them have been destroyed by the frost. Yet the HARVEST is scarcely over in some high lying places ‘tisreported that there is oats still to cut down, but it may be said that the Harvest is at last got in much better than was expected. The CROP is scanty and the Markets in Grain have got very high.

Gave Mrs Campbell the ballance for Mrs Whiteheads board being Twenty six shillings and. sixpence.



December 1816


I           The Small Pox are very frequent in the Mary Wynd, they were introduced by an Irish Vagrant who had a child affected with them on his coming into town, however they are as yet not fatal excepting to the Irishmans child who died.


7          The Weather cold and stormy with frequent Heavy rains.

A Mob at Dundee on account of Shipping Grain in order to send it away, the House of one Lindsay a Victual dealer was burnt Down to the ground and many of the Shops plundered.

There has also been serious riots in London about petitioning Parliament concerning a redress of Griveances.


10        A heavy fall of Snow with frost.


13        Sent £20 to Edinburgh to William for Mr Lucas.   The Storm continues.

The Fishing for Salmon in the Forth has commenced with tolerable success, but it is likely to be interupted by the rivers being frozen over by the severity of the Storm.


21        Mr Smith came from Glasgow and returned the same day.


22        The Storm still continues with partial thaws at intervalls.


23        The Grand Duke Nicholas second brother to the Emperor Alexander of Russia arrived in town at 7 o’Clock and Lodged at Gibbs Inn in Quality Street, his retinue consisted of 4 Carriages, he had been in Britain for some time past.


24        The Russian Grand Duke went to the Castle at 11 am, admired the View from it, and conversed familiarly with a Captain of Engineers in French, declined having the freedom of the City conferred upon him, took a refreshment in Gibb’s Inn and set off for Glasgow at 1 pm. He was a Tall thin young well looking man and appeared to be about 20 years of Age, his suit consisted of 4 Gentlemen and a few Servants.

A Thaw with a very high wind at SW which has carried off the frost and most of the Snow which appears only on the hills. On the 27th William removed from Mr Lucas’s to a hired room at Mrs Cairns’s No 12 West Nicholson Street.


29        Sent him a five pound note of the Stirling Bank No.66/437  Sept, 15th 1814.

Very high winds with great Floods in the Forth and the weather very cold.

This year has been a very uncommon one. The Spring was exceeding cold and backward or rather there was no spring, the summer was cold and wet, or rather we had no summer. The Crop was very bad and unproductive. The Harvest was very late, the crop was not well got inn. A Scarcity has taken place. The Quartern loaf is 1/6, other articles in proportion. There never was so many beggars as thee is at present in our streets. Taxes are high and are levied with Severity. Petitions for a reform have been presented to the Prince Regent from London and other Cities, and have not been well received. Neither trade or commerce are revived. Tradesmen and labourers are out of employ and are in a state of Starvation. The Regent and his ministers do not seem to care for the grievances under which the Nation groans under, and seem to be deaf to a reform of flagrant abuses that universally exist in the expenditure of the Public money.


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