30th March 1813

Cold weather with showers. Most of the Carse farmers have got their Beans sown.

Planted late potatoes about 1 peck.

My pease appears above ground.

The Accounts from Germany are favourable.  The Russians have entered Berlin, Warsaw, Hamburgh, Micklenburgh etc etc and have been welcomed as deliverers every where.  The Danes have become friendly and have recalled their privateers, but Altho we have beaten the Americans by land, yet we have not been so fortunate by sea.  We have lost three fine frigates after most desperate engagements but the American Ships were of very superior force both in size of vessels, weight of metal and number of men.

Trade upon the whole has been reviving.

The parliament have been occupied in disputes about the Princess of Wales, which have been most shocking but which have come to Nothing, the princess’s character being neither cleared up not established to be infamous.

In 1812 the USA declared war on Britain , ostensibly because British ships were stopping American ships looking for deserters  and in the process impressing American seamen,  but also because they thought Britain was in the process of being beaten thus letting the US potentially take over Canada. 

The American land forces were soon beaten, but their navy won a series of single ship engagements with British frigates much to the embarrassment of the Royal Navy.  One of the ironies of the situation was that the American ships were much better gunned than the British ships, and with guns supplied by a British Company, the Carron Ironworks by Falkirk.

 One of the ships involved, the USS Constitution, remained in active service until the 1850s and, like Britain’s HMS Victory, is still in commission. It is the oldest warship still in commission. The superiority of the American ships forced Britain to build bigger frigates to engage with them, but in due course the Royal Navy regained the upper hand, although the war itself petered out with real resolution.


4 thoughts on “30th March 1813

  1. My Dear Lucas,

    Everywhere we look there is too much war about, but with our foreign allies now agreeing to fight together, we can but hope to stop the Emperor in his tracks. The Americans have indeed sorely bested us, yet are not without honour in battle : I have heard that in addition to Hornet sinking the Peacock they took her survivors aboard – much to their own discomfort as their ship was then badly overcrowded. Only a month before, though, the same vessel had captured one of our packet-ships carrying a veritable fortune in gold and silver.

    As to the impeccable conduct befitting any Princess of Wales, I fear we have been ill-served. Indeed, her character is so lacking in moral fibre it would not surprise me if further scandal emerged. The investigation into her behaviour is indeed of the utmost seriousness. If the identity of the male child so born should be proved, he would be the legal heir to the throne.

    We live in uncertain times indeed, Lucas.
    Yours, etc,
    Nathaniel Blyss.

  2. Dear Dr Lucas,

    Mama thanks you for the packet of medicine received today. Her cough is a bit better, although she is still abed and I am run ragged attending to her every whim.

    I am glad no scandal has been definitively attached to her Royal Highness. In my opinion the Prince Regent is no better. He is a noted womaniser, who behaves very badly towards his wife. I have heard much gossip saying he only married her for her money to pay off his debts, and that their marriage is a sham and a complete failure.

    Mama sends her regards, and hopes to visit you when it is warm enough for her to travel.

    I remain,
    Your humble servant,
    Charlotte Somerville

    • Dear Charlotte,

      Thank you for acquanting me with your Mama’s progress and hope that she recovers soon.

      I am most distressed to hear that you have been paying heed to gossip. I shall have a word with your Mama about it when I next see her. I would urge and advise that young gels should not dwell on the tittle-tattle that abounds the servants hall, nor read matter where such material is printed.

      However I do confess, as though to confound my statement above, I do advise the paters and maters of the young to help their offspring seek good marriages and to protect the family assets and the future prospects of their children’s contentment at all times and to that end, dear Charlotte, I urge you to keep your good name and your wits about you when you enter the ‘marriage market’ we so generally call ‘the Season’.

      Keep your Mama warm and instruct the servants to mind their duties well; you never know what they will get up to in the absence of the mistress.

      Kind regards,

      (Stirling Council Archive)

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