The Town was Illuminated on account of the recent Victories gained in Spain by Lord Wellington and the Allies in Germany. I was out of pocket 16 shillings for Candles on this occasion. The Mob behaved tolerably well. The Tar barrels were carried about as usuall but no riots were to be seen.
The Frost still continues. Markets are rather Moderate. Sugar is getting up on account of the Markets beginning to be open in some parts of the north of Europe.
The ‘tar barrels’ may refer to the practice of carrying lit barrels as a spectacle of celebration – in this case because of the ‘recent Victories’ which caused the town to be ‘Illuminated’. If that is correct, it appears the news from Europe was publicly celebrated throughout the town and Dr Lucas’ wording suggests it was a fairly common occurence at times of celebration. Some parts of Scotland, particularly Aberdeenshire, continue to carry burning tar barrels at Hogmanay as part of the annual celebration so the practice is still known.