1st December 1813

Cold stormy weather with frost and thaw alternately.  The weather dark and Gloomy.


30th November 1813

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.

27th November 1813

The Bells were rung and the Castle Guns were fired on account of a Great Victory gained by [blank] at Hanau over the French , Forty Thousand French killed wounded and prisoners with hundreds of ammunition wagons taken and destroyed.

The Storm continues.  The frost is very intense but little or no snow excepting on the hills.

Dr Lucas appears to have got this entry a mite confused – the battle of Hanau was in fact a tactical victory for Napoleon against Karl Phillip Von Wrede, who led the combined Austrian and Bavarian armies.   Napoleon was able to retreat into the relative safety of France despite Wrede’s attempts to stop him. 

The Battle of Hanau took place 30-31 October 1813 which again gives us an idea of how long news of this sort took to reach Stirling. 


8th November 1813

The weather wet with high winds.

The Kirk, the Old and new light seceders, the Antiburgers, the Cameronians all held their Sacraments about this time.  The crowds of people who used to attend them are much diminished.  Their respective Churches and Meetinghouses contains them now with ease but bigotry is not yet extinguished.

The kirk in Scotland has a long history of dissent, schisms and secessions.  This resulted in the formation of various different groups, as indicated by Dr Lucas’ diary entry above.  The famous ‘Great Disruption’ of 1843 was still many years off at the time of this diary entry but when it came it was by no means the only ‘disruption’ the kirk had seen nor would it be the last.  For more information on the current Church of Scotland see http://bit.ly/16YFLak and here for an indication of the various splits and schisms.


26th October 1813

William went to Edinburgh to attend the Medical Classes in the University Viz., the Infirmary, the Theory of Medicine, the Practice of Medicine, the practice of Surgery, Clinical Surgery etc.

The remainder of this month was good weather, the markets were rather on the decline and trade is rather beginning to revive, but Specie, that is silver and gold is not to be found, nothing is in circulation excepting paper money.  Banks and multiplied to an excessive number and forgeries of their notes are become very frequent.  A Guinea in Gold is not now to be seen and is worth about 28 shillings.  Silver is worth six shillings and Eleven pence per ounce.

William is Thomas Lucas’ eldest son.

6th October 1813

On the second day there was also three races, which were tolerable good ones.  The company were not numerous but there was the ordinary number of Whiskey tents, Wheel of fortune men, blind fidlers, Ballad singers etc etc etc.  The weather was rather soft and inclined to rain.  In the evenings there were Suppers and balls at the two Inns, but none of the Ladies and Gentlemen belonging to the town went to them.

27th September 1813

The Deacon of the Shoemakers, the Deacon of the Taylors and the Conveenor he being of the Butchers are sent to Campbells of Monzie (our Member of Parliament) to be out of the way, least they might be stole away by the other party and not able to Cote at the ensuing Michaelmas  Election of the Magistrates and town councill.

NB These Villains are the same men that took bribes at General Campbell’s election.

Fine weather, the harvest two thirds over.

Received a letter from London, from Uncle Walter.

23 August 1813

Janet Lucas returned to Edinburgh.

The weather fine and the Harvest general.  Several of the farmers are getting their Wheat into the Barnyards.

Many strangers passing and repassing through the town, some on business others on parties of pleasure but the rage or madness of going to see the Trossachs this year seems to be much abated.  The ramaining [sic] part of this month the weather was excellent and the Harvest was rapidly advancing but the markets were not fallen to the extent that was expected.

Sent two Kipper fish to London to Mr McNaughton by Hosey to Leith and from thence to London by the Edinburgh & London Shipping Company’s Smack.

27th July 1813

Received £54.18.1 from George Anderson together with the interest thereon being the amount of his half of the Medcines [sic] and in the Shop at February 1 1813.

George Anderson behaved in a very rude manner to Walter without the least provocation received and turned him out of the Shop with Violence twice broke his umbrella and behaved in a most outrageous and insulting manner to him.

The weather has been hotter this month than it has been for many years past and very pleasant, with frequent showers.

The Markets still keep high.

22 July 1813

The weather rather wet but very warm.  The Hay harvest is mostly over, the crop is rather a light one the Clover having failed owing to the frosty weather in the spring.

Image below shows haymaking at Manor Farm near Stirling, with Dumyat in the background (c.1920).PD 200 65

29th June 1813

For four days past the weather has been very warm and sultry.  The Thermometer in the Shade was generally from 70 to 75 and vegetation is beginning to suffer severely by it, the wind being generally at East.

A shower from the eastward which has cooled the air very much.  The Markets this month are very high. Beef from 8 to 10d per lib.  Butter 1/6 to 1/8.  Oatmeal £3.10 per Load and other articles in proportion.  The rate of postage of Letters is also Augmented.  A Letter from London is ½.  One from Edinburgh is 7½d.

10th June 1813

The Western Regiment of Local Militia marched into the Town to be on permanent duty for a fortnight.

The Three troops of Yeoman Cavalry also left the town, they were only four days on duty.

Fine weather with showers of Rain.

Planted Cauliflowers and 100 early Cabbages.

Sacraments every Sunday but the concourse of people are not so great as in former times.A1635_109Image: a 19th C view of Holyrude church and cemetery, Stirling which was very close to Dr Lucas’s house and where he attended ‘sacraments’.

6th June 1813

Another murderous battle has been fought at Bautzen in Germany, Betwixt the Russians, Prussians and the French.  Both sides claimed the victory. Upwards of 20,000 men are killed on both sides.

A strong drouth.  Hay harvest is beginning.  The crop will be rather a scanty one.

The Battle of Bautzen was fought at that German town on the 20th to the 21st May 1813. The combined Russian and Prussian army, in retreat after the earlier Battle of Lutzen, were pushed back by Napoleon’s force of 115,000 men. This entry gives an indication of how long it took for news to reach the British newspapers from Europe.

28th May 1813

Was the May fair.  The town was very throng, the day was fine.  There was a few quarrels as usuall, some broken heads and Black eyes.

The Cattle Market in the morning was considerable and the Horse Market was also well attended.  Horses and cows fetched high prices.

The latter part of the month was very fine warm weather but markets are still very high, the Butcher meat in particular being as high as 9½ per lib.

6th May 1813

A Shower of Rain succeeded by fine mild weather.

Swallows first seen here this season.

A bill brought into parliament taking off all restrictions off the Roman Catholics in Great Britain and Ireland by which they are nearly on a footing with His Majesty’s other subjects, without adequate security for their peaceable behaviour.

Bonaparte the French Emperor has set out for Germany to head his Army against the Russians and Prussians.

There had been restrictions on Roman Catholics in Britain since the Acts of Uniformity and Test Acts of the 16th and 17th centuries. An emancipation bill that would have allowed increased freedoms to Catholics in Britain was introduced in the House of Commons in February 1813. The proposed bill went on to receive a second reading but was eventually lost in committee. The Roman Catholic Relief Act was finally passed in 1829 after it became evident that public opinion had changed with regard to this issue.

20th April 1813

Planted the last of the Potatoes.  Have planted this Season about 14 pecks viz. 2 Early and 12 late.

The Justiciary Judge sat here.  One woman was tried for concealing pregnancy and not calling for assistance was sentenced to 12 months imprisonment.  A collier from the Plean was tried for a rape and acquitted.

Our Chief Magistrate J Sutherland died of a mortification in his foot occasioned by sotting and drinking.

The weather cold and dry with some frost.