Dr Thomas Lucas (1756-1822).
Dr Thomas L. Lucas was a surgeon who lived at Marieville, Upper Bridge Street, Stirling. Through his surviving diaries, memorandum book and other archival sources held at Stirling Council Archive, we can learn about Thomas and his family’s life in Stirling.
The Lucas Family: Thomas was married to Isabella Whitehead, and together they had eight children – Mary (died 1803), Mary, Jane, William, James, Walter, Isabella and Agnes. Thomas died in Stirling on the 16th of February 1822, aged 66 years. He was long outlived by his wife, Isabella, who lived until the age of 80, when she died on the 2nd of September 1850 at their family home.
Burgess and Guild Brother. Thomas Lucas was a prominent member of Stirling local society and as such was both a Freeman of the Burgh and a member of the Merchant Guildry of Stirling. The Council Archives holds the Burgh records and the minute of Dr Lucas’ entry as a Burgess can be found in the Town Council minute book for 1789 – 1811:
The entry date is 21st January 1791, which would have been when Dr Lucas was about 33 years old. Originally, when the Burgh was founded in the mediaeval period, anyone who wanted to trade in the Burgh would have to be a Burgess as Freemen of the Burgh were known, but by this date, membership was more an indication of high status and wealth in the community. Shortly after this, on the 25th January 1791, Dr Lucas is recorded in the minutes of the Guildry of Stirling, the Merchant Guild, as having been accepted as a Guild Brother:
The activities and elections of the Guild are mentioned quite frequently in the diaries. Both the Council minutes and the records of the Guildry and the associated Incorporated Trades of Stirling are all good sources of information for both family and local history and are fascinating in their own right. Access is free at the Council Archives.
Stirling Council Archive hold two diaries written by Dr Lucas covering the dates 1 March 1808 – 31 May 1821, References PD16/4/2-3 (W B Cook Collection). The entries for January – December 1813 will be posted in this blog.
We would like to thank all of the Archivists who have worked on the Dr Lucas diaries PD16 over the years, and in particular mention the excellent and painstaking work of Mrs Kirkpatrick who originally transcribed the diaries in the 1980s, making them immediately more accessible. Thanks are also due to Mr W B Cook who donated the item to the Archive Service – and last but not least, to Dr Thomas Lucas himself, without whom we would have no diaries to marvel over.
Other sources of information: We have been able to piece together more information about Dr Lucas and his family using other archival material such as Stirling Burgh and Stirling County Sasines, council minutes and maps.
Other material held elsewhere: One of Dr Lucas’ Day Books is also in existence, and kept at the National Records of Scotland.
For any further information about Dr Lucas’ diaries, or any other aspect of the archives, please contact us and we will be happy to help!