1809

January

1st

A heavy fall of snow with a high wind from the NE.

3rd

Wrote Mr Napier relative to Langs and Aitkens business, and also about the teinds of Rashiehill with that troublesome fellow, the Minister of Denny. He has been a most troublesome fellow.

5th

An extraordinary heavy fall of Snow with a high wind from the NE.

7th

Bought John Dicks House and garden at Whinwell for Nine hundred pounds sterling.  This will in all probability be the last purchase of property that I intend to make.

9th

Gave John Dick 50 pounds sterling in part of payment of his property.  A kind of Thaw but the storm was not over not the country cleared of Snow.

15th

Another  heavy fall of snow and the Forth again frozen over.  A man deranged in his mind was found dead at Bannockburn.  He had been in the village of Bannockburn two days before.  His parents it appeared afterwards lived at Kincardine, east from Alloa.  Our Armies are retreating before the French in Spain towards the port of Vigo, where we have a fleet and transports to receive them.

Shipwrecks continue frequent upon our Coasts.

18th

Borrowed £170 from Conveenor John Reid payable in twelve months and bearing intrest at 5 per cent till paid.

19th

Paid Deacon Dick 150 pounds which makes £200 paid him.  Gave him two bills for the rest payable at Martimas and Whitsunday, one £100 at Whitsunday and £300 at Martimas.

21st

The Storm continues with unabating severity.

Another revolution in Turkey, the Old Sultan Strangled and the New Sultan Mahomet has taken refuge with the Visir on board of a Ship of War.

23rd

The Frost is very intense.

27th

A partial Thaw.

News arrived of the Embarkation of Sir John Moors Army at Corunna with great loss and the Death of Sir John Moore who was Killed in repulsing an Attack of the French during the Embarkation.

Sold my house and garden in Spittal Street to Archibald Sawers Baker for £430 sterling.  This has not been a bargain attended either with much profit or Loss.

30th

William Lyon who had my Small garden at the back of the town has decamped to Glasgow without paying my rent for the same.  The Storm still continues with partial thaws, wind, rain, sleet etc which makes the weather extremely disagreeable.

The markets are still high, there is however no Scarcity in the Country.

There have been great floods in the Forth and the Devon.  Severall Mill dams have been carried away.  The Bridge received some damage from the Ice floating down the river.

 February

2nd

Sold the Garden which I purchased from Thomas Rogerson and the Small Garden which I got from Robert Buchanan at Gogar, to William Henderson for £300 sterling one half payable at Whitsunday and the remainder to ly on the subject as a heritable debt.

3rd

A heavy fall of Snow.

Gave Willie and Walter ten shillings each as their Candlemas Gift to the Masters of the Grammar School.

The Grammar School is much fallen off in point of Numbers, not on account of the Abilities of the Masters, but on account of a Classical Education not being so much valued as formerly, the number of Scholars now being only about 30.  Thirty years ago they amounted to 80 and 90 at times.  The School fees are now five shillings per quarter for Greek and Latien  [sic] and half a Guinea for French.  No writing is taught as it used to be formerly.

5th

Cold weather with a partial Thaw.  The Storm it appears has been more intense and the Snow deeper on the East Coast than to the Westward.

9th

An extraordinary heavy fall of Snow with a high wind from the NE.  The snow melted much as it fell.

The papers are full of Accounts of shipwrecks all round the Kingdom.

10th

A Partial Thaw.  The weather cold.

The  House of Commons have been much employed for some days in examining Witnesses relative to the Duke of Yorks conniving at corrupt practices in the War Office.  A Mrs Clark, a Whore of the Duke of Yorks, it appears, has acted a very conspicuous part and Mr Adam, Member for Kinross-Shire, has also acted as a pimp or go between for the Royall Duke and Mrs Clarke.  A Colonel Wardel, a Member of Parliament, caused the enquiry to be made.

Bankruptcies still frequent on account of the Stagnation of Trade.

14th

Removed two old Lime trees before my house at Whinwell and planted them as gate posts at the south west corner of the House.  Got 300 Thorns and 50 privet plans for a hedge to be run across the Orchard 30 foot behind the back of the house, got also 130 pailing stobbs with railing for a fence to the Hedge.

Got 7 young fruit trees viz 3 apples 2 pears and two Cherries for Planting in the garden as standards.

Planted the hedge and the Pailing and Planted six Plane trees in a line close to the Pailing at equal distances across the foot of the Orchard, 30 foot from the back of the house.

18th

A very heavy Gale of wind at West.  It broke over by the Surface one of my best pear trees in my garden.

Planted severall more trees across at the back of the house and up by the side of the Hedge that divides my property from Dr Gordons, I planted some Oaks, Beeches and Planes.

The Storm nearly gone altho the hills are still covered with Snow in the Highlands and much snow on the Ochils.

19th

This has been a long severe winter, the frost has been at times most intense, the Partial thaws were often accompanied with very high long continued winds which has done immense Damage to our Shipping and Many lives have been lost both in the Navy as well as in the Merchant service.

The 74th Regiment of the line consisting only of about 400 men went throw this town to the Southward.  ‘Tis a pity to cause poor men to march at this season especially weak corps who cannot be of much service any where.

21st

Planted 6 White Currant Bushes, 12 Red Currant Do. [ie. Bushes] and 2 Dozen Black Currant Do, in whole three dosen and a half of Bushes.  The Fruit trees were three Apples, one Pear and two Cherry trees.  The forest trees were forty two in all, they were planted across the back of the House and on the inside of the Hedge that divides my property from Dr Gordons.

27th

Planted 200 early Cabbages and completed the Number of trees intended to be planted in the Orchard being 35 in number consisting of Apples, pears and Cherries.

The Weather fine and clear but cold.  The farmers are Sowing their beans.

28th

Sowed 1 lib Early Charlton peas and planted some parsley.  The most of this month was very cold and Stormy weather excepting the last eight days which were mild, and the Markets are still high.

March

2nd

Mr Bowie the Mason began to quarry Stones in my garden to build the front wall.  Got my garden seeds (excepting 1 lib of Peas) from Edinburgh because the seeds here the last year were bad and very high priced.

4th

Gave five Pounds to Bowie the Mason in part payment of the Garden Wall facing Bridge Street.  Planted a row of red and green gooseberry bushes in the upper part of my garden.

7th

Reports of a peace with Turkey.

The Distillation prohibeted from grain in Ireland by a great Majority in the house of Commons although it was sanctioned by the Ministry.

Planted or Sowed 7 oz of Onion and Leek Seeds, Viz 1 oz red onion, 2 Dutch, 2 Deptford, 2 Scotch Leek and ½ oz red and horned Carrot.

The Old Justiciary Court Room with the Cells under it are pulling down in order to have a new Courtroom more Capacious and Convenient Built, as the old Courtroom was both small and Inconvenient., but on account of the price of wood being 5/- per foot there will be very few or no houses built in this place this year.  The Road from Spittal Street throwgh the CDowans yard to the back walk is causeyed or paved with stones.  Before it was only gravell and often very dirty to walk on.  The road from the Bridge towards the town is also paved.

8th

Planted a Beech hedge across the Head of the Orchard or foot of the garden.  The Beech plants were 300 and stood me in three shillings and sixpence the hundred.  Planted late cabbages about 300.

Mrs Whitehead came to town.  Her head quarters were at Melles’s.

12th

Got all my greens planted amounting to 1100 plants, viz 500 Cabbages, 200 Savoys, 200 German greens and 200 red curled greens.  Planted also 3 lib Marrowfat peas.

14th

Began to pull down the old wall in front of the house in order to clear out the foundation for erecting the New Wall.

17th

Began to build the New Wall in front of the house exactly on the old foundation.  Provost Conel wished to say that I had encroached on the Public Street, and seemed fain to raise a dispute about it.

23rd

The Duke of York resigned the Command of the Army there being very Keen heats and contests about this bad beheviour with one Mrs Clarke a prostitute and a Keept mistress of the Duke of Yorks.

27th

Wrote my Uncle Walter at London.

The weather wet.  Much wind at east, NE and SE and the rain at times very heavy.

28th

A Revolution in Sweden, the King deposed and imprisoned.  ‘Tis supposed that the French party of the Nobility had brought it about and the Baltic will be shut against us altogether as to commercial purposes, for our fleet can force its way at any time up that sea.

My dyke well advanced in front of the house and at the north end of it.

Good Cold Weather but dry.  The Labour well advanced, the Markets are still high, the flesh market in particular.

April

1st

Gave Alexander Bowie at three different payments £15 sterling in part of Payment of Building my garden dyke.

Martinico in the West Indies taken all excepting one fort called Fort Bourbon, by Admiral Cochrane and Generall Beckwith.   General David Dundass Appointed Commander in Chief of his Majesty’s land forces in the room of the Duke of York.

8th

Gave Alexander Bowie the Mason five pounds sterling.

10th

A Strong fleet consisting of 20 Sail of the line are to be sent to the Baltic this summer.

The weather mild with showers of rain.  Planted late potatoes in the Orchard.

12th

Showers of snow in the Plains, it melted but it continued thick on the hills, but vegetation is coming fast forward.

For a week past troubled with a bilious Diarrhea which has been very troublesome.

14th

Repaired the front of the Well and Mended the roof of it by laying a large flat Stone across it, the former roof being decayed and fallen in.

The Diarrhea abated but find myself weak and languid. In other respects I cannot much complain of bad health.

15th

The Dike and gateway finished, the weather rather wet with showers of hail and snow.

News arrived of the surrender of the whole island of Martinico, to the British.

Sir Arthur Wellesley sets out to Lisbon to take the command of a British Army assembling there for the defence of Portugal against the French.

16th

Got the two inner gates at the back of the house put up.  They were made out of part of the Lime trees that grew in front of the house, the Workmanship of them cost nine shillings.

The Provost (Michael Conal), the town Clerk (John McGibbon) were the only two of the Councill who wished to shew their teeth when I builded the Dike in front of my house. Altho the Well is unquestionably mine as situated within my property and not excepted in my disposition, yet in order to avoid a law suit I said nothing about it at this time but did even repair it.

17th

A heavy fall of snow from the Eastward which melted as it fell.  It was accompanied with a high wind and very cold as an east wind always is here.

Vigo in Spain recaptured from the French by two British frigates and a few Spaniards.  The French Garrison consisted of 1500 men.  Vast quantities of Potatoes shipping at the Shore and at Sheifmuirlands for Kilbagie and other Distilleries to feed cattle with, to the great hurt of the Poor, they selling in town for 1 sh. per peck.

The Flesh market high, beef being at eight pence per pound and other things in proportion.

18th

Vegetation in the Gardens much hurt by the Cold frost winds from the North West and North East.

22nd

A man named George Moncrieff hanged himself in Murrays Wood.  He was by trade a Sawyer and ‘tis imagined it was in consequence of not being able to procure work that caused him to do it, such a desperate action.  This is one effect of this just and necessary war that Pitt and Dundas involved the nation in, no wood being got on account of the Baltic being shut against us, Masons Wrights and Sawyers as [sic] consequently idle.  Numbers of course have been forced to inlist but Moncrief was rather Aged and lame of one of his legs.

Delivered All my Papers relative to the house and Garden to Mr Forrester to make out Mr Sawers disposition.  Gave him also the papers relative to the garden (late Rodgersons and Buchannans ) to make out William Henderson’s Disposition to the same.  Gave him also My bond on Henderson’s subject  for 450 pounds to assist him in forming the Disposition.

24th

Let my park at Cormanshaugh to James Cuthill at Denovan for 10 pounds  per annum.  His entry is to be at Martimas 1810.

26th

News arrived that Captain Lord Cochrane had taken Burnt or destroyed four sail of the Line of French Men of War in Basque Roads with very little loss on our side.

The report gains ground of a war between France and Austria.  Fine Mild Weather with Showers of rain.  The Markets still high.  Beef 7 and 8 per lib.  The Quartern loaf 1/3 fine House-hold 1/-, the Butter 1/6, Eggs 8 pence and everything else high in proportion.

May

1st

The Orders of the King’s Council rescinded relative to the restrictions laid upon the American shipping.  This ‘tis imagined will cause the Americans to discharge the Embargo as far as related to trading with Britain.

3rd

Very cold weather with frost, the wind generally at NW and frequent showers of hail.

5th

The Justiciary Judges came into town.  There was no trials before them excepting an Appeal.

6th

Swallows seen for the first time this Season although the weather was both cold and stormy.  Vegetation very backward, frost and high winds.

9th

Paid £4.9 to Campbell for shoes for the family.  Houses and shops are not setting nearly at such rents as formerly and a number of families are leaving the town.

The Weather is now very warm.  The first warm day was on the 7th.  Rain desirable.

One Peter Murdoch, Cashier to the bank of Scotland suddenly turned out of his place and the branch of the bank removed from his house and another Cashier appointed in his room.  His place was reckoned worth upwards of £300 per annum; ‘tis not known for what reason.

12th

Paid my Subscription to the Bread Society for three Guineas.  These societies are become very frequent in severall parts of the Country and are said to answer the purpose very well.

13th

Very drouthy weather.  Unless rain do come soon the Crop will be materially injured and the Butcher market is still rising as there is no grass to feed cattle with.

14th

Wrote Captain Walter Campbell of the Ayrshire Militia anent his creditors and desiring him to make me a remittance, he being £34 sterling in my debt.

15th

Received £430 sterling from Archibald Sawers, it being the price of the House and Garden in Spittal Street which I sold to him.  Paid £200 to Convener Dick being part of payment of his house and garden, there remains £200 which is payable at Martimas.  Lodged £150 in the Bank of Scotland.

16th

Sent £52.10 to Messrs David Taylor and Sons, Druggists and Chemist London being the amount of what I owe them for Medcines, It was a draft on Thomas Coutts & Co London, Agents for the Bank of Scotland.

Mr Traquair began to dig the foundation of the Back wing to my house at Bridge Street.

Gave William Henderson his disposition to Rogersons and Buchanans Gardens and received £100 in money, a bill for £50 payable at Martimas, and the remaining £150 to remain a burden on the Subject.  I have received £425 sterling from first to last in cash for Rogersons and Buchanans Subject and £600 remains on heritable security still at 5 per cent interest.

19th

Fine mild weather with showers of rain.

20th

Finished for a time the Levelling and straightening of the area in front of my house.

Planted H 1 Dwarf marrowfat pease on the part where the stone quarry formerly was.

23rd

Founded the back Jack or Back wing of my house.  Gave the workmen 6 shillings for a point of whiskey.

19th 

Bought two shares of the Hercules Insurance Company of Edinburgh.

27th

Paid 10 per cent of the original shares amounting to £20.6.5½ including intrest from February 2.  In this office I insured my house in Bridge Street at 400 Sterling.

Gave Thomas Traquair £50.4 in part of payment for my house, Bridge Street.

Fine warm showers in abundance, the Grass looks well, an abundant hay Crop is expected.

The May fair was well attended.  Horses and Milk cows sold well and fetched high prices.

29th

A heavy fall of snow, all the hills white around.  It appears to have come from the South west.  There were also very high tides, the frost during the night was severe, the potatoes and other plants were hurt by it.

31st

Received all my rents and Intrest excepting William Dobbies at Denny for Cormanshaugh.

Snow continues on the hills, the frost has done much hard, the weather continues cold and frosty with the wind at NW.  Markets high but no scarcity.

June

3rd

Settled with Alexander Bowie the Mason for the Dyke at the North end of my house in front and the Gateway, the Whole being £32.11.8

Viz

4 roods, 33 yards, four feet 9 Inches Rouble                        £22. 3.9

172 feet 11 inches Hewen stone Gateway                            7.11. 4

12 yards 1 foot Drain                                                              2. 9. 4

Work on the Well                                                                    7.  3

£32.11. 8

He having received £20 at different times had only a balance of £12.11.8 to receive which was paid instantly.

The snow mostly of the high ground in the neighbourhood but still on the West Highland Hills and the weather cold.  There is also snow on Alva and Tillicoultry hills.

Planted ¾ lib peas for teh last time this Season and also some Savoy plants for winter use, The weather still cold with much rain.

Buonaparte the French Emperor  has defeated the Austrians in several Bloody engagements and is at last got to Vienna one month after he set out from Paris.  The Spaniards appear to be making a feeble resistance to the French altho the French have not numerous armies in Spain.  It appears that Generall Wellesley with the British Army has gained some advantages over some of the French troops in Portugal and has retaken Opporto.  We also have a Fleet in the Baltic to Check the Danes Swedes and Russians for it appears that the Russians will force the Poor Swedes to declare against us, Russia being the mere tool  of Bonaparte.

5th

The King’s birthday happening to be on Sunday was Keepit this day late in the evening in the Council room.  None invited excepting a few priests and some recruiting Officers, and the officers  of the Local Militia.

7th

The Local Militia muster about 800 men besides the Eastern battalion which has not been yet embodied, they are a fine sett of men but their Officers are indifferent and few in number.

9th

Got Lang’s discharge relative to his Claim for his sisters life rent for Rashiehill.  The suns paid him amount to £78.11.9 besides Mr Napiers account amounting to £16.14.7 so that the statement of this business is Viz –

Money sent to Mr George Napier Writer, Edinburgh to pay Andrew Lang’s claim of liferent for Aitken’s life-rent on Rashiehill –

1808

April 1 to cash to pay expence of Proofs                                    £ 29.15.

August 3 to ditto further as liferent                                             £127.14 7

September 12 to ditto on Mr Napier’s account                           £ 10.

£167. 9. 7

Mr Napier paid Lang 78.11. 9

Account due Mr Napier to August 8, 1808                      16.14. 7       95. 6. 4

Therefore the Ballance in Mr Napier’s hands is                                £72. 6. 4

But there is something still to be deducted from the above so that the Ballance will perhaps not exceed £50.  I have got this most troublesome business at last settled with Lang.

The Masons began to build the Summer house in the Garden.

John Dick and family finally left my house at Bridge Street.  There were about 15 panes of the Glass of the Windows broken which he replaced with a very bad grace.  Severall of the locks and Keys were of a very inferior quality.

13th

Got my sumer house ready for Roofing.

The weather still wet with high winds at times and the Catterpillar has not been idle.  There will be a very Scanty Crop of fruit this summer.  News arrived of a great Victory gained over Bonaparte at Vienna by the Archduke Charles of Austria after two days fighting from morning to nigh.  The slaughter is said to be very great especially of the French.

17th

Gave Thomas Traquair £50 in part payment for repairs and additions to my house, Bridge Street.

20th

Pulled ripe Cherries, the weather dry and warm but the nights cold.

22nd

The Masons finished the walls of the additional wing to my house in Bridge Street and began to make the Alterations in the inside of it.

Early Cabbages ready for cutting.

 

28th

The  Local Militias days for exercising being out, they delivered up their Arms and Cloathing.  Towards night they got drunk and riotous and began to drag some of their officers up and down the streets in Chaises, and parade the streets with Drums and fifes.  About ten o’clock at night they began to fight among themselves. A Guard was sent for to quell them but they soon routed the Guard by knocking them down with their own firelocks and beheved in a most shocking maner and did not retire untill they thought proper.  No lives were lost but severall were wounded and bruised, they were noisy on the Streets all night.  They were a fine body of men but he Officers in generall were indifferent.  The next morning they were mostly dispersed and gone to their homes.

30th

Fine mild weather, hay harvest begun.

 July

1st

Received my policy of Assurance from the Hercules Insurance Office, for my house, head of Bridge Street.

6th

Gave William Macaree, mason six Guineas to Account for Work to be done in Building a Door way with two Tuscan pillars in front of my house and likewise for a pice [sic] of Stone wall to be built from my gate to my house on the south east side of my front Area.  He has engaged to build this wall at 90 shillings per rood and t cope it with flat Whin Stones.

Mars Work, an old ruinous building at the head of the Broad street with eight Acres of Ground adjacent, was exposed to sale and purchased by Mr Erskine of Alloa for 2110 pounds sterling.  The Town of Stirling offered 2100 sterling for it.  It belonged to the person who bought it but being sold to redeem the land tax and the Estate being strictly entailed, the liferenter has thought fit to buy it at an enormous price.  It does not fetch above £20 of rent at present.

Fine mild weather with showers.

24th

Received my receipt for the 20 per cent on my two Shares in the Hercules Assurance Office at Edinburgh per Mr John Conal the Agent for that office in Stirling.

The Plaisterers began to first coat the parts needing plaister and repairs at my house at Whinwell.

News arrived of the French having defeated the Austrians with great loss on the Danube near Vienna.

The Grand expedition ready to sail if the news relative to Austria does not alter the measures of our Ministry.

The Weather very warm and pleasant but the town dull and no trade going on.

30th

News arrived of the Expedition having sailed from the Downe and other ports on the East Coast.  It consists of 30 sail of the Line, 70 frigates sloops Gunboats cutters bombs and innumerable transports having nearly 50,000 troops on board.  The destination is supposed to be Holland and Flanders, or perhaps the north of Germany, but ‘tis feared that it may be too late as Bonaparte we are informed as succeded in humbling the Austrians and forced them to sue for peace.

The Markets still high.  The bread Society has taken place.  They afford the standard Wheaten loaf at eleven pence per quarter loaf.

August

3rd

A most tremendous thunderstorm with a heavy fall of rain and hail, the Lightning broke on a house in Cowans Street belonging to one Adam, broke some panes of Glass and damaged a door, besides doing damage in other parts of the Country but although some Cattle were killed do not hear of any person having lost their life, altho some were hurt or stunned by its effects.

5th

The Masons began to pay [sic] the kitchen and trance of my house.

Gave Thomas Traquair £50 sterling to account.

Gave William macaree six pounds four shillings to account.

9th

The first tryst for the season held at Falkirk, it was well attended.  Black cattle sold well and fetched good prices.  Highland Wool is selling dearer this year than the last year by 2/- per stone.

News arrived that  out Fleet and troops had landed in Hilland, had taken the Island of Walchern Schowen and other places in Zealand.

10th

The weather rainy and warm

14th

Flushing besieged by a part of our troops.  The Enemy made two sorties but were both times repulsed with loss.

The Second Battalion of the 71 regiment arrived from the Castle from the Eastward.  They are not above 250 strong, a great many of them are mere boys.

16th

The weather still rainey with much thunder and lightning, much of the Crop is lodged or laid down by the rain.

The Town very dull, little business doing, most of the ShopKeepers seem to be idle standing about their doors.

The new Justiciary room is well advanced but the assizes will not be held in it, but will sit in the Upper Guildhall as last circuit.

24th

The Rain continues almost without intermission.

The News of the Surrender of Flushing, the Garrison consisted of nearly 6000 men.  Our loss during the Siege was small not exceeding  150 men killed and wounded.

A desperate Battle fought at Talavera in Spain betwixt the French 50,000 strong and commanded by the French King of Spain, with the British and Spaniards under Sir Arthur Wllesley, 25, 000 in number British and 30,000 Spaniards under Cuesta.  The French directed their attention against the British, but were forced to retreat after two days battle and lost 10,000 men.  The British lost 1050 killed and 4000 wounded.  The French were repulsed and forced to retreat.

25th

Received a letter from my uncle in London.

Harvest begins in severall places.

28th

Got my main door finished consisting of two ¾ columns of Torwood stone with a frieze cornice and block of the Tuscan order.

News arrived of the Capture of Senegal on the coast of Africa.

30th

My Garden was Robbed and about a peck of Apples carried off.

Our Army in Spain is obliged to retreat after abandoning the sick and wounded to be taken by the French so that this famous victory turns out to be rather a defeat, but Sir Arthur Wellesley had been made a lord for it.  The Markets are getting up although there is prospect of a Good Crop.

September

4th

The Dutch Expedition seems to be abandoned.  ‘Tis reported Walchern Island is to be keept if we are ablet o retain it.

The Magistrates let the town’s fishings on the Forth for two years past at £14000 yearly, this year they have attempted to let them again, but cannot get people to take them excepting from the bridge to the Shore, which is let for 600 annualy for two years.

8th

A great mortality has broken out among our troops employed on the Dutch expedition, many being carried of by fevers fluxes and other epidemic disorders.  The Earl of Chatham, the generall of the Expedition, is much blamed for want of Activity and Energy on this undertaking.

Our Army in Spain, ‘tis reported, is in a very critical situation.

10th

The trust at Falkirk.  There was a great shew of Black cattle, Sheep and Horses which sold at good prices.

Our Amy in Holland are very sickly, many die daily of Fluxes and Fevers and other diseases owing to the marshy effluvia, and the continual rains that have happened since the Army landed on that coast.

17th

Gave Robert Christie Joiner Twenty one shillings as part of payment of making a Mahogany chimney piece to my dining room.

The Masons began to heighten my garden wall to the westward.

The Weather cold and variable.

The Average price of what at Haddington is £3 sterling although there is an excellent crop every where and the distilling from gain is prohibited.

22nd

The Judges on the Autumn Circuit came to town.  There was no busines of a criminal nature before them.  Two men were tried for taking some whiskey back after it had been seized by the Gaugers.  Both were acquitted.  An Appeal was discussed relative to a hive of Bees betwixt two very litigious fellows at Denny.

25th

Snow for the first time on the Highland hills, the weather cold and variable with showers at times.

Got up my Chimney piece in my dining room.  It stood me in two pounds twelve shillings sterling.

28th

The Election of magistrates passed quietly this season.  One Littlejohn a brewer was made Provost.  He was a sort f silly fellow and at times insane.  A coppersmith named Sutherland wanted the office but his friends durst not trust him as he was a sort of backbiting intriguing fellow and a drunkard.  The Markets high.  The weather rather wet with high Wings.

The King’s ministry at variance.  Lord Castlereagh and Mr Canning fight a Duel.  They are both turned out of their places.  Nobody will as yet accept of them, in so little estimation are Ministers held at present.  ‘Tis thought that Lord Melvile will again be brought into Office.  It was Melvile and Pit who plunged this nation into this ruinous war.

October

9th

The Plaisterers at work at my house.  They proceed slowly for want of Materials.

The Stirling races this year were but poorly attended, the Running horses were few in number and few of the people of Rank were present.  The weather was however fine and dry.

The Falkirk tryst for black cattle was well attended.  Cattle and sheep sold at good prices.  Wool is higher this year than the last season.

People are busy getting in their potatoes.

18th

Set my house and shop for forty two pounds per annum for five years after Whitsunday to Mr Robert Weir a surgeon in the Cannongate Edinburgh.  Lifted Six bolls of my potatoes.  They are of good quality.

19th

George Anderson my late Apprentice left this place for London.  He intends to go into the Navy.  Wrote my uncle by him.  He is a young man that promises to do well but turned out to be a Scoundrell.

25th

Being the Accession of the King to the throne and fiftieth year of his reign, was celebrated as a jubilee, by ringing of Bells in the morning, firing of Guns from the Castle and Musquetry by the 79th Regiment at Midday, a Sermon preached in the east church as which a few attended, then commenced eating and drinking with rioting the rest of the day and night.  There were bonefires at the Cross, the head of Bridge Street, and below the Corn Market and some rockets were fired off from the new parade.

28th

Got all my potatoes lifted.  They amounted to 21 bolls long measure.  I keept 8 bolls for my family’s use, the remaineder I disposed of to William Macaree my mason and Robert Davidson the painter.

Fine dry weather.  The players still continue to act –plays in the town.

Their house is well attended by people of all ranks.

The Markets are still high.

November

1st

The weather extremely fine and mild.

5th

Agnes and Whilelmina Whitehead, together with Mr McNab at Grangemouth have withdrawn from the Cowie Distillery Company.

9th

Macnab their Manager and one of the partners has accepted them.  All the Distilleries in the country excepting Cowie have begun to distill from sugar.

11

James my son leaves Messrs Campbell and Muray.  He intends to go to Edinburgh this winter.

My house is not yet finished.

Gave Convenor John Dick £180 sterling as part payment of his bill.  I owe him only twenty pounds at this time.

The Cowie Distillery Company fell out with McNab the manager and commenced a lawsuit with him because he secreted the ready money of the ? and ? continued to work the horses, and refuse to name a person to value matters so as to get them their shares paid up to them.

15th

Transplanted five old Cherry trees in my garden to the foot of it.  The first Snowblast this Season, the tops of the Ochil hills white.  James my son went to Edinburgh with a view of prosecuting his Studies in the law.  He got letters of recommendation to seven Gentlemen of the law in order to procure him a situation in some respectable Writers office.  The Disturbance with the late partners at Cowie still continues and Macknab the Manager.

Paid my servants their wages.

17th

Planted five pear trees, sixteen Apple and twenty Plumb trees in my garden.  Mrs Whitehead came to the town about the affair of her withdrawing her Share from the Distillery at Cowie.

Robert Campbell and John Murray writers have acted very ungratefully to Mrs Whitehead and her family on this occasion.

18th

Got a letter from James, returned an answer the same day.

The Frost that took place on the 14 still continues, the weather very cold and dry.

30th

The weather very wet and disagreeable, with a day of Frost at a time.  Cattle sold high at the Down markets so that we may expect butchers meat to be high priced this season, the markets are all high, eggs one shilling, Butter Eighteen Pence and other things in proportion.

James cannot get a place notwithstanding the numerous letters of recommendation in his favour.

Mrs Whitehead and her daughter’s business with McNab their old manager is not likely to be soon settled.

December

1st

Weir who took my house and shop wrote me that he has altered his mind and wished to give up the bargain.

2nd

George Anderson arrived in Stirling from London on account of a hurt he had received on his breast by which he did not think proper to enter into the Navy.

6th

Wrote James to settle with Weir on the best terms he could, as I am informed he is poor and not able to pay damages for disappointing me.  Sutherland the coppersmith and Glass the timber merchant as trustees on Ebeneezer Gentlemans property have behaved very shabbily to me especially Sutherland.

Mrs Whitehead and Daughters with McNab at Grangemouth have chosen Mr Dawson Writer as theri Appraiser or Valuator of their Shares in their withdrawing from the Cowie Distillery.  McNab the Manager has chosen Mr Moubray at the Cambus for his Valuator in terms of their Contract.

The Weather cold and wet.

7th

Mrs Mortimer gave up her house.

Entered into articles of copartnery with G Anderson.

Frost and snow.

18th

The snow gone, the weather cold.

Planted some Shrubs.

Settled finally with John Dick and got up my bill.

Signed articles of Copartnery with George Anderson for seven years  commencing at Candlemas next.

20th

Sent an order to Messrs David Taylor & Sons for medicines to be used in the firm with Mr Anderson.

21st

The weather extremely cold and wet and very disagreeable.

26th

Got Settled with Weir at Edinburgh relative to my Shop and house.  Gave up the bargain for £15: 15.

My son wrote me from Edinburgh he has not yet got a place, has been ailing with a diarrhoea but has nearly got over it.

This year has upon the whole been a favourable year.  The Crop was good and well got in, however the Markets still keept high.  All the necessaries of life were in abundance but high priced.  Horses were very high, one hundred Guineas was the price of a Good pair of young horses fit for the plough.  A Good Cow was sold for fifteen to twenty guineas, Butter 1/6 to 1/8 per lib, Oatmeal at three guineas the load, the Quartern loaf at ¼, Beef 7d, Mutton 7d the lib.  Trade dull and payments bad, houses not selling well, shops rather fallen in value, Broad Cloth risen from 1 Guinea per yard to 35 shillings and other things in proportion.  No prospect of peace.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s