January 1818

1      Drunkness as usually among the lower ranks and feasting among the other classes of Society.


Cold weather.

3          A Fall of Snow.

4          A Cold thaw with drizzeling Sleet.

Wrote a letter to Walter at Glasgow.

6          Got in three Carts of hay from James Robertson at Craigton.

A cold thaw continues with rain at times.

The West Church is to be repaired and the Seats are to be renewed, in order to accommodate a third Minister.

15        A most uncommon hard Gale of wind with rain, hail and sleet at SW. The rivers in many parts overflowed their banks and did much damage, the Gale lasted nearly for two days with Short intervals.

17        Hard frost and Snow.

Gave M L £13.

Paid £8.10 to James Robertson and Alexander Morison for Shoes to my family during the year 1817.

18        Stormy weather with much snow.

21        The Presbytery of Stirling met at Stirling, when George Wright late Minister at Markinch in Fife and Alexander Small late Clergyman at Stair in Airshire were admitted to be ministers of the east Church. The Settlement was not agreeable to many, Small in particular did not beheave with moderation but gave evident tokens that he meant to be a turbulent quarrelsome fellow and shewed great spite and Animosity towards Mr Bruce the Minister of the West Church his colleague.

The Weather very wet with high winds.

24        A Heavy fall of Snow with Sleet at times and high Winds.

The News papers filled with accounts of Ship wrecks and great loss of lives.

28        Frost, rain, Snow, Sleet, high winds all in the space of’ the 24 hours so that the weather is most unwholesome and disagreeable.

Continual squabbling about the two new Settled Clergymen.

50        The three Established Clergymen at variance. The Town is divided into two parties, viz the adherents of Bruce and those of Small and Wright. Small and Wright have protested severall times against admitting Bruce to preach in the East Church. Sensible people are laughing and are amused with their Squabbles. Bruce however is the favorite and Small is reckoned a sort of a Bully. About 1000 people including the most respectable of the inhabitants, are in favor of Mr Bruce and have signed a paper to that effect which number contains more than two thirds of the congregation of the estlished church.

31        Disturbances likly to arise on account of the clergy.

The whole of this month has been very bad weather, not one day good to an end. Frost, Snow, rain, Sleet and high winds succeded each other with rapidity and the roads are dreadfully cut up.

February 1818

1          Small preached. Many arose and left the church on seeing him get into the pulpit. The great body of the people are in Bruce’s favor.

A Heavy fall of Snow.

2          The Thermometer was at 25 at 9 pm.

4          The Storm continues, the Thermometer at 9 am was at 23. The Roads are well tracked.

6          The Candlemas fair, little business seemed to be Transacted, nor was. the fair well attended.

7          A cold thaw Commenced with rain and Sleet.

8          The Thaw continues.

12        Fine dry weather but cold. The Ploughs are going every where.

15        Some little work done in the Gardens such as sowing Onions, Leeks and planting pease.

Some slight repairs are going forward in the West Church.

19        Walter arrived on a Visit from Glasgow.

20        Sowed two ounces of Onion Seeds.

21        The weather extremely wet and unpleasant.

22        A fall of Snow.

28        Cold weather with High Winds and Showers of Snow to the end of 25 the month, the Snow in generall melted in a short time and was succeded by heavy rains.

The Markets are still High, the price of Good oatmeal is three pounds sterling the Load and other articles in proportion. The Labours of the field are not yet begun and little or nothing has been done in the Gardens.

March 1818

1          The animosities and disputes among our town Clergy are not subsided. Bruce in the West Kirk preaches to crowded Audiences, Wright and Small in the East Kirk have not above 200 Auditors.

4          The Barometer was as low as 2810 and continued nearly at that depression untill the 7th.

8          The Barometer began to rise being at 6/2810.

The Weather cold stormy with frost, rain, sleet, high Winds and Thaw alternately. The Farmers are beginning to Grumble on account of the labour of the field being keept back by the bad weather.

9          Peter Robertson, Fewar in Corntown accidentally killed his daughter aged ten years, by Throwing away a pair of Tongs, one of the blades of which went into her Skull and Killed her in a few hours. He was in consequence incarcerated in the Jail of this town.

12        The Weather very bad with wind, Snow, sleet and rain, the Barometer is at 4/10 below 29.

14        The Butcher market is somewhat advancing, beef being at 6d per lib. Veal is both scarce and dear. The Victuall Market however is rather on the decline, altho’ still high. Beans for sowing are two Guineas per boll.

15        Planted 4 lib of Turkey Beans abd two pounds of pease in the Garden.

One Macqueen in the Bakers Wynd got his shop broken during the night, and part of his shop Goods together with some money     taken away. The Thieves got in at a back window. A carriers cart at the foot of the Town was also robbed to a considerable amount a few nights ago.

16        The Weather cold and wet, all the hills covered with thick Snow.

19        Planted Late, Early Cabbages, Savoys and German Greens.

22        Rain, Sleet and Snow all in one day and for a succession.

23        William went rather precipitately away to Glasgow.

24        It turned out that William went to Edinburgh.

28        Took Bean Oath relative to a certain publication of a scurrilous nature.

NB more and more convinced that Bean is a mean villain.

30        Sowed 2½ Oz Onion seed, 2 Oz Leek Seed, 2 oz Carrot Seed and ¼ oz Lettuce of Various Kinds.

The weather cold and dry.

31        Fine weather, planted one peck of early potatoes.

The Butcher Market rather on the rise, beef being at 6½ per lib.

Veal is high priced and not good in quality. Butter 1/6 eggs 10d per dozen Meal Three pounds sterling per load – other things are dear in proportion.

April 1818

1          Got a Summonds to Attend the Court of Justiciary at this town on the 18 as a witness on the Trial of Peter Robertson in Corntown for the Accidental Killing of his own daughter.

4          The Labour of the Fields and of the Gardens well advanced, most of the Oats in the Kerses being sown.

6          Cold weather with Frost and snow on the high grounds and hills, however the weather being dry the labour of the Farmer is rapidly advancing.

8          Snow and Sleet with a high wind at N.

9          The West Church is under repair, it is to be Plaistered on the Ceiling and new Seated, and is also to get new Windows. The Bowlock or the Porch is demolished. This was a strong piece of Gothic Architecture, with a pointed vaulted roof.

William returned from Glasgow, his beheaviour for some time bypast has given me much uneasiness.

11        Cold weather with high winds.

15        The Labour of the Farmer is well advanced, most of the Oats are sown, but in the Highlands and wherever the Ground is elevated there is a Storm of Frost with deep snow.

17        The Judges of Justiciary came into town by the Hillfoot Road. Our wise Magistrates and council went in four coaches as far as Alva to meet them. Only one Judge however came viz Monipenny of Pitmilly.

18        The Court sat. One Robert Galloway from the parish of Falkirk was sentenced to six Months imprisonment for stealing six Sheaves of Corn from a farmer near Linlithgow. Peter Robertson in Corntown was sentenced to six months imprisonment for accidentally Killing his own daughter with a pair of Tongs.

W L has of late behaved in a very uncommon and an absurd manner he has acquired a habit of Drunkness, Insolence and Keeps late hours, sometimes stays out of the house all night and keeps company with low mean vagabonds of the most infamous character !!!

22         This morning (he) set off for Edinburgh Clandestinely.

23        The weather fine but rather cold.

The first trial by Jury in civil causes was held here and decided a cause from the parish of Falkirk.

Peter McEwan began to trench the Green in front of the House.

26        The Cold Bleak weather continues. The Thermometer in my house stands at 43.  Great Coats are quite in fashion on account of the Cold.

28        Rain in abundance, the weather more mild, the wind having got to the South.

Vegetation begins to shew itself a little. The Balsam poplars have put forth some leaves.

29        The Typhus Fever has been prevalent for six months past and has not yet entirely subsided, it is very fatal in Glasgow, especially among the lowest class of inhabitants many of whom are from Ireland.

This Month of April has been exceedingly Cold, wet Frosty and dry by turns, so as to check vegetation entirely, excepting only the last three days when the veather became rather more mild.

The Necessaries of Life are still high but trade has revived a little.

May 1818

1          A dragoon attempted to Shoot himself because he was hindered from marrying a Mullato Girl, the daughter of one Thomas Farmer a Negro.

2          Fine weather but still cold.

4          The Labour of the farmer is well advanced, some have got their Barley sowen – but in the high grounds little has been done, and in the Highlands the snow still nearly covers the hills. Great numbers of Sheep, and Cattle have perished on account of the severity of the season in that part of the Kingdom.

The Clock was put up in the Steeple at the Cornmarket, a large Bell was hung in it some time before. William returned from Edinburgh by the steam boat,

5          News arrived of the death of Seton, laird of Touch having died at St Helena, on his voyage hone from India, to the great grief of All his Tennants, who had been greatly oppressed in his absence by one Stewart of Allenton, his brother in law.

Garham of Gartur died and was buried in the Isle in the Loch of Monteath.

News arrived that Thomas Wingate Surgeon in the East India Companys service was killed in India in battle. He was a fine young Man.

8          The weather wet and cold.

12        The Grass has come up wonderfully.

15        A greater number of Flittings or removals from one house to another among the inhabitants of this town has taken place than usuall, this term of Whitsunday among all ranks.

The Barley is nearly all sowen all round Stirling.

18        The Inhabitants put their Milch Cows into the Parks to the NE of the town. The Grass is at present abundant in the Towns parks but the weather is still cold especially mornings and evenings.

20        Finished Trenching of the Green in front of the house.

21        Sowed it with White Clover and rye grass seeds.

22        News arrived from Glasgow that Mrs Smith was delivered of a still-born child on the 21 in the 7th month.

Fine mild dry weather.

The Markets rather on the decrease.

25        Bell Lucas returned from Glasgow.

Walter Lucas came from Glasgow on a Short Visit

Mr Calder came from Glasgow. The above three came together in a post Chaise.

25        Walter returned to Glasgow by the Glasgow Coach.

The Weather warm and deleightfull, the face of the Country looks very beautifull, vegetation is advancing rapidly.

27        Mr Calder returned to Glasgow by the Perth Coach.

29        The weather delightfull and warm

The May fair was held. Milch cows sold well. The Assemblage of people was not very great, there was little fighting or squabbling as used to be in former times, nor was there many pockets picked, but numbers were seen drunk.  The weather warm and clear to the end of the month.

June 1818

2          Strong drought, complaints among the farmers for want of rain.

4          The King’s Birthday, the Bells were rung for an hour, no other public notice taken of this event. The King is now 80 years of age.

5          One Dallas a Writer to the Signet as agent for a Mr Campbell an East India Nabob, gave the Magistrates and Council a Dinner in Masons in order to obtain their vote for his being a Member of Parliament for our City.

7          The Heat very great, the Thermometer stood at 77 in the shade.

9          Paid to John Murray the Taxgatherer Eight pounds four shillings and threepence at the Legacy duty, due or said to be due, on the Legacy left me by my brother. In this affair Murray has acted a dirty mean part, I being ignorant of it and Murray in allowing it to run on so long without acquainting me and charging intrest on it the whole time being 11 years.

10        Mr Calder came from Glasgow.

11        The Thermometer in the Shade at 82.

The honorable Mr Primrose brother to the earl of Roseberry gave the Magistrates and Council a dinner in order to sollicit their vote for him as their resentative in parliament. They all attended him. Some have declared for him, others have declared for Campbell.

14        A very little rain at Stirling and the low grounds but more considerable on the heights.

15        The sultry warm weather continues.

New arrived of the dissolution of parliament, and an active Canvassing for members of Parliament has already taken place throughout Great Britain and Ireland. The Honorable John Primrose brother of the Earl of Roseberry made a speech to the Trades in the Trades Hall and gave the Populace porter, – there were one or two broken heads during the evening.

17  The Church and Burger Fast day preceding the Sacrament.

18        The weather delightfull and every species of corn looking well.

20        John Calder returned to Glasgow.

21        Much rain and the weather has become rather cold.

23        John Campbell a highland man was chosen to represent our Burgh in Parliament, and Thomas Littlejohn late provost was chosen the Delegate for to meet with the other delegates, of the four other Burghs.  This Election is contrary to the wishes of two thirds of the Freemen of the Town.

25        A mob was stirred up to committ acts of violence by one Cuthil an agent of Campbells who caused a piper to play on the Streets “The Campbells are coming”. The Bag of his pipes was soon cut with a Knife and the piper oblidged to fly for his life.

30        Mobs at times have disturbed the public, their Cry is Primrose for ever etc. Some windows have been broken.

The Markets still high, hay harvest is begun, the Crop in Generall looks well.

July 1818

1          Some mornings lately frost was visible and the weather was cold.

3          Sir Charles Edmonston of Duntreath, a (Great…. of Ministry waselected Member of Parliament for the County of Stirling, a man of slender abilities and not a Speaker. Mr Nicholson of Carnock, the other candidate, was a man of first rate talents. The Majority was three to two.

4          Soft rainy weather.

6          Riots in many parts of England on account of the Elections for Members of Parliament, particularly in London and Westminster.

Much hay has been got in and put in the trainprick these few days past.

10        Sent away my horse to Walter McLeran in Corntown to be sold, having little use for him.

Our Magistrates and town council have gone to Inverkeithing to see Campbell elected Member of parliament for our Burgh.

A party of Astronomers employed by Government encamped on the top of Benclough or Tillicoultry hill, in order to make observations relative to the Trigonometrical survey of Britain which has been          going on for these two years past.

14         The weather again remarkably warm, the Thermometer in the shade during the day often at 80.

18         The warm weather still continues, the Thermometer being often at 82, and 84 in the Shade.

Duncan McLeran Merchant began to canvass the Guilty to be      elected dean of Guild at the ensuing election at Michaelmas.

20         Much rain.

21         The Weather cleared up and became warm.

24        Early potatoes, and fresh herrings from the West Coast in great plenty and sold reasonably.

25        Much Thunder and Lightning with heavy falls of rain in various places, and the weather very warm and Sultry.

26        William Lucas MD etc etc was entered a Gild brother and a Freeman Burges. The expences were:

To the Guildry                           £2

To the Clerk Do ..                      £5.5

To the Stamp for his Bill of Entry..         £1

To the Gild Officer…                  £2.6

To the Town                               £2

To a Stamp Do                         £1

Clerks fees  (Town Clerk)…         £5.8

£6. 11. 7

28        Wet weather to the end of the month and the markets high.

Plenty of early potatoes at reasonable prices for the season being sold for I shilling per peck.

August 1818

1          The Schools were examined, the Scholars particularly the Grammar School and the Trades Hospital School taught by Mr Rae.

5          The Weather good, and the fields are becoming Yellow.

8          The Grand Duke Michael of Russia and youngest brother to the Emperor Alexander arrived in Town, his suit consisted of three Carriages each drawn by four horses, with Three Russians and three British noblemen or Gentlemen.

9          The Grand duke inspected the Castle, was saluted with eleven Guns, Visited the town house etc and then set off with his suit for the North on a Visit to the Duke of Athol at Dunkeld and Blair in Athol.

10        Fine weather, the first cattle tryst was held at Stenhouse muir, Cattle sold at reduced prices.

15        The weather very fine, the Harvest is becoming generall and the Corn Market is on the decline, however cattle especially Sheep are very high priced, the Wool is also very scarce and sells at uncommon prices.

16        The town is Full of strangers, the two great inns cannot contain them.

18        Went to Glasgow in company with my wife, took a boat at Castlecary had a pleasant Journey, found Jane and her family in good health, was received everywhere with the utmost attention Kindness and respect. Every thing in Glasgow wears the face of activity and bustle of Trade and Commerce.

25        Went to Greenock in the Rob Roy Steam boat, the Scenery Beautifull, the river studded with villas on every side. Greenock is a large irregular built town. Trade and commerce is in full activity, Ships going, returning, Building and repairing constantly.

25        After being weary of seeing every thing in and about Glasgow and having taken leave of Mr Smith and his family, of Walter and many Kind friends, we returned to Stirling.

26        The Weather fine and the harvest fast advancing.

28        Wrote to Mr Smith at Glasgow.

29        One Thomson at Airth being left a large fortune by the death of two or three relations in India, went mad. Doctors and Lawyers from Edinburgh and a Jury of the people of Stirling shire declared him insane.

31        A Window in the west end of the West Church has been Glazed with painted or Stained Glass which was manufactured at Birmingham in England.

The Crop appears to be rather light but good in quality , of course the Markets will not be very low or cheap unless the importations of Corn from foreign states be extensive.

September 1818

1          The Town full of Strangers, the Inns are not large enough to contain them.

4          The Weather rather soft but the harvest is rapidly advancing.

7/8       The Second Market or Tryst for Sheep or black Cattle was held on Stenhouse Muir near the town of Falkirk . There was not so great a Shew of Black cattle as was expected. Sheep fetched high prices but the black cattle were much reduced in price, there bein few English buyers.

9          The Harvest is proceeding rapidly.

10        Walter and another young Gentleman Mr Buchanan arrived from Glasgow at 1 am.

12        A man jumped into the Forth on the. north side of the river about ¼ of a mile above the Bridge and was drowned. There was no papers about him to ascertain who he was, nor could any person find out to whom he belonged, he was brought to Stirling and buried the same evening.

Great quantities of Potatoes are brought up at 9/6 per Boll to be exported to London.

14        The weather wet and cold with a little frost at times. The West Kirk after undergoing considerable repairs and being entirely new Seated, and a fine painted Glass window erected in the west end of it, was opened by Mr Archibald Bruce the Minister of the West Church. The Church was perfectly Crowded, many were oblidged to go away, not being able to get into it.

20        The weather very wet cold and uncomfortable.

22        Walter returned to Glasgow.

23        Duncan McLeran was chosen dean of Gild in Opposition to Campbells party of the Magistrates. The Election of the Deacons of the trades are likewise in their favor.

24        The Magistrates were elected, disputes ran high, matters were Keenly contested, the Old Provost and three of the Baillies were continued. One Robert Paterson Changed sides twice or thrice, otherwise Campbell’s party would have been entirely turned out. At present parties are nearly Balanced.

Mr Buchanan returned to Glasgow.

26        The Justiciary Judge came into town. One McArthur from Campsie was tried for a rape and acquitted, another for stealing had his case remitted to Edinburgh. One Andrew Cowan at Raploch was fugitated for not appearing to be tried for Stealing Bees. A Civil Cause was remitted to the Sherrif with instructions how to proceed.

The Judge invited the Magistrates to dine with him on Sunday, but owing to his going to the East Church and the most part of the Magistrates going to the West Church, his lordship was offended and sent them word that he would dispense with their Company at dinner.

31        Fine weather to the end of the month and most of the crop on the plains is got into the barnyard but the markets still continue to be high.

The Queen continues in a dangerous condition and no hopes are entertained of her recovery. Her disorder is said to be a Complicated Dropsy.

October 1818

1          The Weather very wet and the roads very much cut up and dirty.

4          Great droves of Sheep passing from the North to the South.

5          The Measles very prevalent, some children have died of them.

The Typhus fever still prevails but not so frequent as formerly.

8          Lifted All my potatoes. The Crop was not so abundant as last year but the quality is better.

10        The latter Cattle Market at Stenhouse Muir begins.

12        A greater number of Cattle and Sheep have passed through the town than there was at the last Market.

The fields are now quite bare of the Crop and the potatoes which are a good Crop are mostly lifted out of the fields.

13/14    The Sheep and black Cattle sold well, the Sheep especially, the Wedders sold for 35 shillings per score, all the Cattle were sold of every description.

15        The Weather wet and rather cold.

Doctor Buchan has still some of his crop out on the Gowan hills.

20        Gloomy dull weather, the Crop entirely got in but the Markets are still high.

25        David Rae assistant to Mr Rae Schoolmaster died at 10 minutes before one o’clock pm.

30        The Markets still high, altho plenty appears to be in the country.

31        The Queen’s disorder still continues, ‘tis said to be anaSarca or universal dropsy. In the Bulletins issued concerning her, she is better the One time and worse the next alternately but it is not expected she will recover her health.

Potatoes continue to be exported to London but at a Considerable loss as they are cheap even in London.

November 1818

 2          Mild weather but rather inclining to rain. The leaves are mostly fallen off the trees but the weather resembles spring and vegetation is still strong.

4          The fair of Down. The weather very wet and the roads very bad, but sheep and black cattle sold at high prices. The Shew of Cattle was very large and the buyers numerous,

5          The Gunpowder plot. The great Guns from the Castle was fired and the Flag hoisted as usuall on the 58 Anniversary of the Kings Accession the Royal Standard was hoisted and 21 Guns were fired from the Castle.

7          The Weather cold and wet.

10        Disturbances at Linlithgow among the Irish labourers at the new Union Canal. Two troops of dragoons were sent for, from Stirling to Keep them in order.

15        The Customs fleshmarket Shore duties etc were let as usuall, and went off rather higher than last year. Thomas Balfour a Counsellor and Thomas Anderson deacon of the fleshers fought a battle in the presence of the Magistrates and others present. They were nearly matched equally, but they were parted before they could end the matter. Each side claimed the Victory.

16/17    Very dull dark wet weather.

Maximilian one of the Austrian Archdukes who has been on his travels in Britain came to Stirling, from the North, he Visited the Castle. The Royal Standard was displayed but no salute was fired. He had Visited Edinburgh, Dunkeld, Perth, the Carron Works then set out for Glasgow. His suit consisted of four persons, who together with himself had a very ordinary appearance both in their persons, looks and dress.

20       The News reached town that Charlotte Queen of Great Britain died on the 17 of a dropsical complaint. She had been ailing for severall months. She had reached her 75 year. She died at Kew 10 miles west from London, she will not be much regretted. ‘tis said she was unfeeling to the Princess Charlote her Grandchild and paid her no attention.

23        The Pulpits of the 2 Churches were covered with black Cloth, and the Magistrates in mourning attended the East Church during the forenoon and the West Church in the Afternoon.

Walter Lucas returned from Glasgow in a bad state of health. He came in the Perth Coach.

The weather cold with snow on the Ochil hills and sleet during the morning.

26        Rooted put and dug up some full grown apple trees that were barren and planted others in their stead.

28        Rooted out all the old goose berry bushes in the lower garden as they had become barren through Age, they being about 30 years of age.

30        The weather still wet and mild.

December 1818

1          The Wet mild weather continues, the country is all green. The Wheat is most luxuriant, the farmers are afraid that it will rot, some of them are cropping it with the Scyth as they cannot put Cattle upon it on account of, the softness of the Soil.

5          The Town is much infested with Irish Vagrants. The Guard house is often filled up with them but they are always dismissed next morning.

The weather still wet and the roads are very bad.

Henry Gray my old Soldier died.

7          Walter underwent a small operation on account of an ulcer with a Sinus which had formed in his right Groin.

Henry Gray was buried in Stirling Churchyard. The weather very dark and Gloomy.

8          Nero, the House dog died, of a disease called the Snifters.

10        The fishing on the Forth opened.

13        Hard frost with Snow on the West hills.

14        Snow on the Ochill hills.

15        The Frost still continues, the Thermometer is one degree below the Freezing point.

The East, West, Burger, and AntiBurger Sacraments held all at one time. There was no tent preachings but the Churches were well filled, the Established three Ministers seem now to acknow­ledge each other.

20        High Winds from the SW but the weather still mild.

Severall very sudden and unexpected deaths have taken place.

23        The weather still mild and rainy.

25        Cut a Crop of Grass with the Scyth on the Green before the door for the fifth time this year !!!

Being Christmas, the day was observed as usuall with Preaching and feasting by those of the Episcopal persuasion.

31        Fine mild weather.

Another year has past. This season has been unusually good. The Winter has been quite mild with little frost and no Snow. The Summer was warm and pleasant, but Markets still keept high, owing to the operation of the last Odious corn bill. Peace reigns in Europe but in the East Indies war has raged and is still raging. The Allied Troops have been withdrawn from France, the Spanish Colonies have in generall declared themselves independent of old Spain. The Americans are still extending their Colonies and forming new States, their navy and commerce are likewise fast increasing. At home our Burghs are fast going to ruin, their revenue have been dilapidated, severall of the most considerable are become bankrupt. Our Ministry are also corrupt and venal in the highest degrees and Pauperism among the lower Classes is no longer disgracefull, of course Begging is become a trade, and the more we give in Charity, Beggars increase in proportion.


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