While searching online for “diaries” I came across an old (2013) news articles about a diary newly appearing online, based on the writings of Dr. Thomas Lucas, of Stirling, Scotland.
Born in 1756 (he died in 1822), Dr. Lucas built his picturesque little house on Upper Bridge Street in 1810; perhaps we’ve passed it, in visiting Stirling! He and his wife, born Isabella Whitehead, had eight children. Mrs. Lucas lived in the family home until 1850.
The Lucas family survives in the archives of the Stirling Council. The two diaries cover the period from March 1808 until May 1821.
The year of 1813 is represented under the “home” link, but look to the “Other Years” drop down menu for… well, the other years! Read of “severe frosty mornings” as well as the “ball and supper at the Guildhall”. Stand beside Dr. Lucas as he sows a pound “of early Charlton peas and planted some parsley”. Watch the erection of the “two inner gates… made out of two Lime trees that grew in front of the house.”
But it’s not all gardening and sunshine.
“A man named Michael Moncrieff hanged himself in Murray’s Wood.”
“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.”
“Peter Robertson in Corntown was sentenced to six months imprisonment for accidentally Killing his own daughter with a pair of Tongs.” [you learn more about the tragic accident]
And yet, some bright patches appear:
“Mrs Melles our sister-in-law went to the Shoemakers Ball, with four or five fellows and danced for five or six hours, altho no woman was present above the rank of a servant girl.”
“My Tenant Thomas Dods went off on Sunday afternoon for America, a Step which surprised many”.
Dr. Lucas is a consistent writer, keeping up a steady stream of comments throughout his diary-keeping, which end in the month of May, the year before his death.