Charles Morrison’s Diary, 14 to 31 May 1863

Shon Macfadyen's Wherry - Copy

Shon MacFadyen’s Wherry by Gina G. Morrison (initialled bottom left), nd.

Thursday 14th May

The Steamer ‘Queen’ arrived from Granton at 4 A.M. with a great number of passengers. Mr & Mrs Angus McKay fish curer came. I have read of the disastrous loss of the Steamer Anglo-Saxon off Cape Race when about 240 lives were lost among whom was a young man that had been a shopkeeper with Malcolm McAulay here. It is said he went of with a good deal of his master’s money besides a large sum he managed to take from a woman that went after him from here.

[Note: The SS Anglo-Saxon, an iron-screw steamer built in 1856, was wrecked off Cape Race, Newfoundland, on 27 April 1863, close to the end of its voyage from Liverpool and Londonderry to Quebec. The captain and 237 of the 444 passengers and crew were lost.]

Friday 15th May

Kept pretty busy today. Boats are arriving fast.

Saturday 16th May

A great number of Boats are coming in especially the South Country ones. Our busy season is now commencing and if the fishing is successful we ought to do a large trade. Robert Gerrie arrived tonight from London quite unexpectedly. I had a letter from my father.

[Note: Robert Gerrie settled to farm at Stoneyfield, Holm, after his father’s death in 1863. He married Julia Pringle and had a large family. His main interest was painting: some of his oil paintings survive but his technique was unstable and the surfaces have flaked. In February 1873 The Times reported how Robert Gerrie rescued a fisherman whose boat had capsized off Stornoway; three others had to be rescued by the steamer Ondine. ]

Sunday 17th May

In the morning Mr Leith preached from John 9th chapter 25 verse He answered and said whether he be a Sinner or no I know not one thing I know that whereas I was blind now I see. In the afternoon there was a prayer meeting in the U.P. church 3 fishermen prayed. In the evening Mr Leith preached from Revelation 6th Chapter 2nd verse And I saw and behold a white horse and he that sat on him had a bow and a crown was given unto him and he went forth conquering and to conquer.

UPChurch SY colour

The United Presbyterian Church, James Street, Stornoway, photographed from Bells Road. Taken from an album compiled in the 1860s and 1870s. The louvred bell openings and the finial on top of the pyramidal tower roof have been removed and the large south window with its Y-tracery has been replaced by a doorway. c. Alison Mein

Monday 18th May

A fine day. I saw – –

Tuesday 19th May

A Beautiful day. A number of boats arrived. Pretty busy.

Wednesday 20th May

The boats have all gone out tonight to fish.

Thursday 21st May

The fishing very light this morning. Very busy today.

Friday 22nd May

The fishing very light.

Saturday 23rd May

I wrote home today. A beautiful day. Very busy.

Sunday 24th May

In the forenoon Mr Leith preached from Matthew 13th chapter and from the 1st to the 8th verse the parable of the Sower. In the afternoon there was a prayermeeting where 4 fishermen prayed. In the evening Mr Leith preached from the 8th Psalm 3rd & 4th verses When I consider the heavens the works of thy fingers the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained what is man that thou are mindful of him and the Son of Man that thou visitest him. The Steamer “Forth” arrived this evening from Glasgow instead of the “Ida” from London and went to Wick.

Monday 25th May

A fine day. Not very busy.

Tuesday 26th May

A pretty good fishing today. Kept very busy.

Wednesday 27th May

A fair fishing. The Steamer Forth left for Hamburgh with a cargo of herrings. Mrs Daniel McIver and family went away by her for Berlin.

Thursday 28th May

A poor fishing. It rained very heavily in the evening and a great number of boats had to put back.

Friday 29th May

The Average fishing today for the boats that remained out was pretty fair. A sad accident happened this morning. A boat ran down another when 3 lives were lost a boy had clung to an oar and was taken up by another boat, the one that ran them down never heeded and the men have been taken on board the Cutter where they are to answer for their heartlessness and recklessness.

Saturday 30th May

A very poor fishing. I suffered greatly from toothache last night. I had to get up 6 or 7 times. The fishing was very light today. We were kept very busy. I had a walk up the New road with Christina.

Sunday 31st May

In the morning Mr Leith preached from the 4th chapter of Amos 12th verse And because I will do this unto thee prepare to meet thy God O Israel. In the afternoon there was a prayermeeting when 3 fishermen prayed. In the evening Mr Leith preached from the 25th chapter of Leviticus 8th to the 11th verse.

Our drawings for May was £312-2-6 which is very good.

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