Charles Morrison’s Diary, 15 to 31 August 1863

Photo W Smith Tain - Copy

Unidentified sitters for W. Smith, photographer, Tain. From Charles Morrison’s photograph album. c. Alison Mein

Saturday 15th August

Kate and I went to Evelix and saw Mr & Mrs John McLeod. I then had a walk down the links to the sea shore.

Sunday 16th August

In the forenoon Mr Munro preached in Gaelic from the 15th Chap of Matthew 21st to the 28th verses. In the afternoon in English from John 1st Chapter 12th verse. But as many as received him to them gave he power to become the Sons of God even to them that believe on his name. After dinner Kate & I took a walk we went up by the Poles and came back by Embo.

Monday 17th August

I went to Embo to see Mr & Mrs Donald Sutherland. I wrote Lexy.

Tuesday 18th August

John Gillespie John Gunn & I went the length of Cuthill by the Defiance Coach and commenced to fish in the river there. We went up by the river to Cyderhall got very little fish then left it and went home by Evelix. We filled the baskets with grass and put a stone in it as a pretence.

Wednesday 19th August

I got up very early and went after 6 o’clock with father to the Little Ferry. He heard that his vessel with meal had come but when we went there it was not her and we had to come home empty. In the afternoon Kate and I went up to Skelbo Muir to see Aunt Barbara.

(Note: Charles Morrison’s father, Alexander Morrison, was a meal dealer)

Thursday 20th August

I went round by Achinganter [Auchinchanter?] and by the sea shore and then I called in the Manse and saw Mr G.R Kennedy and had been awhile talking with him. The Dornoch Volunteer Corps were out in their new uniform, ie scarlet coat and a Sutherland tartan trowser.

Friday 21st August

I had 3 letters today 1 from Miss E McDonald from Dingwall 1 from John Robertson Portree with carte de visite and 1 from Murdo McIver Achnasheen. I went about very little today. I was looking over my father’s accts with him.

Saturday 22nd August

I had a letter from Lexy. I was with the Volunteers at the links shooting.

Sunday 23rd August

I had a letter from John from Stornoway.

In the forenoon Mr Munro preached in Gaelic from the 16th Chapter of Luke 41st & 42nd verses And Jesus answered and said unto her Martha Martha thou art careful and troubled about many things But one thing is needful & Mary hath chosen that good part which shall not be taken away from her. At the close of the sermon Mr Kennedy came forward and baptized a child and at the prayer he was entirely overcome for he wept it was really very affecting he had to sit down and Mr Munro finished. I saw what I never witnessed before two women had to stand in the church to be reprimanded for having illegitimate children. At the English in the afternoon we had a most excellent and impressive sermon from Mr G Kennedy his text was the 23rd verse of the 6th chapter of Romans For the wages of Sin is death but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. His style and manner of preaching is very attractive and along with his lofty and noble ideas he is very earnest and eloquent it is really most pleasant to be listening to him.

[Note: G. R. Kennedy was minister of the Free Church, Dornoch]
Dornoch Xmas Card

Dornoch Cathedral, carte de visite format, c.1870.

I was at dinner and tea in Mr William McKay Merchant’s. I had a walk down to the links with Mr McKay before I left Miss Barbara Munro came in to whom I was introduced.

 Monday 24th August

I wrote Lexy. I went to Mr Gray Poles and got Robt Sutherland’s Journal and read a part coming back on the way then I was at tea at Mrs McAndrew’s Davochfin and was then introduced to Miss Catherine Munro Dornoch Misses Brown Clashmore and Miss Rutherford Helmsdale. We had a very pleasant evening of it and I came home with Miss Munro.

 Tuesday 25th August

Kate and I went to Evelix and I gave good bye to Mrs McLeod and John. I went down by Cyderhall and I saw the gardeners wife &c I saw the tailor and his wife. I took dinner with Peggy. I then went to Lonemore and saw William & Angus McKay & wife & Family. William came up a piece with me he is very frail and now an old man of 85. In the evening I met Sandy Gunn and I have been through the Police Office with him. We then went to Georgina McIntoshes and was there for a while.

[Note: Dornoch police station was built in 1861-62; Charles Morrison and Sandy Gunn may have been looking over the new building].

Wednesday 26th August

After breakfast I did some Bank business then I went over the Church yard then was calling and giving goodbye to the Dornoch folk. I called on Mr Kennedy and was introduced to Mr Tennant. Mr Kennedy had a bad attack of palpitations when I was there. I called on Mr & Mrs W. McKay at Davochfin &c. At night I gave goodbye at William Munro’s Eagle Inn and then saw Sandy Gunn.

National Hotel Dingwall

National Hotel, Dingwall, c.1950

Thursday 27th August

I left Dornoch at 10 A.M. for the ferry and from there took the Defiance Coach. Kate came along with me then I met Mr Peter Ross Leucher & Mrs & Miss Cameron Clashmore we were at Tain at 1 P.M. and had a beautiful drive to Invergordon where we arrived at 2.20 P.M. left that by the train at 2.50 and arrived at Dingwall at 3.40. Kate and I went to Mrs Chisholm’s and we saw Mrs Col & Miss E. McDonald. Afterwards I saw Miss Barbara Munro. I then went up to Strathpeffer by the Bus along with Mr Ross &c. And I saw Mr & Mrs Pope Alex McIver Colin Morrison Mr Allan & Miss Ross Mrs Williamson & Miss Davidina Murray Cromarty. I had to travel back to Dingwall it rained very heavily before I left. I drank a tumbler of the mineral water. Kate & I put up for the night in the National Hotel.

Royal Hotel Ullapool

Royal Hotel Ullapool, c.1935

Friday 28th August

I left Dingwall at 6 A.M. I took Kate with me the length of Strathpeffer and parted with her there and was joined by Mr A & Miss Ross. We came by the Gairloch Mail to Garve where we arrived at 8 A.M. We there took the Mail gig for Ullapool it was once we changed horses but we rested an hour at an Inn about half way between Garve and the head of Loch Broom. The road from Garve to Lochbroom is very dreary and desolate bare & not picturesque. At the head of Loch Broom we changed horses and the scenery from here to Ullapool is more pleasing and picturesque the road is bad and tiresome for horses. We arrived at Ullapool at ¼ past 3 P.M. and put up in the Royal Hotel. Mr Ross and I had a walk through the village the houses were all in a decaying state and business itself seemed to be stagnant we saw nothing in it to draw attention and did not care how soon we might leave it.

Saturday 29th August

Before we commenced Breakfast we saw the Steamer come in. As soon as we were ready we went on board. We sailed at 10 A.M. up to the head of Loch Broom to take in wool and it was 3 o’clock before we were back at Ullapool. We then sailed for Loch Inver calling off Tanera & Scorraig We arrived at Loch Inver at ¼ to 6 P.M. I went ashore and had a short walk along with Miss Ross. It rained very heavily. We left there at 7 and arrived at Stornoway at 11 rather a quick passage. Coming across I felt rather squeamish. After I came ashore I delivered a letter to Miss Agnes McDonald.

Sunday 30th August

In the morning Mr Leith preached from Luke 16th chapter 27 to 31st verse. In the evening from Mark 15 chap 34 verse My God My God why hast thou forsaken me. In the afternoon Mr Munro preached the 16th chapter of Matthew 26 verse For what is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world And lose his own soul or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul.

Monday 31st August

I wrote home to Cate of my arrival. I attended very little in the shop today. I went the length of the well and was there a long time with Christina when I came back Angus was away to Lochs for a few days. I finished Robert Sutherland’s Journal. Our drawings for this month is £249-1 really very good.

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