Charles Morrison’s Diary, 1 to 14 November 1863


Arnish Lighthouse (designed by Alan Stevenson; 1852), stands at the entrance to Stornoway harbour. This photograph once hung in Charles Morrison’s office in Stornoway. c. K. Morrison

Sunday 1st November

We went to the schoolhouse at Breasclet Angus Matheson Teacher read the 16th chapter of Acts and was commenting on it as he went along. We went in at a ¼ to 12 o’clock it was ½ past 3 before we came out. We were very uncomfortably seated in it. It was badly seated and the house was so full it was so very close. After we came out I spoke to Alex. McRae Melstay and was introduced to Miss McRae Linshader both were with us the whole evening. I spent a long time with Christina in the sofa.

[See A Visit to the Druidical Stones]

Monday 2nd November

Christina, Donald, and I went to the Druidical stones. I counted them 47 in number. We then had a walk the length of the Mill at Breasclet. At 5.o.clock we went to Linshader to tea and spent a very pleasant night there with singing and dancing. It was 10. o.clock before we left.

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The Callanish Stones (R. Baxter)

Tuesday 3rd November

Christina and I mostly kept the house today it being like rain. In the evening Alexr McKenzie, Newton came afterwards Miss McRae Linshader and we passed a most agreeable night at singing and dancing.

Wednesday 4th November

I got up at 7 and went to Garnahine to see if there was any conveyance to bring us home there was none. About 1 o’clock there was word that Mrs Gerrie broke her leg and I left at 2 for Stornoway to see as to the truth of it. I walked it in 4 hours when hearing it to be true I hired a conveyance and left alone at 9 P.M. and arrived at Callenish at ½ past 1 A.M. It was very dark all the way going and the horse very stubborn.

Thursday 5th November

Donald McRae Miss Gerrie and I left at 2 o’clock and arrived here at 5. I had a note from Christina saying that her mother was very poorly.

Friday 6th November

I breakfasted with Miss E. McDonald. We were busy selling Smearing materials

[Note on ‘Smearing materials’: a concoction of tar, butter and other substances was smeared on sheep, to prevent scab and infestation].

Saturday 7th November

It was very cold. We were not very busy. I wrote Kate.

Sunday 8th November

In the morning Mr McEwen preached from the 16th & 17th verses of the 3rd chapter of Colossians. In the evening from the 3rd & 4th verses of the 8th Psalm When I consider the heavens the work of thy fingers the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained what is man that thou art mindful of him and the son of man that thou visiteth him. In the afternoon Mr Munro preached from the 16th verse of the 42nd chapter of Isaiah And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not I will lead them in paths that they have not known I will make darkness light before them and crooked things straight. After dinner I went to see Mrs Gerrie. I thought her very pleasant and communicative to me and she made me wait to tea.

Monday 9th November

Mrs Banker Morrison away to Edinburgh. Mr McEwen away.

Tuesday 10th November

I did not feel well today my stomach was very bad. I wrote Robert.

Wednesday 11th November

We were very busy. In the evening I went to see Mrs Gerrie. It being Hallowe’en I spent the night jolly there.

Thursday 12th November

Not much doing. Very stormy.

Friday 13th November

Pretty busy. A most melancholy accident happened at Arnish a boy of Mr Hunter’s fell over the rocks near the Lighthouse and died about 2 hours afterwards. He was 3 ½ years of age.


The Hunter family headstone, Sandwick Cemetery.

Saturday 14th November

A man from Leurbost was found floating near the Quay it is not known how he fell over. We were pretty busy today. I wrote Christina with regard to how she acted last night and about D.M’s manner towards her. Not getting a satisfactory answer I had to go up and after some conversation managed to arrange matters between us more agreeable.

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