Charles Morrison’s Diary, 15 to 31 December 1863


Untitled Winter Townscape (detail), Gina G. Morrison

Tuesday 15th December

I was in the counting house speaking to Mr McKay about a Shop. I wrote to father & Kate.

Wednesday 16th December

Very stormy. Not much doing.

Thursday 17th December

We sold 20 Bolls oatmeal to Captain Vivian of the Bernera Lobster Smack. A beautiful day.

 Friday 18th December

Alexr McKenzie spoke to me about R.M.’s shop and Miss McDonald about A.McL’s house.

Saturday 19th December

I wrote Isabella Sutherland Edinburgh. I was with A McKenzie seeing R.M.’s shop.

Sunday 20th December

In the morning Mr Tennant preached from the 3rd chap of Romans 31st verse Do we then make void the law through faith God forbid yea we establish the law. In the evening he preached from the 5th chapter of John from the 1st to the 14th verse. I presented twice.

Monday 21st December

The Steamer arrived at 5 A.M. I got up at ½ past 6.

Tuesday 22nd December

Hard frost and snow. Alexr Mckenzie told me R.M. would not give up the shop.

Wednesday 23rd December

Not much doing today. It was very cold and wet.

Thursday 24th December

There was a meeting of the inhabitants in the Hall court house and resolutions passed for Stornoway being a Royal Borough. I had a letter from father he says Robert is going for a short time to Mr W. McKay’s. He is not against I and – – – Christina’s & Mrs Pope’s carte de visites were returned from London. Mr Wilson having left I wrote Mr Charleson for them.

[Note: William Mackay (b. 1813) was a draper and postmaster in Dornoch]

 Friday 25th December

I had a kind note from Christina about Margaret &c. I wrote her at night. There was very little doing.

Saturday 26th December

Very cold there were some showers of snow.   The “Flying Dutchman” in.

Sunday 27th December

In the morning Mr Tennant preached from the 13th Chapter of Matthew from the 36th to the 43rd verse the parable of the tares. In the evening he preached from the 1st chapter of Phillipians 1st clause of the 21st verse For me to live is Christ. He preached 2 most excellent and improving sermons. These are his last at present here he has left a good impression upon all who have heard him. I presented twice.

Monday 28th December

It was very cold a great fall of snow. I had a newspaper from Edinburgh. The Freemasons had a procession through the town with torches lighted. Mr Tennant and Miss Addison away south by Steamer.

[Note: an account of this procession was published in the Caledonian Mercury, 7 January 1864, 2: ‘On Monday the 28th December, being the annual festival of St John, the Fortrose Lodge (108) of Freemasons met within their hall in Stornoway, for the purpose of settling and arranging the business of the Lodge for the past year, and electing office bearers for the current one . . . [list of office bearers] . . . After business was over the Lodge adjourned till the evening, when they again met at the hall and formed a procession, with torch-light, and masonic and national flags, preceded by the fine band of the Stornoway Artillery Volunteers playing masonic airs. The night being dark the torches had a most imposing appearance, particularly approaching the Steamers Quay where the Clydesdale S.S., just starting for Glasgow, saluted the masons by firing rockets, burning blue lights, &c. . . .’. Charles’s account suggest that he was not a Freemason (at this time anyway), but was probably amongst the crowd. ]

Tuesday 29th December

I gave Maggie Dean Russell a squirrel muff this being her birthday.

Wednesday 30th December

I had a letter from Robert. We were pretty busy today.

Thursday 31st December

A beautiful day. We were not very busy today. Our drawings for the past month is £224-5-6 which is very good. The amount of our drawings for the year is £3316-13/- £466 more than the foregoing year which is a very large business done. In looking back upon the past year we have every reason to be thankful for the very liberal support and encouragement we have got, we have done a trade surpassing my expectations and which I have never done before.


Untitled Winter Townscape, Gina G. Morrison

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