Charles Morrison’s Diary, 1 to 14 February 1864

Untitled 4

Untitled watercolour by Gina G. Morrison

Monday 1st February

I had a letter from John Robertson Portree. At night I was hearing Mr. Adam’s lecture on Chemistry. I then went home with Christina

Tuesday 2nd February

I went to see the factor about M. McDonald’s shop and he told me it was taken.

Wednesday 3rd February

I had a walk with Mr Miller to the well and then up the glen.

Thursday 4th February

Not very busy it being cold. I wrote a number of letters to Insurance Society’s. I posted the Ensign to R. Sutherland. I wrote Kate and W.R. Sutherland. At night I was at the prayer meeting.

Friday 5th February

Not much doing today. I wrote Robert.

Saturday 6th February

I went on board the “Doon” with Mr Miller & Mr Phillips. Poor Mr Phillips not being very well we had to look after him. I had a letter from Lexy she says that a lady from Forres is wanting Kate.

Sunday 7th February

In the morning I had a letter from Robert & W.R.Sutherland he tells me that Miss McDougall is very poorly and not like to recover. At 11 o’clock I went on board the “Doon” to look after Mr G Phillips and to let Mr Miller ashore to have some rest. Mr Phillips was very bad but not troublesome he was going on singing all day. How thankful I ought to be for the very many precious privileges & blessings which I enjoy sometimes of body and mind. This has come on no doubt on Mr Phillips through nervous excitement after their marvellous escape through so many dangers. At 6 o’clock I came ashore with Mr Miller and went to church. The Revd Mr Adam preached from the 34th Psalm 18 verse The lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit.

Monday 8th February

I wrote Mr Cairncross. Mr Geo. Phillips was sent of by the Steamer under the care of Mr P. Miller & M. Innis tailor. Poor George I was very sorry for him he seemed to know there was something wrong with him but could not tell what it was. In the cabin of the Steamer he pressed me in his bosom and said Oh Charlie Charlie Charlie. I could not help the tears coming into my eyes for poor George and would not wish to part with him though he was in such a state he seemed to be fond of me and would do what I would bid him.

At night Mr Adam gave an excellent lecture on the Science of vegetation. I went home with dear Christina.

Tuesday 9th February

A beautiful day but cold. We were very busy. I went home with Christina.

Wednesday 10th February

There was a meeting of the Lews farmers to consider the charges of sheep stealing that were made by Mr Sellar against the Lewis people. Afterwards they had a dinner in the Lews Hotel.

[Note: sheep stealing was considered a particular problem in Ross-shire, including Lewis, at this time. It was blamed on the absence of an effective police force and an over-lenient justice system. Stornoway butchers were implicated. According to one account: ‘At Stornoway there is a ready market for salted mutton. It is brought in boats, in one or two barrels at a time, under cover of night, and sold to the Stornoway butchers for 1½d. per lb., and resold by them to provision vessels and boats during the herring fishing at the modest sum of 3½d. or 4d. per lb. – a proceeding profitable in a pecuniary point of view to all concerned.’ (Inverness Courier, 25 February 1864, 6)]

Thursday 11th February

It blew very strong. We were not busy. I received the carte de visites from London.

Friday 12th February

It rained very heavily in the morning. I went to see Finlay Stewart’s stock and at night had a walk with James when I offered him £120 for it.

Saturday 13th February

Very little doing. At night I bargained with James Stewart for the stock at £125-“-”

 Sunday 14th February

In the morning the Revd Mr Adam preached from the 54th chapter of Isaiah 5th verse For thy Maker is thine husband the Lord of hosts is his name and thy Redeemer the holy One of Israel The God of the whole earth shall he be called. In the afternoon he gave a short discourse from the 4th chap of 2nd Kings 18th 19th & 20th verses. In the evening he preached from Ecclesiastes 7th chapter 1st clause of 2nd verse The unpopular contrast It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting.

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