Charles Morrison’s Diary, 15 to 31 March 1864

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The Mason Hall, Kenneth Street: location of the Soiree of 18 March 1864

Tuesday 15th March

The Bills and tickets for the Soiree out. At night we were at Mr Caunter’s.

Wednesday 16th March

I had a letter from Kate. I wrote Lexy. At night we were at Mr Caunter’s. After going up I had to come back for Susan Addison’s music which I got from her sister She which I may say has been my introduction to her.

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Mr Caunter’s house, Willowglen

Thursday 17th March

I was busy all day making preparations for the Soiree. At night we were at Mr Caunter’s.

Friday 18th March

In the morning I was busy about the hall. In the afternoon we went to Mr Caunter’s for a rehearsal. The Mason Hall was beautifully decorated and a nice platform raised which added greatly to the appearance of the nights entertainment. The Soiree commenced precisely at 7 o’clock Kenneth McKenzie Esqr. Banker in the chair which he admirably filled. The Revd. Thos. Adam gave a very amusing address on cheerfulness he kept the audience laughing all the time. The Revd. J. McRae gave an address on the right or wrong man in the right or wrong place. Mr Russell gave a very nice address and gave an account of the progress of the U.P. Church here. Mr Cockburn Supervisor gave a most excellent address. The whole of the rest of the proceedings went of very well. I was one of the stewards. The Hall was quite full. In the morning there was a very amusing placard put up in the town talking of the Soiree. It was near 12 o’clock before we dismissed. I then went home with Christina.

[Note on the Soirée from the Inverness Courier:
Stornoway 21 March – The first soiree in connection with the United Presbyterian congregation of this place was held in the Mason Hall, on the evening of Friday, the 18th instant. The large hall, which was tastefully decorated with evergreens, was crowded, and among others on the platform there was Kenneth Mackenzie Esq., banker, who presided; Sheriff Macdonald; the Rev. Mr Macrae, minister of Stornoway; the Rev. Thomas Adams, officiating pastor of the congregation; Henry Caunter Esq.; M. Russell Esq., merchant; and J. F. Cockburn, Esq. The proceedings were commenced by the Rev. Mr Macrae, who asked a blessing; and after partaking of tea and cake, a choir of amateurs, banded together for the occasion, and whom Mr Caunter kindly took the trouble of directing, sung the “Old Hundred”, which was followed by several excellent addresses by the chairman, the Rev. Messrs. Adam and Macrae, and Messrs Russell and Cockburn; while at intervals courses of fruit were served, and the choir charmingly rendered a selection of beautiful music, Messrs Caunter, William, Macleod, Macpherson respectively contributing capital solos. It was near midnight before the company broke up. (Inverness Courier, 24 March 1864, 5)

Saturday 19th March

The general opinion through the place today is that the Soiree was a great success. I wrote Donald Morrison Edinburgh.

Sunday 20th March

In the morning the Revd. T Adam preached from the 3rd chapter of Deuteronomy 25th verse I pray the(e) let me go over and see the good land that is beyond Jordan that goodly mountain and Lebanon. In the evening he preached from the 6th chapter of Zechariah 12th & 13th verses Behold the man whose name is the Branch and he shall grow up out of his place and he shall build the temple of the Lord Even he shall build the temple of the Lord and he shall bear the glory and shall sit and rule upon his throne and the counsel of peace shall be between them both. At night Christina and I had a walk up by the ropework.

Monday 21st March

I wrote to Kate to Dornoch. We were very busy. Soiree profit £6-6-“

Tuesday 22nd March

I had a letter from W.R. Sutherland and he tells me Miss McDougall died on the 29th Jany. Kate was to have gone home to Dornoch today. At night I had a pleasant walk with Christina. John got leave home.

Wednesday 23rd March

We were pretty busy today. At night I was at the singing class.

Thursday 24th March

Not much doing. At night I was at the prayer meeting. Mr Adam gave a very nice on friendship taking for his text Ruth conduct towards Naomi. I went home with Christina.

Friday 25th March

Angus went over to Lochs. Very little doing. The 2 Lobster Smacks from Bernera in.

Saturday 26th March

It was cold and blowy today. A good deal of snow on the ground. Captain Vivian bought £32 worth. I wrote John Robertson Portree.

Sunday 27th March

In the morning the Revd. Mr Adam expounded the first Psalm. In the afternoon Mr Fletcher F.C. preached from the 2nd chapter of Colossians 19th verse And not holding the Head from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered and knit together increaseth with the increase of God. In the evening Mr Adam preached his farewell sermon from the 3rd chapter of Ecclesiastes 1st and 2nd verses To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under the heaven A time to be born and a time to die.

Monday 28th March

It was very cold and stormy the Steamer did not arrive until 5 P.M. The Revd. Mr Adam after giving good bye to the people had word that he was appointed for other two Sabbaths here.

Tuesday 29th March

A fine day. I was very busy all day. At night I went home with Christina. She told me that Sandy was at her for me &c.

Wednesday 30th March

I had a letter from father. I wrote father and Lexy. I had a kind note from Christina. At night after the singing class dismissed I had a walk with Miss Cockburn and C. Pope up the New Road.

Thursday 31st March

At night the Revd. Mr Adam gave a lecture on the reformation from Popery. Our drawings for March is £326-5.6d very good.

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