Charles Morrison’s Diary, 15 to 30 April 1864

Morning Light Colour Reduces See-Through

The Morning Light – Kate Morrison emigrated on this ship in April 1864 (print dated 1860)

Friday 15th April

We got up at 6 and left for Glasgow at 7 where we arrived at 9.15 and put up in Mrs Diamonds. We called at Messrs J & A Phillips Andrew Shaw and at Mrs Gardner’s. We were at tea with Geo Phillips & Miss Kilpatrick in Grafton Square. We then went to Barlow’s circus on the Green.

Unidentified Glasgow prob Charles Morrison - Copy

Charles Morrison by Dewar of Glasgow (undated)

Saturday 16th April

We were at Dewar’s getting likeness then we went to Phillips. George went with us to the Cathedral. We then went to the Railway Station where we met them that were to accompany Kate and they all left by the “Blenheim” for Liverpool at 6 P.M. Poor Kate I was very sorry at parting with her. I hope she may have a prosperous voyage. I was at the City Hall evening concert. I was very much taken up with Miss Kirk’s singing. She has a sweet voice.

[Note The Blenheim, under Captain McPherson, was one of several passengers steamers which ran between Glasgow and Liverpool several times a week. Passengers left Glasgow by train at 4pm on 16 April, joining the Blenheim at Greenock and sailing  at 6pm).

Sunday 17th April

In the morning I went with Mr Geo. Phillips to the U.P.Church Greyfriars. The Revd. Mr Calderwood lectured from the 21st verse of the 10th chapter to the end of the 11th chapter of Exodus. In the interval of worship we went round Glasgow Green and we then went to the East Campbell St U.P.Church it is a fine large new Church and well filled. The Revd. Mr Wallace preached from the 7th chapter of Hebrews 26th verse For such an high priest became us who is holy harmless undefiled separate from sinners and made higher than the heavens. After dinner we went to the Necropolis. Then we went to Mr Handyside’s class in Bell’s Hotel Trongate St where there was a very nice class indeed. Afterwards we went to the West End Park accompanied by a young Lady.

[Note: The United Presbyterian Church on East Campbell Street was designed by Haig & Low and opened in 1864. It still stands.]

Monday 18th April

I had a letter from Christina. I called on Miss Smith Piccadilly St. I was at tea with Geo. Phillips then we went to the Princes Theatre Dunlop St where one of Shakespeare’s pieces Hamlet was acted and closed with a laughable farce Tom Tompkins

[Note: Hamlet was played by Mr H. Talbot and the Ghost by Mr Alex McLein. The Trial of Tompkins by T. J. Williams was licensed in 1863.]

Tuesday 19th April

I got my likeness taken. I went through Stewart & McDonald’s, Grieve & Cochrane & M & A Clark’s. I wrote home to father. I was at tea in Mr Gardner’s. I then went to the concert in City Hall in aid of S. Cowells family.

[Note: Sam Cowell, a well-known comedian and singer, or ‘comic vocalist’ died shortly after being bankrupt, leaving a wife and children without support. One of those singing in the benefit concert – advertised as a ‘Monstre Concert’ – was Miss Helen Kirk, whose voice Charles had admired on his previous visit to the City Hall, on 16 April.]

Wednesday 20th April

I went down by the side of the quay and came up on the south side. I got Kate’s carte de visite. This is the day she was to have sailed from Liverpool. It was a fine day. I went through to J & W Campbell & Co Warehouse. I bought some things. In the evening I was Geo. Phillips at tea. We went then to the Merchants Hall to see Professor Pepper’s Ghost.

[Note: Kate sailed to Melbourne by the clipper Morning Light, sister ship to the White Star. It arrived on 27 July. There is no evidence that Kate ever returned to Scotland. However, she and her family kept in touch with their Scottish relatives for some time; probably until Charles’s death. In 1890 Alex Morrison wrote home from San Francisco: ‘I saw my cousin Charlie Grant in Melbourne, he came down twice to the ship but I did not manage to get away to see them in Greenhill, it is about 60 miles from Melbourne . . .’. From this scant information it has been possible to discover that Kate married George Alexander Grant in 1865 and had several children including Ellen Ann (1866), John Alexander (1868), Charles Morrison (1871), Alexander Morrison (1874) and George (1875).  If anyone in Victoria has information about the family, who were still living in the Kyneton area in the 1940s – please get in touch! As for Alex Morrison – sadly he was drowned when the Lord Raglan went down with all hands on its home journey from San Francisco in spring 1890. His last letters were kept by his grieving relatives.]
IMG_4344 - Copy

Four sons born to Charles and Christina Morrison predeceased their parents, including Alex, lost on the Lord Raglan returning from San Francisco in 1890. Their grandfathers’ names were Alexander and William.

[Note: Pepper’s Ghost is an illusion technique, first performed in 1862]

Thursday 21st April

In the morning the Lords came into Glasgow at 9.30. I went to Wilson & Matheson’s and bought a few things and in J & A Phillips. Afterwards I saw M. Clark he told me that Angus sent out fish with him and he sold them to Colin McEwen & Co Ann St. I then had to see them weighed. We began at ½ past 3 and finished at 10m to 5. I took the train at 5 to Greenock here I saw David McKay. We left at 7.30

[Note: ‘the Lords’ refers to the opening of the Glasgow Spring Circuit Court of Judiciary opened by Lords Deas and Neaves.]

Friday 22nd April

A fine night passing the Mull of Cantyre (sic) but I was a little sea sick. We arrived at Oban at ¼ to 11. I met some Stornoway people here going to the Circuit Court at Inverness. The Steamer had a very heavy cargo for here. Mr Fair Traveller & I had a walk round the hills. We left at ¼ past 2 and arrived at Tobermory at 6 where we had another walk. We left at ¼ to 8 it was a beautiful day.

Saturday 23rd April

When I awoke we were at Glenelg. We were at Kyleakin at 9 and then went to Applecross with Lord & Lady Middleton and Suite about 30 altogether and that detained us a long time. We then went to Broadford then to Portree where we arrived at ½ past 3. I had a long walk with John Robertson and had tea with him and I very near lost my passage. We left at ½ past 6 and arrived at Little loch Broom at 12 at night. It was today Kate sailed down the River and went out to sea.

Sunday 24th April

We went ashore at 10. I had a long walk up the Glen Ullapool being 6 miles distant and a fever raging there we could not go to church there. Mr McRae Ness being on board he preached a Gaelic sermon in the Inn then we went on board about 5.

Monday 25th April

Early in the morning we sailed to Ullapool Mr Fair in his hurry out ashore took away my hat case. We arrived at LochInver at 9 and left it at 10 and arrived in Stornoway at 2 o’clock. I wrote Lexy sent her a brooch with my likeness & hair into it.

Tuesday 26th April

I had a letter from Kate from Liverpool. I wrote father. I was at Goathill seeing Christina. I thought her very distant.

Wednesday 27th April

Not very busy Angus and I had a walk down by Sandwick we spoke about dissolving and had a good many sharp words.

Thursday 28th April

I was at John Nicolson about his shop but he would not let it without I would take his stock but I would not do that. I had a walk with Mrs Russell up the New Road and down by John Dores.

Friday 29th April

Not very busy today but dull being put about for a shop.

Saturday 30th April

In the morning Angus & I had a few words and he was quite determined not to let me stop until after the fishing I thought then if I would get any place it would be better than being with him he was to take the whole stock the draperies at 5% off and the rest at cost price the Book debts at 10%. At night I was at tea in Mr Cockburn’s afterwards I was speaking to John McKenzie to engage with me for 3 months. Our drawings for the month is £280-10-6.

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1 Response to Charles Morrison’s Diary, 15 to 30 April 1864

  1. Pingback: Introducing Charles Morrison, A Stornoway Shopkeeper | Building Our Past

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