Anne Lister diary transcriptions Anne Lister's diary 1828 Anne Lister's diary June 1828

Wednesday 18 June 1828


Sent her out while I got up on the plea of making the room disagreeable (having a motion). Then before dressing got into bed again and lay while she mended my stays etc, which made me so late. Breakfast at 11 10/60. Out at 1 10/60. Got a horse for Miss McL- & she rode & I walked by the side to the top of Stroneclachan & to the old castle (Finlarig). Got back at 2 10/60, much heated by the damp, muggy, hot air after the thick hazy morning, which had threatened rain but turned out fine. Gigs & one-horse carts the same price. Still fancying we should have more room for ourselves & baggage in a cart, off in one from Killin at 2 23/60. About a couple of hundred yards from the inn, in a corn field (right) from the inn (going to Loch Earnhead) in a hollow, between 2 mounds, & under the hill, stands a single, rough, pyramidal stone, said to mark the grave of Fingal [1]. Had the stone stood on either of the mounds, the tradition might have seemed better grounded? Ben More a fine looking hill. At 2 55/60 pass thro’ Leeks turnpike & turn left along Glen Ogle. At 3½ the tiny Loch Ogle close right. We go foot’s pace. First peep of Loch Earn at 4. Then at 4 10/60 fine view of, & pretty descent upon the loch, & at 4 20/60 alight at the neat white inn of Donald Robertson, a very civil man.

Fingal’s grave
ronnie leask / Fingal’s Grave / CC BY-SA 2.0

Glen Ogle wild & rugged, not a hut nor human being to be seen save a gentleman & lady & driver in an open carriage belonging to Lochearnhead inn. Had a little excellent bread & butter & off from Lochearnhead in a gig (the 1st we have ventured to try) with a little boy, aged 13, on a little seat between us to drive, at 5 10/60. Good horse. Never went so comfortably. Very pretty lake. Admire it exceedingly. Cottages prettily scattered on all sides. Like this loch next to that of Monteith. St. Fillan’s (vid. Scottish Tourist, 80/415 et. seq.) the best & prettiest & most prettily picturesque village we have seen in Scotland, & about 7 miles from Lochearnhead. We had passed the village & the head of the loch in an hour. Fine drive all the way from Lochearnhead & not less so when we leave the loch. Beautiful drive to Dunira, a good white house, 3 miles from Comrie, at 6 20/60. Remarkably pretty label-windowed, slightly projecting roofed lodge, & the prettiest transom railing upon a low wall we ever saw. Dalhouzie (good white house) (Skane Esquire) beautifully embossed in wood. Lord Melville’s monument [2] (an obelisk of granite 72 feet high, yet looking quite white in the distance) a fine object. On the top of the fir covered Dunmore. The mountains finely rugged or beautifully wooded. A broad shallow picturesque stream accompanied us all along the fine valley. Beautiful drive. At 6 50/60 little village & bridge over the Earn close on our right, and at 6 55/60 alight (to bait the horse etc) at the Comrie’s Arms in the picturesque (rather picturesque than absolutely good) & pretty village of Comrie. Good white church.

Lord Melville’s Monument On the summit of Dun More, on the west side of Glen Lednock.
Dr Richard Murray / Lord Melville’s Monument / CC BY-SA 2.0

From 7 5/60 to 7 40/60 Miss McL- & I walked thro’ the grounds of Murray Esquire, along the finely wooded glen of the Lednock (beautiful walk thro’ the wood) to the Devil’s Caldron, a fine fall of the river thro’ a deep cleft, 4 or 5 feet wide, into a caldron or deep basin (finely overhung with wood) & thence it runs foaming along its widish rocky bed along the glen. Very well worth walking more than a mile (1¼ mile) to see. A beautiful walk and finely wild picturesque fall. 25 minutes in returning. I myself could have gone up to the obelisk (at the top of Dunmore, & this fall at the bottom of it) in 10 minutes from here, but we were already too late. On returning to the inn, found our landlord rather an antiquary. The Roman camp of “Dalginross upon Galgachan ruin where Gordon & Chalmers suppose the famous battle between Salgacus & Agricola to have been fought,” (82/415) about 1 mile south of Comrie. Yet would only take us about ½ an hour out of our way including the time of stopping. Perhaps from ¼ to ½ mile round about. But very little to see. The landlord shewed us a plan of it as it in 1720. Walls perfect, but since that time the property has been in 2 or 3 hands. Has been taken no care of. Now ploughed over & sown with corn. Nothing left but part of the north side towards the river Ruchill (the porta sinistra & castrum equitum) & the fossa of this not perfect. Calculated to hold 8,000 foot & 3,000 horse. The castrum equitum some time ago entirely washed away by the river. The landlord shewed us some charred wheat he had dug up about 2-2½ feet from the surface of the camp. Strongly advised our going to see the Roman camp at Arooch. 11 miles from Comrie, 12 miles from Crieff. Quite perfect. Well worth going to see. Close to the road from Crieff to Dunblane.

Little Caldron River Lednock water falls, also known as Devil’s Caldron
wfmillar / Little Caldron / CC BY-SA 2.0

Off from Comrie at 8 40/60. Lawers (Lord Balgray) a singular but handsome looking place. About 3 miles from Comrie the neat white isolated Monivaird Kirk. Beyond which 1½ miles Ochtertyre, “the charming residence of Sir Patrick Murray baronet,” (82/415). It does indeed seem a beautiful place. The woods & grounds very beautiful. The house (a plain good gentleman’s house) finely situated on the side of the hill. Beautiful drive from Comrie to pretty picturesque nice little up & down hill town of Crieff where we alight (at Robertson’s, the only good inn) at 9 40/60. Very civil people. Tea & fried eggs & ditto mutton, ham & finnan haddock (1st time I ever tasted it – very good) at 10. Sat talking. Somehow told her how I had always had an idea that if anything happened to M- I should like to have Vere [3]. She said how odd it would be if it ever happened. Thought Vere would be happy. Said I did not quite think now of it now as I used to do, or should not have named it to her, hinting that my present circumstances with Miss MacL made the difference, but I should always be interested for Vere etc etc.

Went to our rooms at 11¾. For the weather vid. line 5 of today. A slight shower as we returned from the Devil’s Caldron but fine from the time of leaving Comrie. It had been tremendously black over Ben Voirlick as we drove along Loch Earn & we had a drop or 2 but left the rain & had fine weather & saw the clouds gradually clear off towards Loch Earn head & we left them completely behind us. Strathearn is indeed a fine valley. Very fine drive from Lochearnhead to Crieff. At up reading the Scottish Tourist till 1 35/60.

Killin to Lochearnhead                   8 [miles]
Loch Earn-head to Comrie            12
Comrie to Crieff                                7

[1] See yesterday for some information on Fingal.

[2] Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melville (1742-1811) was a Scottish barrister and Tory politician. He was an important figure in the Scottish enlightenment, opposed the abolition of slavery, and was impeached for misappropriation of public money. According to Wikipedia he’s the only person accused of such a serious crime to later have a public memorial put up in his memory. He lived at Dunira, the estate Anne and Sibella visit before viewing his monument.

[3] Sibella MacLean’s niece and the woman Anne Lister later set up home with in Hastings. Anne hoped to persuade Vere to marry her, but Vere resisted Anne’s advances and instead married Donald Cameron.

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2 thoughts on “Wednesday 18 June 1828

  1. Arghhh, it’s irritating that AL did not write other persons’ reaction or answer, almost all the time, in her diary. Like in here, Miss MacL’s reaction to all her Vere talk was really important and yet not a word!

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