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

Saturday 28 June 1828


Read over my letters written last night. Called her at eight above quarter, dawdling and talking. Downstairs at 9 20/60. Had up the housekeeper, Mrs Brown & then the landlord, Mr Merchant about the washing bill. Never saw such exorbitant charge before. 5d for a shift & other things in proportion. They said no complaint had ever been made before. Said it was not that I objected to pay (the difference to me was small) but I made a point of naming what ever I found fault with to the master & mistress, & certainly I had never seen such a washing even at a 1st rate hotel in London. Put into the post office my letter to my aunt, “Place [Neuve] de la [Madame] No. 2, Paris;” to Mariana (Lawton) & to “Mr James Briggs, Wards End, Halifax, Yorkshire, S. B.” 9¾ when back to breakfast. Hardly a moment. Hurried off to the pier. It was ten and the steam boat just off. Hurried into a small boat. Promised to pay the man well if they over took the steamer (on account of the [coach?] on the other side) & if they just got us landed before the passengers of the steam boat.

Off immediately (outside crowded) at 10 42/60 for Cupar. (Dundee large, good town, good shops, 31,000 inhabitants. Picturesquely built along the water’s edge. At a little distance (left) in the water as we rowed away little gothic square tower used as a powder magazine.) Several goodish houses at Newport. Fine rich country all along. So few enclosures, a sort of open field land. At 11 50/60 a beech hedge along the road (right) with here & there a thorn or 2. Cut lowish & rather pointed or thin-edged at top. A very nice fence. At 12 5/60 at the George Inn, Cupar. A very neat, well built little town & nice clean-looking inn. The Tontine Hotel apparently the largest & perhaps 1st rate house (close to the entrance into the town) at which the other (union) coach stopped, but did not regret stopping at the George. Excellent boiled milk & biscuits & butter. Market day. Not a gig to be had in the town. A good chaise. The driver rode his horses & we mounted the dicky & were off to St. Andrews at 1. Still fine rich country. Good wheat & barley & heavy crops of clover & the grass as from Newport. At 1 35/60 cross the broad Eden over handsome but narrow 3 arched bridge & soon after fine view of St. Andrews & its bay. The lofty towers of the ruined cathedral, the loft in tower of the chapel of St. Rule, the tower of the high church (dedicated to the Holy Trinity) & that of the church of St. Salvădor, give the town a fine appearance.

St Andrews viewed from St Andrews Bay
Dannie Calder / St Andrews viewed from St Andrews Bay / CC BY-SA 2.0

Enter the old gateway at 2. In a minute or two alight at the Black Bull Inn (near the cathedral) & at 10 10/60 out to walk. Glad to have come. Picturesque wide-streeted town. The ruins very fine. Vid. Scottish Tourist 356/415 et seq. Ascend the tower of the church or chapel of St. Regulus or St. Rule (shipwrecked here with the relics of St. Andrew, from Achaia, in 370). 108 feet high, ascended by 152 steps. At the top in 4½ minutes at 2½. The keeper of the ruins (everyone took off stones for building, so walled off to preserve them 12 or 14 years ago, the enclosure being the public burying ground) lent us the “Delineations of St. Andrews” by James Grierson, M.D. M.W.S., Cupar, 1823, 1 volume, 12mo, 224 pages, price 5/. . Thought too dear by the booksellers there, who refuse to buy so as to be obliged to sell it at this price, & the publisher refuses it at less, so there is difficulty about getting the work. Grierson observes there is in this chapel nothing of gothic architecture which shews it to be at least as ancient as the middle of the 9th century, but it is probably a great deal older. “The steeple is a square prism of 108 feet in height & the side of its base, with out the walls, is 20 feet. Repaired & pointed by the King’s court of exchequer in 1789. “At the time the aisler stones # that had fallen out were replaced & a new turnpike stair erected in the steeple.” The abbey wall encloses about 18 acres. Looks more like a castle wall being defended by round towers. Brick wall & hot house built up against south side of the remaining part of the south side wall of the cathedral nave. 38 minutes on the top of the tower. Rather hazy but still fine view. The town laid down as on a map at our feet. # The man told us the turnpike stair was 1st put up in the tower fully 50 years ago, the tower being all open before & open by an arch to the chapel. Finely simple monument (the best) put up against the churchyard wall to the memory of Dr Adam Ferguson, professor of moral philosophy at Edinburgh, born at Logierait, 20 June 1723, died at St. Andrews, 22 February 1816. Head (apparently characteristic likeness) by Henning. Simple, chaste stone work border a the top (cornice-wise) [was] beautifully done by Ness & Co., Leith Walk, Edinburgh.

St. Andrews from the ruined Cathedral.
John Clive Nicholson, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic

Then to the considerable and interesting remains of the castle (latterly the palace of the archbishops) walled off & locked up to preserve the order of the King’s exchequer 15 years ago. ‘Twas just before this that the fosse in front of the great entrance door was filled up level with this door (before approached by a drawbridge & latterly by a narrow causeway) by the rubbish dug from the foundation of a neighbouring house. The court of exchequer knew nothing of its being done & were very angry, the appearance of the castle being thus much injured by burying of several feet of its height. The date 1155 was formerly on a stone over the entrance door but is now quite defaced & illegible. Examined the keep in the west sea-tower. Half filled up with rubbish but still 20 feet deep. 12 feet deep of 5 feet diameter shaft & then 8 feet deep of 17 feet diameter round room to the top of the rubbish. Descended several steps = 8 feet deep to get to the little room from which the 20 foot descent to the keep. East sea-tower partly unoccupied & partly held by the salmon fishing company who use it as an ice house. 200 cart loads in it in a winter for icing the salmon sent to London. But frost not strong enough to last winter, so no ice there now. Our castle guide then shewed us the very neat (small [gaelic] cross) episcopal chapel consecrated 29 September 1825, built by subscription. Dr Andrew Bell (a native of St. Andrews, his sister now living here), of Bell’s school celebrity, gave £300 & a large bible. Burn of Edinburgh architect. Very well done. Cost £1,200. The ground on which it stands & the little bit belonging to it and around = 18 yards square, cost £130. 36 pews, will contain 6 or 7 persons each. The church will hold about 300.

View of the St Andrews Castle looking from the Cathedral.
(WT-shared) Nab82ba at wts wikivoyage, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.

Then saw St. Salvădor’s church for the sake of Bishop Kennedy’s monument (350/415). Fine once, stone tabernacle work, but somewhat dilapidated now & not worth sending for the woman to open the church to see. For the interior of the church made as like an old barn as possible. The gallery for the students (225 last year). The buildings of St. Salvador’s or the old college, now almost disused, form the 3 sides of the square behind & adjoining to this church. Not worth seeing. In the old, damp-looking, sunk, [common] school John Knox’s pulpit handsomer than [usual] brought from the town or high church (trinity church) when lately repaired & rebuilt. A miserable little room with a few stuffed birds & a few minerals called the museum! Thence to the town church. Nothing worth seeing but Archbishop Sharpe’s fine, white marble monument representing his murder & his daughter held close by to witness it. 359/415. Here (on entering the church) saw Branks (an iron head-cage with an iron gag for the mouth). Then to the new college. The large room below (where the parliaments were once held) & the one above full of books. In the low room magazines & newspapers. Above [most] [struck] (nothing else worth seeing) with a plate of the Hetton saltworks railway, 7 miles long to Sunderland bridge. 2 steam engines on 2 hills force up the waggons which descend by their own weight & bring up the empty wagons. 60 tons carried along these 7 miles in 4 hours. Should like to have this plate, published by E. G. Triquet, 3 Birchin Lane, London. Plate also of the railway or tram-road from Manchester to Liverpool, planned by George Stephenson, engineer. Near the entrance to St. Andrews (left on going out) a small sort of arched vestibule of the old Dominican court, 359/415.

From Chambers’s Twentieth Century Dictionary of the English Language (1908), by Rev. Thomas Davidson 1856-1923 (ed.). This image comes from the Project Gutenberg archives.

St. Andrews well worth seeing. Goodish town. Evidently much improved of late. Several neat, good, new houses. Yet the streets grass-grown. Haddocks drying & smelling ill in all directions. Got back to the inn at 5. Off home again at 5 10/60 & alighted at Cupar at 6½. Meant to have gone forward to Loch Leven immediately but no horses that the man could ride. Did not like to give up our dicky. Very nice inn so determined to stay all night. Dinner at 7¼. [?] very neat & good. Excellent lamb chops. Napkins at dinner, which we have hardly met with (save at Tarbet) since leaving Edinburgh. Sat talking after dinner. Telling her the substance of Justine and that I read it aloud to Madame de Rosny then after a great piece of work Miss McL- read me her journal of today. Nicely done. From 9¾ to 12 wrote out my own journal of today. Then settling my accounts till 12 40/60. Very fine day. Undressed, went to her for an hour, had three kisses. Declared I had done ill. She said I was mistaken, had never made her fidget so much. The last a pretty good one myself and said I had done better. Asked her if I was not right. No said she, if I must tell you the first was the best. She gets more and more at her ease with me and now gives better kisses than any ever did but Mariana.

Dundee across the Tay to Newport 1½? )
Newport to Cupar – Fyfe 11 ) 32½ [miles]
Cupar to St. Andrews & back 20 )

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