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

Saturday 21 June 1828

9 10/60
12 40/60

She mended my gown. Sat talking. Recommended her to take alum water as a wash [1]. Breakfast at 11¾ to 1 10/60. Rainy morning. Sat talking. She tried the wash. Dissolved all she had given me in Edinburgh for my knee to be worn within my stocking in a little bag. The chamber maid stupidly emptied it all out. Tell her of Sir Charles Stewart going out armed for dangerous ladies etc [2]. Went out at 3 25/60. Obliged to take a guide with us to the grounds. The guide out. His wife went with us. In the house at Taymouth (Lord [Breadalbane]) from 4 10/60 to 4 55/60. Something like Inverary Castle, but the basement story on a level with the ground, yet you at once see the castle is 3 stories high. The hall handsomer. Gothicized. But the lantern tower with large church windows on each side springing from the centre of the square castle, ugly as ever. Fine place. Situated too low. Part of the old house standing quite out of character with the rest. A new gothic wing & along line of rooms jointed to a very handsome range of gothic stabling. Gardens at a considerable distance. Too far. No view of the lake from the house. Tay beautiful. Plenty of wood.

Margin: P. 89 Scottish Tourist

Taymouth Castle
From Modern Athens, displayed in a series of views; or, Edinburgh in the nineteenth century; exhibiting the whole of the new buildings, modern improvements, antiquities, & picturesque scenery of the Scottish metropolis & its environs (1829), by Thomas Hosmer Shepherd (original drawings) with John Britton (text)

Left Miss McL- sitting below for ½ hour & went up to the fort. 9 cannons there. Fired on particular occasions. Fine view from the fort over the castle, lake & woods. The valley too narrow for an extensive park. Prefer the situation of Inverary castle. Some very fine larches here. The guide pointed out the largest saying it was 11 feet circumference & 300 feet high!!! I measured & found the circumference 3¼ yards at 1½ feet from the ground. Walked slowly back & came in at 6 10/60. Wrote out a few lines of my journal of yesterday. Dinner at 7 25/60. Sat telling the blackguard stories I had heard in my youth. Bill Smith and Mrs Cass, his unbuttoning and laying his penis on her tea table. Tom Brigham saying I should make havock among the lasses but had not a . . . etc etc. From 9 20/60 to 11½ wrote out the journals of yesterday and today. Rainy morning till after 3. A peal or 2 of thunder about 2 p.m. Afterwards fair & pretty fine. Quite ready for bed went to Miss MacL at twelve and a quarter for twenty five minutes. Kissed and fondled and got rather excited but came away afraid of going near her for the present, tho’ I know not that it matters much as I surely gave it to her, and she will not do me more harm than Marianna or poor Tib did.

[1] Alum is a colourless, odourless chemical compound. Today it’s mainly used to treat water and in health and beauty products. Those pencils you can get to stem bleeding from shaving cuts are made from alum. It has antibacterial and blood coagulant properties. Women still use it for douching today.

[2] I think she means Charles Vane, 3rd Marquess of Londonderry (1778-1854), a solider, politician and aristocrat. He was the British ambassador to Austria from 1814 to 1823 and is said to have behaved rather badly during his time in Vienna, often being drunk in the street and frequenting prostitutes. There is a story of him picking a fight with a coachman in the street, but I haven’t been able to find any reference to him ‘going out armed for dangerous ladies.’

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