Anne Lister diary transcriptions Anne Lister's diary 1828 Anne Lister's diary July 1828

Thursday 24 July 1828


Again with me and a good kiss last night, the best she has had, better than at Inverary.1Anne’s journal entry for 29 June 1828 records that Sibella confessed to her that night that ‘tho she was afraid it would vex me, that she had never had pleasure but last night and one night at Inverary.’ Breakfast at 9½. Went out at 11 for an hour with Miss McLean & her brother. He rowed us across the little home lake. Went to the far garden. The house when finished will be large, excellent & handsome. In the style of an old English manor house. By Burn of Edinburgh, now decidedly the best architect there. The grounds will be very pretty. Fine cascade or fall of 70 feet which, with little or no trouble in damming up the lake above on the hills, can be kept always going, in view from the drawing room window. 2Anne mentions in the previous day’s entry that she suggested the house be called Coll House but it ‘[s]hould be [written] Drimfin (dreemfin) the hill of Fingal.’ It ended up being called Aros House or Drumfin (presumably a spelling variation on ‘Drimfin’). Hugh Maclean bought the land in 1821 and in 1825 architect William Burn drew up designs for an extensive Tudor-style house. Unfortunately the house was not finished according to Burn’s designs as Hugh ran out of money. He sold the property in 1846, after which it was sold on several times and ultimately demolished in 1960, although the grounds, Aros Park, can still be visited.

Aros House and Tobermory Bay, Mull
Photo courtesy of Rijksmuseum, Netherlands, made available under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

Left Miss McLean at home (unable to walk very far) & out with Mr Hugh McLean & Breadalbane from 12 to 3. All over to the little temple near the cascade. To the cascade & its little loch. To another little loch or 2 & over the burn towards Tobermory to choose a stance (site) for Albine’s cottage. Then sat downstairs in the drawing room till after 5. Sent off my letters to my aunt at Paris, to Mariana (Lawton), to Marion (Shibden) & to “Mrs Frederick Barlow, the Right Honourable Sir Gore Ouseley’s, Upper Grosvenor Street, London.” Nothing particular. Itinerary to my aunt & Mariana. Slight notices of my tour to the rest. Said I had yet Staffa & Skye to see. Should not be off from here (a beautiful spot) till the middle or end of next week. Direct to me at the Duffin’s. Except Mrs Barlow, & she to direct to Langton. Anxious to hear her plans. To know when & where I should see her next.

Dinner at 6. Barra (Colonel McNeil); Colonel Campbell, a sensible good sort of brave little man who commanded the 47th at Buenos Ayres under General Whitelock, had property near Tobermory, lost much by a brother & now therefore the Duke of Argyll’s agent in Tiree; & a Mr Joseph Gordon W. S. of Edinburgh dined with us. Tiree over peopled. 12,000 acres, 4,000 inhabitants. Those who have land will never fish. Aberdeen fishermen very civil. Would teach the people to fish. Those from Leith would not teach you. ½ the people of Paisley live on salted mutton cut (boned) in Collops 3Slices. Scotch collops is a traditional Scottish dish made with slices or minced veal, beef, lamb or venison together with onion, salt, pepper and suet. Check out for a recipe & cured with salt in barrels. Mull mutton firmer & better than Glenorcy mutton, better by ½d or 1d per lb. Long joking talk with Mrs McLean, not well, lying on the sofa in her sitting room, just before the fruit & wine brought in for supper, on the comparative blessings of married & single life. She all for the latter, I for the former. Came upstairs at 11. Very fine day. Evidently get into Mrs MacLeans’s good books. It was this Colonel Campbell Miss MacLean’s brother wanted her to marry.

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