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

Friday 25 July 1828


Breakfast at 9½. Kiss last night but not good to her tho’ pretty well to me. See over the house. All the entertaining rooms (to front the little lake) to built. May be done for £3,000. Expense already £6,000. Done in a hurry. Old Coll against. Therefore obliged to take him when once in the humour & make all haste.1According to Alexander Maclean Sinclair, in The Clan Gillean 1899 Haszard and Moore (p.382), Sibella’s father, Alexander Maclean, handed over his estates to Hugh in 1828. Presumably, as Hugh was having to persuade his father to give him money for the building, this had not yet happened at the time Anne is writing. Anne’s observations about Hugh’s overspending were astute; the house was never finished according to the original plans as he ran out of money.
Therefore done at a dear rate. Perhaps £1,500 more spent than needed have been. Could have contracted for the whole at £8,000. Faced with fine, hard granite from Strontian. Off in the sort of calêche (1 horse, box in front) at 11½ with young Coll & Breadalbane. 1st sight of the island of Coll, like a long like of rock, at 12½. Alight at the village of Gernevaig (pronounced Jerevick) at 1 20/60. Went into 1 or 2 cottages and to see Albine’s school. 16 girls there. Never so many at this season as in winter. Busy getting in peats. Nice school mistress. Examined the work. All going on well. Saw the turn out of the boys’ school but had not time to investigate the school. Close the stance (site) for Albine’s new school house to cost £120.

Dervaig (referred to by Anne as Gernevaig/Jerevick)
Photo by PaulT (Gunther Tschuch), licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Alighted at 4 & walked thro’ the plantations to the garden at Quinish. About ½ English acre walled in & about as much more outside. Let separately from the house to a gardener at £20 per annum. Went to the gardener’s house & had biscuit & raspberry vinegar (excellent) & water. Abundance of excellent raspberries. Then walked to the house, let as a farm. A Mrs McLean (no relation) & her sons, one a ½ pay captain, the other a farmer. 1,000 acres. £150 per annum. Porch. 4 windows each side including the wings. Good family house. Did not expect such nice plantations or so good a house. The old lady gave us luncheon. Roast ¼ of lamb & powdered (salted) salmon, trout (very good), strawberries & cream & good port & white wine.

Off home at 6. Called for 10 minutes at Morrison’s, the little white-washed inn at Jerevick. No sign out. No signs in the highlands. Unnecessary. Everybody knew the inn. Got home at 9 20/60. Very hilly, not well laid out, but well kept by Telford,2I assume she means Thomas Telford, the civil engineer on whose designs the layout of Tobermory was based.,_Mull
who sailed from 1 end of the island to the other & said he had surveyed the whole. Pass 2 or 3 little lakes. But all bleak & bare & heather covered hills. In the plantations at Quinish observed the Turkish oak, a beautiful, dark green, myrtle-like species of willow & a very fine arbutus bush. Tea. Came upstairs at 10½. Albine came & sat with me about an hour. Very fine day. Messers Johnson of Alva & Dundas called this evening. To go to Staffa tomorrow.

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