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

Wednesday 30 July 1828


Still no kiss. Breakfast at 9 10/60. Sat talking in the breakfast room to Mr & Mrs McLean & Albane about their going abroad, the expense &c. Then talking to Miss MacLean. Beg her speaking to her brother about money to go with to Paris. At 1½ Miss McLean & Albine & her brother & I set out to walk towards Tobermory. Albine & I leave the rest to go before & talk. They turned back when they had gone ½ way & we pursued our route. Called to see Mrs Macdougal, the mason’s wife, a very respectable looking woman. Sat a little while with her. Then went to the inn & then to Mr Cuthbertson’s (the boarding house) to inquire if Captain Allen McLean (old Coll’s brother) & his wife were arrived. No! Sat a little with them &, finding the “minister” with them, he took us back with him to see his just finished new neat little manse & the neat little new new church, calculated to contain only 300, tho’ the population was given in 1500 to the commissioners for building new churches.1As a result of the Church of Scotland Act, 1824, the UK government made available £50,000 to build 32 Presbyterian churches across the highlands and islands of Scotland. These were all built to the same simple rectangular or T-plan design, by Thomas Telford. The original proposal was for the government to grant £200,000 for the Scottish churches, not the £50,000 ultimately granted. Perhaps this explains why the Tobermory church, built in 1828, was smaller than required. The church has since been demolished and replaced, in 1895, with the present Tobermory Parish Church. However, the Telford manse still remains, now a private house called ‘Mansefield.’
Sat a little while with his neat little wife & his mother in law & they would & did make us take a glass of port wine & plum cake & biscuit. Thence to the church. Not a window that will open & this cannot be remedied till the contractor has given up his job as done. Terribly close. Could not sit there ½ hour. All open seats except the minister’s pew. Coll to have a gallery (at his own expense) opposite the pulpit.

Kinlochspelve church, Mull
Not the church Anne visited, which has now been demolished, but to a similar design.
Photo by Phillip Capper, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.

Thence to the Gaelic school. Mr Cameron, from Perthshire, the excellent teacher. Only instituted 2 years. The progress surprising. Taught on the Hamiltonian plan.2A controversial system of language teaching devised by James Hamilton (1769-1829) that involved the teacher providing the students with word-for-word translations of texts in the language to be learned, avoiding teaching grammar. 4 principal classes. Heard them all taught & examined. About 1¾ hour there. Dr Lachland McLean, the physician who lives there, waiting to cross the waiting to cross the water with us. Over in ¼ hour & got home at 4½.

Dinner at 5 (Dr McLean could not stay). Tea about 8 as usual. Came up to bed at 10½. Albine came and sat with me till Miss McLean came. Said I understood there was a pecuniary difficulty and I thought the going to Paris must be given up. We then talked pretty freely on the subject of their family involvement. Said she had better not hurry to build the school. Her brother would ultimately go abroad and put the estate in trust and what could she do left in the country by herself or even with the female companion she talked of having. She said she would not leave the country unless Sibbella asked her.

Afterwards sat up talking to Miss MacLean. No money to be had but she might take of her five hundred. I then asked what her father had. Three hundred a year for himself. Very well ask your father. Albine can manage to see it sent off. Agreed she should ask for fifty. Said I thought there was some mistake between Albine and her and that I thought Albine would be glad to live with her if she asked. Yes but Albine must make up to her for she had now so behaved that she Sibbella would rather be without her. Miss MacLean and her brother talked of the letters he had written. Seemed sorry and regretted she had kept them. She told me it was Mr Hunter would not let her destroy and I said he was right. I mentioned how she might live in Paris for a hundred a year.

The post tonight brought back from Edinburgh the letter I sent off to my aunt on the 24th inst. postage not paid. Vexed exceedingly. Fine day. Mr McLean of Borera, or Drimnen on the opposite coast called this evening. Going to Glasgow per steamer on Friday.

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