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

Saturday 5 July 1828

4 50/60
10 10/60

Mrs McL- [1] again walked with us to the pier. Just in time. 5 minutes in the boat getting to the steamer. On board at 6 25/60. Weighed anchor & off at 6½. Fine view of Edinburgh. At 8¾ pass Ely, a considerable looking village close along the water’s edge and breakfast on Finnin haddock and strong whisky toddy. At 9¾ off Anstruther. A small boat takes off some of our passengers. Largish looking town. 2 churches. At 9 50/60 sick. At 10 double Fifeness & stand out to sea. Keep so far from the coast nothing to see & fall asleep. At 12 off Arbroath (& set down passengers). Largeish town. Picturesque ruins in the middle of it (of the celebrated abbey founded in honour of Thomas Becket, Scottish Tourist, 360/415).

Ruins of Arbroath Abbey
By T Pennant, in A Tour In Scotland And Voyage To The Hebrides (1772)

We now keep near the coast. Red sandstone rocks & very caverny. At 1 20/60 off Montrose (had set down passengers ten minutes before). Nice looking town. At 3½ Dunotter castle. Very large gable-ended ruin. So much so, looked at a distance like a little town. (363/415 “covering an area of about 3 acres,”) Not far from Dunotter in the little sea port of Stonehaven (364/415), 14 miles from Aberdeen. At 4 50/60 pass the cove, 3 miles from Aberdeen. Get into harbour at 5½. Great deal to do with ropes to get the vessel close alongside the pier where we landed about 6.

Dunotter Castle
Photo by marsupium photography, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license.

Off in a coach & alighted at the inn at 6 25/60. Tea at 7. 1 of the gentlemen who came in the steamer & in the coach with us called & sat a little while with us. Very civil, respectable sort of elderly man. Came to my room at 8¾. Roughish sea occasioned, said the gentleman, by the wind yesterday afternoon. Our vessel heaved (laterally) a good deal. From the time of passing Arbroath at 12 repeated heavy showers. Sat for the last couple of hours as if in a pond. From 9 50/60 to after 4, sick 6 times. Rather windy but wind in our favour so quick passage. Tide against us in entering the harbour. Small vessel the “Steam Yatch Velocity,” 200 tons burden. Vid. 363-4/414, Kinneff church where the regalia of Scotland were hid in 1657. Some time in Miss McL-’s room next to mine. Merely talking, then took magnesia in lemon juice as usual [2]. Finish, fair morning. Very showery afternoon. Fair in evening after 4.

[1] The wonderful Karen Felstead has done a bit of rough n’ ready research (Google) which suggests that Sibella and the Mrs McL- mentioned here were first cousins. Sibella’s father, Alexander MacLean of Coll (1753-1835) was brother to Marion MacLean’s father, Roderick Neil MacLean (1761-1794). Marion MacLean married W. Swinton MacLean, eldest son of Dr MacLean, in 1818. So many MacLeans!

Sibella’s father’s family tree is here:

Marion’s father’s family tree is here:

Marion’s wedding to W. Swinton MacLean is recorded in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 4, here:,+York-place,+Edinburgh,+W.+Swinton+Maclean,+eldest+son+of+Dr.+Maclean,+to+Marion,+only+daughter+of+the+late+Roderick+Neil+Maclean+Esq.,+and+niece+of+Alexander+Maclean,+Esq.+of+Coll&source=bl&ots=9wXXLTxQDa&sig=ACfU3U1JAXudhW9fIv_n_pYEpNYl2KbH4Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiHx7rMtpvlAhXMOcAKHVohDJsQ6AEwAHoECAkQAQ#v=onepage&q=In%20St.%20Paul’s%20Chapel%2C%20York-place%2C%20Edinburgh%2C%20W.%20Swinton%20Maclean%2C%20eldest%20son%20of%20Dr.%20Maclean%2C%20to%20Marion%2C%20only%20daughter%20of%20the%20late%20Roderick%20Neil%20Maclean%20Esq.%2C%20and%20niece%20of%20Alexander%20Maclean%2C%20Esq.%20of%20Coll&f=false

And some information on their Marion and her husband’s children, which places them at New Laverock Bank. Apologies, I have not found the reference for the birth entries in Blackwood’s Edinburgh Magazine myself.

[2] Anne took magnesia in lemon juice for constipation.

You can read the original diary entry here:

7 thoughts on “Saturday 5 July 1828

  1. Hi Leigh, I’m working on drawing a map of Anne’s pooping adventures through UK & Europe. I saw the quote on 6 July 1828 “Two good motions one at first and another now” on your site. Could I use that please, and can you tell me where she was when she did this?

    1. Hi Adeline
      What a good idea for a map! Of course you can use the quotation from the diary entry. I’d appreciate it if you could credit my website for the transcription. Anne was in Aberdeen on 6 July 1828.
      I have tagged all of the journal entries that I’ve transcribed that contain reference to bodily functions (most of which concern pooping), you can view them here:
      Kind regards

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