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E. Dunbar (Edward Dunbar) Dunbar.

Social life in former days, chiefly in the province of Moray. Illus. by letters and family papers online

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Columbia (HnitJerjeiitp

intlieCitpotBfttjgcrk



LIBRARY




SOCIAL LIFE m FORMER DAYS.



F.DINBUKGH : I'KINTED BY THOMAS CONSTABLE,
FOB

EDMONSTON AND DOUGLAS.

LONDON, . . HAMILTON, ADAMS, AND CO.

CAMBRIDGE, . . MACMILLAN AND CO.

DUBLIN, . . . m'gLASHAN AND GILL.

GLASGOW, . . . JAMES MACLEHOSE.



SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS,



Cbiefln in tbc probiiuc of ||toran.



ILLUSTRATED BY LETTERS AND FAMILY PAPERS.



BY E. DUNBAR DUNBAR,

(late) captain 21st fdsiliers.




THUNDERTON HOUSE.



EDINBURGH: EDMONSTON & DOUGLAS.

MDCCCLXV.



PREFACE.

When arranging the family papiTs at Dutt'iis House,
Gurdonstun, and Lcsmuvdie Cottage, the residences
respectively of my brother, Sir xVrchibald Dunbar,
my cousin, Sir Alexander Gordon Gumming, and my
kinsman. Captain James Stewart, I occasionally found
documents which appeared to me to thrown consider-
able light on old social life, or to be otherwise
interesting, and wdiich I therefore sent to the local
press.

Wishino' to oive them a more extensive circulation,

I now venture to offer them, systematically arranged,

to the public.

E. DUNBAK DUNBAR

8ea Pai;k, Jiilii 1S()").



1(553 13



^



TABLE OF CONTENTS.



PAGES

I. EDUCATION, . . . . . 1-16

II. MEDICAL, . . . . . 17 -'20

III. PEICES OF PROVISIONS, . . . 30-32

IV. POSTAL ARRANGEMENTS, . . . 33-34
V. TRAVELLING, .... 35-37

VI. TAVERN BILLS, .... 38-41

VII. FIELD SPORTS, .... 42-46

VIII. QUARANTINE, . . . . 47-51

IX. FISHINGS, ..... 52-60

X. IMPRESSING FOR THE NAVY, . . 61-63

XI. SMUGGLING, ..... 64-70

XII. THE FAMILIES OF BURGIE AND OF GRANGE, 71-76

XIIL AN EXTRAVAGANT AND UNDUTIFUL WIFE, 77-79

XIV. OFFICE OF HERITABLE SHERIFF OF MORAY, 80-86

XV. TRANSPORT OF A PRISONER, AND JAIL OF

INVERNESS, .... 87-92

XVI. COUNTRY MATTERS, . . . 03 100

XVIL EDINBLTIGH GOSSIP, . . 101-104

XVIII. LETTERS FROM LADIES OF RANK, . 105-127

XIX. GENIAL LETTERS, . . . . 128-137



PAGES

138-143
144-152
153-158
159-174
175-178



\ 1 1 1 CONTENTS.

XX. YOUNGER SONS,

XXI. WHOLESALE MERCHANTS,

XXII. DRINKING-SONG,

XXllL ELGIN TOWN-COUNCIL,

XXIV. INCORPORATED TRADES OF ELGIN,

XXV. AN L^fVERNESS BAILIE'S ADVICE AND

ASSISTANCE, . . 179-184

XX VL MERCHANTS' LETTERS, . ■ 185-191

XXVII. RECEIPTS AND ACCOUNTS, . 192-199

XXVIII. POETIC EFFUSIONS AND BEGGING LETTERS, 200-204

XXIX. IN\"ENTORY OF HOUSEHOLD FURNITURE, 205-213

XXX. PARLIAMENTARY EXPENSES AND POLITICS, 214-231

XXXI. ECCLESIASTICAL, .... 232-260

XXXn. WITCHES, ..... 261-273

XXXIII. FUNERALS AND FUNERAL LETTERS, . 274-283

XXXrV. WILL OF THE DEAN OF SALISBURY, 1618, 284-291

XXXV. CATTLE-STEALING, .... 292-296

XXXVL JOHN, EARL OF SUTHERLAND : HIS IN-
FLUENCE AND POWER, . . 297-304

XXXVII. MILITARY, ..... 305-322

XXXVIIL REBELLION, 1715-1716, . . . 323-335

XXXIX. REBELLIOxX, 1745-1746, . . 336-388

XL. CORONATION OF GEORGE III.: SUBMISSION

TO HIS GOVERNMENT, . . 389-392



I. EDUCATION.

King's College, Aberdeen, was the University most
frequented by the youth of Moray ; and students of
the first, second, third, and fourth years' regular attend-
ance were known respectively as Bajans, Semies,
Tertians, and Magistrands, — designations which, we
believe, are still applied.

" To Master Archbald Dunbar, of Thundertoun :

" To ye care of the Postmaster of Elgin.

"King's College, Octr. ye KSth, 1702.

" Sm, — If this shall chance to find you out when you
ar wandering throudi the north, it is sent to inform
you, that (because the Bajan class is fixed in our
college) I am to enter with the Semies this eusueing
winter ; if therfor in the course of your peregrinations
you chance to meet with any who have a mind to
save themselves a yeares time and expense at the col-
lege, pray be carefull to advise or recomend them to
me, who (according to the late laudable custom of other
universities) can receive them for Semies, although
they have never been Bajans in any college. Parti-
cularly I am informed that at the school of Elgin ther

A



2 SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS.

is a son of Logic Cumin's and two others who have
learned the Greek, but because I have no acquaint-
ance of thier parents, and Mr. Tod the schoolmaster is
unfriendly to our college, I must recomend them to
your management. In a word your Alma Mater and
old Master do be tliir presents constitute and ordain
you their Factor, sole Actor, and speciall Errand-
bearer as to the premisses in all partes and places
where you pass in your northern precinct. And if
you wil be so kind to let us see you as you go south,
you shall have the thanks of the whole house, as weel
as the gratefuU acknowledgments of. Sir, your most
obsequious servant, AVil. Blak.

" James Keith and his wife who ar presently with
me drinking your good health, send their service to
you, and therwith also my wife bids me give you
hers."



" King's College, Nor. ye \Qth, 1705.

"Sir,— 1 have yours and shall carefully look after
that boy you recomend. If in your peregrination
through the north you will be pleased to inquire
amongst your accjuaintance for such as ar ready to
enter Semies this winter and advise them our way,
you will do a kindness both to your Alma Mater and
old Master, whom upon all occasions you shall ever
find. Sir, your most obsequious humble servant,

"Wil. Blak."



SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS. 3

" My brother James is not com north, nor (tho' he
sajes it) do I expect him this winter.

" I hear that Dr. Forbes at Elgin has a son who
might be in my Semie cLass this winter : but I have
not the fortun to be acquainted with the Doctor, and
therfor must put you to the trouble to speak to him.

"If any you meet with have Latine enough, tho'
they have but a small begining in the Greek, I shall
see they can compleat tlieire courses, give them as
much (and if they please mor) Greek than ever ^^I'o-
bably they may have use for, and that without any
hindrance to theire other studies. For my schollars
all this winter ar to have one lesson (viz., from the
evening to the morning) each day in the Greek, and
two each week through all the succeeding yeares,"



" King's College, May ije 10th, 170S.

" Sir, — I have yours of the 1st current and in answer
therunto am concerned to acquaint you, that, by ane
Act of the last Comission of parliament for visiteing
our universities, and the practise of all the colleges
in this kingdom (in each whereof one master is now
fixed to the Greek class) any student is, and wil be
permitted to enter Semie, without being obleidged to
enter Bajan, if he understand the Latine tongue, and
have a competencie of the Greek, i.e. (as it is every-
where now understood), can read the Greek, and



4 SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS.

expound a litle of the Greek New Testament, and
have allowance and approbation of the Greek Eegent
so to do : which a small compliment for his consent
does never and nowhere fail to procure.

" If therfore any of your acquaintance in your coun
trie about you, have a mind to save theire children's
time and expense at colleges the first year, they may
cause teach them a litle Greek at home, and so enter
them Semies in any college within this kingdom,
who will not (nor can legally) refuse them with the
qualifications and conditions for said.

"And seing matters ar now caryed so in all the
colleges of north as well as south Britan ; pray take
the paines to advise some of your acquaintance to, Sir,
your faithfuU comerade and most obedient servant,

" WiL. Blak.

" The bearer has imployed his time to very good
purpose at our college : and I have made him Master
of Arts."



Dr. Thomas Kcid, the eminent metaphysician, and
author of the Tnqidry into the Human Mind, Essays
on the Intellectual Powers, etc., was educated at
Marischal College, and in 1752 was elected Professor
of Moral Philosophy at King's College, Aberdeen.
The Professor gives an account of the adrnmable ar-
rangements wliicli he helped to introduce into the



SOCIAL LIFE IN FOEMEK DAYS. 5

latter university, and which ought never to have
been discontinued : —

" To Arouibald Dunbak, Esq.,

" of Newton, at DufFus.

" King's College, Septr. 4:th, I Too.

" Sir, — I did indeed intend, both last vacation and
this, to have seen a little of the north country, and
in that case should certainly have done myself the
honour to wait of you at Duffus ; 1jiit sometimes
sickness in my family, and sometimes other accidents,
have hindred me hitherto.

" Some ambiguity that has happened in a word of
the letter you favour me with, makes me uncertain
whether your intention is to put Bob to my class this
session, which happens to be the jMagistrand class ;
or whether you intend that both your sons should
enter with the Greek Professor. Give me leave, there-
fore, to acquaint you what my class is to be employed
in, that you may the better judge how it will answer
your intention with regard to Bob, and the progress
he has made. One hour in the day, for about two
months, in the beginning of the session, will be em-
ployed upon Optics and some branches of Mathe-
maticks, which I could not overtake last session.
All the rest w^ill be employed in the Philosophy of
the ]\Iind, Logic, Morals, and PoHtics. If this is
what you intend for Bob, you may depend upon it
that I shall faithfully and timeously acquaint you



G SOCIAL LIFE IX FORMER DAYS.

what progress lie makes. If you propose to put him
in the Greek class with his brother, this is not at all
an unusual thing at this college of late. You may
please, in that event, to acquaint him that Charlie
M'Ever, his class-fellow, being sensible that he was
not well founded in Greek and Latin, and finding the
Mathematicks a little too hard for his age, went back
last session to the Humanity class, and enters the
Greek class this session, and I believe will make a
fine scholar ; and CajDtain Fraser's son went back to
the Bajan class last session.

" Your concern that the behaviour of your sons be
narowly looked after is most natural, and what every
one that knows the heart of a parent must approve of.
I can assure you that in this society we have for
some years past been using our best skill and appli-
cation for this purpose. While the students were
scattered over the town in private quarters, and might
dispose of themselves as they pleased but at school
hours, we found it impossible to keep them from low
or bad company, if they were so disposed. But they
are on a very different footing since they lived within
the college : we need but look out at our windows to
see when they rise and when they go to bed. They
are seen nine or ten times throughout the day statedly
by one or other of the masters — at publick prayers,
school hours, meals, and in their rooms ; besides occa-
sional visits, which we can make with little trouljle to



.•SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS. 7

ourselves. They are shut up within walls at nine at
night. We charge those that are known to be trusty
and diligent with the oversight of such as ^ve suspect
to be otherwise ; and I verily l^elieve there are few
boys so narrowly lookt after, or so little exposed to
temptations to vice, at home as with us at present.
This discipline hath indeed taken some pains and
resolution, as w'ell as some expense to establish it.
It makes our work laborious during the session, and
must meet with the common prejudices that every
new thino' does. We behoved to be somewdiat difti-
dent of it ourselves till we tried it. But now, after
the experience of two sessions, we are not only satis-
fied that it is practicable ; l)ut have already seen such
effects of it, both upon the morals and proficiency of
our students, as we hope will at last justify us to the
world, in sticking so obstinately to it in opposition to
such an union of the two colleges as behoved to have
altogether undone it. You may rest assured that I
will take a particular concern in your sons, and shall
take it upon me to accpiaint you of the opinion their
masters have of them.

" The board at the first table is 50 merks per
quarter ; at the second 40 shillings. Some one of
the masters dines always at the second table, as well
as at the first. The rent of a room is from seven to
twenty shillings in the session. There is no furniture
in their rooms, but bedstead, tables, chimney grate.



8 SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS.

and fender — tlie rest, viz., feather-bed, bed-cloaths,
chairs, tongs, and bed-hangings, if they chuse any,
they must buy or hire, for the session, and indeed
the people that let those things are very apt to exact
upon them, so that it is much better, especially if one
is to be some sessions at the college, to have them of
their own, and dispose of them when they leave the
college. Whatever they leave in their rooms is taken
care of till next session. They provide fire, and
candle, and washing to themselves. The other dues
are — two guineas to the Master ; to the Professors
of Greek and Humanity for their publick teaching,
five shillings each. All other perquisites not named,
from twelve shillings to seventeen and sixpence, as
near as I can remember ; the gxeatest part of which
goes to four Oeconomy servants, and four College
servants. The Professor of Medicine orders the diet
and regimen of those that are valetudinary, and at-
tends the Bursars and poorer sort in case of sickness,
gratis. Others who are in good circumstances, if they
should need the attendance of a physician, may either
employ him or any other their parents recommend.

" There is an advertisement from this college in the
Aberdeen's Papers of Tuesday last, which contains a
recommendation to the parents of students. You may
please to look into it. I think it would not be amiss
if your son should be Ijegun to the Greek Grammar
before he comes to town. For everv one here has a



SOCIAL LIFE IN FOKMER DAYS. -9

place in his class according to his proficiency, from
the first to the last ; and when one sets out in an
advanced post, it proves a great spur to diligence,
that he may at least keep the rank he has got. 1
am, with great respect, Sir, your most obedient and
most humble servant, Tho. Eeid."



The Rev. Lauchlan Shaw, the historian of Moray,
considered St. Andrews the best place in many re-
spects for a young student : —

" To AiicuiBALD Dunbar, Esqr.,

'• of Xewton at DufFus.

" Elgin, Sept. 17, 1703.

"DEAPt Sir, — Since the time I was at Dufi'us I
have been some days at Rafibrd for my health, which
has been lately very much broken — and this was the
reason why I did not before now let you know the
issue of the commission you gave me.

"Mr. Cook (who goes to Forres at Martinmass) has,
I find, given you his thoughts about sending your son
to the university this ensuing winter. By being in
.the Greek class he can have no time to improve in
the Latin during the session, and he will need a
proper Governor next summer to revise his Latin and
Greek. Li my opinion its a loss (and I found it so),
to enter into the university before one is well ad-
vanced in the Latin, which is the dead language most



10 SOCIAL LIFE IN F(JltMER DAYS.

useful and necessary to be understood. With respect
to the place — Aberdeen or St. Andrews — if he goes
to the first, the Old Town is preferable to the New,
a more free air, fewer avocations, and more strict
academical regulations, and very sufficient masters,
but it is too near to the vanities and diversions of
the New Town.

" St. Andrews is wholsome, private, far from diver-
sions, but they study more the Greek than the Latin.
Professor Shaw is dayly expected here, if he comes
I shall acquaint you. I sincerely wish that your son
may meet with all encouragement in his studies, and
may make j)rogress in learning and virtue, and with
compliments to your lady and children, I ever am,
dear Sir, your obedient obliged servant,

" Lach. Shaw."



William Falconar, Bishop of Moray, could not con-
scientiously recommend a Presbyterian pedagogue,
showed how the oath required by the Hanoverian
Government could be avoided, and stated the salary
of his Episcopalian protege : —

" For Archibald Dunbar of Newton, Esq.,

" at DufFus, near Elgin.

"Edixr., April 2'Srd, 1754.

" Sir, — I would have wrote you by Mr. Baldie, but
when he called at my lodgings, I happened to be
abroad. After I received your last, I had laid myself



SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS. 11

out to find a proper pedagogue for your sons, and
intended, as you proposed, to have sent liim along
with Baldie, and for that reason Baldie was detained
here some days ; but as I couki not, in so short a
time, hit upon a sufficient young man, I thought it
was better to allow your son to take his journey than
to spend liis time and money here doing nothing.
There is a young man, Mr. Alexr. Diack, just now
governour to the Master of Elphinston's sons, who
is well and fully recommended to me by those who
are perfectly well acquainted with him, and, as Mr.
Elphinston's sons have finished their home education,
Mr. Diack leaves the family at Whitsunday next.
He is a good scholar, of modest behaviour, and of
a virtuous character. He understands the learned
languages, the French, Mathematicks, and writes a
fine hand ; so that so far, I think, he will fit your
purpose. I believe he has not, nor, as I am informed,
will he take the oaths ; but I think you need not
mind that qualification, as Mr. Elphinston, who is an
officer in the army, made no scruple as to that point,
nor docs indeed any gentleman in this country heed
it at all, as they make these gentlemen, who perform
the part of pedagogues, pass under the name of factor
or clerk, or comerade, or what they please. If you
like this proposal, you have no more to do but write
me directly, and I shall, without loss of time, secure
Mr. Diack. He has twelve guineas a year where he



12 SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS.

now serves, and if lie answers the good character I
have of him, it will be money well laid out. I cannot
in conscience recommend any of our new-fashioned
Blades, nor do I think them proper instructors for
young gentlemen, and, therefore, if what I have pro-
posed is not agreeable to you, I hope you will not
take it amiss if I decline the providing you in a
Presbyterian dominie or a libertin Whig ; I wish you
and your family too well to do you such an ill office.
I hope Baldie will do very well. He is young and
good-natured, and therefore you must overlook, in
some measure, former faults, in hopes of better be-
haviour, which time, experience, and good instruction
will bring about. With my usual compliments to all
your family, I am, dear Sir, your most humble servant,

" WiL. Falconar."



Certificate in favour of a French master, — his
terms, etc. : —

" This serves to certifie and inform any gentleman
or community, who may have taste or inclination for
the French language, that the bearer heirof, Mr. John
Brulet, a Native of France, near the City of Rheims,
the M : of Champaigne, has lived in my family above
three months, with great decency and behaviour, as a
French-master.

" From his knowledge in the English, as well as his



SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS. 13

skill and metliod in the French, he has in tlie first
place, taught his scholars not only to read and
thoroughly understand the French grammar, but also,
to get by heart such parts thereof, as are necessary
for their daily improvement.

"And in the second place, he has taught them not
only to read and explain many Books of Telemachus,
but even to pronounce the French in the most proper
manner, ane attainment not to be acc[uired at the
hands of any, but those of a true Native of France,
which is the peculiar excellence of this man above
other French teachers, and had not a seperation in
my family, ])een necessary at this juncture, ]\Ir. Brulet
had not been parted with so soon.

" His fees are of the common sort. Seven shilling's
per month, or a guinea per quarter, is what I have
paid, but as I had but five scholars to give ; for their
sake, and the constant benefit of his conversation with
them, I entertained him here, which was no bad part
of the bargain for him or them. The pains and atten-
tion he gives, and the particular pleasure he takes in
the progress made by his scholars, is apparently such,
that he, or she, who does not profHt, must be an
absolute dunce or a careless idiot.

" In short, it is obvious to any person of but toller-
able skill or taste in the French language, that there
never was, and perhaps never will be, such another
man, in his way, in our country, which, at Duffus,



14 SOf'TAT. LTFE TN FOI^MER DAYS.

the 20 til Day of Octor. 1755 years, is declared to be
tlie liumble o^^inion of Archd. Dunbar."



A dancin2j- master's discharofe and oblisfation in
1704, to Mr. James Sutherland, second son of James
Lord Dujffus : —

" I, William Badhame, danceing master in Edin-
burgh, be the tenor hereof, grant me to have received
ffrom Master James Sutherland, Advocat, the sum of
ffiftie punds Scots money, in full contentation and
satisfaction of all due me for danceing, upon acompt of
Mistris Elizabeth Sutherland, his sister, preceeding the
date of thir presents. And, in like maner l^y thir pre-
sents it's provyded that in case the said Mistris Eliza-
beth Sutherland shall at any tyme here after happin
to come where I the said William Badhame teaches
danceing, I oblidge my selfe upon the payment of
sixteen puud Scots to perfect her, oblidgeing me and
my heirs, &c., to warrand thir presents good valid
and effectuall of all that I can ask or clame of the
said Mrs. Elizabeth Sutherland, any manner of way,
at all hands and against all deadly as law will ; con-
sentin thir presents be insert and restrat in the books
of Councill and Session, or in any other Judges court
books compitent within this realme, therein to remain
ad ffuturam rei memoriam, and constituts,



SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMEK DAYS. 15

my prors, &c. In witnes wlierof (wrytin be George
Keith wryter in Edinluirgh,) I liave subscribed thir pre-
sents at Edinburgh, the eighteent day of Septer., Javij
and ffour years. Before witnesss James Donaldson,
merchant in Edinburgli, and the said George Keith,
wryter hereof. Wm. Badham.

" J. Donaldson, ivitnes.

" Geo : Keith, ivitnes!'



The quahfications and salary of a governess : —

'• To the much Honoured the Lady Tiiundp:i{ton — These :

" Eanes, Huntly, Jan. SOth 1710.

" Madam, — Robert Gordon has writ now twice to
my father as (by your Ladyship's desire as I suppose)
concerning me, if I be willing and fit for your service.
In his last he desires I should writ to your Ladyship
to show that I can sow white and colourd seam ; dress
head suits, play on the Treble and Gambo, Viol, Virgin-
eUes and Manicords, which I can do, but on no other.
He desires to let know what fie I wold have, which is
threttie pound and Gown and Coat, or then fourtie
pound and Shoes and Linnens, which is for a year.
If those terms please your Ladyship, I am content to
serve for half-a-year conform, to try if I please your
Ladyship. I expect an answer with the first occassion,
and I am, Madam, your most humble servant,

" Jean Chein."



16 SOCIAL LIFE IN FORMER DAYS.

Expenses of the board and education of two young
ladies whose father was serving in the Low Countries
under Marlborough :—

" Eeceived from Joseph Brodie of Milntown in name
and behalf of Archbald Dunbar of Thundertoun, the
soum of four pund Scots, and that for Alexr. Dunbar
of Belmuckedie his two daughters (Meg^ and Ket)
their current quarter coUedge fie, as witness my hand
at Dyke the twentie-second of Deer. 1709.

" Alexr. Nicolson."

" Received from the said Millntoun in name and
behalf of the said Mr. Archbald Dunbar of Thunder-
toun two pound sterline, and that for Alexr. Dunbar
of Bermuckitre his two daughters Meg : and Kett :
ther quarterly buird, and that by me Jauet Dunbar.
In witnes wherof I have subscrybed day and date
above written. Janet Dui^bar."

1 "Meg" married Lieut.-Colonel Whitney, of Ligonier's dragoons, who
was afterwards killed at the battle of Falkirk when charging at the head
of his regiment.



11. MEDICAL.

In the early part of the eighteenth century,
Dr. Eobert Innes appears to have been the principal
physician in Elgin, of which town he was also a
magistrate. Gilded pills with ale for the miss, snuflf
for the lady in an interesting situation, and plum-
cakes to celebrate (we trust) the safe arrival of the
babe, must not make us forget that the doctor im-
ported his drugs direct from London, and profession-



Online LibraryE. Dunbar (Edward Dunbar) DunbarSocial life in former days, chiefly in the province of Moray. Illus. by letters and family papers → online text (page 1 of 24)