"A Tour through a Small Part of Scotland, taken in the Autumn of 1824, by Robert Gray."

The title page to Robert Gray's tour.

The title page to Robert Gray's tour.

There follows an original account of a journey from London to Scotland in 1824 by Robert Gray. He was obviously a figure of some standing: on Thursday September 16th, he observes in the Signet Library at Edinburgh "a Literary Gazette of a fortnight's standing containing my own review of a work on Italy."

His account is not hugely remarkable, but like all such first-hand records, it is well worth reading, and it gives an excellent picture of what it was like to travel in those early years of the 19th century. He was accompanied by a Mr Wilson, and they travelled on a Steamer, the James Watt, on the way north. On his return south, Gray used the coach. They did not venture far to the north, but did enjoy Loch Katrine, whence they then proceded to Stirling and on to Perth and Fifeshire. The account is written in a beautifully neat handwriting.

I am pleased to post the account here, the first time it will have been seen in public.

The first page of Robert Gray's account of his tour from London to Scotland in 1824. His handwriting is mercifully neat!

The first page of Robert Gray's account of his tour from London to Scotland in 1824. His handwriting is mercifully neat!

Tuesday, 31 August, 1824.

Left home this afternoon in company with Mr Anderson and his son William on a short tour in Scotland and arriving at Blackwall went on board the James Watt Steam Packet bound for the port of Leith, a vessel of very superior accommodations with engines of great power and reckoned one of the fastest in that line. Nearly a hundred beds are made up on board, and on this occasion every one was occupied, and several persons were compelled to sleep on the benches. We had fortunately secured our sleeping places previously, for which with our passage the fare was four guineas and a half each including however provisions on the way thither. We retired to our cabins early and I hoped when I should awaken in the morning to find myself pretty far down the River as the vessel was to start at 12 tonight. My bed was very comfortable, sufficiently long and wide, and not very close considering the size of the cabins.

Wednesday, September 1.

Awoke between 5 and 6 this morning, and to my great mortification found myself just where I was last night at Blackwall, when I had hoped at least to have been out of the Thames. It seems the night had proved very dark and hazy and the Captain had declined to venture from his moorings. At 6 however we weighed and Stood down the river at our easy gate. What a curious scene is an Edinburgh Steam Packet. I have been accustomed to these between Margate and London, where the mixture of persons is often highly entertaining, but here the most extraordinary thing was the constant succession of Scotch faces and the continued dialect of Scotch tongues. I have often heard of a flight of Scotchmen to London, but we are taking them to the north, wholesale by the James Watt. The groups of passengers spread about the handsome cabin, some reading, some writing, some playing cards, are all picturesque, and I thought I discovered one gentleman taking a few sketches of his neighbours probably with a view to assist some periodical with a description of life on an Edinburgh Steam Packet. Towards noon, having passed the Nore and being still standing on for the East, a thick fog came on and completely enveloped us. After slackening our speed and continually taking soundings by which we found ourselves getting into shallow water, the Captain became unable to tell where we were, and as none of the usual bouys and sea marks were visible in the fog it became dangerous to proceed. Accordingly, we let go the anchor and made fast till the weather should clear. Fortunately it was perfectly calm, but the irksomeness of idleness, the knowledge that we were losing the valuable day and had already lost 6 hours at starting contributed to make us rather uneasy, and having been unlucky enough to make a bad steam voyage last week I thought but a sorry omen of success on the present occasion. However, as there was no remedy we stuck to which(?) for an hour and then went upon deck anxious, by watching for a clearance of the weather and hoping every gleam of light was to bring us a clear sky. Soon after 3 o’clock it providentially became fair and we discovered we were a long way out of our course having come too far south east, and several of the company said they saw The Reculvers and Margate, which however I did not. The vessel’s head was now put about to retrace our way, and with an appetite considerably improved by the knowledge we were once more on our right track, we sat down to a substantial dinner. I think our party was between Seventy and Eighty, and altogether we were well furnished and pretty comfortable. Wine we paid for separately. Understanding some gentlemen were going on shore at Scarborough, when we should reach there, I wrote a letter home fearing we might be a day later at Edinburgh than I had anticipated. I suppose tomorrow afternoon will enable me to send it. We had now a lovely evening, and as the sun sank below the horizon the Essex coast faded away and we glided swiftly through the waters at about north east passing vessel after vessel , most of them light colliers, but though with a favourable wind and all their sails set, falling behind us as rapidly as if we had been in full sail and their vessels at anchor. Weather still calm, and a beautiful starlight night, about eleven retired to my cot.

Thursday, Sept. 2.

Rose at 8 after a good night’s sleep and found ourselves off the coast of Lincolnshire steadily pressing our course, but no land in sight on any side, the last symptom I’ve had had having been the Harwich and Oxford Ness Lighthouses yesternight. Many vessels hovering about us at greater or less distances and some we passed at anchor, but whether at rest or sailing none could enter into competition with us. This was a lovely morning and I finished my letter home to give the latest intelligence I could as we have every prospect of reaching Scarborough in good time today. At this time all hands seem employed in writing. Some like myself occupied with journals, several letter writing, but at any rate the pen at work for some purpose or other. The vessel is steady enough not to be at all incommodious, and want of other occupation appears to be the greatest stimulus. After finishing my letter I sat down to a match at chess with a young gentleman named Muir. He had been abroad in the Greek islands for the last eleven years of his life (he did not appear more than seven or eight and twenty), and having travelled also in Italy was an agreeable companion, clever, sensible and well informed. Something enthusiastic, however, with regard to the Greeks and their ?. About 3 o’clock we met the Tourist Steam Packet from Edinburgh, and although we had been so much delayed yesterday we were both very near midway between London and our destination. Soon after Flamborough bore in sight a bold, lofty promontory stretching into the sea, being the first land I had discerned for some time. We came pretty near it and it had a most wild, barren and frowning appearance. About 6 o’clock we were off the town of Scarborough. Several boats came off to us, some pleasure boats merely for a sail. Others bringing us provisions, and we here sent our letters on shore for home. The place looked rather pretty with a pier covered with spectators whom our vessel had attracted but it looked to me little better than being buried alive to take up an abode in the town. We had nothing further remarkable to see this day which was spent as usual in these kind of voyages in reading, card playing, listlessness and likesomeness. Sea voyages are no way to my taste and I am always yearning after the happy moment which is “to let th’imprisoned wanderers free” and give us to our native soil again. We went to bed early and I had as before a pretty good night’s rest disturbed however by my vessel’s stopping to put some passenger ashore in Northumberland.

Friday, 3 Sept.

Rose early on the information that Holy Island was in sight and mounted the deck when certainly the scenery had become very picturesque. The Farne Islands on one side, Bamborough Castle, Holy Island, and afterwards Tantallon Castle were all beautiful objects and the whole of this day’s sail was delightful. Passing by Dunbar and Berwick multitudes of Islands clustering about us. One of them called The Bass Rock covered with Soland Geese , the Isle of May in the distance and at North Berwick the coast of Fife perfectly visible. We here entered the Firth of Forth having Haddingtonshire on one side and Fifeshire on the other, and at length passing Inch Keith, the town and port of Leith immediately afterwards, Newhaven became perfectly distinct. We passed the former and glad indeed was I when the Newhaven boats came out and took us all, bag and baggage on board, whence they soon carried us at their final pier, and I once again found myself on Terra Firma where we alighted like a swarm of bees. Mr Anderson tells a story that the Old Woman of Berwick Bridge used to exact a penny from every Scotchman on his way south to England with a promise to give him half a guinea when he returned to his native country again, and as Mr A observed a few such imperlations [bad language?] as ours would have ruined the old lady. We hired a Hackney Coach immediately and rattled away from Newhaven where we had arrived ¼ before 4 having been near 58 hours from Blackwall, but as this included our delay by the fog it was reckoned a very good passage and we were all contented. At Edinburgh, we took up our abode at Mackay Hotel, 18 Princes Street, an excellent situation. I happened to be next door to Blackwood the publisher of the magazine of that name. After dinner and writing to London, we visited the old town to call on a friend of Mr Anderson near the Grassmarket, and extended our perambulations no further this night.

Saturday, Sept. 4.

After breakfast set off to make the tour of Edinburgh and crossing the North Bridge and down by the Canongate reached Holyrood House to which we were admitted on application. Saw a gallery of portraits seemingly containing the pictures of all the kings Scotland could ever have had, among them Fergus, Arthur, Duncan, Macbeth, Robert Bruce, Baliol, the Stuarts, Mary of France (by the by far from handsome but the damsel who acted as Cicerone said the picture was damaged by an attempt to clean it), and some other. Hence we went into the stable apartments which as well as the aforesaid gallery betrayed a plentiful lack of ornament and except as constructed(?) with the recollections attached to them from olden times were worthless. One room with a throne fitted up for George 4th to hold a drawing room was palpable but that was all. The Duke of Hamilton (Keeper of Holyrood) has apartments here, one of which is the chamber in which David Rizzio was murdered. The Earl of Breadalbane and some other noblemen have also residences in the palace. From Holyrood we wound round the foot of Salisbury Crags to endeavour to reach the summit of Arthur’s Seat and I toiled up to within 15 or 20 yards of the top but the wind was so very strong at that great height and the footing so insecure that I was compelled to give it up. I rather think however there was a circuitous passage which might have led me there. The descent was very troublesome and fatiguing. Half of it I was upon all fours as the only way to prevent myself from being blown off. We again entered Edinburgh Old Town. Wandered through the Canongate and the Cowgate to the church of the Grey Friars, a very ancient building. Here were the monuments of Dr Hugh Blair, and Allan Ramsey, author of the Gentle Shepherd. The epitaph on the latter was very pretty – I wish I had copied it. Hence to Herriot’s Hospital, a fine old castellated building standing on a beautiful greensward and making a very magnificent appearance. From here we bent our steps (and truly they were bent for the streets are all hill and dale) to the Castle Hill. As no impediment was offered us we walked into the castle and up to the battlements, the view from which over the city was very superb. That however from Arthur’s Seat is far more extensive, extending a great way down the Forth and over the opposite shores of Fife. After amply gratifying ourselves with prospects we once more descended and crossing the North Bank entered the New Town where we perambulated the different streets until we were completely tired. They are certainly most splendid: Princes Street, Queen Street, Heriot Row, The Circus, George Street and the Leith Walk are all extremely regular and handsome. The whole of what is called the New Town is of very modern structure and new streets are still continuing to rise in every part of it . Neither does public spirit seem at all wanting in the inhabitants as there are many edifices erected merely for effect and shew (sic), and being wholly of stone which is very plentiful at Edinburgh, have a very magnificent appearance. We dined today at the public table, or Table d’Hote of the hotel at which we met some very pleasant company, and I promised to join one of the gentlemen at the Edinburgh Chess Club when I should return to the city.

Sunday, 5 Sept.

We this morning betook ourselves along the base of Calton Hill on the London Road to a little village about 3 miles from Edinburgh called Portobello to visit a friend of Mr Anderson’s whom he expected to have heard preach at the Kirk. It turned out however that he was officiating for some friend at Haddington and instead of having a sermon we agreed to take a walk to Leith, which we accordingly did. It being a Sunday little or nothing was doing here and after a walk on the pier which seemed rather commodious, and luncheon at the Brittania we turned our steps homeward up the Leith Walk, a broad well paved road which connects the two towns and which is planned out for building several rows of houses which will when finished join them completely but at present these are only in intention and the further part only next Edinburgh has commenced. On arriving at the Forth Street in the Calton City we paid a visit to Mr Adam, when another friend of Mr Anderson’s, he undertook to escort us a little more about the old town and we set off under his guidance who pointed out to us several ancient places worthy of notice. Among others in the Canon Gate a house where John Knox used to deliver his fulminations to the multitude, the ancient gate of the Tolbooth formerly called the Heart of Midlothian, the Grassmarket where criminals were executed, the Western Bow through which Capt. Porteous was dragged by the infuriated mob who executed him at the usual(?) place without warrant, but in revenge for having fired on the crowd assembled to witness the punishment of a criminal for which he had been condemned. Along South(?) bridge to Nicholson Street, we visited the university which when compleat will be a noble building but at present is far from that situation. The museum at the farther part of the edifice is in good order, the library not half built. We walked still farther south to George’s Square, and thence to Brunsfield(sic) Links, a sort of common ground appropriated by the Corporation for the purposes of health and amusement to the citizens, and here the game of golf which is much used in Scotland is played nearly daily. We passed here the Merchant Maiden Hospital for boys, and Heriot’s institution again and going round the westernmost end of Edinburgh came to the new canal from the Clyde near Glasgow by which this city is greatly much supplied with coals. The principal of the pits belong to the Duke of Hamilton. We now turned off by St Cuthbert’s and St John’s churches and once more reached Princes Street, much pleased with the tour. After dinner we paid a visit to a Mr Newton not far from the Cowgate where finding a few of his friends and two Miss Newtons we spent a most pleasant and agreeable evening.

Monday, 6 Sept.

At 9 this morning we mounted the stage for Glasgow which unfortunately went the lower road over uninteresting ways through Uphill Bath Gate and Airdrie. About ½ past 2 we alighted at the Tontine(?) Inn, a very noble hotel having a large and handsome coffee room in which are found the periodicals , most of the London newspapers as well as those of Dublin and even Paris, which by the courtesy of the subscribers are open and accessible to strangers without restraint or any payment. We had a good dinner at the public table and as usual sallied forth to look about us. Crossed the Clyde in two or three places over large and wide places, but the stream itself is so very shallow as to take off all the effect of it, and it had a strange appearance to see a fellow drive a horse and cart through the Clyde. At its broadest part below the farthest bridge were several steam boats plying for different places. They are very numerous here, not less than forty to various places down the Clyde. The old tolbooth is still standing. Our hotel was nearly opposite the Tron Church and the Salt market. The farfamed residence of the unequalled Bailie Nicol Jarvie is within 20 yards of our door. The University in the High Street is an ancient building of large dimensions with 3 courts but has a most sombre and heavy appearance and looks very incommodious for its residences. Some of the streets and squares at the North West end of Glasgow are well proportioned and handsome but the whole city appears devoted to trade and the shops accordingly have a very good appearance. The placards denoting the arrival and departure of vessels are most numerous and the population is crowded in the street. Glasgow is, I believe, above Liverpool in numbers and second only to London among the cities of Great Britain. Having pretty well tired myself with walking about the town I returned to the Tontine Hotel and played billiards with Mr Muir for the rest of the evening.

Tuesday, Sept. 7.

This morning we mounted the stage for Paisley which took us there in an hour. A miserable looking dirty place resembling very much Stockport. Manufacturing towns have always a squalid appearance and the population are thickly sown(?) together. We looked about among the wholesale warehouses and purchased several shawls on the “Causey Side”, unknowing however whether we had made good or bad bargains and then walked to a large cotton establishment about a mile from the town. Here the overseer very politely shewed us over the building and explained to us the several processes in the order in which the machinery was worked. It was very curious entirely directed by steam of extraordinary powers and effect but perfectly incomprehensible to me. The manufactory employed about 240 persons and was worked by 2 steam engines of great power. The owner a Mr John Orr. The person who shewed us over the building was extremely civil and attentive and to my somewhat surprise refused any renumeration. We dined at the Saracen’s Head in company with a French gentleman who seemed mightily pleased to hear his language spoken by me and was apparently much gratified with the rencontre. After dinner a porter took our sacks and we marched off to Renfrew, a town on the banks of the Clyde about 3 miles from Paisley. Here we stopped at the ferry house, and very fortunately in ten minutes afterwards the Steam boat from Glasgow to Dunbarton came past and took us on board and we sailed down the Clyde at a pretty quick rate. It is certainly not a handsome river, nor were the prospects very beautiful. Dunbarton Castle itself is the most picturesque object, situated on a high, romantic rock. We turned off from the Clyde up the Leven water and presently anchored off the quay of the town. The fare was eighteen pence only. We put up at the Elephant and Castle, a decent inn and after ordering our tea set off for the castle about a mile from the town, and of very steep ascent. In the castle armoury we were shewn the sword of Sir William Wallace the Scotch patriot, an unwieldy two-handed instrument but not very weighty. We then mounted to the top-most height and had a fine view down the Clyde to Port Glasgow and Greenock and afterwards returned to out inn for the night.

Wednesday, Sept. 8.

At 9 today we took the stage for the “Braes of Balloch”. On our road passed Renton, the birth place of Smollett to whose memory a monument is erected, and an hour brought us to the ferry of Balloch. Here we embarked on board the Marion Steam Boat on Loch Lomond and had a most beautiful cruise on the lake among its hundred isles. The views are very superb, bounded on all sides by lofty mountains, among which Ben Lomond rears his head most proudly over all. The aspects in the valley are lovely and picturesque. At Tarbet we landed a passenger or two and about two o’clock reached the further part of the lake and made a pause at a place called Rob Roy’s Cave where we landed and explored the recesses of the cavern which bears this name. It was as might well be supposed a miserable and uncomfortable place and I know not what tradition entitles it to the appellation but it appears rather an unlikely refuge for such a man. I cannot say the sight of it gratified me at all. The surrounding scenery is not particularly marked hereabout and it is principally noticeable at the end of our voyage. The Steam Boat took on board 3 or 4 passengers and put about on our return. I have remarked as well in this Steam befell as in that which took us to Dunbarton that the cabin library for the passengers almost invariably consisted of Sir Walter Scott’s novels, no inappropriate selection considering that 5 sixths of their passengers are attracted by the celebrity of his writings to visit these new farfamed lakes. We mustered on our journey up Loch Lomond about 17 or 18 passengers, but by several additions on one or the other side of the lake from adventurous pedestrians we increased to between 20 or 30. Notwithstanding(?) several persons were put on shore at a little miserable hut called Inversnaid. William Anderson and myself were put on shore in company with two young Irishmen and two clergymen. We had determined to proceed on foot to Loch Katrine which being too great an undertaking for the Doctor, he was kind enough to take charge of our luggage and intended returning to Dunbarton and Glasgow and there take the stage tomorrow for Stirling where we were to meet him. Armed accordingly with a night cap and a clean pair of stockings we set out with our new companions who turned out to be very pleasant folks, and fortunate enough it was so for the way was rough and stony , wet and miserable. The path, if path it might be called was nothing more than a channel formed by the mountain torrents when excess of rain compelled them to find some outlet, and though fortunately it had been for some days pretty dry, yet it continually happened that we had to pass places where little streams were still running, and as we had no choice of road our feet soon got pretty well soaked. Good humour however kept us merrily on and we laughed carelessly at our distresses. At the end of about 5 miles we arrived at Loch Katrine where by close stowage we were able to cram ourselves into a boat rowed by two watermen (who by the bye had walked over from Inversnaid after us or we should have found no conveyance) and we committed ourselves to “the deep waters.” It blew very hard and the men had a long and tough pull for it, the distance down the lake being near ten miles , the scenery on both sides handsome but not particularly striking till we reached the last 2 or three miles when the Trossachs (which are small lochs bounding the prospects on both sides) commenced, and we came to the farfamed Isle supposed to have been inhabited by the Lady of the Lake. A romantic and beautiful situation now belonging to Lord Gwydir(?) who has either erected or repaired a small house on it fitted up in complete hunting style with skins of various beasts and hung round with spears and other implements of the chase. There are several smaller isles in its immediate neighbourhood and this part of the lake especially seen as we saw it by moonlight is very lovely. In fact, it was the only thing of transcendent beauty I had yet witnessed. We landed at the eastern extremity soon after 8 o’clock and posted off as hard as our legs could carry us to give us a little warmth after 3 hours cold sitting in the open boat, to the inn called Stuarts. This was somewhat above a mile from the lake, but the journey no way disagreeable and at the hotel we again found a warm and comfortable reception, a good hot supper, and plenty of good whisky which the conviviality of our Irish companions and the fellowship which it inspired induced us not to be very sparing of. We here met also with two young gentlemen who had a carriage and were polite enough to offer us seats to Callender(sic) for tomorrow morning, but as we were inclined to walk we only half accepted their invitation leaving it to the morn to determine our destination and mode of travelling.

Thursday, Sept. 9.

Rose at 9 with a desperate headache(sic) from last night’s debauch and found our carriage friends had waited half an hour for our rising but seeing it hopeless had gone off near an hour before. I did not much regret it as it was a lovely morning and my head was more likely to amend in the air than in the closeness of a carriage, and the prospect here is very beautiful. Loch Katherine beneath me rolled In all her length far winding lay With promontory, creek, and bay And islands that unfurled(?) bright Floated amid the livelier light And mountains that like giants stand To sentinel enchanted land. High on the south huge Ben Venue Down to the lake its masses threw. Crags, Knolls and mounds confusedly hurled The fragments of an earlier world. In short it was the prettiest place I had seen and girding my travelling cloak about me I left with reluctance this beautiful spot on our way along the banks of Loch Achrae and Loch Vennachar and we paced on foot along their lovely margins many a mile. And often paused – so strange the road So wondrous were the scenes it shewed So wondrous wild the whole might seem The scenery of a fairy dream. After an agreeable walk of ten miles which totally dissipated my headache(sic) we reached the in at Callender of which Dr MacCulloch in his tour to the Western Highlands gives a very bad character. We had little opportunity of judging , a luncheon of cold lamb and a couple of bottles Alloa Ale being all we indulged in here, and after an hour’s rest we resumed our pedestrian excursion towards the Castle of Stirling distant near seventeen miles. The road was pleasant, but not particularly striking and rather flat, though the Grampian Hills in the distance looked well, but unfortunately having no road book we were but little acquainted with the various remarkable places about us. We passed Doune about mid-way but without a pause, and at length rather fatigued after our day’s journey we entered Stirling about 5 in the afternoon. Mr Anderson had arrived earlier in the day by the stage from Glasgow, and strange to say two Brompton friends had come in the same morning from Perth. We dined together and passed a pleasant afternoon from the unexpected roncontre(?) but were too tired to see much of the town this night.

Friday, Sept. 10.

Took a survey of Stirling. The town is commanded by a strong castle erected on an eminence on the western side from which we had a very fine prospect as well of the Forth which meanders about here, as of the distant mountains. Alloa is only six miles hence famous for its ale, and the still more famous fight of Bannockburn where Robert Bruce gained so compleat a victory was contested in the neighbourhood. The site is two miles hence. The town itself is hilly and badly paved, but being the market day, had a lively appearance. Here Mr Anderson went out to make some enquiries after certain relations of his whom he succeeded in finding and also after the house in which he was born, which however he was not able to discover. And finally after midday we stepped into a post chaise for Crieff. About 4 miles on the road we came to Dunblane, a small dirty looking place and I can’t say much in praise of any of the Jessy’s(?) that I saw there, nor to my shame be it spoken have I seen a pretty Scotch lassie in all my time. Their features are almost always hard and coarse and among the lower classes the custom of walking about barelegged is very disgusting. This is carried to so great a length that the other day we saw a well dressed young woman carrying a parasol over her head and without a stocking or shoe. The mud and dirt on the feet are insufferable. Our course lay through some little villages, miserable looking enough – indeed, all the small places on the roadside have an air of great wretchedness and poverty. The heavy stone walls to the houses, the broken windows almost invariably patched with wood instead of glass and the dress and look of the inhabitants of these places put one exactly in mind of France, where I have travelled through similar scenes many times. Indeed the resemblance is so strong as to require no stretch of imagination to consider oneself across the channel. At a little village on the road called Muthill we stopped the chaise to pay a visit to a Brompton gentleman named Kennedy who resides here as a sort of factotum to Lord Gwydir in the midst of whose estates we now were. He married the heiress of Drummond and Perth. Drummond Castle is close by here. He received us very politely and we dined with him (by the bye, his wife is a very pretty woman and seemed to sigh for London). Another half hour took us to the Drummond Arms at Crieff where we put up for the night and found the beds and accommodation pretty fair. I can’t say much in favour of the town, and therefore pass it over.

Saturday, Sept. 11.

We arose early and a post chaise being in attendance we made the best of our way to Perth, passing one village only on the route called Methven, the site of some battle of former days but a road book was still a desideratum which we had not supplied. We reached Perth in good time and took up at a fine house called The Salutation. Our residence here for the present, however, was very short as after a bason(sic) of soup we hired another chaise and set off for Dunkeld where his Grace of Athol has a seat about fifteen miles dur north of Perth. Aughtergaven, a small village, was the only place we passed till as we approached Dunkeld the farfamed Birnam Wood was close to us on our left. I am quite sure from the small growth of the larch and fir trees in it that they must be very distantly related to those leafy screens who took the walk to Dunsinane to terrify the tyrant Macbeth. They seem very young and the wood has rather a light and pleasing aspect. We drove to an inn at Inver half a mile from Dunkeld as the most proximate to the Hermitage and Grounds which we had come to see and having presently procured a guide were conducted to the Hall of Ossian as it was called. I had unfortunately heard so much of this place and so many travellers whom I had met on my route gave such handsome accounts of the place and of its beauties that I had I suppose raised my expectations too high. At any rate, they were very much disappointed and a fall of water of very moderate size reflected in half a dozen mirrors half a dozen different ways seemed hardly to have requited me for a journey of 30 miles, and accordingly I became out of humour with the place. The walks about the Grounds, however, were in very good taste and the rivers Tay and Bran interspersed through them added much to the beauty of the scenery. The opposite banks of the former river covered with young firs had a very handsome appearance. A walk of about two miles of the territories of His Grace satisfied us, and we returned with a good appetite to a good dinner at Inver Inn and about 5 o’clock our chaise once more took us on the road to Perth where we were comfortably seated in the Salutation Tavern before 8, having had too much riding today to wish to pedestrianize much. The purchase of a few Cairngorms, this being the district for these stones, was the only important business of the evening.

Sunday, Sept. 12.

This seems to be called an unlawful day in Scotland and accordingly travelling is at a stand unless you choose to walk, and the only employment is to go to church. Mr Anderson and his son went to the High Kirk here but not being very well myself I preferred a promenade to the Bridge of Earn and spa watering place about three miles from Perth which is generally well which is generally well and numerously attended, the Boarding House there boasting frequently during the season as many as seventy sitting down to dinner. It was a charming walk thither, but the House had not much to recommend it. The gardens and pleasure grounds attached to it were evidently of modern plantation and afforded neither shade from the sun nor shelter from the passer by who like myself chose to overlook the company from the home. Fashion however does much. The River Earn is rather pretty here and a new and handsome bridge bestrides its flood close to the Boarding House. On returning to Perth I found my friends had come in from Kirk and ready for another perambulation in which I agreed to join and we bent our steps towards Scone Palace where formerly the Scottish kings were crowned. It at present belongs I believe to Lord Mansfield but whether as a right or merely by appointment of His Majesty I know not. Here we found Sunday was, to use a legal phrase, a dies non and no admittance to either House or Grounds was obtainable. I mentally comforted myself with the idea that the pride of Scone, the Stone, on which the Scottish Monarchs were enthroned was quietly reposing in our Abbey of Westminster and we returned to Perth re infecta. After dinner a walk on the banks of the Tay occupied us an hour or two and we progressed no farther this day.

Monday, Sept. 13.

At six this morning we took our leave of Perth and embarked in the Steam Packet Hero for Dundee. The sail down the Tay was very agreeable it being studded on both sides with the seats of the nobility and gentry, among others Kinfaun (Lord Gray’s), and a castle of the Earl of Erol’s(?) were conspicuous for their beauty. The Hero was a good steamer of larger dimensions than those we saw on the Clyde and the accommodations of better order than common. It took us safely and steadily to the Pier of Dundee at which place we landed soon after 9 and eat a hearty breakfast having had nothing before today. The calls of hunger satiated we wandered about the town which is a dirty place and(?) completely French in its appearance as if it had been in the Pas de Calais, even to the Grande Place in the centre and the Hotel de Ville on one side of it. But though no ways inviting in its appearance it seemed to have a pretty good trade. The harbour contained many vessels and there was a general commercial bustle visible in the town. To increase the list of exports I purchased another Cairngorum here. At eleven precisely we went on board a steam ferry boat large enough to hold a small village, worked by a wheel in the centre instead of the usual way at the sides. It had also two chimneys and I presume also two boilers. It starts every hour from Dundee to the opposite shore which is in Fife, and at(?) each we had not more than 7 or 8 passengers on board including ourselves. When about half over a signal was made for post horses and on landing we found in consequence a neat post chaise and good pair of horses ready to transport us whithersoever we would go. Our direction was determined for St Andrews and in a crack of the whip we were once again in motion over the plains of Scotland. The side(?) was uninteresting. We passed only one village (Leuchars, and after crossing a long and curiously narrow bridge called the Guard Bridge, it having been formerly a pass easily to be defended by a small party of men, we reached the city of the patron saint of Scotland who happened, according to the French fashion, to be my patron saint also as I was born on the 39th November (St Andrew’s Day). This city, anciently the Metropolitan City of Scotland, giving the title of Archbishop and Primate of the Scotch prelacy, was a miserable disappointment to us. There are three principle streets in most of which the houses seem to be decayed, the inhabitants poorly clad and though it was market day, little bustle or traffick was visible in the streets. The Black Bull, however at which we lodged (being by the bye the only inn in the town) was pretty well attended and seemed to have more custom than one would have expected, and we understand that the appointment of Dr Chalmers to be one of the professors here is likely to be of service to the city. We went to visit the remains of the Cathedral from which however, being but small little judgement could be formed of their original splendour. The fury of John Knox’s reformation had overturned completely the venerable fabric leaving one wall and part of an arch and small tower standing. We then mounted a high square building called St Regulus’ Tower of whom the legend goes that he, living in one of the Greek islands and having the bones of St Andrew was desired in a dream to embark in a boat, and where the boat should stop, to inter the bones and build a tower. This command he fulfilled to the letter: the Mediterranean, the Straits of Gibralter and the Atlantic Ocean were mere trifles in his way and he was safely landed on the eastern coast of Fifeshire, where he built this tower. For which give me leave to return my best thanks, for the platform on the top affords a very fine prospect including the river Eden , the Tay mouth, and the Bell Rock lighthouse, the latter a very curious building erected on a rock which at high water is completely covered with the sea, and the spray dashes to an immense height, even over the top. The view on the land side though not equally good was pretty, and Fife has a pleasant appearance here. We left St Regulus’ Tower and the Cathedral, and for my part I think my patron has left it too indeed after having his house pulled about his ears. I can hardly wonder at his removing his quarters – I know he has a very handsome house on Holborn Hill where he is much better treated. The old and new universities seem to partake of the general gloom of the town. However, it should be mentioned that we visit St Andrews in the vacation time when the students have left it, and of course the place as to liveliness is seen to a disadvantage. There are nine professors in the College, several (and most likely all) of great talent and reputation, but Dr Chalmers was the only one whose fame had reached my ears with a sound rather louder than my own feeble judgement of his works entitled him to. A pouring rain confined us to the Black Bull this evening which did not even afford the customary resource gaping at a ? of engravings on the wall; a picture of Hambletonions(?) was all it could boast.

Tuesday, Sept. 14.

Taking advantage of an interval when the weather was civil enough to be cloudy and not to rain, we set off to walk to Cameron, a very small village four miles from hence, the clergyman of which, a Mr Adamson, was known to Mr Anderson. There were unfortunately no footpaths and the recent rains had made the roads miserably dirty in consequence of which before our arrival at the Manse we were very dirty and somewhat damp. A pleasant reception and an agreeable gossip of an hour or two with Mr Adamson and his family put us quite at ease. He was a very intelligent man full of information about these parts in which indeed he had lived all his life and his family were equally obliging. I left them with some regret , especially too as it was to return to such a town as St Andrews. On our way back we got half soaked with a shower of rain, but th’importe(?) a glass of Brandy and a change of raiment set all matters to right again, and we did not eat the less hearty a dinner for it. After dinner we went to the old kirk here to see the monument erected to the memory of James Sharpe, Archbishop of St Andrews who was murdered about three miles west of this city by the famous Balfour of Burley and others, his associates. There is a very long inscription on it describing his talents, his virtues and his end, and underneath is cut in marble the representation of his assassination, with his daughter on her knees praying to the murderers for his life. It was carved in Holland and is a curious piece of sculpture but not very handsome. The deed was done on the 3rd of May 1679, and none of the actual perpretators(sic) of the deed ever suffered for it. In this church we were also shewn an instrument called The Branks formerly used for the punishment of scolds, being a sort of iron machine or case for the head which when fitted and fastened on thrust a large piece of iron into the mouth and compresses the tongue. Rather an unpopular way of persuading a lady to hold her tongue and so ungallant that I wonder not it has fallen into disuse. At the western end of the street we saw the house which was formerly inhabited by Archbishop Shore and subsequently by that violent reformer John Knox with the good city of St Andrews to which I say farewell(?) and jump with great glee into a post chaise for Cupar. At Cupar we arrived without a remark, half drowsy and quite silent in one of those contemplative moods in which travellers now and then delight to indulge. We had journeyed on our way and thoughtfully alighted at the inn of the County Town of Fife. The charm of a cheerful blazing fire, a handsome room(?) and the ready attendance of the waiters dispelled all gloom in an instant and our spirits rose in proportion to the warmth of our reception till I became almost as comfortable as at home. The transition from the in at St Andrews full ill furnished and inelegant to the handsome well supplied hotel at Cupar had a great effect on my mind and without having seen twenty yards of the town we pronounced it a far more civilized and enlightened place than that which we had just quitted. Nor had we any reason to complain of our accommodation here. However the evening was spent in reading such newspapers as we could meet with and in drinking once again to the welfare of all at our respective homes.

Wednesday, Sept. 15.

We walked this morning over the whole town of Cupar which although it did not realise all our last night’s anticipation seems a neat and comfortable place, the environs pretty but affording little remarkable. The usual concomitants of a Scottish town, namely a river half dry and a Brigg over it are to be found here, but whether the dry summer which they have had here in the north or a usual lack of water occasions it I know not, but the various channel(sic) are generally much more full of pebbles than of water. At 12 o’clock a stage from Dundee was to arrive here bound for Edinburgh and we agreed to take three inside places. When however it did come it was full inside and out but the proprietors were civil enough to order a post chaise for us and we started together. At a house called New Inn we changed horses and passing by Sysart, “The Long Town of Kirkaldy” as it is called, we reached Kinghorn and Petticur, being 23 miles from Cupar. At Petticur we were on the banks of our old friend the Firth of Forth and a steam ferry boat was ready to convey us across. The wind blew excessively strong. A storm of rain came on at the moment and the tide being low the steamer was beyond the pier and we had a troublesome embarkation in a little boat which terrified some of the ladies of the party pretty much, and two or three of them in the passage across were very sick. The length of the journey was reckoned 7 miles. I doubt whether it was quite so much. We passed our left hand the pretty island of Inchkeith. On our right was Burnt Island, and near to Queensferry the little isle of Cramond. We landed soon after 4 at the pier of Newhaven and mounted a stage which conveyed us to our old ? Mackay’s Hotel, Princes Street, Edinburgh where at six o’clock we were comfortably re-established and eating a dinner which a fast from 9 o’clock this morning enabled us to do ample justice to, and we progressed no more for this day.

Thursday, September 16.

Mr Wilson called on us this morning and was so obliging as to escort us to some of the highlights of Edinburgh. The first visit we paid was to a private establishment, the Waterloo Hotel, of which the coffee room and ball room were very splendid, and the former well supplied with newspapers and other periodical publications. The accommodations of this hotel are immense, but it seems to me that three fourths of the visitors to Edinburgh ought to take up their abode here to enable the proprietor to get a living. The establishment is so very great and the expenses inevitably so high. Walking across the North Bridge by the Tron Church we again visited the Heart of Midlothian, and turning in to Parliament Square entered the Courts of Justice. Like those in London at this time of year they were empty and we were contented to be informed here sits Sir William Rae, the Lord Advocate, here Mr Hope the Solicitor General, here Mr Jeffery, Mr Cranstoun(?), Mr Moncrieff, &c. &c. and last though not least in our dear love, Sir Walter Scott. Some short account of these great men followed and I rendered the conversation ? and pleasing. The Parliament Chamber itself is an humble imitation of our Westminster Hall, neither so long, so wide nor so lofty but in better condition. The fretted supports for the roof in better order but too much gilded the ornaments looking gaudy and out of place. It was here His Majesty was entertained by his good city of Edinburgh and here also after the King’s departure His Grace of Hamilton made the foolish speech which at the time made some sensation to say the least of it. It was out of season and out of taste. We now proceeded to the apartments belonging to the Society of Writers to the Signet, very handsome rooms and containing a well stored library in which the first paper I cast my eyes on was a Literary Gazette of a fortnight’s standing containing my own review of a work on Italy. I would have thought more of these rooms to which I do not do adequate justice but that we were immediately afterwards ushered into the Advocate’s Library which except the Vatican and Louvre is the handsomest room I have seen in Europe, elegantly and classically ornamented of great length and well furnished. An illuminated manuscript copy of the Holy Scriptures and another of a Roman Breviary both of very ancient date lay on one of the tables and students and advocates in different niches apart from each other pursued their cosy(?) vacation employments. If there were any objection to this building it would be that convenience is sacrificed to show, as taken as a library it is not adapted to contain a sufficient number of books, and accordingly the major part of the literary works are kept in rooms below, some of them too dark to read in, but having a handsome antiroom(sic) well lighted for that purpose. We afterwards proceeded to the Register Office which id doubtless the handsomest building in Edinburgh. The Rotunda forming the centre of the erection(?) resembles much the Radcliff Library at Oxford, but as well as I can recollect is not quite so large. In it are preserved the archives of all the estates in Scotland, for in this office every deed intended to affect real property is registered and a copy reserved accessible to all who wish to make searches. These emollments(?) are carried back a great way in order of time but I forget the date. Upstairs in the Land Registers Room we saw the Act of Union between England and Scotland with the signatures of the Commissioners on both sides including nearly all the great names of Queen Anne’s time, among others on the English party were Godolphin Somers Orford(?), Simon Harcourt and Lord Wharton. An equally curious document but of more recent date was the coronation oath of Scotland and taken by his present Majesty George the 4th with his own signature and attested by such of the Privy Counsellors who were present comprising the illustrious men of the present day. Here were also shewn us some original letters of Henry 4 of France and Mary Queen of Scots and her husband the Dauphin as well as of the Stuarts and the whole were in excellent preservation. The building contains many curiosities of a similar nature and all kept in good order. With many thanks to our kind conductor for his attention we took leave of him and I accompanied the Rev. Mr Chaundy (a fellow lodger at out hotel) to the Edinburgh Chess Club in Queen Street. A small company was assembled there and I was pitted against one of their head men who beat me soundly. I then turned to with my Introducer(sic) and gave him as sound a dressing as I had received from my late protagonist, Mr Liston. The remainder of the time I spent at the club was wholly occupied in seeing the match between the London and Edinburgh Societies fought out in all manner of ways in order to see what was the next most advantageous move. This employment occupies the gentlemen here, I understand, many hours of every day. A Mr Donaldson, Mr Liston and one other were the only practisers on the present occasion and the Edinburgh Club is a pawn ahead at the moment. The London situation appeared to me, however to be the strongest, and I believe the northern club are a little doubtful of success. They have lost one game. We dined today at Mr Wilson’s, and we were introduced to Mrs W and the family which consisted of three amiable and agreeable young ladies well educated and sensible and possessing that shrewdness of remark for which the Scottish character is famous. The eldest and youngest also favoured us with some beautiful Scotch songs and the evening passed most agreeably and pleasantly – as pleasant indeed as away from my home it could do.

Friday, September 17.

Mr William Anderson and myself set off this morning for a walk and crossing the whole town of Edinburgh left it by the southern extremity and took the road which winds round the Pentland Hills. After an agreeable promenade of upwards of six miles on this route we branched off to the little village of Rosslyn where we took a comfortable Scotch breakfast which, by the bye, always includes ham, eggs and jelly and generally some kippers and salmon, marmalade and honey. To the latter article I am a pretty good customer. A man was found here to show us Rosslyn Castle and Chapel. The former is a pile of ruins having little to recommend it but its picturesque situation on the edge of a small rock overhanging the River Esk. The Chapel, however, is a perfect bijou, a beautiful sample in miniature of Gothic architecture in excellent condition and with the slightest reparation would be perfectly for divine service. Our guide told us many rhodomontade [boasting, bragging] histories of the different carvings and pillars of which we soon got tired and I stopped him. Mrs Wilson told me afterwards that the original Cicerone here was a woman who if unluckily she was interrupted by any of the company would say ‘Here, how you have put me out. I must begin again.’ And so on, as often as these importunate stops occurred. We were in better luck for these descriptions are very tiresome. After satiating ourselves with the beauties of Rosslyn Chapel we struck across the country following the windings of the River Esk (a regular Scotch river), passed by Hawthornden, and ancient residence of Drummond the poet and historian, and by a romantic and beautiful walk over hills and through glens we reached Lasswade at which place Lord Melville has a house. Leaving this village we took our course to Dalkeith and after partaking of a little refreshment at the Cross Keys sought and obtained admission to Dalkeith House, a most commodious and comfortable house, the residence of his Majesty for fourteen days when in Scotland, the apartments well furnished, the walls covered with pictures, some very good, the cabinets with china for which I have a fancy, and altogether the prettiest house I have seen a long time – far superior to Holyrood. There were as usual many curiosities exhibited here mostly consisting of pieces of furniture belonging to Charles the Second, and ? relics of the Stuart family. Somehow or other, but I am not acquainted in what manner, the Duke of Buccleugh whose estate this is is related to that family. The Dowager Duchess is a Montagu. The present Duke who is a minor will have an immense fortune when he comes of age. We paraded about the grounds which are very beautiful and full of game and after sufficiently pleasing the eye we marched off for Edinburgh, from which Dalkeith House is distant six miles and a half, and we reached home about 3 o’clock having walked about one and twenty miles without any inconvenience though the day was very hot. After dinner we dropped in at Mr Wilson and enjoyed an agreeable conversation for a couple of hours which closed the evening.

Saturday, September 18.

After calling on Mr & Mrs William Gray in the Royal Circus I accompanied them to inspect the Bridewell on the Calton Hill to which they had procured admission. It was rather a curious than an agreeable sight. We were placed in a small tower with loopholes on looking through which we saw a large semicircle. Round the side were a great number of cells, iron grated in front, sufficiently wide apart however to see all the inmates who from the small tower in which we stood could be thoroughly watched and any inattention to their work observed. At the back of each cell to which we were conducted was a small and airy bedroom and on each counterpane lay a bible. The whole had a perfect appearance of neatness and cleanliness. Below on one side under the cells was seen that farfamed machine, the treadmill, which was just now in full play. The motion of the climbers was very slow and gradual but I learn that the offenders where sentenced to this punishment work 8 hours at it, and are computed to walk 24 miles in the time. This is by far too much if the account be true. At present no profit or utility is produced by the treadmill; here the work is used purely for the labour. The inhabitants appeared very peaceable and were in the ratio of three women to one man proli pudor! We ascended to look at the upper cells but declined to visit the jail which is the adjacent building, having had quite enough with one specimen of vice and punishment. I now took a walk over to Leith with the intention of taking a warm bath but changed my mind when I got there and merely strolled about the pier and sand and quietly eat a luncheon of kippered salmon and drank a bottle of ale. In perambulating the town I met with the town crier who was proclaiming the loss of a washing tub which I believe had been taken off Leith Links, and he finished his annunciation with a bit of wit of his own that if the finder did not bring it back, “puir Peggie would ha’ to pay the los o’t.” I understand it was not uncommon for the Cryers to make these little additions, but it has now fallen into disuse. An instance occurred however the other day of a similar nature: a person making proclamation for the actors of a county barn in which he was to inform the world that if the audience should be dissatisfied they should have their money in some part of it back. He added immediately “but it’s hard to get aits frae geese.” I strolled back to Edinburgh in time for dinner and again drank tea at Mr Wilson’s hospitable house where we enjoyed some pleasing conversation and some pretty singing by the young ladies which passed the evening lightly and agreeably.

Sunday, September 19.

After breakfast today I went to Mr Newton’s and with his daughter Isabella set off for the Grey Friar’s Church, an old fashioned and plain building without any ornament which contained besides the tombs of Hugh Blair and Allan Ramsay that of Ruddiman the author of the famous Latin Rudiments known by his name. We had a pretty good discourse delivered by Dr Muir who is a popular preacher here and among the congregation were the Lord Provost of Edinburgh (Mr Henderson) and the town council in their robes of office, but they cut no very dashing figure. I was invited by Mr Newton to meet his Lordship and Dr Muir on Friday next at his house, but was obliged to decline it hoping by that time to be approaching my house. After taking my leave of this family who have been very polite and would have been more so but for the death of a relative a few days since which prevented their seeing company. I went once more to Mr Wilson’s and accompanied Miss Jane and Mr(?) John Wilson to the English Church in York Place. A superannuated person read prayers (Mr Gardner) and a Mr Moorhead preached in the absence of Mr Alison whom I should much like to have heard. The sermon was pretty well, but nothing more. It is a beautiful modern Gothic Church and the organ is very fine and was well played. I now took my leave of Mr Wilson and his family whose kindness and hospitality to me, a stranger, will not soon be forgotten. I shall be happy if an opportunity should occur that I might one day repay any portion of it. After dinner I had little else to say than to make my short preparations for my departure from Edinburgh which city I quit tomorrow, and a short walk in the New Town in an unsuccessful search for a former travelling companion (Major Mathewson) for whom I left my card was my only occupation.

Monday, 20 September.

Mounted the coach for Kelso. Passed by way of Dalkeith to Lauder, a small dull-looking place and thence by Erlestone to Kelso which I arrived about 2 0’clock having been 6 hours on the journey. I immediately took up my abode at the White Swan, and after dine went to pay my respects to Mr Geo. Jordan. With him and his family I spent a very agreeable evening and a game at Boston with Miss Stuarts closed it. As, however, this journal is merely kept as a record of places and not of persons, these visits afford no “material” for the book.

Sunday 21 Sept.

My first tour this morning was towards Newton Don, the seat of Sir Alexander Don Bart. Mr Jordan kindly lent me his horse but in ten minutes the rain came on which successively increased to “a mizzle, a drizzle, a shower, a torrent” so that by the time I reached the lodge I was soaked to the skin, and not choosing to pay a visit while under so great a resemblance to a drowned rat I merely left my card and returned to my clothes and the comfort of an inn, where the more you call about you the better you are liked (??). Dined today with a large party at Mr Jordan’s and of course the evening and night were spent there, I need hardly add, in pleasure and conviviality.

Wednesday, Sept. 22.

This morning, the weather being more favourable, I walked about the environs of Kelso with Miss J Stuart and her cousin. The walk by the Tweedside from the point to the bridge is very pretty, including, besides the beautiful meandering of the river, a view of Fleurs (the Duke of Roxburgh), of Pinnacle Hill (Mr Davidions[?]), of Springwood Park (Sir John Douglas’) and several other seats, and we pursued the Teviot River from its confluence with the Tweed up to a second bridge, the promenade altogether delightful. Kelso Abbey is a fine, venerable looking ruin. Hence we turned off to Paradise, the residence of Dr Stuart where we paid our respects to him and Misses E & M Jordan. A pretty and pleasant house and strange to say, the adjoining villa is named Edenside, both appellations probably something above their deserts. Today I met the same party as yesterday with some few variations at Miss Stuarts and spent another most agreeable evening. I had upon my hands two other dinners, one an invitation from Sir Alexander to newton Don, and the other to Dr Stuarts at Paradise, but as I intend leaving here tomorrow I was reluctantly compelled to decline both. The hospitality of Kelso would induce me to stay much longer but I have promised to be at home.

Tuesday, 23 September.

After paying my farewell visits to all my friends (rather to me an irksome employment by the bye), at 12 o’clock I entered the stage for Newcastle upon Tyne. The coach comes daily through here from Edinburgh for London, but they hesitated to book me farther than to the former place . I had intended to go by Carlisle to Liverpool and thence home, but I found I was twenty miles from Hawick. I was uncertain when the Glasgow stage would pass there for Carlisle and still more uncertain of a seat in it when it should pass, and accordingly I chose the road by Newcastle and York as the most direct. The first place of any note we passed was Coldstream, the border town of Scotland divided from England by the Tweed which is crossed here by a handsome bridge. This village is a great rival to Gretna Green in the celebration of hasty matches and at the northern foot of the bridge a Scotch blacksmith (or any other trader) is always ready to rivet the nuptial chains of anxious lovers. Marriage in Scotland is only esteemed a civil contract and an acknowledgement of marriage before witnesses coupled with cohabitation is sufficient evidence of the ceremony. I was informed that although the Scotch marriages will hold good with regard to the parties themselves the person who officiates as priest is liable to some penalty or punishment. Soon after entering England we halted at a place called Cornhill and took dinner there, and then continued to Morpeth in Cumberland, crossing the Coquet River. We made no further stay but to change horses till we reached Newcastle , the approach to which had a most curious appearance, much as if one was surmounted by a dozen immense conflagrations. These fires were occasioned by the collieries in the neighbourhood, and as my arrival was about 10 at night the effect was somewhat extraordinary.

Friday, September 24.

From the little survey I could make of this town, it is a large bustling dirty place. Every body actively employed in trade and the river (the Tyne) bore a pretty decent show of ships. A fine seat of Sir Matthew White Ridley’s is in the neighbourhood. We started in good time today for York and they did not refuse to secure my place to London for which I paid £4-15-0, being £1-12 hence to York and £3-3 on to London. The fare from Kelso was £1-15, and from Edinburgh to there would have been £2-10, making the whole £7-5-0. There are two other coaches this road, one 5/- cheaper, the other 5/- dearer. The Mail is 8 guineas(?) and is I think in general by far the more preferable and not much the greater price for we had about 16 coachmen before we reached York, every stage changing and they seldom exceeded and they often fell short of twelve miles each stage. We came next to Durham, a set of close narrow streets and nothing handsome but the Cathedral which seemed to have had some large sums laid out on it of late and is a very noble pile of building. After looking at Newcastle, Durham appears a small city, and is I believe not more than a second or third rate city. Through several little villages we passed on to Darlington, a decent clean town title(?) to the Earl. 2 afternoon I reached North Allerton a borough returning 2 members to parliament but not very large. Thirsk the next town returns as many and is not even so populous. Three and twenty miles further we entered York and took up our station for the night. There was little time for perambulating as we did not reach the city till 8 o’clock, but after supper I took a short airing about the streets which were pretty empty of good company but much frequented by others.

Saturday, September 18(? – last two dates conflict!).

I rose early to have as good a view of York as I could and surveyed the streets and public buildings. Having no local guide I hit on them at random but saw nothing very remarkable except the Cathedral, a beautiful and venerable structure superior I think to Durham but not in my idea equalling Westminster Abbey. The windows were, however, highly ornamented with stained glass. Some of the tombs(?) very good and the Gothic architecture in excellent preservation. Repairs were going on here too and no expense seemed to be spared to kept(sic) the building in good order. One thing in good taste was that all the doors were thrown open and ingress and egress afforded to every body freely and without trouble, and a stranger was able to wander about the Cathedral without applications from vergers or Showmen to read the inscriptions on the tombs for you. At 9 I set off once more on my journey and no further pause was to be allowed except for meals till we reached London. We went by Tadcaster and Ferrybridge to Doncaster, the races at which finished yesterday and though the race course which we passed was deserted yet we suffered from our proximity to the scene of action by finding our several relays of horses in bad condition. Posting towards town had knocked up the better sort and the worse alone remained for us. We dined at Markham Moor but not till between 5 and 6 o’clock and we were half starved before we reached there. During the night we met with one or two adventures by the loss of one or two parcels by the carelessness of their owners, and the complete upset of a gig which ran against us, fortunately without much damage to the Lady and Gentleman who were in it and on.

Sunday, Sept. 19.

We reached London about 2 o’clock above 2 hours after the proper time of our arrival, partly occasioned by bad cattle and partly by the delays which the occurrences of the night had occasioned us.