Glass Remembered … A Farmer’s Diary

Notes from a diary kept by a farmer in the Parish of Glass between 1789 and 1811

In the year 1769 we had one of the baddest harvests that ever man saw, the corn not being got in for storm till Martinmas Day .

In the year 1770 we did not sow any till the 3rd of April.  The whole month of March stormy, every day worse than another.
We had one of the baddest harvests that  ever was seen of man.  Eight weeks of storm, but the peats were all home before Glass Market.
Peter Gordon, Factor to Beldorney, died very hastily, almost unseen by any man or woman, for his servant went upstairs and found him dead, himself alone.

 In the year of God 1771, we cutted the first of the bere on the 1st of September, being no dry weather from the beginning of July and on the 23rd and 24th September there came on a storm and it not being all shorn and none taken into the yard.

 January 13th day, 1772, Ann Gordon, spouse to Mr Leslie, departed this life, being dwelling in Ardwell.  And she was not gotten buried on the appointed day, till on the morrow because that day was such a blowing and drifting and the storm so great, that the like was not seen for many years.  She was brought to Wallakirk.

 The 9th day of January 1773 was a day of wind, the like not being seen in man’s day, for breaking the houses and corn stacks.  It was thought by people that the very earth did shake and the tollbooth in Huntly was broken, and many houses in Edinburgh and families perished in them.

 In 1776 the lands and Castle of Beldorney sold by Charles Edward Gordon, 11th and last laird of Beldorney, to Thomas Buchan of Auchmacoy.  Afterwards sold to Sir William Grant, Master of the Rolls.

 1781, Mr Stewart, dwelling in Beldorney Castle, departed this life and was carried to Elgin in a hearse, and for a good man there was not many in his day to be compared to him; he was aged 51 years.

 October 23 1783, Mr John Cooper, Minister of Glass married.  The winter was a cruel one, both for want of man and beast’s meat, as ever man saw that was in life, cattle going to the low country to eat straw.  Meal could not be gotten for many, and the Duke of Gordon and other great men beinging home pease from England for supporting peoples life.

 In the year of God 1784 the storm lasted eight weeks without any break, no mills being going, and people being like to lose their life for want of meal – being a great price, also corn and straw.

 July 17 1786 James G. Haugh of Glass married Jean C. and she ran away on the morrow with James B.

 1793 Was a broken harvest, but a good winter, stormy but eight days, and a brave spring.

 March, the 1st day 1796 G. Gordon, daughter to James Gordon, Beldorney, departed this life at Banff, and was brought to Wallakirk in a hearse.

 June 23 1799   There was a snowstorm which was 3 feet deep in some places in Glass.

 July 2nd 1801  Adam Gordon was married, and such a year of dearth of meal, and such cold was never seen by man.

 January 5 1805.  Adam Slorach losed his life on the Hill of Gromach, Beldorney, it being stormy and drifting snow.

 May 29th 1805.  There was a spate happened in the Deveron.  12 ankers of whisky were lost twixt Inverharroch and the Church of Glass – and all Glass Market that year was a day of thunder and rain, the like was not for many years.

 December 10 1805.  George G. stood up in the Church of Glass and married himself to Rachel D.  The Minister said “stop sir”, but he said, “I will not stop” and he brought her home.

 November 3rd 1810.  Alexander G. that unhappy man was hanged for the atrocious crime of murder, and hanged up between heaven and earth to be a wonder to all that passed by on earth, and to avoid sin.

 In the year of God 1811, a star appeared, with a long tail and the like was not seen since Culloden – a warning to all.

 There are many evil and parlous days in the months of the year, certain days, that it becomes all people to know, because they are parlous and dangerous – the 10th, 17th, 20th, 25th.  The dog days are of greatest danger and peril to all.

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