- What to See and Do
- Planning a Visit
- Traquair Fair
- Stay at Traquair
- Corporate Events
- Photo Galleries
The Diary of Mary Ravenscroft, the 7th Countess of Traquair. Part 4
Lord Linton is still not well but is beginning to show signs of improvement. Lady Traquair remains steadfast in her attendance on him, and continues to question the doctor’s advice. It is interesting that it is not only doctors who prescribe for ailments at this time. The minister of Yarrow tells Mary of a prescription he has drawn up to help someone he knows.
Now that Mary is not so worried about her son she is starting to take an interest in other matters. Her daughter Louisa’s education, her husband’s financial affairs, new translations of the Bible and the situation of Jesuits in Russia all get a mention.
Wednesday 7 May 1783
Fire continued in ye room day & night.
Linton had a very restless night did not sleep well at all, but did not fret only waked often & drank a good deal – Lady Traquair was up several times.
The Pox begun to Blacken & fall much
Mr Reid came to ye Nursery between 7 & 8 o’clock saw Linton a sleep – Lady Traquair rose off ye Bed. – and went to ye Blue room to speak to Mr Reid who said ye Pox would be at ye hight next day - & would come in ye Evening or Mr Marshall Linton kept his Bed all day, his Eyes weak had a natural motion about 10 o’clock very good - & had another natural about 5 o’clock Evening – eat nothing but biscuit all day – Slept a great deal thro’ ye day was hearty & merry – Lady Traquair stroked his face with dry feather & then with one dipped in oil of sweet almonds but he did not like that Was not quite so Itchy as ye day before – between 8 & 9 o’clock Linton was just lifted out of Bed for about 4 or 5 minute to have his Bed sheeted & made & to have his Bottom washed with warm milk and water
Lady Traquair gave him 10 drops Laudanum – went to his Bed immediately & fell asleep very soon
Kidd went to Peebles brought 2lb of round sugar Biscuits no seeds in them 1 s[hilling] per pound 1 dozen wiggs [slightly sweetened buns flavoured with caraway seeds] not good.
Lord Traquair received letter from Mr Seton inclosing letter of Att[orney] came by west port
Lady Traquair & Mr Pepper walked in ye Garden before Tea saw ye apricocks as large as one’s thumb - & the Cherrys far advanced Lady Traquair told Mr Pepper of ye arrest[ment] Lord T. Fen: had received from his Sister at Paris - & that Lord & Lady Traquair intended going to France both which Pepper had heard before thought they should not have given Lord Traquair trouble tho their money had been 4 or 5 years in arrears
Lord Traquair sent to Mr Reid’s room to desire him to come down stairs, but servant found him in Bed – Lord Traquair went to the Provost & told him he wanted to execute a letter of Attorney he had just received, upon which he got up & came to ye Parlour – Peter Nickel & David Spence servants to Lord Traquair signed witnesses, ye Provost filled up ye Blanks & signed Justice of ye Peace David Spence made ye affidavid of ye execution of ye letter of Attorney – Provost then went to his Bed Lord Traquair wrote a line to Mr Seton
Mr Pepper before Supper read Lady Traquair several accounts out of English papers – relating to ye Society & told her that a Vicar had been appointed by ye Pope’s authority in Russia over ye Jesuits where they take in novices - & that the Propagandi at Rome told ye present Pope he could shew Him a Brief Gandenella had granted in favors of ye Jesuits given ye Empress of Russia not only leave to protect ye Jesuits then in her dominions but desiring her to receive the Jesuits from all other nations into her Kingdom.
Mr Pepper told Lady Traquair Dr Geddes had differed a little with B[isho]p Tal[bot] & that Lord Petre’s then held a paper was what ye said Bishop which was supposed to be owing in some measure to ye Doctor that ye Bible is to be 8 years a translat[ion] & that it will not be well received on account in some manner of ye Doctor saying in his perspective that Dr Chanpelles(?) Translation of it was not a faithfull Translation.
Lady Traquair found Mr Pepper & Mr Stuart in Mr Gordon’s room between 2 & 3 o’clock
Jeany Grey the Dairy Maid satt up all night with Linton. Lady Traquair did not undress her only lay down –
Got 2lb round Biscuits from Peebles for Linton @ 1s per pound
Linton had a good night the best since Inoculation waiked about one o’clock eat 2 or 3 Biscuits took a drink & Slept till past 8 in ye morning.
Thursday 8 May 1783
Pretty fine morning
Linton had a very good night & the first night Lady Traquair did not rise. – Mr Reid came into ye Nursery about 7 o’clock found Linton Sleeping, went away Lady Traquair did not rise but [spoke] to Mr Reid as she lay on ye Bed. –
Linton waked between 9 & 10 o’clock Lady Traquair rose at 8. –
Mr Elliott came for first time to Louisa to teach her by herself Lady Traquair gave him 2 Oranges to give to her - Mrs Radcliff Louisa & Mr Elliott were in ye red room door bolted Louisa wrote Mr Conk[alton] a letter which he answered
Lord Traquair came to ye nursery between 6 & 7 gave Mr Pepper ye letter with letter of attorney to put into ye post at Edinburgh went away about 7 o’clock took materia(?) for Breakfast was to take a parcel from Mrs Radcliff of Peebles for her daughter –
Linton had a good natural motion about 10 o’clock eat nothing but Biscuits got a good fore noon Sleep rose for about half an hour before he went to Sleep – The Itchiness almost gone & Pox very much deadened was in good Spirits & played about in his Bed but did not like to leave his Bed. –
Lady Traquair gathered some flowers in ye Garden for Linton – took a few Tea Spoonfulls of Porridge in Evening for Supper between 8 & 9 rose for about 5 minute to have his Bed made & Lady Traquair gave him 7 drops of Laudanum – then went to his bed & fell asleep very soon –
Had a fine motion about 6 o’clock Mr Crawmond Minister of Yarrow came about one o’clock to know how Linton did. – Stayed all day. – said he had Prescribed with success to a woman who could not keep any thing on her Stomach for weeks past to drink a little new milk warm from ye Cow ye first milk as being ye thinest but before drinking ye milk order’d some opium to be desolved & a Cloth diped in it & put to ye Stomach for about 5 minute before drinking ye new milk which stayed on her Stomach & agreed perfectly with her. some days after had a little Bread grated into ye Bason before milking ye milk
The Evening was uncommonly cold. –
Lord C. B. wrote Lord Traquair part of his family went to Whim yesterday, & ye rest were to go today – would come to Traquair as soon as Lord Traquair’s money matters were settled would go into Town to get them ajusted –
Lady Traquair found Linton diverting himself with some Printed hankerchiefs ye Dairy maid had brought up from a Pack man below, Lady Traquair told ye Dairy maid Linton gave her one of those hankerchiefs for siting up with him for she liked them much, & Lady Traquair gave her 3s to pay for it. –
Mr Marshall came about 9 o’clock Evening
Mrs Kennedy sent to know how Linton did
The Chambermaid satt up all night – Lady Traquair did not undress only lay down was up 2 or 3 times thro’ ye night did not go to Bed till past one o’clock waked about one, cryed terribly was easy when he had made his water was restless thro’ ye night – Mr Marshall wanted to open some of ye Pustules with pancers(?) for ye matter, but Lady Traquair would not allow it, & told him he would get better matter anywhere else. –
Friday 9 May 1783
Rainy windy day
Lady Traquair rose between 8 & 9 o’clock Mr Marshall came up & saw him asleep – he went away after Breakfast between 11 & 12 went with Lady Traquair to Linton – found him out of Bed siting on Landale’s Knee, as soon as Linton saw Marshall he Cryed & would not let him near him - & Mr Marshall went out of ye room immediately Lady Traquair told him he need not Sleep here again at night, as Linton was so much better.
about 12 Mr Crawmond went away – Linton went into ye Blue room for half hour whilst ye nursery was cleaned out, wanted to go down stair but Lady Traquair would not let him – ye nursery Chimney smoked was Obliged to take out ye fire –
Linton got a good forenoon Sleep had a natural motion about 11 o’clock took porridge to his dinner eat heartily of them – about six o’clock took a good deal of porridge again for supper & eat a whole Slice of Bread. – Sucked a Sweet orange in ye afternoon. – had a good natural motion about 8 Lady Traquair did not give him any Laudanum as he had eat his Supper so well. –tho’ Mr Marshall had desired her to encrease the dose to night to 10 drops. – Linton had his Shirt & Stays & coat change to day. –
Louisa drew some coloured Spriggs to day in her own room with Mr Elliott held her fingers & arms right & did very well, asked Mr Elliott to come again next day –
Nurse Swan satt up all night Lady Traquair did not undress her
Linton waked about 10 o’clock was pained in making his water
To continue reading please see part five.