Traquair Links Up With The 2012 Preston Guild

Published 21st August 2012

What links Scotland’s oldest inhabited house with the UK’s oldest Guild celebration?

… this fascinating personal view of the Preston Guild of 1802 penned by the 21 year old Charles Stuart, Lord Linton, later 8th and last Earl of Traquair.

The Preston Guild dates from 1179, with surviving documentary evidence suggesting that there were organised Guild celebrations as early as 1378. Merchants were called on to renew their membership of their trade guild roughly once every generation and, from 1542, this became established as every twenty years. The phrase ‘Once in a Preston Guild’, meaning not very often, stems from this event.

“Having had long in contemplation the desire of seeing Preston jubilee which happens but every twenty years…” This is how Lord Linton’s journal begins, and it goes on to conjure up so much of the activity in such detail that we can almost see, feel and hear the action as we turn the pages. Here is a young man with his own quirky take on everything – nothing, and no-one, escapes his acute, and often catty, observation …

This full colour facsimile of all 37 pages of Lord Linton’s original manuscript, with background information supplied by Traquair’s archivist, Margaret Fox, has been published to coincide with this year’s Preston Guild.

The manuscript has lain in the Traquair archives for 210 years and we are delighted to take this opportunity to bring it to a much wider readership.

Whether or not you are interested in Preston and its Guild, you are sure to enjoy this insight into a young man let loose from boarding school for a couple of weeks in pre-Regency England!

Buy your copy for only £5 from the Traquair Gift Shop or from our online shop.

Traquair House General 21st August 2012