Part 5

Lord Linton is on the road to recovery. We now give you a flavour of other aspects of life at Traquair. It was a very busy household, with lots of house guests, visitors calling by, and involvement with the neighbours and the local community. In spite of being so busy, Mary never missed a day writing up her diary. 

There was always time for some leisure and entertainment…

Mr & Mrs Murray from Darnhall arrived about 2 o’clock…Mr Harper dancing master came about one o’clock went away before dinner – left the Fiddler…after tea all the company took a dance but Lord Traquair in the great dining room. Mr Murray & Lady Traquair Col. Murray & Mrs Murray Mr Robertson & Mrs Grieve Mr Grieve & Miss Bailey Mrs Radcliff & Louisa. Louisa dressed in muslin frock with laylock ribbons & cap…gave the Fiddler 5 shillings

After Tea Lady Traquair Mrs Ballantyne & Miss Sally Ballantyne played at Cards, Game Catch honours

After Breakfast all ye Gentlemen & Lord Traquair walked out – returned about one o’clock ye Captain & his Brother played at Billiards… Capt Groom brought him a letter that he was to join his Regiment immediately the man was Irish & could scarse speak any English.[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"201","attributes":{"alt":"George Barnwell","class":"media-image","height":"166","style":"width: 216px; height: 166px; margin-left: 6px; margin-right: 6px; float: right;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"216"}}]]

About noon a man brought a Play Bill that the Play of
“George Barnwell or the London merchant” With Interludes Songs &c with the Old Man taught Wisdom to be acted at Innerleathen to begin of 7 o’clock Pit 6d Gallery 3d  - Lady Traquair Treated all the Servants with Pitt Tickets… - went from this house about 14.

[This play was first performed at the Theatre Royal in Drury Lane, London, in 1731, and remained popular throughout the 18th century]

Food and drink was plentiful and varied, and something in which Mary took a keen interest…

Mr Ballantyne sent Lady Traquair a fat Lamb about 2 months old.

After supper Lady Traquair ordered a Brandy Possett – which all took of – hindered Lady Traquair sleeping.

Lady Traquair superintended ye Coffee roasting 2 hours doing.

The Olives Linton eat did not agree with him.

Peebles Carrier brought 100 smelts a Turbot a Thornback 2 lobsters a dozen fresh herrings for 3s 6d

Edy Scott Fisher brought a fine kepper – Lady Traquair told him to bring fresh Salmon every week

Sporting activities were on the agenda for the men…

Mr Crukshank catched a Salmon at Carron bank we were all there when he took.

Lord Traquair about 12 o’clock went to the Curling at Grieston Loch came home about 4 o’clock.

Lord Traquair Mr Crukshank Elliott ye School master & Robt. Braiden went a Shooting…shot 3 Partridges

[[{"type":"media","view_mode":"media_large","fid":"211","attributes":{"alt":"Skating","class":"media-image","height":"97","style":"width: 220px; height: 94px; float: right; margin-left: 6px; margin-right: 6px;","typeof":"foaf:Image","width":"226"}}]]And the children were far from being overlooked…

Linton had his Toe burnt but Kitty would not acknowledge how it happened….Lady Traquair had the green painted Iron put before the nursery fire to prevent Linton from burning himself.

[Nurse] came in ye fly from Edinburgh… brought Linton from Ye Pans a Chamber Pot with his name at bottom & date & an Egg Cup, brought Louisa from Ye Pans a large Jarr of fresh Pandore Oysters & a bottle of ? liquor an Egg Cup & 6 small plates Queens Ware & 2 Tea kettles same.

Buchan brought Water Pot Bason Cow etc. from Preston pans for the Children

Louisa begun to cast her Teeth lost one of the bottom single teeth without any pain.

Linton left his Cradle for good & Slept for the first night in his new Bed

Left handed Fiddler from Bold came to know what days he was to come to fiddle to Louisa – said he had not got any thing for playing at her Birthday last year – Lady Traquair gave him 5s. for that day.

Lady Traquair sent for Mr Elliott schoolmaster at Traquair to desire him to come every day to teach Fanny to read & write. – desired him & Mrs Elliott to come & drink Tea with Mr McIver…Fanny begun to write

Lady Traquair gave William [Laidlaw] the eldest some sugar candy & some to George

Mary took particular pleasure in showing kindness to others…

Gave Buchan two Guineas for a new Suit Cloth[e]s

Chambermaid went away gave her a Ticket in ye fly & 5s for herself, for having stayed some days after Term & attended Linton

Smith came from Peebles to kill a Cow, but was so Ill went to Bed with a fever…[next day] Smith was about 12 o’clock put into a Cart with Bed & beding & sent to Peebles Kid took charge of him – came to his Senses before he got home – Gave his Wife 5s for Cha: & fetch her out of the field from Sh[e]aring

Lady Traquair gave him [Thomas Ballantyne] a lemon & two Bottles Brandy for Mr Ballantyne

Lady Traquair sent Mrs Grieve a hare

Lady Traquair gave ye Butcher’s widow at Peebles who came down 2s gave her 2 doeses of Rhubarb for 2 of ye Children Ill of Fluxes

Mr Elliott…brought a letter to Lady Traquair asking her to be present when Mr Ballantyne was Coffined next day…Lady Traquair gave Kidd orders to go over to Craig (residence of Mr Ballantyne) early next morning to offer the Coach horses etc etc etc…sent with him 4 Silver Salvers large & 2 Japaned waiters…Lady Traquair sent Kidd to Cragg {Craig] to inquire after Mrs Ballantyne Mr Thomas & Mr James  

Mary cared about the poor too…

Mr Marshall [doctor] called about 3 o’clock & stayed dinner had been to visit poor People at Inverleathen [Innerleithen] & Boll [Bold] – many of the Poor Ill of Bloody Flux from ye Badness of ye Oatemeal.

Mr McIver went to Inverleathen to the Poor’s meeting…came home about six o’clock said they had raised £24 for the poor.

Lady Traquair spoke to Mr Elliott about putting the Widow Pow upon ye list of ye Poor for meal & to let her have a peck a month free & a peck under price for paying for.

And she was not without financial worries…

Lord Traquair went into Town to remit money to Mr Seton to pay ye mortgages in order to prevent them getting possession of the Estate.

Mr Grant wanted Lord Traquair to come to Town & bring with him a declaration that Lady Traquair would renounce to her jointure & mentioned putting in Lord Traquair aunts into ye heretable Bond. Lady Traquair suspects there is some thing at ye Bottom unfavourable to her Interest & would not give any declaration, said she would give up her jointure to ye creditors but not to ye Ladies his Sisters for ye extravagant additions to their large provision.

Lord Traquair saw Lord Elliock one of ye directors of ye Royal Bank, took him his intention of going Abroad…Lord Traquair told Dr Hay his intention of going Abroad, ye Dr said ye different Corporations were glad to lend out money on heretable security.