Sunday, January 12, 2014

Abstinence Tour of Robert Marshall (1819-1891) – Journal Entry of 18th October 1839

I left Huntly with the defiance for Keith - which I reached - this was also an exceeding pleasant ride, but it like some of the others already spoken of, was a silent one - not so the one yesterday.  I got a splendid tee-
total meeting on the coach, and an attentive audience.  They were most kind to me at Keith, but they couldn't get up a meeting for me - I did not insist as I was anxious to proceed.  I accordingly took the mail to Fochabers, where was most kindly treated by a Mr. Gordon, a Taylor.  The Country is still more beautiful here - nothing that I have seen comes nearly up to it - the Duke of Richmonds seat sets off the entrance to Fochabers, in a truly grand stile.  The village is lovely beyond anything I have as yet witnessed, it is a square with an excellent church and steeple in the midst - the roads that lead out of the village by the north are if possible the most enchanting than those in the south - here stands the Bridge of Spey, but as yet I have not examined that superstructure, and consequently can say nothing particular about it.  The Parish Minister, and Schoolmaster here are both favourable to the cause but as yet are not members - I lectured nearly 3 hours in the evening to between three and four hundred of an audience in the Society hall which was kindly granted me by the schoolmaster, who is teaching in it at present, his own school undergoing some repair.  The audience was attentive in general - however I was disturbed much by a publican of the name of Fraser, and a few of the Duke of Gordon's servants who I understand had got some drink with them - At the end only one man, he was deaf and dumb - signed the Pledge.  I had a conversation with this young man before the meeting - He was born he informs me at a place called Auld-earn - is a shoemaker to trade and has been only a few weeks here.   Mr. Gordon and his wife are Roman Catholics, but I never met in with kinder folks in all my life.

Typed by Betty Kay 11th May 1996, from Dan Marshall`s notes of the original journal.  Permission to reprint granted by Morris Kay, 25 June, 2012.

©2014, copyright Alana Farrell

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