Local Snippets 7



News Items - A Source of Information and Education about our Ancestors...


Local newspapers are a great source of information for family historians and researchers. We are especially lucky in Aberdeen with records of one paper - The Aberdeen Journal - dating back to the 18th century. In this section we will record just a few snippets of local interest from our papers - some trivial, some tragic, but all fascinating. Let's hope you find something of interest - I'll be surprised if you don't!

The Aberdeen Herald, March 24th, 1838

The propriety of this well-known Distillery have much pleasure in announcing that one of the partners, John Windsor, Esq., has been appointed "Distiller of Whisky to Her Majesty." The present excellent arrangements and very superior Spirits produced at this establishment are facts extensively and well known. The Distillery has been lately greatly enlarged, and machinery has been added to it to such an extent as to make it the first Distillery in the north.

The Distillery is situated near Stonehaven upon the Cowie, a small stream which takes its rise a short distance above in a mossy district, which renders its waters so  peculiarly desirable for the purposes of Distillation.

Note - The Glenury Distillery was originally established by the late Duke of Gordon, with a view to put down smuggling, then alarmingly prevalent, and to encourage agriculture. Captain Barclay of Ury is now the head of the firm, and though that celebrated sportsman has of late years retired to the "halls of his fathers" he continues to devoted his best exertions to the advancement of the general interest of agriculture. We wish the proprietors of this establishment ample success in their spirited undertaking.

 The Aberdeen Herald, July 21st, 1838

On Tuesday, 17th inst., was opened here, the Free School, established on the foundation of the late Mr Donaldson of Quoscies, for the education of fifty scholars from the parishes of Fetteresso and Dunnottar, of the full number of 50 scholars only one was absent. Four of the governors - the Rev Mr Thomson of Fetteresso; Rev. Mr Irvine of Dunnottar; Mr Fullerton, sheriff-substitute of the county; and Mr Tindal, writer - were present; the other governor, Mr Stewart, banker, being absent from indisposition. The business commenced with praise and prayer; after which Mr Thomson, the chairman, delivered a most appropriate and impressive address, in which, after alluding in suitable terms to the extensive benefits to be expected from the establishment not only to the present rising generation, but also, from the permanent footing on which the establishment is placed to many future generations, he pointed out and explained to the scholars, their parents, and the teacher, the several duties incumbent on them, in their respective situations, in reference to the institution and strongly enforced the necessity of a strict compliance with the rules adopted for its government. The rules and regulations were there read, and praise having been again offered up, the proceedings closed by the solemn benediction of the Rev Chairman. The children exhibited a very interesting appearance, and it was pleasant to contemplate the prospect of advancement in useful knowledge, and in the acquirement of moral and religious instruction, which the auspicious opening of this seminary holds out to so many young persons.

The Aberdeen Journal, September 8th, 1838

Stonehaven Fatal Accident - We regret to state that on Friday afternoon a fine young boy of the name of Angus, the son of a poor widow upon coming out of Dunnottar Free School, having gone too near the bank of the Carron, lost his balance and fell into the river almost opposite the school. As the water was very much swollen, his body must have been immediately carried down by the current into the sea, and as yet there has been no trace of him.

 The Aberdeen Herald, October 20th, 1838

On Friday se'enight, a child about 3 years of age, belonging to John Mackintosh, crofter, Kempstanehill, having accompanied him to a neighbouring muir, he very imprudently gave it a lighted tobacco-pipe to amuse itself with, while he was employed casting turf or sods at a short distance from it. It appears that, in consequence of a spark from the pipe having ignited the faded grass and heath, the child's clothes caught fire, and he was dreadfully scorched. Dr Bremner was promptly in attendance, but the agonies of the little sufferer were only alleviated by the hand of death on the day following.

The Aberdeen Herald, July 27th, 1839

Stonehaven - On Saturday last, a beautiful brigantine was launched from the building yard of Messrs Morgan. The day being very favourable for the occasion, a launch rather an unusual sight here, an immense concourse of spectators assembled along the quay, and on the surrounding heights, to witness the spectacle. She was named "The Rose," and is to hail from this port.

The Aberdeen Herald, January 4th, 1840

Stonehaven - The following office bearers of the Stonehaven Lodge of Freemasons were elected 27th December, 1839, viz:- James Knox, R W Master; William Warden; John Balfour, Treasurer; William Melvin, Chaplain; William Napier, James Young, Deacons; Thomas Nicol, Tyler; Alexander Paul, John Garvie, Stewards; George Morice, David Watson, Keybearers; John Beattie, Secretary; George Strathdee, Officer.

The Aberdeen Herald, January 25th, 1840

Stonehaven - The merchants of this town lately formed themselves into a society; and on Monday week they held their general meeting in Mr Mackie's and afterwards supped together - Mr Ramsay, druggist, in the chair; Mr Chapman, draper, and Mr Paterson, druggist, officiated as croupiers. The principal intention of the society is for charitable purposes, and we have no doubt it will be successful. Arrangements are in progress for establishing a News-Room for the mercantile class generally in connection with the Society, although a limited number of respectable tradesman will be admitted as subscribers.

The Aberdeen Herald, October 24th, 1840

On the morning of Monday, 5th curt., Jean Morrice, widow of the late Adam Scott, tailor, Stonehaven, was found dead in her bed - at an advanced age. In her house there was neither meat nor drink, nor anything to sustain life, with the exception of about half a teaspoon of coffee.

The Aberdeen Herald, January 23rd, 1841

Soup Kitchen, Stonehaven. - Several individuals (philanthropists) held a meeting here last Monday, with a view to establishing a soup Kitchen. The proposal was favourably received, and a subscription entered into immediately, which is rapidly filling up. A committee was named for conducting it, so that the hearts of the poor of the old and new town will soon be cheered with a warm and wholesome meal; many of the farmers in the neighbourhood have made offer of vegetables for its use. Such generosity cannot be too highly appreciated.

The Aberdeen Herald, March 27th, 1841

Upon Tuesday last, a dinner was given in the Mill Inn, Stonehaven, to Robert Barclay Allardice, Esq of Ury, by a select party of gentlemen, previous to his departure to visit America - Hugh Fullerton, Esq., Sheriff-Substitute in the chair, Chas. Munro, Esq. of Berryhill, croupier. The Reverend John Stewart said grace; many loyal and appropriate private toasts were given, and the conviviality of the company was kept up to a late hour - all at parting wished a safe and speedy return of their distinguished guest of the family mansion. The dinner and wines, served by Mr Melvin, were excellent.