Archibald Brown’s Diary 1874 Part 3


1900 Boathouse wmContinuing our look at Archibald Brown’s amazing diary from 1874. Archie was a market gardener and florist at Boathouse (Boat Jocks) although was travelling between several farms at the time with his services. It is transcribed exactly as it was written and tells of a hard working life and much walking between farms.

Pictured is his former home at Boathouse on the North of Blantyre Priory at the side of the River Clyde. As Blantyre expanded massively into a mining town around him, in February and March 1874, Archie wrote in his diary:

Mon 16. Commenced to dig the lea in the Fairhaugh Orchard, very fine day wet at night wind west.
Tues 17. Went in to the Dovehill, but could not get in. Lifted a cart from Jardin, digging in the afternoon. Wet morning, fine day, wind west.


Wed 18. Went in to the Dovehill in the forenoon, digging in the afternoon, went in to Brandon Place in the evening. Frosty morning, very fine day, wind north.

Thur 19. Digging all day, showery day, fine night, wind west.

Friday 20. Was digging all day in the Fairhaugh. Weather rather wet like, fine night, wind NW

Sat 21. Digging in the forenoon planting Whitesmiths in the Fairhaugh in the afternoon, went to Orchard at night, rather wet in the afternoon wind w.

Sun 22. Went to Carluke heard Mr Houston giving the folks a heckling. Went up to Chapel Street, very fine day clear night.

Mon 23. Had a run to catch the train, got down. Dug all day, Fine weather, wind west.

Tues 24. Digging till five o’clock, took in a ruck of hay after fine day, like summer, wind SW

Wed 25. Digging all day, bitter cold day, wind east, fair.

Thur 26. Commenced to dig but had to stop, went in to the vinery and made a six pint basket and bottomed a 1/2 skep, wet and very cold in the forenoon, wind east.

Frid 27. Was digging all day, fine weather. Wind west.

Sat 28. Digging up till four o’clock in the afternoon, doing odds and ends after, fine day. Weather like summer, wind south.

MARCH 1874.

Sabbath 1. Very fine day, went to church, McLuckie in the forenoon, communion in the afternoon Mr Auld at night, just like a summer day.

Mond 2. Was digging all day, Sandy Scott killed a black rat. The pears are bursting and the vines are ready for pinching, a fine appearance of bunches, wind W.

Tues 3. Commenced to dig but had to go away and put out dung for W White, carting and spreading all day, very fine day Wind West.

Wed 4. Digging all day, wet forenoon and very close and warm, cold afternoon with a strong East wind, clear night.

Frid 6. Hard frost this morning, dug all day, very warm after the sun got through. Meeting at the farm tonight, Mr Whitehouse to address it. Wind W.

Sat 7. Was digging nearly all day, spread some dung in the Cullough Brae. To W White, fine day, Wind W.


Sun 8. Went out and had a walk in the morning with B.A.S. Called on John Munroe. Went to church after, Mr McLuckie preaching, very cold in the afternoon, Wind west.

Mon 9. Digging all day, viscous cold day, hail showers in the afternoon, hard frost in the morning. Wind North.

Tues 10. Went in to the Dovehill in the forenoon, digging in the afternoon, frost in the morning, very cold, wind north west.

Wed 11. Very hard frost could not dig, thinning Rasps till three o’clock, digging till night. Wind north, very cold.

Thur 12. Digging down the old strawberries all day, not so cold today, wind west. Frid 13. Digging lea all day, fine day, warmer a little wind west.

Sat 14. Digging in the forenoon, pocting in the corn and bean stack in the barn in the afternoon, rather wet all day and strong wind from the west.

Saba 15. Fine morning, went to church had a strange minister. Very wet day, still wet at night, wind west.

Mond 16. Was thrashing in the forenoon, cleaning up the barn in the afternoon, took in the strawberry’s to hut. Willie White finished the digging of the gooseberry’s in the Cullough Brae, Very wet all day. Wind West.

Tues 17. Digging all day, fine warm today, strong wind from the west in the forenoon, very wet at night.

Wed 18. Digging all day, very fine day. The Black Jack in flower at the head of Munroe’s dike, also a Crawford at the back of the house in full flower. Went in to Glasgow at night, fine night. Wind West.

Thur 19. Went in to stinkie in the forenoon and got drenched with rain, digging in the afternoon, very wet forenoon, stormy all day, high wind from the west.

Fri 20. Boxed the potatoes in the forenoon, digging in the afternoon. Very fine day. Observed the jam gooseberry’s in flower today. Wind west.

Sat 21. Levelled in the potato pit in the morning, digging all day, rather soft wind S West. Went to Orchard at night, very wet night.

Sab 22. Fine morning went to Carluke to Church, came home at midday. Went out and had a walk in the afternoon, fine night wind SW.

Mon 23. Came down from Orchard with the first train, digging all day, smoked the greenhouse very fine warm day (observed palms in full flower yesterday) Wind southwest.

Tues 24. Went in for stinky this morning, digging in the afternoon, very fine day warm and mild, wind nowhere to be seen.


Wed 25. A little frost this morning, digging up to four o’clock, went in to the Flower Show at night, extra warm day, wind south.

Thurs 26. Frost this morning digging all day. Willie White finished the stibble in the Fairhaugh, warm day, wind southwest.

Fri 27. Digging in the forenoon, covering corn in the Orchard in the afternoon. Good forepart of the day, wet after, wind south.

Sat 28. Digging in the forenoon, in the greenhouse all the afternoon. Very wet, wind southwest.

Sab 29. Wet morning, went to church Mr McLuckie. Went to the New church at night. Showery day, fair night, W. South.

Mon 30. Wet morning, digging all day, finished the lea in the Fairhaugh. Digged down the old Strawberry’s after wet forenoon, very high wind from the west with heavy hail showers.

Tues 31. Went in for stinkie in the forenoon, Broomhouse, Duffy’s in the afternoon, dug a little, severe showers, hail and thunder with high wind from the west.

Courtesy: Jenny Day

On social media:

James Stirling must have been a very fit man
Archie Peat A very fit man ! With access to fresh food and fresh air , regular exercise and a great life style , yet he died aged 64 !!! ” overwork ? “
James Stirling archie,you could be correct about the overwork,it looked like the guy was out in all weathers ( GREAT LIFE STYLE ) dont think so

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