Rejoicings at Gargunnock after a Great Victory by Admiral Duncan over the Dutch Fleet
“….the glafs again circulates, and health and fuccefs to his Majesty afcends with fhouts of joy to the skies….”
The feuars had assembled, and it was resolved to celebrate the victory of their countrymen; two of their number were then deputed from the Meeting to wait on the chief heritors, and a handsome subscription was obtained.
On Wednesday evening the fog having subsided a little, candles were distributed to the poor, and immediately every cottage sent forth a cheerful ray, while the Manse, Martin’s Inn, and other houses of size, showed a handsome illumination. A fire then rose from the Laft Hill (top of the village right hand side) like another moon through the mist to guide the traveller, and the country folks who were hastening from every part to the scene of festivity.
The parade, consisting of the inhabitants that had arms, marched first to salute their patron, Colonel Eidingtoun (Gargunnock Estate); accompanied by several hundred of both sexes. They were received with unfeigned joy and hospitality by the veteran Officer, who went through their ranks, spoke with great affability, and expressed his satisfaction at seeing so many loyal persons, that he made no doubt, should the occasion offer, would meet him again on the same ground to defend their rights and liberties. Liquors were then distributed, and they returned, after expressing their thanks and respect for the family in repeated acclamations.
A messenger being dispatched to Boquhan with an offer of the same compliment, they ascended the hill amidst the blaze of lights, where every house brought forth to its doors the country refreshments and liquors for the entertainment of their friends and visitors.
Now they are assembled in order round the fire, the glass again circulates, and health and success to his Majesty ascends with shouts of joy to the skies; while the name of Admiral Duncan, with discharges of their arms, echoes through the hills. The song and dance succeeds during the intervals. The effusions of rustic mirth mixed with the demonstrations of their loyalty, and moderated by the presence of their favourite pastor, Mr Robertson for whose return they had delayed the celebration. At a late hour the fires burning low, and the lights near extinguished, the peasant retires, pleased and satisfied, to a sound rest, to rise with fresh spirits again to the labours of the day.
These festivals have their use, whether in the village or at the hall of the country gentleman. The tenant, the hind and the labourer look forward with satisfaction to the day when their toils and cares are to be dissolved in mirth; and if the season is well chosen as the present, it serves to connect and interest the people in the fortune of their country, and beget a public spirit of no mean use at the moment we draw near.