Last hours of a single gentleman.

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Currie
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Last hours of a single gentleman.

Post by Currie » Mon Apr 01, 2019 1:03 am

Dundee Courier, Tuesday, April 07, 1846

LAST HOURS OF A SINGLE GENTLEMAN.
By an April Fool.

This morning, April 1, at eleven o'clock precisely, an unfortunate young man, well known in Dundee by the cognomen of Sandy M'Allister, underwent the extreme penalty of infatuation by expiating his attachment to Mary Ann Hawthorn, in a house fronting one of the principal streets in Dundee.

Poor Sandy had barely attained his twenty-eighth year, and had no idea his single life was to be brought so early to an untimely end. A sudden change to the better having taken place in his circumstances, owing principally to some lucky railway speculations, the young lady's friends were induced to give encouragement to certain advances on his part, and so paved the way to an intimacy which terminated in this morning's catastrophe.

The unhappy man passed the previous night, being the last of his bachelor's existence in his solitary chamber. From half past eight to ten he was busily engaged in writing letters. and burning sundry little billet doux all marked over with darts and cupids, which he with a trembling hand conveyed from a private drawer of his escrutoire to the fire, and watched the flames as they quickly consumed these dear relics of former days. Perhaps it was an overheated fancy—his critical situation may have roused dormant recollections—but be fancied that the flickering sparks upon the blackened paper formed themselves into old familiar faces. He was startled from his reverie by his younger brother, Tom, knocking at the door. Recovering himself, the doomed youth told him in a firm voice to “come in." Tom anxiously inquired when he meant to go to bed? He replied, "Not yet." On the question being then put to him if he thought he could sleep any, he only answered by doubtfully shaking his head. He then expressed a desire for a glass of toddy, which was supplied him. His brother, who sat down and partook with him, now demanded if he would want anything more that night? He said, “Nothing," in a firm voice. Upon his affectionate brother rising to take leave, the devoted one held out his hand, and said mournfully, "Tom, be warned; take care of yourself."

Precisely at a quarter to seven next morning, the victim of Cupid having been called, according to his desire, rose and promptly dressed himself. He had the self control to shave himself without the slightest injury; it even appeared that he had devoted a longer time to his toilette than usual. The wretched man was attired in a dark blue dress coat with silverised buttons, yellow waistcoat, and small checked trousers, with span new Wellington boots. He wore round his neck a variegated satin scarf, in front of which was a breastpin of conspicuous dimensions.

Having descended the staircase with a quick step, be entered the apartment where his brother and a few friends were awaiting him. He shook hands cordially with all present, and on being asked how he had slept, answered, “Very well;" and being farther interrogated as to the state of his mind, he said "he felt happy." On breakfast being served, the infatuated man ate two rolls, a slice of toast, a finnan haddock, and two new-laid eggs, which he washed down with two great breakfast cups of tea. In reply to an expression of astonishment at his appetite, he declared he never felt heartier in his life. Having inquired the time and ascertained it was a quarter to eleven, he remarked it would soon be over. His brother then inquired if he could do anything for him?—when he said he might bring him a glass of wine. Having drank this, he appeared satisfied,

The fatal moment now approaching, he devoted the remaining brief portion of his time to distributing among his friends those little articles which he would soon no longer want. To one he gave his cigar case, to another his flute, whilst to a third he gave in charge his favourite Nestor; to his brother he handed the keys of his drawers, to be delivered to his bereaved mother when all was over.

The clock at last struck eleven, and at the same moment be was informed that a minibus was at the door. He replied, “I am ready," and allowed himself to be conducted to the vehicle, into which he got, with his brother and two friends; the rest followed in others. A considerable crowd was assembled to witness their departure; and the town bellman passing at the time on his donkey, shouldered his bell, and placed himself at the head of the procession.

Arrived at the tragical spot, the ill starred bachelor was conducted into the state-room, where, after a short but anxious delay, he was joined by the young lady and her friends. He surveyed the clergyman and the imposing preparations with calmness, and bowed to the spectators with a seeming composure; but a slight twitching in his mouth and eyebrows proclaimed his inward agitation. The young lady, with customary decorum, shed tears.

All the requisite preliminaries having now been settled, and the prescribed formalities gone through, the usual question was put. " Wilt thou have this woman for thy wife?"— to which the rash youth replied in a distinct voice. "I will." He then put the fatal ring upon Miss Mary Ann's finger: the Hymeneal noose was adjusted, and the poor fellow was launched into matrimony.



For a while there, while reading that, I thought the poor fellow was planning his own death rather than a fate worse than. But is it all the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, or is it something else? If true, it would be a nice bit of news for some struggling genealogist to have, especially if it was the only surviving record of a marriage.

Alan

Anne H
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Re: Last hours of a single gentleman.

Post by Anne H » Mon Apr 01, 2019 12:11 pm

For a while there, while reading that, I thought the poor fellow was planning his own death rather than a fate worse than. But is it all the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, or is it something else? If true, it would be a nice bit of news for some struggling genealogist to have, especially if it was the only surviving record of a marriage.
Couldn't agree more, Alan, had me wondering for a bit too! Fascinating read.

[cheers]
Anne

trotterbeck
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Joined: Sat Aug 19, 2006 10:49 pm
Location: Lancashire

Re: Last hours of a single gentleman.

Post by trotterbeck » Mon May 27, 2019 5:57 pm

Hi
I have only just read this.
was informed that a minibus was at the door. He replied, “I am ready,"
Surely the use of the word "minbus" gives this away as a spoof.

If they had used a period name such as Hansom, Hackney, Growler or whatever the Scots versions of thee time might have been, then it would have certainly looked more genuine
I'm a Cousin - are you? http://www/LostCousins.com

Looking for Beck and Trotter in Hawick and
Roxburghshire

arthurk
Posts: 57
Joined: Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:19 pm
Location: Cheshire

Re: Last hours of a single gentleman.

Post by arthurk » Mon May 27, 2019 7:49 pm

trotterbeck wrote:
Mon May 27, 2019 5:57 pm
Surely the use of the word "minbus" gives this away as a spoof.

If they had used a period name such as Hansom, Hackney, Growler or whatever the Scots versions of thee time might have been, then it would have certainly looked more genuine
That was my first thought too, but then I had a look in the Oxford English Dictionary. The first definition it gives for 'minibus' is:
"Chiefly Scottish. A light horse-drawn vehicle for carrying passengers, used as a cab. Now hist." (I didn't look into the significance of the italics.)

It gives an example from the Edinburgh Evening Courant of 25 Sep 1841:
On Thursday night a minibus driver, named Robertson, while driving down Leith Street, his horse came down, and he was thrown from his box.
So now we know.
Kennedy (PER > LKS > ARM > England); Campbell, Rutherford, McDonald, Sinclair (all PER)
Wilson, Millar (RFW & LKS); Duncan (LKS); Hastings (KKD) (all > WRY)

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