MARIEVILLE

It is likely that you will have never heard of:

I had not heard of it either. It once stood tall on Upper Bridge Street, Stirling, and was one of the closest neighbours of the castle:

Marieville was built by Dr Thomas Lucas (1756 – 1822):

Several of the early 19th century diaries of Dr Thomas Lucas have survived, and Stirling Council Archive has done a wonderful job in transcribing them for all to read:

As well as being a respected doctor and surgeon, Dr Lucas was a keen gardener, and at Marieville there was a wonderful orchard:

The diaries of Dr Lucas reveal more than his passion for gardening, for they are rich in the detail of day-to-day life. For example he describes being weary of his neighbour, Mrs Gordon [widow of Dr Gordon] for her lack of control over her dog:

’17 April 1811: Mrs Gordon an ill neighbour, altho she was informed that a dog belonging to her has done much mischief in my garden yet she continues to allow him to come into it to Scratch and dig large holes in it.’

This is Bellfield, the house of Mrs Gordon, that neighboured Marieville:

Stirling Council Archives has also shared this bill, sent by Dr Thomas Lucas to his client, Robert Craigie, gives details of the treatment of Craigie’s daughter for venereal disease between the 21st November and the 16th December 1795. The treatment is both gruesome and dangerous. It begins with ‘opening a venereal bubo’ (sore or blister)in the unfortunate woman’s groin and then continues with the application of ‘mercurial ointment’ and the prescribing of pills containing mercury for the patient to take orally.

The treatment did not work, and as mercury is very poisonous, often resulted in the death of the patient. Prior to the discovery of antibiotics in the mid 20th century, there was no other treatment for this disease, so Lucas here is following the best course of treatment that he has for his patient.

In the Edinburgh Archives, ‘The Stirling Antiquary’ has recorded an account of Dr Lucas:

The ‘Day Book’ for Dr Lucas has also survived, covering the period from 1802 to 1807:

The last diary entry made by Dr Thomas Lucas, 31 May 1821:

“The latter half of this month has been very cold and ungenial with high winds, Vegetation is at a Standstill and the Markets are getting up. The barley seed is not yet finished nor are All the Potatoes as yet planted and unless we have a good season Barley and Potatoes and perhaps the whole crop will be very late before it will be got in.”

Dr Lucas died the following year and was buried in the Churchyard of Holy Rude, beside the castle. His daughter Agnes continued to live on in Marieville. Last of the family line, she died on the 1st February 1876:

The Orchard was then put to let and the house up for sale:

The contents of Marieville, described as ‘CURIOSITIES’, were put to auction, as outlined here in the Falkirk Advertiser of 1876:

At the Smith Institute you can see the painting ‘Stirling as it was under the Stuarts’ by Sir George Harvey:

I recently made this short film about the Stirling Heads, based on the drawings of Jane Ferrier:

 

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FOOTNOTE:
Marieville was demolished last century. Where the house once stood there is now a place of worship:

Dr Lucas beloved orchard has become a concrete car park for St Marys.