Doctor George T. Galbraith.
Though born in Ireland where his father was stationed, George Galbraith was largely raised in
Stirling, his mother's native town to which his parents moved after his father retired from the
army in 1822. His father, William, later became a town councilor and was repeatedly Provost.
After attending school in Stirling, George attended first Glasgow University and then
studied medicine in Edinburgh, where he gained the License of the Royal College of
Surgeons and the M.D. degree. Filling time before he could join the army as a doctor, he went
as a ship's surgeon to Madras. On his return, he was posted to Chatham and served in the
army in Australia and New Zealand before, under pressure of ill-health, he was transferred
again to Ireland. In 1859 he was ordered to China, then back to the UK, till his retirement
from the army in 1868 when he moved back to Stirling. Cook and Wylie's 1897 directory has
him living at 21 Gladstone Place.
In Stirling, he was actively involved in public affairs, including being a member of the
school board and also involved with the Episcopal Church, the Royal Infirmary Board and
others. He was an early and active member of the Stirling Field and Archaeological Society,
which invited him to prepare these Recollections, first published in the Transactions of the
Society, volume 16 (1893-4) in two parts, p. 2-27 and p. 108-138. The two part format was
necessary as, like other contributors, he read his paper at the relevant meetings and the length
required two sittings.
He died on 24th Oct 1900, leaving a son who was also in the army (Scotsman, 25 Oct
1900, p. 6). His recent death is noted in the Transactions, volume 23 (1900-1) p. 20 with a
note of the various contributions he had made to the Transactions. There is a short biography,
published whilst he was still alive, in Drysdale, W. 1899. Old Faces, Old Places and Old
Stories of Stirling, Mackay, Stirling, 155-160.
OLD RECOLLECTIONS OF STIRLING.
By Dr George T. Galbraith
First published in the Transactions of the Stirling Natural History and Archaeological Society,
volume 16 (1893-4) page 2-27 and page 108-138.
Edited and with notes by John G Harrison, 2018; edition © Copyright, John G Harrison, 2018.
His Recollections require little other introduction. Though he was only in his early 70s
when he prepared them, he clearly thought of himself and was thought of, as being a very
senior citizen. His recollections are strongly influenced by the fact that he spent much of the
mid part of his life elsewhere, returning to a world once familiar and now in some ways
strange.. The attitudes are those of a middle class Scotsman of his time - and sometimes not to
modern tastes. Most of the earlier pages are about particular parts of the town - the castle, the
cemeteries, the churches and so on; in the later pages the approach is more thematic (changes
in travel, in manners, in funeral customs etc).
I have put such additional explanation as seemed essential as footnotes, for example I have
glossed his occasional Latin phrases and pointed to additional sources of information about
some of the buildings and the characters he mentions and, very occasionally, about the more
general subjects. The text is presented in two sections, corresponding to Part 1 and Part 2 as