Document of the Month - May 2019

‘A Milch Cow Seeking Lodgings In A Garret’ – 9th August 1855

Our document of the month for May is a light-hearted affair. You may recall last year a cow in Stirling made the national news after it escaped from the Caledonian Auction Mart. It then proceeded to enter a car showroom and cause £1500 worth of damage! (https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/news/local-news/runaway-cow-causes-1500-worth-13429855)

In 1855, a similar incident occurred in Stirling which was reported by the Stirling Observer. The headline read ‘A Milch Cow Seeking Lodgings In A Garret’ and is full of the wit and humour of a typical Victorian newspaper editor.

On Saturday 5th August at 9 pm, a dairy cow entered the common stair at one of the properties on Baker Street, diverted into the property by a shop-boy putting up shutters.

After making her way into the property, the cow ‘did not seem to approve of her quarters, and turning around, made her way upstairs, and stopped not until she reached the garret floor’.

It continues ‘If the amazement of the occupant below was great, that of the resident was quite indescribable’.

The cow, determined to stay in the garret, finally began to retrace her steps after the dairymaid had been called in to help with the situation.

For residents returning to the property, the sight of ‘Mrs Crummie’ looking down upon them meant they ‘were seized with a horror which we will not attempt to describe’. (‘Crummie’ is Scots for a cow with crooked horns)

The story did have a happy ending as it concludes by stating ‘The animal we are glad to say, did no damage to the property, and was herself in no way injured by her adventure’.

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