Page densely covered with handwriting

Extract from the memoirs of Alexander Carlyle, 1758.
[National Library of Scotland reference: MS.29315]

Alexander Carlyle's memoirs of a golfing outing

Like many Scots, the celebrated minister Alexander Carlyle took his love of golf with him when he travelled.

Golf with David Carrick

When in London in 1758, according to his 'Memoirs', Carlyle received an invitation from the actor David Carrick to dine at his Hampton villa and play golf.

'He had told us to bring Golph Clubs and Balls, that we might play at that game on Molesly Heath.'

On the way, the party passed the Coldstream Guards, who cheered when they saw their clubs as they considered golf a Scottish game.

Carlyle's golfing skills

While at Garrick's house, Carlyle showed off his golfing skills by driving a ball through an arch into the Thames.

Architects Robert and James Adam and other notable Scots were also present, but not all of the Scots knew how to play.


'He had told us to bring Golph Clubs and Balls, that we might play at that Game on Molesly Hurst. As we pasd thro' Kensignton [sic] the Coldstream Regt. were changing Guard, and seeing our Clubs they gave us 3 cheers in Honour of a Diversion Peculiar to Scotland ... we cross'd the River to the Golphing Ground w[hich] was very Good. None of the Company could play but J. Home and myself and Parson Black from Aberdeen.'

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